Saturday, June 26, 2010

Coffee, Stat!

Today's blog entry is more of a mental check-list for me ... I need a caffeine IV drip to function today after last night's wee-in-the-hours-can't-sleep-until-you-acknowledge-this-inspirational-idea hit me. Has that ever happened to you? You get an idea late in the evening, or even while you are sleeping, and you try to make a mental note of it, or even write it down to return to later, only it eats at you, much like this seemingly endless sentence, until finally you grab your favorite crochet hook and ball of yummy yarn and finally set the inspiration free, into physical motion, weaving its magic with each yarn over, until it begins to take shape to the point where you can say, "ahhhhh!"

Yeah. That's exactly what happened to me last night and I have the bags under my eyes to prove it. And in looking at the amount of stitch work I got done -- I am happy I listened to my muse. Since I am spending my time getting my materials ready for the conference, I can tell it will be another late night working on this project. Maybe now is the time, just until I get everything done, I give up my one-cup-of-coffee-a-day rule and drink it like a flowing river ... I'm just saying...
OK, the mental check-list... the following people are to be added to the "Waiting to be Confirmed" list as Famous Crocheters (technically the people below will be easy to confirm; I need to set aside time to actually write up their confirmations and then add them to the growing list of Confirmed...):
  • Louisa Calder, wife of the sculptor Alexander Calder. (Thank you Leslie)
  • Daina Taimina, Cornell University mathematician . (Thank you Barbara)
  • Ruby Dee, actress. (Thanks again Barbara; and Colleen)
and, Jennifer Crusie, who is already confirmed needs the spelling of her name corrected.
OK, that's it for now. My coffee cup is empty and there is more work to do...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Counting Down...

What do you think this picture means?

If you've guessed we have a monkey on the loose, you are partially right. Technically it would be Dee Jr.'s stuffed money, and yes, I know, it has no relation to crochet. What does, however, is the box of supplies that just arrived ... the AMAZING NEEDLES!!

Amazing Needles are speciality crochet hooks, and they are for one of my sold out classes I'll be teaching at the CGOA's 16th Annual Chain Link Conference next month!! Are you going?

If you missed the opportunity to take my Crochet Your Knit class at the Conference and want to learn how to knit with a crochet hook on your own, then this hook is the tool you will need to learn how to make true knit stitches with the ease of a single crochet hook. Once you learn the technique you can join the debate of what is knit, what is crochet -- is it how it is made, or the end result? ;)

You can order this speciality crochet hook from Andrea, a really nice lady, over at -- and don't forget, if you are a CGOA member, let her know to get a discount!!

OK, I'm headed back to work -- lots to do! ...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ling Dynasty Grows

It is true. I finished my fifth Doris Chan Ling Collar yesterday -- and that includes steam blocking with a new iron/steamer surprise gifted to me by my good friend, Grace. :)

I actually made this Collar, using Kraemer' Sterling Silk & Silver fingering weight yarn (63% merino, 20% silk, 15% Nylon and 2% Metallic). The coloring in the picture is a little washed out; in reality is more like a dark charcoal with silver hightlights. I had purchased this yarn from a vendor at last year's Chain Link Conference, when it was held in Buffalo, NY -- and it was Mini~Dee who heard the yarn exclaim from deep within my yarn stash that it was ready to "grow up" and become a Ling Collar (more proof that yarn WILL tell you want it wants to be!).
And, using one of my Graydog "H" crochet hooks, it worked up beautifully!

The dangling charms was another of Mini~Dee's decisions. She selected the beads to match the dress coloring and I did all of the wiring twisting. I like that this project was a collaboration!

If you decide to add charms to your own Ling Collar, or any other of your crochet works, I highly recommend steering clear of split jump-rings. Eventually the split jump-rings will open, ever so slightly, and then fall off your work.

How about you? How many Ling Collars do you have in your dynasty thus far?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer is Ready When You Are

As today is the first official day of summer, how (and pardon the pun) cool is it I officially get to announce lead guitarist for The Breeders, Kelley Deal, as a Famous Crocheter! Having been taught how to crochet by her mom, and has a twin sister -- I'm waiting to see if Kelley will enlighten us if she (or other band members) also crochet. Kelley also knits, and in 2008 published the book, "Bags That Rock."

I am delighted Nanda of Ravelry brought her to my attention. Funny thing is, I happen to have been listening to this band for years! I just never put 2 & 2 together. Thank you Nanda!

I think the lyrics to the above song, Saints, is appropriate. I've been busy gearing up for the Conference, and thinking of the summer (& fall) fairs I'll be entering my crochet work in. What about you? What projects do you have planned for the summer?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Guest Blogger: Mini~Dee

Dear Mom,

Thanks for acknowledging my hard work -- you HAVE no IDEA how much yarn work there is here! ... and I want an explaination how so many got tangled!! Gosh! I found $5.00; I'm keeping it.

