6.30.2010

Pink Bella Dress & Power

Well, I've finished all of the stitching on the Bella Dress that I am making for Baby, except the underarm edging.  Pretty soon I get to do the fun part--fabric shopping.  I think that is fun because choosing the fabric is what really makes the dress come to life.

The past week has been a great one.  Mr. AC and I took a little trip to Tulsa last week to attend the Michael Buble concert.  It was fantastic!  We really had a great time.  We also went out to dinner at a very nice seafood resturaunt (I love seafood!), and stayed overnight at a Doubletree hotel that was really nice.  The girls stayed with my in-laws.  They are very generous and helpful people.  That was a much-needed respite from the day to day of taking care of four little kiddos and cleaning the house.  So, as we were driving to and from Tulsa I was of course crocheting.  The project I was working on is one that I thought I would probably self-publish, but I debated quite a bit as to what I wanted to do with it and finally decided to submit it to a magazine.  I expect to get an answer within about 2 months time.  If they don't decide to use it, I may try submitting it to a yarn company, which would be a first for me.  If that doesn't work out, then I will self-publish it.

After the concert we headed back to the hotel and I checked my email on Mr. AC's Blackberry, which his employer provides.  I am so envious...I want a smartphone!  Maybe sometime soon....Anyway, I was thrilled to find an email from an editor waiting for me.  I will have my third magazine project published late this year!!!  The yarn for that project arrived today.  Waiting for that yarn is always a little like Christmas.  I never know what the yarn will be until it arrives, so I always tear into the package with great anticipation.  I LOVE the yarn they sent!  That's happy, it doesn't always work out that way.  So, I started swatching for that project today.  One thing that I like about designing is that I get to set the gauge.  When you read a pattern it states the gauge and then says "For best results, always check your gauge" and "Adjust hook size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge".  Well, when I am the designer, I get to choose whatever hook size I like and that produces the right drape and openness with my own natural gauge, no adjustments necessary!  It kind of reminds me of how I felt about naming my kids, the gauge will forever and always be what I make it, whether anyone else likes it or not.  How's that for power?! 

This brings my total of projects to be published this year to 5.  I set a goal early this year to publish 6 this year.  What sort of project would you like to see me do for the 6th?  Where wold you most like to see it published?

Well, anyway, that's been my crocheting for the past week.  What have you been working on?

Happy stitching!
April

6.21.2010

A Reminder and Goings On


This is a skirt that I made for Princess.  This is not one that I designed.  I finished working on some magazine submission swatches and wanted to do something relaxing, fun, and easy.  So, I used some leftovers to make this.  It is a free pattern from http://www.redheart.com/ called "Too Cute Ruffled Skirt".  The pattern calls for more ruffles, but I didn't have enough yarn for more, so I just made one short ruffle at the bottom.  The picture on the bottom there is fun, that is a spinning picture.  The skirt flattens out into a circle if you lay it on the floor, so it flares out really well when she spins in it, which she loves.  She wanted to wear this skirt for 3 days straight after I finished it and I finally insisted that it go in the wash.  It is made from Berroco Vintage.  I love the feel of Vintage, but it was beginning to fuzz and pill on day 3, so I'm not so impressed with its wearability.

I just love this little dress!  This is a gift for a friend of mine that is having a baby girl soon.  This dress has some interesting history though.  It is made in Sandnes Garn Mandarin Petit 100% Cotton yarn.  That is the yarn and this is the pattern that was the prototype for the Bella Dress from Interweave Crochet Spring 2010.  Below is a picture of the two submission swatches that I made to send in to Interweave.  I made two of them and really liked this brown and blue one best.  However, this color of the yarn had been discontinued, so I sent in the pink/black one instead.  Not knowing that the editors would send me a completely different yarn of their own choosing, I bought enough of each color to make a dress.  So, I went ahead and made this dress, thinking that I would make it for my own baby.  However, I got it all done except the ribbon and buttons and then got so busy that I didn't finish it until a few days ago.  It is a 3 to 6 month size, and my baby is now 10 1/2 months old.  So, it is going to be a gift.  I still have the pink yarn and black and white print to make a dress like the other swatch.  Maybe someday I'll make that one and gift it to someone else.  As you can see, I did the ribbon a little differently on this dress than in the pattern.  Mostly because the only ribbon I could find in just the right color was too wide to fit through the stitches.
This beautiful hook is the one I told you about that I purchased from Jimbo of http://www.jimbosfrontporch.blogspot.com/.  It is a size 7 which is between a G and an H.  This size is not easy to find because most of the major manufacturers don't make them.  I have seen some patterns that call for them though, so it is a good one to have.  It is made from Panamanian Rosewood.  It is extra long so that the end doesn't rub in my palm (since I am a knife-gripper).  The wood is so smooth!  And the grip is so comfortable!  I was very impressed with the quick shipping and outstanding customer service.  I definitely recommend these hooks and Jimbo as a great person to work with.
Well, I'm beginning work on a new desgin.  This is a sewing pattern taped to my dining room window.  It's been up there since friday I think.  I am using this to help myself generate a schematic so that I know what the shapes of the pieces should be.  I tape it to the window so that I can trace it more easily.  When the light shines through the back of it, you can put a sheet of paper over it and still see the lines very easily.  This is like a drafter's light table, only not quite as nice-looking or convenient.  Add that to the list of things to include in my dream studio someday.

