Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Inspiration: Chullo Hat and Fingerless gloves

What was I thinking?
I can't find a photo of the fingerless gloves that go with this hat! Oh, here it is.... It was in Interweave Crochet Winter, 2008, but the pattern is available in Interweave's store.  Ok, back to what I was thinking.  I was thinking that I admired the Andean chullo hat patterns. I don't want to take the time to borrow anyone's hat photos, but Google "Chullo hats" and all sorts of beautiful intricate, colorful stitch work earflap hats will come up. I knew that I wanted to do something with colorwork, and you may have noticed a pattern in my work that I love 2 colors per row tapestry and fair isle type color work.  However, I like to make it very easy so that you get maximum impact with the least amount of confusion. I originally designed the hat in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, I think, in a dark plum color and a pale icy green.  Kim Werker, the then editor of Interweave Crochet, chose this fascinating and beautiful combination of plum and terracotta.  The model is made in Mission Falls yarn (now discontinued). The hat is a Worsted weight and the gloves are the same colors in sport weight.  I love a hat that covers my ears :)  And I can't believe I don't have a set of these for myself. What was I thinking not making a set for myself? 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Live for today...

In the crochet design business everything seems to happen SO FAR IN ADVANCE, that it is hard to remember to live for TODAY. Magazines need work 9-12 months in advance, I'm working on next FALL's work, now.  I have a project for next summer on the schedule. Plans for summer and fall conferences for 2012 are being made. Crazy. 

On the flip side, work that I was working on LAST year is now coming to the present. (or I'm revealing the past?) It's like time travel, or deja vu, that work that I was so focused on 9 or 12 months ago is just now shared so it's new to you, but old to me... it suits my circular thinking perfectly.

Anyway, here's a new reveal for you... that I worked on while in Florida last October. It's in Robyn Chachula's new book, Simply Crochet.  I'll be doing a more formal review about it in December, when it's my turn...

Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm still here

Yep, I'm still here.  It feels like I fell off a proverbial cliff. The Thanksgiving Holiday and the incessant rain has knocked us all off our routine. I'm determined to get back into the saddle today. Deadlines are still there even if I don't squeeze in work.  It was a nice holiday though, we had a nice dinner, we took the kids plus niece and nephew to a play, there was a volleyball match thrown in.  But back to work and reality and I'd better pick up the pace.  :P

Friday, November 25, 2011

Photo Friday

Flashback to Halloween,
Chickee the pirate and Chief the Gargoyle

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's Chief with his third grad classmates in their interpretation of the First Thanksgiving. Chief was the narrator.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Inspiration: Cameo Oval

It's another oval from the book, in the rectangle section. To the right, I think you have already seen this one.
The top one is 'Cameo Oval" and if oriented vertically, reminds me of a Cameo pin.  I used the lime green contrast round to emphasize the oval shape. Can you imagine if I had made that round purple? The oval emphasis would have been lost. Horizontally, it looks like an eyeball now that I look at it. LOL.  Spooky.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Driftwood Cap Gift

My Sister-in-law asked me to make a fall/winter hat for a friend who has cancer. Of course, I couldn't say no and I didn't have to look any further than the Driftwood Cap! The cap is available as a PDF download by clicking the link.  I used a lighter weight yarn, so I did have to adjust the pattern for the smaller yarn. I used Fiesta yarns Posh. I couldn't find it on their website to show you a link, odd.  It is a Merino/nylon/cashmere blend. Very pretty.  The color is Madrid. I added a *(sc, ch 2, sc), sk 1 st; edging around the brim.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Using leftover Universal Yarns Deluxe Worsted (wool), I improvised a stretchy headband to wear when I run when it's cold. I wanted something that would cover my ears and stay on.  I added a single crochet edge to tame the stretchi-ness. Serviceable. Don't you love quick easy projects that you actually USE? That's one of the things I love most about crochet and knit... it has a purpose.  Yes, paintings and music have a purpose too, but you can't wear them out by using them.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday, Monday...

It's a day of pattern writing.  I'm going to be strict with myself and say, "NO crocheting until these patterns are finished!"

But I may take some time to request some yarn for a secret new project.... 

Our kids want me to tell you about their blogs since they have a renewed interest in writing.

Chickee, age ten, writes at
Chickee would like me to tell you that she is 'totally awesome'. Which she is :)

Chief, age eight, writes at
Chief is a little more shy about his writing, but he's awesome too.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Yo-Yo Purse

Here's the Yo-Yo Purse that I mentioned yesterday. It is also a web bonus offered by Crochet! Magazine.  I put it and the Tipsy Blanket up on Ravelry.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Inspiration: Tipsy Blanket

What was I thinking?

