Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Last bits from vacation

We got to see an alligator in the wild... that was something. (I was actually kind of thrilled because we were on a bridge above and I knew we were safe).

Then we left the beach and stopped by the lake to hang out with cousins for the weekend.



Monday, August 14, 2017

When I disappear...

When I disappear it is usually because I have a tight deadline or family vacation. This time, it was both!

The project, in process goes into the front seat but the reinforcement yarn is accessible in the back. At every rest stop, I'd grab the next color that was needed.  

I don't mind being a passenger because then I get a great deal of stitching accomplished. 

We made it to the beach. It was so incredibly windy that I couldn't crochet on the beach. I didn't want blowing sand in my work.

But, I could crochet by the pool...

And I could crochet at the tavern...

And I could crochet in the hotel guest laundry... 

Cupcake break! 

Run break! 
The project made it through 6 states and shipped from Kentucky. Done and home! 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Free Crochet Pattern: Tea Party Cardigan

Thank you to Red Heart yarn for sponsoring the Tea Party Cardigan! It's a free crochet pattern found HERE.

I'm so pleased with how well it fits the model! It's an easy pattern worked from the top down. 

It only needs 1-2 skeins of Red Heart With Love in Wintergreen and an H hook.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Consistent Effort

Not every week can have closure. Not every week brings a check. Not every week has a reveal. Some weeks are just consistent effort toward a bigger goal. So, not much progress to report but progress none-the-less.

Here's a random chicken photo of the four chickens we have left. A baby raccoon and her mother found their way into our coop and ate two chickens a few weeks ago. I walked into the coop to find the baby napping and the mother out. The remaining 4 chickens hanging out with the baby raccoon waiting for their turn for the masked bandits to get hungry again. I was able to get the 4 out of the carnage and into a safe spot until the Captain came home to evict the baby raccoon and reset the coop. :(  Interesting that the three oldest chickens, including the lame black one, survived and the younger ones were lost.

Maybe being an old bird has it's advantages.

Monday, July 17, 2017

My Mountain Man

He did it! The Captain made the summit of Mt. Rainier with his tour group and guides and made it safely down this weekend.

Nothing like summer on a mountain!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sneaky Peek

A crochet pattern sneak peek.
HAHAHA! The back... Forgive me while I have a little fun with you.. I'm a little delirious from working on deadlines this week.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Drawing Crochet Symbol Diagrams

Quick tip: When hand drawing crochet symbol diagrams, do not squish one stitch per square on graph paper. Instead, use the height as your guide. If you were drawing out all single crochet, which are short, you could just make them one block tall. For half double crochet, if you chain two then make your rows two blocks tall.  For double crochet, shown above, allow your stitches to be three blocks tall. It's more proportional to the actual project and it's easier to read. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Winter in July. Crochet Felting

What's your favorite yarn for felting? I'm asking for a friend ;)

There's nothing like crocheting heavy winter projects in the middle of July!

Are you working on warm weather items or cold and what season is it where you live?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Classy Pentagon Shawl: FREE Crochet Pattern

I'm so excited that Red Heart has revealed the FREE Classy Pentagon Shawl! Thanks to Red Heart for sponsoring this pattern. It's very easy and fun to make.

It uses 3 balls of Unforgettable in 3968 Regatta and an H/8 hook. It's an "Easy" rated pattern.

If you like it, go hit the love button on Ravelry!

 Two people have already made it! Check out their color choices for more inspiration.
Again, here is the link to the FREE Pattern. 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday Motivation: 50K

50K is 31 miles. I'm still not sure what made me think, "Sure, running 31 miles sounds like a great idea!"

I know what did it, it's Lisa's fault. My BRF (Best running friend) did the event last year and assured me that I could do it. Well, just because you can do it doesn't mean it's a good idea...

The short version: I did it, I'm not injured but I'm really sore. I'm proud of my accomplishment but I don't feel like I need to do it again. I got about 6 hours of car ride time to design and get a great start on a new design for Red Heart.

The long version:
The Eagle Up Ultra had 50k, 50 miles, 100K, and 100-mile divisions including a ruck (walk with heavy backpacks) division. So 31 miles was the SHORTEST distance I could do. These people are machines. I was in awe of the people who blew by us like we were standing still. We got LAPPED on several occasions. But it's ok. I'm 44 and never run a marathon, let alone an Ultra.

The course was a 5-mile loop along the Erie Canal. It was beautiful and mostly shaded. We saw turtles and lizards and crazy big birds and horses pulling the canal boats, and tiny toads.

