Thursday, February 28, 2008

Blog Review - From Heather's Hook

This week's blog review is of Heather Hensler's blog: From Heather's Hook. Heather's blog contains what she describes as "inspiring feminine crochet" - and she really lives up to that! She has a love for intricate design and creative expression that lends itself to beauty, and her site is setup to inspire and encourage in crochet, and in faith.

Many of her posts contain patterns for her creations, but she has also had several patterns published on well-known sites. The patterns she offers to her readers are great for learning how to design using embellishments, as many have a "base" design with a crocheted embellishment on top. Most of her patterns are for jewelry or accessories, but functional items are present as well. Along with these patterns, From Heather's Hook is a great resource for videos that teach crochet. Be sure to check out the sidebar for these helpful tools!

The following is Heather's email interview:

How long have you been crocheting?
I have been crocheting since I was a young girl. My mother showed me the basic chain, single & double crochet, and the rest I picked up from books.

What's the project you're most proud of?
The project that I am most proud of (unfortunately I don't have a pic) is my very first doily. It was a simple pattern with irish roses and leaves around the entire outside edge. I had never crocheted flowers before, so I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment when I was able to decipher the pattern, and complete the doily.

What's your favorite thing about crochet?
My favorite thing about crochet it's simplicity. There are only a handful of stitches that are necessary to learn from which you can create most anything imaginable.

What do you enjoy working on the most?
I enjoy complicated, intricate projects - I love pretty stitch details, and tons of embellishments. Flowers are by far my favorite thing to crochet (it all goes back to that first doily). If you are familiar at all with my designs, you will know that they almost all include flowers of one kind or another.

What else are you interested in?
While crochet is by far my favorite hobby, it is not my only interest. I also dabble in quilting, pineneedle basketry, and papermaking. I've been known to turn out the occasional sewing project, as well as a counted cross-stitch every now and then. I enjoy crafting in general, and am always on the lookout for something new to try.

Thanks to Heather for participating in the review!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Working from the Heart

I had to kind of take a break from my "for profit" stuff this week. I was starting to be bogged down by the idea of trying to make money off of something I love. While its a good thing to invest time in this area, I began to focus more on becoming "known" and having a presence in the fiber arts community than on actually crocheting. I started thinking constantly about what I've sold and how many people had visited my blog and whether or not anyone liked what I was doing instead of how to bless others with what I do. God has given me a skill, one that others appreciate and can benefit from, and I have been taking advantage of it for personal glory. I don't think its wrong to use the skill for profit, but it is wrong to let it consume me.

Realization of this lead me to spend some time working on "charity squares" for the Prayer Afghan Ministry that I found through Crochetville. It made me remember why I love crochet - its simple, easy to take places, and such a stress relief. These squares are not for my profit or my gain, but they did produce something in me - a change of heart!

Any others out there struggle with this? How do you balance working on things for profit/gain and things simply out of the love of crochet and blessing others? How do keep from being consumed by the whole process?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Kitchen Scrubbie - Free Pattern

**This is a re-try of this pattern. I didn't write it out as I was making it, and wrote it out of my memory - which unfortunately isn't very good. I will try making another one of these and see if I think the pattern is right or not!

Here's the scrubbie I made up for some friends' wedding gift. Keep in mind, I haven't tried this out to see how well it actually works as a scrubber, it just looks great! I have no claim that this works for any good! I really need to try this out at home, but I've just got too much else going on right now.


Small amount of worsted weight cotton
US Size J hook
tapestry needle

Foundation Round:
Chain 2, work 6 dc in second chain from hook, join last dc to first dc with slip stitch to form a circle.

Round 1: Working in back loops only, *chain 10, make sc in next st, ch 10, make sc in same st, ch 10, make sc in next st, repeat from * 5 more times, joining last sc with a slip stitch to base of first ch 10. [18 chain-10 loops made]

Round 2: Ch 8, turn. Working in un-worked loops of foundation row, *chain 8, make sc in next st, ch8, make sc in same st, ch 8, make sc in next st, repeat from * 5 more times, joining last sc with a slip stitch to base of first ch 8. [18 chain-8 loops made]

Pull yarn and hook to "back" side, where the chain-6 loop side is the "front" side. Insert hook into sc at base of ch8 loop on opposite side of the circle, yo and draw through loop on hook. repeat this procedure to close up "hole" created on the backside. Chain 12, work sc in 5th chain from hook and in each ch to the base of the scrubber. Finish off and sew in ends

**Feel free to use this pattern for personal use or profit, please just credit me with my name and web address if you post the pattern elsewhere!**

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Blog Review - Crafty Christina

Christina (known as Crafty Christina or CrisKad online) presents a blog that is a mix of life-experience and her obvious passion: crochet. Her 13 years of experience has produced some excellent free patterns that she has graciously shared with her adoring public.

