Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cool Crochet Happenings

Drew in his Studio

My obsession with cleaning my craft room is getting worse. It all started when I started purchasing a magazine that’s called Studios. This magazine features some of the coolest craft rooms/offices/studios from all over the country. I just love looking at all the ways that people organize things and the neat spaces where they create their art. What a surprise to open the most recent Studios magazine and find my friend, “The Crochet Dude” Drew Emborsky’s studio featured.

Drews Books

Then, since I am a CGOA member, I receive Crochet magazine with my membership, and I got my March issue in the mail last week. I opened the magazine and much to my surprise again, I find my friend Drew’s little crochet books on the second page.

Drews Patterns

And that’s not all! Inside the magazine, I found his patterns for an afghan and pillows. How cool is that?

I’ve really got to order his crochet books. All his patterns look like they would be fun to make.

It just makes me very happy to see crochet being recognized as a true form of art. Crochet is right up there with knitting, quilting, weaving, and all the other crafts too numerous to list on here. Go Drew!!!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Free Pattern Friday: Dandy Dishcloths Crochet Patterns

Dandy Dishcloths Crochet Pattern

I thought these dishcloth crochet patterns would be a nice break from the afghans that I’ve been crocheting. Plus, I like to take small projects along with me when I’m waiting for doctor’s appointments or on my lunch break. Dishcloths are easy to carry along, and they’re easy to slide in and out of your crochet bag. Besides that, these dishcloths are dandy to give as gifts or just keep for you. Have fun making them.

Dandy Dishcloths My Version

I used some Bernat Organic Cotton and some Sugar ‘n Cream yarn for my dishcloths. Tell me about the yarn you’ll use for yours.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

John and Fuzz from Wool Sweaters

Let me tell you a little something about my dear husband John. He hates fuzz, little pieces of string or thread, grass, or anything that is on our carpet. He spends a lot of time picking up all these things up off of the carpet, as our carpet is brown and shows all of them very well. Just to be ornery, I have thrown little pieces of thread down to see how long it takes him to see them and pick them up. I guarantee you--it’s only a matter of seconds after he comes into the room. Anyway, that’s what is so funny about this little story about sweater fuzz.

Black Socks and Sweater Fuzz

John came downstairs grumbling about the fuzz that he kept finding on the floor where he had walked. He said that it was some of the fuzz from the sweaters that I had felted last weekend. He pulled up his jean leg and showed me his sock, and I just started cracking up laughing and remembering that I had used his jeans as the friction that the sweaters needed in the dryer to help with the felting process. No wonder he has sweater fuzz on his socks. Huh?

A Little Dance

I couldn’t resist taking this picture as he was trying to stomp the fuzz out of his pants. Ha! Ha!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Our Local Newspaper and Crochet

Woman from Sedgwick

I have been rather excited about a couple of articles that have been in the paper the past few days and wanted to share them with all of you. First off, on Wednesday, our local newspaper reported on a woman that lives in one of the neighboring towns who crochets hats for soldiers. This lady is very generous to give of her time and talent.

Shelly in Newspaper

Then, on Thursday in the Business section of our local newspaper, this article about Shelly Stilger from Twist was in there. The article told about how Shelly was filling a need for a place to go to be with other creative people--whether they crochet, knit, or spin. Of course, I know I’ve said this before, but Shelly is a very generous person, and I think there are a lot of people who think the same thing.

I have found through talking to people about the crafts that they are involved in (whether they are knitters or crocheters), we are all generous people and love to give back to our community, and these are two very generous people that needed to be recognized, and I’m so glad that they were. Tell me about some of the generous people that you know.

Monday, January 25, 2010

So Proud of My Crochet Children

Jennifers Scarf

My daughter Jennifer came to the office where I work the other day to show me her scarf that she had made to go with her new coat. She also wanted to show me the one that she had started and intends on selling in one of the local gift shops. I went shopping on New Year’s Day and discovered that she had already completed that granny square scarf and started another one, plus started watching a 7-week-old baby, and keeping track of her 7-year-old daughter, Megan.

Joshuas Scarf

Then I went to find the scarf that Joshua has started and found that he is almost done with his, too. I just know he’s been staying up late crocheting because the last time I looked at it he had just started the third color.

I am so proud of both of them for who they are and what they have become so far, and it’s not just because they know how to crochet either. Ha! Ha!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Inga’s Crocheted Bag

LA Photo of Bag

A couple of years ago, some of the KS My Stitch guild members joined in on one of the monthly programs and set out to make this bag. I was one of them, but I knew that my sister would not have the time or patience to take on this project, so I decided to make hers for her. I wanted her to have a new bag to carry with her to the Spring Quilt Show in Portland, Oregon. I had learned to do the bullion stitch and had decided to use little bullion flowerlike circles for the added embellishments in each square. I finished it off by adding a double lining and some recycled handles. I just love how the yellow contrasts against the colors of the squares.

My Inga Bag

Then I decided I had better get to work on my own bag and chose a different square, which ended up being larger than her square. Then I attached all the squares together, and after a year, I decided to sew the lining and add some pockets on the inside and put the handles on it. But I’m still not quite done with it as I’m going to crochet around some large buttons and add the crocheted buttons to the center of my squares for the added embellishments.

As I have found with most things that I end up making for myself, the projects don’t always get done right away. Oh well, another thing to finish this year. Huh… If anyone is interested, here’s the link to the pattern for the bag and hope you like making it. too:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Free Pattern Friday: Graceful Bookmarks Crochet Patterns

Free Friday Graceful Bookmarks Crochet Pattern

I thought these Graceful Bookmark crochet patterns would be something fun to make. I know I’ve received bookmarks as a gift, and I love them. I don’t get to read as much as I would like to, but I think bookmarks are great gifts. The most recent thing that I’ve used my bookmarks for are keeping my place in the magazines that I read.

Graceful Bookmarks Crochet Patterns

How do you like my bookmarks? I hope you have fun making these Graceful Bookmarks and please tell me about any good books you’ve read lately!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Crocheted Socks

How many of you have crocheted socks before? All I know is that I keep buying sock yarn and love to look at sock yarn and have even made an afghan out of sock yarn, but I had never completed a pair of socks until now. I started one sock on New Year’s Eve and finished the other one on Saturday after New Year’s Day. I don’t know why I waited so long. These were a lot of fun to make, and I used a free pattern from Red Heart yarn. You start with the cuff and then work your way down to the toe. My challenge was how do you take a picture of socks?

Socks on Yourself

You can take a picture of them on yourself, looking straight down…

Sock Sideways

sideways or…

Socks Drying

drying on the rack. Anyway, if you haven’t ever made socks before, I guarantee that these were easy and a lot of fun.

Now, it’s off to look for that other sock yarn that I just had to have for my stash. Happy sock making.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My New Camera and Case


Oh my gosh! My dear husband gave me a new camera for Christmas along with a black case.

Black Case

I realize that I need to have a good strong camera case to protect my camera, but it’s…how can I say, not my taste? I think I’m going to have to cover it, and I think I found just the thing yesterday when I was out thrifting.

Wool Sweaters

I found five wool sweaters that I felted. I’m going to cover the black case with wool felted pieces crocheted together and then maybe embellish it with crocheted flowers. I can’t wait to get started on that project, too. What do you think?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Joshua Learns to Crochet

Joshua Learning to Crochet

I have been waiting for this opportunity for a very long time. For many years now, I have noticed every once in a while that my son will watch me crochet. As soon as I look up, he will look away. I have asked him many times whether he would like for me to teach him, and he always says no. Well, over the Christmas break, he said, “I think I’m ready to learn to crochet now, and I know I can learn because I’m a natural since I have watched you and Jenny for a lot of years.” At the time he told me this, we were at my sister-in-law’s house, and I didn’t have an extra hook or the right kind of yarn with me to start him out. As soon as he woke up the next day, I asked him if he was still ready to learn to crochet and much to my surprise, he said, “Yes.”


The only size J hook I had was a fuchsia pink one (this didn’t deter him either, another surprise), and I wanted to use a lighter color yarn so that he could see his stitches, so I used a skein of “Vanna’s Choice” acrylic yarn in gold. I made a chain of 21 and then made 20 sc back and forth until I had 10 rows, then I called for him to come and try his hand at it. I told him that it’s harder than it looks, but he still picked up the hook, and I told him where to place the hook and how to pull the yarn through, and I have to admit, HE IS a natural crocheter. Within two minutes, he knew where to make the sc. He continued on to complete 2 more rows, and I asked him if he was ready to try a new stitch, and he said he was. So I started him on a double crochet. He admitted this stitch was a little more complicated, but he never gave up and completed three rows of doubles. I told him he was on his way to making a scarf, and he said he would like to make it for one of his friends. I told him that most crocheters give their things away to friends, and he smiled. I went out and bought him a more manly steely gray crochet hook and dark purple, light purple, and white yarn because purple is his friend's favorite color. I am going to show him how to start out with the chain this time, and I’ll make sure I keep you posted on his progress.

Can I say I’m very proud?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Secret Pal Gifts Revealed

Now that we had our last meeting of the year for KS My Stitch crochet guild, I can share these two items that I made for my secret pal.

Travelers Make-up Container

Traveler’s Make-Up Container

Genies Jewelry Box

Genie’s Jewelry Box

Both of these projects were made with patterns from Crochet Totes & Accessories by Lena Maikon. This book was published by Leisure Arts, and you can buy it here on Crochet Soiree. I like how Doug (our main man here on Crochet Soiree) added some pictures under the book cover image of some of the projects that are in the book. That way you know what’s in the book. I like to know what else is in a book before I purchase it, too.

I love these funky cute bags. Has anyone else made any of these bags?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Free Pattern Friday: Party Coasters Crochet Patterns

Free Friday Party Coaster Crochet Pattern

I really like these Party Coaster crochet patterns. They were such fun, easy, and fast coasters to make. I think if you had a party, you could work these up in no time, and each person could have their own coaster and maybe take them home with them, too.

But only if they are crochet gift worthy! You know the people I’m talking about. The ones that really understand how much time actually goes into something like these. I hope you enjoy making them as much as I did.

My Crocheted Party Coasters

Here's my version!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gifts For & From My Friend Tami

Tami and I have exchanged birthday and Christmas gifts for quite some time, and this year was no exception. I feel sorry for anyone that exchanges gifts with me because my birthday is so close to Christmas. This year for my birthday, Tami gave me a gift certificate to Twist (my LYS) and a crochet with wire book. (I’m going to have to try this out sometime!) Then for Christmas, she gave me a little space heater for under my desk at work because my desk is in the direct line of the north entrance and the door to the warehouse (which isn’t heated). Plus she gave me this really neat blue soft throw that has blanket stitching all the way around it.

Blue Throw

It’s just screaming for me to edge it with a little crochet trim, yet another project to get to in my spare time. Ha! Ha!

Birthday Cake

Another friend of mine, Sheri, gave me this yummy piece of birthday cake, and the next morning, I didn’t know which to choose for breakfast: cake or…


…oatmeal. I was good and ate all of my oatmeal and two bites of my cake.


My gifts to Tami were these fingerless gloves and ear warmers. The pattern I used for the ear warmer was in the most recent Crochet Today magazine, and it was the first time that I made anything with crocheted cables. Wow, they are so much fun. Doesn’t she look nice and warm?

Tell me about some of the things that you have received for gifts or what you’ve made for other people.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Homemade Gifts

Chai Tea with Doilies

For Christmas this year, my husband decided to make a few homemade gifts to give out. He found a recipe for Chai Tea and filled several jars with the mix. While he was making the Chai Tea, I went in search of a few of the coasters that I had crocheted in June. I found them and threaded some yarn through the edge of them and wrapped them around the lids of the jars. He was amazed and loved them right away. I think they turned out really nice and everyone that received one loved them, too. The fun thing about the gift is that the jar is reusable and so is the coaster. Ha! Ha!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Eyan’s Finished Afghan

Eyans Finished Afghan

Here’s the finished Kid’s Cover-up Afghan. I really enjoyed making it and had fun watching it grow and grow. I finished it off with one row of single crochets all around. I think it helped even out some of the wavy stitches of my first row (where I made the chain too loose, oops). Now, I just have to figure out when I can get it to Oklahoma City.

I would love to hear about some of the projects you’ve been working on and some that you’ve finished.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Time with My Sister

My sister Jackie called me the day after Christmas and asked if I would like to come by to see the proofs from her new fabric line. And you know me…I’m always up for another distraction away from what I really need to be doing (like ironing, mending, and crocheting). I did stick my little orange pouch with my crochet essentials in my bag just in case. Ha! Ha! Jackie had mentioned that she was in the middle of repairing some of her jewelry. I could hardly wait to see what she was working on.

Jackies Husband

When I arrived, I was greeted by Jackie’s husband, Mark, who directed me downstairs to Jackie’s studio…

Jackie and her beading

…where I found her restringing one of her turquoise necklaces. She also warned me not to take pictures of her because she didn’t have any lipstick on.

Jackie stopped restringing her necklace to show me the proofs of her new fabric line with Benartex and guess what she convinced Benartex to print in her line!!!! A faux crochet flannel made from one of my crochet pieces. I can’t wait to see the actual fabric. I know all you crocheters can’t imagine anyone not wanting to crochet, but there are people out there that don’t or can’t. This faux crochet flannel will give the quilters that don’t want to stop quilting a chance to add the look of crochet to their quilts or projects without actually crocheting. Which I think is cool, too.

Anyway, Jackie has a way of inspiring me and a few other people to join in on whatever she’s working on--especially if you’re in her studio. Who wouldn’t want to, with all her lovely beads and jewelry findings?

Me Beading a Bracelet

So here I am, fixing a bracelet for her. I ended up adding too many beads, and it was too big for her. Oh well, looks like I got a new bracelet. Did anyone notice the crochet hook on the beading tray? I needed to use it to make the opening a little bigger to get the bead to go on the elastic beading thread.

My New Bracelet

Check out my new bracelet!

Jackies Crocheted Scarf

It’s so much fun just hanging out with my sister--laughing, talking, and inspiring each other. She was so inspired by my crocheting that she decided to design a scarf for herself. I just love it, and I’m going to help her figure out a way to add a loop on it to thread one end over the other.

So Jackie, how did I do with not taking a picture of you without lipstick? Ha! Ha!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Free Pattern Friday: Checkerboard Charm Afghan

Checkerboard Charm Afghan Crochet Pattern

Here’s another Mary Englebreit crochet pattern which features a tapestry like stitch where you carry your nonworking yarn underneath the working yarn. This will make a really nice warm and cozy afghan.

Checkerboard Charm Afghan My Version

Rather than using the traditional Mary Engelbreit colors, I chose a couple of my favorite colors for my version.

What colors are you going to use?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas 2009

Christmas Morning 2009

Christmas morning I got up at my usual time of 3:30 and then decided to lay back down for about an hour. Since Jennifer spent the night on my couch, she was awake with me. Santa had no more than delivered Megan’s presents, ate the cookies, and drank the milk, before Megan was awake and ready to stay awake.

Megan Coloring

I gave Megan a coloring book and colors, so that I could get a few rows of crocheting done. While I was mixing up “Oh Boy Waffles” for breakfast, she played a game of “Guess Who” and did a workbook page. She was so excited to open gifts and yet so patient waiting until I got all of my things done.

Crochet at Four Thirty in the Morning

Megan washing the Dishes

We ate breakfast, and Megan wanted to do the dishes, so I pulled up the footstool to the sink, and she went to town washing the dishes.

Poppy and Megan

Megan Waking Joshua

Then it was off to wake up Poppy and Uncle Joshua, then more waiting for them to eat.

Megans Play Dress

Finally it was time to open our gifts and, of course, Megan was first. Before Christmas, Megan had written a letter to Santa asking for two things: one was a play dress up dress and the other one was play dress up high heels. Since Megan was such a good girl, she got both. Later on, Megan found the trim that had been sewn on the bottom of her play dress in Gran Gran’s sewing room, and we figured that Santa had came into our house and sewed the trim on her dress and used my sewing machine. Ha! Ha!

Megan and Joshua Clowning Around

It was so much fun watching Joshua and Megan playing around, and it was especially nice that Joshua didn’t getting annoyed with Megan like he usually does.

My Mom and Daddy Arriving

In spite of the snow that we received on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, my mom and dad braved the weather to join us for lunch and a long visit. My daddy had a really good day and didn’t need to take a nap after all, but I did crochet a scarf for him that will keep his neck warm, and I got to cover my mom up with my colorful afghan.

My Mom and Jennifer

There's my mom and Jennifer.

My Sister In Law and Me

My sister-in-law, Andrea, and her family came by for their Christmas visit and got to spend some time with my mom and daddy, too. I even had time to talk to Andrea about crocheting and got her started on a crochet project of her very own. Everyone got what they wanted for Christmas this year, and most of all, we had a really good time just being together.

Tell me about what you did on Christmas day.