Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Classy Pentagon Shawl: FREE Crochet Pattern

I'm so excited that Red Heart has revealed the FREE Classy Pentagon Shawl! Thanks to Red Heart for sponsoring this pattern. It's very easy and fun to make.

It uses 3 balls of Unforgettable in 3968 Regatta and an H/8 hook. It's an "Easy" rated pattern.

If you like it, go hit the love button on Ravelry!

 Two people have already made it! Check out their color choices for more inspiration.
Again, here is the link to the FREE Pattern. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday Motivation: 50K

50K is 31 miles. I'm still not sure what made me think, "Sure, running 31 miles sounds like a great idea!"

I know what did it, it's Lisa's fault. My BRF (Best running friend) did the event last year and assured me that I could do it. Well, just because you can do it doesn't mean it's a good idea...

The short version: I did it, I'm not injured but I'm really sore. I'm proud of my accomplishment but I don't feel like I need to do it again. I got about 6 hours of car ride time to design and get a great start on a new design for Red Heart.

The long version:
The Eagle Up Ultra had 50k, 50 miles, 100K, and 100-mile divisions including a ruck (walk with heavy backpacks) division. So 31 miles was the SHORTEST distance I could do. These people are machines. I was in awe of the people who blew by us like we were standing still. We got LAPPED on several occasions. But it's ok. I'm 44 and never run a marathon, let alone an Ultra.

The course was a 5-mile loop along the Erie Canal. It was beautiful and mostly shaded. We saw turtles and lizards and crazy big birds and horses pulling the canal boats, and tiny toads.

We stayed in a hotel the night before and the breakfast bar isn't open at 4:45 am when we left to get set by the start by 6 am. So, I skipped breakfast. It was too early to think about food and I was still full from the pasta dinner the night before. (Which, in retrospect, worked well!)

After the first 10 miles, Lisa, Brian and I were cruising and in a happy place.

An Ultra is a little different than a typical race because it is so long that stopping to eat, reapply sunscreen, wipe your face, change shoes, change into a new shirt... all normal. Here we are stopping after 10 miles for 2-3 minutes to regroup and take a selfie!

At the 20 mile mark, I stopped and changed my socks and shoes, made a pit stop, took some salt pills. They also have water stations about every 1.5 miles. Two of the stations were water and the other two had water, potato chips, pretzels, Twizzlers, and candy. Both salt and sugar are important on long runs. I know from experience that I need salt more than I need sugar (cuz I get plenty of sugar in my day-to-day life? Because I'm sweet enough already?). Anyway, I ate at least 2 bags of chips during the race and a couple of handfuls of pretzels.

Brian, Lisa and me. We walked the last 11 miles as fast as we could though we all had blisters forming and various aches and pains.

At mile 25, I saw that Tom had met his 20-mile goal. (He was carrying a 50# backpack for his training to hike Mt. Rainier next month). He was lounging in a chair recovering while I re-applied sunscreen, downed a bottle of water and grabbed a piece of pizza. (Seriously, I took the pizza with me as I started mile 26).

(He's on the left in the orange hat).

Since it is a 5-mile loop, that means for the 31st mile, you have to actually cross the finish line, go out half a mile and turn around half a mile and enter the finish line from the back. It was so hard to pass the finish line and do ONE MORE MILE.

The event raised money for Team RWB, which I'm a member of. It's like the old VFW halls for veterans but instead, encourages veterans to mingle among the community while being active and being healthy and well. So, when you know the event is for veterans, (unless you are injured) you can't NOT do the final mile. Seriously.

Here I am, finished. I look a lot less perky than the 10-mile selfie! LOL. Then I promptly ate two hamburgers and another slice of pizza. Remember, I skipped breakfast and the only lunch I had was the pizza at mile 26. ;)

So, for Monday Motivation, I'm not asking you to complete an ultra marathon.  That isn't a good plan for everyone. (Ask me in a week if it was a good plan for me). But I will ask you to think about the hard work our military and their families do for us. Maybe today, go for a little walk or run and send some good vibes or prayers of gratitude and safety for them and peace in our world.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Another Online Class, Coming Soon!

