Friday, April 27, 2012

New Designs and a Facebook Contest

I have added two new patterns to my site, bellacrochet.com:

This is the Autumn Lace Doilies. They are available here:
And this is my new Town and Country Wrap. It is available here:



I am having a contest over on my Facebook page today (Friday.) I will be giving away a copy of any pdf pattern on my site, including the new ones. I hope you will stop by and enter:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/BellaCrochet/195106893710
Sorry about the long links; I can't get the shortened versions to work today.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Billions of Bullions: A Look At a Vintage Doily

I thought I would share one of my favorite vintage doilies with you today. I did not make it and I do not have the pattern for it, nor do I know if there even is a pattern. A friend gave this doily to me many years ago. He said it was made by his grandmother, probably in the 50's, and he thought I would appreciate it (which I do!) It needs to be washed and blocked, but even in this state, I think it is beautiful.

It looks like it is made from size 30 thread, incorporating not only bullion stitches, but hairpin lace as well. It is about 11" across.
If anyone recognizes this pattern, I would love to hear from you. I have never seen it in any of my old books. 
Anyway, while I do not enjoy making bullion stitches, I certainly think they are lovely, and I cannot help but admire the talented lady who made this doily.
Okay, so maybe there are not quite a billion bullion stitches in this doily, but  there are a lot!
I count 25 bullion stitches at the center.
Some of the little motifs around the outer edge have 18  bullion stitches, but most have 19.  There are 15 of  these little motifs. Each one is about an inch across.
I love hairpin lace, too. But I have never tried it with thread, much less thread as fine as this. 
I can only imagine how many hours of work went into this beauty!

Friday, April 20, 2012

In a Slump; and Did Yeats Crochet?

'I said, ‘A line will take us hours maybe;
Yet if it does not seem a moment’s thought,
Our stitching and unstitching has been naught.'

                               from 'Adam's Curse'
                                    by William Butler Yeats


Although Yeats was talking about writing poetry in his poem "Adam's Curse" I can certainly relate to his feelings when I am designing. If a design doesn't flow easily for me, then I don't feel like it is worth publishing. 
And for the past year or so, it has been hard for me to get my 'creative flow' started. I have started several projects, even finished a few, and then just put them aside. 
I haven't released a new design in months, and my blog posts have been few and far between. I just haven't felt like I had anything worth sharing. 
       I did manage to get this set of doilies, called "Autumn Lace Doilies" finished, and they will be available for purchase soon, and I also have a new  design called "Town and Country Wrap." 
Being in a slump is discouraging to me. I have spent the last 25 years turning out one design after another, and my lack of new designs lately makes me feel unproductive and uncreative. 
But I have been through this before, and I know that eventually I will get back into the swing of things (hopefully very soon!) I have had 'dry spells' in the past, and there have even been times when I really felt like I wouldn't care if I never picked up a crochet hook again. 
But I know that sooner or later there will be a design or idea that sparks my interest, and I will be back on track.  Until then, I will just keep 'stitching and unstitching for naught.'

Sunday, April 01, 2012

New Trends In Crochet Fashion

I try to  keep my designs current and up to date, but sometimes it is hard to know just what will be the next big trend (like cowls and shrugs.) I have a few ideas I have been playing around with, and I would like to ask your opinion on them.
First, is a new scarf idea. Skinny scarves have been very popular lately, so I thought why not go all out and make the skinniest scarf in the world? I call this my Uber-Super Duper Skinny Scarf:
 Of course, it is not really very warm, but that is easily remedied. Just make it really long, and wrap it multiple times around your neck:
 This example is about 15' long.
And of course, Fingerless Gloves have been extremely popular for a while now. I thought about doing some toe-less socks, but found that people are already making them and calling them yoga socks. So, I came up with this idea:

 Glove-less Finger Covers. I think I will make  a little matching bag to carry them all in when you are not wearing them. What do you think?

And then, being a threadie, I am always looking for ways to use thread in my designs, even the wearables. Since I also love vintage, I thought, why not use a beautiful old doily as a bridal veil? Can't you just see a bride wearing something like this?
 Just imagine this attached to a lacy hat trimmed with delicate flowers!
 What do you think the groom would think if he saw his bride coming down the aisle wearing this?
But it might be a bit much for everyday wear, so I tried placing it like this:
 Doesn't it give her an air of mystery?
And for fun, you can place it even lower, and you have a cute but elegant crocheted beard, like the ones that were so popular last winter.

Well, there you have them. I would love to hear what you think about these ideas; which one do you think I should release first?
 Oh, and I forgot to mention, the most important thing you should know about these designs is:




April Fool!!!!!!!