5.27.2010

Shawl finished


For Christmas back in December my mom got me this beautiful Misti Alpac Handpaint Suri Silk.  It is so soft, dense, and beautifully dyed.  I loved the yarn from the moment I read about it and saw the picture on WEBS.  The yarn is not very tightly-plied, which means that it is easy to snag strands from the loop you are trying to pull through.  That can be frustrating, but considering it's softness and beautiful coloring, it was worth it to me.  I decided to make this wrap/shawl from Crochet Today May/June 2009.  It is called Romantic Wrap, designed by Susan Lowman.  I was just a little bit short to finish it, so I ordered another hank of yarn a while back and have now finished it.  It is so lovely.  I can't wait to wear it.  I think I'll get a shawl pin to use with it as well.  I think I will try to find a pale blue dress to wear it with.  Below is another closer-up picture.

5.26.2010

Beatiful Arches Bolero pattern up in Ravelry!

HOORAY!  I finally finished the bolero pattern and it is up in my Ravelry store.  I am going to put a linked picture over in the sidebar of the blog here in just a minute.  The link will deliver you to my pattern store.  The difficulty level for this pattern is "experienced".  No denying it, the shaping for this pattern, and especially for the edging takes quite a bit of concentration, and this is not a pattern for the beginner.  I think though that as long as you are able to easily recognize each stitch and get a consistent gauge you can do this pattern.  However, it won't be a project for working on while you watch TV.  Enjoy it!

Happy Stitching,
April

5.20.2010

Promised Sneak Peak


Well, here is that sneak peak I promised.  This picture was taken during blocking, so the yellow dots are pins.  This one will be out later this year I think.  I'll be shipping it off in the next couple of days.

I am nearly finished with the bolero pattern.  I had hoped to finish it this week.  It's still possible that I might finish it this weekend, but probably not unitl early next week so that I can proofread and edit carefully.  I've learned a couple of things lately about designing while working on these two projects simultaneously:

1. Setting self-imposed deadlines for self-publish projects makes for putting off more important responsibilities to finish on schedule, especially when you pile a magazine project on top of it.
2. Thick yarns + lacy stitch patterns + wide pattern repeats = lengthy pattern instructions that are challenging to write.
3. It is best to wait to post pictures of upcoming designs until no more than a few days before the pattern is available, no matter how excited you are to show everyone the awesome thing you've made.

Well, I'll post here when the bolero pattern is finally up...until then, happy stitching!

April :)

5.13.2010

Poll Please

Hello my faithful blog readers.  I've added a week long poll to the top right-hand corner of my blog.  I'd love it if you'd vote.  Thanks!  I am busy, busy writing the pattern for the bolero.  I'm nearly finished with the back panel, and both front panels are finished.  I'm feeling lots of pressure though because I have another project with a firm deadline of the 31st.  I'll let you know as soon as the bolero pattern is out, and I should have a sneak peak for you in the next couple of weeks.  Happy stitching!

April

5.11.2010

Beautiful Arches Bolero Revealed (Finally!)

Well, I am finally ready to reveal my Beautiful Arches Bolero.  This one is a size 35" bust circumference.  The sizes are in 3" increments ranging from 32" to 50".  The yarn is Berroco Weekend which is a Cotton/Acrylic blend.  This yarn was graciously provided by the owners of The Gourmet Yarn Company specialty yarn store in Oklahoma City.  I went to the knit-in there on Saturday and showed it off during show and tell time.  You can see a picture on their blog.  This size required 2 hanks of each color, though only a very small portion (not even one quarter) of the second hank of green, and less than half of the second hank of the magenta.  So, if you plan to substitute, keep that in mind when comparing yardages.  I plan to have it up in my Ravelry pattern store next week! 

5.03.2010

What have I been up to? Crocheting and pattern-writing furiously!


This was finished a couple of weeks ago.  It is part 2 of the b'day gift I made for my wonderful mom.  This was my first felted project.  It is made in Cascade Cloud 9, which is an Angora/Wool blend that I believe is 50/50 or close to it.  I made a couple of swatches, felted them, and then cut out the shapes and sewed them together along with these 3 pale blue beads and a safety pin on the back.  I thought it turned out beautifully!






This is the Lionbrand Cotton Bamboo in Cherry Blossom that I ordered so that I could make a Bella Dress for my own baby to keep.  In a year when I am able to sell the pattern myself, this yarn will be for making the model that I will take pictures of for that version of the pattern, which will not be written with precisely the same wording, but with the same result.

Well, this beauty, is the project that I have been pouring myself into for the past couple of weeks.  It is a bolero with a lacy stitch pattern and a ribbed edging.  This one is made in Paton's Bamboo Silk, which is ridiculously soft and a little shiny.  I have finished this one now, and am making one in a different yarn that will be the model for the pattern that I hope to have for sale within a couple of weeks.  Working on that pattern is what prompted the post a couple back about symbol charts.  And speaking of which, the next picture is one taken of symbol charts I drew out by hand of the pieces so that I could figure out the size changes, or "pattern-grading" as I have seen it written.  I drew them out in pencil and then sprayed them with hairspray to keep the pencil from smudging.  They are hanging on my  door in this picture to dry.  I am really pleased with how this pattern is turning out.  I am really proud of it.  When it is ready, it will be for sale on ravelry and etsy, though slightly cheaper on ravelry because it costs me less to sell there.  Ane will also be for sale at my LYS (see below).
This picture shows the colors of the bolero that will be used as the model for the finished pattern.  My beautiful friend Whitney has agreed to model it for me when it's finished so that I can get some great pictures of it.  This yarn is Berroco Weekend, which is a cotton/acrylic blend, in magenta and grass green.  This yarn was graciously provided by the owner of The Gourmet Yarn Company in Oklahoma City.  Thanks Margaret!  The pattern will also be for sale there when it is finished.Okay, well, I can't seem to figure out what is up with the formatting on this post, it irritates me to no end.  Anyway, this last picture is the yarn that I have purchased for a project that is due at the beginning of August.  It will be a little while before you see a picture of it here, but it will be awesome!

Just a little while ago I read two great posts on Doris Chan's blog that were somewhat encouraging to me, and somewhat discouraging.  It helped me feel better because I know that even very experienced, awesome designers struggle with pattern-grading, just like me.  However, it is discouraging to think that it won't get much easier.  You can be certain that I will be working as hard as possible this week on getting the bolero pattern finished and ready to sell.  As soon as that is finished I should be working on my next magazine project, and then on to my next self-publishing project.  I've got several in line waiting for me to get to them.  I doubt I'll ever have enough time to get to all of the ideas that I have.  I'll keep coming up with new ones faster than I can make them.  Oh well!  I wouldn't want to be without a crochet project.

Have a cheery day everyone!

April