Potty mouth

It amazes me sometimes what comes out of some people’s mouth. I have heard a few times with a surprised demeanor, “everyone talks like that!”

And it amazes me when people use vulgarity in messages or on Facebook posts. It takes a special determination to take the time to type out and share vulgarity.

Actually, everyone does not talk like that. There are a lot of people that cringe when they hear some of today’s language.


Here’s my thought…

*Do you talk like that to your boss?
*Do you talk like that to your pastor?
*Would you talk that way to a policeman/to your banker?
*Is that how you want to portray your profession/product?
*You do realize that children listen and copy everything they hear. Do you want your kids talking like that?

What comes out of your mouth identifies you as a person. You are judged by what you say and what you do and how you act. How do you want people to see you?

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I write crochet patterns

That statement certainly sounds a little ostentatious or grandiose! I have been a prolific crocheter every day since I retired. When I received so many comments on how pretty they felt my shawls were, it occurred to me that I could write down what I do when I crochet a shawl and create a pattern.

Writing a crochet pattern is totally different than just crocheting! When I crochet for myself, I can take shortcuts, finagle a stitch or two, or even do something that makes no sense whatsoever to create a certain look. The difficult part is writing it down for someone else to understand!

As with any style of writing, there are certain rules and formats to follow. There are specific and common usage abbreviations to indicate crochet stitches and patterns. There is a standard way of indicating how to do something in a pattern. You need to give measurements, you need to indicate the type of yarn, whether it’s acrylic or whether it’s animal based such as wool or whether it’s cotton. Each type of yarn has a different feel and has a different look when you put it into a finished item. You need to indicate what size hook you decided to use.

The US has a different size table for yarn and hooks than the UK and Australia and the rest of the world. A pattern must indicate whether you are using US or UK terminology. Yarns readily available in the US stores are usually not the same as what is available elsewhere. Online shopping has given buyers in every country the option to try other yarns. Many yarns come from South Africa, Turkey, Denmark, Japan, and China. That has opened my eyes to realize that Walmart, Michael’s, Joann’s, or Hobby Lobby are not the only places to buy yarn!

The most difficult thing in writing a pattern, is to actually try to verbalize your instructions in a way that any crocheter could follow, recognize and understand what you’re trying to say, and then be able to emulate your creation.

You can’t take shortcuts, and you can’t assume your reader knows everything that you know. You must be specific, writing out every step that you take and include measurements and stitch counts for them to double check their own work.

Each crocheter has their own way of doing things, there’s not a standardized way to teach crocheting, and so, everyone learns what is best for them. Some hold their hook very tightly and make small and dense stitches. Some, like me, crochet quickly, in a hurry to see results, and crochet stitches are looser. That is the tension that crocheters have to pay attention to.

If you want to re-create a lovely blouse, the pattern will indicate standard sizes and/or indicate places to fit the body with specific measurements. Crocheters and designers need to be aware of gauge swatches.

A gauge swatch is when the designer indicates their hook size, their specific yarn, and crochets a small square with measurements to indicate how many stitches and how many back and forth rows it took to create this square. That way, you as the crocheter, can make this small square to check if you can match their gauge, their tension, and be able to recreate the blouse and ensure that it will fit you. You don’t want to just wing it, and discover after you have spent days crocheting the blouse, that it will fit your 12-year-old daughter instead! Even if you buy the exact same yarn as the designer used in the pattern, you still need to check their gauge to see if they crochet tighter or looser than you do. That is when you have to adjust and choose a smaller or a larger hook size so that your crocheted item will come out just like the pattern!

You will then need eye catching pictures of your finished item that will entice someone into wanting to recreate that crocheted gem!

I even discovered there is sometimes a mathematical formula to creating crocheted items. I am not a math person! I was horrible at math! What a shock it was to me, to learn that I was going to be using a little bit of math in my designs!

I tend to be a “crochet as I go” designer. That just means, I decide I want to make a shawl. I decide on my yarn, get my desired hook size, and begin. Sometimes to keep myself entertained and interested, I will use different stitches for different combination of stitches that create visual or textural interest. And then I have to write down what I did in the first row. And then in the next row, I have to write down again every stitch I made and make sure it makes sense.

What all of this has taught me is, I am an intermediate crocheter of sorts, but still a beginner at writing patterns. And there is always something to learn from each! I enjoy learning new stitches, new ideas, new ways to put stitches together and then I turn that into something wearable or useful.

After you have made your creation, written your pattern, and tried to proofread and edit, added some pictures, then you need to have testers try out your pattern.

