Thursday, November 13, 2008

As promised, here's the picture of the hats I've done so far. I like doing these because I can be as creative as I want and get to try new color combos and edgings out. The orange striped one in front is one of the ones my daughter laid claim to! :0) As you can see, I've also added a few more since yesterday. I'm just using up scrap yarn, but I'm getting some neat color combos as well. I still have a ton of yarn to use up! A couple of them I did in a spiral instead of joining rounds, which made it go a bit quicker.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Have you ever found a trick or technique and it was so fantastic, so time saving or made such a nice finish that you wondered why it wasn't standard in all magazines and books?

Well, I have a few tricks, tips and techniques that have become standard with me. I decided to share some of my favorites with you.

1) Crocheting into a ring. Don't you hate when you have to "chain X and join in a ring then do X sc, dc, etc, into the ring? The hole always ends up being too big or too small and there is no way to adjust it (that I know of anyway), and you still have to sew that pesky end in:( And forget if you want a deliberate sized hole in the center and the hole is the wrong size! You get a very stretched out or puckered hole! YUCK!

Well, I found a fantastic technique (forget where, but have seen it many places since then) called an adjustable ring (by some) or magic ring (by others). You wrap the yarn around 2 fingers (I like to do it twice around for a more secure center), then insert hook into the ring, pull up a loop, ch 1, etc (depending on stitch you are making, but another note on that at a later date:0), then do your sts into the ring. When you are done, you pull on the loose end a bit, then which ever loop starts to tighten, you pull on it until snug (or the hole is the size you want), then pull on the loose end until tight, and, voila! a perfect center every time! I crochet the next rounds over the end until it's gone and I have never had an end come undone. Since I found this technique, I have never chained a ring again! You can use this in any pattern where you would crochet into a ring.

2. Here's a trick for new crocheters (which I still use on occasion depending on the yarn:). When you are crocheting in the round and aren't sure which st to join in, count the stitches backward from the hook. Say you have 12 sc on that round. You would count back 12, and the 12th st would be the joining st.

3.) For picots. When I chain the desired amount for the picot, I insert my hook into the front loop and top verticle loop on the stitch the ch's are on, pull up a loop and pull through all loops on the hook. It makes for a nicer looking picot.

I'm still working on the beanies I mentioned. I have 2 schools to donate to this year, so will need more than last year! I have managed to make 9 in my spare time. Unfortunately I only have 7 left as my youngest dd saw them and after "Mommy! They are so pretty! Can I keep these? Pleeeease Mommy? I LOVE them! They are so nice!" how could I say no? Lol! How could I disappoint my biggest fan? I'll try to take pictures later this week or on the weekend. (which reminds me, I still owe you pictures of the Halloween costumes:)

Friday, October 31, 2008

self imposed dead line...met!

Well, I've done it again! I hummed and hawed about my youngest dd's Halloween costume (plus, she kept changing her mind:) and ended up slipping in under the wire again!

She finally decided on a black cat. I had all day yesterday to go shopping for a costume, but didn't go, thinking I'd make one instead. (riiiight...) Well, other things got in the way (yes, I know, I procrastinated:) and she got home from school complaining that she'd have no costume to trick or treat in. I told her I'd make sure she had one and finally after supper I started! With a very vague idea of what I was going to do, I started with a black yarn and made a beanie style hat to which I crocheted on 2 ears (this morning). I made the tail as a long tube and stuffed it (this morning), making a band across the top to go through her belt loops (this morning). (did I mention I started at 6:30 this morning?? :0) Well I managed to get her costume made and on her, made sure she ate and get her lunch made before she had to get on the bus! Oh and made sure she was dressed! :)

10 minutes before they had to get coats and boots on, I was cutting the seam in the middle of my other dd's vamire cape to make it into bat wings! Yes, they both managed to get on the bus on time and yes I still have my sanity! (barely :0) (shhhh... don't tell anyone. They might think that I do well under pressure and that I'm good at meeting short deadlines! :0)

In all the rush I forgot to get pictures! I'll take some tonight and post later today (if I get time) or tomorrow.

