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Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Love/Hate Affair With Red Thread

It is the time of year again that I start thinking about Christmas designs, and that always brings me back to one of my pet peeves of crocheting; the fact that red thread almost always bleeds onto other colors.
I love using red in my designs; to me there is nothing prettier than a red Irish rose.
The red Irish roses really make the Hummingbirds and Roses Doily
And honestly, I wouldn't know how to do a Christmas design without using red.

"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"

The cottage from "Christmas in Gingerbread Land"
But, through the years, I have learned through sad experience, that if I use red thread next to a lighter color in a design, the red will run onto it if the item ever gets wet.
I have been told by some that DMC thread is colorfast, but I have also heard stories that it will run, too. I have been told to soak the thread in salt water or vinegar; but I cannot figure out how to wind 350 yards of size 10 thread off of it's cardboard center and wash it, without ending up with a tangled mess. And honestly, who really wants to go to all that trouble just to be able to use a product that should be colorfast anyway?
So now, I just include a warning on my patterns that red thread tends to bleed, so be careful not to get it wet. Since most of my items do not get a lot of use (I use them for decoration, so they don't get dirty) this works for me.
Vintage potholders from the 40's
A few rust stains, but no bleeding of the colors!
But here is the odd thing; I have in my collection several old doilies and potholders made in the 30's, 40's and 50's. Some of them have red roses on white backgrounds; some are red with white trim, some are white with red edging. All of them have obviously been washed, but none of them have the bleeding that happens on my new designs.
So, my question is this; if it was possible to  make colorfast red thread in the past, why can't it be made now?
I hope some smart thread company will come out with a red thread that is truly colorfast; when they do, I know  they will make many crocheters happy.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Stella Luna and Trick or Treat Patterns Are Now Available

The 'Stella Luna Doily' pattern is now available on BellaCrochet.com:




 I love her stockings and boots!
 The pattern for the 'Trick or Treat Doily' is a gift with the purchase of Stella Luna.
I have had a few people ask if they could buy just the Trick or Treat pattern. If you would like to purchase it separately, I have listed it on Ravelry as a single pattern. You do not have to be a member of Ravelry to purchase patterns from them, although it is free and a wonderful site.
I have started a new doily that will be an Angel of Thanksgiving. I hope to have her available next month.


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Autumn Leaves Dish Cloth and Hot Pad: A Free Crochet Pattern for you

Autumn Leaves Dish Cloth
Skill Level: Easy
Size: About 5” across by 8” long
Materials:
  3 ozs. Worsted Weight Cotton Yarn
  Size I (5.50mm) Crochet Hook
Row 1: Ch 18, sc in 4th ch from hook, sc in each of next 13 chs, 3 sc in next ch (ch at end); working in remaining lps on opposite side of chain, sc in each of next 12 chs; leaving remaining chs unworked, turn. (29 sc made)
NOTE: Work all remaining rows in back lps only.
Row 2: Ch 3, sc in each of first 12 sc, 2 sc in each of next 3 sc, sc in each of next 12 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (30 sc made)
Row 3: Ch 3, sc in each of first 14 sc, 2 sc in each of next 3 sc, sc in each of next 11 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (31 sc made)
Row 4: Ch 3,  sc in each of first 13 sc, 2 sc in each of next 3 sc, sc in each of next 13 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (32 sc made)
Row 5: Ch 3,  sc in each of first 15 sc, 2 sc in each of next 3 sc, sc in each of next 12 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (33 sc made)
Row 6: Ch 3, sc in each of first 14 sc, 2 sc in each of next 2 sc, sc in each of next 14 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (32 sc made)
 Row 7: Ch 3, sc in each of first 16 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in each of next 12 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (30 sc made)
Row 8: Ch 3, sc in each of first 13 sc, 2 sc in next sc,  sc in each of next 14 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (29 sc made)
Row 9: Ch 3, sc in each of first 26 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (26 sc made)
Row 10: Ch 3, sc in each of first 23 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (23 sc made)
Row 11: Ch 3, sc in each of first 11 sc, for stem, ch 5, sc in 3rd ch from hook, sc in each of next 2 chs, sc in next sc on Row 10, sc in each of next 8 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked,  turn.
Row 12: Ch 3, sl st in back lps of first 9 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, fasten off.

Autumn Leaves Hot Pad
Skill Level: Easy
Size: About 7” across by 10” long
Materials:
Worsted Weight Cotton Yarn:
 3 oz. Each of two different colors
Size K (6.50mm) Crochet Hook
NOTE: Work with two strands of yarn held together as one throughout.
Row 1: Ch 18, sc in 4th ch from hook, sc in each of next 13 chs, 3 sc in next ch (ch at end); working in remaining lps on opposite side of chain, sc in each of next 12 chs; leaving remaining chs unworked, turn. (29 sc made)
NOTE: Work all remaining rows in back lps only.
Row 2: Ch 3, sc in each of first 12 sc, 2 sc in each of next 3 sc, sc in each of next 12 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (30 sc made)
Row 3: Ch 3, sc in each of first 14 sc, 2 sc in each of next 3 sc, sc in each of next 11 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (31 sc made)
Row 4: Ch 3,  sc in each of first 13 sc, 2 sc in each of next 3 sc, sc in each of next 13 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (32 sc made)
Row 5: Ch 3,  sc in each of first 15 sc, 2 sc in each of next 3 sc, sc in each of next 12 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (33 sc made)
Row 6: Ch 3, sc in each of first 14 sc, 2 sc in each of next 2 sc, sc in each of next 14 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (32 sc made)
Row 7: Ch 3, sc in each of first 16 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in each of next 12 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (30 sc made)
Row 8: Ch 3, sc in each of first 13 sc, 2 sc in next sc,  sc in each of next 14 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (29 sc made)
Row 9: Ch 3, sc in each of first 26 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (26 sc made)
Row 10: Ch 3, sc in each of first 23 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, turn. (23 sc made)
Row 11: Ch 3, sc in each of first 11 sc, for stem, ch 5, sc in 3rd ch from hook, sc in each of next 2 chs, sc in next sc on Row 10, sc in each of next 8 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked,  turn.
Row 12: Ch 3, sl st in back lps of first 9 sc; leaving remaining sts unworked, fasten off.



Special thanks go to E. J. Miller and Jewel Fernley for testing these patterns.
These are original designs by Elizabeth Ann White for BellaCrochet.
Copyright BellaCrochet 2010. All rights reserved. This pattern may not be copied or distributed in any form or fashion.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Let Me Grow Lovely

Let me grow lovely, growing old--
So many fine things do:
Laces, and ivory, and gold,
And silks need not be new;
And there is healing in old trees,
Old streets a glamour hold;
Why may not I, as well as these
Grow lovely, growing old?
                              
                    Karle Wilson Baker
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