Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays!

LL was rocking the salt dough ornaments over the weekend when we went to visit Middle Sister. Here is her happy sheep - waiting for a bit of ribbon so he can hang out on the tree! Imagine what kind of yarn he would make - white and shiny!
I am crazed trying to finish work and Christmas preparations so not much blogging this week. Happy Holidays to all!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sometimes I love my job...

I only wish I could tell you what weirdo project I was working on that required me to give a doll an up-do, but it's a little too soon to share. Sorry about that! But I had a great time playing with dolls and saying it was work.
On the sometimes I don't love my job front - this just in. Why is it snowing in Las Vegas you might ask? Well, I will tell you why. It's because THAT'S where the yarn that I have been waiting for for a week went by mistake, and so OF COURSE there is a freak snow storm so that even though the yarn was supposed to be here tomorrow after it's country-wide detour, it might not be, because FedEx couldn't get their planes off the ground, and for all I know still can't. Not that I am bitter.

But it's my fault. If the yarn had been mis-directed to Hawaii, it would probably be snowing there instead. I would like to apologize to the people of Las Vegas :-)

Monday, December 15, 2008

A little Christmas knitting

While I was trying really hard not to over schedule on gift knitting this year (for a change), I discovered I didn't like not having ANY Christmas gifts to make. So I did a little stash diving, and a little list searching, and came up with a few things that I would like to make that the recipients would also enjoy receiving.

I finished up the Eros Glitz scarf I showed you in a previous post. I wanted to use up the whole skein of yarn, but I got bored and ended it off at about seven feet long! Now I have to put the extra away, which is why I wanted to use the whole skein - I don't want extra! Ah well, boredom won out over clever, as it so often does.

Then I started these. I have a friend and neighbor who sincerely enjoys getting handmade gifts, so I love making things for her. Last year I made her a Calorimetry from Knitty.com and she loved it. I had enough of the yarn left over (Sheep Shop Sheep 3 in a photos-don't-do-it-justice semi-solid orangey-red) to make these cozy wrist warmers to match.


The pattern is from The Purl Bee blog, and they are called the Greenaway Gloves. I may make a pair for LL too - they work up very quickly in sport or DK weight yarn on size 5 needles, and lord knows there is enough yarn around here that I should be able to stash dive for something LL would wear.

LL is having her first real "grown-up" Christmas and is not sure how she feels about it. There is a very expensive gift that she wants, and I told her she could have it for Christmas if I didn't buy anything else for her except stocking goodies. On the one hand, she really wants the big gift, on the other, she has always had a million presents under the tree and is not real sure how she would feel about one. After much pondering she decided on the one big gift. I, of course, am scrounging around for coupons and things to make and bargains so that I can have a few small things to wrap without blowing the budget. Sometimes it's hard for us both to grow up!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A little knitting


A quick garter stitch scarf for a relative in Georgia - I was aiming for decorative rather than warm, so am knitting up a skein of Plymouth Eros Glitz that I found in the stash. Does anyone else discover yarn in the stash that they have absolutely no memory of acquiring? This is one of those skeins.

In other news - did everyone see that madness on Stephen Colbert's site? Knitting Radicals! I also like the comment from the CLF (Crochet Liberation Front) that is currently on the top of the list.

And for those of you who aren't Getting Loopy! followers (although you should be!) I have some cruise news. Doris Chan and I will be hosting the first Crochet Cruise to Canada. It leaves NYC on July 4th 2009, more details are to be found at Lace Wings Cruise Check it out and join us if you can!

I am off to do more pattern writing. Sigh. That's the boring part so far as I am concerned.

Monday, December 08, 2008

It's not a swatch...

It's a sheep shawl!



This is Figure, who came from the 2008 Oireachtas. She has an O t-shirt on which amuses us all no end. This is LL's third O animal - the predecessors are a wolf named Ceili and a bunny named Solo. What she will name next year's animal when she has no new dances to do I don't know, but we shall cross that bridge when we come to it.

In any case, I have a knitted shawl coming out soon for Caron yarn. It doesn't look a bit like this one in an adult size, but I wanted to check a few of the pattern instructions so I was noodling around with the stitch combo and the shape and this is what came out. It fits Figure perfectly, so I knew it was meant for her. Am I the only crazy that dresses stuffed animals with leftovers?

