Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Confetti Evening Bag Revealed

In the March 2011 issue of Crochet! Magazine... here's the link to the Ravelry page for all the details!  It's made of Premier yarns, Spangle Light.  The button on this one is a vintage one found in my button box probably from a Great Aunt.  :) 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Chickee got a pottery wheel for Christmas, she is having fun with the gooey mess. We are doing more Christmas today, and I have a luncheon tomorrow, and a dinner tomorrow night... I guess we are still celebrating.  I'm looking forward to getting back in a routine, especially since the deadlines aren't waiting. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Traditions

 Every year we go to the Krohn Conservatory.  Inside one very big greenhouse building are all sorts of tropical and exotic plants bonsai trees, cacti, orchids, etc.  In the front vestibule is a huge Christmas tree with ornaments all handmade of natural materials.
Of course, we had to make wishes in the waterfall.  I didn't even bother, I have everything I could ever want.
Chickee is carrying her Go-to Scarf made of Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe...

Love this iron Butterfly bench.  Every year the Conservatory houses a butterfly show in the Spring.  Amazing butterflies flit around, land all over you.  They are really spectacular.

Outside is a Nativity with statues for the people but live animals for the animals.  The sheep sit so happily munching on grass while all us city-folk take photos.  I've picked up my hook again after a 3 day absence and I'm looking to be productive!  

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I made a little Amigurumi Christmas Tree ornament last night... for FUN!  whoohoo.

Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Hope!

Ok, there are still leaves on the trees in this photo... it seems it has already been winter here for a very long time.  But I feel light at the end of the tunnel as I finished another project last night!  WooHoo, chocolate milkshake time!  Still, I can't even remember off the top of my head how many projects I have waiting for me.  I have them all written on a to-do list in chronological order... check it once, checking it twice. 

Also, hoping I can get just one Christmas crochet project squeezed in... it's going to have to be little.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sneak Peek!

Will you be the first person to find this booklet?  Published by Coats & Clark, Princesses and Heroes is a collection of 5 costume/outfits for boys and girls!  Chickee wrote the introduction to the book!

I received my copy on Saturday. Chickee proudly took a copy to her friend's house to share...and left it there...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Goals! 2010 review

It's that time again!  Goals review for 2010 that will lead to goals for 2011....
First, 2010 has been a very good year.  I am so grateful for the continued work.  Obviously, finishing the book is the biggest accomplishment of the year for me.  Still, we won't see the results until next year.  That is oh so typical of publishing... the work you see published today was stitched months earlier. 

(Today I'm working on a project for Spring!)

One of my favorite projects of the year is the Lake House Hat & Scarf set.  It's a free pattern offered by Coats & Clark. I actually have the hat in lavender and yellow that I wear. 

One of my goals of the year was to increase my learning.  I made strides with Excel and some other technical design and pattern grading issues.  I took several classes thanks to the CGOA conference in Manchester, New Hampshire. 

Now, I'll formally go through my written goals and answer them... and write in... did I accomplish the goal? If I didn't, why not? is it a good goal for 2011? 

Also on the agenda the financial year-end stuff.    Luckily, since I keep up with my receipts and ledger all year round, this is going to be a breeze... just a matter of printing it out and closing the envelope!  

I'd love to hear how you did on your 2010 goals!  What were the crochet highlights for you?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow Day!

We woke up to an additional 3" of snow... which as a friend pointed out... isn't very much... but in hilly Ohio, it's enough to shut down schools.  So here is Captain shoveling... he gave himself a snow day too...
Above, Chickee in her red Driftwood Cap with brim and our neighbor friend, prepare to rides sleds down our back hill. I... am inside crocheting in front of the fire with a sleeping cat next to me and a crockpot full of BBQ pulled pork cooking away for dinner.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Isn't this still Fall?

You'd never know it by the below average temperatures around here... At least the sunshine helps.  I think our pond is even frozen. The pond is on the right in the photo behind the trees.

