Saturday, December 31, 2005

Top 5 for 2005 and Champagne Wishes

Still on "camp couch" preparing for the New Year to arrive in just mere hours, I decided to give thought to which were my favorite five entries for 2005. 

Lady Luck approves of Dee's color choices for this Overlay Crochet pieceI decided I needed one for humor:

            Interview with Madonna

one for knowledge:

            Did Ewe Know: The Value of Crochet

one for compassion:

            Finally ...

one for a new technique learned:

             Overlay Crochet

and one where my readers got involved to help make a difference:

             Angels: do you believe?

It was really hard to choose so I hope you enjoyed these, and all the others here at CrochetWithDee throughout the past year.  If you had a favorite and it didn't make it to my Top 5, feel free to share with me which you liked best.  :)

  To all my Readers I send you Champagne Wishes for the New Year.  Like champagne, may your New Year be bright, bubbly, and full of crochet projects!

PS:  Hubby says Champagne has nothing to do with crochet.  I had to remind him that Champagne is also considered a fiber color.  I might be under the weather but I still have my sense of humor!  ((grins))

Friday, December 30, 2005

"CrochetWithDee" -- A Contender?

I have officially given in to the Christmas Germs/Gift my son gave to me.  I battled it since Christmas Day and it now has the best of me.  So with throat on fire, and all the aches & pains that come with it, I'll be spending the day under the covers over on "camp couch."  Anyone wishing to call & speak to me forgetaboutit!  A giraffe has a louder voice than I do at the moment!  Agh!

But don't feel bad for me that I'm under the weather for I have discovered that I've been nominated as a contender for top "
Knit or Craft" blogs! Whachoo!  (sorry about that, it should have read "Whoohoo!")  Thanks; I'm honored!!

Will my blog/journal win?  I dunno.  I think it depends upon how many others go over there and second the nomination and so forth. 

Wouldn't it be great if a crochet blog won?  I think it would be fantastic for the step-sister (aka Crochet ain the roll of Cinderella) of the fiber arts to be in the lime light it so deserves!  Hmmm.  In rereading that last sentence it sure sounds like an indirect request to go vote for my blog/journal here.  Hey, and that sentence just goes ahead and spells it out a little clearer, huh?  Goodness!  That doesn't sound like something I'd do -- what's in this cough syrup anyway???

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Child Labor Pays Off -- BIG Time!

The beauty of children receiving toys needing assembly -- something they can assemble on their own while Mommy works on a secret project -- is that the kits contain small parts.  And, as Murphy's Law would have it, Lady Luck left our house yesterday (to visit another crocheter in need) and this does of course mean that some of the small parts have been "lost."

                 So what's a parent to do?

... Yes, we make the child, or in this case -- the children,  look for the missing part! ... and while they're doing so, you see if you can get them to clean in the deepest, darkest sections of the couch (hey, who says that the missing part(s) aren't there????) in hopes they'll find all those crochet supplies that have mysteriously disappeared while working on important projects --  You know, to send the children into the places where even the vacuum cleaner can't get to! 

               Whhaa ha hah ha ha!

So as I had the children searching for a lost tire that goes to a model car I pressed them into service to find my own missing items.   I did this because the children are still quite young and this means they have small hands that can reach into tight spaces.  Yes, that's right -- child labor!  LOL  Their tiny hands were purr-fect (that's Batman lingo for perfect!) for squeezing down between the cushions & such!  And boy! were they productive!!

Did they find the tire?  No.  But what they did find was six metal crochet hooks and nine tapestry needles.  They also found a tape measurer, and a pair of scissors.  Beads.  Pencils. Pens. And some freeform scrumbles I've beensearching everywhere for!

 Wow!! That was one darn hungry couch that had no problem munching up crochet supplies!  Geesh!

                 Thanks Kids!  :)

  If you are unable to read this entry, please visit Dee's Blog directly.  Thanks  :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


The best thing about the year ending is that you can reflect upon what the year was.  It's good sides, it's bad.  It's happy times, and it's sad times. 

So with much apology, and much delight, I'd like to announce the conclusion of the free drawing I offered back in June(Were you all wondering what ever happened?  Who had won?)

First let me explain what had happened to cause the delay. 

I was approached and asked if I had anything I could donate to a local fund raiser for Juvenile Diabetes.  With the cause being so great that benefits children I opted to offer all the pairs of earrings I had crocheted up thinking I had plenty of time to create more.  In retrospect I should have held back a pair as life happens; things get pushed onto the proverbial back burner to make time for the more pressing.  I hadn't forgotten; I just got derailed.  Until today!

So because I was so slow in announcing the winner I decided there should be two winners!  My children each picked a number and now without further delay, the winners are Lisa and Sandra!  (both have been contacted via email and will receive hand-crocheted earrings created by me along with a donation made to the American Cancer Society either in their name or another name of their choosing).  Crochet-ulations!!!

I'd like to thank everyone that participated, and thank those that shared their cancer stories with me.  Hopefully, with the New Year just days away, 2006 will be the year they find the cure!  J

Just heard from Sandra:

Dear Dee,
Thank you so much! I never win anything so this is very exciting. I had truly forgotten about the drawing, so this is a wonderful surprise!  Please make the contribution in honor of my Dad.
Thank you so much again for this wonderful gift.

Update 12/30/05: Lisa has checked in too:

I had forgotten all about this. Have you seen the Christensen scarf pattern at the Lionbrand site? A lady designed these and was selling them and giving the proceeds to a cancer related group (support or research, i forget which). I made a bunch and am giving some away. Please make the donation in memory of my grandmother.
Thanks again,

That's awesome you're donating some of your scarves, Lisa!  ... And for those that would like to see all the scarves Lisa
has been crocheting up, give her a visit at

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Dee to put hooks down & head back to school? Say it isn't so!

After giving it much thought, I have decided it's time for me to put my hooks down and go back to school.  I have decided that since I have children that it's very important to get a Masters Degree in how to effectively open packaged toys!  I don't understand why the manufacturers need to have the toys taped down, sewn down, and wired down to cardboard with plastic molded protectors placed over the various pieces that are then taped down and then placed into a box that is also taped down with cardboard tabs that refuse to give access to it's inner contents.  Two down, a mountain more awaits my "expertise."  Eish!  Thank goodness for scissors, wire cutters and sheer luck! 

And thank goodness for the simplicity of crochet.  I mean, how difficult is it to open a skein of yarn??? 

Santa knew I was good this year and if you recall, wanted to take me out shopping to replenish my yarn stash.  I had said no to yarn but did opt for some other rather cool crochet toys. -- toys, that is, that are easy to open!  ((Hmmmmm, maybe I was rash in thinking I should give up my crocheting to pursue opening toy packages for my children.  Maybe they'd be happy just looking at the toys unopened??))

