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Sunday, December 30, 2007

FM 12/31/07

The last Monday of the year - how did it get here so _darned_ quick? I don't know either, but here's today's dash of freebies.

Tired of that 9 to 5 life, all the phone calls, all the paperwork and that lousy "coffee" in the break room. Maybe you'd like to be a crochet designer. Sounds cool but it's a lot of work. Crochet Craft Gossip offers some books to help get you started:

This person is lucky enough to know Vickie Howell - well enough so M's Howell names a yarn after her. And well enough to score some free yarn from M's Howell. Sounds pretty sweet, doesn't it? However she had a slight problem with her gauge and found a different way to solve it rather than ripping the whole hat out.

Ever try to figure out how to make a pattern, but for some reason or another (tiredness, too much work, not enough caffeine) you just can't remember? Here's a tutorial on making a shell stitch pattern:

I love Crochet Craft Gossip. She always has some really cool stuff. In this particular blog, she presents thrifted sweaters to have fun with - making mitten garlands or crocheted scarves. So if you have some old wool sweaters or snag some from your local thrift store, here's something you can do with them:
Yup, I'm back on the coral reef fascination again. This is a coral reef made from hosiery.

This site claims it's for threadies, but they are so wrong. It's for anyone who crochets, you can adapt the patterns for worsted weight or sprots weight yarn. Plus a big advantage - patterns for crocheted snowflakes made from yarn as well as thread. Check it out:

I hope all of you have a safe happy New Year with lots of good surprises coming your way!


Friday, December 28, 2007

Thank you, Crochet Lassie!

I wanted to show all of you a beautiful coaster Crochet Lassie sent me, along with a Christmas card and a photo of her family. I was quite surprised to get this little package yesterday. I opened it thinking "oh gosh, did I join a swap I forgot about? A scrunchie swap, maybe?" but I was very happy to find this beautiful coaster. She sent this to me as thanks for winning the book contest, what a very sweet thing to do. I'm not sure if the picture accurately presents how detailed the stitches are - very cool. I'd like to say publicly thank you, Mary Lynn - what a sweet gesture.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Boxing Day......

well, it's the day after Christmas & time to "box" things for the service folk in your life - if you're the type of person that does that sort of thing.....I guess I'm not as I haven't done it.

I got some great Christmas gifts, 2 killer gifts from my sons (who were also good enough to fix Christmas dinner at their place and clean up afterwards - themselves. Excellent turkey dinner)
One is "Crochet Embellishments" by Jean Leinhauser and the other book is "Everyday Crochet" by Doris Chan. Pretty cool books.

But I thought I'd take a poll and publish the results on January 15, 2008. If you're interested in participating, here's the questions:

1) Top crochet books of 2007. If you give the title of an e-book, please give the website. For a book to qualify as a "top crochet book", at least 50% of the patterns have to be crochet. Why? Because I said so;)

2) How many projects do you estimate you made this year? How many were gifts? How many for charity? And did you really make something for yourself this year and if so, what was it?

3) Christmas gifts - a _lot_ of people crochet Christmas gifts. Did you? Did you finish in time? My youngest sister offered to give me a new hobby this year - cross stitch;) She's making a cute bunny picture but didn't quite finish it. I said no, I have enough hobbies;)

4) What project are you looking forward to doing in 2008? Any crcochet challenges or crochet alongs? Maybe trying a new technique?

5) Your blogs or your favorite blogs or both. I'm always curious to see what other folks are writing about.

That's it, inquiring minds want to know;)

Please just put the answers in the "comments" section or you can email me at blazelaflame at g m a i l (.) c o m (you know the proper way, just trying to avoid spambots).


Monday, December 24, 2007

FM 12/24/97

Each year I swear I won't be "this disorganized again". But the next year comes and I'm disorganized in a different way. This time, it's the baking. The chocolate cake, it looks like a mudslide. Even _with_ the icing on it, it still looks like a mudslide *sigh*. But it will get eaten, I'm sure.
On with the freebies

I didn't attempt to bake gingerbread people because they probably would have fallen apart like the cake. But I think I could manage to crochet a gingerbread person. If you got the time (or starting for next year), here's a pattern for you.

I didn't know this, but there's somebody out there that rates crafty blogs. Nope, I'm not in the ratings, but some other pretty cool blogs are - see if one of your faves made it on the list:
Shiny Media's Top 100 Fashion & Lifestyle Blogs: 51 - 100

Have you ever tried a "crochet along"? I haven't. But this particular site lists various crochet alongs for 2008. Here's a granny square one you may want to check out:

This is just silliness, but it's funny. You can figure out "what kind of yarn are you?" with this quiz. (I am cotton dishcloth).

This was interesting to me as I was complaining about this earlier this year.
This site has pointers on how to stop hand pain

Remember "Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house - not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse". On the "Knitting Daily" blog, they posted a knitters "Night Before Christmas". You can always think "crochet" where the word "knit" is printed;)

Another contest, this one for a skein of yarm every month for a year. Again, it says "knitters" but crocheters also have one skein projects and free yarn is free yarn.

That's it for me and I need to _go_. Tomorrow is another work day and it's also the night I get together with my siblings and their families to exchange Christmas gifts. So I will be dragging - oh, it's _today_....
I hope you have a happy Christmas and if you don't celebrate Christmas, have a nice Tuesday.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

fm 12/17/07

So you're giving a book and think it needs a little something else? Or maybe you're sending a card out that you want a little something "extra" in? Here is a quick bookmark pattern:

How about a tiny thread teddy beat tutorial? Edith Molina (she writes excellent patterns) has one online you can check out. Even if you feel too rushed now to make a thread bear, you can use it for future reference.

I asked a question about a size 7 hook for worsted weight yarn last week on Crochet Partners. I got a vey helpful answer from Wheat Carr. It's been on her blog but somehow I managed to miss it in my search to figure it out. M's Carr has plenty of cool stuff on her site, but I'm just giving you the conversion chart link right now - you can nose around to your heart's content.Here it is:

Not a free pattern, but something to drool over....

If you're looking for a particular pattern that you've seen done in Coats & Clarks yarn, you can get free Coats and Clarks patterns here:

This is a really cool stocking - a fair isle stocking. Maybe next year I'll try it - currently I don't need a need stocking for anyone. But I might try my hand at it just to see how it works up:

Just in case you have about 8 (or even 6) leftover granny squares, here's a quick & easy stocking. I can't tell you it's my original pattern, but I also can't tell you I have seen it in a pattern book. It's probably like a basic granny aquare - everybody knows the basics but nobody knows who thought it up first.
You take your 4 (or 3) granny squares and sew them in the shape of an "L". You repeat the same with the remaining 4 (or 3) granny squares. Now you can edge the "L"s with another color if you want or just sew or crochet both sides together and you got a stocking. You could put an edging on the top, then make s chain stitch hoop so the stocking can hang. I'm sure you can think of a dozen other ways to "gussy up" your granny square stocking.