Peace has descended now that Irish dance has calmed way down until LL's ankle heals up for good. We are both alternating between relief and boredom - neither of us is used to this much unscheduled time. Not that I don't have a ton of work to do, but the lack of pressure to fit it in in the hours when I am not driving to or stuck in dance class is confusing me...

Speaking of shawls, I have a new knitted one and an accompanying article in the January issue of Creative Knitting - if you subscribe, it's the one you just got. It's a silky shawl in SWTC Phoenix, and I quite like it if I do say so myself. The photo was nicely styled as well.

Looking at the calendar, thinking about Christmas knitting and crocheting - you would think I would start this process in August, but no. Speed will be the watchword this year.

Anyway, I have some pattern writing to do that I have been procrastinating about - off to do it.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Happy Belated Turkey Day


This is LL's pastry masterpiece - a turkey cake! Her 3-year-old cousin was somewhat disappointed with Thanksgiving dinner, because when he was asked what he wanted he replied "turkey cake" and his mother put actual turkey on his plate first. And corn, and mashed potatoes too! He suffered through it though, and got a big slice of turkey tail for dessert.

We had a lovely time at the regional Irish dance championships, right up until the second round when LL twisted her sprained ankle again. Needless to say, she did not medal. As disappointing as that is, she has next year and the year after, etc etc etc, to make up for it. She will be taking it easy dance-wise and catching up with her neglected homework for the next month or so, and we can start all over again after the first of the year.

Now that I am not driving to dance class 5 days a week I will attempt to get my own neglected homework together - the blog and the Getting Loopy web site. If LL can catch up, so can I!

Friday, November 07, 2008

My new guide to life...


Feng Shaun: Discover Inner Peace with Shaun the Sheep




I have read lo these many self help books and have gotten something useful (and a few good guffaws) out of most of them - but I think I have finally found my guide to life. Who if not Shaun the Sheep should tell me to relax and be happy? Wallace and Grommit and a few sheepy friends also make guest appearances.

This book takes about 14 seconds to read, but it was worth the ten bucks for the smile it brought to my face. I saw it in an LYS the other day and couldn't leave without it!

Dance hell this weekend for Little Loopy, shawl hell for me as I have a large shawl to finish for Caron Yarn. At least with the teachers' convention in NJ today, LL and I could sleep in.

Have a great weekend -Feng Shaun: Discover Inner Peace with Shaun the Sheep

Monday, November 03, 2008

How did it get to be November?

It totally happened when I wasn't looking. I have been frantically trying to get all my models remade in Universal Yarn, because starting today (!) the UY reps will be selling my pattern line to LYSs across the country. I hope. Because if not, I just spent a lot of time and money for nothing :-) In any case, on the one hand I was getting all princess-y about re-working the old patterns - I wanted to move on to new things. On the other, some of the older patterns look, in my opinion, a heck of a lot better in their new incarnations. The Geometry Purse
is one of those that I like much better now. There are two sizes in the pattern, one is two shades of cotton worsted held double, the other is two strands of lightweight flax held double. They have plastic canvas inserts in the bottom so they hold their shape. These of course had to go off to be in a trunk show, but I am making another one of the linen version for myself.
After I made the immediate deadline for UY, despite the fact that I have a pile of work to do, I was suffering from near brain meltdown and wanted some brainless activities. I made this scarf on Sunday afternoon after some very quick stash diving...
It has some deliberate dropped stitches in it, and fringe, and I made it using techniques I learned in a class I took with Chris Bylsma at the last TNNA. It took less than one skein each of Cleckheaton Gusto, and Plymouth Yukon. I didn't know who to give it to, so it's listed in my Etsy shop for sale. I had pretty much forgotten I started an Etsy shop, then loaded a bunch of the new patterns on there, and lo and behold they are selling. So now I think I might put some handmade items on there too and see how that goes.

