Sunday, July 31, 2005

Wishes DO Come True!

I am delighted to report this morning that wishes do indeed come true!  And I'm about to bestow the good news to all of you!

First, let me thank all of you for the wonderful compliments you've sent me about my Overlay coasters.  I'm thrilled that my work is inspiring so many of you to want to try something new!  :)

Next, let me say that with so many of you requesting I offer a class on Overlay -- well, start making plans to sign up! 

Yes, that's right, I'm going to teach the technique!!

I wrote to Melody and explained to her your wishes, and she bestowed upon me these beautiful words,
"Hi Dee, Yes, feel free to show people the technique. The technique is something I WANT to share. In fact, I'm thrilled that so many people are interested in learning something that is my greatest passion. It's exciting for me, and I look forward to seeing the directions other people take with it! It [is] time for some new blood!"

So, because I cannot use Melody's materials, I will come up with my own and offer the class THIS FALL!!!!!  So watch for it when I announce the Fall Teaching Schedules!  ... and Sherri, I'll try to ensure one of the classes happens on the dates you requested!  Isn't this exciting?!!   :)

Now, of course I have more good news:
   * Yes, Melody is in the process of creating a book about the technique; she's waiting for a publisher. 
   * Yes, she has a website in the works too.  They're trying to figure a way to offer high quality images so you can see the texture.  (Hmmm, isn't that the same problem I've been experiencing this week??)
   * AND Yes, I can share her contact information with you if you'd like it.

Go ahead, sing with me,

When You Wish Upon A Star, 
     makes no difference who you are. 
     Anything your heart desires will come to you

     If your heart is in your dreams,
     no request is too extreme
     When you wish upon a star as dreamers do

     La da dee dee dee ... 
     you're all gonna have fun Crocheting With Dee ...

         apologies if the song gets stuck in your head  J

Friday, July 29, 2005

Overlay Crochet, the 411

It seems the coasters I featured in my journal entry earlier today (with the Overlay Crochet technique) is inspiring others to try it -- I love that!  :)

First, let me say about my post earlier today, that I finished the eighth of the series and spent a good amount of time trying to photograph them to "show the texture."  It didn't work out as great as I had hoped because the lil' gems now have a reflective quality to them.  (mumble mumble mumble)  What I ended up doing was taking individual shots of them and then turned them into a .gif image ... this is what you should see to the right, and it may take awhile for it to load.  Hopefully it shows up all right.

Now, for how to get the 411, how to obtain MORE information on this technique that I am so infatuated with!!

* Question: Where did you get the clear coasters from?
Amazingly, from my stash!  A few years ago a local craft store had a bunch of them on clearance, so I snagged every one of them!  Hadn't seen them available since, that is until last week.  I saved these lil' gems until just the right project came along; it finally did.   Check your local craft store, in the needlepoint section.  It comes with a little canvas and pattern (no fiber).  They sell for about $5 each.

Question: Is there a book or website I can visit to learn this technique?
   Answer:  Not that I'm aware of.  I did hear though that Melody is either in the works of publishing a book on the technique, or a website.  I'm not sure which, but it's very much worth waiting for.  Her patterns featuring the technique have appeared in publication.  Check out the October 2003 issue of Crochet Fantasy for her "Tapestry Necklace" pattern, and the December 2002 issue of Bead & Button for her "Kaleidoscope of Crochet" necklace pattern.  If you can follow a pattern well, then these patterns will be a good introductory to the technique.

Question:  Do you know where I can take a class with Melody to learn this technique?
    Answer:  You can start your search at the
Crochet Guild of America's website
They have the course available there -- costs (I think) $80 and you do it via correspondence.  Otherwise you can search the Internet using words like "Overlay Crochet" and "Melody MacDuffy."  You may get some hits of various areas where she'll be teaching.

*  Question:  Who's going to drink that wine?
Who said it wasn't already consumed?  (giggles)  Ah, just kidding.  Maybe I'll share a glass or two with my hubby.  :)

Now, a question from me.  What are you doing still sitting there?  Grab your yarn, your hook, and a book that tells how to do drop stitches and cables ... the Stitch Bible is a good place to start.  So is Donna Kooler's encyclopedia of crochet.  Get the practice in now so that when it come time to learn the technique, you'll be ready!  ... and don't forget, I love "Show & Tell!"  Leave me a message here, or email me to provide me with a link to your crochet images!!!  :)

Where's the Texture?!

Sometimes when I photograph my work the image comes out better than I expected.  Sometimes it's a complete disaster.  And sometimes it's a mixed result; I love it but not for the reason I took the image in the first place!  One thing I do know for certain, is that I enjoy the process.  I learn from it, just as I do when I goof around with various crochet experiments.

Yesterday, I took this picture late in the afternoon to use the "good light" coming from the sun.  My subject was my little Overlay Crochet experimentations that I decided to turn into a future bridal gift:  Little Coasters.   I showed my favorite image, the one you see here to my hubby.  Here's how the conversation went:

CWD:  "Hon, come look at this photo and tell me if you like it."

HON:  "I don't. It's missing texture."

CWD:  "What are you looking at?"

HON:  "The wine bottle."

CWD:  "The wine bottle?  Why are you looking at that?  Look at the crochet! ... you can really see the pineapple shaping in the doily underneath!"

HON:  "Why do you have a bottle of wine in the photo anyway?"

CWD:  "To add a color reference; to add some romantic flavoring; to add a point of reference."

HON:  "Oh, OK.  So, what are you trying to say with the photo?"

CWD:  (wrinkles nose) "I'm trying to show what I've done with my little Overlay Crochet pieces I've been playing with."

HON:  "Then this photo doesn't do it for me; the focus is on the wine bottle and the doily.  Take some more photos and see if you can show the texture of the Overlay Crochet better.  I love when I can see the texture of your work."

CWD:  "I agree; the focus is not where I really want it, but I still like the shot -- I mean look at the doily!  I'll play around with it some more tomorrow.  Thanks Hon."


