Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sentimental Journey

Today I have a ticket that allows me to ride the Crochetville Express on the journey through the National Crochet month with the Crochetville Blog Tour and you are invited to join me. Today is my day to shine, but you really need to check out all the other great talent out there that are on the tour also this month.  
To find them and the other festivities, freebies and giveaways going on all this month to celebrate National Crochet Month, just follow this link Crochetville blog post to begin your journey. You can also follow the trail of the the National Crochet Month blog tour on their Facebook page and at
Don't you think journeys are wonderful? Full of surprises and fabulous things to see and do.  First steps on any journey are so important, without them we go nowhere. So I thought I would tell you my story of the beginning of my crochet journey
All my fellow designers who are reading this understand it really isn't the finished project that spurs us to pick up our hooks. For everyone else I hope this helps you understand where your designers hearts are. It is the journey to create something new, different, special, and unique. 
For me it is a journey to a magical place where my imagination gets free rein.
When we are struck by an idea, and for me that is sort of how it feels. Bam,,, and an idea is stuck in the brain and will not be happy until steps are taken to insure it goes someplace. Sometimes a sketch will hold the idea at bay. Other times nothing less than picking up a hook will appease the itch.
  But truly it is the process of creation that makes my crochet journey worth the time and effort.  
A story of  a journeys start:
 There once was a little girl who found a book in an attic. This book was full of treasures and magic that enchanted that little girl by the beauty she saw on those pages. Deep in her heart she knew she had to acquire the skills to be able to create these beautiful things on her own. She knew this was possible as it was a book on crochet. But it took years to find the right person that could unlock this world for her as she was left handed and lived in a right handed world. Believe me it wasn't for lack of trying. She tried to teach herself, but the only tools she had was a size 13 hook and size 50 thread and the book only gave instructions for right handed crochet. It was just too much for the little girl and she was sad, very sad………..
  Then one wonderful day a cousin came to visit with crochet hook in hand. The little girl was so thrilled to see this art form in person and when she realized that she was crocheting left handed she begged the kind cousin to PLEASE, PLEASE teach her this wonderful magic. The cousin never had a more avid pupil and within an hour the little girl was hooking away. She taught her to make a sc hot pad with yarn and a K hook. She even gave the little girl the hook and yarn. To this day that little girl says a silent Thank you to the kind cousin for opening up a world of magic for her.
  Well I am sure you have guessed by now that little girl was me and the magic of crochet is still a important part of my being. Of course one of the things I did on my journey was  I moved to crochet thread as soon as I could, as that is what truly called to me when I pursued the treasures in that book. I was so proud of myself when I crocheted a table runner for my mother that Christmas done in thread. That was the beginning of my fabulous journey into the world of crochet.
Now I create new and different ideas with cheerful glee. Letting the ideas and my hook take me to this magical world on a regular basis. I do write up the patterns which I hope are a map for someone else to use on their journey in the art of crochet.

To celebrate the joy of this month I am releasing a new pattern. This is my Rendezvous Victorian draw string purse
 I also have two patterns out in the 10th Birthday Collector's Edition of Interweave Crochet. In it you will find my Starflower necklace and my Arrowhead cardigan. I am always pleased to be part of such a great magazine.
Photo courtesy of  (Interweave Crochet / Harper Point Photography).
Photo courtesy of  (Interweave Crochet / Harper Point Photography)

 And finally a small free pattern. 
        My  favorite filet coaster pattern. I use mine very day.  
Filet Coaster Set
Thread:  size 10 ( 200 yards) enough for 4 coasters
Hook:  size  8/1.5mm
Mics: 4 pieces of 2mm thick craft foam each cut 3.75 inches or size to fit coaster. ( Note, design will stand out better if foam is a strong contrast from the color of thread chosen. )
Dimensions: 4.25 inches across
Standard Abbreviations 
ch = chain                                           
sl st = slip stitch                                
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet                       
tr = treble crochet                          
hdc = half double crochet
dtr = double treble                         
cl = cluster stitch                              
p = picot                                              
st = stitch                                            
lp = loop                                              
sk = skip                                              
sp = space                                          
tog = together                                  
yo = wrap yarn over hook           
rnd = round                                       
dec = decrease                                
inc increase                                                       
rep = repeat
(  ) = repeat between as indicated                                           
* = Repeat from as indicated
Filet Stitches

edc  = extended double crochet  which is done in this manner, Begin normal double crochet until three loops on hook,  instead of yo and drawing through 2 loops, yo and draw though 1 loop, you will still have 3 loops on your hook when you have done this, proceed to finish the stitch in the normal manner. This will give you a slightly longer than normal dc,  

