Thursday, October 22, 2009

Local Crochet Knit & Purl Class Offering

At yesterday's Coffee, Crochet & Chat session, held at our local Borders bookstore, we got to talking about my adventure into knitting last week. I told them my knit history: how I had tried learning how to knit from my Grandmother, from friends, and from some of the best knitting teachers in the business -- and how, unfortunately those lessons did not take. It didn't click* until I figured it out from a crocheter's perspective! After all, my brain is wired for crochet! (*ETA: hahaha, I did a knit pun: click)

Once I purchased a speciality crochet hook called The Amazing Needle it all started to sink in! This hook gave me the opportunity to crochet TRUE knit stitches -- not the imitation ones like the Tunisian crochet technique offers -- we're talking T-R-U-E knit (and purl) stitches! Gotta love that, right?!

In discussing this yesterday several of the attendees said they wanted me to teach them the Amazing Needle technique. Lucky for them, I have needles in stock. If you're in the Danbury, Connecticut area and want to partake, go here to reserve you seat; the class will be on Wednesday, October 28th from 10AM - Noon. If you're interested in learning how on your own, go here to order your speciality hook; tell her Dee sent you. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rhinebeck: Freezing Fun, Burning Retina's and All!

Rhinebeck was a two-day event. Saturday, as I understand it, was ca-rowded. As in Seriously Crowded. Sunday was not. Why the difference in attendance? Weather! Saturday turned out to be a beautiful New England autumn day (abet a bit cold), and Sunday was raw: wet, cold, and a bit breezy. I was there on Sunday, complete with thermal underwear and a bag for toting my goodies. Mini~Dee was with me too, wearing one of my crocheted hats (Mini~Dee is at the "hair" age, meaning to to have her wear a hat that messes up her hair -- and!! -- to wear said hat all day, *is*a big deal. LOL She looked great wearing it, and got lots of compliments. Should I mention she wore the hat to school today? Completely her decision? LOL; it must be a tween/teen thing!) Joining us in the fun was Nancy. She was geared up for the raw weather and shopping too!

2009 NY Sheep & Wool Festival, Rhinebeck, New York

We arrived around 11:30 and went directly to the Authors booth. We met up with Mary Beth Temple and her daughter Little Loopy. Little Loopy and Mini~Dee are friends, having met a few years ago at one of the CGOA Conferences. With Little Loopy joining us for shopping bliss, we left Mary Beth behind so she could autograph her books.

Our first stop was a visit to The Rams Horn. I purchased the yarn basket earrings I mentioned in my last blog post. As earrings, they feel a bit heavy for what I normally wear. That's OK; I have another plan for them. (More on that in a future blog post.) Then we checked out all the other vendor goodies. One thing I noticed, thanks to Little Loopy tuning me into it, is that the 1980's are coming back. For those of us old enough to remember the 1980's that spells out a 4-letter word worthy of blinding our retinas. Yes, the word is NEON. (do your eyes hurt reading that? Yeah, mine too.)

There was NEON colored roving, hand spun hanks, and funky skeins of yarn EVERYWHERE! And on this dark, raw, rainy day, the NEON really showed up! ((and you all thought my yellow nail polish I wore a few weeks back was bright! Ha!)) I did not buy any of the NEON yarn goodies, but Little Loopy did. It will be interesting to see what she does with it. :)

One new vendor I found nearly freezing to death (they're from North Carolina and not used to our chippy weather here in the Northeast) was The Art of Conni Togel. This vendor had paintings & prints of wooly humor ... and I bought one small print. In fact, it was this one I had purchased, to hang in my future Yarn Studio; it made me laugh so hard! (No, they won't be at Stitches East next weekend, nor will many of the vendors there. It seems there is some sort of huge event going on in North Carolina next weekend, reportedly bigger than Stitches East. Unfortunately I don't recall the name of the event, but perhaps one of my readers from NC knows & will post the name of it here?)

We took a carriage/horse ride, ate yummy food & fudge, and hooked up with other crocheters: Leslie, Andrea, Diane, Barbara, Jennifer, and Lily Chin too! We were given some free mini~hanks of yarn from St. Denis; and they gave us a bunch of pins to hand out to our CGOA Chapter members. We also attended the Ravelry Lunchtime Meet-up. This was my first time meeting Mary-Heather, Casey & Jessica, but not the first time seeing them in person. The other times there were just too many people around, so saying a proper hello was just out of the question. Which reminds me, I need to get info to Casey & Jessica about the Big E ((wouldn't it be cool if they had a booth there next year on Massachusetts Day???)).

Soon, too soon if you ask me, the announcements came on officially ending this year's festival. Just before we left I managed to buy a hank -- the only yarn I purchased -- from Brooks Farm Yarn. It's a sweet mixture of wool, silk, and viscose; "blue jean," golden, and green in color. I'm not sure what it will be when it wants to grow up, but judging on how much Mr. Dee is admiring it, I'm guessing it might end up to be something for him. And yes, this is another vendor who will be attending the North Carolina thing-y next weekend.

We had a lot of fun, and even though it's a year away, we're looking forward to the next one already! :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weekend Plans

A busy weekend is ahead, for sure! One of the events I'll be attending is the annual New York Sheep & Wool Festival held in Rhinebeck, NY. It is one of the largest Sheep & Wool Festivals/Fairs in the 13 Colonies (Maryland's is the largest).

