Jane's Hooked on Crochet

A place to write about my crocheting, things I'm learning, book reviews, ideas, projects in mind, works in progress, patterns, photos, fair entries, whatever...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snow, (not crochet) our story continues

Yesterday I shoveled off my car. No, that's not an incorrect preposition. We did not shovel OUT the car, we shoveled OFF the car. We actually took the snow shovels to the car and took 4-6 inches off with each shovelful, until we got down to an inch or two left. Then I was able to open the door and get a pair of gloves, and search unsuccessfully for the scraper/brush that I know was under the front seat. Wonder where it traveled? Daughter #1 took pictures of the car & snow and part of the removal process.

We had to go out and pick up some prescriptions, and decided to get take out from Noodles & Co. rather than take Grandma out to a restaurant or brave the grocery store. We were afraid that it would be too much like Friday night before the snow. The Noodles & Co. was just a store or so away from the drug store, and then there was a Starbucks. One of 2 that we had stopped at Friday evening, only to find them closed. So we returned with hot dinners and Starbucks Peppermint Mochas. A satisfactory meal after shoveling off and out after the blizzard of '09.

MIL & I were sitting at the table chatting after dinner while #1 took a hot bath, and I suddenly heard a "clock ticking" in the hallway. There's no clock there, not one anywhere that I would hear. So what was I hearing? Water dripping! In the hall closet? Unbelievably, that is exactly what was happening. Water was coming from a pipe within the wall on the 2nd floor, running down the wall inside the closet, collecting on the door sill, and then dripping on the hardwood floor. I grabbed a roll of paper towels and took up residence in the closet while yelling upstairs to "quit whatever you're doing". We left the tub full of water, and a bucket under the drip, and spent today with the plumbers.

Plans are now to leave tomorrow. I'm getting Starbucks before I start the trip.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Interesting things

Interesting Fact: 10 million tons of snow fell on DC in one day (Saturday)

Interesting Detail: Guess where I was at that time.

Interesting Story about Travel Plans: Daughter #1 needs a formal gown for an opera gala opening night in February. She did a lot of shopping on her drive home recently, and we've shopped out the Harrisburg, PA area without much luck. Why is everyone around here carrying only knee length dresses with rouching and bling? We finally spent an evening at a bridal shop with her trying on bridesmaids dresses, a few possibilities. So we planned a fabulous shopping expedition on the way to spend a weekend with her Grandmother (my MIL). We originally planned to leave on Saturday, but our weather forecast said chance of snow. 2 scenarios - a dusting or about 5 inches. So we changed plans and drove on Friday, shopping in York and Baltimore, getting dinner and arriving at destination before the snow started about 11 pm.

I woke up this morning with the snow still falling. I shoveled the front steps and sidewalk, and came in to watch the snow fall for the rest of the day. News reports say about 16 inches where we are staying.

Interesting things to do when snowed in, not in the plans, not at your own house: Luckily I brought along a variety of things to entertain myself. I have a laptop that I've inherited from daughter #2. I discovered that it doesn't have any word processing software, well not discovered, I was rudely reminded that the software is sitting on my computer desk at home. I did try to write a blog entry and a few other things on notepad, then decided it might be easier to write it with old fashioned paper and pencil, and type it later at MIL's computer.
I also brought along the latest issue of Interweave Crochet which arrived in the mail on Thursday. This issue has a focus on Tunisian crochet, articles and patterns, so I'll stay busy with that. Lucky me, I also have an issue of Crochet! magazine because I was thinking of swatching some yarn and a pattern. Today I watched an old Cary Grant movie with MIL, helped cook dinner with daughter, and watched a documentary/musical about Peter, Paul & Mary and folk music.
Tomorrow there might be crochet time after again shoveling the front porch and sidewalk, and then the driveway, and uncovering my car.

I'm thinking that we might be able to drive home on Monday or Tuesday, but we were planning to come back down again Friday night for Christmas. Maybe it doesn't make sense to drive home. But I hadn't finished decorating the tree, baking cookies, ...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Book recommendations from the children's section of the library

I've always been an avid reader, and don't limit myself to adult fiction. In fact, I love a great picture book and I like to read the magazine The Reading Teacher for recommendations of new books. I also like to browse the new books in the library, children, young adult, fiction, and non-fiction. Saturday I discovered a new picture book titled "Mr. Nick's Knitting", by Margaret Wild. The story is about a man who knits on the train each day to and from work, and the woman, Mrs. Jolley, who sits next to him and knits. They discuss yarn, and help each other with knitting problems; while enjoying the sights from the train. Mrs. Jolley gets very sick and has to spend a long time in the hospital, and Mr. Nick misses her company on the train each day. Mr. Nick creates a wonderful gift for Mrs. Jolley. It's a very touching story.

I also discovered the latest in the American Girls series. Now, when my girls were younger, #2 and I loved this series, and we kept up with all the new books, and the new girls as they were added to the series. It's been a while, and I found they've added 3 new girls. The latest is a girl who lives in New York City, and is set in 1914, before America becomes involved in World War I. In the first book "Meet Rebecca" by Jaqueline Dembar Greene, the story involves a crochet hook and some thread!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Today's Knitting Daily

You might be surprise where your next crochet idea, inspiration or project will come from. I subscribe to the email newsletter Knitting Daily, not because I'm such a knitting fan, but because knitting and crocheting are related fiber arts. I learn so much from the videos, things like finishing on garments and buttonholes (the concepts are the same even if the stitches differ), and information about fabulous yarns, and links to patterns.

