NatCroMo Blog Tour 2017!


Here we are again for Crochetville’s NatCroMo blog tour! :) This year’s theme is camping, and this is how you find yourself here at my place :) The campfire is going, the marshmallows are on fire (just the way I like them), and I have a tray of yummy veggies ready for some sizzle: onions, red peppers and jalapenos! Oh how I love the smell of the campfire smoke, the logs chattering like little firecrackers as I turn them… Everyone sitting around the fire, chatting, and of course we have the best possible topic for conversation: Crochet!!

So, let’s talk crochet while we set ablaze more marshmallows and make some smores! I have a few specials for this year’s natcromo event:


  1. Special coupon good for the entire week: 35% off any order. If there is a pattern you have been wanting to get, now’s the time!  You can use this coupon on the Crochet Garden Website, Ravelry, or Etsy. Code: natcro1730
  2. Special new release coupon: 50% the latest pattern: Sunkissed Sundress! Sizes include 2T-10, and it is made using a worsted weight yarn- nice for a quick workup!The model’s msunkissedsundressom says she sunkissedsundress_01loves using it as a coverup for her daughter! Isn’t Miss Chamberlyn so cute in her little turquoise sundress? You can get this pattern at the Crochet Garden Website, as well as Ravelry, and Etsy.



This coupon is also good for a week, through 3/12!

3. Wishlist Grants (at end)

Don’t forget to stop by the Crochet Garden website, and be sure you are signed up for the newsletter. All pattern releases have some sort of special, and can be up to 50% off!

Other little bonuses only for newsletter fans include freebies, special coupons, holiday events, and other goodies!

So while we are all sitting around the campfire, tell me what your favorite Crochet Garden (by Lisa Naskrent) pattern is! :) And then, tell me which pattern is on your wishlist! Next week, 3/12, someone will be randomly chosen and receive their wish, and another will receive a gift certificate to the Crochet Garden!

Thank you so much for visiting me!

Save $3 On Delanie Dress


Eagerly awaiting spring! :) How about saving $3 on Delanie Dress?

Ravelry only, (they really make coupons so easy- and fun to do)!

It is such a simple pattern and a quick workup! It uses Deborah Norville’s Serenity garden, but really you can sub any #2 weight yarn.

Code: DELANIE316

Good through April 18, 2016!

We need to lull spring in. Has it been cold by you? It has been in the 40s here. Oh how I long for some warm rays!!

Petit Fours – Published in Simply Crochet Issue# 43!


DMW Photography

Please be sure to check out Petit Fours on Ravelry – my latest published design!

I am so excited about this dress. When i started off, I didn’t intend to make a “cupcake” dress. The entire idea started with buttons. Sometimes, I see a yarn and it says in a darling little voice, “Take me home!” But this time, each time I passed them in the aisle, I really think they kept jumping into my basket! What in the world would I do with such tiny buttons? These buttons weren’t ordinary. The colors were like passion fruit fireworks. So on the way home with me they went.

A day of swatching and sketching, and behold, my little piece of sweetness. Doesn’t London look so happy in her cute little dress? Now all she needs is a cupcake in her hand!


Stop 93 On The Crochet Express!! Are you here on a train stop from Crochetville’s Blog Tour for National Crochet Month? Just stopping by? Either way, I am so happy to have you stop by!

First of all, in case you are unsure what this is all about… Stop over by the Crochet Express, hosted by Amy Shelton over at Crochetville! This is the last day, but you can check out all the previous stops too :)

In honor of Crochet Month and your stop here, here are you goodies below! :)

First $4 off any of the following three patterns! (The patterns below are linked directly to Ravelry). These codes are valid until April 15th!

  1. Shawl Of The Moirae  – Code: CVILLEMOIRAE4
  2. Forest Trails Cable Scarves – Code: CVILLEFORESTTRAILS4
  3. Isabella Dress – Code: CVILLEISABELLA4

HRshawlofthemoirae  foresttrailsscarvesisabella

I would also love to offer you my latest wrap design for free- the Waterfall Stole on Ravelry! Code: CVILLEFREE2016 Like the others, this code is good through April 15, 2016 and after that it will be full price.

waterfallstole waterfallstole_02

waterfallstole_03 waterfallstole_04

This is the first time this pattern is being released, so be sure to grab it while you can! Please let me know if you queue it up! :) I love to hear what everyone is doing.

