What book should I write next?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

CAL Ripple Blanket

Hey! BeFuddled514, can you e-mail me please at Ellen at sign GoCrochet dot com?

Thanks!

CAL Floating Ripples Blanket


Here's the swatch photos. The dark Teal is Patons Decor. The Light Gray is Red Heart Super Saver, and the pale blue is another Red Heart Eco-Ways

This Swatch is 6" tall (on the edge) and 7.5" wide. I used a K/10.5 hook. I haven't figured out an edging yet. It could be done all in one color or in unlimited scrap colors. (hmm, now there's an idea!)

Tell me what you think.

More Fiction!


I don't think I told you about Paging Aphrodite, did I? by Kim Green. I read it recently and enjoyed it. It was about 4-5 women who all went to Greece for different reasons and became friends. I never saw 'Sex in the City', but I imagine it's something like that. A great summer read.

I just finished.... Love the One you're With by Emily Giffin. This was a very good book. I instantly wanted to read another book by her. I went into the book with the assumption that I would feel a certain way. Giffin did an excellent job of having Ellen, the main character agonize to the point where I didn't know what I wanted her to do! Excellent. I won't tell you the end. You'll have to go read it!

I'm just about finished with Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez. A very entertaining way to learn about the Afghan culture in post 9/11 times. Of course, there are very serious themes and realities, but Rodriguez balances it with a humanity that makes you feel a compassion for the people while unveiling the colorful and rich culture. Educational in a relatively painless way (for someone who doesn't have to live it, that is).

Next on my list are Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden and City of Thieves by David Benioff.

Also, I read all the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer, which I enjoyed (mostly) but not as much as I loved all the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling.

I know I have talked too much about fiction lately, but the past two fiction posts represented like 6 months of reading! Also, it's nice to be able to tell you something, when there is so much I'm not allowed to tell you! Ah, in time, all will be revealed!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ripple Blanket

Anyone out there have time to make a ripple blanket (for yourself to keep) so that we can use the pattern in a CAL? Any interest?

The unvarnished truth....


ok... here it is... in general, I am less fond of variegated yarns than solid color yarns. Self-striping, long or short color bursts, I'm just not as fond of them in crochet. In knit, I think they look better (don't hate me!). Because.... I am such a huge fan of crisp stitch definition, and multi-colored yarn tends to blur stitch definition (as does novelty and fuzzy, furry yarn) this makes solid yarns my preferred yarn. Still, in the hank/skein/ball multi-colored yarns are GORGEOUS, and sometimes I get seduced into buying them, but then they often stay in my bins because I just don't enjoy them as much as the solid. (Except for decoration, inspiration, and yarn petting). Feel free to disagree.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ironic Quotes


What is art? Is Crochet art if it is driven by a deadline instead of being spontaneously inspired?

Rita Mae Brown: Inspirational Quotes

A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it's better than no inspiration at all.

I don't know if I agree with Rita Mae Brown, perhaps I agree more with Comer Cotrell:

Comer Cotrell: Inspirational Quotes

The greatest inspiration is often born of desperation.

More on this another time. Feel free to comment. Thanks to all my 'followers' by the way. I love seeing the number go up! Welcome! I also wish there were an easier way to respond to your comments. If you leave a comment, sometimes I comment on your comment.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Can't keep up... the pace...


The yarn keeps arriving faster than I can stitch it! Look at all these lovely bright colors. I guess bright colors are a trend? I don't think there is a single neutral in the bunch! I often look at www.Pantone.com for their color trend reports. The last time I checked, the latest report was for this fall. I think someone looks at all the fashion shows and notices which colors are the "new thing". They choose 10 colors and make a report about what they saw. It's interesting, then to see all the fashion magazines and the advertisers begin to use these colors and color schemes in earnest. While I look at the reports, I don't always follow them. I like what I like. Also, I often make projects in colors that are requested. I rarely get to choose the color. In magazines especially, the team is looking at the issue as a whole and making sure that all the projects go well with all the other projects.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sneak Peek


Here's the secret project that I was working on all week.... Is this a flat project and I have it folded in a clever way for the photo? Find out in a few months!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Magenta


I've decided that Magenta is my new favorite color. I must design something magenta soon. I may even change my name to Magenta. Does anyone know the word for this color in any other languages? At minimum, I need a winter scarf in this color. If you know of any great yarns in this color, let me know!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Flashback 2003

