Monday, March 31, 2008

Gathering of the Guilds

This weekend, the Dayton Ohio area crochet guild and the SouthWest Ohio Crochet Guild got together! Mary Jane Hall, author of "Positively Crochet" was our keynote speaker! Hi Mary Jane! It was so fun to meet everyone. In the morning, a project was led by SWOCG member, Cathy Robbins (thanks Cathy!) and Mary Jane Hall spoke about publishing opportunities for crochet. Karen Blumberg, contract crochet extraordinaire, was also instrumental in bringing the event together. Thanks to our sponsors, Spinrite and Lion Brand who helped make the event possible. It was so great to meet everyone! I was so sorry to have to skip out abruptly, but the family was waiting for me and I made my meeting time with them with mere minutes to spare!
Check out Mary Jane's book, Positively Crochet! She brought several items from the book with her and we got to see them in person. The great photography in the book still does not do these items justice! I even got to try on the cover design, and promptly fell in love! now I'm going to have to find time to make one for myself! Mary Jane has a new book coming out in September-ish. I'll keep you posted as more information is revealed.
In the photo of Mary Jane and me above, I'm wearing a design by Doris Chan, called the "Mesa Jacket". I've told you about this great design before, but here it is on. It was on the cover of Crochet! magazine sometime in the past 18 months or so, but it was in blues/purples on the cover.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Fiesta Throw Revealed!

Please, don't mind the mess! Here's the Fiesta Throw for Crochet Today! In the new issue, May/June 2008.

Edited because I got the pub date wrong! Now, it's correct! Thanks Vicky for helping me find the error.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Nashua yarn

A new favorite to add to the list!

Nashua Creative Focus Cotton Dk. 100% Egyptian cotton, great stuff, awesome colors. This is available at Royal yarns for $5.49 per 1.75 oz, 50 g, 118 yd ball. It's kinda like Lion's Microspun only cotton, softer, with less glare. It does split some, but not nearly as much as the Microspun.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

yarn swift

I shopped 'Victoriously" and "won" this gorgeous Birch Umbrella swift on ebay. I think it is a "medium" and it is jus the right size. It turns soundlessly without any wobbling. It is a work of art in itself!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I guess if my cat, Charlie is my Mother-in-law's "grandcat", then my mother-in-law's cat, Chester, is my Brother -in -law?

I found him under the couch while hunting for Easter eggs!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tunisian Lace Ascot-Process

First, here's the original swatch made out of Patons SWS in Geranium

And here are some photos that will be a good companion when you are trying to make the pattern that is in Interweave Crochet, Spring 2008

You'll have to pick up a copy of Interweave Crochet to get the specifics, it's a great issue.

Monday, March 24, 2008

yummy yarn

I've got some gorgeous new stash! These boxes are packed with Blue Sky Alpacas, Lorna's Laces, Louet North America, Plymouth, and Westminster Fibers! I can't wait to try them and do some yarn reviews for you! Just look at those awesome colors. I wish your computer had "feel-o-vision" because these are just a treat.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cory or Avril?

Here's my new dressform, and as you may know, every dressform needs a name. I'm thinking of giving her a name that reflects an attitude, a kind of edgier, hipper, innovative, cutting-edge, text-messaging, Jeep-driving, black eye-liner wearing, I-pod toting, bad girl with a heart of gold. Like a cooler little sister. yep, that's what I'm going for. Any suggestions? I'm thinking Cory or Avril or maybe something with a little ethnic heritage... She looks shiny and plastic, but she's actually covered in a fabric so that you can pin things on to her.
JoAnn's had the dressforms on sale earlier in the month and they ran a coupon for free shipping. With such a big item, I couldn't resist combining the specials.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran

This is one of my favorite yarns. In fact, I have never met a Debbie Bliss yarn that I didn't like. Yum! This one is Cashmere, Merino wool, and microfiber. It is worsted weight and I love it. This is a lovely purple color. I think I bought it at or Yarncountry, both of which I have had good experiences with.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Crochet! May 2008

Here it is! The latest issue of Crochet! This issue is an obvious departure from the Crochet! magazine we have been accustomed to the past 2 years or so. There are more afghans, more simple designs, a lovely wedding dress by Darla Sims. Matter of fact there are a few designs by Darla Sims. Darla continues to have a long and distinguished career as a crochet designer.