This was just for me. I had to put the spinning wheel away because I was succumbing too often to the lure of its siren song, and not getting enough work done. Since I couldn't go to Rhinebeck (for which I am still bitter) a friend brought me two ounces of (crack) roving to play with. I spun it up right away, work schedule be damned. I am still underspinning when I ply, so I may run this through the wheel one more time to tighten it up. Little Loopy thinks it should be a scarf for her, so of course that's what it will be.

She is crazed too - Irish dance regionals are Thanksgiving weekend, less then four weeks away. She has a solo and a team event, and is trying desperately to qualify for national competition next year, so has been dancing pretty much six days a week. Which means I have been driving and writing checks, pretty much six days a week :-)

Back to work - thanks for putting up with my bloggy absences recently, I am trying to do better now!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More Stitch n Pitch


Cat put up her newest episode of Let's Knit 2Gether a very well produced video podcast. All of use from SnP are wandering around, and there are some great shots of Little Loopy (light purple coat, cream and purple fringed scarf which she knitted herself!) Go check it out!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another busy weekend

It was Mom-mom Alpaca's 87th birthday this weekend, and since she likes the beach best in the whole wild world (which is where I get it, I suppose) Little Loopy and I hauled butt down to Wildwood to take her out for dinner.There ferris wheel was still going strong even though it's October. I love me some Wildwood boardwalk. LL and my sister AJ were not all that interested in riding rides, but I had to take a spin on the swings - my all time favorite ride. When I worked at HersheyPark two trillion years ago, I rode the swings almost every day. When you combine a swing ride with the boardwalk, you just can't make me much happier, unless I could figure out how to knit or crochet at the same time.

Speaking of crochet -

Here we have the Universal Yarn version of All Tied Up. This is made in Fibra Natura Heaven, which is a merino/silk blend. It is lighter and smaller than the original, but still big enough to tie into a great big knot, which was the point. Now that the remakes are almost all finished I am finally getting going on some new stuff - pix as soon as I am able.

Oh, and LL would like you all to know she got a hard earned 10th place trophy on Saturday. The hardware blight has ended, amen :-) Seven weeks until regionals, three more local competitions on the meantime.

Back to work...

Monday, October 06, 2008

Introducing...

All Tied Up





This is the newest of my patterns from Hooked for Life, LLC. I have a slightly smaller version coming out soon, but being tall I like this one best.

I got the idea for it when a few of the Big Damn Knitters on Ravelry (knitters and crocheters who are fond of the Joss Whedon show Firefly) were talking about a shawl worn by the character of Saffron. Now that I go back and look at the original photo, this shawl is only a distant cousin of the one in the show, not exactly a twin, fraternal or indentical. And I didn't reference the name of the show on the pattern because that seemed to by copyright infringement to me. But for those of you who are Firefly geeks like I am, you might notice a slight familial resemblance.

Knitted some baby socks last week, but the baby was only visiting for a short while so I had to tuck them in his bag before I got to take a photo of them. Bad blogger, bad bad bad. Not much else on the knitting and crochet front.

Irish dancing is sucking up LL's life - and mine - at least until the regionals are over Thanksgiving weekend. She is having a good time though - me - not so much :-)

Off to do Getting Loopy tonight - hopefully some fiber forward movement tomorrow.

Monday, September 29, 2008

New York Mets Stitch n Pitch, 2008

Warning, photo heavy post here, but there was too much fun to pass up! I don't know who exactly these two lovely crocheters are, but they were all ready for SnP with their color coordinated Mets crochet gear. How cool is that?



This is the committee on the field pre-game, getting our Spirit awards from the Mets. You may not be able to tell from the photo, but thanks to Lily Chin, Mr Mets is wearing both a knitted and a crocheted baseball scarf. He was very into it!
That's Kim Small from Workman, Stacy Charles, Tanis Grey from SoHo Publishing, Heather Carlson, Andrea from Seaport Yarns in NYC, yours truly in my Getting Loopy t-shirt, Jack Blumenthal from Lion Brand, and of course the shy and retiring Lily Chin in the front, in her knitted Mets uniform, complete with crocheted baseball cap, ball and mitt.
This is the banner that Lily made to commemorate the evening. Knitted center...
With a crocheted border, because she is nothing if not multi-craftual.
Here are all of the authors that showed up and hung out to sign books and meet the knitters and crocheters - clockwise, from Debbie Stoller down in front, Shirley Paden, Nicky Epstein, me (I didn't know I was that tall!) Wenlan Chia, Kay Gardiner, and Lily Chin.
Lily got so excited about her beloved Mets that no only did she wear her uniform, she had her manicure done in blue and orange, and slathered on the Met's blue eye shadow - not her normal look.

