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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Crocheting/A Tiny Brag!

The tiny brag first – I am very honored that author Kathryn Vercilio has featured my work in an article at the crochet website!

I haven't started my annual Christmas 2014 design yet! I haven't had inspiration strike me yet. I guess I just need to do a bit of brainstorming. I'm thinking it may be an ornament this year. Last year was the Christmas Candy Canes Doily.

I started a scarf for myself out of Red Heart's "Chic" yarn last winter and ran out of yarn. I found another skein online a few weeks ago and finished my scarf. LOVE the yummy feel of it! But I admit I find the yarn extremely frustrating to work with. I guess I just don't get the way they wind the skeins. I fought with both skeins trying to untangle them and rewind them into usable balls. Even then, those silly pom poms want to tangle up! But the finished product is so worth it! My fairy goddaughter wants mine so I guess I will have to brave the yarn once more and make one for her.

Red Heart "Chic" Scarf in Shadow

I have been busy designing some Christmas gifts for friends and family, here is one of them... a simple cowl. It's actually just a long strip, I've fastened the overlapped end with a pretty brooch. I kind of like it! It's made out of JoAnn's Rainbow Boucle yarn. It has a nice light feel and a pretty drape to it.

Cowl With Purchased Brooch
My rescue Schnauzer Whizzer is my little old man, he gets so cold and needs to have a sweater on. I had some leftover yarn lying around and whipped up this little sweater for him. It's very soft and he seems to enjoy it!

Whizzer Enjoys His New Cozy Sweater!

I'm still behind on my crocheting - I owe my potholder exchange partner a potholder still! So hopefully will get that done this week and off in the mail.

I've been so busy for the past few months I feel like I've been chasing a whirlwind! The work has been ongoing with editing and tidying up links on the move of over 300 crochet patterns and other articles to the new site. It's nearly complete now and the index now contains correct links.  I'm sorry if you had any trouble accessing my patterns. The auto-link forwarding the new site promised didn't work. If you tried the index and hit bad links trying to find patterns, try again now. They should all be working!

Well, I'm off to crochet something! Hope you are all having fun doing lots of holiday projects! Remember if you need a fast gift, try the Warm Mobius Scarf! You can whip it up in a couple of hours! Or check out my pattern index for other ideas.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

New Location For My Free Patterns!

I have changed the location of all my free patterns on the internet after the closing down of the site where they were previously housed. All of my patterns can now be found at The link to my pattern index is here. If you have any trouble getting to a specific pattern from the index, you can drop me an email at There may be some of these issues until I get through the process of editing several hundred articles I had to relocate to HubPages. But all of the patterns are available and all you have to do is drop me an email if you have problems.

After several months of what I can only describe as "medical hiatus," I finally have a new design to share! Just in time for Thanksgiving, it's my "Pecan Pie Potholder." It can be a single thickness decorative potholder or a double thickness usable potholder.

I tried to design the stitches to look like pecans as best I could. The yarn part was easy – Peaches n' Creme has an awesome new brown variegated yarn that I used. It was fun designing the piecrust edging. This was designed for my potholder exchange partner who will be receiving the prototype in the mail this week! I hope she enjoys it...

Pecan Pie Potholder Front Side

Pecan Pie Potholder Back Side

Right now I am in the middle of designing a little purse designed to be worn as a belt (or could be a cross-body as well). It's out of Premier Yarns Jeweltones in the Moonstone and Opal color ways. I'm trying to design it to hold my own specific essentials for when I want to travel light without the "big purse." We were out at a wonderful campfire recently at my son's house and there I was, lugging "Betsy" the purse out there. It seemed silly somehow!

I'm hoping to make a little cowl out of the same yarn as the purse to go with the fingerless gloves I made out of it last winter. I really adore this yarn!

Hope all of you are having fun crocheting something wonderful!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Feels Great To Be Crocheting Again... Or, A Little Mess Is A Good Thing!

I've always thought of crocheting as "pick-up work" – something I can keep beside my favorite chair and pick up whenever the mood strikes. Well, when my leg injuries back in March happened, I had coincidentally made one big change in my environment! At around that same time, I'd just finished doing a big clean-up of my work area (which is a large corner of my living room, at present). I put absolutely everything away where it belonged in the craft room. No more being surrounded by bags of yarn. My crochet hooks all neatly organized in a holder on my desk rather than stuck into various projects in the works. I quickly found myself being hesitant to drag anything out in order to avoid making a mess! So rather than crocheting to distract me from the pain I was going through, I was doing other things... nonproductive ones, like eating junk food and watching a lot of TV! No wonder I kept feeling more and more awful.

A few days ago I managed to get hurt yet again. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and I was out on the back patio "putzing" around in my containers of flowers and veggie plants. I barely bumped into the side of a big container with my leg, and ended up with a 7 X 1 cm. laceration, just half an inch above the topmost prior injury we've been trying to heal up for months. It was, and is, a big setback. It means another 4-6 months before this one will close up and heal. More pain, more frustration... but I'm going to deal with this one differently. I'm going to deal with it the same way I dealt with all my surgeries and everything else I've gone through - I'm going to crochet, design, and write.

