Spring Fever

This has been a really weird spring weather-wise.  Snow in the spring on my mountain isn’t that unusual, and heavy snow amounts even. But usually it is warmer. I’m beginning to feel like a yo-yo going back and forth with nearly summer temperatures and then returning to freezing winter the following day.

It might be that I’m getting older, but this past winter was really challenging for me in the health area. I’ve had persistant colds, stomach flu and just over-all sinus unpleasantness. Things got really interesting 2 weeks ago right before I left on my trip to visit Jan.

I have ridiculously sensitive skin and often deal with hives on my face and shoulders. A common trigger for these is accidentally ingesting gluten. Gluten is used in more foods that you would initially realize, of particular note are candies and chocolates.

I had consumed too many Easter chocolates after Spring break and at the end of April I had a bout of hives on the right-side of my face. Fortunately it cleared up after a week. Then the Wednesday before I left for Jan’s I started getting another break-out. But this time it was more severe.

My first Saturday at Jan’s I was a mess with it. Itchy and very uncomfortable. That patch finally began to heal up and a new patch appeared on my forehead and along the left-side of my face. Nearly my whole face looked swollen and red, not attractive and not comfortable either. The Sunday before I was to fly back home to Colorado more hives began to appear on my shoulders.

Early in my visit with Jan I began to suspect that I was experiencing Shingles.  There wasn’t much I could do while in New Jersey so I spent my first full day back home on the phone getting a doctor’s appointment. After looking at the newest crop of sores on me the doctor told me this wasn’t Shingles. Unfortunately it appears to be a bit of a mystery as to what it is. I’m not showing any of the symptoms associated with the usual culprits.

My doctor prescribed a short course of steroids and recommended taking over-the-counter antihistamines to help with the itch. I’m also sticking with my routine of cold compresses on the affected areas and being hyper-vigilant about what I eat. Fingers crossed that I’ll be all healed up in a week or so.

Meanwhile this has really cut into my crochet and design schedule.  Not to mention it was the reason I didn’t have any photos of me from my recent trip, I didn’t want to scare all my loyal readers.

I’ll leave you today with some more photos from my Longwood Garden trip.

LG Dragon railing

The massive conservatory there is filled with beautiful flowers and everywhere I looked was something to intrigue the eye. I really loved the “childrens” area that had whimsical ironwork thru-out. This dragon railing looked almost alive.

LG Birds Fountain

And this little bird fountain was very endearing.

LG Lace Hydrangea

Jan’s sister loves the Lace Hydrangeas, and I was really pleased with this photo of them.

LG Orchids 1LG Orchids 3

But where I really went crazy was the section filled with Orchids. So many colors and shapes, loads of inspiration for crochet motifs in the future.

LG Orchids 2

 

Playing with Sharp Objects Again

Brown Sheep Purchases

You saw those 2 big bags of fiber that I purchased from the Brown Sheep Company at the Yarn Fest last weekend. I’ve been having a lot of fun with them practicing my needle-felting skills.

When I took the class in January at TNNA with Jackie Huang he handed out thick felt pads for us to use while working on our projects. He said he had begun using those in his own work because the foam pads broke down too quickly when doing lots of needling to create flat pieces. Also the wool is better for the environment than all the plastics used to make the foam.

When I got home from that trip one of the first things I did was work on making my own felted pad. I started with some wool material that I had left over from felting old sweaters. Then I wrapped odds and ends of wool roving that I had in my stash around the square I had made. Didn’t take long before I had used up all the wool roving. That’s when I got the bright idea of asking the Brown Sheep folks to bring 4 pounds of fiber down for me to purchase at Yarn Fest.

Felted work pads

One of the first things I did when I opened the bag was begin to add to my “pad” and felt it with my Clover 5-needle tool. I’ve gotten my big pad quite firm and filled out now, so I’ve begun to make smaller ones that I can bring to share with students when eventually I start teaching.

The little pads are also great for perfecting my needle-felting techniques. I’ve learnt a lot just working on them and it gave me the courage to tackle something different.

Cookie Cutters

I had heard of using cookie cutters as “molds” for needle-felting, and I dug around in my cookie cutter supplies for a few that I could re-purpose. Every since I had to switch to a gluten-free diet I have not been making many cookies. My cookie cutters are plastic and because the needle might scratch or nick the surface of the plastic, I will not be returning these 5 cutters to my kitchen tools.

Bunny Cookie Cutter

I decided to start with the bunny cookie cutter.