The items in the photo above are all from Lacis with the exception of the crochet hook cards. (The cards are from CafePress & while I'm mentioning them I do want to say that I'm tickled how they came through for me this year!  They really went the extra mile to ensure I got my order in time for the holidays!)   The hat frame is one of the neatest in the grouping -- it's light weight and is just beckoning me to crochet something fancy for it.  The three crochet hooks are for my collection:  a Bullion Hook, a hand carved hook from India, and a most beautiful Abalone hook.   Mmmmm mmmmm mmmmm mmmmm MMMMMm!  I can't wait to take them all out on a "test drive."

The item in the far corner is a hairpin lace fork that is touted as a loop flower device.  I already have a few hairpin lace forks; I was more interested in the instructions that came with it.  It's a shame I don't know how to read Japanese, but lucky for me it comes with illustrations!  Whoohoo!  This toy is just screaming "experiment!!"  The other little gadget there is one of those doodads for coin purses.  Don't know what I'm going to use it for, but it's always fun to have items like that in your stash -- you know, in case inspiration hits.  ((Grins))

Not pictured is a book on the "Essence of Japanese Braiding," and a video that was recommended by Noreen Crone-Findlay called, "What the Bleep Do We Know?"  So it looks like if I don't opt to get that advanced degree in package opening, at least I have the option to expand my mind and my art ... and I think that's just great!

The best gift I received, or should I say "we," is that my husband had the day prior, the day of, and the day after Christmas off.  I don't recall him ever being with us for a major holiday for this length of time!  And that kind of gift is priceless!  :)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Crunching, er Crocheting, After the Holidays

 Now that the holiday crunch is pretty much over, it's time to get back to the business of hooking!  Yippee!!

On Thursday I showed images of the scarves I crocheted as teacher's gifts -- "hugs" -- from my children. And in the description I mentioned that one of the scarves featured one of my favorite stitches: The Crunch Stitch.

And since then many of you have been contacting me asking what that stitch is ... it sounds to me that you're ready to set aside all the holiday trimmings and escape to some blissful crocheting time, so I'll oblige and reveal the simplicity of this textured stitch because all hookers should be kept happy, right? ((grins))

The Crunch Stitch is nothing more than mixing, or I should say alternating, two basic crochet stitches.  The Slip Stitch and the Half Double.  On the next row a Slip Stitch is made in every Half Double, and in every Half Double is where a Slip Stitch is to be created.  Since the Slip Stitch is much smaller than the Half Double, it bends the Half Double down creating a slanted ridge in the fabric.  The trick here is to ensure your Slip Stitch remains loose and you remember to only work into the top two loops of the stitches (many new to this stitch mistakenly pick up that slanted ridge).  If the Slip Stitch is too tight the experience will not be pleasurable and your fabric will look kind of funky!

For your holiday escape/pleasure, click onto the image above to visit my website where I offer a free pattern for the textured scarf.  It makes a great gift or charitable donation while you get to practice this fun stitch combo! J

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Crochet, Stash & Reindeer


'Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
Was unfinished crocheting not under the tree.
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care
'Cause the heels and toes had not a stitch there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep; he was no help at all,
And the sweater for him was six inches too small,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I put down my hooks to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tripped over my yarn and fell down with a crash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how much I still had to go.
Out on my lawn I heard such a noise,
I thought it would wake both Dad and the boys.
And though I was tired, my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

But what I heard then left me perplex-ed,
For not a name I heard was what I expected,
"Move, Berroco! Move, Lopi! Move, Addi and Clover!
Move, Boye! Move Woolease! Move Reynolds --move over
Paton, don't circle 'round; stand in the line.
Come now, you sheep will work out just fine!
I know this is hard; it's just your first year,
I'd hate to go back to eight tiny reindeer."

I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing,
Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing.
And then, in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa's feet coming across the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet,
And as I turned 'round St Nick I did meet.

He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe,
And his clothes were hand crocheted from above to below.
A bright Fun Fur sweater he wore on his back,
And his toys were all stuffed in an cro-knit sack.
His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf 'round his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
The back of his mittens bore an intricate cable.
And suddenly on one I espied a small label,
"S.C." was duplicate stitched on the cuff,
And I asked, "Hey, Nick, did you crochet all this stuff?"
He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to crochet when I was a kid."

He was chubby and plump, a quite well-dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I'd thought up a plan.
I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair,
He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap
Where I'd laid my hooks and yarn for a cap.
He quickly began crocheting, first one cap then two,
For the first time I thought I might really get through.
He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks.
While I sat back drinking scotch on the rocks.
So quickly like magic his stitches they flew
That he was all finished by quarter to two.
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me,
And I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year start your crocheting sometime around June!"

*** note: this was a *knitters* poem; I changed it to reflect crochet.  I do not know who the original author is/was.  If you know, please advise as I'd like to give proper credit/get permission for this post.  Thanks! ~Dee

Teacher Scarves Done!

Click to View Larger Image; No Pattern Available.

Don't you just want to reach into your screen and touch them?  Wouldn't that be great if we could??   The scarves are incredibly soft!  The pinkish one was done in the "Crochet N Weave" technique; the jeweled one was crocheted using the "Crunch Stitch" (one of my favorites) ... I hope the teachers like them.  They are given as "hugs" from my children.

(For those inquiring:  The pink scarf contains Berrocco's ribbon, NYyarns' "Feather," and Feza's "Moonlight."  That's about $50 in materials.  The jeweled colored scarf was crocheted with Trendsetter's "Dune" and "Binario."  About $40 in materials.  Teachers' delight that the children thought of them: priceless.)

                                              Sorry; no patterns available.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Crochet Marathon?

I'm running the Connecticut Holiday Marathon.

I've been training for it for the last 361 days.  The strenuous repetitions of yarning over, of pulling yarn through loop after loop after loop, the jumping over hurdles (oh, I'm sorry readers if it happened to have been one of you) in getting into the yarn shops first during their big sales, the quick karate type movements (without the delayed voice overs) in reaching for yarn on sale, the weight lifting of carrying bags and bags of fiber to my automobile, then into the house, then into their storage spaces ... oh the training just went on, and on, and on ... (much like this entry seems to be! lol)

And it all comes down to these last three days.  Three days to run around and get everything done -- including those last minute gifts that we (I) insist on crocheting -- even though we (I) said we (I was) were through!

Right now I'm running the local 2K in preparation for the big race -- I've got two scarves that need to be done by sun up tomorrow ... I thank the heavens for big hooks (an "N") and thick fibers (Trendsetter's "Dune")!    I kinda like that game plan: short on time, go big.  Real big!   The drape is softer, the look is softer too.  Shhh though!  We don't want to let my little secret out!  LOL 

                Keep the coffee coming; I doubt I'll make it to the finish line without it.  ((grins))

How about you?  Are you running in this marathon too?  I'd bet a skein of yarn that you are!  ;o)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Is there ever a time when we think our yarn stash is too big?

