Thursday, March 31, 2005

Join me for some Snoopy Dancing :)

I received an email today on my "baby:"

Dear Dee,

We are honored to be able to display such an exquisite piece!

Jules and I were amazed and pleased as we opened your package to reveal your exquisite Irish Clones Lace Doily! It is wonderful to have a modern example of real Irish Crochet in our exhibit. It is beautiful!!!!!!!!!! The frame sets it off with splendor.

We were also so glad you included the information on how long it took you to make it. Jules and I had just been discussing how long it takes to crochet lace ... the fact that you were able to give us an exact number of hours sheds light on all of the works we have displayed.

Thank you for the honor of being able to show your beautiful work.

Martha Shen

For those just tuning into this topic: upon invitation, I sent my Irish Clones Lace doily to be included in the Lacis Museum of Laces and Textiles for display in the Opening Exhibit entitled:    
                                              "IRISH CROCHET LACE"
                                              150 Years of a Tradition
which starts tomorrow, April 1st, and runs through July 30th 2005.  This is my first time having a piece on display in a museum.

                         I am so on Cloud Nine tonight!!  J

Student Triumphs

One of my students (yes, it was you, Lori) came up with a great suggestion for me.  She said, "Dee, why don't you create a place where we can see all of your students crocheted creations!"

I loved the idea and started it today ... thanks to the quick thieving hands I have ... LOL.  No, I didn't really steal; I just borrowed, possibly for long term, my dad's new digital camera.  I borrowed it over the Easter Holiday and I'm getting to think that he's not expecting it back any time soon.  (why else would he drop the box w/all the cables & such off here at the house? You'd think the same thing, right? LOL)

Anyway, I started a new album on my PictureTrail site ... just go to the Student Triumph album.

Hey, and Lori, next week bring all your goodies in -- I have pictures to take!!!

Finding Events & Asking to be Included

On one of the online lists I enjoy being a member of, our discussion has turned to locating area events that promote the fiber arts ... and more specifically, crochet.

I found this website: -- it seems to have quite a few events listed for various states when I did a search for "fiber."  There were not as many for "crochet" ... but still they were listed!  I find this great because it may help others who want to see and participate in the fiber arts world.  Go ahead and check it out.  :)

If you don't see an event for your area, why not ask a local yarn shop to host one?  I asked the store, Knit Together, if they'd host a Trunk Show ... you know, the one I mentioned the other day? ... they're now looking into it.

And while we're asking, ask to have crochet included!!  My girlfriend Grace did just that when she received an email promotion from the yarn shop, WEBs.  The email catered to knitters, so she sent them an email and asked that crochet be included.  They responded to her within 15 minutes and said that they would!

See, no harm in asking!!  :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005



Isn't that what the cartoon character, Cathy, says as she's freaking out over various aspects going on in her life?

That's me right now, right at this moment.


I'm looking online at my shipment and see that the delivery attempt failed. 


I called the package carrier & spoke with "Dave."  He said I should relax; that he'll have the driver reattempt the delivery today.  Relax??  (Can you see that Cathy cartoon persona wigging out over the suggestion to "relax?")  Who can relax?  I'm on pins & needles until I hear that my "baby" has been delivered safely.


After all, it's my first time sending one of my prized "babies," one of my crochet works, off for display ... I think I should be allowed to be a bit nervous.  Don't you?   ; )

Time for Fashion

Are you ready for this You know, the pesky time change thing again.  We go through this every six months, and I can't stand it.  I think we should just leave the time alone.  Apparently though, my alarm clock knows that the state of Connecticut has not chosen to "opt out" (did you know there was such an option available?), and has been preparing me.  For some unknown reason the clock appears to have set itself ahead by an hour and has been training me -- all week, mind you -- for this change.  (I say that the clock changed its own time because my husband and kids say they didn't do it, and I know I didn't, because lets face it: who wants to get up an hour earlier if they don't need to??  Yeah, my thoughts exactly.)

So with the time change comes time to look at our spring and summer fashions.  This article, Fashionable Crochet Styling - Essence of Style does just that and discusses the popularity of crochet hats ... floppy ones for this season, which is something we were discussing briefly in yesterday's crochet class.  (Lion Brand has a free pattern on their website:

But the article also discusses on how you can add crochet to you existing wardrobe ... such as adding crocheted pockets to a "plain white dress, skirt, or tee."  ... which reminds me of a tee I worked on with my daughter last summer.

While I admit I am not a sewer, I went to a local craft store and purchased a few crochet doilies (yeah, I know I could have crocheted them myself, but purchasing them sure saved me a lot of time for this project.)  I then took a tee and cut off the sleeves and then cut off about a third of the tee from the bottom.  I then cut up the doilies and pined them onto the tee and stitched it all together.  Each new sleeve was created with half a doily -- this gave, in my daughter's opinion an "angel wing effect."  For the bottom of the tee, crochet scallops all the way around.  I even cut a "window" into the back of the tee and stitched in a piece left over from the doilies.  Then came the fun part.  We tie-dyed the tee.  What resulted was a one-of-a-kind tee that she insisted on wearing right through the winter (she wore a turtle neck underneath)

You can do the same.  Just think of the fun!

And look at this!  Just moments after posting my entry here about crochet being "in" for the season, another news article pops up in my email stating the same thing ... thank you Denelle of Montana!! ... here it is: Five Looks for Spring; Clothes We Love 

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

all I hope for it is that it helps inspire

I just finished helping hubby out of the house with my doily.  My tiny Irish Clones Lace doily, weighing less than a pound, just left in one HUGE box.  Actually in a "turbo fan" box; but you get the idea.

Thanks to two online crochet groups, I figured out how to frame the doily for the upcoming exhibit. (Thanks everyone!!)  Hubby is having it express shipped for me.  They'll have my doily in California tomorrow! Isn't he sweet?

For the doily, he also helped me frame it.  I purchased a large shadow box frame but thoughts about pushing a sewing needle through the cardboard seemed like it would be a painful experience to me.  I wasn't looking forward to that.

So, I requested hubby to strap on his tool belt and help me out.  While I drew on the back of the cardboard where I wanted the holes, he got out his drill.  Yep, in minutes flat he had every hole I needed zipped into the cardboard.  Then he vacuumed away all the shavings and it was ready for the doily to be added.  It took me about half an hour to sew it securely to the backing ... and did so painlessly.

So off it goes today.  Who knows, maybe it's the start of a great journey for that little doily.  Perhaps one day it will get to "see" more parts of the world than me!  Can you imagine!  LOL  ... all I hope for it is that it helps inspire others to give the technique a try.  J

If you are planning on attending the Crochet Guild of America's National Conference this July, then you may want to take a little side trip and visit the Lacis Museum to check out all the exhibits.  I understand that it's about a half-hour away from where the Conference will be held, and that there will be so many delicious items there! 

