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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

new issue of "Crochet Insider"

Here's the link.

I _love_ the Cleopatra wig.....


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;))