Last week my husband wanted to take me to a local yarn shop to let me "restock" up on yarn.  He reasoned that
     A. it would be an easy Christmas gift from him to me, and
     B. he reasons I "...burn right through it"

What shocked me at the time was that I had said, "No.  I appreciate your generous offer to restock my stash, but I think I'll pass."

          I think he was in shock too.  (Are you?  LOL)

I say this because I believe that sometimes ones' stock needs to simmer -- to chill -- until it's ready to be used.  For some crocheters this is time when a fiber starts to talk to them about what it'd like to become.  And if the fibers are too buried, too crammed or packed in for lack of storage space, how will we ever hear what the fibers have to say?

click on image to enlarge; no pattern availableThis is why I think it's important to go on a *fiber* diet from time to time ... so by using up some of our stash, the fibers get a chance to speak up!  But this doesn't mean that they'll tell us what other fiber they'd like to be mixed with to become the "perfect" fabric, the "perfect" item.  

Oh no, no!  It doesn't always work that way.  No, for that, at times, we need to wait until Lady Luck comes to visit for a spell.  And for me, she arrived after I started creating one of the scarves I intended to give as a Teacher's Christmas Gift.  Note I said "after."  The color and the design concept were fine but not the texture and the fiber content!  Who want's a stiff & itchy scarf?  Not me, and I certainly wouldn't give one like that as a gift.  So yeah, I'm scrapping it.  (Lady Luck where were you when I first started the project???)

But while she was visiting she pointed to a fiber I had on the table.  I had used some of it this past Thanksgiving to make charity hat & scarf sets.  Then she pointed to a fiber I had laying on the couch where I was working it up into a Chemo Hat.  "Those two," she said as she sipped some hot cider, "would look lovely together." 

I looked at the combo myself and thought about the gift I had hoped to crochet up for my grand-niece.  I picked up one fiber, then the other and listened.  "Poncho," said one.  "Trim," said the other.  And wouldn't you know it, Lady Luck was looking at the very crochet hook I should use! 

Lady Luck, she's one clever lady!  I invited her to stay with me through the holidays.  We have a lot to discuss!  J

A Note About Today's Image:  I'd like to thank my daughter for unknowingly lending me her babydoll "Emily" for the photo shoot.  Emily is an 18" doll (well loved) but is really too small for the poncho & hat set that I crocheted for an 18 month old child.  When you are looking at photos see if you can figure out if the model is the correct size for the garment or if the photographer "tricked" you.  Once you've discovered their tricks it will make it easier for you to pick the better patterns out.  If memory serves me correctly, Maggie Reghetti discusses this in her crochet & knit books.   The hat is based on the pattern I wrote for the chemo hats I've been discussing this month.  I do not have a pattern written up for the poncho at this time.  

Saturday, December 17, 2005

"a darned cute christmas thing"

Remember on Tuesday when I wrote that I was thinking of hanging my yarn stash on my Christmas tree?

Remember the comment Sheila wrote where she said, "I expect pics of this tree!!!" ?

          Yeah.  I know.  You're all still waiting to see.

We'll be putting up the CrochetWithDee family tree this weekend. 

But why make you wait 
when the idea of hanging ones' yarn stash on the Christmas tree
               is already out there in cyber space?  

                                         Click to see 

We're Having A Baby!

We learned last night that we're expecting a baby!  Well, no, not us meaning my husband and I ... but my youngest brother and his wife are expecting their first child come this spring season! 

          Will it be a boy?
                    Will it be a girl?

One thing is for certain:  after the New Year I will be thinking of what to crochet for the newest member of our family!  Do I crochet something from a pattern or design something totally original? 

Do I go traditional in using colors like white, pink and/or blue?  Or do I use primary colors like red, blue and/or yellow?  Or do I go with a color to match the anticipated birthstone?

Do I go with cotton, or easy to wash acrylic?  Do I crochet the fabric to be smooth, or textured?  Just a blanket? Or perhaps an entire set: a blanket, a sweater, a bib? ...

So many decisions, so many choices!  One thing is for sure, this baby is much anticipated and will be welcomed into the world with a lot of love!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Still Flying High With The Reindeer

Just hours before the show last night, I finished the last of the reindeer hooves.  We arrived at the school early so I could deliver the last pair in time for the kids to prepare for their number.  I gave the hooves to an older kid I know at the school figuring that since he was going to be a "stage hand" he'd ensure they got delivered to the right group of kids. 

Then I headed to the gym to see if I could get good seats.  This was the first time the school was going to put our two children together on stage -- a rarity since they are in different grades -- so getting good seats was strongly on my mind.  As I walked in the gym the school secretary said to me, "Oh, good Dee, you're here!  We have seating reserved for you."  I was totally surprised as they don't do (that I know of) reserved seating for anyone!  Then she led me to the front row where they had seats reserved for my husband, my father and I!!!  FRONT ROW!!

OMG!!  I know one should never look a gift horse in the mouth, but I had to know why -- so I inquired and she said, "With all the time you put into those reindeer mitts, it's the least we can do for you to show our gratitude!"

OMG!!  I was smiling big time!!  To be able to see the show, to see our children performing together in the show so close was an incredible Christmas gift!!  e

The entire show they put on last night was just fantastic!  The children sang like angels ... including the little fifth grader who did an incredible solo number with the song "
Baby Of Mine" (a Disney tune from the "Dumbo" movie) I'm still smiling from last night!

Then this afternoon, when I was doing volunteer lunch duty for my daughter's class, the kindergarten teacher (the coordinator of the show) approached me and said, "Dee, I can't thankyou enough!  I had no idea that you knew we were short one pair of hooves and the fact you whipped them up at the last minute was absolutely amazing!  I had no idea you did that until I saw the children come out -- each wearing their pair of hooves!"  She said she was too embarrassed to ask me for that last pair and inquired if anyone had told me another pair was needed. 

When I explained to her I had noticed during the rehearsal and decided to just create the extra pair she called me an angel!  She said she had gone out to a store and bought brown gloves for the last reindeer not knowing that I had the last pair on the hook -- and that she was absolutely delighted to see all the reindeer wearing the same hooves during their dancing number.  (The kid I gave the mitts to never told her I had delivered them, so it was a surprise to her!)

I smiled and told her that I loved the front row seating.  Then I chuckled and asked, "Do you think I can get the eight original pairs back to finish them?"

"That's been bugging you for two years, hasn't it," she asked me back.  "Why is that?"

"My biggest fear," I explained, "is that someone will come and & off those ends and they'll unravel.  With the time invested in each one ..."  I let this sink in for a moment.

"OH!  I see," she exclaimed.  "Yes, I'll get them back to you so you can finish them."  And with that we both laughed.

ZYes, I'm still flying high with the reindeer, and think I'll always have this wonderful memory to look back upon for years to come!  Children singing like angels; with moments like this can life be any better ?  I'm thinking this makes for a great ending to the "urban legend." ((giggles))  J

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"The Magic of my Crochet Hooks" ~ A New Urban Legend?

