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?"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Charlie in a bag

Today I'll be crocheting at the car repair place while I get new tires. Joy.  So while, I'm away, I'm sure this is what Charlie will be doing in my absence...On my hook today... Caron Simply Soft.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In Limbo

I think Charlie put his leg up and forgot about it and just left it there.  He must have sat like this for a full 3 minutes.  Now, he's waiting on me to finish 2 more crochet projects by Friday at 5!

My hooks must fly today!  One of the projects is a Tunisian one!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chief's new project

I think I need to fit 60 hours of crocheting into a 30 hour week this week. I don't know how I'm going to get it done.  I imagine it's going to involve canceling other plans and staying up really, really late. But, I'm certainly grateful for the work!

While applying Chief's makeup for Halloween, he discovered the lovely little makeup sponge.  He made sculptures out of them. Here he is with one of his soft sculptures.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Stitching in the car

Crochet, crochet in the car, (but not while driving!), crochet at home, at the soccer games, at volleyball practice, out by the campfire.  I crochet every spare minute. Back to it!  What's the oddest place you have ever crocheted!  Some of the stories I have heard over the years are:  while riding on the back of a motorcycle (Cathy), while walking (Anna), while driving a riding lawnmower (Tammy), and while sitting in a raft in the swimming pool! (Tammy, I've seen photos!)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Working, working!

Yep, when I assemble a project, I often sit on the floor.  This is where I'll be all day today! 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cowls Galore!

Are you onboard with the flood of great new crochet cowl designs?  There are so many great advantages to the cowl/neckwarmer/collar that it can't be ignored.  Some of us have put together a new blog dedicated to the topic of cowls!  Come on over and see my post on why Cowls do more than just keep us warm!

The new blog is:  

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Thanks to everyone who participated in the Tunisian Patina Scarf CAL.  Everyone who completed a scarf in September and October got their name in the drawing.  Everyone who pledged to donate a Patina scarf project got their name in the drawing an additional time.

The winner is.... Cookie45!

Cookie gets to choose from either 4 skeins of Red Heart Supersaver in Carrot or 6 skeins of Vanna's Choice in Linen.  Send me a Ravelry message, Cookie, with your choice and your mailing address and I'll send out your prize!

Be thinking about the next CAL to start after the first of the year.  We are leaning toward doing a bag/tote/purse type CAL with a guest expert to help us do a Sewing A Long, if you wish to line your bag/tote/purse.

Monday, November 1, 2010


 This week:  Halloween recap, Tunisian Patina CAL Giveaway, new blog reveal, and possibly a sneak peek (If I'm allowed!).  First, Halloween, Above, left to right, Chickee as Medusa, Niece as 1960s girl, Niece as the cow, Nephew as the clown and Chief as the grim reaper.
 Chickee as Medusa.