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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!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pumpkin Curry Soup Recipe

Pumpkin Curry Soup 

This soup is SO yummy, especially on a cold fall day like today! It would be nice served with crusty bread, but is great all by itself! There are lots and lots of recipes for pumpkin soup out there, but I took ingredients from several different recipes to come up with this. If you use an ingredient in your soup you think may be missing from mine, by all means , let me know!

  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 cup (1 small) chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 oz.) Pumpkin 
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Few dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz. Evaporated Milk or 1 can Coconut Milk
  • Pumpkin seeds, toasted in the oven
  • Note: if you have a big family you'll need to double this. I have made it with both evaporated milk and coconut milk, but think I prefer it with the evaporated milk. I do love coconut milk and use it a lot in Thai soups, but the evaporated milk makes this more savory.  

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in curry powder, salt and pepper; cook for 1 minute.

Add broth and pumpkin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in evaporated milk jus before serving. Serve warm and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Top 10 Fashion Trends for Winter 2015

It's always fun to find out what the new trends are. As a designer of crochet garments and accessories, its especially important. I love what I'm reading!

Some Trends for Winter 2015

1. Fringe - yeah! I love it!
2. Leather
3. White on white
4. Capes and Ponchos
5. Quilted fabrics and details
6. High Waisted dresses and tops
7. Sleeveless dresses and vests
8. Long vests, long dresses and long coats
9. Kimonos
10. Transparent fabrics
11. Fur vests, coats and collars

Many of these styles are 70's inspired. In the 70's I actually had a red, patent leather double-breasted maxi coat. I loved it! I just wish I knew what happened to that, because I never gave it away.

To read more , go to this link at Zee News

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Just Knitting Blog Video Review of Colorful Crochet Lace

I'm not really sure what her real name is so I'll just give the credit to the lady who calls herself "wearing purple" on all her social media. She received the book to review from Marly Bird after Marly did the podcast with me on the book and my design career.

Thank you for the review Wearing Purple! To see the video of her review click here.


To order Colorful Crochet Lace click HERE

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Library JOURNAL review of Colorful Crochet Lace

This is Library Journal's review of Colorful Crochet Lace. I got this ahead of time, so if you go to the link to read the review, it's not there yet, as it won't go public til Oct 1, 2015. Anywa, I've posted it here on my blog. As you can see I like collecting reviews and interviews! The more the merrier!. Thanks to all those who have given a review!

Colorful Crochet Lace
by Mary Jane Hall
Hall, Mary Jane. Colorful Crochet Lace: 22 Chic Garments & Accessories. Interweave. 2015. 160p. illus. index. ISBN 9781620336984. pap. $24.99. FIBER CRAFTS
Hall (Crochet That Fits) combines two of her passions—crocheted lace and vibrant color—in this collection of patterns, which includes both garments and accessories incorporating crocheted lace as an all-over pattern or an accent. The garment patterns feature a generous assortment of measurements, with a few sized from XS to 3X, and there are plenty of silhouettes included, allowing crocheters of all body types and sizes to find a style that works for them. Most of the patterns use lightweight yarn (fingering, sport, or DK), which lends itself nicely to the open, airy lacework. Patterns are both written and charted, and variations such as lengthening or shortening are provided. One of Hall’s areas of expertise is fitting crocheted garments, and she includes numerous tips for achieving the perfect fit without complex shaping, as well as a brief overview of her graduated stitch method, which allows crocheters to shape garments without using increases or decreases. VERDICT As Hall mentions in her introduction, crocheted lace is trendy right now, and this collection strikes a nice balance between homage to bygone eras and contemporary style.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ma Chéie Scarf in Colorful Crochet Lace

The photos in the book do not capture the features of this lacy scarf with an arched edging. It is shown plaed on top of a black and white striped dress, which makes it difficult to see the pretty stitch pattern, so I am posting some of my own pictures. The edges are supposed to be curved into an arch, but by the time it was passed around to the tech editor, and stylist at the photo shoot,  I'm sure the scarf had stretched. I hope my personal photos do the scarf justice and give you ideas.

