Sweet Baby Crochet Book Review

Sweet Baby Crochet book review by Ambassador Crochet
Sweet Baby Crochet

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. Please note: I will never become an affiliate partner for a product or service that I don’t use and love! Not all links are affiliates.

Sweet Baby Crochet Book Review

 

Publisher: Martingale

Author: Sandy Scoville and Denise Black

Number of Pages: 96 pages

Number of Projects: 23 projects; some projects have more than one pattern associated with them (ex: hat & booties, dress and bonnet, etc.)

Types of Projects: Everything baby… (dresses, jacket, bonnet, bibs, booties, hat, sweaters & blankets/afghans)

Difficulty: Easy, Intermediate, Experienced – The majority of the patterns are listed as intermediate, but there is definitely a good mix of easy & intermediate, with two labeled experienced.

Yarn Used: #2, #3, #4 & #5

First Impression: Most of these would make great baby shower gifts.

My Favorite Project Pick: Party Ruffles Dress – Dainty, yet practical. Beautiful dress for new baby girl.

 

Sweet Baby Crochet book review by Ambassador Crochet

Party Ruffles Dress

 

Review: The very first thing that stood out to me was that the patterns with sizes are color coded. I love this! I eliminates the need for trying to figure out which stitch count goes with which size. Just remember what color you’re crocheting. Perfect!

The garment projects come in 3 sizes (6, 12, & 18 months). Not all projects come in all 3 sizes. Blankets range in size, but are all infant/toddler size. The smallest is 33″ x 36″ – the largest is 44″ x 50″. are condensed well and written in the easiest form possible. If you like to know exactly which yarns are used for projects (and not just what weight yarn is used) there is a Yarn Information section in the back of the book. Leisure Arts has included general information (gauge, terms, abbreviations), as well as basic stitch visuals you may need.

Bonus: There are over 2 dozen links in the ebook that will take you to online video tutorials. I believe this is an invaluable tool for those who are visual learners. 

 

Sweet Baby Crochet book review by Ambassador Crochet

Gingerbread Hat & Booties

 

If you’re looking for a variety of baby projects that stretch you a little beyond the “easy” category, this would be a good book to try. You can check out more pics, or pic up your copy here: Sweet Baby Crochet on Amazon.

 

Happy Crocheting!

 *Disclaimer* – This book was provided to me for a review, but all opinions are strictly my own.
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Crochet from the Heart

Sometimes there are no words. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to make things better. And I think many times, when your heart is breaking, crocheters (and crafters in general) want to do something. Anything…. That’s when many of us pick up our hooks, and we crochet from the heart…

 

Crochet from the Heart - Using your love of crochet to bless others.

 

Crochet from the Heart

 

For as long as I’ve been crocheting, I love seeing someone blessed by something I have made, especially if it puts a smile on their face. And when I first began my design work, I tried to continue both, but slowly my giving just went by the wayside. I’ve still made some preemie hats and gifts, but not nearly as many as my heart tugs at me to do.

About a month ago, a little 5 year old boy at our church was diagnosed with brain cancer. In a matter of a couple weeks he went from having a tumor to the cancer encasing his entire brain. The doctors said they had never seen anything spread so fast and said he had, “the worst, of the worst, of the worst….” They started chemo and radiation in a matter of a few hours. And our entire church prayed, and prayed….and we’re still praying. It has spread through our community and there are so many people praying for this little boy and his family (he also has a 2 year old and infant sister at home).

When I feel helpless in situations like this, I could just sit here and cry. Cry for his parents because my heart goes out to them. Cry for him, because no one – never mind a 5 year old little boy – should have to endure anything like this. Cry for anyone who has to go through something like this. Instead I picked up my hook and decided to do what I know how to do best. I decided to make a prayer blanket. After all, I wondered, why does it have to be a prayer shawl? The concept is to pray over the person while you’re making it. And pray I have been.

If you’re a crocheter, there are so many ways to help – so many charities that accept donations. One thing I know is this:

Community is at the heart of it all.

 

I have realized that each and every charity that I have donated to, I somehow have a personal investment in. (You don’t need to, this is just me personally.) Here are a list of just a few types of charities I have donated to. There are many more than you can reach out to.

