Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Piece of Cake - A Self Imposed Deadline

Piece of Cake Potholder
Back on a November 2 blog post I challenged myself to a deadline of December 8th (today, he, he) to create a new design. I decided then that I wanted to make a new potholder, and at not quite the 11th hour, I've finished it :)

I'm really happy with the way it turned out, and I love that it is reversible and looks great on both sides. I will be sending out the pattern to be tested and I am working on getting a pdf file together.

Self imposed deadlines are a really great idea for me, and I was really inspired!

Stay tuned for the pattern listing announcement, and also a new challenge (self imposed of course!) Now I want to eat some cake - nom, nom, nom . . .

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pretty Petaled Placemat and Napkin Ring pdf Crochet Pattern - Perfect for Everyday or Holidays

Pretty Petaled Placemat and Napkin Ring pdf Pattern

I've finally finished up my latest pattern. This is an intermediate crochet pattern, but would be easy enough for anyone familiar with working in rounds. They work up quickly using medium weight yarn and a size I crochet hook. The placemats are designed to be used with 10.5 inch (26.6 cm) dinner plates, but you can easily adjust the pattern to any size. You could even make a tablecloth to match!

I gave a set as a gift to a friend of mine for her birthday and she really loves them. I have a set I use on my own table and I also made a larger size with sits beneath a soup tureen on my buffet table. I really love the way they look, very pretty, but practical for everyday use!

I also worked one up in a white yarn that has silver sparkly threads in it and it is really gorgeous and would be really beautiful for a holiday place setting.

Thanks for checking out my new pattern, and stay tuned for more!

You can purchase this pattern at these links:
My pattern shop - instant downloads
Etsy Listing
Ravelry Listing - also instant downloads, but you must have a Ravelry account and login
My eCrater shop

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Search to Be Square - Part 1

I love to cross stitch on crocheted fabric and I had made an afghan several years ago that featured our family name and a cabin graphic with some pine trees. So when I came across this free KG Chart for Cross Stitch program I got excited and downloaded it. In no time I was able to easily create graph patterns. It is a simple program to master. I drew out a "J" monogram by hand and scanned and imported it into the program. What's great is that this program will create a chart from any image and it is easily editable for stitch placement and color changes. You can also view the chart in "real view" and it looks like an actual cross stitched piece!

Having this program got me to thinking about the crocheted fabric that you cross stitch on and I remember having read somewhere about a "square" crochet stitch. Of course I can't remember where I read that, and searching online was no help. What I do remember from what I read is that using the seed stitch will give you a truer square. Single crochet is fine, but is not truly square being wider than tall. So I worked up a swatch in seed stitch (or the seed stitch as I know it to be). And while I was at it, I decided to work up a simple stitch chart for it using Inkscape which is also a free program.

Here is my swatch pattern:
With a size H (5.0 mm) crochet hook and worsted weight (medium) yarn.
Row 1 (RS): ch 24, sc in 2nd ch from hook, *ch 1, sk next, sc in next. Rep from * across. (23 sts)
Row 2: ch 1, turn, sc in next, sc in next ch1 sp, ch 1, sk next, sc in ch 1 sp. Rep from * across to last, sc in last sc.
Row 3: ch 1, turn, sc in next, *ch 1, sk next, sc in next ch 1 sp. Rep from * across.
Rep rows 2 and 3 alternately for pattern.

Abbreviations used in pattern:
RS - right side, or the side of the fabric you want to show (or face out)
ch - chain
sc - single crochet
sk - skip
sp - space
rep - repeat
My swatch is 23 rows high, and is square - Yay!

Now all I have to do is figure out where the cross stitches should go. To me it doesn't look there is a square pattern in the fabric. *sigh*
I will continue and stitch up some other swatches too; in single crochet, "square" single crochet, and also a Tunisian swatch.

So for now my search to be square continues . . .

Links - KG software - http://www.iktsoft.net/kgchart-en/kgchart/
Inskscape - http://www.inkscape.org/

Monday, November 2, 2009

Creative Challenges: Self Imposed Deadlines

So, my EtsyHookers team Creative Challenge ended today and it got me to thinking that maybe I should have my own personal creative challenges to keep me inspired. I don't enter the team Challenges because I host and set up the voting polls and blog, so maybe it's time to set some deadlines for myself. I do like to enter contests, especially crochet inspired ones, and both of my published patterns were the result of entering contests! Hmm, I think this could be a great idea for me :)

I am in the process of finishing up a new pattern that hopefully will be listed by next week, and I think for my next pattern I would like to design another potholder. The two that I have already completed, my fried egg and jam/jelly jar's, were obviously food inspired. I think I'll stick with that theme.

Okay, so my personal challenge theme is a food inspired potholder, and I'll set the deadline for December 8th. Now that it's "official" and written on my calendar, there are no excuses!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Audiobooks - A Crocheting Reader's Best Friend

There's nothing like having a few spare moments to relax and crochet. For a big reader like myself, I like to use this time to get some “reading” done too. While there is some controversy whether listening to audios is actually considered reading, I find it's a great companion for crochet, plus I get to listen to some really great books!

Having a library card gives me access to many great titles to choose from. My library also has several formats available; CD's to checkout, MP3, WMA and iPod compatible downloads, plus new Playaways.

So if you haven't yet had the pleasure of listening while you crochet, visit your local library and see what they have to offer. You'll be pleasantly surprised!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Holiday Weekend Crochet - yay!

With the Labor Day weekend gearing up I am hoping that I will have some time to work on new projects! I have a pretty placemat pattern I am working on and a cute Halloween project. I have quite a few books I want to read too.

Speaking of books, I have been looking at Robyn Chachula's Blueprint Crochet. What an awesome book! It is geared toward visual crocheters and has symbol crochet patterns for her lovely designs. I myself have designed a symbol pattern as a bonus to go along with my Star Wash Cloth and Face Scrubbie pdf, and I can honestly say that I haven't found an easy way to create these charts. Kudos to Chachula for her awesome and fresh designs! I think that symbol charts are making a comeback!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fuzzy Duster - A New Pattern!

I really love the convenience of my Swiffer duster, but I really hate paying for refills. After creating the replacement covers for my floor mop (which can also be used with the floor duster), I decided to try my hand at the hand held duster covers. I really like the way they turned out! Fringed or fuzzy (I'm partial to fuzzy myself =) they work great! Plus I can feel good that they are reusable and eco friendly. Easy care, machine wash and dry too. Right now I just have the crochet pdf pattern listed in my shop, but I will be listing the actual dusters too.

It is a fun pattern to make - I know it's only a duster! But it's a great way to learn the loop stitch, and who doesn't love fluffy fuzzy goodness?
Click here for the floor cover pdf and I also sell the covers in this section of my shop.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

RedBerryCrochet.com - My New Website, Etsy Linked!

Several weeks ago I stumbled across an Etsy article in the Storque about developers who have created applications specifically for Etsy users. Here I found Soopsee, and I'm so glad I did! I am able to have a home website, RedBerryCrochet.com, that not only features my shop listings, but also can connect browsers with all the other places that I am on the net in my Stockists section.

It is easy to maintain, and has several themes to choose from. With a click of the button I can update my shop listings, and also click on individual items that will automatically post on my Twitter page. I can also set it to automatically feed new items to Twitter. Plus, I can also view my stats, including number of shop hearts, blog posts, Twitter updates, and sales. And Soopsee now allows Google Analytics. I also upgraded to a Sooper Account which offers even more options.

This was a quick and easy option instead of setting up a website completely on my own, which I don't know if I would ever get aroung to. Soopsee is new and still in closed beta, which means that you need a code to sign up without having to wait for the site to open up. If you are interested in signing up for Soopsee right away, before you do convo me at my RedBerryCrochet shop. I have the code available for the first 5 people that respond.

Try Soopsee, it's free, and best of all you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Christmas in July Sale going on now!

My EtsyHookers team Christmas in July Sales event is going on now and lasts until midnight tonight, July 15th. See my shop for some great deals, and all my pdf patterns are BOGO Free!

Click here for Christmas in July: RedBerryCrochet and here for a complete list of participating shops.

Ho, ho, ho, Hookers!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Pssst - Christmas in July Sales Event is coming soon!

Xmas in July banner

The EtsyHookers crochet team is gearing up and getting ready for the 1st annual Christmas in July Sales Event. Many shops will be participating, and the event starts at 6 pm EST on July 15th. So why not join us, get some great deals, and save yourself from the hustle and bustle of last minute shopping.

Monday, June 29, 2009

New Crochet Patterns!

I have made this star wash cloth and face scrubbies to sell in my Etsy shop for a few years now and I recently decided to offer my pattern for sale. But, I couldn't leave it at that, for some reason I got it into my head that I was going to create a symbol crochet pattern chart to go along with the written instructions. Wow! What an adventure that was! It literally took me weeks to figure out how I was going create the chart. But happily I did, and I am very proud and pleased with how it turned out!

The duster or mop head replacement pattern came about after looking through a magazine and seeing a knit pattern they had for sale. From the picture I couldn't figure how it would ever stay on while you were using it. The pattern was only for the duster, and I wanted to be able to use it on my mop as well. So, I decided to make my own pattern. This cover I designed fits snugly, and is made of acrylic yarn, which washes and wears very well. Super easy care - just toss it in the washing machine to clean.

I've also changed my logo and banner, and created a website:


It's been a busy and challenging few weeks, but I'm excited to have the new patterns finished. And stay tuned! I have more patterns in the works!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Chicken Update - my happy girls!

It's been awhile since I've posted about our chickens. I had good intentions of taking pictures of them every week, but well . . . things happen, lol!

Anyway, here are a few pictures of them at 5 weeks (they are now 9 weeks - already!) And they are all happy and healthy.

It is a real joy to watch them, there's something comforting and soothing about their contented chirps and sounds they make. That is until one decides to peck the other - then all heck breaks loose!