I'll sort your pattern books, but you WILL help me!!

And then we'll pick out the yarn, the pattern, AND THE BEADS for you to crochet me a bikini. OK? Good!

OK, I'm headed back in. Wish me luck.


She's Growing Up

How old were you when you wore your first bikini? Was it crocheted? And when you did wear it in public, did your parent(s) freak, or were they OK with it?

My Mini~Dee has decided to take on my yarn stash -- head on. She's a very brave girl. She went in without a safety-line! ... she has been sorting and organizing ... and apparently day dreaming too ...

Seems she came across the beaded bikini top I crocheted up as a store sample back in 2005 and decided she'd claim it for herself. Only it doesn't fit. She's pretty bummed about that. So she asked if I'd crochet a new one for her. You know, as "combat" payment for organizing my mountain of yarn.

I might, as she's been working her tail off. But I think I'd omit the 700 beads per cup; that was a lot of work! And I might include a matching bottom. The biggest problem is agreeing on the right pattern -- maybe she'll be interested in sorting through my book stash too ... ?

Monday, June 14, 2010


I am a total wimp when it comes to eating apples. I'm not as bad with apples as I am with tomatoes, but I am bad enough that I will forgo eating apples unless someone has confirmed for me that the apple I am interested in is both sweet AND crunchy. No, this apple wimp does not eat soggy apples. ((shudders at the thought!))

Fortunately for me, I have surrounded myself with apple lovers who don't care if an apple is crunchy or if it's soggy; but they will confirm for me when there is an apple to my liking. "An apple is an apple," so they say as they bite into the fruit.

So if an apple is an apple, how do they explain this? I'm enjoying this granny smith apple (see image on right) right now -- without their consultation of if it is either crunchy or soggy. In fact, I'm finding this fruity-lishious apple downright sa-weet!!

... and soon to be in season, year round. I say, let the apple picking season begin!

More info on this new yarn line to come! ((A big thanks to ______ for providing this "apple" for me to taste try.))

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Supporting Our Designers

If you are a member of the Doris Chan's Ravelry group, Everyday Crochet, then there is a good chance you've already read the discussion of my 3 recently completed projects: The Ling Collar, from Doris' new book, "Crochet Lace Innovations: 20 Dazzling Designs in Broomstick, Hairpin, Tunisian, and Exploded Lace". Since there are three of them, perhaps with more to come, I am calling my Ling Collar Collection The Ling Dynasty.

I have found huge two problems with this project:

  1. The pattern is addictive. Yes, VERY addictive!

    While I type this blog entry I am fighting the urge to start another due to time constraints. I am, however, seriously thinking of putting the yarn & hook together to be ready for the next time I'll be dashing out the door to some activity/event that will give me time to crochet...
  2. As I am wearing the collars around to various events/functions & also discussing them online, I find I am being asked repeatedly "for a copy" of this pattern!
This is a serious problem. Not just for Doris' work, but for all crochet publications. Although I've discussed the importance of honoring copyrights to those who ask for copies, several people have replied, " who would know, Dee, if you slipped me a copy?" and "Come on, Dee, I can't afford the book right now, would you mind making a copy from your book?"

It is important that we need to support our designers; where would we be without them? Did you know that ownership of a work/book does not imply ownership of copyright? This means just because I own the book, I do not have the right to distribute the contents.

What I suggest you do:

  1. If you cannot afford the book then ask your local library to get it for you! If you keep asking your library for crochet books, then there is a good chance they'll start stocking them. At the very least, they can borrow them from other libraries.

    As a side note, if you CAN afford the books, if you're finished with it and think you'll no longer be needing it, consider DONATING it to your local library -- or purchase two and donate one -- so others can benefit from it. ((I recently donated a duplicate copy of Margaret Hubert's new book, "The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet: *All You Need to Know to Crochet *The Essential Reference for Novice and Expert Crocheters *Comprehensive Guide to ... Charts, and Photos for 200 Stitch Patterns" to my local library and it's already in heavy circulation!))
  2. If your local library cannot get the book you are intersted in, AND if you are a member of the CGOA, consider checking to see if it is available in the Linda Sauter Library.

I think it is important we show our support of our crochet designers by honoring copyright laws, by buying the material, or by borrowing it though legal means. If we stop copyright infringment, this will incourage our favorite designers to continue creating new designs for us to become addicted to. :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Alyssa Milano to Join List of Famous Crocheters!

I love when you, my readers, help me with my crochet quests! Such is the case when Sandie, of suggested I directly Tweet to Alyssa and just ask her, "Do you crochet?"

