What book should I write next?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Two FREE patterns! Sunny Spread and Fiesta Throw


You may have thought you missed out on the Sunny Spread pattern from Dec/January 2008 Crochet Today, but TPTB have released it as a FREE PATTERN! The problem is that I can't get you a direct link to the free pattern, but a link to the patterns page. If you ask it to search 10 per page, the SUNNY SPREAD is on page 13! Also, you'll find the FIESTA THROW on page 10, also a FREE PATTERN!
Thank you, Red Heart!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Advanced Shawl CAL - It's here! The pattern is Here!


The Advanced Shawl Pattern is now available! I'm calling it the Whisper Wrap! You can download the PDF now for $5.00 USD by clicking the "Buy Now" button. Then, if you are a Raveler, go to Ravelry and create a project page and queue this baby up! You can begin at anytime, but official discussion will start here on 3/15/10.


$5.00

Fine Print: To use the PDF, you will need appropriate software such as Adobe Acrobat Reader. By purchasing this pattern, you are granted a limited license to download the pdf file to a single personal computer and to print out a hard copy of the pattern, solely for personal non-commercial use.


If you are going to use YarnsAndMore to buy your yarn, she's placing an order TODAY! Here's the link.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Charlie

Sitting on a blanket I made years ago is Charlie posing nicely. I made this blanket before I became a designer when I used to consume Leisure Arts Afghan books. I used pore over those books for hours choosing which afghan I would make next! This one is used daily by our family. You've heard me say before, I think we have 11 crocheted blankets that we use on the beds and couches around the house.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Advanced Shawl CAL- What is Advanced?

Good question!

In this pattern there are post stitches put in weird places. In the pattern there will be photos illustrating exactly where they go! There will be both Front and Back Post Treble Crochet stitches. Also, there are stitches that I call: dc3tog over 5 and dc2tog over 3. Usually, when you do a dc dec, (also known as a dc2tog), you insert the hook to begin the stitch in the indicated st and the next part of the stitch goes in the next stitch... but in this pattern, you skip a st before doing the second half of the stitch. So it's still a dc2tog, but the feet are spread straddling a skipped st. I think there is a photo of this too. The dc3tog over 5, is very similar, it's just a dc3tog but the legs of the stitch are spaced out skipping every other st.

This pattern is great for a CAL because you can have as much support here on the blog that you might need! Also, there is like 14 photos (all sized down so the file isn't too huge) illustrating all the points. If ever you wanted to do an 'advanced' anything, now's the time!

I'd better get back to working on it, 3/15/10 is coming up soon!

I've decided to do my Whisper Wrap Advanced Shawl in the purplish color Berry Frappe 0006.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Our new babies...

There is no yarn sale Monday this week. Maybe next week. Look back to past week's though, because much is still available. The bigger lots of Caron and Bernat are gone.

Look at our new babies! The Captain brought home these baby chicks. They will be egg-laying chickens in several weeks, but right now they are 1 and 2 day old babies.
This is Chickee holding her chick, "Chickee Jr" is what she named it.
This one is my chick, I named her "Mrs. Poole" after a sitcom character back in the early 1990's. She's yellow right now, but she is a Rhode Island red and will likely change color as she grows. Mrs. Poole was a red-haired lady with a boufant hairstyle and a high-pitched voice.
Here is Chief and Chickee, so excited when they first arrived. The chicks have to grow over the next several weeks before they can be moved outside to a chicken coop that Captain is building. Then they will be egg laying chickens. I'll keep you posted on their progress. :)

Oh yes, we have a cat. The chicks are safe in the basement where Charlie has always been forbidden to go. Plus he has no claws and only one tooth, but we'll still be really careful and not let him near them.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The book

It's starting to add up. My work this past year is starting to accumulate. I have been shipping the projects as I go, so there are already 6 large boxes at the publisher and several more will have to get there before I'm done. There is a HUGE amount of yarn going into this book. There is some from most major manufacturers and some ones you may not have tried yet, but that you've likely heard of. I think you are going to be pleased with the variety of price points and the ability to substitute for your choice of yarns. I'd better get back to it... have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

GoTo yarn? Yarn companies take note! LOL


Haley asked me what is my go-to yarn? Here's a long answer to a short question.

