Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Quote for the day



Logic will get you from A to B.
Imagination will take you
everywhere.
Albert Einstein
 

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Walk Through the WIP Garden


I've been Busy making flowers! I really like the scrappy look so I'm trying to be completely random with the colors. I think it's working out pretty well for the most part. I have 11 different colors right now. There are a couple of others that I'm thinking about adding. I may take out that dark purple, or at least just use it for the smaller rounds.


I started the Hinterland Throw this afternoon. If you have the magazine and plan to make this throw, be sure to get the errata from the Crochet! Magazine website. The notes on Ravelry don't cover all of the corrections. Pattern errors aside, I love the way it's looking. The leaves are really making their appearance and it's a fun pattern repeat. It would look great in red, it kind of reminds me of a poinsettia. :)


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bunnies!

I finally got my Bunnies finished this past week for my door wreath. I like how it turned out. I couldn't get a very good picture, it does look cuter in person. :)

More Kitsch

Shortly after last week's post about my fondness for kitsch I came across the Wooly Toons blog. Kim has a wonderful sense of humor that she shares with the world via her adorable crochet creations which are often featured in her "Crochet Comics".

The thing that immediately caught my eye on her blog is "The Toilet." Is this not the cutest, kitschiest, most hilarious thing you've ever seen made from yarn? I think I really need to make one of these. :)


After you've admired Kim's porcelain reproduction, be sure to check out her other amazing designs. Meet Walter the Blue Fish who is trying to make his way out to sea via The Toilet. Learn what the Common Cold looks like and how we all wish it could be gotten rid of. Help Egmont, the most adorable little elephant, overcome his fear of the letter E. And you absolutely must take a trip down memory lane to visit the Shrunken Head Guy. He'll make you want to dust off the VCR so you can watch Beetlejuice tonight! From the B-day Bee to her Googly-eyed Mini Stockings, you'll have a hard time deciding which one of Kim's creations to make first!


Picture re-posted here with permission from Kim @ Wooly Toons. Thank you!


Friday, March 15, 2013

Thank You!

My apologies for the long post below, but please read on, there is a surprise waiting at the end! :)

I've never celebrated my "Blogiversary" before. In fact, for the longest time I didn't even know when it was. But a quick look back a couple of days ago revealed that it was surprisingly close. Five years ago today I created my first blog post. Wow, FIVE years.

First posted pattern: Checkered Moss Dishcloth

Dishcloth Diaries started out as a pattern only blog. I didn't have any intention back then of growing much beyond the few knitted and crocheted dishcloth and potholder patterns I was offering. But then I answered a group challenge with the Cup O Joe TP Cover. That seemed to be the turning point in my design career. Momentum picked up and more people were visiting the blog.


2009 saw the birth of the year long Calendar 'Ghan CAL. It was my most ambitious project to date. Although there were times I asked myself, "Why did I commit to this?" I still had fun doing it, and in the end it was totally worth it. It is also the project that put this blog on the "crochet map" so to speak.

 Calendar 'Ghan CAL List of pattern links

By 2010, with the popularity of the Calendar 'Ghan and other non-dishcloth patterns, I began to feel Dishcloth Diaries was no longer a suitable name for the blog. A name change seemed to be in order but I didn't want to lose anyone. It was a hard decision, but I compromised by changing the name while leaving the URL intact. I'm not sure how effective it was, as I'm still known as Dishcloth Diaries to many. LOL


2011 proved to be an exciting year. Firstly, I adopted an additional persona for myself, Crochet Amore. It's actually a play on my real name. The first part, Crochet, is for obvious reasons. But the second part, Amore, aside from meaning Love in Italian, is my first initial plus the first four letters of my last name. I thought it was fitting, Crochet Amore = Crochet Love. The reason for the new name was for my Ravelry Shop which first opened in July 2011. :)

Tic Tac Tote - The first pattern for sale in my shop

Additionally, 2011 brought about some exciting new changes for my designing career. My Flower Tiles afghan appeared in the October issue of Crochet World magazine. (It's still available for PDF download) It was so exciting to see my name in print!


