Sunday, December 31, 2006

Stitches in the Seat

Part of the holiday fun is visiting stores for the "after holiday sales" to utilize those gift certificates from loved ones.  After all, you never know what treasures you'll find as was true for me this week!

There I was, strolling around inside of a local Pier 1 store when I happened upon a furniture arrangement that was totally knitted!   We're not talking pillows, afghans, or
antimascassars -- we're talking "Chahaya" couches, chairs, and tables that were all stitched! Knitted! ... and while my knitting skills are extremely limited (twisted & backwards too) I can't help but wonder "how did they do that!??"  How could I have not known about this??  Had I the room in my home, and the extra funds, I would have instantly purchased it all and started various crochet projects (cushions perhaps?) to compliment the pieces.  (If I were a yarn shop owner, there is no doubt in my mind that I'd add them to the "flavor" of the store!)

This got me to thinking about another fiber chair I've long admired: the crocheted chair by Marcel Wanders, but at $40,000 apiece I know it is way out of my price range (but apparently not out of Beyonce and Jay-Z's!).  As the International Freeform group continues to discuss interesting fiber sculpture (more here, here, and here), and after viewing Ben Wilson's video clip on the chair he crocheted using coarse cotton and simple stitches, perhaps 2007 will be a year I start to experiment with epoxy too; it's worth thinking about, right?

                                               Have a Fiberlicious New Year!!  :)

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Milestones Worth a Hundred Grand?

What a fantastic milestone here at the CrochetingWithDee blog -- 100,000 visitors ... and in a little over three weeks from now it will also be the three year anniversary since my first blog entry!  How exciting!

My first thought was to have a contest that offered a bag containing $100,000 (bar) as a prize; but I haven't had luck locating any locally, and also, that gag has already been played by a radio station.

So I gave it some thought and decided items like yarn, patterns, and gift certificates would make for better prizes that reflect more about what my blog is about: crochet!

So here are the rules:

1.  Contest runs from today until January 15, 2007, Midnight Eastern Time.
2.  A total of three prizes will be awarded via a drawing.  Winners will be announced on January 16, 2007.
3.  To participate:  Read the fictitious news article I
featured in my blog awhile ago and come up with an ending for it.  Clean language is a must.  You may enter as many times as you'd like by:
     A.  Leaving your ending here as a comment with a valid email address
     B.  Or emailing me your ending and I will add it here for you.
4.  If no valid email address is available for entrant another name will be drawn.  This means if you're an AIM user so you can leave comments in AOL journals/blogs, I will need a valid email address from you.
5.  Prizes are not exchangeable and may not be redeemed for cash. 
6.  Contest is no way related to the makers of the $100,000 chocolate bar, but if I find one, I promise to eat one in honor of this fantastic milestone!  Thanks readers!


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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It's Santa's Fault - and Doris' too ...

Yes, it's all Santa's fault, and Doris' too, that I didn't return to blogging yesterday as I initially planned.

Santa, you see, brought me some "techie" gifts for the PC and the laptop; one of the items is a webpage building software program and I've been tinkering with it.  My  hopes are to make the HHCC's website easier on the eye -- and a lot easier to navigate before the New Year.  After that, for later in 2007, I hope to update my daughter's website, and then mineOf course the websites do not need to be done immediately, but you know how new toys call out to you, much like yarn does.  You simply must listen to it; there's no escaping its call!  ... and we're not even discussing webcam possibilities yet!
So, there I was yesterday afternoon, taking a break from learning what the new website software can do when I hear a knock on the door.  It was Mr. UPS.  "I've got a package for Mini-Dee," he says.  (Yes, it was actually addressed to "Mini-Dee!")  I bring the big box into the house and call Mini-Dee over.  She's excited as she eyes the package, "This big box is all for me?!"  The box is from crochet & knit designer 
Doris Chan.

... and it is packed with many delicious fibers of various colors, textures and thicknesses!  Mini-Dee's yarn stash has just been upgraded from the Minor League to the Major League -- and she was all smiles with this delightful surprise! (Thank you Doris!)

I think this means Mini-Dee will need to do more blogging here come 2007 because if we combine the beautiful yarn from Doris; with the lap loom -- and with the book, Kids Crochet by Kelli Ronci, that she received for Christmas, I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of exciting fiber creations by my daughter.  (and of course, this would give me more time to tinker with webpage updates!)  {{wink wink}}
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Friday, December 22, 2006



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish you, my readers, a most happy holiday and a fiberlicious New Year!!

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Holiday Cheer: The New Scarf Pattern is Here!

As promised, and just in the Nick of time, a quick scarf to crochet as a last minute gift -- perhaps for yourself! :)

Dee~lightfully Wavy Scarf
Copyright 2006
Dee Stanziano; for personal/charity use only.

You'll Need
"N" (10mm) hook (I used a Graydog crochet hook; they're available on eBay only)
1 skein of Tahki's
Ritratto (Green): 28% mohair; 53% Rayon; 10% Nylon; 9% Polyester (has a pretty sparkle & haze to it; this fiber will work as a stitch stabilizer.)
2 skeins of Linie 43 Punta (Yellows): 45% Rayon, 45% Nylon; 10% Acrylic (an incredible softness combination of boucle & fur)
Tapestry needle

Skill Level/Time:
The scarf is based upon the single crochet; the edging has some double crochet stitches.  It is the start of the project and the fiber combination that may take some getting used to.  Skill level: Advanced Beginner
Time: Figure 4 hours. This project took me a little over 2 hours from start to finish. The most difficult part of the project for me was naming it. :)

: Holding 1 skein of Ritratto and 1 skein of Punta together:
Create slip knot leaving 8" tail.
Row 1: Using "Foundationless Chain*" (also known as Double Base Chain Stitch as shown on Josi Hannon's site), create 10 stitches.  Place marker on this row for later use.
Row 2: Ch 1, turn, sc across (10 sts)
Repeat Row two 105 times or to near desired length. Place marker on last sc row for later use.

