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Sunday, December 28, 2008

your crocheting horoscope for 2009

Please keep in mind that this is just for fun and if I happen to describe you (or somebody you know) exactly, it's sheer luck. If you're easily offended, you might not want to read this particulr blog unless you happen to like being offended..... If I could really predict the future, let's just say I'd be betting heavily on the Super Bowl......

Aries March 21-April 19
You are lively and energetic, you love bright colors and your stash reflects that. You're also sensitive to the world's problems - the growing economic mess, the plight of the poor in your area as well as around the world. How does this concern crocheting for you in 2009? I suggest you find a charity project, something that will allow you to make small items such as caps or squares for afghans, that will allow you to use your yarn and your energy to brighten other folks' lives. It doesn't have to be a lot - maybe try a new stitch for an afghan square in that beautiful burgundy yarn or a cap in that sunshine yellow. These small projects will fill up the time between the bigger projects you have planned for this year - plus soothe your soul while crocheting. And everybody needs to have their soul soothed.

Taurus April 20-May 20
Everybody always cracks about "Taurus the Bull" and the stubbornness this members of this sign have - although they prefer to call it "perseverance". My suggestion for you this year is to let go of your perseverance just a bit. You know what I'm talking about - your unfinished projects. All of us have them, but most of us don't beat ourselves up constantly about it. I suggest you forget the lovely christening gown you're working on in size 30 thread. After all, your child is almost 30, so it's not likely the kid will be able to wear it. Instead, salvage what you can of it - maybe crochet lace around lovely handkerchiefs for a bride to carry. Use those small lacy motifs to dress up a card or nicely frame a few of them. None of us will think any less of you for not finishing that huge project and it will free your mind and hands to take a project on that's more appropriate for the way you are living now.

Gemini May 21-June 20
You enjoy having a lot of crochet (as well as your other projects) going on at one time. But life gets complicated and sometimes the new kitten chews up your best H hook. Take a deep breath and relax. You probably have the second favorite H hook still around, so use that one. And for a pleasant change this year, stick to one project until you actually finish it. Life has thrown you some curve balls over the last year or so, so you need some sameness in your life. No, don't run away, I didn't say "boring". But it will give you a great sense of accomplishment to actually finish that sweater you've been working on in snippets of time. And with your sign's well known sense of fashion, I am sure it will look absolutely stunning. So, Gemini, dazzle us with your brilliance.

Cancer June 1-July 22
Moonchild, you are more sensitive than anyone gives you credit for - not only your feelings but your tactile sense as well. Some yarns do soften up after washing them with vinegar, but raffia is _still_ raffia no matter what you do to it. I suggest you carefully splurge on some soft yarn. It will make a huge difference in how much you crochet and how happy you are with the finished item. You could shop the Internet to find soft yarn but do it in ways that don't break the budget - perhaps a company selling discontinued yarns or checking on something like Freecycle or Craigslist. You could even work a convention to barter your time for yarn or trade with somebody on Ravelry. It's especially important this coming year to have the medicinal powers of crocheting with soft yarn in your life. Trust me on this one.

Leo July 23-August 22
Your exuberance for life and crochet will gain a new outlet sometime this year. Don't ask me who, don't ask me when, don't ask me how I know this, but there will be a new person in your life to crochet for. Not sure if it's a child or an adult or maybe just a cause you take on, but it's definitely showing up this year. Keep your eyes open for new patterns and new yarns, but don't forget to go shopping in your stash first. Perhaps that little stuffed lion, your symbol, will be what you first present to this new person in your life. Don't wreck your wrist by crocheting all night on your project for your new person. Just take your time, this person will be sticking around for quite some time and you will have time to make all those "someday" projects you've got on your list.

Virgo August 23-September 22
This could possibly be the year you decide to become a crochet designer. Don't "poo-poo" the idea, you know you've been considering it. You've seen some of those patterns and thought "whew, what are _they_ thinking?" and known you could do better. And you can, as long as you do your homework to find out what's involved in becoming a crochet designer. Plus you can post your patterns for sale on something such as Etsy. No need to worry about whether the magazine will accept your pattern or whether you've made it with the right brand yarn or arrived in time for the publication dates. Of course, it would be very good if you did publish in a magazine due to the broader exposure, but keep in mind that magazines typically have a 6 month lead time. So if it's October and you just finished your cool tree skirt pattern, you might be better off to make it available through an Internet outlet. Email me - I'm looking forward to seeing those new cool patterns.