Now, it is true, this pattern uses love knots (or well, Solomon’s Knots). If you fear these, or worry about getting each knot the right exact length, fear no more! This pattern executes love knots in a clever way that if one is too short, the next one compensates. And all the different lengths really add to its beauty!

This is a simple 3-row repeat, but with a striking result. It is one of those far out there designs from the crazy nooks inside my brain. I wanted something different. Instead of the usual way love knots are used (row upon row of love knows- which mind you is also beautiful), I wanted to do something, well odd? Different? I am not sure, but I wanted a design and stitch pattern that was not common, but with a gorgeous result.

I hope you come by to visit me again. You can also catch me on Facebook as well!

50% Off New Seaside Girl Crochet Pattern!


Crochet Pattern sized 12 mos – girls size 12!


Get 50% off Seaside Girl crochet sundress pattern! This pattern is sized  12 months to a girls size 12! What is really interesting about this pattern is the use of the variegated yarn, between the stripes. It has a metallic-gradient effect to it. Usually when you use a yarn that is multi-colored, you end up with a camouflage-like pattern, which can still be very pretty! But I wanted to try something different, and wondered what would happen if I sandwiched this variegated yarn between other complimentary yarns. Voila! This gorgeous metallic-like look to it. My eyes  keep gazing at it, running along its path at the beautiful gradient.

The dress works from the top down, so you will be able to fit the most difficult sizes. All you need to do is work from their chest measurement to get a perfect fit around there, then just work until the length desired. And also, with so many sizes, sisters and friends can have matching dresses in their own favorite colors! Wouldn’t this make a stunning holiday dress in red and white?

Right now you can get this pattern 50% off! Code: SeasideGirl2016

Please let me know if you decide to make this, what colors you plan to make!

And here is where you can use these codes:




Another Try At 30-Day Shred

So, I have not yet done the next day of the 30-day shred. I was so sore, that I even had muscles twitching! I know I over did it. But today, I have no soreness, but have no motivation to exercise. I did get my bread maker going. I found 1 recipe that only uses a tiny portion of whole wheat that seems to get along with my bread machine. I have put away a few dishes, worked on my customer service, etc. So I have been productive, but just can’t seem to get motivated to do that 20 minute DVD. Sad, isn’t it??

I know music seems to help me a lot. And I think Ellie Ghoulding’s latest album is going to be my new workout / motivation music. Have you heard her stuff? If not, you really need to. My favorite’s are Burn and Goodness Gracious. Her entire album Halcyon is phenomenal. There isn’t one song I do not like!

Anyway, back on the working out issue. I know how good the results were before. I am thinking also I weighed myself 2 days earlier, and saw I lost 5 lbs already, so maybe my subconscious just said, oh you are on track this week. Work on other things. Maybe. I don’t know. I hope that is it, and that I motivated next week. I do not know what the problem is. How do you get motivated, but more importantly stay motivated??

Help needed.

I think spring will help, but that is so far off. I think it also has to do with the cold, the overcast, and having so much work to do. I am thinking stress does not help either, but exercise will combat that. Maybe I just need to get going and somehow make a habit of it. I don’t know. What do you do or do you struggle too?

My Bread Maker Does Not Like Whole Wheat (Or maybe it does not like me)

51ka09--SGLI bought a bread maker last summer, or around there, and bought the book: The Bread Lover’s bread Machine Cookbook. Ratings are awesome, even I love it. I have tried about 5-7 recipes and all have turned out delicious! My family’s favorite so far is the Peasant bread recipe. I love it because there is no milk or egg in it. Another favorite are the French Bread recipes… Those I have it make the dough, then finish them off in the oven using my long french bread pans. Hah, who knew I could bake??

