Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Round and Round We Go 4KCBWDAY3

Make your own infographic to convey any element of your craft(s). 

I've always tried to be a monkey, tackling one mind-bending project at a time, but my dominant bee self won't seem to let it happen. I truly am attracted by bright shiny objects.

My biggest weakness is color [how very bee-like. ;)] I love to play with color. I tend to be somewhat methodical about my choices though. I'm not afraid to try new combinations. It excites me to see how colors play against each other, especially in unexpected groupings. But I have a hard time when it comes to the scrappy look. This really puts a damper on my stash-busting efforts. Hard as I try I always end up with some sort of a pattern or color scheme. Not very bee-like is it? Maybe it's my inner monkey fighting to get out?

Without fail, this happens every time...


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tiptoe Through the Tulips 4KCBWDAY2

Your task today is to either think of or research a project that embodies that house/animal.

The purpose of today's post is to sketch out the journey I take in deciding on a project. The honest truth is the path is different every single time. Sometimes it's a color combination I'm in love with, occasionally I see a pattern that I must make, or maybe I've seen something that inspired me to create an original design. Many times it's all of these things, and just as often it's none of these things. Here is today's journey...

Bee keychain I made several yrs ago.
(Sorry for the fuzzy pic!)

The obvious choice for a House of Bee mascot would be, well... a bee. But that might be a bit predictable, don't you think? No offense to the amigurumi makers out there, I do love a cute ami, they just aren't my first choice for a project these days. Unless of course there is an even cuter 5 year old saying "but I neeeed it mom mom!" :)

"Bees are busy and industrious."

I've always been fascinated by the above picture. I love the variety of colors and patterns. Lots of inspiration to be found here. I also can't help but think if I never gave any of my finished projects away, this is what my living room might look like!

Calendar 'Ghan Charity Project

The bee's busy and industrious nature stems from practicality. They are not selfish. They do what they do because it needs to be done for the good of the hive. But that's not to say they can't enjoy what they do. I love making afghans. I do that for me. And if my efforts can keep someone warm who would otherwise be cold, that can't be selfish.

"...can flit from one interesting project to the next 
as bright and shiny things capture their interest."

I absolutely love flowers. Of course the real ones are awesome, but they fade far too quickly. Wouldn't a crocheted flower garden be the perfect "mascot project" for the house of bee? So many individual projects to flit between. I came across this image from Betz White on Pinterest several weeks ago and immediately put the concept together in my head. I totally want a flower garden headboard!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Queen Bee 4KCBWDAY1

Welcome to Knit and Crochet Blog Week 2013!
To learn more about blog week, what it is, and how to participate, click here.

The House of Bee: Bees are busy and industrious, but can flit from one interesting project to the next as bright and shiny things capture their interest.

For day one's post we were asked to choose from among four different styles in regard to how we approach our handwork. Although my personal style is somewhat eclectic, and encompasses, to some degree, each of the four choices, it was obvious from the beginning where I fit in. As indicated above, I have pledged my loyalty to "The House of Bee."

I have many bee-like qualities. I am very easily distracted by new patterns, color combinations, and ideas. If you follow my blog you know I have more WIPs than I know how to keep track of. I start new projects without trepidation or guilt. But like the bee, I can also be very productive.

Generally speaking, from the time a bee emerges from its cell, until its death, it works to serve its community and its queen. There is rarely a day that goes by that I haven't had a hook or 2 needles in my hand for at least a few minutes. In doing so, I am serving my "queen." That inner desire need to "bee" creative.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday's Smile

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I have a brown thumb. I keep trying though. I bought a few plants this time last year, and Ben gave me a geranium for Mother's day. I still have 3 of the 5, and they are happily growing. I am especially impressed with the geranium. By the end of Winter it only had 2 very sad looking leaves. I am amazed, and very happy, to see that it is making a comeback! I didn't think it was going to make it, but it hung in there. :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Cleaning and Organizing

It didn't feel much like Spring here last week with temps in the 30s and 40s, including the threat of snow. Despite the weather I was struck with the Spring Cleaning Bug. It was actually more like unpacking and organizing as opposed to cleaning.

I didn't take any before pictures, but I do have this one that I took a couple of weeks ago. What you can't see in this picture is just to the left the stacks of cardboard boxes. Quite a few of them actually.

I had several boxes, still full, from the move a year ago. I figured it was about time I get them unpacked. :) I'm glad I did because it was like Christmas morning! There were LOTS of partially finished projects, most of them original designs, that I had completely forgotten about. I ended up putting some of them back into boxes and stored them in the closet. I will go through them a box at a time this summer and get the patterns written up and published in one form or another.

And here is the yarn that didn't fit in the closet. 12 cubes full of worsted weight acrylics, plus 2 tubs full of wips and other projects, and several project bags on the floor. The orange milk crates are for a charity lapghan project. I have 7 finished 'ghans plus enough squares to make at least a dozen more. I also have more squares that are still at Cyndi's to put together. I hope to have at least 20 lapghans finished this year to donate to a nursing home. :)

Well, now that I see this picture I realize just how bare my walls are. I will have to give some thought to finding a remedy for that... But that will have to wait for another time, the wips are calling.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday's Smile

I love fridgies. Especially cute handmade ones. I guess technically they may qualify as kitsch, but they make me happy to look at them so I don't care. Am I alone in this school of thought? What's on your fridge right now? :)

Front view of fridge:
Side view of fridge:

Friday, April 5, 2013

Paper Crafts and Crochet Stuff Too

I've been dabbling a little with paper crafting. I used some die cuts to create the flower and recycled my Marshmallow Bunny Wreath to make my new Spring flower wreath. The crocheted bunnies will be used again next year, along with some new ones in different colors, to to make a bigger and more colorful wreath. :)

I also made these adorable little baskets filled with Rolo Pretzels (Yummm!) to give the adults for Easter. Lindsey from The Frugal Crafter did a nice video tutorial showing how to make the baskets. They are incredibly fast and super easy to do. The ones below are made with 6x6 scrapbook papers, and I also made a larger one for Ben with a full 12x12 sheet. I was surprised by how much I was able to fit into it!

Ben's large basket.

I'm still working the Hinterland Throw. It's starting to get to the point where the rounds are long and tedious... but that just means I'm getting near the end, right? Only 12 more rounds to go! :)

I haven't made any more flowers recently. I've been busy with other projects for now, but am really wanting to get back to these. I know there are lots of other flowers out there similar to these, but I did make these up as I went along, so I'm thinking about writing up the pattern as a free download if anyone is interested? :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Quote for the day

Logic will get you from A to B.
Imagination will take you
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


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?


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


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 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. :)