Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Bbest of January 2012

The KnottySheep by Kary

A long time member of our Bbest Team, Kary
decribes herself as a "Creative Spirit". This is well portrayed in her hand-spun, hand-dyed, wools sold in her shop. Kary's love of working with hand-spun wools from the various sheep she uses for her wools, which gives a unqiueness to each creation. Besides her "hand-spun, hand-dyed" wools, Kary's shop also has what she calls her "Buck Naked Sheep Skeins" which are pure CALIFORNIA RED wool from a sheepie named "Humvie". The color is a natural tan - with the slightest hint of red 'hairs'.

According to Kary. "I work with various tools & I create with a tactile experience in mind. Knitting, spinning, weaving, felting - the joy of wool is ever present in my work". I recently finished a scarf made from one of the beautiful handspun wools from this shop. The yarn was called "A Walk Down the Rose Garden Path". As much as I loved this yarn, and was planning on making something special for myself; I wound up making it as a Christmas gift for one of my closest friends.

Kary's main passion, which we all know, is her love of dogs. Between all of her spinning and dyeing, she is busy saving shelter dogs, and donates a lot of her profits to dog rescues and shelters. Her goodness of spirit is also evident in her involvement in her other Team, Etsy Catholic.

In her own words,"Sometimes, I really let the Muse take over and use vintage fabrics, laces & buttons from my collection! Each add wonderful detail, history and uniqueness to each creation. I strive to make each piece one of a kind ... to celebrate your individuality!

Visit Kary's blog at:

CreatingCottage by Renee Holtzer

As Roses are my favorite flower, not only for their beauty, but their fragnance and a Victorian time (thanks to Queen Victoria) when Roses were the symbol of a true love. The first time I saw one of CreatingCottage's pieces in a Treasury, I became an instant follower of this shop.

The work of a very talented artist, Renee Holtzer, CreatingCottage is a shop of beautiful handmade roses for furniture appliques, cottage style decor and shabby chic accessories. Each item in her shop are handmade original designs in romantic pink roses. Growing up I spent many summers on Cape Cod, our house was surrounded by rambling pink "cottage roses", which I would love to admire as they crawled around the very worn wooden fence surrounding our cottage. As memories never fade, Renee's "Cottage Roses" brings back those very memorable summers every time I view one of her handmade creations.

Cottage Style Roses by CreatingCottage consists of Earrings, bracelets, rings, pendants, as well as "Shabby Chic" furniture appliques, decorative accents, furniture appliques, shabby chic accessories and cottage style embellishments.

You can learn more about Renee and her shop from her blog:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Treasury: Sweet Valentine Gifts

  • Sweet Valentine Gifts Treasury
  • created by Lynette

The Creation of a Pattern!

                                The Creation of a Pattern

For those of us who Crochet or Knit, we are dependent on the many patterns we may use. Often we may find these patterns in books sold in a Yarn shop; online searches; or we may purchase a pattern from one of the many talented Pattern designers on Etsy (a source of all handmade items). It wasn't until I read one of the many threads in the "CrochetOriginals Team" about all what is involved in creating a pattern - I was quite impressed and had no idea of all the creativity that goes into the process from start to finish, that I wanted to share all that goes into the creation of these very intriquite patterns, we so often take advantage of. The artistic talent of these designers are similar to any artist who is about to design a work of art such as painting, jewelry designing, glass work, etc.

Crochetgal.Chevron Blanket Pattern

This is Crochetgal's  thought process in just how she creates her patterns from start to finish: "Publishing patterns takes a lot of time and effort. First you have to come up with the idea. Then you start making the first prototype of the item, writing down each step along the way". Once the prototype is done, then its time to revise it and write those notes into a format that someone else can actually read. Scratches on paper really don't help at all. After Crochetgal has all the basics worked out; then its time for the pattern to be tested. This is done by "testers" (who she hires and pays extremely well), and in turn gets some very well tested patterns. After all the testing is done, and the final photo shots are done, the completed work is then assembled with everything, along with any diagrams that might be needed. At this point you can either self publish or send the pattern to various magazines for publication.

Crochetgal. Shawl or Wrap Pattern
One of Crochetgal's goals for this year is to expand her shop,
 more hooks cand needles as well as at least one other line of yarn. I have chosen three patterns from her shop, which I know you will all find very intriquing and will want to try.

Crochetgal.Ruffled Scarf Pattern

With my curiosity brewing, I also asked Sandy whose shop is:, what process inspires her patterns. Her response was, "Sometimes an idea pops into my mind's eye, and sometimes I have customers and friends ask me to design something because they can't find the pattern anywhere. Once she has a specific idea in her mind, she then looks for various types of yarns and colors to help work out the design.

SandysCapeCodOriginal.Legwarmers.Hat Pattern

According to Sandy this is when she usually starts writing, trying to think how I want the finished item to look, then as I work on the actual stitches making various changes along the way. Once finished with the pattern, Sandy then trys to get product shots of the items. "I sometimes put the pattern aside and then in a few days go back and make it again and I catch a lot of the mistakes that way". Sometimes she will have people to test the patterns. Depending on what she is creating the pattern for; "if it is for my own website, then I might ask someone; but if it is for a publisher, then I don't ask anyone". Another part of the process is having people with.different skill levels to work a specific pattern so she could see how easy the pattern is to read; and sometime to see if a beginner can actually make the item.

SandysCapeCodOriginal.Christmas Ornament Cocoon Pattern
 I am sure both Crochetgal and Sandy can attest that another hard part of designing a pattern is using wording so that people will understand and having them know what they want them to do in the way of stitches, assembling the finished pieces, etc. Sandy has included some videos with her patterns, as it is just easier to show a video rather than try to put some of the techniques into words. As she says, "Technology today has made pattern writing a lot easier".

SandysCapeCodOriginal.Crochet Animal Farm Pattern

Sandy is also in the process of opening another shop:
You can purchase any of these (as well as other) patterns from these shops, or any shop online, they can be emailed to you in a Pdf format, or mailed directly to you.

If you are interested in trying to create a pattern of your own, one can find the (USA) industry standards for patterns at along with the designer guidelines. I have chosen three patterns from each shop, which I know you will all find very intriquing and will want to try. I hope this helps you better understand the artistry that goes into each pattern that we often use.