Friday, July 31, 2009

Floating Ripple CAL

The Floating Ripple Blanket pattern is still available on the right sidebar of this page, most of the way down. There is a "buy now" button and the cost is $5. Thanks!

Floating Ripple CAL

Here's the Floating Ripple blanket stitched by Therese! Thank you, Therese for sending a photo. How is everyone coming along with your blanket? Are you bored yet? Do you want a challenge? Do X number of rows by Monday? If you are the goal type, set yourself a number. Let me know your goal if you want some extra motivation, otherwise, keep up the good work!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Crocheting in Public

Today, I am hunkering down to write patterns. Patterns I should have written last night, but I took the kids to the Cincinnati Reds game instead. Chickee's classmate had tickets for 5 other kids and all their families. And it was ladies night! All the ladies got pretty brown baseball hats with a pink "C" on them for Cincinnati. I crocheted all through the game. Here's the link to the photographic evidence. Chickee is wearing the blue/purple combo (she dresses herself). Chickee is sitting on my left in the dark blue.

The above photo is Chickee with a friend's dog, Bella. It is for all you dog-lovers out there who have to endure endless photos of my cat.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My work space and sneak peek

Since we got home from vacation, I have been trying to get some work done. As you can see, Charlie has been helping me. I hope to have another sneak peek for you tomorrow. I've been working on winter projects...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sneak peek

Finally! A sneak peek that I'm allowed to share! The color scheme is really growing on me. I wasn't so sure as I was stitching, but when I photographed it in natural light, I thought, yeah!

It is a coral type color and a plum-purple color. Darn it, another one I'm going to have to make for myself...when I get the time. LOL. I crack myself up.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Julia Vaconsin blogs about design process

Julia Vaconsin, crochet and knit designer wrote an excellent blog post today about her design process, getting the idea from a sketch to a project. Here's the link to the post.

You need to check it out. Julia has had multiple excellent designs shown in Interweave Crochet the past two years or so.

I have 4 boxes stacked here to go to the post office today, one item on the blocking board, one pattern 90% written, and yarn for 2 projects sitting here next to the couch. Today, I expect the delivery person to bring yarn for at least 2 more projects. More swatching yarn for the book should be arriving Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Thanks Julia, for writing such an excellent and relevant post that I can take this morning off!

:) Hi new followers!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Decisions, decisions

This is probably the best part of writing a book so far... choosing yarns! Color cards and catalogs, oh my! All those luscious colors and fibers. Hmm, I'd like one of those, and one of those, and I'll try this one and that one... oh it's good to be me today.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

100+ and Quotes for Success

I have hit a personal milestone. I was leafing through my "sold binder" the other day, where I keep track of what sold, who bought it, where it ended up, how much and if I got paid, etc. I also keep photos of each project there. I started counting. Over 100 patterns! What a thrill. Unfortunately, you haven't seen them all, because some of them never got published or went to print (that I'm aware of). A few were on display at yarn industry conferences or the yarn was discontinued so it never got used.

A quote for you from the Motivations calendar:

Perseverance "Barely hanging on and ahead by a mile both mean that you're in the game."

On an unrelated note, above is a photo of how much yarn can be sucked up by a vacuum cleaner after 1, 2, 3 aaaggghhhh! seconds. 18 yards.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quotes for Success

I'm trying hard to get back to crochet. I crocheted most of the day yesterday and made good progress on one project. It seems lately that all the projects I'm being hired for all have multiple pieces... matching hat, coordinating handbag etc. So it's really like double the amount of projects.