Preemies – There are dozens of organizations that take preemie hats, blankets, as well as burial gowns for those who have preemies, micro-preemies, have had a stillborn, or lost a child at birth. You can also donate to your local hospital.

I have a personal heart for these women. Years ago I began Wrapped in Love Ministries and was making blankets (and hats) for mother’s of preemies. (You can read my story here.)

Pregnancy Centers – Some pregnancy crisis centers give an ultrasound before you have an abortion. Many of those women choose to keep the baby once they see the life inside them. What better gift than to walk out with a handmade blanket/hat to start your journey into motherhood?

My friend Ruth Tilley donated hundreds of blankets every year (like 300-500 blankets every year!) to Arlington-Mansfield Pregnancy Center (now called Metroplex Women’s Clinic). When she passed away I wanted to carry on her legacy and donate to them (obviously not nearly as many as she did). I want to make this a priority and start doing this again.

Cancer/Chemo Hats – Again, there are so many great organizations that take these and distribute them, or you can donate them to a local cancer hospital, if you have one nearby.

You can make chemo hats for all ages, and so many of you do, but my heart is drawn to children. I had to Break My Own Rules for this little girl from our church (who by the way is in remission!).

Homeless Shelters – Many homeless shelters will take hats and scarves. Many will take blankets. For the ones that won’t, you may be able to donate to a local soup kitchen that is set up near the homeless shelter.

I have a personal heart tug for this that I just can’t talk about because it hurts too much. Just know that someone’s mother/sister/brother would be forever grateful knowing that someone took the time to make something to keep their loved one warm. It would mean the world to them.

Veterans – There are a few organizations that distribute blankets to VA hospitals, or if you have one nearby you can ask if you can drop them off (and maybe visit with some veterans while you’re there.)

At some point in the last couple years I realized I have a heart for veterans. My husband is one, as well as my brother and brother-in-law. I also know countless others who have family that have come back and they’re struggling with PTSD. Someday I would love to invest my ministry in them with some blankets.

Prayer Shawls – Many churches and local communities have a prayer shawl ministry. My aunt belongs to one in ME and I know several others who are involved in them. It is an amazing outreach and one that can definitely use an extra set of crocheting hands.

 

Some items that you can crochet…. prayer shawls, hats, blankets, scarves, washcloths.

There are so many local, as well as national, charities. I have just touched on a few. Do you donate to any that I could add to the list?

Happy Crocheting!

 

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Go Knit Yourself Yarn Review

Normally my monthly interview & reviews feature industry crochet designers. Today I want to introduce you to someone I met recently. Melanie is the founder of Go Knit Yourself – which makes “sustainable yarns for a cozier world.” While she has done some design work, I decided I wanted to interview her more specifically about her yarns and do a yarn review of her brand.

Side Note: I met Melanie in the The Luminaries Club, which is an online mentor/coaching group run by Lisa Jacobs of Marketing Creativity. Since finding Lisa’s site I have abandoned all other coaching/business development sites and emails. I just love how Lisa writes and she doesn’t do the “one size fits all” – “do it this way and you’ll be a millionaire” approach. If you have a creative business, you might want to check her out.

 

Interview & Review featuring Melanie from GoKnitYourself - yarns for a sustainable world.

 

Melanie has definitely done her homework. She set out to create yarns that are “green” and eco-friendly, and she thought outside the box to do so. She writes, “I set out to create beautifully dyed yarns with a process that has minimal impact on our environment.” She’s created just that. Check out my interview to find out more about her yarns.

Make sure you read to the bottom or my review for the coupon code she has given to my readers.

 

Interview

 

K (Me): What made you decide to start your own yarn company?

Melanie: I’ve always loved playing with yarn + colors. I remember when I was young winding yarn balls with my mother + watching my dad create his masterpieces with oil paints ala Bob Ross. My dad taught me about color theory, which fascinated me. After I had my first few kids, I decided that I was going to dip my toes in the “hippie” pool + use cloth diapers both for economic and environmental reasons. Then I decided to go full on crunchtastic hippie and use wool diaper covers! Being a DIYer at heart I taught myself how to dye wool yarn and the rest, as they say, is history. So I opened a yarn company because I want my daughters to see that if you want to do something and put all of your heart + soul into it, you will succeed. Plus, I had to account for my ever growing stash to my husband. If I’m bringing in money, he doesn’t seem to care about the mountains of yummy fluffy wool.

