Friday, January 20, 2017

Crochet Decision-Making Flow Chart

Should you bother to untangle a yarn mess? A crochet decision-making flow chart, because sometimes I get goofy on yarn fumes.
Here's a closer look...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Let's Play a Game: Name that Crochet Clip!

I watch a lot of tv on my IPad these days and I love catching crochet in a screen shot!  This is an easy one... who can tell me what show this is from?  

Don't you love the girl's poncho and matching hat? You can't see it, but the mom is also wearing a crocheted hat.  

In the comments below, without peeking at other people's answers.... Name that Crochet Clip! (What tv show is it?)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Top-Down Decisions

How's your Monday? Today I'm going to think about designing a top-down sweater! I'm thinking about neckline shapes and sleeve length and what kind of fit I would like it to have. I'm thinking about what stitch would be good for increasing in the yarn I would like to use...

Decisions, decisions.

What's on your hook today? Or, what's your favorite things about top-down garments? (I totally love trying them on as I go....)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Too Inspired

Many people assume that if you have tons of Works in Progress (WIPs) that you are a non-finisher, a quitter, or scatterbrained... maybe some of those things could be sort of true, but I prefer to think that we are just TOO INSPIRED.

I just want to stitch it all, make it now, all of it. Crochet. Knit. Weave. I walk into my yarn closet and I'm equally overwhelmed by 1. The mess 2. The possibilities.

I get out some project bags and separate yarns into idea bags. Maybe I'll throw in a hook or a sticky note with a rough reminder of what sparked my interest. Sometimes I get as far as unwinding yarn and getting it into usable balls before I put it in the idea bag.

I should get out one of those WIP bags to take to piano lessons later today... maybe start on a new design. But more than likely I'll go into my stash closet, find a WIP bag and have absolutely no idea what I had in mind. :)  Good thing I'm too inspired... I'll just come up with a new plan.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How Can I Inspire YOU?

How can I inspire you today? What's the kick you need to go after your goals? Did you make a statement about renewed effort? You know I love goals. I have tons of posts on creating goals... like 2008, 2011, and 2014. (Can you imagine if I KNEW back in 2008 that today I would have accomplished so many of my crochet goals). Which reminds me of one of my FAVORITE MEMES....

Do you have any crochet goals that I can help you with? 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Driftwood, Drifting Back Again

I just can't get away from the Driftwood Cap.

It just fits SOOOO WELLLL.  It's comfortable and warm. It hugs your head and stays ON, even when I'm running or shoveling snow. So when I want a hat, it's the one I want.

I made another one this weekend, well, almost finished. And I used a gorgeous stitch marker, a Christmas gift from a friend. Sitting with some binge tv and it's a recipe for a great day. 

Get the pattern on my GoCrochet Ravelry Store if you are interested. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Messy Bun Hats

Have you jumped on the messy bun hat craze?

A year or two ago, there was a craze for the crocheted earwarmer/headband with the big flower... like this...

(It's the Winter White Moebius Set)

Or now, the craze is a little more coverage that stops just short of being a full hat. So your bun or ponytail can pop through! These have been around before but the trend is back and the purple pattern above, the Messy Bun Crochet hat, is new. 

Do you love the idea or think it's silly? Are all your relatives begging for messy bun hats? 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Crochet For Ever!

Hello, Dear Readers!  Happy New Year!
I always think of GOALS when New Year's comes along. A good friend of mine said that she is kind of anti-resolution, that really we can make renewed efforts any time of the year. So instead of resolutions, here's to ... RENEWED EFFORT!  whoo hoo!

This year, I am going to renew my efforts in.... spending more time crocheting! (YAY!) For fun, for design, for EVER!

I'm going to renew my efforts in ... reading!  I love reading and miss it. I know it enhances my life so I'm going to get back into it.

Where will you renew your efforts?

Theo is looking forward to having yarn more accessible around the house. I keep it closed in bags and behind doors because he likes to take it and run all over the house. He is not a yarn snob either, he will take any yarn, any fiber and try to hide it. It's funny, he will fetch his toys but my yarn he takes and won't bring back...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Running Recap

I've been busy running lately too...

October in Review

I know, October isn't over yet but time is flying!  I can't keep up!

Thanks for your support of the 'Send Chickee to France' accessories pattern sale! We both appreciate it!

So what's new? The Winter issue of Crochet! is out! And while I'm the editor, the cover decision is made by committee. I was thrilled that we chose my Floral inspired motif wrap, Flower Fringe Shawlette, for the cover. I have never had a design on the cover of Crochet! magazine before, not in all the years as a designer or the 3 years as editor, so I'm really happy! I hope you like it!

I'm going to be doing a live Facebook video tutorial/post about the shawlette on Nov 7 at  12:30 EST (I'm pretty sure that's right) and it will be on the Crochet! magazine Facebook page. 

Right now we are working on the Spring 2017 issue and it's SPECTACULAR.  Let me give you two hints.... 1. It's the 15th Anniversary issue and 2. Jenny King. 

Friday, September 30, 2016

FINAL DAY: Crochet Pattern Sale

My Accessories, send Chickee to France pattern sale ends TODAY.

Take advantage while you can!

Visit my Ravelry store and get $2 off digital accessory patterns when you put items in your cart.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Book Review: You Can Knit That

I don't usually review knit books, but when I do... it's a good one!
Amy Herzog's publisher sent me a free copy of her new book, You Can Knit That and I was intrigued.

I met Amy on the set of Knit and Crochet Now a few years back and she's delightful! She has a great philosophy that any knitter can knit a sweater that fits. As a novice knitter of course I was doubtful but she gave me some great tips. She suggested that since I worry about even tension with flat knit, that I should choose a tweedy looking yarn to "hide" some of my practice inconsistencies. (Great idea!)

Anyway, her new book, as of this writing, is the #1 bestselling book in Knit on Amazon and I can see why. 24 gorgeous but not intimidating sweaters of all types. Vests, pullovers, cardigans, tunics, set-in sleeves, raglan sleeves, yoke necked, v-necked... So many choices!  The front section of the book is so helpful with information on yarn but also how to put pieces together... with photos and methods of seaming. The book is more than a book of patterns, it's a REFERENCE book. I can totally see coming back to this book again and again to understand different sweater shapes and techniques.

Briefly, here are two of Amy's sweaters that were stunning...

The Revive Cardigan is gorgeous! And look at that lovely, curvy model!  So refreshing. (Congratulations to her publisher Abrams for being SMART in choosing models.) The Revive Cardigan is written up to a 60" bust. It's stitched in the Fibre Company's Acadia (wool/alpaca/silk) blend. It has lovely ribbing details down the fronts lapel edgings and at the cuff and hem. I didn't notice any skill levels on the patterns, but most of them look do-able.  Some of them later in the book have great cabling details that I think I'm not ready for but more experienced knitters would totally dig it. Anyway, the Revive Cardigan instructions are only 4 pages long... including a schematic and a side bar article on shaping... so technically the pattern is only 3 pages long. Not scary at all!

The Rigging Sweatshirt is beautiful, looks easy without being boring and is something I think I could knit. Maybe Amy is right, maybe I CAN KNIT THAT!  Eureka!  :)  If you are scared of sleeves, this design (and others in the book) are workable! This sweater has a + shape construction, all in one piece. Again, the pattern is only 4 pages and one of those pages is a schematic and there is a full-page photo. You aren't going to need a decoder ring to make these patterns.

Congratulations on a great book, Amy!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

I'll be LIVE tomorrow on Facebook!

See me on the Annie's page tomorrow at 11:30 CT for a little show and tell about my new class.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Crochet Pattern SALE starts NOW!

Our daughter Chickee is in love with languages. She loves French, she loves sign language, she love sight reading music, she is teaching herself Japanese in her free time and is about to audit a college level course in Japanese.

She wants to go on the school trip to France. I'd love to help her get there to immerse herself in the language. Instead of a Go Fund Me page I thought I would put crochet patterns ON SALE!

The sale begins TODAY! All accessories patterns are $2.00 OFF on Ravelry! There is no coupon code. Just add the accessory pattern to your cart and you'll see the discount applied.

If you ever have appreciated this blog or my work, we'd be grateful for your purchase!

Here's the link to Ellen's Ravelry Pattern Store.

This sale includes the digital patterns for: The Driftwood Cap, the Chullo Hat and Mitts, the Tunisian Lace ascot and many other scarves, totes, and hats.

* The patterns are digital downloads.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Do Your Thing, Sister!

I just love Sister Madonna Buder, the Iron Nun. The top video is a short interview that is very inspiring. The bottom video is a 1-minute commercial that is my new life motto.

Do your thing!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tuesday Motivation

A little Tuesday motivation because I wasn't motivated on Monday.  :)  Today, I am feeling motivated. I want to tear through my office and separate and bag all my UFO's and put all the potential projects into bags and make a list so that I don't forget all the ideas I have.  But... the office is across from Chickee's room and she's still asleep.  :(  I'm sure by the time she wakes up my motivation will have passed on.  Oh well. Maybe I channel my motivation some other way.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Knit and Crochet Show, Part 3

 The CGOA Design Competition did not disappoint! This year's Grand Prize winner was the incomparable Katherine White with her Irish Crochet Lace Jacket. You'll find a complete photo collage of winners at Lorene's blog. She was the chair of the design competition this year.

 Here is a beautiful Tunisian Crochet entry by Juliette Bezold.
You may recognize Juliette's name from her amazing Miyabita Cardigan in the summer 2016 issue of Crochet!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Knit and Crochet Show 2016, Part 2

At the Knit and Crochet Show, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Sonya, who was wearing the Catawba Lacy Shrug, one of my contributions to Margaret Hubert's book, Runway Crochet. (See the back of the Catawba shrug below)

Here I am with Chickee (middle), and Mary Beth Temple's daughter, Katie, as we modeled some fashion in a retrospective for Crochet Hall of Fame Inductee, Doris Chan.

Here's a sneak peek of a design I completed on the plane on the way to Charleston. Chickee is wearing the China Doll pattern by Doris Chan.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Knit and Crochet Show 2016

Another fantastic year at the Knit and Crochet Show! This year the show was in Charleston, SC.

This year, I was thrilled to bring Chickee with me! Can you believe she is all grown up? 15 and taller than me! It made me so happy to share my crochet world and friends with her.

Here I am with the lovely Haley Zimmerman, tech editor extraordinaire, and one of the best people I have the honor of calling dear friend.

And Susie Allen! Teacher, crochet and knit designer, she is so smart and fun and beautiful. We haven't known each other long but you could say our friendship is "awesome". :)  (And she's a runner! Go Susie!)

The four of us had an amazing dinner at Husk in historic Charleston. More on the show later!