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Angelarae Knits: March 2011

Angelarae Knits

...and Crochets

My Photo
Location: Raleigh, NC, United States

Hello! Welcome to my Blog! I live and enjoy the fibery crafts here, in Raleigh, NC with my husband and 5 children! I love to share patterns, tips, and recipes along with my spinning from time to time. I hope you'll enjoy your time here and stick around a bit!

Friday, March 25, 2011

New Header

Well, I am mighty proud of myself. Forgetting that I did this spending half the day in my pajamas and accomplishing nothing else, I created the new blog banner you see above! I used this tutorial and my Picasa Photo software. I think it came out great. Maybe, now that I have done this successfully once, I will be able to create another banner for my Etsy shop with little effort. I hope so. I have other projects that need my attention, for example, a sock pattern that I have been working on forever, but am determined to complete this weekend. There are also a couple of other patterns I have been tinkering with and need to get to. My poor computer looks like this:

I have an ancient and slow computer and it takes a loooong time to create charts, write patterns, etc.... But, until I make my fortune, I won't be able to get a new one, so I continue to plug along. Here, I am laboring to make a chart for the stitch pattern you see here. But, thanks to Wendy Johnson's tutorial and the neat-o knit fonts I got from ARDesign, I did make a chart for the pattern. I am happy with it, too, and with just about everything else in this pattern, except that my .pdf conversion software isn't transferring links from the Word document to the .pdf file. I really want the tutorial links to work.

For now, I am knitting this pair you see pictured here from the charts and patterns I've written.
So far, so good. I will be selling this pattern, called "Ornamental," very soon. So look for it:)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Working....Or Am I

So, here is a sample of the conversation I had with my 9 yr-old daughter, Emma.
"Mommy, will you make me some tea?"
"In a few, minutes, Emma. I'm working right now."
"But you're crocheting..."
"That is working, honey. I'm writing a new pattern."
"You're crocheting...you like to crochet. That isn't working"
So, am I working? It's funny, I really feel like I am releasing some kind of pent up energy I've had for years. I started out with crochet. My grandmother taught me to chain with a hook and cast on stitches to knitting needles and knit them off in one afternoon. I didn't pick up either again until I was in my 30's. I taught myself to crochet, first. I did mainly dish cloths, granny squares, one afghan, and then moved on to doilies. I liked to buy Easy Knitting + Crochet magazine and try projects in there. Then I bought Melanie Falick's Kid's Knitting and learned some basic techniques from her and Debbie Bliss' How To Knit book. I made a bookbag, eyeglass cases for DH, hairbands, and a few knitted projects from the aforementioned Easy Knitting Mag.
(For some reason, I am thinking that was a Family Circle publication).
Put the yarn down again, for a while, and when I picked it up again in 2005, I never looked back. I have had an absolute blast! While most has been for fun, I have discovered a writing fetish when it comes to the knitting and the crochet. I have discovered that writing on these topics is effortless. You write what you know. You write from your experience. You write about what you love. Well, that's easy. I love God, I love my family, I love yarn and anything to do with it.
And now, I am actually beginning to take the yarn-y part seriously and look to make it my life's work. So, I feel fulfilled, yes, finally, like I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, and also, I seem to be looking over my shoulder, saying, "Really? It's okay for me to do this? I really am doing this? I really am going to make a living at this?" Time will tell, but I have a feeling, I really have a feeling that I will. "Do what you love, and the money will follow." Julia Cameron, I think.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Design 101: Blackberry Snuggie

I call it that because it really is more of a snuggie than it is a cozy. To me, a cosy should be snug fitting, which is what I intended, but that wasn't what I got. Here's a picture of how the project started. An excellent idea...how often have you seen a thread cellphone cozy?

Then, I thought it might be clever to have shallow sides to the piece...so I made sides for the top piece, like so....

Then one for the bottom....

And this is how it came out. Not bad, but it is loose, as I said. I will type up the pattern and post as free. Though I am going to modify so that it fits more like a cozy than a snuggie:)

Friday, March 04, 2011

Student of Design 101

Working hard lately on a couple of designs and it got me thinking.... First, there are many things that could be done with a new crochet design. I could sell the pattern, I could post it for free, I could submit it to one of the print or online crochet magazines, or maybe even a yarn company. I have noted several designers who have done all four. So, here's my question....how do you decide? I am relatively new to the design world. I have a couple patterns out there, all free, Gingerbread Hat, being one. I am trying to break into the Crochet/Knit industry. Right now, I am working on a small project, a Blackberry case. I need one and, of course, I want it to be stylish. I have my idea and sketches and now I am executing. The next step will be to write it up and then decide where it goes. I have considered my time investment (all of a day) and the cleverness of the design (eh...a little, I guess) and whether or not if I had seen it, I'd want it. (yes, definitely) Would I pay for it? (Yes). I'd love to hear from fellow designers on this question, not for the current design in question only, but for any design project. Anyone is welcome to give their opinion. What do you think?