So that's today's assignment, to try and capture the texture of the Overlay, not the doily.  And this is my tip to you, my readers: if you're using an autofocus camera, watch for where the focus is set.  Your end results could be emphasizing something else in your photo.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

30,000!??? Wow!!

     A BIG Thank You
      to all my readers
        for helping me
            reach this


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Question from Reader: Overlay Crochet

I am not a "summer" person.  Never was, doubt I will ever be.  I think, and I base this on my own personal nonscientific data gathering, that it has something to do with the season that you're born in.  I was born in the winter; I love the winter!  I love the way your breath freezes when you exhale; I love the way freshly fallen snow looks perched on tree branches.  I love the sound of laughter coming from my children as they whisk jubilee down the hillside on their sleds; I love the multiple ongoing crochet projects around me with hot chocolate steaming sweetly nearby.  I am a winter baby; I love winter.

With this in mind, I broke down today.  I finally, after three years, turned on my air conditioner.  I had to.  I canceled my crochet classes for today and tomorrow because I'm playing the roll of Nurse to my sweet daughter who is suffering from a horrible ear infection. (She's to see a "ENT specialist" in the morning.) We were melting; I had to cool our house down! Our indoor thermometer read that it was over 100 degrees in here; now, thanks to the AC,  it's a brisk 86 and I'm back to having my hook flying. Yes, I'm tinkering with more Overlay -- I'm really enjoying this technique! Which reminds me!  ...

Asteryth asks: "I haven't tried Overlay Crochet... is it difficult? Is there a good book/internet site that shows how to do it? "

Great question!  J

Based upon my own crochet experience, my first initial answer would have been an immediate "No! It's not hard!" ...but since I've been crocheting since I was knee high to a grasshopper, and know there are many newbie crocheters who read my journal, this type of answer would not be correct.  So, my answer of "No, it's not hard!"  would only be fitting if I were replying only to experienced crocheters.

There is no book or website, that I know of, that shows this technique -- BUT if you know how to do crochet cables, and/or drop stitches, then this will be a semi-breeze for you.  Virtually any stitch book that has various types of stitch patterns will have cables in it -- like the Crochet Stitch Bible.  Practice making your cables with double crochet stitches, and trebles too -- your practice will all pay off in the long run!  Trust me!!  You'll be happy you put the practice in!!

Then, go on over to the CGOA's website and take their Correspondence Course with Melody MacDuffy ... or try to see where she may be teaching the class locally.  You might get lucky as I did!  :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hooray for Overlay!

It's still quite hot out; but not too hot that I couldn't tinker with the Overlay Crochet technique. I did the "summer colors" and the "greens" today. Which is your favorite? :)

It's Melting Hot in CT!!

It's very hot here in Connecticut -- so hot I think my Internet provider, AOL is melting too because I've had difficulties adding an entry today; that includes difficulty doing an audio entry!  The following is the entry (or close to it) that you would have heard:

     "Good afternoon, thanks for joining me here at my journal, CrochetWithDee.  (wet splashing sounds in the background.) Today's audio entry is brought to you from my backyard while sitting on my swing.  My children are busy, just a few yards away, cooling off in their little kiddie pool, and I have a lot of thread beside me so I tinker some more with the Overlay Crochet technique I learned a few short weeks ago; right now I'm playing with various shades of greens. (sounds of crows flying overhead with a low motorcycle roar coming from a few roads away)

"On the other side of the house we have one of those noisy rock polishing kits going.  (the neighbor's dog is now barking at the crows, and the other neighbors' baby is crying)  It takes about 3 weeks to get the rocks polished up into treasures -- some of which I plan on adopting for future crochet projects. 

"(more sounds of young giggles and splashing, inviting cool sounding) If the weather cools off a bit, I just might venture into taking some pictures.  If not, I'm going to put my crochet aside for awhile and jump in that pool with the kids.  Heck, I may as well just bring my crocheting in the pool with me -- hemp needs to be crocheted while it's wet anyway ... "

OK, so while I think about where my bathing suit might be (and if I have any hemp in "stock"), I thought I'd share my "keeping cool" secret -- it's a fruit-shake!  My family just loves them!  :)

1 8oz cup yogurt
1 8oz cup of 100% juice (match it to the fruit for a really yummy taste!)
8 oz fresh (washed!) fruit (frozen works well too)
6-8 ice cubes

Blend until smooth; drink up!   Ahhhhh!!!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Feelin' groovy even with a shamefully still hook

I'm feelin' pretty groovy today; I am decked out in technology!  LOL

What happened this weekend was we decided to replace my cell phone.  (See!  Being on a fiber diet pays off!!)   Besides the display screen on my old cell phone going bad, the technology was old.  I couldn't even pick up a signal in my own town while being near our new cell tower!  (Now that's baaaad!) I've been waiting for over a year to replace it; I'm so glad I waited!

I found a phone with features similar to the those I'm addicted to (you know, features you just can't seem to "live without"), and a few new features I'm quite excited about.  Yes, it has a camera built in, but I don't know how much use that will get since I already have a digital camera (the one I "stole" from my father this past Easter <<grins>>) Of course the video option may prove interesting ....

I'm excited about the infrared and bluetooth possibilities!!  I spent yesterday learning how my new cell phone and PDA talk to each other.  I hope to merge the technology with my crocheting -- including "reporting live" from various fiber events I attend!  I still have a bit more to learn, so it may be a little while until it happens, so stay tuned!  I've got 30 days to test-drive this puppy, so you know I'll be doing some experimentation!  LOL

Other than that, my hook has been shamefully still.  I feel bad about it.  Really, I do.  I promise to do some today.  No really!  Right after I finish trying to get the phone and the PDA hooking up to AOL here ... At the very least, I'll use a Balene crochet hook as my stylus, OK?  Does that count?  Groovy!  :)

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Why is it that so many don't understand the basics of ownership? Or should I clarify that with this question, why is it that so many don't respect the basics of ownership?

