Saturday, June 30, 2007

WIMs are nothing to get Bugged Out about

After a visit to my local hardware store I've decided to nix crocheting the basketball "back roll" idea. Photo by Dee StanzianoAt nearly $4 for each package of 70 yards of neon rope (I was thinking of going either pink or orange -- or mixing the colors based upon the doilies Jane has been inspiring me with on her blog), I've decided that it would be too expensive of an experiment at this time.  After all, my husband and I have two children and 4500 ladybugs to support.  So I purchased a nylon trellis and that worked out quite well.

Did you catch that?  Yeah, we're home to 4500 ladybugs this summer.  Direct from California (via USPS) they arrived safely here in Connecticut yesterday and are now enjoying their stay in our garden.  If you ever want to see what sunshine looks like radiating from your child's face then give them a few thousand ladybugs to turn loose; talk about an incredible joy!!  (to the right are some of the ladybugs on one of our corn stalks)

So my next thought is to come up with a much smaller (affordable) project that will reflect our summertime activities.  Perhaps something ladybug-ish that the kids could use to reminisce about the summer they let 4500 ladybugs loose.  I'm liking this pattern, but think rather than using the filet technique, I can follow the chart and do color changes -- using embroidery floss.  If you have other ladybug crochet ideas, please share!  :)

Sidebar:  Some ladybugs are not ladies at all!  They're "men" bugs!  It's the same thing with crochet: men do it too!  So when addressing crocheters remember there are men to be included in your salutations too!  :)  
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Friday, June 29, 2007

It's a Smaller World After All

My Aunt Maureen loves to create jewelry, and has in fact, done some beautiful work for me in the past.  She also spends a great amount of time at her local Senior Center hanging out with her friends, usually working on jewelry together that they will eventually sell so they can afford new supplies to make more jewelry.   ((Hmmm, sounds a lot like what crocheters do!)

During one of our phone conversations this week she told me this story:
"I was at the Senior Center a few weeks back.  The girls and I were working on some jewelry when the topic of crochet came up.  Now, I know how to crochet.  I did some of it back in the days when I lived in New York City.  My mother taught me, and together we'd make doilies and blankets. Stuff like that," she said.

"Go on," I urged, very much interested.

"Well, the girls brought up the topic of crocheting and I just sat there listening because even though it's been over 30 years since I picked up a hook, you never know.  Now I'm not very computer literate," she continued, "but I do want to learn more, so when they started talking about crochet AND computers, that really perked up my ears.  One of the gals said she went on the computer and stumbled upon this website that listed a bunch of different crochet techniques -- and that she thinks the girl who owns the website is a 'local.'"

As I digested what my Aunt was telling me, I wondered if there was another crocheter with a website that was local to us that I didn't know about.  How cool would that be to discover another person with the same fiber art passion in your own backyard?  I listened as she went on with her story.

"'Yeah,' the gal said, 'she goes by the name Dee Stazio, Stanzino, Staziko...'" My Aunt began to laugh heartedly as she told me this part of her story.  "Oh, I jumped right up, nearly spilling all my bead and jewelry supplies!  I proudly yelled out, 'Dee Stanziano!"  The girls all turned to look at me.  'Yes, that's her,' the gal said, 'Dee Stanziano. But you don't crochet, so how would you know her name?'"

There was a brief pause as she took a moment to catch her breath, and then she chuckled deeply again prior to telling me the punch-line to her story. "I declared, 'Because she's my niece!!'" 

I laughed with her.  I had no idea that my website was an interest to the town's local Senior Center.  I thanked her for her great story and in return she invited me to stop in to meet the girls sometime  -- I just might do that!  :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ice-Cream for Selma's: Another Yarn Shop Closing It's Doors

When the weather gets hot, like it is here in Connecticut, seeking refuge in a local yarn shop to discover new yarns and/or colorways, patterns, and local fiber gossip is always as delicious as enjoying a fantastically flavored ice-cream cone.  But what to do when you discover that yet ANOTHER local yarn shop has decided to close it's doors, forever?  Cry. Scream.