Meshes = edc, ch 2, sk next 2 sts, edc in next stitch makes up one mesh  When one or more meshes are side by side they share the center stitch between them,  So 2 meshes will = 1 edc, ch 2, 1 edc, ch 2, 1 edc,
  Blocks =  4 edc make up one block  When one or more blocks are side by side they share the center stitch between them,  So 2 blocks will = 7 edc, 3 blocks = 10 edc, 4 blocks = 13 edc.  
Pattern starts here: With color of choice ch 44.
Row 1 edc in 8th ch from hook, ( ch 2, sk next 2 ch sts, edc in next ch st ) 12 times. [ 13 meshes total ] 
Row 2  ch 5, turn, edc in next edc, ( 2 edc in next ch 2 sp, edc in next edc ) 4 times, ch 2, edc in next edc, 2 edc in next ch 2 sp, edc in next edc, ch 2, edc in next edc, ( 2 edc in next ch 2 sp, edc in next edc ) 4 times, ch 2, edc in 3rd ch of ch 5 at the beg of previous row.
Row 3  ch 5, turn, ( edc in next 4 edc, ch 2, sk next 2 edc ) 2 times, edc in next edc, 2 edc in next ch 2 sp, edc in next 4 edc, 2 edc in next ch 2 sp, edc in next edc, ( ch 2, sk next 2 edc, edc in next 4 edc ) 2 times, ch 2, edc in 3rd ch of ch 5 at the beg of previous row.
Row 4-13  ch 5 to turn for each row, follow chart placing blocks and meshes as indicated.
Rows 14- 26  ch 5 to turn for each row, follow chart for rows 1-13 placings blocks and meshes as indicated. End off,
Assembly and Edging  Fold piece in half, working over both halves of the piece around, attach thread in what would be row 12 and row 15 so that you will be working towards the folded edge, ch 1, sc in same sp, 9 dc in corner sp, sc in next ch 2 sp on folded edge, ( 7 dc in next ch 2 sp, sc in next ch 2 sp ) 5 times, 9 dc in next corner sp, sc in next ch 2 sp on next side making sure you work over both halves of the coaster, ( 7 dc in next ch 2 sp, sc in next ch 2 sp ) 5 times, 9 dc in next corner sp, sc in next ch 2 sp on next side making sure you work over both halves of the coaster,  ( 7 dc in next ch 2 sp, sc in next ch 2 sp ) 3 times, Insert your piece of foam at this point, working it into all the corners that have been done, The foam may buckle slightly at this point, This will even out as your finish your piece, ( If it really buckles, then remove and trim enough that it fits snuggly into the coaster, again a slight buckling at this point is acceptable. ( 7 dc in next ch 2 sp, sc in next ch 2 sp ) 2 times, 9 dc in corner sp, sc in next ch 2 sp on next side making sure you work over both halves of the coaster, ( 7 dc in next ch 2 sp, sc in next ch 2 sp ) 4 times, 7 dc in next ch 2 sp, ending with a sl st into 1st sc of rnd. End off, weave ends in.
Chart for Coaster

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It's my job.........

For me it's easy to create. I can whip up new designs in a heartbeat. 
My what if button goes off on a regular basis and I see new ideas every where. Makes my heart sing. 
Now writing up the pattern is not so simple. 
Actually it's hard work. 
Think about it. 
The creating is an art form. 
It flows, it grows, it changes shape while exploring possibilities. I am happiest when creating. 
 The pattern writing is a mathematical formula. 
They have to come from the same brain that wants to go fly with the designing.
I have to change my thinking from one mode to another to create that pattern you will be using. 
That is where it gets to be work. 
It doesn't help that I am dyslexic too. 
Though I believe that helps in the creative side of my work. But it is a serious obstacle when it comes to writing up a concise, correct pattern. 
The brain says one thing, the hand types another, and the eye sees what it wants to see. 
So every line, every row, every round has to be scrutinized and read, reread and reread again. Put aside for a period of time and then reread yet again.
Not just the complicated row/rounds, but all of them. 
The numbers have to add up. The phrasing has to be correct. It is an art writing a good pattern. 
This is before an tech editor ever sees it. 
Then you have to hope that they keep the correctness of the pattern as it is put into a slightly different format for whatever publication it is headed for. 
You say well write it in their format.....
Good one. 
Think about it. 
Each and every publication has their own format. 
It's hard enough writing it all up with out confusing the poor brain trying to write it in someone else's format. I would definitely be pulling out my hair then. Trying to remember how they want things done while trying to get it to make sense would make it even harder to write. Especially since I don't think like some of the publications want things written. I find some pattern writing styles not to be user friendly though that is their intent.
 ( but that is another subject)  
So I sit here trying to keep my brain from shutting down.
 Slapping my fingers from drifting off to work on a much more fun thing like designing... 
I am pattern writing this morning and yes it it work. And that is what makes what I do a job. 


Friday, August 28, 2015

 Considerations ................
I keep thinking I need to get back to my blogging. 
But every time I come in and start writing, I end up feeling like I am ranting. Not sure that is what I really want to be doing. 
But I have a hard time being chipper, chirpy and cute.  
Not  really my style.
It feels fake to me anyways. 
Whose life is truly like that?
So what is a girl to do?
There is a lot of things I feel passionate about. 
My crocheting. 
The crochet world as a whole.
Designer frustrations. 
Pattern theft.
Respect, or lack there of.
And I definitely don't want to start in on politics or religion. 
That is can of worms I will leave unopened. 
I know my beliefs and I act accordingly. 
I will leave the soap box to others. 