And don't forget ... this, yes I said THIS, THIS weekend is the REGIONAL Conference ... it's being held in King of Pershia, Pennsylvania.  I won't be attending, but if you're up for road trips, go, go, GO!!!!  You'll have a "marvelous time, darlink!"

Monday, March 28, 2005

So Dee, What's Up With That?

Recently, I've received a few emails asking 1. why I don't have a certain blog/journal listed under my "Other Journals," and 2. why a blog was removed from the list.  So I thought I'd take a few moments to address this.

First of all, let me state that AOL, who hosts my journal here, only gives me so much space to list my favorite blogs to visit.  So it's impossible for me to list each and everyone that I do visit.

Of the ones I do list, I do so because of the following reasons:

  •   Frequency of updates
  •   Content (mostly crochet)
  •   Clean Language
  •   Inspiration

    If a blog was listed and you now see that it's been removed, it might be because it hasn't been updated in the last 3-6 months.  I feel that if people are visiting my blog/journal then I should at least provide links to those that are able to keep theirs updated too.  Don't worry; just because it's not listed doesn't mean I'm not visiting it any longer! 

    If a blog was listed and you now see that it's been removed, it might be because of language that was used.  Since I teach crochet to all ages, I'm looking for those blogs/journals that can be considered rated "G" for general audiences.  I think that I have a responsibility to the children interested in crochet and want to provide them with safe places to visit.

    Or, check the blog to see if it's "On Topic."  For those that have blogs/journals of your own, I'm not telling you what you can & cannot write about.  It is your blog, and you can write about anything you wish; but if your blog is named "... crochet ..." and heavily wanders off to the techniques of raising horses or how to make rocket ships more often than about your crochet adventures, then there's a likelihood of not having it listed here.  While your blog/journal may be very interesting overall, I'm looking for those more in tune with the theme of crochet and fiber (again, this falls into this category because I teach crochet and have students visiting -- the content you write about may help inspire them!) ... but again, just because you don't see it here doesn't mean I don't visit!!

    I do my best to provide a warm & welcoming environment here at CrochetWithDee and hope that you understand my reasonings of how, why, and when a blog/journal is listed here.

    If you have a blog/journal that you think I'd be interested in visiting, please leave the web address to it here in my comments, or email it to me.  I'd be happy to check it out, and possibly consider it for listing.

    Thank you,

  • Wallets, Luggage and Trunks?

    A few months back we saw a charge on our Bank of America charge card.  We called them and reported that the charge didn't belong to us.  It wasn't a lot of money, but here we are, months later, with having to go through a lot of hoopla to get the charge removed, the account closed and then reissued.

    Flash forward to this past Saturday.  I'm in the middle of teaching when the store owner comes and tells me I have a call.  I excused myself from the class and took the call.  It seems Discovercard was investigating some "interesting charges" happening on THAT day!  After my husband and I explained to them that the charges were not ours, they immediately closed the account and are in the process of reissuing us a new account. 

    This is not the first time Discovercard has called to ensure purchases were ours ... they called when we bought my replacement PC, the replacement printer, you know -- big purchases.  This time they were calling about small purchases, and there was something about them that made Discovercard's red flags go up to have them call us immediately.  I don't know how they do it, what causes the red flags to go up, but I like it when a company does this.  Thank you Discovercard!

    What a big difference between the two companies, huh?  Now while I don't want to wander too far off the topic of crochet, I do want to warn you, my readers, that when you are shopping online, or even in retail stores, take every precaution to protect those charge accounts!

    In highlighting the serious issue of what's going on with my credit life, this brings to mind a wallet I saw online recently -- made of duct tape!  Click here to see -- all it really needs is some crochet trim!! 

    And speaking of wallets, lets turn our thoughts to luggage, shall we?  When was the last time you traveled?  Have you noticed how MUCH black luggage there is?  Even my luggage I bought two years agois blackTo help identify my luggage, I crocheted little rectangles and then joined two of them together to cover the handles in an ever so soft pink color.  I intend to add more as time permits.

    But never in my life had I seen more beautiful luggage up close than that of Prudence Mapstones'!  I got to see hers when I took one of her workshops in NYC a few years ago ... oh, it was just beautiful!  She said, "You can do it too, you know.  You just take your freeform pieces and stitch it securely to the outside of your luggage."  If you're not familiar with Prudence Mapstone, her work, or with what the concept of freeform is, then give her website a visit at

    And, she has a new book out, called, "Bullions & Beyond - tips & techniques for the crochet bullion stitch."  I'm going to have to check and see if it's going to be available here in the states any time soon. {{grins}}

    So with the thought process of wallets to luggage, the next step is to think about Trunks ... and more specifically, Trunk Shows!! 

    Did you know that Interweave Press is helping to promote crochet by having a traveling Trunk Show based on the book by Judith Swartz, Hip to Crochet(I have this book; got it autographed at the Knit Out & Crochet Too! event last year.)  Check out the Interweave website and see if it's coming near you ... and if it isn't, print the page out, bring it to your local yarn shop and request that they become a host!    ... I'm lucky, come the week of May 2-9 oneof the listed shows will be just 19 miles from me!!

    Sunday, March 27, 2005


    I remember my first Tunisian project.  We had been going to the nursing home to see my father-in-law.  Each time we went, he'd look at me and state he was cold.  Unable to get him warm enough with the blankets from the nursing home, I decided I would crochet him his own blanket.

    I used three colors, his favorites: light blue, medium blue, and dark blue.  I crocheted what seemed at the time, a gazillion 3" squares with the Tunisian technique and then started to assembled them.  I also crocheted a large square that took the place of a few of the smaller blocks, as this square I had special plans for.  Then I decided that the afghan needed to be longer so I made a huge rectangle for the top.  (That decision came with a price I hadn't planned on -- due to the weight of the extreme number of stitches on my hook, I ended up spraining my thumb.)  But he was cold, so I pressed on, right through the pain.  I finished joining all the pieces except for the large square.  For that, I had to have some extra work done first before I could join it.

    I took it to a place that could sew on his name.  Yep, with this much work (and pain) invested in his special afghan, I was not about to have it "walk."  So I had his name, in 2" letters, stitched professionally on the square.  I also cross-stitched on a red heart to represent all of the family's love for him.  After I joined this last square I took out my sewing machine.  Here I added on the entire backside, an adorable duck theme flannel backing.  Oh, this afghan was heavy!

    On our next visit to the nursing home, I presented the afghan to him.  After a few moments of having the afghan on, he turned to me and said, "I'm finally warm."  He enjoyed that afghan to his very last day.

    Yesterday was the anniversary of his passing, so it will be a little rough today as we think of this loving man.  Fortunately, we have many fond memories of him to cherish.  AND, we have the blanket still in the family as an heirloom, as part of his legacy.  Now my sister-in-law is currently enjoying it.  Once, she said to me that she loved wrapping it around her as it was like receiving a hug from him.  I love that the afghan is continuing to give warmth -- this time it's giving warmth to the heart.

