Friday, December 30, 2011

Photo Friday


Oh Dear.
Meet Ruby and Bumbles, Chief's new pet gerbils. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Knitting

I just finished Susan B. Anderson's Twister pattern. It's available for free from the Spud & Chloe website.  It's 2 skeins of Spud & Chloe Sweater.  Since I didn't have 2 of the same color, I took two of what I did have, pink and yellow!  I thought it might be fun and look like a variegated rose :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Real Quick...

I'm still busy doing family stuff, but I thought I'd post this photo...
My brother, Ken, brought my book to our family gathering because he wanted me to sign it!  So sweet. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

And the Winner is....

The winner of the digital edition of Simply Crochet by Robyn Chachula is....

Ashley from Flint, MI

Yay! (confetti drop here)...

Ashley, please email me as soon as you can to  Ellen @ GoCrochet dot com

Here's a photo for your Friday:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: Simply Crochet

Ok, so it's not exactly fair that I'm reviewing this book... since I'm IN IT! It's Robyn Chachula's new book, Simply Crochet.  The book is now available in hardcopy and ebook formats from Interweave Press.

The book is based on the 1, 3, or 5 balls of yarn. My Dots and Dashes blanket, is 5 skeins of Caron Simply Soft.
Of Course Robyn has several of the 22 designs in the book, but she also included many designers you might also enjoy:  Rebecca Velasquez (the cover design! GO REBECCA!) Marly Bird, Linda Permann, Kristin Omdahl, Doris Chan, Margaret Hubert and several more.

All the designs are shown in both written and stitch diagram instructions. There are several accessories and several garments, a few kids garments, a few household items. All in all, there is a little something for everyone.

I love this little Natalie shrug by Megan Granholm, so SWEET!
Interweave Press is offering a prize for one lucky blog reader.  Leave a comment on this post by Thursday night at midnight Eastern, December 22nd with your first name and city. I'll randomly pull a name from the comments, and post it on Friday. The winner will need to email me ASAP, because you'll win a coupon for a DIGITAL copy of the book!  Which means the sooner you claim your book the faster you can start enjoying your prize. 

HAHA, I guess I didn't really talk about my blanket, did I? LOL.  I'm truly in love with ovals.  I just think they are so elegant and interesting.  Of course that means that they fit wonderfully into an oval box.  Paired with the circles in squares, it's almost like little exclamation points.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dirty little secret

I'm going to let you in on a secret... I sold some projects that were supposed to be published, but then weren't.  And do you know what? It happens all the time. I think sometimes editors buy projects and then they later find out that the bought too much or that some patterns took up more space and so something had to be "bumped" or saved for another issue or offered in another way.  This has happened to me a few times lately and so while I was excited to be sharing a bunch of reveals with you, they'll have to wait.  It's disappointing, temporarily. Then it's all better when the check arrives and the project goes public and the disappointment will all be forgotten. There are still PLENTY of projects in the pipeline because 2011 was a record year for me.  It's a great time to start putting the finishing touches on my balance sheet for 2011, take an honest look at my 2011 business goals and set new ones for 2012!  I'm so very excited about what you are going to see in 2012! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Inspiration: Primrose Stole

Have I told you about this one yet? This is a rectangular stole made of Spud & Chloe Fine. It's a superwash wool and silk blend and it blocks beautifully.  The pattern is available through Tangled online magazine. What was I thinking?  One of my cousins, who lives out of state and I don't get to see often, and I re-connected on Facebook a while back.  Reading my posts and seeing my work, Stephanie made a comment about wanting a scarf.  At the time, I was so swamped that I thought to myself, "If the Divine Mother herself asked for a scarf, it would be hard to find the time".  That got me thinking, what could I make that would be worthy of the Mother of God?  (cue choirs of angels)  I designed this pattern to be light and airy. I love the wool/silk blend. The yarn also comes in lovely ecru and pale blue colors that I used for the proposal. They are join-as-you-go squares and I wanted something lacy. After the book, I'm all about join-as-you go ;) I think it turned out really well.  I wish I had a photo of the before and after blocking, because it is nothing short of spectacular.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gift to YOU

So, yesterday I was telling you about Stefanie Japel's Craftsy class.  I've been taking the class on www.craftsy.com It's called Circular Knit Lab: Hats four ways.  It has been teaching me how to use circular and double pointed needles to make hats!  So far, at my own pace, I have made the Sweet Pea and Wheeler Hats (below). Well, Stefanie read my post and decided to offer YOU, my readers, a discount if you want to get into the action too!  Isn't that great?  I love taking classes. Probably nothing inspires me more than hearing people talk about the crafts I love.  The class is regularly $49.99 (totally worth it), but using THIS LINK to Craftsy, you can get the class for $29.99.  They have many other classes too and you can even GIFT a class to a friend. (what a great idea!)
Thanks Stefanie!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Knitting

Don't worry, knitting is not taking away from my crochet time.  This hat, is part of the Circular knitting class "Circular Knit Lab: Hats Four Ways" with Stefanie Japel on Craftsy.  I love the Craftsy class forum. This is the second hat in the class and it has taken me (cough, 3 months?) to finish?  Because of course, crochet has to come first.  But still I love learning and I love knitting and I'm thrilled to have a finished project. Though I did a gauge swatch, my hat is a little big, so I'm not sure who gets it :)

 Chickee started a new knit scarf, alternating rows of garter and stockinette, so I got inspired. I grabbed a beautiful little hank of Louet (uh oh, what was it....) Eastport? Alpaca. Lovely.