Christina gives you lots of insight into her life and heart through her posts. While crochet does dominate the site, she isn't afraid to share her forays into other pursuits, like baking (just looking at her brownies had my mouth watering!). It is easy to see Christina's giving nature as 99% of the items she shows are ones she gifts to family, friends, or even strangers (if you can call another crocheter a stranger?!).

Crafty Christina is also a place to lighten your heart. Interspersed in all of her posts is Christina's witty writing that will keep you chuckling, and wondering, "why can't I be that clever"... or maybe that's just me :)

Here's Christina's email interview:

How long have you been crocheting?
About 13 years now! When I was 12, my twin sisters were born pre-mature. They were gifted beautiful crochet preemie blankets, which is where my interest stems from. I remember looking at and feeling those blankets with amazement because I knew someone had made them by hand. About two years later, I finally decided it was time to learn. I took out lots of books from the library and mostly self-taught myself how to crochet.

What's the project you're most proud of?
I'm most proud of a top down raglan sweater I made for my daughter. I haven't made many wearables that aren't for babies and without a pattern! I winged this one and really love the way it turned out.

What's your favorite thing about crochet?
My favorite thing about crochet is the relaxing effect it has on me. I crochet on the subway to and from work. After a long day, that 45 minutes of crochet eases my mind and body before getting home. Its a total stress-buster!

What do you enjoy working on the most?
My new obsession is ami toys! I love that they're fast, easy, and cute. They're not just for kids either. I know lots of adults that love them too.

What is interesting about you besides crochet?
I have six toes on one foot. Just kidding! An interesting thing about me is that I'm a psychology nut. I've got my degree in forensic psychology even though I'm not working in the field right now. Psychology is incredible interesting and never ever boring. *taps glasses* Who wants to be analyzed next? :)

Many thanks to Christina for her participation in the review!

Talk about time consuming!

I am at a slow-point in my design process of a baby blanket to go along with my JoJo the Giraffe pattern. I have never made a blanket before, and never worked with intarsia before, both of which seem to be time-consuming compared to my past history with scarves, baby clothes, dishcloths, and amis! I think I need to be more patient. I'm almost exactly half-way done, and the pattern is turning out very nice... I should find encouragement in that! Ok, back to it.....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Blog Review - Crochetroo

This is the first in a weekly series of blog reviews that I hope to host here. I will mainly focus on crochet and knit blogs, but may branch out into my other interests as well. The purpose of the review is to encourage connections between members of the crafting community across the world. And it gives me an excuse to look all over someone's blog and have a reason to email and ask them personal questions ;) If you would like your blog reviewed here, please contact me!

This weeks feature blog is Crochetroo.

Crochetroo is a blog created by Susan (known as Cupcake or Crochetroo in various places on the web) to display her beautiful crocheted works. She is an Australian with a heart for local indigenous wildlife, which is reflected in many of the designs she produces. Susan is also proficient at many other items - most recently baby items, like booties; and wearable accessories. Susan has created an online store on where we lucky fans can purchase patterns and finished objects of many of the works you can see on her blog.

The blog posts displaying Austrialian wildlife designs include info on the little creatures she has crafted and excellent photography of the finished items. Susan is obviously proud of her country and is able to make even the ickiest creatures interesting to the crochet enthusiast!

This blog is a great resource for budding designers, as Susan also gives her readers some insight into the creative process behind her work with a tutorial and work-in-progress photographs for her Pug Square (starting design process, finished product).

Crochetroo is a treasure trove of free patterns. The patterns are all clearly written and offered with both Australian and American instructions.

The following is an email interview of Susan:

How long have you been crocheting?
My mum taught me to crochet and knit when I was about 4. I learnt to crochet and knit before I could write. My Nana was an avid thread crocheter who had a doily on every cupboard and crocheted head rests on the old Genowa Lounge. I grew up with crochet.

What's the project you're most proud of?
Probably my gecko bookmarks and rugalugs series. I love making boy things and things which are no frills. A lot of crochet if girly so I try and extend my craft to appeal to the blokes.