    So that's my message for today and for Easter:  (it doesn't matter if you practice the same religion or not )
                  May we remember,
                   may we cherish, 
                 and may we rejoice
                  in all that we do.  

    Saturday, March 26, 2005

    Ponchos. No matter how you feel about them, they're here.

    Ponchos.  No matter how you feel about them, they're here.  And they're more popular than ever!  The great thing about them is that they're "nearly a garment" that forces you to think about fitting -- before you start thinking about sweaters, and their sleeves.

    Do you make the poncho short, or long?  For an adult, or child?  Male or female? With or without fringe?  What about adding a bit of surface crochet?  Color changes?  Stitch changes?  What fiber?  And for which season, summer, fall, winter, spring???  See, there's so much that needs to be taken into consideration.  :)

    So, here's your chance to make an original poncho.  One that is entirely your own "dee-sign" and to do it for a good cause.  Yes, that's right, I'm hinting at a competition that's currently going on:  RAG SHOP FASHION PONCHO YARN CONTEST.  And if you haven't figured out a way to celebrate National Crochet Month yet, what can be better than a competition that helps a charity and helps you get creative with your crocheting??  I think it's an awesome opportunity!  Hurry though; the contest ends on April 30th.

    Friday, March 25, 2005

    Question from Reader: Crochet With Ribbon?

    Haley writes: I'm sooo incredibly proud for you!  What a great feeling to love what you do!  So Miss Dee-signer, I have a quick question.  Can you crochet with any kind of ribbon?  I have a design in mind inspired by your amazing scarf with the ribbon woven through that you showed me in class on Tuesday.

    Haley, I love the new name, Dee-signer ... I'll have to put that with "Da Bomb of Moms" that Sheila gave me awhile back -- LOL!!!

    It's interesting that you should ask about crocheting with ribbon ... as it was just yesterday that the Crochet Partners online group was discussing the very same thing!  I love that your wheels are turning; thinking of something new to create!

    Yes, you can certainly crochet with ribbon -- any kind of ribbon.  The questions to ask are: what kind of ribbon do you want to use, and what width?  Once you have your answer you can proceed with your project.

    You may want to check out the Carol Duval website (just omit the word *knit* for crochet and you'll be well on your way!!)

    And while we're on the topic of ribbon, when you think about it, ribbon is really "skinny" material.  Which means, yes, you can crochet with material too. 

    Thanks for the question, Haley.  I'm looking forward to seeing what you dee-sign. J

    A Safety Note: In mentioning my scarf I had shown Haley, I'd like to note that while I like the look of ribbon woven through work, it's not something I'd recommend to give to small children.  The reason is because the ribbon can be pulled from the work and end up wrapped around a child's neck with devastating results.  If you do want to give such an item to a child, take the time to go through and securely sew down (tack down) the ribbon with needle and thread.  The extra time you put into securing the ribbon may make a difference between life or death for that child.  (This is the same reason that there's no more pull-strings in hoods, and that our blinds have split-pulls instead of loops.)

    Thursday, March 24, 2005

    Question from Reader: One Handed Crochet

    Linda writes: I am a professor at the University of Southern Maine (and the coordinator of RATE).  I receive many requests for information about how to crochet using one hand. Most of those making the requests have had a stroke and are trying to "get back" to their hobby. Do you have any information that would be useful? Lastly, might asking your readers for information be possible?

    Hi Linda,
    I truncated your inquiry; I hope you don't mind.  I appreciate you contacting me and inquiring about one handed crochet. I agree with you that there's not much available on the Internet on this topic, so one of the things I've been doing over the past several years is to post whatever information I find and have it listed all at one location. If you visit my website you'll find a link to my page on one handed crochet. (To make it easier for you, you can go right to the page by clicking here.) I hope the information I have there will help you help those that want to get back to their crocheting, and those that have never tried it before but want to.

    AND READERS:  If you know of any information on the World Wide Web that can help, please let Linda and I know by posting here.  Your lead may help someone achieve their dreams of crocheting!!

    Wednesday, March 23, 2005

    OMG! Pinch me AGAIN!!

    Forget about being graceful and leaping effortlessly across the house with joy.  I may have been a ballerina earlier this week, but now we're onto ice skating -- doing triple sow cows that can bring home Olympic gold!  No, seriously!!  I am that excited that I just might dare trying it!!  So, yes, please, pinch me again before I go into more "OMG's!"

    What happened?
                    I got a phone call.

    Uh, huh.
                   It was a great phone call!

    It was an invitation to submit a piece to be placed on exhibit in a museum!   (Oh, I can barely breathe!  They want one of my crochet pieces to submit for exhibit???!!!  WOW!!  Oh, please pinch me!!  This is just incredible!!)

    It turns out that Jules Kliot has decided to create a museum dedicated to the laces and textiles of fiber to preserve the memory of his late wife, Kaethe.  The exhibit he's working on will feature freeform crochet, and Irish Lace.  I was asked to submit my doily I did in Irish Clones Lace a few years back (see image to the right) that is based on the patterns available in Maire Treanor's book, Clones Lace: The Story and Patterns of an Irish Crochet.

    I just keep chanting "OMG!" in my mind, over and over.  I do need to be pinched; I'd hate to wake up and find that this week has been a dream!

    I've got my work cut out for me if I'm going to meet the deadline ... I've got to reblock the piece and then find a place that will do a beautiful job framing it.

    Excuse me for running off now, I'm off to do those triple sow cows ...

    Someone Needs to Enlighten Mother Nature

    Spring is here.  Yeah, right.  Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature because ANOTHER major snow storm is forecasted to hit later this afternoon.  Four to Eight inches of heavy snow.  Am I prepared?  You betcha!

    After getting in late last night, I finished crocheting up the Preemie set I had started in my son's class on Monday ... it's a little blanket, coral colored, with a matching bonnet.  I left the back top portion of the bonnet open so medical wires (monitors & such that get attached to the baby's head) can be passed through.  After I finished it, I started working on the Beach Tote that's in Pauline Turner's book, "How to Crochet."    The tote will be put on display at the store for an upcoming workshop.  It's working up quickly, and the Tweedy Cotton Classic yarn I brought home yesterday, is just a dream to work with!

    The snow storm will give me the time to finish other projects that are sitting on the hook ... but I do need to get to the library today.  My daughter has to do a biography book report.  I suggested she do it on Laura Ingalls Wilder since she likes stories of the American Frontier ... and because it's National Women's Month ... and because, well, yeah, Laura was a crocheter!   (Aw, Mom!  Does everything have to be about crochet?  LOL)

    If she does say yes to my suggestion, I envision teaching her how to do the basic granny square so she can have the experience of what the pioneers used to help stretch their resources.  Who knows, maybe she can even add it to the cover of her report.  All I can do is suggest.  It's really up to her to decide. 