K: What makes your yarns different from other dyers/spinners?

Melanie: Our yarns are like no other! The yarns that are sold in big box stores serve a purpose but they are made with nasty chemicals to make them soft. Formaldehyde is applied with heat, making it trapped in the fiber permanently, and petrochemical polluting dyes– whose production creates nitrous oxide– are used for color. Dye fixatives used in yarns often come from heavy metals and pollute water systems. Commonly used chemicals also include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and dioxin-producing bleach.

So you can see why I set out to create beautifully dyed yarns with a process that has minimal impact on our environment. Our supplier sources their premium fiber from local ranchers. The dry climate, clean air, cool summer, and cold winters in Wyoming help to make the wool naturally fine and soft. They only use environmentally friendly cleaners and vegetable based spinning oil. They are committed to building a company that respects nature and sustainability.

Each skein has an extremely short “trace-back”: Rancher–>Our supplier–>Go Knit Yourself. Not much processing going on here! Because our yarns haven’t been over-processed or exposed to harsh detergents, you will very likely find a decent amount of leftover lanolin and “vegetable matter” aka grass. However, you’ll find that our yarn is springy, bouncy, squishy, alive, cottony, and comfortingly soft! It’s a dream to knit with, and we know you’ll love it!

K: Tell us a little bit about your dyeing process…

Melanie: The yarns in our current inventory were dyed with natural dye extracts and an alum mordant. The natural dye process is a long + laborious one. There are 3 basic steps: scouring the wool, mordanting the wool and then finally dyeing the wool. Each step requires water (lots of it!) + heat for hours on end (electricity). Plus, there is usually dye left over in the dye pot which gets dumped. The total process takes about 8 hours from scouring to getting it ready for you.

K: Your site says you use “low impact acid dyes.” Can you tell us a little bit about why these are better than regular dyes?

Melanie: I recently started to wonder just how sustainable my process was. It seemed to me that my footprint was getting large, even though I was using natural dyes. After doing some more research I decided that I am going to move to low-impact acid dyes. The acid is simply the vinegar I use to set the dye. The vendor I have chosen only has 2 colors that contain heavy metals + I do not include those in my palette. The only chemical I’ll be using is white vinegar, I will use less water for less time (1/2 an hour compared to 6), and there will be no dye left in the dye pot when the yarn is done. So I’ll just be pouring vinegar water down the drain

K: Because of the use of special dyes, are there any colors you cannot make?

Melanie: Just the colors that contain heavy metals, which are Chartreuse and Emerald. But I can make colors that are pretty close, using the color theory I learned from my dad.

 

QUICK QUESTIONS

 

K: What weight yarns to you offer?

Melanie: Currently I offer Sport and Worsted but I will soon be adding Chunky and Fingering

K: Are all your yarns 100% wool?

Melanie: Yes

K: Do you have dye lots?

Melanie: Yes

K: Do you take custom orders?

Melanie: Not at the moment. I may open up some custom slots in the future though!

 

Go Knit Yourself
Yarn Review

 

 

Oakley Fringe Cowl crochet pattern - $3.50 pattern by Ambassador CrochetOakley Fringe Cowl

 

While I normally do a review of the designers pattern, I’m reviewing yarn this month, so I did things a little differently. I created my own pattern from her worsted line of yarns and review the yarn while using it.

My skein/hank was gray, and one of my favorite things about Melanie’s site is it gives you a description of the colorway and the dyes used. So for my colorway (gray) this is what she writes:

This light gray color was first dyed with Chestnut extract and then dipped in an iron bath. Chestnut is native to southern Europe and has a history of being used for tanning leather in Europe and North America. The chestnut dye I use comes from European trees since the American chestnut population has been severely diminished by plant disease since 1905.