Here's a quote for you from the Motivations Calendar

Opportunity "If you want to stand out from the crowd, make your own opportunities"

Susan asked about Dollywood. There is plenty to do at Dollywood for people of all ages. Yes, there are plenty of rides and games for the kids. (All the games cost extra, per game $2-$5). For the adults there were multiple music shows and concerts, a bird show and lots of shopping. The shopping was everything from the typical souvenir stuff to handcrafted leather goods. We really didn't shop much at all, but there were many, many shops. The authentic coal-burning train was a hit with our family, even with getting sprinkled with coal dust along the way. We had a two-day pass, but felt we didn't need the second day. Dollywood also has a separate park that is a water park. It looked fun, but we were too sun soaked by then and were ready for some shade. Traffic in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg this time of year is terrible. Apparently this is the worst time of year for traffic. Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are connected by a trolley system though, that makes it a little better. In the two cities, you can find every type of kids games like miniature golf, go-carts, rides and every kind of show like: magic, music, Dixie Stampede, Country bears, family comedy, and every kind of museum like: Elvis, vehicles, Ripley's Believe it or not, Wax museum, the Aquarium (which we did), and many more.

Above is another photo from Dollywood. There was a Chapel in the park and this is one of the multiple quilted Religious scenes that were hanging there.

Monday, July 20, 2009

We're Back!

Thanks for putting up with all the off-topic posts, we've been on vacation! So now, you have to put up with vacation photos, and hopefully we'll get back to talking crochet when I get the laundry finished and the fridge re-stocked.

Thanks for all the comments and new followers that arrived while I was away. What a nice 'welcome home'.
The photos are not in order, that's just a little too much organization for today. Yes, we went to Dollywood and my tendency to absorb the accents of others has had me saying y'all and y'hear all the way home. The people at Dollywood and the surrounding businesses were very, very nice. So nice that it is worth mentioning.
We also went to Myrtle Beach, where Captain helped the kids sculpt sand creatures. We actually went to Myrtle Beach first, got nice and sun burnt (despite several cans of sunscreen) and then we went to the Smoky Mountains.

Me and Chickee

Chickee is so at home in the water.

The kids found with these very easy going birds in Gatlinburg.

We went hiking in the Smoky Mountains and found these bears... oh MY! What a thrill.

And we found this waterfall at the Laurel Falls in the Smoky Mountain National Forest.
But one of the most amazing things I found on the trip... you are not going to believe this... I found a lost child. We were on the beach and I looked up and found a 4 y.o. boy crying walking on the beach. We learned later that he was more than 2 miles away from his parents. He was so upset he couldn't even tell me his name and I wasn't sure if he even spoke English. Poor kid. Apparently he had been missing for more than an hour! Luckily all the lifeguards have radios and our lifeguard radioed around until we found the parents.
Not much crochet happened while on the trip, but I did get a little done. I see some 'all-nighters' in my future...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Fun

I promise, I'll get back to crochet really soon. But in the meantime, here is Chief squirting uncle Joe with water. Here's Chickee flying high through the air, thrown by uncle Jim. Talk amongst yourselves, I'll be back in a few days.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Chickee gets Jonas bros tix

This is the smile you get when you give an 8 year old tickets to see the Jonas Brothers in concert. Priceless.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gallery Page

Check out my new Gallery Page! All my published and self-published patterns with links for the ones that are for sale! It's so nice to have them all in one spot! I'll post the link in the sidebar soon if I haven't done it already.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The raspberries have been so delicious this summer I have been eating a whole container full at a time. Can you see how these berries filled up with water when I rinsed them? They are like little cups. Yum. They look like little popcorn stitches.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

YouTube Video of TNNA Fashion Show


Actually, it's several little videos because there were somewhere around 100 items in the show. Take a look!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Secret Weapon

Chickee decided to join the swim team this past week... three weeks into the season... So we had to rush around and find a plain black swimsuit in time for her first meet Thursday night. Chief didnt' want to swim on the team or practice with the team, so we didn't sign him up. Thursday night arrived and after a 2.5 hour rain delay the meet got off to a start. Chickee placed in 3rd with her relay team and she got a "best effort" ribbon in her individual freestyle race. She did great and we were so proud of her. She is going to develop into an excellent swimmer. When the boys in Chief's age group got on the blocks, Chief said he wanted to swim too. The coach grabbed Chief by the hand and put him on the blocks and bang they were off! I couldn't believe it! I was so thrilled that he wanted to swim and thrilled that the coach took advantage of the opportunity and let him! Chief wasn't really eligible to win anything, but he got a "best effort" ribbon and was happy. So now, Chief is the swim team's "secret weapon", so secret that not even the team knew about it! He didn't notice that he was the only one wearing a bright blue lizard print swimsuit amidst all the black speedos.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


