Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Dee-stashing & Donations

As I sit here and look around my home, I am thankful.  The stories stemming from Hurricane Katrina are heart-wrenching.  I've yet to hear where my nephew and sister-in-law are; I wonder if they are OK.

Even though our budget is very tight, I went to the website this morning and made a $100 donation.  If you're interested in making a donation too, they do have an option where your donation goes to the Hurricane Relief fund; just be sure to select it.  Otherwise, you can call them and specifically request your donation be earmarked for the Hurricane Relief Effort.  (Don't forget, the SalvationArmy is taking donations too.)

There also has been much discussion online about people looking to dee-stash; I'd like to do so myself.  I wonder if there is a place I can ship yarn, hooks, needles, and patterns to for all those people who are in various shelters in need of a distraction ... if anyone knows, please leave a comment here or email me. 

Update 1, 2:30 PM:  I feel a tremendous amount of sadness; I don't think I can handle watching/listening/reading another report about the extreme flooding.  I feel I have to do something!

After a discussion with my husband this afternoon I advised him that he will be shipping two boxes for me.  One will be filled with the coloring books, crayons, reading books, simple toys and such I've been collecting all year long.  I'm calling it the "Kiddie Box."  All these items would have gone to my local Salvation Army this Christmas season, but I think the children who had to leave everything behind in the past few days could benefit from a little distraction.

The other box will be filled with "starters" my eight-year old daughter created.  "Starters" are little balls of yarn with a hook and instructions on how to crochet.  There will be skeins upon skeins of yarn, as many hooks as I can locate (I know I have a stash of some around here somewhere!), and as many leaflets and booklets I can spare.  My goal is to have them delivered directly to the Texas sportscomplex where they are moving all these people to ...

        ... I'm off to pack the boxes ...

Update 2, 5:23 PM:  With my children's help, I have packed a total of three boxes!  Who knew I had knit supplies too?  (yeah, I found it just as surprising as you do!) LOL  I feel so much better in just packing up the boxes, though I nearly killed myself lifting the "kiddie box."  That box must weight some 20 pounds!  I know there is no way I can outfit the nearly one million people who have been displaced, but I figure it's a start.

I have a call into the Mayor of Houston, TX, and am working with their Special Events Coordinator in trying to figure out the best place to address these boxes to ...

Monday, August 29, 2005

Fiesta? Softness? Texture? Sounds like Contradictions

Here it is, two days (including today) of summer left for my children. We'll be spending the time getting them ready to to start the new school year, and that means I'll need to abandon my journal/blog possibly for a few days.

To give my regular readers, and my new ones too, a little inspiration (perhaps? maybe? possibly?) while I'm gone, I'm providing these two images of my latest works hot off my hook(s):

To the left is a scarf I created using two strips of Hairpin Lace. I was careful to keep my ribbon flat as I wrapped it around the fork to ensure my "Fiesta of Ribbon" really showed. I want to give thanks to my sweetie for modeling it while I snapped pictures -- considering the weather is hot & muggy, she did a great job without a single complaint!  :)

On the right, is a scarf I finished crocheting at 1:30 this morning (when it's this hot, who can sleep?). It's a scarf I crocheted using mohair, my "Graydog" crochet hook (size N) in the technique that's making chatter in all the online groups: Waffle Weave. I love how it's so incredibly soft while still having a lot of texture to it. In the back of my mind there is a little voice telling me to try it with another mohair fiber and a larger hook to see what happens. (I'll need to quiet that little voice down for now!)

To see more details, click onto the pictures for a larger view. To see more of my work, visit my albums at

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Details of CraftAdventure

CraftAdventure 2005 was, I think, my favorite in all the years I've been attending and demonstrating at this event.  First of all, the weather was just beautiful!  Nowhere was the stuffy heat from last year!  Whew!

Although no one in our group won any ribbons this year, it was fantastic to check out all the wonderful entries.  Astonishingly it seemed a good bulk of the crocheted entries came from Connecticut more than any other state!  Mind you, my group only entered three items, and the Stamford group entered one item -- so this means there are many crocheters in the Connecticut region coming out of the woodwork!  I love  that!!

My daughter was a bit disappointed that she did not receive a ribbon as she has in the past -- especially since this was her first "big" project she has ever completed (see image #2), but after I reexplained to her why we enter into Fairs, she picked her head up and agreed.  "You're right, it is better Mommy," she said, "to know that someone might want to learn after looking at your entry."  Little did she know that she would become one of the largest attractions during the day!

As she sat at our booth and crocheted -- many were amazed to see an eight-year-old not only crocheting but designing! clothing for one of the dolls she brought to the event!  They'd ask her if she entered anything in the fair and she'd reply, "Yep, it's the sparkly pink pocket book."  They'd go and check it out and come back with wonderful compliments about the piece.  She came to me later in the day and said, "Mom, I might not have won a ribbon, but all the people said they loved  my purse!"  She had such a huge smile!

We had a good number of folks wanting to try their hand at becoming a *happy hooker* too -- and we were ready!  We handed out free kits containing yarn and a crochet hook while also providing hands-on instructions to get them going (see image #1).  We also had a good amount of visitors from the Internet too!  (Thanks everyone for stopping by!!)  What a blast!

My daughter and I even managed to take two classes together.  I can't begin to say how deeply I loved those moments we shared together -- as we learned together.   The first class was on making pixie dolls.  Simple in concept, fun to do!  (see image #4)  The second class was a discussion on a "New Technique in Crochet."  To me, it wasn't, but to the others who attended the class, their attention was grabbed.  The class was on crocheting with fabric.  My daughter wasn't as interested in the class as it wasn't hands on as the pixie doll class was, but once the class was over she seemed interested in helping me find some fabric from a quilting vendor so I could work up a quick mug cozy with it.

I threw image #3 in my entry here because I found it just so darn entertaining to watch one of our members knit with toothpicks!  I was floored really!  There were also demonstrations on basket weaving, loom weaving, tatting, and bobbin lace!  We were in fiber heaven really!  Even Richwoods (one of the vendors we met last year) was there -- with beautiful handturned crochet hooks, knitting needles and drop spindles.  Word has it that after The Big E event in September, he'll be traveling here to CT to visit our Crochet group.  Oh, that will be a treat for sure!

On the way home, we *happened* to stop at AC Moore -- and as the name implies, we did so for *moore* fiber.  And how!  There seemed to be a total lack of controlling our fiber diets when we rounded one corner and found half an aisle with nothing but designer yarns on clearance!   And, OMG,  it just so *happened* that one of our members with us had a bunch of 40% off coupons with her ... what was I saying the other day?  Oh, yes, I recall:  I love my luck!  (LOL)

It was really a great day! 

There's still time!  If you're in the Springfield, MA, area today thenGO TO THE CRAFTADVENTURE and check it out!  :)


Friday, August 26, 2005

As Luck Would Have It ...

As luck would have it, all the online groups have been discussing the new Family Circle (crochet) magazine -- and how difficult it is to obtain.

