Friday, September 30, 2005

Stupid Question Day

My calendar is declaring that today is the official "Stupid Question Day."  Who thinks of these things?  (There, that was my stupid question!)  ...  I don't think any question is "stupid" as usually there's a good reason for the question to be asked; it's an opportunity to learn!  If the person that you ask a question of makes you feel stupid for asking it, well then that person is an ignominious and not worthy of your time.

I bring this up because many of my students have at one time or another started a question by stating, "You may think this is a stupid question but ... "   I've yet to think that.  I like to point out, especially in a class, that the question is a good one and explain why because sometimes people are too shy to voice what's running through their minds.  I'm not going to pass judgement on someone for asking a question; that would be so wrong!  If the question was important for my student to ask it, then it wasn't stupid.  I'm a firm believer that if we don't ask questions, we don't learn.  And if we don't learn, what's the point, right?

So let me go ahead and answer the following email I received this morning:

Dear Dee,
I am a new crocheter and am happy you posted the 50 Top Things a crocheter should learn.  I am stuck on #46.  What is bearding?
Thanks, Michelle

Michelle, that's a great question!

Bearding is what the projectiles coming from our fibers is called.  You may know the fibers for their various marketing names such as "eyelash" and "fur."  The rule is that the thicker the bearding (ie fur) then the larger the hook and simpler the stitch for our projects.  This helps to keep the fabric relaxed and give all those projectiles room to stretch out and be their beautiful selves.

You can experiment if you'd like.  Take a very bearded fiber and crochet a small swatch using a "G" hook (say 13 stitches & 4 rows) using single crochet stitches.  Then crochet up another swatch using a 'N' hook (same st count & row count) using a single crochet, chain one, (repeat) pattern.  You should see a huge difference!

Fibers with sparse eyelashes can be treated the same as normal fibers but may get lost if you use them for textured stitches.  The key here is to experiment until you find a look that YOU like!  Thanks for writing in, Michelle!  :)

"Stupid Question Day" indeed -- I wish they would change it to "Wonderment Question Day" instead!  After all, where would crochet be today if someone never asked the question, "Gee, I have all this yarn stash and this funny stick with a hook at the end. What can I create if I put the two together?"   ... see?  NO question is stupid!  Instead it's an opportunity to LEARN!  ;)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Top 50 Things Every Crocheter Should Learn

On some of the online lists (groups) a question is being asked on what the top 50 techniques every serious crocheter should learn.  I thought I'd take that question and change it just a bit to what my opinion is on the Top 50 things every crocheter should learn (in no particular order):

1.  Why it's important to leave long tails at the beginning, the end, and at joining points in the work.
2.  How to create a slip knot.
3.  How to properly end off.
4.  How to create the foundation chain.
5.  How to count chains.
6.  Knowing if that loop on the hook counts or not.
7.  Knowing what turning chains are, and why they're important.
8.  How to create a slip stitch, and why they're used.
9.  How to create a single crochet.
10. How to create a half-double crochet.
11.  How to create a double crochet.
12.  Knowing how to read the abbreviations in patterns.
13.  Knowing that patterns are just a starting point and deviating from them is OK.
14.  Knowing how to read international symbols
15.  Knowing mistakes will happen and ripping out work is not a bad thing.
16.  Knowing mistakes will happen and fudging to "make it work" is not a bad thing.
17.  Knowing Gauge is not a four letter word (*skip*), and how to reach it.
18.  Knowing that changing a hook size will alter the gauge, and the drape-ability of the fabric being created.
19.  Knowing not all hooks are created equal (steel, wood, bone...), and having fun experimenting is a good thing.
20.  Knowing not all fibers are created equal, and having fun experimenting is a good thing.
21.  Knowing there's more than one type of crochet and be willing to try them all.
22.  Knowing why a knot placed in the yarn by manufacturer should be cut out.
23.  Knowing all the traditional rules in crochet and willing to break them in order to experiment.
24.  Knowing to check where a book was published to determine if the crochet method is *American* or *European.*
25.  Knowing that if the pattern doesn't say where it was created/printed to look for a stitch legend to determine if a double crochet is really a single crochet.
26.  Knowing what copyright is, and honoring it -- even if it was a *free* pattern.
27.  Knowing at least two ways to add on a new color or new skein of yarn.
28.  Knowing how to weave in ends.
29.  Knowing at least two ways to join/seam work together.
30.  Knowing at least two types of edging ...
31.  Knowing how to start one's work so edging is not always needed.
32.  Knowing what tension is.
33.  Knowing what effects your tension.
34.  Knowing how to increase properly.
35.  Knowing how to decrease properly.
36.  Knowing how to crochet in rounds (rows & spiral)
37.  Knowing which side is the front side of the work, and which is the back.
38.  Knowing what posts are and how to crochet using them.
39.  Knowing what happens when you crochet in just the front loop...
40.  the back loop ...
41.  and both loops.
42.  Knowing what stitch markers are, and why they're important.
43.  Knowing how to count stitches.
44.  Knowing why a tapestry needle is used and not a sewing needle.
45.  Knowing why blocking is important.
46.  Knowing what bearding is, and why it's important that the thicker the beard the more *breathing* room it needs.
47.  Knowing the difference of *American* hook sizes and *metric* -- and why metric is preferred over the American sizing.
48.  Knowing how to read yarn labels and convert knitting needle sizes to crochet hook sizes.
49.  Knowing what dye lot is, and that buying extra yarn is always a good practice.
50.  Knowing that teaching someone else all of the above is a priceless gift to give.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Feeling the Pressure

As of today, of this moment I am typing this entry in, there are 87 days left until Christmas.  Eighty-seven!!!

This, of course, dawned upon me, in every sense of the word "dawn," at three in the morning.  I haven't a clue what I was dreaming -- I only know that one eye popped open, looked at the clock while the thought of what seemed like a zillion projects that will all need to be done el pronto all entered my mind at once.  Yikes!

What was I thinking when I decided to purchase the roving to crochet up and then felt into a cowgirl hat?  What was I thinking when I purchased "matching" silk yarn yesterday to crochet up a sweater to go with the cowgirl hat?  Didn't I just say a few weeks back that I still need to finish her freeform sweater that I started (what seems like) years ago?

And what about the beautiful bulky fall colored yarn I purchased earlier this year to crochet a sweater for my son?  What ever happened to that plan?  Will I ever get it done in time?

And what about the sweater I'm designing for myself?  It's nearly half-done yet I haven't touched it in months!  I want to wear it for our annual family holiday picture.  If I don't get cracking, I'll look pretty funny holding the sweater together in the photograph!

And what about the 60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge?  Where am I on that count? 

I feel like I should be that cartoon character "Cathy" running around saying, "Ack! Ack!"

Eighty-seven days.

Are you feeling the pressure yet?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Yippee Yi - Huh?

I pulled out my coveted (oop) copy of "Hard Crochet" by Mark Dittrick last night and flipped through the pages.  I knew I had seen it before, and sure enough, there it was!  A pattern for a cowboy hat!  I read the section and settled in for the night; TV remote in one hand, crochet hook in the other. 

