Saturday, April 30, 2011

More rainbows

Our neighbor, Moe, got a much better photo of the rainbow from her end of our street. That is the Ohio River.  Thanks, Moe!

Friday, April 29, 2011


It's all rainbows and sunshine!  (except for the rain).  These appeared at dinner time over the Ohio River, yesterday. 

Still playing with broomstick lace. It's very easy!  It's going to be a crazy busy weekend.  Chief's First Communion is this weekend!  We are very excited.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Today, I'm lining up stops on my Blog Book Tour!  I'm so excited.  Lots of great people are bowing to the pressure agreeing to host my book on their blogs!  It's a win-win!  Their readers get to hear about my book, and you all can visit other blogs and get to know them.  Also on the whirlwind tour Watch out JK Rowling I'll be stopping by Getting Loopy on Blog Talk Radio on 5/16 and yet to be scheduled YarnThing with Marly on Blog Talk Radio. 

Flashing back to sweet chick photo.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More swatching

More swatching today. I have plenty of things on my plate, and deadlines are starting to pile up, but swatching is starting to keep my interest.  By swatching, I don't do the traditional, swatch the same stitch in several different yarns with a few different hooks... generally, when I swatch, I begin the project.  I'll make the whole hat a couple of times, working out the construction issues while I'm changing yarns and hooks.  Also, I think from now on, I'm going to make my swatches at least the size of a baby sweater back!  Then I can be half-way finished with a project by the time I'm done.  The baby won't care if there are different stitches for each sweater piece, right?  Maybe the back will be different than the sleeves and fronts?  It's all good. Kinda like the children's book about the patchwork elephant... I can't remember the name of it... some reader will know! Who will it be? 

Above, is a bearded dragon who belongs to neighbors.  We're taking care of this critter while they are on vacation along with a few more of their animals...
Daisy the guinea pig
Chickee and Lily the guinea pig (who should be called "Bugsy" like the guinea pig from the Bedtime Story movie)
And Sky and Mango (gerbils) who are currently running loose in the neighbors house... don't ask.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Broomstick and a chicken vacation?

 I've been playing with Broomstick lace!  Have you tried it? It's really fun and there are so many great ways to modify it!  I'm going to keep playing and see what happens.
 Chief and Chickee brought 2 of the chickens up to the house for a "chicken vacation".  They met Charlie who was stuck in this statue pose for a long while in confusion about the birds that are bigger than he.
Chief thought it was so funny he had to imitate Charlie's stance of fear!  Charlie soon broke out of his trance and ran to the door of the house to be let back in.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Here's a few photos of our Easter, yesterday.  There were taken during the short amount of time that there was no rain.  I actually hot rolled my hair, believe it or not, and it lasted oh, about 3 minutes.  LOL.  I'm only showing you me from the waist up because I'm actually wearing a new skirt design that was part of 'set my hooks free March'.  I plan to wear it in Minneapolis.

I don't have much to say about crochet unfortunately. I'm just as busy as always but much of my work right now is more 'behind-the-scenes'.  (wink, that's a hint).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter eggs dyeing 2011

This year, we have BROWN and BLUE eggs to dye!  I think they came out even better and darker than white eggs.  Here's a few photos:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chickee modeling for Doris Chan!

Chickee was thrilled to do some modeling for Doris Chan's design line for girls. Doris calls it DJC, Too!  This design is called "Tank Girl" and it will be available soon.  Chickee also modeled last year for a skirt for Doris called, "Birthday Girl".  Doris has made this little girl very happy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

And the Winner is...

Catlyn L, from Greenville, OH

Woohoo!  Congratulations, Catlyn!  I've been to Greenville!  I used to have an Aunt and Uncle there who took me to Annie Oakley Days when I was 8 or so. 

The winner MUST email me at ellen @ gocrochet dot com  by Friday 4/22/11 11:00 pm EST with your mailing address. If the winner doesn't email by that time, the prize is forfeited and will be given away in my Ravelry chat room the following Wednesday.