Hmmmm.  You know Dasher, Dancer, Prancer & Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner & Blitzen and you know Rudolph too.  But do you know the most famous crochet story of all?  ((chuckles)) I think we all have our own crochet stories, but what happens to them when they grow, and grow and grow?  Where they grow so much that it becomes legend ...

I wonder just where do urban legends come from?  What is their purpose? And how is it that a new chapter seemingly has been written about the magic of my crochet hooks?

This particular chapter starts off when I picked my children up last night.  The manager of the daycare facility asked me if I had any scarves, mittens or hats I could donate to their collection.  My heart sank as I told them that my stock was wiped out after donating my items this past Sunday.   -- But when I got home and found Sherri's scarves there, I just knew what I needed to do!  I crocheted a hat up this morning, and another while doing volunteer time at the kids school today.  I placed the items into a large bag and donated them earlier this afternoon.  The daycare facility couldn't be happier, and I know the recipients they'll be donating them to will be even happier! (Thank you Sherri!!!)

Getting back on track of this new urban legend, as I further utilized my "down time" in the school kitchen this afternoon, I worked on the finishing touches on a Reindeer mitt.  As I did a teacher walked in and watched me "work my magic." 

"What are you working on," she asked.

"The last of the Reindeer mitts for the show tomorrow night," I replied, not stopping my stitching to look up.  My crochet hook was a whirl of motion.

"Think you'll have them ready in time," she inquired.

"I think so," I answered. "They wanted three additional mitts to add to the eight I made two years before, so I should be OK."

She smiled at me and said, "Boy! You sure are good at that!  They'll look good in the show." And with that she turned and left the kitchen.

A few minutes later, after tucking in the last of the ends, I turned the mitts in.  The Kindergarten teacher who is coordinating the show was tickled!  I asked her, "Are you sure you only needed three additional sets?"

"Yes, I only needed three additional sets.  Thank you so much for doing this!  You're our miracle crocheter," she exclaimed with a big smile.

That made me feel good and I left to return back to the school kitchen.

Since the school kitchen is right next to the gym where the show will take place tomorrow, I got to listen to the children practicing their numbers.  Some time passed and I was asked to come peek at the reindeer number; I was thrilled!  ... So as they came onto the stage I counted the children, er reindeer.  One, two, three, four, five, six.  A Santa.  Seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven ...  twelve?  Twelve reindeer?!!?

My mind raced with quick addition:  eight mitts from 2003, plus three mitts hot off the hook from 2005 = eleven pairs of reindeer mitts -- not twelve!!  Two of the children each had on just one mitt.  Oh no!

I turned to head back to the kitchen; I knew what was ahead of me for this evening.  As I did so the teacher I spoke with in the kitchen earlier turned to me and said, "Oh, another pair of reindeer mitts will be needed!"  Then she turned to the school secretary and said, "I know she can do it, she's a miracle worker with that crocheting she does!"  The secretary looked my way and gave me a wink.  And it's that wink that leads me to believe that a new urban legend chapter had been written.

When we got home I looked up the meaning of "urban legend" and the Merriam Webster dictionary says it's "an often lurid story or anecdote that is based on hearsay and widely circulated as true."  
... And when I looked up the meaning of "lurid" it said, "shining with the red glow"  (could that mean the glow from Rudolph's red nose?)
... And when I looked up the meaning of "anecdote" it said, "usually a short narrative of an interesting, and/or amusing incident.

The other day I mentioned how the Kindergarten teacher believes I have the entire school crocheting; I know this is not true, at least not yet.  Now this other teacher, and the school secretary believes I work magic with my crochet hook.  I can't help but chuckle and wonder just how much more this story will grow.  And I'm thinking if the Lone Ranger had a side kick, then I'm going to be needing one too.  Don't all good urban legends have side kicks?  ((grins))  Any volunteers?

In the meantime it's nearly 8:30 PM and I almost have one of the mitts done.  All I have left is two more rows, seam up the sides, tuck in the tails and then crochet one more mitt.  Hooboy; can I do it?  I will admit that I am feeling some discomfort in my wrist, the same as I did in 2003 from all this "emergency -- last minute" crochet work, but I will press on.  After all, it's for the children, and it would look hokey if two of the children had to share a pair, right?    };o)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Spirits Lifted, Smiles Everywhere

My son asked me this morning if I was serious about hanging hanks and skeins of yarn on our Christmas tree this year.  All I could do was give him a big grin and say that yes, I am seriously thinking about it!  I've even given thought as to how I could hang them without worry of pine sap ruining the yarn!

My grin continues because my boss, John, over there at Knit Together, pulled what I think is a miracle out of his hat for me ... or should I say out of his stock room?  He found 30, yes, that's right, 30 balls of the treasured Marlene yarn for me!!!  We thought I had cleaned his stock of it out earlier, but apparently these were hiding just a bit!  I bought every one he had and now I can go back to offering delicious designers hats crocheted out of this incredibly beautiful fiber!  ... The colors I picked up today are: black & white, purple, and a blue  (a bit darker than the hat pictured above) ... thus far we've raised nearly $250 to be donated to the American Cancer Society and that's worth smiling about!!!

PLUS, a package of new designer-prototype crochet hooks arrived for my inspection!  You had to have been in today's crochet class(es) to get to check them out -- what fun!  ... if you missed my class(es) today, that's OK.  I plan on writing up a review of these hooks and reveal who the designer is in a brand  blog I'll be launching soon!  Stay tuned for that bit of news!  :) 

My grin continues to grow even further because we all know that I think crochet totally rocks.  And now I've got the proof to stand not behind me ... BUT beside me  You know I've got to gloat!  LOL ... check it out: Crochet makes it as one of the
Top 10 Fads of 2005 (and one to watch for 2006) for searching on the Internet(come on, grab your crochet hook and your pom poms and do that happy dance with me!)

Now if I haven't been showing my pearly whites enough today, then add to this that my US Postal carrier dropped off a little package ... in it was three bee-utiful scarves that Sherri sent me to donate on her behalf as part of the 60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge we did.  They are so soft; so warm -- they will be much appreciated!!  Sherri also stuck in there one of her crocheted gingerbread men -- he is sooo cute!!!!  Sherri, he's for me, right?????  (hint hint)

So you see, my spirits have been lifted ... I love when that happens!  Thanks everyone!!!   :)

Monday, December 12, 2005

I Must Be Cracking Up

It's official; I'm stressed!

Holiday decorating, wrapping gifts, holiday greeting cards ... and lets not forget that I need to figure out where to put my stash to make room to bring a tree in the house!  Ack!

I need to crochet one more set of "Reindeer Hooves" for the holiday show, two designer scarves for the teachers, and still design a cowgirl hat (with unspun roving) that will also need to be felted once it's done.

