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 Ellen@GoCrochet.com 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

Monday, June 30, 2014

And the Winner is....

Thank you to Robyn, Susan, and Jenny for guest posting on the blog the past few weeks! I hope you have enjoyed reading some different voices.

And the randomly chosen winner of the Annie's Online class giveaway is....

Kathryn V.


Please send me a comment with your email address in it (I won't publish it). Or send me an email at Ellen @ Go Crochet dot com and I'll pass your email along!

Did you know that Annie's has a huge amount of online classes? Like 40 something! Everything from Crochet and knit to quilting, cardmaking, illustration, paper-crafting, beading, you name it! When you buy an online class you can access it through your computer any time you want forever. You can ask the instructor questions and you get all the patterns and paperwork as downloadable content that you can print and use. OR you can buy the DVD's of the classes and ask questions through customer care. Here's the link to ALL the Annie's classes. You can watch previews and read about the class before you sign up.

MY Annie's online classes are:

Learn to Crochet
Learn to Crochet with Beads
Learn to Crochet Lace: Hairpin, Broomstick & Bruges Lace (that's the photo above)
and I have a 4th class that will come out in early 2015?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Go Crochet! Skillbuilder... WHAT is it?

 
 
With this book, I wanted to follow up my first book, Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook. I also wanted to be able to do more than motifs.... cuz I just did another book on that! I wanted to share my love for Bruges lace. I wasn't "done" with Bruges lace after the last Learn Bruges Lace book. I wanted to help people both spend down their stash but decide if they wanted to splurge on great yarn for smaller projects. I knew that people love accessories and instant gratification. Putting it ALL together in one book gave us: Go Crochet Skillbuilder: 30 Crochet-in-a-Day Projects to Take you from Beginner to Expert.


So, all the projects I stitched in less than 24 hours. I know some people stitch faster than others. Also, when you are learning something new it may take some extra time to get the hang of the technique and swatching. Still, my idea is that if you start the project at 10:00am one morning, go about your day, cook dinner, sleep through the night... and you stitch in between... you should be able to finish it by 10:00am the next morning.  Some of the projects will take a nice lazy 24 hours at home and other projects can be whipped out in minutes on a busy day. If you take the challenge and complete all 30 projects in 30 days, your skills will be expanded and your stash will be diminished! (also, if you are a sell-at-the Bazaar person... in 30 days, you'll have 30 items to add to your table).

It's on SALE, NOW. Either hardcopy or digital download. Seriously! Amazon says it's not ready yet, but you can get it now HERE.

There is a huge variety in the book. Cowls, bags, scarves, jewelry, coasters, baby items in everything from Tunisian in the Round, broomstick, Bruges, motifs, felting, beads, hairpin... it has a little bit of everything. It has both written instructions, stitch diagrams... AND... process photos of many of the techniques.

Here's the top of one of my favorite hats in the book:  The Delightful Hat


It's made of Classic Elite LIberty Wool Print in "Rose Explosion". Just like the Go Crochet! Afghan book, there is a little personal tid-bit that introduces each project. You'll read why this one reminds me of my Mom. (Gasp, today is her Angel-Anniversary, Hi Mom!)

Here's another little sample of some of the projects you'll find in the book.

 

That Blue Triangular shawlette at the bottom... Totally already worn that.  Love it. It's called "All Shook Up".
The lilac pineapple stole on the second row... it's called, "Pineapple Stolen Time Stole"  because blocking makes it grow so it feels like you've stolen time. Yep, I've already worn that too.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

MONDAY is Annie's Class Giveaway Day

Just a reminder, Monday, June 30, is when I will announce the WINNER of the Annie's online class giveaway!

So today and tomorrow you still have time to visit these posts and leave comments. A winner will be chosen at random. I'll announce the winner on Monday and I'll need that person to respond with an email address so that I can hook you up with your prize. You'll get to CHOOSE from any of the Annie's online classes.

Ok, go back to these posts and leave comments (if you haven't already...)
Jenny guest writes on GoCrochet
Robyn guest writes on GoCrochet
Susan guest writes on GoCrochet


You can also visit the other blogs and leave comments there for chances to win there too!
CrochetByFaye/Robyn Chachula
The Crochet Architect/Susan Lowman
Jenny's Crochet World/Jenny King

Also, come back Tuesday (July 1) here and I'll direct you to the Behind the Hook Blog, (or just go there July 1) because I'll be doing a CAL of this motif FREE, from my new book, Marvelous Crochet Motifs.

 


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Double the Fun

This is so RARE. Minnie and Charlie, together, agree that you should check out my new books, Marvelous Crochet Motifs and Go Crochet! Skillbuilder.






They disagree on everything else, but they have come together for this common goal. :) 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Guest Writer: Jenny King!

Welcome Jenny King to the GoCrochet blog! 

video


 G’day my name is Jenny King and I am an Australian crochet addict!

 Let me come visit and sit down with you and show you just how to do Bavarian crochet. Yes, at your place. In this Annies online class you will feel like I am there. I will do what the Mother and daughter from Bavaria had endeavoured to do in Australia and that is how to create the beauty of Bavarian crochet without need for translation.  You will love it and you will become addicted.

 I walk you through the process slowly and repeat myself so much that you may nearly get sick of hearing my Aussie accent telling you to pull through 2 and pull through 2. I am grinning ear to ear as I say this to you.

 We start with a headband working in a simple strip to demystify the stitch and its 2 row repeat.  Although this class is taught in USA crochet terms I couldn’t help but tell you how to do it in the terms used by the rest of the English speaking world so no-one gets left out. So if you live in the United Kingdom, South Africa, New Zealand or Australia you will be able work along with me as well.

I originally wanted to call it this the Mystery history stitch as the origins of this amazing stitch eluded me for over 15 years of thorough searching. I even took samples to USA to consult with the experts. Funnily enough all searches led me back to my own state of Queensland, Australia.  You can hear all the history as I explain the stitches.

I have simplified this original Mother and Daughter design  and instead of only working it in a square  I have experimented to make all manner of shapes . Let me show you how to do this stitch in a long strip as a scarf, as a decorative edging on slippers, and finally extend your skills to create a top-down seamless baby jacket, and nearly everything else  in between. 

 I should warn you though that Bavarian crochet is just delightful and you may become addicted. It can be worked in any color combination of your choice or you can experiment with the wonderful textured stitch if it is done in just one color as in the wrap vest in charcoal.  That is just Yummy.

See you soon at your place. I can’t wait.

 Jenny





Ellen says....  Leave a comment on this post and on Susan's post from last week and you'll have TWO chances to win a free Annie's online class of your choice!  Visit Susan's, Jenny's and Robyn's blogs too for more chances.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Marvelous Crochet Motifs

Marvelous Crochet Motifs is now available!  Soon, I'll have a CAL on the Crochet! magazine blog.

The book is availabe in the print version or the digital download for $9.95.  It is 48 motifs and 4 projects.





Monday, June 16, 2014

Guest Poster: Robyn Chachula!

Please Welcome, Author, designer, teacher, friend, Robyn Chachula!  Robyn taught a new class for Annie's called 'Learn to Crochet Jewelry' and the designs are super cute!


 
I love jewelry.  I love big bold funky statements to delicate classic beauties.  I never feel truly dressed until I am wearing a matching necklace.  My kids have other ideas.   In steps crochet to my rescue.  Instead of worrying about yet another “mysteriously” missing necklace my daughter borrowed or another being used as a teething ring by my son; I know I can fix all.  With a few quick techniques, I know I can whip up overnight any ring, bracelet, or necklace for any outfit.  So no more stress about ruined favorites, instead my little pumpkins are just giving me more opportunities to crochet!
 
Before I started crocheting jewelry, I thought I would need a ton of equipment and tools to get a true professional look.  Boy, I was mistaken.  In class, I walk you through exactly what you need to make your perfect accessory.  And most of them are probably sitting in your yarn bag or toolbox right now.   We will talk about a few tools that you might want to get after you get completely hooked, but for the most part your main tool will just be your hook.  

The most important tool I try to stress is understanding crochet patterns.  Whether you are looking at a modern stitch dictionary with all the directions completely listed or an antique crochet leaflet with just some diagrams; I want to make sure you are totally in control.   In class we will de-mystify crochet diagrams and sharpen our skills at reading patterns.  We go through learning patterns and diagrams so you can grab any stitch dictionary and be able to turn an edging you love into a bracelet or a motif into a ring. 
 
What do I want you to make jewelry out of?  Anything.  In class, we talk about all materials from basic crochet thread, to thin gauge wire, to leather and hemp; and even end with yarn.  The materials do not make the jewelry, you do.  So we talk about how to dress up or down the material you are working with.  One basic way is using metal chains, jump rings, and beads to connect your crochet together.  In just a few steps, I show you all you need to know to attach your beautiful crochet together into fantastic jewelry.  One word of warning, is the jewelry techniques I show you in class are so simple it is very easy to slip into another hobby and love every minute of it.
The best part of creating and making jewelry is it always cheers up my day.  Any day I get to crochet for a few minutes is great.  To be able to then wear something I made the next day, even better.  Hope you will join me in Learn to Crochet Creative Jewelry class.  I truly can’t wait to see what you can create!
 
 
video

 
Leave a comment here, on this post, and the other "Guest Writer's" posts (3 chances to win here!). At the end of the month, I'll choose one winner at random who will win a FREE Annie's online class of your choosing. The comment needs to have your first name and some identifying bit of info, city, nickname, Ravelry name...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day





In honor of Father's Day, here's our kids with my Dad, Grandpa Joe.  He is the king of corny jokes. He was a runner in High School, perhaps I got that from him. What I didn't get from him is his quick math brain and gardening skills.

And here's my Bonus dad, Grandpa Dave, with his wife, Grandma Glenda.


From Grandpa Dave, I gained an appreciation for old cars... (the first car I ever drove was his 1933 Chevy) and I learned that when you have to be at a hospital with a loved one, you take notes.



And here's my other Bonus dad, "Pappy". Pappy is Tom's Dad, here with Chief last year. From Pappy I learned that the gorgeous electric blue bird that I see occasionally is an Indigo Bunting, that men should sing in Church, and when offered ice cream, "Vanilla or chocolate" you should always answer, "a little of each".

Happy Fathers' Day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Guess!

Guess what went live today!

LEARN TO CROCHET LACE! 

I'm so happy with the projects in this class.  I hope you'll love it as much as I do! 

 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My turn!

Hey! I'm a guest poster over at Jenny King's website and blog! 

Check it out :)

Jenny's Crochet World