So after trying the bread maker out, and finding this book to be fantabulous… I decided to go out and buy a 25 pound bag of whole wheat. Much of what I read tells me whole grains is the way to go, and I figured we had our fun playing around with the white bread recipes so I could use up all the white flour in the house… Now it was time to make whole grain breads. I didn’t think much of it and just clicked my order for Great River Organic Milling, Organic Whole Wheat Bread Flour. The flour too had great reviews.

917X5gkvTwL._SL1500_I have tried making the Buttermilk Whole Wheat Bread recipe twice, and both times it came out hard, and a small balled-up like loaf. The first time I had it on the French Setting, and the second time on the Basic (after reading somewhere on the net someone made this no problems on the basic setting). So, I thought maybe my bread maker does not like this recipe. I then tried a second different recipe that uses whole wheat. Again, same result.

I do not know if it is me, or my bread maker. I am stumped. I looked up the recipes to try and find reviews, and it seems many people have made this particular recipes in their bread makers and had no problems. I then thought, well maybe it is the flour. So after much research, the majority of people had no problem using this flour in both ovens and bread machines alike. I am so confused and not sure. I not a bread expert by any means. Anyone have any ideas of what I could be doing wrong?


30 Day Shred, anyone

exercise-050So I have started the 30 day shred. I did not complete it last time. I am on Day 2, but really I do not think i should count those days since I did not complete the DVD. However, I got through Circuit 1 yesterday and halfway through Circuit 2 today. I guess baby steps, right?

Because my knees hurt, I don’t like some of the exercises. So what I think I am going to do is just modify. Those particular exercises that are hard on my knees, I am just going to to the upper body portion, but somehow keep moving to keep my heart rate up. I think this will be sufficient until I lose more weight or until my knees can withstand more.

The good thing is, is that the workout is only 20 mins. But now I think about it pathetic I did not complete it yesterday and today. But tomorrow is another day! Once I get fully through it, I will count that as Day 1. I also think I actually could have made it through today, but I had a banana right before and ouch did it give me a terrible cramp on my right side. I think tomorrow I am going to do it right when I wake up and have a cup of coffee.

Here is a little snapshot of my (messy) living room/exercise area. If I ever get the basement cleaned out, I may just make that my workout area. But right now it is a cluster of stuff I am getting for a yard sale in spring. At the floor, is a box Santa gave me for Christmas, the Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution. I am going to treat myself and open that only after I have completed my 30 day shred for 30 days.

You know, I should give myself a reward if I complete the 30 days… Any ideas? Something that does not cost any money (finances so tight right now). Hmmm.. That is hard, everything costs something! lol. Anyway… anyone want to do the 30 day shred with me?? I need a partner!!

Testers Needed For A Christening Gown Yoke

newborn-hats-032Do you have a baby or access to a baby? I am looking for testers to try out a yoke in size 10 thread. I only need a fit check, really. You have the option to work on the entire gown if you so wish, but are not obligated. I am thinking about 3 weeks time to test the yoke. I need you to have a baby to try it on, though, and be able to send me a photo so I can see how the dress is fitting.

The dress will be part open in the back, with 2 buttons, then will close and work in the round down. I would say it will be an Intermediate Skill lvl. I have sizes : Newborn (0-3 mos, 3 mos, 6 mos, 9 mos, 12 mos). Please comment here, or Sign Up On the Testing Forum (click here).

If you are on Facebook, you can also Click Here For Facebook page.

I think this gown is going to be lovely when finished (or at least I hope so)!

Happy 2014 & Snowflake Hat

Well, 2013 was kind of rough, but I have good feelings for 2014! I really became disconnected from things this past year, especially with all the illegal pattern sharing and such. It took me a while, and I am still struggling with it, but I have learned to “set it aside.” I cannot keep it monopolizing me, discouraging me.

Funny how a new year can be the little spark needed to ignite the passion again. Or maybe it has been enough time for me to work through it all. Who knows. Maybe it was my birthday. Instead of looking downhill, I am looking up hill, and bracing for whatever new comes my way.

600snoeflakehat800I am now getting back on the track of health. I need to get back to exercising everyday. Oh how I wish I had a workout partner! It is so easy to get off track. Regardless, it is up to me and I need to just set my mind to it, prepare, and just do it. So that is what I plan. I have some new cookbooks, an can’t wait to try out some new recipes. Now if this freezing cold would go away. I am not ready for spring, most likely because I have lost as much as I wanted to by this point, but I am ready the this frigid ice to be gone!

Anyway, with that, I open up 2014 with a new pattern release. Well, not really a pattern release (yet). For right now, it is available for my facebook fans. I hope throughout the year to treat all my fans, whether they are my blog fans, website fans, Etsy fans, Ravelry fans… etc! So I start with facebook. Any fans of my facebook page can download the Snowflake Hat for free during January!

Link to facebook pattern for fans:


Happy Crocheting you all :) And stay warm!! Happy 2014!

Really Discouraged…

Well the new year began with a blast- a zest- a powerful surge of ideas and creativity. Until the other day.

I started receiving emails about  people on a website/forum posting my patters. This normally does not bother me. I mean it does, but I have been doing it so long it kind of goes with the territory- that it will happen and that I just need to follow the steps to fix it. Usually that entails contacting the person. Sometimes if that doesn’t work, contacting the forum owner. And then beyond that if no affect, then just working up the chain to where the website/forum is hosted etc. Most often, it is someone who does not realize he/she is doing wrong. So many are still ignorant when it comes to copyright issues and such.

Then why am I so down?

This one is different. It *cannot* be taken down. This particular website is out of the country, in multiple languages, free for the masses to register and begin sharing. This is so devastating.  I have always just followed my little steps when I find my patterns around the internet. But this time, I am handcuffed. I am stuck. I researched this site a little more, and it seems it has been up since at least 2009. That is 4 years. I found many designers around the internet complaining about this website, trying all means to get it taken down. I feel really discouraged that in the last 4 years, nobody has been successful.

When I did a search for my name- “Crochet Garden,” I came up with 21 hits. All were posted by the same person, in December. However, there was a few other patterns that did not come up in the search, and posted by others. There is no way for me to contact these people. I cannot send a message or do anything without gaining points, per se, to get benefits, without sharing.

With such a site, it is only a matter of time before everyone knows about this place. It will be the first place someone stops to get their patterns, to see if it is available. Not Ravelry, not Annie’s Attic, etc. Why purchase it when you can get it for free?

Of course, I know many support indie designers, but there is not enough of you out there to support us, unfortunately.

Maybe it is the shock that there is nothing I can do. Is there anything I can do? I do not know. The last couple of days I have had to push myself to look at my designs in progress and work on them. I look at them and think, wow, I spent a month on this. Put up the pattern for sale, and tomorrow, I could see this pattern available for free on this particular website, available to all.

What is worse, now, is that it has been posted on facebook, and the link is spreading like wildfire. I have had countless of emails coming in, alerting to me that my patterns are up there. This morning I wake up and open my email, countless more emails about this website. So you can imagine.

All I can do is ask, if the person or the person who knows of the person posting my patterns, I am humbly asking if they can please take them down.

It would be so different if there was something I could do. Report it, send messages, etc. I see 4 years of people before me doing all that and more, and it has been futile. I am just really discouraged right now.

Happy New Year 2013!

My goodness, it has been a whole year since I last blogged. Shame on me. I am first to say it. I really have neglected a lot of things this past year. I think 2012 was just gray year. Is there such a thing? It just kind of went by, and I think I was merely a passive participant. I don’t know if that makes sense, as half the time I question myself if I make sense to myself.

For 2013, I feel a new energy. I really feel like it is a brand new year!!  Maybe there really is something to astrology. 2012, for some reason, was the year of avoidance for me. I avoided everything, from exercise, to crochet, to people… I am not sure what happened. I just fell out of the groove of life, per se, I guess. I didn’t blog, that’s for sure. My laundry pile is, well, quite extraordinary! I think that word has a nice connotation than other words I could have chosen. I think that is going to be my new word for 2013- extraordinary!!

I have this new zest- I want to renew myself in many ways. I put on so much weight the past few years, and for the last 3 months (give or take) I have been taking a step back, and looking at myself, and my goals. I guess I just needed that turn of the clock at midnight to actually feel the spark. Why is that? But either way, this process started a few months ago, but really has gone into motion the past few weeks.

I have been quite ashamed at how much I gained, and how much I let myself go (though I am glad I let my hair go, it is down my hiney now!). I think my feelings fed my avoidance of everything. It was like symbiotic in a way- I stayed in and avoided things which fed my weight, and that in turn steered me deeper into this hole. I was not really depressed or anything, just more like, just another plain day.

So in comes overhaul. Not just body, but everything, my body, mind and spirit. I am even thinking of going to church.

Anyway, in an attempt to become healthy, and lose weight, I have (for the time being at least) turned vegan. I am not sure if I am technically vegan, since everything I have read about vegans does not just encompass their food selections, but also what they wear and what products they use. From shoes, to  purses, etc.

For myself, I redefined what I eat. Last year, we cut out pop. We now drink water with meals. We cut out eating out, except for the occasional celebratory meals. And for the past few months, I have cut out a lot of food. I no longer eat meat, nor eggs, nor dairy (even milk and cheese!). I do not eat anything processed out of a box (including cereal, granola bars etc). Sure, I guess they can be *healthy*. But I have adopted a simple way of eating- whole food, and back to making my meals. If I want granola, I will make it. No MSG, no refined fructose syrup, no refined corn syrup, etc.

In the past 3 months-ish, I have lost 40 lbs. (Sadly, I still have 100+ pounds to go).

With my new eating style, I eat as much as I want. I never, ever starve myself or go without. If I am hungry, I eat. I still have yet to incorporate exercise to this, but the overhaul of how I eat was quite a quest to begin with. But now, with 2013, I am ready !! I want a new me. I want to not only lose weight, but to feel healthy. I don’t want to dwell on things that I cannot change anymore. No more avoiding things. Avoidance comes with weight. I want to not only lose body weight, but weight from stress.I want to develop an exercise routine. That will be a new quest, as I am not really sure how to start or what to do. I have a Y membership, but I really do not want to go there with all those fit bodies.

I am thinking of keeping a personal video blog. I am not sure if I will be able to publish for the world, as I am still trying to crawl out of this shame of how I left myself go… But it may be something special for me, to document my journey.

On the crochet front- I am back!! Goodness, the past couple of weeks, I feel revived. I neglected my crochet in 2012. I think it was all part of that “absent from life” for a bit. Maybe it was mid life crisis? I  don’t know what age that normally happens at. Maybe it was just a funk. We all have funks, right? Just say yes.

My goal for this year crochet-wise is to get through all the designs I have in progress. Either finish them, or discontinue them. My poor testers- I know some were irritated with me, sadly. I didn’t finish a lot of designs, and they sit there, abandoned. All the more reason to get out of this funk. I am glad though that most forgive me for that, and are still hanging out- putting up with my back-in-gear-designing.

I have started a new lace shawl. I am in love with it. It is a triangular shawl, and oh the edging is (to me) a jaw dropper. So is the body, in its own way, but can’t have too many elements competing for attention at the same time  in a design. At least not in mine, I think my mind would go crazy.

I can’t yet post a sneak-peak, though I would love to. I am still working on the edging, and then have yet to block it. I am not sure if I want to keep it on the Crochet Garden website or send it off to a magazine, or maybe even for greater things- ah what to do!

Well, world, if anyone even is out there, happy crocheting, happy health, happy New Year, and have an extraordinary day!

Inspiration Stole – Published, Interweave Crochet 2012!

Inspiration Stole, Interweave Crochet Winter 2011

Inspiration Stole, Interweave Crochet Winter 2011

Hello everyone! In case you had not seen it, the Inspiration Stole is the latest addition to the my love of lace run :) It is amazing, since it is so long from the inception of an idea to the tangible photographed magazine in your hand- that once you look, all that excitement and glory surges.

