Crochet Crunch Time

How is it that the month of December can sneak up on me every year? As I get older, it almost seems to happen faster and faster. I once was able to have the holiday shopping completed by the middle of September and have everything in place to feel relaxed during this crazy time of year.

Then the years pass, I somehow lose weeks of my life and instead of having things outlined and planned in early fall I am just aware that I need pull everything together as my sister pulls the Turkey out of the oven on Thanksgiving.

All of my plans of what to crochet and for who gets put into over drive and long nights of flying fingers are scheduled. However, I must not be alone in this last minute hustle, as it is also this time of year that I get many requests for “can you make”.

“Can you make” always seems like a loaded question, it is not really asking if I would want to make and item, or if I have time to make an item, or if I charge to make an item….it simple asks if I can. Yes, I do have the skill set, but I don’t know if I have the time. But, at least I know that I am not alone in my last minute hustle.

So as the festivities begin, please know you are not alone, there are many of us up late making our hooks fly. Deciding that instead of an afghan, a nice scarf will work. Figuring how we can finish our self-imposed “to do” list and still stay sane and enjoy this time of year.


Crochet & Time?

ScannedImageThis time of year lends people to think of possible handmade/homemade gifts, and can lend crafts to unrealistic timelines.

I have been there many times, thinking I will make everyone on my gift list their own (blank); afghan, scarf, hat, mittens, pillows, etc. you can probably insert just about any item in the blank…and please note I stated “thinking”. Over many years I have had these thoughts, but only on a few occasions have I even came close to meeting my target.

One of the problems with attempting to complete any stitch work this time of year is all the distractions. It seems like the month of November just evaporates with the coming of cooler weather at my home (and the hope of rain), while as soon as Thanksgiving Day, and meals with family have commenced I blink and it is Valentine’s Day. This seems to happen every year, I never know where December goes.IMG_6186.1

I do recognize that both of my kids celebrate their birthdays, as well as my own, not to mention 4 other extended family members in the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This can add an extra level of craziness with parties and get-togethers in addition to holiday traditions and events. No wonder I can only get a couple stitches in at a time.

I will admit that at more informal gatherings, I have been crocheting while visiting with friends, finishing up projects or at least making some head way on them. I have a portable project with me at all times, even when I have two minutes waiting for the kids to get out of school I am working a couple of more stitches, maybe I can finish that next row.

So with multiple stitches on the hook, and many distractions, I am really no longer sure where my time is evaporating to, but hopefully I will make it to the New Year!

Unexpected Journeys- A Little Like Life

ScannedImageThe interesting thing about ideas is that you never know when they are needed, or used. My latest released design, Holiday Sequins Sweater, reminds me of that, its journey was an awkward one, but now it sits on the cover of the Winter 2015 issue of Love of Crochet. I may not have even known that it graced the pages, let alone the cover had it not been brought to my attention by a very compassionate and supportive designer, Marly Bird. She had noticed it, took a picture of the cover and tag me in a Facebook post.

IMG_20151201_172418778The idea for this sweater came to me nearly four years ago as I was swatching with a yarn, which I believe has been since discontinued. I was inspired by a top that my sister had given me that had this cowl type neck, but I was never happy with how it only came to my waist line, it felt to short. I created a sketch to accompany the swatch of a simple texture, and sent it to various publishers, none of which were interested. As the seasons changed I would send it to a couple of other publishers, but it never found the right fit, until I answered a call for designs for a new book that Lorna Miser was putting together.

At the time, I had never met Lorna, yet I had heard about her as a local legend. She is the original founder of Lorna’s Lace Yarn, and actually began the business just a couple of miles from me as I was growing up. Of course I had no knowledge of this at the time, or frankly the interest, but as I grew older and even began working in the crochet/yarn industry, people would notice my street address and ask if I knew Lorna. That is just how small the world can be, she began the business and grew it for several years literally just down the street from me.

She has since sold the business and is focused on designing, and was putting together a new crochet book, one in which this sweater made to cut for, so the sample was made and the pattern written. The book never made it to fruition, but the design found its way to Love of Crochet, where unbeknown to me it landed on the cover. When the design was conceived I really thought that it was great, but then it was constantly rejected, then I thought it had found its way into an actual hard copy book, to learn that things had shifted once again. It was then possible that it may make it to the light of day, only to then dance upon the cover.

This seemingly long journey, which had a couple of twists and turns, just to have a pattern for a sweater, reminds me a little of how things ultimately go in life. You think you are on one path then all of the sudden you are on another and you end up in places that you may not have expected. So as I begin the time of year that has me usually reflecting on the past, looking at where things were a year or two earlier this design will remind me that you never know where the journey might take you.

Keeping the Holiday Spirit… In My Shoes

ScannedImageI am attempting to get into the holiday mood….the last few years that has proven to be a little bit of a challenge. This is, I feel, that I have felt overwhelmed with everything that is expected and all the extras that need to be done…the decorating (guess I should clean the house), the baking (hope these cookies actually make it to the neighbors instead of in my dessert pile), the gifts (what do I get so-&-so? I need ideas), wrapping (hide in the bed room, attempting to make that roll of paper last for one more odd sized package), and the cards (okay, I actually like this one, it is the one time a year that I actually sit back go through my address book, the old fashion paper book kind, and think of friends and family…realizing yet again that too much time has passed since our last visit).

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Elf Slippers, adult and child sized

So far I have not hit my “holiday wall” yet, and to help keep that spirit alive and not turning bitter I have been working on a holiday design. Elf Slippers. My kids love these, and I admit that they are pretty fun. They are worked in Red Heart Super Saver, and 1 skein actually makes at least a couple of pairs. I have them sized for adults and kids, as well as notation on how to customize them for any size.

They are a quick stitch pattern, and the addition of the bells gives them quite a bit of charm. So if you have a love for stitching, want to create some quick gifts, or just want to keep the spirit alive, check them out at:…

Ravelry or Craftsy

Thankful Crochet…Not What You Might Expect

ScannedImageThanksgiving is the time of year that Americans take a moment and ponder what they are thankful for, families and friends come together over a hearty meal and various traditions are followed. Some gatherings are small, some are large, but all are focused on those we love.

I wish that we took time more often to ponder our thankfulness, and personally try to do this at least once a week (okay, sometimes this actually becomes once a month, but at least I try). Over some of this ponder I have realized how thankful I am for crochet, and it may not be in a manner that you have thought about. I am thankful for crochet being my social lubricant. Don’t misunderstand, I am quite a talker and can get into conversations that are no longer counted in minutes but hours and days, I can usually find some comfort in a room full of people that I have never met before, however crochet allows me to engage with some new people in a very different way.DSCF0849.1

By crocheting while sitting and enjoying the family get-togethers of the holidays, I can actually think before I speak (a trait that I always need to work on). I can crochet at my husband’s work holiday parties and it becomes an icebreaker within a group of other spouses that may only see each other during these events.

Not only can crochet help me within situations I know, it opens dialogs in places I don’t, such as the park, the coffee shop, the grocery store, the doctor office, actually just about anywhere. By working on some stitches it helps engage with others; people feel like you are approachable and want to understand more about what you are doing. It might bring back fond memories for them, or questions of how they could try and create for themselves.

DSCF0848.1By wearing my hook in my hair (yes, I do actually use a hook to hold my hair up) people might identify me as the “crochet lady”, and that is alright, I wear it as a badge of honor, and have for years, because it opens different doors and helps me to connect with the larger world around me. So thank you crochet, for being my longtime hobby, and current career, that allows me to engage with the rest of mankind.