Colorful Crochet Lace - 22 lace garments and accessories. 100% Mulberry Silk yarn by Louisa Harding was used for this scarf. 
By Mary Jane Hall
Ma Chérie Scarf from Colorful Crochet Lace
Ma Chérie Scarf from Colorful Crochet Lace worn as a Cowl
Scarf worn with a Bow at the Shoulder
Scarf Worn as a Belt
Ma Chérie Scarf Tied into a Bow

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Macrame Poncho Pattern - For Sale

Macrame Poncho by Mary Jane Hall - my beautiful Romanian DIL Anca
I was obsessed with Macrame in the 70's and will soon post some of my Macrame work, some of which are a Tiffany lamp, hanging tables, wall decor, purses and jewelry. I designed and created this very easy Macrame poncho in 2004. I actually had seen a crochet poncho online that was crocheted with the Lover's Knot Stitch, which is also called the Soloman's Knot. It looked so much like the macrame square knot to me and I was fooled by it.  At the time I had never worked the Lover's Knot and thought the stitch in that crochet poncho looked almost identical to macrame! So I created this and even sold a bunch of the patterns on eBay back then. Macrame has begun to come back and you can even see many fashion designers show macrame garments on the runways!
If anyone is interested in purchasing my macrame poncho pattern, please let me know and I will put it up for sale here on my blog right away. Just get my attention by leaving a comment here, on Facebook, Ravelry or by email. I'm swamped with other things, but if you bring g it to my attantion, I will put it up for sale here with a link to Paypal. This is prettier in person!

Close up of the Alternating Square Knot in Macrame which looks almost identical to the Crochet Lover's Knot!
Close-up of Macrame Poncho by Mary Jane Hall - the Knots look
similar to the Crochet Lover's Knot stitch

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Preppy Stripes Scarf - Free Beginner Pattern

This scarf was published in 2005 in one of my booklets called Crochet in Style by Kooler Designs Studio. Leisure Arts partnered with them as the publisher. The booklet is out of print now but can still be purchased on Amazon, eBay and at Kooler Design Studios here. Other projects in the book include Loops 'n Loops Scarf, Pink Filigree Capelet (sold on this blog as 1 individual psttern), Fabulous Fishnet Poncho, Fluffy Flowers Scarf and Circle Fringe Scarf.

Preppy Stripes Scarf by Mary Jane Hall

They told me that after 1 year the designs in the booklet would revert back to me and I could sell them in any way I wanted. I am offering this scarf as a FREE design here on my blog. It's perfect for a beginner! By the way skinny scarves were popular back in 2005 - 2006, but then phased out. I can now say that in 2015, I'm seeing all kinds of very skinny, long scarves on the runways!

I will post the free pattern later today when I get on my laptop and will do that this evening sincd I dont have the patern on my table that Im woring from right now. Please let me know you need the pattern in case I forget!

Please overlook the photo! I just took a picture of the photo that was in the book with my phone. I gave that scarf 10 years ago to my daughter and I'm sure it's really old by now or I would be glad to take a better picture. Normally, I take my own pictures of my designs before sending them to the publisher, but they need these designs so quickly that they wanted me to overnight them! I'll see if my daughter still has that scarf!

Preppy Stripes Scarf by Mary Jane Hall

Finished Size: approx 3" x 84"
Skill Level: Beginner

Medium Worsted Weight Yarn - # 4
    Beige (A) - 2 ounces/ 113 yards / 66 grams / 103 meters
    Rust (B) - 2 ounces / 177 yards / 57 grams / 162 meters
    Olive Green (C) - 2 ounces / 127 yards / 57 grams / 117 meters
    Dark Brown (D) - 2 ounces / 113 yards / 57 grams / 103 meters
Size K / 10 1/2 (6.5 mm) Crochet Hook

Gauge (in pattern)
7 sc and 5 rows = 2"

Color Sequence
Beige (A), Rust (B), Olive Green (C), Dark Brown (D)

Note: When changing yarn at end of row, pull new color through last 2 loops of last sc. Ch 1, turn. Start next row with new color. It can be a little tricky to hide the colors when weaving in the ends at the side edges. As you can see from my picture, some of the colors show on the sides.

If you do not like working in the back loop only (blo), you can work regular sc or DC , working in both loops. Remember that working in the back loop only creates the ridge, but it also makes the scarf stretch. You may want to shorten the scarf, by working less rows than the pattern calls for.

With D, Ch 11 loosely.
Row 1: SC in 2nd chain and in each chain across. Chain 1, turn.
Rows 2- 5: Sc in back loop of each sc across. Ch 1, turn.
Rows 6 - 10: With A repeat row 2
Rows 11- 15: With B repeat row 2
Rows 16 - 20: With C repeat row 2
Rows 21 - 25: With D repeat row 2
Rows 26 - 185: Repeat rows 6 - 25 eight times. Fasten off and weave in loose ends.

Note: If your stitches are loose it would be a good idea to use a fabric glue or OK TO WASH IT to keep ends from coming out. You can buy this fabric glue at JoAnn Fabric and Crafts, Hancock Fabrics or Hobby Lobby. It is especially important to use this if your stitches are loose, but if your stitches are  tight, you may not need to use it.

Use forty 24" strands of beige yarn. Attach evenly across both ends of scarf, using 2 strands for each fringe. Fold strands in half, hook folded ends around hook, and pull through scarf; insert strands into loop pulled through and pull gently to tighten.