Libra September 23-October 22
You want everything perfectly balanced - just like the rest of us - but you tend to get a little snippy if things aren't exactly as you think they should be. So loosen up a bit with your life and your crocheting. The world won't really come to an end if you don't dust every day. Make the time to sit down with your stash and pick the projects you want to do. You can even bag them up with the directions just to please your sense of order. But don't spend all your time to make sure everything is hospital clean - it's not always necessary. Put down the mop and pick up your hook and yarn. Create something beautiful from those hard working hands. The dust will be there tomorrow, but you'll have a better attitude about it as you see your beautiful work progress. If you can do this, I predict you will have a much more enjoyable year.

Scorpio October 23-November 21
Yes, you are the sensual crocheter of the group. But it's really time to stop petting the luxury yarns in your stash and actually _use_ some of them in a garment. Yes, I know, you didn't buy enough for a whole sweater. You may be sensual, but you're not rich. Use your yarn on trims for mittens/gloves or maybe a neckline for a sweater. Use them as special accents for a really sweet scarf. You get double the pleasure - you get to crochet with it and you can pet your precious yarn in public. And all Scorpios want to be admired, even for their clothes, so wearing it in public would garner you more attention. Or, here's a great idea, use it to trim a gift item. The person who gets it will be doubly pleased.

Sagittarius November 23-December 21
I know some Sagittarius and I love them, but sometimes you get a little too obsessed with money to be good company. Yes, I know yarn and all the notions and patterns that goes along with crocheting has gone up in price. They've gone up for everybody, not just you;) Instead of fretting about the price of yarn or patterns, look to your stash. And while you're shopping your stash, you can actually do something to (sort of) save money. Make gifts for folks only using your stash yarns. You've already paid for it (unless you charged it and you may never finish paying for it). You're got the tools and patterns you need. So make those mittens for that niece of yours or maybe a shawl for that woman at work who is having a difficult time. You will have had the pleasure of crocheting something wonderful and getting lots of positive encouragement as well as saving money. What else could a Sagittarius want, besides the winning Powerball ticket?

Capricorn December 22-January 19
Capricorn, take a peek at the Sagittarius prediction as well as the Libra prediction. Finished peeking? Okay, on to you. You work hard, very hard even when you crochet. You like to have all your implements organized just so. No kitten is going to chew up your best H hook unless she has the combination to the safe. Because you work so hard, your crocheting can be a bit tight. This can be good for some things but obviously not if you're trying to make gauge. That hat for your sister is not going to do her a lot of good if it's only big enough for a Barbie doll. Use a slightly bigger hook than what the pattern calls for to make the gauge. Also continue to check your gauge during the making of the item. You're likely to get used to the larger hook and make your stitches tighter as the pattern progresses. Plus try making something totally silly for yourself - some amigurumi to dress up your station at work. If you can't got for a "useless" thing, how about a colorful potholder for your kitchen? Relax, you'll live longer and enjoy life more.

Aquarius January 20-February 18
Your independent nature makes me think this is the year that you should try freeform crochet - if you haven't already. You will like the scumbling and the vibrant motifs involved in this type of crochet. Best of all, no new investments unless you choose to make them. You can use the hooks and yarn you already have. You can search the Internet for groups videos about freeform. There are a few excellent books out dealing with freeform, but you don't necessarily have to own them to start out. You'll love the freedom of not following somebody else's patterns - it fits your personality like a glove. I predict you will really enjoy this new (to you) way of crochet expression. Plus you will turn out some very unique projects that will cause a sensation. If you post them to your blog, let me know - I'd love to see them.