This is a reminder about International Kinder Crochet Week.  It is this week.  Today through Saturday the first child age 16 or under to email me at aprilcreates@att.net (through a parent's email if necessary) and tell me for whom they would like to make a pair of baby mittens, will be emailed a free .pdf copy of my "Sweet Little Mittens" pattern.  Also, don't forget to send pictures of your child's crochet work to Jimbo, to be entered in the hook drawing.  See details on his blog http://www.jimbosfrontporch.blogspot.com/.

6.11.2010

International Kinder Crochet Week

My new friend Jimbo from Jimbo's Front Porch Handmade Crochet Hooks is beginning an International Kinder Crochet Week (that's kinder as in child).  It is the week of June 20-26.  The idea is to encourage the teaching of crochet to children.  So, to join in the effort, I am going to do a giveaway of my own (details on his giveaway below).  Monday through Saturday of that week, that's June 21st through the 26th, the first child to email me (via a parent's email if necessary) at aprilcreates@att.net and tell me for whom they would like to make a pair of baby mittens, will receive a free .pdf copy of my pattern "Sweet Little Mittens" by email.

This picture is one taken by Jimbo of the beautiful wooden crochet hooks he has made to giveaway through his blog http://www.jimbosfrontporch.blogspot.com/.  All you need to do is take a picture of your child's crochet creation, it can be as simple as a chain, and email it to him with some info. about your child during that week.  He is going to do a drawing, not a competition, to determine who gets these beautiful hooks.  Visit his blog for more details.  FYI, his hooks have won the Crochet Liberation Front's award for "Best Crochet Hooks by an Individual" for the last 2 years!  I just barely purchased one myself.  I haven't had the chance to use it yet but it is beautiful, very smooth and nice feeling, and extra long, so the end of it doesn't rub in my palm (since I am a knife-gripper).  I plan to post a pic of my own hook soon.  A few of hese hooks are extra nice for little kids because they have chunky handles which are easier for little hands to hold.  I hope that one of my girls wins one!  Good luck everyone!

April

6.08.2010

This and That


Well, last week was our family "staycation".  We went ice skating the Saturday before that, camping last Monday and Tuesday, to Alabaster Caverns on Wednesday, to a Women's College World Series softball game on Thursday, a break on Friday, and fishing and swimming (with a brief trip to a yarn store) on Saturday.  With all that driving we had to do to get to those events, I of course was crocheting, and Mr. AC was driving.  I really appreciate that he does that so I can work on projects.  The first thing I worked on last week was the Chain Reaction Afghan square from the previous post.  The next project was finishing these sweaters for my friend's daughters.  This is a pattern from Crochet Today that I believe I have blogged about before, but this is a picture of the two of them blocking.  I thought this was a neat looking picture--the way the stripes from the yokes lined up together.  They turned out really nice.  Here is another picture of one of them so you can see the rest of the body.
The last picture below is the next project I worked on during our driving.  I am making a Bella Dress for my own baby in LB Collection Cotton Bamboo "cherry blossom".  So far so good. 
The brief trip to the yarn store mentioned above was to purchase some yarn for making magazine submission swatches.  Hopefully, I'll get to show you some sneak peeks and reveals of those projects in the future.  It's slow going on them so far.  #1 daughter decided to get sick this week and #3 daughter has begun potty training this week, so I am short on time to crochet.  I'm happy anyway though!

Happy crocheting!

-April

6.02.2010

Chain Reaction Block: "Autumn Interwoven"


This beautiful 12"x12" block is my entry into the Chain Reaction Project that is being put on by Interweave Crochet.  They are having 10 designers design blocks that will be featured 5 at a time in the next 2 issues of the magazine.  In the following 2 issues they will feature 10 block designs that are the winners of a contest.  This is how it works.  Crocheters like me, or you, design blocks, submit a picture and description to the gallery on Crochetme.com.  The editors choose their 20 to 30 favorites.  Crochetme.com members vote on their favorites of those finalists.  The 10 with the most votes win a contract, $100, and their block design will be in the magazine.  So, I was not asked to be one of the lucky 10 designers who get to be in the next 2 issues.  This is my entry into the contest.  It is called "Autumn Interwoven".  I especially like the Interwoven part since this is for Interweave Crochet.  I really like the pop that the blue gives to the color palette.  I really enjoyed making this block.  It reminded me of making placemats with woven construction paper strips when I was a kid.  Am I the only one who did that?  Anway, click here to see my block in the gallery over at Crochetme.com.  If you are not a member there, I suggest you check it out.  The deadline for entries is not until August, so it will be awhile before I hear anything more about it, but that's pretty typical when dealing with magazines anyway.  They plan to put all of the blocks together into an afghan that will be auctioned for charity.  They are also encouraging readers to make an afghan including each of the blocks and donate them to charity.  Cool project, huh?!  Well, I will have more to show you soon, but it is late, so this is it for tonight.

Happy crocheting!

April