The concept in this book is to create very stiff fabric by using a hook way undersized for the fiber, thus it's title.  I decided I'd try creating a cowboy/girl hat with an acrylic yarn before trying it with the batting I bought Saturday at Stitches East.  If I like the end (acrylic) results, I will need to figure out how much to "expand" the project to allow for felting it in my next attempt.  So this goes down as a "yippie yi yea" this morning because so far I like it.  :) 

As I stitched into the evening hours I wound up on the CBS television station and ended up watching the "Martha Behind Bars" program with Cybill Shepard playing the roll of Martha Stewart.  Geesh.  Don't the writers do their homework?  At one point they show Martha walking up to an inmate; she sizes the inmate's project up and makes a comment about her "missing a cross stitch."  The inmate replies it's how she marks "where she left off."  Only the inmate wasn't working on a cross stitch project, she was holding a knitting project.  At the end of the program it turns out that the project the inmate was working on was "the poncho" -- you know, the one that in real life an inmate gave to Martha on the early morning; the one she wore when she was released from prison?  You know, the crocheted poncho she wore that helped ease her back into the spot light ... 

Oh, you should have seen me rolling my eyes.  I thought to myself, "Huh? Where'd those needlecrafts come from?!"  I think the whole world, except those writers and prop-iteers in Hollywood, know it was crocheted!   Get the facts right folks before you film it!  Cross stitch; knit?    Hooboy.  There goes the creditability of the program!  LOL

And speaking of missing crochet on TV, has anyone seen the new air freshener ad yet?  Word has it crochet is featured, and it's a bit silly -- but I haven't seen it yet.  If you've seen it "Do tell!" and set the record straight!  (thanks!)   

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Stitches East 2005

The three-plus hour drive to Atlantic City, NJ, did not seem as long as it was.  I rode with two other HHCC members, Grace and Celeste, and we were filled with excitement of what treasures, and what people, we'd find at this annual event.

I am fortunate enough to live in an area where I can travel short distances to get what's "common," so I always go to this event with the mindset to find what's unusual, what's new to me. 

Let's study my photo for a moment. (you can click onto it to make it larger)  Is there anything there "new to you" too?  I bet you're looking at my mammoth sized crochet hooks, huh?  LOL  Yes, they're the largest hooks in my collection.  They're hand turned by
Jenkins -- these are sized "T" (22mm) and "U" (the Tunisian cabled hook).

As I stood in line to pay for my new wooden treasures a woman stood behind me and said, "Twenty-six dollars for a crochet hook?  That's expensive!  I'd never pay that much money for a crochet hook!"  I smiled, turned to her and said, "It's not manufactured, it's hand turned AND a rare size."  "What would I need a hook that size for," she inquired.  "For those projects on the quick!  With large fibers, or for those long eyelash yarns to make very lacy projects," I answered.  "Oh," she said softly.  Next thing I know, she's checking out the hooks for herself! 

Looking back at the photo, did you see my new jewelry?  I have a bracelet that says "Yarn Whisperer" and crochet hook earrings.  As well as a stamp with a crochet hook, at the same vendor I got little notepads:  "I'm on this row," "Gauge is not a four letter word," and "Crocheters are Happy Hookers."  I had a great conversation with their
rep, Mary, and she promised to look into offering more crochet theme goodies.  I'm looking forward to hearing from her!

Over at
Linda's booth I got two roving bundles of colors from soft blue to purple.  I intend to crochet them unspun and crochet/felt up a crochet cowgirl hat for my daughter -- as a Christmas gift for her.  So shhhhh!  Don't let the cat out of the bag and let on that you all know!  I want my daughter to be surprised!  (The real trick is to find a pattern, or to create one if need be.)  Linda also had beautiful crochet hooks on display -- including crochet hook earrings.  She said she'd discuss with her husband Tom in creating a purple-color them pair for me.  I can't wait!  There's nothing like coordinating your crochet jewelry to your Crochet Club's T-shirt when doing demos!  heh heh heh

Look back at the photo; do you see those little blue "chips?"  Those are from the
Trendsetter folks and it's a pretty cool notion if I do say so myself.  They're used along with your trim (fringe) to add a little glitter & pizzazz to your work.  I bought two little packages and intend to add them to a scarf I'm working on.

Did you see my new book markers -- the sheep & the frog?  Yeah, I think they're cute too.  What's not in the photo is a little sheep pin I also picked up. 
(I already pinned it to my hat; you can see me wearing it next weekend at the KOC2). 
The vendor had some beautiful crochet hooks on display, but since they had thumb rests I passed on them.  I need hooks with a full body.   

The last item I'd like for you to look at is the white yarn at the bottom of the picture.  Go ahead, turn off the lights.  It's "glow in the dark" yarn!  Oh, hmmm, I guess you won't be able to see that it glows because it's just a picture.  That's OK, you can order some for yourself through the
woolstock folks

The only part I didn't like was the news that the Stitches East event will be moving next year -- in both time and location.  It will be held in Baltimore, MD (a five-plus hour one way drive) and will be in November (possible snow time)I plan on writing them and letting them know I prefer the New Jersey location & time.  Maybe if enough of us do so, they'll consider moving it back for 2007.  One can hope, right? 

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Three plus hours to get there, three plus hours to get back.  Five Fabulous Hours sandwiched in the middle of blissful shopping at the Stitches East event held in Atlantic City, NJ.

     I'm exhausted, I'm exhilarated. 

          I'm out of cash, but loaded with goodies.

Details tomorrow after I get some well needed rest.

     Yeah, I know.  I'm such a tease!  ;)

Friday, September 23, 2005

So Who is the Fastest Crocheter?

As the Volunteer Email Correspondent for the Crochet Guild of America, I've been getting A LOT  of emails asking for details on the Lily Chin Vs. Lisa Gentry = World's Fastest Crocheter saga.  While I do plan on doing a little "leg work" to find out more details, I was delighted to find in a recent CGOA "Chain Link" newsletter information that I can pass on.  First let me say that the article reports that Lily is still considered (and will remain so) the "World's Fastest Crocheter" -- under the Craft Yarn Council of America's contest.  It's reported that she will keep this title until October of 2006 when the final time trials take place.  It's also reported that Lily is going to seriously practice to give Lisa and other challengers a real run for the fiber, er title.  (Many thanks to Danielle for writing such an interesting article!)

In the meantime, Lisa now holds the Guinness Book of World Record's title as the "world's fastest crocheter."  No matter who you are rooting for, these two ladies are FAST!  Would I ever consider going up against them?  Nah.  Not unless the title was for the slowest; then I might stand a chance!  (heh heh heh)

One last thing I'd like to mention about these two -- they've really helped heat up the world of crochet!  Lisa and Lily will be at the NYC "Knit Out & Crochet Too" event next weekend, but there's no word yet if they'll be competing --  I just hope to be present when these two do decide to face off again!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Look for the Purple!