Pisces February 19-March 20
You have a great sense of creativity and a good color sense - but picking a project is too hard for you. It can be overwhelming to see all the lovely choices for crocheting, but don't let that paralyze you. You could pick the oldest project in your "works in mind" (WIM) list or find something new. But pick_something_ and crochet until completed. Too often you get sidetracked by another bewitching crochet goody and just don't follow through - on either project. And than you natter on about "I was going to finish that sweater but I seen these socks..." Make a list of the projects you'd really like to accomplish and assign them a number - "1" for something you really need to do. "2" for ones you really want to, "3" for ones
you want to do, "4" for what you sort of want to do and so on down the list. If you end up with a list of all 1s, I wouldn't be surprised. If not, than make a separate list of the stuff you really need to do. Put the paper in front of you, close your eyes and make a pick. That will be your next project. If you find yourself saying "yeah, but I really wanted to do the purse", do that one.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

FM 12/29/08

Hope you had a lovely holiday and spent some quality time with your loved ones and got what you wanted....or got gift certificates so you can get what you want;)

These classes aren't free - some are $10, some are $30. But for a chance to learn taprestry and beading or find out how to design for publication, they are definitely worth checking out. And for the wannabe threadies, there's a class in filet crochet

I know the _last_ thing you want to think about is crocheting for Christmas. I can't say I blame you. But look at this as an easy pattern to do in the spring or summer, being lightweight and easy to carry along. Plus you can use it as an ornament, sew a garland together or use it as featured, in a card....
A reindeer from Lion Brand

and a few more from Lion Brand
Lion Brand teddy bear - you could dress him up for any holiday by changing the bow...

and a Siamese cat

I thought this was really cute - pixie dolls

After the year I've had, I think I_need_ a pocket angel and I can think of a few more people who do. I bet you can, too...

Now another wonderful pattern by Teresa Richardson - the "galaxy stitch" scarf pattern by

These fingerless gloves seem more suited to a male than the previous pattern links I have posted.

A crochet mitten pattern

and you can make a matching headband / ear warmer from the same site

A cute smiley baby toy for a cute smiley baby

Here's something I never thought of - an afghan from old wool sweaters

And something else I have never seen - ripple tube socks

As usual, I receive no payola for any of these listings.
Here's hoping you have a safe happy new year holiday and a good 2009.

P.S. I am in the process of updating some of the blog sites on the side., This week I updated the "Crochet With Dee" site, so if you're trying to see her site, now you can....

Sunday, December 21, 2008

FM 12/22/08

Happy Hannukah, Wondrous Winter Solstice and Merry Christmas! I got a short list today because, like you, I am busy. My new oven came yesterday (hooray!) and I have baked brownies & German chocolate cake so far. But as I tend to bake a lot for Christmas, obviously, I got a lot more to bake...
Try not to blow out your wrist in the run-up to Christmas. You can always attach a piece of yarn to a card, a description of what you and the estimated time of the finishing of the gift you are making to give as a gift to your gift receiver. That may save your wrist....
Here we go:

Here is a bunch of free patterns for the female in your life - some I know I've featured before, but there are a few new ones....

You'll recognize this child's toy ornament - some sort of sketchy toy immediately:.

Another one from Moonglow - a Christmas Candy dish - though you can change the colors anyway you like

How about a video on how to crochet a hat

This looks quick - a crochet tree coaster

I debated whther to post this link or the link to the Burger King site (for the Burger King cologne). After watching the Burger King video, I decided it wasn't only _not_ worksafe and _not_ kidsafe, but properly unsafe for anyone to look at - it would probably give you nightmares. But the "Mom Song" by Anita Renfroe won me over, so here it is:

Here's a really quick no-bake cookie recipe for you...
! package (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips (you could go for another flovor if you want)
1 package dried Chinese noodles (15 ounces, I think?)
1 small pinch of salt.

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Empty the package of chocolate chips into a pan, add the small pinch of salt and _slowly_ melt them over a low flame. Chocolate scorches easily - you could use a microwave, but I find chocolate burns up quick in a microwave.
When the chocoalte melts, add the Chine noodles and stir until well covered. Use a teaspoon (or a tablespoon if you want bigger cookies) and drop by the spoonful onto the waxed paper. Allow to cool. Now you have about 60 Chinese noodle cookies (I've heard them called haystacks, but that's when you use butterscotch chips) . These are good for the sweet and salty crowd.