I seem to recall that at the Knit and Crochet Show in NH she said she was a shortstop :-)

It was a great night - and the Mets won!Thanks to all who came, saw, and got rained on - looking forward to next year in the new stadium.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Extreme Close Up Fever

As usual since I started designing so much, I am working on a great deal, but can't really show you much of it because it violates some agreement somewhere! This is a close-up of a knitted project I have been working on. Yarn is Cotton Candy by Blue Ridge Yarn, and I looooooove it. Will show you the whole ball of wax (or is that cotton?) when I can.

And this is another version of my Field of Flowers pattern. This is in Universal Yarn's Yummy and I really like it. It looks very different from the original, which was wildly colored because it was made of Noro Kureyon Sock, and a lot of people who have seen both models said they actually preferred this one because the stitch definition is better. So if you liked the pattern but not the color, this shows you how it looks made up in a more staid colorway. Both patterns are the same mind you, but the one has the Noro model and gauge info, and the other has the Yummy model and gauge info. Meaning if you have one, don't buy the other one!

Getting ready for Stitch n Pitch this Thursday night at Shea stadium - should be great fun! And other than that have just been writing and designing and dragging Little Loopy around to her 12 million weekly dance classes!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thank you!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those who made a donation to SaveLorisHouse.com Due to your generosity over $7,500 was raised via the blog-a-thon, and combined with personal donations from many of the members of ASJA (the American Society of Journalists and Authors), and a grant from WEAF (the Writer's Emergency Assistance Fund, a non-profit organization that helps writers in dire need), foreclosure was avoided for now.

I read a touching email from one of Lori's close friends yesterday and Lori and everyone around her are overwhelmed with the response to her story. WalletPop on AOL has covered it, and if there are any other media mentions, I will post a link. The cavalry came in to save the day - thanks for saddling up. I can't tell you how touched I am by the response from the readers of this blog.

OK - back to some knitting content soon, I promise. I am off to the Stitch N Pitch meeting to get ready for the Mets game on 9/25, and then to Tar-jay to buy a new memory card for the camera, and I pinkie swear I will get some fibery goodness up on this here blog soon.

A 32 pound box of yarn is sitting in my dining room. If I put a tablecloth on it do you think I could call it a sideboard?

Be well,
And thank you.
Mary Beth

Friday, September 12, 2008

If you can...

... please help a colleague of mine.

Lori Hall Steele is a gifted professional freelance writer with over 3,000 articles to her name. She is a 44-year-old single mother of seven-year-old Jack. And she is suffering from an unholy combination of Lyme disease and ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and is days away from foreclosure. Stuck in a hospital room, attached to a machine that is helping her breathe, there isn't much she can do about it - but we can.

This is not an urban legend or an internet scam - this is someone whose work I know and respect, and the horror of her situation gives me chills.

If you have a dollar to spare, please visit Save Lori's House and make a PayPal donation. Any amount, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated, and put to immediate good use.

This has nothing to do with knitting or crochet, and I promise I won't turn this board into a constant barrage of sad stories. But again, the fact that while she is quite literally fighting for her life she has to worry that her son is about to be displaced due to her crappy insurance company and her mounting medical bills - as a mother, II just can't imagine how that feels.

Bloggers on all sorts of topics are spreading the word about Lori as best they can. If cute photos of quirky cats can reach millions in days, I hope this topic can to. This is a real, visceral thing we can do via the internet - we can't save someone's life, but we can at least help to give Lori some peace of mind about those she will leave behind, sadly, sooner rather than later.

Thank you.

Mary Beth

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Happy News on many fronts!

I am pleased to announce that Hooked for Life(my indie pattern line) has joined forces with Universal Yarn. I will work in their yarns for my line, and we will have all sorts of new goodies to show at the January TNNA.