Happy Hallowe'en and Happy Haunting......!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The party went really well! 6 of the 7 girls invited made it and fun was had by all:) I did manage to finish all 8 of the Webkinz witch's hats, just in time! Actually, the 7th one was finished when I got a few quiet moments during the party and the 8th was finished before the last 2 left (they stayed later)! I even managed to buy a chocolate cake mix at 8:30 the morning of the party and get it baked and decorated before the party started at 11 am!! Lol! Here's a picture of the cake. (yes, I know, it looks more like an owl. Shhh... don't tell my daughter. They all thought it was a bat:)

I now have another project on the go. I decided it was time to destash a bit, so I am making hats for the "needy" again. By this I mean that I take them to my daughter's schools and give them to them with the instructions that "any one needing a hat, gets one". This can mean a child from a low income family that can't afford one, or with parents that just don't care that their child doesn't have one, or even someone that just forgot their hat that day. It can get very cold here in Ontario in the winter (-20 - -30 celcius ! -4 - -22 Farenheit!) so some days a hat can be a life saver. (2 yrs ago I made over 3 dozen hats for my daughters school. Even some of the Teachers used them when they forgot theirs and had yard duty that day! Then last year I added to the pile)

I might see about scarves as well. hmmm... My older daughter's school also does a lot of charity work in the community as well as globally, so I will see if they know of any place else that could use them. This will all be done in between getting submissions ready, making Christmas gifts and stuff like that, of course:)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hallowe'en crochet

I had every intention of updating yesterday, then had a sleepless night and was so tired I couldn't think straight! So today is much better, or so I thought. I sent both dd's off on the school bus with youngest dd complaining of her tummy hurting. She was going to stay home then decided maybe she felt better and would go after all. I should have listened to my instincts! She no sooner got to school then she got sick! Ugh! Up to the school I went to go get her. She has the flu, so needless to say, I've been busy today. She is finally on the couch watching a movie so have a few minutes to update.

I am supposed to be decorating the basement with cobwebs and spiders and the like as my older dd is having her 10th Birthday party tomorrow! I still have to figure out how to make a "Bat" cake as well. I figured a square cake, cut the corners off (2 bigger and 2 smaller) and round out the left over bit. An oval shape with 2 large triangles and 2 smaller triangles should resemble a bat, don't you think? I told her it would be a brown chocolate bat instead of a black bat and she was ok with it. I also made the daft suggestion of crocheting witch's hats for the kids Webkinz (it's a Webkinz party)! I have a special one for her and 3 others made. I only have 3 more to make.

Here's a picture. Shhhhh, don't tell my daughter! :0)

Her's is the one complete with spider web!

Here's one of Houdini modeling it. Isn't he handsome? :)

This is an unusual picture. I had a small glass dish sitting in the sink and a few drops of water must have gotten under it. It must have made it happy! :0) (no, this is NOT staged! This is how I found it.)

Well, I should get back to seeing to my sick daughter, decorating, crocheting witch's hats and trying to get my submissions ready to send! Thank goodness it's the weekend! :0)

Friday, October 17, 2008

I've been profiled!

YAY! I finally get time to update my blog!
The past few days have been hectic to say the least. This past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada, so it was turkey with the in laws on Monday. Being a long weekend and sunny, we tried to get yard work done, etc.

Wednesday was errand day. I had to go into town and get a loooong list of errands done. Whew! Good news is, I managed to accomplish what I need to get done and, hey, can I help it if 2 balls of yarn just jumped into my cart? hehehe. Actually, my dd's 10th birthday is coming up and we are having her party next weekend. It's to be a "dress as your favorite Webkin" party. I thought with Halloween coming up, I needed to whip up some witch's hats and maybe bat wings for the Webkinz. :0) Will try to take pics when done.

Yesterday, my (almost) 10 yr old had her Harrier
(Cross country) Race. She came in 7th for grade 5 girls. YAYYYY!! There were approx. 30 or more girls in the race. It was between a dozen or so schools. I'm so proud of her! :)

Today is going to be my "catch up" day. I haven't even had time to blog about my exciting news.... My good friend Ellen at did a designer's profile on me! How exciting! I love reading Ellen's blog. She always comes up with such interesting topics to talk about. And I LOVE her sneek peeks!