 

Most of the time I’m not a huge fan of 100% wool. At times I find it scratchy and it dries out my hands, so I just usually stay away from it. This wool did none of those things. (Maybe the extra lanolin?) It wasn’t scratchy, and I didn’t have issues with my hands. It was actually a pleasure to work with. I will note this: When I first received the yarn and opened it, it had a smell to it (almost like ammonia). Once I finished the skein and left it out in the open to air out, the smell dissipated. I don’t think this is a problem, I’m just giving an honest review & perspective to give you all sides. Her new dyes may not do this.

 

Melanie is offering 20% off to my readers (plus it’s always free shipping in the US). Use coupon code AMBASSADOR at checkout.

I’m also offering my Oakley Fringe Cowl pattern free to anyone who purchases a skein of yarn from Go Knit Yourself before May 31, 2o16. You can either email me the receipt, or just send me a msg. I’ll verify with Melanie and send you the pattern free.

For more information about Melanie and her yarns, visit her at the links below:

Go Knit Yourself (website)
Facebook Page
Instagram
Pinterest
Ravelry

If you have any questions you’d like me to ask in upcoming interviews, or someone you’d love to see featured, leave a comment and let me know. Make sure you come back next month when I interview Kristin Omdahl!

 

Happy Crocheting!

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Refresh Your Business – April 2016

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all your goals? While goals are a great thing to have, making them a reality can sometimes discourage you quite easily. You struggle to keep moving through the mud pit and hopefully get to the other side with some momentum and motivation to spare. Without some strategic planning you may even burn out (I know from experience). Knowing when to refresh vs when to hit the reset button will help you make it through the daily grind.

Knowing When it's Time to Refresh - Knowing the difference between doing a reset and hitting the refresh button.

 

I started off this year with 200% motivation. I had a plan for the year (thanks to Lisa over at Marketing Creativity!) and everything seemed to be going better than normal. I had goals set up for my business for the year and was working through them. While I wasn’t 100% where I wanted to be, I was happy with the progress I was making because I knew I was moving in the right direction. Then March hit and I feel like I was derailed off my track. I knew it was a crazy, not normal, month but ever since my business has just been in the “day to day” mode of just getting by with what “needs” to be done. I’m not necessarily moving forward with my goals.

I took a step back to do some self-evaluation and that’s when I was reminded of my 5 Things I will NOT Do in 2016 list that I made at the beginning of the year. The very last thing I put on that list was “I will not give up on my goals for 1 full year.” I needed that reminder! I told myself to push the reset button and just start over, but I had a nagging feeling that wasn’t really what I wanted to do. What I wanted to do was more like a refresh. I looked up both words and knew it was a refresh that I needed.

Reset – to move (something) back to an original place or position (in mathematical terms it means beginning over at zero)

Refresh – give new strength or energy to; reinvigorate.

Both are verbs. As I read the definition of reset, something hit me. I don’t want to go back to the beginning and start over! This was just a detour. I want to get myself back on track and keep going with what I had already started. I decided it’s time for me to reinvigorate my goals and give them a new strength and energy. It’s time to refresh my goals, not reset them!

 

Refresh Your Business

 

 

Refresh Your Business - Simple Steps to refresh when you really just want to start over.


What does it take to refresh your business? I think there are some small things you can do daily that help the most. Here are 4 things you can commit to doing that will help you stay refreshed and keep your business on track.

    1. Reminders – Take time every day to remind yourself of you goals. Visual reminders work best for most people. Some ideas: Make a dream board or write down your goals and make a list of things you want to accomplish with your business.
    2. Written To-Do Lists – I have my yearly goals, then I have them broken down into smaller increments – what I want to accomplish in the next 3 months, then broken down into the next 3 weeks worth of goals. When I stick with this, I do well. I’m not an app person, so I use a planner (actually a couple of them). My friends tried to convert me to calendar apps, and note/list apps, but I just wasn’t using them to my full potential, no matter how hard I tried. So, I went back to my paper planner. Use what works for you!
    3. Self-Evaluation – Commit to evaluating your progress each month for the entire year. Some of it is accountability, but some of it is commitment. I made the commitment to doing these month goal setting posts because I knew I would have to come face to face with what I wasn’t getting done! That was my way of committing to evaluating myself monthly. Be committed to finding what is working and what isn’t. You can’t learn from your mistakes if you can’t admit you’re making any.
    4. Think Positive & Laugh Often – I’m a firm believer that laughter is the best medicine. While this has nothing to do with keeping your business goals on track, it has everything to do with how you view life. And the more positive your thoughts, the more likely you are to succeed.

