Monday, November 29, 2004

Fa La La La La! Let the TRUE Shopping Begin!

Now that "Black Friday" (Saturday & Sunday too) are over with, we can get the serious shopping done -- for ourselves and for those that are like us with passion for crocheting.

For this we will need two things: a computer and a credit card.

Our first shopping stop will be at the website, shown on the right, known as Busy Bodies. Here we'll find T-shirts, bags, mugs and such that all proclaim what we already know, our love of crochet. Since the images are gender neutral, they'd be great for male and female crocheters. The site also offers other themes ... I personally could use the one that says "I hunt." ... just change the riffle to an armload of yarn please.

Whew! That was fun. Now lets stretch a bit and get ready to jump on over to Marnie MacLean's site which is just a hop away. Here we can get products that help declare that we are truly hookers and that we enjoy being so. It also offers products that show passion for knitting too -- so if for some reason I'm on your list, I can really use a Knitting Novice Button. Of course, it would need to be altered to fit me a bit more -- just add the word "EXTREME" so that it reads "Extreme Knitting Novice." Yep, that's me. (lol) I dunno why; perhaps it has something to do with being twice the tools and half the speed that is preventing me from getting in that well needed practice. (lol)

OK, we're doing great here! Our next stop is at Scrumblers. Here we'll find all sorts of wonderful goodies -- from cards and stickers, to clothes, and even an ornament for the tree, or for hanging on the rearview mirror in our cars. How great is that?!!!

Finally, I know, I know! All this shopping! We Crochet Diva's have better things we'd rather be doing, huh? (heh heh heh) Well then, let it be said -- and let everyone else know what we'd rather be doing by adding this item as one of our must haves:  I'd Rather be Crocheting License Plate frame.

As for the Christmas stockings that will be hung with care ... lets request that they're filled with gift certificates to our local yarn shops!  J

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Going to the dogs?

I remember the first time I entered an item in the CraftAdventure for judging. There was a small pair of mittens with a ribbon on them. It appeared that the person who entered them loved their cat so much that they decided to harvest the hair the cat shed, and spin it into a beautiful fiber to create their entry called "Kitten's Mittens."

Since that time, I've read many interesting articles about people using their pets hair (unlike using the hair from what we traditionally think of ... sheep, llamas, rabbits, and such), and find the topic so interesting!

I am not a spinner (yet), but I do crochet with unspun roving that I purchase through various vendors. I'm not a pet owner either, so for me to get on this "utilizing your pet" bandwagon, like those in Michigan, will not be a possibility for me. However, like I stated, I do find it very interesting! This topic even made it into an issue of Crochet! magazine recently!

I think my daughter's favorite "pet hair" sighting was at The Big E in the Agricultural Building. There was a lady there showing off this tiny pony. And from her daily brushing of the pony's mane & tail, she collected within a years' timeframe enough fiber to spin into a yarn and knit up into a beautiful circular shawl.

If you click onto the above image, it will take you to the website that offers patterns you can use with your pet's fiber. Imagine having a pair of mittens, a sweater, a shawl, or throw created by your hand, possibly with your favorite pet watching near by. Now, that's what I'd call a gift of love!

I do want to note though, if you're going to do this, look into deodorizing the hair/fur. IMHO, nothing is worse than smelling like a wet dog. The website above will solve two problems for you ... spinning the fiber and deodorizing it. All you have to do is collect it, and they have suggestions on how to do that too.

If you intend to sell your finished pet hair projects, then I strongly recommend you look into what the law is in your state. Apparently, it's illegal to do so in the state of New Jersey.

Interested in learning more? Then check out these websites:
  • Test your dog's hair for spinnability
  • Wolf Tales
  • Spinning a Yarn
  • Clothes made from dog's hair! Why not?
  • Friday, November 26, 2004

    Making Room

    I forgot to mention earlier that I am making room for a new Yarn Tails design.  This means I'm putting the T-shirts "on sale"... mention this Journal entry and get one for $12 instead of $18.99 (plus S&H).

    You can click onto the image to view an actual sample of the T-shirt.

    What will be the next design?  You'll have to wait and see.  :)

    It's that time of year

    Well, it's that time of year -- it's finally arrived.  No, we're not talking about Christmas ...  we're talking about the Massive Leftover Season.  You know, turkey, ham, and such, with all the trimmings.   Mmmmmmm.

    And I'm wishing I had brought some home.  Pumpkin pie for breakfast sounds good right about now. (lol)

    So how was your Thanksgiving?  I had a great day and enjoyed the feast. I did control myself as I am trying to drop some weight.  I had read that you should sample everything offered. Only instead of eating a lot of it, you eat just two bites. This way you get the sensation without the guilt of overdoing it.  It seemed to work. I'm guilt free.