It's a marathon of fiber bliss!!  (LOL) ... I do hope some of you are able to join me in the coming days!  All you need to do is "look for the purple" and you're bound to find myself and members of the Happily Hooked on Crocheting Club, a Connecticut Chapter of the Crochet Guild of America!

Wednesday, Sept 21Eastern States Exposition (aka The Big E)
                     West Springfield, MA
                     Eastern States Building

Saturday, Sept 24:     Stitches East
                    Atlantic City, MA
                    Can't make it?
  Watch the Webcam!!!

Sunday, Oct 2Knit Out & Crochet Too
             Union Square Park, NYC

Monday, September 19, 2005

...brothers and sisters, pump up the volume ...

ah yea
ah yea

do it
do it do it

yea yea
yea yea

boogie down bo bo boogie down
boogie down

here we go, c'mon

do it
do it
do it

pump up the volume
pump up the volume
pump up the volume
dance dance

Whoa!  I'm sure by now you're wondering what has me in this groove where I'm pumping up the volume with boogie fever, right?  LOL

Well, I went grocery shopping!  (Yeah, hang in there, it DOES get better than that!  I promise!)  There I was, in the middle of the aisle when I saw it.  It stopped me dead in my tracks when I felt my heart go aflutter with an adrenaline rush following!  What was it that I saw?  I saw the new Ziplog bags.  Oh yeah, baby, they're sweet!

I've long been buying the 2-gallon bags to sort out my various WIPs and FOs.  I've also used them for sorting out my yarn -- but now, a bag that is available that's so huge it just beacons to have even more goodies stuffed into it?  Oh, YOU have GOT to see these things for yourself!  Go ahead, you know you want to, so why delay?  Go ahead and click here  :)

So now I'm thinking that all the blankets that I donate can now be donated with a little more "class."  -- these bags will make a much nicer presentation than in a garbage bag.  Don't you agree?  This product is LONG overdue in my humble opinion!  Did I buy any?  I'm surprised that question was asked!  LOL

Yeah, I got me a box and will be happily filling them -- after all today is the last day of my hiatus; I can only imagine  what fibers will be tempting me when I return to teaching tomorrow!  Maybe I should boogie down bo bo boogie back down to the grocer's andget me some more of those Ziploc bags.  You know, just in case?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

... Keeping In Touch ...

With coffee in hand I am enjoying a lazy Sunday awaiting for that final phone call that my nephew is finally safe at home (we finally found him, was able to wire him money, and get him on one of the evacuation buses headed to our state.)  He was due to arrive at the bus terminal 17 minutes ago, so that phone call can't be far away.  ((big, huge grins))

So, I've been up for hours, blissfully sipping, listening to my children playing peacefully with each other while I enjoy catching up on a lot of my favorite crochet theme blogs.  What a joy to read about all the delicious projects being completed, secret cro-buddy exchanges, yarn purchases & finds, and items donated to charity. 

But, like some of you reading my blog/journal here, I am unable to leave comments at yours because your blog host forces you, as you are here at AOL, to join before leaving a comment.  I know; it's a pain! 

I go looking for a way to email you directly, but don't see that information either (maybe I haven't had enough coffee yet?) ... so, I wanted to say it here, that I am reading those blogs! 

In thinking about it, I don't make it too easy for you to contact me directly either, do I?  Hmmm.  How about this, if you're looking to contact me via email, you can do so at CrochetingWithingDeeing&aoling.coming (just remove all the "ing's" and replace the "&" with a "@" -- I know, I didn't make it "easy" but it's like that to prevent the Internet spiders from picking up my email address and then having me spammed to death.  I'm sure you understand).   Or another way to contact me is if you're a member of BlogExplosion, you can leave comments there and I will get them!

One person who I'd like to contact me is Jane, of "Jane's Hooked on Crochet."  She did a very informative entry on symbol crochet (and software for it!) and I'd like to chat with her a bit about it.  I am a member of Blogger, but I'm not sure what a "team member" is, or how to become one. Jane, please email me, I have some info for you to consider!  :)

Hmmm.  It seems my cup of coffee is just a cup -- there's no more coffee.  I'm off to remedy that, and to visit more blogs.  Here's to hoping your day is just as peaceful.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Beauty is in the eye of the

... Crocheter.

It's come to my attention that not all of my work has "eye appeal."  Take the Celtic Crochet experiment I featured on August 7th.  Some of the comments on the piece are not so, shall we say, accepting?  BUT THAT's OK.  No, really, it is!

Not all colors will make all crocheters happy.  Not all techniques will make all crocheters happy.  That's what makes us each unique.  And this is why it's important to experiment to find out what we like and what we don't.  If you don't try it, how will you know?  

By trying you learn.  By learning you grow.  By growing you can overlook the obvious parts that you dislike while at the same time admiring the parts that you do.  That's when you know you've crossed the line of being a "hobbyist" to that of being a "passionate enthusiast."

Really, it's OK not to be tickled pink (or in this case turned on by my hideous color selections above) with all the aspects of crochet, or color combinations.  The key is to look deeper into the work -- kind of get away from that cliche' of judging a book by it's cover and more on it's content.  :)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Outing Crochet


Have you seen these crochet theme postage stamps yet? I think it's WAY overdue to have stamps available that promote our art form. I'm not a stamp collector so I don't know for sure if there was ever a crochet theme stamp created, but to have one where we can use them today -- that's just awesome! :)

For those that are following the "Lily Chin Vs. Lisa Gentry: Who IS the Champ" saga, I understand there will be an article in the upcoming issue of Crochet! magazine.  What I don't know is if it will be in the magazine itself, or in the Crochet Guild of America's newsletter insert known as "Chain Link."  Apparently, there is more to this story and I'm looking forward to reading it.  (By the way, the only way to get the Crochet! magazine with the Chain Link newsletter insert is by being a member of the Crochet Guild of America.  If you're interested about this national organization, click here to learn more.) 

One more thing I'd like to add about Lily & Lisa:  they both are planning on attending the Craft Yarn Council of America's "Knit Out & Crochet Too!" event being held in New York City on October 2nd.  I don't know if they'll be having another "stitch off" to determine who's faster, but if I hear of anything, I'll be sure to post it here.  It sure would be exciting though!  :)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Stamford Crochet Class Schedule: Fall/Winter 2005

You asked for evening classes.
You asked for Saturday classes.
You asked for more technique and project classes.
Yeah, it's all there!
Sign up quick! -- Class size is limited!