Look at this old photo I found of me and Chief in 2003. In the midst of the hardest of the baby days. Our kids are just 19 months apart. In this photo Chief was probably 8 mos old and that would have made Chickee about 2.5. This is about when I started designing. How did I find the time? Note the crocheted sweater I'm wearing. Probably the first successful garment that I ever made from a pattern. I found the pattern in the old Better Homes and Garden special edition, I forget what it was called. The designer was a man who's name I had never heard of nor have seen since. It is DenimStyle yarn. Who makes it? Bernat? This was taken at our old house.
Here's a pretty photo of Charlie from the other day. He looks kinda mad though doesn't he? LOL.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Book Review: Tunisian Crochet by Sharon Hernes Silverman


Tunisian Crochet:The look of knitting with the ease of Crocheting By Sharon Hernes Silverman. I have it! The only thing that bothers me is the title! Why does it have to look like knitting? Why can't we just be happy saying that it looks like Tunisian Crochet? Why does it have to be as easy as crocheting, as if knitting is so much harder? And crocheting is just for us simpletons who don't have the skill to knit! I know, it's not the author's fault, the publisher probably chose the title.

The photos and illustrations are excellent. My favorite project in the book is the Honeycomb skirt on page 36. It has a good variety of projects, sweaters, blankets, scarves, shawls, placemats, baby garments... I think I need to spend more time with this book....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cake Wreck and secret project


Ok, one more photo from Chickee's sleepover fiasco.... (it wasn't that bad). But this cake is the worst cake I have ever made. I have no idea why it fell apart. I have never had a (box) cake mix fall apart in big chunks like this trying to get it out of the pans. This is a photos before anyone touched it. Putting on the frosting made it fall apart more. They said it tasted ok. I didn't taste it, because generally if it's not chocolate, I don't bother. (why waste the calories?). Ok, back on topic with crochet.

The secret project with the short deadline is coming along well-design wise. As of Tuesday morning (when I'm writing this to post tomorrow) the yarn hasn't arrived. But, I do have some stash yarn in the same style, so I'm swatching with it until the right color arrives. The different color may have a different gauge, but at least I'm working out the mechanics of increasing and decreasing with the stitch pattern.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Blindfolded makeover...


Yep, they closed their eyes and applied makeup to the unsuspecting victim. The person applying the makeup had her eyes closed. 'nuf said.
From left to right is Chickee, Natalie, and Elena.

While the girls were giggling....


I was crocheting an armband ipod cozy for Captain. Chickee and her cousins were doing blindfolded make-overs (ugh!) I'll have to get you an after photo. This is Tuesday and I still haven't been able to get the lipstick out of her hair... but I digress...

This is out of KnitPicks, hmmm, I forget which variety... it's 100% wool, it's sock weight.... I can't remember the name of the yarn... It starts with a "P" I think....

Anyway, here it is. There is also a little pocket on the back for the ear buds. I went and bought some velcro (gasp!). Generally, I don't think that velcro and yarn should ever be in the same room, but DH asked for a velcro closure instead of the buttons. But I didn't have any velcro, and DH wanted to wear the ipod when he cut grass the next day... so... buttons. But I went and bought some velcro and soon, I will attach it and cut off any excess button hole part. It's felted, so it won't unravel to cut the excess off.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday came too soon....


It was another busy weekend! Chickee's birthday is this month, we had her2 same-aged cousins over for sleep-over. They had a great time but, Wow, are we all tired! Captain worked hard finishing up the installation of the new bathroom in the basement. Chickee had a soccer game last night and she scored 2 goals! 2! She has really come a long way since she began playing in 1st grade and she didn't understand the concept of 'running' to the ball. I was such a mediocre (but happy) player at best when I was a kid, that it is fun to see her doing well and having fun. Chief was pretty much along for the ride this weekend. He gets to go to the zoo with school today, which is really going to be fun. It's going to be 67 degrees (they say) which is perfect for the zoo!

I've got a pretty short deadline this week. The yarn is to arrive today (hopefully) and the project needs to be mailed on Friday. A month for a deadline is nice, three weeks is fine, two weeks is possible, one week is a push. Of course it all depends on what else there is on the to-do list. Luckily, that is the ONLY project I have on the to-do list (sorta). Kinda strange. Oh well, I'll take it as a gift of time.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What I've been reading...

Atonement by Ian McEwan
The Goodbye Door by Diana Britt Franklin
Serena/Caine (The MacGregor's) by Nora Roberts

Generally, I think that the book is always better than the movie, but in Atonement, I would have to think that the movie had to be better. I haven't seen the movie, but after struggling through the book, the movie had to be better than that! It just seemed to drag on for the first 150 pages before it got slightly more interesting. I was somewhat relieved when the book was over. The story line was interesting, but I didn't really enjoy the telling of it.