Row 1: Ch 3, turn, work 3 dc in ea st (30 sts)
Row 2: Ch 1, turn, work 2 sc in ea st (60 sts)
End off leaving 12" tail.
Join yarn to beginning edge (where the foundationless chain is) of scarf to the opposite side of beginning tail; follow directions for Edging, leaving 8" tail.

Edging will "fan out." Take corner of each "fan" hold 1" in from scarf edge; using tails, secure to row marked with marker. Repeat on opp end of scarf.  This step is not required, but utilizing it will add to the rippling effect on scarf edges.  See illustration below:

To wear: fold scarf in half, wrap around neck; insert scarf ends through scarf fold as shown in first image.

*Foundationless Chain:
Doris Chan calls it a "base chain single crochet" in her new book. It is a technique also known as the "double chain stitch," and as the "foundation stitch.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I spent this past Monday afternoon with my best friend, Patti.  We've been friends since first meeting in middle school and I wouldn't trade her for the world!  I've mentioned her here in my blog on occasion (in fact, it was her kids I kidnapped this past summer), and I also credit her (on my website) as the one who pushed persuaded inspired me start teaching crochet back in 2000.  {{grins}}

And look what she surprised me with on Monday: Isn't it just fantastic?!!  I love it!

She said she was inspired to create the crochet theme wreath when she was looking through some very old craft books (sorry, she doesn't recall which one -- trust me, I inquired as I told her I'd blog about it!  LOL).  The wreath is now proudly hanging on my front door!

Thank you, Patti!  :)

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hot off the Hook; That's the Spirit!

Sing with me a bit today, OK?  Ready?  (In the tune of Jingle Bells)

Rush, rush, rush,
    Wrap, wrap, wrap,
        Time is running out.

String the lights,
    Crochet a scarf,
        Wonder where the yarn labels went! Oh!

Rush, rush, rush,
    Wrap, wrap, wrap,
        Search a little more!

If Dee doesn't
    Find those labels
       She's gonna enjoy some eggnog a little more! Oh!

Ha ha!  We had a kink in the Christmas Tree Decorating department here at the CrochetWithDee homestead ... it seems all our holiday lights were damaged from the flooding in our basement (we've had massive amounts of rain during the summer/fall), so I had to dash out quicker than Santa's reindeer, Donner, and buy a boatload of new lights.  I had to beat back crowds at the stores -- is that normal this time of the year?  I seemed to have forgotten about the mad rushes at the various department stores since I spend so much time at local yarn shops and peacefully crocheting in the comfort of my home. 

Today's project is one of three scarves that will be given to a Teacher this holiday season.  It worked up very, very quickly, and is softer than a baby bunny!  It was inspired by a knitted scarf I had seen; do you like it?  I plan on offering the pattern for it just as soon as I locate the yarn labels -- perhaps they're under all the packaging from the new lights?  Hmmm, if you don't hear back from me by tomorrow, send a search party! 
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News Article: Small projects can take stress out of Holidays

Sunday, December 17, 2006

More on Doris

After being a guest at our monthly CGOA Chapter last week (which Priscilla did an awesome write-up on) Mini-Dee and I took Doris to one of my favorite restaurants in the area: Rosy Tomorrows.  (Yes, that blurry girl in the middle is Mini-Dee and she is wearing the piece I worked up from Doris' new book.)

Rosy's is a local restaurant that is filled with artifacts from the once popular Danbury Fair that closed it's gates in 1981.  There is no beating Rosy's atmosphere -- or it's food, so if you're passing through, be sure to stop there for lunch or dinner!   We had a fabulous time chatting about everything under the sun: from her childhood (we discovered we had similar childhood experiences) to her new book.  I had the most amazing time with her!

I didn't take notes, but fortunately Dora Ohrenstein just announced that the 2nd Issue of "Crochet Insider" has just been released -- and in it she interviews Doris Chan!  In reading her interview with Doris it felt like we were still at the restaurant!  Go, check it out!  Imagine sitting at the restaurant with us while getting to know Doris better!  :)

Hey, if you'd like to gift yourself or someone you know with an autographed copy of Doris' new book, A Stitch in Time said they have six autographed copies left.  Contact them for info!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

"a darned cute christmas thing" (2006)

   I've spent the majority of today sorting through my yarn stash,and as I continue to do so this evening, I am:

A. ... amazed I amassed so much during 2006.  Why, I have an entire tote of the ever luscious Marlene (sadly discontinued AND very hard to find!) that I use for crocheting designer hats to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.  
B.  ... bewildered that although I've consumed more yarn in various projects than I did last year, I'm quickly running out of places to store it.  Maybe I should consult
Wendy in figuring out new storage areas?

C.  ... completely inspired to drop the yarn sorting and work up more
charity projects; that's always a great way to reduce stash -- but then again, would Santa stop at the house if I never get the Christmas tree set up in time for his arrival because I was too busy crocheting? Would that get me on his "Naughty" list? 

D. ...nostalgic; perhaps I should revisit the thought from last year ...
"a darned cute Christmas thing" and consider decorating the tree with my stash?  I'll have to explore if the children would seriously mind the exchange of traditional ornaments for yarn; would they mind? No, seriously?  Would they?  Do I dare ask them?? ... I mean, if Berroco is suggesting it too, how could I possibly go wrong in doing it???  ;-}

Friday, December 15, 2006

Question from Readers: Where Are You????

Dear Dee, My daily routine has been disrupted! I wake up, grab a cup of coffee, and then head to your blog for your latest crochet adventures. I've been reading about Doris for four days now; where are you???? I miss you!

Hey Dee, What's up with your blog? In the morning I visit your blog, then check out Annies Attic for their free Pattern of the Day, have my coffee, then read the paper. In that order! Only this week there's no new entries -- are you OK? When will you be coming back?

I appreciate all your concerns, and you're right! It's not normal for me to abandon my blog for days on end. I've been incredibly busy with preparing for the holidays AND with meeting a deadline for a publisher. Yes, that's right, I'll have more patterns published soon. Once the green light is given I can reveal specifics but until then I'll have to resign to dancing around the house. Yes, that is a hint!  {{GRINS}}

The good news is I can now resume my normal routine, and this means new blog entries are on the way for my very patient readers! I'll be sharing more info about my time with Doris, a story about Gauge, offering you a new FREE pattern to try and more ... so stay tuned!

