Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Parade photos

I have many photos of fastened-off projects in the next few days, but first, a little more Thanksgiving petting zoo fun...
Here's the kids with Grandpa Joe. And....Grandpa Joe....with a chicken on his head.... Too funny.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Petting zoo

Me, wearing a Driftwood Cap, carrying my felted Hobo bag, and you can't see under my coat, I was wearing the Tunisian Lace ascot made of Patons SWS in Geranium. City Slickers that we are, the neighborhood brings in a petting zoo at the end of the Thanksgiving Day parade. Then we go see Santa and have hot chocolate and cookies.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Chief Wolf Eagle Snakes says, "Happy Thanksgiving". Isn't Kindergarten great? Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Missy's hat for Chickee

Felted! This is the "Missy Hat", but originally it was too big, so I felted it and now it is the "Missy hat felted for Chickee". Chickee was so funny while I was taking her picture that we laughed so hard we fell down.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Stash Basket

Yesterday. I did it yesterday. I got done that project that I was procrastinating about. Now, I will transfer the written instructions from my hand written notes to the computer. Today. I will do it today. :) After I have some chocolate milk, and after I get Chickee off to school. I also have the 'Snowman hat' pattern coming TODAY. That's the plan. You know the pattern I mean... this one....
This pattern, will be availble TODAY. I made this one out of cotton, but I have made subsequent ones out of wool, which I recommend for more warmth. This is a fun basic hat and it looks great on a snowman too, when you're not wearing it.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Ah crochet, how I love it so? And yet, I can't seem to get myself to finish this one last project that has a pressing deadline. I'm going to do it. Really, I'm going to finish the project. Today. See, I'm going right now, after I eat a piece of pie and check my e-mail one more time.... The problem is that the project is not one that I was inspired to make spontaneously. This project was commissioned specifically, and so I am not as passionate about the idea as I normally would be. I'm going to do it. Today. Thursday is a holiday so I can't forget that and get myself into a shipping jam. Today. Today. Today. Later, today. Oh, it will be so great to have it done.

The good news is that the Special Olympics easy knit scarf with the massive size 13 needles is over two feet long at this point, though, unfortunately, it is curling. I tried to curb the curling by placing rows of garter stitch at the bottom and the right and left edges, but it is not working. Does anyone know what I should have done differently? I'm not going to frog it, or start over, but it might be nice to learn for the next time.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Special Olympics Scarf

I have been wanting to do a scarf for the Special Olympics World Winter Games. The call for scarves came out in the Sept/Oct 2008 issue of Crochet Today.
Scarves can either be crocheted or knitted, but they need to be in Red Heart Super Saver Delft Blue and White. Don't quote me, go look it up for yourself, but I think they need to be shipped by January 15, 2009.

In the above photo, I had grand ideas of learning a Fair Isle technique in knitting, and I was using size 9 needles. Well, I had no idea how to get started with the Fair Isle part, and it was taking sooooo lonnnnnggggg. ugh.

I did what any impatient crafter would do, I got out the size 13 needles, doubled up the yarn and viola'! This is alot more fun!

I might even get this one done in time! I have about 12" done now.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chickee's new hat

It's the Chickee version of the Driftwood Cap, this time in blues to match her coat. I should make it in all white and it would look like a little Martha Washigton, type hat. Maybe she should be Martha Washington for Halloween next year.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Unexpected gifts

On my "day off" on Monday, I was actually quite productive. I found a book that a friend of mine wanted to borrow, I wrote a pattern, I worked on a hat for a friend, I thinned my yarn stash by a whole laundry basket full, and....

I found a scarf that I started for Captain probably a year ago! The scarf was 3/4 complete, I found the hook with the project, and somehow, miraculously, I found the stitch pattern! So, I finished the scarf and Captain is getting it for Christmas this year!
I call it the "Flat-tire scarf" because it resembles tire tread and it's wool, so it would keep you warm if you had to change a flat tire. (That's as clever as it gets, folks). It is a Tunisian design in a combination of two stitches. It's black (of course, he wouldn't wear anything else), with a little bit of texture. It's made with 2 balls of Lion Wool. If he doesn't like it, I can felt it and give it to Chief! But, he should like it, because it's pretty basic. No, I'm not worried that he will see this, because I don't think he reads this blog, and if I'm wrong, I'll be the one who is surprised!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tiny Sneak Peek

So tiny that you'll really not get it. Don't even try. It's Chickee, in her 7 year old glory.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Strapped For Bags, Vol 2.