I must be getting used to the frigid temperatures because this morning it was 7 degrees, but it felt about 20. LOL

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Buckeyes!  Buckeye nuts from the State tree of Ohio.  Of course, being Michigan fans, we have to at least wear Michigan garb while making the buckeyes.  Chief also refuses to call them 'Buckeyes' and instead calls them 'Wolverines'.  Yes, it's hard to be a Michigan fan living (and from) Ohio, but that's where the Captain went to Grad School.  Buckeyes are peanut butter mixed with butter and powdered sugar and dipped in chocolate... Yum. Let me add, you can't actually eat the nut from the Buckeye tree as they are harmful.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lace Knitting

This swatch represents about 8 hours of work!  You see that it is bound off.... of course I made a mistake while watching Chickee's volleyball game... I worked the wrong side row on the right side. I didn't know how to un-knit lace, so I just bound off in frustration and started over.  I'm doing better on the second, third, fourth try.  I have put in a life line and have moved my instructions to a card where I can mark rows off as they are completed.  Still, I've been so busy with crochet deadlines that this little project has sat untouched for about a month!
On my hooks though, are a couple great projects with Spud & Chloe Fine, and a few projects using Red Heart products, several other projects on the schedule behind those! 

We're on a 2-hour delay this morning, and I just heard a plow go by. I'm looking forward to some happily-stuck-in-the-house crocheting today!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Year end approaching

The year is quickly coming to an end! It always makes me think of... you guessed it... GOALS!  It's time to look back at my goals for the year and see how I did.  It's time to look at my goals list and see if I can sneak in any more effort toward the goals in the last few weeks.  It's almost time to look ahead.  Whatever didn't get accomplished, does it need to be put on next year's to-do list? or was the goal unreasonable? or was there little interest in the goal anyway? 

My goal of publishing a book isn't done, but it's getting closer!  TODAY I turn in my final edit.  So scary. So exciting.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Into the Woods Chevron Blanket Revealed!

 The Into the Woods blanket is in the new Crochet Today! Worked up in the Super Bulky, Light & Lofty with a really big hook!  It's easy to memorize and a really quick to stitch.  I have 2 huge deadlines on Friday, so I can't guarantee that I will be able to write tomorrow and Friday.... wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cozy Baby Sweater Revealed

Cozy Baby Sweater revealed! Crochet Today
It's a fun little beginner project.  Using a color-changing variegated yarn with Loooonnnnngggg color changes.  I did take care to start both sleeves in the same spot in the color sequence so that they would match.  It's made of Red Heart Sweet Baby Yarn. You can whip this up in little time.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Favorite Ornament...

I'll show you the back side of my favorite ornament...

You can see it says, "Ellen, 1976".  A crocheted pocket that used to have candy in it, crocheted for me, by my Mom when I was 4.  Show me or tell me about your favorite crocheted ornament!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Giveaway Winner

Maren M, Albuquerque, NM

You are the winner of the copy of Robyn Chachula's latest book, Baby Blueprint Crochet!

Maren, please email me or Ravelry message me with your mailing address and I'll ship out your book!  You're going to love it!

To see more of Robyn's fun projects, go visit Susan Anderson's Blog, she is hosting Robyn today and shows even more projects that I didn't show.  


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Card Making

Cutting, stamping, coloring, gluing, we're making our own Christmas Cards this year!  The kids are having fun with it, but wow, does it take so much longer. Hopefully we'll have them mailed out by New Year's!

I'm pondering crocheting a few Christmas Ornaments this year... I'm hoping that I'll have time to sneak them in after my 12/17 deadline and before the actual Holiday.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Book Review: Baby Blueprint Crochet and GIVEAWAY!

As the natural follow-up to her smashing success with her first book, Blueprint Crochet, Robyn Chachula gives us more symbol crochet an innovative techniques in Baby Blueprint Crochet.  In stores this month, allow me to show you a few of my favorite features.