I would like to extend a huge HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Crochet Partners today -- it's their 11th Year!  If you're interested in belonging to a Crochet Community, the largest that I know of, then you'll want to give them a visit!  I've been a member since 2000 and just love them!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Crochet Camaraderie

I awoke yesterday morning feeling much like a child -- a child that had waited what felt like forever for this particular day to come.  I was excited that Doris Chan was going to be my Guest at our local CGOA Chapter.  I was also excited that our member, Margaret Hubert, would be doing a special workshop with us!  And a day full of excitement it was!

The meeting started with Margaret teaching us her "Adjusting Patterns to Fit" workshop -- a workshop she normally reserves for National Events!  She is just an absolute powerhouse of information and inspiration!  Along with teaching this fantastic workshop, she also raffled off items.  My daughter was delighted to be her Class Angel (helper).  One nugget I enjoyed from Margaret was when she told us about something someone had told her:  "Admire your work often to catch errors earlier."  Oh, I like that; that's great advice everyone can use!

Then, while Margaret went around helping members with their measurements, our Club President, Grace, held her own raffle.  She had purchased many goodies from the recent AnniesAttic end-of-year-sale and everyone was delighted with her thoughtfulness.  At the end of Margaret's workshop they sliced into a most delicious cake baked by our member, MaryAnn.   Yum!

By then Doris had arrived from her book signing that was held at A Stitch In Time and the members were eager to greet her.  She brought her samples with her and encouraged members to try them on; she also signed books!  Having enjoyed her on Saturday at KnitTogether, I got to enjoy her presentation even more.   I know the group enjoyed the presentation too!  :)

**BONUS:  Check out what Priscilla thinks about the meeting! ...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Delightful Day(s) With Doris

I'm getting ready for Day Two with Doris ... for details about yesterday's visit please go to

... I promise more details & images here tomorrow!  :)

Friday, December 8, 2006

... Goodies Delivered ...

Earlier this evening, with Santa hats upon our heads, I gathered with my children and some of my CGOA Chapter members to deliver our donation of crocheted hats, mittens/gloves, scarves, baby buntings, baby blankets, afghans, and new toys to our local Salvation Army.

We met up with Captain Norma and Helen who gave us a tour of "Angel" program.  This year they have 390 families in need with approximately 200 more on their waiting list.  It's sad to imagine the need for such programs, but it is uplifting to see so many organizations, such as ours, along with local businesses, coming together to make this holiday season brighter for those in need.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Counting Down to Doris ...

I can't believe that in just two days ... two? really? do I count today if it's nearly over? ... ok, let me try again ...

I can't believe that in just 42 hours (isn't that really close to 48 hours? so I guess I could have stated "in just two days" and been nearly correct?) ... that I'll be hanging out with Doris Chan!  I'll first be hooking up with her at the Knit Together store located in Stamford, CT, on Saturday, and then again when she visits my CGOA Chapter on Sunday.  I am totally stoked!

I brought her book with me to yesterday's Coffee, Crochet & Chat session.  It's a time we set aside every month to gather at our local Borders bookstore to oggle over the newest crochet books & magazines on the market, as well as check out projects we're all working on.  Of course I brought Doris' book, "Amazing Crochet Lace", and the project I've yet to wrap for my daughter (see image below).  The girls went wild in pointing at pattern after pattern in Doris' book exclaiming "I want to make that, and that, and that!"  It was good to see I wasn't the only one obsessed with the book at first glance!  (LOL)

In fact, the girls all rushed upstairs to the craft section to start the search for the book.  Did Borders have it?  Well, prior to announcing to my group last week that she would be visiting us, Borders had six copies available.  On Monday they had none.  The girls came back down to the Cafe and declared none were to be had.  So one of the girls, Diana, said, "Dee, let me see your copy."  I handed it to her and off she went.  Time went by and she triumphantly returned with two copies in her hand.

The girls were so excited that she found two copies.  I exclaimed, "Whoever crochets the fastest gets to buy them!" -- of course I was kidding and we did get a chuckle over it.  "How did you find the books, Diana, when we couldn't?"  She's such a clever girl!  "I looked at Dee's copy, noting how the binder looked and found one here (invision animated motions going on where she's pointing), and another waaaaaaaay over there."

There were big grins everywhere, you know, like finding a huge stash of your favorite chocolates... ah, yes, they were tickled with the find and immediately raced up to the register to purchase the two copies.

But the fever doesn't end there.  I spoke with the owner of A Stitch In Time this morning after teaching my "Stitch Social" class.  "Dee," she said, "I've already got calls coming in for people wanting to reserve a copy of Doris' book!" 

"How awesome," I said.  Then, knowing there are people from outside my area that might want an autographed copy, I inquired.  "Eva," I asked, "are you willing to ship copies?"  She is!  For anyone looking to get an autographed copy, give Eva a call at (203) 748-1002.  I don't recommend waiting!  {{grins}}

In the meantime, I'm working up the same pattern I used a few days ago (see same picture above).  This time it will be for me, and I'm using Trendsetter's "Checkmate" -- it's a ribbon yarn that alternates between a checkered "ladder" ribbon and a flat ribbon.  I'm using the color known as "Roses are Red" and using an even larger hook than what the pattern calls for -- I'm using a "P" Graydog hook (Graydog crochet hooks are only available on ebay).  I hope to have it finished in time for the weekend.

                   Did I say 42 hours?  Make that 41 ...

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Creativity Unleashed by Mini-Dee

My Mom came home today and gave me and my brother each a new pair of gloves.  She then let us dig through another bag filled with a lot more gloves, and let us choose another pair in case we need them.  She hinted that perhaps I should crochet long chains to attach the gloves and run them through our coat sleeves.

So while she was telling you all about the stuff the crochet club will be donating, I was busy crocheting onto my new gloves.  I decided to crochet a cuff on one glove with a few rows of single crochets.  Then I made a long chain and went to the next glove.  I crocheted around for a couple of rows and then ended off.  I like the way they look; so does my Mom.  She said you all might like looking at them too.  It was easy to do.  I got the yarn from my favorite crocheter, Margaret.  Well, my second favorite, because my Mom is my most  favorite.