Fast forward to 2013. I hate to say it, but I haven't done a whole lot with the blog over the past couple of years. I've checked in now and then. Added a few free patterns here and there. I've felt guilty for not keeping up, but sometimes life just has a way of taking turns in unexpected directions.


5 Years is really not long in the grand scheme of things. In some ways it feels like it's been longer, in other ways it seems like it went by in a flash. I do want to say thank you for hanging in there with me through the ups and downs. I couldn't have done it without you! The enthusiasm, encouragement, support, and friendship I have received over the past five years has meant so much to me.

As a way of saying thank you, I am offering a 15% discount on all patterns in my Ravelry store. The coupon code is "5years" and is valid now through March 31, 2013. You can click here to automatically receive the coupon. Sorry, the promotion is over, but keep watching for new patterns and occasional coupon codes. :)

Here's to hoping for many more "5 year celebrations" :)


Thursday, March 14, 2013

A New CAL?

I've been trying hard to stay focused on crocheting and designing lately. I've been out of the loop for far too long. I would love to get back in the swing of things with the blog and my other websites.

I've started a new Ravelry group where we can all stay in touch. It's a place to keep up with what I have going on, and also to get pattern support, share your photos of finished projects, and just chat in general and make friends. :)

I've also been thinking about starting a new crochet along. I'm not sure what I want to do though.

Squares? If so what size? 6"? 8"? 12"? Or somewhere in between?

Maybe a one piece afghan? A stitch sampler maybe?

Or perhaps something smaller like a bag or amigurumi?

Thoughts?

Just for fun...
Little Crochet Piggy by Michele Wilcox

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What was it? *Reveal*

A few days ago I asked "What is it?"


It's a stadium blanket. You fold it up and throw it over your shoulder to carry it. Once at the game you can use it to keep warm, or during the warmer months, you can keep it folded to use as a seat cushion. Or, as Amy suggests, "...You can use it at picnics, or a day in the park..."


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bazinga!

My absolute favorite TV show is The Big Bang Theory. I eagerly await for Thursday night to arrive so I can watch the latest episode. It's one of the few shows that truly makes me laugh out loud... really loud.

I recently came across this picture on Pinterest. Unfortunately it doesn't give credit to the crocheter or the designer. I've seen quite a few crocheted Sheldon dolls out there but this is the most realistic. It's also the most complete set of the cast, and it's giving me a serious case of the "wants." It's time to put my thinking cap on! :)


Monday, March 11, 2013

I ♥ Kitsch

Okay, I'm not a totally huge fan of kitsch, but I do (for some reason unknown to me) have a fondness for toilet paper covers and, apparently, crochet toilet paper (as shown below.) I've had the TP pattern written for a few years, I just haven't brought myself to admit to it until now. Maybe now that the cat is out of the bag I should go for it? ;)

What's the kitschiest thing you've crocheted?





Sunday, March 10, 2013

Speaking of Pineapples...

During my blog travels today I came across the Did you make that? blog which led me to crochetkari.com where Sangeetha discusses her first project of 2013. A gorgeous Pineapple Pouch. I think I may just have to reconstruct one for my new phone!

Some unrelated pineapple eye candy, circa 2002.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

What is it?


My latest finished project. It may look like a tote bag, but it's not. Can you guess what it is? :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Marshmallow Bunnies WIP Update


I've had all of the pieces finished for my bunny marshmallows for a couple of days but needed some thread to sew on the eyes. I picked that up today while in Erie so will be finishing it up this weekend. Hopefully I'll be able to post a picture of the finished wreath on Monday. :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pineapples, not just for doilies...

I think most yarnies have a favorite stitch pattern. One that they love if for no other reason than it just looks pretty. For me it's the pineapple stitch. I know there are a lot of people who dislike them. They seem to have fallen into the same outdated realm as the granny square. Perhaps that's because too many people think of their grandma's old fashioned doilies when they hear "pineapple stitch."