    I also crocheted up a beautiful scarf in browns ... I used Chinchilla, Eros with a sparse eyelash, and a tweed using a "K" hook for the entire project.  It's really pretty and I'm thinking (after laying it along the backside of my couch) that it would make a pretty pillow cover. (This is known as a WIM: Work in Mind -- something I really don't have time for right now and have to throw into the "FUTURE" category!) The scarf will make a great gift for one of the three teachers I'm creating these for.  The night before I crocheted one in a blue/purple theme.  It doesn't look finished to me so I'll spend today enjoying my children while also searching through my stash for that "right touch" to add to it.

    Now, to figure out where I can scrounge up a piece of pumpkin pie ...

    Wednesday, November 24, 2004

    Yeah, it's a sin

    Yesterday, my boss asked me to crochet a Santa Hat for him using Sinsation's red chenille and Cherry Tree's white eyelash yarn. Yeah, it's a sin. Both yarns are absolutely delicious! lol While I was at the store I got the band of the hat done and ensured the fit was right. I'll be working on the hat while at home and will bring it finished to the store next week.

    My Santa Hat will be an original creation ... but you can go to Lion Brand's website and get a free pattern to create your own.

    Since I'm not cooking T-giving dinner this will leave me lots of time to get caught up on much needed work ... including crochet. I think my biggest stress factor for tomorrow will be to sleep in, to ensure I make a vegetable dish in time, and to have a crochet project or two packed for taking to my SIL's. We've been sharing T-giving with my SIL's family since our first child was born; I really enjoy the time we spend together.

    I hope your Thanksgiving is memorable and enjoyable too! Happy Eats!! :D

    Tuesday, November 23, 2004


    I spent the day yesterday sorting and putting away various yarns from my stash. As I did so I found that I had to resist the temptation to run and get a hook and start working the various fibers up.  Thoughts like, "Oh, this would make a yummy sweater for ..." and "Wouldn't this make a great bag for..." and "This would be enjoyed as a baby..."  Having yarn speak to you, and insist upon using a crochet hook is amazing.  I wonder why they don't ask for me to pick up my knitting needles and get in that much needed practice ...

    The temptation was so great!  I did, however, remain focused.  I put many of them away -- in little vinyl zip bags to prevent them from getting dusty while awaiting their turn.  I did set aside some yarns, some very pretty yarns, to make the Teacher Scarves for this year.  If you visit my picturetrail album you can see a picture of last year's scarves that were crocheted for the Kindergarten teachers. This year, I'll be concentrating on the First Grade teachers.

    I also got to see my "newbie" hooker, Stephanie, yesterday.  She's been crocheting now for just a bit over a month and she reports that she's a Scarf-Making machine.  She's been going nonstop and plans on making everyone a scarf as a added gift this holiday season.  I think that's great that she's become so hooked!  :D

    OK, I'm off to teach today (and yes, that does mean I also get to look at potential new "adopties" to bring home and add to my yarn stash! lol)

    Monday, November 22, 2004

    Yikes! I had almost forgotten! I'm not prepared!

    Yesterday, my best friend reminded me of what comes after Thanksgiving.  And no, it's not Christmas, well, not necessarily Christmas.  How's that?  <<grins>>

    It's "Holiday Cards!"

    Yikes!  I had almost forgotten!  I'm not prepared!  Last year I had taken a picture of our road on a snowy day and then using my PC, I made beautiful cards.  The funny part is, only one neighbor recognized that it was our road! 

    I've been making our Holiday cards for close friends & family for a few years and enjoy doing it.  One year I had little snowmen on the cover of the cards and had glued on little crocheted scarves I had made.  They were a hit!

    Another year, Margaret Hubert showed our CGOA Chapter how to use store-bought cards and add a crocheted wreath to it.  They were beautiful!

    This year I plan on making the cards again, but no where near the production I had last year (over 150!).  I also plan on using store-bought cards too since I'm having trouble with my printer.  (just because they're not entirely made from scratch doesn't mean that the sentiment isn't there, because it is!)

    We send the Holiday cards out to keep tradition alive; to celebrate life.  And whether they are store bought or handmade shouldn't matter.  It's the thought that counts.

    How to add crochet to your Holiday Cards
    First decide if the crocheted item/cards will fit all religions that you will be sending them to.  If not, consider doing two, three, or more versions that would be "politically correct" but still from the heart.

    Then do a search on the Internet.  Sheila sent me a link for wreaths which would work wonderfully.  As would Snowflakes.  Or for those of the Jewish faith, how about a Star of David (use thread instead of yarn to make it smaller & lighter for attaching to a Holiday card)

    Once you have your crocheted item, and it's been blocked (if needed), just glue it to the card.  Or, if it's to become an ornament, attach a hanging thread and tape it to the inside of the card.  Or, if it's to become a refrigerator magnet, glue a small magnet onto the inside of the card, and glue a magnet to the crocheted item.  BE SURE that they are glued on so that they ATTRACT to each other!  :)

    Sunday, November 21, 2004

    Zooming in on Crochet

    My son enjoyed his Birthday; he didn't receive any crochet kits as gifts but there was a crochet sighting.   If you watch the movie "The Incredibles" you'll see it.  They kind of zoom in on it for just a bit -- enough so that you can make out a bit of stitch detail.  And for them to do that, considering that it's a computer generated movie, that's amazing!  No, it's better than that.  It's (drum roll please) "Incredible!" (lol -- oh! I couldn't resist!  lol)

        When to spot it? ... when the main character, Bob Parr (aka Mr. Incredible), is helping a little old lady out with insurance claims while they're in his tiny cubicle.

         Overall impression of the movie:  Good.  The whole family liked it but I found it disturbing in spots.  I wasn't prepared that there'd be so much shooting.  Especially when the cronies fire upon the children.   We spent the evening last night fielding many questions from the kids, and no doubt will be discussing this for awhile.

    Today we'll be spending time with my best friend and her family.  She's been crocheting since her childhood too.  Can you believe that we never got together and shared our crocheting until after we had kids?  lol  ... I know! 

    It's so good to be out of the closet!  I think more people would enjoy it more once they come out of the "crocheter's closet" and share it with others.  Take my new internet pal Sheila for example.  We met on a message board a few months back.  Now in reading her blog (link is to the left), Sheila's Web Journal, I find that she's totally hooked!  Give her a visit and see if you agree!  <<Grins>>

    OK, it's rare that I'm up at 5:00 in the morning so I'm going to try & catch some more Zzzzzz's.  I haven't forgotten about the promised pictures -- they're coming!  :)

    Saturday, November 20, 2004

    Jo Goff

    I never met Jo in real life.  I came to know her through the Internet.  She was sweet, she was caring.  She was funny, and always brought me a smile with her emails. 

    When I first joined the Cafe Crochet group known as Crochet Partners, she was one of the first to welcome me to the group.

    We kept tabs on each other, and when my group was doing a drive for crocheted Preemie Blankets and hats she mailed me some.  She didn't have to; she just did.  She had a heart of gold, and loved her family dearly.

    Today, sadly, I learned that she passed away.  My heart is saddened.  I will miss my Internet Crochet Friend.

    I hope her family treasures the items she crocheted from the heart, and that their memories of her help soothe their pain.  My deepest sympathies go out to the family of Jo Goff.  God bless.

    Thursday, November 18, 2004

    'tis the season ... really? already?

    'tis the season ... to be starting to spaz that Christmas is only 36 days away.  Was I the only one that noticed that the day after the elections that the airways began to be filled with commercials for Christmas?  That's way too soon.  I was delighted, after passing many houses last night on our way home to find one home celebrating Thanksgiving instead of Christmas.  (I can't believe so many have their Christmas/Hanukkah lights on already!!!)

    I've been getting emails from family members asking what my children would like as gifts.  Clothes and books are my first replies.  They have so many toys that they don't all fit in the toy boxes.  I'd get rid of some, but they tend to play with them all.  They DO notice when one disappears, so it's not like they're saying that they play with it, they actually do. 

    So with 36 days until THE day, let it be known that I am an early shopper.  I start on January 1st.  I'm done by November 30th.  Finding me in a store in December is, well, rare.  I'm what I call the "hit & run" kind of shopper.  I know what I'm looking for, I go in, I get it, I leave.  Unless, that is, we're talking about yarn.  Uh huh.  I say to the staff, "I'm gonna be there awhile.  Is that a lunch order being phoned in?  Can I get in on that?  I'm gonna be here awhile.  Thanks."

    Now finding gifts for my daughter is a breeze.  Finding them for my son is a challenge.  It has nothing to do with him being picky.  Rather, he's not.  He's a very sweet boy that appreciates whatever is given to him.  My problem is WHAT's offered on the market.

    I DON'T want him playing with items that promote violence.  Every action figure comes with a knife or gun.  Most vehicles are "ARMY."  Nearly everything I look at seems to be grossly disfigured.  What is this?  Why is this?  Even Lego's promote toys that tend to have a violent flavor.  Why can't toys be made to promote good things?  Why can't Barbies go back to being offered in yellow packaging, geared for both genders as they did when they were first produced?  Here's a few marketing ideas I had:
         A. a rock climber (perhaps it includes where thekid has to build the wall/rocks to scale and learns about harnesses & such)
         B. a cyclist (like that guy that had cancer & won all those competitions ... I just can't remember his name at the moment)
         C. a chemist (perhaps it includes a simple chem set for the kid to experiment with basic HARMLESS chemicals and see the results)
         D.  an architect (perhaps it could include how to build a bird house or something along those lines)

    I could go on, but surely these are better for our children than teaching them that violence is OK.  Right?

    So, the challenge is on to find gifts for him that don't promote violence.  I may have mentioned that one of the things the kids are asking for this year are new comforter sets.  They stated that they're "...a bit old for Winnie the Pooh" and are each asking for something more fitting for what they're interested in.

    I found on the Domestications website a cute comforter set of Dinosaurs.  I showed my son and he seemed OK with the idea.  Then in today's mail, their catalog arrived and he leafed through it.  He found the same one and said it looks better in the catalog and that he'd love to have it. OK.  That problem is solved. (lol)

    Now it was my turn to flip through the catalog and what I found was a hand-crocheted cotton coverlet for $59.99 and hand-crocheted cotton tablecloths for $24.99 -- both very pretty.   (Check out the image on the right; click onto it and it will lead you to the Domestications website.)

    It's quite sad that they can offer hand crocheted items at such an "affordable" price in comparison to the crochet bag shown in an advertisement in the December 2004 issue of ELLE magazine -- it's being offered for $1,850 (only available at a Chanel Boutique).  Can you imagine how much the coverlet would cost if Chanel slapped it's label on it?  ... I think it would be more justified.

    My point in bringing this up is that if you can afford it, buy it.  After all, your purchase DOES help someone somewhere around the world to afford to put food on their table.  But if you can afford (the time) to MAKE it yourself, then go for it!! Although with 36 days left, you may want to consider it to be a gift for NEXT year! As for us, my husband and I will be giving the kids a lot of art sets -- from crocheting to paint by numbers. J

    Wednesday, November 17, 2004

    Checking In

    It's been an exhaustive few days ... the "ice cream" cone cake came out great and my son reported that it was a hit with his class.

    I just finished Parent-Teacher conferences and the news was all good.  The kids, btw, did great on their report cards -- straight A's with the exception of their handwriting.  There they got a B ... we're quite proud of them!  One of the things we did address was my daughter's apparent shyness -- about everything it seems EXCEPT crochet!  The teacher is pleased that my daughter is using her fondness for the craft as a way to break out of her little shell ... if you'll recall, she's been making little crochet kits and giving them to her schoolmates and teaching them on the playground.  This of course also led her to wanting her own website to help promote crochet (and other fiber arts) to childern: Casey's Crochet

    Also, my contract arrived for the poncho.  I finally finished selecting the yarns for the new poncho and will set to work on it soon.  First I need to write up a Bio for the book.  Here's what I can tell you about the book:

    My poncho will be one of 30-35 original designs for crocheted ponchos that will vary in skill levels (meaning it will be great for beginners to advanced level crocheters).  It will feature all types of yarn and stitches.  The title, what they refer to as the "working title" is Stylish Ponchos to Crochet.  Of course they can change the name, but this is what they're thinking right now.  The book will come out sometime in 2005.

    Whew!  OK, I'm off!  I gotta go get changed.  We're taking the Birthday Boy out for dinner tonight.  It should be a fun time!

    Monday, November 15, 2004


    We met the challenge!  The 30 Scarves in 30 Days was met ... thank you to all that helped meet this challenge that will really help those in need this winter!

    I took some pictures and hope to post them sometime this week -- I will be "aloof" for the next several days as I am preparing for my son's birthday.  Such as right now as I have "Ice Cream" baking in the oven (just omit the cupcake papers and use an ice cream cone ... fill it with the cake mix and bake.  Then ice when cool.  It's a hit with young kids.) 

    His birthday is on Wednesday, and his party is on Saturday.  Report cards come out tomorrow, and then parent-teacher conferences start on Wednesday.  I told him I got him a crochet kit for his birthday ... I didn't.  I would though if he showed more interest.  I told him he could crochet himself a matchbox car ... uh oh!  he's sounding like he's liking this idea!  LOL

    I'll be poking my head in once & awhile this week ... it's just that Birthdays are a big deal here!  Happy Crocheting & thanks again for helping the Challenge be so successful!  :)

    Sunday, November 14, 2004

    Happy Grins

    Today is it -- the end of the 30 Scarves in 30 Days Challenge.

    While we await the results to see if we officially met the Challenge, I thought I'd share a comic that I've altered the punchline to. The first image (uncolored) is the original.   Enjoy!


    Saturday, November 13, 2004

    Wha? Snnnooooww??!

    On Thursday, we had nearly 60 degree weather here in Connecticut.  Today, right now as a matter of fact, looking out my kitchen window, there's two inches of fresh white snow on the ground!!!  It's beautiful, but too early in the season!

    I'll be off teaching crochet today, so the commute should be interesting.  Hopefully the roads will be clear, or at least sanded.

    I did manage to crochet up some more scarves for the challenge yesterday, and I'm glad that Robin corrected the count I had posted for her.   I'm hoping that we'll be able to meet the challenge by tomorrow.   Here's the breakdown:

    30 Scarves in 30 Days: (days remaining: 1)
    ....From Cris of Danbury (all knitted):       1 scarf and 5 hats
    ....As posted by Robin Anderson:                 4 preemie caps for the U. Of MD NICU (Jamie)
                                                                   2 purple scarfs for the YWCA Shelter in my church (Caron)
                                                                   2 adult purple hats (to go with the scarfs) for the YWCA Shelter in my church
    ...From Lori of Greenwich:                       1 scarf
    ...From Ang W (via email):                        1 scarf went to homeless shelter in St. Stephens
    ... and from new crocheter, Stephanie, of New Fairfield:  1 scarf

    and I now have 20 scarves done (plus a hat) ....
    that brings us to 28 of the 30 Scarves in 30 days Challenge!!
    This means we need just TWO more scarves by tomorrow!  I know that together, we can do it!  And I know, in looking at the fresh snow outside, that they will surely help in keeping those in need a bit warmer this upcoming winter season!  :)

    Friday, November 12, 2004

    Lions and Tigers, oh my!

    I thought we'd never find our way out of that room!  Even at 8:00 last night, we were busy putting the kids beds back together and getting toys sorted out.  With as much as we accomplished, I've come to an executive and design decision.

    Never again -- ever again! -- will I trim a blanket in fun fur!

    We are a family devoid of pets.  No cats, no dogs.  No birds, no fish.  No gerbils, no lizards.  Nope, nadda one pet.

    But seeing us in public, one might think we had a lion!

    You see, it all started last winter with an argument over a flannel wrap I crocheted the fur onto.  My son liked the way it felt and kept taking it and using it as his blankie.  I, on the other hand, would have to go on Mission Impossible, including tip toeing (which is a physically painful for me) to get it back while he was alseep.

    To solve the problem I bought a fleece panel from the local fabric store.  He loved it and swore he'd only use this as his blanket if I crocheted the fur on.  After all, it was a panel of lions and tigers, and adding fur DID seem like the logical thing to do.

    But never owning a lion or tiger in my life, I had no idea how much those things shed in real life, never mind in imaginary life.

    And that's the problem here.  The fur is not holding.  It's coming off -- sheding off! -- the blanket and is EVERYWHERE!  It's on clothing.  It's on furniture.  It's imbedded into the carpeting.  It's just Everywhere!  While looking at my vacuum cleaner, and in my best Scotty voice I said to my husband, "I don't think it can take the strain, Jim!"

    So I threw this blanket back into the wash -- and between the washing and drying cycles more of the fur was removed.

    The blanket edging doesn't look at glorious as it once did, but at least I now know that I learned a valuable lesson. Don't put fur on a blanket!

    A Side Note:  Most people forget visiting the zoo during the winter.  If you click onto the tiger image here, it will lead you to the Bronx Zoo.  For my family, visiting in the winter is awesome.  There's no bugs, no crowds.  You can actually stand the heat in the reptile and bird buildings without passing out.  AND ... it's a time to see animals that love the cold really get active.  One year we went and actually got to see Snow Leapards playing in the snow!  :)

    Thursday, November 11, 2004

    Thank Them

    I am home with the kids today.  It will be a day of well needed cleaning.  After all, I cannot recall the color of the carpet in their room, find my son's gym clothes, or reach my "gift closet" that's in their room to put some items away.  I'm also in need of using their small bodies to snake between the wall and the wraparound couch to pick up fallen tapestry needles, crochet hooks, and the such.

    So, before I enlist them into cleaning service, I want to make a special note that we should Thank a Vet today.  Heck, let's thank them all!  In time of war, and in time of peace, these men and women served to help protect our freedoms.  And I think that a little recognition and gratitude are well deserved by these people. 

    If you don't know a vet, thank your parents and your grandparents.  Perhaps they didn't serve under a branch of our government, but I'm sure they made sacrifices somewhere down the line to support our troops.

    Perhaps it was the way they gave up luxury items to ensure our troops got needed supplies.  Perhaps they volunteered to care for Vets in the hospital.  Perhaps they wore their clothing thin so they could save their money and purchase scarce yarn to crochet or knit up scarves, socks, vests and such for those serving in the military.  Either way, thank them.  Thank someone for the freedoms we all enjoy today.

    In the line of thinking of scarves, I crocheted three yesterday.  And this means it's time for another update:

    30 Scarves in 30 Days: (days remaining: 3)
    ....From Cris of Danbury (all knitted):       1 scarf and 5 hats
    ....As posted by Robin Anderson:                 8 preemie hats (NICU at University of MD hospital),
                                                                   1 scarf (to go to YMCA homeless shelter) and
                                                                   1 "Crochet for the Cure" (Lion Brand) scarf, the YWCA Homeless shelter
                                                                       2 adult hats (Lion Woolspun) for the YWCA Shelter in my church
                                                                   1 scarf (Red Heartblue varigated) for the YWCA Shelter.
    ...From Lori of Greenwich:                      1 scarf
    ...From Ang W (via email):                      1 scarf went to homeless shelter in St. Stephens
    ... and from new crocheter, Stephanie, of New Fairfield:  1 scarf

    and I now have 18 scarves done (plus a hat) ....
    that brings us to 23 of the 30 Scarves in 30 days Challenge!!

    Three days to go -- seven scarves needed to meet the Challenge.

                                                        Together, we CAN do it!!

    If you'd like to aid in meeting this challenge, just knit or crochet up a scarf.  Then post here, or email me that you are donating a scarf -- don't forget to mention the charity you'll be giving it to!  We're looking to meet the 30 Scarves in 30 Days Challenge on November 14th!  Experienced and New crocheters and knitters are welcomed to participate!  ....and if you're looking for pattern to try, check out the free pattern I have on my website at

    Wednesday, November 10, 2004

    Two New "Reads" Captivate Me

    Bead and Button Magazine.  I've raved about it before, and today is no different.  I received my latest issue (Dec 2004) last week, but today was the first day I had the luxury of leafing through it, and dropping my jaw in pure awe.

    Featured in this month's issue is a stunning crocheted and beaded bowl designed by Carol Ventura -- renown for the tapestry Crochet technique.  In reading her pattern that coincides with the beading technique, I can see myself getting drawn into brainstorming ... into coming up with a wealth of possibilities of designs created easily with the technique she describes in this issue. (excuse me for a moment while I wipe my chin of excess drool.)

    For more information about this fantastic magazine, you can visit their official website at Color Works: The Crafter's Guide to or if you'd like to subscribe to it and save some money at the same time, you can visit the website known as .

     I've also been reading the book, Color Works: The Crafter's Guide to Color, and just love it!  This book was created for the fiber artist in all of us -- and helps explain the relationships hue, contrast, and more have to do with color, and how they react to each other.  I'm really looking forward to learning why certain colors work together rather than by going by intuition.  I think knowing how the relationships between colors work will help me in future projects I create. J

    PS: I chatted with my Mom on the phone tonight and let the cat out of the bag ... I told her how I secretly submitted one of her afghans for judging this past summer, and revealed what the judge had to say. She seemed happy to hear the news although there were no ribbons awarded. (Alright Mom!)

    Tuesday, November 9, 2004

    Searching ...

    I seem to be getting over this allergic reaction; my eyes are not nearly as swollen. Sensitive, yes, but better than yesterday.

    I added a new page to my website. Thought you, my readers, may enjoy playing with it while having your favorite morning beverage: Crochet Word Search.  I got the idea to create the page after making the Anniversary Notebook for my Crochet group. 

    Feel free to let me know how well you do with it.

    Also, for those that are asking about yesterday's entry:
        The poncho pattern will be published in 2005 through Lark Publishing.  I'm waiting for them to send the contract to make it absolutely official!  In the meantime, I'll be off shopping for the new colorway fibers today.

    Monday, November 8, 2004

    Oh, Say Can You See ...

    I look like a cyborg today.  Not nearly as figuress as "Seven of Nine" ... but still feeling a bit like a cyborg.  I'm just not sure of which "collective" I'd belong to.

    I awoke with swollen eyes and a red nose.  It's an allergic reaction.  To what, who knows.  Mold, dust, you get the picture.  I spent the day washing my eyes out with Visine, or with water.  It seems to help.  The swelling has gone down, but I still feel like a scary being.

    Reading emails, or even working on my journal entry has been an on & off challenge.  I type this entry tonight with my eyes closed.  Resting. 

    This just isn't a good time to having an allergic reaction!  I have some SERIOUS crocheting to do!

    You see, I just got word that my poncho (see picture on the right) will be featured in an upcoming publication. This means that I need to write up the EXACT pattern, but in a different colorway.  I'm so excited!  So now, you can see (no pun intended) on why I need to have my eyes back to normal! (lol)

    I do have a new update for the 30 scarves in 30 Days Challenge
         Cris of Danbury donated three more knitted hats
         and I completed two more scarves.

    There's still time to get in on the Challenge ... Six days remaining!

    Saturday, November 6, 2004

    Warmth and Awareness

    As I was sitting here eating my "pink lid" yogurt (I'm saving the lids to send in!) I was reading the online news article N.D. Women Put 'Art Bras' on Display" and was reminded of last month: Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    The article states that four of the ladies that participated in this display are cancer survivors, and the theme of the display is to raise awareness.  As I read on, three words caught my eye: knitted breast warmers.

    I want to state, before going any further, that I write my journal/blog entries here so that all ages can read it.  I do not want to put up any disclaimers stating that it has a "PG," "R" or "X" rating.  I like keeping it as a "G" -- for general audiences. However, if you're uncomfortable with this topic, please stop reading here. I also ask that my readers not expand this topic to "willies" (if you get my drift). Thank you, I greatly appreciate it.

    So, going forward with this topic, I did a search on knitted breast warmers as I wanted to know what they were.

    What my search lead to was informative webpages of breast models that are knitted and used for teaching new Moms about breast feeding(I also found a link for knitted uteruses, but that's a whole different body part & topic that I'll leave up to someone else to discuss.)  I also did a search for crocheted breast warmers but could not find any links. I'm sure there's something out there on them, I just haven't found it/them yet.

    In one website, they stated that:

    "Breast warmers are sewn from soft, thin silk and wool fabric. The breast warmers are slipped inside the bra, and they are flexible enough to adapt to the mother’s measurements. The warmers are also large enough to cover the entire breast. Breast warmers are washed by hand using a wool-washing agent. The warmers are air-dried at room temperature. It is good to have two pairs, for continuous use."

    Based on this description, crocheting a pair wouldn't be too difficult. I would imagine one would start by crocheting in the round using a fiber that they found to be soft next to their skin ...

    Looking back at my own experience as a new mother just a few years ago, I can think back to times when such an item would have been quite handy.  But even though I did not have such an item, or a pair as recommended above, I can't help but think how much better I had it than my great, great grandmother's did.  After all, they lived during a time when they crocheted their camisoles and wore corset's. How on earth did they manage? And geesh!  What did they wear for maternity clothing?

    Yeah, in light of the past, we sure have it easy!  And, knitted or crocheted breast warmers aside, we're fortunate.  Today we have programs to help raise awareness of how important early detection is! 

    "Six Chix" gets my Goat

    I visited the King Features Syndicate website and began laughing.

    I was laughing so hard, my children came to see what kind of mischief I was getting into.  :}

    What got "my goat" was an introduction to the comic artist Kathryn LeMieux.  Many, many moons ago someone sent me the link to one of her comics about crocheting. The caption read, "Enid, for the love of God, put that crochet hook DOWN!!" The picture has a woman crocheting madly with her husband being the one demanding she put the hook down.  The reason?  Because her house is FILLED with crocheted items. Even the poor dog is covered in crochet! Crochet Comic What a riot!! ... the name of the comic strip is "Six Chix" and it's done on a rotation with six artists instead of one.

    So besides the one I just described as tickling my funny bone, the one they have featured for October 22 is quite good too ...hahaha ... craftaholics! This is just too funny! -- and too true!!!  (LOL)  If you'd like to see more of this comic strip, just click onto the cartoon and it will take you directly to the website.

    On the Crochet Homefront, I'll be spending the day getting my "homework assignments" done for tomorrow's Anniversary Workshop.  It should be quiet in the house as hubby & kids will be outside surveying the huge pine tree that came down during yesterday's 52 mph winds (that's wind speed higher than that of a tropical storm!).  Yeah, it freaked me out a bit because I was in the basement tending laundry when the earth "shook" from this massive tree hitting the ground. Fortunately no one was hurt, and nothing was damaged.  (Of course IF anything HAD been damaged, I'm sure I could have just whipped out my crochet hook & yarn, along with my trusty glue gun ... lol)

    Friday, November 5, 2004

    Promoting Crochet

    Yesterday my Crochet Club was at our local hospital doing a Crochet Demonstration & Donation event.  We had two tables set up in the main lobby filled with Crochet Treasures.  Many people complimented our work and were happy to see that we were utilizing our talents to benefit those in need.  At the end of the day we donated 100 hats to the Cancer Ward. That really felt great!

    It was also fun to meet Katie, a lady that belongs to the yahoo group called
    ConnecticutCrochet.  Apparently she was at the hospital for training and saw us setting up. She came over to the table and asked if Dee was around. I heard my name and looked over to her with a smile and said, "Hi, I'm Dee."  She smiled back and said, "Oh, I so wanted to meet you. But you don't look anything like your pictures on the Internet!" (Hmmmm. I wonder, is that a good thing, or a bad thing? lol   What do you, my readers, think?  Do I need to put up new pictures?)  It was a delight to get to meet Katie, and hopefully she will be able to join us for some crochet fun in the future.

    Now, today, I'll be preparing goodie bags and commemorative notebooks for my club's upcoming 3rd Year Anniversary Celebration.  
    Margaret Hubert will be our Special Instructor on Sunday. She'll be teaching Freeform Crochet.  Grafton Fibers will be making our delicious Commemorative Hooks this year. ...Oh, I love our Anniversary Celebrations! They're so much fun!!   :)

    Thursday, November 4, 2004

    Getting the Word Out

    Yesterdays Crochet, Coffee and Crochet chat was great! Six of us showed up for the morning session and had a lot of fun together.

    Teach Yourself Visually Knitting and Crocheting
    I got to leaf through the new book, Teach Yourself Visually Knitting and Crocheting and liked what it had to offer. I didn't adopt it -- yet! -- but I am thinking about it. Mostly because of my inexperience with my knitting. I did manage to knock out a scarf, and that brings me to our update on the 30 Scarves in 30 Days Challenge:

    The current count is:
          1 scarf and two hats from Cris of Danbury
          1 scarf as posted by Robin Anderson (scarf to go to YMCA homeless shelter) along with 4 preemie hats for the NICU at University of MD hospital (Jaimie yarn) and 1 "Crochet for the Cure" (Lion Brand) scarf, the YWCA Homeless shelter
          1 scarf from Lori of Greenwich
          1 scarf from Ang W (scarf went to homeless shelter in St. Stephens)
          and I now have 13 done ....
    that brings us to 18 of the 30 Scarves in 30 days Challenge.

     Also, check it out on the right: AOL has picked up on this Challenge and is helping to promote it. To see for yourself, go to AOL Keyword: Hobby and you'll see a link to me which leads to my original post on this challenge!

    There are 10 days of this challenge left -- plenty of time for you to participate if you'd like. Any skill level can do it, from beginner to advanced, and it can be done in crochet or knit.

    Just make a scarf and pick a charity to donate it to. Send me an email, or leave me a comment here to get added to our growing list. Together, we CAN make a difference! :)

    Wednesday, November 3, 2004

    I'm a Novice

    I received an email from my knitting instructor, Kathleen Power Johnson, inquiring about how my knitting was coming along. She stated that the next time she sees me, she wants to see a finished *knitted* sweater. Hmmm. I'll have to borrow one from someone (lol) as I really haven't had time to get back to it.

    I found this quiz on knitting and started laughing when I saw the answer. Oh, it's so true! LOL

    I was at the Knit Together store yesterday when a customer asked me about a knit scarf they had on display. She wanted to make it thinner than the display and I could not for the life of me remember what you call the loops you put on the needles -- are they called loops? stitches? Eish! I so need to get back to practicing or Kathie will have my head! (LOL)

    Knitting Novice
    You appear to be a Knitting Novice. You might be just taking up the hobby and still
    feel a bit intimidated by the whole process.

    You might not know a purl from a knit stitch
    and those cryptic codes that others call
    "patterns" seem pretty intimidating,
    but it's something you've been meaning to learn
    and you are having fun trying.

    What Kind of Knitter Are You?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    I know I was going to give a scarf update, but that will have to happen either tomorrow or Friday. I'm getting ready to spend the morning at our monthly Coffee, Crochet & Chat session that we hold at our local Borders, and tomorrow will be our Demonstration & Donation at our local Hospital. So much crochet! Oh I love it!

    Tuesday, November 2, 2004

    I survived!

    I survived!

    The car was repaired (the dealership took full responsibility), and I had a great day getting to see the kids at school.  We even took time to do a little shopping, and that meant checking out some new yarn that Walmart had (I didn't purchase any and I think that may have confused the kids a bit. lol)

    To the right is my daughter wearing her St. Mary costume.  She was nervous about speaking in front of such a large group of people but she did quite well.  I was really proud of her.

    See the rope around her head and waist?  I made that.  See the trim on the head piece, and along the bottom of her robe?  That's crocheted!

    During lunch duty one of the girls in my daughter's class came up to me and wanted to know how to "anchor" her stitches (meaning how to build rows), so I showed her.  Then the little girl went and grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down what I told her:

    "yern over put hook in
     yern over put hook out
     yern over agen and pull threw all"

    Can you guess the stitch she's trying to learn how to make?  Yep, it's the half-double. 

    I loved getting to spend some quite moments reading through Pauline's book yesterday, and nearly finished another scarf.  I think tomorrow I'll update the totals for our 30 Scarves in 30 Days Challenge

    For now, I need to prepare for my classes , and get out to Vote.  I hope to do it this morning, and to do so with my children.  I want to help pass onto them the responsibility of exercising our freedom to do so

    Monday, November 1, 2004

    Take Me Away!

    It's going to be a long day.

    I can tell just by the tone of my phone ringing at 6:45. 

    Yes, it was my husband, and yes, his car broke down.  And this is the morning after getting the goblins home fairly late (for them) on what is known as a school night.  And this is the morning that my daughter will be wearing that costume that consumed last weekend and nearly cost me my sanity...And today is also a half-day for the children.  I really feel as though I need to be in one of those Calgon commercials.  Do you remember those?  The sales pitch was, "Calgon, take me away!" 

    So, while we're having hubby's car towed to the dealership (after all, we just had the car tuned up by them, and "replaced parts" suggested by them, to the tune of $500 just two weeks ago) to have them deal with this mess, I'm getting ready to spend the most of my day at the kids school ... from watching the kids celebrate All Saints Day, to doing lunch duty, to having to taxi them back home.

    In the times when I'm not needed today, I'll be happily reading my new book.  Well, actually, it's not a NEW book, but it's new to me.  It's called "The Technique of Crochet" by Pauline Turner and it was published in 1987.   I've already leafed through the book and it looks like it's going to be very interesting!  (So instead of Calgon taking me away, I'll have Pauline! lol)  I have to thank a member of the Crochet Partners for pointing this book out to me.  :)