City of Thieves by Dan Benioff
Written from the point of view of a teenage Russian boy during WWII, this story was almost bizarre. The young boy is taken into custody of the Russian police and offered his release if he is able to complete one task: Find 2 dozen eggs and return them to the commander within a week. The seemingly pointless task must be a comment on the pointlessness of war? Anyway, I was curious how it would end and I did indeed finish it, but I found myself skimming at times (especially the graphic war parts) looking to "get on with it."

Gardens of Water by Alan Drew
Again, not a light-hearted read. This story is set in Turkey during and after a catastrophic earthquake. The story then is about a family struggling to cope with the aftermath and a group of American relief workers who are there to help. It challenges the concepts of East meeting West and what role religion plays in relief. The characters struggle to relate to one another with the cultural issues when humanity issues arise. It was intriguing and well written but somewhat grim and left many philosophical questions lingering in the air.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Who would have thought that the world of the Geisha in the lifetime of the 1920's to 1950's would be so interesting? I didn't. This work of fiction is so completely mesmerizing it is hard to remember that it is fiction and not a true story. I know that I am really enjoying a book when it interferes with my crochet. This book did. I had to just read it as fast as I could so that I could get back to work more quickly. I was worried that the book would read too much like a history lesson, but really this was more like a conversation with an extraordinary woman. It takes you through the transformation of child to adult, through her lessons to become a geisha and all that it entails. It was much more elegantly depicted than I expected for the topic. Excellent.

Mr. Muo's travelling couch
by Dai Sijie
Ok, I tried. I read two chapters. I pulled this book off the "Librarian's choice" shelf at the library. I thought, hey, it's about a psychoanalyst, maybe I'll find this interesting, given my former profession as a mental health counselor. Nope. It was too scattered for me. I didn't finish it. Maybe you'll like it, but it didn't engage me. Off to read something else.

Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck
What a tear-jerker. It was a great book, easy to read, short and quick but Oh my goodness, I had to put it down several times to compose myself. My friends, if you have any issues with grief at all (and who doesn't?) this book will force you to heal just a little bit more. Reading it was the kind of pain that's like putting a dislocated bone back where it belongs. You know it's going to hurt, but you know it needs to be done, and in doing it, you'll feel better in the long run.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I'm afraid July is going to be full of off-topic posts. There is just too much that I can't show you. But never fear, I'm still crocheting like crazy, more than ever. How's your Floating Ripple Blankets coming along? I need to post a photo of weaving in the ends, don't I? That's still on the to-do list. In the next week, I am designing and stitching two garments and a hat. I'm all caught up on my pattern writing. My crochet room looks like Armageddon, and desperately needs some organization. The room is busting at the seams at the moment. I use laundry baskets to carry all my yarn stuff from room to room when it's not sitting next to the couch. The crochet room is now so full you can't even see the carpet and there is barely a free path that leads to my printer on the far wall. Shameful. It's shameful. (shakes her head in disgust).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Chief's First Race

It's going to be a little crazy around here for the next 10 days or so. I am very busy here at GoCrochet working feverishly on deadlines, writing, stitching, and of course taking care of the family, running to swim practice and meets. This morning is also Crochet & Chat at the library, which means a compromise. It means leaving swim practice early and arriving to Crochet & Chat late so that no one gets their full activity today.

Here's Chief on the blocks in his first ever swim meet. He didn't even have the uniform suit yet. We missed the first few weeks of the season because they didn't decide to join until late. Tonight is the last swim meet. I have a little 2 minute video of Chief in a race, I wonder if I can figure out how to post it. Too funny.

I can't tell you what I'm making these days, but all manner of buttons and clasps and straps are being utilized.

Some good sites for hardware are:

The Leisure Boutique
Bella Knitting (I've never used this site)
All Craft Supplies (I've never used this site)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chief's Sculpture

Captain turned Chief loose in the work shop the other day... here is the result. He looks proud though, doesn't he?