If you are a frequent reader of GoCrochet, you know I love Tunisian Crochet... you might ask, "What does that have to do with Robyn Chachula, she doesn't do Tunisian Crochet?".  SHE DOES NOW!  WhooHoo!  With this lovely Froggie Blanket, Robyn joins the ranks of designers who do Tunisian!  Traditionalists, never fear, this is the only Tunisian project in the book, but isn't it great!  LOVE it.

Lately there are many crocheters who are loving top-down construction....The Leah Pullover is for you!

But wait... isn't Robyn known for her fabulous motifs? Yes, and here's a few projects that will satisfy your need for more of Robyn's motif magic:  Kyla Stroller Blanket and the Rosa Car Coat
I think, though, the first thing I will have to make is the Pea Pod Slider Slippers... can I hear a collective, "Awwww!" Too cute.

Ok, one more thing... well, a couple more things... there is a tutorial on how to make the frog closures shown on the cover, (yay) and so many of the designs can be altered slightly to move them from girl to boy or boy to girl (yay) and there are several great designs for BOYS (so rare) that any mom of a little boy will be thrilled by the selection.  There are many stitches you thought you knew in the book but Robyn teaches you a new way to do them (and very easily too).

It's a great book and one lucky winner will get it!  To enter to win the free copy of Baby Blueprint Crochet, leave a comment on this post between now and Thursday, December 2 at 10:00 pm/EST.  You must enter with your first name, last initial, and city.  You must be a US or Canada resident to enter (sorry, shipping costs).  On Friday, Dec 3, I'll announce the winner here on the blog.  The winner should email me at my address in the right side bar (Ellen at sign GoCrochet dot com) get it?  Good Luck!

Also, go to Robyn's blog, Crochet by Faye, for more information about blog book tour stops all month long.

Just a reminder... the winner of Jilly Hanratty's book... has never emailed me with her mailing address.... Roberta B, from Belleville, NJ... if you are out there.... you're running out of time.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shifting Skies top

My Shifting Skies top is now in Inside Crochet, Issue 13!  The Preview is HERE, but they took the flower off.  I guess they didn't care for the flower! LOL. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nanny's Blanket

Here's the blanket my Mom and I made when I was probably 13? 14? I'm not sure.  We took turns making squares from the scrap yarn in Mom's stash.  Mom put them together and edged the blanket.  We gave the finished blanket to my Grandmother.  Looking closely at the blanket, a few of the yarns have felted over time and washing.  I think this blanket is going to be a great source of color inspiration.  Each block is it's own color scheme... like a little study in color mixing. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Crochet

Our niece, Rachel, has been asking for a decorative beanie style hat.  She saw one in an American Doll Catalog and I was AMAZED that she correctly identified it as crochet and made the connection that crochet is what I DO, and asked!  She is 6.

I brought some yarn to Thanksgiving and let Rachel choose the color... I began the hat during appetizers and put it down for dinner...
After dinner and dishes, I worked on it more while the family played Apples to Apples and watched football...

And here is Rachel wearing her finished hat after dessert!  Overall, not bad for crocheting during a party.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Free Pattern: Earflap Hat Revealed!

At the terrific new Red Heart Yarns Site.
Also, you can make it in worsted weight and leave off the pom-poms for a basic earflap hat. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Stray chicken

This is the stray chicken that is in our yard... and it's not ours... weird. I wonder if it escaped someone's Thanksgiving Day table.

Visualize: Abundance

And that's just the top shelf... 
I hope every has an abundant Thanksgiving!  Full of friends, family, food and prosperity.

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Fog out the front...
And fog out the back...
But this fog is easy fog... you can still see the street and we could see past the house.  If the fog was really bad, it would have made for a very un-interesting photo!  We had the worst fog I had ever seen Saturday morning.  The fog tends to collect over the river (the top photo) and the further you travel away from the river the more clear it becomes.  The other day, I experienced the obvious boundary from where the fog was and then suddenly it wasn't... it went from pea soup to completely clear and bright in a span of about 10 feet. Amazing.