My afghan book for Leisure Arts is finished and will be out next year,my crochet humor book is almost finished and will be out next year, and Getting Loopy! just passed its 12,000th download with the help of many of you here.

I need a nap.

Anyway, this is why I haven't been posting much - it has been a truly busy summer.

I am going to go stalk the UPS man now - I am expecting a 32 poound box of yarn this afternoon!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Peeking out from the rubble...

Of my looming deadlines...

The house is covered in yarn bits and sticky notes, my sleep schedule is shot to hell, and my to-do lists are longer than the book manuscripts which are due. So I thought I would just give a heads-up that all is well if slightly hectic at Chez Alpaca. Here is a small cute picture of my small cute dog to distract you .
Little Loopy had a birthday last week - all was well until she managed to kick her own finger at Irish Dance. It's sprained, which sucks. It's not broken, which would have sucked worse I suppose. She is not thrilled with the fact that it hurts, but is glad it happened near the beginning of school on the off chance she can use it to get out of some homework!

School starts for her this week - amen. Irish Dance started back up and she has to be driven 6 days a week. Booooo!

I am deliriously happy to announce that I have finished the first draft of the afghan book. Although it may just be that I am delirious, I am not sure. Working on the final first draft of the crochet humor book, and then I have a trillion and four designs to swatch and submit.

Since I am a crappy blogger right now, I invite you all to whip over to Let's Knit 2gether , a video podcast. I was interviewed at Rhinebeck last year and my little bit of interview is in this episode. CAT does a great job with this show - you should definitely check it out if you haven't already, even the episodes I am not on :-)

And of course, Getting Loopy! is still cruising along, with new episodes every Monday night.

OK, back to the to-do list...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Busy busy busy...

I know, busy is nothing new here. But speaking of new, here is Astral, my most recent pattern for Hooked for Life I had finished it some time ago, but fell prey to the awful never finish an item without completing the pattern jinx, and it took me a while to recreate what I had done. It doesn't help that I am often too clever for my own good when it comes to construction - you may never have attached a bag bottom and sides the way I did here, so I had to explain it to you, but by Gosh there is hardly any sewing to do when you are finished.
Of course Little Loopy is modeling.

Other than that it's the usual here - three more afghans to finish. It seems like I have been stuck on the number three for some time, but that's because I am working on all three at the same time instead of sitting down like a normal person and finishing one, then moving on to the next. I blame it on my short attention span.

That and they are too darned big to drag to dance class with LL. She is back in training, so I am back to crocheting and knitting in the car park. Tonight I am going to relax with a chemo cap for Nichole's drive and hope for a little instant gratification boost.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Two-fers

My poor camera is on its last pixels and shooting a might blurry, but this is one of the photos I could sort of salvage from The Knit and Crochet Show. This is Amy Shelton from Crochetville and I, hanging out on the lobby of the hotel, getting ready to tape my appearance on her podcast. She later returned the favor and appeared on the Getting Loopy! live show - we will have her back soon to tape a show of her very own. Doesn't she look fabulous in Doris Chan? Even with my sad broken camera, Doris' designs hold their own :-)Speaking of Getting Loopy! did you all hear Lily Chin last night? She was great - we talked for 45 minutes and never a dull moment. One of the things we talked about was her book Couture Crochet Workshop I took a class with her last year on achieving better drape and closer fit in crocheted garments and it was a real eye opener - and we used the principles from this book. I highly recommend it.

In another two-fer - my buddy Nichole found this wonderful and entirely apt mug for me. It has two sayings, both of which I live by.


Although sometimes I think my messy desk is more the mistress of me!

Back to afghan hell - boy will we be having a party when that book has shipped!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Phew! Home again, and to stay,...

... at least for a while. The camera is suffering from a personality disorder and I am still too fried to try to deal with it right now, so I will post, but sadly no pix.

