Heritage Heartcraft is now on RebelMouse. I will be posting a weekly update here with all the goodies I shared the previous week. My own stuff is included, of course, but there's other Mad Mad Makers network members shared, and helpful tips I have discovered and more. Stop in and check out what's been going on in my corner of the world!
Delta Lace is a lovely open mesh crochet design worked in V-stitches.
I have three patterns now featuring this design element including my newest one for my Delta Lace Easter Egg!
I figure it was about time to make a photo tutorial for my method of forming the stitch!
There are several different variations, and I'm sure most form them 'right side up' like Hardy does at Haas Design.
But for the patterns I have designed using this lace style, I build my V-stitches 'upside down'!
The inverted V-st is a tr2tog, but with empty stitches in between forming an upside down V. It is formed by beginning a tr in the indicated stitch or space and working only until 2 loops remain on hook, skipping the desired number of stitches, and forming another tr, finishing off first tr also with the last yarn over.
Here are the full steps, and please see the photos below:
Yo twice, insert hook in st or sp indicated in pattern, yo, draw up a loop, (yo, draw through 2 lps on hook) twice leaving 2 loops remaining on hook. Yo twice, skip number of sts inside as indicated in pattern, insert hook in next st, yo, draw up a loop, (yo, draw through 2 lps on hook) twice, yo and draw through remaining lps.
COME ON SPRING!
And THAT's all I have to say about that!
love and prayers from Cara Louise
I have been using this method of staying on task for so long it has become second nature to me.
I often get asked about it though, so I thought perhaps it is time to write it up somewhere, then I don't have to type it ever again!
The basics are this: anytime (or all the time for me!) you feel like you need a bit of a 'spur' to get something done, decide how much time you think is reasonable to devote to whatever task it is, set the kitchen timer, and then go gung-ho until it rings!
I often do this when I am feeling no motivation whatsoever, yet know there's stuff that needs to be done. I'll set the timer for just 10 minutes, or some other length of time I think is reasonable to devote at the moment, and go all psychonut commando on just that one task. I always end up surprising myself with just how much can get done when I am completely concentrating on one thing only.
I also use my timer to keep on track with even the 'fun stuff' so it doesn't get away on me, like Facebook, or Pinterest, and yes, even crocheting! I decide upon a reasonable time frame that I want to spend, perhaps a half hour, set the timer, and when it rings, I move onto my next activity or task.
This is useful too for remembering to take breaks when crocheting. With 48 year old hands, which are already experiencing trouble with arthritis, it is vitally important to not overstress my joints. By using my timer, I can more easily alternate between work and rest periods and still be productive and stay on track for the deadlines I have.
I have worn through so many timers over the years, I really should just buy them by the dozen. I'm positive my neighbors must think I do a lot of baking, as my timer rings several times over the course of a day!
All this talk about timers now reminds me that I want to make one of these. My craft room needs a clock, and this tutorial from Name That Candy would be a perfect project for me!
Excuse me while I head over to Hobby Lobby for some supplies!
Update! My Craft Room Clock is done and I am taking orders if you want one!
I'd love to hear about your methods of staying on track, or if you decide to give this one a try.
Love and prayers,
My crafting passion is thread crochet, which is not nearly as popular in modern days as it once was. While there are still a number of excellent designers crafting new and innovative patterns and items (I featured my favorites in last year's monthly sisters in thread crochet series), most of the designs that really seem to call me are the vintage ones.
A large part of the appeal of the older patterns for me is based squarely on the fact that my passion for this particular craft was inspired by my 'vintage' grandmother, whom you were introduced to in an earlier blog post. I shared one of her doilies and the pattern and hook used to make it. The framed doily here is also one made by my Grandmère sometime before she died at only age 50 in 1960, 6 years before I arrived on the scene.
I have a modest collection of vintage pattern books, but as any craftsman knows, one can never have too many of the tools of their trade! So, I am always on the lookout for more: scouring thrift shops and estate sales, and searching online for either original 'hard copies' of patterns or for digitized versions of public domain publications.
One of my favorite online sites for vintage patterns is Purple Kitty. Debi seems to work tirelessly to scan and restore a whole host of great public domain materials from yesteryear. Indeed, she states that this is HER passion, to prevent these from being lost forever. Her websites feature free vintage crochet and knitting patterns, vintage sheet music, illustrated recipes, literature, and a whole lot more!