Then Sandie found a crochet reference in Alyssa's book, "Safe at Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic," which states on page 176:

"My fiance doesn't crochet (shocking, right?). Actually my brother and my fiance like to team up and call my beautiful granny squares "pot holders." I've been making the same granny-square blanket since the late eighties. Someday I will finish that pot-holder blanket"

So I Tweeted directly to Alyssa, and mere moments later, look what she said:

OMG, OMG, OMG! Did you hear me screaming with glee??? (lol)

So I took it a step further and asked if she can send me a picture of her crocheting ... if she does someone will have to climb up to the moon and pull me down. Seriously!

In the meantime, Alyssa Milano has been officially confirmed to be added to the Famous Crocheters List.

Awesome! :)

& Thank You Sandie!!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Confirming Famous Crocheters

On Saturday, at the Stitch & Pitch Mets Guinness World Record Attempt I blogged about yesterday, I got to witness first-hand Debra Norville, a broadcaster, crocheting. I was estatic because this is the first time I got to witness someone actually crocheting -- in person -- who qualifies for my Famous Crocheters list! Not only is Debra a crocheter (and knitter), but she also now has her own yarn line, like (already confirmed Famous Crocheter) Vanna White! In fact, Debra mentions a special discount for her yarn on her website.

Not always is it this easy for me to confirm if someone qualifies to go on my Famous Crocheter list. Take Alyssa Milano, an actress, as an example. DonnaLynn emailed me 2 years ago stating she saw Alyssa in the movie "Wisegal" which premiered on Lifetime Network -- Alyssa reportedly was crocheting in the first scene. Not having cable/satellite tv, I had to wait until I could get my hands on the official dvd to see for myself. This was not easy as dvd's do not have that awesome "rewind" option as vhs tapes do! I must have watched that scene at least 20 times to decide if Alyssa was crocheting or not. My conclusion: indecisive!

The next step was to google/bing Alyssa and see what I could find. I found Alyssa's name associated with crochet trimmed baseball wear, but no confirmation that she actually crochets, unless this quote, "In my free time, I learned how to crochet (insert old lady joke here) and have been glued to the news for the primary coverage. " from the Alyssa Milano's baseball blog counts -- did she write that or one of her fans? It's hard to tell as the blog has 23 authors. This means that Alyssa will remain as "waiting to be confirmed."
Of course, noting that Alyssa is apparently a big baseball fan, maybe the powers-in-charge could see she gets an invite to the 5th Annual Mets Stitch n' Pitch event next year; then I/we all could see her crochet in person, confirming her to be added to the ever-growing Famous Crocheters list... I'm just saying ...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Going for the Guinness World Record

I have long awaited for the day my Mr. Dee would know more than just the lingo of crochet; I was waiting for the day he would actually try crocheting -- even for 15 minutes ....

Yesterday was to have been that day.

Mini~Dee helps set the Guinness World RecordWe arrived early at Citi Field, the new home of the Mets baseball team, where the 4th Annual Stitch n'Pitch was to take place. We were there as volunteers to help the attempt at making Guinness World Record for Most People Crocheting in One Place to go off without a hitch.

At first Mini~Dee and I were assigned to one of the two tables to get people to sign-in, while also handing out the special crochet hooks, yarn, and totes to the participants. We made a great team, breezing people through as quickly as possible to meet the tight timeline.

Meanwhile, Mr. Dee and Dee Jr. were assigned to be Ushers, helping the participants go to the designated area & get settled in. At one point a couple was confused as to where to go, so Dee Jr. said, "Crocheting is up this staircase." The man turned to the woman he was with and said, "See, this man is helpful. I like him!" ... (okay, so calling an eleven-year-old a man is a bit much, but Dee Jr. did like being called helpful.)
Libby of TNNA, Mary Beth Temple, Lily Chin and Stacy Charles
After everyone was seated Mr. Dee and I were asked to be Official Witnesses. This meant no crocheting for us; we were there to help count everyone crocheting! With Dee Jr. looking on, acting as a "runner," my Mini~Dee got to participate (pictured above) as one of the reported 426 people, along with Debra Norville from the television show, Inside Edition, who helped set the World Record!!! That's right, we did it!! Whoot! Whoot! (and yes, Debra will be going onto my list of Famous Crocheters.)

And it also seems our good fortune rubbed off on the Mets, with them winning 6-1 over the Marlins. :)

Check out these other bloggers, and HHCC'ers who also participated:

News links

For those who were inquiring @ Citi Field:

1. the yarn my Mini~Dee was using was Jelly Yarn. You can find it here:
2. my wooden crochet hook was made by Grafton Fibers. You can find it here:
3. the pattern I was working up is featured in Doris Chan's 3rd book called, "Crochet Lace Innovations." ((I've found the Ling Collar works up great in several different types of yarn!)