CLF Awards

The Crochet Liberation Front Announced the Winners last night on Getting Loopy.  Congratulations to all the winners!  I'd love to list them, but would likely forget someone.  Congratulations, though, to the Double Stitch Twins who won for Best Designer for Crochet Accessories.  I'm having trouble finding a list of the winners, guessing Laurie just hasn't had a chance to get them up yet. There is a tab though for the Awards on their website with a pull-down for each year's winners.  I'm sure it will be there shortly.

Thank you to everyone who nominated and voted for me.  It truly was just a thrill to see my name on the voting poll.  Apparently over 30,000 votes were cast and I'm thrilled that a few of my designs and my name were seen by ALL THOSE PEOPLE!  Wow!

Monday, April 18, 2011


I'm looking forward to taking the kids to the zoo during Spring Break next week!  We saw this handsome fellow there last year.

Today I'm working on "re-work".  I'm re-doing work I already did but wasn't happy with, so ... Rip rip and now I'm re-stitching.  I'm happy though because I KNOW I'll be so much happier with the new plan. 

Don't forget to look at Saturday's post and enter to win Linda's book!  Come back tomorrow to learn the winner!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: Little Crochet

Little Crochet: Modern Designs for Babies and Toddlers by Linda Permann with Potter Craft Publishing.
Linda Permann has followed up her first book, Crochet Adorned, with another fun crochet book, Little Crochet. Generally, Linda's patterns in this book are sized from infant to 3T or 4T.  There is a pretty equal balance of patterns for girls and boys.  Her mastery of color comes through in the colorful projects that are even appropriate for beginner crocheters.  How many crocheters were inspired to learn to crochet because of the news a baby was arriving?  MANY!  This book is perfect for expressing that happy feeling that a loved one is expecting.  Whether you have just a few minutes to whip up a crocheted ball to place on a shower gift, a few hours to make a cute beanie the night before the baby shower, or weeks to make a sweater or blanket for a long-awaited arrival, there is something in here you can make to give.

I made the beanie (with a bigger hook and a slightly bigger yarn to accommodate my older child), and I think it looks great!  Here's a photo of my beanie.  I made it for Chief, but it looks like Chickee may steal it... I feel a second beanie coming on to keep the peace.
Blankets, sweaters, toys, accessories... there is a wide variety in the 24 projects. A few of the projects offer photos of alternate color schemes.  All the boy projects can be made in girl colors.  There are 2 pretty dresses and 2 pretty cardigans for girls.  The rest are unisex patterns. Linda took care to make one of the dresses in her signature hybrid sewing/crochet style, perfect for little ones who live in warmer climates!  Those of you who loved Linda's appliques' in her first book will be thrilled to fine little appliques for boys and girls in this book.  Dress up a plain tee (or dare I say, 'cover up a stain with' an applique?  It wouldn't be the first time parents have gotten creative to get more life out of baby's clothes!

Would you like to win a copy?  (psst, you don't get mine, I'm keeping it, but I can have a chance to win one).  Here's the details... Open to US residents, place a comment here with your first name, last initial and city, on this Post by Monday night 11:00 pm EST on Monday 4/18/11. The winner will be randomly drawn from the commenters. I'll announce the winner on Tuesday, 4/19/11.  The winner MUST email me at ellen @ gocrochet dot com  by Friday 4/22/11 11:00 pm EST with your mailing address. If the winner doesn't email by that time, the prize is forfeited and will be given away in my Ravelry chat room the following Wednesday.
In the interest of full disclosure, Potter Craft provided a complimentary copy of the book for review.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Giveaway tomorrow!

I don't usually post on Saturday, but tomorrow I will! 
I'll be reviewing and posting a giveaway for Linda Permann's Little Crochet Book!
So come by tomorrow.


Thursday, April 14, 2011


Isn't it interesting that panic and excitement are companions of opportunity?

Fascinating things are in the works.  I'm sorry to tease you, but it should be an interesting year after all...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Craft & Hobby Association

The Craft and Hobby Association conducted a survey and determined that Crocheting is the #7 hobby in terms of Sales, and it's #3 in terms of participation!  

Of course, it's #1 with me!

See more of the survey results here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Ammonite Scarf - in US terms

Is now available!  And it's in a pretty new PDF format!  I hope you like it.  Download the PDF pattern for $6.00.  This pattern is written in US terms.  It was previously published in Inside Crochet in UK terminology.