Lets say, as an example, that you went out and purchased a new car and someone came along, took your keys without permission, drove 50,000 miles and then returned it to you.  Would it make a difference that your car now has 50,000 miles on it?  Well, yeah! -- it wouldn't be a new car anymore and the VALUE of it would have depreciated greatly!  Plus, you'd feel that all the time, energy and effort you put into saving/paying off that car was deemed worthless.  You may even give up on ever buying another new car!  But for sure, you wouldn't be sitting there on your front stoop waiting for the car to be returned; you'd do something about it, like report it to the police, right?

It's the same thing for designers.  They work very hard at bringing us new patterns, and when copies of their work are made -- via paper  or CD, or whatever electronic format, and passed around, then their work, their "car" value is depreciated. 

Do I have a bug crawling up my spine about this issue?  I sure do!  I'm trying to "make it" in the design business, and when someone approaches me and asks me to make a copy of work I don't own the copyright to, it upsets me.  

We have to ask ourselves: do we want BMW type of patterns or 3-cylinder Geo Metro patterns?  Personally, I want quality patterns that are proven, and work up beautifully.  That won't happen if we're chasing away the top designers because their work keeps getting stolen!  When I look at a pattern, I want my thoughts to paraphrase the BMW motto, "If you think it looks good on paper, wait until you get it on the hook."

We have an opportunity to educate ... to educate our friends, our families, and our crochet buddies.  Through this education we keep our top designers, and we keep the new publications coming!   Pass the word that you're on this BMW bandwagon too! 

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Freeing myself

                       "Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking.... into the future...”
                                                                  -- Steve Miller

Oh, you know how it is.  You start a project with the best of intent, with passion, with fever, with fancy dreams, and then along comes a steam train, pulling a million cars, preventing you from crossing those tracks; preventing you from crossing that finish line!

So I have to ask myself, will this be the year?  Will this be the year I finish the freeform sweater/jacket I started for my daughter a few years ago?  What is preventing me from finishing it?  All I need to do is add on a few more motifs and then crochet the border.  Really, I ask myself, what is preventing me from finishing this project?

As I look at my daughter, really study her features, I can see what it is.  I can see that it is time itself that is preventing me from finishing it.  Somewhere deep inside I think that if I don't finish this project that my daughter will remain at the age she was when I first started the project.  Haven't we all, at one time or another, wished we could capture a moment and hang onto it forever?

When I first started the project, my daughter's face still had that "toddler" look -- rounded features, tiny hands.  Now her face is starting to mature a bit, looking like that Third Grader that she'll be this fall.  Her fingers are becoming long and slender -- able to control her own crochet hook like a pro! 

I know deep down that I can never capture her, keep her, at the age she is now.  But sometimes when I look at a project the memories all come flooding back.  The first loose tooth, her first haircut, her first day in Kindergarten.

And maybe this would be a good thing for me to do this weekend.  To take the project out and set to finishing it.  To freeing myself, my project, and my daughter and let time keep on ticking into the future while enjoying the moment while it happens.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

... satisfied. At least for now.

Today is the "kickoff" day of the CGOA's National Conference, and sadly, this year I am not there.  (whimper whimper)  While I've been a member of the CGOA since 2001, I've only attended two Conferences ... one in 2003, and one in 2004.  I do hope that all those lucky hookers who are there now come back with fantastic stories and pictures to share.  I can't wait to hear about all the wonderful events!   No, I don't want to wait!  I'll fine-tooth comb the Internet to see if anyone is updating their blog while they're there.  Oh, please let there be someone! People, I NEED details!! (Or maybe someone can send me a postcard? Yes? Please?) {{smirks}}

I didn't let my whimpering about not going this year get me down!  No!  I had a lot of fun today teaching here in Connecticut!  (Really!! I did!!!)  One of my classes was filled with knitters wanting to learn the basics of crochet.  I found it interesting when one student commented, "It's almost a requirement for us knitters to learn how to crochet ... so many of the patterns require it for edgings!"  How true, how true!!  At the end of the class I pronounced them all "Happy Hookers" and bid them quick stitching -- they seemed to enjoy that!  :)

Later, after my Hairpin Lace class that was also a lot of fun, I decided to do some shopping at the store.  Yeah, I know, I'm on a fiber diet.  But listen, if I'm here in Connecticut and not at the Conference, then I think I'm entitled to a little comfort food, er, fiber, don't you?  I didn't go crazy; I kept control of myself as I strolled around.  Mostly, I bought more hanks of thread -- you know, the kind the cross stitchers and needlepointers use.  I've been crocheting a necklace and wanted to introduce more color, so I thought I'd treat myself.  It was kind of like having a mini-chocolate bar rather than a full 16 oz bar if you know what I mean. The craving for fiber was satisfied.  At least for now. 

I also had a reunion with a student of mine from about a year and a half ago.  She admitted she really hasn't been crocheting -- ah! that darn "knit bug bit me" she said.  I assured her that it was OK.  She did relay that her sister-in-law is a newbie crocheter, and that she was happy to have taken one of my classes to at least be able to offer her SIL (sister-in-law) a little help.  In fact, that's why she was at the store -- she wanted to pick out a book & some fibers to surprise her with.  What a sweet lady; it was great to see her again!  (I wonder if she needs another SIL -- I'm adoptable.  LOL)

That's it for tonight; my crochet hook is calling me.  I have more swatches to crochet ...


Ah ... a blog with Conference News:

              A news article: OAKLAND / Yarn fans flock to talk shop at convention / Seminars, wares for knitters, crocheters and few who do both

    and a NEWS VIDEO CLIP:   Lisa Vs Lily:  I won't spoil the results by posting them here  :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Crochet Trivia: Did Ewe Know?

Did Ewe Know?

Did ewe know that for every single knitter there are three crocheters?

So lets do some math.

According to the research firm, Mediamark Research, Inc (aka. MRI), in 2002, 3,353,000 Americans said they knitted.

If we take that number, 3,353,000 and multiplied it times three we get a staggering number of 10, 059,000 crocheters!