The usual disclaimers apply - I get no kickbacks from these folks. If they wanted to give me a kickback, I would take it. (just being honest with you)


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

finished objects

On the right is a poncho I made for a friend's grandaughter. It's made from Caron's Simply Soft and it was a joy to work with. This is probably the most basic poncho in the world - two rectangles sewn together with edging and fringe. I didn't rely on a pattern but made it up as I went along. I just used a shell stitch to create the rectangle and added little curly fringe on it. I was veryhappy with the way it turned out. I hope she will be happy, too.
On the left is the tree skirt I was working on for my sons. As you can see, it's just granny squares with a hole left in the middle so it can be draped around the tree. I was pleased with the way it came out, but wasn't too thrilled with myself for letting the ends wait to be woven in. I would stick to Bernat or Red Heart to make another one. I wasn't too thrilled with the way the Peacock yarn worked up, but I did like the colors.

An update on Payton: He is doing as well as can be expected. He is eagerly waiting for Santa Claus (of course). The case went to trial and the judge is waiting for a psych report on the two juveniles so he can decide what, if any, punishment they should receive. I'd rant and rave, but that's not what this blog is supposed to be about

Monday, December 10, 2007

Freebie Monday 12/10/07

it's a short list today as I should be going to bed. You know how jobs are, they expect you to be all fresh and perky for them;)

here you go for today
Need to make a pair of mittens for a child - check this site out:
Click here: Mittens For Children - This is a great one piece pattern that I use every winter.

How about some free patterns for crochet toys?

I tend to learn from seeing something done. I always had a hard time with the box stitch until this tutorial.
http://www.crochetcabana.com/stitches /box-st-in-rows.htm

Another Crochet Cabana special:

I'm sure you've heard of the Sylvia Cosh and James Walters books on freeform crochet. Mr Walters is offering worksheets on freeform crochet at this website.

And finally, one of my favorites - ~/o There's no people like snowpeople~/o (okay, that's bad, but at least you didn't have to listen to me sing it;))

The usual disclaimers apply - I don't get a kickback from these folks or sites, just passing what I think is interesting information on to you.


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

finished the tree skirt

I finally finished weaving in the ends of the Christmas tree skirt for my sons. I will _never_ wait until the end of the project to weave in all those ends again. It's basically a granny square pattern, I need to take a photo of it and post it. I made it with Peacock yarn (which I'm not that fond of), some Bernat and some Herschnerrer's. It various shades of blue, with a silver metallic thread in the yarn. I based it off of one I made almost (_eeek_) 36 years ago, long before there were kids or even before I had my own household. It's a good gift for somebody who is spending their first Christmas in their brand new household - or at least I think it is. Christmas decorations are something that never gets considered as a wedding gift or a house warming gift, but definitely a thoughtful one. My tree skirt is made from green, red and white Dazzleaire yarn. Remember that yarn, it was _great_. It has a sort of shimmery effect to it. It has held up very well (beter than me;)) after all these years. Since it's old enough, maybe it should run for president - but that's something to comtemplate for another time.
Two years ago, when my neice and her new hubby moved to their first home, I made them a tree skirt out of the same colors of yarn I used for Dan's & Will's tree skirt. I believ I got the pattern from one of the digest crochet books, but I wouldn't swear to it. It ended up looking similiar to a shrug and my sister-in-law teased that Allison would wear it rather than put it under the tree. I do think she is using it as a tree skirt.

Here's a freebie I was unaware of Monday when I posted freebies. Caron (see how nicely that fits in with the tree skirt) has a newsletter for the "Twelve Days of Christmas"
The first issue has Christmas stockings, one with a gingerbread girl and one with a gingerbread boy on it. The pattern is by Noreen Crone-Findlay and is very cute. So check it out!


Monday, December 03, 2007

Freebie Monday 12/3/07

I got a mixed bag of listings for you today. The first one I seriously considered keeping to myself because I am a big brat. It's a contest for a snowman crochet hook hand carved by Noreen Crone-Findlay and it is beautiful. I like to use snowflake designs for Christmas (that way if I don't take them down right away, it doesn't look so goofy), so I really think this is cool.
There's the website so you can see how the hook was made and you can enter the contest.

This also is a contest - it's for either a $300, $200 or $100 shopping spree at your favorite yarn shop. If you win, you could splurge on that yarn you've been eyeing but just can't justify buying it for yourself:

DMC (yes the embroidery thread people as well as perle cotton and Senso) have a site with free crochet patterns. If you want to check it out, here you go:

I said before I like snowflake patterns. I have made one snowflake afghan, but it didn't look like this one. I'm considering if I want to make another one - maybe. I do really like this pattern and it would make a great gift if you're fast enough to whip it up.

I don't have grandchildren and my sons are much to old to wear a hat like this. But I am thinking about making it for my great-nephews. Whether they are too fashion conscious to wear it, I don't know. If you get a chance to poke about Bev's Country Cottage, definitely take the time. She has some very lovely patterns - for sale as well as freebies - and they are always well written. http://bevscountrycottage.com/bevs-bear-beanie.html

Want to check out a few free crochet patterns from Interweave Press? That's a pattern for a boy's sweater here as well as a woman's pullover. Neither of these patterns are in the Interweave Crochet magazine: http://www.interweavecrochet.com/issue/materials_win07.asp#murphy

And here I go with another snowflake pattern. I really do _not_ need another scarf. In fact, I got some very soft yarnand some patterns for a scarf from a swap and I haven't used that yet.

I even buy those packs of crocheted snowflakes, I think they could be from India (not sure) because I think they are beautiful. I have a huge stack I was going to make a vest with, but now I don't like the way it looks. I did sew some on a denim Christmas stocking which of course, is _my_ stocking). I should post Craig's stocking....

As usual, I don't get a kickback from these folks, but as usual, I could be bought;)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

and a little something else

Click here: Tree Of Life Silent Auction

These lovely freeform ornaments are being auctioned off for charity. The bidding starts off at $10. ANd no, not a single one is a lump of coal.
The deadline is December 3, 2007.

Don't know what to get that particular person on your gift list this year? You can adopt a lamb in that person's name and get a cool thank you from your lamb / sheep / ram. Or you could adopt a lamb for yuorself or buy a t-shirt that says "I saved the lambs" or cards. The lambs don't come to your house and sit for 4 hours, eating up all your leftovers and wondering why you're not refilling their glass of soda as frequently as they would like. They also don't borrow money from you or call you up asking you stupid questions. (hmmm, I think I'm venting here.) Definitely worth checking out.

And here's a little piece of free advice from me - do _not_ ever leave the weaving in the ends part of a granny square project until after the assembly. I have no idea what I was thinking, perhaps I thought the "weave in ends fairy" was going to stop by and do it for me. But nope, didn't happen. I am currently making a granny square tree skirt for my sons and this is just what I did, waited until the end. *wow* am I _dumb_! but I got to finish that part so I can put an edging on it. Maybe it's just me, but doing it all at once seems so long and _boring_....but I definitely learned my lesson - and hopefully you won't make that mistake...
what _was_I thinking? Must be too much Diet Caffeine Free Pepsi....

Monday, November 19, 2007

fm 2 weeks worth

*See "shameless plug" at the bottom of this post.

Sorry for disappearing last week. Blogger apparently was not happy and would not post this blog. I tried for a few days but I gave up Wednesday night. I had to worry about putting together a Thanksgiving dinner.

