Welcome to my blog!

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

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Lacy Pullover by Mary Jane Hall

This lacy top was originally published in Crochet! Magazine and is now being sold as an individual pattern for anyone interested who does not receive the magazine. It's one of my favorite designs that I've created, simply because I love open lace! A # 2 sport weight yarn was used to create this and since it is an open stitch pattern, it goes pretty fast!

Monoco Lace Top by Mary Jane Hall
I found the unique stitch pattern in an old Russian crochet magazine. Since I don't understand Russian, I followed the chart they had. If you look at thus closely, you'll see that it looks like upside down Eiffel towers! I really had fun making this!

Monoco Lace Top by Mary Jane Hall

A # 2, sport weight yarn was used to make this and since the pattern is open, it goes pretty fast. To purchase the pattern go to the Annie's Craft Store here.

To see more of Mary Jane's designs, go to her Ravelry designer page here.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Yarn Frequently Asked Questions

Many people have asked me why a 4 ply yarn of different brands, feel  & look different, even though they are both the same weight, such as 4 #, worsted weight. (Example: Red Heart worsted and I Love This Yarn by Hobby Lobby - both # 4, worsted wt)

Here's a link that should answer all your questions about yarn. It talks about gauge, swatches, substitute yarns and more.
Annie's Craft Store 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

More Thrift Store Finds - Bottles with Crochet -- Post # 9

 I have 100's of things I could post that I've found at thrift stores over the years. Of course it's my passion, and Dayton, Ohio has the best thrift stores in the country, according to several sources. I did a craft fair in the fall and wanted to find some bottles that I could crochet around. They're a pretty quick project. I have other bottles with crochet, in fact there's a free pattrrn here on my blog. I just think they are a nice addition to any room, especislly if you like Boho style. You can do them in so many pretty colors.

I used jute to crochet around this bottle. Its kind of rough on your
hands but worth the outcome!

I used a soft cotton yarn for this one. Then added the beads at the top.

This one was made with a # 1 fingering yarn.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Monique Hooded Jacket

You may call this a jacket or you may call it a cardigan, but the Monique Hooded Jacket, found in my book, Colorful Crochet Lace, is designed more for fashion than for warmth. Of course, the open lace crochet pattern will require wearing a long sleeved shirt underneath, unless you just want to throw it on in the spring or a cool summer night.

Monique Hooded Jacket in Colorful Crochet Lace by Mary Jane Hall
The rows on this pattern are vertical, so the beginning chain is at the center front. The sweater is worked in 2 pieces and the center backs are joined with a seam.  The sleeves are worked right onto the front and back panels, because I wanted to avoid you having to work too many sesms.

Hood is completely optional, since it's worked separate and attached at the end of the psttern. 
The hood is a highlight of this jacket. The sleeves, which are long and flared on the ends, will graze across the top of your hand, maybe even to your knuckles. If you want to make this, and you have shorter arms, you should think about working less rows on the sleeves. This will need to be determined before the sleeves are finished though. 

This is the jacket shown worn with a belt. There are no buttons on the front and the 2 sides should overlap. Please excuse my pictures! I should have taken more time so i would have avoided my messy craft room. 

Monique Hooded Jacket closed together in front with a satin bow. 
And finally, I'm showing it with a satin bow. You could use a skinny scarf, but I made this bow on my sewing machine. I did not attach it on each side to be tied in front, on purpose, but I made the satin tie in one piece and put each end through the holes in the lace, so each end could be pulled through and tied into a bow in the front. I didnt sew it on, so it could be worn without the bow too, as in the other photos. The book does not show these ways of wearing it,  but I like to show as many options as possible. 
There are some errors on this pattern in the book, but don't worry, the corrections are here on my blog and also on the Interweave website here
For more info on this pattern, such as yarn used, go to the Ravelry pattern page here.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Amelie Triangle Shawl

If you're looking for an easy project, this shawl would be a great option. The Lovers Knot Stitch, also called the Solomon's Knot, reminds me of macrame. The incredibly fun pattern can be found in my book, Colorful Crochet Lace.

Amelie Triangle Shawl with the Lover's in Colorful Crochet Lace
by Mary Jane Hall
Another reason to consider this patten is that it can be worn several ways. If you are familiar with my designs, you know I have a passion for showing how many different ways a project can be worn, such as the Basic Capelet in my book, Crochet That Fits and my Cabled Cowl made into 7 different projects, for sale here on my blog.

A dk #3 wt yarn, Knit One, Crochet Two, was used for this project
I love adding anything dangling or textured to an edge, and to my surprise, I really like the look of the shawl wrapped around the neck to form a cowl.