The Reason for the Season: Giving from the Heart

On Monday night I gathered with Priscilla and Grace, the President of our crochet club, at our local Borders Bookstore.  We sorted through a lot of hats, scarves, mittens & gloves to create what we call "sets" -- it also means writing down the approximate age the set would best suit.  Two hours, and one spilled Hot Chocolate later, we were done!  I don't have an official count as to what all the generosity amounts to as more donations from our members are still coming in.  I know we were short on mittens & gloves so I went out and purchased 23 pairs earlier this afternoon so we can complete more sets.  (Plus, I donated another 10 pairs today to another organization that is also doing a drive.)  All I know, what I believe actually, is that this is the reason for the season: giving from the heart!

All these "sets" will help various people in my local community to stay warm -- and today's weather of a balmy 22 degrees F (not including the wind chill factor) is a great reminder of what's to come in the coming weeks: Snow, Sleet, Freezing Rain!  I know from my own experience in growing up that it's no picnic to go through winter without a coat and other warming necessities.  So being involved in helping my local community like this is what makes my holiday season so special -- and to think of all of you who participated in the 60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge, that your scarves will aid someone in need too -- well, that's the icing on my gingerbread man!  I love all this generosity!!  Thank you!!  :)

All the items Priscilla, Grace and I sorted will be donated this Friday on behalf of our  CGOA Chapter to our local Salvation Army headquarters.  I do hope to have more pictures to show when we make the delivery; the amount of people they help at this time of the year is staggering!  However, I do have more pictures from Monday night, but they are from an 8-year old's perspective, and somehow close-ups of spilled Hot Chocolate just don't count.  LOL  I do like the one he took of the three of us that's featured in today's blog entry though!  :)

Monday, December 4, 2006

I didn't, but what if you couldn't?? Could you?

It's been an entire two days without crocheting -- and yes, I'm a bit "hook starved!"  LOL

On Saturday my family and I met up with other relatives at the Jones Family Farm in Shelton, Connecticut.  Our goal: to pick out beautiful Christmas Trees.  We let Dee Jr. cut down his first tree and drag it down the hillside -- it was like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting complete with hot cider and chocolate chip cookies.  All that was missing was the snow!  Although my family has been going to the Jones Family Farm for years, this is the first time we gathered there with our extended family; what a blast it was!  We're thinking of making it a family tradition.

Saturday night was "out" for crocheting too as Mr. Dee and I decided to open one of the bottle of wine we purchased at the Farm.  It's a Strawberry wine and it made it to the top of my list of favorites.  Yum!

Yesterday was another family outing, and yes, I could have brought my crochet with me but it would not have been productive.  By the time we got in last night it was really too late to slip in a few stitches.

Even though I've been "stitch free" all weekend, it doesn't mean crochet hasn't been on my mind!  I was busy having "Crochet Sightings" everywhere I looked!  From products on store shelves, to items people were wearing.  I think doing this helped starve off the need to pick up a hook ... but there was something else on my mind this weekend ..

Something a bit more serious in theme: What if I was forbidden to crochet -- for myself, for family, for charity.  Would I do it?  Could I do it?  What about you? Could you give it up?  It seems the NCAA has done that to a football player.  Boise State football player, Ian Johnson, has been told he's no longer allowed to crochet -- they're worried people will ebay the items he creates.  You can read the full story here: 
NCAA to Ian: No More Beanies!  Many thanks to Kim Guzman for pointing this story out!  To read the ESPN article about Ian Johnson's "unusual hobby" click here.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Guess who's coming to town!!

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Doris Chan is coming to town
She's making a list
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out who crochets real nice
Doris Chan is coming to town
She knows her new book we're all a-seeking
She'll be arriving from Pennsylvania state 
Autographing her new "Amazing Crochet Lace" book  So be there for goodness sake!
O! You better watch out!
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Doris Chan is coming to town
Doris Chan is coming to town

When & Where:
Saturday, Dec 9 @ Knit Together, Stamford, CT *
Sunday, December 10
@ A Stitch in Time, Bethel, CT *
Sunday, December 10 @ The HHCC monthly meeting, Danbury, CT
*contact these locations for more information

I am soooo stoked!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006


I am truly, deeply, sincerely honored that so many helped in reaching the 3rd Annual "60 Scarves in 60 Days" goal!!  A big, huge, gigantic, mamothed sized Thank You goes out to each and every one of you!!

We left off on Tuesday being shy of nine scarves to reach the goal.  In that time, here's what happened:

Sheila, who is in the middle of moving, put aside her packing to start another one;
Le-Teisha donated 5 knitted and 2 crocheted scarves to a homeless shelter;
Laura has five scarves that will be going to a homeless shelter in San Francisco;
"divablueknight" completed two scarves over the Thanksgiving holiday;
Melanie rocks in with her seventh, and an eighth one on her hook;
Valarie donated two to her local church today;
Maddy donated one;
and Lucy, a second grade teacher, crocheted two children scarves and donated them to her school's "Caring & Sharing" campaign.
Beata who is learning the stockinette stitch knitted up a scarf and will be giving it to her local Christian Ministries
Sherri completed three more!

Then, if we add in the 3 additional scarves I worked up in the past two days...

                   Are you ready for this?

                         No, really?  Are you ready for the GRAND TOTAL???  

                                        Oh, you all know we rocked the count this year, don't you???
                                                           Yeah, you know it!!

We did it!!!  We surpassed our goal!!!

A total of 76 77 80* Scarves were crocheted and knitted for our 2006 "60 Scarves in 60 Days" Challenge!!  That's TOTALLY AWESOME!!

Congratulations everyone and thank you so much for participating!!!

Those scarves will be much appreciated by someone in need in your community!! :)

* This total may change as there's still a few hours of the month left!  If you've created a scarf to dontate, please leave a comment here or send me an email to have yours counted!  :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge Update

Sheila over at Needles and Hooks has completed her seventh scarf for this challenge;
Olga donated two;
Shelley donated one;
Melanie at  My Crochet and Ramblings journal, pledged to create one but was able to crochet six;
Priscilla over at By Hook or Needles created at least 12 (Priscilla, please correct me if I'm wrong)
Sherri at Sherris Needle Arts crocheted three;
and Wendy gave two crocheted scarves to a group that gives handcrafted items to children's charities in New York City.