    And speaking of Women, and of Achievements ... did you know that the hoopla over Martha's Freedom Poncho made the front page of the New York Times last Friday??  (One of my crochet students pointed this out to me yesterday.  Thank you Shelly!)  Crochet!  On the front page!  Oh, you gotta love that!! 

    Tuesday, March 22, 2005

    If you enjoy art, wear a bib

    Just a quick entry today as I prepare for classes today ... something for you to enjoy; I know I sure did.

    A warning first:  If you enjoy art, wear a bib as drooling is entirely possible! 
    These are incredible!

    Want more?  Visit here.

    BTW: when hubby came home last night & saw the goodies I received, he couldn't believe it!  He said he as so proud of this latest development in my "Crochet Career".  J

    Sheila: I can't say for sure, but a little birdie told me you might get your wish: a new digital camera might be headed my way so all can see everything I've been talking about ... at the very least I'd have it on loan.  So we'll see!  Keep those fingers crossed!!  J

    Monday, March 21, 2005

    OMG!! Pinch me!!

    OMG! OMG!! OMG!!!

    I feel as though I just hit lotto -- but better!

    I just received my first shipment of unsolicited free material to design crochet items with and submit for publication!  


                                 I've been noticed by a yarn manufacturer!


               Can you tell I'm elated??

    About three years ago Melissa Leapman came to Danbury and taught two special workshops for our Crochet Club.  She was happy to answer our questions and someone had inquired as to how she selects the fibers she uses for her publications.  She said it arrives in the mail; direct from the yarn manufacturers.  She said that when that happens you know you've arrived as a designer.

    So this is MY moment then!  And here in this moment I wish I had continued on with those childhood ballet lessons!  I feel, with all this excitement that comes from this gift from the yarn company, that I could defy the laws of gravity and instantly float across the house with graceful leaps and turns like a true ballerina and never get dizzy. (Of course that's why I gave up trying to be a ballerina -- because I always got dizzy...)  Hmmm.  Since I can't do that, I'll just remain giddy ... as giddy as a child set loose in a candy store with free rein!!

    I can barely contain my excitement!  OMG!!  Pinch me!!  It's official! 
                                           I AM A DESIGNER!!

    Now, as I peek into the box and look at all the treasures I wonder, what they will say to me of what they wish to become?   Oh, this is going to be incredible fun to find out!!  :)

    Peter Cottontail? NEXT Sunday??

    Easter is NEXT Sunday?  Holy Toledo!  How did that happen?!!!

    I know it was announced yesterday that Spring has arrived, but around here you'd never know it.  On a message board I visited last night, someone asked if the grass is greener on the other side.   I don't know; it's hard to see under all that snow!

    So, I have just six days to prepare for Easter.  I don't have time to prepare for Easter, do I?  I have a Prom to prepare for.  Well, not a Prom, but just as well with all the money already shelled out for the dress, the fitting, the shoes, the tights, the head piece (with veil), the gloves, the invites, and the party favors and there's still a place that needs to be booked for the party ...  no, it's not a prom; it will be my daughters First Communion and it's a pretty big deal.  So it's no wonder that I've been sidetracked and completely surprised that Easter is THIS upcoming weekend!

    Thankfully the folks over at Crochet Pattern Central  have a bunch of Easter patterns for those of us that are running around like Chicken Little proclaiming that the sky is falling.  Those Bunny Baskets patterns though, just might get me to stay up into the wee hours of the morning ... oh, and the bunny pins ... oh, this could be trouble!  LOL

    Sunday, March 20, 2005

    The Field Trip in honor of National Crochet Month

    Yesterday was the big "Field Trip" in honor of National Crochet Month.  It was a field trip to bring Crochet Partners, and other crocheters together.  I went with Grace and Ritu (they also happen to be HHCCers), and with Diana, Jennifer and my daughter; we all headed north to Northampton, MA starting at 9:30 in the morning.

    Before I went, I heard from CPer Rose.  She was wondering if I was going due to my not feeling well.  I love that she keeps tab on me!  I decided that I would conserve as much energy as I could and go.  This field trip, to me, was to take the place of my not being able to attend the Regional CGOA Conference that will take place at the end of the month.

    So, I took my decongestant meds as Grace drove.  We arrived at WEBs around 11:30 and hooked up with CPer (and HHCCer) Diane, and with Pat.  We spent two luscious hours checking out all the fibers ... petting, ohhhhing, and ahhhhhing.  I met a woman at WEBs who's new to having "fiber-itis" ... I helped explain to her what a ball winder is for, and why a swift is a good idea too.  She seemed tickled to learn this information.

    For myself, I picked up six balls of Plymouth Yarn's "Whisper" (Lori, I plan on making the same bag as you but with this fiber) and a spool of Susi's "Linhas Circulo" thread; I haven't a clue what I'll be making with it (I'll wait for the fiber to tell me what it wants to become).  For our crochet club, we also picked up a ball winder and a swift as well as some books for the club library. 

    We bypassed Northampton Wools due to my not feeling well ... but made note as we drove by it that it appeared that they've expanded their store.  We will be visiting them on future trips!!

    Around the corner we went ... off to visit Beaders Paradise.  The sun was shining, and warm.  It may have reached 50 degrees -- it was just a beautiful day and my poncho was getting compliments everywhere we went!  While inside Beaders I picked out some beads to go with my new thread that were such a perfect match they became a "must have!"

    From here our group broke up.  We decided to head back home, again due to my not feeling well.  My daughter requested we stop for food on the way home, so we did.  Exit 33 off I-84.   We stopped at McD's for a bite and then did some quick shopping at AC Moore.  I picked up two more skeins of TLC's "CaraMia."

    After we arrived home, I pretty much crashed.  Today I plan on doing nothing but staying at "Camp Couch" to crochet & snooze. 

    Have you guessed it yet?  Yep, a big storm is headed our way today:  rain, sleet, and snow!  And yet, somehow, I  was able to get out and load up on the "necessities" to get me through it.   LOL (cough cough)

    Friday, March 18, 2005

    Food for Thought

    While I'm under the weather today, nursing an extremely sore throat & sinuses out of control, I thought I'd leave you, my readers, with food for thought.  You know, a topic to discuss while I try to rapidly get better and prepare myself for tomorrow's big field trip.

    Yeah, that's right I said food for thought ... CROCHETED food!!
    (talk about a diet high in fiber!  LOL)

    When you visit the link you may be asked to download some language program ... just exit out of it and let your eyes feast on such the delightful images.  (the chocolates look to die for!)

                         Food for Thought ....

    Thursday, March 17, 2005

    Crochet & St. Patrick's Day

    Wee bit Irish, are ye?  Ah, what other day is good to blather about the Irish and crochet than today?  First we'll chinwag a bit about the history, and then I'll give you some deadly links to try.  If you're having a desperate time scanning this, then give the website a visit.  You'll be having a craic in no time at tall!