Store:  KnitTogether
Location:  111 High Ridge Rd, Stamford, CT
Contact: (203) 324-YARN

Tuesday, Sept 20
10:30 - 11:30:  BYOP
11:30 - 12:30:  Crochet Workshop
12:45 - 2:45  Crochet 101

Tuesday, Sept 27
10:30 - 11:30:  BYOP
11:30 - 12:30:  Crochet Workshop
12:45 - 2:45  Crochet 102

Tuesday, Oct 4
10:30 - 11:30:  BYOP
11:30 - 12:30:  Crochet Workshop
12:45 - 2:45:  Witchcraft Lace

Saturday: Oct 8
10:30 - 12:30:  Crochet 101
12:45 - 2:45:  Crochet 102

Tuesday, Oct 11
10:30 - 11:30:  BYOP
11:30 - 12:30:  Crochet Workshop
12:45 - 2:45  ColorPlay with Overlay

Tuesday, Oct 18
10:30 - 11:30:  BYOP
11:30 - 12:30:  Crochet Workshop
12:45 - 2:45  Crochet 101

Saturday: Oct 22
10:30 - 12:30:  Witchcraft Lace 
12:45 - 2:45 : Crochet 101

Tuesday, Oct 25
10:30 - 11:30:  BYOP
11:30 - 12:30:  Crochet Workshop
12:45 - 2:45  Crochet 102

Saturday: Oct 29
10:30 - 12:30:  CROCHET & WEAVE
12:45 - 2:45:  Crochet 102

Tuesday, Nov 1
10:30 - 11:30:  BYOP
11:30 - 12:30:  Crochet Workshop
12:45 - 2:45  Spiral Hat

Tuesday, Nov 8
10:30 - 11:30:  BYOP
11:30 - 12:30:  Crochet Workshop
12:45 - 2:45 Waffle Weave

Saturday: Nov 12
10:30 - 12:30:  Crochet 101
12:45 - 2:45:  Crochet 102

Tuesday, Nov 15
10:30 - 11:30:  BYOP
11:30 - 12:30:  Crochet Workshop
12:45 - 2:45  Crochet 101

Tuesday, Nov 22
10:30 - 11:30:  BYOP
11:30 - 12:30:  Crochet Workshop
12:45 - 2:45  Crochet 102

Tuesday, Nov 29
10:30 - 11:30:  BYOP
11:30 - 12:30:  Crochet Workshop
12:45 - 2:45 Graph Crochet

Tuesday, Dec 6
10:30 - 11:30:  BYOP
11:30 - 12:30:  Crochet Workshop
12:45 - 2:45 Crochet & Weave

Saturday: Dec 10
10:30 - 12:30:  Crochet 101
12:45 - 2:45:  Crochet 102

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Jewel of a Day

There are times when the smallest thing can make your day extra special.  This is what happened to me thus far:

1. I finished the afghan to be donated to Hurricane Katrina.  (click onto the image for a larger view.)  My hubby said he loved the way it came out.  I opted to join the donated squares with the single crochet on one square, chain one, single crochet on the other square, chain one & so forth.  This gave the squares a little "breathing" room as they're not all quite the same size.  For the edging I used the trim that consists of a double crochet, chain 3, double into the top of the previously made double, and then double into the same stitch of the original double crochet stitch (I know, it sounds confusing, but it's not once you see it being done). 

2. I decided upon a trim for a shawl I've been having fun designing.  I'm quite excited to get to that point, and more excited that the hot weather has finally broken to give me a chance to continue my work on it.  Tell me again, how do you feel about bullions?  heh heh heh  Start practicing!  This is going to be one sweetheart of a design if I do say so myself!  ((grins))

3. While typing this entry we were visited by our albino deer.  He stood not more than 15 feet away from us and just watched.  I'm not sure if it's a boy or a girl so I guess I shouldn't refer to it as a "he," but I will state that it sure was beautiful to see so close!  Other neighbors came out of their homes and got a chance to see it up close too.  I love how our community is pulling together to watch out for it and ensure no harm comes to it.

4. And finally, I guess some of you took my post about Martha's "Poncho show" to heart and have opted to write Martha suggesting that she calls me for an appearance on her show for real!  (No, she hasn't called -- yet!)  I am very flattered; thank you!!  If she does call, you KNOW I'll post the details here. 

So that's it for now; looks like well needed rain is headed our way and that's my cue to pack up and head back inside.  Yeah, I know.  You want to see the finished afghan ...  J

Update 6:49 PM: I hope I didn't keep you waiting for the image too long  :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Crochet on National Air Waves

I was reminded this morning that Martha (Stewart) has returned to the national air waves this week with the return of her show (on NBC), and I decided to watch the show to see how much air time would be dedicated to the famous poncho and to the art of crochet.  My feelings about the show are mixed. 

I liked how she showed up in the Yarn Bus (I so want one of those!) wearing "the poncho" with Lily Chin beside her as one of her guests.  I wish I taped the show to watch the introduction again.  I'm fairly certain Lily was introduced as the World's Fastest Crocheter.  (I suspect there will be some backlash as it should have been stated in past-tense with Lisa Gentry being the new Crown wearerBut since Lily has done such a great job in helping bring crochet out of it's "step sister roll compared to knitting," that I think it's best we not go there, I've had enough drama here at CrochetWithDee this week; don't you agree?) 

So, getting back to the show, they did a Marv-oulous job showing the audience wearing their crocheted ponchos -- even showing a 3-generation clan of crocheters!  They even let the youngest of the clan, a girl about 12, show Martha a scarf she crocheted.  I loved that!

Martha at one point discussed Lily's speed with creating various stitches but then dropped the ball on showing how to crochet.   Rather than giving a little glimpse on how a particular simple stitch is created, Martha focused with David Spade (David, hun, if you're reading this, PLEASE tell Capital One to leave me alone! I don't want them in my wallet!!  Oh, this is more drama, huh?  Sorry!) on how she was able to create various treats for the inmates when she was serving her time in prision. 

While it surely showed her inventiveness in the cooking department, I think she & her staff dropped the ball for this particular show.  Hopefully Martha scans the Internet to read blogs/online lists & such to learn of what people think of her show.  If she does, I hope she understands that if you're going to have an audience wearing a particular garment made with a particular needlecraft that some time should be devoted to showing how to do it -- even in it's most basic form!  (Martha?  Call me; I'd be happy to appear on your show and teach your audience how easy crochet can be!) 

Naturally as I watched the show, I crocheted.  I worked on assembling an afghan that will be donated to a survivor of Hurricane Katrina.   I'm to the point now where I have a quarter of the border done.  Maybe tomorrow I'll show a picture? 

BTW:  If you want a "Martha" poncho you can now get one without ever lifting a hook or a skein of yarn.  You can order it on Martha's website with the proceeds going to charity/Hurricane Katrina.  Now that's marketing! 

Monday, September 12, 2005

There's hope!

I am sleep deprived (and a bit cranky too) and will be headed for a well needed nap shortly; I wanted insert a dose of well needed "positivism" (is that a real word?) after the rant I left earlier this morning before heading off to sleepy-time.

First, let me go on record here saying that if you're going to be bringing "trash" here to CrochetWithDee it will be deleted.  And if you continue to do so you may be banned.  I welcome opposing thoughts but only if they're done in a constructive way. This is a journal/blog that I keep for all ages to be able to come and visit --and I will protect that status vigilantly!!  My readers love coming here for the positive crochet adventures, not for inappropriate material.  Keep it clean; keep it constructive. 