Hooboy!  I'm going to run away.  I'm going to run away where no one would think to find me come this time of year!  If you really, really need me, I'll be sitting in the yarn aisle at my local yarn shop trying to figure out how to get the bulb hooks to attach to the yarn balls like those pictured on the right ... I figure hanging my stash on the tree until after the holidays is one way to solve my stash storage problem ((chuckles))

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Holidays; What it's All About

I just returned from our local Salvation Army located in Danbury, Ct.  The weather was brisk with a few snow flakes fluttering about; warmth and good cheer was in our hearts.

With our arms filled with many new toys and nearly 90 sets of hats, mittens and scarves we have helped share in the holiday spirit.  In our conversation with Captain Norma (of the Salvation Army), she said that they will be aiding some 500 families this year and all the wonderful items we donated will be very much appreciated!

To me, this is what the holiday season is all about.  :)

Friday, December 9, 2005

Hoofin' It: Part Three?

Old man winter came aknockin' -- winter's official date isn't for another 12 days, but aknockin' he did.  And he's still here, dropping off a good 8-10 inches of delicious fluffy snow that's perfect for Santa to do some test sleigh riding.  We can forget about driving anywhere the roads are not passable.  This means we'd have to hoof it by foot, or just stay inside and spend the day sipping hot chocolate, leafing through patterns, and crocheting hooves.

Crocheting hooves?

                                    Yes, hooves.

Now, for my readers who have been with me for a bit over a year, this theme might sound familiar.  And for those readers who have been with me from the Crochet Partners online group for the past several years, well then, this is part three of the story for you.  But if you're new to reading my blog/journal here, then you'll want to get caught up by going to last year's entry first: Hoofin' It.

Hooves.  Not just any type of hooves, like horses or zebras, or even giraffes.  Nope.  We're talking Reindeer Hooves.  And I think I got hoodwinked into creating more.  ((giggles))  Here's how I came to this conclusion:

On Wednesday I was doing volunteer lunch duty at my children's school.  On this day I spend a great amount of time in the kitchen and since there's some "dead" time in between the two shifts (lower grades eat before the higher grades) I spend that time crocheting.  (what a surprise, right? lol)  So there I was, crocheting up a Cap for Cancer when the Kindergarten teacher (aka the choreographer of the upcoming holiday show) approaches me.

"Ah, just the woman I needed to see," she says.  I looked up from my work and smiled at her.  "I'm going to need to get some information from you on how you made those reindeer hooves.  I know you're quite busy, and since you have the entire school crocheting I figure if you could give us the information we can crochet up the extra hooves we'll need for this year's show," she adds.

"I can give you that information," I reply while thinking there is no way I have the entire school crocheting -- at least not yet!  "How many more hooves do you need," I inquire.

She pondered on my question for a moment and then replied, "three.  Yep, I need three more sets of hooves."  And with that she was gone.

So I got to thinking last night.  I have the same material I crocheted the first eight sets with.  I have the pattern.  The snow storm will likely keep the kids home from school and that means it wouldn't be until Monday I could get the information to the school.  Would they be able to find someone who could crochet up three more sets of hooves in time for this year's show?  The show is for this coming Thursday!

I picked up my hook and set to work.  I have one set done; two more to go.  I have three days to pace myself; I can do this.  After all, it's for the children.  :)

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Playing Around

I'm playing around with my new toy this afternoon: the photo box I mentioned that UPS delivered from the other day -- and thus far I'm loving it!! 

... I'm also playing around with the new photo hosting offered as a free benefit for members of  (Please let me know if there are any viewing problems with the image below.  Otherwise my plan is to utilize their free photo hosting for the Caps for Cancer/American Cancer Society drive)

The hat featured here on the left is a custom fiber blend by yours truly -- you will NOT find another blend like it elsewhere!  It's incredibly soft, and luscious in a range of creams, pinks & blues.  Click onto the image to enjoy it to it's full splendor!  (Don't you wish you could reach into your monitor to pet it??  It's that soft!!)  I do not have it listed on the Caps for Cancer webpage yet as I'm off to photograph more hats I've been busy crocheting up; so if you want this hat, please feel free to let me know.  I have THREE of these hats available!  When they're gone, they're gone!  ... I just wanted to get an update here in my blog/journal to let those that are interested in the hats to know I've been working hard to make more hats available.  :)

3:00 PM Update:  I have since updated the  Caps for Cancer webpage ... it, as of this writing, has seven hats available.  From blonds to brunettes, to those that love stripes! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Question from Reader: What's the Name of the Book?

Dear Dee, I am asking my Santa for the book with the poncho you wrote about in your blog. I don't recall the title; can you tell me the name of it please? Also, when do you think the book will be out? Thanks, Diane

Hi Diane,
I am honored that you wish to put the book featuring the pattern for my poncho on Fabulous Crocheted Ponchos: New Styles, New Looks, New Yarnsyour holiday Wish List!  The title of the book is, "Fabulous Crocheted Ponchos: New Styles, New Looks, New Yarns.  I haven't seen the book yet so I cannot tell you which page my pattern will be on.

As far as when the book will be available, both and show November 2005 as the release date; but that release date has not held true.  Do you recall that television show about a Skipper and a fearless crew (a.k.a. Gilligan) and what happened to them during their three hour tour. Their three hour tour? You know, the one where "the weather started getting rough; the tiny ship was tossed. If not for the fearless crew the Minnow would be lost"... (hey, the song was stuck in my head, I couldn't help but add it to today's entry!)  The bottom line of the story is that everyone is eventually found and everyone is happy.

Well, along a parallel universe, based on my "source," (aka the publisher) there were some delays in printing and the books are now on a "slow boat from China." So instead of being available at the end of last month, we're now looking for it to be available at some time in mid-January.  Eventually the books will arrive and everyone will be happy.

So, while you're waiting, one book I'd like torecommend you have on your holiday Wish List (if you don't have it already) is Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet.  It came out in 2002, and IMHO, is really becoming a classic "must have" for every crocheter's library.  There are many wonderful projects to try as well as stitch patterns and motifs.

Thanks for writing in; and for keeping tabs on the progress of my poncho pattern.  I hope your Santa treats you good this year!  J

Monday, December 5, 2005

Excited: Like a Kid at a Candy Shop

I don't like that it's getting darker and darker in the middle of the afternoon; I just don't see where the daylight "savings" is applied here.  So of course I'm delighted that in just a few short weeks that trend will start to end!  Don't get me wrong!  I love the snow!  In fact I'm hoping tonight's storm gives us more than the 4"-6" forecasted.  It makes for better sledding, better snow ball fights, better snow angels, and for making hot chocolate taste that much better!  I just don't like short days of sunlight.  I need it for my photography!