Me, I'm pretty busy. I've been getting information ready for the Professional Development Day at CGOA's National Conference which is in Buffalo, NY in August. I'm preparing some basic information about the Mentor program which will be going out to all the participants. I've been sending out submissions and writing patterns. I just stitched an item the other day that I simply must make for myself! Oh how I wish I could get the items back after I sell them! The buyer could even keep it for a year to show it off, take it to shows, etc. Then, I'd love to have certain items back. Some buyers give items back, but not all.

What else have I been up to? I've been working on the book in between deadlines. We'll see how well it is working to write a book and try to maintain my usual projects at the same time. I think it will eventually come to a 'crunch time' when I won't be able to take any new projects unless I get some help. If only Chickee were more interested in helping out with the family business!

90% of what I am doing for the book right now is swatching and writing from swatches. I'm also working on the actual writing at times. I find that I write better in front of the computer, and since Chief tries to monopolize it and Captain gets it most evenings, I'm afraid much of the writing will either have to be done by hand or will wait until Chief and Chickee are back in school.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Floating Ripple CAL

How do I send a photo? Therese asks.

1. you can email me at ellen at sign (@) gocrochet dot com and attach it. Size it down to 400 dpi (if you know how). If you don't know how, it's ok.


2. post a comment with a link to your flikr page or your Ravelry page or your blog where it is posted and I'll grab it from you.

I'll take your photo and write "stitched by ...." on it and post it.


Hi new followers! Thank you for joining us. The photo of this fuzzy guy is from the Thanksgiving Day petting zoo and parade last year. We call him "big-eyed bunny".

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sneak Peek

Yep. That's it. That's all I'm allowed to show you. I will say, that this is not for the book. But I have no idea when it will be revealed. It does show you the lovely graph paper that I prefer to sketch and write notes on. (Just in case you were curious).

Friday, July 3, 2009

Cafe Press T-shirts!

Here's my new GoCrochet t-shirt! It's more of an eggshell or an ecru than a bright white. It's an organic cotton T. I am wearing a size "medium" although I think of myself as more of a "small". So, in my opinion, the shirts run small. I haven't washed it yet. Totes, mugs, notecards, and t-shirts are all available here. It comes in sizes: S (M, L, XL) Made in the USA!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Goals! (Charlie groans)

Charlie heard me mention "goals" and "tallying receipts" and other mid-year tasks! He groaned, "How can she be so organized!?" It's a business. Who's going to take me seriously if I don't? Some of you may have groaned too when you saw my goals from 2004 or heard my call to attend to goals in July. Why wait a whole year to find out if you are reaching your goals? Why not check-in every so often and see what adjustments need to be made? As you may have heard me say before, and I'll say it again.... goals are not commitments. If you don't reach them, then there either was a problem with the attainability of the goal, or the goal wasn't necessary to begin with. I give myself permission to change my goals along the way if they need to be changed. I don't feel like a failure if I change my goals. I feel like a failure when I don't try. The only regrets that I have had for crochet in the past 4 years have been when I have lapsed in the effort I have put forth. There is one compilation project that I wish I had put more effort into submitting to, but I didn't, and I missed it.

Unfortunately, what I am not organized about is all my swatches/drawings/notes. Their everywhere. I haven't found a system that I am comfortable with yet.

Now, back to work!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Busy day

Today has already been off to a busy start. I sent out 4 project submission proposals, took Chickee and Chief to swim team practice, and dropped Chickee at a friend's for a play date. Now for a super quick lunch and Chief and I will head to the library. I'm delivering a box of donation yarn to a local church's Prayer Shawl group. Hopefully, I will get to some serious swatching... at least 3 solid contenders for a project and get them photographed and emailed by 5:00.

Chickee won 4 more ribbons last night at the swim meet including a couple second and third place. Chief won a Third place for his one race. He told everyone that he "came in first in my lane!" Too cute.

The photo is Chickee swimming in a race and Captain (straight from work) cheering her on. Captain was a talented swimmer in his earlier years and is thrilled that Chickee shows some talent too.