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Organizing New Ideas for Future Crochet Projects

Organizing New Ideas

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Sometimes, when you get new ideas for future crochet projects, you aren’t ready to start working on them right away. You need time to think about them — to refine and perfect them — until you’re ready to begin the project. So, how do you keep those new ideas stored and organized until you are ready to start working on them? I have several things which I do that help me keep new ideas in mind.

1. Take a Photo with My Phone

I will take pictures of things that  inspire me or trigger ideas in my mind. My phone is usually always with me and a photo is worth 1,000 words. The thin and thick stripes in this wrapping paper would make a great crochet blanket, scarf or sweater.

Inspirational stripes

And here’s an example of a striped fabric that caught my eye. I like the colors in this, although they do seem a bit dark. The widths of the various stripes and the color sequence would lend themselves easily to being repeated in an afghan.

Fabric inspires new ideas

This blanket was inspired by the yarns within it since they inspired me to see the Autumn landscape of Oklahoma: the browns of the plowed fields; the golds and rusts of the trees; the blue from the sky and lakes; and the green of the old dried grasses in the pastures.

Inspired by nature

2. Pin It to My Secret Pinterest Inspiration Board

Yes, I do have several secret boards. (Doesn’t everyone?) If it is online, I will pin it to my secret inspiration board which no one else has access to. When you choose to create something based on what someone else has created, you need to be very careful about claiming too much of their work as your own. You can use it as a springboard to a new idea, but downright copying and passing it off as yours is piracy.  While I do have a secret Pinterest board, it isn’t filled with just other’s work — it has photos of color mood boards, stitches that I want to try, and other things that I think will make beautiful projects.

3. Go “Old School” (Paper and Pencil) and Write the New Ideas Down

(Affiliate links are included for the products I use. I will receive a small percentage of any item you purchase, but it will not affect your pricing.)

Often, I will draw out new ideas or write them down. I find this method increasingly hard to manage, though, as papers tend to get shuffled and lost. Here’s an example of a couple of my composition books (which I love!) full of ideas and crochet patterns.

Storing new ideas

I also love the post-it note brand of tabs and file folder labels.  I use them to mark the beginning of each pattern or idea that I put in the composition book. It helps keep the patterns organized and easy to find.

Keeping track of new ideas

Another thing I use all the time is a legal pad and clipboard. I write the pattern and notes furiously and then flip the pages. You can even see the paper sometimes in the background of my photos. Nearly every pattern I write has its beginnings on paper in some form. I always try to date and take progress photos as I work. This helps me keep track of how I put it together as well as document my thought processes. This all translates to detailed patterns, with photos, for you!

organizing new ideas

4. Pin It to a Real Life Bulletin Board or Magnet Board

saving new ideas
Check out more cool bulletin boards here:

Sometimes I’ll see a photo in a magazine I own, or maybe the  colors in fabric or yarn in my stash will catch my eye. When that happens, I will actually pin the photo or the materials to a bulletin board. I haven’t been doing this as often as I have been taping them into the composition book. The book is working better for me at this time, since I don’t have a dedicated working space. I often find myself in my chair, at the dining table…basically, working all over the house.

How Do You Save Your New Ideas?

Now that you’ve read about the methods that I am using right now, I’d love to know what you do to keep your ideas organized. Leave a comment below to start the conversation!
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Talk to you later,


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Yikes! Stripes Blanket Pattern

The Yikes! Stripes blanket pattern is so fun and easy to crochet. The colorful stripes and long length make this a great gift for the man in your life. The soft, chunky yarn is not what I normally use in my patterns, but that’s exactly what makes it more masculine: the bold colors and thick, warm strips.

Like a Favorite Scarf

Just look at these stripes! This pattern reminds me of the “team” scarves that so many people wear to sporting events. Can you imagine presenting this to the sports fan in your life? I’m sure he’ll find the colors of his favorite team in there!

I’m so excited for you to see this pattern and make it for yourself! Keep reading for links to my Etsy and Craftsy shops, where you can find the pattern.


Yikes! Stripes Blanket Pattern,

This pattern is perfect for a beginner. It really is fun to crochet it and watch as each stripe continues the lovely pattern.

Yikes! Stripes Blanket Pattern,

This blanket works up super quick, but you will need to know how to weave in all of the ends as there are quite a few of them.

Yikes! Stripes Blanket Pattern,

Yikes! Stripes

The yarn for this pattern is easily found and relatively inexpensive. If you’re looking for a second project to squeeze in before the holidays, or for an upcoming birthday, this is it.  You can find the pattern in either my Craftsy store or in my Etsy store.

No time to crochet and need this blanket now? You can purchase the Yikes! Stripes blanket at either Amazon or Etsy. Thanks for shopping; I hope you will consider making this fun pattern in all of its wonderful stripey-ness!

