Friday, May 2, 2014

Finally Friday Link-a-Long: All Things Homemade & Handmade

Welcome, Friends, to another #LinkParty at the Go Crochet Crazy blog! The weekly theme is "All Things Homemande & Handmade". I can't believe another month has come to an end, and here it is the beginning of May! Time for me to hit the road again, starting tomorrow. Let's celebrate it by showcasing some of our newest or most favorite handmade and homemade items from this month.

I've been so inspired by the creative projects shared in my Google+ group, Go Crochet Crazy "All Things Handmade". If you haven't joined the group, I invite you to do so. We're sharing anything handmade, not just crochet, but fiber arts, paper crafts, other crafts, food stuffs, DIY, etc.

Let's Get This Party Started!

Share your blogs, Pinterest pin, or linkable image of homemade/handmade items that fall under the categories of crochet or other yarn creations, crafts, home & gardening, DIY, cooking and decor. Please keep it family friendly, and by joining the link party you give me permission to share your additions through social media venues, such as Pinterest and Twitter. Of course, you will be credited for them.  

Now, let's take a look at...

Last Week's Most Popular Links

See Creative Design by Sheila Zachariae Here!

See Polkadotted Rainbows Here!

Congratulations, and grab Your "I Was Featured at Go Crochet Crazy" Button to display on your blog! Everyone be sure to stop by and congratulate these folks on their beautiful creations!

I was featured at Go Crochet Crazy

Here's the code to copy and paste onto a blog widget so you can display your badge:

<div align="center"><a href="" title="I Was Featured at Go Crochet Crazy"><img src="" alt="I was featured at Go Crochet Crazy" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Before I get to the Finally Friday Link-a-Long Guidelines, if you have any doubts that participating in link parties is okay, please read my blog post here. It will put your concerns to rest.

Go Crochet Crazy Finally Friday Link-a-Long Guidelines
  1. Add links for up to three of your blog posts (not just your home page) using the ADD YOUR LINK button below.
  2. Leave a comment on two other blog posts or pins, letting them know you found them through the Go Crochet Crazy Spring Fling Link-a-Long. If you're one of the first two to the party, you can comment on the last one or two from this Link-a-Long from last week. Please feel free to comment on more, if you like. We all LOVE to get comments.
  3. Share this post through Google+, Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook...that's more exposure for everyone joining the link-a-long. **This is easy to do after linking up by clicking on one of the social media icons before you return to the party.**
  4. Let your readers know you've joined the Go Crochet Crazy Friday Link-a-Long by linking to this post on your blog. You can text link to this URL:

I joined the fun at the Go Crochet Crazy Link-a-Long

To see who I'm linking up with this week, please check out the list on this post!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Go Crochet Crazy Goes on the Road

It's that time of year once again, when vacationers from the US travel overseas to fulfill their dreams of experiencing parts of Europe. They have waited to ascend the Alps and look down into the valleys below. They delight in walking cobblestone streets trod upon by people from hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago. They leave having learned more about the history than they ever expected, and they find out that travel is one of the best ways to learn about the world and about themselves.

In my work as a tour director from late spring through early autumn, I am lucky enough to help these people fulfill their travel dreams. This Saturday, I leave for my first tour and can hardly wait for the season to begin. Between now and the end of September, I will be fortunate enough to see and share my passion with guests for places like Munich, Germany and Neuschwanstein Castle. I'll lead older adults and families through the countries of Germany, Austria, Switzerland (my favorite country), Italy and Lichtenstein. For someone who's been infected with wanderlust since she was a child, being able to do this is a dream come true.

Neuschwanstein Castle in Schwangau, Germany, the Bavarian Region
If you've been following the Go Crochet Crazy blog for a while now, you know my motto is "Have yarn, will travel". The thought of going a day without crocheting even a few stitches is, well, unthinkable. To me, crochet is like breathing. No matter how busy the day is, there's always five minutes to wrap the yarn around my fingers and, hook in hand, get lost in creativity.

For the month of May, I'll be tour directing through Germany, starting on the Central West border, making a U-shape down into Bavaria and coming back up to historical Berlin. My very patient, supportive boyfriend will keep the home front going until I return for a two-week break before heading out again.

During that time, I will continue to blog (you can't get rid of me that easily!) and hope you won't mind me interspersing a few travel photos in with my crochet bits. My trusty crochet bag will be coming along with me, filled with several skeins of cotton yarn. Since there won't be time or space in my suitcase for any large projects, I intend to spend the whatever time I have to crochet on making spa cloths or potholders for Christmas gifts.

My crochet bag

Having a bag full of yarn and WIPs nearby makes me happy.
Although there are times when I wish I could be at home, sleep in past 6am and be responsible for no one but me, I wouldn't trade the opportunity to be a tour director for any comforts or conveniences. Not only am I living a dream, but I have the honor of helping others realize their dreams. And that makes it all worth while.

So, it will soon be time to hit the road! I'd love to hear about some of your travels and travel dreams. What's your favorite place that you've visited? Where would you like to go that you haven't been yet? I'm sending good thoughts and wishes that you get there. :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cath Kidston Colors for Redheart Little Sweetie Dress

These past few months I've been doing a lot of crochet designing, and now I'm preparing to begin tour season (more on that in my next blog post). So, this past week I've transitioned to easy designs and ready-made patterns. Several people in my Google+ community, Go Crochet Crazy "All Things Handmade", have been sharing crochet dresses that they've recently made. That was one crochet project I'd never tackled, and I was really inspired by the pretty dresses I was seeing.

After a quick search, I found a free pattern for Redheart's Little Sweetie Dress. It wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but I knew that with a few of my own alterations I'd be able crochet something pretty for the two two-month-old babies back home in the states. Plus, the pattern was easy and used stitches that I knew would get me to the finish line fast.

Since I've been using Cath Kidston-inspired colors for a giant rectangle granny I'm making for my bed, I decided to use those same colors for my Little Sweetie dresses. I've finished one completely and have started the other, and am over-the-moon with the results.

Redheart's Little Sweetie Dress crocheted by Go Crochet Crazy in Cath Kidston colors

My Pattern Changes

There were a few things I changed about Redheart's pattern to make the dress look more like what I had in mind. Here they are:
  1. The pattern instructs you to change to a bigger hook and also use a larger V-stitch. My change: I used a 5mm hook throughout and stuck with the smaller V-stitch to avoid flaring on the lower half of the dress, as well as a weightier look.
  2. I didn't care for the fan-like edging at the bottom of the dress and wanted a softer look. My change: I added a soft, simple scallop edge by SC in one stitch, Ch 4, skip 3 stitches, SC in the next stitch, continuing this pattern all the way around.
  3. I tried the picot edging because I love the picot stitch, but felt it distracted from the beauty of the overall dress. My change: I opted to go around the neckline and back opening with a SC for a finished look.
  4. Again, I opted not to use the picot stitch around the arm holes. My change: I used the same soft scallop as is outlined in #2 for my armhole edging.
  5. A waist tie is not called for in this pattern, but I liked it for two add to the beauty of the dress and so it could be cinched in a little bit if it's too big. My change: A chain ribbon tie about 45 inches long, threaded through the first V-stitch row of the skirt.
And here's the dress as a work-in-progress...

Cath Kidston-inspired colors

The finished yoke and beginning of the skirt

The colors start coming alive

The finished dress without trim, pretty even like this.

My simple scallop edging for the skirt

A simple scallop gives the sleeve edge a soft look

And, again, the finished product, front and back...


Redheart's Little Sweetie Dress is crocheted from the top down. There's no piecing or sewing together, and it can be finished in a day or two. Using a Size H (5mm) hook, my dresses came out perfectly for a baby of about 3 months old. To make bigger sizes as the babies grow, I intend to just increase the size of the hook.

I'd love to hear what you think about the dresses I made. When you can take an existing pattern and add your own personal twists to it, the possibilities are endless. Have you made crochet dresses before? If so, do you use a favorite pattern or have one that you've designed? Let me know in the comments; it's great to share ideas. With the changes I've made, I'm certain I'll use this pattern again.

Today I'm Linking Up With:

Erika's Crafts Corner Link Yourself Monday
Memories by the Mile Treasure Box Tuesday
Kathe with an E You're Gonna Love it Tuesday
VMG206 Brag About it Tuesday Link Party 
Oombawka Design Weekly Link Party
Small Things Yarn Along Wednesday
Crochet Addict UK What Are You Doing Wednesday?
Easy Life Meal and Party Planning Four Seasons Blog Hop
Krafty Inspiration Thursday Link Party 
Crochet Addict UK "I've Made Friday"  
Create with Joy Friendship Friday 
The Stitchin' Mommy Get Creative Link Party  
Sincerely, Paula No Rules Weekend Blog Party  
Natasha in Oz Say G'Day Saturday  

Beauty Observed Link Party   
Annemarie's Haakblog Link Party