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Saturday, December 31, 2011

and now the end is near...

oh wait, this isn't Frank Sinatra singing "My Way". It's just it's the end of the year and it seems like this year sped by.

Here's a few things I learned this year: Charity work is good, but don't pick a lot of different charities to crochet for because you probably won't have the time - just saying.

In my part of the world, the economy hasn't "recovered" from the "recession". I put quotes around those words because although the media seems to think there has been a complete recovery, it hasn't happened here (yet?) and I know more than a few people who live in different parts of the US that say pretty much the same thing.  So I need to work on my (huge) stash and also swap/sell/whatever the yarn I probably won't use. I have 3 skeins of beautiful bulky autumn varigated yarn. It's gorgeous. But it's wool and the likelihood of my using it is between slim and none. Wool makes my throat and sinuses clog up and that doesn't make for an enjoyable crochet project for me. Why did I buy it? It was gorgeous and I hadn't connected the dots between the watery eyes and my use of wool. (I bet you thought I was going to say "it was on sale";)) But don't worry, I have plenty of yarn.
That if I really plan to make some Christmas gifts or ornaments, the time to start is _now_...well, actually after I get thru the few projects I didn't finish for 2011.And yes, I got projects that go back a few years that aren't finished, unfortunately.

but it's a quiet night, I'm in my jammies so I'm not going to beat myself up about this anymore. I finish what I can, that's all I can do. I want to have more fun with my crochet instead of trying to rush through a project to start a new one. I think my wrist would also appreciate it. It gets pretty bad at work and sometimes (_eeek_) I don't want to crochet when I get home. I know, sounds crazy.

So I want to wish everybody a Happy New Year, I hope the New Year brings you all you could possibly want and to enjoy your crocheting.

Happy New Year

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Hanukah, Merry Christmas, Joyous Kwaanza

or just have a good Saturday if you don't celebrate any holidays this month

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Night Before Christmas for Crocheters

Twas the Night before Christmas (for crocheters

If you've used this poem in the past, the info is CROCHETERS CHRISTMAS EVE, Original knit version by Nancy Massaroni, 2003, rewritten (crochet version) by Dee Stanziano, 2006. Please give them credit.

~ Nancy Massaroni adapted by Dee Stanziano ("Crocheting with Dee")

`Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
There was unfinished crocheting not under the tree,
The stockings weren´t hung by the chimney with care
`Cause the heels and the toes had not a stitch there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep-he was no help at all.
And the sweater for him was 6´´ too small.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I put down my hook to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash.
Tripped over my yarn and fell down in my stash.

The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how far I still had to go.
When out on the lawn I heard such a noise,
I was sure it would wake up both Dad and the boys.

And although I was tired-my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment that it must be St Nick.
Yet what I heard left me very perplex-ed
For nothing I heard was what I expect-ed.

"Move Rowan! Move Patons! Move Koigu and Clover!
Move Shelridge! Move Starmore! Move Spinrite! Move over!
Lopi, don´t circle around, just stand there in line.
Pay attention you sheep and you´ll work out just fine!

I know this is hard as it´s just your first year
But I´d hate to go back to 8 tiny reindeer."
I peered over the sill. What I saw was amazing:
Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing!

And then in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa´s big boots stomping on the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet.
As I turned around, St Nick I did meet.

He was dressed all in wool from his heat to his toe
And his clothes were hand crochet from above to below.
A bright Fair Isle sweater he wore on his back.
And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran crochet sack.

His hat was a wonder of bobbles and lace
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf on his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.

On the back of his mitts was an intricate cable.
And suddenly on one I spotted a small label:
"S.C." in duplicate on the cuff.
So I asked, "Hey, Nick, did YOU crochet all this stuff?"

He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to crochet when I was just a kid."
He was chubby and plump, a well dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I´d thought up a plan.

I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair.
He spoke not a word, but looked down in his lap
Where I had laid my crochet hook and yarn for a cap.

