"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Free Crochet Pattern: Too Hot to Handle

Here it is, folks!  This is the third, but probably not the final, installment in the Big Girl Kitchen line.  Megan of Crochet Every Day fame suggested a scarf and, of course I thought, "table scarf or neck scarf?"  Who knows what I'll come up with next?  There are so many ideas rolling around in my brain these days that my bucket list  is going to keep me busy typing and crocheting for the next 100 years!  (Let's hope these aching fingers can keep up.)  Truth be told, I've grown very fond of this pattern and I'm not ready to walk away from it yet.  I am considering some ideas for basic table linens (placemats, coasters, and a runner) that use the now familiar repeat from all the Big Girl patterns.  If you have a request of any kind, please post a comment here and I'll add it to the file (no, not the round file!).  Anyhow, thank you one and all for stopping by and for making my blog such a great place for me to hang out.  I hope you like it (the blog and the pattern) as much as I do.  Happy hooking!

About my work:
Any pattern I design and post is my property.  Please do not duplicate my patterns for any reason especially to sell.  Instead, please link to my blog (http://laurielaliberte.blogspot.com/ ) or to the pattern page when referencing one of my patterns.
You are more than welcome to offer finished products made from my patterns for sale.  I see no reason why you should not profit from your hard work.  However, I'd really appreciate it if you gave me credit for the design; please reference my blog or the pattern page.
If you do make any of my patterns I'd love to see your finished items; please feel free to email pictures to me.
If you are not interested in making your own pieces, I occasionally offer finished items in my shops on Etsy and Bonanzle.  I also welcome special orders, so email me and let's work together.
Big Girl Pot Holder/Hot Pad 

All instructions use American terminology and standard abbreviations.

Supplies needed:
about 2 oz. or one ball of worsted weight cotton yarn
size I-9 (5.5 mm) crochet hook
smaller hook or yarn needle for weaving in ends
stitch marker or length of scrap yarn (optional)

Flat side


Row 1:  sc in 2nd ch from hook, [ch1, sk next ch, sc in next ch] across, turn (27 sts)

Row 2:  ch1, sc in 1st sc, [sc in ch1 sp, ch1, sk next sc] across, sc in last 2 sc, turn (27 sts)

Row 3:  ch1, sc in 1st sc, [ch1, sk next sc, sc in ch1 sp] across, ending with your last sc in last sc of previous row, turn (27 sts)

Rows 4-27:  rep Rows 2-3 ending with a Row 3, fo and set aside

Decorated Side


Row 1:  sc in 2nd ch from hook, [ch1, sk next ch, sc in next ch] across, turn (27 sts)

Row 2:  ch1, sc in 1st sc, [sc in ch1 sp, ch1, sk next sc] across, sc in last 2 sc, turn (27 sts)

Row 3:  ch1, sc in 1st sc, [ch1, sk next sc, sc in ch1 sp] across, ending with your last sc in last sc of previous row, turn (27 sts)

Rows 4-7:  [repeat Rows 2-3] twice

Row 8:  ch1, sc in each sc and ch1 sp across, turn (27 sts)

Row 9:  ch1, working in back loops only sc in each st across, turn (27 sts)

Row 10:  ch1, working in front loops only sc in each st across, turn (27 sts)

Row 11:  repeat Row 9

Row 12:  ch1, working in front loops only sc in 1st st, [dc in next st, sc in next st] repeat to end, turn (27 sts)

Row 13:  ch1, working in back loops only dc in 1st st, [sc in next st, dc in next st] repeat to end, turn (27 sts)

Rows 14-16:  repeat Rows 12-13 ending with a Row 12

Row 17:  ch1, working in back loops only sc in each st across, turn (27 sts)

Row 18:  ch1, working in front loops only sc in each st across, turn (27 sts)

Rows 19-20:  repeat Rows 17-18

Row 21:  ch1, sc in 1st st, [ch1, sk next st, sc in next st] repeat to end, turn (27 sts)

Rows 22-27:  [repeat Rows 2-3] 3 times

do not turn or finish off

Finishing Round

Turn, ch1, holding wrong sides of 2 finished pieces together, sc in each st around working 3sc at each corner, join w/sl st in 1st sc, fo, weave in ends

Guide for optional hanging loop

Choose where you would like to place the hanging loop.  You can place it anywhere you want.  Most common placement would be in a corner or at the center of one side.