As usual, I get no paycheck from the items I've mentioned - not even the Chinese noodle people;) I hope you have a happy and healthy holiday....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

FM 12/15/08

Hello again. I'm not 100% but then again, who is? I've got a lot of links today, mostly Chrismas related - for gifts and some decorations. I have searched for free Hannukah crochet patterns, but the few I found I have listed already. So if you know of any or maybe you have it on your blog, please make a comment and I'll be happy to post it....
on with the show

This is a contest from Berroco Yarns - enter to win a gift basket of yarn from Berroco

The new "Crochet Insider" is now available

This is a news article about how a woman chose to honor her sister:

More news - Interweave Press acquires "CrochetMe" site:

You probably have heard of this or maybe seen a photo of it - it's a giant crochet pencil, I tell you!

I don't like gingerbread. I know, it seems a terrible thing to say, but there you are. And though I like to bake, I wouldn't consider baking a gingerbread house. I'd rather crochet a gingerbread house:

This articke says it's about knitting, but I would think the same principles apply to crocheting

Those of you who are up on things, here's a new project for you - it's the Chinese zodiac amigurumi

This would be a cute add-on to a sweatshirt - a crochet snowman applique (yes, even though it says "add to cart",it's a freebie

How about some crochet thread ornaments from Purple Kitty:

The next five patterns are from Caron's "Twelve Days of Christmas" 2008 emailing:
fingerless gloves
another pair of fingerless gloves
stuffed lion )
front door stocking (or to hang up by the chimneyif you've been very, very good)
rainbow crocheted fish

The "Art of Crochet" always has wonderful videos. I sometimes forget stitches I've used in the past....
tutorial on the v stitch

All right, lets go to Home Depot and buy some copper wire and start crcoheting....

How about a quick pair of crochet slippers:

Moonglow has posted some sweet patterns of her site - here's a chocolate truffle hat.

You're broke, I'm broke, everybody's broke. And for the vast majority of us, there won't be a bailout from the government. But you can still get a cool handbag - here's a pattern for a Fendi bag - check this site out

How about a star garland?

This is pretty neat - you got one skein of yarn in a particular color, here's a site that lists one skein crochet projects

Not really holiday like, but still neat a a star dishcloth pattern

I never would have thought of this, but it's a great idea - doilies using sock yarn

Got Jelly Yarn and wondering what to do with it - check out Jelly Yarn patterns

Granny squares pop up in a granny square Christmas tree

Star of David hexagon granny - put them together for a scarf?

Here's your listings for this week. As usual, I received no money to list these sites. I'd take it, but nobody's offering me any money;)


Sunday, December 07, 2008

not today

Sorry, folks, not today for Freebie Monday. We had to put our oldest cat (14 years) , Spike, to sleep and I am not in the mood for much of anything. We explored x-rays and ultrasound, but his lungs kept filling up with fluid. Tapping the lungs only bout a day or so of relief. So with great sorrow and regret, we put Spike to sleep.
Next week....

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

FM 12/1/08 - a day late and a dollar short;)

I hope last week was, ahh, not as exciting as it was at my house. I had a grease fire in my oven on Thanksgiving. Nobody was hurt except for the rolls I had in the oven and the cookie sheets - and possibly my oven :( Seriously, no one was hurt, but that's why it's always good to keep a box of baking soda by the oven. It's the best thing I found to smother grease fires.

Onward and upward:
Hanukkah is (I think) December 22 this year. You might have a chance to make a afghan from
crochet hexagonal Star of David motifs:

Here's a neat little crocheted icicle

Not everybody can be at New York for the lighting of the Rockefeller Center tree - but you can crochet one:

Or how about something completely different, a crocheted snow globe?

Looking to make a gift of a book extra special - how about a book stocking?

Here's a scarf pattern from Caron's "12 Days of Christmas" collection

This is so cute - but I have no little kids to make it for - here's a crocheted snowman bib

For those of you who are already tired of winter, here are some spring bracelets

Still looking for a poncho to make - check out Purple Kitty for their poncho patterns
Click here: Free Poncho Patterns | Purple Kitty

crochet candy cane from Planet June

Want to try a different slipper to make - how about these Mary Jane slippers

As usual, nobody is sending me boses of yarn or patterns to list these freebies. I'd like to lie to you and say I wouldn't take it, but come on - offering me yarn is like offering a chocoholic a Hershey bar....