MRI also reports:  "... that the average knitter in 2002 was 55.7 years old, while knitters three years before that were 56.8 years old, on average - quite a feat, considering that the population of the United States as a whole is aging. On top of that, 31 percent of all knitters today have either a bachelor's degree or a postgraduate degree, versus just 26 percent who held such a degree just before the turn of the millennium. And with more schooling comes more money: In 2002, the average knitter personally earned $39,756 a year, compared with $31,640 earned by the average knitter in 1999. That $8,100 difference represents a lot more money knitters can spend on yarn!"

So if you're thinking like I'm thinking, if we take that $8,100 difference that knitters spend on yarn, and multiply it times the number of crocheters ... that means there's a whopping $81,477,900,000 untapped crochet market out there!

We just need to help everyone out of the crocheter's closet!  ;)

Hookers in NYC!

Grace, Mary Colucci, & myselfYesterday I went to the Lion Brand Headquarters located in New York City with my girlfriend, Grace.  You can see us pictured there on the right (Grace, Mary Colucci [she's the Executive Director of the CYCA] and myself).  We were there to represent our Connecticut Chapter of the Crochet Guild of America   in the upcoming Knit Out and Crochet Too event taking place on October 2nd.  (We're known within our crochet group as the "Happy Hookers," but our official name is "The Happily Hooked on Crocheting Club of Connecticut" thus the title for today's entry.)

While plans were made for the demos, the fashion shows, prizes, and contests, all of us in attendance worked on "starts."   "Starts" are little squares of knit or crochet that will be handed out in the learn to crochet & knit tent.  I don't know how many we did, but it was fun to see all the hooks and needles flying!  My group will be making an additional 250 of these "starts" for the event (crocheted ones, of course!).

Of of the things Mary and I chatted about was the KOC2 event that will take place in Boston, MA -- on the same day as that of the NYC event!  It's not listed on their website yet, but then Mary added, "there will be so many KOC2 events this year -- even one in Philadelphia!"

All I can recommend is that if you don't see your area listed on the Craft Yarn Councils webpage (you can get there by clicking onto the image above), then send them an email and inquire.  It's an event worth checking out!!  J

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


My children and hubby have been having fun this summer looking at various websites and blogs about Bigfoot (aka, Sasquash).  They've been reading all the news articles and looking at various photos wondering if the myth is true or not.

So one of the things my husband tried to do is debunk the myth that I crochet while I'm sleeping.  He grabbed the camera and took this picture on the left.

"See," exclaimed my son when he saw the picture, "you are crocheting in your sleep!!"

Well I do admit that it appears that I am sleeping, it's not true.  I was actually crocheting alongside my daughter when that photo was taken, peering down through some glasses to magnify my work.  Let me tell you, working with black thread is a {insert your own adjective here} bear!  So the myth in this case is not true.  ((grins))

Please, no comments about the lack of make-up.  I didn't have time to get "all pretty" for the photo.  If you want me "pretty" look at my "About Me" section.  Yeah, I updated it, again!  Heh heh heh

Monday, July 18, 2005

Keeping up the Crochet Technology

I spent a great amount of time on the PC yesterday.  I've been working on a few of my pages on my website, CrochetWithDeePrimarily, I focused on my webpage that lists the various types of crochet.  I added more techniques, added some images, and worked on removing/replacing dead links.  I'm still not done with updating it, but I am excited that I have nearly 100 types of crochet listed! 

So this excitement brings a request from me to you, my readers:  I'm hoping you can help me bring it up to 100!  Please, take a look at the page, Types of Crochet, and let me know what you think is missing.  I'd be esctatic!

Over on my Famous Crocheters webpage I added another name.  I added Liz Smith, the actress, not the gossip columnist.  Liz reportedly can be seen crocheting in the new Willie Wonka movie.  It looks like I may be taking the kids to the movies to check this out!  (You got to love "homework" like that!  Heh heh heh)

I also spent time over at the website printing out the brochure, the notes, and images to create a little scrapbook, a memento to remember where my little Irish Clones doily is, and the terrific company it's keeping.  The most interesting part of this is when my little scrapbook was done my sweet hubby flipped through it -- and started noting who's work belonged to who without any help!  I was really impressed that he's been paying attention!   (No, not all the artists names printed out, so he couldn't cheat.  I'll be going back into the scrapbook to add the names later today.)

Finally, a crochet story to share:  Crocheting for Charity

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Crochet Trivia: Did Ewe Know?

Did Ewe Know?

Did ewe know that the single crochet stitch is actually 
    w i d e r    than the double crochet stitch?

Give it a try!  Crochet a swatch of just single crochet stitches.  Then, using the same hook and the same fiber, crochet a swatch of double crochet stitches.  Then compare stitch for stitch, not swatch for swatch.  Your single crochet stitch should measure slightly wider than your double crochet stitch!

  *Triva fact from the "Crocheting by Looking at Illustrations" booklet by T. Seto.  Published in 1974.
were kept on the

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Saturday, July 16, 2005


 I did it; I finished crocheting the doily that's featured in the Leisure Arts booklet #3588, entitled "Extra-Special Doilies" by Mary Werst.

What's the difference between my doily and the one featured in the book? I'm glad you asked! Remember the other day when I admitted that I didn't work up a swatch gauge? Well, this is the project I decided to just "do it" and see what happened.

I had a spool of lovely variegated thread that had been screaming at me for months to work it up into a project.  I didn't know what it wanted to be so I waited for inspiration to hit me.  Then, after I finished the backpack using Berroco's Suade as a store demo piece, I needed a few items from a local craft store.  This is where  the answer appeared. (Of course it helped that the store had a sale of 40% off their booklets!) As I went through the book rack I found this doily booklet buried a bit.  I dug it out and the moment I flipped through the pages, I knew! 

The moment I arrived home I took the cone of thread out of it's plastic packaging and wrapped the thread a bit around my fingers to get a feel for it.  It was smooth, silky even.  I knew it would be a pleasurable experience working with it!  It felt a bit thicker than your normal size 10 thread, so using the recommended hook size for the pattern was out.  I decided to use one of my Graydog hooks known as a size "C."  I couldn't be happier with the end results!

Besides the end size difference caused by the larger fiber and the larger hook, I do want to note that this is a very textured doily ... only the variegated thread hides most of it, which is fine with me because like I already stated, I couldn't be happier with my end results!  All that's left is for me to do is wash & block it after I secure my ends in. Then it will sit pretty on my table in the living room, or here outside on my little garden table.