$6.00 USD

Friday, April 8, 2011

Knit and Crochet Show, Minneapolis, July!

Registration is now open for the CGOA's conference, warmly referred to as "Chain Link".  Here's the link to go look at and register for classes and events.

Wednesday the 27th of July will be Professional Development Day for all those people involved in and interested in a career in crochet.  You do not have to be a professional already to attend.  I will be doing a talk that morning.  Vickie Howell and Margaret Hubert will also be speaking in the morning. In the afternoon, there will be break-out sessions that include:  Edie Eckman, Karen Whooley, Gwen Bortner, Lily Chin, Darla Fanton, Karen Klemp, Marty Miller, Pauline Turner.

The rest of the weekend is jam packed with the market, classes of all kinds (I'll be taking a few!), the Fashion Show and Dinner.  I hope to be signing books at the weekend.  It's going to be great!  What I like, is that you can sign up and pay for classes now, and still have time to save up for your travel expenses between now and July. 

I have a definite opinion about classes.  When you go, there are top name teachers available to you!  Where else do you get such a high concentration of experts available in one place?  I believe in squeezing every bit of learning out of an event that you can.  That's why I will be taking the maximum classes that I can afford while I'm there.  Yep, I'm a pro, but there is always more to learn and I want to know it ALL.  LOL.  Even topics that I think I'm well versed in, sometimes just the way the teacher speaks can illuminate an aspect that I had never noticed before. The teacher's perspective can help you understand in a new way something you thought you already knew!  Aha!  I can't wait!  I hope to see you there. 

Here's a photo from last year, left to right, me, Kristin Omdahl, Robyn Chachula, and Kimberly McAlindin

Thursday, April 7, 2011

25 ways to wear a scarf!

What a great little video by Wendy's Lookbook on YouTube.  Here's the link. LOVE it.  I feel more Chic just watching.

Here's a non-chic moment that could have used a really great scarf.... dyeing yarn... out in the yard.  Love how I'm working the rubber gloves?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Most productive time of day?

It's a long story, but Nanny and Pappy got a new cat.  Yes, they just got Toby from a shelter a few weeks ago and that didn't work out.  Toby got re-adopted by a family with busy young children. :)  They found this kitty, Little Bit, who's owner just couldn't get his cat allergies under control.  Little Bit is going to be great!  It took her a week or so to acclimate, but is a loving, happy-to-be-held cat. :) 

Crochet Wise.... Being a productive crocheter can be hard.  What is your most productive time of day to work?  I'm not a morning person really, but my brain does seem to function better between 9am and 2pm than any other time of day. (Then it goes down from there?)  LOL.  All I know is that if I haven't been productive before 2:00 I feel like I missed my chance for the day!  How about you? Are you a late at night crocheter or a crocheter who focuses in small bursts through out the day? or a morning stitcher?  Mostly, I'm guessing that if you are like me, you stitch every free minute you can!  A few minutes here, a few minutes there... it eventually adds up.

Join me for a live chat tonight 9pm-10pm EST (Wed, 4/6/11) on Ravelry, you have to be a member of Ravelry (it's free!)  The chat bar is on the right side of the group page.  Here's the link to the group page:  Tonight, I hope you'll tell me all your hopes and dreams for crochet magazines of all kinds! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Layers of a weekend

A little crochet, a little video games... a typical weekend!  The purple blob on my lap will be revealed at the Knit and Crochet Show in Minneapolis in July. The classes for that event are now up!  I will be taking as many classes as I can while there.  What a perfect opportunity to learn MORE from some of the best teachers in the country?  I will be speaking at the Professional Development Day on Wednesday, July 27 and I'll be around the rest of the show.
Come see me!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Interweave Patterns

I didn't realize that you could search for my patterns on the Interweave Store. But you CAN!  Here are my patterns that you can buy through Interweave.  They have a great program that is designer-friendly that helps me benefit from the sales too!  (How nice of them!  This is another great reason to work for them and buy from them!) 

Here's my collection on Interweave.
it includes:

Still Waters Shrug
Amazing Grace Wrap
Summer Blues Baby Dress
Driftwood Cap
Chullo Hat & Gloves
Larkspur Wrap Sweater
The Zoe Vest
Beach Sarong 

Are ALL there!

