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Welcome Friends! Please be patient while I add more info. I have SO much to share with you. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Article About me from Amy Shelton of Crochetville

Even though this article by Amy Shelton was written years ago, I just now came across it. Thanks Amy!

Today is the fifth day of A Tour through Crochet Country. I hope you’ve had as much fun as Donna and I have had as we’ve checked each day to see what our designers have in store for us during National Crochet Month.
Let’s hop aboard the blog train and head on out to visit with Mary Jane Hall andLindsey Stephens.
[button link=”http://positivelycrochet.blogspot.com/”]Today’s Stop 1: Visit Mary Jane Hall[/button]
If you’re a crochet fashionista who loves to make and wear trendy crochet clothing and accessories, then you’re probably already familiar with Mary Jane Hall’s designs. Mary Jane has written two books jam-packed with incredible crochet fashions: Positively Crochet!: 50 Fashionable Projects and Inspirational Tips andCrochet That Fits: Shaped Fashions Without Increases or Decreases. Mary Jane has also had numerous patterns featured in other books and magazines.
Here are two of my favorite patterns of Mary Jane’s:
Little Black Dress
Little Black Dress
Crochet That Fits
Houndstooth Purse
Houndstooth Purse
Crochet Today! May/June 2009
My daughter is a college-student at the University of Alabama, where houndstooth is always seen in abundance, in remembrance of football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s famous houndstooth hat. One day soon I’ll be making this in black and white.
On a more personal level, her faith in God and spending time with her friends and family are the most important things in Mary Jane’s life. She also enjoys cooking, thrift-store shopping, hiking in the summer, and traveling. She’s also an accomplished singer, a skill of which I’m very envious. She even has a CD of contemporary music coming soon! She is one multi-talented lady!
Mary Jane also appeared on Season 3, Episode 8 of the Knit and Crochet Now TV show. Click here to watch!

Monday, April 6, 2015

The 70's Trend in Fashion 2015

As some already know, I am crazy about the 70's trends in fashion. In fact I have been blogging about this for several years now. It used to be when trends came in, they'd go out the next year but have you noticed how in the last 10 or so years a trend comes in and stays in? Since I love fashion from the 70's, when it was being shown on the runways, I was excited and reluctant at the same time, thinking it wouldn't catch on and it wouldn't last. But then year after year the past decade bits and pieces of the 70's trends keep cropping up.

How To Wear the 70's Trends without Looking like You're 
Wearing a Hippie Halloween Costume

I don't care if you're in your teens, 20's, 30's or 40's, you know all about the hippie phenomenon of the late 60's and early 70's. You're mom, grandmother or aunts may have lived back then and still have items of clothing they wore. Back in the 90's when my daughter was in college, this trend popped up on the scene and before I knew it she was asking to borrow my hats, vests, ponchos, beads, macrame and bags I still had in my closet. I don't want you to get the wrong idea. I was not a hippie, who was all about free love and anti establishment, and I certainly didn't live in a commune. But certain aspects of the hippie vibe started spilling over into main street fashion and I really took it on. That was absolutely a favorite season of my life as far as clothing I wore over the years. One reason is because it was ultra feminine to me and  represented the style of what I felt good in. There was just something about long flowing dresses (with smaller flowers that weren't gaudy like some colors of the 60's), wide brimmed hats, shoulder bags with fringe or tassels, long fringed vests and gladiator type sandels. Now what did I just describe to you? You've seen this look everywhere today.

Hippie vs the Bohemian Look of Today

Bohemian style or "Boho" as some call it, is a more refined chic look. Some even call it Hippie Chic, and I guess you could say I dressed Bohemian back then, but I had never heard that term until the last decade. The past several years a few fashion designers started putting these looks in their runway shows but it didn't seem to catch on as I had hoped and I was sure it would go away. But every year those 70's looks keep cropping up, which gave me hope. I can confidentially say that now it's become a very popular theme even among more well known designers I thought would never consider "boho". I believe some celebrities who have helped this trend along are the Olson twins and Nicole Richie, who have had their own clothing line. When the younger generation hops on the bandwagon, top designers have to take notice. It used to be many, many years ago that designers controlled the trends, and we just had fo go along with it whether we liked it or not, but now the fashion conscious public controls it and the designers have to go along with it if they want to stay in business. One single person can affect fashion trends and we saw that around 2004 when Jessica Simpson wore a beautiful crochet shawl on stage and everyone who saw it just had to have one! Thats when the "crochet craze" began its ressurection and I promise you, if it were not for that one shawl she wore on stage, I would not be designing today. I started desigoing my own caplets and ponchos and the rest is history!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Free Sock Pattern