What's your favorite thing about crochet?
I have had 1 girl and 3 boys. My sons played a lot of sport at school, in particular cricket which goes forever. I liked the transportability of crochet. My hub and I have always watched our kids play, and used to take a fold up chair, a thermos flask, him with the paper and me with my crochet. I have made a lot of small things for fund raisers and crochet is quick and fun. I am not really into wearables as I live in a subtropical climate.

What do you enjoy working on the most?
Would have to be baby things, and coming up with natty ideas for boys. I also like finishing an afghan. Nothing like that for a sense of achievement.

What is interesting about you besides crochet?
I am a keen gardener and collect bromeliads. I also do water colours. My professional background is as an Occupational Therapist.

Thanks to Susan for her willingness to participate and for all she offers her readers!

"Woven" Dishcloth - Free Pattern

This picture isn't great for showing off the nice texture of this cloth, but it has a distinct "woven" look to it, similar to basket weave. This pattern has not been tested.

using F hook and worsted weight cotton, make a chain that is a multiple of 6 + 2.
Row 1: in 4th ch from hook, work a dc. Make a dc in each ch across. turn
Row 2: sl st around post of dc below, ch 3. Work front post dc in each of next 2 dc, work back post dc in each of next 3 dc, *work front post dc in each of next 2 dc, work back post dc in each of next 3 dc. Repeat from * across. turn
repeat row 2, (you will be working fpdc in the bpdc and working bpdc in the fpdc) until the cloth is desired length. Work a sc border around making 2 sc in each corner and 2 sc along the side of each dc row.

**Feel free to use this pattern for personal use or profit, please just credit me with my name and web address if you post the pattern elsewhere!**

Wavy Dishcloth - Free Pattern

Here is a simple dishcloth. **Feel free to use this pattern for personal use or profit, please just credit me with my name and web address if you post the pattern elsewhere!**

US size F hook
Two colors of worsted weight Cotton

Special Techniques:
Crab stitch

Foundation Chain:
Using color A, make a chain that is a multiple of 8 + 3 ch for starting chain.

Row 1: Starting in 3rd ch from hook, make 1 dc. *1 hdc in next ch, 1 sc in each of next 3 ch, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in each of next 3 cs, repeat from * to end, ending with only 2 dc (1 dc in each of last two ch instead of "1 dc in each of next 3 ch"). ch 1, turn.

Row 2:
sc in each st across.

Row 3: join color B, ch 1, 1 sc in same stitch, 1 sc in next sc, *1 hdc in next sc, 1 dc in each of next 3 sc, 1 hdc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, repeat from * to end, ending with only 2 sc (1 sc in each of last two sc instead of "1 sc in each of next 3 sc"). ch 1, turn.

Row 4: sc in each st across.

Row 5: drawing color A up along edge, switch to this color, ch 3. 1 dc in next sc *1 hdc in next sc, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, 1 hdc in next sc, 1 dc in each of next 3 sc, repeat from * to end, ending with only 2 dc (1 dc in each of last two sc instead of "1 dc in each of next 3 sc"). ch 1, turn.

Row 6:
sc in each st across

Repeat rows 3-6 till dishcloth is approximately square, drawing colors along the edge without pulling tight (these will be hidden in the edging). Using last worked color, crab stitch all the way around, working one crab st in each st along the wavy ends, 2 crab stitches in each corner, and 2 crab stitches in each dc along the side (only one for the sc rows).

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Kiss the Hook!

I recently participated in the Crochetville Kitchen Swap for '08. I had so much fun creating small cotton kitchen items for my swap partner - trying to match what I could make with what she liked. My partner gave me a lot of great input in things she was interested in and here's what I came up with*:

The apron says: Kiss the (C)Hook
and yes, that is a crocheted lip print and a tiny crochet hook...
I about died having to wait to post this until my swap partner received this in the mail!
Trust me, if you crochet, this is funny - Apparently if you don't, its not!

Dishcloths (Hexagonal, Wavy and Woven)

Potholders/Trivets (Starburst, Flower)

Oven Mitt

Jewelry holder (for when doing dishes) and spiral scrubbie

Towel Topper

*Note: Many of these come from patterns I found online, but I take full credit for the apron, two of the dishcloths, and the towel topper!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Wedding Gift - Kitchen Extravaganza!

I had a lot of fun creating a gift basket for a friend's wedding. I think its finally safe to post some of the items as I'm pretty sure she's not looking at my blog on her honeymoon :) The pattern for the scrubbie can be found in my free patterns section.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Officially Selling Online

I am now officially selling my work online! You can see my store on, or you can check out the sidebar of my blog for my latest work. So far all I have listed is my giraffe pattern, but there is more to come!