He began then to crochet, first one cap then 2-
For the first time I thought I might really get through.
He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks,
While I sat back drinking a scotch on the rocks.

Quickly like magic his hooks they flew,
Good Grief! He was finished by two!
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me.
I heard him explain as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year, start your crocheting sometime around JUNE!"

Friday, November 25, 2011

She taught me to crochet

In memory of my older sister Bee, who taught me how to crochet.

I wrote this back in 2006, talking about my older sister and how she taught me how to crochet. She would have been 61 today. With the hustle and bustle of preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas (which she loved), I decided to take the easy out and repost this little bit of writing.

This rant started off as a response to the "Not your Grandmother's crochet" phrase.

My older sister, Bee, taught me how to crochet (and knit). She took dress design in her vocational school and that's something the students had to learn. She sewed her prom gown and made a beautiful smocked dress as part of her studies at Mervo. She struggled teaching me how to crochet because I was (still am) very impatient. It seemed to flow freely from her hands, but I just couldn't seem to grasp it. It took me about a few months of practicing and watching and Bee showing me time and time again for me to get that "aha" moment.

I had to make something for my Home Ec class, any project, but it had to be crocheted or knitted. The Home Ec teacher didn't show us _how_ to do it, we were supposed to know. And we were also supposed to bring the item into class so she could see us actually work on it.
I choose yellow and green yarn for the colors (it matched my bedroom). The yarn I bought was rug yarn, I think. It was the least expensive of the yarns in the five and dime I visited and the start of my love affair with Boye hooks, a size H.

Bee did the chain stitch to start. I had great difficulty starting the project. Now I realize I pulled the chains too tight and couldn't work stitches in them, but I didn't know that then. I don't remember if Bee tried to get me to make them looser or not. At any rate, I was stitching along. Horizontal green and yellow stripes, done in double crochet, that had a sort of "rib" effect. I didn't know I was supposed to put the hook under _both_the loops on the top of the stitch. Bee probably did about 30% or so of the afghan. But having to take it to school and show my work made me try to learn the stitches better.
The teacher had doubts (reasonably so) that I was actually doing the work. I was slow and it would be unreasonable to think I had gotten so much done so quickly. But the day finally came when I could whip the project out of my duffel bag and actually accomplish some rows while in class. After that, the teacher didn't question my ability to crochet. I honestly don't remember what other people made. I can't remember if there were amazingly complex patterns or just ponchos (it was the late 60s). But I was sure glad I got that project done. And it certainly kept me warm.

The afghan is long gone now, a victim of time and moving. It wasn't that beautiful a project, but it was important to me. The joy of actually creating a project that big has stayed with me. I still enjoy the accomplishing of any project, whether big or small. And I've made a ton of afghans since that time, but that first one remains in my memory as an extra special afghan.
After all, how many crochet projects keep you warm, co-ordinate with your room and get you a good grade in school?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In memory of Robin Freed

in memory of Robin Freed

Today would have been my friend Robin Freed's 57th birthday. I met her thru rubber stamping but we were both interested in fiber. Her interest took the form of quilts. For a quilter, the quilt block is the basic tool they use to make their creations. We crocheters also use motifs to make our creations. So in honor/memory of Robin Freed's 57th, I am posting links to various free motif crochet patterns.

Triple triangle square

Lace motifs - these are great

double heart square

Teresa's "Art of Crochet" blog has a wonderfully textured knobby granny square

baby bonnet squares

hearts in a row square

Northern Lights motif is made in size 10 crochet thread, but I bet it would look great in fingering or lace weight yarn

Concentric circles from Lion Brand

This is really cute - a retro polka-dot square

torch flower motif

That's it for this week. I hope you enjoy exploring the various motif patterns I have posted. As usual, no payments of any kind have been given to me to post these links. Everybody's too broke for that nonsense;)


Friday, September 30, 2011

things I'm working on

Well, I've been working on a few things here and there. I made an afghan and turtle for a friend of mine but I have (apparently) forgotten how to upload a photo. I've been working on squares and preemie caps and of course, my WIP - the filet curtain...still not finished.
I'm thinking a new baby girl is coming to my extended family next month, if all goes well. I need to start my planned afghan. I will be swiping an element or two from somebody else, but I think it will be good. It will be sort of a quilt time afghan, done in pinks.