But with the availability of fresh new yarns in vibrant colors, grannies have become trendy once again. And so I hope will be the case with pineapples. With talented designers such as Doris Chan using them in their awesome creations, they're once again earning their due.

To see some of my projects using the pineapple stitch visit my project page on Ravelry.

I've also used pineapples in a couple of my designs:

 




I definitely have more pineapple plans for the future, some of which will be original designs.

Out of curiosity, on which side of the pineapple fence do you sit?


Thank you Melani for inspiring this post!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New Phone and a WIP




The kids insisted demanded I need a smartphone. Although I like my old one just fine, my "dinosaur" wasn't up to their standards. I avoided it for a long time. I guess in my old age I've become resistant to change. But I finally gave in to the pressure last week. My new phone arrived yesterday. I've spent far too many hours playing with it and learning to use it, but I must say it's kind of fun to play with the new (to me) features.

My old phone did have a camera, but not quite as good as this one. Above is a sneak peak of my current WIP and upcoming new pattern. Picture taken with my new Kyocera Rise.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Dreaded Project

When I first started this post I was going to share my favorite FO. While looking through my Ravelry Notebook I realized I couldn't narrow it down to just one thing. I love so many of them for different reasons. The colorful granny 'ghans, the cute amigurumi, the pretty bags, the lacy doilies... the list goes on.

But then I came across this. "The 4 Year Afghan". Started Dec 15, 2008, finished Dec 5, 2012. 10 days shy of 4 years. I'm almost certain that's the longest it's taken me to finish a project.


The colors aren't so bad. Not my favorite, but they are Damian's (the recipient) favorite so I went with them. The pattern, I usually like ripples, and this one looked nice, nicely written, not too masculine, not to feminine, so again, I went with it. Everything seemed right, so why did it take so long to finish?


I think it was the softer, rounded points.The ripples I'd done in the past had a more defined point. It was clear where the peaks and valleys were. With this one it was literally row after row of nothing but increases and decreases. I had to constantly count and keep track of where I was in the pattern repeat. Definitely not a mindless project!


Would I ever make the pattern again? I think the pattern would lend itself very well to a baby blanket, so yes, I think I might, but at another time and definitely in a smaller size.

So my question for you is, what is the longest it ever took you to finish a project?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Marshmallow Bunnies

I've been trying to hang a themed wreath on my front door each month. While looking for ideas for this month's wreath on Pinterest I came across this Bunny Peep Wreath from Stampin' Mama and fell in love. Not wanting to hang all that sugar on my door, I immediately thought of the Marshmallow Bunnies pattern from the talented Doni Speigle. Aren't they just too cute not to crochet?


I'll be using Perfect Pink and Lemon RHSS and a G hook. :) I have a small grapevine wreath I picked up at the dollar store. I think it's around 12". I'm not sure how many bunnies I'll need yet, but I think I'll start with 10 and go from there.

One side done... 19 to go. :)


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Free Pattern Downloads

Just wanted to say I'm still crocheting and designing and have two new free patterns on the way later this month, so stay tuned crocheters! Also, please read below and comment with your thoughts and opinions regarding pattern downloads. :)

I've been mixing things up a little bit lately with some knitting projects. I'd wanted a knitted hanging towel for a while but never found the "right" pattern. I decided to sit down one day and "just do it." I liked the result so much I decided to share the pattern as a free download on Ravelry.



A question for everyone: In which format do you prefer your patterns? 

When I first started sharing my free patterns I never thought it would go any further than just a few dishcloths and squares. But with over 75 patterns currently to my credit (and more on the way, I promise!), I've been thinking about reorganizing and streamlining the way in which I deliver them to you. With the popularity of Ravelry, and the ease of creating PDF's, I am considering offering them all as individual PDF downloads. The free ones will remain free, and you will be able to download them directly on the blog from a dedicated page. Or, if you prefer, you can add them to your Ravelry library so they will always be available to you, even if the blog is down for some reason.

ETA: Just to clarify, the PDFs would be for all of the patterns that are currently here on the blog as well as any future patterns that I offer. Also, they would only be available as a PDF. They would no longer be here as a web page.