 

Through this evaluation I realized it’s ok that I’m not exactly where I had hoped to be. I’m still moving forward and hopefully this will put me back on the track I was following. I am committing to doing the above 4 things daily and I will have more progress for May.

 

Goal Setting

Here are my results for April and new goals for May. Why am I doing this monthly?….accountability works!

 

APRIL GOALS:

  1. Create editorial calendar for 2016 – allowing for some wiggle room.
    I started this and am happy with my progress so far. I will continue to work on this in May.
  2. Create 2 new patterns to publish
    Tea Time Baby Sweater Set
  3. Finish and publish 2 unfinished patterns.
  4. Publish 10 blog posts –
    I only did 6. I will definitely be making this a priority again in May!
  5. Spend 10-15 min/3x day on social media growth
    While I didn’t follow a consistent schedule, I do feel like I made progress.
    Growth Goals:
    Blog Newsletter – 1,195 to 1,250 – 1,214
    Facebook – 6,620 – 6,700 – 6,637
    Pinterest – 3,528 to 5k – 4,499
    Twitter – 563 – 600 – 597
    Instagram – 120 – 150 – 151
  6. Continue to work through Your Best Year 2016 planner + Luminaries Club course.
  7. Track income and expenses.
  8. Outline course details.
    I’m moving this to late spring.

What worked – I feel like the biggest positive for this month was beginning to set up my editorial calendar. This will help me stay on track with blog posting and projects I have in the coming months.

What didn’t work – I was all over the place. I didn’t have a written plan and I don’t feel like much was accomplished toward my long term goals, but I’m prepared to make May better.

 

MAY GOALS:

  1. Finish creating editorial calendar for 2016.
  2. Create new file/doc for customers (It’s still a secret).
  3. Create 2 new patterns to publish.
  4. Finish and publish 2 unfinished patterns.
  5. Publish 10 blog posts.
  6. Spend 10-15 min/3x day on social media growth.
    Growth Goals:
    Blog Newsletter – 1,214 to 1,300
    Facebook – 6,637 – 6,800
    Pinterest – 4,499 to 6k
    Twitter – 597 – 700
    Instagram – 151 – 200
  7. Get back on track with my goals that I made using my Your Best Year 2016 planner.
  8. Track income and expenses.

My #1 priority for May is to make an editorial calendar for the rest of the year – one that works for me and has some flexibility. Despite the crazy March, and not being very productive in April, I feel like this refresh will give me some momentum going forward.

Do you have any suggestions for getting back on track with your goals? It’s never too late, so don’t give up! Just keep moving forward.

 

Happy Crocheting!

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Gift Ideas for a Crocheter

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. Please note: I will never become an affiliate partner for a product or service that I don’t use and love! Not all links are affiliates.

 

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and you may be in search of the perfect gift. Here are some unique gift ideas for a crocheter.

5 Gift Ideas for a Crocheter

 

Gift Ideas for a Crocheter

 

Furls Crochet Hook Pendant (1) – This was given to me as a gift from a designer friend and it is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. I absolutely love everything about it. The quality is amazing and I can actually use it if I forget my hook at home!

Granny Square coffee mug (2) – This coffee mug has a granny square hand drawn on it. It has both of my favorite things. Coffee and crochet. A great combo! There are tons of other great coffee mug designs that have crochet themes.

Yarn Ball Cup by Haldecraft (3) – Perfect gift for the yarn lover. (FYI – it is more of a tea cup size, not coffee mug.) I am currently using mine to hold my stitch markers, tape measures, scissors, and other small notions I don’t want to lose.

Yarn Bowl – There are so many crafters out there selling handmade yarn bowls. It’s just a matter of finding one you love. You can get something like this Ceramic Pottery Yarn Bowl (4) or you can go more basic like this plastic yarn valet (5). You can also search etsy or other handmade marketplaces for different styles. There are TONS out there.

There are many other unique options out there. Choosing one that your crochet lover will enjoy shouldn’t be too hard. What other kinds of unique crochet gifts have your given (or received)?


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Designer Review & Interview featuring Teresa Jimenez

For April, my featured designer is Teresa Jimenez from Harvester Products. As soon as I saw one of her newly released patterns I knew I needed a reason to bump it up on my “to-do” list of things I wanted to make.

 

Designer Review & Interview featuring Teresa Jimenez from Harvester Products

 

Designer Review & Interview
featuring Teresa Jimenez of Harvester Products

 

Throughout 2016 I am doing designer interviews and reviews. Each month I will feature one fellow designer, ask them some questions, and then I will actually make something from one of their patterns and do a review of it.

Read to the bottom of the interview to see my review of one of Teresa’s patterns, and get a discount code to use in her pattern shop.

Interview

 

K (Me): How did you get started designing?

Teresa: I was following so many amazing crochet pages on Facebook. I could follow any pattern, but really had the desire to make my own patterns. Then I just dove in!

K: Do you remember the first pattern you ever designed?

Teresa: I know the first one I ever published was the Starla Hat. I had designed some prior to that, but I don’t remember the actual first one ever. It’s funny, because I am so the “mark the memory” type of person. I wish now that I could remember. LOL

K: Where do you get your design inspiration from?

Teresa: Hmm. This is hard. I think at times it’s from seeing other crochet designs. My brain starts thinking of similar things.  Sometimes it’s a print on a fabric I see at a store, or a color scheme. But mostly, designs just kinda pop into my head randomly. But not when I want them to. When I really have the urge to crochet something new, that is usually when I have zero inspiration at all.

K: What is most important to you when choosing yarn for a design? Look? Feel? Weight?

Teresa: Coming from years of designing character hats, I always went straight to Red Heart Super Saver. It was perfect for holding shape. But now, as I am branching out with more fashion hats, look and feel is important to me. I tend also, to like heavier weights.

K: How long between when you first have an idea to the finished pattern being released?

Teresa: Well, I’d love to say that I just whip it out. But being the master perfectionist and procrastinator that I am has its downfalls. It can be anywhere from a week to months. If I hit a roadblock, it will sit there for a good long while sometimes. I actually have a gorgeous cowl/shawlette hanging on my dress form right now. It’s been there for about 2 months.

K: What makes your designs unique?

Teresa: Off the cuff, I think the way I name them is unique. I am super picky about what I name my designs. Many of them are named after characters or movies that I love.

I also set out to try to make them unique in design. I want them to stand out. I try to make them different from anything else out there. Not an easy task. I design a lot of my hats from the bottom-up. I try to combine stitches as in my Arkenstone hat or the Frost Awakens hat. Or I’ll make a different shape, like in my Grumpy Nova hat, or the Snow Queen Cowl.

K: Do you ever look at a pattern and wish you had been the one to design that?

Teresa: Oh, I do this so often!  There are so many beautifully textured designs that I get totally jealous of! Why didn’t I think of that? LOL

K: Any advice to crocheters that want to keep their work fresh and exciting?

Teresa: I’d say to keep informed of what is trending with fashion, but also look for new angles. You never know when one of your designs may become a new trend! Also, a trip to the yarn store is always inspiring! Seeing different colors and textures always gives me new ideas. My Arkenstone hat actually was inspired by a sweatshirt I bought for my daughter in the girl’s section at Target.

K: Where do you see crocheting going as an artform?

Teresa: The creativity of the art has matured so much since I first started 30 years ago. I think we will always see people added to the crochet community – learning and creating, and it’s popularity will continue to grow steadily. It’s very exciting, almost as inexhaustible as music!

 

QUICK QUESTIONS

 

K: Favorite part of designing?

Teresa: Seeing the product take shape.

K: Least favorite part of the designing?

Teresa: Typing the pattern.

K: Favorite yarn?

Teresa: Red Heart with Love

K: Do you have a crochet “hero” or someone you look up to in the industry?

Teresa: I’ll name a few: Playin’ Hooky, Elk Studio, Crochet by Jennifer.

 

Review

 

Designer Review & Interview featuring Teresa Jiminez from Harvester Products - This is my version of her Outlaw Queen Cowl. Read my pattern review.My version of the Outlaw Queen Cowl by Harvester Products

 

As soon as I saw her Outlaw Queen Cowl pattern I knew I needed a reason to make it. Maybe it’s the country girl in me, but I love almost anything with fringe. I was drawn to the color combo, stitches, and fringe combination.