As luck would have it, even one of our local crochet club members had difficulty getting it.

And as luck would have it, I'm sitting here wishing I had a copy myself.

Fortunately, I have luck, or rather, luck was looking out for me!  It all started with attendng a meeting this week: I offered an idea, it struck a cord, it's being implimented.  I was asked for my blog address so I provided it.  From there I received an email asking for help, which I'm always happy to do, and in return this woman is "thanking me for my kindness" with a copy of the FC mag hot off the press.  She already wrote me to tell me it's in the mail!  I can't wait!  I didn't expect to be rewarded, but this is way cool!

I decided to spread my luck around a bit.  Over there at the Bernat website they're looking to give Disco yarn away -- so I opted to have some sent to some crocheters I know who do not have Internet access. (I wasn't greedy; I picked two people)   Groovy right?  Gotta love that they're going to be surprised with a free skein of yarn!  And as luck would have it, I'm going to share the link with you too:

Finally, as luck would have it, I received an email from Lion Brand gently letting me know that my request for tickets to the Martha Stewart show was declined.  So, as luck would have it, that means the yarn I purchased to make the "coming home" poncho can now be used to crochet Chemo Caps. 

I love my luck!   :)

ADDITION: I was preparing items for tomorrow's big event (The CraftAdventure) and came across the goodie that was given to me by my gal, Grace.  Talk about luck ... this woman has the most AMAZING luck when it comes to finding OOP books and books on sale for a song!  She got me the one pictured to the right.  Now am I lucky or what??!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hooks a-flyin': Preparing for The Big Day

Stop the drooling!  ((grins))

That collection of yarn and hooks you see in the images to the left are for the 2005 Knit Out & Crochet Too! event that will take place in NYC on October 2nd.  These are the some of the "starts" we got done last night; I think we have about another 150 to go!

For those that will be attending the event, I will attempt to fill in designer Margaret Hubert's shoes.  She is unable to make the event this year so I will be doing the demonstration on Freeform Crochet; and with my girlfriend, Grace, I will also be doing a demonstration on simple crocheted flowers. I have the call out to Freeformers wishing to have their blogs/websites/books and such listed on a handout I plan on creating. It's planned to have Lion Brand provide me with tear-sheets to hand out for the flowers.

If you do plan on attending a Knit Out & Crochet Too Event, post the KOC2 logo on your blog/website! 

To do so, go on over to the Craft Yarn Council of America's website at and save the logo to your computer.  Then post it to your blog and/or website.  Let's see how many sites we can have proudly displaying the 2005 logo!  Not sure there will be a KOC2 in your area?  Check the website -- they just added more locations and advise on how you can bring the event to your area!

It's a free event and well worth volunteering your time to make it happen; and well worth your time to attend!  ... and don't forget, they're having another Scarf contest!  Check out their website for details on that too!  :)

OK, I'm off to upload the logo to my blog here ...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hookers Busy Season is Upon Us

How often is it that you swear you've seen mystical beings and wished folks believed you?  Fortunately for me, I was forewarned.  So when I heard noise in the yard yesterday I grabbed my camera just in case!  What you're seeing in the image is a white deer!  What I don't know is if it's another breed just hanging out, or if it's an albino.  It's just a babe that apparently has two normal-looking siblings and mom.  I thought it was just beautiful to watch!  (Click here to read a beautiful Indian story about magical white deers)

On the crochet front, I was in New York City yesterday for another Knit Out and Crochet Too event meeting.  (see image #2) As we worked on the event layout, contests, and such, we all worked on "starts." -- including my children!  These "starts" of crochet and knit will be handed out in the "Learn to Crochet/Knit" tent for those interested in learning.  I was tickled that my daughter and son helped out!  (I only have my son pictured since it doesn't show his full face)

One thing is for sure, he is smitten with Lily Chin (she's in picture #2) -- she recognized the kids from the 2004 Chain Link Conference and gave them a big hello.  My son, with all of a six-year-old's bravado, gave her a wink and a smile.  Hooboy.  Should I tell him she's married?  ;)

Tonight, members of the HHCC will be gathering for what we're calling a "Start Party."  We have 250 "starts" to crochet for the K0C2, and starter packets to put together for CraftAdventure event we'll be demonstrating at this Saturday.  What can I say?  This is our busy season!  I hope you can join us!

Monday, August 22, 2005

I called "Dibs" first!

The trip to Massachusetts went smoothly this morning; all the items have been officially entered for next weekend's big event: The Craft Adventure!  (Rose, please tell Nikki all is "good, safe & sound!")

Since we were in the "neighborhood," we opted to take a little scenic drive up to Northampton to visit a little yarn shop called "WEBs."  If you've never been, well then you're in for a treat!

When I walked in the door I knew exactly what I wanted; I wanted thread to match the doily I had crocheted last month ... did I come home with it?  Nooooooooooo!  Instead, I went crazy running around the store yelling "DIBs!" because they were having an awesome sale.  "Dibs!  I called Dibs first!" 

              "Oh, were you looking at that, Mam?  I'm sorry, I didn't hear you yell "Dibs!"  You have to call Dibs first or it's fair game!"

I ended up coming home with a bunch of goodies, including nearly four pounds of a soft colored pink rayon thread that I hope to (someday) crochet myself a nice top with (Thanks to Karen of the ConnecticutCrochet group who's work is inspiring me!).


No, actually I didn't go running around calling "Dibs" like that -- it was hard, but I behaved myself -- barely! But I sure wanted to run around and do that!  LOL

Next time, I just might "say it without stating a word!"  These items are over there at the CafePress website.  Found a sale code too: B2SALE ($5 off $50); ends 9/6/05

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Fairing Well at the Fair

The air was sticky, the sun was hot, but we survived!  LOL

We spent the afternoon at the Bridgewater Fair and had a great time.  The first thing we did was check in on the Needlecrafts.  Wow!  There sure were a lot, and all of them beautiful!  So, since I'm including images here that my sweet hubby took, let me give the play-by-play:

1. The kids and I looking at the many needlecrafts that entered.  Crochet was strongly represented this year; awesome! 

2. My Waterwave Shawl (I included a "back shot" image of it on yesterday's blog entry) received a Blue Ribbon!  Yippee!  But best of all, two young girls approached me and said they thought my wrap was stunning and wanted to know if it was hard to make.  I advised them that once they have enough practice in, the sky is the limit!  I consider their inquiry as "Mission Complete!"  I know I've interested someone in the needlearts at this fair!  Yahoo!  (

3. It's really hard to see, but the circle there is the tam (hat) with the matching tank top I crocheted for my daughter.  At first I thought it didn't ribbon, which was OK with me.  But later when I went to pick my entry up there was a ribbon attached!  Apparently the wind flipped the ribbon over to the backside.

4.  Again, it's hard to see what the item is, but that Red Ribbon is attached to the Communion Cape I crocheted for my daughter this past Spring.

