Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crochet Along starts tomorrow

I thought I would show you the yarns I picked for the Crochet Along. I went into my stash to find some colors and some yarn that spoke to me, and this is what I came up with - Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, in some of the new colors, AND in huge skeins. That means no ends, unless I want them! I also thought I would see what the Lily Sugar'n Cream yarn would look like with the 2 Bernat yarns. I think the off-white SnC will look good with the blue yarn - called Country Blue - and the fading self-striping yarn - called Meadow. But, I don't know if I'll use it or not. I may just go with the Country Blue and the Meadow. I began crocheting the bag, just to see how the two colors would mix, and I like what happened. The Meadow still self-stripes, but it's more subtle. So, I think I'll just use those two yarns. By the way, the Country Blue has approximately 710 yards in a skein, and the Meadow has approximately 470 yards. The yarn is 100% cotton, and is really soft. I designed another bag using this cotton, and what was so great was that when I was finished with the bag, (and it was LARGE!), there were only 2 ends to weave in!!!!!

So I hope you're ready to start your tote tomorrow. Remember to download the pattern booklet here (you get 6 other patterns from 6 other designers in the booklet), and we'll get started!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Crochet Along will start soon

Just a short reminder - for those who want to participate in the Crochet Along mentioned in my previous post. One more day - and we'll get started. So choose your yarn, get the pattern, (see the link below), and we'll have some fun!
After much deliberation - I picked some great yarn. I'll show it to you on Friday, May 1, along with the beginning of the tote.
P.S. If you want to participate in the CAL, but are too shy to say so, don't worry, you can still take part. Just follow along with your pattern, as we all make our totes.
Remember - these totes make great bags to carry just about anything - yarn, projects, magazines, books, food - you get the idea! Don't be left out! Crochet your tote along with the rest of us!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today, April 22, 2009, is Earth Day. In honor of the day, I used my Scrap Yarn tote (see my previous entry) to carry my yarns and hooks and books and magazines. And I liked using it so much, that I vowed I would use it, and all the other bags that I've crocheted and knit, more and more. I will use them to tote yarn (of course), books, and groceries, and whatever else I can think of. Where ever I go! Tonight, I even used it to hold some yarn that I was working with. The yarn wanted to roll around on the floor, and I put it into the tote, set the tote on a chair. It stayed put, the yarn stayed put, and I discovered a new use for my totes. I also decided that this tote was a "go-to" tote - I'll make it again and again and again, trying different yarns in my stash and in my future stash. It's a great stash buster because you can use just about any cotton yarn. (But it's also a great stash enhancer - because you can use one strand of some new yarn that you just MUST try out, and the rest of the yarn can be from your stash.) I used two strands of Fantasy Naturale, just scraps that I had in my stash. But I want to make one with other cottons, and one with other colors of Fantasy Naturale (yes - that I have in my stash!). You can even make one with one strand of cotton, and one strand of another fiber. The cotton will give it strength, and won't let it stretch. As I was thinking about all the possibilities, and what yarn I'm going to use, I thought that this project would be a great Crochet Along (CAL). So - if you're interested in making one along with me, it's easy to get started. Download the pattern from the website (in the previous post), find some yarn that you want to use - either in your stash or from a store, and we can start working. And, if you work along with me, and have some difficulty with the pattern (I don't think you will - but, you know, it might happen) then, you can ask me about it, and I'll be there right with you! What could be better than that?
Let me know if you want to be in on the CAL. I thought we could get started on May 1, 2009. With just a few hours of crocheting, we can have a new tote in time for beach season! So that gives you 9 days to download the booklet (and there are 6 other great totes and bags in the booklet, all designed by independent designers) and 9 days to gather your yarns. Believe me when I tell you that once you make one of these, you'll want to make more!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Strapped For Bags - Straight From Today's Designers

It's available! Straight From Today's Designers, their new Bag Book - Strapped for Bags, Vol. 3. Seven fun, original bag designs from seven designers. All for $10.00. That's all. $10.00 will get you seven bags from seven designers - including Vashti Braha, Doris Chan, Noreen Crone-FIndlay, Dee Stanziano, Tammy Hildebrand, Amy O'Neill Houck, and me - Marty Miller. We, the designers in Straight From Today's Designers, put this book, and our other 3 books, together by ourselves - doing all the tech editing, writing, photography, and everything else that goes into producing a book.

This booklet is no longer available - however, the individual patterns may be available from the designers. I know mine is. Check out the pattern at:
Emerald Isle Designs

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hooked for Life - Adventures of a Crochet Zealot

I have been haunting the bookstores lately - waiting for this book to get published - Hooked for Life: Adventures of a Crochet Zealot, by Mary Beth Temple. It finally appeared this weekend - a week or so ahead of the scheduled publication date, and I grabbed it up. Which was a good thing - because what with the pollen this past weekend, and my itchy eyes and my sneezing, I just didn't feel like crocheting. (I know - when that happens, I MUST be sick!) I read it in no time - devoured it, is more like it. It is funny, interesting, funny, and did I say funny? Whether you crochet, or knit, or both, or do neither, I think you'll enjoy it. Especially if you crochet and think that no one else has a stash as big as yours. Or if you knit, and think that no one else has a stash as big as yours. Or if you are a yarn snob. Or if you aren't a yarn snob and like all yarns. And if you want to learn new terms - I won't give them away here, but there are a lot of them in the book. Read this book! And then, if you haven't already done so, read her previous book, The Secret Language of Knitters. (You can read and enjoy it even if you just crochet! It's all about Yarn!)

Check out Hooked for Life here;

And check out The Secret Language of Knitters here:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chain-Free Crochet Made Easy

A great new book was just published by House of White Birches - Chain-Free Crochet Made Easy. If you want to know how to work all different kinds of foundation stitches, this is the book for you! Yes - some of my patterns are in the book - but this is the kind of book that I would acquire for my book collection. Even if my designs weren't in there. :-) The different techniques for making foundation stitches (you make the foundation chain and the first row of stitches at the same time) make the book a valuable learning tool. With the techniques you will learn from this book you can work just about any pattern using foundation stitches. Check the book out here:

Now - as great as the book is, I did find one slight error in one of my patterns - the Rectangular Granny Afghan, on page 66. The directions tell you to make a dc eyelet, but they don't tell you how. So, here is the way to make a dc eyelet:
*Ch 3, dc in 3rd ch from hook. Repeat from * as many times as stated.

Also, the directions don't tell you how many to make. Make 3 dc eyelets.

If you do buy the book, and make any of my patterns, please send me a picture. I love to see what other crocheters do with my patterns.

And check out the close-up pictures of my place mat on pages 148 and 149. These are awesome!