Okay, here's a mixed bag of freebies as well as interesting articles for you:

Want to whip up a quick gift? This dishcloth looks really cool. You could co-ordinate it to match your or someone else's kitchen. Who couldn't use more dishclothes?
Crochet Garterlac Dishcloth
Crochet Patterns Only - http://crochetpatternsonly.blogspot.com/

Want to know what Vickie Howell from "Knitty Gritty" is doing while she's not on tv? I mean, besides writing books and making personal appearances? She's got a blog where you can learn more about the show and Vickie:

Do you get inspiration from a photograph? This is beautiful, but the site says it can also be used as a wine bag. Would it be proper to put Boones Farm Strawberry wine in a $100 bag;)
check it out:
Christensen & Sigersen Crochet Purse Evening Bag

Soap bags - despite the name of the blog, the soap bags are crocheted. They are pretty neat.
Simple Knits - http://simpleknits.blogspot.com/
Despite the name, it's crocheted. It's also beautiful.

If you getting a gift for a child this year, you might want to think about making it instead of buying it due to all the Chinese toys being recalled (and more every day). Check out this site for Caron Rainbow Bear

Here's a site that haws a lot of free crochet toy patterns:

Here's something I think is unusual - a Darth Vader Tabasco cover - crocheted. I'm not a Tabasco eater, but I imagine it could be useful for somebody:

A brain slug is what I feel like somedays. Apparently, now I can crochet one:

This site has patterns for some of the most amazing crocheted animals I have ever seen. The detail is wonderful - you have to see it.

Here is the code for free shipping from Herrschners for orders over $35.00 until December 24, 2007: B12

Want to make something a little different for yourself or a loved one? How about bead crocheting? Here's a tutorial from the "Beadwrangler" herself:
Click here: bead crochet dot com

*This is a shameless plug for my own Cafe' Press store:
And yes, if you buy something from this particular Cafe' Press store, I do make money off of it. I d0 _not_ make money off the other sites given. I would take a kickback, but nobody offers me one;)

Monday, November 12, 2007

freebie Monday 11/12/07

Most of you probably know about the "Annie's Attic" site, but I especially liked this one:
_Annie's Hooked on Crochet!: Free Pattern of the Week - Ribbon Candy Afghan_

I like Stevie Nicks, from Fleetwood Mac to her solo career. Another crocheter likes her so much, a lot of her crocheting has to do with Stevie Nicks:

How about a crocheted earring tutorial? This is really cool.
kardemumma - http://krumbukta.blogspot.com/

For those of you who can't get enough granny squares, here's a picture of a "granny square rec room".

And here's the pattern for the purse you'll need in the "granny square rec room". You might lose it there, but what the heck: http://www.berroco.com/exclusives/mika/mika.html

Wondering want to whip up quickly for a gift exchange? Try this fancy dish cloth:

Priscilla Hewitt has some lovely free patterns for Christmas (and other times as well). Check out her terrific website: http://members.aol.com/lffunt/christmas.htm

Another "quickie" for a gift exchange - you could make them in Christmas colors or maybe to match something else:

And now for the winner of the Sylvia Cosh "The Crochet Sweater Book". It's CrochetLassie, I have emailed her for her snail mail address. Thanks to all who participated in the contest.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

"Comfie Bear"

I've said this before, I have the "Crochet Pattern A Day 2007" on my desk at work. There's many great patterns in there, but the Wednesday, November 7 pattern really touched me. (It's also for the 8th & 9th.) It's by Noreen Crone-Findlay and it's "small but powerful". I am a great fan of M's Crone-Findlay's work and love reading her blog - especially the "Tottie Tomato" stories.

The pattern in the calendar is for a small bear, maybe all of two inches. The head is shaped perfectly, the face has a lot of character to it. That's always hard to do with stuffed animals - or at least I think so. M's Crone-Findlay has a lot of experience making great dolls and animals - she wrote the "Creative Crocheted Dolls: 50 Whimisical Designs" book which I find very helpful. Maybe to me the most powerful image is the heart button. It reminds me in some vague way of the panda bear I made to be buried with my younger sister. Something about this little bear image comforts me in a way I don't quite understand. I just wanted to bring attention to this particular pattern to see if anybody else felt the same way.

As usual, I get no kickbacks from anything I mentioned. And as usual, I will say I am always open to kickbacks;) I'm just pointing out a sweet little pattern.

Monday, November 05, 2007

F.M. 11/5/07

I'm _baaacckk_. I'm not totally "with it" but then again, I never have been.
So here's your first for this Freebie Monday.

Want to learn how to do seamless single crochet, which is very important in amigurami and hats - here's the tutorial for you:

Another one of my favorite spots, Purple Kitty, has free vintage Christmas crochet (as well as knit) patterns:

I know this is late for Halloween, but I will forget this completely by next year. My cats would never stand for being dressed, but my oldest sister dresses up her cats all the time - go figure that one out.

Have you ever looked at a size 7 steel hook and wondered "gee, I wonder if I could perform surgery with this? No, I haven't either. But a surgeon did look at it and currently uses it to repair varicose veins - check it out:

I don't know if the next two are repeats. If so, I apolegize:

Tiny cake patterns

This one would have been better suited for Halloween, but as I said, I'll just forget it by next year - a crochet hamburger dress:

This would also have been better suited for Halloween, but maybe you need a gift for a quirky friend of family member. Not exactly my cup of tea, but Lady Linoleum always has cool stuff.
The Saw That Dripped Blood...SCARF!
Monster Crochet - http://monstercrochet.blogspot.com/

Stitch markers seem mostly made for knitters. Here's a site that shows you stitch markers for crocheters. Pretty cool stuff and looks relatively easy. You could whip up some for yourself or a crocheting friend:
Crafty Daisies - http://craftydaisies.com

Another one suited for Halloween but I am considering making this for my younger son (26 years old). He loved "The Nightmare before Christmas and I think he'd like the dog. This is a great pattern:
jack skellington's dog

and here's the last freebie of the day. I am having a drawing for the book "The Crochet Sweater Book" by Sylvia Cosh with James Walters. You may be more familiar with those names due to their freeform work. Just email me - 1 email per person please - and I will announce the winner next Monday. Please, no whining, begging or pleading - I get enough of that at work;)


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

not today

Sorry, I just can't do a list of freebies today. My sweet PussyFoot, the oldest of the three cats left and the only female, died on Saturday. It wasn't totally unexpected, we knew she had cancerous tumors and the vet couldn't operate. We knew we had "weeks and not months" but I'm still stunned by her death. And I know I will be grieving for her for a long time.
Things will return to "normal" by next Monday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Knit & Crochet Today"

I hate to sound snarky - okay, I really don't, but I was trying to be nice there for a few minutes.
This show, "Knit and Crochet Today" on PBS seems a little lame. The first one I chalked up to it being brand new and finding the footing. Plus it was about felting and I'm not that enthusiastic about that particular craft.
Also, it has knitting stuff but the knitting didn't capture my attention the way it does on Vickie Howell's "Knitty Gritty". Plus generally M's Howell stuck to one technique and one project, so that may make a lot of difference in the presentation.