When I'm designing... my go-to yarn is whatever is in my stash. That's why it's critical that I have a large volume in many colors to choose from. So, the company who sends me the most yarn in the biggest variety of colors has the best chance of getting chosen. I happen to have the largest volume of Coats & Clark/Red Heart yarns. A year or two ago Lion Brand sent me a huge box of cotton-ease... like 30 skeins multiples of each color! It was awesome, and the result was: The Zoe dress, the Lime pocket Bib, the Blue pocket Bib, the Traveler bag and another little item that I will be self-publishing when I get the chance... it's on the to-do list. Let's just say it's in case Zoe has a sibling one day... :)

I do have favorite yarns for different purposes. I totally believe there is room for cotton and acrylic in the yarn world. I also love more luxuriant fibers. I'm a big fan of Blue Sky Alpacas, Spud & Chloe, Louet and SWTC I need to see more Universal yarns, but I'm very impressed with what I've worked with so far. I'm impressed with the look of Tahki Stacy Charles yarns, but I've never worked with it...hint hint.... any TSC people read my blog? anyone?

Hey Haley, aren't you glad you asked? LOL!

Above, I need to make Charlie a new bed. Every time I wash it, it shrinks/felts even more... or he's getting bigger... maybe both.... :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

CAL Advanced Shawl details



Originally, in the photo, this shawl was 56" x 15". I'm re-writing the pattern for the shawl to be 60" x 18" and in the PDF, I'll offer details on multiples for how to adjust the length and height yourself. The old shawl 56" x 15" used 4 balls of Caron Spa which is 251 yds/skein and it is a 3/light weight yarn. I'm hoping to re-do the shawl myself during the CAL. In the photo I used the Misty Taupe, but I think when I re-stitch it (bigger), I'm going to use either the Ocean Spray or the Green Sheen. In the bigger size, I'm going to buy not 4 skeins, but 7. Remember to plan on having some extra for swatching. I also used an I/US-9 [5.5mm] hook. JoAnn's has Spa listed as $4.99 per skein as of today. Herrschner's has it listed for $4.49 per skein. If you are familiar with the Yarnsandmore Yahoo group, she has it listed as $4.00 per skein with a 3 skein minimum, I don't know if there is a return policy. Here's the link to the Yarnsandmore group. (I have no affiliation with Yarnsandmore, but I've used the group before several times and had a great experience. Jean, the owner of the group can be contacted directly, send me an email if you want her address. Make sure you find out an estimated shipping time, because it may take a little longer than ordering through a chain-store website).

Of course, you can use any yarn you wish, but if you go with the Caron Spa, those are some options.

The Pattern PDF is going to cost $5.00. There will be MANY photos in it and support here on the blog. I will not be giving out pertinent information about beginning chains and multiples here on the blog, it will be in the PDF. April 1, after we begin the CAL, the price of the PDF is going to up to $6.00. This is to offer you, blog readers, a discount, and to balance out the amount of work it is for me to photograph and support each step along the way.

I'm still hoping to begin the CAL on March 15th. I hope you will join me! Wouldn't it be great to see a bunch of these shawls walking around CGOA's National conference in July? Nevertheless, if you join me in the CAL, please do your best to take photos and post the project on Ravelry if you are a Ravelry person. I can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Go To scarf


My Step-mom's friend asked for a scarf using Priemer yarns that she had chosen at the fabric store. It was a super-bulky weight, I forget what it's called... so I whipped up a Go-To scarf using an N hook. It took less than a day and it's crossed off my To-Do list! As you already know... the pattern is available for PDF download for $3.00 at my Ravelry Store. Also at my Ravelry store is the Riverstone Vest pattern that our Valentine's Day winner, April, chose as her prize!

Also, above, we got 7" snow yesterday and are predicted to get another 3" or so today. That's on top of the 8 or so we got last week. Above is a photo of the table on our deck. I can't recall having this much snow in probably 15 years or more. I seem to recall we had a huge amount one year when I was in college. Anyway, we have a record for snowfall in February, something like 20". I'm kind over it. The kids are home again today.