Cutter filled with wool fluff

 

Cutter needling started

I filled it with wool fluff and using my 3-needle tool to secure it once and a while.

Cutter shaping up

Then I switched to a single needle to work more on getting some shaping in place.

Cutter removed from felt shape

Once I removed the cookie cutter you can see the shape I had.

Flat backside of bunny shape

I carefully removed the shape from my pad and you can see how flat the back is.

Bunny Cookie Cutter Reversed

I then had the brain storm of making a reverse image of the bunny so I could join the 2 pieces together to make a 3D bunny sculpture/toy. Puzzled over this for a moment then had an “Ah-ha!” moment when I realized I could use the cookie cutter from either side since I wasn’t needing to actually cut anything.

I filled and formed the other half of my bunny, then placed the two with flat sides together and carefully used my single needle to join them. I was pleased I managed that without poking myself. Things did get a little involved with adding to the bunny to fill out the shape of the body, head and legs. I also cut the ears away from the body and added some wool to soften the cut area.

Needle Felted Bunny 1

Finally I had a little natural wool bunny.

Needle Felted Bunny 2

Next I wanted to add color to my bunny. So I spread bits of colored wool roving on the surface of the bunny, then needled them to secure them. He still needed a nose and mouth.

Finished Bunny face

I added the nose and mouth, as well as a bit more shaping to his head. I also detailed his eyes more.

Fluffy Bunny bum

Last of all was adding more fluff to his cotton tail.

Though this experiment worked out, I don’t know that I would make another using this same method. But it is all a learning process. I think the cookie cutters would be really good for making 3D images on a flat surface like a pillow or bag.

I’ll keep on experimenting and learning. This is definitely getting addictive. I’ve ordered more needle-felting tools and will be sharing my thoughts on them later this Summer.

Connecting with Crochet

Yesterday was quite the crochet day for me. I taught the “Learn to Crochet” class at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe. I always have a great time teaching and love it when my students have that light bulb moment when things begin to work for them.  It’s also a great reminder of what it’s like to be at the beginning of the crochet journey.

Then I ran a few quick errands in town and headed back home. At home it was a flurry getting my boys herded up so we could head over to a friend’s house for a 50th birthday party. There were lots of kids there and our hosts have a nice trampoline that my boys headed straight for.

Meanwhile there were only a few people I knew, so I said “hi” then found a well-lit spot outside to sit with my crochet and keep an eye on my boys. After awhile I got a bit chilly so I came back inside.

One of the other women at the party asked me about a someone in Jamestown and if I knew them. Turned out we had a mutual acquaintance. We introduced ourselves and had a chuckle when it turned out her name is Annette, though pronounced the German way, the “e” at the end sounds like an “a”. We chatted about living in the mountains and wildlife visiting my home.

While we were talking I was crocheting on my project and she asked me about my crochet. She is from Germany originally and both knits and crochets, though she said she was a bit out of practice. She told me that she had started a crocheted blanket project about 2 years ago, but had gotten a bit stuck when she went back to work on it.

Her husband had to run their teen-age daughter home about then and Annette asked him to bring her project bag back with him. When he returned the 2 of us dug thru the bag. There were a number of completed squares, but they were very tightly crocheted and we talked about how they would work in a blanket.

Annette with her inspiration photo and squares

She had been inspired by a photo of a crocheted blanket in a catalog. She had the original inspiration photo in the bag. So we took a look at it together. Her squares were pretty different from the squares in the blanket so I asked her if she would be interested in trying something different.

Close up of Square

I grabbed a ball of the yarn she had and began designing a different square there on the spot. I was having a great time playing with yarn, and we talked about crochet and our families as the square took shape. She liked what I came up with and thought it would be a nicer blanket than the tight squares she had done. Since she had made so many of those I suggested she use them for a pillow that would carry the same colors as her blanket.

My 2 squares today

Today I experimented a bit more with the square pattern I had come up with last night and made these 2 versions. The difference between the 2 is in where I decided to make the color change. Instructions for the squares are below and, in honor of my new crochet friend, it is named the Annetta Square.

ANNETTA SQUARE

designed by Andee Graves

Skill level:   Intermediate

Materials:

Worsted Weight yarn

I-9/5.5mm hook

Finished Size:

Approximately 3 7/8” square

Gauge:

First 3 Rounds = 2.25”

Special Stitches:

3 double crochet cluster st (Cl): (YO, insert hook in indicated st or sp, YO pull up a loop, YO pull thru 2 loops on hook) 3 times, YO pull thru remaining loops on hook. If you are having trouble with this stitch check out my blog post “Crochet and Springtime” for a tutorial on it.