I did, however, figure out my problem (for once). It's like the worst teacher in school. He tells you what he's going to teach you, teaches you and then tells you what you have already learned. It seems to be for a newbie in either knit or crochet. There's nothing wrong with that, but the makers of the show should (in my not so humble opinion) toss in stuff for us "oldbies";)

The hostess, Kassie Depaiva, knows how to crochet - she sells her "Happy Hats" to benefit the hard of hearing,
But she seems to act as a complete newbie to both knit and crochet. I'm not sure if she's scripted to act that way (she is on "One Life to Live", so she does know how to act) or whether it was some sort of management decision. She seems a little shy in front of the camera. She's in almost all of the show, pointing out what is being done by the guests. The end of the show, they have somebody else come on and explain what has already been explained. That part seems pointless to me. I think the end of it would be served better by saying "this pattern is on our website, the yarn used was Coats and Clarks' whatever yarn".

I know I shouldn't complain. I have never been responsible for putting a tv show together and I imagine it's a lot of hard work. Knit and crochet shows are hard to come by and this is a brand new one. I will give "Knit & Crochet Today" some more time and see how the show develops. Maybe it should be longer so they can actually do a more complicated project. As it is, the time is divided between the knit and crochet projects, and it's only 30 minutes long, so you really can't go to any great depth in any project. Maybe they should alternate projects, one week knit, one week crochet. I'd still watch the knit ones along with the crochet ones.

But that's just my opinion and your mileage may vary

Sunday, October 21, 2007

just another Freebie Monday

it's all not free patterns, folks;) some are just cool websites...

Looking for some Halloween crochet? This site has plenty of free patterns:

And this one does have a pretty cool pattern for a starghan (a round ripple afghan). It doesn't show the holes the way a normal ripple afghan does. The blogger said she invented a new stitch, but it's better if she explains it than me.

I don't know who Twinkie is, but apparently "everybody" is talking about her. I always thought that was a snack cake, but I guess I'm wrong:

I love Stitchy McYarnpants. It's just so funny. And I have to admit that yes, I did crochet some of those designs back in my wilder days. But hey, it was the '70s, all the other crocheters were doing it, and I thought just a little bit wouldn't hurt anybody. Now I see I was wrong;)

If you seen the floors in my house, the statement I'm about to make won't shock you. I don't have a Swiffer wet mop thingie. But apparently a lot of people do and some crochet the cover instead of using the little covers you have to buy for it.

How about some Lion Brand Halloween crochet - here goes a pirate. It looks fairly easy to me....

Again, I don't get a kickback or payola from any of these people. I'd take it, but nobody offers;)


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Scrips & scraps for October

Last weekend I visted the "Stitches" convention in downtown Baltimore. It was geared mostly towards knitting (hey, the ad says "Knitting Universe" on it). But there were lots of crochet items.
For instance, yarn. Yarn doesn't care if you knit or crochet or weave - and it especially doesn't care if it sits in a shopping bag waiting for me to figure out what to do with it. I bought a a _lot_ (okay, too much) cool yarn, but the one that intrigues me the most is the "Jelly" yarn.
You probably know that "Jelly" yarn isn't yarn in the classical sense. It's sort of like plastic lacing, but cooler looking. They had glow-in-the-dark yarn. Of course, I had to buy it. Obviously, I'm not going to make a scarf out of it, but what to do, what to do? I also bought the gold "Jelly" yarn. I don't have a clue what to do with that, either. I'm sure I'll figure out something;) They do have patterns on line and "Adorn" also has a pattern for a "doughnut bracelet". The website showcases the free patterns for knit as well as crochet.

I happened to see Lily Chin at one of the booths. She was crocheting (amazingly fast) with a pale pink fingering yarn. It looked (to me) as if she was working on a giant granny square, but I didn't see the whole project. A lady with a camera phone tried to get a picture and we laughed. Mis Chin said it would "just be a blur". I would guess M's Chin was teaching a class at the convention. I didn't sign up for any classes because almost all of them were for knitting. M's Chin said what she really needed was a yarn puller. I laughed and said my younger son would have loved that job. There were lots of books at the booth and one knitter was asking M's Chin about learning how to crochet. M's Chin pointed out her book "Couture Crochet"* and offered to sign it. I was wishing I had brought my copy along so she could sign it. And I felt a little too cheap to buy a book I already had just to get it signed. So I didn't.

I found a huge crochet hook(SizeU) at Bagsmith. Yes, they have absolutely gorgeous kits for purses and great yarns, but the lady knitting with what appeared to be broomsticks caught my eye.
She said the knitting needles were a great stash buster and to prove it, she had maybe 7 different types of yarn on her needles. It looked great. Than she show me the size U. Of course, I don't _need_ another hook. I mean, I have a lot of hooks but I didn't have a size U hook. But now I do;) So as I use up my stash, I can buy _more_, right? I got to keep the economy from cooling off;)
I stopped at the Yarn Barn of Kansas booth. (http://www.yarnbarn-ks.com/)
They had a yarn "playpen" with lots of bags of yarns at a very good price. I spotted the yarn I wanted, but the price I was originally quoted was a little too high (for me). I wandered off and looked at some other yarn but found myself drawn back to the yarn playpen. Some enterprising young woman grabbed up the yarn I wanted - for shame. But she got a price of almost half of what I was quoted. Of course, I bought some, too.
Now you may wonder what my darling husband thinks of all this. After all, he attended the "Stitches" market with and obviously I wasn't able to hide the yarn**. Well, Craig _encouraged_ me to buy the yarn and was digging for more yarn for me to buy. I know that sounds crazy, but there you are. He is _definitely_ a _keeper;)

So now you know I spent all my money (well, almost all of it) at "Stitches". Hopefully if you're expecting a gift from me, you're willing to accept yarn or something I make with the yarn. If not, well, there's always a pound cake for you;) Anyway, if you get the chance to attend one of these markets and you can afford it, definitely go....
Next year, it's here on my birthday....I better start plotting now.

* You can look up M's Chin's book on the Amazon button I have on this blog (shameless self promotion).

** I don't hide the yarn anyway, there's no place to hide it. But sometimes I end up hiding from myself, which isn't good.

No, I don't get any kickback from any of these folks (unless you use the Amazon link - I am an Amazon Associate). I would take kickbacks, but nobody offers them to me.

Monday, October 15, 2007

October 15 freebies

okay, it's not all free patterns. There's a few interviews scattered along the way.
Let's get started:
BellaOnline Interview.

cool interview with a designer. I like BellaOnline, but I tend to forget about it since you have to go to the site.

I think the old "Crochet Fantasy" did an article on Darla Fanton and her illusion crochet. Here's a site where she is shown teaching a class in it. If you're lucky, she'll be near where you are, so you can see it for yourself.

Click here: Darla Fanton

I thought this was a pretty cool scarf pattern, but I am a sucker for the watercolor looking yarn

I have a thing about crocheted food. I have no idea why, except I think it's pretty cool. Plus I remember when my younger son was a baby, each time we visited my mom, he'd take the cookie magnet off the fridge. He would act like he was going to eat it and we thought that was hilarious (that's what happens with the second kid, if it was the first, I'd probably would have been upset). I don't know that he would have been "fooled" by the crocheted food. (There's always been some doubt whether he actually thought he was eating a cookie or he was just doing it for the reaction.)