Of course, the division of her many-faceted web presence which occupies most of my time is the vintage crochet pattern lounge. Free Vintage Crochet was started as an experiment just to see if there was any interest in vintage crochet patterns that had passed into the public domain... ummmm..... almost 10 years later, I should think that's a resounding yes! Free Vintage Crochet has a couple thousand crochet patterns now from vintage pattern books once thought lost forever. Categories include afghans, baby clothes, Christmas, hats, and naturally, thread crochet items like doilies and collars and oh so many more.
Debi does all of this 'in between' running her own farm at Rainbow Spring Acres raising adorable pygmy goats!
Eeek! too cute!
In keeping with my theme of heritage this year, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite foods- lasagna. While I was growing up, we spent many holidays in Providence, RI with my Dad's Italian family, and my Nana's lasagna was a part of every feast. Thanksgiving had the turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes... and lasagna. Easter had the ham and green bean casserole... and lasagna!
I have actually had several requests for my lasagna recipe, so I thought if that many people already want it, maybe there's more! I never really thought of my recipe as being all that special, but everyone who has tried it has loved it. It's not anything like my Nana made, as I have tweaked it to my own preferences, but it sure is good! And I have kept up the tradition of serving lasagna at the holidays... and sometimes, just because.
My favorite story about my lasagna involves my father-in-law. We had the folks over for dinner, oh this must have been 20 years ago, and I made my lasagna. Dad was enjoying it just so much, and probably was on his third piece when he said, "This is fantastic! What's the green stuff in there?"
When I replied, "That's spinach, Dad!", he got very still and said, "Oh, I don't eat spinach." We all burst out laughing as I pointed out, "Ummm, well, Dad, you just did!"
~ 16 ounce package lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions and drained (I also like to lay them out flat on waxed paper for easier grabbing...and counting)
~ 2 (28 ounce) jars pasta sauce (I prefer Ragu Chunky and Robusto varieties)
~ 12 ounces shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
~ 1 (32 ounce) container part skim ricotta cheese
~ ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (the grate-it-yourself kind is much tastier)
~ 2 eggs
~ 1 package (10 or 16 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed as dry as you can
~ Preheat oven to 350°F.
~ Reserve 1 handful of mozzarella for the top layer.
~ Combine remaining mozzarella, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, and spinach; mix well.
~ Count up the noodles and determine how many layers of 3 noodles each you will have. (It varies depending on the brand, I've gotten anywhere from 4 layers to 7 layers!)
~ Evenly divide the cheese mixture NOW into separate containers or onto mounds on waxed paper one less portion than the number of noodle layers you have. (5 layers of noodles = 4 portions of cheese)
~ Spread about ½ cup sauce in a well-oiled 13x9 inch baking dish.
~ Layer with 3 lasagna noodles, one portion of the cheese mixture, and about ½ cup of sauce.
~ Repeat layering, being sure to hide any broken noodles inside and keeping 3 of the nicest ones for the top!
~ End with the last 3 noodles, some sauce, and the reserved handful of mozzarella. You should have some sauce left over to serve separately.
~ I recommend placing the lasagna dish on a larger cookie sheet or large piece of foil, as you will get some trying to escape!
~ Bake covered 45 minutes. Let stand a bit before serving.
If you try my lasagna recipe, I'd love to hear about it!
What is your favorite food related heritage?
con l'amore e le preghiere,
I want my focus on my crafting and on my blog this year to reflect the heritage not only of my craft, but also of me.
I have been crocheting for about 40 years now, ever since my mother taught me with regular yarn and larger crochet hooks. Very shortly after learning the basics, a bag was discovered which contained some gorgeous doilies her mother had made, along with some skinny crochet thread and some impossibly small steel crochet hooks.
Even though I never met my grandmother, I felt an instant connection and fell in love on the spot, both with her spirit and her craft.
This doily with grapes has always been one of my favorite pieces made by my Grandmère. It shows a bit of discoloration, but for being over 50 years old I think it looks fantastic... I'm not as old and I have some bits of discoloration myself!
I was so enormously excited when I discovered the Grape Doily Pattern that Grandmère would have used to make this.
It's not THE exact copy that her hands touched, but it is close enough to soothe the sentimentalist in me! Although I actually think Mémè's looks nicer than the photo in the book.
It is from a Coat's & Clarks book called Ruffled Doilies Book No. 306, published in 1954.
Do you see that price? TEN CENTS?! One pattern these days is 30 times more than that!
I do, however, have Mémè's hook that she most likely used to make that beautiful doily. That one right in the front, labeled 25 cents, is the size 7 steel crochet hook which is called for in the pattern. It is still my favorite hook to use, although now it has been given a new handcrafted clay polymer handle.
