Thursday, June 30, 2005

It's all in the bag...

In just a short three and a half hours and the FREE Drawing will be closed.  There are many, many entries and I think that's just wonderful.  I'll be spending a good portion of tomorrow writing everyone's name on slips of paper and placing them in a bag.  (Yes, of course a crocheted bag!!  Is there any other kind??  LOL)  Then I'll have my children each pick one name.  Of these two names I will then have my children each pick a number from 0-10 ... who ever picks the number closest will have the winning person's name in their hand.  The other name will be the "runner up" ... you know, in case I can't get ahold of the winner.  (I just want to make this as fair as I possibly can!) 

REMINDER:  Any entries received after midnight (EASTERN time) tonight are void.  So enter NOW! 

                Good Luck Everyone!!!   J

What's fresh off my hook is the most delicious bag I've yet to design -- my hubby, my bosses, my students and my friends are all saying this.   I haven't taken a picture of it yet; just looking for the right props I guess.  I designed it for teaching in my classes but those that have seen this bag are insisting I sell the pattern.  They want me to bypass publishers and publish it myself!  So this means, of course that I have more homework to do.

I was over there at my CafePress store thinking maybe I should use their book option to create a book on all the bags I've already designed, and possibly include this new one I'm referencing.  I'm currious if there is a desire for such a book.  I would possibly include patterns for these items: 

The question I really need to ponder is how should I provide the written patterns themselves.  Should I write them in traditional publication style or in an easier format for beginner crocheters to try it?  I'll have to give this more thought.  While I do, I'd be interested in hearing how you'd like the crochet patterns you use to be written.  You can share your thoughts here, or in your own journal/blog (just be sure to give me a link to visit).

OK, I'm off to crochet yet another and test my pattern ...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

OH, the agony!! The anticipation!!

I'm functioning on four and a half hours of sleep this morning ... I stayed up late after catching "just one more stitch" fever (you'd think I'd know better!).  It got to the point where I was crocheting with my eyes closed (while always fun to practice, I'll admit this wasn't the case.  I think my son may be right when he says I crochet in my sleep! LOL).  I still have the fever, thus my reason for getting up early ... so I can sneak in some stitches before leaving to teach my classes.  I'm such the addict!!

I want to mention that I have the "too much caffeine" feeling going on today (although I've yet to have my first cup of coffee!!) all because I'm going through withdrawl!  I think it's more like a feeling of waiting to go to Disney World only the airplane can fly fast enough, and there's a huge line at the rental car counter, to find the 5PM traffic hit the moment you leave the airport, and find that your hotel room isn't ready because the former occupants forgot something and was frantically searching the room.  In other words, the feeling of having to wait to have extreme fun ... I'm sure you know that feeling! 

What brought it on for me?  One of my favorite magazines arrived in yesterday's mail.  Hubby brought the mail in late last night and handed it to me.  I imagine it was much like handing a chocolate bar to a kid and saying "You have to wait 18 hours before you can eat it."  I want to DEVOUR this magazine!!  Yep, it's my latest issue of PIECEWORK and I have to wait until later this evening before I can kick back and start my reading feast.  This issue promises to be just as delicious as every issue I've read before, maybe even better!  A quick flip through (what, did you think I wouldn't take a little "sample??" LOL  I'm so naughty!!) and it's filled with articles like freeform TATTING, Irish Crochet Lace ... OH, the agony!! The anticipation!! I want to read from cover to cover NOW!!!  (Oh good grief, help me!  I am salivating over a magazine!)

Good, my son is now awake.  "Here, my love, take this magazine and hide it for Mommy.  Do not tell me where you've hidden it, no matter how much chocolate I might try bribe you with!  Be stong for me, son; I must wait until tonight to read it ... "

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Summer Bliss

We're sitting here at the kitchen table; the sun is starting to poke out after a day of rain, breaking our heat wave.  Through the window we see two fawns and their mother peacefully grazing on the rain-kissed grass blades.  The birds are sweetly singing.  My children are happily working on a beading project.  This, to me, is summer bliss.

I, myself, have been enjoying crocheting throughout the day, typing into my pda my pattern instructions as I go.  How sweet it is!  Yes, I treated myself to a new program for it yesterday.  It allows me to type on the screen rather than writing it with the stylus, or slowly pecking the letters out.  I'm glad I splurged; thus far it's been the best $12 I've spent all week!

I was asked yesterday why I'm so interested in having a database program for my pda ... and if I'm concerned about all the information ever being wiped out.  One of the nice things about pda's in general is that they can sync up to your main PC and exchange information.  If I had a database of all the crochet books I own, it would ensure I don't purchase a duplicate -- again.  (Yes, this has happened!  Yikes!!) 

The software I have in mind would ensure when I go shopping for fiber, I know what I already have at home, how much, and what color.  It would also keep track of my WIPs (works in progress) and the hooks I have allocated to them.  It would keep track of my finished works, and where I have them stored, on display, or gifted/sold to.  It would keep track of patterns I've written, and where I've submitted them for publishing.  -- All this information and more in a tiny machine that can talk to the big machine.  I'll continue my hunt for a similar program that will work on my pda like the crochetable software that's available for palms.  Once I have it, my dreams of being organized will finally come to fruition!  (Yee-haw!!)

Am I concerned about the memory getting wiped out?  Well yes.  And no.  If I'm good, I'll have downloaded all the info into the main PC ... and if I'm bad (by not downloading all the info), well, I'll have no one to blame but myself.  Right?  I'll cross that road should I find the software I'm hunting for.  :)

I'll be teaching crochet classes for the next two days, so the chances of leaving a journal entry for Wednesday and Thursday are slim.  But you never know.  I'm pretty excited about my classes; you can see what classes are coming up by clicking on the links on the extreme top right of my journal (if you're reading this in my archives, go back to the main page to get to the links).  And you never know, I may add more pictures to my "students' triumphs" photo album!  ((grins)) 

I do enjoy finding little treasures on the Internet, and yesterday I found this one:  Click here to enjoy!  It's a photo album of someone's crochet work -- of little monsters! 

Lastly, before I head back to some more delicious crochet stitchin', I want to remind everyone that there are just TWO more days left to enter into my FREE drawing!!  If you haven't already, ENTER!!  It's for a good cause!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Oh, the possibilities when it's hot! Hot! Hot!!


You know, those little personal computers that sit in the palm of your hand?  I have one.  And I spent a good portion of yesterday ignoring my crochet due to the heat.  Rarely will you hear me state that it's too hot to crochet, but this is the case right now.  No, instead, yesterday I could have been found either in my kids "kiddie pool" or on my swing with the laptop -- hunting for software for my PDA.

During my hunt, I've come to the conclusion that the PDA's are like when PC's first hit the market: there's many brands, and they all operate on their own operating systems.  This makes finding software for my PDA, a Dell Axim, rather difficult.  I am reading the book, How to Do Everything with Your Dell Axim Handheld, which thus far has proven to be very helpful ... and is thus spurring me on to utilize my PDA more.

If I can organize my crochet --- oh!  It'd be heaven!!  I want a database to list all my crochet reference books, the patterns I've written, items I have out to publishers, pictures of my works ... all in my tiny PDA.  I just wish all PDA's worked on the same operating platform to make this task more pleasurable.

