It’s the Great Pumpkin!

Okay, we all know Charlie Brown never really saw the Great Pumpkin, but I always loved Linus’s faith in the idea.

And I love Halloween, Jack-O-Lanterns, Pumpkin Pie and all things pumpkin related. So of course there has to be some pumpkin crochet in my life.

First let’s take a look at some of the wonderful fun crochet pumpkin patterns out there. If you are a Ravelry member, use their pattern search to find loads of marvelous pumpkin patterns, clearly I’m not the only pumpkin fan. You can narrow your results by using “Pumpkin” “crochet” and checking the “toys and hobbies” category in the advanced search function.

One of my faves is this lovely little pumpkin from Planet June created by the talented June Gilbrank. Which can also be made into an adorable little Jack-o-lantern.

Or the Pumpkin Time Garland by Karen Wiederhold (note: she is from the UK but it looks like her pattern instructions are in US crochet terms). I think adding some face pieces to these pumpkins could create a fun garland for a Halloween party, but left plain they would be great for a decorative garland at your Thanksgiving feast.

Of course with the busy Fall we have been having here I didn’t have time to crochet up any pumpkins.  Instead I stuck with our tradition of carving real pumpkins on the day before Halloween.

Yesterday I got out the box of carving tools and my boys and I started working on our pumpkin art.

The boys were a little grossed out by the slimy “guts”.

So Mom got the job of cleaning out the gooey stuff and separating out the seeds.  The seeds will be cooked up tomorrow for a tasty snack.

Once the pumpkins were ready to carve things got too crazy to photograph the process, but we ended up with 2 gorgeous pumpkins.

They will look very nice with our window display tonight.  Being the temperatures here on Halloween tend to dip below freezing we put our pumpkins in the front window with lights in them.

Happy Halloween Everyone.

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It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Super Bean!

What do you do when it there are only 10 minutes before you have to leave to take your children to a birthday/costume party and the super-hero cloak has gone missing? If you are me, you get creative. 

I knew there was not time to get the sewing machine fired up, and crocheting something was out of the question as well (I mean, I have a very fast hook but even I can’t crochet a cape in 10 minutes).

Super Bean insisted that the cloak had to be blue. Fortunately I had a couple different blue micro-fleece pieces of yardage on hand.  Micro-fleece would be ideal as it doesn’t fray and all I would need to do is cut out the appropriate shape. He picked out the blue he liked and I was off.

Quick mental calculations ensued. How could I shape this so that it would have some good flowing cape properties? And so it would not strangle my beloved “Super Bean”.  There wasn’t time to sketch or measure…this was going to be true seat-of-the-pants engineering.

Because time was limited I didn’t take pictures of the process.  But the negative space in the photo above gives you an idea of how the cape was cut out. 5 minutes later, a bit of face painting and Super Bean was off to his party ready to leap tall buildings and demolish birthday goodies.

When he returned from the party I was allowed to spread out the cape and take a photo.  It clearly stood up well to all the rigors of the party. It is now a beloved new addition to the costume box.

And Mommy is the real super hero of the day.

Snow Day!

One of the joys of living on a mountain in Colorado is that one never knows when winter weather will arrive.  Oh sure, on the calendar it says that the first day of winter is officially December 21st or 22nd. 

I’m here to bear witness that on my mountain it is definitely a few months earlier.  As proof I offer the these photographs taken yesterday afternoon on my deck and in my front yard.

To give you an idea of how deep the snow was on my deck railing I included an orphan 14″ knitting needle in this shot. That knitting needle hasn’t been knit with as it is destined to be turned into a Tunisian crochet hook someday in the near future.

This is a favorite tree of mine in our front yard, so I had to go out and attempt a rescue before the snow load bent it to the ground.

It blooms with lovely sweet-scented white flowers in the spring that later turn into orange-colored berries. I always know when we have had our first significant freeze because the berries turn bright red.  It is also one of the few trees on our property that puts on a proper color show in the Fall.

My rescue efforts did help, though there were a lot of leaves on the snow once I was finished. I also got a face full of snow during the rescue operation, next time I use a longer broom.

A little artistic appreciation, even with frozen fingers.

Now, don’t you feel like curling up under a comfy crocheted afghan to stitch away on some snuggly slippers or mittens? 

I think I need to hunt down that lovely alpaca/wool blend yarn I was planning on using for some mittens for me. 20F temperatures while I was digging a path and rescuing trees made me really wish I had made them already.

Time to Drool

This afternoon I went down our mountain to pick up my oldest son from school and drop off a package to be mailed at our local Post Office.

While I was at the Post Office the UPS driver was there too, he tells me, “I have a package for you too.”  This tells you a bit about how many UPS deliveries I get that the delivery dude knows my face and name when he sees me away from my home.

I was sort of hoping it was my new snow/winter hiking boots I ordered the other day. Instead it was yarn. Yes, I was really broken up over this. Ha!