Eighteen luscious scrumptious flavors--
Chocolate, lime and cherry,
Coffee, pumpkin, fudge-banana,
Caramel cream and boysenberry,
Rocky road and toasted almond,
Butterscotch, vanilla dip,
Butter-brickle, apple ripple,
Coconut and mocha chip,
Brandy peach and lemon custard,
Each scoop lovely, smooth, and round,
Tallest ice-cream cone in town,
Lying there (sniff) on the ground.
                            ~Shel Silverstein

That's the case here.  I heard earlier this week that
Selma's Yarns and Needleworks is closing her doors; the rumor was confirmed on the ConnecticutCrochet Yahoo group. {{Gasp. Sob. Wimper.}}  It's like a tradition: driving to Southbury to enjoy a scrumptious Friendly's ice-cream cone before dashing across the street to gleefully visit, pet the yarn, and socialize at Selma's.   This Saturday will be the day the doors close to the public. Forever.  (The good news is she's not entirely going out of business, she'll keep her website running -- for how long is anyone's guess!) 

I do want to state that Selma's has been good to me, and to my local CGOA Chapter.  She was the one that special ordered the crochet thread we needed for our crochet workshops Maire Treanor, author of "Clones Lace: The Story and Patterns of an Irish Crochet," of Ireland, taught us.  Shopping at Selma's was always a treat and will be greatly missed!

Now, I swear (and I rarely do that!), if one more local yarn shop decides to close this year I will scream:
No! No! No!

On second thought, I couldn't leave this entry with me screaming like Chicken Little ... so do check out this image of a crocheted ice cream cone ... I hope it brings you a smile too! 

6/29/07 Update: This link to another yummy "ice cream cone" was compliments of Lisa from the CrochetPartners group:

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Light in the Night ... for Crochet?

Sherri responded to my question of what I should consider stuffing the Treasure Bag I created for the upcoming Crochet Exchange.  (I crocheted it while watching the Rockcats baseball game against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats the other night.)  She wrote: "Dee, If it were I getting the Treasure Bag, I'd love to get a new awesome hook." 

Great suggestion, Sherri!  Thank you!  Your suggestion must have been written in the stars because shortly thereafter I received an email from Joanns stating:
Free Shipping @! ($35 order minimum) Use promo code JUNFSA735 -- so I took a little peek at what they currently have on sale and was pleasantly surprised to find they had the new Clover Lite Crochet hooks on sale!  So yes, Sherri, I'm going to stuff the sequined Treasure Bag with the new crochet hooks that light up the night! 

I also ordered one for Mini~Dee and Dee Jr.  I'll surprise them with the hooks at the Conference.  Will crocheting ever be the same?  LOL
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Friday, June 22, 2007

That Rockin' Cat!

We've been busy celebrating Mr. Dee's birthday ... part of the celebration included (at least for me) crocheting during the Connecticut Rockcats baseball game against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (meow, right? lol).  Even though there was a slight rain interruption, and that the Rockcats lost by a single run at the end of the night, there was no de-clawing me from getting in some crochet stitches ...

Now the big question is, will we watch the Fisher Cats in action again when it comes time to attend the National Conference next month? Oh, I see.  That's not the big question you want answered.  You want to know what I'm working on, yes?  heh heh heh

It's a "Treasure Bag" that I plan on stuffing with something for the Crochet Exchange that will take place at the Conference.  Last year I stuffed it with rhinestoned sunglasses.  What would you love to find stashed inside?  Keep in mind that the treasure-value needs to be around $20. 
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

How to Create Your Own Conference Organizer

Last year I mentioned the notebook I assemble for each CGOA Conference I attend.  Since then many have inquired about the specifics so I thought with just some 23 days left before the Summer Conference start, I'd share how I put mine together.  The prices listed with the materials I used are approximate; I purchased my supplies from