Oh, you want to know about the pictures on the doily, huh? Well, that's my mother and I back when we were youngsters. That's her as a baby -- swaddled in crochet!!  See!  It's in our heritage!!   Heh heh heh!   And that's me ... lil' twinkle toes in a ballet class.  (Note the blond hair!!)  Since I feel a bit like a ballerina today (I RAKed someone & I'm so giddy I can feel I can still do all those tricky ballerina steps!) I felt it was a good time to share it.


                       =============== * ===============

Some side notes:
Here's the info on the fiber I used for my doily pictured above:
Location purchased @:  WEBs yarn store
Name of fiber: Valley Cottons
Color: Violet Nights (
Yards: 2100 per pound

The label here states that it's made in Brazil for Valley Fibers Corp of Northampton, MA (that's where WEBs is located!) ... and apparently it's currently on sale for $11.99 per pound (reg $18.95); check out their website for info.

Also, please note that the title of my entry today is the actual name given in the doily booklet. J


Friday, July 15, 2005

So, got it marked on the calendar?

Good question, huh?  Perhaps it would help if I provided the date, and maybe some details ...

I'm talking about the annual Knit Out and Crochet Too event, hosted by the Craft Yarn Council of America, that's held at the Union Square Park in New York City!

When? ... Sunday, October 2!  NOON - 5:00 PM

Go ahead, pull up those calendars on your PCs, or grab a thick marker and your calendar and write it in!!  I'll wait while you do.  J


So wait, you want details?  I don't have any at this time, but I can tell you that I am again volunteering to do a crochet demo or two!  I sent in my proposal and they emailed me back stating that they're excited -- this will be my third year volunteering to do crochet demos, so I'm excited too.  Once the schedule is confirmed I'll post it here in my journal. 

I will also be there to show support for the CGOA Chapters I enjoy being a member of.  So if you opt to go ... look for me at the Crochet Demo table/booth and at the Guild's tent!  Introduce yourself; I'd love to meet you!

If you'd like some details about last year's event, then click here.  The link leads to my entry from last year along with some images I took.

If you're not going to be in the NYC area, go ahead and click onto the image above to visit the Craft Yarn Council's website -- thus far they have the one in Washington, DC, listed.  I believe there will also be one in Boston, MA.

It's A LOT of fun; it's free; and if you're a fiberholic you'll be ecstatic!  I hope to see you there!!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Chocolate on my face...

I'm the kid with the telltale sign of getting into the candy; yeah, that's right, I have chocolate ALL over my face!  My fingers too!  Hmm, and apparently got some on my top too.  There's no where for me to hide, no where for me to run!  My only hope for redemption is to claim that I didn't know better, that the temptation is/was too great for me to handle!  (I am so weak!!)   I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, "Oh, dear God!  Dee's done it again!  She was set loose and bought more yarn!!  Lord have mercy when her hubby finds out!"


I'm sorry. 

The "chocolate" was just too good!  I couldn't say no, could I?  At least let me present MY side of the story and then let me be judged upon my chocolate guilt ...

The story goes like this:  After teaching yesterday in Stamford, I took my two kids to the Maritime Aquarium to see the rare albino alligator and other fun exhibits they have.  Afterwards we took a little stroll down some of the nearby streets in Norwalk, CT.  Well, after walking this way and that, we "happened" upon the bead shop that many have raved about to me.  (Yes, guilty!  We didn't "happen" upon it -- I knew all along that it was there!  There for the exploring!  Forgive me!)

My experience at the bead shop wasn't something so "rave-able."  No one greeted me, or my children; no one asked if we "needed help."  (I was on the hunt for some very specific items and their help would have been much appreciated.)  After strolling around the store for over an hour I headed to the front to make my purchase. Granted the store did have other customers, I just want to note that I found it odd that all the help was behind the counter the entire time, and that it took over five minutes of standing there to finally get one of them to acknowledge me standing there, and it took another five minutes to be rung up.  I didn't feel welcomed, I certainly did not receive any help, and had I not found two items I was specifically looking for I would have left without making ANY purchase!  Sorry folks.  When I shop at a store, I want to be greeted.  I want to be acknowledged that my cash is just as green as my neighbors and with my various acquisition syndromes, I want to feel that I can build a relationship -- build a "knowing" that the staff will help obtain my various goals.  But if I'm made to feel "second or third class" then there's a good chance I won't be returning.  This is how I feel about the bead shop in Norwalk.  It's a shame too, because it's much closer than the bead shop I like in Massachusetts.  (If you have shopped at the bead store I'm referencing and have had a better experience, please let me know!)

Oh, I see.  I got off track.  I'm supposed to be telling you my side of the story of how I got into the chocolate and that it wasn't my fault.  Got it!  OK then,  ... well, two of the items I picked up at this bead shop are what I call "focal beads" ... they are very large beads that I intend to use in creating two necklaces -- two crocheted necklaces!  So of course I had to visit the "candy shop" and get me some (oh dear, I'm going to say it, aren't I?)   y       a         r          nnnnnnnnnn.

                Chocolate is so gooddd...  Oh, I felt such a rush!

I placed my two large beads on the counter and asked for help at A Stitch in Time in Bethel.  Patty was a delight in helping me pick out various colors and textures.  And, the beauty of this store is that they're not just a yarn shop -- they also carry supplies for needlepoint and cross-stitching.  So this of course
   b  r  o  a  d  e  n  e  d   the possibilities ...

                It took two hours to decide. 

Patty laughed, and even cheered when I made my final selections ... which surprisingly wasn't yarn at all!  It was tiny hanks of thread that I purchased!  (Oh, please cheer now as I have not quite crossed that line of breaking that fiber diet!)  Yeah, baby!!  Thread!!  Whoohoo!!

