Gilmore Girls Crocheted Scarf

I’ve been binge-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix lately – it’s just such a perfect show to “watch” while crafting. I’ve already seen all of the episodes anyway, plus there’s definitely enough dialogue to keep you informed of what’s happening¬†by just listening. I’ve found Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue-heavy shows (West Wing, Sports Night) to be good for this, too. ūüėČ

Repeat viewings do reward you, though – there are so many awesome details in the sets! The Hooked on Houses blog has a photo tour of Lorelai’s house and the Gilmore mansion, as well as the Dragonfly Inn (and the town of Stars Hollow). For super fans, there’s also¬†a thorough¬†guide to filming locations for the show on the Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles blog.

Needless to say, the knit and crocheted items on the show catch my attention – and there are a lot of them! One piece that I’d particularly like to recreate appears in at least a couple of episodes: Rory’s crocheted scarf.

Rory's Scarf

It appears prominently in Season 5 Episode 14: “Say Something.” This is the¬†episode in which Rory borrows Logan’s limo service so she can comfort Lorelai in Stars Hollow.¬†The limo causes a commotion in town, and¬†Rory responds by poking out of the top and explaining that she’s “not usually in a limo.”

And good news for those who like the scarf as much as I do – there’s already a pattern that was inspired by this piece! It’s called, appropriately, “I’m Not Usually in a Limo,” and was designed by Maria Keays. (Available for free as of this writing.)

Rory Crocheted Scarf

In the closeups, you can see some of the details of this lacy crocheted pattern.

Rory Crocheted Scarf Gilmore Girls

The scarf made an appearance in at least one other episode. Here, Rory layered it with other cold-weather wear. I think this was from Season 4, Episode 17.

Rory Crocheted Scarf Gilmore Girls

Bonus: Here’s another scarf that’s similar in appearance but clearly isn’t the same one. This one might be knit? It’s hard to tell, but it’s pretty.

Rory Scarf Gilmore Girls

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Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me…

…about Elizabeth Hiddleson? I had never seen her designs before, and they are amazing. I need to make this Wild Rose runner ASAP. I learned about her from the Linda Crochets, which I had also never seen. (She does beautiful work!) Check it out – I’m off to track down some patterns. ūüôā

Gift Ideas for Knitters and Crocheters

Stumped about what gift to get the knit/crochet lover in your life? Not sure what to tell those who ask what you want for Christmas? I have a few ideas to get you started. Let me tell you, it was a real sacrifice to research this post. ūüėČ

“Splurge” Yarns. Knitters and crocheters never get tired of yarn shopping. Unfortunately, our bank accounts (and spouses?) do. That’s why getting a skein or two of a luxury yarn as a gift is so great. Pictured: Knit Collage Pixie Dust Mini in Granite Peak.

Knit Collage Pixie Dust Mini

 

Ottlite.¬†I don’t have one of these, but I have heard great things about the powerful, color-accurate light they produce. Bonus points for models (like¬†this one) with magnifiers (thread crochet, anyone?) and supply-storage bases (Where is that cable needle? Oh, there it is.)

Ottlite Table Lamp

Project Bags.¬†Crafters have a lot of supplies, so we need a handy place to put it all when we’re on the go. Project bags are available in a variety of price ranges. I like the¬†delia Q Isabella bag¬†pictured below – with pockets that button closed!

Yarn.com Della Q Bag

Hook and Needle Cases. Did I mention that fiber crafters have a lot of supplies? That makes a good needle and/or hook case so indispensable. The hook and needle case I use (Thirty One’s Timeless Beauty Bag) isn’t actually meant for the purpose – it’s a beauty supply bag. But the elastic bands meant for brushes work great for holding knitting needles, and the clear interior pockets allow me to find the right crochet hook quickly. I also use the¬†Thirty One Organizing Utility Tote¬†as my project bag most of the time, which works great.

Thirty One Timeless Beauty Bag

Fun Knitting Needles and Crochet Hooks. A pretty set of crochet hooks or knitting needles can make a project even more enjoyable. I like these gorgeous new Caspian knitting needles from Knit Picks.

Knit Picks Caspian Needle Set

Printed books. Knitters and crocheters can never have too many patterns, so pattern books are always a great idea. I’ve heard good things about Crochet at Home, for example.

Crochet at Home Book

Magazines. You can find a lot of great patterns in magazines, too. I still love getting magazines in the mail, and for people like me, getting a new issue of a crochet pattern magazine such as Interweave Crochet is like Christmas every time.

Interweave Crochet Magazine

Pattern Downloads. Great patterns aren’t just in print – many are available as online downloads. Because so many knitters and crocheters use Ravelry patterns, you could consider gifting one of the paid patterns.

Ravelry Pattern

Stitch Markers.¬†I haven’t had too many opportunities to use stitch markers, but with adorable options available through Etsy artists, I might have to start. These cookie-shaped stitch markers are by OneElf.