Beginner Sock Pattern
I am finally finished with the Easy Sock Pattern I promised you all on my featured day of the designer blog tour. Thank you for being patient with me on this. There was much more involved in writing it up than I originally anticipated, since I decided to go ahead and write up the pattern for men's sizes also. The sock pattern I have written is for women's sizes 4-12 (shoe size)  and men's shoe sizes 6-14. There are several pages to this pattern because I wanted to explain my Graduated Stitch Method of making shaped garments and accessories without using increases or decreases. I talk about how I introduced this method in Crochet That Fits and give lots of tips and have several photos as well, making the pattern easy to undrstand. Don't allow the number of pages to scare you! This is a beginner pattern and I wanted to be clear on the instructions which is why it took so long to finish it up besides the fact I am very busy with other things in my life. Please let me know what you think, as I did not have a pattern tester for this sock. Even though this is the first I have ever designed a crochet sock, I think it will be pretty awesome for those who have always thought socks would be way too difficult to do.  I'm excited to hear your feedback and by all means please post a photo of your finished socks on Ravelry and connect to me as the designer.

I will also remind everyone that I am giving you permission to make and sell your finished product, but if you do sell anything of mine on etsy, craftsy, ebay, revelry, your blog, or any other place, you need to mention my name as the designer, so I will get the credit. Mentioning my name helps to promote me and my designs/books, therefore helping my income. There are people at the moment selling projects from my designs and have not mentioned my name, which makes it look like they are the designer. This is hurtful and just not right.

Also, remember that it is illegal to post my written pattern on the internet, so please be mindful of this. People have found my entire written patterns that are in my books, posted on websites in other countries and the publisher has had to contact them. This takes away sales from the book and has been a problem for other designers as well.

Thank you all for understanding and for being patient!
The downloadable pattern in PDF form is here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Sock Pattern

Thank you so much for being patient with me on the sock pattern! I thought I would get it finished up today, but it's not quite done. I actually have the pattern typed up, but just need to work on putting the tutorial with pictures. I thought about posting the pattern today without that, but just want to have it all done at the same time. The socks are easy but it has been more difficult than I thought writing it up. One reason is because I have figured up sizes for Womens size 4-12 and men's size 6-14. That part is not easy for me. I don't like math so it's the hardest part of writing a pattern when you want more than one size. I'm not left brain, if you know what I mean! I'm getting up early in the morning so I can finish everything  and I'll do my best to have the pattern posted by tomorrow afternoon. You don't haveto worry about not getting the pattern. I will make sure you all get it before i put it up for sale! Hope you like it.

Close up of the lace edging

This is what the shaping looks like with the GSM. You work sc on the same row as the hdc, and sometimes even tr or dbtr will be on the same row with a sc. I also  came up with a htr and a hdbtr, that act as a "bridge" to the next taller st, just like what the hdc does from a sc to a dc. It wasn't in any books prior to the writing of Crochet That Fits, but since that book was published, I have seen other designers use the htr and hdbtr.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Designer Blog Tour 2015-National Crochet Month

Welcome Friends!

Thank you for visiting my blog today in celebration of National Crochet Month! Keep reading to see how you can enter a drawing to win a copy of my newest book, Colorful Crochet Lace! My freebe for today is a pattern for a pair of crochet socks with no increases or decreases.

If you'very been following the designer blog tour, you know that it is sponsored by Crochetville, a huge crochet community of people everywhere just as eager as ├Żou are with this craft. The founders, Amy Shelton and Donna Houlka, have been doing major things for years now to promote crochet. If you've never been to their site, you really need to do that! You will meet many other crocheters you can get to know, have access to free patterns, as well as finding tons of information on crochet.

Introducing my new book, Colorful Crochet Lace, 
published by Interweave / F+W. This book contains a variety of all lace projects - garments and accessories. The Fitted Pepum Top on the cover is the only one that is not entirely lace. Patterns are written for sizes xs to 2x with some in size 3x. I've included 4 garments with my Graduated Stitch Methid. For the description and how you can enter a 
drawing to win a copy, please keep reading!
During March we are also promoving CGOA (Crochet Guild of America). If you are not familiar with this National group you will want to read all about it! There are many benefits to joining and you will find a truckload of information.  You'll get a free subscription to Crochet! Magazine and also receive discounts to the annual Knit and Crochet Conference, known as Chain Link. In the past this has been held in Manchester, NJ and PA, but is being held in sunny San Diego this year, July, 2015.  I cannot tell you what a fun time this is. It has always been a highlight of my year! If you have aspirations of becoming a designer, in my opinion it is imperative that you attend this conference, where you will be able to attend informative classes. you'll get to meet other crocbeters, designers, publishers and editors. Other highlights include the fashion show on Saturday and the "market", where
vendors are set up selling yarn, books, and other gadgets.