Testers are crocheters from everywhere and anywhere who will volunteer their time and their yarn and their hooks to follow your pattern to recreate your design. They will read your pattern, find your typos, check your measurements and tell you if it is legible and sometimes we’ll even tell you you did it wrong or should have done it a different way!

Despite that, testing is important! If you’ve ever proof read an article you wrote, you know that it is so easy to skim read, Read between the lines, and/or forget to include simple instructions. After the testing is over, that’s when you can publish your pattern for sale.

As with anything, it’s a journey! Sometimes it is fun and sometimes it is frustrating. I am enjoying it! I love the creative side, and I love learning new things, and I Love 💕 sharing with you!

Usually the crocheted items I make go in my Etsy store. The patterns are available in my Ravelry store as well as my Etsy store. Why don’t you drop by sometime! I’d love to see you!

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#4 Medium weight yarn

I’m working on a new pattern. It’s a lovely shawl. I fell in love with a mandala type motif and decided I wanted to create that type of pattern on the back of the shawl. And so I began creating.

The first shawl I made, was using Caron big cakes yarn. I loved the color! I controlled how the color showed off the pattern in the middle of the beginning motif. I wanted nothing to spoil that first look! As the shawl got bigger, I decided to continue to make sure the change of color always happened at the end of a row. I wanted nothing to distract the eye! I really love this one! I think it turned out lovely.

My second shawl used another medium weight acrylic yarn. Caron jumbo ombre yarn is not a yarn I had used before. It was one I had to order. But I was interested in seeing how this ombre yarn compared to Red Heart super saver ombre that I had used in the past. The Caron jumbo ombre is a little thicker, much nicer to crochet with than the red heart ombre which tends to split as I crochet with it, so I’m really liking this yarn! This pattern is not draping as easily as the first shawl, so the slight thicker yarn is making the texture a little bit thicker and stiffer. I think the next time, I need to use a larger size hook. It is quite interesting that different yarns of the same weight can turn out so differently. This will still be beautiful, but it is something to keep in mind if what you are creating needs to have a little bit more drape to it.

I’m almost finished with this one, so I will be thinking of my next project! I really love creating! Most of the time, my projects are one of a kind.

I would love if you could drop by my Etsy store and take a quick look! I’d love to see you!

Have a great day and stay safe.

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Musings

There’s been a lot going on in the world these last couple of years. And it seems that when one thing calms down something else is there to take its place! I’ve discovered that if I pay attention to other voices or focus on the craziness, it tends to be infectious. And so I turn to my crochet.

I’ve been working on a few new projects. I finished a lap size blanket / baby blanket recently. It has a lot of the yarn ends I need to weave in to finish it. But it’s one that I look at and think, “wow did I do that? It’s kind of pretty!”

I finished a shawl a couple weeks ago. I had started it in November of 2021, got about halfway through, and then set it aside to contemplate. I was writing my stitches down to make a pattern.

I picked it up again recently and decided to finish it. It looks pretty cool if I do say so myself! Lol. But, there were things about it I was not quite sure of and wanted to make it one more time to work out some kinks and make sure it was the way I wanted it to be. After that, I would give the pattern to some crochet testers to see if they could recreate my design and to make sure what I wanted to say was actually in the pattern and not just in my mind. One of the things about designing, you can skim your own work and assume someone knows something and forget to put it in the pattern!

I used almost two caron big cakes of yarn to make this shawl. But I had to take a break and work on something different, something smaller to let my mind rest. I’ll have to decide what color I want to make this when I do it again to check my own pattern instructions. This one will probably go in my Etsy store. http://estherscrochet.com

And then I decided to make a rectangle shawl using squares. I wanted to work on something small so I created a few patterns for squares. They can be used to crochet and put together to make a baby blanket or a larger blanket or throw. I decided I wanted to put them together and make a rectangle shawl. So that’s what I’m working on right now.

It has three different colors and put together with the white. A light yellow, a darker yellow, and the lime green. We’ll see what it looks like when it’s finished. It’s actually getting close. I need to decide what to do for my next project! Perhaps I will do the shawl again so that I can have the pattern tested and published.

Just felt like checking in today. Nothing new going on. We are well. It snowed here during the night but it will probably melt during the day and we’re supposed to be in summer by next week! It’s really been interesting weather as usual!

Hope everyone in your family is safe and sound and healthy and well! Prayers and hugs and love to all! See you next time!

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What to crochet when you don’t know what to crochet?

After I retired I started crocheting prolifically every day. I discovered YouTube and what a learning tool it can be!

After a while, it seemed as if I wanted to write down every project I crocheted as a possible pattern. Of course, there was always the knowledge I might want to make it again someday.