OneElf Etsy Cookie Stitch Markers

Stained Glass Granny Square Afghan

I wasn’t planning to share another granny square project so close on the heels of my gingham baby blanket post, but the feature on stained glass crochet projects over at Crochet Concupiscence made me want to share my own.

stained glass crochet

If you’re active in online crochet sources, you can probably spot the inspiration for this one right away. Like many, many other crafters, I’m a big fan of JulieAnny’s Stained Glass Afghan Square by Julie Yeager. It’s a lovely design with textured details that I just had to try.

stained glass crochet

I made some modifications to the original design to add more of a “linked” appearance between the squares, but the spirit of the design remains the same.

stained glass crochet

I chose really bright, fun, happy colors in two shades each. I was originally just using the pink, yellow, and blue shades (it had a CMYK thing going for it, which I loved), but it needed an additional color to work for the size I had in mind.

stained glass crochet

This one got a third place award in the contest. I’m honored. ūüôā And speaking of the contest, and stained glass afghans, here’s an afghan that I loved from that contest. The creator’s name (NOT ME) has been cropped out to respect privacy, but if it’s yours and you want credit, let me know! Here’s the pattern on Ravelry if you’re interested. How beautiful are those shades of pink and green?!

stained glass crochet

See my project on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/BabycakesCreates/julieannys-stained-glass-afghan-square

Why Good Patterns are Worth Paying For

Crochet Pattern Book

I go through a lot of patterns. I always have a project going, and when I’m excited about that project, I can’t wait to get it done. Most of the patterns are free, simply because there are so many available. I appreciate these free patterns immensely. But I have bought, and will continue to buy, patterns, collections, or books that contain designs that I want to make.

It’s important to realize that great patterns have value. A lot of time and effort went into producing them, and that is something that is easy to take for granted when so many are free.

This topic has been on my mind for quite a while – even before I started posting here. Although I am not a pattern designer, I understand how difficult it is to create content, and I strongly believe that the people who make that content deserve to be compensated.

As someone who uses content (in this case, patterns), I have come across many different types, both free and paid. ¬†Despite the fact that I could stay busy forever making projects from free patterns, there are many reasons why I won’t rely exclusively on free patterns. Here are the main ones, for your consideration:

  • Because you can get results you won’t get from other patterns.

If you have been crafting for a long time, many patterns start to look the same. But every so often, you will come across a pattern that is undeniably clever, well-constructed, and unique. In this case, it’s not too hard to see why paying for the pattern is a necessity. You just won’t be able to find anything quite like it available for free.

I have come across many patterns that meet this criteria for me. Lollo the African Flower Bear immediately came to mind – it is just such a smart use of motifs, and the results are truly stunning. The pattern is detailed almost to a fault, with photos of most of the steps. The result is a hugely informative resource that makes it almost impossible to fail when trying to make the project. Some may balk at the price – at the time, I paid $10 for just this pattern alone – but in my mind the work that went into the pattern makes it well worth it.

Lollo African Flower Bear Pattern

  • Because a high-quality pattern makes the hobby more enjoyable.

I want to preface this point by saying that there are many free patterns with wonderful instructions. I am constantly amazed by the amount of patterns that are available at no cost to me. Many of the best ones are published by yarn companies that (I assume) commission or buy these designs for their pattern libraries. This is a win-win-win situation: The designers are compensated, the crafters get well-designed patterns, and the companies get a boost in web traffic and product sales by providing the patterns at no cost.

With that being said, however, many of the patterns that you can find for free are, well, less than wonderful. That may be because the pattern was written by an inexperienced designer who doesn’t have the skill yet to create a truly aesthetically pleasing design. It may also be because the pattern’s instructions are unclear, or riddled with errors. If you are using an older free pattern, the terminology may be confusing or inconsistent.

High-quality paid patterns have, in most cases, taken hours and hours to put together. They are tested, re-tested, and tested again. Every row or round is checked by the designer, a pattern tester, or maybe even a technical editor. If any errors are found after the original publication, errata is made available. This means that by the time you start the pattern, most of the “kinks” have been worked out and you’ll be able to enjoy a (hopefully) frustration-free project.

  • Because talented designers (and the people who help them!) deserve to get paid.

Imagine working for days or weeks on a project that, while you found enjoyable, was at times frustrating and tedious. It would be incredibly difficult to do all of that work without the expectation of some kind of monetary reward at the end. That’s why I have no problem spending money on a project pattern that catches my eye.

Patterns aren’t just the work of the designer, either. Although I’m sure many designers work on their own, others have partnerships with pattern testers. Pattern publications ensure that their patterns are up to their standards by employing editors. Those people should also be compensated for their time and effort.

Doily Pattern

  • Because you want more great patterns in the future.

Everyone needs to pay the bills, and that goes for the people who write our patterns, too. If they are not getting paid for the time spent on creating patterns, then they will have fewer incentives to create those patterns. When there is a market for their patterns, then designers will have the ability to keep doing what they love while making ends meet – or at least earning a little extra income. And we win in the end, too, because we’ll be able to enjoy their talents through the designs that we get to enjoy.

New-to-Me Doily Patterns

This isn’t really much of an update. But I had to share that this came in the mail for me:

Doilies with a Twist by Patricia Kristoffersen

I fell in love with Patricia Kristoffersen’s doily designs after buying Absolutely Gorgeous Doilies, and I have already made so. many. things. from that book. Exhibit A, Pineapple Song:

Pineapple Song by Patricia Kristoffersen

After tracking down a copy of Doilies with a Twist online, I couldn’t wait to get it.¬†Kristoffersen’s designs are indeed gorgeous, and have fantastic texture to them that you don’t find in many designs. Plus, I have always had good luck with her patterns – the instructions just make sense!

Patricia Kristoffersen Pattern

I’m not sure why I have been on such a doily/thread crochet kick lately (Between-Meal Centerpiece = DONE), but my latest pattern purchase will keep me busy.

See my Pineapple Song project here:¬†http://www.ravelry.com/projects/BabycakesCreates/pineapple-song-18–best-2