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Showing posts from 2013

Awesome Blogger Award: Best Newsletter! I'm bowled over!

Monday, December 30, 2013

I wasn't going to blog today, thinking many people would be otherwise occupied and too busy to check in. I'm too excited not to now! I just received word that I've been awarded my second Awesome Crochet Blogger Award for "Best Newsletter" from Crochet Concupiscence! I proudly share this award with my co-editor of Talking Crochet eNewsletter, Dora Ohrenstein.

Many, many thanks to the amazing Kathryn Vercillo for awarding me this and my first award this month for "Best Guest Posts"! I'm excited about bringing you most exciting guest posts in the New Year.

Talk about "going out in style"! I have just retired from editing the eNewsletter after 3 years on the job! You can read my last e-letter tomorrow. My sincere thanks go out Sara Meyer, Carol Alexander and Libby Butler-Gluck for their attentive assistance to me throughout my tenure as the editor. With confidence, I am turning over the reins to the new co-editor, Bre…

Crocheting Christmas

Monday, December 23, 2013
There is nothing like a holiday party filled with crocheters and their stash of creations that become gifts to their fellow stitchers! This year I belong to two chapters: my go-to Northern IL Chapter and my new neighborhood chapter: Chicago Crochet Connections, so it was twice the fun!

On December 8th in Chicago: 4 of us "connected" at the CCC chapter. It was a horrible Sunday afternoon, snowing and slushy so the group was small. Crocheters are not ones to let a little weather keep them away; so maybe it was the ticking of time and fewer shopping days this year!

On December 14 in Rolling Meadows: We always have a beautiful spread of each member's best treats. Whoever wants to bring a crocheted gift joins in on our very exuberant "exchange a gift and steal" tradition. This year I got a lovely cup and saucer with "hot chocolate on a stick." It was from Anthropologie, which I love, and was embossed with a crochet-like design. Real…

Book Review: If Hooks Could Kill by Betty Hechtman

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

If Hooks Could Kill by Betty Hechtman

I'll admit that I've only read one other crochet mystery book, and I’m not used to crochet having such a prominent position in the spotlight in books I read. For twenty long years that have gone by swiftly, I have been promoting crochet and convincing anyone who would listen that crochet does, indeed, deserve a place in the spotlight. It is a huge honor to now have an entire series of books based on crochet themes. Many thanks and kudos to Betty Hechtman who wrote If Hooks Could Kill, the latest in her Crochet Mystery Series.

Molly Pink and her pals from the Tarzana Hookers must stitch together the clues after one of their own group is murdered! The story is set in the delightful and cozy bookstore where Molly works, Shedd and Royal Books & More. The “& More” in the store's name alludes to the fact that the crochet group meets there weekly and would probably sleep there if allowed, according to the own…

Profile: Betty Hechtman, Author Crochet Mystery Series

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Betty Hechtman is not only a talented writer of crochet mysteries but a lovely person as well. How do I know that; when I’ve only briefly met her recently at a needle work show?  Recently we had a phone conversation that lasted for over an hour; it was like having a crochet friend over for coffee. I was so excited about our interesting conversation that I sat down immediately to capture my impressions about her fascinating career!
A native Chicagoan, Betty has lived in LA since 1970, but she still has strong ties to the South Side of Chicago and returns here about every 6 weeks. She has a degree in Fine Arts from Roosevelt University in Chicago (also my daughter’ alma mater) where she wrote for the school newspaper. Betty told me that she wanted to write since she was a child. Before writing her first book in 2006, Blue Swartz and Nephritides’ Necklace, a kids’ mystery, she had experience writing for newspapers, magazine, short stories and scripts. In her …

Last Minute Gift Idea!

Monday, December 16, 2010
It's not too late to gift my book, The Fine Art of Crochet, to a crochet friend. The Kindle edition  only costs $3.03!

Merry Christmas to ALL my crochet friends near and far!

Guest Blogger Part 2: Karen Ballard - World War II Crocheting with Attitude

Thursday, December 12, 2013


As promised, Karen Ballard is back as my guest to inform and educate us about attitudes about crochet during the World War II era. If you missed her first article which focused on World War I, you can access it here.

World War II Crocheting with Attitude by Karen Ballard After about 25 years of collecting World War Workbasket Campaign items associated with doing needlework for service personnel, wounded, refugees and patriotic home-front, I have amassed a very large WWII collection. Included are books, magazines, individual patterns, posters, sheet music, postcards, knitting bags; and yes, even a small number of patriotic crocheted items. While knitting patterns abound, there are extremely few crochet patterns, even fewer than those found for WWI and I have found no explanation for this.
Out of 21 U.S. knitting books containing patterns for service men, only W. Newbold Ely, Pointers for Crocheting and Knitting has a single crocheted …

Book Review: Paper Yarn

Monday, December 9, 2013

Paper Yarn by Uta Donath, Eva Hauch, Petra Hoffman, and Claudia Huboi

In recent years it has become a common practice for crochet designers to “hook up” with a yarn company to design with their latest yarns. The designer’s expertise in addition to lots of swatching brings out the best in the yarn, provides upscale designs that crocheters hunger for and brings notice to the versatility of crochet.
Recently, I unintentionally came upon an exciting book while passing by the “Hobbies” cart at my local library. Paper Yarn is a unique and exciting book which brings a wealth of knowledge about style and technique to the niche of using paper yarn. The five authors bring an impressive resume of experience in the fiber field to their presentation of this book: textile and fashion design, creative design at magazines and publishers to name a few!
They have teamed up with Habu Textiles, BJ’s Craft Supplies and Papershed who provided the materials which are used in the basic y…

Guest Blogger: Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter - Get Social!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
My guest blogger this week, Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter, has graciously offered to share her expertise on the growing use of social media whether for fun or as a professional endeavor. I know you'll take away something useful from this great tutorial!
Crafters are using social media to share ideas and find new inspiration more than ever before. With the number of options available - Facebook, Ravelry, Pinterest, and Instagram, just to name a very few, it’s easy to feel intimidated by the never-ending reach of the social media universe, but it’s a crucial component to expanding your audience. Whether you are blogging to make a living by promoting your designs or hand-made wares, or simply want to share your inspiration and connect with fellow fiber fanatics, it’s important to carve out some time to maintain a consistent online presence.
If you don’t already have a blog, that’s a great place to start since it allows you to generate unique content which can then be…

Museum of Contemporary Art: Crochet!

Monday, November 25, 2013
First off, Happy Anniversary to the love of my life, Alan Kinsler!

A pictorial essay on our trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, recently. The photos pretty much tell it all!

After a pleasant but chilly trip on the El to downtown, we stopped for hot chocolate first!
We opted for Hershey's because we'd been to Ghiradelli's before. Delish!

Dutes told me that he and his partner Stan Shellabarger learned to crochet just for this project, but that they only know the one stitch they are using. Note: Red Heart "Pound of Love" under the chair.
A very congenial couple, Dutes also told me that they started this project ten years ago as a symbol of their connection, their relationship. When they started with the foundation chain, they literally sat knee to knee and we both crocheting on opposite sides of the chain. As it grew, they were able to crochet simultaneously. The choice of the color pink symbolizes "skin" and the inte…