There is also a fun Las Vegas choker (necklace) by my pal, Tammy Hildebrand (hi Tammy!). Tammy continues to be innovative with beads and has a "Easy Bead as you go" pattern booklet that is currently sold by Annie's Attic (among other pattern books she also has produced).

I'd really like to hear opinions about the direction of the magazine. What makes you decide whether or not to buy a magazine or book?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More stitch markers

yep, after last month's panic, I bought more stitch markers. These "Boye" makers come in a cute little case, and they lock! They are a little "rubbery".
Because the ends are rounded and the whole thing is a little rubbery, they were a little tough to poke under a stitch. They didn't "glide" against the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran I was using. Maybe they will slide better with acrylic? (like likes like?). If you wanted to intentionally split the yarn, these would not work. The locking part was a little awkward. Once I got it locked, I had to use my fingernail to get under it to get it unlocked. It was not a smooth first go and I admit that I didn't make it halfway through my project before switching back to my beloved Clover locking markers.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sketching garments

I like to think of myself as "artistic" and I did manage to pass my drawing classes in college, but I don't feel very comfortable sketching garments for submission or design, until now. Probably a year ago, I got this "average woman" picture from Threads Magazine's website I don't know if it is still up on their site, and I don't know where on the site it is.

They also had toddler, adult man, and a few other diagrams. I printed it out and now I put it under tracing paper. I sketch on the tracing paper, on top of the diagram, and Viola' I have a sketch that is in general proportion to the person I am designing for! I add lots of notes around the sketch about yarns, stitches, areas of interest, and suddenly, I can see it.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Crochet as Art: Ruth Asawa

Check out this website of Ruth's crocheted wire sculpture...go into her gallery pages for more views.

and lest you forget my attempt at crochet sculpture....

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Amy O'Neill Houck's new book!

The Color Book of Felted Crochet

I've only seen a few of the designs in this book, but I like them! I hope to write more about this book and other upcoming books, but today I'm learning some technical blogging stuff, so this is all you get for now!

Friday, March 14, 2008

I'm Stalling and a Sneak Peek

I know I shouldn't do it, and it's really not like me... but I'm stalling. I have everything I need to do a project, I have put a self-imposed deadline of March 30 for myself. I just keep finding other things I'd rather do.... like designing 3 (yes 3) garments for me to wear to Chain Link in July. also known as the Knit and Crochet Show.

The cool thing about this garment, is that I have designed it with my very long arms in mind! Most of my clothes leave my poor wrists bare and neglected. This design treats my wrists to the comfort and attention they deserve! haha, If I end up selling this design, I'll write the pattern for the rest of the world, not for the arm-endowed!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tunisian Lace Ascot Revealed!

The Preview of Interweave Crochet's Spring issue is up!

Made of Louet MerLin (a merino, linen blend) this gorgeous yarn softens dramatically under a little steam blocking. Light and lustrous, this scarf is fun. It's Tunisian! and I have photos of the process if you want to see them!

also, see gorgeous designs by Lisa Naskrent of Crochet Garden , Tammy Hildebrand, Jill Hanratty, Doris Chan, Lily Chin, Kathy Merrick and many more! Wow, to be included with such company is truly humbling!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bellaonline interviews Mary Jane Hall

Find the article here with author, designer, Mary Jane Hall. She talks about motivation, advice for aspiring designers and other aspects of the crochet world.

Some of her designs will be available for viewing at the Chain Link event in July in Manchester, NH. Also, hopefully Mary Jane will be available to sign her book!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"Blizzard" of 2008

Well, here it wasn't really a "blizzard", but we did have a "blizzard warning". It's time for the annual snow creature! Every year, Captain sculpts a creature for the kids. This year was "Alvin" from "Alvin and the Chipmunks". In years past, it has been bunnies, cows, Swiper the Fox (from Dora), the Big Bad Wolf and the three pigs, a dragon.... of course the traditional snowman.

Note: Chickee is wearing a crocheted dress, please don't note: Chickee is bare-legged. (ya gotta pick your battles). It's actually pretty warm, so that is why they didn't have hats.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Turn to the RS, Luke...

Haha! I was writing my initial notes on a pattern and I found myself typing:

"Make sure you are on the right side, I don’t know if you need to turn initially or not, but once you are on the right side, stay on the right side"

and I started to chuckle that these are true words of wisdom! If you are not on the "right" (correct) side, then get there!

Hee, hee. Wishing you a day where you are where you should be! (Can you get any more existential than that?)