Mary Beth Temple, of the Getting Loopy Show, author of Hooked for Life: Adventures of a Crochet Zealot and Design It Yourself Afghans will be doing a book signing. Doris, Nancy and Leslie will be there too, roaming, shopping, having a great time ...

One of the vendors I always look forward to seeing is The Rams Horn. Why? Because they make beautiful pewter jewelry -- crochet jewelry!! They're the one's I buy my crochet hook pendants from (as can be seen on my key chain in the photo on the right). I love their crochet pin too. This year, I'm looking to add their yarn basket earrings to my collection. :)

I plan on going on Sunday, with Nancy. I'm not sure what the weather will be like (hey, yesterday it SNOWED!), but I do know a good time will be had by all! I can't wait! :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Warming Thoughts

Caught, once again, with yarn snuggly tucked in the crook of my steering wheel, while awaiting for my children to end their school day. Only this time, my crochet hook was in motion. And it felt good. Real good. I was caught crocheting a baby afghan that will be donated...

During those moments of waiting & crocheting I let my thoughts drift back to October of 1989 (or was that in '88? *Edited to confirm it was on October 4, 1988 when Connecticut experienced a fluke blizzard, weighing down trees with canopies of autumn colored leaves) when I had traveled to Florida to spend time with my southern family members. Actually, in the time of B.C. (Before Children) I used to travel a lot. But on this particular trip, upon my return home I had discovered I had missed one of Connecticut's worst early snow storms in it's history.

Earlier this evening, as Mr. Dee and I were going over future plans to take our children to Florida to visit with the southern relatives for the first time, I looked out the window and discovered it is snowing. Some say this is an omen, that our luck is turning; let's hope so. Others are asking if I plan on meeting up with other crocheters, and/or teaching a workshop or two... For now, it is too early to tell. But wouldn't that be cool if I did?

I'm headed back to my crocheting, to my hot chocolate, and discussions of Florida. Warm thoughts for sure as it is too early for snow...

Thursday, October 8, 2009


What is wrong with this picture? Could it be that my knit stitches are nice and even? Could it be that I am knitting -- again? or could it be that there is a crochet hook, just hanging there, sitting idle?

Maybe zombies made me do it. Maybe it's a witch's curse? Or maybe it is revenge of the black sheep ...

nah. It's stress. I have many projects on the hook right now that I don't want to touch until I've worked out some stress. So I turned to practicing my knitting where gauge is still important, but it's not like I'm going to run off and design something with it -- or will I?

Spooky thoughts for sure! ;)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fair Rules

Soon it will be time to take out the crocheted Trick or Treat candy pails, attend Stitches East, and the New York Sheep & Wool Festival - but before all that can happen, my family and I had to attend the Eastern States Exposition. Our goal yesterday, aside from having fun, was to pick up the entries my CGOA Chapter had submitted. Only that didn't happen.

Sometimes, for some crocheters, rules are, well, to say it plainly, directly, rules are dull. Eyes will glaze over while we itch to get started on our projects, thinking we know what the author/rules will say. Until, that is, we hit a snag that our independent spirit cannot fix and need to go back and read the rules over -- completely -- to see what we missed the first time... Yep, rules are rules, and they're meant for a reason. Drat. This means we should read patterns completely before diving in, AND we should also completely read entry rules for fair competitions before heading out (even if we've been entering the same fair competition for years!) -- so we won't discover after the fact that you will need to return the day after the fair. Guilty as charged.

As I prepare to return to the fair grounds later today, I did want to say that yesterday
A. I did have a great time at the Fair,
B. I purchased a hank of dee-LISHious hand-spun, hand-dyed Alpaca yarn and
C. I found winding yarn from a hank into a center-pull ball is a great way to pass time while waiting for the Fair's parade to start (just look at that blissful smile on my face! LOL). Now, if only I had remembered to bring along my crochet hook ... I'm just sayin'...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

NEW Class Offerings: Crochet 101 & 102

I am pleased to announce I will be teaching two great beginner Crochet Classes this month at The Village Sheep located in New Milford, Connecticut!

    One 2-hour session $20
    This crochet class is designed with the absolute beginner in mind: learn how to properly start your work, the importance of the foundation chain, how to create the single crochet, how to count stitches, how to build on your work to create wonderful fabric, and how to properly end off. All you need to know to properly start your journey into the world of crochet.
    Wednesday, October 21st; 5:30 - 7:30 PM
    Supplies needed: worsted (size 4) weight yarn; light colored. Size I or J crochet hook. Beginner book recommended. Class Size: 8

  • CROCHET 102:
    One 2-hour session $20
    If you took 101 last week and are ready for the next step, or perhaps you crocheted long ago and need a refresher, or perhaps you need a little help getting "unstuck..." If so, then this is the Beginner Crochet class for you! In this class participants will learn to build taller stitches, the importance of turning chains, how to read yarn labels for crochet, figure out gauge, and more! This class is designed to help beginners take their new passion to the next level.
    Wednesday, October 28st; 5:30 - 7:30 PM
    Supplies needed: worsted (size 4) weight yarn; light colored. Size I or J crochet hook. Crochet pattern(s).
    Class Size: 8

If you are interested in taking one of these classes (or both!), please contact The Village Sheep. Class size is limited!