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Sunday, January 21, 2007

bad weather preparations

Now it happens to be snowing in my area (MD), which I predicted it would be. This isn't the "big storm" or so the weather forecasters say, but they are busy pumping up the snow for the ratings. For some insane reason, in Baltimore, people freak out when it snows. We generally get snow every winter, but not usually enough to cause huge problems for any length of time. But the forecasters feed into it - you'll see the clips of old snowstorms (hey, wasn't that my dad's '67 Impala in that clip?) and it feeds the frenzy.

You probably know what you should do in case of a weather emergency - make sure you have a working flashlight with good batteries, candles, matches, battery powered radio and if you live in Maryland, bread, milk and toilet paper. There's lots of_ other_ sites to fill you in on emergency preparedness. If that's what you're searching for, stop reading now and go back to your search engine and try again. This is strictly tongue-in-cheek advice for crocheters (and anybody else who crafts)

But lucky for you, I'm here to tell you about those emergencies when you can't get to the yarn store or maybe the kids are home for 3 "snow days" in a row and you question your sanity. If you can, make sure you have a difficult project on the back burner - maybe an intricate sweater with lots of changes or a afghan with a zillion little stitches. This project may save your sanity during the long days of no outside input besides Wally the Weatherman saying "yup, it's going to be 5 inches of partly cloudy here tonight, folks". If you have some of the yarn you need to start this, all the better. You can begin the project and put it away until you "have more time". When you're snowed in, you will definitely have more time. You will be able to concentrate on the pattern with less interruptions.

Or maybe you got that bag of granny squares, you know which one. The granny squares your were doing to use up those little bits of yarn. Now you got 200 granny squares and not a clue how to use them. If you got the yarn, edge them in the same color. Start sewing some together. You can make a scarf easily with enough granny squares to make a longish rectangle. You can make it as long and as wide as you want. You can make lapghans by sewing/crocheting them together to form about a 36 inch by 36 inch square. If you have a granny square book (I'm recommending "Woman's Day Prize Winning Granny Squares" - not because I get a kickback, but because it's a good book), you can go granny square wild and make almost anything with your granny squares. This is a soothing way to accomplish something without going nuts.

Or maybe you got that pile of magazines and pattern books - you know, that one particular book you've looked at but never got around to working any pattern from. Just get some yarn, the proper hook for the yarn and practice that pattern. It might not be the right gauge or the color you want, but this is just a practice piece, you can rip it out and start again. (Don't use any furry type yarns for this, they are difficult to rip out.) You may work the pattern and think "wow, this is great" and dig in your stash to find what you need to make it the way you want to. Or you may say "there is _no_ way I can work this pattern for 403 rows. It's just not happening for me." Either way, you've taken a chance and tried something different to keep you as normal as possible during a prolonged time, anything to stave off that "cabin fever".

And "cabin fever" can make you do stupid stuff. Like say "I got 4 wheel drive, I don't care if there is 3 feet of snow on the ground, I got to get out!" And than your friends are seeing you on the tv, screaming at the yarn shop because it's closed and laughing until they realize it's _you_.
"Wow", they will say, "I can't believe Robin had it so bad that she thought the yarn shop would be open in 3 feet of snow."

I hope these tips have been helpful to you;) It makes the stash acquisition easier to deal with if you realize you are saving it up for a snowy day.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Goodbye, Crochet Fantasy

Long before the DYI network or "Knitty Gritty" or "Uncommon Threads", there was "Crochet Fantasy". The magazine flourished in a period that saw some great magazines - the extended "Annie's Attic" line, the McCall's "Needlework and Crafts", later "McCall's Crochet", all sorts of one offs from various companies. Sometimes the patterns weren't as good as they could be, but that's true of any magazine (or anything else, for that matter). I stuck with them, even when I wasn't crocheting that much. I went through a lean financial time where I dropped the subscription, but as soon as I could, I resubscribed. I didn't care if all the patterns weren't "perfect" for me at the time, I just knew "Crochet Fantasy" fed my crocheting soul.
But now it is no more. I called the 800 number provided on their website and spoke to a pleasant young woman who informed me "We made the decision to close a few weeks ago". She told me of some problems they had with printing companies "after the hurricaine" (I presume Katrina) and basically said it just didn't come together. At this time, she did not know what they intended to do for the remaining subscribers. Generally, closing magazines will fill out the subscription with one of their other magazines. I'm sure their knitting magazine is good for knitters, but not being a knitter, I don't think I would want it.
But I just want to say publicly, I'm sorry to see it go and am sorry they couldn't make a go of it. It seems with crocheting being more popular, "Crochet Fantasy" should have enjoyed a renaissance of sorts. Hopefully the designers that were left hanging (and I'm sure there were a few) will be able to extradite themselves from the ruins and continue their career elsewhere.
I know there are a lot of other great crochet magazines, online as well as in print. I won't name them as I'm sure I'll forget one magazine (or more) and hear "Hey, you forgot 'Robin's Really Cool Crochet'* and I'm ticked about that". But during the long dark days that nobody seemed to be talking about crochet, "Crochet Fantasy" came thru and I'd like to say thanks to everybody who was involved in the production of the magazine. Good luck wherever you go.