Right now in our area Fall has arrived! The trees are the most wonderful reds, yellows, oranges and rusts. The hillsides look like a multicolored quilt! It would make the most wonderful inspiration for a free form purse, don't you think? I'll have to peruse my yarns later. :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

walking the dog crochet meditation and designing garments

I had a lady coming over later this morning so decided to walk Knight early. (if I don't walk him, he drives me crazy:) While walking I was thinking about crocheting (what else would I be thinking about? :)

Anyhoo, I was thinking about the recession that seems to be hitting these days and was wondering what it would mean for crocheting? We all know that we can use relatively inexpensive yarns and make gorgeous expensive looking gifts that were really inexpensive to make. Does that mean more people will be buying crochet patterns to make gifts and clothing for themselves and others? Could that mean this could be good for designers, yarn manufacturers and crochet book / magazine publishers? Do any other designers out there have any ideas on this? What do other seasoned designers say? Do things like crochet do better in a recession or worse? Hmmmmmm.....?

I know I plan to make a lot more of my Christmas gifts this year. My wardrobe is in dire need of replenishing and updating and I've been searching for eye catching designs to make for myself. (Although my good friend Ellen at brought up a good point about being a designer; you feel like you are cheating if you make something someone else designed! (Thanks Ellen! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one:0) I may have to rethink this and design my OWN clothes:0)

Actually, Dora from Crochet Insider has started a thread in the group Crochet Designers about designing crocheted garments. She is offering to set something up to help designers learn about grading garments, sizing, fit, shaping, etc. The thread was "Are you comfortable designing garments". She is talking about having a maybe 6 wk or so tutorial on designing garments. It would either be free or for a fee to cover her time and efforts. I'm definitely keeping tabs on this thread!

Someone on Crochet Partners mentioned this morning that Lion Brand had new colors in their cotton yarn. Yay! I have some designs in cotton that I couldn't find the right colors for. I'll have to have a browse to see if they have the colors I need now.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

As you can see, Houdini the kitten is growing up fast!

He has no problems holding his own against the Mighty Knight! :0)

Knight is growing fast as well. He is now just over 9mths. Being part Lab and part Border Collie, he is instilled with a playfulness and energy hard to keep up with!

On the weekend, we decided to take him to the Canal where there is a walking trail. Being in far enough and there being no where to really go, we let him have his freedom and let him off leash
. He had an absolute blast!! The water dog that used to be nervous of water now LOVES it! If there is a creek or shore to go in, he's in-like-flint! As you can see, he loved the outing! :0)

Being high energy, we have been trying to come up with ways to tire him out. It's not an easy task, let me tell you! When he gets bored and antsy, he gets hyper, barks and scratches the carpet! Not good. I decided to read a book by Cesar Millan, "The Power of The Pack". If you have a dog with "issues" :0) and have never read his book, you should. I highly recommend it! Here is a man that can walk 40-50 dogs AT A TIME, and have NO fights! He is absolutely brilliant! Anyway, to keep this crochet related, he recommends dog back pack for high energy dogs to help drain some energy. Put 10-20 % of their body weight in it, and it gives them something to do, as well as helps tire them out. I've searched high and lo in our area to no avail. Solution? Crochet one!! I am now embarking on a journey to crochet a doggy backpack.

I just happen to have a large 400g ball of Bernat Naturals in a beige color. I think I will start with a band to go around his chest and one to go around his waist, that will button up. I think mesh between the 2 would be good for ventilation (he pants a LOT).and another band around the neck should finish that part of it. If I make 2 mesh water bottle holders, and maybe a mesh bag and attach them, it will give him a job to do carrying it all for me :0) I will post pictures as I go along.

For an extra energy drain, he recommends a tread mill. I'll have to get one of those for our long, cold, snow filled Ontario winters! Hmmmm...I wonder if I could just crochet it! Lol!

Friday, September 12, 2008

free form bits and bobs

I've been interested in free form crochet for awhile now. My Tranquil Ocean afghan was the first major attempt at it, but I did a few scrumbles before that. Here are a few of my favorite ones:

The pink one in the top right hand corner was my attempt at a free form sea shell. The top left hand corner one in green kind of looks like a pea pod, doesn't it? The tiny round green one was the very first free form thing I did. It was a "dome" and I got the instructions from Bonnie Pierce's website . She has tutorials on free form scrumbles. It was seeing some of her gorgeous free form pieces on her website that first got me interested in free form. Her stuff is amazing!