We stayed in a hotel the night before and the breakfast bar isn't open at 4:45 am when we left to get set by the start by 6 am. So, I skipped breakfast. It was too early to think about food and I was still full from the pasta dinner the night before. (Which, in retrospect, worked well!)

After the first 10 miles, Lisa, Brian and I were cruising and in a happy place.

An Ultra is a little different than a typical race because it is so long that stopping to eat, reapply sunscreen, wipe your face, change shoes, change into a new shirt... all normal. Here we are stopping after 10 miles for 2-3 minutes to regroup and take a selfie!

At the 20 mile mark, I stopped and changed my socks and shoes, made a pit stop, took some salt pills. They also have water stations about every 1.5 miles. Two of the stations were water and the other two had water, potato chips, pretzels, Twizzlers, and candy. Both salt and sugar are important on long runs. I know from experience that I need salt more than I need sugar (cuz I get plenty of sugar in my day-to-day life? Because I'm sweet enough already?). Anyway, I ate at least 2 bags of chips during the race and a couple of handfuls of pretzels.

Brian, Lisa and me. We walked the last 11 miles as fast as we could though we all had blisters forming and various aches and pains.

At mile 25, I saw that Tom had met his 20-mile goal. (He was carrying a 50# backpack for his training to hike Mt. Rainier next month). He was lounging in a chair recovering while I re-applied sunscreen, downed a bottle of water and grabbed a piece of pizza. (Seriously, I took the pizza with me as I started mile 26).

(He's on the left in the orange hat).

Since it is a 5-mile loop, that means for the 31st mile, you have to actually cross the finish line, go out half a mile and turn around half a mile and enter the finish line from the back. It was so hard to pass the finish line and do ONE MORE MILE.

The event raised money for Team RWB, which I'm a member of. It's like the old VFW halls for veterans but instead, encourages veterans to mingle among the community while being active and being healthy and well. So, when you know the event is for veterans, (unless you are injured) you can't NOT do the final mile. Seriously.

Here I am, finished. I look a lot less perky than the 10-mile selfie! LOL. Then I promptly ate two hamburgers and another slice of pizza. Remember, I skipped breakfast and the only lunch I had was the pizza at mile 26. ;)

So, for Monday Motivation, I'm not asking you to complete an ultra marathon.  That isn't a good plan for everyone. (Ask me in a week if it was a good plan for me). But I will ask you to think about the hard work our military and their families do for us. Maybe today, go for a little walk or run and send some good vibes or prayers of gratitude and safety for them and peace in our world.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Another Online Class, Coming Soon!

I was in the studio at Annie's yesterday filming another cool online crochet class! It was so great to work with the team again. I'll keep you posted when I hear of the launch date.

Late night pre-class prep. 

The Indiana sky is big. 

I brought Chickee to the studio with me this time! 

A sneak peek at swatches. 

Here's the link to my other classes while you wait for this one to be revealed. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Work Packing

I'm in the 'throw all the worsted weight and hooks into a bag' stage of work trip packing. Don't forget the fudge rounds, lipstick and I'm good to go.

I hope.

I'll post on Friday when I ask for prayers for the stupid  challenging weekend I have ahead.

It will either be the dumbest thing I ever do or the most epic. It's a fine line.  #YOLO

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Debut Episode of Knit and Crochet TODAY.

Looking back can be so much fun.

I found the original post of when I first saw Knit and Crochet Now, back when it was called Knit and Crochet Today. 

I had no idea back then that I'd eventually be ON that show! Read my naive review of the show HERE.  So funny!

I set my VCR to record the show because back then, in September of 2007, I didn't have DVR.

Look! It's Brett on the screen. And my boy Charlie on my lap. He was such a good kitty. And here I am learning to knit while under a blanket I made for Chickee for her birthday. Good times.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Knit and Crochet Now Coming Soon!

Knit and Crochet Now tv is coming sooner than you think. In the mean time, catch more details in the new issue of the Talking Crochet Newsletter. 

Read my behind the scenes recaps while we were filming... here, here and HERE.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sell Your Crochet Patterns, Build Your Career - Go Crochet Coaching

A crochet career can feel so vague and overwhelming but I can help you stop drifting. I'm a life coach with extensive experience in the crochet and yarn industry. Because of that I'm the perfect sounding board and guide for you to establish career goals, outline steps to achieve success, and keep you focused.

Let's figure out what a crochet career could look like for you. What are your strengths and how do you market them? Where do you need to gain experience and confidence?  I have designed and sold more than 300 patterns, written 5 books, and appeared on the Knit and Crochet Nowtv show for the past 5 seasons. I'm a teacher, runner, mom, an unapologetic optimist. Use me.