As you work the Finishing Round, stop between 2 stitches, ch10, join w/sl st to last sc worked, sl st in each ch of the ch10, join again w/sl st, continue working sc where you left off.

I would love to see your finished project!  Please send me photos so I may post them on my blog.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Okay, this one is totally unplanned and off the cuff:  I was just catching up on the latest posts from the blogs/bloggers I follow and this is one that I really felt the need to share, so this post is more just a link than a post.

Take a look at Angel's "Gambit's View" from yesterday.  It's well worth a two minute break with your coffee.  Aristotle Had it Right

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hard at Work for You!

I was just thinking that it looks as though I'm neglecting my blog.  Perhaps I am just a bit, but it's for a few good reasons:

Grandpa's Sweater Set
First, I've been hard at work developing new patterns to bring to my faithful followers.  I've already posted my newest kitchen set, "Grandpa's Sweater," on RavelryEtsy, and Addoway.  As has become my standard, the set consists of a scrubby, pot holder, and towel with variations in the patterns to accommodate certain preferences.  Each element is also available separately.  By the way, if you utilize any of the links and you're told the item has sold, simply check the shop.  If I've sold it, I've relisted it and the URL has changed.  Of course, you may email me for assistance at any time.

Broken Links Set
Another set that will be posted any minute now is the "Broken Links" collection.  This one was sort of a transition from my usual bumpy scrubbies to the aran influence of Grandpa's Sweater.  I love that the bumpy side of the pot holder is thick enough that it makes a great pocket style hot pad.  You see, I'm not one to use an oven mitt; I prefer a double thick pot holder that I can slide over my hand.  That's why I offer that option in the instructions for most of my hot pads.  One note of caution:  Not every design or yarn will protect your hands sufficiently in a single layer, so please use common sense when creating any of these items in your home.  (As the proud auntie I feel the need to mention that the apples in that picture were picked by my nephews and niece.)

Of course, as I promised last month, a third installment of the "Big Girl Kitchen Collection" will be posted at no cost here on the blog, so keep one eye open for that.
Big Girl Pot Holder/Hot Pad
Last, an item I'm perfecting as we speak is a set of three scrubbies done in the simplest of stitches with the beginner or the I-just-want-a-brain-dead-easy-pattern-for-in-front-of-the-TV crocheter. This idea came to me as I read an email from Linda, a terrific lady who tested the Grandpa's Sweater scrubby.  That's all the detail I'm willing to reveal for now because the only thing I like better than receiving a happy surprise, is bestowing one.  Call me a tease if you must but, "You get what you get and you don't get upset."  (That's what my five year old nephew tells me, anyhow.)

Before I go, I'd like to open a discussion:  As we round out the Big Girl Kitchen Collection this month, what would you like to see next?  Shall I continue with this particular theme and do something along the lines of placemats? coasters? a table runner?  Or would you prefer something completely different?  This is all for you; so voice your opinion.  I've got plenty of ideas rolling around in my brain; tell me which one to pull out next!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Versatile Blogger? ME? Aw, shucks!

Okay. . .so. . .um. . .where to begin?  I know, I'm rarely at a loss for words.  If you've ever read one of my emails, you already know it too.  And my posts here are no different...  In fact, I once had an English professor look at me after issuing an assignment to the class for seven pages and say, "ONLY seven pages, Laurie."  I still gave him ten.  (But I also still got an A.)  So what's the deal here?  Well, I'm not one for viral videos, chain letters, and the like. . .and some people love blog awards, and some group them with the aforementioned banes of my existence.  Anyhow, I have mixed feelings about this whole deal.
Don't get me wrong; I AM honored and grateful.  Perhaps I should start at the beginning before my former Prof stumbles across my blog and says, "Hey, I remember that one!"

Angel, a very well named fellow blogger and wonderful all-around human being (NO, I'm not just saying that; read her blog! Besides, I'm a Sagittarius.  I don't have it in me to offer false compliments!) was given this award and thereby obligated to pass it on.  I was one of the recipients.  And just in case she hasn't already heard it:  Thank you, Angel.  You are truly a dear and I'm honestly thrilled that you think highly enough of my humble writing to bestow such an honor upon it.

So here's my dilemma. . .As the recipient of this award, I'm expected to do three things:
  1. Thank the award giver
  2. Tell you 7 interesting things about myself
  3. Give the award to 15 fellow bloggers
I have no problem with #s 1 and 2, but 3 is an issue for me.  Thanking the award giver is a no-brainer; even if it wasn't in the rules, I'd do that.  Hang on a sec.  *runs off to Angel's blog to make sure I posted a comment of thanks before I post any links so I don't look like a complete jerk*

Okay, so #2, here goes:

1.  I learned to read at the age of three and promptly developed a voracious appetite for books, but I mostly binge read these days.  (I'll devour books for weeks on end then not read for a year.)

2.  I almost failed eighth grade English because my teacher sucked.  Now before you freak out at my criticism of the most important profession in our civilization, let me clarify; read on.  The teacher in question spent an entire semester assigning reading, then quizzing our class on the reading assignment.  That's all we did!  For an ENTIRE semester!  IMHO, that is the laziest way to "teach."  (added 9/14 Just to clarify, the teacher in question called ME lazy.  I wasn't lazy, Mrs. Remillard; I was BORED, NOT CHALLENGED, INTELLECTUALLY UNDERNOURISHED by your lack of skill as a teacher!)  Because of my behavior in that class, I was kept from entering the honors level English class the following year.  That leads me to. . .

3.  I'm neither a leader nor a follower.  I've learned when I should do as I'm told and keep my mouth shut, but I'm still rebellious enough to question authority when I feel it's warranted.  I suppose that means I've matured a bit since the eighth grade.  I still march to my own beat, but I choose my battles more carefully these days.  I love to teach people things then let them loose to do as they will with that knowledge.  Perhaps that's why I've developed such a passion for pattern writing; I can say, "Here's how to make it, now move on!"

4.  I adore children, but have no desire to have any of my own.  My two nephews and one niece fully satisfy any maternal instincts that may bubble to the surface.  I totally get why parents find child rearing so rewarding, but I'm far too selfish to give up my freedom to it.  A male friend once told me I'd have a difficult time finding a husband because I didn't want kids.  In the words of Joy Behar, "I want a man in my life, not in my house."

5.  I'm honest, sometimes to my own detriment.  (Didja' read #4?  That should be proof enough.)

6.  I started writing a novel while I was in college and never finished either one.  You see, I write because I love to write and because it's cathartic, but I have the attention span of a fruit fly.  I took a couple of courses but just couldn't deal with the grind of classes every day when I wanted the freedom to write what I wanted to write instead of the assignments for my classes.  (I left with a GPA of 4.0 and never returned.)

7.  This is a toughie because it's the last one.  So what should I tell you that will leave you satisfied yet wanting more?  I thought about posting one fact that is inappropriately self-serving, but that's a fact I only share with people who decide they want to take a stab at making me feel intellectually inferior.  (I used it a LOT when I was a blonde.)  How's this?  I'm a Buddhist who was raised Roman Catholic.  My "crisis of Faith" began at the age of eight, in Catholic school, when our teacher, Sister Mary Leonette, couldn't answer the "tough questions" to my satisfaction and punished me for asking too many of them.

To be perfectly honest, if you want to know anything else, just ask; I'll probably tell you.  I'm just not always so terrific at volunteering information.

Okay, so I suppose it's time to address requirement #3 and pass this award on to 15 (really? 15? Isn't that bit excessive?) new recipients.  I seriously have to follow my heart here and say no.  What I WILL do is refer you all to the section at the bottom of this page appropriately titled, "I Actually READ Every Blog I Follow!"  Every one of them is worth a read.  I'm sorry, Angel, I just can't do it.  I thought about cutting the number down, but I'd be forcing myself to do something that's truly against my nature.  (Yeah, I was always the one who risked bad luck by not passing on chain letters and I asked my BFF to stop forwarding email jokes to me because all I did was delete them without reading them.)  So many people are sincere in passing these awards to their fellow bloggers, that I feel I should be just as spirited or not do it at all.  Love me or hate me for this decision; it's an honest one and I just made it as I reached the second sentence of this paragraph.