I was browsing on looking at crochet books the other day and decided to make out my "wish list" which is a feature on their website. There are some truly wonderful looking crochet books out there, either out or being released in the next few months. Unfortunately 2 or 3 of the books I wanted to mark were "unavailable to buy new" at this time! Arrrrgh!! One was Jean Leinhauser's new book, due out Jan 2009 "Crochet Master Class". I can't wait to get that one!

Another one was "Free Form Crochet and Beyond" by Renate Kirkpatrick. It's new out as well. Looking at the cover, it looks like a Must Have book for me! The cover shows what looks like rocks and hills with a river running through it all done in free form crochet! Absolutely breathtaking! I am especially intrigued with free form done to resemble scenes of Nature, so this looks like a book for me.

There are a few other books I have to add to my resource library as well. Bendy Carter's book "Single Crochet A-Z" is a must have from all the reviews I've read. (I just can't imagine being able to do single crochet 26 different ways!) I also must get my hot little hands on a copy of "Beyond-the-Square Crochet Motifs- 150 Circles, Triangles, Hexagons and Other Unexpected shapes" by Edie Eckman. I hear it's a treasure trove of ideas! My list is a lot longer, but I don't want this to end up being a novel for you to read :0) Lol!

Friday, September 5, 2008

I've been MIA the past week or so as we try to get into the school routine thing again :)
First day was "...interesting". My 9yr old woke up with what we thought was an ear infection. As I couldn't even call the Dr until after 9am, and she was insistent on NOT missing the first day of school in her new school, I gave her Advil and sent her on her way, with instructions to CALL ME if the pain returned! The only appt was at 2:30 pm. which meant picking up both girls before the end of the day. I picked up my 9yr old and promply got an "Oh thanks, Mom! Now I will miss a bunch of stuff!" (No matter that there was only 45 min or so left!). We stopped to pick up my 6yr old and was informed there was an "incident". Oh, great. What now? It seems, her friend was running quickly toward her and bumped her head on my dd's front tooth! It is a permanent tooth and it was bleeding...a lot. Great. We finally got to the Dr's to find out it wasn't an ear infection after all, just a swollen lymph node. Hmm. Nothing to worry about apparantly, just keep an eye on it and if it doesn't go away, come back. After all this excitement, my 9yr old still had her 1 1/2 hrs of figure skating lessons. Let's just say, I was ready to get home, get the kids fed and in bed and relax:)

PS: day 2 went much better!

With both girls in school 5 days a week, I am trying to get my submission ready to mail in. It's going well and I'm almost done. Yay! Once I finish that I'm going to work on my dd's Flower Girl shrug.

When we went back to school shopping the week before school, I found and bought Nicky Epstein's new book Crocheting on the edge. All I can say is "Wow!" She is one talented lady! The edgings in this book are phenomenal! I had to get some paper and rip it in pieces to mark the pages as I looked throught it. I had ideas coming out my EARS!! Well worth the price, especially with my 40% off coupon at Michaels! I can see this being one of my "well used" resource books.

Friday, August 29, 2008

back to school crochet

What else am I up to? Getting ready for school comes to mind:) I have 2 dd's getting ready to go back. One is going into grade 1 and the other is going into grade 5! The difference this year will be 2 different schools. Why? you ask? Well, my 9yr old is going to a different school this yr in order to start Extended French classes! They took core French in grade 4 and now they get to take it further, only problem is, her old school doesn't offer extended French. This means my 6yr old will be in school and on the bus by herself this year. Fun and exciting for them both, but a bit scary too, I'm sure. (even scarier for Mom, because the 9yr old has to go to the High school and transfer buses! Yikes!) Needless to say, the last 2 days have been spent last minute shopping for the last few school supplies, clothing, etc! They officially start back on Tues, Sept 2nd.

As part of my 6yr old's back to school wardrobe, I got her to pick out yarn to make her the Flower Girl Shrug designed by Jennifer Cirka in the June 2008 issue of Crochet World. She picked Bernat Baby Sport in Caribbean Sea which is a dark turquoise color and is also slightly thicker than the recommended TLC Baby, so I may have to adjust my gauge accordingly. Oh well :) The color should match the new skirt and top she picked out for the first day of school.

Home, safe and sound!

My afghan is finally home!! The poor thing went on a very long journey and is probably tired :0)

It started off in Brighton, Ontario, Canada and was shipped via UPS to Waxhaw, NC. From there it was sent to Manchester, NH to be entered in the CGOA 2008 Design Contest at the Knit and Crochet Show. It was there that it won the hearts of the conference goers and won the very prestigious "People's Choice Award". (I can just imagine the wide smile on it's face that day! :0)

After all the excitement it made the long journey back to Treva McCain in NC again to be packaged for it's long and winding journey home. After lovingly boxing it up :), Treva sent it on it's exciting journey on Aug 21, 2008! It was picked up in Rock Hill, SC, and delivered to Greensboro, NC, only to be picked up and delivered back to SC, at West Columbia! After a very brief stay, it journeyed to Buffalo, NY where it had a rest before going on to Ft. Erie, Ontario, Canada. It then made the last bit of it's journey to Concord, Ontario and finally Belleville, Ontario, where it was sent "out for delivery"! I welcomed it home on August 26, 2008! (if only it could tell me all about it's exciting journey and all it saw!)

Here it is, in all it's glory with it's corresponding winning ribbon! (notice the proud blush on it's face? :0)
I took the pictures outside on a sunny day this time so the colors are much more vibrant!

The picture had an unexpected special effect in it. Notice the top of the afghan? The blue blanket under it is almost the same color as the light blue in the afghan, so it looks like there are darker blue bits "floating" above the water!

And here's a close up of the ribbon.

Here are a few close ups. I had forgotten how rich the colors were!

My 9yr old dd thinks it should be hung on the wall with it's ribbon in a frame next to it. :)

I can't wait to try my next free form project!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I spent most of yesterday cleaning the basement. Yuck! I say Yuck because it is a partially finished basement and has lots of dust, bugs, and spiders hiding in the dark corners. The walls are framed and most of them drywalled. Only the spare room and laundry room to finish. Then the painting begins!

The reason I was cleaning it out was to get rid of the clutter that was driving me insane. OK, real reason, was to make more room for my stash! (yarn, books, patterns, magazines, etc:) I now have all of my downstairs yarn in the spare room, which will some day be my Design Studio (/ spare room)! It's the yarn I don't need right now, or projects I will finish at a later date. Once the girls are back in school, I will organize my upstairs yarn. That's the yarn I am a)using, b)want to use soon, c) like to take out and look at, pet, fondle, play with, etc, d) ALL of the above :0). It's all in 4 rolling bins with 3 large drawers and 2 small drawers in each one. As well as piled on top :0) along with books, magazines, patterns, tools, etc! (no wonder I can never find anything! :0)

Back to school is fast approaching for my 2 dd's. I found the cutest little girls Flower Girl Shrug designed by Jennifer Cirka in the June 2008 Crochet World I think I'll make for my 6yr old. It will make a nice addition to her school wardrobe for the days when she wants to be a little dressier.

My 10 yr old dd is more athletic. I might see if she likes the hooded zip up Cardi in the Back To School - Smart Set by Jane Snedden-Peever in the Fall 2007 issue of A Needle Pulling Thread magazine.

Well, back to work getting some submissions ready to send in :0) I promised myself that after I get that done, I can take Myra Wood's book Creative Crochet Lace and my yarn and go play!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Getting organized

I decided yesterday that I needed to get organized if I want to start submitting my designs. I proceeded to comb all of my files on the computer in order to make a list of all the designs I had. I figured I will list everything no matter what state of being finished they are in, that way I'll know what I have to work with. What I didn't realize was how many designs I actually had, especially ones with very little in the way of written instructions! *sigh..* I found a few in my projects bin as well, that I haven't found on the computer yet. (this could be harder than I thought!).

My next problem was finding a document with a design name, but no, or very little instructions and NO picture! Arrrgh! And, by the way, I seem to have a few of them. I think they multiply when my back is turned:0) Now to figure out exactly what they are, considering some of them I'd completely forgotten about. My next idea was to make thumbnail pictures of all the projects and put that beside the name on my list, that way at least I'll know what on earth the design is! I guess my camera will be busy for awhile. Once I have most of them recorded, I'll sit down and try to match up pictures and designs and put notes on each one as to what the status of the design is. (this could take a while! :0)

On a good note, it was just like Christmas! I never knew what surprise I'd find! LOL!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm back, and we have a new addition to the family.

I've haven't blogged for the past couple of weeks, as hubby was on holidays and his cousin from England and her husband are out visiting so we have been busy. I'm just trying to get caught up on emails, blog entries, ravelry, etc!