Would you like to read some recommendations from other professionals in the field? Hear from author, designer, and former mentee, Brenda Bourg HERE. Hear from author, knit and crochet designer and yarn company representative Sandi Rosner HERE. 

Do you need an ally or a person in your corner? I believe in encouraging clients to achieve all goals that bring them health and happiness, including fitness and career/life balance goals.

The cool thing about coaching is that your experiences are cumulative. Everything you learn, you will use and build on long past when coaching time is over.

The commitment is one month. After a month, you decide if you want another month. It's that simple.

Take the crochet industry by storm. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Motivation Monday! What's your Theme Song?

Do you remember the 90's tv show, Ally McBeal? It was a quirky show for sure. One of the things I remember about it though was that Ally always had a "theme song". A song that represented her life at any given moment.

What would your theme song be?

I change my theme song every so often depending on what is going on in my life. I also change my favorite color every so often. It's part of the reason why I don't want to get a tattoo... what if my motto changes?

At one point, I thought about getting a 13.1 (Half marathon) tattoo. But what if I do more than 13.1 one day? Will I regret having the 13.1 when I could have the new accomplishment instead? Why limit myself.

Ok, back to theme songs. It occurs to me that a theme song should be more aspirational... helping you aspire to greater things rather than a commentary on how things are right now.

A song could be a kind of prayer in a way and certainly a Hymn would be an awesome theme song. Maybe I need different theme songs for different things. Like the theme from the Rocky movies for when I'm running. The song, "Dream On" from Aerosmith just popped into my head, I wonder if I should try that theme song for a few weeks and see if it fits.

In a theme song, lyrics are really important. Maybe I need a "Dream On" tattoo.

Friday, June 9, 2017

How to Become a Crochet Designer! Find a Way to Say Yes!

You might think I'm going to tell you to start with a great idea, but I'm not. My advice might come as kind of a surprise. If you have heard me speak at Professional Development Day for the Crochet Guild of America, you already know what I'm going to say. "Find a way to say YES". Being easy to work with, professional, on time, honest, delivering what you proposed, is 90% of success.

Many designers are great, creative, inspiring, but if they can't deliver on time, as promised, or are a general hassle to work with (too many questions, too many delays, changing the proposed project after it has been decided, too diva-ish...) they get known for being hard to work with and unreliable.

Being professional, asking for clarification, negotiating, are all fine. Demanding, assuming, and slacking, are not fine. Learn more about becoming a Crochet Designer, here. Click here for information on one-on-one Go Crochet Coaching. 

Have you been asked to work with a color you didn't care for? A yarn that you found offensive? Can you say, 'YES' anyway? What would make you say, "no"?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Juggling work and family is not a new struggle. Men and women both have to figure it out. Work from home moms like me have to figure it out. Work outside of the home women have to figure it out. It seems that the balance is constantly being checked.

Today is National Running Day. After a few days of not running, my derriere begins to bond with the couch. If I don't break that bond after 6-7 days I'm in danger of growing roots and never getting up. Today, I had to get out.

Let's face it, there is nothing more important than family. My family has kept me busy the past few weeks but things are settling down into a new summertime rhythm. I haven't even had time to run in the past week. Time to re-focus on work and looking forward.

Today's run was pass/fail. I remember the serendipity of getting a course in college that was not graded but merely a pass/fail. That was today's run. The only thing that got me out the door was giving myself permission to just pass. It didn't have to be an A+ run. Just get it done. Some tasks in life are like that. It's not cheating to make some tasks a pass/fail. We can't give 100% to every task, everyday, all the time. Part of the life/work balance is figuring out which tasks need 100% effort and which tasks are pass/fail.

Is there any tasks in your life that you have placed undue emphasis, that are really pass/fail tasks?

Happy National Running Day! If you go on a walk today...I dare you to add 10 jog strides if it is healthy for you.

Monday, June 5, 2017

A Promise

I promise, some crochet is happening here at GoCrochet. I can't wait until some of the designs I have been working on the past few months are revealed! It can't be too long now. 

French Toast from the weekend. Yum. 

Chief before his graduation. 

And after! Yay! The weekend was full of parties and a dance and bowling and another party. 
Chief started a voluntary summer class at his new school this morning. There was no time to get nervous about High school. I think he was so exhausted from the weekend he'll probably sleep through the first class. 

Ahh, the busy-ness of the last 10 days is now subsiding and back to our new summer normal!