I don't know if:
Blossom Trio
Tunisian Lace Ascot,
Carolyn Cabled Purse, or
Tara's Tunisian Scarf will be added at some point.  I had to list them all because I'm just so proud to have so many of my patterns published by Interweave.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fiction & Non-Fiction

Here's what I've been reading! It's taken me a few months to read all of these, let's see what I can remember about them.

The Heights by Peter Hedges
(Audio) A young family lives in an affluent neighborhood.  The husband and wife switch roles, he stays home with the kids, she goes back to work.  As they both begin moving in different circles their relationship shifts.  Add in an old flame and a new debutante and this tale gets alarmingly more interesting.  See how they navigate the crises of identity that they all seem to have simultaneously.  It's written very thoughtfully and this author presents it in such a way that I didn't know what to wish would happen.  A very interesting ending too.  Not exactly what I expected.

Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
I admit it, I didn't finish it.  This is a non-fiction book about the theology and psychology of men's development.  As the mom of a boy, I was really curious. It was a worthwhile read but not hugely entertaining.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
I really enjoyed this book and could have taken notes and read it again.  This non-fiction book is all about Gretchen Rubin's goal-setting for a happier life.  The goals, while specific to her, absolutely can be translated to the reader.  My favorite goal of her's was to "Be Gretchen".  While I have adopted the philosophy to 'Be Ellen', I just don't think it sounds as good, as 'Be Gretchen'.  LOL, so I often tell myself to 'Be Gretchen' knowing that I am not Gretchen, but I'm telling myself to be authentic.  I'd like to go back and re-read this book one day.  She has an active website based on the goal-setting principles in the book.  Google it.

The Search by Nora Roberts
(Audio) The heroine is the survivor of a vicious attack who has already re-built her life.  She is a dog trainer and trainer for search and rescue dog teams.  Of course a handsome newcomer to town enters the scene at the same time as new crimes erupt that are chillingly close to the crime she survived.  I can't remember her name! LOL.  But I liked that she was not shrinking violet and took prudent steps to protect herself and maintain her independence.

Two for the Dough Janet Evanovich
A Stephanie Plum mystery.  I heard a rumor that Stephanie Plum is coming to the big screen with Katherine Hiegl playing Stephanie.  I'd go see it!  In general though, I usually like books more than I like the movies.  These mysteries are fun and funny and irreverent and just steamy enough to be interesting. Stephanie gets herself in the most odd predicaments.  I also just read the next book in the series, Three to Get Deadly, and the exact same review can apply.  They are fun books, but not high literature.

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen 
The sheltered only child of the town upperclass, (again, I can't remember her name...ugh) the heroine is in her mid-twenties still living with her mother and catering to her needs and appearances until... a very unusual house guest arrives in the form of a lady from the wrong side of the tracks.  The guest remains secret from the mother. The heroine begins to see life a little differently as she begins to help the visitor. There is much 'magic' in this book.  Is the visitor magic? The new friends have certain curious quirks to their personalities. A little love thrown in, friendship abounds and mystery.  A fun book.  I'd read another book by this author.
 Cum Laude by Cecily Von Ziegesar 
(Audio) I can't believe I listened to this book all the way through.  It's about incoming college freshman at a small liberal arts college in the Northeast. All the stereotypes of college kids are reinforced in this book.  It reminds me of the movie Animal House.  I totally can see this being a movie. It wouldn't be a big hit, but likely would become a cult classic for the college bound.

The Daughters Break the Rules by Johanna Philbin
Chickee and I read the first book in the series, this is the second.  The first book we read together. It's about 15-ish year old daughters of rich and famous people in a privileged world.  The first book was tame enough.  I wish Chickee had waited until she was 13-14 to read it, but she is reading so far above her age that it's hard to hold her back.  I read this one on my own to preview it for her, make sure the main characters aren't growing up too fast.  There was a first kiss in it, nothing more.  Still, the brands and clothes that these characters talk about are completely foreign to us her in the middle class Midwest. Also, they drop money like it's nothing, but this book in particular addresses the money issue in a very good way.  I'll probably read it with her now that I've previewed it.  The author is so on point with the drama of the teenagers that it is realistic and likely to really appeal to pre-teens.