So, says the one with chocolate guilt, now I can look at the "chocolate" and I can enjoy it too!  (Thank goodness for loop holes!!!)  Check out the colors: white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate ... Mmmmm mmmm!  The fibers are 50% silk, 50% wool ... (insert that sound Homer Simpson makes when he thinks about food here -- actually if you click on the link, they have it perfectly on their intro page!  dooph!)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Fabulous Crocheted Ponchos: New Styles, New Looks, New Yarns

Is this exciting or what?!?  I know I am totally stoked!!

The book on the right,
Fabulous Crocheted Ponchos: New Styles, New Looks, New Yarns, is now listed on the Barnes & Noble website which means that it won't be much longer until I receive my copy -- that's because one of my eye-catching ponchos will be in it (I'm sure their photo will show off the peacock colors much better than my photo on the left) !

Now, speaking of ponchos -- have you heard the latest buzz?  Martha is looking for you.

Yes, all of you who have crocheted the poncho she wore on the day she was released ... she's looking for you to appear on her show.  If you'd like more details, then click here and read the newsletter from Lion Brand with the details and the online form to request tickets for that show.  Yep, I put in a request for tickets to go ... wish me luck!  :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Let's Play Ball!!!

Hey, don't get used to this two entries in a day stuff -- This is a bonus.  And, judging by the rumbling thunder clouds, it's going to be a quick journal entry too!  ((memo to self: get the candles out as soon as this entry is done!))

The other day I mentioned that we should have "Crochet Baseball Cards" (minus the baseball theme).  I'm delighted that Michelle over there at her blog, Luv 2 Crochet, took me up on the challenge!  Michelle:  That's awesome!!  I love it!!

Now here's mine:

How I made it:  I took a picture of my son and I together (yea, it's a recent one -- from my birthday in February); I omitted him, added the basket of yarn; added the crochet background.  Left it to do some crocheting.  Came back and copied the image, then put some color onto it, added text for the back ground.  Went and did some more crocheting.  Came back and realised I forgot to save it, counted my lucky stars, and here you have it.  Question is, am I happy with it or should I tinker some more?  Go ahead and let me know what you think. 

And, I made a banner too for the "blog explosion" site I have a link to in the "about me section":

    So, naturally, I'm currious.  Who else is playing [yarn] ball?

Here's who is playing along (give them a visit & check out their cards!):
* Luv 2 Crochet Blog
* Crochet Mama

Lacy Chemo Cap for AOLer; Pattern Included

My hook has just been flying for the past several days ... finishing up WIPs faster than one grabs all the yarn in a sales bin!  Oh, I wish I was finishing them that fast!!  Heh heh heh   ... But I have been finishing up quite a few and I'm really delighted about that because this means I can turn my thoughts to those in need and crochet items up like the chemo hats pictured below. 

Yes, those are hats I crocheted for an individual in the AOL community that is in need -- they're fresh off the hook and ready to go!  (**You-know-who: please email me with your address and I'll ship them out ASAP!!**) 

The light colored one is very light & airy.  It really lets the fiber "breathe" and is just beautiful in person.  The other is a thicker hat (pattern is on my website). Would you like to try the lacy one? (that's the light colored one in the photo; click onto the image to see it larger)  If so here's my pattern, please note the copyright, thanks. 

Lacy Chemo Cap

1 Ball of Berroco's "Quest"
1 Size "N" crochet hook
1 Tapestry needle

Chain 4, join with a sl st.  Note that there is no turning involved with this pattern!
Rnd 1: Ch 1, *sc, ch 2, 2 dc, repeat from * 2 more times, join with a sl st.
Rnd 2: Ch 1,  (sc, ch 2, 2 dc) twice in each of the ch-2 spaces around, join with a sl st.
Rnd 3: Ch 1, *(sc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch-2 sp, (sc, ch 2, 2 dc) twice in next ch-2 sp, repeat from * around, join with a sl st.
Rnd 4:  Ch 1, *(sc, ch 2, 2 dc) in ch-2 sp and in next, (sc, ch 2, 2 dc) twice in next ch-2 sp, repeat from * around, join with a sl st.
Rnd 5-9:  Ch 1, (sc, ch 2, 2 dc) around in each ch-2 sp, join with a slip st.
Rnd 10: Ch 1, (sc, ch 1, sc) in each ch-2 sp around; End off.

Copyright © 2005, Dee Stanziano  ~  Pattern is for personal/charity  use only.


Monday, July 11, 2005

Ah, Zusammen!!

After my admitting that my yarn acquisition is out of control and stating that I'm on a yarn diet, I did it.

Yes, I already confessed to my sweet hubby, and he fully forgave me.

                             Will you?

I came home with four more pounds of yarn -- of zusammen! 

Listen, I didn't buy it.

           No, no, no!  I didn't steal it either!  

It was a donation from the yarn supplier Caron!  (Thank you Caron!!)  The yarn will be used to crochet up items that will be donated to area charities my group supports.  So, since I didn't buy the yarn -- and because it's for a good cause, did I break my diet?  Can you forgive me???

                 Oh good!  Thank you!!!  :)

Now, what's this with the zusammen?  Well (looks around slyly) I figure for those that are having real problems explaining that they purchased more yarn for their ever growing stashes, that perhaps we could call the yarn what it is, only in a different language!  What do you think?  Do you think we can get away with it? Zusammen is German for yarn!  ((grins))

Oh, oh, let's try it out:

       "I'll be right back to finish cooking dinner, honey!  I ran out of some juntos and I forgot the local store has it on sale!"  (*Juntos is spanish for yarn)

     "My doctor appointment went fine, dear.  The doctor did put me on some supplements like Insieme.  No nothing serious, just a preventive measure to keep me happy."  (*Insieme is Italian for yarn.)

     "Do you have plans for today, sweetie?  No?  All right then, perhaps you'd be interested in a day of golf while I head out.  I have a project needing some ensemble-ment and I need to talk to an experienced sales person about it..."  (*ensemble is French for yarn.)


Hey, ya know, this just might work!  (wink wink)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

A Plea from Dee's Husband

      Dear Journal Readers:

       Please do not let my wife's confession of "it's been six weeks
       since my last yarn purchase for myself" fool you.   Note the key
       word, "myself," that she inserted into her confession.   If you're
       going to help her, if you're going to be that intervention group that
       helps her with this, it needs to read, "it's been six weeks since my
       last yarn purchase [period].