First off I have an announcement to make. The artist formerly known as the Kid or Kiddo has decided she wants a different online name. She is now and forever after to be known as Little Loopy. If you had seen her helping me run the podcast on Thursday night when we did the live remote from the Guilds conference you would know why. I was a little shorthanded and she just took charge - helping new buddy Kim Kotary (go buy her book You Can Crochet Socks right now - it's fab!) keep the show going under somewhat chaotic circumstances. We did 18 guest live on the air in 60 minutes, despite technical glitches, overhead loudspeaker noise, and general crazy. We also ran a live raffle which LL did pretty much on her own. She rocked the house with her mad organizational skills, which let's be honest, she didn't get from me! She also rocked the fashion show on Saturday night with her knitted faux denim shorts, complete with purple Berocco Suede pocket and five dangling pewter dragonflies. Pix as soon as I am able.

We took a side trip to visit our pals at A Knitter's Garden in Chester New Hampshire. LL was taken by the sheep in the back yard and by how Joanne, the owner said the word "yarn". Joanne is from Boston, you can fill in the rest. LL also was quite taken by the shawl KAL, and started on her very own. 6 rows down, bunches to go, but it is 5.5 more rows than I thought she would do, so I am impressed.

I taught a class (three times!) on book publishing for aspiring authors which I hope didn't suck. I talked a lot of business which I hope will lead to some new projects I can show you all some day. I ate, I drank (although not enough), I shopped, and hung out with new friends and old (also not enough). And then we came home.

Home for a while now - dance season starts up for LL soon and I have to tackle all the work I put off by whining about traveling! I will try to blog more frequently now that I am home more - at the very least because I have run out of excuses about that too!

Oh - and go check out the brand new and fully functional Getting Loopy! site. Designed by the lovely and multi-talented Amie of Nexstitch it does more than I ever dreamed it could. We have Amazon links, we have show archives, we have a CafePress store, we have a little bloggity with comments enabled, it does everything bu produce the show! I totally love it, which I can say without sounding braggy because I had absolutely nothing to do with how completely fabulous it is.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Drive by blogging

Home for less than 48 hours between trips. We got back from the alleged vacation on Sunday night, and are minutes away from leaving for New Hampshire for the Knit and Crochet Show. Lots to tell you, but no time to write! Will try and do some (photoless) catch-up later in the week.

In the meantime, this is Harrison- And so is this -

Yum! I wish I had time to spin!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New logo, new pattern, new FO...

This is the new logo for Getting Loopy - click on the photo to make it bigger - ain't it cool? I am totally in love with it, and Amie from NexStitch.com who designed it. Next up, a new website to go with my graphic fabulousness. And already available, T-Shirts for you, your dog, and your Teddy Bear! Getting Loopy! on Cafe Press I got the Kid and I each a t-shirt to wear to New Hampshire, and two tote bags - one for me, and one to give away on the show. Can't wait to see what they look like in real life.
Next up, my newest pattern, available at Hooked for Life , which is also soon to get a graphic remodeling. This is called the Swirly Beret, and is crocheted in one skein of Colinette Jitterbug. It fits head sizes 19" - 23", mods available to make the diameter of the top larger, although you would then need more yardage. The Kid is the model - she makes me pay her per pattern sold, gotta love her entrepreneurial spirit...
And then, a wee little FO I made for a friend of a friend. Don't ask me what yarn since I already lost the ball bands, but I think it was Cascade and cotton. Don't remember who the pattern was from either - I definitely suck at blogging today. But will post the deets if I find them while I am cleaning up this weekend. My stitching area is taking over the whole living room and needs to be beaten back with a stick. The sweater has little bees on the buttons, which I love. Amazing what you can find when you clean...

Another two pieces for the afghan book were shipped today, three more that are partially assembled are going on vacation with me starting tomorrow. Does anyone think Leisure Arts will mind if their samples have sand in them? I am guessing they will be so happy to get them since I am a little behind the 8-ball, deadline-wise, that they would just vacuum them and move on :-) I have two book chapters to write before Wednesday, but I should be able to crank them out by the pool. I just discovered the high contrast setting on my laptop and hope this means I can use Word outside.

Gone for a week, back for a day, then off to New Hampshire. Will try to post in between laundry loads next Monday. Off to pack...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Home again - for a minute or two...



Home from the midwest. Nice to sleep in my own bed again, but I wish it wasn't so hot and humid - yeeeeewwwwww to the giant humidity. Kiddo and I are taking great amusement from the dog, who is following us around as if she thinks if she can keep her eyes on us, she can prevent us from disappearing again. She even jumped into the car this afternoon as we were unloading it, in case it had ideas about spiriting us away again. Boy is she going to be pissed off on Sunday when we leave for vacation!

