Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"Whoops [she] did it again"

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge: Count Update

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 28, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 26, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Current Status:  SOLD!!!

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

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

Current Status:  SOLD!!!

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

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

Current Status:  SOLD!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 21, 2005

Catching Up

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

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

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

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Crochet on Parade?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 18, 2005

"Dismay over Crochet" turns into Invitation to Join the Crochet Revolution

Dear Ms. Spencer,
I read your article "Know thy closet, know thyself" with interest, especially once I hit upon the topic of crochet where you expressed your fear of it after seeing it displayed in two interior design publications. 

Crochet items as decor in the home does not need to be frightfully tacky as you described it.  Have you checked out the beautiful crocheted leather pillows in Erika Knight's book, Simple Crochet?  What about the Tunisian pillow featured in Pauline Turner's book, How to Crochet?  Long time authors Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss teamed up and just released a new book with a wonderful array of afghans (for everyone's tastes) in Heirloom Afghans to Knit & Crochet.  Also, have you ever seen  "Freeform Crochet?"  (If not, then you're in for a treat!) 

Crochet is not just about tissue covers; it's about tradition, heritage and freedom of expression.  It's about following rules then learning how to effectively change them to lead to new discoveries, not just in technique but in pleasure too!   It's about embracing an art form that touches our past while with today's new fibers becomes refreshingly modern!  

Crochet is about sharing, and caring a stitch at a time with loved ones too -- you see, decor is not just about decor, it's about living!    Ask someone why they have crochet on display in their home and you're bound to learn something about that individual!  (One can't help but wonder about the story behind your sweet little white hand towels with the crocheted edging.)  After all, decor says something about thyself, and what better way than expressing it than through crochet?

There is nothing scary about it, unless you lose your stitch count, but even that can be overcome with practice.  The key in resolving your fear of displaying crochet is in understanding it's history, knowing about the many different types & techniques, and about understanding why some 35-plus million people enjoy creating this art form stitch by stitch much as a painter enjoys creating images brush stroke by brush stroke. 

If we pull together, I'm sure we can help break the stereotype unjustly placed upon this fiber art form, and continue on with this growing Yarn Evolution!  I invite you to embrace the "Revolution;" crochet is here to stay!  
If you have any questions about it, please feel free to contact me.  I'd be happy to answer any questions about it.


The above is the email I sent to the author, Melanie Spencer, today after reading her article titled "Know thy closet, know thyself."

11/21/05 UPDATE:  A Response from Melanie:

Hello Dee.
Thanks for your response to my column. I knew I'd hear from someone on the crochet issue. You are quite the spokeswoman for the artform. I absolutely agree that it can be done tastefully and this is why I do have a few crochet items in my home. As I said in the piece, I just hate cozy covers for items and loath to see them come back in fashion. So, know that I am on your side when it comes to crochet in every form except the cozy!

Thanks again for writing!


Melanie Spencer
Home Design/Style Reporter
Austin American-Statesman

I think it's wonderful Melanie took the time to write me back -- and proclaim she's a crochet fan, minus crochet cozies!  Thanks Melanie!  :)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I Need a Squad

About two weeks ago, Sheila, a long-time CWD blog/journal reader, called me a "Crochet Cheerleader" and even sent me the cheerleader graphic you see here today.  Designer Carolyn Christmas called me a "Crochet Cheerleader" when she emailed Martha Stewart about having me on her show to teach crochet(BTW Martha, my answering machine is not the most reliable.  If you called, I didn't get your message.  Please email me instead.)  Even Gwen Blakley Kinsler, founder of the Crochet Guild of America, has referenced to me as a Crochet Cheerleader.  So, is it possible?  Am I a Cheerleader?

I think, even though I have no experience in being an actual cheerleader with uniform & pom poms, that I am beginning to warm up to the idea.  But this does mean that I cannot cheer alone!  I need a Squad of Crochet Cheerleaders!   Are you a Cheerleader of Crochet too?  If so read on! 

I decided today to start my own, no, no, that does not sound right.  Lets cross out the word "my" and insert "our."  Yes, that sounds better.  Lets start this again, shall we?

I decided today to start our own ring group that consists of members who are also Cheerleaders for the Art of Crochet.  I'm looking for those who would like to Crochet With ME by positively promoting crochet regardless of crochet skill level.  Interested?  Good!  :)

Join | List

All you need to do to join the join the webring to add your blog or website to the Squad.  Picking up several skeins of yarn and waving them in the air shouting "Rah! Rah! Rah! Crochet is Great!" is entirely up to you. 

"Rah! Rah! Rah!  Crochet is Great!"

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Did You Know: "Capital One" has Nothing on Crochet

Did Ewe Know?
During the time of King Louis XIV (1638-1715) of France the appreciation for lace was so intense that it was often treasured more than any currency and was preferred as the method of payment.

The passion -- the desire to own as much lace as possible was a display of one's wealth.  The more on display, the richer the individual/family.  Wealthy lords and ladies of the time were crazed to have it and would go through extremes to get it ... including padding it on the backs of skinny dogs then covering the lace with the hides of larger dogs to smuggle it into France. 

The first lace making machine was invented by Mr. Hammond, an Englishman in 1768, perfected in 1798.  When Nepoleon's power began to fade, the first lace making machine was smuggled into France.  Furthermore, during World War I the value of the lace industry was still high and the invading enemy would trade amnesty for the workers. 

Today, a knitting machine can be purchased for about $1000, yet a machine that can do only the basics of crochet starts at $11,000.  This means that crochet, be it lace, or other crochet technique, is still primarily done by hand. 

Source: "Handmade Lace & Patterns" by Annette Feldman

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sleeping Beauty Awakens

I spent most of yesterday sleeping. 
I didn't plan it that way, it just happened.  I closed my eyes to "rest" for a moment  and the next thing I know it's nearly 6 PM! -- And sadly, this meant that I missed the monthly crochet meeting.  Happily, the preemie sets were delivered to our local hospital and they were delighted with our donation!  That's always a great feeling knowing that your work is going for a good cause! 

I do feel refreshed today; like my batteries have been recharged.  This is good thing, especially with the major holidays right around the corner. (Do you really need to ask what I dream about? heh heh heh) Let's not get into what I have on the hook for the holidays yet -- I haven't quite figured that one out myself!  :)

I did spend some time earlier today sewing on some decorative beads and a button to my freeform work that I wrote about on Saturday before mailing it off.  The rest of day I spent sewing in the ends on the scarves I crocheted for the "60 Scarves in 60 Days" Challenge.   I plan on starting another scarf for the challenge later tonight.

Now, let me ask ... what happens when Sixty-One Fiber Artists from around the world, and 61 skeins of yarn all come together?  Why, 
A Fiber Odyssey, but of course! Take the time to visit and learn about each artist that participated ... the work is absolutely AMAZING!!!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Pain Leads to Crochet Influence Finds

Did you miss me?  I sure missed visiting yesterday -- I was forced to, no, really I was.  I stretched/twisted the wrong way and got a sharp muscle cramp from my back/lung area up to my shoulder.  (I've learned that it can be brutal digging through one's vast yarn stash!)  It still smarts quite a bit but the pain is not as bad; I'm functioning more than I was yesterday! 

I did manage to do a little online pre-holiday shopping, and while doing so I came across some interesting items that are "Freeform crochet" influenced.  Check these out:
Mary Francis Hand Bags (check out the one called "Wild Child" ... that's my favorite).  She has another one here(11/12 Update: since posting this entry the "Wild Child" bag has sold out & was removed from the Mary Francis Hand Bags page -- still though, the bags that remain are just beautiful to look at!)

Wool Floral Bootie (it reminds me of the freeform booties/slippers I saw at the 2003 and 2004 CGOA National Conventions).

The freeform piece here on the right is hot off my hook -- it's a gift for Mel who requested I crochet her a scrumble to add to her collection.    She has been collecting scrumbles from friends across the USA and around the world for an "International Freeform Crochet Friendship Wallhanging" and says she has some 75-100 scrumbles collected so far. 

I decided to set aside the scarf challenge for a few hours and do Mel's scrumble as she's looking to start assembling the wallhanging soon.   For this project I bought some "fringe ends" the other day, and looked through my stash to come up with colors she requested I use: eggplant with blacks, silvers, mauves, lilacs, and opals.  In the middle of the flower is a tiny mirror (about the size of a dime); I added it to the work so "we'll always be able to reflect upon how beautiful crochet really is."  I hope she likes the scrumble.  :)

Freeform sites to visit (suggested by the lovely Prudence Mapstone of

    * (German Blog featuring a beautiful ff sweater)
    * (Another German Blog w/a little "how to" imagery)
    * (not freeform, but if you love food it's well worth checking out -- sure gives new meaning to the term "fiber diet!")

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Crochet on the Calendar

I am knee deep in fiber -- I've gone in to explore what's in my yarn stash in order to find more yarn to use for the "60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge."  Please ... keep hooking, and I'll update the count possibly tomorrow.

In the meantime, while I see if there is a way for me to come out of my stash without another WIP or WIM (work in progress or work in mind) to sidetrack me, check out these crochet calendars  -- the calendars don't feature patterns but for those that work in an office or cubicle they're a great way to show off your crochet addiction for the entire year!  ((grins))

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Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Crochet Brings out the Character in Us

Hey, check it out!  Pictured with me is Iris, a character from the comic strip "For Better or Worse."  I took the liberty to dress her in a "modular poncho" because -- thanks to Patti -- we now know that Iris is a crocheter just like us because it's listed on Iris' bio page(Hmmm, looks like I sure could have used a pair of sunglasses!  Got an extra pair, Iris?)

Being naturally curious, I decided to write to the staff of the comic strip and find out where Iris gets her crochet hobby.  It seems that
Allison Zadorozny, the Executive Associate, is the crocheter and when they were developing Iris for the strip she gave her passion for crochet to Iris!  So how cool is that?!!  :)

Moving on with the topic of characters that crochet, have you heard about Barbie?  Yeah, it looks like Ken wants to get back with her; apparently it's hard to move on when you've been with someone for 40 years.  Ken will be going through an extreme make-over, or so I've heard.  What does that really mean?  Well, Mattel did issue an official press release that included Phillip Bloch, stylist to the stars, as saying, "Ken is one of those guys that has too much of one style. You have to be able to change it up these days – be able to go to from Oscars to Emmys to hanging out with the homeys. Be versatile like J. Lo."  Maybe, and this is me thinking here, that this means that while Barbie and Ken were apart he figured out, like many other men before him, that crochet is cool and should be embraced regardless of gender!  (Or even if he's knitting now; I mean if football greats can do it then surely "America's favorite 'arm candy'" can give it a try, right?)

Apparently, according to the Official Press Release, Barbie's reps would not confirm or deny any rumors -- but personally, I don't think Blaine ever had a chance for a long term relationship with Barbie.  Her heart is with Ken -- and crocheting for him, if not with him.  (She does have the Wonder Knitter, but really, I have to wonder about that contraption myself.  I've yet to be able to keep the tension even on that thing!) 

Awhile ago, at the height of their break-up, I posted about this blog that really dives into the depths of Barbie's crochet passion, so it's always worthy of another visit ... go ahead, you know you want to ... A Threadbared Epic: "Barbie & Ken - Living In A Crocheted Paradise -- it really explains what happens behind closed doors once one becomes a crochet addict.

Will they, could they, ever return to their beloved "Crocheted Paradise?"  Only time, and Ken's make-over will tell.

 ... Ken, my advice to you is to try crochet.  Learn some new stitches and techniques and share them with Barbie.  Then she'll really know why you look so much "more relaxed and refreshed lately."  Go win her heart back Ken!!  I'm rooting for you!!  ((grins))

Monday, November 7, 2005

Be Careful With What You Order ...

The food yesterday was just divine -- I had everything from stuffed shells, roast beef, fruit, sausage, eggs, homefries ... oh! the list just goes on & on!  Three and a half hours we enjoyed each other's company at the Avon Old Farms Inn -- and what a gloriously good time we had!!

In attendance was Melanie Gill (she's the one that coordinated the
Lacis Freeform Exhibit this past summer and requested I submit my Irish Clones Lace piece seen on the right; you want to see pictures of the whole exhibit?  Click onto the Lacis link above & enjoy!); Susie who's visiting from OZ; and my good friend Grace (who's known for kidnapping me and whisking me away to various fiber havens -- only this time I kidnapped her!  Wha ha hah hah ha! ).

In the second image you can see Susie is having quite a good time with my "Dunkin Donuts" inspired hat that's still on the hook ... it all goes back to seeing the most beautiful dreadlocks during a stop for coffee ... ah! but that's another story for another day, you'll have to wait for that one ... still though, Susie had fun modeling my WIP!!  ((chuckles))

In the third image is Mel -- look at that beautiful purse!  It's freeform crochet in a variety of colors that range from eggplant to purple ... yum!

Susie loves all colors and has no trouble "at'tall" in mixing the lot up -- she did so -- beautifully! -- with the shoulder wrap seen in image 4, and again in the larger version in image 5.  Image 6 is a close up of her work from Image 5 -- look at the colors, the beadwork ... how was it possible that I didn't come home with it????  One thing is for certain, I'll never look at Kilts quite the same way, and I have a deeper appreciation for color! (or is that the other way around??) Thank you Susie!!!

After our elongated brunch we headed to Mel's house.  Mel is amazing when it comes to various crochet/fiber arts books -- from her fantastic collection I got to leaf through the many she has on the topic of  "Irish Crochet."  Absolutely incredible!   ... hey Mel, when I grow up I want to be just like you!!  YOU ARE AMAZING!

So, in a nutshell, that was yesterday's fiber adventure.  It was just a most fantastic time, and I know those that will be hooking up in NYC tomorrow (from the FF group) will have an amazing time too!    :D

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Off to an Adventure Today

I'm excited; I'm getting ready to head off and meet up with a few other crocheters for brunch.  We'll be headed to the restaurant known as "Avon Old Farms Inn" that is filled with a lot of character.  We'll be gathering to discuss and admire beautiful crochet works!  I can't wait; I plan on bringing my camera, so there should be pictures in the near future!!

In the meantime I've been receiving emails with inquiries of what magazines I enjoy and where I get my subscriptions from.  Since the holidays are coming, I thought it would be a good time to "go public" and share this information again.  So, here it goes:
    * Crochet!  (I get it as part of my CGOA Membership)
    * Hooked on Crochet
    * Crochet Fantasy  (this is the only magazine that must be subscribed through them!)
    * Bead & Buttons (have you seen this month's issue? crochet slider necklace & earrings!)
    * Piecework (I'm working on the crochet beret featured in the latest issue)
    * Spin-off

So where do I go to subscribe?  For most I go to
magazinevalues (also known as shoppervalues) ... and right now they have a coupon for 10% off any magazine purchase ... TENOFF ... good until 11/10/05.  For those magazines not offered by magazinevalues I also visit bluedolphin.  

 Getting back to crochet adventures, check out the article here called "Sculptural hats make crochet contemporary" and see what fiberartist Lajla Nuhic is up to.  If you're in the Vancouver area ... plan on checking out her works next weekend!  Vancouver is a bit far for me, so if you go, be sure to share all the juicy details!  LOL ;)  

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Taking a Breath ...

... and trying to catch up seems to be on my agenda today.  This includes cleaning out my automobile of all *hidden* yarn stash (gasp!  I had that much in there?); to helping prepare for winter around the house ("If we pack the yarn against the walls, dear, it will act as insulation and we won't need to run the heat as much). 

I went to the LYS today and struck *fiber gold!*  Yeah, fifty-percent off!  I had no clue of the sale prior to going -- gotta love, love, love!  when that happens!!!  (giggles & grins)  So this means I finally have all the fibers picked out for the three scarves I'll be designing/crocheting for my son to give his teachers as gifts this year.  The three color themes will be neutral, rainbow and mulberry, each with a hint of *sparkle* to it as my way of thanking them for sparking my children into wanting to learn more.  I'll post pictures when they're completed.  The image to the right is the three teacher scarves I created two years ago. (click onto it to enlarge) I'll have to see if I took pictures of last years. 

This is a hat, scarf & mitten set I crocheted and donated in 2002; sorry, no pattern available

And speaking of scarves, we have a new count!  Woo-hoo!  Here's where we stand:

Sherri:  1 scarf  (with a pledge of more to come)
Jess:     1 scarf  (donated to a local family advocates group)
Dee:      3 scarves (I'll have another fresh on the hook in a few hours)
Sandi:    1 scarf (donated to Hurricane Katrina survivor)
Robin:   4 scarves with another to follow (being donated to homeless shelter)

Thats 10 scarves ... we still have 25 days of November left ... we can meet this challenge!  Need some inspiration? 
Then click here to read this article about a woman crocheting by feel!  She says, "My fingers remember how to crochet"

(Note: the hat, mitten & scarf set pictured on the right was crocheted and donated by me in 2002.  I placed the image in this blog/journal entry to show what can be created to help others.  The hat & scarf are something I had "whipped" up at the time, and the mittens are from a pattern I had found on the Internet.  If I locate the website for the mittens again, I'll post the link)

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Update: 60 Scarves in 60 Days

I have been a fan of your website for a while now. I'm just emailing to let you know that I have made a scarf and donated it to the a local family advocates group. They help run-aways and abused women/families.
Thank you for all the informative and fun posts you do everyday!
Jess (a wisconsin crocheter)

This is music to my ears, Jess!!  Thank you for the lovely compliments, and more importantly for joining in this scarf drive!!  Here, my family refers to scarves as hugs.  So each time someone bundles up with a scarf you make it's like giving them a hug -- imagine how much nicer our world would be if everyone in need was given a warm hug!  Makes me a bit misty-eyed thinking about it  :)

Sherri left a comment yesterday that she's ready to crochet more scarves, and I whipped up two scarves yesterday. (well, alright, almost two -- I still have to weave in the ends).  But they count right?  LOL  Here's what I count for this week:

Sherri:  1 scarf  (with a pledge of more to come)
Jess:     1 scarf
Dee:      2 scarves (I'll have another fresh on the hook in a few hours)

How about you?  Want to join us and see if we can make 60 scarves by the end of the month?  Email me, leave a comment, or link to this blog entry.  Together, we can make a difference!  :D

And speaking of making a difference, it seems someone took some advice I had offered awhile ago: 

You may not remember, but about a year and a half ago I wrote to you about being interested in a career in crochet, teaching and designing, and you encouraged me to apply for CGOA Associate Professional membership.

I did so, but didn't really begin to apply myself until January of this year. I got serious about my professional crochet goals, asked for a mentor, set some definite goals and now they are beginning to come to fruition!
You never know what a positive effect you'll have on others, so keep being your encouraging self!

     Oh Patricia, I am absolutely beaming with joy in learning of this news!!  How wonderful!!

Readers, check out her blog and her website then hop on over and check out her first published crochet pattern!!  As I understand it, her pattern for a spiral hat and unique scarf is available for those that subscribe to the TahkiStacyCharles (Nov) newsletter.  Be sure to look for it!  (I just subscribed for their newsletter myself, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing it!)  Once again, Patricia, Congratulations!!!! 

(5:26 PM UPDATE: Click here to see the pattern)
(6:10 PM UPDATE: Look to the left in the "About Me" section -- check out the cheerleader & the cheer Sheila sent to me after reading this blog entry!  Way cute! Thanks Sheila! )

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

From the Heart ... Challenge in Need of Your Help!

The holiday season is coming & here's the perfect gift!  A designer hat that helps aid the American Red Cross!  Your support is greatly appreciated!  Visit yesterday's blog entry for details.  When they're gone, they're gone!

I've decided to return to the 60 Scarves in 60 Days drive and I am in great need to meet this goal.  I need people like you and people like Sherri over there at CrochetR aka Sherri's NeedleArts to help me!  (Sherri gave me a beautiful scarf for the drive when she was out here a few weeks ago; click on the link to her blog and you can see me modeling it!  It was the first scarf she ever crocheted -- it's beautiful!)  All you need to do is crochet -- or even knit! -- a scarf and then donate it to a local homeless shelter or to your local Salvation Army office.  Then email me or leave a comment and we'll start adding up the numbers.  Simple, right?!!  You create it, you donate it.  Simple, and heartwarming for the receiver.  This drive actually started last month but with all the hurricanes and such I got a bit off track.  We did this last year and it worked out beautifully!  So join in and watch the count grow!!! 

Please keep in mind that if you wish to participate that a scarf for this drive does not need to be fancy ... so if you're new at crocheting (or knitting) then this is a perfect project to practice your stitches on!  We have until November 30th, so that's plenty of time if we combine our efforts. :)