    No need to go scarlet, you can scatter if you'd like. But it's time to pull your socks up, stop foostering & messing; we've got crochet on the brain!    Yes, it's wee in the morning, and I am off the drink, and the mushies.  I'm just messing...

        ... because today is St. Patrick's Day!

    Yep, I'm part Irish.  Comes from my Grandmother's side.  And I'll be wearing the Shamrock pin I crocheted in celebration.  (This is the same pin I'll be wearing at the upcoming field trip planned for Saturday!)

    So, as I said in so many strange words earlier, that we should look at history today -- Irish history, and blend it in with crochet.  Did you know that crochet saved the Irish economy's arse back during the time of the potato famine? 

    Don't know about the potato famine?

    OK touching on it briefly ... during the time of 1846-1850 over a million people died from starvation and disease in Ireland.  This all started when potato crops were covered with a black rot.  As the crops, people's livelihood, failed, food became scarce and quite expensive!

    At the same time crochet was becoming THE fashion accessory to wear ... the more you wore, the wealthier you were.  To meet this demand, towns in Ireland started offering various crocheted motifs ... and the crocheted lace was exported around the world.  This provided the Irish with income -- their main income -- for a number of years.

    To read more about this, visit theweb site

    To read more about Irish Lace and try your hand at it, give the book,  Clones Lace: The Story and Patterns of an Irish Crochet by Maire Treanor, a read.

    And, since it is St. Patrick's Day, Irish or not, try to create your own shamrock to honor those crocheters who came before us:

         1. Carol Alexander's latest newsletter offers a shamrock pattern (I'm going to try to whip two of these up before the lads head off to school): talkingcrochet

         2. Try this one too: blshamrock

                  Have a Happy & Safe St. Patrick's Day!!

    Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    “She’s been like the Tiger Woods of crocheting”

    “She’s been like the Tiger Woods of crocheting”   Oh, I don't know about that.

    That quote is from another article highlighting the poncho Martha wore on the day of her release.  It references about crocheters coming out of the closet because they want one too.

    While it IS true that there has been much emphasis on crochet since her release, the crochet frenzy has been going on for a number of years, having really heated up for the past few.  It's much like placing a pot of water on the stove to boil and never getting the credit that's due.  Take the individual(s) who got the pot out, filled it with water, put it on the stove and turned the heat on.  Then push them to the side so that someone else can innocently walk by the stove, look at the pot, and then declare the water boiling.  The "success" for the boiling water is then given to that person totally ignoring the other person's actions. 

    Based on this, I don't think it's fair to all of those people who have worked so hard to bring crochet to the forefront not to be thanked too.  So today, my journal entry is dedicated to them, and all the hard work they've done to bring crochet to the stove, light it's fire, and wait for that pass-byer to declare (somehow) that it's at it's boiling point.   Thank You!!!!

         Thank You for the growing trend to find great Crochet on the Internet.

         Thank You for helping yarn shops see they need to offer Crochet Classes.

         Thank You for helping the yarn/thread manufacturers see that Crocheters love yummy fibers too.

         Thank You for bringing new books/projects to light -- the inspiration they offer is awesome.

         Thank You for showing how beautiful crochet looks as the latest "must haves" in fashion.

         “Thank you for being the parents of the Tiger Woods of Crocheting”                                    

                                 Thank You for it all!

    Tuesday, March 15, 2005

    a fiber-istically fun day

    Yesterday was a fiber-istically fun day.  I had the pleasure of teaching the morning session of the Staff Development Day, and then enjoyed a most delightful lunch provided by the owners of the store.  In the late afternoon I gave knitting a try ... but confound it!  I seem to be twisting my stitches.  

    This was a special day because it was the first time the ENTIRE staff was together at the same time!  The day was full of laughter, projects, and then unexpectedly, with gifts.  Yes, the owners wanted to thank all the employees for a great year and surprised us with either a gift of knitting needles or a crochet hook.

    No, not just any knitting needles set or crochet hook ... go to this site and check them out: -- my hook is the cobalt blue.  It's stunning!!

                          Does it work?

    Oh, did you think I wouldn't take it out for a test drive?  LOL ... I did, I did!!  And the ride was sweet!!

                          A BIG Thank You to Joy & John for such a fantastic day!!

    ... If you are planning on going to the CGOA Regional Conference in King of Prussia, PA, at the end of the month, then you'll want to be sure to visit the Ernst's booth in the FiberArts Market and see these beauties first hand!!

    Monday, March 14, 2005

    Crochet in the News

    If you're a Scorpio, your horoscope says you should do a fun activity this week ... like crocheting.  I'll have to show this to my son tonight and see it if will spur him to pick up the crochet hook again.

    Lily Chin is currently crocheting on the morning CBS TV news -- she'll be offering a crochet lesson at 8:30 AM; the weatherman even modeled the "freedom" poncho.  If you don't know who Lily is, here's an article called "Knit one, purl two,  too cool" for you to read.  Hopefully I set that VCR machine correctly and I'll get to watch it later tonight after I return from teaching Staff Development Day. 

    One of the things that the article mentions is that Lily spends her time crisscrossing the country promoting the fiber arts and the latest in yarns.  (Really, it's more like crisscrossing the world!)

    Although not mentioned in the article, unfortunately, with the Sirdar fur recently being called a fire hazard, we need to add another yarn to the flammable list:  Fur Out yarn.  If you have this yarn, you can contact Bernat at 1-800-641-5634 and request they reimburse you.


    7:05 PM UPDATE:  Did you miss seeing Lily Chin on the CBS News this morning?  So did I.  My attempt at taping the segment failed.

    Don't worry though ... you can watch it by going here.  She did a great job!!  :)

    Sunday, March 13, 2005

    Watch those "T's" ... and CBS too!

    Did you watch Saturday Night Live last night?  While I could have done without all the plugs to Capital One (the credit card company that's harrassing me to death to open an account with them) David Spade was the host and he played the roll of Martha Stewart -- poncho and all. (He made one ugly looking "Martha," IMHO!  LOL)  The best part is that the script writers got it right when they referenced the poncho saying it was CROCHETED, not knitted. 

    In the week since Martha's been out, many stories have been written about this now famous poncho but for some reason the word KNIT keeps getting thrown in there.  HINT:  If you work for a newspaper, let your fact-finders know that 
        A.  The word KNITTING has 2 "T's" in it.  This is because it's a fabric making technique requiring TWO sticks.

         B.  The word CROCHETING has 1 "T" in it.  This is because it's a fabric making technique requiring ONE stick (with a notch at the end).

    And, in case you haven't heard, there are "knock off" patterns available on the Internet now ... from Lion Brand, Interweave Press, and geesh, someone else I think.  The important thing about this is that you can watch your CBS news tomorrow morning and see Lily Chin ... here's the details:

         Watch the CBS news at  7:14 AM & 8:01 AM for "teasers," then interview sometime between 8:30-9 AM. 