To switch topics, the other day I told you about reading stuff for my counseling continuing education...anyway, I just got home from another seminar.... this time on Addiction and the Family... the funny thing is that when we arrived, they split us into 2 groups, to let you know which group you were in, they gave us wristbands...ya know, like the ones you get at a bar that show you are of age and intending to drink.... yeah, the irony was not lost on me either.... Haha.

Here's a sneak peek for you! Enjoy!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Save Knitty Gritty

Here's an online petition to save the "Knitty Gritty" show that airs on the DIY network. I view it on HGTV at 7am in the morning....yawn. It used to be every M-W-F with "Uncommon Threads" on T-TH, now, there is NO "Uncommon Threads" and "Knitty Gritty" is only on FRIDAY. That's all! We have a serious deficit of needlework related tv! You can always find a painting, quilting, or scrapbooking show, but finding a needlecraft show is hard! Don't forget some areas carry "Knit and Crochet Today" on PBS. Also, I'm not sure where "NeedleArts Studio with Shay Pendray" is anymore, I have never seen it in my area. Sign the online Petition here. I did it, it's easy. You do have to give an e-mail address, but you can choose whether it is to stay private or if you give permission for it to be seen by others.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Knit and Crochet Show

BE AWARE! This poster advertises the Market, which is the dates of 25-27. BUT, you can take classes also on Thursday, the 24th, and the CGOA professional Development day is on Wednesday 23rd. The Knit and Crochet Show (yarn market) is only one part of the event, the Crochet Guild of America National annual "Chain Link" Conference is going on simultaneously Wed-Sunday in partnership with the TKGA The Knitting Guild of America's Regional conference. You got all that? There will be a quiz! Go Here for more information! I'll be there!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Crochet at Victoria's Secret

Hi All, did you know that Victoria's Secret has many crocheted items? If you go here you can see the whole selection!

For your amusement, here's Chief and a selection of his preschool artwork. I take a photo of the big stuff and then keep as much as I can....and keep a photo of the rest!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sneak Peek

It's sneak peek time! Oh, it's slightly different, I changed a few things, but you'll recognize it when it's a few months! Oh, it's so hard to wait! Why do magazines have such a long lead time????? (Because it takes alot of work and alot of people to put out a magazine!). I love magazines, they are like relatively inexpensive gifts to me that show up unexpectedly... well, except I always am waiting for them with bated breath! Really, how inexpensive are magazines! Depending on the magazine, you can get an issue full of awesome designs and inspiration and pure fun, for the price of a fast food meal for one! And you don't get the grease and guilt! I love the internet, but there is nothing like thumbing through the glossy pages of a new magazine to make you feel like you are totally luxuriating in free time. Have I told you that I love magazines? But only the fun ones, I don't get the same joy out of news magazines. I'm just saying.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


In addition to being a warm, furry companion, Charlie also serves as a desk as he sits on my lap (though reluctantly). He must be the most photographed cat on the planet behind Morris, that is. Anyway, I'm stuck in between projects (sorta). I have plenty of projects that I am working on but nothing due soon, so I've been working on my other profession. I'm also a LPCC, (licensed clinical counselor) and I have to get CEU's to maintain my licensure. So, this week, I've put my yarn down to read some boring textbooks on subjects that I've read multiple times to stay current. But the good news is, that I made a significant leap toward the 30 hours I need by January. So, though it's not a thrill, I have been productive!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Hooks Galore

I love my hooks the way a painter loves her brushes! The funny thing is that there is nothing particularly special about my hooks. I don't collect fancy hooks, but for some reason, a large quantity of functional hooks makes me happy. You can see the whole break down of hooks on my notebook on Ravelry my ID is EllenGo, come find me and look at my hook collection!

top tray

bottom tray

Here are photos of my big "Tool Box" I got it at Hobby Lobby in the needlework section, it is labeled as a "Cross-Stitch case" and has two levels. I also have this smaller one that I will take with me when I travel. I just wish it came in solid silver so that it looked like a Million dollar case from a gangster movie, or better yet, silver with a big number on the side like 'Deal or No Deal'. I think I would choose case number 6, for no logical reason.

Here is also my 'tool basket', this one is a little more decorative and can sit on the floor in the living room and I can put the lid on it and be a little more discreet with my crochet stuff EVERYWHERE! My stuff definitely has taken over the house, even worse than the kids toys. Boy, that is cathartic to admit. Oh yeah, I also keep hooks in the car, and here's a cup of hooks next to my computer.