And to top that off, a crocheted hamburger dress. Yes, you heard me right. Probably would be good for Halloween.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

60 scarves in 60 days

I'm sure most, if not all of you, are familiar with the "Crocheting With Dee" blog. In it, Dee descibes the various items she has been crocheting, her attempts at gaining knitting proficiency, the classes she teaches and projects she supports. One project she supports (and I got involved in) in her "60 scarves in 60 days". You don't have to follow a particular pattern or use a particular yarn. You don't have to give it to a particular charity - you can choose a local charity if you want. That's what makes it so cool.
This year, I made 8 scarves. I particularly enjoyed working with all the different yarn. I made a lovely one (if I do say so myself) out of Plymouth Encore "Colorspun", an oatmeal color with other colors in it.l color. I also used Caron's "Simply Soft Shadows" for 2 of the scarves. I love the way they feel and the way the yarn works up. I also used an old favorite, Red Heart. Say what you want, but I _know_ Red Heart is durable. It will be softer once it gets washed.
I didn't really use any special techniques to crochet the scarves. On the red scarf, I made a graduated fringe, which I have never done before, so that was neat. But I used the basic double crochet or half double crochet because it could be used for male or female. I didn't use any fur yarns just because (to me) they seem feminine.
The church I go to has a homeless shelter for women and children. I will donate the scarves there. Even if it's a relatively warm winter (according to the "Old Farmer's Alamanc", it's supposed to be for this area), it still gets windy and cold and a soft scarf is a great companion.
If you want to check out Dee's blog, you can use the "Crocheting With Dee" button I have on my page.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Apple jacket

On some list I am on, somebody posted a picture of a knitted "apple jacket". There was much laughter about it, but the apple jackets are selling for $18 each.

So I thought, what the heck, I bet I can crochet one. So I did. I used Lion Brand Nature's Choice cotton

I finally got around to taking a picture of it and posting it here. I haven't sold any, but I also haven't offered any for sale. I made the pattern up, so it's all mine;)

So if there are any requests, I'll write up the pattern and make it available. The apple in this jacket happens to be a large Gala apple which is going to be sacrificed shortly as a midday snack. It must be hard to be a model in the cruel world;)


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Corner Cottage

This little shop is in Gloucester, Virginia on 6813 Enfield and Main. If you're on your way to Virginia Beach, you might want to stop in. I visited it when I was visiting my grandmother. Yeah, I know I should have been visiting my grnadmother, but my brother was there, so she was occupied.
The owner of the shop (at least I think it was the owner) was very helpful. She didn't crochet, but her mother did. She said she never learned how to crochet, but she could knit. There were some lovely handmade wooden hooks there (no, not the Brittany hooks, a different kind) and of course, lots of lovely yarn. She was even nice enough to point out the bargain basket for me;) But I actually came to check on Plymouth's "Jelly Beanz", which she had a lot of - and about 6 skeins less when I left. We talked for a little bit while my sister-in-law looked around the store. SHe also sells needlepoint, the printed canvas as well as the filled in canvas. (But we're not going there, it took me forever to finish my oldest son's wolf needlepoint. )
There was a lot more yarn I wanted (of course) but I was trying to restrain myself;) After all, the Stitch conference is in town this week and I want to save some money for the yarn there;)
If you get a chance to stop in this yarn filled store, take it. The hours are Tuesday thru Friday 10am to 5:30pm and Saturday 10am to 3pm. You'll find lots of goodies.

And no, I don't get a kickback from them, but I'd take it - in Jelly Beanz yarn;)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Another freebie Monday

Here's the cure fo the Monday blues - freebies;)

for Halloween, little bats:

Another Halloween one - ghosts:
Click here: Halloween Ghost Applique Pin or Magnet

more Halloween - a crocheted skull
(wouldn't this be cool in glow-in-the-dark yarn?)

a really cool crocheted bag:
The Amelia Bag - Crochet Pattern

a great looking hat:

a beautiful crocheted bracelet

These last 2 items aren't really "freebies" but I thought I'd pass them along, anway

and if you remember last week's entry about knitting being hazardous to your health, here's someone else's view of the situation:

And for the marine biologist in you, here's an article about the crocheted Great Barrier Reef


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

it just proves what I thought all along;)

A hospital in England declared knitting a "hazard". Apparently somebody thought the knitting needles and the yarn were dangerous to visitors as well as patients. I'm not surprised. Many the times I have used my knitting needles to "sword fight" with my sons. I have also used them to pierce the noise box of a particularly annoying toy. I have tried "sword fighting" with my cat Spike, but he is more interested in holding on to the knitting needle.

so here's the article:

I guess crochet escaped notice because the hooks are shorter and there are no sharp points. We crocheters are luring people into a false sense of security. Soon, we will take over the world;)
(oops, I think it's past my bedtime;))

Sunday, September 30, 2007

October 1 freebie Monday

I have one for you today, the "Happy Yellow House". There is a lot of free crochet patterns listed and it's also a mailing list. She even states you can sell the completed item _BUT_ not the pattern itself. I love the name "Happy Yellow House". For a part of my childhood, my parents house was yellow. (Later it was formstone, but hey, that's Baltimore for you.)

Another mailing list I like is "Knitting Daily". Yes, I did say "Knitting Daily". There's a few reasons why - sometimes it has crochet patterns/info and some of the things discussed about knitting can be used for crochet. For instance, Sandi Wiseheart did a column called "The Four Knitting Truths". It could be called sewing truths or crochet truths because it would fit those catagories, also. She explains how to measure yourself properly for a garment. If you're planning to make apparel, this advice is essential. There is also a later article dealing with lining a knitted bag. That info can be used to line a crocheted bag.

Suppose you feel like a quick to make pattern, something you could wear tomorrow or give as a gift - here's one for you - earrings.
Crafty Crafty - http://www.craftycrafty.tv/


Monday, September 24, 2007

some more freebies

It's Monday (again) and almost the end of my busiest time of the month at work. So hopefully I will be posting a few more things this week.

However, it's Freebie Monday, so here we go:

You may (or may not) remember the "Blythe" dolls. The most distinctive thing about them (to me) were their large eyes. I vaguely remember one of my younger sisters having one. There's whole communities devoted to them. Here's a link to make a crochet cupcake hat for the doll. It could be adapted for a child or even an adult. Good thing my kids aren't little anymore;) Wait, maybe I'll make one to wear for Halloween at work;)


You're probably thinking "I'm _way_ more sophisticated than _that_. Show me something I can use." and here's one for you - a tutorial on a beaded crochet bracelet. I think it looks pretty cool but I'm also the one thinking of wearing a cupcake hat.

Jewelry Making - http://jewelrymaking.craftgossip.com

For the more fashionable aware among you, here's something to look at - a pair of tall crocheted boots. Nope, not a pattern, but a finished pair by Ugg. It's about $120 and pretty cool but pricey (to me - especially since I hate wearing boots). I'm not endorsing them, but I'm sure some enterprising designer can figure out hot make a pair of crocheted boots.

Stylehive - Recent Bookmarks - http://www.stylehive.com

No, no kickbacks for me from any of these folks - just letting you know what's out there besides me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Queen of Soul

You should know who I am writing about here - unless you are totally unfamiliar with Aretha Franklin's work. If you are, get yourself busy and find out about her music. This blog will still be waiting for you when you come back.
You're back? okay, now we can go on.
M's Franklin is not only the Queen of Soul, not only the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but she is also a crocheter. Yup, that's what I said, a crocheter. According to the New York "Daily News" for September 9, 2007, that is one of M's Franklin's "hidden talents". I can't say I have ever seen her crocheted work, but I think it's pretty cool that Aretha Franklin is "one of us".
So when M's Franklin's tv miniseiries comes on ("Aretha: From These Roots") , you can bet I will be in front of the tv, crochet hook and yarn in my hands, happily crocheting away while it's playing. I don't know when it is supposed to be on, but I'll let you know when I find out. Nope, no kickbacks from M's Franklin or the tv station, but *wow* wouldn't I love to see Aretha's stash:)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

freebie Monday

Some of you celebrate Halloween and would like to have some cool Halloween designs. Personally, I like November 1, one of the "Half Price Candy" holidays that occur about 5 times a year. But we're not here to talk about my Milky Way addiction, are we?

