Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations LYN!

LYNW676, you are the winner of Marty Miller's Totes for All Reasons Book.  Please email me with your mailing address at Ellen @ GoCrochet dot com

Thanks everyone who entered.  Tonight, we'll be having our weekly LIVE Chat on Ravelry. Here's the Ravelry link. 9pm Eastern Time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Review: Totes for All Reasons

Crochet designer, tech editor and CGOA leader, Marty Miller asked me to review her book, Totes for All Reasons, 7 Versatile Crochet Designs

Leisure Arts produced this 24 page full-color booklet.  These quick to stitch designs are the perfect substitution for plastic grocery bags.  Most of the bags are made of durable cotton and are quick to make.  Machine washable and reusable these work horse bags will be so convenient you'll want to make more.  Each of the seven designs is stitched in 2 different yarns.  Each bag is made in both a craft store yarn and a yarn store yarn allowing you to choose!  There is one felted Bucket Tote (above) that from the side, seems to have a sweetheart neckline.

If you'd like to win this book, Please leave a comment here on this post, with your name and City/Town/Village by Wed Aug 31 at 6am Eastern. A winner will be randomly selected from these comments and announced here on Wednesday, Aug 31. The Winner will need to come back and email me with the mailing address at Ellen @ GoCrochet dot com

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hexagon Thing CAL

Here's the first project I've seen from the Hexagon Thing CAL!  It's by MeanderingHome on Ravelry. She gave me permission to share her headband made of the join-as-you-go Hexagons.

She writes:

I really don’t need to start another project right now, but the concept of a CAL with a design-your-own-project twist really appealed to me. Right now I’m not sure where I’m going with this. I thought the Hexagon looked dainty, so I picked hooked it in thread.
I was planning to make this headband 3 motifs wide, but I didn’t like where that was going. I ended up cutting out several motifs, and settling on one row.
After joining the motifs, I created ties by chaining 4 and slip stitching to each point on the hexagon. I then went over this with 2 rows of double crochet (8 dcs accross). I thinned this down to 3 dc (4 including turning chain) by 3 slip stitches when I got to the end of the 2nd row of 8 dcs. I did 16 rows of 3 dcs. This is how the hexagon headband is tied. I should probably take a picture of this part.

Thanks for joining in!  I'd love to see more Fasten offs.  Rav Mail, FB or email me at ellen @ GoCrochet Dot com.   Tomorrow there will be a book review and GIVEAWAY!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Goals time!

Where did the first half of the year go?  Last night in live chat, Patsy mentioned goals. That reminded me that I feel like I missed the half-way mark in 2011 in terms of goals. So here we go!

For those who want to be professional:
What we should have done July 1... Printed out or back-ed up your balance sheets. Because you log in your expenses and incomes as the happen, right? If not, get those receipts logged in. 

For everyone:
What were your goals for 2011?  How are you coming on those?  My goal list, as I look back on it now, was alarmingly short and not as detailed as it could have been!  I must have been busy in Dec/Jan.

But what is exciting is all the things NOW that I'm adding to that goals list that I accomplished that I didn't know I would do this year.  (yep, I'll give myself credit after-the-fact).  Like I got to speak at the CGOA's Professional Development day.  Because of this, I learned PowerPoint (that's TWO accomplishments right there!)  I also wrote my first article for a magazine, The Broomstick Lace article in Crochet Today

I also had many goals around learning: I learned circular knitting and made a hat!  I improved my Excel skills (don't know why it took so long to 'click'.) I learned PowerPoint as I said above.

If I wasn't a professional, probably many of my goals would be related to learning, trying new types of projects or techniques. Making a certain number of projects from stash, making a certain number of projects for gifts and charity.

What are your goals for 2011 and how are they coming along?  The year's not over yet, there is still time to re-dedicate yourself to your mission.