Red Heart Boutique - Midnight in "Shadow"

Take a gander at this gorgeous stuff.  If you haven’t had a chance to look at some of the new yarns coming out from Red Heart go take a peek.  This is some yummy stuff.  I am loving the long runs of colors that blend into each other and the touch of sparkle. Best of all the yarn is still nice and soft.

Dude!

Since today is my Birthday I got to sleep in a tiny bit, and woke up to this lovely gift from my family.  In honor of the day I’ve decided it is a good day to share the gift-giving with one of my lucky readers (no, you don’t get the hearts…something better).

At the Greensboro Chain Link on Professional Development Day I won only one Door Prize.  This lovely” The Crochet Dude” Crochet Organizer Case created by the Boye company.

Drew Emborsky - The Crochet Dude

Now many of you know of the Crochet Dude, aka Drew Emborsky, and have been following his design adventures on his blog for ages.  If you haven’t read his blog before click on the link above and have a look.

Drew generously donated a number of items to the door prizes at Professional Development Day.  The tickets that are sold raise money each year towards a chosen charity.  This year the charity was the Marcia Rivkin Center (for Ovarian Cancer).

So how do you get a chance to win this lovely organizer case? Just comment on this blog post by Noon on October 20th, leaving your name and why you are trying to get organized.  I will then have a random number drawing that afternoon and announce the winner.  Unfortunately, I need to restrict the drawing to only folks in the USA, as mailing out of country can get a bit steep.

The Dude is Tall, especially next to Short Me.

I leave you with one last photo of myself with the Dude. Unfortunately it came out a bit blurry, somewhat flattering to me as it removed my wrinkles, but I had to take another photo later so you could see that the Dude really isn’t that fuzzy.

Another Chain Link

Once again I have discovered I am absolutely horrible at remembering to take pictures when I am at Chain Link.

I am generally having way too much fun:  making new friends and re-uniting with old friends that the days go zipping past and I only realize how lax I’ve been with the camera once I’m back at the airport heading home.

I did manage to take a few pictures on the first day. 

The Pool at the Hotel

The pool room was my place to go warm-up as the air-conditioning was brutal, I didn’t actually swim…just stood out there for a bit to get the chill off. Next conference I shall bring some warmer crochet accessories…like a cardigan!

Sunday Shopping Bags

Since my chronicling of Chain Link was so shoddy, I’ll instead share with you photos of the results of my limited retail therapy time at the show.

Looking at the amount of loot I came home with, I’m thinking it is a good thing I had “limited” time for retail therapy.

The most expensive purchase of the week was my new set of Cabled Tunisian hooks from the Tulip Company being sold at the Buy Caron booth. I had to pick up a few more Etimo hooks, though by Sunday they were nearly all gone.

Then of course, there was YARN.  Yes, I know I have likely reached SABLE (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy), but I seem to always need more yarn. This gorgeous silky soft and sparkly alpaca yarn had to come home with me.  My friend Pam had purchased some and shown it to me, I went to the market on Sunday especially to find it.

Of course, whilst searching out the sparkly alpaca, some yummy hand-dyed loveliness at Miss Babs‘ booth begged me to take it home as well.  The colors at their booth were truly drool-worthy, and the staff was very helpful in picking out 2 skeins of close matches in the colorways I fell in love with. 

My conference roommate, Janet, didn’t help matters when she came back to our room one day with some lovely silk from Vijay Fibers. So I needed a few hanks of that too.

Since the first ever Knit and Crochet Show I attended and where I met her (Portland, September 2008), Janet has been a dangerous influence when it comes to my budget.  So it was my turn this conference.  Janet decided to try a new color for something for herself. I can hardly wait to see what she creates from this gorgeous yarn. She is a wizard with the hooks and makes lovely lace goodies.

I didn’t escape that booth (The Yarn and Fiber Company out of Derry, NH) without some purchases of my own though.  Couldn’t resist the T-shirt as it made me giggle and the little felting template looked like a great (safer) way to do some needle felting with my kiddos.

After feeling a bit under-dressed in the jewelry department at the banquet Friday evening I decided I needed some “bling” for future conferences. So I made a stop by the Cookie Lee booth for this lovely necklace.  The ring was just too fun as well, so it hopped into my hand to be purchased as well.  I shall glitter brilliantly at future events.

Sassafras Creations drew me in as well. Lots of beautiful jewelry and accessories that have all been made from old knitting needles and crochet hooks. I purchased a few goodies, though she was just about cleared out of her crochet hook items….she said she will know to bring more to the next Chain Link she attends.

Before all was done, I had to make a stop at Newtons Yarn Country, where the bargain priced yarns were getting loads of attention from many conference attendees. The choices were limited by Sunday but I managed to do some damage to the yarn budget.

Well, now I know why I was so tired Sunday evening.  And this isn’t even counting all the events I attended, the classes I took, and the volunteer duties I helped with. Wheeeee! Can hardly wait til next year.