Here's the ad with my Felted Hobo bag desgin. This pattern along with 6 others are all for sale as an "e-book" PDF download. You can either purchase it on Ravelry at this page or by going to Go to the Ravelry page to view the other designs. I'm not sure if all the designs are shown at SFTDonline just yet. If not yet, soon! Other designs in this book include designs by Lisa Gentry, Diane Moyer, Kristin Omdahl, Kim Guzman, Amie Hirtes, and Dora Ohrenstein. (I hope I spelled all your names right, my friends).

Monday, November 17, 2008


Wow, how long has it been? I have kept FedEx and the post office in business the past few weeks. Now, some calm! Whew. Today, laundry. Pet the cat. That's my agenda for today.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Naming my designs...

I'm notoriously bad at naming my projects. I usually end up with something totally uncreative like "green granny blanket", which of course, doesn't work if the editor changes the color. I do like to name things after places I have been, but since I haven't been anywhere exotic, I don't think that the "Cincinnati sweater" or the "Northern Kentucky hat" is going to be a winner. I don't like to name things after places I haven't been like the St. Moritz blanket, because it makes me feel pretentious and dishonest. Usually the editor re-names the item and then it doesn't matter to me.

I once put in alot of effort in naming one particular blanket. The colors appeared very earthy to me and somewhat Spanish/Mexican, so I looked up children's names on the Internet that were of Spanish/Mexican origin. I chose a lovely name for the blanket, but then the editor changed it anyway, so all the effort was wasted. So now, the names are just descriptive "fuzzy purple blanket" "hooded baby cardigan" etc, Or, by the very creative code number. Right now, I'm working on "08113".
This is a photo of Chief at the Indianapolis Children's Museum, back when we went in September.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Finger Burn

Can you see how the yarn rests on my tension hand while I crochet? This is the result of the crochet marathon I have been on for the past month. This is the point where I put a band-aid on it. Also, Clover makes a little "yarn guide" thingy that you can put on your finger to hold the yarn. I have a few of those too. In the past, when I have kept crocheting without a band-aid, I have literally cut my finger on the yarn. I don't know if this would happen with all types of fibers, but when the yarn actually cut my finger, it was acrylic yarn. Now, I don't let it get to that point :) And while it is not usually this bad, as in the photo, pretty much, no matter how much I crochet, there is always a shadow of yarn embedded in my finger. Aren't you glad I shared that little tidbit?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Make a!

What are my speedy tips for making an afghan?

Crochet over your ends as you go as much as possible.

Choose an easy to memorize pattern. Choose a pattern that is in motifs. Take it with you everywhere. On a motif, it might only take 2-3 minutes to get a round done. You can maybe get 8-10 rounds done while waiting at the Dr office or waiting for the kids to come out of school.

If it is in motifs, I do an assembly line. I'll do the first row only of 10 motifs. Then I do the second round on all 10 motifs. This helps me memorize the pattern and get into a rhythm. I do not assemble as I go generally. If you are not sure if you are the type of person who can stay with a major pattern like an afghan, it probably is good to assemble the motifs into "strips" as you go, but don't join the strips. That way, if you get bored and quit, add an edging and you have a scarf or two.

Also, you could not do strips, but keep all the finished motifs, that way you can re-configure the afghan into a lapghan or a pet blanket or Webkinz blanket if you only get a small amount done.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hurry up and wait...

I'm having a hard time waiting... it seems that all the crochet magazines come out all at the same time, then it is a very long time before the next flurry of issues. It would be great if the powers that be, got together and decided to publish on alternate months or something... or better yet, what if they all published EVERY month! Yeah, that might be a little overwhelming, it might not give you enough time to complete a project or two before the next issue arrives.

On the other hand, the Driftwood Cap from Interweave Crochet seems to be doing very well. I see at least 36 caps have been made by Ravelers. People are making it in variegated yarns, solids, they are making it for men and adjusting it for kids. Ravelers are making it for ...themselves! And get this, many people are making it multiple times!

Seeing a project in print... it's really exciting. Seeing someone make a project... that's really exciting. But when someone likes the project well enough to make it MULTIPLE TIMES that's amazing. Very, very cool.

Tonight is the Crochet and Chat at the Library night. I'll be there.
The photo is Chief "sorting" his first wave of Halloween candy that arrived from friends at school. He is so funny.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Left handed Crab stitch AKA Reverse Sc

As requested, here are some photos of the Crab stitch, also known as the reverse sc for left handed crocheters. Above we start with 3 rows of sc, ch 1 at the end of the row, but do not turn. Now begin working back the way you came.

The first one looks funky. It's not until you get a few that it will start to look right.

The hook above shows you where to put the next stitch. Insert the hook, yo, pull up a lp, yo, and pull through two (both) lps on hook, crab stitch made.

Inserting the hook...

yarn over, pull up a loop and about to yo again,

and pull through 2 lps on hook.

And here is several!

Friday, November 7, 2008

You've probably heard this one before...

it's been going around the internet for a few years:

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about. For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife's bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box, and when he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000. He asked her about the contents. “When we were to be married,” she said, “my grandmother told me, the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.” The little old man was so moved - he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness. “Honey,” he said, “that explains the doll, but what about all of this money - where did it come from?” “Oh,” she said, “that's the money I made from selling the dolls.”

Happy Anniversary, Captain. :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Check in...

My current obsession is: Alpaca yarn

My current goal is: to meet all my deadlines!

My current favorite project I’ve done this year: I tend to 'love the one I'm with'. That is the one I am currently working on is usually my favorite. Of the ones you have seen, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Brocade Afghan and the Sunny Spread. Though, actually, those are projects from previous years.... I don't know if I have any from this year that you know about yet...

My most recent finished project: Hmm, I can't really tell ya... let's just say that I liked it so much I found time to make one for myself...

My current casting-on-as-we-speak project: I'll tell you it's a will show up in print....

My current crocheter of inspiration: That's hard because I admire the vision of so many others, but I'm really more inspired by stitches than I am by people.

I get a crocheter's high from: When my gauge is "pretty". That is, it is evenly divisible by 4. I also get a "high" when I receive a check, when I receive my designers' copy of the publication, and when I finish a project with less than one skein of yarn leftover, when I finish a project in time to send it parcel post...

I learned to crochet: from my Great Tanta Margaret, who lived next door when I was young and from my Mom who reminded me later.

My current number of un-finished projects on needles: 5, not counting the abandoned ones...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tagging Projects

A critical piece of information is that you need to tag your projects appropriately when making submissions or turning in completed projects. I use tags like these. On one side, I attach all my contact information, name, address, phone number, email, website, etc. On the other side of the tag should go:

The name of the project,

the size of the project: if it is a garment this should include the finished dimensions of the model garment and the amount of ease or type of fit you designed.

If it is an afghan or an item where it is difficult to tell which side is the "back" and which side is the "front" or Right side/wrong side... I physically tie the tag on the back or wrong side (where it wouldn't be seen while photographed if they choose to leave the tag on during photography) and I write on the tag, "This is the BACK". I do this because I don't think that the stylists or photographers are always crocheters, and they may not see the subtle differences between the right side and the wrong side.

If you are tagging a swatch, still put all your contact information on one side. On the other side, put the proposed sizing of the finished project. Under the title of the project, I'll write (swatch) so that it is easy to see at a glance that it is not the finished project (I'm not making a dishcloth, it's a swatch!)

I don't know if this is too elementary for the buyers, but I think it's best not to leave any confusion. This is how I do it. I buy the tags in boxes of like 200 from Staples office supply store.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hobo Bag Revealed

This was the sneak peek, and here is the full peek! It's here! (well, any day it will be here)... Straight from Today's Designer is Bag Book, volume 2! Here's my felted Hobo Bag crocheted side to side with two strands of wool held together. Check out all the bags in this second of 3 volumes. Don't forget volume 1 and the Belt book are also still available at the same link.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Free Form Needle Felting with Marsha Polk

Saturday was a great day! Robyn Chachula (pictured below) and I went to a Free-Form Needle Felting Class, with author, crochet designer, and all around nice gal, Marsha Polk. (pictured above). Marsha is the author of Crochet Squared.

Here is my first attempt at needle felting. It's a little key chain! The class was held at Fiberge' yarn shop in Cincinnati, OH. And I didn't leave that store empty handed! Oh no, I had to peruse all the luscious fibers and choose one or two, or three or four to come home with me to sit in my stash indefinitely until I can get around to it.

The day only got better as I took the kids to see High School Musical 3. They loved it. I had to wipe a tear as Troy and Gabriella said goodbye. Followed by pizza and the kids having a camp-out in the living room and bingo, a great day. It only would have been better if Captain had been at home. But I think he was happier to be watching Michigan football than watching Chad and Taylor dancing with Sharpay and Ryan and the gang. Yeah, I want it all.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Halloween, 2008. Here it is. The thing about Halloween is that the kids change their minds so much, so often, that it often gets left to the last minute. Chief wanted to be SpiderMan (again) this year, but couldn't find his SpiderMan mask. He really didn't care though, and I suspect that he didn't want the mask. Chickee wanted to be a ghost (again). She was a witch last year, but a ghost the year before, so here she is as a ghost again. The lovely, happy witch is one of our darling nieces and just 6 weeks younger than Chickee. The adorable Guernsey on the left is our nephew. He is just 10 month younger than Chief and they are best friends and playmates. Yes, that is a big cow bell around his neck. Too funny.
Here is a self-portrait of me and Captain. This is actually really funny because I took the photo with my arm outstretched and it is really, really, rare to catch Captain being goofy.