I hope you enjoyed this little snippet of my crafty heritage. Stay tuned- I hope to publish 10 more monthly posts with the theme of heritage and will be featuring some of my favorite places to find vintage thread crochet patterns next time and some celebration of my ancestry with cultural items. I would also love to hear about YOUR crafty heritage. Do you continue in the steps of a long tradition of craft artists? Or have you found yourself drawn to a centuries old method for making something like spinning or weaving or quilting? Stop by and drop a comment and let me know about it!
Love and prayers,
What do groundhogs and crochet have to do with other? About as much as groundhogs and weather forecasting I suppose!
But it's always a great time to find something unique to add to the 'I want to make this' list!
Here are a few groundhog themed crochet items I found this morning while waiting for Punxatawney Phil's handlers to rudely awaken him.
Planet June gives a great little explanation of what this silly groundhog is all about and has what may be the nicest pattern out there for this little guy!
Here's a free stuffed groundhog pattern from Lily Sugar n' Cream.
Groundhog Applique free pattern from Repeat Crafter Me.
Fresh Stitches' version of Phil the groundhog.
And, my favorite item-
coming to you right from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, a great original design from Kay's Country Crafts!
love and prayers to you on this Groundhog Day 2014!
A discussion came up among my precious pattern testers about whether there was an easy way to determine the size of some unlabeled crochet thread.
I don't vouch for the 'ease' of this method, but this is what I do:
I take my thread in question, and wrap it around a pencil. You don't want to pull too tight, or mash together too hard, but your strands should lay nicely next to each other with no bunching or spacing. However many strands fit in an inch is the wraps per inch (or WPI) of that particular crochet thread.
Now, there are a lot of charts which give wraps per inch ranges for YARN (ewwww!) but I was hard-pressed to find any concerning crochet thread. They all stop at what they call lace weight yarn and say any with more than 18 wraps per inch falls in that category! To a thread crocheter however, there is a big difference between 18 wraps and 32 wraps! So I figured I better put my thoughts here just in case someone else is looking for this information too.
My favorite brand for my crochet projects is Red Heart and the Red Heart owned Aunt Lydia's, and I was only able to measure what I had on hand, so this isn't as complete as I would like it to be. As I get more data I will improve my little chart here. Different brands will yield slightly different results, and I did not take multiple measurements to account for any tension differences in wrapping, so this is just an estimate here!
Some places I have seen wraps measured per centimeter, so I have included that here too.
This information will also be useful if you wish to try to figure out how to substitute perle cotton or embroidery floss for the crochet thread.
Crochet thread, or tatting thread as it is more commonly called the smaller you get, does indeed come in sizes even smaller, but I am not in possession of any, nor do I intend to be! There was once upon a time when I used size 40 and smaller, but it has been banished from my presence now!
I would love to hear your experiences and feedback with this chart.
As a crochet designer, I am always staring at existing crochet stitches and wondering how I can change things up a little or how to exactly reproduce the vision in my mind into a crocheted item.
Often, I will start searching the web to see if someone has already hit upon a solution, and sometimes I find that it has indeed been done before.
When I incorporate those unusual stitches into my designs, I like to include links right in my pattern to great photo or video tutorials.
Over this past week, however, I have searched for some existing tutorials for a couple 'odd spots' for the new design I'm working on and haven't been able to find any. So that means either I am calling these things by completely different names than everyone else (that's happened before), or I form them differently from everybody else (that's happened too).
Whichever the case, as these will be used in my next design, I did take some nice photographs so I can link my pattern instructions right to here.
The first series of photos is all about making a Two-Headed stitch! I don't call it that in my pattern, although I did consider it! It is actually just a slip stitch in the top ridge of the last stitch formed.
This creates a stitch with 2 top loops (or two heads!), and works out perfectly for what I want to accomplish.
I finished off the row with 3 more dc sts. Taking a look at that trc in the middle now, you can see it has 2 top loops and makes a nice little pointy place right there in the middle of my row. In the next row, a stitch can be formed in both the 'regular' spot on the right side, and/or in the sl st on the left side where the pin is.
The second design element I want to explain is about crossed stitches. There are numerous patterns using this very interesting textured feature, and they all seem to form them differently from each other. Some cross in front, some cross behind. Some cross dc sts, others cross longer sts. Some form them over an existing row of crocheted fabric. Here is how I worked mine for my new pattern.
My pattern instructions read "cross hook behind" and then note what kind of stitch and where to form it.
I hope these explanations and photos help you to not only work my patterns successfully, but inspire you to experiment with your own unusual stitches!
Love and prayers,
I'm Cara Louise