I must have a dozen crochet books around me, old and relatively new. There is simply not enough time in the day to work on all I want to do. So maybe I'll learn how to crochet with my feet. That way I could work and crochet at the same time. I know it couldn't be anything too complex, but I'd be able to get my crochet obligations out of the way.

And here's a strange thing you won't believe. I decided to participate in a yarn bombing. Oh yeah, you heard me. But it will be a yarn bombing with a twist - I intend to give a piece of sculpture a hat and a scarf. That way, if somebody removes it, they can actually use what I crocheted. Well, it works for me.....

Friday, July 01, 2011

on the hook

I haven't crocheted for a while. Not for lack of yarn or patterns, I am just determined to finish a project (a filet lion curtain) before I start a new one. It sounds very noble but it's actually been a work in progress for over a year. I am 19 rows in to a 55 row piece. I am using worsted weight cotton yarn, so it is a rather large piece.  I was within 10 rows of having it finished and I found a mistake in row 20 that made me rips out those rows. I reworked the piece and again came within 10 rows of finishing and found a mistake in my old friend row 20 and of course I ripped it out again. If I ever make it past row 19 and I find a mistake in row 20, I am not going to rip it out again. If it takes me that long to find the  mistake, I am going to just fudge it so it will work. I had intended to finish it by May 1, 2011 and here it is July 1, 2011.
My difficulty with this particular project is because I don't normally do filet crochet, I get lost. I can't watch TV when I'm working on it because I am not paying enough attention to the pattern. And considering that TV is my normal evening entertainment, you can see how there would be a conflict. It's goofy not to crochet _anything_ and than not make the time to work on the project that's bugging me. And I've made a panel before, so it's not like it's a brand new pattern to me. I just need to sit my butt down and work on the curtain.
So hopefully I get the fingers flying and finish this piece. It is plucking my nerves by not being finished, but I will finish it so I can go on to other projects, Preemies need hats, I need to donate some squares and of course (as always) there are patterns I want to accomplish. So wish me luck cos I need it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jean Leinhauser

according to Facebook,
this was announced today

Crochet great Jean Leinhauser has passed away from a heart attack. Anyone wishing to send a card to Rita can mail it to:
Creative Partners, LLC
3536 Avenida Sierra
Escondido, CA 92029

:(  a crochet great has passed away

Saturday, June 11, 2011

just a quick note

today is "International Yarn Bombing Day". I can't say I'm into it, but lots of people are, so here's a link for you
http://www.facebook.com/pages/International-Yarn-Bombing-Day-June-11th-2011/104441312968198?ref=ts&sk=walInternational Yarn Bombing Day

Also, if you have the current copy of "Crochet Today" (July/August 2011), there have a familiar (to me) looking afghan on page 74....here's my interpretation of it. I made this for my great nephew Aidian

this is _not_ my pattern, I seen the motif on Ravelry a few years ago (makes sense, because this photo is from 2009)
My beloved prefers my version better because he lives with me;) check it out for your self


Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Good grief, It's my blogoversary, who knew? 6 years.....6 years. and I started with a post
about my younger sister's death and how I made a panda to put in her casket. Wow,  what a bundle of joy I am...
I have still been crocheting, just not as much as before. I have fallen in with Facebook and spend too much time there. I haven't crocheted anything in about a week, spending my time rolling those hanks of yarn into balls so I could use them.
But it's been strange. I visited Maryland Sheep and Wool and only bought - cinnamon roasted pecans. Nope, that's not a color of yarn;) Part of it was I felt like I already have too much yarn. And nothing was that interesting to me. It seems as if MDS&W discovered felting this year and there was a lot of that sort of equipment there.
There's 2 other pieces to that answer too. I have a ton of yarn, I mean, seriously a ton of yarn. I paid my nephew to organize it for me - I know, crazy. But it worked. I told him just to put it in colorways...I would still be sitting there thinking "Yes it's pink but it's fuzzy, plus what weight is this?" over the first skein. So I know I have a large yarn stash.
The other thing is the economy. Some vendors didn't show because it was not cost effective. Some cut back on the stock they brought, having smaller stands. Plus I feel a pinch in my own wallet. It's not a bad one, just one that makes me think "Really, do I _need_ this?" which is not a good way to feel at a place that's just a huge shopping vendor for me.