The link today

is from Cylinda Matthews cool ezine, "The Crochet Corner"*. You may have seen M's Matthews work in some of the "Annie's Attic" publications or perhaps at your local craft store. She does great work with thread. You'll see the result of the work in the "Top Notch Ghost" that she uses to make a fridge magnet. You could easily attach a pin to the back and wear it on your clothes for Halloween.

There's even free Halloween recipes, just in case you were planning a party or maybe your kid (s) school was having a party. While you're visiting the site, check out the "crinoline girls". They are amazing.

If you are thinking about the cooler weather that happens around Halloween, you might want to check out this site:http://www.sweaterbabe.com/WordPressBlog/
You may know "Sweaterbabe"* from her book. If you subscribe to her newsletter (until September 30, 2007), you get a free crochet scarf pattern using the star stitch. Sweaterbabe alternates free crochet patterns with free knit patterns. Her newsletter is pretty cool, too. The star stitch featured is not quite the star stitch I remember using, but crochet stitches seem to have many different names.


*the usual disclainer, nope, I get no kickbacks.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Today is Monday and what better way to start the week than with some freebies;)

Here's a website, Purple Kitty, that is restoring vintage crochet patterns. (They also have a sale going on, I have ordered from them and they do have fast service.*)
Their crocheted butterflies patterns are available as a downloda ($2.49) or for free at their website:
Click here: Butterflies in Crochet Book 272

I have never seen the book that the butterflies come from (there's a photo of it on the website) but it looks pretty cool.

Here's a freebie for you - the Interweave "Crochet" magazine.* Yes, it is a subscription form. But the first issue is yours to keep, you can cancel the subscription after that one. I decided to subscribe instead of trying to track it down in my area. It saves on time and gas. You can check it out here:

*no kickback received - you know the joke, I'd take it if they offered it

Thursday, September 06, 2007

scientific study about buying yarn;)

Since I work in the medical field (medical records), I am very interested in the way the body works. Apparently there was a recent study done on women that showed there is a scientific reason for having a "yarn buying frenzy" when you (or I) enter a yarn shop. Sadly, they did not test this hypothesis on men, so I am left to wonder if women are more likely to suffer from this because women generally have a better sense of smell or does more research need to be done on this particular subject.
I was enlightened by this article and I hope you are, too;)


A recent study indicated, that yarn and thread gives off certain pheromones that actually hypnotize women and cause them to purchase unreasonable amounts.

When stored in large quantities, in enclosed spaces, the pheromones, (in the yarn,) cause memory loss and induce the nesting syndrome, (similar to the one squirrels have, before the onset of winter, i.e. the storing of food,) therefore, perpetuating their species and not having a population loss due to their kind being cut into pieces and mixed with others.

Sound tests have also revealed, that these yarns, emit a very high-pitched sound, heard only by a select few, a breed of women known as "loomers." When played backwards on an LP, the sounds are heard as chants, "Buy me, loom me, and wind me into a ball ".

In order to overcome the so called "feeding frenzy effect," that these yarns cause, one must wear a face mask when entering a storage facility and use ear plugs, to avoid being pulled into their grip.

(One must laugh, however, at the sight of customers in a yarn store, with WW2 army gas masks and headphones!).

Studies have also indicated, that aliens have inhabited the earth, helping to spread the effects, that these yarns have on the human population. They are called "YARN STORE CLERKS".

It's also been experienced, that these same pheromones, cause a pathological need, to hide these yarn purchases, when taken home (or at least blend them into the existing stash.) When asked by a significant other if the yarn is new, the reply is, "I've had it for awhile."

I didn't write this, but I _wish_ I did. I swiped it from somebody else's blog (yes, I asked permission and received it). She didn't know who wrote it either....

Author Unknown

Monday, September 03, 2007

achy breaky wrists

I can't believe it is September already. Of course, I generally spend the last part of every month pounding the keyboard for my job, so it makes crocheting not necessarily a fun thing to do. (I type every day at work, it's just there are time constraints at the end of the month, so it makes the pace a little more hectic.)

So here's what I do when my achy breaky wrists get too achy breaky. I am not a doctor and I do not play one on tv, so you will want to consult a doctor to see if any of these methods could be helpful to you.

I try to give my hands some time off from the repetitive stress, but that's _boring_;) I do wear a glove on my right hand (they sell them at the Lion Yarn Brand* site http://pages.e-yarn.com/6030/PictPage/1922238685.html) and it tends to work fairly well. I broke my right wrist playing wiffle ball when I was a little girl, so I think I might have a touch of arthritis in it. I've never tried a full arm splint.

I don't have the typical carpal tunnel syndrome symptons, (see this site for more info http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/carpal_tunnel/detail_carpal_tunnel.htm)
as it is my wrist that aches much more than my hand aches. My left hand (I'm a righty) gets achy and I do have tendonitis in both arms, but it's nothing like the right wrist.

I did carefully crochet a wrist rest and filled it with those little beads that are used for certain types of toys. That seems to work fairly well - but it disappeared from my desk at work. That did not make me a happy camper. So instead of crocheting another one, I cheated and found an old "Beanie Baby" - it's a lamb - and use that for support while typing at work. It's not the best solution, but I'm still considering alternatives. Maybe I'll just fill a stocking with birdseed and leave it at work, presumably it won't walk off.

I also stop what I am doing to stretch out my fingers and hand. I have tried "shaking" my hand but that doesn't seem to have much effect on the achiness. I work for a long term care pharmacy, so sometimes we get freebies such as "stress reducers" (for me it should be a nice cup of decaf Irish Breakfast, perhaps a brownie or turnover - well, you get the picture;)) and I can squeeze them to my heart's content. Unfortunately, they generally don't make it thru the first day with me, they must make the "stress reducers" cheap or I just have too much stress;)
Some other companies, such as Afflac, give them away when the representatives make presentations at a work site. If you can't find a goodie like that at work, you can try this website:
I have a few things from them and they seem to work very well - when I remember to use them. It's recommended that after an hour of any sort of repetitive work, you take a break and use your hands in a different way. I try to remember to do this, but I'm not very good at it.

I have used the Clover soft touch hooks and they seem to work well. But I do like my Boyes, so I find myself going back to them all the time. I've tried the plastic grips that slip on the hooks and they seem to help with the smaller hooks. Thread work is difficult on my wrist.

I also use a hot pack or a cold pack on my wrist. This can be very helpful to block the pain quickly. I will also run hot water over my wrist for about 30 seconds if I'm at work and that works very fast. Sometimes I use ibuprofen or acetaminophen to ease the discomfort. Elevation of the arm is supposed to be helpful, but I never remember to do that.