Today will be another scorcher.  You know where I'll be.  ;)

I'll be back at the and websites, as well as others, looking for more options ... I'm loving the idea of being able to play movies on it (think of the crochet videos that can now go on vacation, or on business trips!); being able to type on the screen (like the "sidekick" series can); being able to draw out patterns freehand style ... Oh, the possibilities!!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

"Overlay Crochet"

Sometimes a picture says a thousand words, other times more pictures relay the entire jubilee feeling. :)

My son had stayed up late Friday night helping me wind various colors into beautiful balls.  We made six in all.  White, Black, dark Pink and bright, dark green and bright.  All my colors worked well for this class except one.  Black.  I exchanged that color for purple to crochet the "Overlay" square you see me holding.

Melody was a peach; just a lovely lady breezing throughout the classroom aiding those in need.  I did pretty well on my own until the 14th row ... Melody came over and was happy to assist me.  I was the first one finished in the class so I went around checking out all the beautiful works everyone was creating -- and snapping pictures.  Then I ordered two of Melody's patterns; I can't wait until they arrive!!  

I also want to mention that spending time with the New York Crochet Guild Members is always a treat!  What a friendly & fun group!!!

After the fun workshop, Elaine, Grace and I strolled along 2nd Avenue and took advantage of the Friends of the 13th Precinct Street Fair.  I bought some souvenir T-shirts  for my kids, and a black thread (with various colored flowers & sequins) crochet poncho for myself.  (Yes, I do buy crochet -- I enjoy sponsoring other crocheters!)

It was a fantastic day to enjoy 'Overlay Crochet'!!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Topics for Discussion

What's this?! Tomorrow's journal entry today??? Yes!! (Isn't that great?!?)

I thought I'd leave you, my readers, with a few thoughts that you can discuss with each other, or in your own journals or blogs, while I'm off in New York City for some big-time goofing off tomorrow! 

 I'll be hanging with Melody MacDuffee and the New York City Crochet Guild (of which I am also a member of) for the "Overlay Crochet Workshop."  ... of course, if I have some time I might call in a journal entry -- we'll just have to wait and see.  (If you'd like to find out more about the New York City Crochet Guild, look to the right for their official link.)

In the meantime, here's the topics I'm leaving for discussion:
1.  Do you like my crochet purses I have pictured here?  If we were taping an episode of Sesame Street, they could use the purses for the "which of these items is different" segment.  LOL  They'll all be donated for our troops to hand out to Iraqi children (inside each purse will be little hair brush sets).  I bought a bunch of coloring books, crayons, pencils, writing pads and first aid kits to include with my donation.  I hope to do at least two more purses to add to this.

2.  We all know, as it was in the press, that Mattel's Barbie doll divorced Ken a few years ago.  Apparently after 43 years together they were no longer seeing eye to eye and (here's an actual joke resulting from the real press release) they've come out with a new doll called "Divorce Barbie" -- she comes complete will all of Ken's stuff.  What really happened between them, one can only guess.  I do have the "Crochet for Barbie Doll" book as pictured on the right (click onto it & it will lead to where you can get more details), but I've yet to crochet anything from it.  Apparently, this hasn't stopped Barbie ... I hear she's a crochet addict and this blog goes into further detail: "Barbie & Ken - Living In A Crocheted Paradise."

          ... Go ahead, discuss.  I'll be back on Sunday. 

Question From Reader: Crochet Speed

Dear Dee, I've been enjoying your blog for quite some time and thought I remembered you writing about your crochet speed in comparison to Lily Chin's.   Yet yesterday you said it took you two years to crochet your Mom's afghan.   I'm curious of why it took you so long?   Your blog fan, Karen

Hi Karen,

Wow, you are a long-time reader-- I think that's great!  And you have a great question!!

I am no Lily Chin when it comes to my crochet speed.  But ask my daughter who sat beside me yesterday on "the swing" where we spent the late afternoon lazily crocheting together and she'll beg to differ.  She was amazed that for every 10-15 stitches she did of the same pattern we were working on, I was doing some 90-100 stitches.  If Lily were sitting next to us, she'd have been done with the project asking if it were time to walk down to the lake for a swim!

I am not one to emphasize speed.  I'd rather concentrate on the process, the rhythm.  Speed comes with practice, with confidence.  For those that can crochet with extreme speed all I ask is, "Can I watch?"

It took me over two years to crochet my Mom's afghan due to life.  Life has a way of sending you curves of distraction.  In my case it was two beautiful children that demanded a lot of love and attention that I was more than happy to give.  All you new Moms out there in cyberspace, I see you shaking your heads in agreement.  LOL   I think crocheting my Mother's afghan as being a new Mom put more meaning into my project, making it more enjoyable -- and important -- for me to do.  Will my daughter ever crochet something for me?  She already does, and it touches my heart each time she presents me with her crocheted gifts.  J

I hope this helps to answer your question, Karen.

Now, lets refocus on Lily Chin for a moment.  The Craft Yarn Council of America named her as the Fastest Crocheter in the World -- a title she has defended and maintained since it was bestowed upon her.  And it seems there's another "Worlds Fastest Crocheter": Barbara Jean Sonntag of Craig, Colo. She has been the undefeated Guinness champion since 1981, when she crocheted 147 stitches per minute -- and is now having her record challenged by Lisa Gentry.  Go ahead, read the article and see why Lily says, "Bring it on."

Hey Lily, Lisa?  Can you two have the "showdown" taped?  I'd love to watch it!  :)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Assignment: Sentimental Gifts

Over in AOL Land, we're given various assignments to write about.  It's not a requirement; those that wish to participate can.  (Like last year when I wrote about a "Historical Tea Party" and added "more invites.")

I thought the assignment to write about Sentimental Gifts was a great topic.  Touching the heart, and making memories for the recipient is something I enjoy doing.  I kind of touched on it yesterday when I wrote about the birthday gift I gave my husband (he's still talking about it!) .  I thought I'd touch on the subject a bit more today, and challenge you, my readers with their own blogs/journals -- electronic or paper -- to reflect upon sentimental gifts you've given or received too.

I think each time I give my crochet projects away, I'm giving a piece of myself; a piece of my heart; a piece of my good thoughts for that person -- whether I know them or not. 

Many years ago my Mother gave me the gift of crochet by introducing me to it -- to the  fantastic world of crochet.  Although she couldn't teach me anything about it, it was the mere fact that she introduced me to it that was so wonderful.  After all, look at me today ... I'm a crochet enthusiast!!   Would I be on this path if she had not placed that hook in my hand?  It's hard to say. 

Having grown up in a financially challenged household, I had given my Mother a hand written note for Christmas one year.  I was still a pretty young kid at the time, and times were pretty tough.  I wanted to give her something from my heart.  Something she'd treasure.  I wrote her an "IOU" stating I'd crochet her an afghan one day.  Many years later I filled that IOU (you can see her looking at the afghan to the right and see the actual afghan on the lower left) with an afghan that took me over two years to create -- and she just loved it! 

Because she was the one that set me on this path, I think I return her gift -- no, that's not right -- I think I SHARE the gift she gave me with as many people as I can.  I do this by teaching crochet, by crocheting items for friends and family, and by crocheting items for charity.  Each time I pick up my hook I take a sentimental journey back to my childhood, to that first time I held a crochet hook and thinking of all the wondrous things I can create and the hearts it will touch.

Right now, I'm pattern testing my purse pattern for the "Fantastic Fiber Kids Camp" I'll be teaching.  Each purse I crochet in testing my pattern will be donated to my town's drive for toys and supplies for our troops and the Iraqi kids whose lives they're touching.  Inside each purse I'll tuck a "lil' something" ...   Sentimental Gifts; you gotta love them!  :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Ever wonder what they talk about in the middle of the ball field??

Yesterday was my husband's birthday and I treated him and the kids to a Yankee's game in New York City. Based on what my husband read this morning ... it's was a pretty significant game in baseball history as it was the largest turnaround victory after being behind by eight runs.

What an exciting game! (Yes, I had stopped my crocheting by that last famous eighth inning! LOL)  If you're a fan, and an AOL subscriber, you can read about this historical game here It will surely be a game that my family will recall for years to come.  (Click onto the images for larger view.)

What was I crocheting at this now famous game?  I was working on a bib that will go to a family friend as part of gift for their new twins that they're currently calling "Baby A" and "Baby B" -- they're still deciding upon what to call the boys.  I'll be including burp cloths and blankets ... all from the folks.

If you'd like to view this historic baseball game, you can find some footage here.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Book Review: Finger 1 Knitting

A while ago I stated that I had received some new books and promised to give a review.  Today I'm upholding that promise by reviewing the book, "Finger 1 Knitting" by Katsuno Suzuki. (the link here will lead you to the Amazon site, which is where I ordered the book from).

First, let me state that the book was originally published in Japan. Across the pond, as the saying goes, the word "knit" means more than just the act of knitting -- it includes other fiber arts as well. I think if the title were changed to reflect that it's really a book about what I call "finger weaving" and about crocheting with your fingers, then we all would have heard about this book MUCH sooner!!

The book is packed with actual pictures of adult and children hands enjoying both techniques. There are quite a number of projects to try, and in fact, I had my daughter help me with the bag I designed with the fiber I dyed with KoolAid the other day ... she enjoyed "finger weaving" the purse strap for me. (You can see a hint of the finger weaving in the picture of my purse here...)  Since her fingers are much slimmer than mine, I thought it made for a beautiful strap!  (I also love the way the colors worked up; do you?)

If you're looking for a book that will help you get a child interested in the fiber arts, then this book is a must have!  The instructions included in the book are for: hats, scarves, afghans, shawls -- really a lot of fun projects and all that's needed is a skein of yarn.

I'm glad I took the risk and tried this "knit" book; I'm sure you will too!  :)
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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day!!

Today is Father's Day -- did you crochet something up in honor of this very special day?  I didn't.

He already has a remote control holder (I crocheted that back in January); an eyeglass holder (that was done last fall); two afghans (one by me & one by my Mother); crocheted hats, scarves.  Sweaters are out of the question -- he wears one sweater like once a year (if that!); he says he gets too hot wearing them.  So my options for crocheting him something special for today were pretty thin.  I'll crochet something up and donate it to a local charity in his honor.  I think he'd like that.

I did cook him breakfast this morning, and wrangle tickets to an upcoming Yankees baseball game.  He's pretty stoked.  (I plan on bringing something to crochet while at the game -- how about baseball coasters?  Some white cotton to make the ball, and some red for the ball "stitching."  We'll see!  LOL)

For now, we're getting ready to go to "Down the Hatch" ... it's a restaurant thats right on the waters edge; a pretty cool place to casually hang out and eat.  People enjoying getting there via automobile, boat -- even by airplane (the kind that can land on water).   Someday we hope to rent a boat for a day and tour Candlewood Lake.  Maybe next year for Father's Day...

I want to take a moment and wish the Dad's out there in cyberspace a Happy Father's Day!!  May it be filled with a hook of some sort (crochet/fishing/new swimming pool...)  J

I understand from some of my readers that the "bonnet" picture from yesterday is not loading properly.  I was trying something new with pictures hosted by Yahoo.  If you'd like to see the image, you can  
GO HERE to see it. 

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Bonnets, Butterflies and KoolAid

Has anyone noticed how fast time flies? I am just amazed! Just over a year ago, my family and I were in New Hampshire and I had crocheted this little bonnet "on the fly" for my new niece. Isn't she just adorable? Now she's over a year old!! Where does the time go?

If you'd like to crochet a bonnet like this one for a newborn, crochet a rectangle about the height and width of your (adult) fist. Then crochet as many rows on three of the rectangles' sides. Add a pretty shell border for the front, and ties to hold it on. You can read about what inspired this bonnet by clicking here.

I've been busy today crocheting up the fiber I dyed with KoolAid on Thursday.  Actually, I finished the project and am now on the hunt for the "perfect" button for it prior to taking a picture to post.  (I need a butterfly shaped button.)

Many have asked if I could provide more details about my dyeing experience, so I thought I'd answer a few questions I received:

1.  Will you be comparing it to dyeing w/o the microwave?
    No.  Not at this time.  I decided upon the microwave option since the store where I'm offering this class has one. 

2.  I wonder why yours came out so light compared to Karmah's?
    Apparently, I used a fiber that normally does not take to dye -- specifically the KoolAid dyeing technique.  The fiber I used did not use "truth in advertising" on it's label ... meaning, IMHO, it shouldn't have had "COTTON" in huge lettering on the front of the label unless it was 100% cotton.  (Kinda like buying "juice" only to find out that it's water, sugar and flavoring with no natural juice.)  The fiber I used turned out to be a cotton/acrylic blend.  I should have used natural fibers like silk or wool for more vivid coloring rather than a "staining."

3. how colorfast is the result with cotton?
    I microwaved the daylights out of this project, as the instructions stated.  I did so until the dye mixture appeared "clear."  Maybe this is why some of the coloring took.  At this point, since it's already crocheted into a child's handbag, I dare not to wash it further and find out!  I'll be busy hunting for that butterfly button and writing up the pattern.

I do plan on experimenting a bit more with the KoolAid dyeing technique, but not right now.  I'm on vacation this week, so I'll be doing a bit of goofing off with my family and catching up on crochet projects that have specific deadlines I need to meet.  :)

Other blogs/journals with KoolAid dyeing experiences:

  • Knit Tidbits
  • pugknits and more pugknits
  • wavybend
  • Linz Knits
  • deBRATs knitting
  • Shoes and yarn
  • modern gypsy
  • Friday, June 17, 2005

    Inspiration for Crocheting a Bear

    For those that loved my special Comfort Teddy Bears I crocheted for my niece and nephew ... if you're looking for inspiration to crochet a bear, here's a great one:

    The Afghans for  Angel Project Presents the newest project from the brain of Nala  -- AFA Project founder (age 9)

                    365 for Dennis Bears

    In  2003, Patt Marcial  made a comfortghan request for  her 13 year old grandson, Dennis. Dennis, a lifelong resident of Vallejo, CA was sick from leukemia.

    The AFA Project responded to  Pat's request and sent Dennis a blanket which Nala lovingly called  the "Rainbow Blanket."

    (For photos, please

    The AFA Project members followed Dennis' progress through updates posted to the
    CrochetPartners  web group and through emails sent to the list of people who'd sent  wishes of good hope, cards, toys, blankets, etc. to him with  the wish and prayers that he would make a
    speedy and complete  recovery.

    Dennis underwent chemotherapy,  and through the generosity of the Make a Wish Foundation, was able to visit Disney Land with his family. His grandma, Patt,  commented often of his strength and determination, his indomitable spirit, and his bright, warm, loving smile and nature.

    However, as hard as his fight was, and  as much as we all loved the courageous young man whose smile  brightened the lives and lightened the hearts of all who knew  him, Dennis Julius Gonzales was called to serve the universe  on January 3, 2004--20 days shy of his 14th birthday. Dennis' grandmother, Patt, as well as his loving parents, Ruthie and Javier Alvarez, sisters Monica and Olivia, and baby brother Javier were all left to cope with the loss and sadness they felt at  his passing.

    In remembrance of him, his grandmother  Patt Marcial, started the DennisBears organization, a charity  devoted to the creation and distribution of crocheted teddy bears to other children who battle cancer.  Since its inception, Patt  and the members of the DennisBears organization have expanded  the scope of accepted items to include afghans, non-crocheted stuffed animals and dolls, as well as chemo caps.

    In honor of Dennis, and Patt's love and devotion for her grandson,  we began the 365 for DennisBears Project:

    The Mission  of the 365 for Dennis Bears Project
    To provide 365 stuffed toys, crocheted, knitted, or sewn, to  the DennisBears Project in the year 2005 and each year after.

    Project Update
    Since the project  began in April, 2005, members of the AFA Project have sent 35 stuffed animals to the AFA Project headquarters in Ames, Iowa.  -- These will be mailed to Patt on 06/17/2005.

    Making a  Donation
    If you have a crocheted, knitted, or sewn -- handmade or store bought stuffed animal that you would donate to the DennisBears Project, please, please, please do so!  Please, Please, help us support this wonderful project!

    Send this on to all your groups-- your crafty friends, your mother in law-- your buddy with teenage kids who have just WAY too many stuffed toys... Please, if you can't donate-- DO help us spread the message!

    As of  06/17/2005 we ask you send all donations for this project directly to Patt Marcial. The mailing address is below:

    365 for  DennisBears
    c/o Patt Marcial
    114 San Diego Drive
    Vallejo, CA 94590-7808

    Do You Hear Them Ringing?

    Wedding Bells.

    Do you hear them ringing? 

    It seems my entire family has been hearing them ring for some time ... and have been prodding, gently, for a particular couple to hear them ringing too.

    Well, good news!!

               It's official!

                            My niece is engaged to such a wonderful guy!!

    No date set yet, so this means I have a little bit of time to think about a possible crocheted wedding gift to give.

    But what?

    They love going to these events every year and living like it's pre-1750.  So I'm thinking that whatever I decide, the piece should fit that era.  Fortunately, I do have a few pattern books that were printed in that era, so I'll leaf through them for possible ideas.  Readers, please let me know if you have any suggestions of what I can crochet for this great couple!!  :)

                       Congratulations Crista and Jeremy!!!

    Thursday, June 16, 2005

    ... Dyeing ...

    11:00 AM:  Placed rich chunky skein of "Spree" cotton yarn (that was turned into "hank" form) into bowl of hot water for soaking.

    11:15 AM:  Reread instructions for microwave dyeing option.  Tossing around ideas of color scheme.  Took picture of cotton while it is bathing (it didn't seem to mind).

    11:30 AM:  Took out five large coffee cups and dumped KoolAid mixture in.  Opted to use the following flavors, er, colors: Cherry, Lemonade, Orange, Watermellon Cherry, and Grape.  Mixed in water and vinegar per dyeing instructions.  Mental note: house now smells like a candy store and wonder how to explain this when it's time for the kids to come home from school.  Another Mental note: need to pick up some turkey basters (it's like a needle-less syringe) to make process easier for kids to select/add colors. 

    11:45 AM:  Oh, well come on!  I'm still typing this in ... lemme go play and I'll come update this entry with more a bit later.  ((grins))

    12:05 PM:  Enjoyed the squeezing excess water out process ... the yarn even feels yummy wet (not at all like cold spaghetti!).  Underestimated what "long piece of plastic wrap" meant.  Threw out first plastic wrap and got myself a really long piece this time!

    12:35 PM:  Scratching idea for turkey basters ... paint brushes are the way to go!!  What fun!!  Yarn now in microwave ...

    12:40 PM:  Yarn is "resting;" I intend to nuke it again to ensure the dye mixture takes.  In the meantime I want to note that Cherry was a strong color performer, while Lemonade was the weakest.  I'm not quite sure if Grape will come out purple, blue or both.  I can't wait to find out!

    12:45 PM:  Checked on resting yarn; see "colorless" fluid in pyrex.  Nuking one last time.  Caution:  Yeow-za!  HOT!!!

    12:55 PM:  Removed yarn from plastic wrap without managing to burn myself!  Was quite pleased with color "richness."  Rinsed/washed yarn in dishwashing detergent as recommended (Palmolive's Spring Sensations ... "Fresh Green Apple;") and watched rich colored yarn fade ... fade ... fade.  (Added more vinegar to final rinse.)  Started feeling a little sad that the colors are not as "rich" as when they came out of the plastic.

    1:00 PM:  Finished rinsing detergent out of yarn; hung it on a tree branch outside to dry.  Decided "rich" colors of yarn not really needed:  the Grape is more like a soft pink, the Cherry and the Watermellon Cherry muted beautifully with the Orange.  Lemonade still not a strong performer, but that's OK ... I like the end results.  It's a bunch of muted colors that just scream "summer!"

    1:05 PM:  Eagerly awaiting for yarn to dry so I can work it up into a class sample.  Took picture.  Busying turning on other PC to upload pictures ... Man! Does my house smell yummy!!!  LOL

    1:30 PM: Now, wasn't that fun??!!  :D

    Stress, or Dyeing? ... an easy choice

    Life has been a bit busy here at the CrochetWithDee household -- especially with the end of the school year just days away.  With this in mind, I'm curious as to why children wait until the morning of to state with dramatic flair that they need to wear or bring a specific item to school.  Can we say, "stress?"

    My vehicle broke down on Tuesday and I had to borrow my husband's car.  I'm curious as to why useful information like "the gas tank is empty" (especially knowing on a day that I'm teaching, is about 100 miles round trip) is not passed on.  Can we say "stress" a bit louder?  Hey, don't laugh.  You might see me on America's Funniest Home Videos as the woman who couldn't make up her mind as to which side to pull up to the gas pump ... I had to turn his car around three times until I got it right!  (It must have been the stress! and while we're at it, don't laugh that I made coffee this morning but forgot to add the grinds ... yes, it must be the stress!)

    With my back still sore, I'm not doing as much as I normally do.  So looking around the house this morning I see that I have three days of laundry to catch up on, plus other various household chores ... bills to pay ... calls to make ... a 'still-sore' back to address .... humph!  Who wants to do all that??!  Not me!!  I need to "de-stress" myself!  I'm sure doing so will lift my spirits!

    So I'm off.  I'm going to go put my play clothes on, get some pots, get out my special koolaid packets (you know where I'm going with this, don't you??) ... grab some yarn and have some fun doing some experimentation with koolaid dyeing for an upcoming kids class I'll be teaching in a few weeks.  Oh, this should be a fun way to de-stress myself!!!  J


    REMINDER: Be sure to enter for the Free Drawing ... for details, click here.

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    Tuesday, June 14, 2005

    deja vu?

    Yesterday I had my children helping me prepare the bears for their new homes -- I needed two long chains to attach their "personality cards," so my son and daughter each crocheted one in a color that matched the bears.  I'm so glad I asked for their help because they were as giddy as school children!   Alright -- you got me there, yes they ARE school children, but what I'm saying is that they were delighted to be able to contribute!  They couldn't wait for their daddy to come home so they can show him their work!  (*The Personality Cards I created state the bears name, some things they like, and their birthdates.)

    During that time I started getting short stabs of pain in my back.  Is this deja vu?  Wasn't it last summer when my back gave out on me?  Oh, this best not be!  I'll be taking it as easy as I can and will monitor my progress.  Hopefully I'm just a little sore from twisting in some odd unexpected way, or that I slept in a bad position and it will pass.

    Today is my children's school picnic and fortunately I'm not the "cooler lady" having to tote around some 150 pound cooler filled with ice and drinks.  I'm the "craft lady" and yarn is much lighter!!!  Yes, I promise to take it easy.

    Now, while we're on the topic of scary thoughts, go ahead and check out this website of crocheted masks ... awesome, huh?  :)

    Monday, June 13, 2005

    Saying "Goodbye"

    Well, today is it.  Today is the day that I finish packing up the special "Pickles comfort package" and have it shipped off.   I'll spend part of today creating little journals to include with the bears, complete with various pictures I have taken of them. The journals are for the kids to write their feelings into ... or a place to write about their adventures with the bears, or whatever else they decide to use them for.  I just want to provide an extra outlet for them to express how they're feeling. 

    I know I'll miss having the bears around, and this of course means that this will be the last pictures of them here in my journal unless the kids opt to send me some they've taken.  My biggest hope is that the bears bring them comfort, bring them smiles, at such a sad time in their lives. 

    So, this is it.  A goodbye from Mr. Amato Pickles, and Miss Cana Pickles.  ... they do want you all to stay tuned as this fall I'll be crocheting up a "cousin" that is to be raffled off at my kids school.  Of course the "cousin" will be needing a name (non-gender specific), so I'm open for suggestions!

    Sunday, June 12, 2005

    Determination. Inspiration.

    We had a quiet meeting today ... laying plans for all the crochet adventures we'll be participating in and such.  I enjoyed chatting with member Margaret Hubert -- who has lots of new designs coming out!! -- while my daughter worked on her jump rope using her "Wonder Knitter."  Was the meeting too quiet?  Was it because of the start of summer?  Whatever the reason, the group broke up about an hour early.

    And it's a good thing too.  It allowed for time to walk the hospital corridors and look at some of the most fantastic art they had on display.  All the art pieces were created by cancer patients during some of their darkest, most painful points in their treatments.  There were quilts, water and oil paintings, jewelry, poetry ... and one piece that stopped me in my tracks.

    I couldn't move.  Instead I was being moved by the piece.  It was a beautiful, soft and lofty looking gray shawl, beaded, and knitted -- by a woman who lost her arm due to cancer.  Yes, that's right.  This beautiful shawl was knitted by a one-armed woman who beat the odds and sees the beauty in life.  Determination.   I have thought of nothing else in the hours since seeing it.    Inspiration.  I am truly moved. 

    Along that same line of thought, I want to mention that I am also moved by the many who are entered for the Free Drawing -- and the names of those loved ones that have passed on.  If you haven't already, Be sure to enter for the Free Drawing ... for details, click here.  It's for a good cause.

    Story: trouble on the horizon?

    I'm getting ready to attend our local monthly crochet meeting.  It's a fun time for us all to get together and share what's new, our crochet sightings, crochet accomplishments and such. 

    So, while I'm getting ready, I thought I'd take a few moments and climb on stage here and tell the tale of two crocheters instant messaging each other yesterday.  We'll call this story "Trouble on the horizon?"  (it's a true story, only some of the names have been changed to protect the yarnaholics)

    CroFanRP [7:57 AM]: good morning, dee!
    CroFanRP [7:57 AM]: 
    what time is your bead class this afternoon?
    CrochetWithDee [7:59 AM]: good morning ... the bead class today starts at 12:45 ...   
    CroFanRP [8:00 AM]: hey dee...
    CroFanRP[8:01 AM]: we sold out of those needle threaders with the big white handles
    CroFanRP [8:01 AM]: 
    michael's didn't have them either
    CrochetWithDee [8:01 AM]:  you can use mine  
    CroFanRP [8:01 AM]: 
    oh cool
    CroFanRP [8:01 AM]:  thanks!
    CroFanRP [8:09 AM]: 
    oh dee my daughter is coming home on monday and my yarn is in her room!  What am I to do???  LOL! 
    CrochetWithDee [8:11 AM]:  go to home depot and purchase a tool belt.  Then, pack the little pockets &such with yarn, hooks, beads & such.  Wear it for when she arrives home and say, "Oh sweetie, I'm glad you're here.  I'm redecorating your room -- I hope you love the changes as much as I do!" 
    CrochetWithDee [8:11 AM]:  :D  
    CroFanRP [8:11 AM]: oh that's so very funny!  she's a knitter, she'd love it! 
    CrochetWithDee [8:12 AM]:   (I'm just getting to my coffee now and cannot be held responsible for my actions until I drink it)
    CrochetWithDee [8:12 AM]: then you should do it   
    CroFanRP [8:12 AM]: i know!  hubby's supposed to be bringing some home!
    CrochetWithDee [8:12 AM]: it would be a riot   
    CroFanRP [8:12 AM]: 
    it would be too funny wouldn't it?
    CrochetWithDee [8:13 AM]: 
    for her sake, you can put a pair of knitting needles on your tool belt   
    CroFanRP [8:13 AM]: hahahahhaaa!  I just may do it!  

                                       (insert applause here)


    Thank you. Thank you.  (I bow my head with gratitude.)

    So now you all know that Lori was right, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, in the transcript of an instant message session ... I admit I can be a bit of an eccentric -- especially when I've yet to have my first cup of coffee in the morning! (speaking of coffee, where is my cup?!)  LOL

    Now, if we can get images of "CroFanRP" wearing the yarn-packed tool belt when her daughter comes home, and of her daughter's expression -- oh, to be a fly on the wall!!!  

    Have a great Sunday!

    Saturday, June 11, 2005

    Seeing Red

    I was having a great morning; getting ready to have a great day when I decided to open one more email.  When I did, my heart sank into my stomach giving me that "sick" feeling, and raising my blood pressure due to anger.

    It seems, if the email is true, that I'm in danger ... and you might be too:

    Dear Dee: We are writing to inform you of a recent incident that may have exposed you to identity theft. This e-mail is intended to provide timely notification; a letter containing this information will also be sent to you via U.S. mail.

    On May 31, 2005 we were alerted to a possible security breach to our website shopping cart and subsequently shutdown the e-commerce portion of our website until we could verify and fix the problem. Upon investigation, we believe a file containing order information (specifically names and credit card numbers) was compromised.


    To further protect yourself, we recommend that you place a fraud alert on your credit file. A fraud alert lets creditors know to contact you before opening new accounts. Just call any one of the three credit reporting agencies at the number below. This will let you automatically place fraud alerts and order your credit report from all three.

    This email letter (I only inserted parts of it) is from Interweave Press ... I am angry that there are people out there that have nothing better to do than to wreck havoc on other people -- regular "Joe's and Jane's" like us who have to work for everything we have only to have someone take it -- steal it -- away. 

    Fortunately for me, if I am a victim of this, then the joke is on the thief.  My credit card I used for online purchases was already stolen a few months ago by some other bloke.  This is why I'm now a huge fan of the "one time use" credit card option.

    Be aware!  If you ever ordered from the Interweave Press folks, check your credit history to ensure you're not a victim too!

    Friday, June 10, 2005

    Question from Reader: Updates

    Lori asks: Dee, how often do you update your blog, and when do you find the time to do it?

    I try to update my blog/journal at least once a day. Sometimes I can't squeeze in the time to do it, whereas other times I'll make up for it by posting twice in one day.  If you want to make sure that you don't miss a single post, there's an "Alert" option you can sign up for. (I don't know if it works for non-aol email accounts.)

    I usually update my blog/journal here in the early morning hours;  I'll have my cup of coffee nearby ... that's an absolute must for me.  I'm going nowhere, doing absolutely nothing, without my morning cup of coffee!  ((grins))  Since the summer is coming, my schedule is apt to change a bit.  You know, sleeping in?!  So the entries will still be coming; they'll just be showing up a wee bit later in the day.

    What's coming up for the next couple of days? ... book reviews!  Yep, I received a bunch of new books and I've been having fun thumbing through them.  So stay tuned!  :)

    REMINDER: Be sure to enter for the Free Drawing ... for details, click here.

    Thursday, June 9, 2005

    More on Inspiration

    Last night, as I was doing a bit of crocheting, I was listening to the TV program called "Girlfriends."  I was listening to two of the main characters have an exchange of words about their education.  One character has five college degrees and was doing nothing to utilize them; the other character was fighting tooth & nail to get back into college to finish her degree.  Isn't this something we all go through everyday?

    What I mean by this is that we're either set in our ways and have no desire to change, or we're blazing new paths to see where the journey of life takes us.  I see myself as a mix of the two characters.  I'm set in my ways, but I'm willing to take a detour if the scenery looks interesting.

    One of the ways I take detours is by taking crochet classes.  (But Dee, you teach crochet!  Why would you need to take classes?)  I do teach crochet classes, and I love doing it.  But I don't know everything about crochet (yet! lol).  I love the experience of being the student where my brain cells have the opportunity to be recharged; to be regenerated; to be inspired to try something new.  As much as I love seeing the "light go on" for my students when they learn a new technique or stitch, I love that feeling for myself.

    This is one of the reasons I signed up to take the Overlay Crochet workshop in New York City later this month.  I have this tingling sensation -- an anticipation -- in waiting for this class.  The "in person" interaction with an instructor is a priceless experience, in my humble opinion.  You get to ask questions; you get to watch the magic in person; you get to catch the infectious fun from other participants.

    If you can't take a local class, then you might be interested in taking a correspondence class.  To quote the singer known as Pink, "Let's Get This Party Started!"  The Crochet Guild of America just announced some new correspondence classes. the Craft Yarn Council of America has their Certification course; Pauline Turner offers one; and Hass Designs has online classes.

    I hope this inspires you to deviate from your normal routine and be inspired to take a class -- to get those creative juices flowing.  (Apparently I was able to influence the Pickles to get some personal instruction yesterday!  Check out Sharlene, of the KnitTogether staff, giving Amato some knitting instructions while Cana did some awesome crocheting ...)

    Wednesday, June 8, 2005

    Inspiration: Where does it come from?

    Main Entry: in·spi·ra·tion
    Pronunciation: "in(t)-sp&-'rA-sh&n, -(")spi-
    Date: 14th century
    1 a : a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation b : the action or power of moving the intellect or emotions c : the act of influencing or suggesting opinions  (the above is quoted from the AOL Research & Learning link)

    I was asked today where I draw my inspiration from ... where my ideas come from, and if it would be OK for someone to climb into my head and have a look around.

    Well, if one is able to climb into my head and have a look around, then one would want to bring a broom and some good filing skills -- it's a mess in there and could use a good cleaning!

    As for where I draw my inspiration from:  I look to what's shaping my life, what has shaped my life, and what I can do to better shape my life.  Not always does it go as planned, but sometimes great things result.  All I can suggest is that you look at an ordinary item and ask yourself, "What if I took it and used that item in a different way?" (like crocheting up some licorice, or even some rubber bands!)  You can also ask yourself, "What would happen if I took something and put it in another environment? (like taking two stuffed bears to a park for some fun) ...

    Whatever you opt to do, make it fun, and try to draw your own inspiration from it.  :)

    REMINDER: Be sure to enter for the Free Drawing ... for details, click here.

    Famous Crocheter Passes Away

    It's all over the news, Anne Bancroft passed away.  She's one of the actresses I have listed on my Famous Crocheters webpage:

    Anne Bancroft: 1931- 2005
    a versatile actress, Anne Bancroft has actually had two film careers. The first, which took place during the 1950s, was generally undistinguished and featured her in films that usually failed to fully utilize her talents. The second, which began in the early '60s, established her as an actress of great acclaim in films like The Miracle Worker
    and granted her screen immortality with roles such as that of the iconic Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate. It's in the movie, The Miracle Worker that she can be seen crocheting. To learn more about her CLICK HERE.

    Tuesday, June 7, 2005

    «Crocheting With Dee - One name. One legend.»

    Tuesday. I'm home on a Tuesday??
    What does one do with themselves on a Tuesday? Oh my! (giggles)

    Usually I'm teaching in Stamford on Tuesdays but they changed their hours for the summer. My crochet classes will now take place on Wednesdays.  (give the website a visit to see the class schedule)

    On the right are some license plates I was playing around with ... thinking, "What if" ...  In looking at them now, I'm thinking I should have added "YRN AD8" (yarn addict).

    In the same line of thinking about promoting crochet, yesterday, Sheila of "Just Another Hooker" wrote about a website that generates slogans. Seeing that I've been working with a company in creating an official CrochetWithDee logo, I thought why not go and play with the slogan maker website, and see what it generates. 

    I thought I'd break them down the results into Categories. (What a riot!!)
    Possible Class Titles
    << Crochet With Dee know-how >> 
    << Crochet With Dee, the clever way >>
    << Share moments, share Crochet With Dee >>
    << Don't play with fire, play with Crochet With Dee >>
    « Feel the magic of Crocheting With Dee.»
    « Be inspired by Crocheting With Dee.»

    What my Students might say about me:
    << Crochet With Dee keeps going, and going, and going ... >>
    << Crochet With Dee never sleeps >>
    « There's only one thing in the world I want and that is Crocheting With Dee. »
    << Crocheting With Dee makes your day. >>

    What I could call my students & classes:
    << The Crochet With Dee people. >>
    <<The Crochet With Dee community. >>

    Slogan that could make my head swell:
    «Crocheting With Dee - One name. One legend.»

    generated by

    By The Way!  Don't forget to enter into the Free Earring Drawing!  Visitmy June 6th entry for the details on how to enter!  J

    Monday, June 6, 2005

    Drawing: Try for a Chance to Win

    After giving this much thought, I decided to offer a free raffle drawing -- all for a good cause!

     Here's the rules:
  • 1. Drawing will run from now until the end of the month (6/30/05 Midnight Eastern Time).
  • 2. To be included in the drawing you must leave a message at this journal entry here with a working email; or email me stating you'd like to be included. 
  • 3. All the names will be collected and one name will be drawn. The winner will receive a pair of crocheted earrings, similar to Miss Pickles' earrings as pictured here. The bead work will be pink, as that's the chosen color for Cancer Awareness.  (I reserve the right for artistic flair & changes.)  I will then send a cash donation to the American Cancer Society in the winner's name, or (in memory of) another name that the winner provides.
  • 4.  The winner agrees to allow me to contact them to tell them they won.  Winner will then provide me with mailing instructions.  (I don't know if there's any laws for this since no money is exchanging hands except for a donation to the American Cancer Society.  So until someone can tell me for certain that I'm breaking a law, lets leave this drawing open to any place in the world!)

    The value of the earring prize is priceless ... it's in memory of my Sister-in-law.  (No, the wires are not real gold.)  No cash/monies will be going to the winner.  Donation amount to be made to the American Cancer Society is at my discretion.
  • So, it's that simple. Leave a message, or email me. Spread the word -- this is a good thing :)

    Finally ...

    I'm proud to introduce to you Mr. Amato Pickles and his sister, Miss Cana Pickles.  To recap: the bears were crocheted from Berroco's Bulky Chinchilla yarn using a pattern found on the Lion Brand website.  The bears are gifts for my niece and nephew who recently lost their mother to cancer, and thus I'm calling them "Comfort Teddy Bears."
      They're about the size of a 18 month old toddler, and are just as soft as a loving hug.  Both bears received the last name of "pickles" at my children's school.  Their first names are Italian and mean "beloved."
      The vest Mr. Pickles is wearing was crocheted using the Modular Crochet technique that's discussed in Judith Copelands' out of print book, "Modular Crochet."  The tie was an addition from my son's collection.
      Miss Pickles ballerina skirt is tulle sewn in half with a beaded trim then stuffed with roses.  Her earrings are crocheted too; I deviated from the pattern by adding beads.

    Without further delay, I present the Comfort Teddy Bears: Amato and Cana Pickles ... 

    Saturday, June 4, 2005

    Pickles on the Beach

    Putnam Lake:
    Five farms were purchased in the 1930s. Then the Morlock Brook was dammed to create  the 200 acre lake.

    The Pickles' are enjoying an evening sunset at one of the lakes' beaches.

    How about a little tease?

    Sheila of "Just Another Hooker," has long been saying that I've been enjoying teasing my readers about Miss Cana Pickles.  I admit it, I have!

    ... so why should I stop now?  (LOL)

    ... Here's a real tease ... a snap shot of one of her earrings!


    Do you like the bead work?

    "Dudette, Where's the Pickles?"

    It took me hours yesterday, but I did it; I had sewn the tulle ballerina skirt and then stuffed it with little roses.  I then slipped the little skirt onto Cana Pickles and, I swear, her smile seemed to get bigger.  I think that means she likes it.

    This morning I'm addressing her need for appropriate earrings.  I decided I didn't like the one's I initially made for her.  So I visited the website Sheila had mentioned in a past journal entry on dainty earrings and tried creating one with wire.  I only made one earring and didn't like it; it doesn't "stand out" enough.  I guess I'll get out my thread a bit later on and will work one up and see how it looks on her.  Really now, catering to Fashion Diva's ...  LOL

    If the rain passes through today I hope to take both of the Pickles out -- if not to join me for some fun on my swing, then at least for a ride -- I want to see where I can take their pictures around town before I ship them off.  Of course I know you're all clamoring to see them, so I'll see what I can do.

    In the meantime, here's a great news article on kids & crochet:  Dude, Where's my yarn?


    Friday, June 3, 2005

    Anyone speak/read Russian?

    Any one speak/read Russian?

    Word has it that the exhibit my Irish Clones Lace is in has grabbed the attention of those in Russia -- see for yourself:

    Раздел: Интересная ссылка
    Тема: Картинки с выставки freeform
    Загетботила 37 картинок с выставки freeform по ссылке.Кому интересно, качайте: Picture 033 copy.jpg

    (yeah, I'd love to know what that says!!  lol)

    How exciting!


    6/4:  Ang W. emailed the link to the website.  There I was able to make the translation from Russian to English.  Here's what the above says:

    Division: Interesting reference is the theme: Pictures from exhibition freeform Of zagetbotila of 37 pictures from exhibition freeform on the the ssylke.Komu it is interesting, rock

    Thanks Ang!!!  :) 

    Three Choices and a Lasso?

    I am not a sewer. I don't profess to be one, and I doubt I'll ever play one on TV.   I am having the most difficult time getting the tulle stuff to behave! 

    My goal is to have the tulle "stuffed" with roses.  I've seen it done; it's very pretty.  But like I said, the tulle is being a royal pain.  Every time I get it the way I want it and bring it close to the sewing machine it gets all wiggly & slippery and no amount of straight pins will hold it in place long enough for me to sew a straight line.  The image here is about as close of a true picture of me going after that pesky tulle.  (Arg!!)   LOL

    Finally, I got my crooked line sewn, and then gathered the tulle.  It's starting to look semi-normal, like what a ballerina might  wear.  I finish pinning in place the pretty beaded trim that I'd like around the waist and of course no one warned  me that beads and sewing machines are allergic  to each other.  Oh no!  No!  No!  I had to figure out on my own that this simply won't work!  My sewing machine is practically unplugging itself and is ready to walk away from the project!  Imagine!!  (Uhgh!)

    I'm left with three choices:
    1.  Pick another trim without beads
    2. Sew it on by hand
    3. Go out drinkin' and call it a day.

    Since I'm not much of a drinker, that option is out.  I could pick another trim, but this one is soooo pretty!  Darn!  It looks like I'll be sewing the trim on by hand -- so this means it will take Miss Cana Pickles a bit longer until she's properly dressed.

    Sorry gang!

    Thursday, June 2, 2005

    ...towel & shower cap?

    Dear Dee,
    Take a hand towel and wrap it around her as though she just came from a shower. :o) Too bad you don't have one of those Glad covers with the elastic in could put it on her like a shower cap.

    Oh, you guys are cracking me up today! LOL

    I know how cranky I'd be if someone were to snap my picture with nothing but a towel and shower cap on -- and then to see it up on the Internet.  I can only imagine how a bear would take it ... I imagine it wouldn't be a pretty sight.   Oh, OH!  I'm not saying that the bear wouldn't be pretty with nothing on but a towel and shower cap; I'm sure she would be quite cute ... I'm just saying it wouldn't be pretty with what she'd do to me if I betrayed her trust like that!    LOL

    Don'tcha' just love it?!   ... She's a crocheted, stuffed bear and I going on & on as if she were real, with human emotions.  Oh, I do need to get some sleep!

    Thanks for the suggestion, Sheila!  :)

    Question from Reader: Picture Now?

    Dear Dee,
    How about a picture of Miss Pickles and her brother sitting on the couch? I'd love to see how she came out! Denise

    Wow Denise! You're quick! I just posted this update on finishing the second Comfort Bear, Miss Cana Pickles, and already you're all wanting to see how she came out!  I'm impressed and honored!

    Well, ordinarily I'd comply with taking a picture and showing everyone but Miss Pickles says she's "...not proper sitting here naked." Remember, she's a little bear! (hahaha -- I'm playing on words here!)

    I do promise to share a picture of her, and of them together, just as soon as she's "proper."  Thanks for emailing me!  :)

    She's done!

    It's official; Miss Cana Pickles is done.  All the kings men, and all the kings horses have finished putting her together.  Yeah, right.  Wouldn't that be cool if it were true?!! ... you crochet up whatever it is you have in mind and a bunch of kings' men & their horses get out their tapestry needles and do all the assembling.  I wonder if Humpty Dumpty knew he had it so good before his terrible fall?  (LOL)

    Getting back to Miss Pickles, all kidding aside, I finished crocheting and assembling her yesterday.  If time permits today, I'll dust off my sewing machine and work on her ballerina skirt, and finish assembling her earrings (just need to add two jump rings). 

    I had hoped to take Miss Pickles outside today with her brother --  maybe to a nearby beach and take their picture, but I don't trust the weather.  It looks like we'll be getting more rain and Miss Pickles has stated that she doesn't want to "...get caught out in such weather."  Can't blame her, really.  She's not machine washable.

    So for now, she's content to sit on the couch and hold her brother's hand.  He's happy too -- he finally had his mouth sewn on too.

    I know, I'm "punchy," I'm "giddy."  This is what happens when you stay up to the wee hours of the morning working on a project.  That "one more stitch" becomes "one more row," and heck, "since I'm so close to finishing it, I may as well."  Ah, come on now, you know what I mean!  LOL    J

    Wednesday, June 1, 2005

    Summertime Crochet Classes: Bethel

    It's that time again -- time to announce classes for the summer being held at the Bethel  store! If you're interested in signing up for any of these classes, please contact
                              A STITCH IN TIME  @ 203-748-1002:

         Crochet Classes with With Dee!

    Fantastic Fiber Camp
    10:00 AM - 11:00 AM:  Kids Can Crochet Too!  Six great classes to introduce the fantastic fiber arts to kids -- and their friends!  It's an opportunity to put down the electronic games, and with giggles & grins, create something from a simple piece of string!  Class size is limited; make it more fun by taking the classes with a friend!

    Week 1:  June 30th - Learn the Crochet Chain Stitch
    Week 2:  July 14th - Learn the Single Crochet Stitch
    Week 3:  July 21st - Start Project: Purse or Treasure Bag
    Week 4:  July 28th - Learn Finger Weaving for Purse Strap/Treasure Bag pull
    Week 5:  August 4th - Purse assembly
    Week 6:  August 11th - Learn how to add beads to projects
    Skill Level:  None needed.  (Parents of children younger than 12 must remain in store)
    Materials:  Size H or I hook, 1 skein worsted weight, light colored yarn
    Cost:  $60

    Knit & Purl with Crochet!
           Thursday: June 30
           11:15 PM- 1:15 PM
    Crocheting is known for having many techniques ... and achieving the look of knit and purl is one of them!!  Yes, crocheters CAN fool the naked eye with the Tunisian Crochet Hook!  Intrigued?  Sign up today!
    Skill Level:  Basic
    Materials:  Tunisian Crochet Hook, worsted weight yarn
    Cost:  $25

    Absolute Beginner 101
         Thursday: July 21 or August 4
            11:15 AM - 1:15 PM
    Have you tried to learn how to crochet from a book and just don't get it?  Has it been awhile and you need a refresher?  This class was designed with you, the beginner, in mind.  In this class you will learn the slip knot, the chain, and the single crochet, the importance of turning chains, how to add on a new skein, and how to properly end off.  Come, be inspired, and learn the fastest growing needlework in America.
    Level:  none.
    Supplies: 4-ply yarn (light color); crochet hook size G-H-or I, any book/magazine with beginner stitch diagrams
    Cost: $25

    Absolute Beginner 102
         Thursday: July 28 or August 11
            11:15 AM -- 1:15 PM

    Ready for that first project? Reading patterns more like figuring out a new foreign language?  Then this class is for you!  Bring your materials and get help on getting started, or get help with that pattern that's stumping you!
    Level:  absolute beginner/beginner
    Supplies: pattern, yarn & hook for first project
    Cost:  $25

    The Rose Broach class is back by popular demand!!
         Thursday: July 14, or August 16
           1:30 PM  - 3:30 PM
    Book the entire class for yourself and your bridesmaids to learn how to crochet the beautiful crocheted Rose Broach to give as favors.  Or bring a friend and exchange your roses at the end of the classes as tokens of your friendship.  Whatever your occasion, say it with a rose; say it with a crocheted rose that lasts a lifetime!
    Level:  basic
    Supplies: 4-ply yarn (light color); crochet hook to match yarn recommendation
    Cost: $25

    Flip Floppin' Fun
         Thursday: June 30
           11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
    It's all the rave!  Learn how to add crochet to your pair of flip flops to makea splashing flashing statement on the beach this summer!  Book the entire class to make for a great summertime birthday party!
    Level: basic
    Supplies: yarn; crochet hook to match yarn recommendation, tapestry needle, flip flops.  Beads & charms optional.
    Cost: $15

    BYOP (Bring Your Own Project)
          Thursday: June 30
          12:30 PM -- 2:30 PM
    Come for one hour or come for two.  Bring in that pattern you need help deciphering, or that crochet project that has become your nemesis.  Sign up for this class to get the help you're looking for while also learning tips and tricks to make your crocheting hobby easier.
    Level:  beginner/intermediate/advanced
    Supplies: bring your own project/pattern
    Cost:  $15 1-hour; $25 2-hours

    Hairpin Lace
    July 21, or August 18
          1:30 PM -- 3:30 PM
    Hairpin lace is a beautiful technique of elongating loops to create a beautiful fabric that's perfect for the summer months!  Learn how to use the fork, and how to assemble the pieces together.
    Level:  beginner/intermediate/advanced
    Supplies: hairpin fork, yarn or thread, hook to match fiber.  Beads optional.
    Cost:  $25

    Joinings & Edgings

            1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
    Have you been crocheting a zillion granny squares until the time has come to assemble them?  Have you worked up the pieces for a sweater and not sure how to put the pieces together?  Does your work seem to be missing that final touch?   If so, then this class is for you.  In this class you'll learn the proper techniques used for sewing and crocheting your work together, along with discussion of how you can finish your work with a simple edging to pull it all together.
    Level:  Beginner/Intermediate/advanced
    Supplies:  project to be assembled, or 4 - 8 squares to practice on; Crochet Hook (size G, H, or I works best, or hook used for project); 4 ply yarn; tapestry needle
    Cost:  $25

    Crochet For Charity
    : August 18
    Instructional Time: 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM; event ends at 2:00 PM     

    Crocheters of all ages, of all abilities, come join our Certified Crochet Teacher and Crochet for Charity!  Come with 6" X 9" crocheted or knitted squares, or come on in and learn how to crochet a square.  Come and help assemble the squares, Dee will even offer you instructions on how to assemble!  Our goal is to create blankets that will be donated to Danbury's "Elizabeth House," a local shelter for women and children.  Don't have time to join us but still want to contribute?  Drop off completed squares anytime!

    Enjoy a glass of refreshing Iced Tea, good company for a great cause and get 20% off Plymouth Encore yarn.  Discount only good during Charity Event Time, limited to 2 skeins of Encore Worsted Weight yarn.
    Skill Level:  None Required
    Supplies:  BYO, or Purchase them here at the store
    Cost: FREE!