Congratulations to Anna, Matthew and baby Zoe! Zoe, for whom the "Zoe one-day dress" was designed for... was born on Friday to happy parents. They are all doing well. Unfortunately they had to travel home from the hospital in the middle of this near-blizzard situation. Best wishes to them! Hi Anna!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Giveaway Winner and Yarn Sale Monday, Week 3

Welcome to Yarn Sale Monday! Also, I'm going to make you scroll all the way past my advertisements to find out who is the Valentine's Day PDF winner....

First, Thank you to those who have purchased stash! I think it's win-win. Here's the original post with all the "how-tos" to buying. I think at the end, what I have left, instead of going to ebay might go into a grab bag according to brand. We'll see.

From last week these are still available:

Both sets of Cascade Fixation:8 Nashua Creative Focus Worsted in Blue Pine

New for this week is:
2 skeins of SWTC Pure, soy blend, DK weight, here's the Yarndex page in the color ?????? bluish. Retails for $9.00 per skein. Your total price is $15.00

Louet Gems, 3 hanks of chunky/bulky weight in Sandalwood. Here is the Yarndex page, 100% wool, retails for $13.95 a hank. Your total price is $30.00

5 balls of Plymouth Jeannee DK. I used this yarn on Chickee's First Communion Dress. It retails for $3.50 a ball. Here's the page at Patternworks. Your total price is $15.00.

Winner of the Valentine's PDF giveaway.

I had so much fun reading all of your entries! A special note of thanks to all my readers with English as their second language! Wow, I'm so impressed.

And the winner is: APRIL CREATES!

April should email me at Ellen @ GoCrochet dot com (take out the spaces put a . in place of the word dot). Let me know which of my PDF patterns you would like, or you may choose to wait a few weeks and get the CAL Shawl PDF for free instead. Again, here's the link to the PDF's that you can choose from.

Thanks again to everyone who participated!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

SWTC Girlz are chatting about GoCrochet

SWTC Girlz Blog said some very nice things about my Zoe Vest from Interweave Crochet, Winter 2009. Check out what they said! Thank you so much!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Advanced Shawl CAL



Whether we do a shawl CAL or I just release the pattern as a PDF, here are some photos. I don't know if seeing the photos will make you want to change your vote on the poll. I don't know if you can change your vote on the poll. Somebody try it and let me know. If we do this, I'm shooting for March 15th or so to start. Comments are welcome. I used Caron Spa in Mist or fog or something like that. I think off hand it took 4-5 balls? I'll get all the details for you.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Odds and Ends


Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.
Henry Van Dyke

The kids went back to school today on schedule. I was very surprised that there was no delay.

Just a reminder that I'm not going to allow any comments that have links in them. I'm starting to get spam from corporations posting links to sales and such.

Yesterday I finished the felted item I was working on. I love felting and it *felt* good to do it again!

Also, I've been working on the BOOK. I tell you, there are some other crochet authors who have probably written 3 books in the time it is taking me to write one. The schedule though, is not all within my control. Either way, it is progressing and it will happen...eventually!

Keep those poems and comments coming on the Valentine's Giveaway. This is so much fun!

This morning is Crochet and Chat at the Library if you are in the neighborhood, I'm going to try to get the car out of the driveway. I know I'll be keeping a shovel in the trunk for at least a few days.

Don't forget to vote on the Shawl poll on the right. It's a tricky pattern and if we do it, I'll be posting several photos and maybe even a video clip of how to do a few of the stitches. The result is lacy and stretchy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Giveaway!


Because you all leave such kind comments.... (I love the questions too...) let's do a little Valentine's Giveaway! Just leave a comment on this post between now and Sunday the 14th at 12:00 noon Eastern Time and you will win your choice of one of my PDF patterns. If you make me rhyming poem, you'll get your name in the drawing twice. If your rhyming poem has the word 'crochet' in it, I'll put your name in 3 times! This is going to be so fun! But, if you're not verbally creative, a plain ol 'hiya Ellen' will get your name in the drawing.
PLEASE put your city along with your name in case I get multiple comments from people with the same first name. :)

The list of available PDFs is on my Ravelry Shop page.

Because I'm offering a PDF, anyone, all over the world can enter! The winner will be announced on Monday's Yarn Monday post.

Above, is the Igloo that the Captain, the kids and I made all day yesterday. As you can see we didn't finish until dark. We had to have a neighbor (a tall neighbor...) come with his son to help with the highest parts. We have 6-8 inches right now and expecting another 3-4 tonight and tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fiction and Non-Fiction

I have many new followers, Hi Followers! So, for you who are new to GoCrochet... I also love reading. But since I want this blog to be at least 98% crochet, I put a bunch of books in one post once every six weeks or so, so that I don't drag them out taking up precious crochet content time. Here's what I've been reading:

I just finished reading The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein. Mr. Bernstein was 96 when he wrote this book, a memoir of his childhood in post-WW1 London. He lived on a segregated street, on one side Christians and on the other side, Jews. The story feels like fiction. It has all the drama and intrigue of fiction. It has colorful interesting characters. I very much enjoyed the story which centered around his older sister, who began a friendship with a Christian boy. All the people, family, neighbors, revolved around this taboo relationship. A very, very good read.

It makes me wonder, though... about the definition of a memoir. I do not at all suspect Mr. Bernstein of embellishing or fictionalizing his story. But when you are remembering back 75-80 years, I wonder how much he had to trust he feelings about the situation when he perhaps didn't remember a detail or two?

It makes me think of that author who said he wrote a true story and was interviewed on Oprah and then later it came out that he "embellished" a little. Everyone's reality is different. How real is a memoir? 100% fact? 50% fact and 50% fiction? 10% fact and 90% fiction? Just wondering.

Before I go on, let me tell you a little about how I choose books. Many times, I just take one off the stack at our County Library. They make a "monthly selection" and I often take one regardless of what it's about so that I can "expand my horizons" and attempt to read something of value. Also, our branch library chooses a monthly selection for their book club. I often grab one of those too. I don't ever get to the discussion group, but I enjoy chatting about the book with the branch librarian who runs the group. (Hi Monica!) Sometimes, I pick books that friends have recommended. Sometimes, I just pick a random book off the shelf that catches my attention. As a last resort, I grab a book from a popular fiction best-selling writer, knowing that I'll be entertained but that I won't likely be "expanding my horizons".

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
This one was a monthly selection by the County library. It seems that the older I get, the more likely I am to abandon a book part-way through. As my other librarian friend tells me (and Zoe's mom) that there are too many other good books out there to waste time on one you don't like. I read about 75 pages of this one. It is (so far) about the differences between the Mormon Church of the Latter Day Saints and the Fundamentalists Mormons who, in some cases, practice polygamy. Also there is some discussion in the book about the abuses that have occurred.

Suddenly, I was thrown back to Freshman (in college) Spoken Word class (speech). We learned that every speech has a purpose, to entertain, instruct, or persuade. (and sometimes more than one of these). While reading this book, I began to wonder about the author's purpose. Is he trying to instruct or persuade? This question bothered me enough and he failed to entertain enough, that I gave up.

The Sisterhood
by Michael Palmer
I listened to this one on audiobook and was very entertained. Not only was I curious how it was going to turn out, this medical mystery/drama, but it didn't kill me emotionally, which is nice. It's ok if a book tugs at my heartstrings, but I don't like to read book after book that makes me sob. This one was good. It is about a surgeon who had a tragic past trying to resurrect his career. Simultaneously, there is a secret society of nurses who believe in euthanasia that interferes with the surgeon's livelihood. Again, at the same time, a few other mysterious deaths occur. Are they a result of the doctor's incompetence, are they the work of the Sisterhood of nurses? or are they the work of someone else... duh, duh, dum (dramatic music).

Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult
Wow. I just closed this one. In usual Jodi Picoult style (consider "Her Sister's Keeper") this book pushes and prods the gray areas of ethics in our lives. This story is about a little girl with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bone disease). The family all wrestle with the contradiction between loving this unique child and coping the with the extra difficult circumstances her disease creates. At some point a "wrongful birth" lawsuit is filed. Every nuance of this difficult topic is probed. I won't give away the ending, but Wow. It was a very good book, but I don't know if I want to read more of Ms. Picoult's heart wrenching exploration of human ethics.

