Oh Granny Journal Cover

DSCF3740In a previous blog I stated some of my goals for the year. Finishing the abundant WIPS that fill every nook and cranny of the house was one. I’m working on that I have one done and its a beautiful doily. Check out my previous blog Just One Of My Favorite Things to see it. I felt so accomplished having started on goals that I thought “Hey why not tackle another goal!” I started writing a pattern….DSCF3739

That’s right, my other goal was to become a pattern designer this year. I spent a few days looking at granny square pattern books because I had this idea for a journal cover in my head for years. That was going to be my first pattern. So I took a few days to write and painstakingly take pictures, with a little help from my wonderfully supportive husband, I had all the makings for a pattern.

I spent a day editing photos and writing the pattern. FYI if you decide you want to write patterns I suggest checking out Selena Baca of Baca Creations for her pattern template. It was a big help when I went to type DSCF3744all my scribbles up.  After I finished all that up I asked for testers. I had wrote that pattern so it could be made in one color or two. So I had three lovely ladies make it in a solid color and three make a two toned journal cover. They turned out amazing and I was surprised that they didn’t find more mistakes than they did. One of my lovely testers even modified the cove to fit her Bible to protect the worn cover. I added that adjustment to the pattern.

Today I achieved a goal!!!! I published my first pattern on Raverly, Etsy, Craftsy, and Loveknitting! Holy Cow Y’all I did it! Don’t worry it doesn’t stop here because I’ve got a second pattern already in the works. Want a hint…..its more granny squares but there are lots of them and you join as you go so stay tuned for it! I have a feeling there is going to be lots of patterns coming!DSCF3741

Best

~Mel

 

Just One Of My Favorite Things….

When I was a a little girl I would sit at my aunts kitchen table and watch her crochet with the fractaldoilytiniest hook. I would sit and watch in awe as a ball of string became a Barbie dress, or a doily. I marveled at how she could do it as I had yet to master using the big hook! My Barbie was one well dressed doll, let me tell you.

I spent the next 10 years mastering the big hook. I was finally ready to try a doily. I went to the library and checked out some thread crochet books, filet crochet books and spent nights trying to find the perfect pattern. I fell in love with a pansy doily. I set off to the craft store, pattern in hand, and bought the smallest thread ever. I couldn’t believe I was about to crochet with that. I bought the right hook and went home to start. It went fairly well, so well that that I made both my mom and my mother in law a pansy doily for Mothers day that year (2003). I added a linen table ruDSCF3728nner with crocheted ends a few years later. Seven years later I tackled a giant doily for my mother for her birthday. It was an amazing Crocus doily pattern that measured 23″ in diameter.

That doily took so much out of me that I didn’t really touch thread to much anymore. I also started my business shortly after that and unfortunately thread crochet is very time consuming, so it wasn’t something I offered in my shop in the beginning.

Fast forward to February 2014 I saw this doily posted in a Facebook group. I had to have this DSCF3731doily, along with many others in the group, the woman posted the link to the doily on Ravelry. Most people when they hear the word doily immediately have a flash back to grandma’s table with the pineapple doily on the table you can’t touch.  This was and is not grandma’s doily. The name was called Fractal doily. I had never heard of a fractal, fraction maybe, which made me think this is math related. If you Google Fractal Wikipedia will tell you “A fractal is a natural phenomenon or a mathematical set that exhibits a repeating pattern that displays at every scale. If the replication is exactly the same at every scale, it is called a self-similar pattern.” See I knew math was involved. That scared me slightly but I bought the pattern anyways. I knew that this doily was going to be for me. I went to Joann’s and bought the most beautiful teal color thread. On February 16th I started my doily. We had some up and downs in the beginning. I say we because this doily became a labor of love. There were weeks, months that I had so many orders I couldn’t even think about DSCF3734picking it up. Sometimes I would start again and within a day of working on it I’d get orders and have to put it away. I vowed to have this WIP done before February of 2015. See my last Blog Post for all the WIPS that aren’t done. I finished crocheting the doily in early January. It sat for a few days because I got orders. On January 14th I pinned it to a blocking mat and waited. Last night when I got home from work I took the pins out and put it on the dinning room table. It is just as amazing as I envisioned the first time I saw it on Facebook. I put my Owl vase my husband and son got me for my birthday that is filled with purple Cala Lillys in the center. I can’t stop looking it at it!!!!