For my review, I used Hobby Lobby “I Love This Yarn!” in Olive & Ivory. I love Teresa’s brown & cream combo, but I’m trying to use up skeins from my stash, so I switched the brown to olive green. TIP: If you’re going to substitute the yarn called for, check the yardage on the yarn label and make sure you will have enough. Read these 2 articles I’ve written for more info and help.

5 Tips for Substituting Yarn – overall help for choosing a different yarn

Tips for Substituting Yarn – info based on yarn label

This pattern works up quick and is easy to follow. Teresa uses a special technique to overlap the “v” effect (the openwork stitches), but don’t let it scare you. Once you do the first few it’s super easy to follow. My absolute favorite feature of the scarf is the design concept. It’s designed like a poncho, but it doesn’t hang down in the back, only the front (almost like a bib), so there’s no bulk for you to try to stuff under your jacket, etc. Genius!

Overall…. I love how it came out! Whether you’re looking for a quick gift, or something to make for yourself, this is a fun and easy pattern to try.

My next pattern purchase from Teresa’s shop will be the Pirate’s Cove Cowl…. more fringe!

 

Pirate's Cove cowl by Harvester Products

 

Teresa is is offering my readers 40% off your purchase of $3.95 or more in her pattern shop. The discount will run from April 27 – May 7th. Head over to her Ravelry shop and enter code SAVE40 at checkout to receive the discounted pricing.

For more information, visit her at the links below:

Ravelry

Facebook

Teresa has a unique style that you’ll want to check out. I’m sure you will find something in her pattern shop that you love!

If you have any questions you’d like me to ask in upcoming interviews, leave a comment and let me know. Make sure you come back next month when I interview Kristin Ohmdahl!

Other designers in this series:

Jocelyn Sass

Shelby Allaho

Janet Brani

Susan Lowman

April Garwood

 

Happy Crocheting!

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3 Simple Steps to Writing Your Own Pattern

 

Have you ever crocheted something and wished you knew how to write a pattern for it? Or do you have dreams of being an aspiring designer? Writing your own pattern doesn’t have to be scary. Here are 3 simple steps to help you get started.

 

3 Simple Steps to Writing Your Own Crochet Pattern

 

3 Simple Steps to
Writing Your Own Pattern

 

We all know there are well written patterns, and then there are patterns that have mistakes, aren’t clear, or are just poorly written. Some of those mistakes can be avoided with a little bit of knowledge and care when you write.

I’ve come up with a 3 step checklist to help you get started. Here they are, in all their simplicity. They seem so obvious, and yet somehow, sometimes, they’re overlooked.

Plan – Plan it out. Think about all the information you will need to provide to the crocheter. Yarn weight/brand, hook size(s), gauge, sizing, difficulty level, etc. Have you used any special stitches that will need instructions written out? Never assume anything. Better to include too much information, than to have some missing.

Do – Make the item and write the pattern. Make sure your written pattern will match your sample. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to purchase a pattern and have the stitch in the written pattern different from the stitch in the sample photos. (Yes, this has happened to me.) Also, you will want to write the pattern so that a beginner could read it. (They may not necessarily have the skill set to do it yet, but they will at least have the confidence to try if it is written well.)

Review – Have someone test your pattern. Sometimes, if it’s a more difficult pattern, I will even have more than one person test it. You may even want to consider having a tech editor look at the pattern for you. (If you’ve never heard of a technical editor, here is some info.) The reason you need others to review, test, and edit it for you is that no matter how well your pattern is written, you know what it is supposed to say, so you can’t be a good judge of how others will read it. An outsider will be able to pick up on things you may miss.

Mistakes do happen – after all we’re human – but there are some things that can be prevented with a little bit of time and care. Take your time to do it right because rushing only results in errors.

Have you ever written your own pattern? Do you plan to in the near future?

P.S. I have a free download sheet for taking notes on patterns you’re writing (or reading). All you need to do is sign up for my newsletter and the pdf will be delivered to your inbox.

Happy Crocheting!

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