But here I am 6 years later. Nobody is knocking down my door to make this blog into a movie or even a tv show;) But I have had a lot of fun and hope you have, too.


Friday, April 01, 2011

wow, just wow

I can't believe it's been so long between posts. I guess that's the reason we'll never see "Crocheting Lessons - the movie" come out;) Part of the reason has been life, work has been a bear. But work is always a bear, isn't it? But a bear to the point my wrist was painful when I crocheted. Oh well. Things have eased up a little (I think) so hopefully I will be able to post more.
What's going on here? We had a relatively mild winter, especially compared to the 4 feet of snow we got last year. I got a big raise (okay  so it wasn't so big, but it's the first one in a few years). I seen some robins in the front yard and this morning I seen a bunny in the back yard. So life is generally good, with a few rough spots, but that's how life is,

I did make 2 scarves for the Special Olympics this year. I hope they announce the colors earlier because it seems difficult to find the right colors in the stores once Red Heart has announced them. And truthfully, sometimes I'm no so fond of the color selections. I did like this year's colorway, a light blue and a darker blue. It seems especially cheery to me  and everyone seems to need a little cheering up these days.

I have finished an afghan I was working on for my nephew's friend. I got to take a photo of it. It's white and shades of purple. I made it sort of like a log cabin quilt, with the color blocking. I was quite happy with the way it turned out.

Right now, I am working on a baby boy afghan, light blue and darker blue (hmm). I am doing a giant granny square in a Fibonacci sequence  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibonacci_number.  I keep spelling "Fibonacci" as "Fibronacci" which shows you how fiber has taken over my mind;) I think it looks pretty cool. I had originally thought of doing a 7 point star afghan, but I realized that if I ever wanted to start on it, I'd have to use something I could just make up as I go along. I think the ripple star afghans are great, I've made a few, but I  didn't feel I had the concentration to stick to a pattern at this time.

Last week I visited D.C. again to see the Smithsonian coral reef for (probably) the last time. Craig and I had a great time and we managed to positively identify two of my pieces. I did not follow somebody else's excellent advice of taking the photos I have of the pieces I made to the museum with me. It would have made identification a bit easier. I mean, after all, who doesn't have white yarn in their stash? So now I got to label and post the photos  and upload them - hopefully soon.

So I'm still here, I'm still crocheting, just a little bewildered at the moment but that will pass. Despite the fact that the weather called for a snow flurry or two today, I can see by the daffodils in my front yard spring has finally arrived. I will clear the winter cobwebs out of my head and enjoy the spring.

Later, dudes & dudettes....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Crochet Horoscope 2011 part 4

and on to the finish......

Capricorn December 22-January 19
Capricorn crocheters are more interested in the trendy crochet, what's currently on the runway or the big fashion deal. Capricorn usually can keep up with the trends, as well as produce enough knock-offs to make a profit. But you have to be careful, sometimes the bottom drops out of the trend while you are still picking out yarn at the local yarn shop.
I'd advise Capricorns to try to quit chasing trends, or only chase trends that they really like. Try something a little more traditional, like a Chanel jacket. You do remember all that "fun fur" yarn, don't you? And how many storage totes do you have of it, even in that awful baby poop green? Yeah, you know what I am saying....
your video to ponder
Aquarius January 20-February 19
Aquarians are more future oriented than most crocheters. They keep tabs (in their heads) of what the current project is as well as the next 3 that come after it. They are not easily distracted by new patterns or yarns. Oh, yes, they like them, but they generally will not stop one project to start a completely unplanned project. The new project will have to get in line in the proper place. I'm not saying you won't switch the positions of future projects, just you will plan accordingly. But maybe you should change up, just once in a while. Do something freeform practicing a new stitch or sneak making a new cap with that beautiful new yarn inbetween your projects. You'll be glad you did.
Your video to ponder:


 Pisces February 20-March 20
Ahh, Pisces...some folks have been to call you the "wretched tail of the zodiac" or a "mishmash of all the signs", but they just don't get it. You are extremely creative, extremely sensitive and extremely idealistic. Why wouldn't a magazine buy a pattern you wrote out in longhand, complete with cross outs? I hate to break your bubble, but that's not going to work for you (or anyone either). Take the time to learn the rules of the game - how the pattern should be written, what target audience you are gearing it to, that sort of thing...oh did I mention you are going to submit a pattern in the coming year? Well, you are, but don't be discouraged if it doesn't get snapped up immediately. Polish it up and try again....
your video to ponder

Now,  as you have seen I didn't deal with the "new zodiac" with the extra sign of Sharktopuleel, but I don't place much stock in that particular theory;) I'll agree it's possible for it to exist, but not for me. But if Sharktopuleel exist, the sole purpose would be to carry around bags of yarn or to finance yarn trips (or thread trips) with great pleasure. Now, we know that person doesn't exist because if he/she did, all of us would know who that person is.....and we don't....I rest my case (and the rest of me, too) ;)



Saturday, January 15, 2011

Crochet Horoscope 2011 Part 3

onward and upward.....

Libra September 12-October 22
You like everything just perfect when you decide to start crocheting. A nice quiet day, the right yarn, the right project, you are so _there_. But this can interrupt your crocheting - you can't feel quite comfortable crocheting if there is a thing or two out of place. Give yourself a break. Look at your crocheting as "quality me time". Seriously,crocheting  can be as restorative as yoga, provide you're not jumping up every 3 minutes to see if the mail came or did you really put the mop away?  So allow yourself the time to enjoy crocheting.  Maybe if you decided to do some charity projects, you will see how important crochet can be, not just some "hobby".  You are actually creating something beautiful and useful and helping somebody out in the process.
your video recommendation

Scorpio October 23-November 22 
Scorpio, you are passionate about crocheting. So passionate, in fact you have almost enough yarn to crochet any project you're interested in doing. Some might say you have SABLE syndrome (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy), but I wouldn't. I'd just say you were prepared for almost any event. But don't wait until a special event to break out the hooks and the fancy yarn. Use it for scarves, hats, shawls or whatever you can think of. That beautiful purple colorway sock yarn is waiting to be used, not just admired. My suggestion - take a look at your loved ones and figure out who would want that mohair and use it - now. Show the people you love that you also feel passionately about them as well as crochet.
your video recommendation


Sagittarius November 23-December 21 
Saggittarius crocheters have many different interests - overlay crochet, tunisian, broomstick lace, thread, yarn, lace and leather, you are ready for any and all of these techniques. But sometimes you drop one project without finishing it and move on to another. Yeah, all crocheters do it, but Sagittarius seem to excel in having many, many unfinished projects just waiting for maybe the ends to be woven in the item or maybe an edging. This year you should make an effort to finish your lingering projects before tackling a new one. Yes, I know there's lots out there to crochet, but you can find some peace in the finishing of an object, too, you know.
So give it a real chance this year - even finish completely the current item you're working on. You know you don't really want more unfinished items lurking about....
Your video recommendation

Friday, January 14, 2011

Crochet Horoscope 2011 part 2

a continuation......I promise I will finish this before 2012...