Today's Knitting Daily had a link to a video where Norah Gaughan talks about geometric concepts and knitting. She has some fabulous sweaters designed from hexagons and tessellations! The blue-purple sweater has a diagonal bodice with a diagonal ribbed skirt, lovely construction...I almost wish that I could knit a lot better. ah, but wait, it's shape is rather basic...Tunisian?
The link to the video is in the title of this post.

Norah also talks about and shows a little about how to make a stellated dodecahedron tree topper or toy. Okay, you're not math geeks, it's a 12 pointed star that's knitted and stuffed. "Here's" a pattern for the crochet version. This might be a Christmas project. Or a toy for a baby shower. Wouldn't that be a very different gift?

Where will your next crochet inspiration come from? Keep your eyes and mind open to new possibilities.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Ornament Exchange

Last night our "crochet in Public" group had their 2nd Annual Christmas Ornament Exchange. This is the group of crocheters and knitters, (actually anyone who does any kind of needlework) who meet every Tuesday evening at Borders. We drink coffee (Peppermint Mocha Trio for me!), check out the new magazines and books, talk, show off some of our latest projects, and do some stitching, too!
For the Ornament exchange, each person who wanted to participate made or bought an ornament ($10 limit). Then each package had a number taped to it, duplicate numbers were dropped into a gift bag. Then each person drew a number and picked up that numbered package. We went around the tables with each person opening their gift and showing the ornament around & finding who gave the ornament.
I spent a lot of time thinking about what I might make, and changing my mind repeatedly. I finally crocheted a red mitten with a white cuff and snowflake on the front. The white was done in the glow in the dark yarn that I've been enjoying as it sits on my lamp table, waiting for just the right project. The pattern is from Coats & Clark. "Snowflake mitten"
The ornament that I opened was a miniature knitted sock. It was beautiful, and I know that it took a lot of time and talent. With my allergies, though, I did have to ask...turns out it was made with a sock yarn containing wool. Someone offered to trade with me. I got a crocheted bag that's shaped like a ball ornament, it's a great size to drop a small bag of Cebelia thread in so that I can crochet on the go. The bag had a lot of small crocheted ornaments inside - 2 stars, 3 mints, and a pinecone. I was told that the pattern was on-line, and I found it easily today. It looks very easy, and you still have time to make some pinecones for your tree. Here's the link: "crocheted pinecone ornament".

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Maggie Weldon's Lace Pottery in Southern Living

Maggie Weldon's lace pottery is featured in a section of the December 2009 issue of Southern Living Magazine. Unfortunately, I don't have a subscription to that magazine any longer. It was just a little too southern for this Pennsylvanian. I'll have to check out the magazine section next time I'm in Borders. I toured Maggie's studio when I was in NC last year, it was quite impressive (see blog entry of August 9, 2008). I loved the pottery and drooled over some of the large platters and bowls. I did buy two small pieces to bring home and display. One is a saucer, about 6 inches across, the other a bowl about 10". Here is a picture of the larger piece that I purchased, it's called "Victorian Elegance".Both are a pretty blueish color (my friends are surprised by the color choice...not!) I loved the Lotus bowl with those lovely fan borders. I just now fell in love with the "Affinity" Look at those lovely pineapples!

Take the time to check out the December issue of Southern Living for the picture of one piece of pottery. Then head over to Maggie Weldon's Lace Pottery website to see even more. This is really a unique look for crochet! True artistry!

2009 60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge

Well, yesterday was officially the last day of the Challenge. Tonight I finished scarf number 3. The first was in Red Heart Super Saver in a pale pink, and used Dee Stanziano's new stitch pattern Tumbling Clusters. It uses the technique that Dee taught in a Chain Link class in Buffalo this summer. Fabulous class! I thought of several things to make with some linked stitches. Anyway, I bought Dee's pattern for the "Tumbling Clusters Autumn Scarf" and made a slight adjustment for a narrower scarf.

The 2nd and 3rd scarf are both made with Bernat Satin in Flamingo pink. That's a fun color, and a very soft yarn. For me it splits a little too much. If I hadn't planned to make scarves for Breast Cancer Awareness in October, I think that I would have found a different yarn. But for this project, the bright pink was just too perfect. I bought the Satin online and fell in love with another darker pink called Mai Tai, and bought 3 skeins of it. So I'm going to have to think up a project of two to use with this yarn!

I posted to our CGOA Chapter group and asked them to send me an email with the number of scarves that each had completed. When I get totals I need to post them to the Ravelry group for the 60 Scarves Challenge, and get their total. Then I'll post the total for the entire Challenge to our group site.

Last year we made blue & white scarves for Special Olympics Winter Games.
This year pink scarves for Breast Cancer Awareness (they'll go to Hershey Medical Center).
I wonder what cause we'll make scarves for next year for Dee's 60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge?