Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in Review!

Clearly I don't have it all figured out. Click on the image and it will let you scroll through all the photos.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sneak peek

Here's a sneak peek for you. I'm plugging away.... Jan 5 is coming up really, really fast. I might be pulling an all-nighter tonight, since tomorrow night is New Year's Eve. Overall, the crochet world seems a little quiet right now.

What's new with you? Did you make any crochet gifts this year? Are you making a resolution to start 2009's gifts in January? LOL. It does tend to come down to the wire, doesn't it? I don't think I will be making any crochet gifts early, but I will be trying to think of Christmas gifts in general earlier in 2009. Maybe I'll start my gift shopping in July!

I have some general 2009 resolutions... drink more water, for example. When I'm crocheting, I never want to have drinks around lest they spill, so I tend to go whole days without having anything to drink except breakfast and dinner. Since, I usually eat lunch standing up in the kitchen while getting Chief his lunch, I usually don't drink anything at lunch either....yeah, I know it's bad, that's why one of my resolutions is to... drink more water. I need one of those silly baseball hats that hold drinks on either side with the straws that hang down!

St. Nick gift

This is what St. Nick brought me at the beginning of December! Two luscious hanks of Tupa Merino Wool and Silk from Mirasol yarns. Yum.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Deadlines are getting the best of me....

I just have a minute to tell you that I'll be back in a day or two! Two of my three projects are 90% done and I'm about 50% done on the third one, but time is getting short, so I gotta do some serious crocheting this week. Chief's birthday is also this week, he will be 6! My baby!

We are well! Christmas was very good. I have to say my favorite gift was the huge set of beautiful, fluffy, white bath towels that my brother and sister-in-law got for us. They are so luxurious, just unpacking them made me happy.

The kids are full of new Webkinz and various beeping, singing, playing toys. They seem happy. I'll have to post some photos when I get the chance.

We were able to get in all of our visiting without any yucky weather that so many of you are having.

See you in a day or two, or sooner if I get frustrated and need a break!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I'll be back in a few days! I wish all my dear readers a holiday full of comfort and joy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sneak peek

Here's a sneak peek for you! It's a pale green and the 3rd green project I have been asked to do in a short amount of time. Kinda interesting. Makes me wonder if the Pantone color people have predicted green as the new "in" color for spring! We'll see, won't we?

As the year comes to a close, it's a good time for goal review for 2008 and generating new goals for 2009! Sharpen your pencils folks, it's also New Year's Resolution time!

Also, here's a funny little story... I love the library and I love crochet. So it makes sense that I want to see the library full of crochet materials. I noticed that our huge library system only subscribes to one of the crochet magazines, so I requested that they get a subscription to a second one (really, I want the library to carry them ALL). So the periodicals director (whatever his title is) writes me back and says that the "one magazine is sufficient for the topic". DUH! Oh my gosh! I'll be they subscribe to several home decor, several cooking, and gosh knows how many "women's magazines" but he thinks one crochet magazine is sufficient. I was speechless. How do I explain to the guy the nuances of the different magazines and why they are all worthy? All the magazines are really only a modest investment when you consider multiple issues in a subscription. I wonder how many knit magazines they have....I'll have to go searching. Anna? Are you there, do you know the answer to how many knit magazines our library subscribes to?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Chickee Angel

I promise to get back on topic with crochet tomorrow! This is the 3rd off-topic post I've done in a row (so unlike me) and I'm sorry for the digression from the topic. But, really, you have to see Chickee as an Angel in school Christmas Pageant. Isn't she gorgeous? I know I'm biased, but really.... I need to design many more patterns that she can model, because when she models it, it looks even better. And I think the world could use more patterns for girls 6-12 yrs. Don't you think?

I have several projects that I want to reveal to you....but I can't. I will, however, have some sneak peeks to show you before they all ship off Jan 2.

I found a copy of Crafts' n Things and what happened? Nothing! My design is not in there! I thought it would be in there, I was told it would be in there, but nope, not in there. Maybe I got the name of the magazine wrong. Maybe it got "bumped" for space issues. That happens sometimes. Did you know that some contracts will give you a "non-use fee" or "kill fee" if the project they contracted you for isn't used or is cancelled? Not all contracts will have this. Any "big" contract should have some kind of provision for this in it. I'm not worried about this particular project though, it will likely just get used some other time. So, maybe I'm not completely off topic after all.... really, my mind is never far from crochet! It's really kind of embarrassing really, my one-track mind...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Charlie's foe

queue foreboding music....Smore has arrived. The 2nd grade class pet is staying at our house for the next 16 days.... much to the cat's dismay. LOL.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ripples Galore pillow

Did I show you this photo yet? Am I repeating myself? Here is Charlie who found the "Ripples Galore" neckroll pillow that was originally published in Crochet World magazine. Doesn't he look cozy? He doesn't know that a visitor, arriving later today, is about to rock his world. We have a house guest coming for the next two weeks... who will it be? You'll have to wait for the photos.

In the meantime, I'm stitching away furiously in between parties and Christmas pageants. The Christmas shopping is done but not wrapped. Chickee was in her Christmas pageant last night, I'll have to post a photo, she looked so beautiful as an angel.

Also this weekend is our annual "dates". Captain takes Chickee to a show, this year is the Nutcracker Ballet, and then to dinner. It's a special time where he can spend time with just her and he shows her manners and respect and tries to make it into a life lesson. I'll take Chief to the movies and to pizza. It will be a day the kids remember and look forward to.

But, I can't neglect my crochet. I have 3 deadlines the first week of January and one later in January. I'm not complaining, I'm excited! (and grateful).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chullo Hat Revealed

A little fuzzy, but still cute. Here is Chief wearing my prototype of the Chullo Hat and Gloves set from the Winter 2008 issue of Interweave Crochet. It is in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in purple and pale green.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snowman Scarf is UP

The PDF is up and now for sale on Ravelry and on the side bar here on the blog. It is $3.00 USD. Thanks to everyone who asked for the pattern. In the pattern, I added notes on how to make the scarf both longer and wider if you want to alter it to your own taste.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Right Side vs Wrong Side

Haley asked how you can tell the right side (RS) from the Wrong side (WS), here's my tips...

1. Many times the pattern will tell you. "Row 1 (RS)....

or assume the RS is the side of Row 1 unless the pattern tells you....
or it may say, "mark this row as RS" (it might be an even numbered row)....

If you are assuming that row 1 is the RS, then all odd numbered rows will also be on the RS. Conversely then, all the even numbered rows are the WS.

2. If you are right handed, and you use a traditional ch foundation row, your tail end of the yarn will be on the LEFT when you are looking at the RS of the fabric. The tail will be on the RIGHT if you are looking at the WS of the fabric. When you are trying to keep track of the number of rows worked, if the tail is on the left edge, you know you are working on an odd numbered row.

Of course, this is opposite if you are left handed. If you are left handed, the tail will be on the RIGHT edge if you are looking at the RS of the fabric. The tail will be on the LEFT edge if you are looking at the WS of the fabric. When you are trying to keep track of the number of rows worked, if the tail is on the right edge, you know you are working on an odd numbered row.

However, if you are working a foundationless beginning row, like the Foundation sc row, if you are right handed, the tail will be on the right edge when you are on odd numbered rows/if row 1 is the RS. If you are left handed, the tail will be on the left edge when you are on odd numbered rows/if row 1 is the RS.

3. If you are doing a row repeating pattern, the RS is either row 1, or the row the pattern tells you is the right side. If it is a repeating pattern in rows, and hence, you are turning every row, then the right side/wrong side doesn't matter until you choose one side to be the RS when you are putting on the edging.

3. Which leads me to.... most edgings are worked in rounds on the RS, so if you see the edging's RS, then it is the RS of the project. Sometimes, however, edgings are turned, then it doesn't matter which side is the RS and which is the WS.
Unless... the row repeat has relief or raised stitches like popcorns, bobbles and post stitches, because those will likely, generally, always be on the RS of the fabric, because otherwise, what's the point in putting on texture if it's going to be on the WS?

4. When looking at an individual stitch:

SC: the RS of a sc has two legs that point downward into a "V" formation. on the WS of a sc, the legs are shoulder width apart (haha), I mean the legs are splayed like an upside down 'V'.

HDC: The RS of the fabric, the st looks like....hmmm, I don't have a photo.... and on the WS of the fabric, the hdc has a horizontal bar that goes across the top of the stitch.

Why does this matter? Because you want to weave in your ends on the WS. Also, when making a garment, you want all the RS to be facing out for the world to see (the public side), and the WS will be on the inside facing the body (the private side).

And this is a long answer to a short question. Cheers!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Baby Grannies is back!

My Baby Grannies Pattern is back in a new book published by SoHo publishing, who brings us Crochet Today magazine. Find it at Maggie's Crochet. There are 4 books out that are "Crochet Today Editor's Picks, one for Chic Fashions, Baby Gifts, Afghan Inspirations and Accessories. Each book is $9.95.

