The Lucky Winner is….

Julie, who must have the luck of the Irish on this St. Patty’s day, has won the copy of Karen Ratto-Whooley’s book “I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks”.

Congratulations Julie!

Time to Vote

Recently I was asked to pick my favorite 3 designs that were published in 2010 for the Crochet Awards ballot.  The 3 I picked are all lace designs. Guess that takes me back to my Tomboy Lace roots.

Lace With A Twist Wrap - DRG Publishing Photo

Lace with a Twist Wrap published in the March/April 2010 issue of Crochet! magazine. This was my first design I ever sold, though a later sell was my first published design.

Lace Embrace Shawl published in Book 1 of the Debbie Macomber Blossom Street Collection. This was at the time one of the largest pieces I had sold and had a very tight turn-around between the time the yarn arrived and when the publisher needed the sample in-house.

Little Wing Shawlette published in the Fall 2010 Issue of the E-zine “Crochet Uncut”. This was maybe the most fun of the 3 designs. I had such a great time stitching up the design. Everything from having the ideal yarn on hand and swatching to find a stitch pattern I adored, to having beautiful colored leaves in my front yard during the photography.

Voting for the 3rd Annual Crochet Awards is now open until March 30th, winners will be announced on the Getting Loopy Podcast , April 18th. You can find the ballot here on the CLF website. I would love your vote for me as Best New Crochet Designer, but either way, please do vote.

End of the Love Experiment

Well, my experiment with knitting half an hour everyday for a month was over yesterday.

I made one more little swatch, that took me a bit over an hour to make. There was a near miss there, when I had 3 stitches pop off the end of my needle. I did manage to get them back on without losing any though. So that is an improvement in my skills.

I do feel more comfortable with the needles than I have in the past. Casting-on and binding-off are easier. I even found myself knitting “Continental” style a few times. 

I can’t say that this experiment went as hoped. For one thing, I didn’t knit everyday. My knitting ineptitude doesn’t seem much reduced, I still haven’t figured out how to increase and the “Moss” stitch seems to be completely baffling me (sad this, as I have done it before).

I have decided that I will have at least one knitting project going for the next couple of months. Something easy, like a scarf in garter stitch.  Maybe eventually I will attempt a scarf in Moss stitch.

The simple fact remains, I am devoted to my crochet hooks. I love the flow of crochet, and how easy it is for me to change direction or stitch up just about any thing I can visualize.  That ease with knitting is many years into the future, if ever, and that’s okay.

Rocking the Socks


Today is about crocheted socks. In particular I’m celebrating a wonderful new book from Leisure Arts written by Karen Ratto-Whooley, “I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks”.

I first met Karen when she and I were paired as mentor and mentee by the CGOA. Our original meetings were via email, though we finally met face to face at Chain Link 2009.  Karen is a wonderful mentor as well as a talented designer and teacher. 

My Little Sock

I was delighted to take a sock-making class with her during the Crochet at Cama Retreat. It was an informative and well-organized class, though my attempt at making a sock  was pathetic (due completely to my own short-comings). At the time she told us she had a book coming out in 2011 on crocheting socks, and I knew I would be adding it to my library.

The book is now available and is a great resource for those who have always wanted to crochet socks. Karen kindly invited me to be a part of her blog tour for this fabulous book.  As part of the fun I’m going to be giving away a signed copy of the book to one of my lucky readers.  Just leave a comment by March 16th and on St. Patrick’s Day I’ll announce the winner.

If you have never crocheted socks before the “Basic Cuff Down Sock” and “Basic Toe Up Sock” patterns that start the book are almost as good as taking one of Karen’s classes. I really like how the  sample socks were worked in different colors, so it is very clear how the parts fit together. 

There are also plenty of patterns for more experienced sock makers. The information provided on making your socks fit the feet they are made for is easy to understand. Detailed photography and clear graphics make this a book that I will be turning to regularly.

Who knows, I might eventually succeed in crocheting socks for myself.  Up here on the mountain comfy cushy socks are prized. I’ve been given some  beautiful hand knit socks over the years, but would love to make my own as well as being able to give socks as gifts.

Karen has also started a wonderful club to make it even easier for folks to learn to crochet socks. To learn more about this go check out her “Crochet Rocks Socks” club.

Knitting Love Day 25

Another hour of knitting today.  I was actually able to tink some of my stitches to correct a mistake, and I felt like I got the knack of controlling the consistency of my stitches better as well.oot

I seem to be falling into a bizarre approach of holding the working yarn with my right hand when I knit, and with my left hand when I purl. Not problematic when I’m doing straight rows of one or the other, but I imagine it might not work so well if I am switching between the two stitches in a single row.

As I am nearing the end of my month of knitting love, I have to confess that it may be a very long time before I truly love knitting. Crochet just seems to fit me better.

Knitting Neglect

Darn! I was almost caught up on my Knitting Love time commitment, and now (due to neglect) I am behind again.

Swatches So Far

I think it was that horrible FAIL on day 15 that did it. Was far too similar to the ratty mess I used to create years ago when my Mom attempted to teach me to knit.

I’m knitting along and somehow manage to pull the needle completely out of my stitches. And no matter how I try, I never manage to get all the stitches back on the needle sitting right.

I have often thought during my knitting forays and failures that if I was better at fixing my mistakes I might actually learn to love knitting.  It’s a bit of a “chicken/egg” sort of conundrum though.

I would likely get better at fixing my mistakes (and understanding what the heck I’m needing to do) if I knitted more. But, because I am garbage at fixing my mistakes and reading the fabric, I don’t like knitting all that much and usually give up in frustration. Certainly not conducive to improving my knitting skill set.

In an effort to get back on track, I’ve decided to stick to smaller swatches. 12 stitches or less for the cast-on.

Of course that may have to wait a bit again. As my beautiful children have brought home yet another bug to share with mommy.

Just in Time for Spring

Meet my Little Lamb Field.  I’m so happy with how he came out.  Not only has he passed the major cuteness test with my children, he is an ideal size for an Easter Basket cuddly.

He was also chosen for the front cover of the April 2011 Issue of Crochet Magazine.  This is my first full cover as a designer and I’m so pleased.

The original Field was a crazy little creation that I stitched from scraps in my odds-and-ends bin. He was part of a fun springtime challenge on Ravelry in the Oddballs group.  When I went to Chain Link 2009 in Buffalo, I showed him to Michele Maks (the editor of Crochet World at that time). She thought he could be a good fit for the magazine.

Life being what it is, things didn’t align for him to make it into the magazine at that time. Then a year later at Chain Link 2010 in Manchester, Michele and I discussed him again.

Finally Field got his star moment.  So it seems quite fitting after all his patience that he is now a Cover Boy.  I hope everyone enjoys making their own versions of this snuggly little Lamb.

Happy National Crochet Month

March is here again and the hooks are being held high. I am a day behind in blogging about it though, as I was away from the computer most of the day yesterday.  When I did get online later in the evening, I discovered that I am one of the Nominees for Best New Crochet Designer in the 3rd Annual Crochet Awards. Yay!

Of course, most of my current crochet projects are super secret as they are designs awaiting publication, so I’ve been blogging about knitting.  For those that have been following my knitting adventures, you well understand why it’s going to be a very long time (if ever) that I will have to be super secret about knitting designs.

Today I decided I would treat myself to a bit of my favorite type of crocheting. Free Form.  The “Knitting Love” got to meet my “Crochet Passion” in this lovely fragment.