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Now Available – Crochet Shirttail Top Pattern!

Pattern Tester, MrsGillis

It’s been a long time in the pipeline, but it’s finally here – my Crochet Shirttail Top. The skill level is intermediate, however, I do have a beginner crocheter testing it and she is challenged but doing fine. She had problems with counting the beginning chain 3’s as double crochet’s. She kept forgeting to skip that first stitch at the begining of the row then dc in the top of the chain 3 at the end of the row.  I remember those days – good times, good times… The pattern calls for sport weight yarn. MrsGillis, on Ravelry (pink top above), tested the pattern using Patons Grace. I used a chinese yarn that I bought on Ebay (see my post here ) for my top (white top above). It was listed as sport weight but worked up more like fingering weight. I was able to get gauge using Knit Picks Shine Sport. Another tester is using Bernat Satin Sport but is having a hard time getting gauge because it is working up more like dk weight. If you purchase a sport weight and your gauge is too big, I recommend making a smaller size top rather than going down a hook size in order to get gauge.

The Crochet Shirttail Top PDF Pattern can be purchased at the following websites:

Craftsy

Etsy

Ravelry

 

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What Is On My Hooks

I could not find a stock photo that depicts how I feel today but I am doing much better! I did The Work for a while and burned through some crazy thoughts that I mistakenly believed to be truth.  Then I bitched and moaned to my husband and he helped me discover another silly story that I was telling myself that had absolutely nothing to do with reality and that silly story let go of me.  As you can see, by the fact there is less grunting and incomplete sentences in this post, I am much less stressed today.

So, here is what I have on my crafting plate:

I am still in the pattern-testing stage for the X-Stitch Shirttail Top.  My testers have been wonderful, finding typos, confusing instructions, and math errors. Someday, I will be a rich and famous crochet designer and be able to pay my testers cash but for now it’s just a couple of free patterns.

X-Stitch Shirtail Top

The recent stressful crap in my life has curtailed my crochet design creativity so I decided to make something for me! I am currently knitting Patons Grace Drop Stitch Top. You have to sign up for free on the Patons website to view their free patterns.  I already had to rip out about 50 rows and start over again because I dropped a stitch on a row before a drop-stitch row and therefore, couldn’t just pick up the dropped stitch.  This is why I don’t knit much.

I am also almost finished crocheting the shrug for my next shrug pattern. I just need one more skein of Lion Brand Wool-Ease to complete it but I haven’t been able to find the time to drive the 20 miles to the nearest Joann’s to buy it! This should be a super easy pattern so I won’t need any pattern testing.

The Road to Hell is Paved With Gauge Swatches

Am I right, knitters and crocheters!

I always swatch before crocheting or knitting a pattern. I always swatch before designing a pattern. I swatch, swatch, swatch and I come up with 3 different gauges. Especially with crochet. I crochet loosely, so I know I am going to have to use a thinner yarn or a smaller hook than what the pattern states.  Or, I will make a smaller size. I will even recalculate the math to change someone else’s pattern to reflect my gauge. And, even if I get the gauge spot on, the garment will eventually end up bigger than its suppose to.  Melissa Leapman’s, Cool Crochet book, is the worst gauge offender for me. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the book and the designs are beautiful. But my gauge is consistently  and significantly larger than what is recommended in the book.

The gauging demons have really come to haunt me since I have started crochet designing.  Here is what I do to cope:

  1. Crochet a big swatch – 8″ x 8″ – and calculate the number of stitches and rows by inch.
  2. Draw a graph of my design using my gauge measurements.
  3. Crochet a prototype of my design, making any changes along the way to reflect the looser tension I inevitably get.
  4. Measure, measure, measure, periodically.
  5. Measure the final prototype on the carpet, get a different gauge.
  6. Measure the final prototype on the table, get a different gauge.
  7. Do “eeny, meeny, miny, mo” randomly pick one of the above gauges.
  8. Use random gauge in my final pattern.

On my latest, two designs, I had a gauge gremlin throw a monkey wrench into the mix after the gauging demons had their way with me.

F U, Chinese Yarn!

I let my cheapness get the best of me and bought some yarn from a Chinese ebay seller. The listing stated it was a soy/bamboo blend and sport/baby weight. Not only did it take 30 days to receive but the labels were in Chinese. I thought it looked a little thinner than sport weight but I didn’t have any yarn that weight in my stash to compare. Now it is in the pattern testing stage and nobody is getting my gauge. I just recently bought some sport weight yarn so I compare, and, lo’ and behold, my Chinese yarn is thinner than sport weight. So, I am either going to change the gauge on the pattern to reflect what a real, sport weight yarn is or, go find a different yarn that matches my gauge.  I am probably going to change the gauge on the pattern since all that takes is some math. It will be harder for me to find a different yarn since there are no decent yarn stores near me.

Well, I have learned my lesson and am going to use readily available yarn to create my designs. So, I go to my “local” (20 miles away) Joann Fabric & Craft Store and buy some Lion Brand Wool-Ease Worsted Weight for my next shrug design. For some reason one of the skeins I picked had a blank label with some unreadable writing on it, like the label had fallen off and an employee just replaced it with a blank label. That skein was the first one I used. I thought, “I don’t remember Wool Ease being this thick and fluffy! Oh well, I’m just going to keep crocheting, dum, dum, dee-dum…”. I use up the whole skein and then start using the next skein and I notice the next skein is thinner gauge! So, I look at the rest of the skeins and they are all thinner gauge then the blank labeled skein. Apparently, that first skein was Wool-Ease Chunky!

And Jesus wept…

Crochet Pattern Testers Needed!

X-Stitch Shirttail Top

UPDATE 8/5/2012:  I already have the testers I need for this pattern.  Stayed tuned for future announcements!

I really need a few experienced/inexperienced crocheters, who are decent at math, to test my X-Stitch Shirttail Top Pattern and some of my future patterns.  As a form of payment, I would like to give my pattern testers 2 of my patterns for free – currently for sale and any future patterns – testers’ choice.

I need crocheters who can:

  1. Check my math
  2. Check my written patterns for typos, grammar and consistency
  3. Crochet a different size than my prototype and model
  4. Give general constructive criticism

I am not looking for perfection! I think beginners make excellent pattern testers because we crochet veterans sometimes forget what its like to be a newby.  I figure 2 or 3 testers per pattern would give me a variety of help. I am going to put together a non-disclosure agreement that will need to be signed.

IMPORTANT!

If you are interested, please do the following:

  1. Follow my blog and read it regularly.
  2. When I post a “Pattern Tester Wanted” post, comment on it and let me know or email me at deedum36 at gmail dot com and I will get back to you.
  3. You will have to inform me of your desire to test a pattern each time I put out a request.

So, I need pattern testers for my X-Stitch Shirttail Top.  Go here for some pattern details.