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Sunday, May 25, 2008

FM 5/26/08

Carol Ventura teaches you how to make polymer clay handles for your crochet hooks:

Norren Crone-Findlay suggests a way to keep wasps out of your yard without using pesticides - a crocheted wasp nest. No, not for them to live in, but to trick them to think wasps already live in your yard. It seems that wasps are territorial. I plan to try this because I don't use pesticides in my yard.

Covered hangers are good because they prevent clothes from falling on the floor of the closet - or in my case, on top of the yarn that's in the closet. Check this out:

Vashti Braha has this elegant jacket pattern available on the Caron site. It's beautiful.

Here's a sculptural crochet primer for you - really cool.

Here's a Lion Brand yarn pattern on another site (with permission, of course, of Lion Brand).

Another sock pattern - toe up:

This is a crochet pattern using sock yarn so you can actually wear the socks in your shoes:

As usual, no kickbacks from anyone or any company mentioned here. _enjoy_

On a more serious note, in the U.S. today, it is Memorial Day, time to remember all who have given their lives during wartime for this country. Here's a more serious website to look at:

Friday, May 23, 2008

two of my favorite things

If you belong to any online crochet groups, sooner or later you hear of an online swap. It might be granny squares or scrunchies, could be patterns. I have particpated in a few and I have to say the one I have been happiest with is Crochetholic Deb's organized swaps. There's lots of reasons, but I'll give a few right here.
1) There's a theme. It may be Christmas or Mother's Day or maybe springtime. It helps to focus on what you should be doing for your swap partner. There are specific items (maybe hot chocolate, or maybe a handbag pattern) you give (and receive) with your swap partner.
2) It's a month by month thing. I've signed up for long term swaps before, but they seem to fall apart at some point. Let's face it, everybody is busy and life throws you a curve ball once in a while. You have no way of knowing in January that your company is going to lay off half the staff in April and still keep the same amount of work - and you'll be expected to pick up the slack. So month by month works well for me because I can sort of anticipate what will happen on a monthly basis. Not always...but it helps me
3) There's a list of likes and dislikes for your swap partners. So instead of shipping out a box of mohair yarn to your partner, you can check and see if she's (generally it's a she) allergic to mohair. Or whether she'd prefer cotton to wool, kintis or crochets, that type of thing. What I may think is the coolest yarn in the world (I have a serious weakness for Redheart's varigated yarn) my swap partner might hate - and vice versa.
4) It's great to get spoiled when you don't expect it. Sometimes my partners seem to know just when I need the package the most. All my swaps on Crochetolic Deb's have been great, I don't get that feeling I've had with some other swaps - you know the one where you think "what moldy basement did _this_ come from?". I do know that not everybody has the same financial means, but that still doesn't excuse moldy yarn.
If you want to check it out for yourself, here's the website:

There's a tv show on that has nothing to do with crochet but also fits into one of my favorite things. "Corner Gas". So why mention it here? Because one of the actors, Janet Wright, is almost always knitting or crocheting on camera. The show is set in a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada and everybody knows everybody else's business. Janet Wright plays Emma Leroy, mother to Brent Leroy (Brent Butt), the current owner of Corner Gas. M's Wright will knit or crochet at the local cafe or tavern. You'll see her beautiful afghans on the back of her sofa. Her hobby does not really play into the show except for two I have seen so far. In one, she makes a bet with her son, Brent, where she will give up her knitting if he gives up his coffee. Her husband, Oscar (Eric Peterson) gives her lots of support on that choice;). On another episode, Emma teaches Hank (Fred Ewanuick) how to knit and somehow gets booted out of her own knitting group. In the U.S., it's on the WGN Superstation. If you get a chance to check it out, you should definitely do so and not just for the needlework action. In my opinion, it's one of the funniest tv shows in years. Check out cornergas.com


Sunday, May 18, 2008

FM 5/19/08

New issues of the online "Crochet Cabana" newsletter is out:

The May issue of Essentia is out. Check out that organized craft room!

I know it's a little late in my part of the world to be thinking of snowflakes - but I thought this was amazingly cool and perfect for a summer day.

Going to have folks over for a cookout? Maybe you can work in making an umbrella cover for your patio table inbetween making the potato salad?

Memorial Day in the US is the traditional start of beach / pool season. So maybe if you don't have time to make the umbrella cover, you can make a beach cover-up for yourself.

But if you're like me (running around like a crazy person, wondering why I always forget _something_ for a cookout), you might have enough time to make a headband.

Noreen Crone-Findlay's blog shows her method of organizing hooks. I used a pencil case at one time, but now I have too many hooks for that. The idea of putting the large wooden ones in a cup or mug really appeals to me.

Socks!? First I have stuff for the summer and now a design your own socks template pattern. Hey, it's not summer everywhere, you know. Plus folks do wear socks all year round. This is pretty cool because it allows you to adapt the sock to what you want.

Margaret Hubert does some of the most amazing patterns. It's good she comes out with crochet books frequently because that way my sons know what to get for me at gift giving time. Here's a free pattern for a butterfly from M's Hubert.