A Cedar Cove Christmas by Debbie Macomber
A sweet story with a wink and a nudge to the Original Christmas story. A cute, quick, easy read. Few pages, big type. Still, it's a little disturbing the main character, MaryJo, being loosely compared to the Virgin Mary. MaryJo, who had a child out of wedlock under less than pure circumstances... but if you can put that aside, it was ok.

Jamaica Inn by Daphne DuMaurier
The first several pages were so frightening that I almost didn't continue. Not frightening in the slasher movie sense, but frightening in the chilling reality of how a villain could be in the real world, how a villain could be in a family. Set in the moody moors of England in the winter, main character, Mary, is forced to join distant family and keep a promise. She soon finds that the promise to live with them was a promise that she made in haste without knowing what she was getting herself into. It reminded me of the movie "Cape Fear" that same kind of creepy, icky scary. I finished the book. It was good, I find though, that I get impatient with too much description and finding myself wanting to skip to the dialogue. DuMaurier also wrote the epic Rebecca, which I think I have read, but I can't remember at all.

Up next, The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Yarn Sale Monday, Week 2


It's Yarn Sale Monday again! Look at what terrific goodies I have to offer this week! Please read last week's post for all the specifics on how to buy, find it all here.

#1 above Nashua Creative Focus Worsted Weight yarn in Blue Pine (CFW1450). Here is the Nashua page. It is 75% wool, 25% alpaca, 100g/3.5 oz and 220 yds/200m. It retails for $8.81 at Royal Yarns. Your price for 8 balls is $55.00

#2, #3 and #4, Bernat Satin, Yarndex page is here. I have 4 in red (rouge), 3 in green (fern) and 6 in blue (sapphire). They retail for $2.29 a ball. Your price for the 4 red is $8.00; Your price for the 3 green is $6.00, your price of the 6 blue is $12.00. If you want ALL 13 skeins, your total price is $25.00.



#5 and #6 Cascade Fixation in 4 balls of Hot Pink and 7 balls Navy Blue. here is the Yarndex page. It's cotton/polyester. It's very stretchy and is known for it's stretch. It's DK weight and retails for $4.60 a ball. Your price for 4 balls of Hot Pink is $15.00; your price for the 7 balls of Navy blue is $20.00. Want them all? All 11 balls together, your price is $30.00.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Two Hooks Blanket PDF

The Two Hooks Blanket PDF is now available! This classic blanket is so big and squishy, you'll love it! Some rounds are made with one strand and a smallish hook and some rounds are made with two strands and a larger hook. These mega motifs would also make a great pillow. The squares are 11", so with some minor adjustments this could be a great pattern for a 12" block exchange or charity project.


$4.00 USD

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sneak Peek

Hmm, a twisted, shelly thing it is... keep right on guessing... LOL.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Showstopper conversation an update...


You remember my previous posts on how to push a design from fine to GREAT. I think that I need to add one. A great EDGING can push a design from fine to Showstopping! Read the previous discussion here and here.

I'm having a hard time finding examples, maybe I should re-think this? Any nominations?

Speaking of Nominations, the CLF (Crochet Liberation Front) group on Ravelry is taking nominations for the 2010 Flamie awards for crochet blogs, books, projects, designers, hooks, yarns, etc. If you are a Raveler, get on over there and nominate!

Yesterday I finished the first "draft" of a little purse. I call it a 'draft" because I need to re-do it! If it had turned out great it wouldn't be a 'draft'. I'm calling it the 'amoeba' purse, and one day I might show it to you as an example of how crochet evolves (I hope!)

Thanks all for those purchasing yarn and purchasing the 50% off Mini Felted tote and tutorial. The Blue Sky Alpacas is in process of purchase and the Simply Soft in yellow is purchased.

Above, is me with our newest Nephew. Last week, they were in town from Florida. This little guy and his two older brothers. In the photo, I'm wearing the skinny version of the Tunisian Scarf from Inside Crochet #5.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yarn Sale Monday! (I'm a day late!)

