Friday, January 25, 2013

New Pattern Available: Beaded Cluster Bracelet

Here's the other bracelet pattern I've been promising. It's for a beaded cluster bracelet.

The pattern essentially clusters beads into five sections. It also uses the same stitch as my pattern from yesterday. (See that pattern here.) If you have problems figuring out the Solomon's or Lover's knot, you can find a video of it here: Solomon's Knot Video. The video doesn't show the stitch with beads though. I'd recommend practicing the stitch with yarn before working with wire. Removing stitches from wire can be difficult, and if done too many times, it can reduce the integrity of the wire causing it to break. 

You can download the pattern here: download now  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New Pattern Available: Beads and Triangles Bracelet

A few days ago I posted about a bracelet I made. Here's a pattern for it. It's made using what is called the Solomon's knot or love/lover's knot. You can find a video of how to do that here:

You can find the link to download the pattern here: download now 

I'll be posting the other bracelet pattern soon. :)  If you have any questions, please let me know. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Crochet Creative Process and Recent Experiments

The past few days I've realized that my creative process is probably not one many people share. When I first started to crochet, I thought about how great it would be to write my own patterns. Of course, I felt that I never knew enough to write any. The more I crochet, the more comfortable I get with experimenting with it. It's that experimenting that leads me to create some of the things I do.

A few years ago and after working with many different patterns, I started noticing a pattern among the patterns I was working. A scarf for example could be worked going horizontally or vertically, or a pattern or repetition of stitches within a pattern could be recalculated to be used in something else. Knowing this, it then becomes about being brave enough to try it. I tell many of my students that with crochet nothing is ever permanent until you've finished it off. With yarn, you can always start a project, do a few rows, experiment a little and rip it all out and start over. (This is a little harder when working with wire.)  If something doesn't work you can try recalculating your pattern or changing your stitch pattern/combination until you find one that works.

Recently, I've been playing with wire crochet and beads. With wire, this process is a little more complicated. The wire might bend making it difficult to take stitches out. If you do manage to take stitches out, you can only work with a section of wire so many times before the integrity of the wire weakens and eventually causes the wire to break. At some point you just have to decide if continuing is worth it, or if you can salvage what you can and start over to try again.

I usually find it easier if I try to draw it out before starting. My husband actually found one of my charts (for a pair of earrings that didn't work out so well) and asked me if I was planning on playing football. It was a bunch of x's for the single crochet stitches and an upside down J at the top to simulate the hook. I also wanted to add beads, so I had some of the x's with squares around them to mark where I wanted the beads. Nonetheless, I thought it was funny that he asked me that. :)

Here are just a few of the things that I've created. In the past few days.

A bracelet using love knots. I'll post the pattern for it soon.

Another version of a bracelet with love knots. I'll post this pattern soon as well.

 Some granny squares that will be earrings when I add them to the earring hooks. I got the idea to try it from a pattern on Ravelry. I added the beads.

Flower earrings, again from a pattern I found from Ravelry.

Wire crochet flower rings. I have yet to actually write this pattern down yet, but it's pretty easy.

Everyone has their own way of doing things. This way has worked for me so far.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Class Descriptions

I've had a few people wondering what is taught in my Michaels crochet classes. I've added a special page with the listing of classes with a brief descriptions of each. If you still have questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Click here to see the listing. 

These classes are taught at Michaels stores in Normal, IL and Peoria, IL. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Discounts on Central Illinois (Peoria and Normal, IL) Crochet Classes

Michaels is offering 25% off crochet classes if you register January 12 or 13th, 2013! Now's a great time to learn something new. Sign up for as many classes as you want and get the discount on each class.  

I've updated my class schedules and there's plenty to choose from! See my classes page for a current schedule of crochet classes in Peoria and Normal, IL.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Recent crochet adventures

I have been looking for some quick patterns lately and came across these jewelry patterns. I modified the white necklace slightly. The pink one is the only one that doesn't involve wire. I really like the gold bracelet. It's made with what I've seen called the Afghan stitch. This stitch helps give the bracelet a smoother side and a slightly rougher side. I haven't tried it yet, but I've heard that going over a wire crochet piece with a rolling pin helps to smooth out any rough spots.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ruffle Yarns: More than just scarves

Ruffle yarns, like Red Heart's Sashay yarn, have been really popular lately. It takes a while to get used to working with the yarn, but once you do, it's fun to work with. The first project I made with it was a scarf. It seemed like most people were making scarves with it. I have been wondering what else could be made with this yarn for a while now. In a recent issue of Crochet! magazine, there was a pattern for a ruffle clutch/purse. I decided that I had to see how it would work.

Initially the bag starts with just using one stand of regular worsted weight yarn. To get the ruffles, the sides of the bag are worked with the ruffle yarn AND the worsted weight yarn together. This took me a while to get used to, and I'm still a little slow at it, but I really like how it worked. The sides are pretty dense and thick because of the two yarns.
Work in progress:

The completed project:

The final project used two skeins of ruffle yarn and one skein of a main color. This project has me thinking of so many other things that could be made with ruffle yarns. For example, a decorative pillow would get some added softness with the yarn. (Though the yarn may snag on earrings or jewelry or anything else. Not to mention that my puppies would love to chew on it. However, that's just the nature of the ruffle yarns.) This pattern could easily inspire additional bag/purse projects with less (or even more) ruffles.
Look for a class on Ruffle Yarns if you'd like additional help with working with these specialty yarns.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Google+ Community

Hello everyone! I recently created a group or community on Google+ called "Central Illinois Crocheters." If you're on Google+ please feel free to join it and share your ideas and pictures of your work. You can also use it as a resource to get help on projects or for inspiration for your next project. If you don't like sharing your work, feel free to lurk around until you do.  :)

I'm hoping to arrange for some sit 'n stitch groups as well, so it's a great opportunity to get to know other crocheters in the area.