Wear the Amelie Triangle Shawl
 as a Beach Cover

Amelie Triangle Shawl from Colourful Crochet Lace
by Mary Jane Hall
For more info on this shawl see the pattern page on Ravelry here.

Parsian Gardens Circular Shawl

There are 22 projects in my latest book, Colorful Crochet Lace, published by Interweave Press, a branch of F+W. I have not had the time to write a detailed description with several pictures of each project, so I thought I would just go ahead and do a post on each design, but add to the post later. In the meantime, if you want to see all my designs I've had published in the past 11 years, please go to my Ravelry Designer page here. My Ravelry ID is maryjane2.

Parisian Gardens Circular Shawl from Colorful Crochet Lace 
by Mary Jane Hall
This shawl has to be one of my all time favorites. I love the color, the shape and the delicate lace yarn. If you've never worked with a lace yarn before, this would be a great pattern to start with. Please don't let the small yarn intimidate you. I've designed this with long, open stitches, so it will not take forever to finish.

Parisian Gardens Circular Shawl in Colorful Crochet Lace
by Mary Jane Hall, worn as a Scarf!
Circulsr Shawl worn as a Cowl

Parisian Gardens Circular Shawl by Mary Jane Hall, could easily be made into
a colorful mandala with several diffrent colors!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Tips on Felting

To Felt a Crochet or Knit Item

When a crocheted or knitted item is felted, the stitches do not show, so it resembles fabric. Things can be felted in different ways, depending on how much you want the stitches to disappear, or how much you want your purse (or item) to shrink.
I'm showing felted purses, an ipod/phone case, a scarf and 2 different felted bowls.

The brown felted shoulderbag is one I designed for my book, Positively Crochet!, published in 2007. This book which has 50 projects of garments and accessories, has been a best seller and continues to be very popular today. Projects are still stylish! You can see them all on my Ravelry designer page here.

Different washing machines and water temperatures may also cause an item to felt and shrink differently. Some people may only need to put their item through the wash once, where as some machine’s may require you to put it through a cycle 4 times.

At left is my iPod case, also in Positively Crochet! Its quick and easy, with a pocket in back for your ear buds, key or money.

One of the most important things you need to know is that you HAVE to use wool yarn or other animal fiber in order for the felting process to work. Otherwise, you will just be wasting your time.
Before and After Felting

Instructions for Felting                                 
1. Place the item inside a zippered pillowcase, and put into washing machine on lowest water level and hottest setting.

Felted Bowl
If water is not hot enough, turn up heat or pour boiling water in machine as it fills up. Place tennis shoes (or tennis balls) in washer to help with agitation. This really helps with the felting process.

2. Add 1 tablespoon Ivory Snow soap or Dawn dishwashing liquid and 1/4 cup baking soda.

Kep scrolling, but first I want to tell you about my felted bowl! It was such a fun project and I love the outcome. I'm not sure I even wrote down the pattern, but if I can find it I'll post it as a free pattern. I believe I made a beannie hat shape that was much larger than a regular hat. After it was felted, but still wet, I found a bowl that it fit over tightly. If its loose, it won't dry right. I made different colored circles in different sizes in case I wanted to make it polka dotted.

I just looked up Felted projects on Ravelry and found 30 pages of projects here. I found patterns for just about anything you can think of, including bowls like mine! I hadn't seen anyone else do that.
3. You may have to repeat this process 1-2 more times depending on how you want it to look. Rinse in cold water; reshape and let spin to take out excess water.

Keep scrolling, but first, I want you to see the Houndstooth purse I designed to be in my book Crochet That Fits, a book with 33 garmrnts and accessories, voted "Best Crochet Pattern Book of 2008".  The one shown in the book is a slate blue and gray color. This purse is also lined and has peltex, a stiffener for a structured feel.

Felted Dish - my free pattern, not posted yet!
4. Placing piece in sink with ice water at end of cycle will help it to felt. Block purse in this manner: Before the felting process you should have a box with the dimensions of your bag ready with a plastic bag over it.

I usually have more then 1 box ready in case the purse doesn’t end up the size I expect. Immediately place wet purse onto the box, making sure it’s a tight fit. Let it air dry completely for 2-3 days.

The scarf, also in Positively Crochet!, is much longer before being felted. But see the difference in the stitches? The sideways cluster stitches ended up forming into little balls on the felted scarf. It's a very quick and easy project. In fact, its beginner level. See before and after felting below!

This is the way I showed the scarf in one of my fashion shows
To read more about felting see the book, Felted Crochet, by Jane Davis.