    This is national broadcast network & live!  (I'm not sure how it works for other time zones, but I'm referencing Eastern Time here.)

    I'll be busy getting the kiddies off to school, so I'll have to cross my fingers and hope I program the VCR correctly. 


    The Pattern Links:


    (pattern from Interweave is complete w/the name of the woman who started the craze in the first place!!)

    Lion Brand:

    Friday, March 11, 2005

    Aging thoughts turn to full circles

    After you have a birthday, it's natural to think about the aging process.  I've been doing so since last month.

    My beloved grandmother died at the tender age of 79; I miss her dearly.  So it was no surprise when I visited the blogthing site and took the quiz, that it suggested that I too would have a life expectancy of 79.   This means I have many more years to crochet!  

    So while still at the blogthing site, I decided to take the quiz about what age I am at heart right now.  I scored a 23.  They said, "You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences"  How true, how true!

    So what does age have to do with crocheting?  Nothing!  But most of us think about the age we were when we first started, and often times to our first projects.  Did I ever finish my first project?  No.  Didn't finish the second one either.  Still have them around somewhere but can't bring myself to finish them.  It's like they hold such deep memories, and I feel that somehow in finishing them it would be like releasing the memories they hold.  Silly I know.  But it's my connection to my start in crochet.  I'm sure you have your first crochet memories too. 

    As I work on the interview questions, I had a telephone conversation with my mother to let her know about it.  "You know, Mom, you're going to be mentioned in my replies to the interview questions, and there's a chance it will make it into the book."

    "Oh dear," she replied.  "I guess what you do in life does have a way to come back and bite you."

    I laughed.

    "If I had ever thought you'd get to this point, perhaps I would have tried harder to remember how to crochet and show you," she said.

    "But that would have taken my learning journey on another path," I said. 

    She laughed.  "In a book, huh?  Oh, boy.  Should I be nervous?"

    "No, Mom.  You should be proud.  Life travels in full circles.  Isn't it wonderful that you can crochet today?"

    "Yes," she said, "it is!"

    Ah!  I cannot imagine NOT taking the path -- the time -- meeting the people I have -- to have learned crochet from, to those that I have shared crochet with!  Years may have passed, but I think the memories are priceless!

    Now, as I look at my daughter I wonder about her journey.  What will she remember, what will she cherish, and more importantly, what will she say when it comes time for her to be interviewed?!!!!

    "Hi Mom, I'm calling to let you know I'm being interviewed for a book, and my replies will mention you ..."

    Psssst! Gossip...

    The big gossip here is that our local Michaels store will be closing. Should this rumor be true, this would be our second craft store closing it's doors within a year of each other. This would leave us JoAnn's and the Rag Shop, and IMHO I don't think that's enough to support the some 80,000 people that live in the Danbury area -- and that's not including the surrounding towns!

    So I did what any good crocheter would do. I went to the AC Moore website and sent them an email inviting them to come to my area. I asked, "How much longer until you decide to put a store here?!"  I figure if those of us who like particular stores TELL them, then perhaps it will help them in their decision making process of where to build/open next.

    And speaking more of AC Moore, of course it is currently snowing here (2"-4" in the forecast), so if I really wanted to shop and stock up on "the essentials" then I could drive the 20 miles one way and get some of that TLC Cara MIA yarn I recently fell in love with ... ah! who am I kidding!?  I'm going no where today ... I even opted to keep the kids home as the last storm really did a number on my back.  AC Moore, if you're listening/reading, I want your store LOCAL!!  I guess I'll contact them every couple of months until they respond one way or another.

    Other hot gossip I'd like to share today is that I received my latest issue of Piecework magazine. I LOVE this magazine! Later today, with hot chocolate in hand, I'll be reading the article, "Amish Knitting and Crochet: Preserving Time-Honored Traditions." Just flipping through the pages and looking at the images is inspiring! Wow!

    For Sheila & those interested:
              For the Interweave/Piecework Website,
    click here
              To subscribe at reduced rates, click here.

    Thursday, March 10, 2005

    Dee, going up for bid

    Have you ever had one of those days where you were pulled in a million directions?  Today was my day, and it's not done yet!  I still have a mandatory meeting to attend later tonight.  Coffee and crochet will be my companions!  LOL

    I do want to note, in honor of "National Crochet Month" that I have volunteered my teaching skills for an upcoming auction.  Yes, that's right, I'm going to be auctioned off to teach 5 people (the winning bidder and 4 of their friends) the basics of crochet.  I'll even be providing the yarn and hooks!  The auction will take place this fall and the money will go towards my kids school.  Yes, my evil plan of getting the entire school hooked on crochet is taking root even if that means I've got to be auctioned!  (Whaa ha ha ha ha!)

    In fact, two of the teachers stopped by the school kitchen to see me yesterday.  One was interested in creating something other than "another scarf" and the other is returning to crochet after a hiatus.  The second teacher said to me, "See what you have me doing instead of laundry!?!  Oh, I just love it!  As long as my husband is fed, he doesn't care!  Who wants to do laundry anyways; just buy more clothes then you won't have to wash them!  This will leave lots more time for crocheting!"  (yeah, you can insert that evil laugh here too!)

    So, you can see what I mean by slowly converting the school ... students, staff, and parents.  :)

    Alright, I've got to get ready for that meeting.  Think they'll notice if I bring my ott-light and plug it in the back?  {{grins}}

    Wednesday, March 9, 2005

    So, How Fast Are You?

    Lily Chin holds the record as the World's Fastest Crocheter.  She defended her title last year in England and won.  So how fast is fast?  She does something like 93-98 double crochet stitches in three minutes.  Now that's fast!

    Me?  Well the last (and first time) I checked, I did something like 55-60 stitches in that timeframe.  I didn't practice, so who knows, perhaps my time could be faster.  Perhaps one day the Crochet Chapter I belong to will sponsor another one of these speed contests.

    If you want to go up against Lily's time, I understand that the CYCA will be holding tryouts at the upcoming CGOA Regional Conference.   They had trials at the 2004 National Conference in NH and I recall watching these crocheters "go to town."  It was amazing to watch.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2005


    When it's snowing, you know I'm going to take heed and stock up ... why should today be any different?  LOL  I went to work today (for those that may be new to my journal, I'm blessed to call teaching crochet my job).  It's an hour commute, but I don't mind.  I like taking the back roads in, checking out all the farms and being at peace with my thoughts.

    Today was no different.  Even though it was raining, I had faith, for whatever reason, that the weather forecasters finally had their act together and had predicted the weather correctly.  Oh, I should know better!!

    The rain froze, and then the snow covered the ice.  It took me 3.5 hours to get home.  AND I had to shovel my road.  We're not talking a driveway ... we're talking about a ROAD.  My daughter said as I was trying to make another attempt up the road, "Maybe we should pray for God to help us Mommy."  I replied, "You do that honey, I've got to go shovel some more."  Next thing I know, there's a priest walking down my road offering his help.  Yes, hard to believe, but it's the truth!

