Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sweet William

Well, he is here! William Christian was born last Wednesday afternoon, and although Bethany had a bit of trouble, she says he was well worth it. She and William are home now, and doing well.
Thank you all for your prayers and kind words. It means so much to me!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Baby is having a Baby!

I will be going out of town this afternoon to be with my daughter, Bethany, who is expecting her first child any second now (hold on til I get there, Beth!)
I will let you know how it goes when I get back. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Springtime Tea Cup Bouquet

I am working on the patterns for the Springtime Tea Cup Bouquet this weekend. Here it is without the pins, and with its matching doily.
The doily by itself.

Here is the gift pattern that will come with purchase of the Springtime Tea Cup Bouquet. I am calling it the "Easter Bonnet Sachet."
I have received several emails asking me when the Tea Pot Set and the Angel of Love doily patterns will be available. I will be releasing them soon, but before I do, I have a big announcement that I will be making about them (and all of my patterns) soon. I hope you will be pleased; I am so excited about what is going on! I will tell you more as soon as I can.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lilly's Jacket

Many years ago when I was expecting my first daughter, Robyn, I was given a tiny crocheted jacket at my baby shower. It was worked in a ripple pattern, and I loved it. I have searched for years for a similar pattern, but have never found one exactly like it (I no longer have the little jacket, but oh I how I wish I did!)
Anyway, I wanted to make a jacket for my new granddaughter, Lilly, who is due to make her grand arrival next month. I went looking for ideas online, and I saw a similar jacket on Ravelry. The person who had made it said she had used a vintage pattern that was published in 1950 by Doreen Knitting Books. The book was called "Baby Gems, Vol. 100" and the designer was Nell Armstrong. The pattern is available for free online here:
I printed out the pattern, which calls for 3 ply baby yarn. I only had some baby sport weight yarn, but figured I could adapt the pattern for the larger yarn. I figured out how many stitches were in the first row, and adapted it by starting with an Eyelet Foundation (so much easier for me!)
But I could not believe the difference in size using the sport weight yarn made; plus, I tend to work loosely, so that probably made it even larger.
Anyway, I thought I could probably just omit a few rows to get a jacket that would fit a newborn, but I actually ended up making only about half of the rows called for. If I had followed the pattern as written, it would probably have fit me instead of a newborn! Of course, there is nothing wrong with the pattern itself, it is just me using the wrong yarn and not following directions!
Anyway, it turned out very sweet, and I can't wait to see Lilly in it!

Friday, April 02, 2010

How to Make a Crocheted Eyelet Foundation: A Tutorial

If you have ever made one of my designs, most likely you have come across the Eyelet Foundation. It is my favorite way to start a project, and I use it whenever possible instead of a traditional starting chain. It is so much quicker and easier!
But it is also the number one thing I get questions about; almost every week I get an email or letter saying "This pattern is WRONG, no where does it tell you how many chains to make to start the pattern!" Usually, after I write them back explaining the Eyelet Foundation, they love it and send me another email, saying how wonderful I am to have invented such a clever technique. But, I want to make it clear, I did not invent this technique! It has been around forever, I just seem to use it more than most designers.
The basic idea of the Eyelet Foundation is that you make a row of chain spaces into which you work the stitches of the first row. Sometimes, it is actually counted as the first row. To start a basic Eyelet Foundation, ch 3.
Then work a dc into the 3rd ch from the hook.
You have just completed the first ch sp of the Foundation.
Repeat this process the number of times called for in the pattern.
Two ch sps completed.
Five ch sps completed. The pattern for this would read:
(Ch 3, dc in 3rd ch from hook) 5 times.
After you have made the number of spaces called for, you will begin to work the stitches of the first row into them. In this example, I have worked a ch-3 which acts as the "turning ch" before I begin to work into the spaces. Not all patterns call for the ch-3.
To work into the ch sps, insert your hook between the ch-3 and the dc of the space.
Here I am working the first dc into the first space.
The first dc completed.
I am working a pattern of alternating shells and Vsts into the spaces of the Eyelet Foundation.
The first row of stitches worked into the Eyelet Foundation.
Another version of the Eyelet Foundation starts with a ch-4.
Then you work a tr into the 4th ch from the hook. It is the same principle, and works the same as the previous version. It just gives you a slightly longer space.
Here is the first completed sp of this version. You can see that the opening is a little larger.
Five completed spaces. The pattern for this would read:
(Ch 4, tr in 4th ch from hook) 5 times.
In this example, before I begin to work the stitches of the first row, I work a sl st into the first space.
The sl st is completed and I am ready to begin working the stitches of the first row.
I chain 3 for the first dc of this row. I will be working a shell of (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in each ch sp of this Foundation.
The first row of shells worked into the Eyelet Foundation.
The ends of the Eyelet Foundation can also be joined to form a ring (which comes in handy if you are the kind of designer who likes to make doilies with holes in the middle.) In this version, I am working (ch 4, dc in the 4th ch from hook). This gives a little more depth to each space, and creates a more scalloped edge.
After all the spaces have been made, join with a sl st in the first ch of the first space.
Sl st into the first ch sp (between the ch-4 and the dc).
I have worked a shell of (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) into each ch sp, and am joining with a sl st into the ch-3 that counts as the first dc of the first shell.
The completed ring of shells.
You can also work into the opposite side of the Eyelet Foundation spaces. With the right side of the stitches of the shells facing you, join in the first space. Here I am joining with a sc, and working (sc, ch 2, sc) in each space.

Continue working around the Foundation.

When you have worked all the way around, join with a sl st in the first st.

Both sides worked.
The unworked side of the Eyelet Foundation is also perfect for adding fringe!
Well, there you have it, more than you ever wanted to know about the Eyelet Foundation. Next week, I will post a pattern that combines it with my current favorite stitch, the 'sc shell', so you can try it out for yourself.
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