April 15, 2019

It's Been a While...

Right before my last post, my assignment at my church changed and I'm in charge of the Young Women (the 12-18 year old girls in the area). It's an involved assignment and it's kept me pretty busy and when I'm not busy with that, I'm already busy with my family (I've got four kids!). So, anyway, that's why I haven't posted as much.

Also, as a side note, I've come to realize just how much my endometriosis is affecting me.  I was diagnosed with endometriosis 11 years ago (after aching for many years before that), but I figured it explained my painful, overwhelming, monthly, abdominal cramps and nothing else.  It hasn't gotten any better, and a couple months ago I realized that it might be affecting my whole body more than I'd thought.  And more that just one week a month.
I've told my family for a long time that I hurt the week before, the week of, and the week after my cycle for many years now. Turns out that's probably the endometriosis.  My nerves hurt all the way down my legs, under my knee caps and sometimes to my toes. That could be endometriosis, too. And sometimes I don't feel the cramps yet, but my emotions are all over the place (my brain knows it's coming even if I don't quite realize it) and I'll feel like a panic attack is coming on because it's hard and hurts to breathe. Endometriosis could be to blame yet again. I've been living with it for a long time, so I'm pretty good at mustering all my strength to ignore my pretend I don t have pain while in public. But honestly, when I'm at home I'm so exhausted. I'm emotional. It's hard.
(If you want more information on endometriosis, do a search on it and you'll find out it's pretty common and not fun).

So, I haven't had the umph to write blog posts lately or to publish my latest pattern (Square Owl Hat) on my Ravelry shop or Pattern Shop. It's published in Happily Hooked Magazine, but I've had exclusive rights to publish since January. I need to see if I can work on that soon.  The way things are going, I'll probably be able to finish up the PDF pattern in June! Maybe it will work out sooner. One can hope!

I also wanted to make note that Craftsy shut down my shop there.  I hadn't sold a single thing in one year on Craftsy, so I'm not sad. I guess it's not my niche! Also, my Etsy shop will be "on vacation" for the foreseeable future. I don't find that many people are looking for crochet patterns there and thanks to their fees, I can't offer "free" patterns for Free. So my best spots are right here on my website and on Ravelry (I love Ravelry!). These sites are where I can charge closer to actual amounts (everyone wants their cut!) and offer free patterns for free!

I occasionally get emails or comments for help with patterns, and I respond to those within 24 hours, usually! I haven't wanted to leave crocheters without my assistance, so I check my email regularly and respond as soon as possible. Continue to write to me with any questions!

So yes, Life continues to busier and busier. And I'm more and more tired!

November 19, 2018

Hanging Baskets and a Great Lamp!

*This post contains affiliate and non-affiliate links to help you know exactly what I'm talking about. This way you can access these resources, too.*

In an effort to save water, money, energy, and my sanity (less to fold!), my school-age kids are expected to wear pajamas for two nights before washing. I decided my kids needed a little storage bag to help them to have a place to stash their pajamas between nights of wearing them. I am hoping that seeing the bag will remind them to stash their pajamas and not take them directly to the laundry basket. It's been a couple months now and so far, they have sometimes remembered and sometimes they've walked right past the baskets and totally forgot that they'd only worn the pajamas one night. Eh, it's a start, right?

I saw a cute pattern for a hanging basket on Pinterest and decided to check it out. Turns out, she had re-written the pattern into English from the original website, which was in Norwegian, using Google Translate. While I'm grateful for what she wrote out, hers turned out huge and then I modified it enough on my baskets that I wanted to save my notes here on my own blog. If you need any help with abbreviations, check here.

And I wanted to say that now that they days are getting shorter, it might be helpful to have a bright lamp handy! I've been trying out one from Brightech, a magnifier floor lamp. I (and my kids, sigh) love that it can be dimmed and switched on and off right at the lamp head. If you're in the market for a helpful lamp like this, check it out!

And now, here is my my version of the pattern!

Hanging Basket

Yarn: Bernat Maker home dec in two colors
Hooks: K/sz 10.5/6.5mm
Supplies: Stitch marker (or scrap piece of yarn), yarn needle

Crochet loosely, or try a size L hook if desired.

