Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Doily That Got Away

I spent all last week working on a doily that I finally gave up on. This very rarely happens to me; usually I just keep working on a design until I get it right. But this one got the best of me.
It started out like all of my designs do; an idea and a sketch. I am working on my next Lovely Ladies Doily, which will be a little witch sitting on a cresent moon. I worked for 3 days to get the moon right, and instead of starting on the witch, (which I know is going to take some extra time to get right) I thought I would make the gift doily that is going to come with her. I thought it would take me a day, maybe two at the most.
I had an idea for a five-pointed star; each point of the star would be made of cluster stitches. The number of clusters on each point would decrease by one on each round; 9 on the first round, 8 on the next, etc. until I had just one cluster left for the tip of the point. Between each point I wanted to put a spider web design. Since it was to go with a Halloween doily, I would use black thread. I would call it the "Midnight Star" doily.  It all sounded good, and I was eager to get started on it.
My sketch for the Midnight Star. It is a good thing that I can crochet better than I can draw!

The first attempt didn't look right, and since I had only one ball of black thread I ripped it all out and started over (sometimes I save pieces that don't work until the project is finished, just so I can see what I have already tried.) Dc clusters didn't look big enough, so I tried tr clusters. The doily cupped so I added more stitches to the base of the spiderwebs. (When a doily cups, or curls inwards, it means you do not have enough stitches in the round. If it ruffles, it means you have too many.) I tried everything I could think of to get it right, but nothing worked.
I cannot even guess how many times I ripped that thing apart and started over last week. My daughter called on Friday and asked what I was working on. When I told her, she said "You are still working on that doily? Is it really big or something?"
Finally, on Sunday morning I ripped it out for the last time, and decided to give up on it. There is just something about it that I am not getting, and I was tired of trying to figure it out.
"Trick or Treat" doily in progress. I was tired of working with all black and wanted to add some color to this one.
So, yesterday, I started a new doily which I am calling "Trick or Treat," and I am happy to say that it is almost finished. But I will save my sketch of the Midnight Star, and maybe someday I will try again and finally  figure it out.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunflower Dish or Wash Cloth: a Free Pattern for You


Skill Level: Easy
Size: About 7” across
Materials:
Worsted Weight Cotton Yarn:
  1 oz. Each  Brown and Yellow
 Small amount Dark Green
Size I (5.50mm) Crochet Hook
 Special Stitches
For 2 dc cluster: Yo, insert hook in st or ch sp indicated, yo, pull lp through, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook, yo, insert hook in same st or ch sp, yo, pull lp through, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook, yo, pull through all 3 lps on hook
 For 3 dc cluster: Yo, insert hook in st or ch sp indicated, yo, pull lp through, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook, (yo, insert hook in same st or ch sp, yo, pull through, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook) 2 times, yo, pull through all 4 lps on hook

Rnd 1: With brown, ch 6, sl st in first ch to form ring, ch 2 (not worked in or counted as a stitch), 2 dc cluster (see Special Stitches) in ring, ch 3, (3 dc cluster -see Special Stitches- in ring, ch 3) 5 times, join with sl st in top of 2-dc cluster. (One 2-dc cluster, five 3-dc clusters, 6 ch-3 sps made)
Rnd 2: (Sl st, ch 2, 2 dc cluster, ch 3, 3 dc cluster, ch 3) in first ch-3 sp, (3 dc cluster, ch 3, 3 dc cluster, ch 3) in each ch-3 sp around, join with sl st in top of 2-dc cluster. (One 2-dc cluster, 11 3-dc clusters, 12 ch-3 sps made)
 Rnd 3: (Sl st, ch 2, 2 dc cluster, ch 3, 3 dc cluster, ch 3) in first ch-3 sp, 3 dc cluster in next ch-3 sp, ch 3, *(3 dc cluster, ch 3, 3 dc cluster, ch 3) in next ch-3 sp, 3 dc cluster in next ch-3 sp, ch 3; repeat from * around, join with sl st in top of 2 dc-cluster. Fasten off. (One 2-dc cluster, 17 3-dc clusters, 18 ch-3 sps made)
 Rnd 4: Join green with sc in first ch-3 sp, work 2 more sc in same ch-3 sp as joining, work 3 sc in each ch-3 sp around, join with sl st in first sc. Fasten off. (54 sc made)
Rnd 5: Join yellow with sc in first sc, (ch 3, 3 dc) in same sc as joining, skip next 2 sc, *(sc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next sc, skip next 2 sc; repeat from * around, join with sl st in first sc. Fasten off.

Special thanks go to Dena Casey for testing this pattern.

Copyright BellaCrochet 2010. All rights reserved. This pattern may not be copied, sold or distributed in any form or fashion.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Coming Soon: The "Annaleace" Doily

I am finishing up this doily, which I am calling "Annaleace" after my beautiful granddaughter, Lillian Annaleace. 
Oh, if I could only create a doily as beautiful as this!!!!

The "Annaleace" will be the gift pattern that will come with the purchase of the "Happily Ever After" bride and groom doily pattern.
I am working on the pattern today, and hope to have this set listed for sale on bellacrochet.com by the end of the month. Well, maybe the first of August. It has the same edging as my Wild Roses and Pineapples Doily and the Sweet Violets Potholder. I really love this edging, it looks complicated but it is so easy to make!
I am also working on a new free pattern to post here on the blog. I will try to post it by this weekend.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Coming Soon: Happily Ever After Doily

I am doing the finishing work on this doily today, and will start writing the pattern tomorrow. The pattern should be available by the end of the month.
I started this design back in March, and I had hoped to have it ready by June, but it took longer than I expected to get it how I wanted it. I made 4 different arbors, and 3 different bride's dresses. I still have to do some blocking and finishing, but I am liking how it is turning out.
My next project: a witch sitting on a cresent moon. So far I have made 5 different attempts to make the moon. Ahh, the glamorous life of designing!