    And speaking of truth, you must have heard about Martha's Stewart's "softer side" and her poncho by now.  If you haven't, then take note that she wore one on the day she was released from prison, and it set the crochet world's online groups abuzzin'.  At first, everyone wanted to know if she crocheted it as it has been reported that this is a new skill for her -- she learned how to crochet while serving her time.  (She didn't; a friend in the joint did, and reportedly gave it to Martha as a parting gift) . Then, everyone started talking about how much they want THAT pattern.  So with hot coffee in hand tonight, in hopes of defrosting myself, I sat down here to catch up on my emails and noticed that I received one from Lion Brand.  You'll be happy to hear that they are hard at work coming up with a similar pattern that will use their Homespun yarn.  They hope to have the pattern out by next week.  If you'd like to be notified when the pattern is ready, visit the website and sign up for their newsletter.  You'll be glad that you did.   :)

    As for me, I'm planning on migrating over to the couch.  I'll wrap myself up with my momma's crocheted afghan, and get in a few stitches while I continue to defrost.  Brrrr!  It's cold out there!

    Monday, March 7, 2005

    I Like My Coffee the Way I Like my Yarn

    Coffee.  It's such a staple of my diet.  I had decided that I would slowly wean it out and go back to the days when I could live without it.  But my husband said no, that I should keep it as it has long term health benefits.  OK, so I'm easily swayed.  The coffee stays.  So does chocolate if we're going to use his argument.

    So what brings up the thoughts of coffee?  I like my coffee smooth; no bitterness.  No unpleasant surprises. (don't get me wrong, I like to spice my coffee up once and while, but for daily consumpsion, I like it smooth.)  And apparently, that's how I enjoy my yarn too.

    I stayed up late last night watching Oprah's movie.  As I did, I stitched and stitched.  I covered an old container that once held hot chocolate, I think.  I used TLC's CaraMia and fell in love with it.

    If memory serves me correctly, I received this skein of yarn in my goodie bag last year at the CGOA National Conference.  As I was putting items together for the Staff Development Day that I'll be teaching next week, I came across this yarn, and it said to me, "Crochet me!  Crochet me!"  So I did what any crocheter would do.  I dropped all chores, grabbed my hook and went to work.

    What I created was a display crochet hook holder for myself using the freeform technique (again, in monotone).   It's complete with pockets so that I can slide hooks in that I wish to keep separate, or to showcase.   The important thing here, besides having completed the project in one night, is that this yarn is a dream to work with.  It's smooth, and soft as LB's Microspun, but it doesn't split nearly as much.  In the contents of the fiber is 13% angora, so you know that's where it gets it's softness from!  You can click here to visit Coats & Clarks website to see the color availability. 

    The big question for me, now that I'm infatuated with this yarn and want to include it in my "yarn diet," is who's selling it locally?

    Sunday, March 6, 2005

    How to Email Me

    Want to send me a direct email?  Great!  :)

    Take my website address: and insert @aol right after the last "e" in my name and right before the dot

    I'd spell it out for you but don't want the icky web spiders picking up my email address resulting in my account being overloaded with Spam.  I appreciate your understanding of my desire to keep Spam to a minimum.  :)

    Also, please make sure you put the word: CROCHET in the subject line so it's not mistaken for Spam by aol.

    Please note: If you email me an inquiry and I think my reply may help other crocheters, I may answer it here in my Journal -- if you wish to keep it private, please state so in your email. 

    Since I also volunteer for the CGOA, I unfortunately don't have the time to assist with individual requests for pattern searches.  A great resource for this would be in recommending you join the Crochet Partners group with some 2000 members ... the link to this great group is to the right.

    She's Reaching for the Stars

    My daughter just amazes me.  As I fell asleep yesterday afternoon for a quick nap my daughter snuggled up against me and crocheted.  When I awoke she beamed at me with her beautiful smile; eyes tinkling.  In her hands was the most beautiful crocheted flower I have ever seen.  She crocheted it entirely on her own.  No pattern.  No instruction from me.  Totally her creation, and she was proud of it.  And so am I.  I couldn't help but flash her the biggest smile and gush over how wonderful it turned out.

    Now, she's working on figuring out how to crochet stars.  (All for her Butterfly that she's decorating for next week's Mass.)

    Since it appears that I'm her crochet role model, what better time to bring to light that besides March being National Crochet Month, it's also National Women's History Month! 

    In my state, Connecticut, we have Laureate Marilyn Nelson as our official poet.  I like her poem entitled, "The Lace-Maker"

              Late Sunday morning gilds the pins and needles,
              strokes the wall ochre, blanches the white collar.
              He bends, intent on detail, his fingers red
              in sunlight, brown in shade. Light calls
              through the open to April window directly
              into his illumined invisible ear,
              like, elsewhere, the trumpet
              whisper of an angel
    From Carver: A Life in Poems, published by Front Street

    Isn't that poem great?!

    And we also have Prudence Crandall (1803-1890) who became Connecticut's State Heroine in 1995 by an act of the General Assembly for establishing the first academy for African-American women in New England!

    So as my daughter looks to me, and other crocheters for inspiration, I'll be taking steps to learn more about women's history this month.  If you're interested in learning more too, visit this website for some great recommended books:  Women's History Bibliography

    On a final note for today, with thoughts of mother's and daughter's ... Rose, I think your three crochet wishes you posted to my journal here have already been granted!  You're an excellent crocheter, and your work is always beautiful!  I love that you've shared your gift for this art with your daughter, Nicki, and that she's taken to it with your passion and excitement!  J

    Saturday, March 5, 2005


     I took my daughter to her dress fitting appointment today, and finished crocheting my daughter's First Communion Cape in record time -- and that includes taking the time to sew on some beads!  My husband just loves it and said if I don't enter it into a contest this upcoming summer, then he'll never forgive me.  He thinks it will ribbon well.  (I love when he compliments my work like this!!)  She loves it too.  Since I did finish it so quickly, I'm now at a point where I can think about what project I should tackle next.  Could it possibly be the freeform sweater I started for her so long ago?  I'll have to ponder that.

    In the meantime, getting back to the upcoming First Communion for my daughter, today we're working on her butterfly.  The butterfly will be used in an upcoming Mass as part of the process of her taking her sacriment. The butterfly is huge -- about 1 1/2 feet by 1 3/4 feet.  I cut the butterfly out of foam board and together we covered it with a purple-flower fabric.  Then we grabbed the bag of various types of yarn I had received in a class I had taken at the 2004 CGOA Conference and found some wonderful treats that matched the fabric.

    Once she decided upon a yarn fiber for the body of the butterfly, she chained the desired length and then she learned the half-double crochet!  She did really great with this stitch, especially when factored in that it's a textured yarn!  Currently she's sitting here beside me crocheting single crochet stitches completely around the row of half-doubles, and is talking about what other possibilities she can add to her butterfly.  I love that she enjoys being so creative, and that she's really taking to crochet as passionately as I did when I was a child. 