*not a real magazine;)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

weather forecast;)

For the people living in the DC/MD/VA area, you know that we have had little or no snow. I just want to warn you a big snowstorm may be coming up;) It's hard to believe but I visited A.C. Moore and spent less than five (5) dollars there. Yes, there was plenty of yarn I "needed". There was even a sale going on at the time. But I just restricted myself to _3_ things.
I know that's incredible, I wouldn't bellieve it if I didn't do it myself. But because of this most unusual event, I'm afraid there will be some sort of twist in the weather system and this area will get dumped with massive amounts of snow.
Just warning you;)


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

January 9 _already_?!

Thanks for all the feedback regarding the horoscope. It's funny how many folks thought I really "got" them when I was just making it up as I went along*

Anyway, here's a few websites you might want to check out. This one is crocheted furniture, which is pretty cool, but it wouldn't last 10 minutes in my house without the cats trying to figure it out by, ahh, testing it (read "scratching it")
Click here: | designws.com | design news |

For some reason, today I received 2 bits of info regarding crochet and the mathematical connection:

Click here: Knit Theory - - science news articles online technology magazine articles Knit Theory

Although the title refers to "knit", it's actually _crocheted_. Why the person writing the article can't figure out the difference is beyond me to know....

and here's the other article:

pretty cool stuff....

for those who took the advice to crochet for charity seriously, here's a blog you might want to check out:

You sign up to produce 25 items for a 12 month period, it's whatever charity you choose, it can be something small like an afghan square or something large, like a whole afghan. You choose how it's counted. Plus it's 25 in 12 months, you can even start, say December 1, 2006 if you happened to give to charity that particular month....I joined up, so far I got 5 things...I don't get a kickback from Cindy (who is running the blog) but it seems like a cool thing to do....

Now I have to go find my measuring tape to check out a granny square I am making for a donation....I have no idea where my measuring tapes wander off to, but they take the yarn needles with them and whatever particular hook I am using at the time. Apparently it's a very exclusive party;)

* the exception being the Gemini forecast, being based on my sister-in-law. I love her dearly, she's a great person, but she always has 10 more projects going on than any mere mortal can handle. It would be great if she would finish her stuff, but she doesn't. And lots of times, I get roped into finishing up her stuff....
and the Scorpio forecast, being based on me because I have bought a lot of fur yarn (hey, it's a $1 at the Dollar Tree) and I do hesitate to use it.....

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

your crocheting horoscope for 2007

This horoscope is for entertainment only and should not be taken seriously unless you feel like that's something you need to do. It does not reflect my personal belief in witchcraft, the occult, Methodists, white chocolate, a funny Rob Schneider film or that magical Wal-Mart that Paul Harvey always talks about where the "associates" seek out the best yarn deals and bring them to your cart. It's mine, I wrote it, so any comments you can direct them to me.

Aries (March 21-April 19). You are the commited yarnaholic. You will make sure you untangle that skein without making a break in the yarn so you can say "Yes, I did it! No knots!". Your friends admire this compulsion and bring over their tangled skeins for you to rewind. But beware - all the time you spend untangling yarn, you could be crocheting. Thought for 2007: purchase a yarn swift.