NOTE: Work will be started on "Wrong Side."
     At the end of each Rnd 1 - 12, place st marker to identify end of rnd.

With first color:
Ch 2.
Rnd 1 (WS): 5 sc in 2nd loop from hook, do not fasten off, place st marker. (5 sc)
Rnd 2 : 2 sc in each st around. (10 sc)
Rnd 3: 2 sc in each st around. (20 sc)
Rnd 4: (1 sc, 2 sc) repeat around. (30 sc)
Rnd 5: (1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc) repeat around. (40 sc)
Rnds 6-9: Sc in each st around. (40 sc)
Rnd 10: (1 sc, 2 sc) repeat around (60 sc)
Rnd 11: Sc in each st around. (60 sc)
Rnd 12: Sc in each st around, sl st to top of  first st of rnd. st marker is no longer needed (60 sc)
Rnd 13 (RS): TURN. Ch 2, hdc in each st around, sl st to top of first hdc. (60 hdc)
Rnd 14: Ch 2, in back lps only, hdc around, sl st to top of first hdc. (60 hdc)
Rnd 15: Ch 2, hdc in each st around (both lps), sl st to top of first hdc. (60 hdc)
Rnd 16: Ch 2, hdc in 15 sts, dc in 30 sts, hdc in 15 sts, sl st to top of first hdc. (15 hdc, 30 dc, 15 hdc)
Rnd 17: Ch 2, in back lps only, hdc in 15 sts, dc in 30 sts, hdc in 15 sts, sl st to top of first hdc. (15 hdc, 30 dc, 15 hdc)
Rnd 18: Ch 1, sc in each st around, sl st to top of first sc. (60 sc)
Rnd 19: Ch 1, sc in 20 sts, sc2tog 10 times, sc in 20 sts, sl st to top of first sc. (50 sts)
Fasten off.
With second color:
Finishing Rnd (loop strap and edge): attach new color into last st of last Rnd. Ch 10, sl st into first st from last Rnd. Turn, ch 1, then sc along the 10-ch (loop made). You should be back at the sts of Rnd 19. Reverse sc along Rnd 19 sts, sl st to beg of rnd. Fasten off, leaving 10-inch tail.
Wind tail around base of loop and weave in loose ends.

 All done!

November 05, 2018

My 20th Design! Square Owl Hat

My 20th Design Square Owl Hat - AnnaVirginia FashionThis month marks the release of my 20th crochet pattern! I've been designing since 2010, when my first daughter was an infant. I have continued to design as I've had three more children after her!

I'm always designing in my mind, but if you've written a crochet pattern, you know it takes time. But I love it!

This Square Owl Hat was originally designed back in about 2011, but has evolved a lot since then and finally been written out, edited, and published in a magazine! The pattern includes sizes from NEWBORN to LARGE ADULT! So you can make one for anyone--any size--in your list of family and friends to give gifts to.  Which is why it's in the magazine issue called "Great for Gifting."

The yarn used on these hats is Aran Weight, and doesn't use much at all.  Aside from the main colors of the hat, the tassels, braid tassels, owl eyes, and beak are all great scrap busters since those parts don't use much yarn at all. Even the main colors on the hat don't use too much yarn, either!
My 20th Design Square Owl Hat - AnnaVirginia Fashion
Until January 2019, this pattern will be exclusively in the Happily Hooked digital magazine (and in limited print copies mid-December).  The digital magazine is available at Ravelry for $7.99USD and includes 9 additional patterns from various designers and articles related to crochet! After that, you will be able to purchase the pattern directly from my Ravelry page if interested.

Happy Holidays!
My 20th Design Square Owl Hat - AnnaVirginia Fashion
Clockwise around: Red/Gray Hat - Large Adult
Pink/Black - Small Adult
Blue/Brown - Large Child
Orange/Cream - Small Child
Gray/Black - Infant
Green/Red - Newborn

My 20th Design Square Owl Hat - AnnaVirginia Fashion

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