       Please, for the love of humanity, for a place for me to be able to
       store my clothing, and regain the use of my car trunk, help her!

       Yours truly,
        Dee's Husband

Fortunately for me, he's a really great guy who really doesn't have a problem with my yarn addiction.  Today's journal entries were done light-heartedly and for fun.  He loves me for me, and accepts that my addiction could be worse ... I could be addicted to patterns, hooks, and notions too ...  (should we tell him? Heh heh heh)

The Pains of Dieting

I think saying it out loud helps confirm the deal.  Writing it down, or in this case, typing it, helps cement it.  It becomes a record, something to refer to should the memory decide to go on vacation or look the other way.

I've already admitted to myself that I am on a diet, so I'm here today to admit it too.  If I clarify that statement a bit more, I'm actually on two diets:  1. for my weight  and 2. for my ever accumulating fiber.  I'm thinking of tracking my weight in my new journal, Dee, Off_Topic, so that leaves discussing my fiber diet here as it is crochet related.

First, let me stand up and make my confession:
     "Hi, my name is Dee, and I'm a fiberholic.  It's been six weeks since my last yarn purchase for myself.  I hope with your support you can help me taper down my addiction so I can at least walk around my house without tripping over a 90-gallon tote."

There, I did it!  That felt great!!  :)

My goal is to use up a lot of what I have in my stash.  I really need the space (hey, my kids are telling me they need the space back in their room as they have no place to store their toys!), and if I really want us to be able to afford a larger house, well, we'll have to bank all that money I'd normally spend on yarn.

You'll help me if I get weak, won't you?  You won't tempt me by telling me of great yarn sales you found, or ebay auctions you've won.  You won't tell me how luscious the latest yarn looks, feels, and works up.  You won't tell me how the color goes so well with my eyes.

Oh!  The pains of dieting!  I'm shaking.  I have this incredible drive, this thirst, to go out and buy more yarn.  What does a fiberholic have to do to get more fiber around here?  Raise her own sheep?  ... well now, maybe that's not a bad idea...

Saturday, July 9, 2005

You know it's bad when...

Have the sheep been watching the news?  Are they ashamed of how humans treat each other and have given up all hope?  Did they want to see if the grass is really greener on the other side?  One can only guess.

If you're an aol subscriber, you can click here to read the story about nearly 1,500 sheep jumping off a cliff.

How sad.

Oh, Dee, You busy, busy bee!

I've been busy. Very busy indeed! I opened a few more shops over there at cafepress after many of you, my students and my readers, have requested me to create more variety of crochet items that declare our passion, our addiction, and our love of the art of crochet. So, I did, and I hope everyone likes the new shops as much as I do.  :)   To the right is the shop called Teddy Bear Dreams which features an image of the crocheted teddy bears sitting on a beach.  The graphic states, "Crochet Stitches and Teddy Bear Dreams."

Next, I took the Pig comic and created a new store that offers more than just the pins ... it's now in it's own little shop called Yarn Tails. On the left is one of the mugs that are now available.

The next question you have to ask is how hooked on crochet are you -- are you "
so hooked" or are you "seriously hooked?" 

The questions don't stop there!  LOL  ... Next question ... do you hold your hook like a "
pencil"  ... or like a "knife?"  There's even a 'lil something for the bride or bride to be!   You'll even notice that there's new graphics at the CrochetWithDee shop! ... see, I have been busy! ...even creating a line for those that want be be designers and create "patterns on the fly!"

I hope this satisfies everyone's desire to promote crochet ... and if not, I'm game for suggestions.  J

If you do opt to shop ... be it at one of my shops or at someone else's ... WRITE THIS CODE DOWN:  lolsav  ... is good for $3 off all apparel until July 14. 

No cooking for me tonight ... I've got a doily dancing over there on the couch ... just dying for a few more rounds ... pictures coming soon.  :)

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Nobility, Speed & Baseball

Well, who knew I was nobility?  heh heh heh

I visited this website that has you plug in your name so it can generate your stitchers name.  I typed in my first name, Crochet, ...what? Did you think my first name was Dee all this time? (LOL) ... anyway, I typed in Crochet as my first name and With Dee as my last.  What popped up was "Lady Stitches All Night."  How much truer of a name could that be?  ((grins))  Go ahead, click onto the link and discover your stitching name.  :)

For those that have been following my journal for at least a few weeks, you may remember the entry that I wrote about crochet speed.  I have an update for you.  I received an email from Lisa Gentry stating that she broke the Guinness Record that was held by Barbara Jean Sonntag ... Lisa crocheted 170 stitches per minute!  Wow!  You can read about it here, and see pictures here.

So here's how it stands, for those of you keeping records:

  • Lisa Gentry ... 170 sts/min
  • Barbara Jean Sonntag (the current Guinness Record Holder) ... 147 sts/min
  • Lily Chin (Craft Yarn Councils' Record Holder) ... 132 sts/min

    Lisa, Barbara, Lily -- I think that's just amazing!  :)
  • Hey, just wondering here, how come we don't have baseball cards for crocheters? ... you know ... complete with all the crocheters' stats minus the baseball theme?  I tell you what ... design one that tells about your crochet experience and I'll do the same.  Then we can trade! 

    Wednesday, July 6, 2005

    Crochet: Exposed!

    I received an email from a reader stating that she's been a fan of my journal/blog for about 4 months and says she enjoys her visits.   (I love when my readers let me know that!  Thanks!!!)  ... She says she is "amazed at the frequency of [my] entries but sometimes [she] can't read them as regular as [she] would like."  She wishes to remain anonymous, but wanted to know if there was a way she can search my archives for older entries that she may find interesting "in relation to the type of crochet I enjoy."

    Well, yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, or in this case, a website that will help us all!  If you look to the "About Me" section on the top left of my journal here, you'll see that I've added something new to the bottom there: a link to the technorati website.  That link will lead you to my profile I created over there which will then let you type in a keyword ... such as "coffee" ... that you want to read about on my journal.  The technorati site will then search every entry I've done since January of 2004 and will "expose" each and every one related to that word.  Isn't that great?!?  (yikes, I have 20 entries containing the word coffee?  No, wait, this one mentions the word "coffee" too, so that will make it 21!!  LOL) 

    Now while we're on the theme of exposing ... no, no nudity here, but if you wait, I will offer a link to some later in this entry ... I want to come clean; I want to confess.  I want to hang my head low, lower my eyes and state that yes, I am crocheting without working up a gauge swatch first.  Oh, the shame!  I can see you're swooning, feeling a bit faint from my confession, are ya?  Go ahead, put a cool cloth on your forehead.  I'll wait.

    La da dee, la da dumb!  Dumb!  Dumb!  (this is where you can insert an imaginary image of me bonking myself on the head with a skein of yarn for doing such a silly thing)

    How could I crochet something without working up a gauge swatch first!  Yeah, I know, "Bad Dee!!!"   LOL   If I were working on something like, say a garment, then it would be a serious infraction upon the crochet world!  After all, who wants a sweater that's two times too big with sleeves that fit an infant?  Not me!   So, since I'm just "goofing off,"  "experimenting" if you will, with some thread I picked up at WEBs last year, then this is no big deal.  There's really no need to send the crochet police to my home to confiscate my yarn and hooks.  I just wanted to confess that I'm working "gauge-less" ... and get ya all riled up!!  Heh heh heh!

    Now, if that didn't do it.  If you don't feel a surge of rebelling energy bubbling through your veins, then this might do it.  Go ahead, click here, and while you do, remember, no matter how you feel about the human body, for sure it's crochet: exposed!!  Enjoy!

    Tuesday, July 5, 2005

    Patterns in my Coffee ...

    The weather has just been terrific for sitting outside and watching/playing with the children and yes, crocheting too ... and what I've been working on is my store displays. That includes pattern writing, pattern testing, button shopping, sewing, sipping coffee and just, well, enjoying every delicious moment of the process! ((grins)) 

    The bag featured here was worked with delicious wool -- yes, that's right, wool, and yes, it is summer!  (See, I AM a diehard crocheter! LOL) Yesterday I finished the second bag with the Berroco Suede you see pictured.  The hardest part of the project -- picking out just the right buttons for the project!  I was at JoAnns yesterday with my daughter and I think we spent about an hour just looking at all the button possibilities!  Don't worry, I did treat us to two new crochet booklets for all the "pain and suffering" of having to narrow down the button selection.  Heh heh heh.  I couldn't say no ... not at 40% off!  So I picked out a book on doilies and one on crochet weaving.  (I'll provide the titles if there's interest.)

    For now, I need to get back to work ... and to my cup of coffee ...  maybe I'll see visions of new crochet patterns in my coffee ... one can at least dream it, right?  :)


    Other Favorite Items Featured in my Picture: If you like the coffee cup in the picture above, you can order one from here:  CafePress.  I think the coupon code LOVSAV might still be working ($3 off $30). 

    The book is the
    Crochet Stitch Bible --it's oneof my favorites for using in my crochet classes.  (I used it for selecting some of the stitches for my bag.) 

    The hook is a Graydog -- they're only available on ebay.  My sweet hubby got me that hook as a present a few years back ... here's a close-up of it (look to the left)

    Monday, July 4, 2005

    Crochet some History ...

    Happy Birthday, America!!

    I hope everyone has a fantastic, and a safe, Fourth of July today!  ... and if you get a chance, crochet up a granny square -- as it's a rich part of our American History!  (Click onto the image on the right to go to Lion Brand's free pattern)

    Or if you enjoy thread, and/or filet crochet better, then go here.

          May your celebration be fun and safe! 

    Late Journal Addition: If you already visited my journal today, you may notice that I've added the image on the left to today's entry ... it's an picture I took this evening while watching a fireworks display with my family.  We were "right there" in the "thick of things" ... it seemed like we could reach into the sky and touch the magic!!  It was Fa-bu-licious!!  Hmmm, I wonder if that could be considered an actual word: fabulicious...  Well, it doesn't matter if it is or isn't an actual word -- we had a great time and that's what counts, right?  :)

      (Yes, while waiting for the fireworks show to begin, I had that crochet hook flying.  I'll share a picture of that project tomorrow.)


    For a little historical fun, click here.

    Saturday, July 2, 2005

    Slightly Derailed...

    I've been slightly derailed from having a winner selected as I've been asked to write a bio for a Freeform Exhibition Catalog.  There are SO MANY ENTRIES for my free drawing that it's going to take a little bit more time than I anticipated!!  (I think it's so wonderful that so many of you did; and that your stories are so heart touching!) :D

    Along with the biography, they also asked for a picture.  Oh, a picture?  I'm kinda camera shy so that's a challenge!  (I'd much rather be the one taking the pictures  than the one being photographed.)  So, I combed through pictures that survived my last PC crash and found one that my husband took about two years ago.  My hair is about the same length now, so it's still pretty current.   I'll have to think about getting a professional mug shot in the future.  In the meantime, here's what I came up with:




         Regular Dee Image       Coloring Book Dee Image    and Cartoon Dee Image.

    I took my image and meshed it with a scarf I crocheted a few months back.  Then for my journal here, I turned the image into a "coloring page."  It's the new image you see in the "All About Me" section.   (Do you like the change?)   While I'm on this subject, I've been receiving many inquiries on how I'm able to fit so much in that section (aol has a 1000 character limitation), so I thought I'd share my secret.  It's mostly an image!  I used Microsoft's "Paint" program: paste the images you want to appear, type your text using the font/color you want, then save the image as a "bmp" (bitmap) file.  Go to key word "my ftp space" and upload the image.  The next step is to tell aol in your journal where to find the image using what's known as html code.  The code will look something like this:
    <.img src="">  See that red dot in the code?  You'll need to remove it in order for it to work.

    All right, that's it for today.  I've got to get that biography done so I can announce our winner, right!  ;)