The Goodbye Door, now that was interesting in a train-wreck kind of way. It is the true story of Anna-Marie Hahn, Ohio's first female murderer who was killed in the electric chair. It was even more interesting because it all occurred here in Cincinnati, though in the 1930's. I lost count of all the victims, but the author had a handy little chart in the back of the book. Wow. It did read a little like a newspaper article with all the facts and little poetry (for lack of a better word). Still, it held my attention all the way through and I was satisfied by the wrap-up at the end. When it's a true story, I like hearing whatever happened to the people in the story and the author did this well. Fascinating.

Serena/Caine MacGregor is two stories in one paperback. In typical Nora Roberts fashion, the extraordinarily handsome/pretty main character has a conflictual acquaintance with the extraordinarily handsome/pretty person that will eventually, through much conflict and passion, become their 'happily ever after' partner. No intellectual challenges, just a quick easy read. I have some feminist resentment with these stories though because the woman often protests the relationship, vocalizes her resistance, but then is pressured/convinced. No means 'no' people. Don't say 'no' when you really mean 'yes'. It just damages all the women out there in the world who said, 'no' but was not listened to. Now, stepping off my soap-box.

What I'm reading now:
Love the one you're With by Emily Giffen. I'm about 1/3 of the way in and I'm really enjoying this book. I'll have to tell you about it later, but the main character has many layers and conflicting emotions that Emily Giffen does a great job in describing.

Hooked for Life by Mary Beth Temple. Ah MBT! What fun this book is in a lighthearted, I-love-reading-about-anything-related-to-crochet kind of way. As typical with most comedy, it's the ability to make fun observations with everyday life that amuses us most. A great book to read while traveling on the way to your favorite yarn event, like Chain-Link in Buffalo in August perhaps?

What's next on the list:
Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez and Kristin Ohlson

Friday, May 15, 2009

25 reasons why I love crochet

I don't remember who started this challenge, but here goes, in no particular order....

1. I love yarn
2. I love making something where there was nothing before.
3. I love making something for someone and knowing that every inch flowed through my fingers.
4. I love the repetition
5. I love that it is easy to fix
6. I love how dimensional it is.
7. I love that crochet hooks come in lots of fun colors and shapes and materials
8. I love that it is such a simple craft - just yarn and hook.
9. I love that it is portable.
10. I love that with simple yarn and hook great results can abound.
11. I love that when I crochet in public people respond with, "My (insert loved one's name here) used to crochet!"
12. I love that it is simple enough that a child can learn.
13. I love that it is sophisticated enough that it still can keep my attention as a grown-up
14. I love that it allows me to have a career while I am at home with the kids.
15. I love that it allows me a creative outlet.
16. I love that you can follow a pattern with great results or do your own thing.
17. I love that it has transcended generations.
18. I love that it has continued to evolve and you can do traditional or contemporary things.
19. I love that some artists choose to use it as real art and at the same time, it is used as T.P. roll cover! What a continuum.
20. I love that it gives me a feeling of being productive while I am watching tv.
21. I love that it can be both functional and decorative at the same time.
22. I love that when you receive crochet as a gift, you know it was handmade.
23. I love that you can crochet with almost any fiber or anything really.
24. I love that you can crochet inexpensively or you can crochet luxuriously... it's your choice!
25. I love crochet because it is often a craft that is shared with others... within families, within guilds, within charity communities.

Wow, that was easier than I thought it would be.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Summer Blues Baby Dress

Here's our little friend, Emme, wearing a Summer Blues Baby Dress, that I crocheted and donated to the Church's Bid n' Buy last summer. Julie bought it and Emme grew into it just in time for First Communion! We were new to our church when I donated the dress. Julie bought it not knowing me or that we would have daughters the same age (Anna, not pictured, is a pal of Chickee). Now, I've taught Julie to crochet! Maybe I should teach her how to make the Sweet and Swingy Dress! Crochet brings people together!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sneak Peek

Here's a deceptive sneak peek for you! In one of my favorite colors. Definitely a wardrobe staple. I hope you'll like it!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MyCraftivity.com


Does anyone here belong to MyCraftivity.com? If you do, check me out here and friend me 'cuz I haven't a clue! There is a section for Knit and Crochet as well as other crafts and more general inspiration and creativity. Join me. :)

The above box of yarn is a glimpse of things to come...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

I bought this fun ergonomic interchangeable hook set! It comes with four hook "heads", but none of them were my favorite size, so I had to buy the "extra set". This set is sold at www.Motionmagique.com I really like it, though I admit, I'm having a little trouble getting used to it. Apparently, as I make my stitches, the yarn comes further down on the shaft than I realized, so occasionally, my yarn "sticks" on the little black rubber "O" rings. It feels good in my hand though, so I will keep trying.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Christening Set Revealed

Here's the sneak peek you saw months ago...And here's the finished project...
And the matching bonnet...
And matching booties...
The set is now a FREE PATTERN on Coats & Clark's Website!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cloud Cover baby Revealed



It is in this Leisure Arts book entitled 'All for Baby'.