This weekend we had a little overnight trip down to Lexington for Captain's office Holiday party. It was held in a mansion on an old horse plantation called Spindletop. Really gorgeous. It was across the street from the Kentucky Horse Park. We stayed at the Holidome and the kids had a great time swimming. We also took them to the Lexington Children's Museum where Chief and Chickee delighted in the "Bubble Zone".

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Chullo Hat Revealed

Five months in the making, it's finally here! The final leg of my Interweave Crochet 2008 GRAND SLAM!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Responses to reader comments


Thank you.


Great idea!

Oh, maybe this isn't going to work... LOL

Yes, I plan on making the Snowman Scarf available, thank you so much for your interest. I'm starting to get swamped again, so I'll get it done asap. I'll keep you posted.

Thank you for your nice comments on the "Repair a Crocheted Granny Square" tutorial. I'm glad you found it interesting.

Haley wrote that she would like a post on determining the "right side" of the project. Great idea, I have the post started, I just need a photo to go with it.

I know I forgot to share with you what I bought myself for my birthday.... I also haven't shown you what I got from St. Nick last week (he's so thoughtful....) I haven't forgotten about the Design Journey: Chickee's Dress The deadline has now been set for May 3, 2009.

Spring is going to be HUGE this year. I have so many patterns coming out between March and May I can hardly contain myself. You'll be seeing so much of me you're going to think I hired a publicist. I'm so grateful. It has been so much fun. All the crazy-busy-ness from October and November will be hitting the market in Spring 2009.

Has anyone checked the "Crafts N' Things" current issue for me yet?

I think I need to do a giveaway....

I have been waiting to go to the store to check on it myself, but there was a little thing about Chickee getting a minor concussion at cheerleading practice.... ugh.... while Captain was out of town.... Never fear, she is better and should be back to school today.... Again, I'm so grateful. Grandparents, if you are reading this, it was just a running-around-not-looking-where-they-were-going collision between Chickee and a girl twice her age/size. Chickee ended up on the bottom of the pile with her head against the floor. There was no loss of consciousness. Poor thing, it wasn't until about 2 hours later that I realized it was more than a kiss and make it better situation.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Repair a Crocheted Granny Square, Part 2

Did you see the photos yesterday? The unblemished square? The attack of the scissors? Here's part 2 on how I fixed it. So, I've crocheted the new stitches, in this case, 3 dc and a ch-1.

Again, drop the loop and use a smaller hook to pull the ch back through the next set of sts. This photo is a little wrong because that pink working yarn should still be threaded through thos lifeline stitches. If you accidentally pulled it out and it looks like this photo, just get your tapestry needle and thread it through the lifeline stitches again.

Again, the pink working yarn should be in where the lifeline is and where the little hook just pulled the ch through.

This is me putting the pink back where it belongs.

I had cut out one of the dc in the next group, so I need to re-create that, then I attached it to the existing st with a slip st. You should attach it anyway you can creating the least amount of obvious join.

This is what it looks like. Then weave in all the ends and remove the lifeline.

Viola'! Not too shabby. I think, theoretically, you could use this plan for any stitch pattern. Hmm, I hope I never have to try it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Repair a Crocheted Granny Square, Part 1

Well, I was preparing this post when I realized just how huge it is going to be, so I broke it up into 2 parts, the second part will come tomorrow. Here we go!

Above, is the tear that I created in the square...

With a tapestry needle, I threaded a "lifeline" in the row above the broken stitch.

With my fingers, I carefully pulled apart the broken stitch and the whole dc-3 cluster, leaving about 4" tail. I unraveled the stitches to where you would normally join new yarn. On the other side I also left a tail. Basically I cut out the smallest amount that I could while allowing an end on each side of the gap for weaving in later.

With a tapestry needle, I threaded the new yarn through all the spaces that the new stitches will have to go. It's the same spaces as the lifeline. I used a cut length of yarn, not a working yarn that is attached to a ball. About a yard.

I pulled through the new yarn through the stitch as if joining any new yarn, leaving a tail for weaving later.

Sorry for the fuzzy photo here. I chained 1 st, just like you would for the granny pattern.

I removed the working hook and got the smallest hook I could find that would grab the yarn (I think this is a D). I threaded the hook through the underside of the dc in the row above, I pulled the working loop of the last chain through those stitches (just where it belongs in the pattern).

Pulled the working loop through.

Put the working hook back in. Pull lots of new yarn out so you can work with it, crochet the new stitches. In this case, 3 dc and a ch-1.

