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Friday, September 12, 2014

Sisterhood of the Travelling Hooks

                                                  It's International Crochet Day!
                    I am so blessed!The people I know within this strange and tangled industry of Crochet are the most wonderful and supportive and creative bunch of people that could ever be imagined, even by someone with as large an imagination as mine.
You know who you are.... I'm not going to embarass anyone by naming names or embarass myself by forgetting, however temporarily, anyone.
If Rumpelstiltskin were to put us all in a room to hook our magic together, the world would explode with the energy in that one place.
Bless you, ladies, for the work you do is holy, even if your language and feelings are sometimes obscene. We are a colorful bunch. long may we upset the yarn carts and hook til the cows come home.Never miss the chance to mix metaphors!
       I am so typically celebrating today by duct taping myself to the couch in order to get my current project DONE. There are also boxes upon boxes of yarn just waiting my hook- EVERY day is Crochet day here!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Comfort Me

                                                with apples, for I am sick of Love- KJB
It isn't all that unusual to have people turn around in the driveway here. It IS unusual that they are selling things when they stop. The car was filled with boxes of bags of apples, so I purchased a half bushel. A reminder that it is September, no longer summer (the heater kicked on in the kitchen this morning), and this supposedly horrendous Winter we're supposed to have is lurking just ahead.
                                                An apple a day.....I'm set for a while!

Thursday, September 4, 2014


I LOVE getting boxes in the mail! Today's mail brought a new Bonnie Barker design (and yes, I am really NOT going to show it all to you yet- meanie michele!), but it also had a wonderful selection of glass buttons in the box. I LOVE buttons! Remember that song "I Love Onions", the one hit wonder by Susan Christie in the 60s? Well, replace "onions" with "buttons" and there you have it!
          I have been known to use buttons as decorative elements in my designs....
So has Sue Solakian, in her Elves' Buttons design, in production now.......
Julie Grinstead models a simple button trimmed scarf, pattern below. Model photo by Peter C. Thompson.

Skill Level: Easy/Beginner
Size: 8 inches X 48 inches
·         Lion Brand “Wool-Ease” article # 620-402;(3 oz/85g:197 yd/180m skein): 2 skeins # 402 Wheat 
·         Crochet hook size 10/J OR SIZE NEEDED TO OBTAIN REQUIRED GAUGE
·         44 buttons, assorted sizes and colors; sewing needle and thread to match
·         Scissors
12 sts and 8 rows = 4inches with size 10/J hook over hdc
WHY THIS YARN? Wool-Ease is an easy-to-work with wool blend that provides the warmth of wool with the easy care (machine and dry) or a blend.
Ch 25. In 2nd ch from hook and every ch across, make 1 hdc. Ch 2, turn.
Row 2- 109: Hdc across all sts, ending ch 2, turn. Take care to maintain 24 sts throughout. Fasten off.
Sew buttons on ends of scarf as per photo, sewing buttons from each side at same time to hide your knot.

                                             Pull out your button collection and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


"in a nervous, tense, or edgy state" as in "she's totally wired" is the way the dictionary defines it

I would add a bit more detail- the house is full of yarn; more yarn is on its way; every time I actually write a pattern and define it, 30 more pop up into my brain; the house is full of projects that need photographs, which more than subtly implies models and props and location arrangements; and oh, yes! CHRISTMAS is coming! It probably doesn't help that it's nearly 80 and the humidity is killer and I've had no sugar for a week now (yes, after the first 2 days, the hyperactivity has been shocking-who knew?), and I have some commissioned projects that are approaching deadline.

Even Mika is exhausted..............
Anyone who thinks the life of a designer/publisher/editor is glamorous should get a look at my outfit today. Then again, I will spare us both that indignity!

Don Patty photo above, my design, stitched by Denise Cloutier, ready to publish a bit further down the road. Yes, there IS a Christmas tree in my living room in September!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day

Labor Day has so many connotations and memories. Growing up on the east end of Long Island, Labor Day meant the end of the summer people streaming through our town. It was the last day to wear white shoes, and packing the summer clothes away as school clothes replaced them.Here in Phippsburg, there is a steady stream of cars going by the house, leaving the campgrounds and beaches after the long summer. We Winter people will enjoy a bit more space now that they're leaving.

Labor Day was originally meant to honor workers who were organizing and changing working conditions that were unsafe and inhumane. In our very commercial and material-driven world, it has become more about a 3-day weekend and Labor Day sales, without a lot of acknowledgement about its origin. Those of us who are pushing the envelope in our own industries can appreciate just how hard bucking the system can be.
Whether it's getting ready for a trade show, doing photos in our million dollar studio (ha!) or stitching away anonymously, and then stitching some more, yes, even on a three-day weekend, it's an uphill battle.
                                                                But, oh! The view!
                            Here's to all those workers who don't play the game, but change it!

Saturday, August 30, 2014


                                                  warning!- this one is very personal........
Once upon a time- and trust me, I'm aware of how many of these very different fairy tales make up my life-I lived in Berne, IN where I was working towards owning a house I loved, was the editor of the largest crochet publication in the world, and I walked not less than 4 miles a day. MS effectively killed all that, and it was only last night while trying to make room on my computer by deleting files, that I came across these photos from that time and realized that in my attempts to move on from that life, I have never really grieved it. I packed up and moved on- several times and in several ways- but never quite wailed and gnashed my teeth over it. So, like picking at a scab, and surprisingly finding that the old wound still bleeds, that's kind of where I'm at today. I am grateful that I live in a beautiful place and have meaningful work to do, but damn it- such incredible loss!
I will not be so tacky as to post a "I Will Survive" youtube to accompany this (but if you go looking for one, look for the Priscilla Queen of the Desert version!). I will. I am. Life goes on.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What's cooking?

                                                            I am, therefore I cook.
Hotpads by J. Erin Boland for mainly crochet, currently under production. Michele Maks photos.
                                          And Michele Maks' lunch-time to eat!