I'd like to thank Dee at for her very nice blog entry about me and link to my blog. Thank you Dee! :0)

I'd also like to thank everyone who left me a comment for their nice comments:) It makes my day:)

PS. I bought Myra Wood's book "Creative Crochet Lace" from her website listed to the right of my posts.

With hubby and the girls home on holidays, I haven't had much time to crochet :(
I did manage a bit more on the new design I'm working on though. I can't say too much yet, as it is going to be submitted.

Well, we're at it again! Last time we went to the city for a new printer and came home with a puppy! lol! This time the girls and I were grocery shopping and came home with a kitten!!
Here's his sad story:
As we were going into the grocery store a cashier was coming out with a small cardboard box. She said someone found a fluffy black kitten in the parking lot and was anyone interested? As we have 1 cat and 1- 8mth old puppy, I kept walking. Well, it turns out I was in her checkout to pay for groceries. I asked about the kitten and she said it was at the Vet's getting examined and that she'd "probably end up with it. but with 4 cats already and 1 allergic to fleas...! She said it was available for adoption if anyone was interested. She said it was very fluffy, all black and very cute.
The girls and I decided to just "take a look". hmmm... Well, when we saw the poor little guy, he was adorable! And nothing but skin and bones, poor thing! I enquired what the Vet's clinic would do with him and was told that they usually check them out for health, then put them in a kennel in the clinic and put them up for adoption, but...they had 3 litters in there already and had been there for over a week and they were starting to sneeze, so....!! I didn't stand a chance. How could I leave the poor fellow to an unknown fate??!
I present to you....Houdini! (so named because we couldn't figure out how such a tiny frail looking thing could jump into the tub!)
He's: 1.4 lbs, all black except a small white spot on his tummy, approx 7 weeks old (by guestimate of the vet), is extremely friendly and purrs non-stop!! He is my youngest daughter's pet. He and Knight seem to get along well.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My major project...revealed!

Well, I promised you all the juicy details on the "teaser" pics I've been showing, and here they are! But first, a few more "teasers" to pique your curiosity some more :0)

Here's an especially lacy, spiral scrumble, with a hint of fuzzy green. Hmmm...what could it be?

Here's a bit more of the picture. Any ideas yet? No?

Here's the project from a different angle. Getting the picture yet?

By now you should have some ideas..:0)

And one last peak before I reveal all.....

Have you guessed yet? Yes, it's my entry for the CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) Design Contest held in NH at the Knit and Crochet conference July 24-27 ! (Sorry about the partial pics. I couldn't fit it all in the lens :0) I promise when my entry is returned in the next couple of weeks that I will try to get better pictures of it:0) and it's ribbon.

It's called "Tranquil Ocean" a free form look at life under the Sea.

Did my mention of a ribbon catch your eye? Are you curious yet? What did it win?!... Well, as a matter of fact, I was informed that it won "People's Choice Award" !! I was so shocked you could have knocked me over with a feather!

My 9 yo daughter told me this has to be hung on the wall along with it's corresponding ribbon :0)

I'm really glad I purchased Myra Wood's book "Creative Crochet Lace: A Free Form Look at Classic Crochet". It showed me that free form isn't scary after all:0) Now I can't wait to do more of it!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Playing with Free Form

This has been a busy summer so far. The new boat is fantastic and has been taken out on the lake every chance we get! My husband has definitely gotten his quota of Bass, Walleye and perch. The weather has been cooperating nicely:0) Rainy days, best for hubby to fish and sunny for the days when we invite friends to the sandbank islands for a day at the beach.

This free form scrumble I did for the "major" project I told about earlier (don't worry, the time has almost come for me to reveal the juicy details:0) reminds me of the waves on the water on a windy day.

This one almost reminds me of a crocodile's eye! Can't you just picture him, eye watching you as he swims with his head just poking out of the water!

This scrumble was a particularly pretty one. Very lacy looking. It reminds me of a swirl in the sand at the beach.
This little guy was supposed to be a bit more 3-d for my project. Unfortunately, he ended up looking more like the ones you find flattened on the side of the road! He might make a cute sea life coaster though. I think he needs some googly eyes :)

I've just recently taken up free form crochet. I was always hesitant to try it as I thought there were certain "rules" you had to follow. Then I purchased Myra Wood's new book "Creative Crochet Lace" which explains free form in such a fun and easy to understand way, that you can't wait to grab your hook and yarns and start playing! She really makes you look at crochet in a whole new way.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My first published pattern!

This is a baby afghan I designed when one of my best friends had a baby 3 yrs ago. I finally mailed it the beginning of this year! By the way, Sydney LOVED her new blankie :0)

Last year I decided to submit the pattern for publication and was accepted by none other than Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss for their new book "Afghans for All Reasons & All Seasons", published by Leisure Arts, November 2007! (ISBN - 160140672X - Item no. - 4422, "Spring Flower" baby afghan) I modified it slightly for the submitted version.

This was my very first published pattern!

I designed it to have no sewing. I love crocheting, but dislike having to sew everything together after. It could also be made in brighter colors for an older child's room.


This is a beanie I designed a couple of winters ago. I made several for my daughters in various colors and styles. I also made over 3 dozen to donate to their school to be used by anyone who didn't have a hat or had forgotten theirs. This was a mauve one I made with a simple white border. My daughter still wears it...even in the summer!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Grocery bag finally finished!

I finally finished my Mom's grocery bag. Here it is. It does look a lot different from the last picture. The reason is I had to frog the last couple of rows, as it was ruffling terribly :0)
It's only a small bag, but does stretch considerably. You can fit a fair amount of groceries in it.

I even have enough yarn left to make at least one more bag for her. :0) The final design ended up with ch3's instead of ch 2's for the body of the bag. I made short handles as well. I learned the hard way on a bag I made for myself, that the handles will GROOOOOW! You can end up with your arms really high in the air trying to keep the bag off the ground:0) Lol!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Using up more "scrap" yarn

I'm on a kick lately, trying to use up yarn that I bought for whatever reason and now don't know what to do with it. I bought this to make my Mom some potholders as her kitchen is in red and white. It's "Eco-fil - Earth friendly recycled yarn". Only problem is, when I read the label later, it is part acrylic. NOT suitable for anything hot, as it will melt.

I finally decided to make her a couple of small mesh bags, suitable for grocery shopping or maybe to store her onions and potatoes in. I will make it so it can be hung up to allow air to circulate.

I started with a 2 rnd circle in hdc, then did (hdc, ch x, sk x sts, hdc) around. (the ch x and sk x is due to increase rounds). After the first round it is ch x, hdc in ch x sps. After it is large enough, all subsequent rounds will be (hdc in ch 2 sp, ch 2, hdc in next ch 2 sp). I hope to get 2-3 small bags out of this ball of red yarn.

What do you do when...?

What do you do when you buy a yarn you think you like the color of, only to get it home and think "What was I thinking?"

Well, I bought 2 balls of "Red Heart - Cotton Twist" in a limey/sagey green that looked kind of light olive green at the time. They were on sale. Only, when I got home, the more I looked at them, the more I didn't seem to care for the color.

Hmmmm.... What to make? Well, I thought of a tank top, but not enough and do I really think I would wear it? Especially considering I don't care for the color.

Next idea, hat? Nope, too soft. Scarf? No. No stitch I tried really did it justice. Nothing I would wear. (remember, I don't like the color). Not enough for a lapghan even. Hmmmm.... No stitch pattern really worked to my liking.

I finally decided on a really simple bag. I started with a circle the size I wanted in hdc. I tried every type of mesh stitch I could think of to no avail. Finally I decided on (hdc, ch 1, sk 1 st, hdc) around, then (hdc in ch 1 sp, ch 1, hdc in ch 1 sp) for as many rounds as I wanted. I then did a strap of 5 hdc across long enough to reach the bottom slacked, then decreased to a point, and sewed it on the bottom, but over top of the other side so it kind of helps keep it closed.

The opening will get a draw string of some sort when I find something suitable.

I'm still not keen on the color, but the bag does look nice :0) It just may make a nice gift some day.
And the best part is? I used up all but the last couple of inches of the yarn! Yay!!