Awesome job ladies!!!  Thank you so much for participating!! 

Then, if we add in the four I finished weaving in the tails to late last night (bringing my total to 18) this brings our total count to 51 ... we need NINE more scarves by the end of this month to meet our goal of 60 Scarves in 60 Days!! 

It's easy to participate:  You crochet, knit, weave, sew a scarf and then give it to a person or organization in need.  There's no shipping involved!  You do the work, your local community benefits!  Once your scarf is done, you send me an email or leave a comment here to have yours added.

All we need is NINE more in two days!!  I knowwe can do it!!  Go ahead, start a scarf tonight to give to someone in need!  :)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Hot Off The Hook

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with their friends & family; I know I sure did.  I've been busy crocheting scarves for the 60 Scarves in 60 Days drive (THERE IS STILL TIME FOR YOU TO PARTICIPATE TOO!), and this ...

This is from the new book, "amazing crochet lace," by Doris Chan that I have been raving so much about.  Taking into consideration the "pesky" fiber I opted to use [ladder ribbon] it worked up amazingly fast! I would like to share some of my notes about this project:
1. I used a different join technique. Instead of sewing I opted to crochet the sections together.
     A. The join between the body and the sleeves is a series of slip stitches and chains that decrease in number the closer I got to the shoulder. Once over the shoulder I slowly increased the number of chains again. This gives the effect of a lattice look that I do like. I think in using this joining technique it gives my daughter more "growing room."
     B.  In creating the sleeves, under the arm to the cuff is all slip stitched.  I then created a more prominent cuff by crocheting a few rows of single crochet stitches.  This also meant I had less ends to weave in when my project was completed.
2.  I decided the garment body needed a little more weight to help showcase the stitch design as the ladder ribbon is so light!  I therefore crocheted four rows of single crochet stitches around on the bottom.  The neckline has one additional row of single crochet stitches to give it a more finished look.
3.  The project took about 2 1/2 balls of  Euro Gioco ribbon worked up with a "J" 'Graydog' crochet hook (Graydog hooks are available on ebay only).  The end result is a garment that would fit a child in the size 6-12 range comfortably (my mannequin is a size 12)

All that is left for me to do is sew on a label and wrap it up -- even though my daughter watched me crochet it she thinks its a sample for one of the stores I teach at.  Sneaky of me, huh? :)

Note:  "Ladder Ribbon" gives both crocheters and knitters a run for their patience.  If you can work with a fairly easy tension and not mind that your hook may pick-up/drop partial portions of the ribbon (translation: slight frogging for correction will be needed from time to time) then do give it a try.  I LOVE the way this project worked up using it, and Doris' pattern was a pleasure!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy T-Giving!

I made this Turkey a few years ago; don't recall where I got the pattern. I did some searching on the Internet and found some similar:
  • (rear view of turkey)
  • for even more Thanksgiving Day themed patterns
  • Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    Question From Reader: Skill Level

    Dear Dee,
    I read where you wrote about making things and giving them as gifts. I recently learned how to crochet but am not sure about my skill level. I want to make scarves for my family this year but want them to look nice. When I'm looking at patterns, how do I figure out what skill level I am? Thanks, Lisa

    Dear Lisa,
    Thank you for writing in; I think it's wonderful that you're considering crocheting scarves for your family this year. I tend to think of scarves as "extended hugs" -- and everyone can use a hug/scarf now & then, right? :)

    You stated you recently learned how to crochet, this means your skill level will depend upon how much practice you've put in. Over at the Craft Yarn Council of America's "Yarn Standards" website they have four levels listed:
    Beginner, Easy, Intermediate,and experienced. The levels are just guides -- don't let them stop you from crocheting something you have your heart set upon!

    If you are comfortable with the basic crochet stitches (mostly knowing how to create the foundation chain, the single crochet, half-double, double) then you are a beginner.  Look for patterns that focus on the stitches you know where little shaping is required.

    If you are comfortable with mixing your stitches up and can do color changes with some shaping, then you're in the "easy" category.  I don't like calling someone's skill level as  "easy" (it just doesn't sound right! lol)  so I'll refer to it as advanced beginner.  Look for patterns that have repetition in the stitch work. 

    If you are comfortable with color changes and stitch variations, along with shaping, then you might want to look beyond making scarves ... caplets and ponchos are still hot items to create!  This is the intermediate level.

    If you are comfortable with difficult stitch patterns (like the Herringbone stitch), can do a variety of crochet techniques, can shape your work, work with a variety of fiber weights, and create finishing touches, then this makes you an experienced crocheter.  I often times refer to this level as the advanced level.  The fiber world is your oyster --go and pluck your purls.  (Yes, crocheters can purl, and if you know how, then surely this is your category!)

    The key is not to be intimated by your level.  These levels were created to help crocheters choose projects they may be more comfortable in doing -- or in challenging themselves with!  I say, if you can read the pattern, understand the stitches involved, and can keep accurate count of stitches/rows, then go ahead and work on the pattern(s) you have in mind for the gifts you'd like to give.

    Remember to always leave long tails at the beginning and end of your work -- and properly weave them in!  If you run out of time, consider giving a "gift certificate" that states what you will be creating for the receiver.  You can even opt to let them pick the color(s)!

    I hope this helps, Lisa, and should you run into any stitch difficulties, give AnniesAttic a visit as they have little video clips you can watch on your PC for free. 
    Thanks again for writing in,

    Tuesday, November 21, 2006

    "This is the work of my heart"

    There has been recent discussion on what can be called as Craft and what can be called as Art. Many state that the beauty behind the craft/art being appreciated all stems from the beholder. I ask, is this true? Does one view a crocheted stuffed animal as a sculpture, or as a toy for a child -- or could it be both depending upon who is defending it as craft, and who is defending it as art? Is there really a difference?
    Pronunciation: 'kraft
    Etymology: Middle English, strength, skill, from Old English cræft; akin to Old High German kraft strength
         ... an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill <CRAFTS sewing and carpentry, pottery, as such>

    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from Latin art-, ars skill acquired by experience, study, or observation
         ...the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects ; also : works so produced
                                                            ~ Merriam Webster Dictionary

    With the official start of the holiday season just days away, television commercials are already bombarding us with the "buy this to win their heart" mentality.   I'd much rather view the  commercial(s) I found on youtube on national television as I love their message:  "When you make something by hand it means I was thinking of you ... it says I give you something more valuable than my money ... this is the work of my hands ... this is the work of my heart ... and now I give it all to you ... this is what it says when you give a gift that was made by hand." 
     I think this should be the message we promote so heavily during the holiday season, don't you?

    Take back your holiday from over commercialism and hand-held electronics that show no outlet for creativity.  Create some crafts, some beautiful art by hand for your loved ones and encourage someone else to create gifts by hand.  Go ahead and ignite the creativity in your friends and family through work you've created!  Encourage the use of hands for more than a gameboy -- encourage them to create something that can be felt, something that can be appreciated for years to come.  Some ideas: 
         * Give a scarf that can 'hug' during the cold winter season.
         * Give an afghan that can warm and comfort loved ones living far away.
         * Give a tapestry's basket or wall hanging inspired with colors perhaps used by their favorite artists.Free shipping at!  Code:  DECFSA625
         * Give items (ipod/cell phone/treasure bags) that they can use year round.
         * Give a gift certificate to a local craft/yarn store along with a "handmade coupon" for them to redeem it with you to learn a new craft/art together.

    For this holiday season, I'm almost done with the project I started for my daughter, and hope to crochet a sweater for my son (in Tunisian perhaps?); plus my daughter is almost done with the project she started for her dad.  I'm also still working on the 60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge -- I can sure use your help in reaching that goal by the end of the month!

    Monday, November 20, 2006

    Yarn Dreams

    I love to see crochet and knit on the fashion runway.  In fact, I dreamed last night that I was leafing through a "posh" magazine -- a catalog really -- that was filled with jewelry findings*.  On the cover was an image of a woman wearing a rainbow colored dress, crocheted entirely with the Tunisian technique, with ribbon inserts woven through. (aka the Crochet'n Weave technique).  It looked amazing!  I don't recall seeing the model wearing any jewelry, so naturally one could wonder why she was there.  But, remembering this was my dream, there she was wearing this incredible dress on the cover.  I made note that I wanted to contact the publisher to get more information, but then my alarm clock buzzed and that was the end of that.  Bummer.  I would have loved learning more about the yarn that was used.

    "Crocheted lace edged the little stand-up collar. Crocheted lace spread out in a bow on Ma's breast, and the gold breast-pin held the collar and the bow. Ma's face was lovely. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes were bright." ~Laura Ingalls Wilder; "On the Banks of Plum Creek"
    I wonder though, could the dream have been influenced by a youtube video I watched recently?  I'll let you be the judge; the only difference between my dream and the video is the scary 1980s shoulder pads (those aren't coming back in fashion are they?  I shudder to think so).  Thankfully my dream was void of those linebacker images!  LOL

    Click Here to view the video ... it's by Ormo and shows how yarn is made. At the end of the video is a fashion show showing knit designs created with their yarn line. It's a cute video until, like I say, the shoulder pads make an appearance.  At the very least it's interesting to see the inside of a yarn factory -- where more dreams are made.  :)

    *Jewelry Findings: bits & pieces (beads, gems, clasps, etc) used to create your own jewelry.

    Friday, November 17, 2006

    Resistance is Futile

    I confess!  I couldn't help myself!  No matter how many times I said to myself that I wouldn't start another new project until I finished the 60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge, that ends at the end of this month.  I, Dee the crochet addict did it: I started another project!  Resistance, so the Borg say as a "collective", is futile.  So rather than fight the urge, I gave into it.

    But I don't think it was entirely my fault.  Doris had a hand in this!  She, by sending me her terrific new book, exposed this weakness I have!  I have been enjoying reading her book, "amazing crochet lace," so much that I have been unable to "abandon"it.  I've been taking it with me everywhere and reading it addictively like a high-suspense mystery novel.  And so it is that today I broke completely down, grabbed some Euro Gioco ribbon yarn I purchased at an awesome sale earlier this year (I purchased it for a whopping $2 a ball! What a bargain as it normally sells for $10!), grabbed my "J" hook and started the "farpoint topper" featured on page 90.

    Now I know what you're thinking here, "But Dee, Doris wants you to use an 'N' hook and Lion Brand's 'Incredible' ribbon yarn!"  Yeah, I know!  But I don't have "Incredible" in my yarn stash (yet), so when you "gotta" crochet, you gotta!  ... and I'm loving the results!  I'm on round 13 of my first pentagram and love the "beaded" look the "ladder" ribbon is creating.  It's also working up very, very quickly!  And yes, I'm very much aware that there is a huge difference between using a large ribbon yarn with a large crochet hook vs. using a thinner ladder ribbon yarn with a smaller hook.  Thankfully I have experience in working with the ladder ribbon yarn or else I'd still be insanely itching to try one of Doris' patterns!

    I figure that if I play my cards right (meaning if I can work this up on the sly), I should be able to complete it in a very short amount of time -- plenty of time to assemble, block, and wrap it up for MiniDee for Christmas!  I'm already picturing her wearing it over a white turtle neck with her favorite jeans:

    Pentagram Motif in progress

    The other "resistance is futile" moment came late last night -- AnniesAttic just had to send me an email announcing their fantastic year-end sale.  Now there's the anticipation of waiting for my order to arrive! ... And let's not even mention the new Herrshner's catalog that just arrived in the mail.  I'm so weak! LOL

    Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    Question from Reader: Teaching Children Crochet

    Dear Dee: I know you probably get this a lot, but I'm trying to teach my daughter how to crochet. She has been playing at it since, well, I can't really remember a time when she hasn't. She's 5 and she is so excited since I told her about a year and a half ago that I would teach her when she was 5. I'm having trouble though. I just watched the video of your daughter crocheting and read that she was 5 when you taught her. Any tips, suggestions, anything?
    Thanks, Beata

    Beata I think you have a great question, and many of us -- parents, grandparents, Scout leaders, teachers -- have that same question.  How does one go about teaching fiber arts to children?