First, I'm thinking that this poor blanket hasn't gotten enough attention.  It's not or Ravelry, it's not in a magazine, BUT it was one of the Bonus patterns for Crochet! Magazine subscribers, including all CGOA members. To get the pattern, as a CGOA member, go to the Crochet! Magazine website, Here. On the left info bar it says, "CGOA log-in" or "subscriber log-in" put in your CGOA membership number or your subscriber number and it will take you to the special bonus features. On the right, a little down my Tipsy Blanket is under "Web Bonuses".  Also under that tab is my Yo-yo purse (also not on Ravelry, guess I should get on that?). They are both under "September 2011".

Ok, back to 'What was I thinking?'

 Here's the original swatch.  (I love blue and purple together, don't you? perhaps not these vibrant shades, but still).
Now that I look at it, with the tail hanging off, it looks like a sting-ray!  But back then, what I was thinking was that I was in the mood to be Asymmetrical.  (you get that from me from time to time, the Jiggling Circles Lap Throw, for example, or the Off-Center Motif in the book, Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook, or the Asymmetrical Waves Throw . 
 All examples of how I like to get off center occasionally.  LOL.  So much of crochet is about symmetry and balance, keeping the piece even.  To push myself to be more creative, I like to go off balance with the work.  In these instances, I feel that I am 'freeform'.  I like to break the assumptions of what is expected.  It does make writing the instructions more difficult, but why can't we have an unbalanced project or motif occasionally? In the Tipsy blanket, above, I wanted the impression of falling leaves, so the motifs are not all oriented the same way.  The motifs are all the same color because it allows you to see the subtle movement of the motifs from row to row.
The rigid border makes it look like you are watching falling leaves from the interior of your home through a window.  (See, all that structure... I'm not ready to go completely off the freeform deep end... just a little... in a controlled way....)  Like my architect husband, who can draw whatever he wants, he still has to make the building STAND. With crochet, I can push it, but is still has to be able to be written.  I guess we aren't that different.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Big Deadline Push

I've got my to-do list down to a manageable number, but most of the remaining items on it are all due 11/15, so I'm in scurry mode. :)  I'll post tomorrow about some sort of inspiration! Any requests?

Monday, November 7, 2011

One less Pet :(

Chickee lost her dear Sweets over the weekend. She was a nice pig.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Photo Friday

Results from the pumpkin carving party two weeks ago. :) Notice the creative use of Jalapeno peppers?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Two Reveals! Two FREE Crochet Patterns!

   Jiggly circles blanket (I think it looks like fried eggs) Is a FREE pattern offered by Premier Yarns in Alpaca Dance.

And Crocheted Sparkling Wrap Pattern, that was seen on the runway at VKLive in LA last month!
Both are FREE Patterns on the Premier website. Thanks Premier! 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Inspiration: Granny Octagon

TODAY!  3:00 EST I'll be on with other guests on Fave Crafts Radio on the Blog Talk Radio System. Here's the link!  Listen in just as you would with our other favorite Blog Talk Radio Shows.

 What was I thinking?

The Granny Octagon is one of the Beginner projects in the book, Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook (which is at a really low price today, by the way...)
I was thinking that I needed a beginner project. Generally beginners learn granny squares with the square that is the inspiration for this octagon. It is defined by the three double crochet grouped sides.  When the term 'granny square' is used THAT is what I think of. Everything else, in my mind, is a motif.  To me, a granny square is that one specific pattern, though most people use 'granny square' to mean any unit made in the round. I think, with this octagon, that beginners who have learned the quintessential granny square, will look at this octagon and recognize that they have the skills to make it.  Octagons tile well with squares, so the quintessential granny square could match up with this octagon for a project (though I didn't put that basic pattern in my book, because it's not mine and it's been covered thousands of times over throughout crochet history). 
I chose green because I wanted to do a gradation of dark to light and that's the only color that I had a satisfactory selection of values of the same color family. Yep, sometimes decisions get made based on what you have.  I like it that way, it makes me feel connected to our pioneer ancestors who made beautiful scrap quilts and afghans based on what they had :)

After reading this post, and hearing me on the radio today at 3:00, if you still want to talk more crochet, meet me in my Ravelry group for a live chat tonight at 9:00pm EST.  Here is the Ravelry link