Thursday, May 28, 2009

Quick and Easy Scarflettes

At last, I have finished the Quick and Easy Scarflette pattern set! Just in time for your summer-time crocheting enjoyment!!!
I finished all the proofing and photography and got the pattern all layed out. Then, at long, long last, I sent it off to AA today (along with another pattern, the "Special Stitches Readers Wrap," I will post pictures of it soon-I promise!) Then I added the pattern to my Etsy shop.
I am always so happy to finally get a set out the door!
Update: I added a few more pictures of different ways to wear the scarflettes.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Size 3 Thread Substitution

I got a question yesterday from a customer in Australia who had purchased my "English Country Cottage Cozy." She wanted to know what the UK or Australian equivalents to size 3 and size 10 cotton are (both are used to make the Cottage.)
Yikes! I had no idea what to tell her, so I quickly did some research, which unfortunately, was not much help. I did find out, on a site called "Crochet Australia," that our size 10 is the same as UK and Australian size 10. But I could not find any info on the size 3.
I remembered hearing once that 2 strands of size 10 cotton are the equivalent of size 3. So I decided to make a couple of swatches. Here is what I came up with:

The pink swatch is 2 strands of size 10 held together as one. The white is size 3. Both swatches were worked with the same size 0 steel hook.

I think they are close enough to say the two strands of size 10 make an acceptable substitution for size 3 (at least for this pattern, where gauge is not critical.) They are actually even closer in size than they appear in the picture. When I place one on top of the other they are almost identical; the pink is just a hair smaller.

But does anyone know where I can find the information on crochet thread size equivalencies for America, UK and Australia? I have sold several patterns to customers in other countries, and I want to be able to help them if needed.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sweet Girls

There is nothing in the world as sweet as a little girl.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Now the Fun Begins! (How I do the Technical Editing on my Patterns)

I have finished all the crochet work on both the Thread Potholder set and the Butterfly and Roses Pineapple Doily set. All that is left to do now is edit the patterns, photograph each item and do the layout. And while I could crochet happily from now on, I do not like the editing of patterns, even though I realize it is probably the most important part of publishing my own designs. After all, it doesn't matter how pretty a design is, if my customers can't follow my instructions to make it, it is worthless.
I worked in the technical editing department of Annie's Attic and the Needlecraft Shop for two years, and while it drove me crazy (I kept wanting to change all the designs that came in-the designer in me kept trying to get out), I learned how to write a workable crochet pattern, in what was called "Old Annie Style." This is what I still use to write my patterns, with a few modifications I have made to make them easier to follow (I hope).
There are several steps to editing my patterns. First, I enter the pattern into my computer. I try to do this soon after I finish a design, while it is still fresh in my mind and I can decipher the notes I make as I am actually crocheting. After all the crochet work is finished and the rough patterns are entered into the computer, I go in and do the preliminary editing, adding Materials lists, Special Stitches, etc. I have already finished this part on both of these sets.
Now I will print out copies of all the patterns and check style, which means all the titles and words that should be bolded and italicize are, spacing is correct, etc.
Then (and this is the most important part) I check for accuracy and clarity. This means I go over each line, checking each word of the pattern, making sure the math adds up and the instructions are as clear as I can possibly make them. I compare the pattern to the actual item, to make sure what I say is going on is actually what is happening. On sets this size, I am figuring it will take about a week on each set to go over them thoroughly.
Finally I will add all pictures and do a final read through. Then I will stress over it a day or two, read through it again, and finally, I will have to force myself to let it go. I have nightmares about errors slipping by me! But if all goes well, both sets will be ready to add to my Etsy shop by the middle of June, at least I am hoping!
All the potholders, ready to for final editing.

Butterfly and Roses Pineapple Doilies, each in it's own plastic bag. It will be easier to verify them before they are starched and assembled.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Is this pattern worth $2.50 plus shipping?

I was browsing on Ebay today, searching for "vintage pineapple patterns" when this picture caught my eye: "Wow, that is a cool afghan!" I thought, as I eagerly clicked on the item for a better look.
Upon closer inspection, I saw this:

Oh, yeah, I remember it now! Of course I do, how could I ever forget? I loved designing this afghan! I remember it like it was yesterday!

Not really. I know I designed it (it has my name on it, so I must have), but I have no idea when, who for, or what ever became of it after it was published. It looks like it was either published in an old 'Annie's Favorite Crochet', or maybe 'Hooked on Crochet', probably in the late 90's. I may even have a copy of it somewhere.
I was never very good about keeping up with my published designs back then, I actually just gave most of my copies away. Only in the last year or so have I started to compile my books and designs in binders (the ones I have anyway.)So I guess maybe I should buy this little pattern and add it to my binder. After all, if I don't love it, who will?

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Being a mother is the hardest and most wonderful job in the world. I have been a mother for 33 years now, and I wouldn't take a million dollars for a single minute of it.
And being a Grandmama is pretty good, too.

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful Mamas out there!

Manda and Jasee

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Elsie's Poem

I loved reading all the nice things that were said about the doilies in the Vintage Floral Doily book. One comment really caught my eye, however; Elsie actually wrote a poem about her favorite doily. Since I love poetry almost as much as I love crochet, I was quiet pleased, and I want to share it with everyone. Here is Elsie's poem about the Serene Swans doily:

The Serene Swans Doily caught my eye,

It's perfect for me, I like swans, that's why!

I visit them often in a nearby lake,

The doily is precious, and that's what I'd make....

My grandma crocheted, and it's quite a surprise,

To talk of my grandma, My hair's white I realize,

The time glides by just like the swans tell....

Beauty is fleeting, but the doilies save it well.
                                          Written by Elsie

Thank you Elsie!

Friday, May 01, 2009

And the Winner Is:

BarbaraCrochetStudio said...
My favorite - Serene Swans Doily.

Congratulations to Barbara!

I want to thank everyone who entered. Thank you for your kind words and complements of the designs. I had so much fun reading all your comments! So much, in fact, that I think I will have to have another giveaway soon. Actually, I already have an idea for the theme of the next one. Here is a clue: Pink is my favorite color.
Thanks again, and come back soon!