Some days that creativity just stalls. You might see a stitch and think that would make a great shawl, but you tell yourself, ” well I have plenty of shawls. Why should I make another one?” Or you see an interesting pattern and think that would make a great design on a washcloth or pot holder, but no one in my family likes to use crochet items.

I learned how to make kitchen towels and washcloths. I learned how to make scarves and hats and shawls and ponchos! I discovered new stitch patterns and stitch combinations to make interesting textures!

I already had an established Etsy store and begin putting my crochet items in there and have sold many things. But it seems I can crochet faster than I can sell!

I wanted to create something different and wanted it to be something I could finish in an evening or maybe two.

So I came up with these fun infinity scarves. An infinity scarf doesn’t have two ends like a regular scarf. It is circular and continuous, and you just throw it over your head. You can wrap it around your neck twice to make it nice and full, or let it hang long.

My first one I was using leftover yarn so I decided on two colors. My second one, I decided to be a little wild and crazy and use up a lovely variegated yarn. I absolutely love the way they look!

Both will be available soon in my Etsy store. estherscrochet.com

And once I have them tested by other crocheters, the pattern will be available in my Etsy or Ravelry store. https://www.ravelry.com/designers/esther-york

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My new elegant granny squares

After a recent month long illness, I wanted to crochet again. I decided on something small, just to be able to create something after the long absence.

For some reason, I decided to make some fancy granny squares. I don’t like the traditional granny square but these are fun. I ended up making six different patterns. I had them tested, and have published four of my grannies. I am getting the last two patterns ready to publish.

I made a beautiful baby / lap blanket out of 12 squares. Now I’m contemplating using some of the squares to make a poncho. They would make wonderful pillows covers. They would make a beautiful shawl I think. Squares are so versatile! So here are the ones that I have published.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1165442148/digital-crochet-alyssa-square-granny

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1165448642/digital-crochet-beatrice-square-granny

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1165453184/caroline-square-granny-square-granny-sq

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1179413077/dlisa-sq-digital-crochet-digital

When I have the time, I will be putting them in Ravelry https://www.ravelry.com/designers/esther-york as well. Here’s a picture of the finished baby blanket.

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Being sick is no fun

There has been a crazy ugly upper respiratory infection something or other going around our area. My daughter first got a nasty head cold and sniffled for several days. And then I got it! Mine was quite different! Lots of coughing, and copious amounts of phlegm and mucus that I was practically choking on! Some days the coughing was so bad, and so continuous I was exhausted and couldn’t catch my breath!

This began on January the 10th. I am just now, February 7th, getting back to normal! The worst and most scary was the physical weakness. I already have mobility issues so this added to my daily trepidation! Lots of prayers, a couple of visits from the home health care nurse and doctor and I am recovering! I really discovered I love chicken noodle soup, scrambled eggs, saltine crackers and diet 7 up!

Another drawback to sickness, is I could not crochet. I just did not feel well with so much energy expended on breathing and coughing.

I am finally crocheting again! I have really missed it! I decided to start small, so I have made four different granny squares that I am having tested by another crocheter right now. Once ready, I will publish them.

Great thing about granny squares is they are so versatile! You can whip stitch or crochet eight or nine together to make a scarf. You can make a vest or a sweater. You can make a baby blanket, or a wheelchair blanket! If you are extra inclined, you can make as many as you want and make a throw for your couch or a blanket for your bed! How fun is that!

If you are curious, you can find my patterns in my Etsy store https://www.etsy.com/shop/EsthersCrochetNook and in my ravelry store.

https://www.ravelry.com/designers/esther-york

Be watching for these new squares! I’m eager to see how many different types of projects I could make using granny squares!

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I love to crochet

I first learned to crochet when I was a child, I think in what is now called middle school. My maternal grandmother was special to me and she is the one who taught me.

I crocheted off and on over the years, not realizing you could make anything besides Afghans. My mother, later in life, crocheted all the time. All of the family got many Afghans or blankets from Mom every year at Christmas.

After I retired in 2014, I began crocheting every day. That is when I first discovered YouTube and realized what a valuable tool that was for learning! I have voraciously watched, learning new stitches and discovering shawls and ponchos and scarves and beanies! What a treasure trove!

I already had an Etsy store. I made single decade finger rosaries. Once I became so enamored with crocheting again, I started putting my items in my store. When I begin getting compliments on some of my shawls, I realized perhaps I could begin writing down my ideas and try creating patterns. Now, anything I try, usually turns into a pattern!

I have the majority of my patterns on Etsy, most of them on ravelry, and a few on Lovecraft’s.

http://estherscrochet.com

https://www.ravelry.com/designers/esther-york

My favorite thing to do, is trying new combinations of stitches to keep myself entertained and interested in the project I’m working on.  I like to use simple stitches, since I still consider myself somewhat of a beginner, and use them in ways to create interest but that are not too difficult for the average crocheter!

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mothers-love-shawl-2

That one was dedicated to my mother who I lost in 2021. She was 94.

In November of 2020, I kind of went crazy and designed 11 different scarf patterns! After that, I didn’t want to do scarves for a while! Lol. 

Here are a couple of my favorites.

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/falling-fans-scarf

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bead-stitch-unisex-scarf

One of my earlier designs has become quite popular. It is a hooded triangle scarf.

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hooded-triangle-scarf

 Another favorite of mine is making market bags. 

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/simple-market-bag-3

So you will find anything from washcloths and dishcloths, face scrubbies, pot scrubbers, to shawls, ponchos, scarves and beanies.

I always have more than one project and design in the works at any one moment. Right now, I am working on a simple interesting cowl/Infinity scarf using the wattle stitch in the round. It looks quite different than using the wattle stitch in rows and I just love that! I also have a circular mandala style poncho in the works, a poncho made out of four squares, and several new bags.

Drop in anytime!

I’d love to have you visit!

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Ravelry: Unisex Triangles scarf pattern by Esther York

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/nisex-triangles-scarf

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Lap blanket baby blanket small afghan throw wheelchair | Etsy

https://www.etsy.com/listing/878534148/lap-blanket-baby-blanket-small-afghan

I never thought I could crochet something this beautiful! It was the most intricate and fancy thing I had ever tried! I’m so glad I did! I just love it.

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Tote of many colors tote bag bag carry-on market bag | Etsy

https://www.etsy.com/listing/994103902/tote-of-many-colors-tote-bag-bag-carry

One of my favorite ways to use up those partial skeins of yarn! Make a bag! Can’t have too many!

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I’m still here

2020 was a crazy year wasn’t it? We worried about our families and our jobs. We worried that we wouldn’t be able to find toilet paper.

I spent the year crocheting a lot. I have a lot of time in my hands since I’m retired and that’s how I spend my time.

I started writing down some of my ideas and making patterns. I thought I’d share some of them with you.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/937218334/three-point-shawl-crochet-shawl-digital

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Let’s have a contest!

Let’s have a contest!
Let’s have a drawing!received_431278457534280~2
I want 50 people to sign up for a new FREE account, (which only commits you to getting a couple of emails but helps me out! You can not be already signed up under another promoter.)
Starts today, August 11th 2020, contest ends in 2 weeks, August 25th 2020!
One lucky person will win this lovely cowl and matching crocheted beanie! (Must have 50 entries for the drawing to take place.)
Sign up here

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Procrastination

Nancy Loderick's Blog

procrastination

Normally I am not one for procrastination. I am more of a “get it done” type of person.

1. Choosing a gravestone.

As most of you know, my Mom passed away a little over two years ago. I have yet to get a gravestone for her. In my defense, the family plot where she is buried has fieldstones, rather than granite gravestones for markers. The tradition is that we get a stone from where my father grew up and use that for the gravestone. Well, aside from the fact that I don’t live close to this place, there are also no more stones there. You see the conundrum.

I had a lovely conversation with one of my cousins, who lives where my father grew up and she had a few excellent suggestions. One: use the same stone as my father’s and add to the plaque or Two: see if the…

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Change is scary

Change has always been frightening to me especially when it’s not my idea. Too people I knew passed away this week. One was the brother of a long time hugging buddy who I met more than 35 years ago. I grieved with  my friend and for the loss of his brother, lifting their whole family in prayer. This also touched his wife, another long time friend.

The other friend was also someone special I met at about the same time. She was special,with a special gift of a bubbling, laughing personality that drew you in and made you feel special. Even though time had passed, loving memories remain.

It has been a sobering time full of jumbled emotion and many prayers on their behalf. Some tendencies for crazy thoughts since both were younger than I am.

I am also making a difficult life changing choice which has also caused some soul-searching, prayer and indecision. Crazy thoughts try to wheedle into my day hinting that the change is a prelude to possible tragedy. That the change is a first step in preparation of a new and unsettling future. Did I mention I grew up watching a worrier and I tend to fall into old habits.

On the other side, I am a cancer survivor. My husband is doing well after a scary few months after a diagnosis of congestive heart disease. I have two loving children, grandchildren, siblings and friends who support me. I have all my needs met and a lot of my simple pleasures. We are blessed.

Now it is time to move forward in faith and trust, depending on my prayers and less on noticing the fears…

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