This is probably my favorite thing I’ve ever made. Not so much because its mine, because I love making things for others, but because its so unique. The crochet world has hundreds of stitches and the possibilities are endless. Lots of items look unique but this doily uses one of the most basic stitches, the double crochet and is probably the most unique looking doily I’ve ever seen. This is why its not your grandma’s doily. If you have ever wanted to try a doily I highly suggest this one. DSCF3718

I have officialy completed a WIP from last year!!! I have several (four) more to go! I’ll get there but for now I’m just going to sit and look at the doily and feel a little sense of pride that 22 years later i’m sitting at the table and marveling at my own thread crochet project hoping my aunt can see it!

~Blessings

Mel

WIPS, WIPS, and some more WIPS….

I know that its been a while since I posted. One of my 2015 goals is to write more and post more. I’m hoping to do more designing this year and offer some free patterns and some paid ones. That leap is scary for me, I’m not good with the math aspect so I don’t think I’ll be designing anything that needs more than one size. But I have designed two cowls that are sort of wrote up. I loved designing them so much that I think I want to do a line of Cowls and scarfs for next winter. I know we’re still in winter but not sure I’ll get to it right now because I’m working on another goal…finishing the WIPS from 2014.

Fractal DoilyI usually spend the first few weeks of the new year organizing all my yarn, selling what I don’t want or see no future projects with, preparing my taxes etc. I can tell you this year has been my best year in business. Four years already…woohoo! Time flies when your having fun. Way back when, long before I went into business, I was a little OCD about not starting something new until I finished what I was working on. Well that worked when I didn’t have orders and I crocheted whatever, whenever. Those luxuries are there but not as often. So in cleaning up my craft room. I found five, yes five WIPS. Four of them are blankets and one large doily.

So the beginning of 2015 is going to be all about getting these WIPS done. I’m making progress, the beautiful teal Fractal Doily is done with the crochet part but it needs to be blocked, that hasn’t happened yet. According to my IG feed I started this on 2/16/2014. I’m hoping it’ll be blocked by 2/16/2015. Here’s to hoping…

While I’m mustering up the courage to use about a zillion pins on the doily, I’m working on a Retro blanket by Little Doolally in a totally random color scheme. Random as you can get. I fell in love with Bernat’s Cottonish yarn and started this blanket with 10 colors from this line. I used a random number generator to develop 6 sequences of random numbers. I assigned each color a number and my blanket had a pattern. I wasn’t sure at first but I’m two Retro Blanketsequences away from done, don’t get excited that’s 60 rows, and it looks amazing! I started that on 3/11/2014 and I’m hoping that I can get it done before March of this year. The good news is this one has a shot at getting done because there is no border, no blocking the last stitch is the last stitch.

The other three blankets are all projects that were started for my MIL. She had ordered a blanket in pinks and purples for a baby shower and everyone I started just didn’t feel right.  I started a blanket by Little Doolally called Winifred Blanket in an amazing Alpaca blend by Bernat. That one didn’t feel right So I moved to the Moroccan Title blanket, I found that pattern on Moogly. It just didn’t work with the colors. The last attempt was this Retro Flower Granny Square blanket by Katie Hanken, I started it with Sugar and cream yarn, even though I loved it, I didn’t think I could get it done in time. Those were all started around July as the baby shower was in August. So there are three unfinished blankets some farther along than others in pink and purple to be done. I will say the blanket that got finished Retro Flower Blanketwas perfect for the occasion.

I’m not sure that all five will get finished. I’m going to do my best to finish them all but I’ve already got my first order of 2015, so depending on my lovely customers there may be a pile of WIPS at the end of 2015 too. You’ll have to wait and see. As I finish projects I’ll update you all. Be on the look out for some patterns and if you haven’t heard from me in awhile feel free to ask me where I am, I love to hear from you guys…

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2015!

Blessings
~Mel