He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist. ~St. Francis of Assisi

May we each strive to do ALL that we do as an artist working as unto the Lord for His glory! Thanks for stopping in to visit! ~Cara Louise

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Cara's Handcrafted Crocheted Ornaments is now Heritage Heartcraft

Heritage Heartcraft is alive and well!
I’ve got sites all over the web!

Heritage Heartcraft is a proud member of the Mad Mad Makers network:
~Members of the Mad Mad Makers network are dedicated to not only growing their own handcrafted businesses, but also to helping their fellow community members grow theirs.
~Each member is also committed to the true principle of handcrafting- meaning to fashion or make by hand or chiefly by hand processes rather than machine made, being homegrown and homemade. All our members’ items are individually handwrought by our shop owners and are not contracted out to any off-site manufacturer.
~For more information about joining our network please see our website at http://madmadmakers.com

Thank you for stopping in. Love and prayers, Cara Louise

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Making Changes in 2013

Cara's Handcrafted Crocheted Ornaments is making quite a few changes this year.

I am adding lots of items to my Etsy shop...

and will be continuing to add patterns to my shops at Craftsy and Ravelry.

I am in the process of moving my existing Google website over to a new address at Weebly. Weebly offers several more features which will allow my little business to grow into them and I am quite excited about that.

This blog is also moving over to Weebly. It will be nice having my 'stuff' together in one place rather than feeling like I am traipsing all over the web. There is a great handy RSS subscribe button down near the bottom of the new blog page, so you are invited to come over there and subscribe so you don't miss a thing!

I will be using my blog more this year. With all the changes on Facebook, the efforts of businesses to reach potential customers has really been stymied and I often feel like I am putting forth effort there that is just not getting results. So, it is time to take some steps toward growing my little crochet business elsewhere, and between Weebly and Etsy, I think I have found a good solution for me and Cara's Handcrafted Crocheted Ornaments.

I hope to see you over at my new Weebly site!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Some Helpful Resource Pages to Pass Along

In the process of writing up my newest pattern, I used some special stitches which may not be familiar with some crocheters. Rather than write out detailed instructions for each of these stitches, I felt it was more beneficial to find some great tutorials to share.

There are some terrific sites which have tutorials already published on the web, much better than I would have done, with clear writing and helpful photographs.

One which I re-discovered in my latest research for resources is this page- Crochet Spot, which has tutorials on a myriad of topics.

I was specifically searching for instructions on making the single crochet invisible decrease this time around, which if you are interested can be found here.

PlanetJune is also a great place to go for help on furthering your crochet skills. June has recently re-done her website and made it even easier to find tutorials by making a master list! From the basics to embellishments to special techniques, June has you covered!

What are your favorite resource sites?

Please visit the NEW HOME of my blog and website!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Creative, Confident, Careful

One of my Facebook friends posted this question on her page: "Why do we lose confidence in our abilities the older we get? How do you combat it?"

I am actually finding just the opposite for myself. Being out of work for over a year and a half (except for part-time fill-in-the-gap stuff) has allowed me to take a look at who I am. I came up with three C's: Creative, Confident, and Careful.

The creative aspect I think I always had- even as a child. I have been very blessed with artistic and musical talent which lets me see or hear what a finished project could be like. This ability has served me quite well in my craft work, and in my ministry work on the music team at my church. It also translates well to employment, as I am able to visualize a desired end result for a work project.

Confidence is a character trait which I have had to develop within myself. I did not possess in my earlier years the sureness I do now in my own abilities to get going on a project. So many things just sat unattempted (craft projects, book reports) because I was afraid to start. Just gaining life experience has produced a better understanding of what I can do now and knowing the reality that the world does not end if a wrong step is made. I think confidence also means an awareness of my own limitations and not being shy about looking for help when it is needed.

Carefulness means that I'm not just going to blindly jump off the edge. Wrong steps may be made, but I do my research, and I work with diligence so mistakes are rare. It is always easier to do something right the first time than to have to go back and fix errors. This is true in crochet projects and life.

So, can I 'sell' myself on interviews with this awareness of who I am? Just because this hasn't worked yet doesn't mean it was a waste of time. It is the employers' loss!

Please visit the NEW HOME of my blog and website! 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The versatile I-Cord- new name, old stitch

The I-Cord or I-Tube is a very popular component of many recent patterns, and for good reason.It is elegant yet sturdy, fashionable yet functional. The I-cord makes great purse straps for one example.

Many don't realize though that the I-cord is actually a generations old stitch! Remember those old-fashioned spool knitters? The work produced from spool knitting is the exact same stitch as the I-cord! And while my hands used to be able to pinch tiny loops and crochet such I-cords, lately I have had to revert back to the tried-and-true method using my own home-made spool. One end of this I-cord was made with the crochet hook, the other with the spool knitter- and even I can't tell the ends apart!

The craft stores sell new-fangled plastic versions of the spool-knitter these days- like this one from Clover-

Here's a great page I found with a lot of information- history, pictures, instructions, etc: http://www.newenglandsimpleliving.com/spoolknitting.htm

So don't shy away from patterns calling for this great design feature- there's a 'new' method to the rescue!

Please visit the NEW HOME of my blog and website! 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Challenge of Determining Hook Sizes

A question was asked in a pattern testers group I belong to:
"My hooks have numbers printed, not sizes. According to a google search, I found that 1.75 is a steel hook 5 and 1.25 is steel hook 12. Is this correct and does it match your specs on the latest test patterns?"

I replied- 1.75 mm is indeed a "5"; but 1.25 mm is an "8" steel hook, here's a link to the chart I like... http://www.karpstyles.com/crochet/hook-chart.html

BUT having said that, different brands' numbers are different mm measurements...

Doing a search of the top 5 well-known crochet hook brands brings these results for current generation hooks-

Addi's 1.75 mm is a "6", their 1.25 mm is a "10"
Tulip's 1.75 mm is a "0", and 1.25 mm is a "4".
Susan Bates' 1.75 mm is a "4", and 1.25 mm is a "9".
Clover's 1.75 mm is a "4", and 1.25 mm is an "8".
Boye doesn't have a 1.75 mm...they've got hooks on either side of that measurement-  slightly larger 1.8 mm is a "6" and slightly smaller 1.65 mm is a "7". They also don't have a 1.25 mm, 1.3 mm is a "10" and 1.1 mm is an "11".

So, are you confused enough yet?

To make things even more confusing, most older hooks don't have the mm measurement, simply a number...and different 'generations' of the SAME brand are different sizes! I have 3 Boye size 10's, the oldest one about 60 years old, and they are ALL different mm's!!

Fortunately for most thread crochet work, gauge isn't that critical of an issue, so just try your pattern design with what you've got and see how it turns out...sometimes 'close enough' really is okay! 

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Learning a New Way To Begin Your Crochet Piece

I discovered this excellent tutorial some time ago, and find it so continuously helpful that I thought I should post it here so I don't have to worry about losing the link to it, and of course to share it with all of you!

There are more and more patterns calling for one of the 'chainless' foundations...
MadMadMe's wonderful wrist wraps is one that comes to mind:

If you need instruction in how to do this fantastic way of working your first row, or if you are like me and can't seem to remember from one project to the next, check out this great Flickr post:
Vashti's Crochet Pattern Companion: Which Foundation Stitch? and Why?

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