Beginning 3 dc cluster st (Beg Cl): Ch 2, (YO, insert hook in indicated st or sp, YO pull up a loop, YO pull thru 2 loops on hook) 2 times, YO pull thru remaining loops on hook.

Instructions

Rnd 1: Starting with adjustable slip knot, ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [6 sc]

Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in same st as join, (ch 1, sc in next st) 5 times, ch 1, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [6 ch-1 sps, 6 sc]

Rnd 3: Sl st and Beg Cl in next ch-1 sp, (ch 3, Cl in next ch-1 sp) 5 times, ch 3, sl st to top of Beg Cl. [6 ch-3 sp, 6 Cl]

Change color here to get suspended flower look

Rnd 4: Ch 1, sc in same st as join, (4 sc in next ch-3 sp, sc in next st) 5 times, 4 sc in next ch-3 sp, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [30 sc]

Rnd 5: Ch 1, sc in same st as join, sc next st, (2 sc next st, sc in next 4 sts) 5 times, 2 sc next st, sc next 2 sts, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [36 sc]

Change color here to get circle in square look

Rnd 6: Ch 1, sc next 2 sts,(*hdc next st, (dc, tr) next st, (tr, ch 2, tr) next st, (tr, dc) next st, hdc next st,* sc next 4 sts) 3 times; Repeat from * to * once, sc next 2 sts, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [16 sc, 8 hdc, 8 dc, 16 Tr, 4 ch-2 spcs]

Rnd 7: Ch 1, sc next 6 sts, *(sc, ch 2, sc) next ch-2 sp,** sc next 12 sts*; Repeat from * to * 2 times, then Repeat from * to ** once, sc in next 6 sts, sl st to first sc of Rnd. [56 sc, 4 ch-2 sps]

Fasten off

I really like how these little squares came out. I hope you enjoy making some to use in your projects this spring.

Seated for Crochet (Part One)

This post today is actually dedicated to my good friend Julia (@AberrantCrochet). Sadly, we don’t get to see each other much, but we communicate online. She recently tweeted a photo of a chair someone had decorated using crochet motifs.

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I thought this chair was really fun, and it reminded me that I really want to crochet a chair “cozy” for an old beat-up chair of mine.

chair uncovered

Originally this chair belonged to a friend from massage school. She was getting rid of it and I took it off her hands. There was something about the shape and size of it that really appealed to me. Still does for that matter.

The upholstery was in rather worn condition, but I decided to sew a polar fleece covering for it and put it in my massage office as my “client” chair. It served that purpose well for many years.

Reading Chair in Boys' room when it was new.
Chair moved into Boys’ room as Reading spot.

Then I got a small sofa for my office about 7 years ago and I moved the chair to my boys’ room for a reading chair.  Between dogs and boys the polar fleece cover has taken quite a beating. Which is what originally got me thinking that a colorful covering crocheted in 100% acrylic yarn might actually hold up better.

I’m going to use the old polar fleece cover to create a template that I will crochet pieces to fit. That way the chair can still be in use while I’m making the cover. Another option would be to crochet “scrumbles” and pin them to the chair until there are enough to join them together. But I want the boys to be able to continue to use the chair while I work on this project. My goal is to have it finished by the end of 2016.

Next step in this project will be to pick out the yarn I’m going to use. I have a lot of acrylic yarn in my stash, so it is going to be mostly about deciding what colors I am going to use.  I also need to decide what style of crochet I’m going to use.  Will it be a “Free Form” scrumbled looking piece or will it be more large swatches of more regular crochet fabric. I suspect it will be a combination of both once I really get working with hook and yarn.

I’ll keep updating here on the blog as this project evolves. This one will take some time, mainly because I’ll be fitting it in around my other crochet work.

So Many Changes

Change may be the natural order of life, but some days it can really throw you for a curve.

This past year, really 18 months, have been full of changes. Some were more in the nature of upheavals, like the 1000 year flood that hit my little mountain community in September 2013.  There were some unpleasant changes from 2014 that involved me not getting paid for a work that took up a great deal of my time the first half of 2014. Then there are the changes in my routine with the boys attending school down in Boulder.