And when I say it was a little hank, I mean little!  This is the entire hank.  I'm going to have to get a little decorative broach to pin this scarf on. It's only about 18-20" (a guess) long. But, wow is it soft.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Photo Friday

Our Niece's dog, Lucy, dressed up for Halloween. That's a jockey on her back. They should have put some roses around her neck.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Inspiration: Carolyn's Cabled Purse


As seen in the Interweave Crochet's Accessories Issue, 2010, this little textured tote is made of Berroco Vintage yarn.  I love making purses and bags. I love working in the round. Purses and totes fit everyone. There is no "ease" issues.  With this bag I was really intrigued by the idea of wanting to do the cables on the surface and having a different background color. It is a "tapestry style" where one color is dropped and the next color picked up.  It is "Fair Isle" because not more than 2 colors are used in any row.  One color is all the Front Post stitches, creating the cable, and the other two colors are used for the "background".  So many bags are "flat" with no texture this was my early steps at adding texture to the surface.

Closure is always an issue for totes and bags. This bags closes with a sewn in snap.

The entire issue is available still in digital format here on Interweave's Website. Hardcopies are also available at Interweave here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Did you see?

I have an Article in the new issue of Crochet Today!  January/February 2012. It's an article on the difference between clusters, bobbles and popcorns!  I got my nails done just for the article. (is that a business expense?) Those are MY hands in the photos :)

Funny, my hands are famous.

Check it out!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Photo Friday

Chickee plays volleyball, from Chief's perspective, with me, the assistant coach, in the background...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kick off

Today, Rebecca Velasquez kick's off the Simply Crochet Blog tour, go visit her and see what she has to say about her cover project for Robyn Chachula's new book.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Inspiration: Chullo Hat and Fingerless gloves

What was I thinking?
I can't find a photo of the fingerless gloves that go with this hat! Oh, here it is.... It was in Interweave Crochet Winter, 2008, but the pattern is available in Interweave's store.  Ok, back to what I was thinking.  I was thinking that I admired the Andean chullo hat patterns. I don't want to take the time to borrow anyone's hat photos, but Google "Chullo hats" and all sorts of beautiful intricate, colorful stitch work earflap hats will come up. I knew that I wanted to do something with colorwork, and you may have noticed a pattern in my work that I love 2 colors per row tapestry and fair isle type color work.  However, I like to make it very easy so that you get maximum impact with the least amount of confusion. I originally designed the hat in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, I think, in a dark plum color and a pale icy green.  Kim Werker, the then editor of Interweave Crochet, chose this fascinating and beautiful combination of plum and terracotta.  The model is made in Mission Falls yarn (now discontinued). The hat is a Worsted weight and the gloves are the same colors in sport weight.  I love a hat that covers my ears :)  And I can't believe I don't have a set of these for myself. What was I thinking not making a set for myself? 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Live for today...

In the crochet design business everything seems to happen SO FAR IN ADVANCE, that it is hard to remember to live for TODAY. Magazines need work 9-12 months in advance, I'm working on next FALL's work, now.  I have a project for next summer on the schedule. Plans for summer and fall conferences for 2012 are being made. Crazy. 

On the flip side, work that I was working on LAST year is now coming to the present. (or I'm revealing the past?) It's like time travel, or deja vu, that work that I was so focused on 9 or 12 months ago is just now shared so it's new to you, but old to me... it suits my circular thinking perfectly.

Anyway, here's a new reveal for you... that I worked on while in Florida last October. It's in Robyn Chachula's new book, Simply Crochet.  I'll be doing a more formal review about it in December, when it's my turn...

Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm still here

Yep, I'm still here.  It feels like I fell off a proverbial cliff. The Thanksgiving Holiday and the incessant rain has knocked us all off our routine. I'm determined to get back into the saddle today. Deadlines are still there even if I don't squeeze in work.  It was a nice holiday though, we had a nice dinner, we took the kids plus niece and nephew to a play, there was a volleyball match thrown in.  But back to work and reality and I'd better pick up the pace.  :P

Friday, November 25, 2011

Photo Friday

Flashback to Halloween,
Chickee the pirate and Chief the Gargoyle

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's Chief with his third grad classmates in their interpretation of the First Thanksgiving. Chief was the narrator.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Inspiration: Cameo Oval

It's another oval from the book, in the rectangle section. To the right, I think you have already seen this one.
The top one is 'Cameo Oval" and if oriented vertically, reminds me of a Cameo pin.  I used the lime green contrast round to emphasize the oval shape. Can you imagine if I had made that round purple? The oval emphasis would have been lost. Horizontally, it looks like an eyeball now that I look at it. LOL.  Spooky.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Driftwood Cap Gift

My Sister-in-law asked me to make a fall/winter hat for a friend who has cancer. Of course, I couldn't say no and I didn't have to look any further than the Driftwood Cap! The cap is available as a PDF download by clicking the link.  I used a lighter weight yarn, so I did have to adjust the pattern for the smaller yarn. I used Fiesta yarns Posh. I couldn't find it on their website to show you a link, odd.  It is a Merino/nylon/cashmere blend. Very pretty.  The color is Madrid. I added a *(sc, ch 2, sc), sk 1 st; edging around the brim.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

knit

Using leftover Universal Yarns Deluxe Worsted (wool), I improvised a stretchy headband to wear when I run when it's cold. I wanted something that would cover my ears and stay on.  I added a single crochet edge to tame the stretchi-ness. Serviceable. Don't you love quick easy projects that you actually USE? That's one of the things I love most about crochet and knit... it has a purpose.  Yes, paintings and music have a purpose too, but you can't wear them out by using them.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday, Monday...

It's a day of pattern writing.  I'm going to be strict with myself and say, "NO crocheting until these patterns are finished!"

But I may take some time to request some yarn for a secret new project.... 

Our kids want me to tell you about their blogs since they have a renewed interest in writing.

Chickee, age ten, writes at www.chickeechats.blogspot.com
Chickee would like me to tell you that she is 'totally awesome'. Which she is :)

Chief, age eight, writes at www.solarwolfchat.blogspot.com
Chief is a little more shy about his writing, but he's awesome too.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Yo-Yo Purse

Here's the Yo-Yo Purse that I mentioned yesterday. It is also a web bonus offered by Crochet! Magazine.  I put it and the Tipsy Blanket up on Ravelry.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Inspiration: Tipsy Blanket

What was I thinking?

First, I'm thinking that this poor blanket hasn't gotten enough attention.  It's not or Ravelry, it's not in a magazine, BUT it was one of the Bonus patterns for Crochet! Magazine subscribers, including all CGOA members. To get the pattern, as a CGOA member, go to the Crochet! Magazine website, Here. On the left info bar it says, "CGOA log-in" or "subscriber log-in" put in your CGOA membership number or your subscriber number and it will take you to the special bonus features. On the right, a little down my Tipsy Blanket is under "Web Bonuses".  Also under that tab is my Yo-yo purse (also not on Ravelry, guess I should get on that?). They are both under "September 2011".

Ok, back to 'What was I thinking?'

 Here's the original swatch.  (I love blue and purple together, don't you? perhaps not these vibrant shades, but still).
Now that I look at it, with the tail hanging off, it looks like a sting-ray!  But back then, what I was thinking was that I was in the mood to be Asymmetrical.  (you get that from me from time to time, the Jiggling Circles Lap Throw, for example, or the Off-Center Motif in the book, Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook, or the Asymmetrical Waves Throw . 
 All examples of how I like to get off center occasionally.  LOL.  So much of crochet is about symmetry and balance, keeping the piece even.  To push myself to be more creative, I like to go off balance with the work.  In these instances, I feel that I am 'freeform'.  I like to break the assumptions of what is expected.  It does make writing the instructions more difficult, but why can't we have an unbalanced project or motif occasionally? In the Tipsy blanket, above, I wanted the impression of falling leaves, so the motifs are not all oriented the same way.  The motifs are all the same color because it allows you to see the subtle movement of the motifs from row to row.
The rigid border makes it look like you are watching falling leaves from the interior of your home through a window.  (See, all that structure... I'm not ready to go completely off the freeform deep end... just a little... in a controlled way....)  Like my architect husband, who can draw whatever he wants, he still has to make the building STAND. With crochet, I can push it, but is still has to be able to be written.  I guess we aren't that different.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Big Deadline Push

I've got my to-do list down to a manageable number, but most of the remaining items on it are all due 11/15, so I'm in scurry mode. :)  I'll post tomorrow about some sort of inspiration! Any requests?

Monday, November 7, 2011

One less Pet :(

Chickee lost her dear Sweets over the weekend. She was a nice pig.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Photo Friday


Results from the pumpkin carving party two weeks ago. :) Notice the creative use of Jalapeno peppers?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Two Reveals! Two FREE Crochet Patterns!

   Jiggly circles blanket (I think it looks like fried eggs) Is a FREE pattern offered by Premier Yarns in Alpaca Dance.

And Crocheted Sparkling Wrap Pattern, that was seen on the runway at VKLive in LA last month!
Both are FREE Patterns on the Premier website. Thanks Premier!