Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thankful for In-laws

Who needs Santa Claus when you have a brother-in-law as great as mine?  Seriously! 

Back in February I actually blogged about two of my brothers-in-law who know what crochet fanatic I am and what they did ( -- well, I am delighted to report, Fred has done it again!

We spent Thanksgiving visiting my husband's family.  Shortly after arrival, my brother-in-law sat next to me & pointed to his cheek.  "You'll want to give me a little peck," he said, "as I have something for you."  I smiled and gave his peck on the cheek.  He then opened his hand to reveal his latest finds:  antique crochet hooks MADE IN THE USA by the Susan Bates company.  I squealed with delight!  We chatted about the history of the Susan Bates company, and about his good luck in finding me treasured crochet hooks to add to my collection.

Yeah, I guess you can say I have my own personal Santa Claus, and he delivers crochet goodies!  :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Take Me With You!

Take Dee With You on Your Mobile
If I had a nickle each time a student, or a CrochetWithDee fan said, "Dee, I want to keep you!" I'd be able to buy out an entire yarn shop -- many, many times over!!  Oh, there have been attempts, bribes & such.  But my heart is with my family, and rightfully so.

Still, how does one fill the void of folks wanting to take their Crochet Cheerleader home, or while out-&-about, to be able to turn to whenever they have a CrochetWithDee need?   One student suggested I get one of those huge cardboard photos made and sell them.  Since the cardboard "Dee's" wouldn't be able to answer questions, I don't think that would be a good idea; I can envision the cardboard cutouts used as target practice, knitting needles sticking out of it like a dart board.  LOL

But, what if you can fit me in a pocket, or a purse? ... now you can!  You can visit me on your Mobile Device!  So quick -- so easy!!  ... simply pull up your browser on your mobile device and enter this url address:

Roadtrip anyone?  :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

~ 365 Days ~ to think about Crochet

Dee Jr. asked me this morning what I want for Christmas this year. Told him I want an endless cup of coffee that never gets cold, is always at the perfect temperature, and flavor. He said, "Good luck with that." :/  Mr. Dee added later that we will need to start thinking about getting a 2011 Calendar.  (Was this a hint?) Would he mind if I gave him a crochet calendar?

In 2004 I purchased my first Crochet Calendar.  It was produced by the New York City Crochet Guild, and it was beautiful!  (You can read the back story about their calendar here.)  Sadly they have not produced any more.

Shortly thereafter the "Day to Day" Crochet Calendar came out.  I didn't -- and haven't -- purchased this calendar yet as none of the proceeds go to the designers, or to a charity.  (If this policy has changed, readers, could you please let me know?)  Although I am not a believer that a crochet designer should give their designs away for free in order to promote themselves I do know many crocheters like this calendar.
365 Crochet Stitches a Year: Perpetual Calendar

I didn't get another Crochet Calendar until the 
365 Crochet Stitches a Year: Perpetual Calendar came out in 2007.  What I like about this calendar is that it is not defined by one year; it is perpetual, meaning you can use it year after year after year!  Smart thinking Jean and Rita!  (This is not the first time I've mentioned this Calendar; I blogged about it in early 2008.)  For a timeless Calendar with stitch motifs, this makes a great gift!  (Note to Mr. Dee in case he is reading this: I already own it!)

Now, nearly into 2011, I find myself eyeing three new crochet calendars as possible contenders:
Interweave Crochet 2011 Wall Calendar
The Interweave Crochet 2011 Wall Calendar that promises full-color crochet motifs from The Harmony Guides: Crochet Stitch Motifs (may as well add that book to my Wish List).


2011 Sticks, Hooks and Shuttles Calendar being offered by the folks over at, where 100% of the proceeds are being donated to two charities.  (Visit their website, scroll to the bottom of the page to get an idea of what the calendar includes, and to learn more about where the proceeds will be donated.)

And third, there is always, where there is an abundance of Crochet Theme goodies to choose from.  In the shop, CroOrities, the vertical wall calendar features many great images from other CafePress shops (all used with permission!).  No patterns, but plenty of space to write in all my crochet activities, events, and deadlines.

The bottom line:  I think it is good that we are progressing from having no Crochet Calendars available, to having a variety to choose from -- complete with that perfect cup of coffee, naturally.   :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Checking In

After almost two months, I have decided to give up my new desk to my daughter.  I miss the sunshine too much!  Yes, this does mean I'll be moving back to the kitchen table, but I'm OK with that.  Mini~Dee is ecstatic, of course.  Not just because she's getting the desk, but because we're also ripping down the old wallpaper in her room.  Of course I am thinking of teasing her a bit by telling her I'll be replacing all the wallpaper with my abundant crochet samples ... oh, wait, I kinda like that idea for real!  LOL  ((she'd kill me!!))

