Sunday, January 15, 2012

... and the 2012 Winner Is ...

I would like to thank everyone who participated in my Anniversary Celebration where, for the 2nd year in a row, I am gifting away a 1-year CGOA Membership. I greatly enjoyed reading everyone's Top 3 Favorite Crochet Techniques -- in reading all the entries it seems Tunisian Crochet is in the top spot for favorite! 
'Angry Kitty' takes on Chuck Norris

"Angry Kitty" got to pick the winner!
Before I announce who the winner is, I want to take a moment to thank Dee Jr and "Angry Kitty" for all their hard work in the preparing and choosing of this year's winner.  Dee Jr printed out all the entries, cut them into strips and then curled them into spirals; they remind me of confetti!  They were then presented to the cat, who we affectionately are calling "Angry Kitty" as she has been upset her that her human/owner has been on vacation for over a month now. (I've been tweeting about this on Twitter.)  She isn't hissing at us as much as she was in the beginning, so this is great that we got her into a playful mood where we presented the spirals to her, giving her time to "favor" one (aka "swat around the room" -this was the entry to be awarded this year's membership giftaway.)  Since she can't read, we thought this would be a fun, non-biased, kind of way to select a winner.  She certainly had fun!

So who won?  Well, not so fast.  It seems, after the winner exclaimed upon notification: "Oh Dee thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! Hubby is not sure if his ear can take the squealing of, 'I won';" has "giftawayed" her newly won prize -- to her husband -- who she taught how to crochet back in 1999!  So, on behalf of myself, and our chews'n winner, Janie, the new winner is:


Disclaimer: I want to state that this membership was not something given to me to giveaway to help promote the CGOA.  Nope.  Not at all.  This membership, like the one gifted last year, comes from my crochet passion deep in my heart, and my very own wallet.  :)

Congratulations Janie, Boyce, and once again, thank you to everyone for participating, making this a wonderful way for me to celebrate 8 years of blogging about crochet, and celebrating my 11th Anniversary of being a CGOA member!

If you are interested in joining the CGOA, or gifting away a membership yourself, visit for more information.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Can You Read Me Now?

I have never stopped to count how many crochet patterns exist in the world, but my overall feeling is, there can never be enough.  I've come to this conclusion recently when I was shopping with my daughter and she found a crocheted poncho that she absolutely loved. Retail: $29.95

I looked the poncho over, and although the price of $29.95 was certainly affordable, I didn't want to buy it because I felt it was UNDERVALUED.  Why, I can't even buy the yarn to hand-crochet my own for $29 -- and here they were selling HAND work for less than the cost of the yarn.   I wanted to buy it for her, but I didn't want to -- I was very confllicted in making this decision.  We left the store; I didn't buy it.  If it had been a knitted poncho, I wouldn't have thought twice about it as the majority of knit products sold in retail stores are machine made; $29 for a machine made poncho would not have given me grief in my decision making.

Reading finished crochet work is
like reading International Crochet Symbols:
All it takes is a bit of practice.
As weeks quickly rolled by, I consulted EVERY stitch dictionary I could get my hands on, looking for the granny square motif that was featured in the poncho my daughter wanted.  I thought, "I can crochet one myself -- and give it to her for Christmas."  Christmas came & went.  I thought, "I can crochet one myself -- and give it to her for her birthday."  Yeah, that was a wash too.  And I never found the motif in any of my crochet references.

Last weekend my CGOA Chapter had a "Crochet in Public" meeting at the Danbury Fair Mall.  After the meeting my daughter and I revisited the store that had the poncho she wanted.  The poncho was now on clearance for $17; even more UNDERVALUED.  Sigh. She begged.  She pleaded.  I caved.  For the record: I am still torn; this poncho should have sold for much, much more -- I KNOW it took several human hours to create as it was hand-crocheted!

On the bright side, she is happy -- she got the poncho she fell in love with nearly six weeks ago.  And, setting the undervalue issue aside, I can be a bit happy too because I now have a new stitch motif to add to my crochet references -- I've actually started creating a simple scarf/wrap for myself!

SIDE NOTE: I think it is important to state I do not plan on recreating the poncho - there'd be copyright infringement issues if I did - but rather I do like the motif - very much so!

RECOMMENDATION: I think it is important for all crocheters to know how to read stitch work.  Knowing so will help with counting stitches, in ensuring stitch placement is correct, for locating errors, and for being inspired to create something wonderful.  The reading of actual crochet stitches is the "old school" style of crochet patterning dating back to the earky 1800s before printed patterns arrived on the scene.  Visit the threadwinder here to see some great examples of "crochet sampler" pages.

Practice. And the next time you see crochet work at a retail store, maybe you'll hear it whispering to you, "Can you read me now?"

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy Ewe'll Year!

Hey, 2012 has arrived!  And not only does it come with an extra day for crocheting (leap year!), it also marks my 8th year in blogging about my crochet/yarn/hook/book addictions!  Eight Years!  This year will also be the celebration of my 11th year of being a CGOA member -- and my 2nd year of giving a 1-Year CGOA MEMBERSHIP AWAY!!  How cool is that?  :)
Before I discuss the rules for the giveaway, lets briefly talk about New Year Resolutions.  Do you have any?  I have a few to share:

1. For 2012 I will no longer say, "I crochet."  This will be replaced with, "I hand-crochet."  This is an experiment to see if I can help heighten awareness that crochet remains one of the last remaining fiber art forms that must be made by human hands, regardless if seen at a discount store or at a high-end boutique. 

2. I will give up all grand-illusions of hand-crocheting (see, I'm using it already!) down my yarn stash.  I know I "burn" through yarn with many projects throughout any given year, so I will resume rewarding myself, regularly, with restocking with yarns I love.  Yes, I know this will create storage problems, but I'm thinking if I rip out the mattress' stuffing, I can replace it with yarn.  Mattresses casings should hold a whole 'lotta yarn!  If the family protests too much, I can always eye the box springs as a storage solution, right??

3. I want to yarn bomb something this year.  I have my eye on a location local to me and will investigate if this is something I can do without, well, you know, having to go to jail for "defacing public property."  That would be a real kill-joy!

4. I want to develop a rhythm for my blog posts here.  I know last year was not a great year for my posting regularly, and I want this year to be a better one.  So I'll work on that.

5. I want to keep track of how many MILEs of yarn I use this year.  I think it would be fun to say stuff like, "Yeah, last night I flew through the 1/4 mile-marker and it felt great!" or "I got 3 miles in the bag." Have you ever considered how many miles of yarn you crochet annually?  Me either.  So this should be fun.  LOL

Alright. Let's get to the CGOA MEMBERSHIP Giveaway.  The rules are below.  Please follow them to ensure your entry counts!  Good luck!  :)
The rules are simple:
1. Entries accepted from now until January 14, 2012, midnight, eastern time, by leaving comments at this Blog entry.
2. List your top 3 favorite Crochet Techniques. If you're not sure, visit my "Types & Techniques" page on my website,, for some ideas.  If you don't see your favorite listed there, then please describe yours as maybe you'll inspire someone else to learn it!  :)
3. Include if you are a current CGOA member or not.
4. Leave a way for me to contact you should your name be drawn as the winner. If I can't reach you, I'll need to have another name drawn. Winner will be announced on January 15th; the winner will receive a One-Year Membership to the CGOA!
I wish you all a happy, healthy, hand-crochet-filled New Year! :)