Saturday, February 23, 2008

baskets, baskets, and more baskets

Sometimes in a designer's life, she/he is so busy meeting deadlines and completing projects, that there is no time to indulge in personal crocheting! Every minute is spent working or thinking about the next design to be finished, or the next proposal to submit, or the next pattern to write. When that all gets done, though, maybe there is a little time for us. What I find, though, is that often I am too tired to think of what to make for me. I want something quick, fun, easy. In the past, I've made scarves (I have a gazillion of them) and hats (ditto!), and North Carolina doesn't often get cold enough to wear hats and scarves for more than a couple of weeks. Maybe. So - what do I crochet? Baskets. Round, oval, square, short, tall, felted, cotton, floppy, sturdy. Lately, I have been able to use my current passion for baskets in my design proposals, and some have been published. Some will be published soon. One book that has just been published, with 2 felted baskets of mine (among other designs of mine), is Vogue Knitting on the Go, Felted Crochet. It's a portable book, with lots of great patterns in it! This is a picture of the cover:

Another book that won't be out until May 25th, is Quick Stitch Crochet, edited by Judy Crow and published by DRG. Here is a picture of that cover:

Now, look closely at the blue basket and the jute basket. And the table runner beneath them. Yes - those are my designs! It is really a thrill to see your patterns in print, but when you make the cover of a book - WOW!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Wooden Crochet Hook

A friend of mine, who is a retired Oral Surgeon, is studying woodworking in school now. One night at dinner, I kiddingly suggested that he start making wooden crochet hooks. (I do that with everyone I know who works with wood. I'm trying to find my own personal supplier of wooden hooks!) I just happened to have one of my favorite sizes in my purse (you never know when you will need one), so when he said he would consider it because they needed small projects to work on for a certain class, I pulled out my Susan Bates N hook, and gave it to him. (I have many more at home!) A few weeks passed, and I kinda forgot about it. Then, recently, he "gifted" me with his finished project. I was flabbergasted! And thrilled! And even excited!

It is a great hook - smooth and lightweight. I love it - and the best part is, he's making more!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Winter in North Carolina

While other bloggers are speaking of Spring and Summer weather in their fair cities, this is what we woke up to this morning! 2 1/2 inches (yes, TWO AND ONE HALF INCHES!) of snow overnight! This is in North Carolina! Where it's supposed to be warm! :-)
At least I have a lot of work to do today, so it's a good day to stay inside and do it.
What am I doing? Some tech editing, some crocheting, some pattern writing. A little of everything! So I'll be busy. Until the temperature rises and the snow melts and I can get out!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Crocheting and Sailing in the BVIs

I recently got back from a week of sailing in the British Virgin Islands. One of the biggest problems I had preparing for this trip was what projects to take to crochet! I had two projects that I absolutely HAD to take - they were due the next week, but I knew that wouldn't be enough. And I had two long days of plane travel to fill, also. From past experience, I knew not to bring fluffy yarns or furry yarns. (One year I tried to crochet a sweater using an eyelash-type yarn mixture, and that was impossible to work with on deck! It kept flying in my face!) So - this is what I choose: Deco Ribbon by Crystal Palace (that's what I'm working on in the picture), Lily Sugar 'n Cream, (I had promised to teach my husband how to crochet, and thought that would be a good yarn to work with, and it wouldn't take up too much luggage space), and, of course, Plymouth Fantasy Naturale (I wanted to work on the Granny Square sweater from my previous post, for ME!)
So here's the report: I finished the two projects. Whew! Big sigh of relief! I taught my husband how to chain and single crochet. He's not ready to go beyond that, yet. We were both exhausted and stressed from a hard day sailing, and then dinghying (is that a word?) over lumpy seas (as the British guy who checked us out with our boat before we left the harbor said the ocean would be) about twenty five minutes to a restaurant, and twenty five minutes back. Don't ask! I played with the Sugar 'n Cream, making baskets, and I worked with the Deco Ribbon, making a tote.
The winds were 20 - 25 knots most of the days we were there, and it did rain every day, sometimes heavy. So the time I could spend crocheting on deck was limited. I had to be ready to do things with the sails, or steer, or whatever was needed. And I didn't want to get the yarn wet. So I worked at night most of the time, when we were anchored. The last two days, though, were sunny during the day, although still very windy, and I did get to crochet a little on deck.
On the plane, (really 3 planes each way!) I also did some tech editing.
And we do have some great sailing stories to share! (Note the "lumpy" water behind me!)

Spiderweb Hat and Finger Crochet Scarf

I already mentioned that I found one of my patterns, a granny square sweater "Decadent Denim Sweater" on I just realized there is another one of my patterns there - the "Denim Cloche". It's an easy hat pattern, worked in a spiderweb pattern.

If you haven't looked at e-patterns.central lately, you'll be pleased to know that you can now purchase and download older crochet and knit magazines. Specifically, if you want to know how to finger crochet, and make this scarf:

that was published in this issue of Crochet! and that I wrote about in my post on November 14, 2007,

you can now order the magazine and get the directions!