    I think the first thing you need to do is evaluate the child you're interested in teaching.  Ask yourself the following questions:Margaret Hubert sharing crochet techniques with MiniDee
    1.  Who initiated this?  You or the child?
        If it was the child, awesome!  It will be a little easier to teach them.
        If it was you then you might need some "coaxing" material (I'll touch on that in just a bit)
    2.  What kind of attention span does the child have?  Can the child sit still for great lengths of time (15 to 30 minutes) without needing to move onto another project?  If so, great!  If not, you may need to wait until the child is a little older.
    3.  What kind of hand/eye coordination does the child have?  Is the child in the process of learning how to write?
        If the child has great hand/eye coordination then this is good!  But do be careful if the child is in the process of learning how to write!  This is because many Kindergarten and First Grade teachers are spending great lengths of time in training the child how to "properly hold a pencil."  If you teach the child to hold the crochet hook a "wee bit differently" than the pencil hold being taught in school then there is a good chance you'll get a call from the teacher.  No big deal here, I just want you to be prepared.  Yes, this is the voice of experience here; I was called in! (LOL)

    So, if you've established that all three questions state your child is ready to learn then go for it!

    Teach the basics, such as the slip knot and the chain.  At first my daughter didn't grasp the tension in the left hand so I let her pick the loops off with her fingers.  When she tired of making plain chains, but still wasn't ready to make actual stitches, I coaxed her by having her add pony beads to the mix.  She chained many pretty beaded necklaces (one of which she won a Blue Ribbon & Best of Show for the Junior Division for!), and later her own Rosary that she used in her First Communion (she won a Blue Ribbon & Best of Show for that project too).

    To ensure she was encouraged to practice, I'd invite her to come sit close to me so we could crochet together.  I would let a few weeks pass before gently asking her if she'd like to try properly controlling her tension.  If she was content to pick off the loops with her fingers then I let her; if she said she wanted to try the proper technique then I'd show her.  It wasn't until she was 6 1/2 that she properly grasped the tension.  Now with that under her belt her crocheting skills grew -- she was getting faster and her chain stitching more regulated.

    I let more time pass, still inviting her to sit with me so we could crochet together.  Finally she was ready -- she asked me to show her how to do the single crochet!  In the two years since she learned the single crochet stitch she has tried many more crochet stitches and techniques including the Bullion/Rice stitch (that requires many, many yarn overs!  ... she's done as many as 20 yarn overs for the stitch with ease!), and the Tunisian technique.  She's starting to look at my pattern books and I think it's just a matter of time before she asks me to teach her how to read them!

    I think the key in teaching your own child how to crochet (knit, paint, sew, etc) is to let them go at their own pace.  By letting them do so, by answering their questions when they're ready, and by gently(!) inviting them to learn more, that you ignite their passion and creativity.  I never critiqued my daughter's work until recently, but I always do it with a gentleness to it such as:  "This looks great sweetie, but did you know if you did XYZ that your work will appear neater?"  or "I love how uniform these stitches look, is there any way you can get these stitches to look the same?" A child always wants to please their parents, so wrap the critiques with slight challenges and you'll see them wanting to try it.

    Beata, I want to stress that the above is my experience in not only teaching my daughter, but other youngsters as well.  I've witnessed way too many times in my crochet classes where some parents were harsh on their children for not immediately picking up on the lesson. As a direct result the child shuts down their interest in learning and that breaks my heart to see when that happens. I believe that if you offer the lesson wrapped with love and patience, your child will learn much more than mere stitches! 

    I do hope that this helps, and I do hope you visit my daughter's website at with your daughter for additional inspiration.

    Thanks for the great question!

    Monday, November 13, 2006

    Spotting Crochet Fashions and Budding Designers, Part II

    Seven months.  Has it really been nearly seven months since I first wrote about Spotting Crochet Fashions and Budding Designers?  ... more specifically, has it been that long since I've mentioned crochet designer Doris Chan?  Has it been that long since I placed my order with anticipation, great anticipation at that, for her new book: Amazing Crochet Lace?  It has! 

    And here I sit tonight with a hot-off-the-press copy beside me -- a few weeks prior to it's official release date!  But it's not from my order!  So readers, just how did I manage to get my hot little hands on it?  If you guessed Doris arranged for it then you'd be right!  She emailed me a few weeks back and asked if I'd like to do a preview --  to be one of the first to see it; I replied, "Sure!" 

    Earlier this afternoon a package was waiting for me at the bottom of the hill.  (When you live in the country, mailboxes are nowhere near your house.  You need to walk, or in some cases drive, to get to your mailbox.  I opted to drive since I was headed out anyway.)

    When I saw the package from the publisher, did I wait? -- no, no!  I did not!  I had to rip it open right there, right then!  Anticipation you see, gets the best of me at times, much like a kid experiences when visiting a candy shore prior to having a nutritional meal.  I was like the Tasmanian Devil ... ripping through the packaging like a tornado to get to the prize inside.  I'm sure it was a sight to seen!

    Seven months of waiting was over!  There I was, in front of my mailbox, with my vehicle's engine idling, soft rain sputtering on the windshield, with Doris' new book in my hands!  As I flipped through the first few pages I was instantly stopped by a most lovely picture of Doris' mother, surrounded by the story of how Doris eventually came to embrace her crochet roots.  I don't recall how long I sat there reading her story, but I do recall looking up and finding my neighbor waiting to get to her mailbox.  Slightly embarrassed I was so enchanted with the story images of Doris all "girly-girled" as her mother crocheted that I forgot I was blocking the mailboxes, I decided to close the book, give a friendly wave and move along.  Getting to the conclusion of the story, and viewing deeper contents of the book, would have to wait.