And last but certainly not least, Roxycraft has a free amigurumi owl pattern. I thought it was quite cute. It could make a cute graduation gift package decoration.

For those who have been following my trying to contact the "Crochet Fantasy" folks, I've gotten nowhere. I call and leave a message with the clerk (I presume she's a clerk) who answers the phone. Her reply is always the same "Some one will call you back". So far, no one has called me back. I'll keep trying, for what it's worth.

until next time, _enjoy_

Saturday, May 17, 2008

and the winner is

Thanks for all the comments, *wow* was I surprised. I intend to have a book drawing next month, just haven't figured out which book (I get extra copies as gifts sometimes - or *shudder* I make the mistake of buying a book I already have;))
Drum roll please:
Lucky # 11 commentor, Linda...
I will be contacting you, Linda, for your snail mail address.
Thanks for all of you who stopped by....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

FM 5/12/08

This ia a pattern for crocehting the Lorenzo manifold. I know, you're thinking "what is the Lorenzo manifold?" You've most likely have seen it but don't know that name for it:

Remember Bjork, with her crocheted outfits and of course the famous swan dress. Bjork is back now with pompoms, apparently the new cool thing. I hardly make pompoms, to be honest with you.

I know, it's too late for Mother's Day but maybe you can squeeze it in for graduation day or a birthday:

This isn't a pattern, but it is a Stella McCartney crochet purse. It is quite expensive, perhaps M's McCartney crocheted it herself? Take a look at this purse and see if you think it's worth over a thousand dollars:
Stella McCartney's crocheted bag

I haven't seen a new "Knit and Crochet Today" lately, though I think I heard they are going to change the hostess (Kassie Depaiva....I think...) at any rate, here's the site with the crochet patterns from the show: http://www.coatsandclark.com/Crafts/Crochet/Projects/TV+Projects/Crafts+Project+List.htm

As usual, I get no kickbacks from any of these folks or companies. Sure, I'd take a kickback (I'd tell you that I was taking a kickback first.) But nobody's offering. Must be the economy.....

Sorry for the relatively low amount of sites, I am quite heart broken because I had to put my bunny, Cadbury, to sleep on Saturday. He broke his back and there's nothing the vet could do for him. Bunnies have very fragile backs. I will miss him terribly

Friday, May 09, 2008

"Hooked on Murder" a contest

I devoured Betty Hechtman's "Hooked on Murder" and found it to be a charming book. The book is from the viewpoint of Molly Pink, a 4oish widow, and she's a very likable character. Plus there's a crochet pattern and a pound cake recipe in it.....
I have an extra copy I am going to have a drawing for - so make a comment on this post and I will pick a winner on May 17, 2008 and mail the book to the winner.
Please, no whining. I get enough of that at work;)
Good Luck!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Freebie Monday 5/5/08

Want a pattern for a daisy square that "pops out" at you? Try this 3D granny square.

Around Baltimore, it's that weird sort of weather - cool in the mornings and evenings, but warmish during the day. A shawl is the perfect solution for that inbetween weather:

You need to check this site out - she makes amazingly cool amigurimi toys and this pattern shows you how to make a human figure:

I have to tell you I never really noticed Bonnie Pierce's name until the 2006 "Crochet Pattern a Day" calendar. I had seen her work before, but that calendar showcased her amazing talent with a roll (bullion) stitch. This site has patterns for a few of her squares and her work is so beautiful, I want to make one of everything. So far, I haven't but I definitely want to work a few of these squares into an afghan:

Need a pattern for a small bag? This is a quick pattern to work up:

This pattern is from a 1972 "McCall's Needlework". I remember the magazine well....this is "groovy";)

This site is about making "Izzy dolls" to give away. It has both crochet and knit patterns. The story behind the dolls is very powerful, please check it out:

I have been working on a crocheted rainbow afghan for my nephew. He put the request in at Easter, I guess to give me lots of time to make it. I had debated on how to make the double bed size afghan. Right now, I'm thinking of going with a quilt sort of look. I really didn't want to do a double bed side ripple or make a ton of little motifs to sew together. I am almost finished the orange section (I already finished red), so that just gives me 5 more sections to finish and put together. At the present rate of work, I think I should be done in about 6 weeks. At least, I'm hoping to have it done in 6 weeks;) I'll see how it goes once I have more of the color sections done.

I love mystery books. I skipped Nancy Drew completely and went straight away to the Agatha Christie novels. I loved "The Cat Who...." books, the P.D. James books and the Diane Mott Davidson's books with the recipes in them. But now I am currently waiting for Amazon to deliver a crochet mystery book to me. It's called " Hooked on Murder" by Betty Hechtman. I don't know anything about it, but since there are quilt and knit mysteries out, it's about time for a crochet mystery book. I'll let you know how I like it after I read it.

As usual, I receive no kickbacks from any of the sites or products mentioned. I can be bought, but apparently no one wants to buy me;)