Second, I've spent this morning making copies of the various offending websites along with emailing them a polite email requesting that we resolve the issue positively. Thus far one has responded with an apology and a vow of correction! Isn't that great?!!

Third, and most importantly, I'd like to thank all of you, my readers, for your support. I love that we are so passionate about our art form and are willing to comfort one another when the hooks (er, chips) are down. I do appreciate it!! :D

I will still need to police the Internet but hopefully by discussing issues like this it will educate those who are not in the know, and infringement will happen less & less.  This then means less rants from me, and more of what your here for: Crocheting WITH Dee.  One can hope, right? 

Thanks again & nite-nite.

Awake & Peeved

The following is from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

(verb) : to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the source : to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
(noun) 1 : an act or instance of plagiarizing; 2 : something plagiarized

I spend a great amount of time researching.  I do it to bring the most complete amount of crochet information I can to my website, to my blog here, and to my classes.  So, in doing some research I found a new website that I absolutely love.  It's a website designed to help in locating those that infringe upon copyrights, and shows the telltale signs of plagiarism.  Cool huh?

Unfortunately I learned earlier tonight that I am a victim of copyright violation and plagiarism as this website says my work has been stolen.  Yeah, I screamed with rage and disbelief. 

Hours later, I am, to put it nicely, still quite peeved.  Perhaps those that have lifted content from my blog here, and from my website, do not understand that this is MY material.  I am angry.  And it is rather late at night ... but this anger was eating at me, disturbing my sleep, so I thought I'd enter my thoughts about it here.

My plan of action is to take a few days off from my normal "chippy crochet thoughts" so I can cross over to the dark side.  You know the routine, Santa taught it to us:  make a list, check it twice.  Find out who's been naughty or nice. 

I intend to do just that.  I'll take the next few days to collect evidence -- such as making copies of every website that has either knowingly, or unknowingly, lifted my work and claimed it as their own.  If your website is one of those listed, I willbe contacting you or your webpage host.  Hopefully you didn't know better and will  fix the problem IMMEDIATELY.  (I'll give great thought of IF I will be showing images of your website in violation here.  I most likely will since I think it would be a great learning lesson.)

I'm sorry.  It's late at night, and like I said, this is disturbing my sleep.  So maybe my anger is showing a bit.  Go easy on me with those "you need anger management" emails & comments.  I have a right to be upset; I'm awake & peeved.  After all, my work has been stolen.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Helpful Webpages About Plagiarism:

  • Using virtual lectures to educate students on plagiarism
  • Research Resources
  • Plagiarism Today
  • You can even set Google Alerts to notify you of infringement!
  • Sunday, September 11, 2005

    In the Shadows of 9/11

    I think just about everyone recalls where they were on that day.  I was at home.  I was in the process of getting out of the "Day Trader" business and devoting more of my time to my real passion, crochet.  I got up in the morning, made my coffee, and turned on the PC to glance at opening stock prices and to check my email for crochet news.  I recall seeing a blurb on AOL about a plane hitting a building.  My first thought was of King Kong -- the movie that haunted me in my childhood.  I thought it must have been some little plane where perhaps the pilot had a medical problem and lost control ... I had decided to turn my televison on to learn more about what was going on ...

    I recall the great amount of emotions I felt:  horror, grief, anger.   I also recall feeling proud.  Proud because of the way our country pulled together to help one another through this very difficult period -- just as we are today in the shadows of Hurricane Katrina.

    Ask any crocheter or knitter what their stitch work looked like during 9/11 and they will tell you that their work was tighter than usual.  But the stitches continued, the stress relieved, people were aided.  Many picked up the hook and the needles during this time and joined in.

    We had our monthly crochet club meeting today and a member of the online Connecticut Crochet group joined us; we're helping her assemble afghans that will benefit survivors of the Hurricane.  Since 9/11, our group has reached out to several of local charities, and even to some far away.  Stitch by stitch we have been reaching out to strangers to help in some small way. 

    It's nice to know we humans can come together, like the thousands of loops in the fabric we crochet or knit, to create a comforting environment.  Much like an afghan being wrapped around the shoulders of someone who has lost everything.  Becoming (to quote the cotton slogan) "the fabric of our lives."  And that, to me, is worth remembering and passing on.


    Saturday, September 10, 2005

    ~~Various Thoughts~~

    First the good news:
       Cathi, my SIL, is now back home; safe in NY.  A medical helicopter had rescued her (she has a broken back due to a terrible auto accident and my nephew had gone down to LA a few weeks ago to help care for her).  But, for whatever reason, my nephew was unable to accompany her during the rescue; he was left behind.  Fortunately he was able to hookup with a neighbor and they're surviving on canned food.  It's a relief to know he's OK. We have one of my brothers "on the case" looking into what we can do to bring him back home. 

    Speaking of which, my brother there is a real comedian.  I told him he should look for a place with an "open mic night " and give it a try.  He's a riot!  (I doubt I'd be able to do such a great comic routine!) One of the things he said is that his wife, Debby, has been working on an afghan -- for the RV.  "No, not to go inside of it but to cover it on the outside!!"   LOL  He was joking but said the thing was so huge that he had to fight the closet it's housed in to stay shut until she gets back to finish crocheting it.  "By then," he said, "there ain't no tellin' how big the thing will be!" 

    Currently I'm working on a "sampler scarf" that will go towards the 60 Scarves in 60 Days challenge I mentioned yesterday.  Some have expressed an interest in joining me in this challenge but said the charities are not accepting anything right now.  So I thought I'd clarify the goal a bit more:

    The scarves are to be crocheted from now until Mid-November, the end results to be donated by the first week of December.  There are several places of which one can donate to (we're not talking specifically of Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts here):
    * Homeless Shelters
    * Battered Women's Shelters
    * Local Salvation Army (not the S.A. stores but the actual chapter where they aid local families in need).
    * Crochet scarves up with pink yarn and donate it to a Relay for Life event looking to raise funds for Breast Cancer Awareness.

    I hope this information helps  :)

    Lastly, I'd like to mention today that for those that are unable to see some of the images I have here in my journal, it could be because some of the images are what are know as "bitmaps" ... bmp files.  What this means is that it's possible that your browser does not support these files. I am slowly in the process of renaming them.  Thanks for letting me know!

    Friday, September 9, 2005

    Crochet Challenge! Join me!

    I learned last night that my youngest brother is safely back home.  He's a fireman (from Jacksonville, FL) and was in Louisiana battling fires for over a week.  Four years ago he was in NYC helping out with 9-11.  He has such a good heart and we're lucky we have people like him willing to leave the comfort of their lives to go aid others in extreme situations like this.  On the otherhand I've yet to learn the fate of my SIL and my nephew who lived in the region that Hurricane Katrina hit.  I hope they are safe; I hope for news soon.