I was in the studio at Annie's yesterday filming another cool online crochet class! It was so great to work with the team again. I'll keep you posted when I hear of the launch date.

Late night pre-class prep. 

The Indiana sky is big. 

I brought Chickee to the studio with me this time! 

A sneak peek at swatches. 

Here's the link to my other classes while you wait for this one to be revealed. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Work Packing

I'm in the 'throw all the worsted weight and hooks into a bag' stage of work trip packing. Don't forget the fudge rounds, lipstick and I'm good to go.

I hope.

I'll post on Friday when I ask for prayers for the stupid  challenging weekend I have ahead.

It will either be the dumbest thing I ever do or the most epic. It's a fine line.  #YOLO

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Debut Episode of Knit and Crochet TODAY.

Looking back can be so much fun.

I found the original post of when I first saw Knit and Crochet Now, back when it was called Knit and Crochet Today. 

I had no idea back then that I'd eventually be ON that show! Read my naive review of the show HERE.  So funny!

I set my VCR to record the show because back then, in September of 2007, I didn't have DVR.

Look! It's Brett on the screen. And my boy Charlie on my lap. He was such a good kitty. And here I am learning to knit while under a blanket I made for Chickee for her birthday. Good times.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Knit and Crochet Now Coming Soon!

Knit and Crochet Now tv is coming sooner than you think. In the mean time, catch more details in the new issue of the Talking Crochet Newsletter. 

Read my behind the scenes recaps while we were filming... here, here and HERE.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sell Your Crochet Patterns, Build Your Career - Go Crochet Coaching

A crochet career can feel so vague and overwhelming but I can help you stop drifting. I'm a life coach with extensive experience in the crochet and yarn industry. Because of that I'm the perfect sounding board and guide for you to establish career goals, outline steps to achieve success, and keep you focused.

Let's figure out what a crochet career could look like for you. What are your strengths and how do you market them? Where do you need to gain experience and confidence?  I have designed and sold more than 300 patterns, written 5 books, and appeared on the Knit and Crochet Nowtv show for the past 5 seasons. I'm a teacher, runner, mom, an unapologetic optimist. Use me.

Would you like to read some recommendations from other professionals in the field? Hear from author, designer, and former mentee, Brenda Bourg HERE. Hear from author, knit and crochet designer and yarn company representative Sandi Rosner HERE. 

Do you need an ally or a person in your corner? I believe in encouraging clients to achieve all goals that bring them health and happiness, including fitness and career/life balance goals.

The cool thing about coaching is that your experiences are cumulative. Everything you learn, you will use and build on long past when coaching time is over.

The commitment is one month. After a month, you decide if you want another month. It's that simple.

Take the crochet industry by storm. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Motivation Monday! What's your Theme Song?

Do you remember the 90's tv show, Ally McBeal? It was a quirky show for sure. One of the things I remember about it though was that Ally always had a "theme song". A song that represented her life at any given moment.

What would your theme song be?

I change my theme song every so often depending on what is going on in my life. I also change my favorite color every so often. It's part of the reason why I don't want to get a tattoo... what if my motto changes?

At one point, I thought about getting a 13.1 (Half marathon) tattoo. But what if I do more than 13.1 one day? Will I regret having the 13.1 when I could have the new accomplishment instead? Why limit myself.

Ok, back to theme songs. It occurs to me that a theme song should be more aspirational... helping you aspire to greater things rather than a commentary on how things are right now.

A song could be a kind of prayer in a way and certainly a Hymn would be an awesome theme song. Maybe I need different theme songs for different things. Like the theme from the Rocky movies for when I'm running. The song, "Dream On" from Aerosmith just popped into my head, I wonder if I should try that theme song for a few weeks and see if it fits.

In a theme song, lyrics are really important. Maybe I need a "Dream On" tattoo.

Friday, June 9, 2017

How to Become a Crochet Designer! Find a Way to Say Yes!

You might think I'm going to tell you to start with a great idea, but I'm not. My advice might come as kind of a surprise. If you have heard me speak at Professional Development Day for the Crochet Guild of America, you already know what I'm going to say. "Find a way to say YES". Being easy to work with, professional, on time, honest, delivering what you proposed, is 90% of success.

Many designers are great, creative, inspiring, but if they can't deliver on time, as promised, or are a general hassle to work with (too many questions, too many delays, changing the proposed project after it has been decided, too diva-ish...) they get known for being hard to work with and unreliable.

Being professional, asking for clarification, negotiating, are all fine. Demanding, assuming, and slacking, are not fine. Learn more about becoming a Crochet Designer, here. Click here for information on one-on-one Go Crochet Coaching. 

Have you been asked to work with a color you didn't care for? A yarn that you found offensive? Can you say, 'YES' anyway? What would make you say, "no"?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Juggling work and family is not a new struggle. Men and women both have to figure it out. Work from home moms like me have to figure it out. Work outside of the home women have to figure it out. It seems that the balance is constantly being checked.

Today is National Running Day. After a few days of not running, my derriere begins to bond with the couch. If I don't break that bond after 6-7 days I'm in danger of growing roots and never getting up. Today, I had to get out.

Let's face it, there is nothing more important than family. My family has kept me busy the past few weeks but things are settling down into a new summertime rhythm. I haven't even had time to run in the past week. Time to re-focus on work and looking forward.

Today's run was pass/fail. I remember the serendipity of getting a course in college that was not graded but merely a pass/fail. That was today's run. The only thing that got me out the door was giving myself permission to just pass. It didn't have to be an A+ run. Just get it done. Some tasks in life are like that. It's not cheating to make some tasks a pass/fail. We can't give 100% to every task, everyday, all the time. Part of the life/work balance is figuring out which tasks need 100% effort and which tasks are pass/fail.

Is there any tasks in your life that you have placed undue emphasis, that are really pass/fail tasks?

Happy National Running Day! If you go on a walk today...I dare you to add 10 jog strides if it is healthy for you.

Monday, June 5, 2017

A Promise

I promise, some crochet is happening here at GoCrochet. I can't wait until some of the designs I have been working on the past few months are revealed! It can't be too long now. 

French Toast from the weekend. Yum. 

Chief before his graduation. 

And after! Yay! The weekend was full of parties and a dance and bowling and another party. 
Chief started a voluntary summer class at his new school this morning. There was no time to get nervous about High school. I think he was so exhausted from the weekend he'll probably sleep through the first class. 

Ahh, the busy-ness of the last 10 days is now subsiding and back to our new summer normal! 

Monday, May 29, 2017

In no particular order

Chickee's BF graduated from high school. Great job to him! 

Chickee was inducted into the National Honor Society and French Honor Society. (I didn't even know that was a thing...)

Chickee turned 16. 

Chief had his mother/son breakfast at school.

And we have fun at the end of the year volleyball party. (Chickee was the skills coach and me and another mom were the administrative coaches). They had a great 6-2 regular season and made it to the semi-finals in the tournament. 
I've been doing a little crocheting here and there... 

The rest of this coming week looks just as busy! 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

These Ten Days

These 10 Days are super exciting and busy at our house. Chickee turns 16 in the next week. Chief graduates from 8th grade in the next week. Tom has a business trip for a few days at some point. There is an end of the year volleyball party, a swim party (brrr), two graduation parties. Chickee's boyfriend graduates from high school. There is a Sweet 16 party. A driver's license to be tested for. A mother/son breakfast at school,

Here's a random cat photo for your entertainment. Our cats will only drink water out of a faucet. Here is Minnie waiting for me to turn on the tub for her.

I'll try to keep up my posting schedule but it's a little hectic around here. Luckily the busy-ness is all fun and happy Blessings.

I have a portable project I need to start so that I can take it with me wherever I go.

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Garden of Shawls

Karen Whooley has done it again! Designer, teacher, author, Karen Whooley has once again succeeded in creating a collection of crochet patterns that are beautiful and accessible. It's her 20th book!

The details: It's 92 pages, hardcopy and digital copies are available. It's 12 inspired patterns. Many of them have rhythmic stitch patterns paired with eye-catching edgings. They are constructed in different methods and they are all beautiful. (And there are charts!)

Solar takes advantage of the current trend of gorgeous gradation using Black Trillium Fibre Studio Yarn.
(Photo: Anne Podlesak)

I think Violaceous would be so enjoyable to work! And of course, the color speaks to me. Again in Black Trillium yarn... (maybe I'd better get to know that yarn a little better!)

(Photo: Anne Podlesak)

Many of them have integrated edgings which I just LOVE. I love the concept of stitching the edging side to side as the project is worked.  Just look at Briar, below, made in Bare Naked Wools, Chebris Lace.

(Photo: Anne Podlesak)

It's already selling like hotcakes and I can see why. The projects are just hard enough to be intriguing but easy enough that they aren't impossible. Check it out!

*I was not compensated for my review. There are affiliate links in this post.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Flashbacks You'll Love

This blog is pretty old. There is a great deal of good stuff in the older posts.

(I miss my cuddly Charlie)

Here are some of my favorite posts you may have missed:

Trial and Error Learning in the Creative Process.

Essential Tools for Becoming a Designer 

How Designers Create, A Style Discussion.

Monday, May 15, 2017

The 3-Way Challenge

I knew the Flying Pig Marathon was going to be around/near the same time I was going to be taping Knit and Crochet Now. I thought that since I would be traveling, I would NOT take the opportunity to run my first full marathon (smart, right?)

So, I registered for the Half Marathon (13.1 miles). All good, right? My BRF (Best Running Friend), Lisa picked up my race packet for the Half on Friday and much to our surprise... I had forgotten that I had registered for ALL THE RACES. It must have been a post-race afterglow from the previous year when the prices were super low...

Luckily, Lisa was running all the races too... and I couldn't let my money go to waste... so Saturday the 6th we ran the 5K and the 10K (3.1 miles and 6.2 miles respectively), then on Sunday the 7th, we ran the Half!  Crazy busy but so much fun!

 Here we are starting the 10K, all bright eyed and bushy tailed...

 Then 30 minutes later, here we are starting the 5k, a little less bright-eyed...

 Then super early Sunday morning we got up to run the Half.

And I immediately laid down and put my feet up a tree in an impromptu yoga recovery thing! Ahhhh! Done. 

Cincinnati is famous for Skyline Chili. The Chili is noodles with chili and cheese called a "3-way" The top medal is my bonus medal for completing the Skyline chili "3-way challenge" for completing 3 races in one weekend.  This is the same race that has crocheted chandeliers in the finish area!

I never dreamed 5 years ago that when faced with the 3-way challenge I would shrug my shoulders and say, "Let's do it".  Step by step, running has changed my life. It all started with 20 jogging steps while the kids were at soccer practice.

Friday, May 12, 2017

More New Friends! Knit and Crochet Now!

We last left off with introducing you to Meredith Crawford, OneSocialGirl.
Then I got to meet MORE new friends to the Knit and Crochet Now show.

I know I already shared that Melissa Leapman was in the house! Did I also share that Jenny King is back visiting from Australia?

Jenny is adorable and sweet and a great business woman. I can't wait to tell you about her new yarns! If you can't wait either and want to go take a peek, head on over to her website... Jenny King Designs.

Then I got to meet the effervescent Kristen Mangus! Here Kristen has a fangirl moment with the Crafty Gemini, Vanessa Vargas Wilson. 

But first, Kristen is the Youtube star of GoodKnitKisses. She is especially passionate about loom knitting! She really opened my eyes to what is possible on the loom. You're going to fangirl over her and her patterns.

I didn't get much time with the lovely and intelligent Crafty Gemini, but we had some stimulating conversation at dinner where we talked Business! That woman knows her stuff! You probably are already one of her more than 300,000 YouTube fans but if you aren't familiar, go check out one of her more than 390 videos

Above is the whole cast except for the darling Melissa Leapman who had to fly home before the storm hit! The cast is: Co-hosts (and co-producers in charge) Connie Ellison and Lena Skvagerson, And then, myself, Jenny King,  Melissa Leapman, Meredith Crawford, Kristen Mangus and Vanessa Vargas Wilson.