A Sunflower For Betty Potholder
I started with my "to-do" list. I belong to a monthly potholder exchange group for fun. I still owed a partner a potholder for May, another for June, and here July is looming with another deadline. I also have some crocheted snowflakes I've promised to folks. I knew my May partner liked sunflowers, so I got my favorite hook out and got to work. The result, a couple of days later, is "A Sunflower For Betty." It can be used made double thickness as I did for a potholder, or it could be used as a round floral motif for something else. I hope she will like it! I'm planning to get it patterned up and published as one of my free patterns after I get the rest of my "to-do's" done. People are waiting, after all!

A Sunflower For Betty Potholder Back Side
I think I will learn to live with just a little mess surrounding me. It's always "how I've rolled" and I need to have pick-up work where I can instantly get to it.

As I write this, I have my idea for the June potholder and have started crocheting on it! I'll come back here and show you when it's done.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Still Here...

It's been a long time since I posted. I've been taking a little hiatus from my usual crocheting and writing. Mostly because of injuries I had to both legs in march which caused some big problems. Trying to heal pwies when you're diabetic is a real struggle. There's a lot of pain involved and I've been in a kind of survival mode I guess. I will be back with new ideas soon I hope! But for now I'll be healing up for at least several more weeks. Hugs to all my crochet friends out there!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Signs of Spring are finally appearing here in Nebraska! I'm on Crocus watch... they are up a few inches but not blooming yet. We're having that usual manic weather that has you in the 70's and dropping to the 30's in the same afternoon... crazy. Anyway the weather does influence what I'm designing in crochet, of course. With Spring in mind I am just finishing the new Watering Can Potholder I've designed for my potholder exchange I participate in each month.

All finished on side 1!
I've done side 2 in a simple stitch of SC/DC repeated in rows, then reversing the pattern on the next row. With my arthritic hands I'm having to crochet the two sides together in sessions doing a few stitches at a time - it's tough going for me for some reason. Oh well! I hope my recipient will be pleased.

I'm still working away at my big project, another wearable afghan convertible scarf/poncho thing that I haven't even thought of a name to describe yet! It's going to be cool, and I've never seen anything like it. It's done all in JoAnn Angel Hair yarn which has an amazing feel, in practically every color it comes in. The yarn has kept me busy finding JoAnn coupons to keep the cost down!! Yikes it's been a yarn eater. Hopefully it will all be worth it! Tell you what, it'll be a perfect project to eat up scrap yarn when I make the next one! The stitch is simple, the yarn's color patterns and the overall designs are the stars. Can't wait to show you when it's finished - hopefully another week or two!

Other than that, I've still been fighting a bad myasthenia flare the last couple of months, having frequent transfusions to get my muscle strength back. I'll get there eventually!

Happy crocheting everyone! I'm off to write an article about a new pattern for doggie boots to publish in SoCrafty this week.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The "Each 1, Teach 1 Crochet" Challenge Starts Now!

Today I started a brand new challenge called "Each 1 Teach 1 Crochet!" It's in celebration of National Crochet Month, which goes thru the end of March. But this challenge will continue on the whole year round! Check out the article about the challenge here.

So sorry I have been absent from my blog for awhile. A combination of things caused this - most notably the long illness and passing of my beloved Scrappy Jack Schnauzer on February 10. I've kept crocheting all along, and there are lots of new free patterns up... I just haven't told anyone about most of them except through SoCrafty online magazine.

Scrappy Jack contracted a horrible MRSA infection during a dental procedure the day before Thanksgiving. He fought a brave battle, enduring awful procedures and lots of medications. We kept him as pain free as we could, believing eventually they would find the right combination of antibiotics to get him well. Sadly, on February 9, SJ suffered a stroke that left him half blind and unable to walk. He gave me "the look" that said, "Enough, Mom." That was that. I spent most of a night and morning cuddling him and giving him lots of treats and love, and then we gently sent him on to Rainbow Bridge. My heart is still broken but of course my other furry kids keep me "in the game." Here is my baby boy as I want to remember him.

Scrappy Jack cheerfully puts up with yet another ride to the vet.

We have an old friend back with us, Mr. Whizzer! He is a 13 year old Miniature Schnauzer who was adopted out from my rescue back in 2011. He was returned to us recently because the owner's life situation had changed. Whizzer had been being kept in a cage 20 hours a day for God knows how long. Thankfully the owner made the decision to return him to me. At first, he was very stiff and got around very slowly. It has been a joy watching Whizzer come back to life and remember how to be a real dog! Now he is fascinated with his motion activated animal noise ball and my biggest job is keeping it in batteries! He is going in this Friday for his dental procedure and of course, I am terrified of a repeat of Scrappy's illness. I just have to have faith that all will be well because he is in pain from his rotten teeth and they need to go.