When I started this stole, its actual beginning never came to fruition. I was working a small tedious stitch, and at the beginning, it seemed to be going well. However, as I worked on it more and more, it became very monotonous and I began to loathe it. Not sure what I was thinking, but it just tells me that sometimes, it just isn’t meant to be. I started to rip out, which proved to be quite an undertaking. With time not on my side, ceased the delicate task of ripping and began anew. This of course was after consulting Marcy (the Editor of Interweave Crochet). Thank goodness she has faith in me because she said follow your instinct. I was so worried with limited time, and a whole lace project to come up with pronto.

So alas, here it came to be, the Inspiration Stole!

A Walkthrough In Blocking Lace – Dahlia Shawl


Dahlia Shawl - Interweave Crochet, Spring 2011

First, the Crochet Garden now has its own official page on Facebook!! Many announcements (including tutorials like this one) will be announced there. Check out the Crochet Garden Facebook Page!

Since I started designing lace shawls, I have come across discussions on blocking. Now, I do not say this is the best and only way to block. I only say this is the way I do it. This is also for both crocheters and knitters alike. I pretty much learned blocking as a trial and error kind of thing, and I will discuss with you what worked for me and what didn’t, and why. I hope this helps you. Some of the points you may agree with and some not. Please let me know what you think as this will only help everyone and even me! :)

First, why is blocking so important? In some patterns it plays a large part in how the project turns out, namely, lace patterns. In some crocheted garments, it is mostly evening out, and if gauge is off a bit, to stretch out just a bit to the correct size, etc. But with lace, this is when your shawl comes alive. A little bit of magic happens. I have noticed when crocheters are making their first lace shawl, they are tempted to use a very tiny hook (due to the nature of the crochet beast – lace being so fine) or a large hook, because they are dismayed their work in progress is not looking like the finished project.

Dahlia Shawl- Blocked

Dahlia Shawl- Blocked

Dahlia Shawl- Unblocked

Dahlia Shawl- Unblocked

As you see with the Dahlia Shawl; which was most recently published in Interweave Crochet, spring issue of 2011, look at the unblocked photo. Notice how bunched up the stitches are. It does not have that open airy feeling of the other photo. Closely look at the edging. The unblocked photo, the stitching looks so much thicker and dense, not as flowing and almost translucent as the blocked photo.

My List Blocking Items:


Tub/bin for soaking

Wool wash or scent (while soaking)

Spray Bottle

Yard Stick / long wood measuring stick

Measuring Tape

Regular pins

Blocking Wires


Step 1: Soak (All small photos can be clicked on for more detail)

Gently take a tub (you can even use your bathtub) or any container, and fill with water. I always use lukewarm to room temperature water. Gently place your lace into the tub with the water. Do not agitate your work. It could felt up on you. Gently press down the work in order to immerse it. You will see little bubbles come up, and that the air coming out of the yarn.

Dahlia Shawl soak Dahlia Shawl soaking Dahlia Shawl soakingSoak Shawl

Some people recommend soaking for 15 mins to 30 mins. I always soak mine for an hour at the least. Usually, I give it a 4-5 hour soak- but mostly because something else taking my attention away (haha-  always more crocheting to be done )…

During this time, do not be tempted to stick your hand in and feel it. You really do not want to move it once it is in an soaking, especially if made of wool. The yarn is just so delicate and fragile, and you do not want to chance any tearing, or making weak spots in your work. Just let it be.

Step 2: Remove lace from tub- have towel ready.

Remove Shawl gentlyfold towlFold towelroll towel

Ok, next it is time to remove the shawl.  Be sure to have some towels ready. Gently remove (with 2 hands- my excuse was holding camera) from the tub and place within towel. I like to wrap up or roll up my lace within the towel. You do not want to wring or twist your work to get the water out! I simply role mine up without adding any friction, and then apply pressure to the rolled lace while enveloped by the towel.

Step 3: Unwrap and block

Insert wiresinsert wires

Insert blocking wires by weaving them in and out of stitchery every inch when there are not definitive outer points. If you do not have blocking wires, I would recommend getting them.  Do not skip reading this and Step 4, as it is still important. Blocking wires help with symmetry and getting that professional, extreme beautiful look. When there are definite points, like in the edging along the two sides where the bottom center is, then you will want to insert wire from front to back or from back to front at same place in each point. Always keep things consistent when blocking.If you do not have wires, then place regular pins, every inch, or at every point, and use a yard stick to make sure it is level/straight.

Insert wire in tips

Step 4: Use T pins to straighten your wires.

This is the part where you spread the shawl out.

tpinT pins

T pins are used to anchor your wires. You will need something sturdy to push them into. In this example, I used my bed. There is however a multitude of things you can use. The  most important thing is making sure it is strong, and you can pin into it without the pins moving. When I first started, I bought a ton of those rectangular pieces of Styrofoam.  They were not that practical and easy to work with, but they did the job until I discovered the bed. But now, I use mats. They are like those foam ABC mats that look like puzzle pieces for kids. They work beautifully. I will have to get a photo later of it (sorry).

One tip I can give, is that your work will be wet, and thus your bed soon will be as well. You may have to use the water bottle and spray it down some if it starts to dry out. If doing this on a mattress, or anything else really for that matter, put down some sort of waterproof barrier. For the bed, you can get one of those toddler bed covers that are waterproof. You can also use plain old garbage bags. Just cut them open to take advantage of the surface area. For my mats, I use a sheet. The mats are pretty good at taking dampness. I would put something over the waterproof barrier, only because the water from the bottom will pool there. I usually use a cotton sheet, which seems to work pretty well at giving me that level wetness I desire.

Anyway, you want to have as many T pins as needed to keep the wires straight. I have found these at my local store in the sewing section, as I did not get enough with my blocking wires kit. I also, depending on the pattern measure my distance between points. Now, there are some people who recommend folding the shawl in half along the vertical axis, lining up the edging from each side, and pining while folded. I have tried this and do not recommend it. This by the way was my second time blocking. The first time I tried the folding method, and it did not turn out well. I could not stretch out that center, and a vertical shading appeared right down the middle (you can see this in the photo).

If you think about it, this possibly could be prevented by having the wire inside the fold, held together with T pins, and then stretched out by the edging. But because of where the pressure points of stretching are, they will not be  the same near the center as they are in the Body, so I would still see this having a chance of happening. I find laying the whole shawl out prevents this entirely. I now use a meter stick to make sure the scallop on one side is level with the reflecting scallop on the other side of the shawl. And also, I use a tape measure to make sure the distance between points is the same.

Measure distance between pointsMeasure distance between points

There is hard blocking and soft blocking, and I suppose every kind of blocking in between. These are terms I refer to the types of this process as. There may be some technical term for it out there somewhere, but this works for me, and hopefully for you too. A hard blocking would be where you really stretch out the projects quite a bit from its initial measurements. I know quite a bit if subjective. But you will see how the lace relaxes. Stretch out all sides 1/4 of an inch. Not much happens right? That would be a soft blocking. Not much happen, or only a little happens. Many times a super soft blocking would be used to straighten out a garment to match the schematic perfectly.

Now keep stretching and stretching and stretching- magic happens. It really opens up a lot. I think this is where a common misconception occurs. I have seen many crocheters going up a lot in hook size as they are puzzled why their work is not looking like the finished piece. More on this later, with before and after photos to show the magic.

If your edging consists of scallops, or some sort of valleys or hills, always start out and work your way in. So first pin the outermost point that you can see. Then work your way toward the body of the shawl.

Step 5: Begin Pinning! This is where the fun, or maybe torture begins.

I usually have at least 2 containers of pins- I just never know how many I will need.

The Pinning Begins!2The Pinning Begins!

I like to use the long strong high quality pins. It just makes life so much easier- and well when I can spoil myself with little things, I indulge! Yeah I get excited seeing pins in the store. I especially like the little ones with the flowers on the head! Now, when you grasp a point, where you pin, is there it will stay. Here is a tip- and also will work with the T pins. When you go to pin, put the pin in at an angle away from the work. This will help keep wires in place, as well as the points where you want them to be.

Note: Wherever you pin, is how it will be. The work will relax some, but not much. So you want to be sure every point is even. If you get tired, take a break. Get a spray bottle and re-wet it later. Take your time, and do it as perfectly as you can- the results will be worth it. Every place you put a pin, that is where that specific point will be. Use the yard stick to check for symmetry and evenness. If you find while blocking – as this could take even 4 or 5 hours, that your shawl is drying out, keep the spray bottle going.

I allow my piece to dry for at least 24 hours. Sometimes it is hard to tell from the touch if it is still wet, because it does tend to be cool. Just do your best and unpin a little. If it retracts greatly, then it needs more time.

Before I brought up about a common error crocheters make is switching to a significantly larger hook. They often feel there is something wrong because their garment is not turning out like the finished picture. This is a whole new world- this blocking madness, or divinity I may call it. Something really magical happens when you mix fine yarn, wool  and blocking.

To make that fear subside- that your project is not going to turn out like it should, try this.


While you are working, take some Styrofoam, and pin it out some. I call this a “Dry Mock Pinning”. Take a look at the gauge in the pattern and pin it to the same gauge as listed. Most patterns give a blocked gauge. However, if only a pre-blocked gauge is given, then still do this. Take your measuring tape, and stretch it out to the point that it looks like the finished garment, or to when it suits your liking. Write this gauge down. When you go to block, this is what you will use, and this is how your shawl will look once blocked after being wet and pinned. If the gauge does not state if it is a pre-block gauge or after-block gauge, get in touch with the designer. In fact, I think for now on I am going to give both the pre-block and after-block gauge in my patterns. Now for some before and after photos:


Close-up of Edging Tip before and after:


More before and after:


More before and after:


When working your project, do not fret that it is not turning out like the finished project. Grab some Styrofoam, or even use your bed mattress, and grab some measuring tape, and do a dry mock blocking. See what it looks like. This is the magic of blocking. This is the sparkle of wool. This is the whole new world of lace.

Now go make some magic happen!

Dahlia Shawl – Interweave Crochet Spring 2011 Published!

Dahlia Shawl - Interweave Crochet, Spring 2011

Dahlia Shawl (Prototype) - Interweave Crochet, Spring 2011

I am so excited – as I am sure you all know, the Dahlia Shawl has finally made her entrance into the world. These snapshots I took right after blocking, to get the shawl straight into testing. So  while this is the complete blocked shawl, these are not necessarily the final staged photos :)

Unlike the Midsummer, this one does not have a striking definitive border. I wanted the body of the shawl to flow almost seamless into the edging, as if it were a gradient effect. While working on the edging, I think I ripped about 18 times, to redesign. Sometimes things come to me right away, and other times its a wrestle with the design beast within. However, this is mostly due to my insane need for perfection- side effect: the crazy look mad designer.

Each time, I uploaded another photo to my test team. How about this one? Do you like this one? This super need for approval from them thank goodness has not made their excitement wane. They are all still there, giving their opinions as thoughtful as always!

Here is a few snapshots of the edging in progress:


These, obviously did not make it into the final piece. While designing, I actually take my lace, and pin it out on styrofoam to get an idea of what it most likely will resemble. This closely resembles blocking, so I refer this as a “Quick Dry Block.” I then hold it up, photograph it, and then ask for opinions from the Crochet Garden testing team. You can also do this while working on a lace pattern- just to soothe that dance your mind does when wanting instant gratification.

This prototype was made using Jaggerspun Zephyr which is a 50/50 wool blend. This particular color is Lady Slipper, and I purchased it at Webs. (I love love love that place- I should really take out stock).

The final shawl, as shown in Interweave Crochet, Spring 2011 issue uses Manos del Uruguay Lace distributed by Fairmount Fibers.

For those on Ravelry- Here is the Dahlia Shawl Link On Ravelry!


Dahlia Shawl - Interweave Crochet, Spring 2011

Maybe tomorrow or this weekend, I will post the photos of the blocking process- I actually happened to take photos in each step, as this shawl was originally going to be on the Crochet Garden website, with a blocking tutorial. So keep an eye out on that, and you will see how this shawl and other really come to life.

Also, there are a couple more shawl lace patterns in the works!! :)