Some of the biggest changes I have been dealing with personally have been in my path as a crochet designer and teacher. The month of December sort of slid by me, I taught some small classes and individual crochet lessons at my local yarn store Longmont Yarn Shoppe. But mainly any spare time not spent preparing for a fun Christmas holiday with my family was spend pondering what was next. So the blog was very quiet.

I went to the TNNA Winter Trade Show the 2nd weekend of January. The week before I left I was hoping that I would discover an answer to the “What is next?” question by the time the weekend was finished. This is where that old saying about being careful what you wish for comes in.

As always, TNNA was a visual feast for my creative soul. Yarn in every texture, weight and color you could imagine and loads of other wonderful products. I also took 2 classes during the weekend: “Digital Marketing” with Zontee Hou and “How to stage your event like a Broadway Show Manager” with Patty Lyons.

Lots of great information in both classes, and many bright shiny new ideas hopping about in my head inspired by them. The hardest part of taking the classes was that they started at 7:45 a.m. Some of you that know me well know that I am not at my best before 9 a.m. Those mornings were a bit of a rough start, though well worth it.

Nothing will wake you up faster than taking a normally 3 hour long class with Patty Lyons when she has to fit it into 2 hours. All I have to say is, compared to her, I talk very slowly.

One thing that Patty mentioned in her class that has been sticking in my head was about trends with crafters and the hobbies they pursue. She said that most crafters switch what is their primary hobby every 5 years. One reason I find this interesting is that it has been 5 years since I started working on selling my crochet designs (and sold my first design). So it got me wondering if that is part of what is happening with my design mojo recently?

I still have lots of ideas for designs, but I’m more interested in pursuing alternate forms of publication. When I sell a design to a magazine or yarn company to publish, I have very little say in how the finished pattern is presented. Most of those sources publish patterns to a set format and style. That format and style is great for some crocheters, but doesn’t necessarily work for everyone.

When it really comes down to it, I like to teach. And when I design crochet garments in particular I like to incorporate unusual techniques, those don’t always lend themselves to the traditional pattern format and style. So I’ve decided that I need to marry my teaching tendencies and unusual techniques into writing “teaching” patterns.

I’m hoping to be publishing a series of patterns over the next 6 months that will have not only the typical pattern instructions, but will include photo tutorials and tips on how to modify the pattern so that crocheters can add to their repertoire of skills and create wonderful finished projects that they will be proud to wear themselves or give as gifts. Eventually I will be adding links to videos that demonstrate the techniques in these patterns as well.

If you are in the Greater Denver area of Colorado this next couple of weeks, you can come take a class with me in person. I’ll be teaching at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe the next 2 Saturdays.

Crochet with a Twist class sample
Crochet with a Twist class sample
Handy HDC Class Swatches
Handy HDC Class Swatches

Saturday, February 28th I’ll be teaching “Crochet with a Twist, Mastering the Moebius” and “Handy Half Double Crochet”.

Granny Fans Class Photo
Granny Fans Scarf class sample
Crochet the Perfect Fit Hat class samples
Crochet the Perfect Fit Hat class samples

Saturday March 7th I’ll be teaching “Granny Fans Scarf” and “Crochet the Perfect Fit Hat”.

Whether you join me for a class or decide to purchase one of my “teaching” patterns I hope you keep on learning new skills in your crochet (or knitting) journey. After all, Change is the natural order of things.

A Gift for a Sweet Baby

My favorite design inspirations usually come from crocheting up a gift for a special occasion or event. Just a little under a year ago my niece became a mother for the second time. Makes me feel a bit old having a great-nephew and great-niece, but it is also the celebration of the circle of life. I found inspiration in the arrival of this new baby girl and decided to make her a “heritage” style crocheted blanket.

The first time I would get to see the newest addition to our family was when we went back for Thanksgiving. So I began to work on the blanket in September, about the time all the upheaval of the floods happened, it was a good calming project to work on each day. The body of the blanket is a simple cushy stitch that doesn’t require a great deal of attention, then an elaborate ruffled lace border finished off the edge.

Corner Detail small

I completed the last bits of the border as we drove across Kansas for our November visit. I didn’t get much in the way of photographs of the finished project, but the photo above is a close-up of the border.

After we returned from our trip my niece posted a photo of her baby with the new blanket on Facebook.  Michele Maks, the founder and editor of the online crochet site MainlyCrochet.com saw it and asked me if I would be willing to create a version of it for her site.

Lila Blanket MC photo

After a bit of discussion we came up with the Lila blanket and it is available thru the mainlycrochet.com website. This pattern was designed using Lion Brand Yarn’s “Vanna’s Choice Baby” in 2 colors.

If there is a sweet baby in your life that you want to make a beautiful crocheted blanket for sign up for a subscription (if you haven’t already) and you can get this pattern and many more wonderful patterns to crochet for yourself or others.

Estes Park Wool Market 2014

The first full weekend of June was the Annual Estes Park Wool Market. In 2013 I attended it with my friends April, Brenda and Renee’. All 3 of them spin and Brenda convinced me to give spinning with a drop spindle a try. Though I’ve not had many opportunities to practice my minimal skills since then. Last year I purchased some gorgeous dyed silk fiber to spin. It is waiting patiently for me to find the time to attempt it.

My Wool Market buddies

This year April came out to Colorado with her husband, though Renee was having fun at the beach with her family so couldn’t make it. Brenda and I met up with April at the Market.

Pile of Yarn Buffalo Gold n Bijou Basin

Unfortunately I didn’t get to spend as much time with Brenda and April as I had hoped. Instead I spent most of my time at the Market on Saturday visiting with the folks at the Bijou Basin Booth and at the Buffalo Gold Booth. I purchased some gorgeous yarn and hope to have a few designs to show everyone using these yarns by Spring 2015, earlier if I can manage it.

I was very intrigued by the Buffalo Gold  buffalo down yarns. They are supposed to be very durable and not inclined to shrink like wool. The hank of “Haven” is destined to be used in a fingerless mitts design. I’ll be posting about that design once it is available.

Sheep Dog Demo 1

I caught the end of the Sheepdog demonstration, I’m always amazed by the concentration that the dog has. The dog in the photos is a young one that is just starting to learn the ropes, I was still impressed.

Grown Angora Goat

I did get to spend some time visiting with the Goats. I’ve been dreaming of getting a few goats just because they are great animals for keeping the underbrush trimmed down for fire mitigation. I also just like them, they all seem to have strong personalities.

Baby Angora Goats

The white Angora goat in the front is a 3 month old male and was for sale for $50. I was really tempted, but I think my husband would have been a little startled if I brought a goat home. It can be a bit confusing for some folks, but the fiber from an Angora Goat is Mohair. Actual Angora fiber, as you see it labeled in garments or yarn, is from Angora rabbits.

Fr Angora Luv Bunnies

Before we left the market we all went in to see the rabbits. Brenda got a bag full of lovely angora fluff to spin with and we all admired the fuzzy rabbits. They always make me think of cuddly toys they are so furry and poufy.  There were even a few for sale, but I figured my husband wouldn’t be any happier about a surprise bunny, than he would be about a surprise goat.

After we had all finished at the market we headed to downtown Estes Park for some dinner. It was nice to have a bit of time to relax with April, Brenda and their husbands. This was the first time I had been back to Estes Park since the September floods and it was good to see that the town was making a strong come-back.

When I got home I showed the boys the photos I had taken at the show and they begged me to take them the next day. So the following morning we loaded up the car and headed over again for a few hours of visiting animals.

Herd of Paco Vicuna babies

The boys enjoyed meeting some Paco Vicuna. One had been recently sheared and the other had about 2 inches of fleece. They enjoy feeling the softness, but they found the little herd of baby Vicuna to be very adorable. The babies weren’t interested in being pet, but they didn’t mind being admired.

Gray French Angora

The rabbits were having judging going on, so they were all getting spruced up and the fluff was flying as bunnies were brushed and made to look their best. I was admiring this handsome grey French Angora Rabbit. There were even some bunnies that weren’t Angoras. A few lop-eared bunnies were there to be sold and are supposed to be really nice pets.

There was a lovely fluffy little rabbit, he was full-grown though no bigger than many of the youngster bunnies, who was super friendly and snuggly. A Lions-head something or other, can’t recall the name of the breed, but if he had been for sale we might have ended up with a bunny.

Finally we headed off to meet the sheep. There was a lovely Shetland Ram that a woman was showing. He was on a lead and snuggled up to her like a dog. The boys were good about asking permission to pet him and he loved the attention. His wool felt just like most of the Shetland wool I’ve worked with in yarn, so that was fun to experience.

Shetland Lamb

She had some lambs for sale and we walked all around the sheep stalls looking at the various lambs. This beautiful little Shetland lamb really caught my eye.

Bottle baby

The boys were very entertained by this sweet little lamb. He was quite vocal and bouncing around his pen. My best guess was that he is a bottle-fed lamb, as he had no fear of humans at all.

My favorite little goat

My favorites were still the goats though. This sweet little goat and her pen mate were just as interested in me as I was in them.

Baby Cashmere Goat

The cashmere goats were very soft to pet.

Baby Alpacas

Our last visit was to the alpacas. Only good picture I got of them was this pen of youngsters ranging in age from 6 months to 1 year.

I told my husband that I needed a small herd. Just one goat, one sheep and an alpaca. He didn’t agree. Ah well, maybe another lifetime for that dream to come true.

Where did Andee Go?

I know, my blog has been very quiet the last couple of months. It’s been a wild and crazy time. Cloning myself is a fantasy, but one I’ve been thinking would be a lovely solution (my luck the clone would only want to do the fun stuff).

Fortunately, I’m finding my way clear and will be blogging more regularly starting now.

Me speaking at Professional Development Day
Me speaking at Professional Development Day

I just got back from a wonderful week at the Knit & Crochet Show called Summer Chain Link by many of us CGOA folks. This one was held in Indianapolis. For the first time ever that I was one of the speakers at Professional Development Day.

My Market Purchases
My Market Purchases

Of course I had a fun time shopping in the market for fiber goodies. The above is the pile that had to come home with me. I’m really looking forward to playing with the yarn and thread. One of my purchases was a Steamer and another a Jumbo Yarn Winder. Unfortunately I have to be patient as those are being shipped to me.

I took 4 classes during the show and found lots of inspiration in all of them. Keep an eye here as I will be blogging about my them and the results of all that inspiration.  Especially my class with the amazing Lily Chin. If you can only take one class when you go to a show I highly recommend that you take one of Lily’s. She always has information packed classes that will fire you up to tackle crochet (or knit) challenges you never thought you would be ready for.

So get ready my dear readers, the last 5 months of 2013 should prove to be exciting and interesting for us both.

Confessions of a Night Owl

Sometimes staying up late is hard to resist. It is one of the few times my household is actually quiet.

Everyone besides me is asleep, including the dogs. The only sound is the humming of my computer and the refrigerator and an occassional pop from the wood in the fire. The quiet is so peaceful it is like the world is just breathing.

It’s a great time to get lots of work done. I can write or crochet without any interruptions. Often times I experience a flood of creativity and may spend 2-3 hours madly sketching and noting down design ideas.

Deck at Night 1

It’s been snowing the past 3 days and we have gotten over 2 feet of the cold fluffy stuff. The snow makes the world even quieter. I took these pictures last night because everything looked so calm out the window.

Deck at Night 2

Almost looks like a Christmas scene, which is appropriate, since I spent yesterday working on proposals for Winter magazine issues. Maybe that is why I have a much easier time designing cold season items. It is a bit difficult to be in the mind-set for warm or hot weather living at this altitude.

Most of my readers here in the US are currently experiencing above freezing temperatures or warmer, while my backyard was a balmy 19F at the time of my little photo session last night.

Deck in the morning

I took another photo this morning before the icicles could get broken. You may not be able to tell, but it was still snowing. As I write this it continues to snow and the temperature has gotten all the way up to 20F.

All this snow is great inspiration for warm and cozy crochet projects like hats, wraps and mittens.  Who knows, by the time the rest of the country is back in wintery weather, I may have a few of these inspirations in magazines for the season.

Day 2 of “Texting Mitts” Tour

Kathryn Vercillo of the wonderful Crochet Consupiscence blog is our host today.

I read her blog regularly because she always has sometime inspiring or thought-provoking on there.  Just be warned, her site is a bit addictive and you can easily find yourself spending a few hours reading and exploring links.

She also recently published a wonderful book, “Crochet Saved My Life”.  If you have felt like crochet was a big part of how you maintained your sanity you aren’t alone. You can find out more about this book on Kathryn’s website.

I was really excited when she agreed to review my booklet and do a give-away drawing for a copy of the booklet as well.

One of my goals this week for the blog tour is to show you the mitts from my booklet worked in different yarns from those pictured.

Xst mitts small

In the photo above I am wearing my Stagger Cross Stitch Mitts worked in Aslan Trends Natural Luxury Yarns “Santa Fe”.  This is a lovely 85% merino wool and 15% polyamide sock yarn that had been waiting in my stash for just the right project.  I made the Large size mitts for this pair, as I wanted to wear them over my glove liners. I also worked a couple extra rounds to cover more of my fingers.

These are the perfect extra layer over my liners for those nippy mornings when I drive the boys to school.