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Thursday, January 31, 2013

My First Giveaway!

It's about time I started doing giveaways on my blog, I think! Everyone seems to enjoy them, they're lots of fun. Most of all, it's a great way to meet other crocheters, which is the really fun part of blogging! SO... here we go!  So far, I have given away about 99 percent of my patterns free. I do have a few special patterns that I sell at my Craftsy.com store.

For my first giveaway, I'm going to offer the winner's choice of any pattern offered for sale at my Craftsy store!

To enter, you only have to do one thing! Leave a comment telling which pattern you would like to win the most! To make it easy, I'll show them to you right here so you don't even have to click out (unless you just want to!)

You can choose from any of the patterns shown below. Can't wait to hear from you - good luck, everyone!

My Current Patterns For Sale At Craftsy.com

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Free Valentine Patterns Coming Out This Week!

Just look out my window with me, and enjoy the beautiful snow! It's a beautiful day for crocheting, and I have a lot to get done!

We got around 3-4" of snow overnight, from the looks of it! Pretty!
 As always, I have a lot stacked up to get done. I made the choice of accepting some "for sale" finished object contracts, and now I have to finish them! Not a lot – one of my Spiffer duster and floor duster refill sets, and a case for some type of notebook/tablet.  I also have an exchange potholder I'm trying to get finished and out in the mail (that one is fun!)

I'll make a confession:  I hate doing production crochet! I used to do lots of it for craft shows when I was young. Now that I have this stupid arthritis trying to take over my hands, crocheting for a long time does actually take a toll on my hands and I have to limit what I do. So I save my hands for my design work, and for making things for myself and friends or family. In those things I find the true joy of crocheting.

I really need to look into finding some nice crocheters out there who would be willing to do some production crochet for me when I get these requests for finished objects, because I really can't do them anymore. Life is too short – why get all stressed out about it when there are crocheters out there looking for the work! Silly me.

A sneak preview of part of this week's new free "Here's My Heart
Valentine Potholder," free pattern to be published later this week!"
This week I will be publishing a new Valentine pattern, the "Here's My Heart Valentine Potholder," which will work up quickly and be an easy enough project for a beginner to make! I've been trying to add more beginner level designs lately. Not everyone wants to make crazy-intricate 3D flower doilies every day! So lately, I've been focusing on everyday objects we all use that are fun and easy to make.

If you don't get announcements of my new free patterns as they come out, you can subscribe to my email mailing list and get them. Just email me at SheilaSchnauzies@gmail.com with "Mailing List" in the subject line and I will be glad to add you.

Front to back, Ladybug, Winnie and Bailey Schnauzer
nap out on their favorite bed after a romp in the snow!
Looks like I will have to put my snow boots on and run out to the Post Office later today and mail a few things. That should be fun!  The Schnauzers are all excited about the new snowfall, as always. So is Macie my German Shepherd Dog grandpuppy. Now they are all napped out in their various favorite places, snoring happily. Good stuff.

Well, I guess I'd better get busy on all of the aforementioned or it will never get done! Happy crocheting, everyone!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Reason I Do What I Do... It's All About The Dogs!

My grand-doggie Winnie tries on Bailey's new sweater!
This week I'll be releasing the free crochet pattern for what I call the "World's Easiest Dog Sweater!" Some of you may not know that I have had a Miniature Schnauzer rescue called Sheila's Schnauzies since the late 1990's, when I first became disabled. During that time, with the help of a few very dedicated volunteers, we have rescued and found new homes for more than 50 Miniature Schnauzers. When I first started in rescue, I could not believe anyone would ever want to get rid of a Miniature Schnauzer – but believe me, they do. 


Since our rescue operates as a nonprofit organization, we rely totally on donations and whatever funds I can raise from the sales of my crochet patterns and finished objects (mostly jewelry pieces I make). By buying one of my crochet patterns at Craftsy.com, or a piece of my handcrafted jewelry at my Etsy store, you might just be helping to pay for a $200 dental surgery for a rescue dog! You just never know. But the need is always there.

Winston, left, with his new friend Bailey (Who is wearing his new sweater,
the pattern for which is coming out later this week!)
The little guy pictured here, Winston, was the victim of tragic circumstance when his elderly mom passed away and he ended up in a shelter, then placed in a new home, and a few months later put back in rescue when the new owners faced financial trouble. It's a story we hear all too often in rescue. 

Due to my health issues, I've had to make some changes. I used to take in dogs and keep them in my home until I could find a permanent placement. In the past few months I've been recruiting volunteer foster parents so that when a dog like Winston comes along, they have a place to go! There are those of us who help animals by directly working with them, but there are others equally important who help these animals by giving of their resources to support those who do! If you are interested in making a tax deductible contribution to our rescue, you may Paypal to: SheilaSchnauzies@gmail.com. Or you can email me at SheilaSchnauzies@gmail.com to discuss your contribution. 

If you're interested in volunteering to work with rescue dogs, the easiest way to find your local rescues is to go onto Petfinder.com and search for a dog in your area in the breed you're looking for. The rescues will be listed on each dog listing, then you can contact them.

Now... back to crocheting... that OTHER thing I do! 


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Project Proliferation!

Yesterday is a good example of how I get sidetracked, ending up with four or five projects going at once! I'm working away at my new doggie sweater as planned, then I see Martha Stewart's dog Sharkey wearing this incredible getup to protect the owie on his paw that I simply must try to recreate in crochet form for my Miniature Schnauzers! I really should try to develop some type of regimen to my crochet workflow, but it just never seems to work out that way for me.

I guess that's part of the real fun of crochet designing! You see a need, or get a flash of inspiration, and you must run, not walk, to grab hook and yarn to make it real. If I'm not lucky enough to be home with all my stuff when this happens, it's time to grab pen and paper and start making drawings and notes.

So along with Sharkey's bizarre outfit,  I'm finishing up the pattern for what has to be the world's easiest dog sweater to make, put on, take off, and wear (from the dog's point of view!) The sweater is a version of one I whipped up a few years ago for rescue boy Bailey. You see, Bailey (who is now 12) is our problem child. If you attempt to do things like groom him or dress him up in pretty clothes, he will bite you! Undaunted, I decided Bailey must still have a sweater, but it would be one that I could put on him (and take off) so fast he wouldn't know what hit him!  Surprisingly, Bailey adored his sweater and has worn the same black one for years. (Who knew Patons Voo-Doo would wash and wear so very well!)

Bailey had his t-shirt on when I needed to take the picture, so Winnie got the honor of modeling Bailey's sweater.



Also in the works are a scarf for my grand-goddaughter Lacey out of that new self-ruffling yarn. I finally found a way to work with it that does NOT drive me insane! I'm making it lengthwise rather than vertical, and in only two rows. That way it is not so full, and not so hard on my very weird eyes! It's a gorgeous gold metallic and I can't wait to give it to her though.

Just finished a purple scarf and matching fingerless gloves for my goddaughter Laurie, out of Princess chenille from Hobby Lobby and Enchantment in gold from JoAnn. The yarns are gorgeous!



Made two fun fur mobius scarves for Laurie's other daughter, Chelsea, out of Lion Brand Fun Fur in neon pink and yellow. She can wear them separately or together. I still need to make her matching hair scrunchies! Hey... Chels loves neon!

Dug into my "fancy yarn store" up in the attic and pulled a bunch of pretty blues and purple soft fuzzy yarns to make my friend Heidi and her daughter Nicole each a mobius scarf with 3 strands of yarn held together, nice and incredibly soft and warm. Worked up with a big hook they take me about three hours apiece to make.

The last of the late Christmas gifts was a set of a mobius scarf and fingerless gloves for Melissa, the wonderful girl who works at the infusion center where I get my weekly "fill-up" (transfusion) to keep me pumped-up. She is just a doll, so fashionable and sweet. Her set was done in the white Enchantress sequin yarn held together with Deborah Norville's Jeweltones in Moonstone. Loved how that turned out (so did she!)



In between the Christmas gifts, I managed to whip myself up a scarf to go with my fingerless gloves I made last year. It is the softest, warmest scarf I've ever made and I love it! Yarns were Enchantress sequin, Jeweltones Moonstone, and Buttercup in white (I forget the mfgr, sorry!)

Right now I'm on the border rounds of the Backward Rose Round Motif, which also would make a nice snowflake! It was supposed to come out for Christmas, and my sudden trip to Kansas City delayed that.  I published Celia's Winter Rose Snowflake as my snowflake for 2012 instead, in memory of her Sean, my nephew, who we lost just before Christmas.

There are two new scarf patterns coming out this next week! One will be the "Chain-Chain-Chain Scarf," which is easy enough for the beginningest-beginner but fun enough for anybody! The other is the Treble Lacy Scarf, which works up lightning fast and looks very pretty I think. Watch for the announcements. If you don't get announcements of my new pattern releases, just email me at SheilaSchnauzies@gmail.com with "mailing list" in the subject line. I'll make sure you get the news!


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