Friday, January 23, 2015

Learn to Read Symbol Crochet Diagrams!

I have a new Annie's Online Class!

(and, psst... if you go to my you can get a discount, but it's only good for TODAY)

The class includes 5 projects, with both full text instructions and symbol diagrams for each. I’ll teach you what the symbols mean and how to work from the diagrams both in rounds and in rows.

I know that wading through columns and columns of text to understand a pattern can be tiring and confusing. But with symbol diagrams you can get a quicker understanding of how the pattern works. The language of symbol diagrams is easy to learn and will serve you well as you work patterns not just from Crochet! magazine, but also from publications all over the world. I have stitch dictionaries from other countries in other languages that I can use because I can read symbol diagrams.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Chief's Blanket is DONE!

WhooHoo!  Finally!

And he likes it!

And now... he's burrowed underneath it with the cat... Victory! 

If you are interested, on the I'm starting a new series as I design a scarf for a soccer fundraiser. The 'Soccer Scarf Saga' begins tomorrow.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Service Saturday

I'm so proud of my family today. While Chickee unfortunately was home sick... she sent two of her friends in her place. We joined with another family and friends to create a table team to pack nutritious add-water-to-eat meals to go to children in need. Today's shipment was going to Haiti.

Here I am, rocking the hair net. I thought it might Chickee feel better to see the goofy photo.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Chief's blanket

I'm making progress on Chief's blanket though it is not fast enough! 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My year in Kilometers...

Thanks for your indulgence:


What will you prove in 2015? Everyone is different. What will your journey be?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Holidays!

When someone asks, "How are you?" our Priest challenged us to reply, "I am Blessed". And though I have forgotten to say it, it is true.

We made it through Christmas! We are steam-rolling ahead onto New Year's quickly followed by Chief's 12th birthday.  Here are a few Christmas highlights with the Gormleys.

Mr. Grumpy man got caught petting Grumpy cat. The Captain has never been overtly fond of pets but occasionally we catch him playing with them despite his protests. (HA!)

 Chickee at Grandpa Dave's and Grandma Glenda's house.

 Chief at our house Christmas morning.

 The Captain and me at his Mom's on Christmas Eve.

 The four of us on Christmas Eve.

 Chickee with a few of her girl cousins.

Chickee and me.

Fun photo of glowing cat, Charlie, who is clearly mesmerized by the camera.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Crochet Pattern Writing Tips

* Give clear information, extra even, just in case.  You can always delete information but tech editors can't manufacture information that you don't give them.  Add notes to yourself in the pattern. I even put in math problems so the TE can see how I arrived at a certain number or stitch count.

* Insert a photo WITH your attempt at a written description.  You can't just put in a photo and not write anything, but I DO sometimes include a photo to help enhance what I have written. The TE or buyer can take out the photo when it is no longer needed. 

* Give stitch counts for the first row or round then on every row/round that has changed.

* If you are doing something different from the norm, write it in your Pattern Notes section (and again within the pattern at the logical spot if it is really weird and needs extra help)

* Never say, "reverse shaping".  That just doesn't fly.  Matter of fact, patterns are getting more and more detailed rather than more intuitive.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Project Reveal: Crocheting Clothes Kids Love

Look! I found an old post that I apparently never published!
 Coming in February, AVAILABLE NOW, the book Shelby Allaho and I wrote, Crocheting Clothes Kids Love! will be hitting Amazon. It's available for pre-order now
This Backpack was so much fun to make.  The bottom photo is of the backpack Open.  In the flap, secured with buttons, would be a great place to put a little sketchbook.

Here's the original sketch... my designs always evolve a bit.  I'll be revealing more patterns as time goes on.

Here's the link for your holiday shopping! Get a closer look on Amazon.

Monday, December 1, 2014


I just thought I'd share a bit about motivation that I have learned in the few years I've been running.

You find motivation on the road and at the gym, not on the couch. That is if you wait for motivation to come to you spontaneously it may not happen. BUT... if you just get started, get dressed, go outside, move for 20 steps, motivation will meet you there.

Also, music helps.  If I turn on my music while I'm getting dressed and getting laced up it's easier to actually go.  I can't tell you how many times I have put on my running clothes then sat in them for hours before missing my window of opportunity. I have not yet regretted going out for a run (even a slow, bad run) but I have regretted NOT going for a run.

Whether you want to get fit, accomplish a goal, complete a task... just get started. A year from now you will be wishing you had started a year ago. Why wait until January 1 to start?

Glorious rare sunshine and warmth in November two weeks ago.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Learn to Crochet Lace is now available!

Today my "Learn To Crochet Lace" video class is live and ready for purchase/'s been a long time in the making...and I am happy to say, I am pleased with the results! When I started working on this special video project with Annie's, I had no idea how much work it would entail or what to expect...but, here we are a year later and the finished product turned out great! This is definitely not your average "shot in a basement" video - this class was professionally filmed in Annie's studio with top notch production, high quality cameras, and a full set. There are 13 segments in the video and I start with the very basics; we start out discussing materials, supplies, and tools - then we talk about how to read a chart, how to prepare your supplies, and how to take your first stitches. This video class is perfect for a beginner, as well as a seasoned needleworker that wants to brush up on their skills and knowledge.

Annie's online classes include downloadable and printable class projects in PDF format in addition to the online video content. The six exclusive projects that accompany my video class.

I go through exercises on how to begin working a hairpin loom, how to turn it and loat the stitches. I show you the techniques you will use in the Gentle Waves Hairpin Scarf.
Project number 2 is the Elegant Hairpin Stole.  The next set of exercises I show you how to weave the loops togheter to created a fun and addictive braid join.

Project number three is Broomstick Lace Triangular Shawlette. 

The fourth project is a Broomstick Baby blanket using groups of 2 strands instead of 4 and integrates traditional crochet rows.
The fifth project is the Sunbeam Lace Bruges Table Runner. Learn how to make strips, arcs, arches, waves and join in multiple ways all to create beautiful Bruges Lace projects.

The final project caps off your learning with a terrific Bruges Tunic. Worked from the top down in figure-skimming lace.

Basic crochet skills are helpful for this class. (If you need a basic brush-up or start learning from the beginning, I know another great class... Learn to Crochet)  Annie's online classes can be viewed at your convenience, 24/7, 365 days a year from any mobile device - both tablet and non-tablet (but classes are best viewed on tablets or computers)...and they never expire...also, there is an "Ask The Instructor" option, just in case you need to ask me a question while you are learning. This class will also be available from Annie's on DVD in the very near future.

You can see a Class Overview and the Introduction video for free by visiting: and clicking on the links in the "Free Preview" video.

Thanks for letting me share about my new class. I'm truly excited about this one and think you'll have a great time learning about these techniques and following along!

Monday, November 24, 2014

November blues?

It's been a hard November for so many people. The snow and cold temperatures brought 5" of snow to our neighborhood and the kids' have already had their first day off of school.  I still had pumpkins out from Halloween.  We didn't carve them this year so they were intact.  It's really pretty gross, what happens to a pumpkin when it freezes... then thaws... I don't even think the chickens would eat it in that state.

We lost 2 more chickens :(  One apparently of some natural cause the other to the circle of life, becoming food for another animal.

I began crocheting a "quick scarf" as a teacher gift... but now it's going to be in an upcoming issue of Crochet! I just can't design without writing it down and using it for business...

I'm still making slow progress on Chief's improvised black and navy (yes... black and navy) striped blanket. It's slow going because it's really hard to work on after the sun has gone down at 5:30 pm.  It helps if I put a white sheet on my lap then the dark work on top.

Are you planning to crochet any holiday gifts this year?  (There is NO WAY Chief's will be ready by Christmas... maybe next Christmas...)

Oh! Chief won second place in his soccer league and his team got to go to the State Tournament where the season quickly ended.  Still, he pointed out, that this is the first trophy he ever earned... not just one for participation. Yay Chief!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Guess Who?

Guess who decided to try crochet again? I'm trying to stay calm... after 2 years of no interest, Chickee asked if she could make a blanket.

She has made 6 granny squares in 2 days. Squee!  She chose Caron Simply Soft in light blue, light purple and cream. I'm holding my fingers crossed that she keeps going! The best news is that she pretty much remembered everything I had taught her a few years ago and with a little refresher she was off and stitching without help.  I guess crocheting really is like riding a bike!  My main goal, when introducing crafts to the kids, was that later in life they will be able to turn to crafts for fun, leisure, and comfort. SCORE!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Year of the HALF!

I told you back in the beginning of the year that this would be the year of the HALF.  Here's part of that...

Saturday I finished my first 'official' Half Marathon (13.1 miles).  I did it once before in training, back in April.  I ran the Queen Bee Half Marathon in Cincinnati and managed to run it 18 minutes faster than April.  I'm very proud (and tired, and hungry). The weather was perfect, the goody bags were awesome. Thanks for putting up with my non-crochet related post. Now I have my feet up, Charlie on my lap, some tv up on Hulu, and a new design I'm working on for the magazine on my hooks! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A compromise

For Chief's blanket, I decided to use a stitch pattern from a book. So, I'm sort of compromising. I'm not designing the stitch pattern, I'm using one from a book, but I'm just going to do it quickly in rows and not worry about writing it down the counts. I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

What to do?

So, Chief wants a new blanket. He loves his black and orange striped blanket that I made out of Caron Simply Soft.

(oh! here is a gratuitous cat photo. I call this one "Double Decker Cats".  Charlie on top and Minnie underneath.)

Ok, back to my question. Chief wants another blanket in Caron Simply Soft. Do I design something new and possibly use it in a publication (and he'll GET it in like a year). OR do I re-make one of my previous designs or just improvise something and he gets it sooner.

What would you do? Design something new or hurry up and re-make something old?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

Go Crochet! Skillbuilder is now available

I have my ducks in a ROW!  Go Crochet! Skillbuilder, and all 30 of it's one-day projects for beginners to advanced crocheters, is now available if you are a US resident and want a SIGNED copy.  I have them here.  If you want one, they are $20 (shipping is included). Click on the Buy Now button on the right.  For international buyers, if you want a signed copy, email me at and we'll figure out shipping costs and whether or not you want to take it on before you buy.

The book includes: Tunisian, Tunisian in the round, Hairpin lace, cables, motifs, felting, bead crochet, pineapples, Bruges Lace and MORE.  There are process photos and stitch diagrams where needed and all the crafty inspiration. 30 PROJECTS.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Knit & Crochet Now

Oh where to begin?  I'm sad that it has been so long since I've visited my blog.  Right after the Knit & Crochet Show in Manchester, NH, I had a week-ish at home and then left for Detroit to tape Season 6 of the Knit and Crochet Now show! 

Then... The kids went away to camp, Chickee broke her arm, soccer started, school started, we had a death in the family :(  and now we are recovering and trying to get back to something that resembles 'normal'. 

In the midst of all of that, I've been trying to keep up with my running and I'm hoping I'll be ready to run the first ever Queen Bee Half Marathon in October.

Here's the fun part... some photos from my trip to Knit & Crochet Now!

Above, I grabbed this banner from the Knit and Crochet Now Newsletter because it has the only photos of Lena I could find!  On the left is me, Brett Bara, our host, Candi Jensen (executive producer) and Lena Skvagerson (associate producer).  Lena is so sweet, I talked more about her on my Crochet! magazine blog, Behind the Hook.  You can find that interview here. That's Lena in the middle photo. She has been designing both knit and crochet for years mostly with Drops Design before joining us at Annies. On the right photo is the lovely Jenny King, who is joined us as a guest for Season 6 along with the host, Brett.

Robyn Chachula is back for another season! It's always good to catch up with her and plan how she can help me in the magazine too!

Here I am curious about the project that Kristin Nicholas and Brett are about to discuss. Click on Kristin's name to take you to her blog to see her new book, Colorful Stitchery.

Drew Emborsky is BACK!  As you can see we harmoniously picked up where he left off a couple of seasons ago and we fell into step and were even color coordinated without even trying! I had with me... my All Shook Up Shawlette that I designed using Drew's yarn for my book, Go Crochet! Skillbuilder. If you can hang in there, Monday I'll post how USA residents can order signed copies of Skillbuilder from me directly. If you can't wait, get the book as softcover or digital version HERE.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Knit & Crochet Show 2014!

Were you there? at the Knit & Crochet Show?  Here are some of the highlights I was able to capture on my camera.Above of course is me and my pal, Doris Chan. We always try to get chocolate cake when we are together! I'm wearing the Bruges Lace Tunic from my new Annie's Online Class, Learn to Crochet Lace: Hairpin, Broomstick and Bruges.

Some members of the CGOA yarn bombed the hotel (with their permission and with the leadership of Jennifer Ryan). I especially like this Boston Strong mandala.

 Here I am with my dear friend, Tammy Hildebrand.  (Thud!  I'm name dropping all over the place!) Her new books are out! Check them out! She signed her newest book, Open Weave Fashions at the show.
 Haley (below) snapped this photo of me at the Fashion Show. The model is wearing Darla Fanton's Marta Shawlette from the Autumn issue of Crochet!
 Here's Haley Zimmerman, tech editor, road-trip pal and roomie, posing next to some yarn bombing outside the hotel.
I had to pose with this pooch who was wearing a lovely crocheted scarf.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014