Sunday, September 19, 2010

Crochet Geometric Washcloths

A few years ago I designed some geometric washcloths for a book - and I had such a lot of fun making them! My purpose was to show crocheters how to crochet 3 shapes, a square, a triangle, and a circle, all starting from the middle and working outward. I used cotton yarn, in different colors and different patterns, making 2 variations for each washcloth. I just found out that these patterns are available for free, on-line, here.
You can use these wash or dish cloths for more than washing dishes, though. I have one underneath a basket on my dining room table, because I don't want the table to get scratched. I also keep one on my counter to put various things on, and use one on my table to put under the salad bowl. They're good for coasters, and you can use them whenever you want to protect the finish of a table or countertop. They put a little pizazz into the kitchen. And dining room. You can make them with any colors to match your kitchen, and for holidays. (I have a red, white and blue circle.) They're quick and easy to make, and make great presents, too.
Hope you try them! And if you do, I'd love to see some pictures.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Crochet Dude(r) - Sunday, September 19, 2010

If you want to find out about The Crochet Dude (r) and his new book, I'll be blogging and posting about him and it on Sunday, September 19, 2010, on my other blog: the crochet doctor (tm). Well, I may post late Saturday night, Eastern Daylight Time, so check the blog then. Until then, read the other blogs that have posted on the blog tour. Find out about them on the Dude's blog. And get to know all sides of the Dude!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Caron Dazzleaire

This past weekend I had a pleasant "yarn" surprise. I had been happy to hear a few weeks ago that Caron Yarn had brought back their Dazzleaire yarn. I remember using it back when, (years ago) and really liking it's softness. In fact, one of the first sweaters I crocheted for myself that I actually wore, I crocheted in Dazzleaire. The denim blue color. I wore it so much, I actually wore a hole in the side of it. So when I found out that they brought the yarn back, and in a bulky weight, I had to get me some to swatch with. I was happy to see that the crochet hook they recommended on the ball band was not the same mm size as the knitting needles they recommended. Which meant to me that the company knows something about the crochet stitch – that it's thicker than a knit stitch, and the crochet hook that is used to get the recommended gauge on the ball band should be about 2 sizes larger than the knitting needle size that's recommended. And it was. One point for Caron.
So, on Saturday, I took the skein I had of "Linen", which is an off-white color, and started crocheting with it. With the recommended hook size – an L/11 (8mm) hook. I forgot that I was wearing black. (I was at the gym, on the recumbent bike, where I like to work and swatch while I get my aerobic exercise.) I thought that I would be covered in off-white fuzz when I was through, like what often happens with other soft yarns like this. But – much to my surprise, there was no fuzz. I didn't have to brush anything, no stray threads or fuzz, off of my lap. Yay! Score another point for Caron.
While I was crocheting, I had to do some frogging (ripping out a "design decision"). When I do this with other fuzzy yarns, I have to be very careful, because the "fuzz" tends to wrap together, and it's difficult to undo. With Dazzleaire, however, I found it fairly easy to undo, as long as I didn't try to speed things up and just rip away. I took it slow and steady, and my "design decision" came out easily. Score another point for Caron.
Since Saturday, I've used some other colors of Dazzleaire in swatches, and so far, none of them have left any fuzzy bits. That means it's a super yarn for sweaters and scarves - it won't shed on your clothes.
I am really excited about this yarn. It works up very quickly – so what a great yarn it is for last minute baby or full-size afghans. And hats, scarves, sweaters. You name it!   :-D

Check out this swatch I did - look at the stitch definition, which is good, even though the yarn is fuzzy. 

And here's a close-up of the same swatch.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Crochet Your New Favorite Sweater

One of my most favorite sweaters - I call it the Spiderweb Sweater - is also one of the top ten patterns downloaded from Interweave Crochet. And now, it's in an e-book from Interweave.
You can also read a little about the sweater on the CrochetMe blog, by the editor of Interweave Crochet, Marcy Smith.
Here are 3 versions of the sweater that I made for myself. I have many more!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Across The Board Crochet Pattern Booklet

I recently got back from the Crochet Guild of America's national Chain Link Conference in Manchester, NH. There was a lot happening, and I'll write about all the wonderful events in future posts. But in this one, I want to tell you about something I'm really proud of - the new pattern booklet from the CGOA Board of Directors that we presented for the very first time at the conference. It's called "Across the Board Crochet: Original designs from your CGOA Board of Directors". The seven members of the board each donated one of their designs for this booklet, which will be available for download only, to new and renewing members of the Crochet Guild. This is the cover of the book:

And this is the pattern I contributed. It's a tote bag, of course! :-)

This is the second booklet from the CGOA Board. The first, which was offered last year to new and renewing members, is retired now. These booklets are especially dear to my heart - because not only did I contribute an original pattern to each, I helped tech edit both of them, and I edited both of them.

If you want to know more about joining CGOA so you can get this booklet free, go to the CGOA web site. The information should be available in early August.

Oh - the Board Members are:
Carol ALexander (Vice President of COGA, editor Crochet! Magazine)
Cari Clement (Caron Yarns)
Marty Miller (me - President of CGOA, Emerald Isle Designs)
Jane Rimmer
Amy Shelton (Treasurer of CGOA, Crochetville)
Barbara Van Elsen
Karen Whooley (Secretary of CGOA, KRW Knitwear)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Crochet Patterns

At long last - I can tell you the good news that happened at TNNA in Long Beach this past January. Annie's Attic is carrying Emerald Isle Designs - 4 of my crocheted patterns, one of Jane's crocheted patterns. You can download them, or buy a hard copy. Which makes it really easy to get the patterns. The patterns are in the May 2010 catalog, which is on-line NOW. Check it out at Annie's Attic
These are the designs that Annie's Attic is carrying:

These first four are my patterns:
Easy Hat

Not Your Granny's Sweater #1

Go To Sweater #3

Side to Side Sweater #1

This is Jane's pattern:
Sea and Sand Sun Hat, by Jane Schwartz

Click on the Annie's Attic link to find out more about the patterns, see other views, and to place your order. Once you're at the site, look for the current catalog - May 2010. The patterns are on page 4.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March is National Crochet Month!

I could have called this post "Crochet Resolution", because that is what the projects jumbled together in the above picture are a result of. My New Year's Crochet Resolution. I decided to go shopping in my stash this year. (That doesn't mean that I won't buy any yarn, it just means that I will use some of my stash - to make room for new yarns!) My resolution: each month, at least, no matter how busy I am, I will pick one of my bags or storage boxes of yarn, and crochet something(s) using all the yarn that's in it. It can be anything - a sweater, a tote, a scarf, an afghan. Whatever. I can make it for me, or for my pattern line - Emerald Isle Designs - or for a present. I can do more than one box or bag of yarn a month, if I have time. And, I will try to donate yarn to local groups that make projects for charities. And, I will finish some of my unfinished projects.

The jumbled mess in the picture is what I've done so far. There is a finished sweater on the bottom of the pile. And a finished scarf (soon to be in my pattern line), and two totes that have to be felted. Then, there is another sweater that has to have an edging crocheted on, and the ends woven in, and one more tote that needs the ends woven in, also. (This is slated for my pattern line, too.) The two totes that need felting - they are projects that I had almost completed - and I just had to crochet the straps. The design is in the pattern line - Grab & Go Tote. The sweater that's finished - I started and completed it in February. It's my Go To Sweater #1, from my pattern line. The other sweater is also from my pattern line - Go To Sweater #3. So - I have 2 new patterns, and 6 projects completed, or just about completed. And I donated 3 bags of yarn. Not bad for 2 months!

What, you may ask, does this have to do with National Crochet Month? I'm declaring this year National Crochet Year! I'm going to continue using up my stash, finishing my unfinished projects, crocheting in public whenever I can, supporting yarn companies by buying yarn, supporting designers by buying their books and publications, and promoting all of the needlearts. And I urge you to do the same. Whew! It looks like we have our work cut out for us! :-)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Afghan of the Month!! Big Love Blankie

It's always a pleasant surprise when I find one of my patterns on-line. This time, it was more than just a pleasant surprise. My Big Love Blankie is the Afghan of the Month at The great thing about this afghan is that even though there are a lot of motifs to make, each motif is joined to the afghan as it is crocheted. So when you're done crocheting, you don't have a pile of motifs facing you that you have to sew together. When you're done crocheting, you're done! You'll have the afghan all put together. Nice!

Friday, February 5, 2010

More Crochet Book news- SALE

I just got an email from Annie's Attic with a list of books that are on sale for THIS WEEKEND ONLY! This is one of them - and that's my afghan on the cover! It's a fun one to make, and you'll learn how to do all sorts of post stitch patterns - most of which I made up! I love designing my own pattern stitches, and this afghan is one of my favorites because of that. It's living on my couch in the family room, right in front of the fireplace. So when it's cold outside, I can sit in front of the fire, wrap up in the afghan, and crochet away!

This next afghan is in another book that's on sale at Annie's Attic. The book is called 50 Sensational Crochet Afghans & Throws. This afghan is also worked in post stitches, in an irregular basketweave pattern. And this afghan is living on my couch in the living room!

This third afghan is from the book Chain Free Crochet Made Easy. This book has lots of patterns, all using types of Foundation Stitches instead of Foundation Chains. This afghan of mine is a Rectangular Granny afghan, and I didn't start it with the usual foundation chain. It's one of a couple of patterns of mine in this book. And it's on sale at Annie's Attic also.

So if you like these afghans, or any of the other ones in the books, now is the time to order them!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Scrap Crochet Book

I just found out that Scrap Crochet, 30 Great Projects, pubished by Annie's Attic, is now available through the Annie's Attic web site.

The reason I'm excited about this is that I have 2 patterns in there. One is a table runner:

And the other is a tote bag:

Both projects are worked with cotton - the tote is crocheted with Sugar'n Cream Cotton, the table runner with Peaches & Cream Cotton. As you can see, there are no ends to weave in with either project. That's why I liked designing them and making them so much. The great part of each pattern, you really get different looks with each batch of your scrap yarns that you use. And I bet you have a lot, just like me! I can't wait to make the tote and the table runner for myself, with all my scrap cotton yarns!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Go To Sweater #1

I have been getting many requests for the list of yarn shops that carry my patterns that I am self-publishing under the name of Emerald Isle Designs. The pattern that is most requested is this one - I call it Go To Sweater #1, because I crochet it in all sorts of yarns: cottons, wools, acrylics, silks, whatever yarn I have or see that appeals to me. I must have more than a dozen of these sweaters. Yes - I said one dozen. And I'm still counting. And I'm planning more sweaters. I have 2 or 3 in my UFO (unfinished projects) pile.
Here are two more versions.

If you want to see more of our designs, both crochet and knit, go to Emerald Isle Designs NC. Soon there will be a list posted of yarn stores that carry our designs, but until then, here is the current list:

1101 E. Walnut Street
Pasadena, CA 91106

5331 15th Street East
Bradenton, FL 34203

815 Cedar St.
Carrollton, GA 30117.

276 Scenic Drive
Knife River, MN 55609

275B NE Broad Street
Southern Pines, NC 28387

231 S Elm Street
Greensboro NC 27401

114 S. Churton Street
Hillsborough, NC 27278

105-3 West Church Street
Swansboro, NC 28584

99 South Elliott Road, Suite 2
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

1282 Commercial Street
Astoria, OR 97103

1601 West Broad Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Try calling or emailing the stores - and ask them to send you the patterns you want. Also, tell your local yarn stores about us, give them our web site address, and have them contact us. And thanks for all your support!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Triple Ripple Baby Afghan

I just discovered another of my baby afghan designs, the Triple Ripple Baby Afghan, on-line at And, it's on sale! It's an afghan I designed for a book of patterns using foundation stitches. That means no separate foundation chain. You crochet the foundation chain AND the first row of stitches at the same time. It's a lot easier than crocheting a HUGE number of chains, and then working your first row, only to find out at the end of that row that you have either too many, or too few chains. And you have to frog the entire thing and start all over again. With foundation stitches, you make the exact number that you need. It's a wonderful crochet skill to know.

Here's the picture of the baby afghan.