And, you'll have to wait until tomorrow for the rest!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The low-down on and catch-up

The new issue of the Crochet Insider is out! Congratulations Dora on another terrific issue. In this issue are some great interviews including one with Designer, author, teacher, Nancy Nehring. Go Check it out!
Also, there is a review of the Strapped for Bags vol 1 from the Straight From Today's Designer's Group in the new issue of the Crochet Insider. Thanks Dora for the great review. I love crocheted bags, they always fit! Bags/totes are what my friends request most often. Missy and Sue requested the Spa Bag (click at right). and Missy and Shelley both have requested a new bag that should be out NOW in Crafts N' Things magazine, Jan/Feb 2009 issue. Have you seen it? I haven't seen it yet. Does anyone get this magazine and can help me determine if I do in fact have a pattern in it? I couldn't find it on their website. As soon as I find out, I'll be able to reveal it.

What else is new? I was on Getting Loopy last night with Mary Beth Temple. Did you miss it? You can hear it here on archives. We just had a short conversation about the CGOA Mentor program. I took on the Mentor program back in October and have been working hard on developing the philosophy of the program and helping everyone utilize the program better. So far, the feedback has been good. Mentors are for members of CGOA who want a career in crochet and have made strides in achieving their goals but need a "consultant" to help further their efforts.

Lastly, for today's round up. I have formatted all the photographs for the "Repair a Granny Square" Tutorial. Now I just need to add all the text and descriptions, but here are a couple of starting photos:
Above is the basic granny square...
And the arch nemesis of yarn arrives and CUTS (ugh) a stitch. Imagine a toddler with scissors, or just a tear from wear, or some crafty critter gets a hold of your heirloom granny blanket...

And you're left with a HOLE in your granny square! Oh what to do?! Never fear, the Tutorial is here.... well, not here exactly, but coming the Tutorial is coming! Keep tuned as the week goes on and I will show you how I repaired this granny square.

Monday, December 8, 2008

CGOA Mentor program on Getting Loopy tonight

A little wider, a little longer. This Tunisian Lace Ascot is made of Caron Simply Soft Paints.

The recipient is yet undetermined. :) Chickee says she wants it, but I was trying to make some Christmas gifts... she wants everything.
On another note, I will be on Getting Loopy, tonight, 9pm Eastern to talk briefly about the CGOA Mentor program. If you miss it, you can catch it on archives, but try and tune in for the fun.
More! There's more! I have a "repair a crochet granny square" tutorial for you! I should have it up within the next few days.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Off the hook...Snowman scarf

Chickee is modeling the new "Snowman Scarf" that I made to accompany my friend Missy's new hat. Super easy. Here's the hat again to remind you.

Missy's hat is slightly different in shape, but essentially, it's the Snowman hat.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Special Olympics World Winter Games Scarf

Finished! Modeled by Chief. Here's my very simple knitted scarf for the Special Olympics World Winter games. More details here. My pal, Judy, from Jazzercise also made a scarf. Hers is really cute and we'll ship them together! I hope the Olympians like them.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Squiggles Blanket revealed!

Here's the sneak peek that you saw a while back:

I hear the Jan/February 2009 issue of Crochet Today is out! Here's my contribution to the issue! It is made of Red Heart Baby Clouds yarn.
I can't believe I still don't have my copy yet! Maybe today? My mail carrier is starting to wonder what's wrong with me as I ask her, "Is it today? is it Crochet Today?" And she says, "huh?" And I say, "Crochet Today, today, is it today? Crochet Today? today?" And she says, "No, it's not Tuesday, it's Wednesday?" (This was yesterday). So I say, "No, not Tuesday, today, Crochet today? Is today the day? Oh never mind, maybe it will be Crochet Today, tomorrow."
Also, on another note, Scarlet made a Snowman Hat, see it here. Hi Scarlet, Great job!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Off the hook...

Fresh off the hook... the kids' teachers are getting Tunisian Lace Ascots this year. The red one that Chief is holding is for his teacher. It is made of Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL, which is an Alpaca/Merino blend. The color is Aged Wine.

Chickee is modeling the one for her teacher, it is a Plymouth Yarn, Baby Alpaca DK Paint

I hope they like them! But really, they work up really fast and are fun to make

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Snowman Hat

Here's another pal, a new pal, Tracy. She made the Snowman hat and graciously sent me a photo. She tells me that immediately on fastening off the first one, she began another. I hope she sends me a photo of that one too. Thanks Tracy. Have you noticed that I use entirely too many exclamation points? So, in this post, I deliberately restrained myself, though I am no less enthusiastic. Can't you tell? LOL.

Monday, December 1, 2008

She likes it! She likes it!

Here's my good pal, Missy in her hat! Wasn't that nice of her to send me a photo of herself in it! She's such a great person. She always puts things in perspective for me.