5.  Although not my work, in this image is some beautiful felted bags various people entered.  Stunning work, huh?

6.  One of the categories they had for judging (non-needlecrafts) was "collections."  There were collections of everything from dinosaurs to "recycled people" made from papertowel cores.  This particular collection caught my eye -- Tatting!  A cousin of Crochet!  Sadly, this was the only tatting shown at the Fair.

7. Just another shot of the Tatting entry someone ribboned on.

So that's it for now!  I'm off to Massachusetts tomorrow to enter items into an even larger fair!  But first, I need to offer some guidance to my daughter who is doing last minute work on her entry! 

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Inspiration is better than Awards

I'm just a jumble of nerves ... I'll find out tomorrow how my three entries at the Bridgewater Fair do.  I entered a tank top & matching tam with beaded trim I crocheted for my daughter, her Communion Cape, and a beaded wrap. 

When I dropped them off Thursday night the Event Coordinator said she was getting a bit worried about me ... I had arrived with just minutes to spare for the entry cut off time.  I explained to her that I took a few too many wrong turns, but fortunately I got there in time! She then proceeded to state that she was delighted I arrived OK, and that she looks forward to seeing my entries every year because I enter original works.  Wow; what a compliment!  (no, she's not one of the judges!)

As I looked around at the other items that were entered I couldn't help but be inspired and amazed at all the wonderful entries.  I'm looking forward to seeing everything displayed (with the various ribbons awarded) tomorrow. 

Winning ribbons is not my favorite part about these types of Fairs that judge the needlecrafts.  While it is true that is quite exciting if you win one, I find it more exciting to think that perhaps one of the entries -- maybe more -- will inspire someone to pick up the hook (or knitting needles) for the first time.  Or perhaps it will inspire someone who already has to try something different; to branch out and try new stitches or techniques.  

I once had a great conversation with a lady who saw my crochet group demonstrating at The Big E.  She said that it had been years since she had picked up the hook, but after seeing all the great crochet works entered that year she was inspired to pick the hook up again!  I was delighted to hear this!  :D

I am curious, readers, if you ever saw something at a Fair and was inspired.  Drop me a line and share your story! 

When we are inspired, great things happen!  Wouldn't you agree?   J

Friday, August 19, 2005

Success: Creating Comfort a Stitch at a Time

Yesterdays "Creating Comfort a Stitch at a Time" crochet for charity event was a success!  My local paper did an  11-inch (column) write-up, which is great because I've received calls from others who want to help as a direct result! 

had the, and I mean THE! most beautiful afghan donated!  It was crocheted in the Tunisian technique with beautiful roses cross stitched on top.  Just beautiful!  We also had lots of squares donated, had refreshing iced tea and home baked goodies!

We decided that we'll do this event again sometime in the fall in order to get more afghans made; the colder months are coming!

Thank you to all those that helped make this event a success!!  :)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Question from Reader: Links to Patterns a Copyright Violation?

 I m confused? Is it stealing if it is on a web site and people send you the link then you download the pattern for your personal use? I get links all the time from people and I print out patterns from sites all the time. Is that stealing? Im really confused here. I dont want to do the wrong thing here. Help!

This is a great question!  Thank you for asking!

Here's my answer:
          Let's say that someone sent you a link to one of the free patterns I have available on my website at -- This is OK because the link is direct to the copyright owner that's offering it for you to use. 

          Now let's say that someone sent you a link to a website that has posted photographs/scanned images/retyped entire copyrighted patterns that the copyright doesn't belong to, say to the site -- then this would be bad because this site that WAS functioning yesterday was violating copyright laws.  (No this is not the group I was discussing yesterday!) What happened to the blong2001 site?  It was reported to, the hosts of acted immediatly and told the webpage creator to take the material down.  They didn't comply, so immediatly shut them down!  I think that's great!

So watch those links!  If it looks like you're getting something you should be paying for -- for free, then there's a good chance that the law has been broken. 
If you get a link like that and are not sure about it, email it to me and I'll forward it to the "copyright watchdogs." 

There are a great number of new books coming out in the months ahead; long overdue if you ask me!  ... delicious new books filled with patterns to quench our thirst to take our crocheting art to the next level.  If the stealing continues with no one willing to stand up and declare it's wrong, do you think the publishers will continue introducing us to new designs and concepts?  This is why it's important for us to take a stand and educate our fellow hookers -- let them know that it's wrong to post work that doesn't belong to them and when they do so, it hurts us all!

Thanks again for such a great question!  :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Dee needs Anger Management?

It's been suggested that yours truly is in need of anger management, and that folks will pray that I see to it that I follow through.  Me?  Need anger management?  LOL, oh, come on!  Let's tell the whole story here!

I, the one proclaimed as the "crochet cheerleader" by other crochet fans, joined an online group earlier this week and as I reported here the other day, I was aghast at the amount of stealing that was openly going on.  Knowing that sharing copyrighted material is ILLEGAL, I posted, hastily, of my feeling in horror that not one member stood up to inform these 467 members that they were all taking part in a crime.  I wanted NO part in that and wanted my post to be my "record" of stating such and quickly unsubscribed from the group.  Here's what I wrote:

It is revolting to see the blatant disregard this group has for copyright laws!
Just as soon as I can figure out how to remove myself from this group, I'm out of here! I want no part in this!

Maybe the list owner can help get me out of here quicker; I don't want to be here with the $10,000 fines are handed out!

If you love crochet so much, you should support it, not steal from it!
Greatly disappointed,

In that time, those that decided to stand their ground have taken the time to email me their thoughts.  They quoted the copyright law:

It is not against the law to share patterns what is against the law is to sell what you get. I have enclosed a copy of the law as it is written. Please don't hold it against those that have no money to buy what we all enjoy doing.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for non-profit research and educational or criticism purposes only, and is NOT an infringement of copyright.

Of course I saw this as an opportunity to state my position:

Thank you for supporting my thoughts; the title and chapter you emailed me supports exactly what I am saying: The group is in violation.  No where on the group is there evidence that:
       A. the group is recognized as a non-profit organization;
  or  B.  that it's a group of teachers teaching for free or to a public school;
or   C.  that the work was being reviewed by critics. 

In addition, no where is it stated that any of the patterns shared have permission from the copyright owners (title 17, chapter 1, 106).

A red flag was sent out today which is how I came across the group.  I stated my mind, whereas designers who find their works in copyright violation are taking notes and will pursue for damages.   I, for one, do not want my name added to their list of violators.

There is no reason to justify stealing; not even being financially challenged.  There are thousands of free patterns available: on yarn labels, as tear-sheets in stores, on the Internet, and for loan from local libraries.   Do the right thing and remove all the photos/links/postings that violate the law and I'll consider coming back.


They offered to pray for me that I seek anger management, and they said I should have known prior to joining that it was a site that freely exchanged copyrighted materials:

we will pray for u and ur temper   it says on the group before u sign up pattern sharing   and i do agree with u about copywrite laws that is y i unsubscribed also but i did not carry on like a mad woman  like u did    u should have just unsubscribed   u need to get help for ur temper 


appretnly you can't read as it states on the front page on sharing patterns.