Cancer June 22 - July 11

You have true empathy. You can somehow sense just what crochet goodie at what time to produce for a friend or relative. Sometimes your loved ones get spooked - you start a baby afghan before somebody announces she is pregnant, you somehow know when the yarn is on sale and you have a gift for crocheting a "hot trend" before it even becomes a hot trend. So
what is this year going to be like for you in terms of crochet? You will still start a project before you actually know how you will use it (as usual). But take a break from all of that and make something really wonderful for yourself. You deserve it.
Here's your video to ponder:

Leo July 23-August 23
You are the bold crocheter, always ready to try something new whether it's new yarn, a new technique or new tools for crochet. You love having your work noticed and it should be, you crochet with a great eye for detail. But I'm going to make a startling (to you) suggestion - scale it back a notch. Don't get upset - people will still notice and compliment your work. The reason you need to scale it back a notch? You will have new yarn to spin, in a sense. There will be chances for you to do more with your crochet, but you need to give yourself the time to follow that thread. Maybe you'll start (another) blog, maybe you and a buddy will go in for self publishing patterns, whatever it is, you are sure to get noticed.
Your video to ponder:

Virgo August 23-September 22
I know you want to do your best work, but you need to stop being such a perfectionist. Yes, you skipped a stitch in the hat, but you are the only one who notices it. Everybody else thinks it's terrific. Plus your drive for perfection takes away the joy of crocheting for you. Maybe your gauge is too tight or maybe your hands ache, but your tension is showing up in your work. This year you will become a little easier on yourself. You will notice the dropped stitch but you won't show it to everybody that compliments your project. By allowing yourself some freedom to make a mistake, you will actually enjoy crocheting much more. And that is, as Martha Stewart would say, "a good thing".
Your video to ponder

Six down, six to go....

Friday, January 07, 2011

Crochet Horoscope 2011 part 1

A belated happy new year to everyone. Yes, I'm a day late and a dollar short, but nothing new about it;)
Here's my Crochet horoscopes for 2011. Of course, these horoscopes are just for fun and shouldn't be taken too seriously.
I will say something I've repeated for the last 2 years - shop from your stash! I need to remember that particular lesson myself. But when something like the Special Olympics scarves call for specific yarns and that's not in my stash, what can I do?  If you say "buy it" you won;) And if you say "buy the required yarn and some other yarn", you know me too well;)

Aries March 21-April 20

This will be an exciting crochet year for you. You generally are willing to try anything, but this year you decide to try some new stitches you are unfamiliar with - maybe you've seen them in a pattern or caught a reference to them somewhere. But your determination to learn something new will blossom into a stunning wearable item that will get a lot of compliments. And because you basically created the item from playing with the stitch, you might be able to add the label of "crochet pattern designer" to your resume', if it's not there already. You will definitely enjoy this new stitch. Do I know what stitch it is? I do, but that would be telling and you'd be much better finding the stitch for yourself.

a video for you to ponder

Taurus April 21-May 21
Oh, Taurus, you impulsive imp! It's more difficult for you than most yarnies to not buy new yarn. And I feel your pain., But seriously, sock away your yarn money and save it for a bigger splurge. That splurge will either be a class or a conference that leaves you rejuvenated and your fingers itching for your hooks. Your crochet techniques will blossom after this splurge and you will be revved up for that making gifts for the friends and family you keep promising yourself you will do. And you will succeed in that particular goal, providing you manage to pace yourself between crochet, work and life. (Work will be the bear to manage, unfortunately.)

a video for you to ponder:

Gemini May 22-June 21
There will be major changes for you this year in crochet world. Maybe this is the year you make that bedspread in cotton thread or decide to start spinning your own yarn. Maybe a new yarn shop will open near you and you decide to teach a class when you find out they have no crochet classes. Or maybe it's time to publish that great pattern that is your signature piece. Whatever it is, you will tackle the challenge with your usual good humor. And your good humor will help to tide you over the rough bits of the new year (hopefully, not too many). However you pursue crochet this year, you probably would be happier joining a group (maybe a crochet-a-long) so you can swap yarn tales with like minded individuals. There's a lot of groups out there, just don't get stuck in one that takes the "bitch" part seriously. Crochet should be fun.

a video for you to ponder: