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Thread: I've Been Busy

  1. #1
    Nova55's Avatar
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    I've Been Busy

    I have totally fallen off the track with posting as I had promised myself at New Year's. I went to a wonderful 4th of July/family reunion party and had a great time, but within a couple days the weather went to 112 degrees and I didn't handle it well. (Neither did several of my plants, and I am afraid I've lost at least two of them.) Then last Tuesday my husband went in for surgery (all is well!), but I had to get up at 3:30 am to get ready to leave with him, which really threw my routine in a tizzy. Silly me, I brought a shawl to work on while I was waiting, but I was so tired I ended up having to rip out all that I had done. Oh well, it kept me busy. I've since caught up on my sleep and I am back with the living now!

    My husband was just recently notified that his family is going to have a new addition. The nephew and his wife had a gender reveal at the July 4th party - it's a girl! So if course that means anything I was currently working on or planning to work on has been set aside for now. There are so many wonderful things to crochet for babies - it's so hard to choose! However, I remembered a particular doll that I had seen a while ago that I fell in love with, but it was a paid pattern so I took a pass. But now I have the perfect excuse for buying it! So I did. It's called "Cuddle-baby - amigurumi doll" by Lilleliis and it cost about $4.68 in US dollars (4 Euros). The pattern is well written and easy to follow; it was me who screwed up, so of course it took forever to make.

    I've Been Busy-cuddly_baby_medium2a-jpg
    Cuddle-Baby - Amigurumi by Lilleliis

    My suggestion is to make sure you have all the same weight yarn to make this doll with. I thought I did, but it didn't take me too long to realize I didn't. You see, I'm still trying to keep with using my stash, so I worked with what I had. I started with the head and then went on to the body. The yarn I used for the head was at least a DK and the body was definitely sport weight. The head was huge! So I had to unravel half the head and figure out how to make it smaller, which was time consuming. Then I realized I hadn't worked the invisible decrease correctly on the body, which left odd little indents (they didn't show until I stuffed it). I tried to fix it with a needle and thread, but it didn't work. So I had to redo the body. Then I realized one of the hands was bigger than the other, but I was able to fix that with needle and thread. Geez, you'd think I was a novice crocheter for as much as I messed up!

    I did decide to embellish a little, so I gave the hat a crab stitch edging with a pink whipstitch in between the grey stitches, and I added a triple heart applique to the body. Even though this little doll ended up taking a lot more time that it should have, I'm still happy with the outcome. I may add the stitching around the wrists and ankles, though - it does give a more finished look. That is, of course, if I can keep myself from starting the newborn booties, baby blanket, 12M sweater...well, you get the idea!

    I've Been Busy-img_1007a-jpg
    My version - not a bad runner up, hey?

    There is one thing I found out that made me sad, though. While I was looking for the pattern on Ravelry, I found another person's version of the same pattern for sale. It wasn't done nearly as well, and now I can't seem to find it. I can only hope that the original designer found it and told her to take it down. The nerve of some people! Another person was trying to crochet this doll from the picture (hadn't bought the pattern) but was having problems figuring out the arms and legs, so she was asking for the directions on the pattern's forum! The designer replied that what she was requesting was illegal and she was shocked that someone could do such a thing. Listen, I've made things from photos, too, but I would never have the gall to go on the paid pattern's site and ask for free directions! So sad this stuff goes on. And one word to the wise - unless a pattern is VERY simple, you're going to spend A LOT of time figuring it out on your own. Trust me - I know! So you'd better think twice if it's really worth saving a few bucks, IMO.

    Till next time, keep on hookin'!

  2. #2
    spoula's Avatar
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    Hello Nova55, I love all your post and your humor. I am glad all is well with your husband.
    You sound so much like me about crocheting then not satisfied and pulling it out. Your doll turned out cute I am sure the baby will love it. Baby girl things are so cute to make I can't wait to see all of your finished items. I finally finished the Pixy dress I was making but I did not post it. I was not satisfied with it as I ran out of yarn for the last 5 rows. They should have had shells and picots at the bottom so I left it like it was. A week later I wanted to see what that finished rows would look like and I used some white yarn to try to see what the finished hem would look like. It turns out that I would have ripped out the rows anyway as I didn't like the way it looked.

    Just one thing more I agree with you about asking for instructions on a pattern that was not free. I have made some baby dresses by looking at the picture but then I use to sew so it was not difficult for me to figure out how the pattern should go. I appreciate all those folks that provide free videos and patterns. As I would hate to buy a pattern and it was not like the picture. I have a knit baby sweater that had some nice cables on the sleeves and down the front of the pattern. I made the sweater completely and the design on the sleeves did not match. The left sleeve design on the front was the back side on the right sleeve. I though it was me as I never knitted before. I didn't know what the stitches were supposed to look like. I wrote out the pattern on an excel spreadsheet and the sleeves were different stitches so it was not me. I wrote to the person and they told me thank you and that they did not test their patterns. I understand that but would have appreciated being told up front if you find a problem let us know. I made that sweater 3 times just to see if I would get the same results and I did so it was not me it was the pattern. I was very disappointed for all the time it took to make and remake plus the yarn was not cheap. Anyway I am over all that and I just try my best to make pretty things if I can.

    I hope you get rested up and get to start on all those baby things.
    I attached the baby dress I finished without the last 5 rows. It is not laying correctly and remember I am the one that cannot take pictures even with all your great instructions. It looks white in the picture but it is a very pretty pink/lavender color.
    Spoula
    Below is my finished dressI've Been Busy-pixi-pink-dress-9_12-mos-jpg
    Last edited by spoula; 07-14-2018 at 11:38 AM. Reason: spacing

  3. #3
    Nova55's Avatar
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    Hi Spoula! Isn't that so aggravating when you run out of yarn for a project? I've also had the situation where I have sooo much yarn, but not the yarn for the project I want to do! I do not have white or cream sport weight yarn, so that's why I fiddled with the head to make it the right size. Sometimes, depending on the yarn/colors, you can substitute another yarn when it's going to be used for a border or trim, but it doesn't always work. There is no doubt that if you want your item to look like the designer's, you should use the same yarn (if not colors, too) that the designer used. I've also found that yarn weight is approximate too - mixing different brand yarns, even if they say they're all the same weight, doesn't mean they actually are - and what a mess that can make!

    The baby dress is adorable, even without the last 5 rows. I don't know if this is just the picture, but it looks like the two armholes aren't the same size. Could this be the reason it isn't laying right? I've yet to make a baby dress, so I have no experience to call on. I believe that your sewing experience has helped you considerably with making crochet clothes. I have no sewing background, and that's why I'm very leery about crocheting clothes. Although I have noticed that there are many summer tops that are just two rectangles pieced together with little cap sleeves added, and I've done that before. I have a problem with the straight neckline it produces, though, because I feel that it's too severe for an older woman - a slightly rounded or v-neck is much more flattering.

    As for that knitted baby sweater, are you telling me that the designer wasn't willing to help you?!!!!! It is true that if you are to do things "properly" you should have a tester. No doubt that's the easiest way to find any mistakes/omissions in a pattern. I do not have a tester, HOWEVER, with any pattern I sell or give away I always let the person know my email address and assure them that if they have any issues with what I have written to please contact me and I will help them any way I can. Luckily, so far I've not been contacted, so I guess I'm ok. Writing any type of directions is an art form, and it's very easy to skip steps, especially when you've become well versed with a craft. But that is why I go over a pattern about three times before I release it - and yes, I do find mistakes, more often than I'd like to admit! I also know the aggravation of following a pattern, thinking it's you that's screwing up, and then after so many attempts realizing the pattern is messed up. As a matter of fact, I'm having a problem with the shawl I'm making - Michele's Lace Crescent Shawl, a paid pattern. She left out specific instructions how to end a particular row, and it's a row that continually gets repeated. I'm doing what I can to figure it out, but I may end up contacting the designer. (The count has to be right for this shawl otherwise you get curling.) Having a tester can be a problem though. Dearest Debi, who does post here occasionally, had a tester that betrayed her and sold some of Debi's pattern on the sly. Debi was devastated! The tester was supposed to be a friend and had worked for Debi for a few years, as I recall. So much for that.

    I did decide to finish off the hands and wrists of the doll and I think it looks better. I've also crocheted a pair of booties - https://ashleemarie.com/crochet-wrap...ts-girls-boys/ - but I think I had the same issue you had with the sleeves. There is a right/left shoe because of the strap, and the shoes didn't end up looking quite the same because you had to turn one differently than the other. I doubt the parents will be able to tell, and the booties are for a newborn, so it's not like the baby will be wearing them for long! I'm going to start on a 12 month sweater now, but I do have my eye on the Sleep Tight baby blanket with all the bears sleeping on it. We'll see!

    I've Been Busy-img_1013-jpg

  4. #4
    spoula's Avatar
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    Response to your post

    Hello Nova55, I want to respond to your last post. (I agree with everything you wrote about testing patterns and designer help).

    The baby dress is adorable, even without the last 5 rows. I don't know if this is just the picture, but it looks like the two armholes aren't the same size. Could this be the reason it isn't laying right?

    It is the way I put the dress down to take a picture. I measure as I go so they are the same size it is the bad picture taker. I should have taken more time to layit straight. One thing I do think is incorrect is the start of the skirt portion. I followed the pattern exactly around with the exact number of stitches on the pattern. I Made the skirt for about 6 rows and I did not like how it was looking. It looked to be too many stitches as I wanted the skirt to be in line with the armholes sort of straight down. I pulled the 6 rows out and started again but to keep the count it was the same. I ended up pulling it out and starting over again. I think there should have been less stitches under the arms to make it look the way I wanted it to look. That may be what you see in the picture that the skirt is buckling around the bodice. I didn't want to pull it out again after so many tries as the yarn would get worn. Anyway it is for a little baby that will out grow it quickly.

    I have a problem with the straight neckline it produces, though, because I feel that it's too severe for an older woman - a slightly rounded or v-neck is much more flattering.

    I agree an older women needs to hide wrinkles on the neck and chest. Although I do think a square bodice is more flattering to a larger busted lady.
    As for that knitted baby sweater, are you telling me that the designer wasn't willing to help you?!!!!! It is true that if you are to do things "properly" you should have a tester.

    It was a free pattern and I can't complain. If it was in crochet I could have made the design in both sleeves as they should have been. It was a knitting pattern and I taught myself to knit by watching you tube videos. I didn't know what the stitches were supposed to look like until after I made them and looked at the finished piece. As I mentioned I put the stitches for each row so I could look at the stitches to be made. I saw that one sleeve should lean left the other should have leaned right. I didn't know which stitch did that so that was why I could not fix it as I knitted. I went back to you tube and looked up the stitches and figured out that I was right the pattern should have made one sleeve have the different stitches.

    No doubt that's the easiest way to find any mistakes/omissions in a pattern. I do not have a tester, HOWEVER, with any pattern I sell or give away I always let the person know my email address and assure them that if they have any issues with what I have written to please contact me and I will help them any way I can.


    Good for you that is the way to keep customers.

    As a matter of fact, I'm having a problem with the shawl I'm making - Michele's Lace Crescent Shawl, a paid pattern. She left out specific instructions how to end a particular row, and it's a row that continually gets repeated. I'm doing what I can to figure it out, but I may end up contacting the designer. (The count has to be right for this shawl otherwise you get curling.)

    It is bad enough to have some instructions messed up but a repeat row is awful. Good luck on that pattern.

    Having a tester can be a problem though. Dearest Debi, who does post here occasionally, had a tester that betrayed her and sold some of Debi's pattern on the sly. Debi was devastated! The tester was supposed to be a friend and had worked for Debi for a few years, as I recall. So much for that.

    What kind of friend does that to a friend. If Debi has her patterns copyrighted and states they cannot be sold only by her doesn't she have a recourse of action?

    I like the finished doll and the Botties they are adorable.

    Spoula

  5. #5
    Nova55's Avatar
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    I see what you're saying about the dress, wanting a straighter line for the skirt part. You certainly are very brave, though, because I wouldn't have even tried to alter the pattern. As a general rule, I just follow the pattern and maybe I'll add an edging or some small detail. I only get brave after I've repeated the pattern several times - I'm thinking about the thread crochet ornaments I made. Well, I'm sorry that you had that problem with the dress. These items take too long to make to have patterns issues crop up!

    I tried the sweater I mentioned in the last post, but I decided not to go through with it because I couldn't get the swatch right. I was using a different yarn, so maybe that was why. The gauge called for 11 st by 10 rows = 4" square. My 11 stitches, even with a hook one size up, still only equaled 3 3/4", and I felt that if I went up another hook size the sweater stitches would end up too open and loose. So I searched for another sweater and found this one - Caron Hoodie and Hat. I'm using Debra Norville anti-pill yarn, but it's still #4 weight. I had a little problem with the swatch on this one too, but I just went down one hook and now it's ok. Yeah!

    I don't know What Debi ended up doing with her tester in terms of legal action. All I know is that it seems I was somehow kicked off her list (?), because her posts/emails to me dwindled to nothing. But I looked her up and she does have quite a business going, so she's all right. I just know that right after the incident, she kind of climbed into her shell for awhile - understandable. Glad to see she recouped.

    And thank you for the compliment! The booties are ok, but I think I may have to make more of those dolls! Next time I'll just make sure I have all the right weight yarn!

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