    I know our local charities, which are always in need, will be hurting even more so come this winter once the survivors of the Hurricane come.  Normally, in November I challenge myself to crocheting 30 scarves in 30 days for Charity.  Last year many of you, my readers, opted to join me in this challenge and that was great!  I think, with so many more needing us to help them that I will start the challenge now and will double the goal.

    My plan is this: 60 Scarves in 60 days!
    Here's how you can participate:  Crochet (or knit)  a scarf for charity and then let me know about it so we can include it in the count.   You do not need to send me anything -- you can donate it to your own local charity.  We'll see if we can get 60 done by mid-November.  Besides doing something good for your community, and your country, it will make you feel good inside.  And if you don't know how to crochet or knit, then what better reason is there to learn?!?

                                          Care to join me? :)

    Thursday, September 8, 2005

    Where there's Dee, there's crochet.

    I've had four shades of hair coloring this week: my old, oops!, OMG!, and today's.  This means the OMG! had to be professionally corrected which leads me to my journal entry today ... yes, seemingly, everything does eventually lead to crochet with me, doesn't it?  :)

    While at the beauty parlor with a tremendous amount of new dye (and pixie dust for good luck) painted onto my OMG! hair I worked on a shawl I'm in the process of designing.  The salon was filled with various ladies (and a few gents!), each having their own *thing* done, when some of the hair dressers spotted the crochet fabric I have slowly been creating.  They all came over and examined my work and as they worked their magic on my OMG! hair coloring blotch, they discussed crochet, knit, and fashion.

         "Are ponchos still in fashion," one asked.

         "Yes," I replied, "I have a pattern that will be out in just a few months."

         "I love ponchos. And capes too," another chimed in.

         "Oh, I went to my mother's house for Labor Day and she presented me with a poncho I had when I was a kid.  It was pink!  Boy did I love my poncho back then!"

         "Me too!  Mine was purple!"

         "Oh, I should wear mine to work tomorrow ..."

    And so on. 

    I didn't finish my project yet; it's been a real labor of love, and I still have the trim to work up, but I am pleased with how it's coming out, and how it's generating a buzz around the topic of crochet.

    So, on that line of thinking, I read today in the online People magazine's Cover Story, that they list the Coming Home Poncho Martha wore leaving prison as one of the Top 10 Style Moments for 2005.  With three months of the year remaining, I can't help but wonder what could trump it.  Maybe Patricia Arquette will come up with another "something special" this Halloween season?  (Oh, yeah, I know, if I had left my hair in the OMG! state, I would have been more than ready for *fright night*!)

    You see where this is leading, don't you?  ((grins))

    Yeah, lesson number one: leave the hair coloring up to the professionals.  My OMG! has turned into a delicious coloring of normalcy that I'm calling *TG!*

    Lesson number two: where there's Dee, there's crochet.  heh heh heh

    Wednesday, September 7, 2005

    Sneaking Off...

    Today started out with a "bump" in the road ... it seems my daughter's "crochet bite" was a bit "itchy" and she just had to "work in a few stitches" before school this morning.  To those I've told the story to they all replied, "Well, she is her mother's daughter!"  An eight year old sneaking off to work in crochet stitches ... too funny!

    I got my own chance to sneak off and get in some well needed stitching.  I attended our monthly "Coffee, Crochet & Chat" session at Borders this morning.  I got there a bit early and pulled every "new to me" crochet book off the shelves and began flipping through them; two of which came home with me.

    The first book is not crochet (gasp!) -- nope.  It's a knit book, but I was so impressed with the technique, I knew in just flipping through the pages that it was something I could play with converting over to crochet.  The book, pictured on the right is, Module Magic: Creative Projects to Knit One Block at a Time. The concept is similar along the lines of Judith Copeland's "Modular Crochet," except here the work is created in smaller modules -- squares, rectangles and triangles that are then matched up to create your garment.  If you get a chance, check it out and think about what crochet stitches/color combos would work.  I'm sure you'll be just as excited about this concept as I was.

    The second book that found a new home with me is Kids Crochet: Projects for Kids of All Ages.  I was really impressed with all the projects, and the kids -- both boys and girls -- pictured while crocheting.  I'm hoping this books helps inspire my son to pick the hook up a bit more often.  Hmmm, maybe not to the point where he's hiding to sneak in a few more stitches when we're supposed to be getting ready for school!  

    As far as what project I was working on -- does it really matter?  I think that as long as I am able to feel the fiber slipping through my fingers in one hand while my crochet hook darts and twists between the fingers of my other hand I am happy.  Maybe I should take the cue from my daughter and sneak off a bit myself to work in "a few more stitches."

    Monday, September 5, 2005

    Where to Ship to:

    My contact at the (Houston,Texas) Mayor's office called! 
         They are requesting items NOT be sent directly to the Astrodome as not all surviors will be stationed there.  They will be all over the state.  For those wishing to help survivors of Hurricane Katrina please note the following items they're in need of and the various cities/locations taking the donations:

    The American Red Cross Shelters ARE Accepting Donations:

    Items Needed:

    • Food and drinks
    • Clothing
    • Disposable diapers
    • Games and toys
    • Sheets and blankets
    • Monetary donations

    Shelter Locations:

    • Baytown Community Center, 2407 Market Street, Baytown
    • Fairmont Park Baptist Church, 10401 Belfast, La Porte
    • First Baptist Church, 1229 Avenue J, Huntsville
    • First Baptist Church, 906 Avenue A, Katy
    • First United Methodist Church, 4308 W. Dallas, Conroe
    • Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 18220 Upper Bay Road-Nassau Bay, Houston
    • Memorial Baptist Church, 600 W. Sterling, Baytown
    • Mont Belvieu Senior Center, 11607 Eagle Drive, Mont Belvieu
    • Moody Methodist Church, 2803 53rd Street, Galveston
    • New Life Central, 2104 Underwood, La Porte
    • Spring Tabernacle, 3034 F.M. 2920, Spring
    • St. Mary's Catholic Church, 701 Church St., Brenham, 77834
    • St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, 6005 N, Wayside Drive, Houston, 77028-4494  9/05/05: PLEASE SEE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW FOR THIS LOCATION


    AOL'ers: Here's another link listing various organizations where you can donate money, and for parents to download coloring books for children & such.  Well worth checking out! Network for Good: Hurricane Relief Efforts and Preparedness

    Sunday, September 4, 2005

    Observing Labor Day

    Here it is, Labor Day.  A day our country made into a national holiday in 1894!  It's a day to celebrate all those that have worked so hard to make our country so strong.  On this Labor Day my family and I are continuing to box up supplies to ship to those in need.  Pictured to the left are two more boxes containing crochet & knit supplies along with some Yarn Tails T-shirts that will be shipped tomorrow.