    Friday, March 4, 2005

    Pillow Talk & Wishes

    I've come to the conclusion that the pillows on my couch have their days numbered.  When you have children, the life span for such novelties tends to be short due to staining.  I plan on throwing the pillows into the wash to see if they can be redeemed, but I don't have much faith that they will.

    Since there is nothing wrong, basically, with the pillows other than stains, I've decided that just as soon as time permits I'll crochet some pillow covers.  Wouldn't you know it, Lion Brand seems to have known that I was thinking of this.  So in their Newsletter today, they included this link for the most adorable lion and lamb pillows!!  I'm thinking that I need to make at least one lamb pillow to boast of my love affair with fiber!  LOL

    While I'm being interviewed for an upcoming crochet book, I thought that you, my readers with blogs or journals of your own, might want to write what your answer would be to one of the questions:  If you were granted three wishes that could come true for crochet, what would they be?    If you opt to answer this question, feel free to leave the address to your blog in the comments section so everyone can visit you and read your answers.  J

    Thursday, March 3, 2005

    Mummies, ghosts and gobblins?

    I love looking at beadwork.  And I love adding beads to my crochet work as well.  So knowing of this passion, my dear husband sent me an email about a "perfect mummy" being found in Egypt behind a secret door.  This mummy is covered in beautiful bead work.  For AOLers, you can read the article here (for those that are not AOLers, try doing a search for the article on Google ... the article was released by the Associated Press and was written by Jamie Tarabay)

    This reminds me that I'm still looking for a follow up for the mummy that was found in Puru about 4-5 years ago.  PBS did a program on this mummy that was found.  The mummy was that of a young girl, and she was found inside a cave located on the ridge of a "neck breaking" cliff.  The woman scientist had said as she examined the fabric, that the mummy was wrapped in what she believed was an early form of crochet.  So you can see why this has captured my attention. 

    And speaking of attention, some believe that my recent trip to Lake Placid grabbed the attention of a spirit.  My husband took two pictures of me, just miliseconds apart.  See that white on the picture?  Some say that can be the spirit of a loved family member that joined us for my birthday celebration, or perhaps it could have been that of a former Olympian.  After all, that night the picture was taken, the arena had just been renamed after the coach that helped America bring home the Gold Metal for the US Hockey Team.  Whether you believe or not, I thought it interesting enough to share.  The important thing here, is that I was wearing my crocheted hat.

    As for my crocheting projects, that Basic Scarf I mentioned yesterday is nearly done.  I set it aside last night and started on the initial process of designing my daughter's cape that she'll wear for her First Communion.  I'm using the Hairpin Lace technique with the most delicious yarn called "Linie 136."  It's like a flat ribbon with little "tuffs" of "puff."  I have to have it finished before May.  I have time, but don't want to wait until just hours before her big day to put thefinishing touches on it.   No, those kinds of sleepless nights are reserved for December.  {{grins}}

    Wednesday, March 2, 2005

    Crochet takes Dee's frustrations away...

    We were hit with just shy of 11 inches of snow, then received another two after my children and I put the shovels away yesterday.  Since my road is not maintained by the town, that meant having to wait until our private plower arrived to do the job.  Unfortunately, this meant I had to cancel my crochet classes yesterday.

    The snow we shoveled wasn't light and fluffy like the night before where my first two shoveling experiences were a breeze.  No, this time it had mixed with a touch of sleet making it quite heavy.  My back does hurt, and this may mean I need to go in for a little maintenance.  I'm taking it easy and won't be lifting another shovel for a while.

    On the same frustration level, on both computers, I am having difficulties in getting access to edit my website.  When I wasn't shoveling yesterday, I was online with AOL, or reading AOL message boards for clues as to why this is.  I'm still mystified, still frustrated.

    Thankfully, I have my crochet to turn to.  I love that it relaxes me.  I decided to start a basic scarf to be donated next winter.  I'm utilizing the fact that it's National Crochet Month and will be doing something that will help keep someone a bit warmer.  If you'd like to join me, here's the pattern I'm using:

                Dee's Basic Scarf:

            1 8oz skein of worsted/4 ply yarn
    (on the CYCA's Standard Yarn Weight System, it's known as a "4-medium weight" yarn)
           Size I hook  (I used a Graydog hook, you can find them on ebay)
           Cup of Coffee
           Remote Control to TV
           Comfy spot on the couch

    Chain 19
    Row 1: Hdc in 3rd ch from hook; ch 2, turn.  (17 sts)
    Row 2: Hdc in 1st st and in each st across, ch 2, turn.  (17 sts)

    Repeat Row 2 to desired length.  Sip coffee at leisure; listen to TV program.  Impress children by making stitches with eyes closed.  Finish off.

    See how easy?  It's one of those scarves that just flies; that lets you fall into a soothing, relaxing rhythm.  Ahhh.  I have about half the length I want done, and will probably finish it off later today while doing lunch duty at the kids' school -- IF I  can get them to school.  Hmmm.  Ninety minute delay vs. my road.  Plus more snow is in the forecast for today.  Good thing I have a well developed stash.  I'm going to be crocheting for a while!  ;)

    Tuesday, March 1, 2005

    Happy National Crochet Month!


              National Crochet Month!!

    How it Came to Be:
    In 1997, then President of the Crochet Guild of America, Pam Oddi, and Gwen Blakley-Kinsler, founder of the Crochet Guild of America, decided that Crochet should have national recognition and set aside a week to coincide with National Crafts Month.

    From there, National Crochet Week grew into National Crochet Month, which includes 30 ways to help promote crochet

    So Dee, what's with the Roman decreeing "Happy National Crochet Month?"
        Ah, because March was also the month that in early Roman history, Mars, the god of spring, growth in nature, and fertility, was celebrated (this god later became the god of war) with festivals starting today, March 1st. 

         Fast forward this line of thinking of the many sailors who were forced into battle, be it through pirating, or through the act of declaring war.  These sailors, during the times when they were idle, were often times creative. 

         They would whittle or carve to pass the time away.  If and when they made it to shore, many would sell the items they created to afford ale, and what not.  Some of these items still exist today, including knitting needles and crochet hooks.

          So as we celebrate the month of March, a month traditionally celebrated for growth, I encourage you, my readers, to do something to also celebrate Crochet.  Use this month to crochet something for a family member, a friend, a charity.  Offer to teach someone the basics of crochet.  Take a crochet class and enjoy learning something new while also enjoying the company of others who also enjoy crochet.  Visit your local Library and take out a book on crochet, or treat yourself to one you can put in your own private library.  Try a new yarn that you've never tried before.  Start your own online journal/blog to track your own crochet adventures as I do here.  Submit a pattern proposal to a publisher.

         Whatever you decide, let this be the month you help Crochet shine.  :)