Friday, September 20, 2013

In the works and finished objects....

While the Royal Hare Apparent is being finalized folks are beginning to test Princess Ursa Minor. She's similar to the other bigfooted critters but a little different too. The pattern will include the usual stuffing tutorial as well as a detailed embroidery & tutu tutorial, ( that's kind of fun to say out loud).

The Blackberry Salad throw is progressing nicely. The bobble stitch is a LOT of fun. I keep seeing an all white version of this throw, it would bring to mind the old fashioned hobnail milk glass of old, like the vase from  pictured here...

Hmmmm, good baby blanket idea perhaps and a hobnail vase full of flowers for Mom.

I have 2 berets out on the site. Both used Red Heart Detroit, which is an acrylic DK yarn. I really enjoyed using these yarns.

Best Friend Crochet Beret

So that's it for now.

TGIF y'all!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What's cookin'

Blackberry Salad. What a fun pattern. I can't get enough of crochet form, I mean. This project is a commission for someone whose friend is undergoing breast cancer treatment. The instructions were to make something colorful. I think this fits the requirement. And what a fun project it is. I am loving the bumpy bobble stitches and the garish color scheme. It's been a while since I've worked on a color scheme like this and doing so always makes me happy. I am making it extra large for extra warmth and coziness and am about a third of the way done.

Next we have Antarktis. Very nice pattern.... it's lace for the inexperienced lace knitter...that would be me. I am a closet lace-knitter-wannabe but every time I give it a try I get frustrated and give up. The yarn is so tiny and hard to manipulate. Still, I'd like to be able to complete just ONE lacy knitted project before I hang up my knitting needles.

This is being  knitted in some gorgeous medium blue lace weight cashmere that I have been hoarding. It's coming along slowly but that is partially because I am not working on it regularly. Maybe once the weather cools there may be a new incentive to "git 'er done".

Finally my Royal Hare pattern is being tested by the WONDERFUL testers from the Ravelry Testing Pool group and should be ready for release very soon. They have a different head shaping than my other big footed critters, more of a pear shape. I like to add something different to each of my big footed critter patterns so that it is an entirely different pattern, (well almost entirely....the legs & feet are always the same).

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

This just IN...Co-purr-nicus is ALIVE...

Testing is completed & Co-purr-nicus is raring to go.

Co-purr-nicus is the 2nd critter from my big-footed critter collection and a best buddy of Ptolemy the 'eddy.

You can find this 11 page pattern  in my Ravelry pattern store & soon on Craftsy. It is FULL of tutorials, photos & extras including a free customized stuffing tutorial & optional glasses customization.

As always, I couldn't have completed this pattern without the invaluable help of some very talented testers & editors from the Testing Pool on Ravelry!! They are the BEST!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ptolemy the 'eddy has some inner secrets he wants to share...

My Ptolemy pattern went live yesterday. I'm very excited about him and some of his friends, such as Copurrnicus, who will be joining him in the very near future.

Ptolemy is a huggable sized, floppy rag-doll type creature with skinny legs & over-sized feet. He is knit in the round with minimal seaming required as his head, torso, legs & feet are ALL worked as one.

He also has a VERY easy face, just eyes. In this case the eyes are comprised of a set of stacked buttons; an extra large white button on the bottom & a smaller blue button on the top for the iris. The good thing about this simple facial feature is that he is easily customized to your own tastes. My original prototype lay around the house for several months without a face at all & frankly I kind of liked him that way as well.

 I had help from some wonderful test knitters from the Testing Pool on Ravelry & each one of them did something different for their Ptolemy's eyes. It's funny how something as simple as the buttons one chooses can make all the difference. I love ALL of the test knit versions which can be viewed on the Ptolemy link at the beginning of this post.
The pattern has written instructions and photo tutorials where needed. It also includes a free customized stuffing tutorial designed to allow for firm stuffing while maintaining all of that shaping you so meticulously knit, (only to have it stretch out once you stuff the critter when stuffed the "regular way"). I will never again stuff my toys the "old way".


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Super Sized Super Saver® Christmas is LIVE...

OK so I didn't quite make it for "Christmas in July" but here they are. I know, "don't show me ANYTHING about Christmas this early in the year, we're still wearing bathing suits & using the air conditioner". But if you are so inclined to do all of your holiday crafting early, here you go.  And then there may be some of you who participate as vendors in fall craft sales to whom summer always means Christmas crafting. Not to worry, this collection is so fast to make that you can complete the entire set in a week's worth of evening crocheting,

My Super Sized Super Saver® Christmas pattern collection can be found in my Ravelry store & soon to be on Craftsy. The price includes all four of the projects.

So what about Ptolemy & Copurrnicus? Well Ptolemy is on the very verge of his coming out party & he is really excited. 

Here are some project photos taken by the very talented knitting tester & tech editor, ChoiSOSS, from the Ravelry testing pool, of her version of Ptolemy. 
He's a bit shy at first....

"Hey! somebody get that critter a Mint Julep, would ya'?"
 It looks as though some one else enjoy relaxing on the veranda, huh? 
He looks like he owns the place.

There will be more details about Ptolemy & Copurrnicus in later posts. They have some inner secrets that I would just love to share, (and in fact DO share, in the pattern).

Until then, have a great week everybody!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Meanwhile, up at the north pole...

As Ptolemy & Copurrnicus ponder the mysteries of the universe; dark matter, do pulsars really pulse & why the "P" in Ptolemy is silent, something is afoot at the North Pole...