Taurus (April 20-May 20). You love yarn, but you can be a little on the ahh, cheap side. Sure, you do have a budget to consider, but what's the use of buying 5 more skeins of no brand yarn when you would really prefer to upgrade to at least a yarn with a company label. Consider using coupons for the various local yarn / craft stores and buy something really nice to work with - at least once. Thought for 2007: join a yarn exchange and trade up for some luxiourous yarns

Gemini (May 21-June 20). You love the various magazines and online resources for crocheting. You have bags of workis in progress and notebooks filled with works in mind. But somehow your attention span doesn't go all the way to completion. You start a great shrug, get distracted by work or perhaps a new magazine and the shrug languishes in the bag while you start another project. It's great to be enthusiastic, but you need to focus a bit more. Thought for 2007: Finish _2_ of your old projects before starting another.

Cancer (June 21-July 22). You love to crochet at any time. But sometimes, such as that time when you were the keynote speaker, it's just not appropriate. I know you can multi-task, but sometimes *shudder* you need to put down the hook and do something else. This action helps people realize that you actually do know who they are and their importance to your life. Plus it will give your wrists a rest that they most likely sorely need. Thought for 2007: join an online crochet along to find out what other people are doing

Leo (July 23-August 22). You love showing off your crochet work to the world and we appreciate it. Not all of us are quite so fond of your crocheted thong, however, and perhaps you should save that viewing for a selected few. (just a suggestion). You do beautiful work and should share that with friends and family. Try something a bit different this year - threadwork if you do yarn, yarn if you do thread or stretch out by learning a new stitch. Thought for 2007: teach a class on crochet at the local nursing home

Virgo (August 23-September 22).Trust your stitching, it hasn't failed you yet. Yes, I know you've ripped out a few things (haven't we all?) but basically, the hook won't let you down. If you feel your stitches aren't quite "right", spend a bit more time crocheting. Do this in as calm a place you can find and let the stitching be your form of meditation. The hook will take you where you need to go. Thought for 2007: Consider entering an item to your local state/regional fair. It's not about winning, it's about putting yourself out there to be seen.

Libra (September 23-October 22). Sometimes you forget there are other folks in the world that crochet and can share their experiences with you. You're not the only one who had to rip ot 5 rounds of a sweater because you made a mistake (although you do claim the pattern was "poorly written"). Gather online or inperson to find out that most crocheters have the same sort of experiences - the agony and the ectasy, if you will. Thought for 2007: donate your crocheted items to a charity.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21). You are known as the sensous soul of the zodiac and you got the stash of yarn to prove it. However, piling the collection of various fur yarns on your bed and rolling around in it does not constitute creativity. It's something, but I'm not going there. So break out your stash and share it. Make some scarves for friends and family. Trim your jeans with some fluffy yarn. Share and enjoy your sensous stash. Thought for 2007: Just because they make eyelash yarn in every color doesn't mean you need to own 2 skeins of each color and brand.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21). Somehow you have gotten the idea that if you have all the time in the world to crochet and you won't have to worry about that impending deadline. This is not true, so plan your gift giving accordingly. If you're going to crochet slippers for everyone for Christmas, it's a good idea to start in January. Than in November when you are figuring out what gifts you are going to crochet, you still have time to finish the pair of slippers you started in January. Thought for 2007: Keep a calendar and take notes on what you have crocheted

Capricorn (December 22-January 19). You sometimes worry that you are crocheting too much. Unless your doctor or your hands/wrists tell you so, there is no such thing as crocheting too much. But that doesn't stop you from worrying about all you spend on your hobby. It seems as if you should be "making money" from crocheting. You can and there are options you can explore - online auctions, websites that sell handcrafted articles as well as craft fairs and consignment shops. Do a little research first and don't quit your day job right away. Thought for
2007: Be very aware of the copyright laws before you start selling any crocheted items.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18). You are usually the first one to pounce on a new crochet trend - by the time Martha Stewart was wearing her famous poncho out of prison, you were at "been there, done that" status. You try the newest yarns, the newest techniques before anyone else does and frankly, what I want to know is how do you do it? It's pretty amazing to watch you come up with the newest and coolest crocheted wear all the time. Thought for 2007: Publish your designs

Pisces (February 19-March 20). You go with the flow of crochet. You may crochet a lot in a short period of time, than you put your hooks away and go do something else. Sometimes crocheting just doesn't hold your interest. You may want to look into an advanced class, online or inperson, to give your crocheting an infusion of energy. Maybe try something that will push you outside of your comfort zone. Thought for 2007: Learn a new technique and crochet something in that techmique

Have a great 2007;)