So I'm sitting here this afternoon, watching, waiting. I'm watching my front window like a kid looking in the window of a candy shop -- I'm waiting for Santa, er my UPS driver, to show up with a "toy" (see left) I have no intentions of waiting for Christmas day to open!  Nope!  I'm going stand right there at the front door and tear right into the box and use it immediately!  Hey, I mean, yeah, I could wait, but then you would have to wait to see my just finished WIPs!  And we wouldn't want that, right?  No.  See?  Waiting is a bad thing!   LOL -- just don't tell my kids!!

I'm filled with this excitement from working hard this past weekend!  I created two webpages and crochet to my heart's content ... I even got the family involved when one "slippery devil" of a fiber opted to get out of control and unwind itself.  What can I say?  I was making a "custom blend" of fibers that look just amazing crocheted up!  I had enough to make three hats with it -- so you'll see it once Mr. UPS gets here.  (hmmm, was that a truck I just heard?  Nah.  Just a neighbor.  OK, now, where was I? Ah, yes, the topic was the hats I crocheted this weekend ...)

One hat I will not be able to photograph.  It's already gone.  Sold.  What can I say?  I went to the dentist this morning, and that went really well (some would say hearing "You've got no cavities" is a good indicator of a well visit -- I don't!  I judge it by how much crochet I can get in!) as I got half a hat done while I was in the waiting room.  During my visit my hygienist "came out of the closet," revealing to me that she used to be a crocheter.  We got to talking and the next thing I know she's buying one one of the hats I had just finished tucking the ends into!  That means more funds were raised!  Yea!!!  If you'd like to bookmark the page while you're waiting for me to announce that there's new hats, here's the URL:

To put the icing on the whole day, I came home to find out that a young journalist from the University of Florida wants to chat with me about crochet for a piece she's writing.  Could the day get any better than that?!?  (What?  UPS is at my door?  Really?!  Cool!  Gotta go!)

Friday, December 2, 2005

A Blogger Shows Her Angel Wings

I just finished visiting the Kalediscope Yarns website, placing an order for more deliciously soft fiber yarn blends.  It was my first time shopping with them, so we'll see how the experience goes.  Thus far I'm impressed; I had some questions and they responded to my email inquiry very quickly.

The reason for the order is simple.  The demand for the hats I've been crocheting to help raise money for the American Cancer Society has been going up -- and I'm currently out of stock.  Fortunately I had that recent injury resulting from a collision with my son (eish!) -- as my reward for "being so brave" at the various doctors I treated myself to visiting a "new to me yarn shop" and picked up some "new to me" yarn.  (If you visit my entry describing my injury you'll see my husband left me a comment. LOL  His statement couldn't be truer!  Oh, and an injury update: I have until Monday to decide if I want surgery or not.  I have to wait until some more of the swelling goes down before I make that decision.)

Anywho!  Let's get to the exciting part of today's entry! 

The other day, when Pamela of "Just One Girls Head Noise" wrote how she took off the chemo cap I had especially crocheted for her and gave it to another woman she connected with while they were both getting chemo treatments, she touched upon a lot of hearts.  AND unknowingly, she picked up an angel too!  That angel's name is Rhonda of  "
Rhondas Strange Thoughts and Pics."  Rhonda purchased the last three hats I had currently available and requested that I ship them to Pamela.  Here's what Rhonda had to say:

Dear Dee:
I feel honored to be able to help with this. I know that Pamela is getting pretty short on money and this is just my way of saying Merry Christmas. 

You know giving to this cause, gives me more satisfaction than it does to anybody who receives it.  If I could, I'd be sending thousands and thousands!  

Like I told you before, you are a true hero in my eyes!  
Love to you and all your helpers, Rhonda

Rhonda, you're a beautiful angel disguised as a blogger!  I can't wait to ship these hats to Pamela on your behalf!  I know she will be touched and will feel your warmth and compassion just as the woman at the hospital felt Pamela's.  :)

Normally I reserve the month of December to crochet gift items for my family.   I have decided that I am going to take a break from blogging this weekend so I can crochet more incredibly beautiful & lushiously soft hats, and I'll create a webpage that will be dedicated to this cause -- this way everyone can visit and see what's available and what's sold.  As soon as the page is ready I'll announce it here in my blog/journal, and if you don't feel like keep checking back for the announcement, then click onto that option above that let's AOL notify you of when I update here.

Really, I am deeply touched that so many are interested in these caps -- and in the pattern I designed for it too.  To me, this is what the holiday season is all about;  reaching out and making the world better one good deed at a time.  I only wish my SIL and Aunt could have won their battles, they are greatly missed.  In looking to the future, the fight goes on.  Hopefully, soon, there will be a cure!

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Angels; do you believe?

I do.  I mean, how can I not? 
Look how you all came to help me in reaching our goal of 60 Scarves in 60 Days!!!

 Sherri:  4 scarves
          Jess:     1 scarf
Crochetangel:  1 scarf
        Dee:    18 scarves, 5 hats 
(I'll have another fresh on the hook in a few hours)
    Lori of CT: 2 scarves, a wrap and a hat
      Sandi:    1 scarf
(donated to Hurricane Katrina survivor)
      Robin:   15 scarves!
(being donated to her church for the homeless shelter)
Maureen of PA:  9 scarves 
Margaret:  1 scarf & 2 hats from patterns she wrote that will be published!
Jane:  14 Chemo hats AND will be teaching a seminar on the pattern!
       Karen:     1 scarf
      Brenda:    4 scarves
Cindy: 2 scarves that will be going to her local battered women's shelter
     Michele: 1 scarf & hat set
1, 2, 3 warm scarfs done!  (that was said in her best "Sesame Street count;" click onto the individual numbers to see the scarves)
       Karen:   3 scarf and hat sets

... add it all up and we get 66 Scarves!!!! ... PLUS we also have 23 hats and a wrap all being donated to help those in need!!  

Awesome!  Awesome!!  Awesome!!!

** A Note About the Image Above:  Earlier this morning I took some digital pictures of the scarves & hats that will be donated locally.  I used no flash, no lighting; the only altering to the image(s) was cropping to make them the same size, and adding the "CrochetWithDee" banner.  (It may take a few moments to finish loading, but I think it's worth it. It will run through the annimation process three times before stopping on the "angel.")  It looks to me like an angel appeared -- and I wanted to share it with you all.  Thank you to everyone who participated in this Challenge, and to those that are continuing on!!!   You're all angels!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"Whoops [she] did it again"

This is about as close as you'll ever get to seeing if I actually have "yarn on the brain." ((giggles))  It's an image of one of the actual X-rays I had taken yesterday to determine if I actually broke my nose. (Hey, they sent me home with my X-rays on CD; I just HAD to look!) 

I'll spend this morning hunting down a ENT that's available to look at my X-rays and make that final determination -- is it broke, fractured?  We'll have to see.  I will say two things about this:
1.  My son's head is hard; he's fine and was able to walk away from our collision.  I saw stars.
2. Yes, it hurts. A lot.

This means I have more time to possibly whip up another scarf for the drive!  I plan on listing the final scarf count tomorrow, so for those that are participating, please get those emails & comments in announcing your contributions -- I KNOW we can do it!!

Finally, if you ever wanted to know what happens to an item you crocheted (or knitted), how it touches someone's life, then you'll want to go here and read Pamela's story called "
Whoops I did it again" -- and boy!  Did she ever!  She's a real inspiration!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge: Count Update

I finished two more, and have received more numbers to add in!  This is so exciting -- and will do soooooooooo much good!!!   Here's the latest count:

          Sherri:  4 scarves
          Jess:     1 scarfScarf Dee Crocheted in 2002
Crochetangel:  1 scarf
        Dee:    16 scarves, 3 hats 
(I'll have another fresh on the hook in a few hours)
    Lori of CT: 2 scarves & a wrap
      Sandi:    1 scarf
(donated to Hurricane Katrina survivor)
      Robin:    9 scarves with another to follow
(being donated to her church for the homeless shelter)
Maureen of PA:  8 scarves
Margaret:  1 scarf & 2 hats from patterns she wrote that will be published!
Jane:  14 Chemo hats AND will be teaching a seminar on the pattern!
       Karen:     1 scarf
      Brenda:    4 scarves

We're up to 48 Scarves!!!!  We need just 12 more by the end of tomorrow to meet the Challenge!  Together I know we can do it!!!

8:24 PM:  Cindy just emailed me ... she has 2 scarves that will be going to her local battered women's shelter.  That makes 50!!! Whoohoo!!

Monday, November 28, 2005

... having the name "Crochet" -- you should be required to know how

Yesterday Laura left a comment about watching football and having a "crochet sighting."  She was talking about Gerren Crochet who plays College Football for Stanford University.  Based on what I've heard and what I've read, he's an up & coming player.  Will he be going Pro?  I don't know.  But I think what is more important here (at least to me) is does he live up to his namesake?  Does he, as Bo does, know how to crochet?  While we all ponder that question, lets all remember that Rosie also knows how -- and even had some of his works published!

Speaking of football, I dedicated yesterday to being a couch potato.  Now I'm not one to normally camp on the couch and watch/listen to endless hours of television unless I'm not feeling well.  So doing so was quite a challenge for me.   My mission yesterday was to crochet for the entire day  to aid others in need.  I placed a bag of yarn scraps beside me, grabbed a crochet hook and set to crocheting scarves for the scarf drive for the entire day!

Then add to this mix that I'm not one who normally follows football games either.  I don't know one player from another (unless they know a needle craft!) but I did watch several games yesterday.   I picked the teams I wanted to root for winning based on uniform color coordination.  I did not pick the Greenbay Packers because their uniform was not green; it was yellow, and I found this confusing.  When your son and/or husband is flipping channels to watch two different games, it's hard to keep track of the teams.  So if your team name includes a color like "green" then you should have something to do with the color green so your fans (or couch potatoes like me) can have an easier time rooting for you.  And, while I'm on the topic, what's with the Seahawks wearing charcoal?  While the charcoal coloring of the uniforms had eye appeal, real Seahawks are brown and white.  I just don't get it.   It's much like having the name "Crochet" -- you should be required to know how to crochet or be a fan of it, right?  That's what I thought!  (heh heh heh)

The good news is that the excitement in the cheering for the games translated into my work -- my hook was flying faster than the NY Giants could keep missing all those chances to get in that final field goal to win the game.  Only I didn't fail to produce results!  (Sorry NY Giant fans) I whipped out six scarves yesterday!!  Whoohoo!  This brings my personal total for the drive that ends this Wednesday to 14 scarves and 3 hats.

So lets update the total stats, shall we?  (reupdated totals @ 4:39 PM)
          Sherri:  4 scarves
          Jess:     1 scarf
Crochetangel:  1 scarf
        Dee:    14 scarves, 3 hats 
(I'll have another fresh on the hook in a few hours)
  Lori of CT: 2 scarves & a wrap
      Sandi:    1 scarf
(donated to Hurricane Katrina survivor)
      Robin:    5 scarves with another to follow
(being donated to her church for the homeless shelter)
Maureen of PA:  5 scarves
         Margaret:  1 scarf & 2 hats from patterns she wrote that will be published!
               Jane:  14 Chemo hats AND will be teaching a seminar on the pattern!

OK, so our total for the 60 Scarves in 60 days is 34!  We still have the rest of today, Tuesday and Wednesday to try and reach this goal!

If you'd like to participate in helping us reach this goal, here's how it works:  Crochet, knit
(or even purchase)
a scarf and donate it!  There's no need for you to ship anything to me!  Then, email me or leave a comment here that you've done so and we'll add you to the count!  It's that easy -- and all for a great cause! 

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Checking the List (and what's this about a fire?)

I'm hoping everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving.  Here, it was an event the kids claim they'll remember forever.  All I'll say is that the children were running around the house while waving their arms through the thick smoke yelling, "Fire! Fire!"  (Remember, I'm a crocheter, not a chef!  And, in my defense, my family knows this!)  Was there a fire?  No, not really.  Some of the juices from the turkey overflowed the pan and dripped onto the heating element in the oven which caused the thick smoke.  After airing out the house all turned out just fine.  Dinner was a success!!!  (Whew!  Talk about a time needing to pick up a hook and destress -- that was it for me!)

The fire that did happen was one that happened online.  One would say if they saw me that I had flames coming from my ears.  I was steaming angry!  I had found another website violating my copyright -- a website taking my hard work and passing it off as their own.  I have to wonder if, in a day & age of technology, they thought I wouldn't find out, or if they thought I wouldn't mind.  They were wrong; I did, and I do.  Like Santa, I check my list, I check it twice.  I want to know who's website is being naughty or nice.

So after a slight cooling off period, I sent them an email stating the facts -- letting them know I know of the violation and gave them two reasonable options with a time limit to comply.  And they did.  That's a relief; I'd hate to be a Grinch and be forced to start a law suit. 

Now that that fire has been extinguished, I have returned my thoughts towards preparing for the holidays, and finalizing the 60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge.  On Thanksgiving I did manage to crochet a matching hat & scarf set for the scarf drive, and Lori (one of my crochet students) donated another scarf!  I love it!  Keep 'em coming!.

I'm also finalizing the drive to raise funds to donate to the American Cancer Society.  If you are holiday shopping and want to help raise funds to donate to the American Cancer Society while picking up an especially soft gift for that person on your "GOOD" list, then check out the designer hats below.  The hats are $35 each (includes shipping w/in US) It's first come, first serve, so don't wait!  Go ahead, check your list ... I'm sure there's someone on it that's been quite good this year and deserves a beautiful hat!  :)


 Gigi Jolie:  This hat has finer (smaller) stitches than the Marlene hat shown below, but is created from the same pattern concept. Washing instructions are to hand wash and lay flat to dry; do not spin/wring. The designer fiber used is from England, is 100% nylon and incredibly soft!

Colors: Neon pink, orange, green and yellow with white whisper puffs of soft "fur."

Current Status:  SOLD!!!

Gigi Jolie II: this hat was crocheted with the same finer stitches as the Gigi Jolie hat above.  Washing instructions are to hand wash and lay flat to dry; do not spin/wring. The designer fiber used is from England, is 100% nylon and superbly soft!

Colors: Neon pink, orange, green and light purple with purple whisper puffs of soft "fur."

Current Status:  SOLD!!!

Marlene Two:  one reader wrote that this hat reminded her of the fall foliage in the New England States.  In thinking about it, I couldn't agree with her more!  So I created another!   Since a larger hook was used the end results is a stunning hat with texture. Washing instructions are to hand wash and lay flat to dry; do not spin/wring.  The designer fiber used is from Italy, is 40% nylon, 35% Merino New Wool, and 25% acrylic -- and it's extraordinarily  soft!

Colors:  A variety of oranges mutate throughout the work and combine with gold flecks and puffs of burnt orange/brown "fur".  Stunning when sunlight dances upon it.

Current Status:  SOLD!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is it.  This is the holiday that all can celebrate here in America no matter what your race or religion is.  And like many others, I'll be one of the folks doing a bunch of cooking.  Yep.  First time in ten years I'll be cooking.  The thought, of course, is quite scary.  It's been TEN years!!  So I've spent the last few days coming up with a game plan, and if I do say so myself, it's brilliant!!

Being the crochet addict that I am, I've decided to ensure I'll be able to sneak in crochet stitches here & there.  After all, going just a few hours without being able to enjoy my art is torture to me.  So I've decided to plant a scarf project in the kitchen; a hat in the dining room.  In the living room I have another scarf, and yes, I even have projects planted in the auto -- you know, just in case I need to rush out and get a "last minute" item.

What I haven't told my family is that a lot of the items I'll be cooking are already prepared.  My job is to remove them from the freezer and jam them, strategically timed of course, into the oven.  I plan on keeping my family out of the kitchen and do my stitching on the sly.  If they start to catch on, I have a bunch of pots & pans ready for an instant "rattle" -- you know, to make it "sound" like I'm slaving away.  (heh heh heh)

Do I feel guilty about using already prepared foods?  Heck no!  Nowhere in the Rule Book does it say that everything has to be made from scratch!  Hey, just because the Pilgrims did it, doesn't mean I have to!  The Rule Book only says that Thanksgiving is a time to bring friends and family together.  And I can do that without having to fuss for a zillion hours on figuring out how to make homemade biscuits, right?

I just hope I don't get a paper cut from opening all the food packaging.  I mean, that could be detrimental to my plan of sneaking in crochet stitches while they're all in the living room watching the parade or football games.  Oh, and I haven't thought about freezer burn.  What if that happens while I'm handling all the frozen entrees?  Hmmm, I wonder if it's too late to make dinner reservations ...

For those with time to do a little hooking, here's some patterns I found online that you might be interested in checking out:
Pilgrim Couple -- fridge magnets
Teddy Bear Pilgrim Hat
     *  And his Coat

In the meantime, if you think my plan of cooking frozen entrees for Thanksgiving is scary, go ahead and check out Monster Crochet's "Pilgrim Tater."  I think he's a cutie-pie.

Here's to hoping your Thanksgiving is Wonderful -- and if you have a lot of leftovers, please consider bringing them down to your local homeless shelters.  Share the Warmth.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Catching Up

Usually I have a little free time on the weekend to catch up with my online email accounts, entertaining thoughts for future blog/journal entries for the week, and the like.  But since I'm knee deep in laundry, unpacking luggage, and pre-turkey day shopping lists, this just hasn't happened.  I am very far behind!  (Yikes!)

So while I attempt to catch up with the (seemingly) thousands of emails that have arrived since Friday, and sneak in crochet stitches on another scarf for the 60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge, I wanted to say that I'll be away from my journal for a few days ... but I'm not leaving you, my readers, empty handed!!  I will provide you with "food, er crochet, for thought" while I'm away!

First, go back to the entry from Friday and read Melanie's response to the email I sent her after reading an article she wrote; I think you'll be pleased.  Then check out the following news stories that contain crochet:
PRETTY CRAFTY!  Knitting, crochet, embroidery can produce great gift ideas
     * Ditch the cookie cutter, go for the unique
     * The Art of ... (this is really a press release for buying learn to knit & crochet dvds -- but look at the statistics they're touting! Awesome!)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Crochet on Parade?

We celebrated my son's birthday by attending the parade in Stamford, Connecticut.  I don't know who was more excited: me, or my children!  ((I've always wanted to attend a parade that had those huge inflated balloons I see every Thanksgiving on television!  For me, it was like a wish come true!))

First, my family and I drove down to the city yesterday and popped in at the Knit Together yarn shop where I teach.  While there my husband met the owners and some of the staff -- and later said he can see why I enjoy teaching there.  I picked up two different fibers ("Fizz" by Crystal Palace Yarns  which is 100% polyester,  and "Color Me" -- a handpainted yarn called "Misty" that's 55% Mohair and 45% Merino Wool) and used the stores' swift and ball winder to blend them into one.  My goal was to crochet up a new hat for my daughter -- in time for her to wear while watching the parade!  The question is, could I do it in time??  (I know I seem like I'd be a fast crocheter, but really I'm not; my 55-65 stitches in 3 minutes is nothing compared to Lisa and Lily!)

You see, my daughter can't stand piling all her hair under her hat, and as she continues to grow it out to later donate to Locks of Love, the problem will only grow!  It "makes the hat wobbly" and it "messes up" her hair.  (quotes from my daughter)  So, I challenged myself to crochet her a new hat that took these concerns of hers into consideration and resolve them.  After all, what good is a hat if a child refuses to wear it, right?

We checked into our hotel and then headed out to watch the balloons inflate (see Elmo image above)There were many people there just like us enjoying the sights.  But was I really watching the balloons inflate, or was I on crochet patrol?  Did I have crochet sightings?  You betcha!  ((giggles))
click to enlarge image

Afterwards we headed to the Stamford Mall so my son could spend his birthday money, (Hmmm, lots of crochet sightings there!)  and then back to the hotel to let him rest up a bit (he's been fighting a cold).  So as we settled in for the night, I grabbed the yarn & hook and set to work.  Within a few hours the new hat was done and she was tickled!  We're calling it "The Pony Cap."  I even have enough fiber left over to play around with creating a scarf to match!  (Yes, her face in the image is intentionally blurry)

We woke early this morning, checked out of the hotel and dashed down to grab prime "real estate" along the parade route -- and what a great time we had!! (complete with more crochet sightings with those watching with us, and those participating in the parade itself! -- oh! I am so bad!!  LOL)