This blanket was fun... it was practically all border! So, if you like to go around and around, this one is for you! It's made of Caron Simply Soft. Sometimes I love borders and sometimes I don't. When I was crocheting for fun before 1994-2004, I made lots and lots of blankets. When I was crocheting for fun, I wasn't all that worried if my corners didn't magically land in the right stitch. I would just skip a st (or not) to make the corner end up where it was supposed to be. I wouldn't rip and re-do if it didn't turn out perfect. What do you do? Do you rip and re-do or do you ease it?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Catching up....

There is a rumor going around that one of my designs has been spotted in a Leisure Arts booklet called, "All for Baby"., but since I can't see the inside of the leaflet, I can't confirm it. I have had one sighting from a reliable source, so maybe I can reveal it soon. Above, is Chickee and Chief. Chief chose his own clothes and I thought he did a great job considering it takes major fighting to get him to wear something with a collar on it!

Here is me and Captain. It was brighter out than it looks, so I'm sure we are wincing at the sun and nothing else!
Can you take a guess who this is? This is my twin! haha. It's my brother, Ken. He's got 3 years and about 8" on me. I'm wearing 4" heels in this photo. We totally look like we belong in the same family, doncha think? Too funny, I used to have a photo of Ken and me in my dorm room in college, if a guy stopped by that I liked, I would explain that Ken was my brother, if I didn't like the visiting guy, I would tell him that Ken was my boyfriend! It was kind of an ongoing joke.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Chickee's Four leaf clover

Chickee found this 4-leaf clover on April 2, 2009. Since then, both kids together, (and one for me!) we have found 20 4-leaf clovers in our back yard, including one 5-leaf clover and one 6-leaf clover. Very fun. We have laminated all of them with the date. I think, indeed, the clovers have brought us luck.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Woven Basket


Here's the final pattern that I have in Chain-Free Crochet Made Easy. In the book, they have it styled as a basket around a planter. It is in strips, then woven tightly so that it stands. I have been intrigued by layering of pieces for a long time, but haven't found too many satisfactory applications for it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

First Communion Dress Revealed!

My sweet Chickee! The weather held out and we had a great day. Chickee was very happy with her dress and overall, I'm happy with it. It was warm enough that she didn't need to wear the shrug. The dress is made of Plymouth, Jeanne, DK.
Here is me and Chickee in compliance with the 'Dressed up' decree. I need to show you more photos, Chief looked so handsome too. But today is reserved for Chickee. Now, I haven't crocheted in like 4 days, so back to work!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Infant's Hat and Mittens Set


Revealed! Infant's Hat and Mittens Set, in the.... Chain-Free Crochet Made Easy book! Really, if this book doesn't do well, I'm going to take it personally! (haha), Of course if it has record sales, I'll have to share the credit with many other fantastic designers like Tammy Hildebrand, Marty Miller, Lisa Pflug, Katherine Eng, Bendy Carter, and many, many more. This hat, by the way, was a precursor to the 'Chullo Hat and Gloves' pattern from Interweave Crochet, Winter, 2008.

Thanks everyone for the comments on the blog. I just love the comments and read them all before they are published. I wish there was an easy way to respond to each one like email. Still, I love, love, love the comments. Thank you.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Horizon Tote CAL and Reveals

Well, my friends, as of writing this post, no one has purchased the Horizon Tote pattern. I guess this means we will not be doing the CAL since no one is crocheting along... LOL. It's cool, ya'll are busy. If you change your mind, the Buy it now button is on the right side of this blog page. I'll still be glad to help out with any questions.

Here was the sneak peek! And the reveal!

Another Sneak peek....

And another reveal! Both of these bibs are in.... you guessed it.... Chain-Free Crochet Made Easy. I LOVE these bibs! Both are made from Lion Brand Cotton-Ease which comes in a great variety of colors. They are quick and functional, fun and washable. Perfect for shower gifts when you don't have time to make a layette or a sweater. It's not like a sweater that you have to get it 100% done to give it, You can make one and then if you have time, make another, and another, the recipient will never know how many you intended to make in the first place. I imagine they would be great to donate and they use up stash. I LOVE these bibs. These bibs, plus the ribbed throw from a couple of days ago, and the baby toys from yesterday, plus the patterns I'm going to show you in the next couple of days... it's a bumper crop of Ellen designs.

I'm sorry, you'll have to cope with reveals the next few days. We are super-duper busy here in GoCrochet-land. First Communion with all the extra stuff that goes along with it is this weekend. Plus, I have a serious deadline that I'm pushing. Ugh. It's a hard one. I'm struggling to get it all done (and done well, and done on time)...