Are you ready for a STASHDOWN?

Every Monday, I'm going to post photos of yarn and some prices and shipping cost information. If you buy more than one, you only pay shipping once. I'm only taking Paypal. First come, first served. Continental USA residents only. To purchase, email me with your shipping address at:

Ellen @ GoCrochet dot come (take out the spaces, put a . in place of the word dot). The one with the earliest time stamp will get it. I'll give you instructions on making a Paypal payment (you will need to have a Paypal account already). I'll ship on Friday.

The following Monday will be a "last call" reminder for anything that didn't sell the previous week and new yarns.

If a yarn doesn't sell by the second week, I'm going to list it on Ebay. Any questions?

Let's get started... the goodies for week 1 of Yarn sale Monday are:1. Above, Bernat Baby Jacquards, Here's the Yarndex information on it. 1 ball, 3.5 oz/100g 316m/346yds, color: Spearmint Candy #06230 90% acrylic, 10% nylon. It retails for $4.99. Including shipping, your total price is $4.90


2. Caron Simply Soft, log of 6 (you can do alot with 6!) in Sunshine 9945, Acrylic, 7 oz, 198g, 366 yds/344 m, retails for $3.49 per skein. Your total price including shipping is: $13.00.
3. Luscious, by Kollage yarns, here's the Yarndex page, it's color: Rusty, 63% cotton, 37% nylon elastic, 185yds/ 55g, DK weight, retails for $11.55 per hank, your total price including shipping is: $8.00
4. Luscious, by Kollage yarns, here's the Yarndex page, it's color: Sea, 63% cotton, 37% nylon elastic, 185yds/ 55g, DK weight, retails for $11.55 per hank, your total price including shipping is: $8.00

#5 Bernat Roving, in Cranberry #67, Bulky #5, 3.5 oz, 100g, 109m/120yds, 80% acrylic, 20% wool, here's the Bernat details page retails for $4.99, your total, including shipping is $4.90

#6 Above, Bernat Baby Jacquards, Here's the Yarndex information on it. 1 ball, 3.5 oz/100g 316m/346yds, color: Strawberry Jam #06230 90% acrylic, 10% nylon. It retails for $4.99. Including shipping, your total price is $4.90

#7, Cascade Yarns, Heritage Sock yarn, 1 hank, 75% Merino Superwash, 25% Nylong, 3.5 oz, 100g; 437yds/400m, Details page is here, retails for $12.00 (source: YarnCountry.com). Your total price including shipping is $10.00.

#8 Bernat Alpaca, Yarndex details here, color: Peony #93420, 3.5 oz, 100g, 110m/120yds, 70% acrylic, 30% alpaca, #5 Bulky, retails for $4.99, your total price including shipping is: $4.90


#9 2 hanks of Blue Sky Alpacas sportweight in Avocado #520, 50g, 110yds/100m, 100% baby alpaca, Retails for $9.00 each (source Purl Soho), your total price including shipping is....$12.00

Monday, February 1, 2010

SURPRISE SALE


The Felting Tote and Tutorial PDF is now on sale for $5.00! Original price is $10.00

I don't know when I'm going to end the sale,
get the PDF now!

Yarn Weight Question


Debra writes:
Can you direct me to a place where yarn weights are explained? I understand sock (;-) but DK, aran, etc… have me stumped. Also, it would be nice if examples were given name brands or?
Any help is appreciated.
~Debra

Hi Debra,

I'm still confused on some of them. Sometimes I think, by feel, a yarn is a 3, but a company calls it a 4. Anyway, here are two links that will help. First, CYCA yarn standards is what all the US yarn companies are supposed to be following. It's a great go-to site for hooks/needles, garment sizing and yarn sizing information. Look on the left bar of the page for "yarn weights".

The second site is Yarndex. You can ask it to search yarns by weight and it will list them. It's great for finding comparable yarns.

Still, there is no substitution for swatching. Even different colors within the same yarn might swatch up a little differently. Hope that helps!

Above, is some pretty Avocado Sportweight Alpaca by Blue Sky Alpacas. I'm going to be thinning my stash about starting tomorrow. This lovely duo will be part of the stock reduction sale.