On the crochet front... I am working on a project I'm very excited about! I have owned this particular scarf design for several years (actually, several of them) and I decided to recreate it in crochet. It will be unique because it can be used as 1) A full scarf/poncho; 2) Unbuttoned as a single long scarf; or 3) laid out flat, as a wonderful lapghan! I am about halfway finished with it. It's done almost entirely in JoAnn's Angel Hair yarn, which feels amazing, in a rainbow of colors with a black background between. Loving this project! It will be beginner level easy, too!

My current work in progress
On a personal note, another reason I've been less visible is that I've been going through a flare of my neuromuscular disease, Myasthenia Gravis. Last week I had five consecutive IV transfusions and will continue to have them weekly for a couple of months, which will hopefully kick me out of this flare. It causes me difficulties with vision, hand dexterity, and the ability to sit up straight! Hate that... but I can still crochet! But seriously, prayers and/or good thoughts are much appreciated! I hate it when I get down this far.

That's about it for the moment... please check doing a search for SheilaSchnauzies and you will turn up all of my crochet and other articles. You can also visit my free crochet pattern index here although I need to update it with the recent patterns! Workin' on it...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My First Crochet Pattern Book Is Available Now! Still Time To Win December Blog Giveaway!

I'm very excited to announce the publication of my new e-book, "Crochet With Sheila Volume I - Floral Decorations To Crochet." It is available at this link. It contains 16 of my floral motifs, ornaments and mini-doilies – some previously unpublished!

Thanks to the unique features of e-publishing, once you purchase the book you can automatically receive updates when they are added to your book! I've already run across about another 10 patterns I need to add to this book. The next volume, which should be ready in January, will be "Sparkling Crochet Jewelry." If you are inclined to share, I would sincerely appreciate sharing the info about my book! It is the realization of a lifetime goal for me. I have 12 more volumes planned and my goal is to complete them all in 2014.

I hope all of you have enjoyed your holidays and crocheted lots of special things! If any of my patterns were included in your crocheting, I am honored!

I really enjoyed Christmas and was blessed to have both of my children and their dear ones here with us. We had a "snack feast" which is our Christmas Eve tradition. Then on Christmas Day we all went out to a superb buffet at Harrah's, one of our nearby Iowa casinos. They put on quite the spread. We also celebrated my daughter's birthday so it was truly a special day.

Last Saturday, we woke up to a very sick SueSue, our 8-year-old rescue girl. We rushed her in and she was hospitalized for the day on IV fluids with severe pancreatitis. She is slowly improving now, thank God. Our Scrappy Jack, who has been fighting a cellulitis infection since Thanksgiving, is also making slow tiny improvements. He has battled so hard, bless his heart.  Thankfully Ladybug is happy and well!


Scrappy Jack


You still have time to win the December blog giveaway! Just leave a comment below to enter.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! -Sheila

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

December Blog Winner! New Giveaway for January! Crocheting for Warmth!

Baby, It's Cold! 
At this writing, it is -6º actual outside! If you walk out without something over your face, you instantly freeze! I've been busy crocheting some new fingerless gloves with cover flaps you can flip over your fingers for warmth. I found the warmest yarn, Hobby Lobby's Yarn Bee Riot Eyelash Sparkle, in a pretty turquoise and I am crocheting a neckwarmer/cowl out of it right now! I refuse to leave the house until it is finished! Yesterday I had to go out to take my Scrappy Jack to the vet. The wind has been brutal here creating wind chills in the -30º range! He wore TWO doggie coats and a blanket. I had on my usual two fleece jackets, my mobius scarf which is the warmest thing ever, and my fingerless gloves (without the flaps). I FROZE. Needed something more, the neck warmer. I'm even considering making leg warmers, something I have never owned! It's just awful here. It will be a huge relief that we are going to climb into the 20's today!

Help For My Eyesight! 
I'm very excited that my neuro-opthalmologist has found some help for my eyesight issues! I'm very farsighted to begin with, I have constant double vision from myasthenia gravis, and a stroke in 2009 made me half blind in my right eye. It has been a huge frustration trying to see to do my close-up crocheting, my writing on the computer, and so on. He told me we can't correct my vision properly with one pair of glasses and bifocals anymore. So he has prescribed two different trifocal glasses, one for computer and one for walking around. I've picked them out and ordered them, and they should arrive in a few more days. I am so excited at the possibility of seeing better to do my work! 

Scrappy Jack In His Crocheted Sweater
Scrappy Jack Update... 
Not much else to tell right now - I've been busy caring for my sick Scrappy Jack Schnauzer. He is very slowly improving but he's been sick with this awful cellulitis infection in his jaw since Thanksgiving Day. Prayers and/or good thoughts are much appreciated!

December Blog Winner! 
OurJoy is the winner of my December blog contest! She won her choice of my crocheted Hexagon Snowflake or Dancing Angels Snowflake, along with her choice of any pattern offered on my site. Congratulations! 

January Giveaway!! 
For January, the contest will be to win the prototype for my "Sweet On You" Valentine motif, (not yet published), along with the winner's choice of any pattern offered at my  All you need to do to win is leave a comment below! 

Happy Crocheting! 
– Sheila

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