    I've received emails from people stating that what my family is doing to help the survivors of the Hurricane is wonderful.  They state that they wish they could do something too but haven't the money to do so.  So, I thought I'd share my thoughts on that:

    You do not need money in order to help:

  • If you are religious, pray. Pray for all of those that still may be trapped. Pray that they are rescued in time.
  • Give blood. Do it today, tomorrow, or next week. Blood is always needed.
  • Become a volunteer at your local Red Cross or Salvation Army chapter. A few hours here or there helps quite a bit!
  • Create something with your crochet/knit/cross stitch/needle point/quilting talents! Baby blankets, bibs ... or create something larger and put it up for auction on Ebay. They have an option there for auctions looking to raise funds for different charities!
  • If you're local to where they're housing many of the survivors, consider becoming a "Big Sister, Big Brother" to the many children in the area.  Giving your time can be just as valuable as giving money.  :)

    I'm sure there are other ways in which to offer help, these are just a few off the top of my head.  If you have more ideas, please feel free to post them here.

    This Labor Day, do something to help reflect why this nation's citizens rock when we pull together!  Let it be the day that celebrates not just the "... strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations..." but also of all of those that are laboring, in one way or another, to help all those desperately in need. 
  • .

    Update: 9/7/05: Wave 2 to Hurricane Katrina survivors has been received! (Last night I hand-delivered Wave 3 to a local drop off center where I learned that Connecticut will be welcoming many hundreds of the survivors to the New Haven area)

    Saturday, September 3, 2005

    ...easy on the eyes...

         I didn't crochet one stitch yesterday, nadda one.  I did a number on my eyes to the point where the stinging was too much.  I could have crocheted by feeling my way along the fabric, but since I'm in the process of crocheting another scarf with the waffle weave technique, and in the process of crocheting a matching spiral hat (both of which will be donated come this winter), I felt it was best I let it go for a day.  Today my eyes feel a little better, but still sting from yesterday's mishap -- I had accidentally filled the house with toxic smoke!  (Thankfully no one else was effected or hurt, & I didn't burn the house down!)

    My US Mail carrier must have known my hook was still and wanted to keep me in the loop, in the grips of the fiber art world.  In the mail was my latest issue of Crochet Fantasy, Bead & Button, and my "reward" for helping out:  a copy of the latest issue of Family Circles' easy Crochet magazine ALONG with another magazine I've never seen before and have not been able to put down: Yarn Market News.

    The Yarn Market News magazine is for professionals (retailers, suppliers & such).  This August issue is packed with a lot of interesting articles from blogging on to answering the question "is crochet the new knitting?"  I'm really impressed with this magazine and look forward to receiving more issues!  (If you're a fiber professional and would like more info on this mag, please send me an email.  I'd be happy to provide the contact info on it)

    I'm also looking forward to reading my Bead & Button magazine.  Flipping through the pages I found a segment on crocheting bangles with a seamless join.  In Crochet Fantasy there's some great articles I'm looking forward to reading, including one on cultivating silk worms!  And in easy Crochet, well, I'm thinking when will I get a chance to sleep?

    For now, I'm off to find the eye drops and rest my eyes some more.  I've got more boxes to pack for Hurricane Katrina survivors, and more "starts" to help with later this afternoon.

    Friday, September 2, 2005

    Bethel Crochet Class Schedule: Fall/Winter 2005

    You asked for evening classes.
    You asked for Saturday classes.
    You asked for more technique and project classes.
    Yeah, it's all there!
    Sign up quick! -- Class size is limited!

    Store:  A Stitch In Time
    Location:  276 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel, CT
    Contact: (203) 748-1002

    Thursday, Sept 22:
    Learn six exciting stitches and the trick to assemble this fantastic Designer Backpack! Use a delicious fall colored wool fiber, or even suede!  *visit the store to see the sample in person!
    Cost: $75 for entire series!
    Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    Supplies: six balls of Berroco Suede, or other fiber of choice; hook to manufacturers recommendation, two or three buttons, tapestry needle
    Skill Level:  Beginner & Up

    Bring your own project and get help on following patterns, figuring out a stitch or a technique!  Bring a friend and it's a stitch social!
    Cost: $15
    Time:  11:00 AM - 12:00 PM 
    Skill Level:  Beginner & Up


    Leave'em baffled with a stitch technique that will make them wonder how you did it!  Learn the technique to create a great scarf or throw, perfect for gift giving!  Use a plain fiber, or a fancy glittery one!
    Cost: $25
    Time: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    Supplies: 2 skeins of yarn, size N hook or larger (larger hook, fluffier outcome)
    Skill Level: Beginner & Up

    Wednesday Evening, Sept 28:
    CROCHET 101:
    Have you tried to learn how to crochet from a book andjust don't get it? Has it been awhile and you need a refresher? This class was designed with you, the beginner, in mind.  In this class you will learn the slip knot, the chain, and the single crochet, the importance of turning chains, how to add on a new skein, and how to properly end off.  Come, be inspired, and learn the fastest growing needlework in America.
    Cost: $25
    Time: 5:00 PM- 7:00 PM
    Level: none.
    Supplies: 4-ply yarn (light color); crochet hook size G-H-or I, any book/magazine
    with beginner stitch diagrams

    Thursday, Sept 29
    Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

    Need a gift on the quick? Or have a beautiful ribbon fiber you want to showcase? Then this class is for you!  Come learn how basic stitches and some weaving result in beautiful work that makes for great gift-giving!  
    Cost: $15
    Time: 11:00 - 12:00 PM
    Supplies:  yarn (2 skeins), ribbon yarn (1 or 2 skeins depending upon project length); hook to yarn manufacturer's recommendation, Tapestry needle

    CROCHET 101
    Cost: $25
    Time: 12:00 - 2:00 PM
    Level: none.
    Supplies: 4-ply yarn (light color); crochet hook size G-H-or I, any book/magazine with beginner stitch diagrams

    Thursday, October 6:

    Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

    Cost: $15
    Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Skill Level:  Beginner & Up

    CROCHET 102
    Cost: $25
    Time: 12:00 - 2:00 PM
    Level: basic stitch knowledge.
    Supplies: 4-ply yarn (light color); crochet hook size G-H-or I, any book/magazine with beginner stitch diagrams & patterns

    Thursday, October 13:

    Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

    Flat fiber deserves to be shown off ever so beautifully! It works up fast once you know the technique and makes beautiful scarves, wraps, and throws -- just in time for those upcoming holiday parties
    Cost: $15.00
    Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Supplies: Hairpin Fork, 2-3 balls ribbon fiber (or more for larger projects); hook to manufacturer's recommendation
    Skill Level:  Intermediate & Up

    Come play with color and texture to design eye-appealing creations!
    Cost: $25
    Time: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    Supplies: six different colored fibers of the same weight (smooth) & hook
    Skill Level: Intermediate & Up

    Thursday, October 20:

    Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

    Cost: $15
    Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Skill Level: Beginner & Up

    Be a rebel and learn to break all the rules!  Take your creative side and let it go wild in creating one-of-a-kind works of art! Participants will play with the technique in one color to create a crochet hook/pencil holder.
    Cost: $25
    Time: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    Supplies: 1 skein of yarn, various hook sizes G-L; tapestry needle, empty (& clean) frosting container, beads optional.
    Skill Level: Advanced Beginner & Up

