Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 Awesome Crochet Blog: Free Form Crochet

December 23, 2011 In case I don't get to blog on my regular blogging schedule on Monday what with having the family and grandkids here and all the eating we will have to be doing, I shall post my pre-Christmas joy today! I was awarded the 2011 Awesome Crochet Blogs Award for Freeform Crochet by Kathryn of Crochet Concupiscence.
Kathryn, You said in your write-up that I am "friendly," but you are a sweetheart. You offer so much in your blog and yet you are always so appreciative and giving to others. I really appreciate this award and am honored to receive it from you! Stay tuned...I am very excited about another free form project I have in the works. This award has giving me a spark of inspiration to make it my best yet! Thanks again and have the happiest holiday ever! Read about the winners in other Awesome Blog categories:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Me Gifts for Me!

Monday, December 19, 2011 Christmas has come early!! Three new books have been added to my library. It seems my friend Josie in NYC likes to touch and feel books! She orders them and then if she doesn't think she'll ever crochet anything from them, she kindly sends them on to me. Thus I acquired Crochet So Fine by Kristin Omdahl and Creating Crochet Fabric by Dora Ohrenstein. Both are lovely books and I might just have to make the honeycomb neck warmer in Kristin's book RIGHT NOW!


 Or maybe it would be a good idea to finish the cowl that I have on my designer's drawing board!It only uses one skein so should be quick. Dora's book is a masterful tome about all aspects of crochet. She has put a lot of work and study into the information she offers. It is a must have for any crocheter's shelf. Last week I bought a funky little book at Half-Price books: Downtown DIY Crochet: 14 easy designs for city girls with style.This book is cleverly put together with drawings instead of elaborate photographs. The art and the simple projects will surely attract new and young crocheters, as well as collectors such as I!


 Now to the real gift. When hubby asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I had to think a while. Suddenly, I remembered that I have been wanting a ceramic yarn bowl. I have lyally been waiting for a certain ceramic artist to get his bowls produced and put on Etsy, but hey enough of the waiting. I went exploring there at Etsy and wow, or wow are there yarn bowls!! It was very difficult to decide,but I chose a gorgeous one by Marietta at Blue Room Pottery. I'll post a photo when I get it.


Apparently the holiday demand has depleted her supply, so I have to wait until mid-February to receive mine. Well worth the wait! Aside from that I have been hard at work on my various writing jobs: my monthly "Talking Crochet" column and articles for Inside Crochet in Britain and Crochet Traditions, an annual publication by the nice folks at Piecework magazine. The article for Inside Crochet is on drape and involved making swatches so I received some luscious yarns from Lorna's Laces, Malabrigo and Blue Sky Alpacas to play with. The left-overs are now hanging around and adorning my studio. It's a festive time of year; never hurts to have yarn hanging around!

We kicked off the holiday season by making fruitcake and cut out cookies for Chloe (eh, Bethany). Younger daughter, Beth, came to help. Never discount the value of your local library. We went Sunday afternoon for a lecture about Jim Henson's advertisement work. As a bonus surprise, the guy who does the voice of Cookie Monster was there and had Cookie with him. What fun!


 We fit in a visit to my dad in Indiana to wish him a Merry Christmas and to take a few gifts. It is really hard to know what to get a 91 year old! Food is the best best. We took him to dinner one night and I cooked for him the next. I also went to "tea-time" with him at the ice cream shop. His ever-dwindling group of friends meets every Wed. at 2 PM for coffee, not chocolate and sometimes ice cream. There's a lot of talk about health or lack thereof, but somehow they keep a sense of humor. each week they have the same waitress (I've done this before) and she seems to enjoy them and definitely takes good care of them.
Dad and his pal, Jack. Much as I fear freezing to death before we can get to Mexico on February 16, I have to admit that our walk in the forest on Saturday was quite wonderful. The prospect of yummy waffles at the Red Apple Cafe after the walk made the experience palatable, so to speak, as well! Large snowflakes were falling down and as they say, there is no bad weather only bad clothes! We were bundled up well
and were sweating by the time we finished our 3 mile walk. Why they keep a grove of elk fenced in near a busy roadway is a mystery to me, but they sure are interesting to look at. They are fed by the park rangers, so it seems like most humans are a source of hope (for food) for them!
Seeing young deer romp in front of us along our path seemed more natural, though.
Speaking of festive, our paper listed the houses nearby with the glitziest decorations, so we decided to take a drive to see them after dark last night.











If you are unable or don't have the time to go out, check the "flash mob" at Woodfield Mall, the 2nd largest US mall which is 10 minutes from my house: www.youtube.com/tmobile
It is a national ad for T-Mobile.

 In addition to the swatches I crocheted, I've done a fair share of crochet gift work too.
Sweater for Chloe.
Sleeveless Hoodie for Jack.(the baby, not the dog)
Hat for Chloe.
and a gift for the annual chapter holiday party! December 29 marks the death of my mom in 2009. I was digging around the crawl space for decorations and came upon a dish my dad had given me last year. In her memory, I decided to use it as a table decoration this season. I placed a candle inside and surrounded it with gold balls. The most endearing part is the note she left inside: "This cracker bowl belonged to my great grandmother. It is between 40-50 years old. I got in on April 24, 1943." Making use of this treasure is another "me gift to me!"
WHICHEVER WAY YOU MIGHT CELEBRATE THE WONDERFUL SEASON, I WISH YOU ALL THE VERY BEST!