Shopping List:
____2"-4" D-ring Presentation Binder: the more classes/homework samples, the larger the binder ($13)
____Top-Load Sheet Protectors ($9)
____Avery Slash Pocket Insertable tab Dividers, 8-tab ($5)
____Avery Untabbed Business Card Pages ($3)
____#6 or #10 envelopes (one for each class with a materials fee)
____Money (cash)
____Business Card stock paper (or Greeting Card paper) ($12)
____3-hole punched Copy Paper (about 20 sheets) ($4 a ream)
____Rubbermaid Plastic Edge Magazine Holders ($4)

Visit CGOA website to view Class Offerings. Click onto class title to view additional information about the class (supply list, material fees, homework); print a copy for each class you'll be taking. Insert each into it's own sheet protector.

Place dividers into notebook; label based upon the order your class selections will take place. On envelope write the name of the class and the amount due for materials fee. Insert cash; seal envelope; place in divider. Repeat for each class requiring a materials fee. Also place any homework assignments (that will neatly fit) into divider pocket (larger pieces can be inserted into a page protector). After the class, insert your class handouts here.

Behind each divider insert 2-3 sheets of copypaper. This will be used for class note taking. Then add the print out of the class information that should already be in a sheet protector.

After the above has been done for each class, in the back of the notebook add 2-3 pages of the Business Card holder. Print out several cards for yourself using the Business Card paper, or Card Stock if you already have it on hand (just cut to size); then insert them into one of the pages; you'll be handing these out at the Conference to people you would like to stay in touch with. For those cards you collect, insert them into the holder. See how many you can collect!  Add 2-3 empty sheet protectors to the very back for any other handouts you'd like to save.

In the very front section of the binder add a print out of your Conference receipt (just in case you should need it), your hotel confirmation, your flight/transportation information, and any other documents/information you might need -- just in case. Be sure they are all in a sheet protector.  DON'T FORGET YOUR PACKET THAT CONTAINS YOUR BADGE  -- There will be a $20 replacement fee for lost or forgotten badges - no exceptions!

On your computer, create a schedule that includes when you arrive & leave, when your classes are, any special events, lunches, dinners, gatherings, you'll be attending. (If there is contact information, add that too) Print it out and insert it on the outside FRONT pocket of the binder.   If your binder has a window on the back cover, keep it available for the map; this will help you find your class locations quicker.

Should you want to add the brochure from the Conference, use a plastic edge magazine holder; this way you can flip through the pages without having to remove it from your binder. If one of your class materials is to bring a magazine, use a plastic edge holder!

The Benefits:
Having all your class materials organized, including your material fees, helps save time!  No more digging through your wallet hoping you didn't spend all your money at the Vendors Market; no more wasting time gathering up your class materials.  Everything will be right at your fingertips -- AND, after the Conference you'll have a great souvenir that you can easily reference later on.
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Monday, June 18, 2007

Drinking & crocheting can kill projects

Last night, with all the excitement generated about possibly turning a square doily into a "roll back" for our new basketball hoop, I decided to give the "Swirls & Squares Doily" by Hartmus Hass a go. The pattern is featured in the 2002 Autumn issue of "Old-Time Crochet" and has been on my WIM (Work in Mind) list for quite some time.  Hartmus Hass might sound familiar to you.  He's the owner of the website that I mention from time to time.  

(For those interested, I did not find any copies of this "Old-TIme Crochet" magazine available on
ebay ... I do know there's an option on ebay you can set up so they will notify you when an item you're seeking becomes available for auction; it's a handy little tool for collecting those hard-to-find items!.)

At first the going wasn't so "going" ... it was more like driving down Main Street and having every light turn red.  Stop & go. Stop & go. Stop & go; I'm sure you get the picture.  Usually I don't have trouble with following a pattern!  Yes, this pattern is a bit challenging, but I like being challenged!  When I work on a pattern, design concept, or new-to-me-technique, that requires great concentration, I learn so much from it!! 