Free sock pattern worked with my Graduated Stitch Method of making shaped garments
without using increases or decreases
This beginner pattern is super easy, with no increases or decreases and is worked in 1 piece, then seamed up the sides. My pattern, which has an optional lace edging, includes women's foot sizes 4-12 and men's sizes 6-14. It is easily adaptable for young children or a baby. Click on the link at bottom of page to receive your free pattern today, March 30, only. After today I will be selling it for $2.99, so be sure and get it before it's gone!

True color of yarn - Panda Silk by Crystal Palace
Crocheters everywhere are also encouraged to participate in Halos of Hope, an organization that collects hats for cancer patients. If you are able to crochet or knit a hat (any size) that would be very much appreciated! Click on the link for more info.

This is one simple thing we can do to support this project. There is also a link to help you with patterns and size information.

Description of Colorful Crochet Lace on Amazon

"A colorful take on crochet lace!"
Crochet lace is more popular than ever, and Colorful Crochet Lace brings it to life in living color. Designer Mary Jane Hall has created a stunning collection of 22 chic and wearable lace garments and accessories. You'll find a wardrobe's worth of colorful lace designs from chic shrugs and scarves, to cozy cardigans and tunics, to stylish dresses, T-shirts, and totes. The designs include simple, allover openwork patterns, as well as more intricate crochet lace patterns and motifs, which are worked in a variety of yarn weights and in a glorious range of colors from elegant jewel tones to earthy neutrals.
Several of the projects are constructed using the Graduated Stitch Method, a technique Mary Jane developed that allows for shaping and customized fit without increases or decreases, and many of the patterns include instructions for modifying designs and creating variations. With clear instructions, detailed stitch diagrams, and gorgeous photography, Colorful Crochet Lace makes it easy and fun to create exquisite crochet fashions.

*How To Enter The Contest For a*     
 Chance to Win A Copy!

All you have to do to enter the contest is to make a comment at the end of this post with your name and a way I can contact you, either through email, Facebook, Instant Messenger, or Ravelry, in case your name is drawn as a lucky winner! Thank you for visiting my blog today, and I hope you will comeback often!

*How to Access Your Free Sock Pattern*

Click on the link below for your free copy

NOTE: I apologize that I do not have the sock pattern ready this morning, Monday,March 30. I worked on it all night and just didn't get finisbed. But I promise I will have it finished by this evening or tomorrow at the latest. I'm doing a step by step tutorial, which involves several pictures. I am extending the offer for the free pattern through Wednesday, April 1st. It should be posted here by then but if it isn't I'll let you know. Thank you for being patient!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Guidelines For Designers

The following article was written by the Craft Yarn Cat the Yarn Standards website. It should be helpful to all, especially if you want to design garments. If you don't know anything about this website, it's a place where you can find the correct sizing measurements for men, women and children. 

Standards and Guidelines for Crochet and Knitting

The publishers, fiber, needle and hook manufacturers and yarn members of the Craft Yarn Council have worked together to set up a series of guidelines and symbols to bring uniformity to yarn, needle and hook labeling and to patterns, whether they appear in books, magazines, leaflets or on yarn labels. Our goal is to make it easier for industry manufacturers, publishers and designers to prepare consumer-friendly products and for consumers to select the right materials for a project and complete it successfully. Included are:
• a uniform list of crochet and knit abbreviations
• guidelines for ranking the skill level of crochet and knit patterns
• measuring, fit, and sizing guidelines for babies, children, women, and men
• categories of yarn, gauge ranges, and recommended needle and hook sizes
• categories of yarn by weight, gauge ranges and recommended needle and hook sizes
• millimeter and U.S. size ranges for hooks and needles
• graphic symbols for skill levels and yarn weights
• chart symbols for knit and crochet
• understanding yarn label information
• tips on reading knit and crochet patterns
• guidelines for industry designers
• FAQs
We urge manufacturers, publishers and designers, to adopt these guidelines. Downloads of the graphic symbols are available at this web site at no charge. We ask that if you use them in any publication that you advise us in an e-mail of your intention to use them and that the following credit line be given:
Source: Craft Yarn Council's www.YarnStandards.com
We received valuable input from allied associations in the United States, such as The National NeedleArts Association, the Crochet Guild of America, and The Knitting Guild Association, as well as designers and consumers. Ultimately, our objective is to design global standards and guidelines that will be used by companies worldwide. To this end, we have reached out to individuals, manufacturers and trade associations in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, as well as in Australia and New Zealand to ask for their input.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Look for this logo

What is Pinterest and Why Are So Many People Excited about it?