Friday, June 12, 2009

BOGO Free! Crochet pdf Patterns - Cute Patterns for the Home

As part of the Yart Sale I am having in my Etsy shop, I am offering a Buy One Get One Free special on crochet pdf patterns. These are my own original designs, and I have patterns for beginning to intermediate crocheters. The sale runs through June 14th. Stop in and check them out :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yart Sale! Etsy Wide Sales Extravaganza!

Shop Etsy now through June 14 for some fabulous sales! What the heck is yart, you may be wondering? Yart is the combination of yard + art = yart! Pretty clever, and you can easily find great bargains from many sellers by searching keyword "yart" on Etsy.

My shop, Red Berry Crochet is participating. I have a special section of marked down items:
YART Sale Items, and I will be adding more items to it throughout the sale. So check back often! I am also offering BOGO Free on my crochet pdf patterns. They are all my own original designs, and if you love to crochet, it's a great deal - how could you resist?

So repeat after me, yart, yart, yart - now you've got it! Happy shopping!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Special Delivery! The Baby Chicks Have Arrived

Our new baby chicks have arrived - delivered right through the USPS! I got an early morning call that the chicks were at the post office waiting to be picked up. Here's a picture of the box before I opened them up:

Cute fuzzy babies, all 25 of them.

We ordered 10 Buff Orpingtons, 10 Barred Rocks (black chicks) and 5 New Hampshire Reds. It's been a few years since we've had chickens, so we are uber excited!

I will post pics as they grow - they grow very quickly, and before you know it, we'll have lovely brown eggs to enjoy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wild Weekend Weather - Yikes!

The ongoing joke here in Michigan is if you are tired of the weather, just give it a minute . . .

Saturday was no exception with clear sunny skies and warm temperatures, until the afternoon thunderstorms hit. We had winds of up to 70 miles an hour! I know that's nothing compared to a tornado, but I am always afraid of the high winds. We have so many older trees on our place and surrounding our house. We had only 1 casualty, this 45 foot tall pine. Thankfully it fell in an open area away from Steve's shop.

Amazingly we didn't lose power - at least not until Sunday evening around 5:30 pm. We had some thunderstorms on Sunday, but nothing like those of the previous day. Seems strange to me that the power went out, but happily it was back up by 11:30 pm.

Steve managed to get quite a bit cleaned up on Sunday.

Today is a very blustery day out, with high temps in the mid 80's. More thunderstorms are predicted overnight and temperatures tomorrow will be - hold on give it a minute - in the 50's!
Yikes! There's nothing like Michigan weather to keep you in suspense ;)

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Amigurumi Chickens of Red Berry Farm

Meet the chickens of Red Berry Farm!

Red Rooster has a colorful tail that he likes to flash around the barn yard, and Berry Hen with her gorgeous red comb is the apple of his eye. Baby EggB is a little shy and hasn't decided if he's ready to come completely come out his shell, but he's on his feet and testing the world.

These cute chicken patterns are an easy project for those familiar with working in rounds, and require medium weight yarns and sizes G and H crochet hooks.
Finished sizes of completed chickens will be:
Red Rooster: 5 inches tall including comb, 3 1/2 inches wide
Berry Hen: 4 inches tall including comb, 3 1/4 inches wide
Baby EggB: 2 3/4 inches tall, 2 inches wide

I really enjoyed making these chickens, they are so much fun! It was my first experience creating amigurumi (Japanese word which loosely translated means crocheted small stuffed doll), and I hope to explore the world of amigurumi much more. Enjoy!

Monday, March 30, 2009

New RedBerryCrochet Patterns

It's amazing how quickly time can get away from you! Here are two patterns that I have listed in my Etsy shop since my last blog update:

This is an intermediate crochet pattern requiring simple color changes and embroidery. Requires 100% cotton yarns and a size G hook. Finished size of your potholder will be 6 3/4 inches (17 cm) wide by 7 1/2 inches (19 cm) tall. This pattern includes complete instructions, color photos, and embroidery charts for both the Jam and Jelly labels in a pdf file. My patterns also include a Helps & Hints section on the last page which explain and show (with photographs) techniques and steps that may be unfamiliar to you. Also included are explanations of special stitches and a list of abbreviations used in the pattern.

This is an easy beginner crochet pattern that requires worsted (medium) weight yarn and a size K crochet hook. These blankets are a Quick to Stitch project and the pattern includes complete instructions and color photos in a pdf file. The finished size of your pet blanket will be 19 inches across by 19 1/2" tall. I also include easy instructions for you to customize your blanket and make it as large as you wish.

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for more fun crochet patterns!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jelly Jar Potholder - A brand new shop item!

Newly listed tonight, this Jelly Jar potholder is just too "sweet"! I had so much fun making my fried egg potholder, that I decided to make some new designs, all with a country flair. I will also be listing a Jam Jar version of this in different colors. Designing new patterns is truly my passion and for my "hooker" friends I will also be adding a pdf crochet pattern of both versions for sale this week.