Anyway, I hope this explains why I have been away and also what you might be able to do to relieve your own achy breaky hands.
It's time for the usual disclaimers:
* I do not get a kickback from any of the sites mentioned, but I would be happy to accept one.
Of course, I am not diagnosing any thing. You should check with your health care professional first before you try any of the suggestions.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Crochet Fantasy news

I have complained in this blog about the difficulty of getting any information about "Crochet Fantasy". I resubscribed in July 2006 and "Crochet Fantasy" seemed to drop off the face of the earth. I did track down the address of the company that published it last, Fiber Circle Publishing and posted it:
Fiber Circle Publishing
200 McKinney Street
Farmersville, TX 75442

I have written several emails and several snail mails. I have not as yet received a reply. I decided to look up the phone number using the internet and I found it*. I decided to call today and see if anyone knew what was going on there.

I spoke to a very pleasant young lady named Diane. She informed me that Fiber Circle Publishing is trying to get another crochet magazine** to take over the subscriptions. No, there won't be another "Crochet Fantasy" and that's a pity. But the money I paid for the subscription will be used for another crochet magazine subscription. She told me only _1_ person is working on the database and that person is about three quarters of the way thru it. So while it may not be in the very near future, it looks like the "Crochet Fantasy" subscribers will be able to get another crochet magazine in exchange for what they already paid "Crochet Fantasy". I would guess that if you already subscribe to the magazine they turn the subscriptions over to that you would get an extension on your present subscription.

So I said I would post something about "Crochet Fantasy" when I found out and there it is.

Payton update: He's still in therapy, but he's doing fine and is in good spirits.

*if you want the phone number, you can email me through this blog & I'll send it to you.

**She didn't name the other magazine.

Monday, August 20, 2007

7 things you don't know about me

I read the "Crochet with Dee" blog and her blog today was a sort of "tag - you're it". SHe wrote about 7 things you don't know about her, none of them crochet oriented. So since I was "tagged", here you go:

1) I hate going to the dentist. I have been very fortunate in not having dental problems or bad teeth, but I just hate it. I hate getting my teeth cleaned. I'd rather go for a gyn check-up. I know that makes me weird, but there you are. I didn't go to the dentist until I was 28 and while it wasn't a fun experience (_1_ tooth pulled - that's it for all my life), it just bugs me. I usually take 2 tylenol for the headache I cause myself by being tense while my teeth are being cleaned.

2) Hmm, this is another tooth related one, but I almost 53 & have never gotten _any_ of my wisdon teeth. They're not impacted, they are just not there. (However, my older son got extra wisdom teeth - removed.)

3) I love to bake - especially bread. I love the way the dough smells and I love the way bread dough feels. I find it especially satisfying after an ugly week to bake.
(I do most of it on the weekend.) I must have had a really bad week because I baked a total of 4 cakes (2 chocolate, 1 strawberry, 1 orange) and potato bread this past weekend.

4) Whenever I am in a hospital or a nursing home visiting somebody, people tend to think I'm a nurse. I'm not wearing a uniform or a badge and I'm not a nurse, so this is a little confusing to me . (My 3 older sibs are nurses, maybe I just adopted their demeanor or something.)

5) I love to garden but the joke is on me. My "plot of land" is clay and takes a lot of amending to make anything grow. I have had some successes - white butterfly bush, persian lilac, daffodils and hibiscus. I think the failures (or "learning experiences" as I like to call them) outnumber the successes. But I still try to whip the clay into shape.

6) I am an "endangered species" - a natural redhead. There's not too may of them in the world, I think the highest concentration is in Scotland or Ireland. Neither of my parents were, none of my sibs are and neither of my sons are natural redheads. Some of my sisters have had red hair at one time or another, however. I got teased a lot, called the "milkman's daughter", that sort of thing (we didn't even _have_ a milkman). But hair color, like eye color, is not an "either/or" type of gene. Two blue eyed people can produce a brown eyed child - your genetic material is made up of more than what your parents look like and what you and your partner look like. Really.

7) I like to sing, but I really don't have that great a voice. I like to sing along with almost anything that catches my ear, from Ethel Merman to Amy Weinhouse. And I will make up the words as I go along, to fit whatever it is I am doing at the time. For instance, I am fascinated by Amy Weinhouse's song "Rehab". It's such a basic bluesy kind of song that I feel the need to sing it. And quote from it, to the cats and my (poor) family.

now you know more about me than you ever wanted to;) and of course, you are "tagged" to post the 7 things I don't know about you....

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Red Scarf project

If you participated in the 2007 Red Scarf Project for the Orphan Foundation of America, you may want to know there have been some changes made. The date the scarves are due has been changed to September 1, 2007 to October 15, 2007. This might seem a bit early, but the group can process the scarves earlier and get them to the recipients earlier when they are more useful. OFA is also requesting each crafter (it can be crochet or knit) to contribute no more than 5 scarves. Apparently, charity crocheters and knitters gave so much for the 2007 project, they had scarves left over.
The scarves can be navy, teal, olive and gold for the guys in the group. (I think black, too.)Please check out the guidelines for more details:


Monday, August 06, 2007

retro or right up to date?

Here's something that caught my eye while surfing the net

These are bright and colorful and in "larger sizes" but since they don't give any size as a reference, I have no clue. I think the price is in pounds, which is approximately $2 American dollars to each pound. (at least right now it is, who knows when you look at it).

I would think they are made of cotton or rayon motifs and sewn together, with a dyed slip underneath. It must be fingering weight or finer because it looks delicate. Pretty cool stuff - check it out when you get a chance.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

"Craft" and carving your own crochet hook

If you see this magazine* in the store, you may think it's a bit pricey. I would suggest that you use one of the 40% coupons that a lot of craft stores advertise if you feel it's a bit too high. It really is not expensive for the amount of projects you get in each issue. It has almost every craft you can think of and if it's not there, it probably was in the last issue or will be in the next issue. Similar to a 50s/60s craft magazine (I bought a few on a whim) "Craft" presumes that you wouldn't only want to work a needlepoint pillow, but you'd want to do copper etching or glass blowing or perhaps make new bookshelves. Apparently in the 1950s, people had more time and energy to devote to crafts - probably because cable tv and the internet hadn't been invented yet;)

So what's that got to do with crochet? On the cover is a "crime scene" knitted scarf. Somebody who is clever with their hook and wants a crime scene scarf can probably easily figure out how to do it in crochet (and sell the pattern, too). But I promised how to hand carve a crochet hook, didn't I? Turn to page 130. There's an article by Jim Price on how to make a hand carved crochet hook. And who is Jim Price - here's his blog: jimbosfrontporch.blogspot.com

now you see what I mean. I have never carved a hook, but I do have a hook one of my younger son's friends** carved for me. It is massive and really too big for my hand and I have often thought of making some changes to it but I wasn't quite sure how to go about it. I've never used it for a project because it's so big. Reading this article gave me some tips on how to approach that project. And If I chicken out of carving the hook, well I can always buy one carved by Jim Price at his blog.

Think about creating your own custom hook. It could have a thumb rest (which I like) or not have a thumb rest. You could make the throat as shallow or as deep as you could want. Plus you could experiment with various combinations and sizes. If you ever wondered how to create a hook that would be uniquely yours, I suggest strongly that you check out this magazine. It is much cheaper if you subscribe - here's their info craftzine.com/subscribe .

