Tuesday, February 9, 2010


While we were celebrating Mini~Dee's 13th birthday last month, Fred, one of my brothers-in-law, called me over. "Dee," he said quietly, "I have something for you. I know you'll put this to good use." He handed me a metal pencil case which I recognized immediately. It was the pencil case I gave him to house a special crochet hook he had loaned to me so I could send it to PieceWork magazine to photograph for an article Gwen Blakley Kinsler had written.

I held my breath in anticipation of what would be inside. Slowly I opened it, and even more slowly removed the tissue paper. Dare I guess? What if my guess is wrong? Once the tissue paper revealed the gem inside I think it was at that point I screamed with joy. Did someone catch that on film? If so, it might be worth something if it's sent to America's Funniest Home Videos...

Yes! YES! YES!! It was indeed the very hook he had lent me back in 2007!! He acquired it at a flea market (or tag sale) with the hope his wife would take to crochet (she hasn't yet -- I'm still working on that! {{grins}} ). The first time he showed me this hook I snapped a picture with my cell phone and sent the snapshot to Nancy Nehring who is an expert on crochet hooks. She proclaimed the hook to be made of cow shinbone, and dates the hook to the period of 1860-1880: The American Civil War period! Fred was thrilled with his find! So was I.

And so it was, last month, that he handed me this beautiful hook, origin unknown, to keep forever and ever! I have the best brother-in-law!

Or so I thought!

Today, I received an email from Lindsey:

I was with my weekly knit and crochet group at B&N in Waterbury
tonight. This guy stops by and he talks to us and says "Yeah, my
sister-in-law is really in to this. She has this group ..." and I
recognize the HHCC name and ask "what's her name" and he says "Dee
Stanziano". So [Dee] I met your brother-in-law tonight!

That would be my brother-in-law Robert, walking up to complete strangers to help promote the art of crochet!

So I take that back about having the best brother-in-law. I need to change that to plural form: I HAVE THE BEST BROTHERS-IN-LAW -- EVER! :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The New Apple of my Eye

It's been a very busy time for the Dee family ... mid-terms, special school projects, Geography Bees (Dee Jr. won to represent his school and is waiting to see if he'll be competing on the state level), Mini~Dee's 13th birthday (let the Teen Saga begin), some computer melt-downs, and geesh, before I knew it we were well into the month of February!

Although my hook has not been as busy, and that I have not been on line as much as usual, this doesn't mean I've gone completely MIA from the crochet world. I've been sneaking it in when, and where, I can! In fact I was recently kidnapped, kicking & screaming shouting with glee all the way -- to enjoy a fabulous lunch last weekend with Prudence Mapstone and her husband who were visiting from Australia, Margaret Hubert, Phyllis Sandford, and Grace <--who kidnapped me, er, whisked me away for some much needed R&R to NYC... needlesless to say, although the weather was freezing cold, we all had a blast! It is amazing how time slips through our fingers. Sometimes time is much like a brillo-feeling yarn -- yuck! And sometimes it is smooth, silky -- bliss until you realize the project is done.

Take the pruning of our apple tree two years ago...I set aside some branches thinking maybe I could someday get a crochet hook made from one of the branches. A year passes. I then attend the CGOA Conference that was held in Buffalo, NY, last summer and show Brian of Brainsbarn crochet hooks my branches. (oh, come on, we all tote bits of branches/trees to conferences, right?!? if not, this would be my second time doing so ... but that's another story for another time) I ask if he could someday create me a hook ...

You know how it is, we get busy. Time passes and we forget things that are not immediately in front of our noses, or in this case in front of our yarn stashes...

A few weeks ago I was feeling a little low because my "Birthday Week Extravaganza" is a thing of the past (the kids school has opted to eliminate that week as a vacation, a time I treasured spending with them). I decide I need a new crochet hook to celebrate my upcoming birthday. I sent an email to Anne & Brian asking if they could create a beautiful crochet hook for me ... I barely had time to blink before my eyes wre able to feast upon what just arrived in my mail:

Size I Brainsbarn Crochet Hook made with (REAL AMERICAN!) apple wood from Dee's backyard: Birthday Special containing the birthstone for February (Amethyst), with sterling silver spheres & accents, and a captive ring. Clearly this hook is the New Apple of my eye!! Hugs to you, Brian & Anne! I LOVE IT!!!!