What I’ve Been Up To

If you haven’t had a chance to check out my YouTube videos that I’m making for the studio yet, I hope you will take time soon to stop by and see them. I have an Okie accent, which will hopefully bring a smile to your face as you listen. I honestly had no idea it was so thick!

It is truly amazing and humbling to see my videos out there in the world for all to see. I just can’t get over it! I am sure my family is getting tired of hearing me talk about them. Besides the videos, I am also working on two different afghans, along with writing new patterns and blogging. Life is never dull around here!

School has started; it’s my daughter’s senior year. She’s the last child, and that means I am almost at the end of what feels like a lifetime of teaching. It will be the end of an era for both homeschooling and motherhood. I will have 26+ years of “always being there” under my belt. Where did the time go?!

Are you transitioning this year? Perhaps you’ll soon have an empty nest, like me. Or maybe you have elderly parents for whom you have taken on caregiving duties. Leave a note in the comments and tell me what’s going on in your life! Then take time to sign up for our newsletter, so you’ll always know when new patterns are released.

Talk to you later,


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Where I Burn Yarn and Expose my Okie Accent

This is where I burn yarn and expose my Okie accent at the debut of my Youtube channel.  It is funny to me how I actually sound and I hope it doesn’t grate on too many nerves. It is amazing to me to see these videos come together so quickly. I am showing tips, tricks and just generally sharing my knowledge. I have found it hard to crochet slowly enough to show what is going on. The first video I am releasing is called Burn Test.  I was terribly afraid that I would set the house on fire and you can see the results of the test in the video. It was very interesting to see how the yarns actually burned. We did this test in one of my classes at college. I was amazed to see how much knowledge I actually retained. Here you go!

It was fun to create and see how things turn out. I have been filming little videos all week.

The July 4th weekend has been fun and busy. We have been finishing a bunch of yard work and cleaning in the house.

I am working on a couple of different crochet projects. This one is fun and it looks nothing like this now but I played with the colors bit.

Where I Burn Yarn and Expose my Okie Accent,

These are the basis of my blanket.

Where I Burn Yarn and Expose my Okie Accent,

The next photos remind me of the Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt.

Where I Burn Yarn and Expose my Okie Accent,

Where I Burn Yarn and Expose my Okie Accent,

Where I Burn Yarn and Expose my Okie Accent,

Where I Burn Yarn and Expose my Okie Accent,

I have already moved on from these square arrangements. I am crocheting a scrap afghan and just ran out of yarn for these little flowers. The yarn that I have left over I roll into little balls of yarn. These end up in a jar or when it overflows into  a large plastic box. When the box overflows, I try to start using them up. I am and it is turning out really bright and colorful.

Talk to you later,


I would love to see your projects. Post your photos in the comments and I will stop by and see them. What are you working on now?


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Crochet projects and other projects

Here is what I am doing now on my crochet projects and other projects. The flower blanket is zooming along and I am almost finished with it. Here is a more current photo of it.  I just have the borders left on it now and it is enormous. It is a heavy blanket and will be wonderful this coming winter. The blanket already has a home as it is a custom order. It will feel good to start on other crochet projects, I have so many in mind.Crochet projects and other projects; ChocolateDogStudio, crochet flower blanket

I went to the business conference last weekend and it was wonderful. The goals setting advice and clarity I got for my business has been wonderful. Crochet projects and other projects; ChocolateDogStudio, crochet flower blanket

I was able to meet Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom. I have been reading her blog for years and it was nice to meet her in person.  She is as fun in person as she is online.Crochet projects and other projects; ChocolateDogStudio, crochet flower blanket

There has been a bunch of stirring around and re-organizing. I am excited that part of this area will be my new studio area. Crochet projects and other projects; ChocolateDogStudio, crochet flower blanket

We have been having a huge cleaning session, getting rid of extra stuff, condensing boxes, and packing up our daughter’s college items until she gets her own place. This is the dirty truth about our makerspace. It sometimes becomes the catch all!

I also found some yarny messes that I have been organizing and clearing out.

Crochet projects and other projects; ChocolateDogStudio, crochet flower blanket

It is Memorial day here and we spent time at the cemetery decorating Dad’s gravestone. He was a veteran and we are thankful for his and other’s service for our country.  Dad’s stone is the one in the foreground. Crochet projects and other projects; ChocolateDogStudio, crochet flower blanket

If you or a loved one has served we thank you for your sacrifice for our freedoms.
The week was full and fun. It has been a busy week and even busier weekend. I am excited to finally get to work in the new studio area. I hope to get more organized with my pattern writing and crocheting.  My yarn is more organized. I have decided that I have too much yarn and need to get started crocheting so that more of it leaves my house! (Is it really possible to have too much yarn?) I have yarntopia and then three plastic tubs full along with baskets full in the living room. I also bought more this past week at a flea market, but it was sooo nice and such a lovely color!

Talk to you later,