The photo above is on the front of the art museum at Ball State University. I was working at BSU all of last week on a documentary film that covers some of the same info in my Driving the National Road in Indiana book. It was fun being an academic for a week, although I don't know if I could do it full time. We got the first draft of the script finished, some of the shooting has already taken place, and with any luck the one hour film will be on PBS in early 2009.

Anyway - the inscription above is Gracious Living is the Finest Art. My new mantra :-)

Getting Loopy! was fun last night - Jacqueline from SOAK came on and we talked quite a bit about how to properly care for your fine crocheted items. Do you think anyone would mind if I won my own contest? I have prize lust for the things that she will give away! No show next week - vacation is coming up and I can't wait.

Off to hit the local craft store - I need to take some photos for one of my magazine articles and the lighting is not what they had hoped for. So I am going to make a quicky light box to shoot the smalls. Will share a photo with you next time if they work out.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Greetings from Muncie!

Hey there all - almost halfway through my consulting time here at Ball State, but wanted to announce a few new things.

It's funny when you have been designing for a short while, because you have sold/written/finished a bunch of patterns, but they aren't published yet so you don't have much to show for the time you have put in. Then all of a sudden it seems, your work shows up all over the place at once. I guess it's sort of like an actor that has been plugging away for a while, then gets a role that garners a lot of attention, and suddenly she is an "overnight success". People don't realize that overnight was several years in the making.

Anyway - here is a look at my newest pattern, The Flirty 30s Tank, in the current issue of Interweave Crochet. I love how it looks on the model, but I do want to point out that I am not a petite little flower, and I wear the top too - in fact I was wearing mine when Kim Werker spotted it and asked if it was available for the magazine. I have gotten several emails asking why the size range is so small, but it isn't - the measurements you might be looking at are for the area under the arms where the top band goes. The pattern goes up to a 52" bust, and it has more than 6" of ease for a drapey fit, so please don't think you have to be a size 2 to wear it!

The other thing I want to direct you to in a totally self serving way is a fun book of belts put together by myself and a gang of my friends. Check out Straight from Today's Designers for a downloadable book of belt patterns from all sorts of great folks, including yours truly, Robyn Chachula (who by the way was great on Getting Loopy! last night) Doris Chan, Amy O'Neil Houck, and many many others. Please go check it out!

I have to go back to work now -

Friday, June 27, 2008

My swap partner is psychic!

I was involved in a swap at the 9-5 Multi-tasking group on Ravelry. They are nice enough to let me in the group even though I don't work in an office - they figure with all the crazy things that I do I am an expert at multi-tasking, and they are right!

Anyway, one of the themes of the swap was work related items, and since I lamented on my swap sheet that I was chronically disorganized, my fab buddy Nichole threw in some cool binder clips. How is that psychic?

Look at the colors of the binder clips... now look at the colors of the afghan I just finished for my Leisure Arts book. Creepy in a good way, no?

Now I know that she is home saying - "all the wonderful stuff I sent her and she is going on about the binder clips?? Nut bar!" and she does perhaps have a point. She also sent some lovely local yarns that I can't wait to play with, and she made me a beautiful pendant that I will wear at the Guilds conference in a few weeks. And there were some other fun and fabulous goodies, many of which have already been stolen by the Kid, so you know they were great. But I have to say, I get a kick out of the binder clips. Now my labels for that project are color coded - it might be the only organized thing on my desk right now!

Off to the Midwest tomorrow - Kid and I are going to King's Island on Sunday, then up to Muncie, IN so I can work a bit on the documentary I am writing, then to see our friends in Richmond, IN. On Saturday July 5th from 1 - 3 I will be doing a book signing and trunk show at UnWind - a cool new yarn shop that I can't wait to visit. If you are in the neighborhood, stop on by.

Getting Loopy will run on schedule - I will tape the show from my hotel room in Muncie - God I love technology! Kim Werker was fabulous this week - next week I will be talking to Robyn Chachula about the joys of symbol crochet. Check us out!