New toy

Finally! I have time to update again! Summer is turning out very busy. Youngest dd has soccer games once a week and practices once a week. Hubby loves fishing, so lots of our time is spent on the water in our boat, or shore fishing. It didn't help me find any time when we unexpectedly traded in our old boat for a new one :0) (I say unexpectedly, but really, hubby has been debating the issue for the past 2 years, and researching the last several months) With errands to run taking in the old boat and picking up the new one, transferring trailer plates, Insurance, etc and, of course, trying out our new toy!...I didn't get time for much of anything! How does this relate to crochet, you ask? Well, it just so happens, that the new boat has a huge glove compartment in it, cavernous enough to hold a good sized bag with my crochet in it! :0) YAY!! There also happens to be lots of room and areas for me to sit and quietly crochet while hubby fishes and the kids play. Perfect for everyone :0)

Here's a picture of our new toy.

It's even covered so I can still crochet even if it's raining :0)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

And finally, the last Field trip!

The busy weeks are almost at an end and summer vacation starts this Friday! YAY! (still busy, but in a different way:0)

This time I went with my other daughter's grade 4 class. After a 1 hr bus ride (I tried to crochet, but being placed at the back of the bus where the bumps were intensified, I didn't get a lot done:0), the first stop was to Queens University's Geology department, where we got to see rock and mineral samples as well as learn about the robotic landings on Mars! What an interesting time it was!
Here are a few interesting samples we saw:
This one was such a brilliant blue! It was so striking with the yellowy tan that I thought it would make a nice free form crochet piece.
Another beautiful color that makes me think of a free form piece of crochet.
Wasn't this a ripple afghan pattern I saw somewhere? LOL! :)

I think Carol Ventura must have been here. Doesn't this look like one of her Tapestry crochet pieces?Lol. (just kidding:0)

After the University, we went on a 2 1/2 hr boat cruise through the 1000 Islands. The views were incredible, but the best was this one I got of a Seagull taking bread from a woman's hand! He had to fly hard and fast into the wind to catch up to the boat to get his treat!

After all the excitement, I decided to try my luck crocheting in the bumpy back seat of the bus on the way home. I had a cream colored Lustersheen with me to try some free form crochet with. I started a motif, frogged part of it and was trying to decide what to do next, when my daughter told me how nice it was and asked if she could have it. She was upset at the time because her 2 friends were playing a hand game and she felt left out. When I gave her the motif I had been working on, I told her it looked like a skeleton key. She was happy and showed it to her friends who immediately asked for one themselves! I ended up making 3 of these, all similar but slightly different, on the bus ride home! They loved them and are using them to show that they are in a club. Now they want to know how they could make it a necklace :0)
It just goes to show, it's all in the eye of the beholder!

Another day, another Field trip!

The next field trip was to the Zoo, again with my daughter's Kindergarten class. This was a pair of swans with a batch of 2 wk old babies. They were spread out so I only got 1 parent and a couple of the babies in the picture.
Later that week, I had to take Knight to his puppy Kindergarten classes. Isn't he handsome? And so well behaved :0)

I've been so busy the past couple of weeks, I haven't even had time to check out my garden. Imagine my surprise when I stepped out in my back yard and saw my climbing roses! The weather has been very favorable for them :0)
I finally have time to enjoy them :0)

Nature's Inspiration

The past couple of weeks have been spent going on year end class field trips, getting year end teachers and bus drivers gifts, taking Knight to puppy Kindergarten and practicing with him, finishing a couple of projects up, etc...!

The first Field trip we went on was to a local Conservation area with my daughter's Kindergarten class. It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny. It started off with the kids being different kinds of animals.
Here's my daughter being a turtle :0)

Later on, we went for a walk across a field. This butterfly was beautiful and made me think of a delicate flowing crocheted shawl.
As we meandered across the field, I came across these tiny white flowers. They made me think of a fine weight green yarn with a very light sprinkling of white flecks. I would use it to make a delicate lace tank top or maybe a wispy flowing shawl.

After the warm field, we took a hike through the cool shade of the woods.
This spot looked so peaceful with the warm sunlight, cool shade and softly babbling stream, that I found myself longing for a soft mossy stump, my hook and yarn and a bit of time to enjoy what Nature had to offer...... maybe another day......

Both my daughter and I immediately thought of Harry Potter when we saw this knarly tree branch. :0)
This flower was so lacy looking. It reminds me of the big clumps of fluffy snow we some times get in the winter. It would make a nice pattern for a soft fluffy afghan.

Even the mosquitoes inspired figure out how to crochet mosquito netting!!! LOL!