Oh I can post pictures. I am good with pictures. Me and my camera are good buddies, But I post my flower pictures on face book where they get enjoyed by a whole lot more people. 

Should I post what I am doing. Can't really say too much since I am a designer. Can't post pictures of pieces in progress, and how many times can you hear I spent the morning working on such and such piece, or writing up a pattern. 

But that is how my day goes. It's not glamorous, It's not earth shattering. It's a job, like so many others. Don't get me wrong. I love my designing. But most of it is just the slogging along putting one stitch in front of another. Or writing it up in as concise manner as I possibly can. 

I don't want to do how to pieces. There are a ton of them on U Tube and one more in the pot won't make that big of deal. Besides it is not where I want to put my energies, just to attract more followers.

Not that I need the followers like the blogs that rely on ads to bring in income. So you won't find free patterns here on my blog. 
Oh shut up Kathy!
That is a rant in the making. 
See I do have a problem. 
you should be charming, chatty and chipper. 
Okay who is that stranger...... I would ask.

I think I will be me and you will get my rants. 
Because truly this is my blog and it's where I can share how I feel about things. Things I care about. 
Like where  crocheting it going,  
And you will have to put up with me telling you I spent the morning in the frog pond. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

National Crochet Month Designer Blog tour..... My Day!!!!!!!

Once again the National Crochet month designer blog tour is in full swing and it is finally my turn.
Thank you Crochetville for making it happen once again. Thank you Amy and Donna for all your hard work that goes into putting this on each year.
This year they have chosen the Halos for Hope as the official charity, so if you are into charity crochet here is the link. 
To help celebrate the joy of crochet with everyone I am providing the patterns for my Poinsettia
Link Removed 3/29/14
and sunflower pincushions.
Link Removed 3/29/14
I will kept the links on my blog for a week starting on the 21st. I have now removed the links. I hope you had a chance to get them and enjoy.
Photo Courtesy of Interweave Crochet
 I do want to brag a bit as my Roslind skirt and shrug are in the Spring Interweave Crochet 2015 issue. Proud of this as it proves I am slowly making my way into designing more garments.
I am also releasing my Secret Garden doily this weekend . I am doing an introductory price
and will raise the price a dollar at the end of the week.
Website link
or in my
for an instant download.
 This one allowed me to check off one item on my bucket list. The one where I wanted to create doily worthy of the 1st place prize in that division. I cried tears of joy for that one. It really meant a lot to me since thread and doilies are my all time favorite things to create and create with.
Well enough credits, bragging and sharing.
 Here are my thoughts about crochet at this time.
This year I moved from Phoenix Arizona to Muskogee Oklahoma.
 What this brought home to me was how much environment plays in our crochet choices. 
I went from an environment that I was lucky to wear my light shawls 1-2 months out of the year to an environment that I will be really glad to crochet me more hats, scarves and gloves this next year.
It really did get me thinking about the things that influence our choices in what comes off of our hooks.
In our homes for example a cook might be more inclined to crochet hot pads, dishcloths, place mats and cookware totes.
Someone like me who collects antiques might want to crochet more doilies, tablecloths and the like to accent and protect my treasures.
Or maybe you are more contemporary and pillows, rugs and throws to accent your furniture.
A busy parent might crochet toys for their children or clothes for them. Or maybe some great crochet beanbag chairs. Not to forget those whom have become grandparents may well choose the same sort of item.
Where it is hot most of the year one does not feel very inclined to make sweaters, heavy shawls, warm hats, gloves and warm scarves. No, you are more inclined to make light lacey shawls, Airy sun hats, and scarves that are more air the thread. The lighter the better. Not only does it influence the type of items you crochet, But the colors and the type of yarn you might use. When the sun beats down on you head you don’t want dark colors. But light colors. White, soft baby blue, yellow, and creams all are more what you would be inclined to use in this type of enviroment. Laceweight, sock yarn and thread would be more appropriate to this type of work and the big bulky yarn wouldn’t hold the same appeal to you in this sort of climate. Cotton and silk would seem a better choice over wool too.
Where the winters are decidedly cold and you have transitional months all those things would not have nearly the charm. Instead sweaters, vests, warm shawls, gloves, mitten, and fingerless mitts would hold more charm. Not to mention cowls and scarves. Things that can be layered on as needed and still be fashionable would appeal more to you. Darker colors that absorb the heat from the sun would be seen more often. The fibers would have more bulk and most likely have more wool content than in the warmer climate.  
So as my environment has changed I know what will call to me to make will change a bit also. I will be curious to see how this changes the things I design. Maybe, just maybe I may even design a cowl someday. Okay, don’t hold your breath on that one.
Regardless though of who you are and were you live as long as there is something on you hook that brings you pleasure and satisfaction it is all good.
I can not imagine a world where crochet isn’t needed or wanted.