Crochet... I'm still plugging away. I admit I am experiencing some sort of "Reveal Withdraw".  It seems like it has been forever since I've gotten to show you a new design.. and yet there are like 20 completed projects out there waiting to to be seen! (not even counting the book!) 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chickee and me crocheting

When I was 14 or so, my Mom and I crocheted a granny square blanket for my grandmother.  This past weekend I got grandmother's blanket back, since she passed away a few weeks ago.  Seeing the blanket (I'll post a photo of it this week), made Chickee want to crochet a project with me.  We went stash diving and found a good quantity of this lime green Red Heart Kids yarn.  We sat down to make granny squares.  I told her that I would match her square for square... just my luck I'd make 50 and she'd lose interest.... She has made 9, so I have made 9!  We'll see how long it takes for her to abandon the project.  I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Start day

My schedule has gone from insanely busy back down to just regular busy.  Today I am starting a new project for publication.  Starting a new project always makes me a little nervous but once I get started it's easy to fall into a rhythm. I need to reveal some things soon!  It feels so long since I have done a reveal!  All sneak peeks have pretty much stopped as there are changes with buyers and I need to get permission before sneaking you a peek.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Give Away Winner: Plus Size Fashions!

Roberta B, from Belleville, NJ!  Chief pulled your number and you are the winner of the copy of Jill Hanratty's Plus Size Fashions!

Congratulations, Roberta, please email me, my email is in the right sidebar under my photo. Send me your mailing address and this will go out on Friday with my other to-ship packages.

If you didn't win, you can buy it NOW, either as a hardcopy or an instant electronic download for $9.95 at this link to Annie's Attic.

Here are the links for the rest of the tour stops this week:
Day 3 (Nov 17): Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby --
Day 4 (Nov 18): Jennifer Cirka --
Day 5 (Nov 19): Lisa Gentry --

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Become a Designer

Thanks Lisa P for telling me about this great article by Brenda Stratton, about being a crochet designer.  Enjoy!
Article Link.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Giveaway! Plus-Size Fashions

I have a special treat today!  I'm so excited to be the kick off stop on the Blog book tour for Jill Hanratty's new book: Plus Size Fashions.  They are all CROCHET! and they are all WEARABLE! You're going to love them. You'll know Jill's name from frequent appearances in Crochet! and Interweave Crochet magazine.  Jill also has other books out with Annie's Attic that you may also enjoy, but today we are talking about this one:

Each day this week, Jill will be stopping by blogs answering questions about each of the designs in the book.  Today we will be talking about the yellow design and.... We'll be giving away a book!  Be sure to stop at all the other blog tour stops each day this week for more information and possibly, don't quote me on this... more opportunities to win a copy.
Here's Jill! Love the top, Jill.

In Plus-Size Fashions, there are 5 classic shaped garments in sizes from 1x to 6x.
They have simple modern styling that can be dressed up or down. The designs have clean modern lines, great wardrobe building projects that can be worn for casual or business. Classic styling that you can add your own accessory flair.  Careful consideration to proportion and comfort.  Great design details take the designs from simple to clever. 