After my fifth ripping session I chalked my problem to one typo (no biggie, realized it the moment I read it) and the glass of wine I was enjoying.  Ah, problem solved; lesson learned!  Since I had already concluded it wasn't the typo then it must be the wine!  I don't recall seeing any "Service Announcements" stating that drinking & crocheting can kill projects, do you?  I really don't enjoy ripping out work, especially when it's with thread, so that was a bummer. {{Note: I am not a huge drinker, never have been.  But between the heat yesterday and the glass of wine in celebration of Father's Day -- well, it was enough to throw my concentration off to cause some serious project ripping.  Yep, lesson learned.}}

So this morning, after assisting the children in tending the garden, I decided to give the doily another try.  Yeehaw!  Now I'm "cooking with Crisco!"  I am happily working on the middle squiggle you see there on the cover of the magazine.  I'm using a "no name" thread (purchased on a cone from WEBs a while back), lilac in color.  I think it will be quite pretty when it's done.  :)

{{To the right is a recent image of the garden the children worked so hard on reclaiming.  They're growing corn, broccoli, red lettuce, cantaloup, carrots, watermelon, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, egg plant, red peppers and rhubarb.  The netting is to help keep the deer out.  Inside there are two hanging wind chimes and five spinning CD's: hopefully they will help to keep our resident badger away!}} 
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Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Doily "Roll Back" Project: Some Thoughts

Yesterday Haley recommended I check out the free doily pattern that was available on Annies Attic (every day they offer a different pattern for free).  It was quite lovely and did tempt me to drop all the other projects I currently have on the hook and give it a try -- but I was able to resist.   I think mainly because if I'm going to make this this "doily roll back" project work, I think it needs to be square or rectangle in shape to make hanging from the basketball backboard easier.  (see yesterday's post) Pineapple Lace

So this sent me on the hunt for square and/or rectangle doilies.  Knowing how much I enjoyed taking the online Delta Crochet class a while back, I went to Hass Designs to see what he had available.  I found a great looking (and free) pattern featuring lilies ... hmmm, I'd like to place that one into the running, but I wonder, would the lilies get "lost" should I super size the pattern?

While I was on the hunt for inspiration/patterns, little did I know that my Amazon order would arrive. {{Yippee!}} One of the books I received was the Revised Edition of Pineapple Lace.  The only negative about this book is that I was first introduced to it when I was alerted to another huge copyright infringement website earlier in the week by the Copyright Police.  It was horrifying seeing so much blatant disregard for the law!   

In my search to see if any of my material was on that site, I stumbled upon the Pineapple Lace book, and upon seeing the many beautiful doilies it features, I knew I had to get me a copy -- a LEGAL copy!  Now, with the book in my hands and flipping through it's pages, I think it would have added to my enjoyment if I had learned about the book from an online group discussion about it's rich looking doilies, or reading about it in someone's blog!  Other than that, I think this book is absolutely fantastic! (Note: Fortunately the designers and publishers are in the process of shutting down the website and most likely will pursue for huge monetary damages.  Take heed!  If you have such a website save yourself a lot of legal trouble and take it down immediately!!)  

Clarissa, a member of an online group I belong to asked last week:
There are literally thousands of free patterns out there for the taking, so how do I know if its been posted illegally?

I responded:
This is a great question, Clarissa.

Usually if a pattern (or any other material) is posted on someone else's website it should state that it's posted there with the blessing of the copyright holder.  If there's no blessing, then figure it's not legal and move onto another website that's on the up & up.

The person hosting X person's material on their site should have the expressed written permission from X available for inspection should it ever comeinto question.

Getting back to my thoughts about the Pineapple Lace book I just received, happily, I think I've found some more candidates for my "roll back" idea ... if you visit Amazon you can take a LEGAL sneak-peak into the book.  I think you just might like it too! 

So, now as I narrow down the pattern selection, I must next consider what type of fiber I should use.  Clothes line?  Nylon?  And what about color? Should I consider keeping it white, or perhaps go neon?  I think a visit to my local hardware store might be in my future.  :) 
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Friday, June 15, 2007

Alotta Hoopla & Smores

It has been a whirlwind of activities here at the CrochetWithDee homestead, and with a mouth full of smores, I can happily mumble that our Summer is ready to start! 

First, as a proud parent, I want to state we am quite pleased with our children's report cards and IOWA test results.  We rewarded them with new bicycle helmets, and for myself, a new basketball hoop (& backboard).  We spent this evening shooting hoops (I still can't believe I got whooped by my 8 year old!) and I have decided that we need some sort of "roll back" net because, lets face it, I haven't shot hoops in quite some time and am quite rusty.  Thankfully the children don't mind going into the bushes to retrieve the ball, but I know, that with time, those feelings could change.

So, do I take the plunge and purchase an official roll back net, or do I take a square doily pattern and turn it into a "mamoth-doily" and use that!?  Ah, now that would be something to think about! ... and pretty to look at when shooting hoops!  Right!?????

While I'm pondering this as a possible summertime challenge/project, I want to mention that it's official -- our Rag Shop craft store located in Danbury is going out of business; they already have signs posted on their windows -- geesh, we're still feeling the pain from the Craft Basket store closing a few years back. 

I can recall that once upon a time we had a choice to order yarn from some obscure catalog (man did that generate some excitement; my Grandmother & I would flip through the pages seemingly for hours!) or go to a local department store like Kmart -- back then the yarn shopping experience was much like buying a buying a Ford car back when they first started rolling off the assembly line in 1903.  Ford had said then, "the customer can have any color he wants so long as it's black."  Imagine if we had to go back to the days of just crocheting withwool AND in very limited colors -- ugh!! 

Now, I'm not that old, but to think back to those times and compare them to how we can shop for yarn today, I know I don't want to go back getting my supplies that way!  I like using different fiber content, textures, and colors!  This is why it's so important we support our local independent yarn shops!  I recently did just that!  I picked up some pretty "Cotton Twist" in pink by Berroco to design a beach coverup for Mini~Dee ... but first I need to get the sticky marshmellows off my fingers and finish my "It's for me, me, me!" project!   :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

“Power to Crochet”

The Merriam Webster Dictionary
states the following:
      Pronunciation: ri-'spekt
      to consider worthy of high regard; an act of giving particular consideration

From the Oregonian, quoted from an interview with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee: "After the yarn shop riots," she warned, knitters would retreat to underground stash rooms to defend "against the crochet marauders. Because you all know it's gonna get ugly with them first, since crochet is so fast." But, really, she worries "about the lack of respect for knitters."

I am sure she meant that to be funny, but looking deeper into the knit vs. crochet issue I can't help but wonder when crochet will get the respect it rightfully deserves. 

I have been reading with great interest about the lack of crochet representation at the recent TNNA event.  TNNA stands for The National NeedleArts Association, an international trade organization comprised of businesses & professionals specializing in "needlearts products and supplies."  Crochet designers took note -- and ACTION!!

I have, as a CGOA Professional Member (teacher/budding designer) have long desired to attend this event, and if the heavens, the stars, and the moons align just right, then next year it may become a reality.  For now though I still need to experience it through those who have attended the TNNA events.  Vashti is one of those who did attend this year, and wrote about it in her latest blog entry.  She discusses a Crochet Sit-in that took place in the center of the show!  The purpose of the sit-in was to bring attention to crochet in a positive way ... the start of a crochet revolution focusing on getting crochet the respect it rightfully deserves.  Stay tuned to her blog as she promises more details!

Gwen Blakley-Kinsler, founder of the Crochet Guild of America, and I discussed this topic during a phone conversation a few evenings ago.  She sent me the following about her experience at the recent TNNA:
Equal Opportunity for All!

A highly visible group of crochet designers who are also members of the Crochet Guild of America staged a “Sit In” on the main show floor at the Spring TNNA in Columbus, OH to protest the low-visibility of crochet this year by exhibitors. Refusing to be at the “back of the booth” any longer, the designers used humor to get their point across: there is not enough crochet being promoted at this show by manufacturers and it is now politically incorrect to exclude crochet.

Sitting in a circle on the floor in the center of the hall, they sang crochet parodies led by Lily Chin, followed by opera diva/crochet designer Dora Ohrenstein performing her crochet rap song, "Stick It." Their shouts of “Power to Crochet” echoed through the hall as they held their fists (and hooks) high.

Being bi-textural, they welcomed with “open yarns” any and all stitchers to the group. In this peaceful show of solidarity, they expressed the hope that all vendors will make an concerted effort at the winter show to exhibit the crochet that they have and seek out designers to use their yarns for more. They believe that working together we can elevate crochet from its image of “poor step child” at this show, increase yarn sales and educate shop owners and consumers that crochet can “twist & shout” just like knitting!

I am in full agreement; it's about walking away from the negative connotations and embracing all that is positive about all of the fiber arts!  It's about giving proper consideration, especially to crochet as  R-E-S-P-E-C-T for it is WAY OVERDUE!!  Vashti & Gwen, thank you so much for sharing this with us! Tags: , , ,

Monday, June 11, 2007

Time keeps on Ticking ... ticking ... ticking

Let me state right up front, and quite proudly, that Mr. Dee is the bestest hubby in the world! He spent some 22 hours this weekend in reviving my laptop! I am sooooo relieved! Having to "time share" the main PC with the family was not my cup of tea ... especially when I've been so spoiled to be able to go online at anytime -- and anywhere! -- I wanted. I am quite happy that Mr. Dee was able to give me my "freedom" back. Wheeeee!!

Of course I'm now looking at some 2000 plus emails that have accumulated in just the past few days. Yikes!! Keep the coffee on; it's going to be fun catching up!

Hmmm, here's one from Lori.  She says she and Haley (they're both crochet students of mine who are a joy to be around) are counting down the minutes until the CGOA Conference that's taking place in New Hampshire next month.  This will be their first conference and they're quite excited.  And rightfully so!  She didn't include an actual countdown in her email so I replied with the following:
733 732 hours 
       OR 43980 43960 minutes 
                        OR 2638800 2635200 seconds 
                                             to go until the Conference ... LOL

Now that's what I call a countdown! Hmmmm... perhaps I shouldn't laugh too loudly because I still have homework and garments to complete in time!  Then there will be packing; lots of packing!  Forget about wasting time figuring out what clothes to bring -- I can have the kids figure that out.  I'm wondering what yarns I should pack!?!?  Now that's going to take a lot of time to decide upon!!!   heh heh heh

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

An Apple for Dee?

I did it.  Not intentionally mind you.  These things happen, or so I'm told.  I think it's just my luck, bad luck, I guess.  I feel horrible, even a bit lost about it, really.  And yes, I'm hanging my head and wondering just that:  What happened?!?  It was so sudden; without warning, you know.  I'm talking about the death of my Dell laptop.  And that, with it's passing, making it a total of four computers now, within about a 5-year time span, that have slipped into the blue screen yonder.  So, no, this is not good indeed!

While Mr. Dee says he'll look into the possibility of reviving the laptop sometime this weekend, I have to wonder: is it worth it?  After all, if the President of the NYCCG had difficulty getting help for her PC, then what will Mr. Dee's experience be?  I wonder more if it is time for me to consider trying an Apple

In the meantime, as I grieve over the loss of being portable, the loss of freedom to check emails and create blog posts from the great outdoors and beyond (my livingroom), I've been busy crocheting something for me.  Yes, that's right.  Me! Me! Me!  (lol)  Often times we crocheters are so busy crocheting for friends, family and charities that we totally forget to create something special for ourselves. So right now it's my turn!  Me! Me! Me!   {{VBG}}

Readers, when was the last time you crocheted something just for YOU!??  And, if you're an Apple laptop user, are you happy with it? 
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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Mom's Visit

It had been two years since her last trip to Connecticut, so this year my mother's visit started with a family gathering.  Since her birthday was the day prior, we decided to give her birthday presents after most of the guests had left. The children, after discovering what a huge Elvis fan she is, decided to present her with a hardcover book on Elvis' life.  They had also spent many hours in the weeks prior to listening to a CD featuring Elvis' greatest hits so they could surprise her in knowing many of his lyrics.  She enjoyed hearing that they too are now big Elvis fans!  It was really cute to listen to the three of them singing "You Ain't Nothing But a Hound Dog" ...

I decided to give my mother the freeform jacket I created & won a blue ribbon for last summer.  When she opened the package she ran her fingers across all the fibers and stitches.  She was quiet for a moment, admiring the directions, the textures, finding the little dragon fly and mirror, and finally trying it on (a great fit!) and declaring over and over that she loved the jacket -- and that she's going to be "one hot (meaning "fine") mamma" when she's out motorcycling riding with her friends. I hope she has a friend take a picture; it would be great to see "crochet on the road!"  (Readers in Florida: keep your eyes open as you just might spot her one day on I-95!) 

I also want to mention that at the party my daughter wore the skirt/top set I designed especially for her to wear last year at the CGOA National Conference.  She spent the day twirling around & around!  I was just delighted that she hadn't outgrown it yet!  :)

On another day during her visit we took a ride to Mystic Seaport. We did get a little lost getting there (found ourselves in Rhode Island!), but once we got ourselves straightened out, all was fine.  It was great seeing all the old ships, and buildings too.  In the General Store there was a lady with a swift winding sock yarn; in one of the homesteads there were looms, half-started knit projects, and a lot of crochet (see picture on right) on display.  At one point my son turned to me and said, "Mom, why is it whenever we're with you we always manage to find something crocheted?"  I told him that I think it's because we have a heightened awareness for it.  Regardless, that mantel shelf scarf was just stunning to look at.  Had there not been a glass barrier, I would have loved to see it up-close & personal!  :) 
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Friday, June 1, 2007

"Of Heroes, Hooks, and Heirlooms"

We're having some technical difficulties with the laptop so it will be a short while until pictures of my Mother's visit are available.  Of Heroes, Hooks, and HeirloomsIn the meantime, it's hot, hot, hot here in Connecticut -- much hotter than Florida, the state where my mother resides!

Today I donated another book; this time to my children's school library where I am a volunteer.  I donated the book, "Of Heroes, Hooks, and Heirlooms" by Faye Silton.

As I was in the process of donating it, I thought of the question, "
Why would people benefit from crocheting and having this skill?" that I recently answered on Yahoo Answers.  Certainly this book covers just one of the many possible answers -- crochet is a way to connect us to our beloved relatives who have long passed on.  In this story, it's a twelve-year old girl, Mia, who is befriended by Irene, a yarn shop owner.  After studing a photograph of her Grandmother, the only item her family has after surviving the Holocaust, she learns how to crochet in order to recreate a scarf worn by her grandmother.  It's a very touching story, well worth reading! 

I'm sure there are many, many more stories of people using crochet (or another form of fiber art) to reconnect to our past. For me, just this week I learned some of my own family history.  I learned from my Mother that my Grandmother Louise was a crocheter; she enjoyed working with fine threads and tiny hooks. Sadly, she died many, many moons before my time, and there are not many items (other than a few pictures) around that belonged to her. My mother thinks that perhaps Grandmother Louise is my spiritual crochet guide; I like the sound of that.  I also can't help but wonder if there is a photograph of her out there, somewhere in the world, wearing a bit of her crochet work ... wouldn't that be something if I could find such a picture of my Grandmother Louise and recreate that item?  Of course, this would involve some sleuthing ...

What about you?  Have you ever tried to recreate a crochet piece you've seen in a treasured family photograph?    
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