My father stopped by to tell me he purchased some tile; he is moving forward to fixing the leaking problem in his basement.  I'm not sure how long that will take, but I've already started letting my mind wander on how I'd want to decorate and organize my studio once I get the green light.  One thought that came to mind is to take a plastic table cloth stamped with crochet that I've had for a number of years and somehow use that to decorate a wall or two.  Either by securing the table cloth to the wall and spray painting over it, letting the spray paint fill in the gaps and then remove the table cloth; or by rolling paint over the table cloth and carefully pressing it against the wall.  I love daydreaming about this stuff!  What would you do?

Oh, and please tell my postal carrier to hold off on delivering the latest Ikea catalog ... I can get lost in the pages for hours!!  If you want some craft room inspiration, and are a member of Ravelry, be sure to check out the "My Craft Room" group. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hip Hoppin' ... at last, again!

About a year and a half ago I announced that I had published the pattern to my award-winning Hip Hoppin' Backpack.  The pattern was included with several other designers' patterns for an experiment with online ebooks we were calling "Straight From Today's Designers."  After the experiment concluded Soooooo many of you wrote to me asking that I republish the pattern for my backpack.

And I'm delighted to announce that my pattern is once again available for purchase -- as a "stand-alone" PDF pattern.  At the moment you can order it through Ravelry using the "buy now" button you see on the right.

A few details: This pattern includes seven beautiful textured crochet stitches and is therefore considered to be for the Intermediate Crocheter. It also includes International Crochet Symbols.  The PDF is 8-pages long, and retails for $4.99

If you don't want to order the pattern through Ravelry, and can't wait for me to add it to my website, please send me an email.  With the upcoming holiday season approaching fast, this is just (excuse the expression) in the Nick of Time.  :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Get Your Heart On"

In the CLF group on there was discussion that a lot of CLF'ers were unable to identify themselves as members while attending Rhinebeck a few weeks ago.  I proposed we consider wearing a crocheted motif to make the next time easier.  Shortly thereafter the discussion on attending the 20th Stitches East event started, I again proposed we wear a crocheted motif; I suggested we wear crocheted hearts.  Mary Beth Temple then announced on her Getting Loopy Show that we crocheters should "Get Our Hearts On" ... that is, wear a crocheted heart, find her at Stitches, and get a ticket for a prize drawing she'd have to help support crochet.

I was busy the entire Stitches East event -- from pre-start to finish; mostly having fun working in the KnitShopGirls booth (Shoutout to my girls, Kendra, the owner; Dina &  Kim!).  I attended my first Stitches Fashion Show (yes, I did crochet while watching) where I found myself falling in love with one of the crocheted garments in Nicky Epstein's new book, Enchanting Collection -- it took my breath away! (and the knit garments in the book were pretty cool too; I just might need to crochet me some knit!  lol).  I found the food at the Dinner quite dee-lish, and the company at our table an absolute riot!

I also attended (briefly) the Pajama Party where I met up with Guido: The Purlman, and Kathleen Sams of Red Heart Yarn.  I also met Benjamin Levisay -- although we've been Facebook friends, this was my first time I had met him in person & found him to be funny -- and blonder than his FB image shows.  I was able to meet up with Cari Clement from Caron Yarns, Penny from Offinger (CGOA management), Arnetta Kenney (CYCA CIP Teacher), Trishia (Save the Children Foundation), Zontee from LionBrand, and of course, Mary Beth Temple.  (There were many, many more people I got to see, but my brain is so fried from the long weekend that it is hard to recall everyone.)  I also managed to sneak in some volunteer time by spending Sunday morning in the Warm Up America/Save the Children booth teaching basic crochet while whipping up a preemie cap with my speedy crochet hook.

I want to thank Kendra for a fabulous weekend ... it was an amazing "behind the scenes" experience from the vendor's point-of-view -- those vendors work their butts off (can I say that here?) and deserve huge kudos for hauling, setting up, putting in long hours for our shopping pleasure, tearing down, and hauling back all of our yarn goodies!  Thank you Kendra!  Thank you Vendors!!
I want to state for the record that yes, I had my "Heart On."  I crocheted my heart out of sterling silver wire -- to ward off scary werewolves, naturally.  (What else would you expect me to wear on Halloween weekend at Stitches East?  LOL)  In the KnitShopGirls booth we saw a lot of people dressed up for Halloween which made the experience that much more fun; and we saw a lot of folks wearing crochet!!!!  (Love!!!)

And, going forward, it looks like the crochet heart will be THE motif to wear to signal to other crocheters, and to retailers, how much we love our crochet.  So go ahead and "Get Your [crocheted] Heart On;" I'll be looking for you at the next fiber event I attend.   :)