Above, a tricky little raccoon that we trapped. It took us several weeks of trying. He's a sly one.  He'd been getting in our trash cans (despite clamps to keep the lid on).  He had managed to successfully get the bait out of the trap without getting trapped for WEEKS. Finally, his downfall was the trap must have slid off the sidewalk and tipped somewhat sideways into the grass. This confused the critter and he got caught and couldn't escape this time!  Don't worry, he's been safely relocated to a more appropriate spot in our area. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Knit One, Crochet Too

Here's a new to me company, Knit One, Crochet Too.

I have to give them a quick shout out.  First, I love that they have Crochet in their name. I recently had the opportunity to use one of their yarns for an upcoming reveal... But you know how it is... it's months away!  But the service I received from the staff was very efficient and I'm grateful :)

They are a wholesaler that sells yarn to retailers. So go to your LYS and look for Knit One, Crochet Too yarns.  If you can't find them, ask. Also, on their website, you can order yarn, and your order will be filled by an LYS.  So you get internet shopping (convenient!) while supporting your local LYS (good for your community).

Above is one of their Crochet/knit patterns, the "Crochet Yoke Tunic", It has a knit skirt. Unfortunately the designer's name is not listed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


CrazyMotheringChick, Julie, from Round Rock Texas

You are the winner of the Heady Affairs Book Giveaway!  Please email me with your full name and mailing address and I'll get your book sent out to you!

Julie if you could email me at Ellen @ GoCrochet dot com  

 The Captain riding his bike, followed by Chickee, followed by Chief who would rather run.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back at it

Friday we took the day off to go to the Columbus Zoo.  We managed to see the whole zoo...

 Despite Scattered and frequent downpours...

And then a rainbow came out...

Since the zoo was about 2 hours away, I managed to crochet all the way there and back leaving me at least some progress toward impending deadlines.

I'm working not so much on blankets lately, mostly accessories and garments.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Review: Heady Affairs and GIVEAWAY

Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby has published his first booklet with Leisure Arts!  I'm sure there will be many more in the future. I love the sub-title, "7 Impetuous Hats to Crochet". The trendy, daring, impetuous people in your life will love them.
Here's a unisex beret in Naturally Caron, Country.
Here's an intriguing Origami hat, also in Naturally Caron, Country.  Other yarns used in the book are Stitch Nation: Alpaca Love and Patons: Classic Wool. All the patterns are written in two sizes.

To win a copy of Shannon's book, leave a COMMENT here on this post by Monday 8/22/11 6am Eastern. Include your first name and city. I'll randomly select a winner on Monday and I'll post the winner on the blog on TUESDAY, so you'll have to come back and see if you won. :) I'm tricky that way, aren't I?

If you can't wait to see if you won and have to have the book RIGHT NOW, here's the link:
Heady Affairs,

I learned to crochet by working projects in Leisure Arts books. I have always found their instructions to be very user friendly. They have a HUGE list of crochet publications. Chances are you have some Leisure Arts books on your shelf.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Me on Yarn Craft Podcast

At the Knit and Crochet Show, I got a few minutes to sit down with Zontee from Lion Brand's Yarn Craft Podcast.  Here's the link to the show with my interview. Tammy Hildebrand and Kimberly McAlindin were also interviewed.  I haven't had the chance to listen to it yet.  Let me know what you think!

Live Chat tonight with me on the Ravelry group, 9:00pm EDT.  Here's the link.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Yarn Thing! I'm on in 20 minutes-ish

Here's the Link! Come join us. (If you miss it, you can still follow the link and listen in on archives).

Me and Marly at TNNA 2010.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Busy Week!

Tomorrow, at 12:00noon EDT I will be on the Yarn Thing blog talk radio show with Marly Bird! Here's the link.

Thursday I will be reviewing Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby's new hat book.

At Crochet & Chat at the library last week, Monica  made a baby Sunny Spread!  In the corners, she put the Flower Patch motif from my book!  Great job! LOVE it!