Jill, I seem to remember you have some formal Fashion Design coursework, would you please tell us about it and how you think it relates to your crochet design work?
About 15 years ago, I learned that a fashion design school had opened within walking distance of my day job (in Newark, NJ).  I had been sewing clothes for myself and others for years and was happy to have an opportunity to learn to make patterns instead of altering commercial sewing patterns.  With the exception of sewing courses, I took the full curriculum.  This included several courses in patternmaking, as well as courses in grading, sketching and draping.
The patternmaking and grading courses have been the most relative to crochet.  One valuable lesson I learned was to “eyeball” a graded pattern.  An incongruity that may not show itself in small sizes can grow into a big problem as the pattern is graded up in size!
Where did you get your great buttons throughout the book?  Do you choose buttons before, during or after designing the garment?
I decide on the size of button to best suit the garment during the design process and then set about trying to find just the right match for color and size.  (The buttons on the Swinging Pearl Jacket are perfect, aren’t they?)  Although I have a sizable button collection (yarn stash; fabric stash; button stash—it never ends!), I use buttons which can be found at fabric/craft stores.  The button selection at these stores can be mind-blowing—more so if the store includes fashion fabrics in its offerings.
The yarn used (Lion Brand Cotton-Ease) is one of my favorite cottons because it comes in so many pretty colors, but many of the other garments are made with Bamboo or Bamboo blends.  Why did you choose cotton and how will that change the garments wear-ability from the Bamboo?
In addition to the great color selection, I like the texture of the LB Cotton-Ease and thought it was both soft and stable enough to show off the stitch pattern without stretching out of shape.  I envision wearing the Soft V-Neck Pullover almost year-round with different layers beneath it to suit the weather.  Cotton and cotton blends always appeal to me because they transcend seasons and require less care than other fibers.  The bamboo blends I used in the other designs call for hand-washing, whereas the pullover can be machine washed and dried.  That will make it easier to wear it all of the time!
While you live in New Jersey, I know you often get into “the City”, New York City.  What inspiration do you absorb from the city and the people of New York City.
LOL—you may consider New York a source of inspiration, but I generally look at it as one big shopping trip!  The yarn shops in New York City are great and they are always inspirational!  (I love the new annual tradition of the NYC Yarn Crawl begun last year!)  I have occasionally gone bead shopping with a jewelry-making friend, and the colors of the beads always have an influence on me.  One of the most striking features of the city is the different atmospheres you encounter in different areas—different styles of dress stand out depending on where in the city you are, and that of course makes an impact on my designs.
One of the reasons why the designs look so modern is the lack of heavy button bands and edgings.  Was this a conscious decision to balance with the proportion of the larger sizes?
I rarely use a separate button band.  While I like to sew when I am sewing, I am not so keen on sewing more than necessary when I crochet!  I prefer simple edgings and like to incorporate buttonholes right into the body of the regular stitch pattern.  This eliminates the possibility of the body of the garment stretching while the button band remains intact, or vice versa.  I doubt I would have chosen a different method regardless of size!

Thanks Jill!

Now, if you want to win the copy I am giving away... you need to leave a comment on THIS post by Tuesday, Nov 16 at 11:00pm Eastern time.  You must include your first name, last initial, and city of where you are from.  You must be a US or Canadian resident.  I'll randomly pull the winner from the comments and post the winner on Wednesday. The winner will need to email me with your mailing address by Friday the 19th.

IF YOU CAN'T WAIT to see if you might win the book... you can buy it NOW, either as a hardcopy or an instant electronic download for $9.95 at this link to Annie's Attic.

Here are the links for the rest of the tour stops this week:
Day 2 (Nov 16): Rhonda Davis --
Day 3 (Nov 17): Shannon Mullet-Bowlsby --
Day 4 (Nov 18): Jennifer Cirka --
Day 5 (Nov 19): Lisa Gentry --

Friday, November 12, 2010

Become A Designer

In this tough economy, everyone is looking to earn some cash to make up for what they're not earning in their real job.  Daily, I receive emails asking how to become a Crochet Designer.  For this reason... I label the posts related to becoming a crochet designer with that label.  If you would like to read them as a collection, click on this link.

Ok, one more project to make today by 5:00 pm!

Gotta stitch!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The pig is jealous

MONDAY... come visit me Monday when I talk with crochet designer, Jill Hanratty about her new book for Plus-Size Crochet Designs.  You won't want to miss it!

I heard Sweets saying, "What are all these pictures of the cat? Why aren't there pictures of the guinea pig?"