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. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Knit and Crochet Now, Season 8 MORE, and Crochet Coaching!

First... my first month crochet coaching slots are filling up quickly. If you want help with submissions, design consultation, etiquette for CGOA and TNNA, you need to sign up with me QUICK. We are running out of time.  Send me an email for more details Ellen@ GoCrochet dot com.
And see these previous posts about the program to get your crochet career going! Slots will be open on an ongoing basis but I can only take a few 'first month' people at a time so they get good attention.

(Pin it!)

Back to Knit and Crochet Now! Season 8 has some major changes from previous seasons but all the great project inspiration and tips and quality is there!
 If you missed reading my previous posts about Knit and Crochet Now, Season 8, click here to catch up! I already shared that the amazing Melissa Leapman, has joined the cast! (above on the left).

 Meredith Crawford joined the show! She's from Dallas, TX. She's One Social Girl! And she wrote Crochet with One Sheepish Girl for Soho in 2013.

She's super cute and you can find her everywhere as OneSocialGirl.

On the show this season, I am demonstrating projects and I'm back in the Technique Corner! Any of you who enjoy my online classes are going to love the technique corner. Here, Scott Campbell takes some promo photos! Yes, you caught me.. Business on the top, runner on the bottom. Yoga pants and running shoes with full hair and makeup... yep. That's me. :) 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Knit and Crochet Now, Season 8

What a whirlwind! The taping of Knit and Crochet Now is always so exciting that this year was no different!

I made some new friends! I arrived at the studio on Tuesday and spent the day preparing all the projects I was going to teach, organizing my step-outs, making sure I had all the tools and details I needed. I met the crew and got familiar with the studio.

We filmed at a new location in Cleveland this year. The set looks gorgeous! Every color seems to pot pop on this set! Pictured below, Melissa Leapman looks beautiful and chic!

Melissa is new to the cast this year, which is totally a smart choice! When I search for Melissa in Books on Amazon... I got 229 results. Seriously. Her Indispensable Stitch Collection for Crocheters
is currently in my take-everywhere tote bag.  Check out her book!  Of course she is also a successful knit author. (cough, cough, understatement)

Here, Melissa and I are with Connie Ellison. Connie and Lena are co-hosting the show this season. Connie has been in the industry with Annie's for years! She works tirelessly on the Annie's Signature Collections, Annie's books and now the show too! Connie is the brilliant editor who saw the potential in my love for Bruges Lace. 

I still have so much to tell you! Come back Wednesday when I'll reveal another cast member! (The top photo is a hint!)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Encouragement from designer & author, Brenda Bourg!

Did you see? Designer & author, Brenda Bourg has some words of encouragement about joining me in crochet coaching!

Here's her quote:
"Ellen is a fantastic mentor - I was fortunate enough to have her as one myself! She cares if you succeed and goes all out to help you make it happen. Her hard-earned wisdom and professional insight have proven to be an invaluable resource. Ellen knows our field inside and out and generously shares what she knows with those she mentors - don't let this opportunity pass you by!"

Here I am with Brenda at CGOA a couple of years ago... was it Reno? Brenda is the newsletter co-editor for the Talking Crochet Newsletter. She is also a consistent design contributor to Crochet! magazine and has written her own book, Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet. Read more about Brenda's creative and encouraging endeavors at her new blog and website, Encouraged by Design. 

Here's the original post about crochet coaching. Check out Wednesday's post for Sandi Rosner's awesome recommendation as well.  Message me for details at Ellen @ GoCrochet dot com.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Knit and Crochet Now! Behind the Scenes!

We are taping Knit and Crochet Now this week! It will begin airing in September. Depending on your local station it may air right away or they may air it in January/February. To get it as soon as possible, become an All-access member.

Back on the set, this year with Lena Skvagerson, Connie Ellison, Jenny King, Melissa Leapman, and I haven't met three more mystery cast members that I will reveal to you later!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sandi endorses Crochet Coaching with Ellen!

I have to share!  Crochet and knit designer and author, Sandi Rosner, wrote this lovely comment about my Crochet Coaching venture...

"This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who wants to turn their hobby into an income stream.
Ellen's combination of experience in all facets of this industry together with her sensible and empathetic personality make her the ideal mentor for people at any stage of their career. She has the answers to your questions and she knows the people you need to know. She is also just generally awesome. You couldn't ask for a better coach than Ellen."

Thank you Sandi!  Sandi and I have worked together on various projects for years. Pictured above, here I am with Sandi at the season 7 taping of Knit and Crochet Now, where she was the assistant producer and general wrangler, organizer and adviser. She has written a lovely crochet book and is a very talented knit designer in addition to using her eye for talent when she purchases patterns for Premier Yarns.

Here's the blog post where I revealed the new Crochet Coaching program. Message me at Ellen @ GoCrochet dot com and let's get started achieving your goals!

21 Crocheted Tanks and Tunics

*I didn't offer Sandi any compensation or trade for her endorsement. We just respect each other's work. This is common in the crochet industry. When one of us succeeds, it raises the reputation of the industry and benefits us all.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Make MONEY from crochet! I can help you!

Have you been wanting to become a professional in the crochet industry but haven't known where to start? Do you want to make money from the craft you love? Maybe you have already started but haven't made the progress you are looking for?  I'd like to share my experience with you!

NOW is the perfect time because CGOA is coming up where you could potentially meet buyers. TNNA is coming up if you are already a member but want to push your career further.

I want to be your COACH.

Can you feel it coming? Take the crochet world by storm this summer! 
Make it happen!

I can help you with everything from writing a proper pattern, contract stitching, article writing, staying organized, making goals, how to become a tech editor, making a polished submission, how to submit pattern ideas and where to send them. I can help you network in the industry. I have 14 years of industry experience, 5 books, several videos, several seasons on Knit & Crochet Now, have been published over 300 times. I am a great resource. Use me for your benefit!

I have already mentored others you may have heard of!  I'll let them comment here if they want to reveal themselves :)

Here's the plan...
You'll hire me for ONE MONTH. You can use the heck out of me with questions and I will attend to your unique questions and needs. Then, if you want to hire me for additional months, you can or not, for a smaller fee. Think of it as a bootcamp for the first month and then maintenance.

IF YOU WANT... (but not required) we can also talk about your fitness/wellness goals. While I have a MA in Community Counseling and I was a practicing therapist for years, I will not slide into the area of doing therapy, but I am qualified to talk to you about GOALS!  And how to shape your life into a better balance.  I am used to holding confidentiality and will protect your goals and ideas as YOURS.

Are you ready to get started on your crochet career?  Message me for the details! Ellen @ GoCrochet dot com

Comment below with questions you have.

This is so exciting!

Friday, April 28, 2017


We left off our Spring Break Story where Chief was in DC, Captain was home, Chickee and I went to Florida with my Dad and then we rushed home...

We rushed home because Chickee had PROM to get to!

 My girl's first prom! 

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the hair? LOL 
How is she so grown up already? 

I have a really big week next week. I'm not sure if I'll have time to post because I'll be off... taping the next season of Knit and Crochet Now! Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

While the cats are away...

Chickee and I were away while Chief was in DC. Captain stayed home. Chickee and I went to Daytona Beach with my Dad. Lots of quality time with my Dad, which we haven't had for a long time!

 We spent Easter Sunday together.
 Praise Jesus, the condo had a piano! I knew Chickee couldn't go a whole week without playing piano. It wasn't perfectly in tune but close enough that random guests offered her tips for playing! :)

We spent a Magical Day at Epcot! Dad hadn't been in more than 20 years and Chickee has been several times but loves it so much that she knows the park inside and out. We ate pastries in France, egg rolls in China, beef and potatoes in Canada. We rode rides, saw acrobats and drums... all in one day.
Here we are at Chickee's favorite Disney restaurant Teppen Edo, the Japanese grill. It was a ton of fun squeezed into one day.
 The Ponce Inlet lighthouse.
A few days running on the beach and tons of lounging and reading. I even got about 20 minutes of crochet done. Snicker.

Friday's post... why we rushed back home to Ohio! (Don't worry)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Vacation Re-cap

Last week was a super busy week for us! It was spring break for the kids. Chief went with his 8th grade classmates to Washington, DC. They had a great time squeezing in as much as humanly possible. I followed along with him by text and stalking him through the Find Friends app on our phones.

Chief is on the far right. What a great kid. I just love that guy.

Wednesday I'll reveal where Chickee and I were all week.

Friday, April 21, 2017


 Except while on vacation! Still, crochet deadlines won't wait. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Runner Spotlight

My Running group on Facebook featured me for the Spotlight recently so I thought I'd share:
1. Give us the basics: Age? Married? Kids? Job? Pets?
I’m married, 44 with a daughter, 15, and a son, 14. I’m in between jobs and I still am a freelance crochet author/designer. I have two cats, a guinea pig, and 7 chickens. 

2. How did you get involved in Sub 30? (Our club)
I can’t remember! It was probably about 4-5 years ago. 

3. How long have you been running?
I began running almost 5 years ago. By some divine providence both kids had soccer practice at the same time at the same field and there was a paved trail around the park. I began walking during practice but quickly got bored so I started running… running the flat parts, walking the hills. Running during the parts that were in plain view and walking the parts hidden in the trees. 

4. How has running changed you?
Running has changed how I view myself. Running is something that I make happen, it doesn’t just happen to me. I make my life happen. My family is proud of my running. I’m proud that my kids see me working hard to take care of myself. 

5. Do you have a specialty/specific interest? What's "your thing"? (roads, 
trails. I’m really too klutzy for obstacles. I’d still be “in” for a trail run if friends are going. 

6. What distance do you prefer, and would you like share your PR? 
I like the 10K distance but I’m most proud of my 10 Half Marathons. My PR is from my first HM (when I was too na├»ve to understand how awesome I did!) 2:20. My 5K is from a few years ago 29:46, 10K is 1:02. I’d really love to go sub-60 in a 10K one day! 

7. Do you follow a training plan created by someone else or do you make your own or do you not follow a plan at all? 
My Half PR came after following the Another Mother Runner Prove It training plan. I haven’t been loyal to a training plan since, which probably explains my lack of PRs since then. 

8. Guilty pleasure after a long run/workout?
After a long run or race I really crave a BIG BURGER. Yum. 

9. Coolest place you ever ran? (bonus points if you can add a picture) 
I ran while on work/vacation in Galway, Ireland! On my run I learned that it’s really difficult to cross the road at a roundabout where the traffic doesn’t stop and is going the opposite direction from my instincts. 

10. Who/ What inspires you? 
I am inspired by sunshine, even if it’s cold. I’m inspired by music and it’s easier to get out the door if I turn on the music while I’m getting laced up. Volunteers and spectators at races are really helpful in addition to a well-placed photographer to make me put more spring in my stride.
11. When not running, what is your favorite thing to do? 
If I’m not running or driving the kids around then I’m crocheting and designing crochet projects. I wish I had more time for reading and cooking. 

12. Tell us something about you that we don’t already know. 
Some of you already know that I’m on the tv show, Knit and Crochet Now, which airs on PBS. We’ll be filming again in May.