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Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Making a list and Checking it Twice
Stitching and Cooking,
Our designs are so Nice.
There's plenty of Time, in spite of this Rhyme
To make your Holiday Crochet Dreams come True!

Well, this started out as a Wordless Wednesday and the Elf in my brain took over!
Designs shown by J.Erin Boland, Sue Solakian, Susan Lowman, Michele Maks, and a very special Gift List put together by Susanna Tobias.
A subscription will get you all 210 designs (do the math, that's less that 12 cents apiece!), and the next year's worth as well!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Accessory to the Fact

A relatively wordless blog today- just a smattering of title pages from mainly crochet's pattern library- all available-and MORE!- with a subscription at . A lot of people don't seem to understand how it works, probably because it seems too good to be true. Well, yes, Virginia, there is a Crochet Santa Claus and his name is mainly crochet! There are currently 210 patterns on the site, and a year's subscription (for $24.)gets you access to all of them AND the next year's patterns too!
Designs here by Bonnie Barker, Kathryn White, Sue Solakian, Christy Shaffer, Karen Ballard, Andee Graves, Danielle Reed, Lori M. Carlson, Shari White, and Michele Maks. Check out the patterns for model and photography credits and for crying out loud, SUBSCRIBE! Somebody's got to make those holiday gifts!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Speaking Truth: the color purple

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and its color is purple. While I refuse to label myself as a former victim of domestic violence, I am certainly a survivor of it. I won't bore you with the details. Let's just say that my design career and Al Anon saved my life.

I was fortunate recently to be invited to read a pre-publication copy of Lee Gant's LOVE IN EVERY STITCH, a collection of stories that point out the incredible Saving Grace that knitting and crocheting has had in the lives of many. It won't be published til next year, but it's a read to look forward to. It does seem to me, at 61, that every stitch I take is still a triumph over being that victim.
                                                   Make something purple this month.

            (bruise from tripping over an unnoticed mini-curb in Bath, ME, closeup of Bonnie Barker's Braided Cable Wrap In Lion Brand's Heartland Thick & Quick at

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Good Sport

Red Heart's Team Spirit yarn was the beginning and end point to the designs above. With football season happening now, and the holidays coming up, sports related gifts/stuffs is totally in the creative mind. Why not create your own pieces like the ones above (yes, all available with a subscription, along with 200+ other designs at or try your hand at these....

School is back in session!  With new shoes and backpacks and notebooks comes the excitement of team sports and those home games.
These projects are very good for beginners, and don’t  think “just for girls”. Boys love machines, and this simple sewing  project may get them hooked on using a sewing machine.
                     (yes, that's my long suffering grandson, Lee, in his younger days)
For the scarf, you’ll need: ¼ yard polar fleece in each of your two team colors- let the fabric store do the heavy cutting-polar fleece comes in 58-60 inch widths, so a ¼ yard cutting will give you just the right size for a scarf; straight pins; sewing needle and matching thread; and of course, a sewing machine.
Lay the pieces of fleece one on top of the other, matching up edges.

 Pin edges with straight pins. Sew along the two long sides and one short side, leaving the second short side unsewn. Use ½ inch seam allowances. This will give you an 8 inch wide scarf. When all three sides are sewn, turn the scarf so the seams are on the inside. It helps to clip the corners slightly so the will turn to points. Using a pair of scissors to push the corners out is recommended.
 Because polar fleece doesn’t really have a right or wrong side, it will look good however you have laid it out. Fold the last short edge inwards and pin to close. 
Sew this last edge by hand. Polar fleece is very forgiving, so don’t be worried about your sewing skills. Just use an overhand stitch using small stitches and they will pretty much disappear. When this seam is finished, you’re done!

For the pompoms, you’ll need: 1 skein each Red Heart Super Saver yarn in your two team colors; a 10-1/2 inch piece of cardboard OR even better, a school notebook; scissors; a large crochet hook (optional).
Pull yarn from center of each skein. Using a strand from each skein held together, wrap yarn around the cardboard or notebook 120 times. Cut 1 strand each color 21 inches long. Tie tightly with a square knot at one end of cardboard or notebook under all yarn wraps.  With 1 strand of each color held together, make a chain with the crochet hook that is 24 inches long. If you are uncomfortable using the crochet hook, this can also be finger knit just using the yarn and your fingers; just make sure the chain is 24 inches long. Tie this chain with a square knot around the already tied top of the pompom. Then make a knot with the remaining ends of the chain. This created the handle for the pompoms. Not cut the other end of the pompom so the strands are free at the other end. Trim ends of yarn so they are even. Repeat the process for the second pompom.

                             Tie your scarf on, grab your pompoms and head for the game!
(this was originally published in A Little Bit Crafty, a column I did for a Michigan free paper)
Of course, I think the best sport is crochet! But even non crocheters must be clothed and kept warm!
Thanks to Kaydee Rose LockeHeart, Abigail Nikolaus Smith, and Leland Dyke for modeling! Photos by Michele Maks.