Yes, I did reply:

I apologize if it seems like my temper flared.  Usually I'm a very quiet person that happens to cheer loudly for the art of crochet.  I guess I just freaked a bit because crimes were being committed and not one entry made mention that members should follow the law and do the right thing.  It's like wanting a new car, going to a dealership and asking to take the car for a test drive and never returning it.  Theft is theft; it doesn't matter if the item cost a penny or a million dollars.

When I joined the site I had hoped it was a group that exchanged ideas and personal patterns members wrote ... not patterns that were copyrighted. There is nothing on the main page that indicates that the group freely shares copyrighted  patterns -- not patterns of their own. And no where is it stated that the copyright owners granted permission for their work to be freely passed around. Perhaps if it had stated that, I would have never considered joining.

In the meantime know that there is a hefty fine for each occurrence, and for each person that is a member (received the "goods") and that yahoo has a record of every entry/photo submitted to the group.  The "Copyright Police" are out there and they are cracking down.  Just look into what happened with Napster ...
Once again I'd like to apologize if it seemed my temper flared; I can only hope that it has opened a discussion in your group about doing the right thing.

So what is this group up to now?  Well, according to the "icewe" spy team (pronounced "I-See-You;" clever name I gave it, huh?) that is in place, it has members discussing if what they're doing is really wrong; do those "trolls" and "trouble makers" that have stood up for copyright laws have any merrit?  Apparently some saw the light and left the group.  (Bravo! You did the RIGHT thing!)  While some that have remained have resorted to calling myself, and others (who have spoken up) bad names while "banning" us from the group for good -- while  reporting to their members that stealing is OK if you have a heart condition.  Hooboy; this really can't be a "for real"  explaination offered for stealing, could it?  Yes, it is!  (Folks, if you're a member of that group and believe that line, I hope you have a good lawyer.  A really good lawyer, because that excuse won't fly any more than a fish will!)

So, my dear readers, as you can see, yes, I may have lost it for a moment, but I'm just the tip of the iceburg.  Do I need anger management?  I don't think so.  Not yet.  But, I'd like to mention that in the coming weeks you may notice your favorite designers yanking their free patterns off of the Internet; and you may see the names of individuals robbing the fiber arts hitting the police and FBI crime blotters ...

               ... I kid you not! 

Designer Josi Hannon is taking off her gloves and is coming out swinging ... read her
blog here (note strong language used)  and while you're at it, read this blog too on how the law is getting involved ...

Send me all the "hate" email you'd like, I'll still reply gently, letting you know that making copies of someone else's work and sharing it with the world is against the law.  Maybe sometimes I will lose my temper; I'm only human. 
 Of course I'll apologize if my temper flairs, but I will also hope that my replies will help you understand that breaking the law is not the route to take.  Please -- take the high road:  If you want to make copies of copyrighted material, do the right thing and get permission first!

I said this earlier, but I think it's worth repeating: 
"If we love crochet so much, we should support it -- not steal from it."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Does sagging come with age?

Odd question for an entry, yes?

What brings it to mind is a project I crocheted back in February.  I had bought a bag of Berroco's (discontinued) "Luxe" and set to crocheting a basket.  Oh, yeah, I remember thinking that I was so clever  to crochet a basket to hold my WIPs.  I was "problem solving" back then.  Unfortunately though, with time, or perhaps the extreme heat, my basket started to sag.  And sag, and sag some more!

Before I knew it, my "basket" that was once supported by a large plastic bowl inside was just a heap of fabric wrapped around the base.  Lifeless.  Like dirty laundry just lying there waiting for someone to come by, pick it up, wash it, dry it and put it back in it's proper place. 

The whole family would walk by it.  Saying nothing.  Admitting nothing of this failed project.  I'm sure, as with the laundry, they were all wondering when I'd do something about it.  It looked hideous.

I took the project down and looked it over.  I decided to take matters into my own hands and try to take gravity head on.  I thought I'd outwit gravity by pulling the "basket" up and with the same fiber, adding a crab stitch edging on the inside -- which included decreasing stitches all the way around.  This way, I reasoned with myself, there'd be a lip on the inside to help it grab the edge of the bowl to prevent it from falling down, sagging down again.

     I was wrong.

The sagging continued.  Actually, it was worse than before!  The work released itself from the bowl quicker than before -- and still no one said anything.   I might add in my defense of loosing the battle against gravity that the weather has just been horrible -- very hot and humid.  Gravity had seemingly teamed up with Mother Nature; they had to have.  How could I possibly compete against these two great forces?

I let the sagging project sit for awhile.  Each day I'd walk by it.  "Hideous," I'd think to myself; and still, the family said nothing.

So, yesterday, during my crochet for charity break, I took it in my hands again and pondered another way to straighten this project out.  I considered ripping the whole thing out, but then all I'd have is a naked bowl and a lot of crinkled (and saggy) fiber to roll up.  I considered gluing the "basket" to the bowl, but that would make for future cleaning a bit difficult.  So as I pondered my eye drifted over to a pile of stash I set aside for a future freeform project.  There was an acrylic fiber there of the same color.  I decided to do a little "face lifting" by adding a "pull string" to the inside top of the "basket."

Come on, baby, try your sagging routine again!  Now all I need to do is pull the string to tighten it up.  Much like they do for Joan Rivers, Sly Stallone, and other stars that had their faces lifted & tightened a wee bit too much.  [[wink wink]]  I have, for now, won the sagging battle!  (If not, I'll give thoughts to injecting it with botox!)

Monday, August 15, 2005

"Plagiarism, Copyright Infringement & Copyright Theft"

I've been discussing the need to protect copyright, to honor copyright, and to prevent copyright theft quite a bit here.  I know, it's an old song.  But it's a song that needs to be sung because the problem is so wide spread.

I received an email requesting permission for someone to take one of my free patterns, translate it into another language and have them post it on their site. 

While I'm thinking about my decision,
I decided to do a little blog surfing today and stumbled upon one that has an artists emotions tied into discovering that their work had been stolen.  Although it's not a crochet related site, those of us who post our work on the Internet should seriously read this blog:

At the very least, it's an interesting look at how the victim feels, and ways to find the thief.

I joined a "new to me" online group this afternoon and found it revolting to see the blatant disregard the group has for copyright laws!  I feel sick to my stomach to see people's hard work passed around freely.   I posted my disappointment to the group and immediately unsubscribed as I want no part of a group like that!  If we love crochet so much people, we should be supporting it -- NOT stealing from it!

Catching Up...

I took the weekend off from blogging/journaling; did you miss me?

My journal may look a bit different -- I'm seeing that my "Other Journals" and "Favorite Sites" columns are empty.  Apparently something is going on in AOL-land and hopefully they'll restore it soon. 

So, what haven't I reported about in the past few days?  Apparently quite a bit!

First, I got to spend some time with Patti and her family.  Patti and I have been friends since forever, and she's the one that suggested long ago that I become a Crochet Teacher.  Yes folks, it's all her fault.  LOL  I love her to pieces!!  As I was saying, we got to spend some time together and there was quite a lot of excitement at her house -- they had baby chicks hatching!  Having never witnessed this it was a pretty cool thing to watch!  And of course we talked crochet; she crocheted the cutest cow doorstop! 

Second, my daughter slept over her house.  It was my daughter's first time away from home without any of us as company.  She had no problem with the separation, but me?  Oh, I was ready to lose it while grocery shopping.  It was my son that held me together, "Oh, come on Mom!  You'll see her tomorrow!  You're not gonna cry, are you?"  It was weird not having her home.  But I survived!  LOL

Third, I can now verify that crocheting can be seen in two movies:
     *  Liz Smith in the roll of Grandma Georgina in the movie "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"
     * A woman crochets while under a hair dryer in the 2004 movie, "Nora's Hair Salon"

Fourth, I finished my Hairpin Lace scarf and now have the American School of Needlework's book "Waffle Weave" on loan.  Once I've seen how the technique works, it will be number 101 on my Types & Techniques webpage. 

Fifth, I got to meet a member of the online group ConnecticutCrochet -- Karen drove "forever" to get to the monthly HHCC meeting and she is such a delight!  She brought with her various items she crocheted, and let me say here: Karen, I have no idea how you were able to leave the meeting without me mugging you for that beautiful top!   MMMM mmmm!  Beautiful work, Karen!  :)

Sixth, (see, I said there's been a lot going on!) I've been busy crocheting squares to use in this weeks' charity event.  I figure if I can crochet a bunch, it will give us a head start in creating those afghans for the battered women's shelter.  I hope if you're local/semi-local that you're able to join us on Thursday.  It should be a lot of fun!

Seventh, besides needing to finish my fall teaching schedule, I also need to prepare the items I'm submitting for judging.  They need to be turned in by the end of the week.  You can see my work, as well as others crocheters, at the upcoming Bridgewater Fair and at the CraftAdventure.  I love these types of events because there's always so much creativity to see!  It's like walking into a room filled with inspiration! 

If you have a local fair near you, consider entering one of your works.  It doesn't matter if you win a ribbon or not -- what matters is that your work may inspire someone else to pick up the hook for the first time.  And hey, should your work ribbon, well then that's icing on the cake!

And for fun today, I thought I'd share some wishful thinking ... if the state of Connecticut allowed more than six character/number combos I'd love a license plate that reads like one of these ...   what would yours say?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Guilt and Loop Holes; it's a Hairpin Experience!

I wanted to do an audio entry today but AOL's audio feature still isn't working.  So, I'll press on and give you all a nice juicy text entry that includes an admission of guilt.  Isn't gossip fun? 

I wanted to do an audio entry so you could all hear the sincerity in my voice when I admit that I broke my fiber diet.  I am weak!  So, so weak!  Supplementing my diet with embroidery floss could only last so long -- it was like living on a bottle of vitamins.  I had to have something of substance or surely I'd have gone off the deep end (or at least gotten lost in my stash again to reminisce about past purchases!).

Maybe that's why I did three journal entries yesterday; I just couldn't handle the strain, Jim!  ((giggles & grins))  Regardless, I'm feeling the guilt and I'm now coming clean.  I bought yarn yesterday.  No, well, wait a minute here, I'm smelling a loop hole!  (Oh I so should have become a lawyer!)  

 I did NOT buy "yarn" yesterday, or thread!   Oh, this is sounding good folks!  It's looking like the guilt is lifting, the loop hole has been found!!  (And I urge all of you on the same "I won't buy any more yarn diet until I use up my stash" to use this reasoning I'm about to bestow upon you!)

              I bought RIBBON!!!!

Oh, Snoopy dance with me, will ya?  The guilt is gone!!  Yes!!

Wha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!   (yes, this is the sound you would have heard in the audio entry; me, laughing with an evil twinge!)  Wha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

I treated myself to two balls of Classic Elite's "Bangles" that I'm crocheting into a scarf to wear next Thursday.  If you recall, on Thursday is the day to CREATE COMFORT A STITCH AT A TIME,  so I wanted to crochet a scarf that said "winter is coming" but without all the warmth because these dog-days of August are awful hot! 

I decided that I really want the ribbon to show off it's 'very fun colors' and bits of texture and what better way than with HAIRPIN Lace?  It's the same technique I used to crochet my daughter's Communion Cape this past May.  (You can click onto the images to see them closer)  The scarf is about half done.

That's not all I came home with!  I also purchased the new book, "Knit One, Kill Two," by Maggie Sefton.  It's a "knitting mystery" that's a first in a new series.  It was just published this past June.  All the reviews I've read said it was good, so I'll be reading it this weekend, finishing my hairpin lace-ribbon scarf, and crocheing squares for the Charity Event on Thursday.  I hope you can join me (or if you live too far away, that you consider doing something special for someone, or for a charity!).

Before I end off here, I want to pass on this tip about Ribbon and Hairpin Lace:  Crochet has a natural tendency to twist the fiber as you work with it.  Take the extra time to unwind the twisting and keep the ribbon flat (such as I'm doing in the photo above).  In my humble experience, in keeping the ribbon flat while you're working with it, the end results shows off the beauty of the fiber much better than if it were tightly twisted.  It takes a bit longer to finish the project, but it's time well worth investing!  Especially when, in my case, the ribbon cost $14 a ball!

Aren't loop holes grand?!  :)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

What if ...

... each time I'm asked to violate copyright laws I post this image:

     ... we'd be seeing a lot of it!  (I was asked TWICE today!)   
                                         That's really sad.

What if ...
we all banned together and posted this image on our blogs to help educate our readers?

                                          That'd be awesome!

Let's do it; lets help stop this sheepish activity of following the herd of illegal copyright infringement by enlightening our readers that it's a baaaaaaaaaaad move! 

Feel free to right click and save the image to upload to your own blog.  Then drop me a line to let everyone know you're on board!

And while you're at it, check out what Jane has to say: JanesHookedonCrochet; she has some great tips!

Proof is in the Pudding

I had a delightful time teaching today.  While doing so I met a lady who said she had to give up knitting -- her hands hurt too much doing it.

I advised her that many doctors recommend that their patients with arthritis take up crocheting.  In doing so, it keeps the fingers nimble.

The image here was taken the other day when I took my daughter to another part of the building ... it's a poster of a doctor advertising his speciality.  Note the crocheting hands!

But don't take my word for it.  If you have arthritis be sure to visit your doctor and inquire.  I'm sure he/she will tell you what I'm saying here ... keeping the fingers nimble helps keep the swelling & the pain away and what better way than with crochet?

Question from Reader: Post Stitches

Hello Dee,
I enjoy your journal. I have a question tho. I don't understand how to do front and back post stitches. Can you explain how to do them?
Thank You

Hi Tonya,
I'm delighted that you enjoy reading my journal; I appreciate your visit! :)

You're not alone in having difficulties with post stitches.  So let's see if I can help make understanding the stitch a bit easier:

First, let's say that every stitch we create, regardless of size, has two parts to it.  It has the top: this is the top two loops that we use to create the next row.  And it has a stem -- like a stem that holds a flower up.  Let's talk about those loops for just a moment: sometimes we'll use just the back loop, sometimes just the front, sometimes alternating between the front and the back loop to create our stitches, but most times we go under the two loops to create our fabric.  The loops I'm talking about here are the ones that look just like the top of our foundation chain.  Are you with me so far?  Good!  J

Second, let's look at what holds that stitch up -- the post!  Think of the letter "T" -- the top of the letter "-"  would represent the loops we just discussed and the "l" would represent the post.  When a stitch is created around the post of the stitch we usually ignore the loops on the top (your pattern will tell you if you're to use them or not)

The third part of post stitches is to look at our actual work.  In most cases there is a front side, also known as a right side, and there's a wrong -- or back side.  Most instructions will state on a particular row to mark it as the "right" side.  If you're looking to make a front post stitch, you will insert your hook to the right of the post you'll be using, and then bring it around the backside of the stitch and push it to poke out in the front of your work on the left side of the stitch.  You'll yarn over and back your hook out the same way you went in and finish making the stitch.

The back postis where you'll insert your hook coming from the backside of your work to the front, coming around the front, and pushing to the backside again to grab your yarn over.

I thought about perhaps taking pictures and placing them here but thought that the website did such a great job on their free video clips that I'd offer you the links to those instead:
                              front post
                              back post

I would recommend doing a practice piece ... something you can donate to a local charity, such as a scarf, or a 24" square to an animal shelter.  You'd get the practice and the confidence in creating the stitches, and the charity would benefit from your donation.  A great stitch pattern that will help you learn both stitches and help in counting would be the Basket Weave stitch.  Here's a link to a free pattern for a washcloth.

I hope this helps, and thanks again for visiting!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Peace, Hook and Happiness

I think I may be a misplanted Flower Child from the 1970s as I've been busy promoting Peace, Love and Happiness for various aspects of crochet.  Let me explain:

Recently I've been reading blogs and various posts to some online groups I belong to where people are discussing *hate* for particular crochet stitches.  In some cases I've responded sharing my thoughts that all stitches should be embraced and loved.

In my humble opinion, I think *Hate* is such a strong word; too strong to be used in any aspect of describing the art of crochet.  Based on the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word hate means,
          "a : intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury;
            b : extreme dislike or antipathy"

Now based on this I could say that I hate tomatoes.  I don't care for the texture nor the taste.  (Bleck!)  But I do recognize that when they're processed a certain way, I do enjoy them.  Yes, once they're processed into spaghetti sauce I enjoy the end results as it sits on top of my pasta and on my pizza!  So tomatoes do have a purpose, and thus I could never use the word *hate* to describe my thoughts about them.  The *h* word is just too strong. 

The same is true for the various crochet stitches.  There are some stitches that are more difficult, or unpleasant to create, than others.  It just means that we prefer another stitch over the one that's being a little rascal!  Should we use the *h* word to describe it?  I don't think so.

In my Peace, Love, Flower Child mode here, I'd like to see the *h* word removed and replaced with *I prefer* -- with crochet appealing to younger and younger folks I  prefer that the misconception stating tomatoes are yuckie, er, parts of crochet are difficult is not passed on.  Each crocheter is unique and expressing an extreme negative feeling about one of the brothers or sisters of the various crochet stitches can only throw more shadow over crochet, perhaps scaring the dickens out of someone that may be interested in trying it.

When I sit at the table to eat you will not see me place catsup on my food.  No, I prefer mustard.  At one time the reverse single crochet gave me trouble and I could have been heard saying, "I prefer using a different edging."  Today, after practicing that rascal stitch I can be heard saying, "I prefer using the reverse single crochet as an edging."  It's a mindset really.

I say, people, that we should unite!  We should ask not what crochet can do for us, but what we can do for crochet!  For we have a dream to bring crochet out of it's step-child shadows ...

Ah, you get the picture.  Go ahead, declare your love for crochet, and practice those stitches that throw you for a loop.  You never know, one day that stitch that you once declared such an intense dislike for may become one of your favorites, or at least something to use to make your dinner/project more appealing!

Alright, I'm hopping off this soap box now and putting away my peace beads.  Until next time, Peace, Hook and Happiness!  May all stitches be loved and enjoyed!

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Let's Celebrate!

I've been pretty stoked for the past couple of days ... because it's official!  After three years  of researching, following up, inquiring, and sampling, my webpage on Types & Techniques of Crochet has hit the 100 mark!   ... and based on an email I received this morning, 101 is not far behind!

Since some 22,000 of you have checked out the page since it was featured in Carol Alexander's "Crochet!" e-newsletter about six months ago, I'm naturally curious to know if you find the page helpful, and if there's anything you'd like to see added.

Thus far, I took one reader's request to add more images and links to books; I hope to be able to add even more.  I took another viewer's advice and added more links to sites offering more information (sometimes patterns) on the technique; and  I took another's suggestion and beefed up a few of the descriptions.

So, what would you  like to see added/changed/improved upon?  Feel free to let me know!  :)

In the meantime, let's celebrate with a crochet hook salute!  ...and maybe try one of the techniques listed!  Whoohoo!!  J

Monday, August 8, 2005

Any wonders ...


... why I carry a crochet hook in my purse? ...

     Click here to read:  
A guy with some explaining to do...

Funny story, and I'm sure she was a bit upset.  But this does give us crocheters, and other passionate needlecrafters, justification to carry our projects with us 24x7x365!

I'm sure if she were a crocheter she'd have been able to crochet up a noose in those six hours!   heh heh heh



A Stitch In Time
276 Greenwood Avenue
Bethel, CT  06801
(203) 748-1002

All of CrochetWithDee Journal Readers



On August 18th, from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, A Stitch In Time, owned by Eva Donnelly, located in Bethel, Connecticut, is teaming up local fiber artist and Certified Crochet Teacher, Dee Stanziano to offer free basic crochet lessons to create afghans to be donated to the Elizabeth House, Danbury's battered women's shelter.  Join us for this unique event while learning how to crochet all for a good cause!

Crochet has been touted as "the new yoga," and is one of today's fastest growing fiber arts with a median age of 35.  With the summer starting to  come to a close, many start thinking of the cool autumn nights.  The idea of snuggling under a handmade blanket is comforting.  But what if you had to leave everything behind and make a fresh start?  The afghans that result from this Special Event will help those women and children who did just that.

Crocheters and knitters of all ages and abilities are invited to come join Dee, Eva and her staff to Crochet for Charity!  Come with 6" X 9" crocheted or knitted squares, or come on in and learn how to crochet a square.  Sewers are welcomed too as Dee will even offer instructions on how to assemble them!  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!

Dee Stanziano is a Certified Crochet Teacher through the Craft Yarn Council of America, the Crochet Guild of America's Email Correspondent, and founder of the local group, The Happily Hooked on Crocheting Club that meets monthly at the Danbury Hospital and at the Borders bookstore in Brookfield.  She has been teaching in the tri-state area for nearly six years, has work on display at the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles in Berkley, California, and is a published fiber artist.  ( &

A Stitch in Time, which opened in 2002, moved four months ago to 276 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel, Connecticut, and is owned by Eva Donnelly.  The new store is warm, spacious and filled with new arrivals!  While attending this Special Event, 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:  Beginners to Advanced
Supplies:  Crochet Hook (G, H, or I), and yarn!  You can bring your own or purchase your supplies here at the store!

Creating comfort a stitch at a time -- help us make a difference!  Dee Stanziano, Eva Donnelly and her staff, invite you to join them in making a difference on  Thursday, August 18, 2005.  For more information contact Eva at (203) 748-1002 or email at ******.  Or email Dee at ******


                             Come & join me -- it's all for a great cause!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2005

"CrochetWithDee" Selected as "Best"?

In the category of Arts & Entertainment and on the subject of Crochet or Crocheting, Google was asked for a "list of the best resources on the web for Crochet and crocheting."  Their answer included the responder stating in their reply that "... [they] wanted to list only sites that [they] felt were truly the best" ... and I was selected!  Oh, no, not me personally, but one of my pages on my website was!! They selected my page on Crochet History as one of the TOP Pages to recommend! My same history page was also listed on the Top Crocheting Victorian Resources page!  That is so cool!

My page for Types & Techniques of Crochet was listed on the Top Tunisian Crochet Resources page. ...awesome!  (and that reminds me, I need to add another technique!)

I'm also tickled that my FREE pattern for the Textured Child's Spiral Hat made it to the Top Single Crochet Hat Pattern Resources list!  I love when people use this pattern to crochet hats for their children/grandchildren, and especially for charity donations!

I've also been named on the "Top Knitting Sites" list.  This just totally blew my mind -- I mean, has anyone really seen  my knitting attempts?  ((giggles))  There are other crochet blogs listed, and so I look forward to checking out all the blogs that made the list.

I have no idea what the criteria is/was to have been listed on all of these sites, but I can say that I'm honored that my pages and my blog are considered among the "best." 

                                              Thank you everyone!

Celtic Crochet

I picked up the new booklet on Celtic Crochet by Annies Attic yesterday after teaching my last class of the day. This is all due because a lady I crochet with, Ruth, has been telling me so much about it and I decided it's time I tinker with it.

So I picked up my basket of floss (embroidery thread) and picked out some colors I thought would be fun to experiment with.  I selected an ombre thread of various shades of purple, a bright red, and a bright green.  The pattern really called for four colors but since I was using the ombre of purples, I thought I could get away with using three.  You can see my results in the image there above ... click onto the image to make it bigger.  (My work has not been blocked yet, or ...gasp... had it's ends tucked in!)

I think the concept behind Celtic Crochet is somewhat similar to the Overlay technique I've been having so much fun playing with -- except that Celtic is done in stages with assembly required.  I think it's the color play that makes these two techniques somewhat similar and thus fun to do.   In reality, the Celtic Crochet technique is closer to the Crochet'n'Weave TM technique, whereas Overlay is done as all one piece; no assembly required. 

One thing I will admit to is that I had a tough time figuring out the last row on my sample.  I decided to study the photo in the pattern only to realize that they photographed it "wrong side up." 
(Please note that Celtic Crochet is touted as being reversible, but I think any time the trim or "face stitches" are facing downwards, that the wrong side is showing.) 

I decided to study the one image they showed "rightside facing" (I have my sample piece covering their image in my photo above) and I was immediately able to work out the edging in my head.  Was it the instructions, or was it me?  I don't know, but I do know it was very late in the evening when I was tinkering with it.  Maybe I was just too tired to wrap my mind around the written instructions.  Maybe I should tinker some more...

Saturday, August 6, 2005

Odd Sentencing ...

I'd like for you to read this news article today and voice your opinions about the sentencing in this case.  It's about a man pleading no-contest and then being sentenced to crochet for 320 hours.  Here's the article: Ex-Convict Pleads No Contest to Sex Abuse

I wonder if the Judge thinks crocheting is difficult.  I wonder if the Judge was anything like my Uncle where every time he got into trouble my Great Aunt sent him out onto the front stoop to crochet.  His friends would see him and tease him because it was so "girly."  But wait a minute, the Judge is a woman!

Hmmm. I wonder if the Judge tried to learn how to crochet and had difficulties learning herself.  Or maybe she's "in the know" knowing that the prison systems use crochet as a form of therapy.

I wonder.

                             OK, your turn!  Go ahead, discuss and share your thoughts.

Friday, August 5, 2005

Shhhh! Interweave Knits ...

Shhhh, the family is sleeping!  We must be very, very quiet ... actually, it's so darn hot & muggy tonight it's a wonder that they're all able to sleep at all!  But nonetheless, we need to be quiet; don't want them all waking up and being cranky in the middle of the night!  ;)

Me, ha!  My mind is filled with so many delicious thoughts ... project ideas for classes, fibers I'd like to add to my stash, WIPs, WIMs ... UNBELIEVABLE!  (Of course with hubby's last words to me before he drifted off into la la land didn't help!  We were talking about "Opportunity" that I mentioned yesterday.  He said it's nice and he's glad that my crochet skills are recognized.  He also said I make crocheting look "so easy, so peaceful to do."  And that he's "inspired by me."  Geesh!  With compliments like that, no wonder I can't sleep!  LOL)  So instead of trying to sleep, I thought voicing some of my thoughts here would help my mind slow down a bit ... so here it goes:

If you don't know already, Interweave Knits is coming out with another Special Crochet Edition.  Now, if you were one of the unlucky few who were unable to get the first edition last year, I'm telling you now that it will be coming out in just a few short weeks.  And, I'm going to tell you a little secret.  Shhhh!  Come closer to the screen.  Hmmm.  No, that won't do, come closer.  Just a bit more.  Ah, that should do it.  Now listen close because this is quite a juicy tip!  If you belong to a crochet group, take a headcount and see who wants this special issue besides you.  Now I said we have to be quiet about this!  Shhhh!  Settle down now, I haven't gotten to the good part yet!  Don't want to be waking the kids up with all of this excitement of getting this hot mag in your hands with little effort, right? ... alright then, so, like I was saying, you get a headcount of all those that want the magazine besides yourself.  Then you do like I did last year -- you CALL Interweave Press and tell them that you're a member of such-n-such crochet group and you're interested in X number of copies.  If your numbers are high enough, they will bulk ship the magazines to you!!! (possibly at a discount; you HAVE to ask!!  And, you HAVE to pay by credit card.)  Now, wasn't that a great secret?  Yeah, I thought so too!  I'm in the process of taking a headcount for my own group so don't tie up the phone lines for too long as I'll be needing to call them too!  ((grins))

So, while we're on the topic of making phone calls, I've heard (note, not confirmed!) that if you are a member of the CGOA and you're placing an order to Annies Attic, they'll give you a discount.  If you have done this and can confirm it, then please, let me know!  I'd love to share "confirmed" information with everyone!

Finally, I know, you're all dying to know!  Did I break my yarn diet yesterday?  Are you kidding??  I have such control!  I have such will power!  Just don't ask me how those two skeins of yarn came home with me!   Heh heh heh!!!!   Uh oh!  I think one of the kiddies heard us laughing ...

Thursday, August 4, 2005

When Opportunity Knocks...

... answer the door!

That's just what happened to me this morning!  (Yes, it's crochet related!)  I can't give any details (yet!), but I am excited that Opportunity knocked!

I've answered the door, and am now in "talks," discovering the fine details that Opportunity is offering should I opt to participate ...

And ya know, it doesn't matter (well, it does matter!) if the opportunity takes fruition or not.  The important thing here I'm sharing with all of you is that if Opportunity knocks you should open the door and check it out!  At least have a cup of coffee with Opportunity and see what the offer is.

And this is true with YOUR crocheting too!  If you get an opportunity to try it for the first time -- DO!  If you get a chance to try a new technique -- DO!

Take yourself outside of your comfort zone and see what Opportunity has for you.  You just may be pleasantly surprised!  J

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Crochet is EVERYWHERE!

I spent the most delightful morning at Borders this morning.  (*Borders is a local book store.) I had the pleasure of hooking up with some other crocheters for our monthly "Coffee, Crochet & Chat" sesson and it was terrific!  I did manage to take pictures but haven't figured out how to unload them from my phone/pda to the computer yet.  Anyway, there was ALOT of showing & telling of various projects both completed and "in the works."  Yes, a very inspiring morning indeed!!   :)

Then, in the afternoon, took my kids out for a bit of shopping.  After various stops we ended up at Kohls ... and there was CROCHET everywhere!  Sweaters, tanks, tops -- you name it.  And, now, unlike last years' fashions, they're mixing in beads and sequins!!  Just fantastic to see!  Plus we bumped into other kids we know.  Turns out the young girl that is friends with my daughter is reading the Laura Ingalls biography.  I couldn't help but advise her that Laura was a crocheter (and for the record, so was her daughter!)  -- I got a "roll of the eyes" and an "Aw, Mom, does everything have to be crochet related?" from my son.   "Well, yes, dear, everything does have to be crochet related!  I'm an addict, remember?!"  We got a good laugh out of that one.

I am proud of myself, I did not go to any craft stores, and since I know my dear husband will be reading this entry, let me clarify that statement a bit more (thus leaving no loop hole open!  LOL)  ... I did not purchase any yarn at all today!  But I am teaching tomorrow, soo .... yeah, I'd say all bets are off!!  LOL

                                     ... You don't expect for me to be that good, do you?!?

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Crochet Trivia: Did Ewe Know?

Did Ewe Know?

Did ewe know that during the Civil War cotton was scarce?  This is because it was grown mostly in the South, and made it difficult for the North to obtain.

To get around this, sheep were pressed into service.

"Although small, Putnam County played a significant role in the Civil War. ... Declining sheep farming received a boost by a renewed demand for woolen clothing when southern cotton was unavailable."

  * Trivia from official Putnam County Government Records

Oh, you KNOW you wanted to come SEARCH for me!

Oh, go ahead, admit it!   You so  wanted to come over and help search for me in my mountain of stash!  You wanted to see just how vast it really is!  Of course there'd be no possible way I could allow that as then I'd have to take responsibility should you get lost  in it! 

Fortunately for me, I have very clever children.  They opted to tie a string around my waist before I went in!  And because of that, I was able to backtrack and emerge from the fiber mountain last night just in time to cook the kids dinner!   Like I said, they're clever kids.  They love to eat and missing out on dinner because I'm lost in a mountain of yarn is not their cup of tea!   LOL

Unfortunately, though, I didn't find the colors I was looking for.  I predict a shopping excursion here!  And yes, this would mean I'd need to break my fiber diet and venture out into the world

While I contemplate the significant amount of damage I could possibly do while breaking such said fiber diet (i.e., combing the Sunday flyers for yarn sales, and on the Internet too), I am looking forward to pouncing on my UPS driver.  (Insert here mental image of Snoopy sitting in a tree preparing to pounce.)   Oh, my UPS driver has no idea that I KNOW he's to stop by today!   Wha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!

My order, based on the UPS tracking page, is to arrive at my house TODAY!!  To the right is one of the goodies I'm expecting!  Recognize the picture?  It's the bears I crocheted for my niece and nephew!  My children miss the bears so much that I opted to order a few things from the "TeddyBearDreams" shop.  You can too by clicking onto the text, or onto the image.  (Save $4 off $25 order with code AUG4; good thru 8/31/05)

A little bit of history about the lake they are sitting at:  It's all man-made!  Back in the day (we're talking like 60 years ago) it was one of the hot spots for NYC residents to drive up to.  They'd pitch tents and stay for nearly the whole summer!  Then as time went by, those tents became cottages, and then into year-round residential homes.  The area is rich with American history; you can learn more about it by clicking here.

Hmmm, is that the sound of a truck coming up my road? ... gotta go!

Monday, August 1, 2005

Will Dee NEED a Search Party?!!

I've been playing around more with the Overlay Technique.  I think I'm addicted!!  I find it so interesting the way the colors play with each other as the process continues on.  To the right is yesterday's experiment.  Do you like?

The colors are 'almost' true -- at least on my laptop here.  The texture is almost 'right on' too.  This is encouraging!  :)

I took the picture earlier to utilize the soft morning light.  (I may take another this afternoon when the sun is at it's brightest to see what happens.)  Part of the background in this image is the email I mentioned yesterday that had I received from Melody.  What you see here is where she is stating "Again, I'm glad you've been enjoying working with Overlay, and that you're converting other crocheters to the technique.  Keep me posted on how you're doing!  Melody"

... Melody, I am confessing!  Right here; right now!!  Let me shout this out in all the yarn shops across America:  "I'm an ADDICT!!  I can't seem to get enough of this Overlay!!"   


     ... Plus, I think it's my duty  as an ADDICT to convert other crocheters into enjoying my extreme bliss!!  Wouldn't you all agree?  J

I've also been playing around with my "Paint Shop Pro"program.  See what I did to the image on the left?  The more I learn about this program the more I like it.  I liked being able to provide all the Overlay coaster images in one "image" last Friday

If the weather is not too muggy today, I think I may venture into my stash and look for various yarns to play with.  Listen, if I don't report back within the next 24 hours, you may want to get together a search party to come looking for me, and the kids, since they're great helpers!  We just might get lost in all of those bins and shelves of fiber and may need your help!  (heh heh heh)