    Lion Brand® Incredible Yarn Later, when I returned home, my daughter joined me in  eagerness in flipping through the pages of the new book.  We found page after page filled with beautiful creations that I, rather WE, want to work up -- my first project would be the "farpoint topper" featured on page 90.  Its a pentagram motif with a spiral center worked in Lion Brand's "Incredible" nylon ribbon! Or maybe my first project from the book should be the "plum blossom capelet" featured on page 34; or the "sambuca jacket" ... Hmmm, it looks like I have some deciding to do.  Perhaps some yarn shopping too.

    So, was seven months of anticipation worth it?  Absolutely!  It is an amazing book filled with tantalizing patterns for all crochet levels and I do recommed it!  Even the photography is outstanding! (The projects are in color and the models are in black & white -- you can see they really put a lot of thought into the creation of this book!)   If you ever looked at older fine crochet lace patterns and thought they would look fantastic worked up in modern fibers -- and larger -- then this is the book to check out!  Doris' designs are lovely & fun ... and I can't wait to to get started on one!  :)

    Sunday, November 12, 2006

    Crochet Rules!

    It's a dark, rainy, gray day where everything is damp and everyone is pretty much staying indoors to stay warm and dry.  Earlier in the day though we, MiniDee and I, ventured out to attend our monthly crochet meeting.

    While we were there MiniDee seemed to be in a "snuggle" kind of mood.  Just as she had when she first started learning how to crochet when she was five, she climbed onto my lap and started crocheting.  I didn't mind; I was in a "snuggle" kind of mood too.

    She started with a simple chain and then inserted her hook here, went there, and then seemingly everywhere.  In a short time she had crocheted a beautiful beaded necklace for herself.  She then decided she needed to create a bracelet next and without planning or fuss, she let it happen.  It was like watching magic happen.  She had no directions and no rules to follow.  Just total freedom to do what she wanted with the yarn, waving her crochet hook around, looping, as if it were a magic wand.  It was wonderful to have her cuddled next to me; I enjoyed this precious moment with her.  Fortunately, I decided to video a little of her magic and you can enjoy it too:

    Crochet Rules!

    Now that we're back home she's popped a bag of popcorn and has set up the movie "Escape from Witch Mountain."  She's calling to me, "come on Mom!  Movie is about to start!  Get your crochet!" ... Let it rain.  We have warm memories to weave into our lives.  :)

    Saturday, November 11, 2006

    A Very Special Day!

    Proclamation Nov 11, 2006

    The Happily Hooked on Crocheting Club was founded by: Ruth A., Kay P., Hilda N., Ruth Y., and myself in 2001. It is a Chapter of the Crochet Guild of America.

    Today is also Veteran's Day.  Thank a vet and remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, their lives.  Freedom is not free. 

    Thursday, November 9, 2006

    Subtle Stripe Scarf

    I have been busy crocheting up a storm, the latest charity project nearly done. I decided that I love the way it's coming out and thought you, my readers, would enjoy a simple pattern that sort of "stripes" up as you go. What I also like about it, mostly for beginner crocheters, is that it encourages counting -- simple counting that will aid in the learning crochet experience!  And, the scarf is created out of the most basics of crochet stitches: the single crochet, half-double crochet and the double.  Go ahead and give it a try! 60 Scarves in 60 Days The scarf I have pictured will go towards the 60 Scarves in 60 Days drive that ends on November 30th

    Subtle Stripe Scarf:
    Copyright 2006 Dee Stanziano; All Rights Reserved; for personal/charity use only


    Worsted Yarn (enough to create a scarf to your desired length)
    Crochet Hook per yarn manufacturers
    recommendations (or to your satisifaction)
    Tapestry needle

    Ch 16

    Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, and in next 4 ch, hdc in next 5 chs, dc in remaining 5 stitches.  (15 sts)

    Row 2: Ch 1, turn work, sc in ea dc st, hdc in ea hdc st, dc in each sc st. (15 sts)

    Repeat Row 2 to desired length.  The scarf will work up looking like a subtle row was added in the middle.  Enjoy -- it works up very fast!  :)

    Tuesday, November 7, 2006

    Question From Reader: Crocheting With Beads

    Dear Dee,
    I would love to learn how to add beads to my crochet work but don't have the time to spend pre-stringing all the beads.  Do you have any suggestions?  Thanks, Myra

    Hi Myra,
     There are a number of ways you can add beads to your crochet work!  First, let me state that I found it a wonderful experience to use a fiber that was pre-sequined for me this past summer when I designed a dress for my daughter.  It was a breeze to use and a real time-saver; all I had to do was crochet my design! 

    One of the first fibers to arrive on the scene "pre-beaded" (that I noticed) was Berroco's Laser FX.  The Laser FX is thin thread with sequins pre-strung on for you.  It sold for about $13 a skein and it was a lot of fun to use.  In the years since it first came out the price has gone up (as it has on all fibers), but it's still fun to use when you want to add some sparkle magic to a special project. 

    Moda-Dea Beadnik Yarn Since that time there have been some new arrivals on our local yarn/craft shop shelves worthy of being experimented with.  One of them being Moda-Dea's Beadnik Yarn!  It's prestrung with beads or sequins in a large variety of colors when compared to Berroco's Laser FX.  The yarn is thicker too, so it's not necessary to run it along another fiber unless you want to.  Some fiberholics think it's a bit pricey, but then again, when the time saving factor is added in along with the fact that you don't need to use it with another fiber then I think it's a steal!  (It sells for about $6 a ball)

    Now if prestringing your fiber, or buying prestrung yarn is not an option for you, then you might want to check out a little tool called "The Beadler."  This tool helps you put the bead on per-stitch!  You can learn more about it here:  Yes, I do own one and I do love using it!  ((Hint: If you don't own one, put it on your Holiday Wish List!)) 

    Lastly, for even more control over where your beads are placed on your work, you can always sew them on once your project has been completed.  I did such this past Spring when I wanted Swarovski crystal beads randomly placed on a shawl I crocheted.  I loved the end results!  :)

    So, no matter which option you opt to go with, adding beads to your crochet work can be a lot of fun!  For more information & patterns to try with beads, give Sandi a visit at

    Great question Myra!  Thanks for writing in!