There's a lot more articles in this issue I want to explore. There's the sourdough bread baking as well as the crochet cocktail ring. I have had a lot of success with yeast breads, but my sourdough bread has never been successful and a look at the recipe given might have a clue for me. Every other recipe I tried called for using yeast as well as the sourdough starter. There's tessalations as well as a stained glass grocery cart. (wouldn't that be cool to take to the yarn shop?P That almost makes want to go grocery shopping. It's just a great read and a great thought provoker.

*"Craft: Transforming Traditional Crafts", Volume 04, newstand price $14.99 US, $17.99 Canadian.
I did not receive any kickbacks from any of these folks, but I can be bought. If I am ever bought, I will definitely declare it so you will know I'm shilling for a product. I hope you check out this magazine, it is _cool_

(I wonder what happened to Ben? His family moved away quite some time ago. He definitely should be working in fashion designs, he could do amazing knitting and crocheting.)

Payton update: He is doing okay and there was a recent fundraiser for him. Here's that link:

Friday, July 27, 2007

summer doldrums

Oh, I have been crocheting a bit, but not a lot. I finished a scarf for "Survivors Offer Support" , it's more for "show", it's a Lion Brand pattern, I think it's called "Potato Chip Scarf".


I've also been making preemie hats, but that's my usual thing.
A classical pops station on Sirius Radio did a "Christmas in July" special on July 25.


I was thinking "Christmas! You got to be kidding!" But for crocheters (and other crafters) you do have to think about it early. Okay, so I thought about it;) I have no hints or tips to help anybody figure out what to make for Christmas (or any other holiday, for that matter), so if you got any thoughts, just send them on in. Here's a site that offers some free Christmas crochet patterns:

Payton update:
He is coming along well. The 98 Rock trip raised a nice amount of money for him and there is a motorcycle ride for his benefit tomorrow. Unfortunately, we did receive some unsettling news - the teens that committed the crime are now going to be charged as juveniles.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

preemie hat pattern

I keep my 2007 "Crochet Pattern a Day" calendar at my desk. I sort of forgot that July 12 was the date my pattern would appear. So I thought I'd post it here, for anyone and everyone. Please do not claim this pattern as yours, I hold the copyright. If you want to make the hats and donate them, that's fine by me. Please do not repost this pattern to your website, just send any inquiries you might have to this website. I thank you in advance for your co-operation and I hope many of you will be making preemie hats to donate.

Here's the pattern:

Skill level: C3 - intermediate
Fiber: Red Heart - Baby Sport Pompadour (I also use Lion Brand "Jamie", but this happened to be done in the Red Heart Baby Sport)
Color #1046 Carousel Print
Gauge: 5 stitches x 2 rows = 1 inch/2.5cm in dc
Hook size: steel E US/3.5mm
Notions: Yarn Needle
Stitches used: chain, slip stitch, single crochet, double crochet

Round 1: Chain 6, join with a slip stitch, chain 2. Double crochet 11 double crochets into the ring, counting the chain 2 as a double crochet, equals 12 stitches. Join at top of chain 2 with a slip stitch.
Round 2: Chain 2, double crochet in round 1's chain 2 stitch, 2 double crochets in each stitch around, counting the starting chain 2 stitch as a double crochet equals 24 double crochets. Join with a slip stitch to top of the chain 2 stitch.
Round 3: Chain 2, double crochet in round 2's chain 2 stitch, *1 double crochet in next stitch, 2 double crochets in next stitch all the way around, counting the starting chain 2 stitch as a double crochet equals 36 stitches. Join with a slip stitch to top of the chain 2 stitch.
Round 4: Chain 2, double crochet in round3's chain 2 stitch, *1 double crochet in next 2 stitches, 2 double crochets in next stitch, all the way around, counting the starting chain 2 stitch as a double crochet equals 48 stitches. Join with a slip stitch to top of the chain 2 stitch.
Round 5-9: Chain 2, double crochet in each double crochet around. Join with a slip stitch to top of the chain 2 stitch.
Round 10: Chain 5, double crochet in second double crochet from hook from joining chain, *chain 1, skip 1 double crochet, double crochet in the next double crochet all the way around. Join with a slip stitch to top of the chain 2 stitch.
Round 11: Chain 4, single crochet in second chain from hook, single crochet in next 2 chains, attach to round 10 by slip stitching to chain 1 space *working in back loops only, single crochet in each of the 3 single crochets, chain 1, turn, single crochet in each of the 3 single crochets, attach to round 10 by slip stitching to chain 1 space all the way around, total 48 rows. Slip stitch the ribbing together by working thru the back loop of row 48 and the bottom of the chain for the first row of single crochets.

Break off and weave in ends.

Chain stitch 90, fasten off, weave in ends. Thread the chain 90 thru round 10. Make a small bow.


I was very fortunate never to have a premature baby. But my mom did in the early 1950's. There wasn't a lot that could be done at that time and the baby died (many complications). This baby boy was spoken about very rarely - it was the way it was done at that time. My sister-in-law is a nurse at the NICU and I give her the hats to distribute. She does tell people she made them;) but that's okay - as long as they get to the right place.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Think Pink

If you live in the Ellicott City part of Maryland or you are close, you may want to visit the Celtic Knot Yarn Shop this Saturday. They are having a special fundraising event on Saturday, July 14, 2007 from 2pm-6pm that benefits the group "Survivors Offering Support", a volunteer group made up of breast cancer survivors that help newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. One of the things they give the newly diagnosed breast cancer patients is a hand made pink scarf. (Yes, they can be crocheted, I checked.)
The Celtic Knot Yarn Shop is offering kits to make these scarves. The kits are free _as_long_ as the supplies last. You sign out the kit, create the scarf and bring it back to the yarn shop so they can distribute it. You can also buy the yarn to make the scarf and even sign up for their " Sleeping In For the Cure". My bad knees _love_ the idea of "Sleeping In for the Cure".
I really like the idea of making the scarf because it's, excuse the obvious, very "hands on". It is something seems very personal and comforting about it. Sort of similiar to a prayer shawl, I guess.

So if you're in the area, check out the Celtic Knot Yarn shop - here's the address:
The Celtic Knot Yarn Shop
8480 Baltimore National Pike
Suite 428
Ellicott City, MD 21043
phone #: 410-203-0133

Friday, June 29, 2007

your old VHS tapes

I bet you're thinking "Gee, what am I going to do with that VHS of 'Pretty Woman' ? I've seen it _way_ too many times, but it seems wasteful just to toss it. If there only was a way to recycle it...."
well, ponder that problem no longer. There's a site that shows you how to take apart a VHS tape to harvest the tape within. And from this bountiful harvest, you can make yourself (or anyone else) a cool little purse:

Think how happy you would be, carrying a crocheted video to your next movie outing or to work. I haven't tried this yet, but I'm curious. It could be difficult to work with, being sort of slippery, but I am going to give it a shot. After all, you could say some major Oscar winners had a part in making your new purse - and you'd be right;)


Payton Update:
Tomorrow Payton and his family are going to Busch Gardens courtesy of WIYY, 98 Rock. The family is very happy and excited to go. My sister (Payton's grandmother) said she will be quite happy to push the stroller for Payton's younger brother, John Charles. It sounds as if a good time will be had by all.