Eh hmmm, errr, make that the "SOUTH" pole. 

My new pattern booklet entitled "Super Sized Super Saver®Christmas" is all tested and ready to go, almost. First we have to do a little photo shoot for the cover, hopefully to get people in mind of the holidays and not swimming pools.

The booklet includes 4 super sized projects that are SUPER fast, SUPER simple & SUPER affordable using Red Heart Super Saver®worsted weight yarn. 

The booklet wouldn't have been possible if it hadn't been for the wonderful support & skills of a very large group of test crocheter's from the Testing Pool group on Ravelry. I've said it before...this group is fantastic!

I'm hoping to release the booklet this weekend, if all goes as planned.

Until then TGIF & have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ptolemy & Co-purr-nicus are almost ready....

But first a little housekeeping....

Ptolemy testing is mostly complete & I can't wait for you to see what the testers have come up with in terms of color combinations,eyes,construction tips and more....

Copurrnicus is being tested now and is proving to be a fast knit. Hurray for that!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Contemplating the silent "P"....

Some wonderful knitters from the Testing Pool on Ravelry have been busily helping me test a few new toy patterns. One such critter is "Ptolemy the "eddy". He is scheduled to be published by (hopefully) August 5th. The pattern includes a free copy of my stuffing tutorial as well as a LOT of photographs for all of you visual learners, (of which I am certainly ONE).

This time, the testing group & I are testing right in the open, since the pattern will be self-published anyway. It's so much easier this way as we can openly chat without sending group emails & such. True there won't be the drama of a big reveal but "what the hey".

This current design is one that I had been thinking about for a long time. I tried to design a toy that had less seaming thus reducing the "fiddliness factor" and I also wanted to improve my stuffing techniques. Firm stuffing is so much better for a stuffed toy & yet it can really stretch all of that wonderful shaping to where it is almost non-existent, in some cases. 

Ptolemy is a creature of unknown origins, (is he a bear? a dog? who knows?), When I look at him I see the basis on which to build many different kinds of critters, with the addition of differently shaped ears, a tail or what-have-you. Or leave them off, add some hair, eyes & a mouth and you have a dolly. 

We are also testing Ptolemy's sidekick & co-conspirator, "Copurrnicus", a similarly shaped cat with a big I.Q.  Rounding out the trio of big-footed, "science nerds" is a bunny who is not even at the testing phase yet.

In addition, I have a HUGE group testing a booklet of (4) Christmas designs that is also planned for publication some time in August. These are all crocheted & are super easy & super fast. More about them later.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Just like London but with grits...

Here's  a new attraction that recently opened up at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. Isn't it pretty? I just hope the pods are air conditioned.

The following is a secret WIP. It's a floor mat for my husbands' Bama inspired powder room. I'm using the crochet hounds tooth pattern from the scarf design found here by Kathy Lashley.

(Incidentally, the scarf from which I borrowed the hounds tooth pattern is ADORABLE, might just have to make myself one after I finish this mat).

At any rate it's working up very quickly. After achieving just the right size, (whatever that will be), I will add a crimson border & the Alabama script "A", hopefully. The final step will be to work out some slip resistance. Don't want anyone hurt, especially on game days, as they'd have to wait until the game was over before anyone would deign to tear themselves away from the TV in order drive them to the emergency room.  Roll Tide.

Speaking of WIP's, I've got some critters being tested by the wonderful folks from the Testing Pool on Ravelry. One set of designs is actually a collection of fast & whimsical crocheted Christmas patterns. The other is a critter named "Ptolemy the 'eddy". Both patterns are scheduled for an early August release date.

Many thanks to all of you who participated in my July 23rd pattern promotion on Ravelry. It was a great success, I think.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Happy Birthday to Y.O.U.!

Let's celebrate July birthdays with a free offer. Choose any one of my patterns in my Ravelry pattern store for FREE, no purchase necessary ALL day on Tuesday, July 23, 2013. Woohoooo!

Happy Happy!

Friday, July 19, 2013

No Excuses...

.......But I do have a new pattern and several that have been published in recent months. First up, my newest self published pattern called "Pork Belly". He is a 13" tall knitted pig who just happens to also be a candy-stealing pirate. He is worked in the round and the pattern includes a free 3 page stuffing tutorial, full of photos as well as written directions.
 The eye patch is removable but he thinks that it makes him look "tough". When not stealing candy he likes to read about pirates at the library....

You can find the pattern on Ravelry & Craftsy.

Pork Belly was a fun knit and the special shaping helped him retain his rounded shape but I couldn't have done it without the assistance of some very clever & patient test knitters from the Testing Pool on Ravelry. The group is comprised of 8749 eager, positive, helpful knitters (and crocheters) who provide this wonderful service basically free of charge, for the most part. Certainly there are some testers who charge or who would love to get paid to knit/crochet. 

But this particular group of five testers worked with me & my pattern for the mere payment of a free pattern and I suppose, the eagerness to get to knit it first, before it is released, which can be exciting. Still, what would this kind of technical support be worth? I'm certain that I would not be able to afford it. So thank you again test knitters, for your generous time & effort!

More we await the birth of the newest royal are some new baby items...crocheted using a new yarn by Red Heart called Anne Geddes Baby Yarn. It is a soft, washable sport weight that comes in a huge array of beautiful colors.

The patterns are all free and can be found on the website.  

While you're visiting the be sure to search all of the royal baby designs for just the right baby gift for the royal heir in your life.