If you're already on Pinterest, pleas follow my boards and
I'll follow you as well! The link to my page and my boards is here.

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. It is loads of fun, but is also a way to get more exposure if you are a designer or have any other business. Since I have been on Pinterest the last 4 years, it has tripled the patterns I have sold on my blog. One of my boards is "Mary Jane Hall Designs", and you can pin as much as you want there. People who follow you, pin your pins to their board, then their friends pins their friend's pins. Get the idea? It just grows and grows, and people who you've never heard of are following you because of one of their friends. I now have over 5,200 people following me on Pintere st and I didn't do anything to make that happen except to start my boards and start pinning. You can pin any of your own pictures, recipes, etc but you mainly get your pins from people you follow. Or you can search for anything or any subject  just like you would on eBay or Amazon.

 I am obsessed with Pinterest. I love searching for recipes and crochet. But that's not all. I have 300 boards of just about everything I love or am interested in.
I tried for years to get my sister to sign up, but she kept saying "I don't have time for anything else like Facebook to take up my time". I assured her that Pinterest was nothing like Facebook, and you don't have to talk to anyone. It's just a place for you to save things (pictures, patterns, recipes) you find on the Internet you want to go back to. I used to save a link, recipe or photo to my documents on my PC, but that takes up space and memory, slowing down your computer. Pinterest is a fantastic idea! When people say they don't have time for Pinterest, I say "I don't have time NOT to use Pinterest!" What I mean by that is I have learned so much about things and the tips on cooking, cleaning, crafting, refashioning, crocheting, and numerous other things that have helped me tremendously in my life!
Learning the tips I have found there actually makes life easier and less stressful, not worse. Just an example is that I learned to cook bacon on a cookie sheet in the oven. I always hated to cook bacon before, because I had to stand there and turn it over several times, while it's popping grease all over me. But when you cook it in the oven, you can just leave it for 30 minutes, without having to attend to it. I cannot begin to tell you all the ways my life is better because of Pinterest! I finally got my sister to join and now she is obsessed with Pinterest also!

Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, organize their favorite recipes, look for gardening ideas, sewing ideas, places they want to visit and you can even have secret boards that no one else will see. You may want to have a secret board of ideas you find for a surprise shower or birthday party.

Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

A great blog of Pinterest information!

Some Tips about Pinterest

Your Profile - You'll set up a very short profile on your Pinterest page to share a little about yourself.

Setting up your boards - Pinterest gives you ideas for categories but you can come up with your own, or get ideas from other people(categories, popular subjects, catchy titles, variety of subjects, descriptions)

Choosing Photos and Graphics Wisely - Photos that fit in the window, visually nice and colorful photos and graphics, put your own photo as the main pic on a board - Example - my crochet designs.

How to get people to follow you - Don't pin mostly your own stuff or people won't follow you. People like to follow people who have lots of followers, invite family and friends, invite FB friends, follow people who follow you, even if you don't follow them - pin their pins.

Pinterest Ediquitte  - Go to the original source -website or blog - to pin a recipe or pattern, be nice! comment when people send you a comment. You don't have to go to the original website anymore in order to pin. You just do it from pinterest. But usually if you want a recipe for something you've found on another person's board you will have to go to the link to get the recipe, but not always. 

Using Pinterest for Fun - You can look up anything imaginable on pinterest, and the best part about it is there are pictures, so you can actually see a dish (recipe). Some of my more fun things to look up are Fashion, Places I want to Visit, Encouraging Quotes, Health Tips, Exercise and Diet Tips, Gluten Free Foods, Shabby Chic, Color My World, Favorite TV Shows and Singers, Things That Make Me Happy, Yarn Bombing, Yarn Storage Ideas, Yarn I Love, Make - Up and Beauty Ideas, Anti- Aging, Refashioning Clothing, Recycling furniture and clothing, Crochet Books and SO much more! Can you tell yet that I love Pinterest?

Using Pinterest for your business
This blog/website shows you how to add the Pin In button to all of the pictures on your blog at once!