    Wednesday Evening, Oct 26
    CROCHET 101:
    Cost: $25
    Time: 5:00 PM- 7:00 PM
    Level:  none.
    Supplies: 4-ply yarn (light color); crochet hook size G-H-or I, any book/magazine with beginner stitch diagrams

    Thursday, October 27:
    Time:  10:00 AM - 11:00 AM 

    We've all done it; we've jumped into projects totally bypassing that little blurb about making a swatch.  Why is it important that we do it?  Does it really make a difference?  How do I know if I have gauge or not?  If you've been asking these questions, then come and learn the answers!
    Cost: $15
    Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Supplies: 1 skein of yarn, variety of hooks, tape measurer
    Skill Level: Beginner & Up


    How wicked of us to offer such a class near the Halloween Holiday!  Come learn this technique that is just stunning when done with designer fibers!  Watch the knitters marvel as we utilize one of their needles!
    Cost: $25
    Time: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    Supplies:  1 skein of yarn & hook to manufacturers recommendation; one knitting needle (the larger the size the lacier the look)
    Skill Level: Intermediate & Up

    Thursday, November 3:
    Time:  10:00 AM - 11:00 AM 

    Cost: $15
    Time:  11:00 AM - 12:00 PM 
    Skill Level:  Beginner & Up

    Saturday, November 5

    Cost: $15
    Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    Supplies:  yarn (2 skeins), ribbon yarn (1 or 2 skeins depending upon project length); hook to yarn manufacturer's recommendation, Tapestry needle

    CROCHET 101:
    Cost: $25
    Time: 11:15 AM- 12:15 PM
    Level:  none.
    Supplies: 4-ply yarn (light color); crochet hook size G-H-or I, any book/magazine with beginner stitch diagrams

    Come play with color and texture to design eye-appealing creations!
    Cost: $25
    Time:  12:30 PM - 3:30 PM
    Supplies: six different colored fibers of the same weight (smooth) & hook
    Skill Level: Intermediate & Up 

    Thursday, November 10:
    CROCHET 101
    Cost: $25
    Time: 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM
    Level:  none.
    Supplies: 4-ply yarn (light color); crochet hook size G-H-or I, any book/magazine with beginner stitch diagrams

    CROCHET 102
    Cost: $25
    Time: 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM
    Level:  basic stitch knowledge
    Supplies: 4-ply yarn (light color); crochet hook size G-H-or I, any book/magazine with beginner stitch diagrams

    Saturday, November 19
    CROCHET 101
    Cost: $25
    Time: 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM
    Level:  none.
    Supplies: 4-ply yarn (light color); crochet hook size G-H-or I, any book/magazine with beginner stitch diagrams

    CROCHET 102
    Cost: $25
    Time: 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM
    Level:  basic stitch knowledge
    Supplies: 4-ply yarn (light color); crochet hook size G-H-or I, any book/magazine with beginner stitch diagrams

    Cost: $15 for 1 hour/ $25 for both
    Time:  1:15 PM - 2:15 PM or  2:30 - 3:30
    Skill Level:  Beginner & Up

    Wednesday Evening, Nov 30
    CROCHET 102:
    Cost: $25
    Time: 5:00 PM- 7:00 PM
    Level:  basic stitch knowledge
    Supplies: 4-ply yarn (light color); crochet hook size G-H-or I, any book/magazine with beginner stitch diagrams

    Thursday, December 1:
    CROCHET 101
    Cost: $25
    Time: 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM
    Level:  none.
    Supplies: 4-ply yarn (light color); crochet hook size G-H-or I, any book/magazine with beginner stitch diagrams

    CROCHET 102
    Cost: $25
    Time: 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM
    Level:  basic stitch knowledge
    Supplies: 4-ply yarn (light color); crochet hook size G-H-or I, any book/magazine with beginner stitch diagrams

    Thursday, September 1, 2005

    Question from Reader: What is this?

    Thank you for all the wonderful posting about helping with Katrina. Also, I really enjoyed your web sight and blog. Particularly interesting were all the different types of crochet. If you have time I would appreciate your comments on how you think a bracelet was made in the Anthropology Catalog.

    If you look at the picture under the computer zoom feature, it looks like a diagonal brick pattern. I cannot conclude that it is macrame since I am quite familiar with those stitches. Got any ideas at all? I am sooooooo curious.
    Sincerely, Jan

    After exchanging a few emails with Jan to figure out the exact bracelet she was referencing (in my defense I had not had my morning cup of coffee!), we narrowed it down to item #54400.  You can see it pictured to the right here ...  of course, if you'd like to see a better image then please visit the anthropologie website.

    In examining the picture it is my opinion that the technique used is what is known as Romanian Point-Lace.  It is a technique of building single crochet stitches, one on top of another with a twisting motion.  This creates a cord that is then pinned into the desired shape followed by thread & needle to attach into it's final form.  In the bracelet example, they added beads while they were creating the cord.

    There is good news for those wanting to learn this technique.  Interweave Press still has back issues of the Jan/Feb 2001 issue featuring a beautiful butterfly that was created with this technique!

    To the left is a little "dabble" I did using the technique with a flat ribbon fiber in 2002 (Berroco's if memory serves me correctly).   I've used the technique many times since to create beautiful pull strings and straps for various projects I've crocheted.

    In my humble opinion, once you start crocheting the cording you should continue doing it until it's your desired length.  My experience in working with this cording technique is that any stop/go in it's creation will be noticeable.  So do it when you know you have a good amount of time to dedicate to it.  Once it's off the hook and in it's pinning stage, there's no problem. 
    Great question, Jan!  Thanks for writing in!  :D

    Packing Up...

    The pictures to the left are some of the items I've already packed up and are awaiting for shipping.  I've been on the phone with Texas; my contact in the Mayor's office is still looking for an address where "stress relief" items can be shipped to.  She promised to call me back, so just as soon as I have a location I will share it for those interested in doing the same thing.

    In the meantime, I'll be packing up more boxes.  Here in Connecticut seasons change fast so one of the boxes will be of summer clothing my children will no longer need.   In Texas it's hot, hot, hot! -- my children's clothing will come in handy for some boy or girl in need!  I'll also be putting another "kiddie box" together this afternoon.  This one will be filled with stuffed animals (items I've been collecting to donate this Christmas to our local Salvation Army).

    My hubby asked what they'll be doing with all the kids missing out on schooling -- I haven't heard anything, but that will be another box I plan on packing: school supplies!  Yeah, I have a stash on that too!  This is one of those times where getting in on the "good" sales really will pay off! 

    Man, it feels good to be doing something that will help someone else out!

    Lastly, before I get to work packing up the boxes I mentioned, I want to encourage those employed to check with their Personnel Department to see what the company policy is for donations.  Many companies will match what their employees donate, so it's worth inquiring about!  ;)

    UPDATE 9/3: The first wave of boxes have been delivered!