Thanks Maureen for the photo!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Photo Friday

Let's just say, "Dark Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter cream filling and peanut butter Buttercream Frosting" 'nuff said.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chain Link 2011 Minneapolis

Minneapolis was a beautiful host city for the 2011 CGOA conference. I had never been before and  I hear it is quite a different city in the winter.  Oh look, here comes Haley Zimmerman walking toward me...
The few restaurants outside of the hotel we tried were excellent.  Above was a fantastic Sundried tomato, chicken pasta Alfredo from the Newsroom.
Haley's husband Jay sent us a platter of fruit from the hotel's service.  That was our breakfast for like 3 days! Thank you, Jay!
We ate a gorgeous little luxurious Mexican restaurant for lunch one day, MASA.  I had a Hibiscus Iced Tea with my lunch (fancy!)

As I stated before, we also visited the Minneapolis Textile Center. Here's Tammy posing in front.  When I go to these conferences, I rarely get outside the conference center because I pack my days and evenings so full with classes and meetings. But it was great to get a few meetings "off campus" this year, and I'm always up for good food. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chain Link 2011

Here I am with Crochet! and Crochet World editor, Carol Alexander.

Here is the book signing I did with my retail partner, Glory-ous Knits.  Their booth was big and had a great location on the end of the aisle. They had yarn and books and notions.
Designers: Brenda Bourg, Kimberly McAlindin, me, Tammy Hildebrand

Here I am with Haley Zimmerman (tech editor). She is wearing my Shifting Skies Mock-Turtleneck design.
Red Heart Ambassador, Kathleen Sams, me and designer Karen Ratto-Whooley. (I credit Kathleen with 'discovering me' back in 2006 when I thought no one was noticing my work)
Fashion Show emcee, designer, personality, spokesperson, and face of Sheepish yarns, Vickie Howell.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chain Link 2011 More!

 Here's a few photos from the Chain Link Fashion Show. They were taken by tech editor from DRG Susanna Tobias. (I'm sorry Susanna, I'm not sure what your official title is...) Susanna works full-time on-site at DRG. Above, I'm modeling Margaret Hubert's cardigan design.  I found Margaret in the crowd and blew her a kiss for letting me wear her design.

Here I am wearing Pauline Turner's dress from her book, Finishing Techniques for Crochet. 

Here's my beautiful roommate, Haley Zimmerman (tech editor) modeling a lovely shawl that was on the last cover of Crochet! 

There are many more Chain Link photos to come... scenes from Minneapolis, Minneapolis food, hanging out, the book signing... stay tuned.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Giveaway Winners!

And the Winners are....

Jenna from Utah! (Derek, Jenna, Wyatt & Emma)


Art Pride Amin! (New Jersey)

If both of you could email me at:  Ellen @ GoCrochet dot com
With your mailing addresses, I'll get your prizes out to you!

Thanks everyone for entering.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Book Review: Sewing in a Straight Line, Part 2

Here it is! Chickee's modified Easy Breezy Blouse from Brett Bara's new book, Sewing In A Straight Line.  And just like the zipper pouch, I'm sure the second try will go even better.  This blouse is floaty-er and gauzy-er in the book, but Chickee loves the color and we learned a bunch, so it's a success.  As sewing beginners, our sewing projects don't come out of the family 'clothing' budget, but instead come out of the 'entertainment' budget :) We definitely had a great time.

Book Review: Sewing in A Straight Line

Chickee and I have been bitten by the sewing bug!  Chickee had worked a few projects before with a teacher/friend but we soon found that we needed our own machine.  I learned to sew with my Mom when I was a child but hadn't sewn since.  Because Chickee felt compelled to continue learning, I broke down and bought a new machine.  Our first project was Brett Bara's zippered pouch from her Design Sponge series.  The tutorial was so easy and thorough that we were pretty successful on our first try and we did even better on the second. (See posts under the label "sewing" for more of our past sewing projects).

When I learned that Brett had written an ENTIRE book of easy to sew "straight line only" projects I was thrilled.  A cool book of projects that we CAN make!  Chickee and I poured over our copy, Chickee marking every page for each project she wanted to make.  I felt like the beautiful Origami Dress was a bit out of our skill level ...right now. But we still wanted to advance our skills... so we chose the Easy, Breezy Blouse.  Made of Chiffon, the fabric choice alone was enough to make us nervous.  We grabbed our coupons and headed to the fabric store.

The instructions helped us take Chickee's measurements. NOTE: Chickee didn't want her sleeves quite so wide... so we adjusted... but we failed to consider how this would change the fit.... and she didn't want the neckline quite so wide... I WAS careful to make sure it would actually fit over her head. See, Chickee suddenly is her own designer, tweaking as she goes, making the project her own, learning as she goes.

So we cut our fabric.  The slippery fabric was difficult but we managed.  We pinned slips of paper to the edges so we would know which edge was the shoulder and which edge was the length. We had trouble figuring out which was the "right side" of the fabric but eventually decided which side we wanted to be public.

Here's Chickee practicing on a scrap of fabric.  We looked to make sure our tension on this lightweight fabric was going to work. Also, after pre-reading the pattern, we found out that we had better practice making French Seams!  Illustrated on page 18... we followed Brett's easy instruction and quickly learned this "new to us" technique!
And here is Chickee sewing her actual blouse.  We completed the whole blouse in just one afternoon!  As soon as she wakes up... I'll make her put it on an post some photos of her wearing it.

We can't wait to do more projects from the book.  We'd also like to make this cool bowl set.

To me, this book accomplished every thing I wanted... it was inspiring, the book had projects that were beautiful but felt possible, we learned new things, and we were able to work together. WIN, WIN, WIN.

I admit that I bought fabric too, for my own Easy Breezy Blouse.  Knowing that I could make the entire blouse in an afternoon, I probably will squeeze it in to my schedule.

Brett is also doing a huge giveaway on her site. HUGE. She is giving away a SINGER sewing Machine AND a SINGER serger!

Stay tuned for photos of Chickee in her new blouse.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


It's so funny.  When I packed my bags for Chain Link in Minneapolis, I decided to only bring ONE stitch dictionary.  I grabbed the 365 Crochet Stitches A Year Perpetual Calendar by the Creative Partners Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss because it had the MOST stitches in the SMALLEST package.  I tossed it in my carry-on and used it on the plane.

THEN, Creative Partners was a supporter of Professional Development Day.  And I won, not just one, but TWO more perpetual calendars!  So, instead of trading them for other prizes, I decided to share the wealth with YOU!

Happy Dance!  If you would like one of these 2 calendars, please leave a comment on this post between now and Monday morning at 6am EDT. Two winners will be randomly selected from all the comments. It would be helpful if you leave your first name and city.

Check back tomorrow for a post on Brett Bara's new book, Sewing in a Straight Line, then back to more Chain Link posts including the Fashion Show.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chain Link 2011

Here's some of the highlights from last Thursday...
 Here I am with Zontee Hou, host of the Lion Brand Podcast, Yarn Craft, we did a little snippet interview which should air soon.
 Caron yarns sponsored a party Thursday night. Left to right: Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby, me, Amy Shelton (CGOA President, co-owner of Crochetville) and Karen Whooley.
 Me with my dear friend, awesome designer, Tammy Hildebrand

 Me with designer, author, Myra Wood.  (This was the first time we'd met!)

 I took a class with the exuberant, Joan Davis.
 L-R: Joan Davis, Cari Clement, Tammy Hildebrand, Kimberly McAlindin
 I took a knitting class with Binka Schwan. It just so happens that Binka was sitting in front of a reproduction of one of my all-time favorite paintings, Blue Horses by Franz Marc.
Me with Kimberly :)