Monday, September 29, 2008

No Longer Beginners

The second session of Beginning Crochet was yesterday. Three brave souls returned and have officially graduated! Here are Jean and Nancy with their completed bath mitts.

On design news, I was able to get the Bobble Diamonds Afghan information into Ravelry late last week and it has been queued by one person.

I am finishing up a project for a magazine today. I still get that feeling of awe and complete pleasure at seeing a project completed. I am always amazed at how piles of yarn can turn into "something". With crocheting, there is pleasure in the dreaming-up phase and pleasure in the production phase. But there is also that lasting pleasure of being able to look at the finished object (or its picture).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


"What do tadpoles eat, Mama?" I have NO idea. I assume that they need to eat to continue to grow.

As does my creative muse. I compare feeding my muse to making soup. I gather up lots of ingredients, fill a pot, and let it simmer. I look through stitch bibles, crochet books and magazines, essentially anything that has visual images. These images are the ingredients that I put into my pot (my mind). As I go about my everyday tasks, the soup simmers, as do the images in my mind. Sometimes, I taste the soup (swatch a little) and decide it's not quite ready; it might need more ingredients, so I add more.

Sometimes it needs more time to simmer. My mother used to say that something tasted better after it sat for awhile, giving the flavors time to marry. Some designs have to sit longer than others to find the elements that fit together.

Eventually the soup is ready, and so is the design--ready to be eaten, ready to be stitched.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tadpoles on a Table

MM, 7 (soon to be 8) is a creature lover, so when she saw tadpoles she had to "rescue" them. We now have a small fishbowl on our kitchen table that is filled with wriggling little bodies. While the tadpoles and I were having lunch together, it dawned on me that project and design ideas are like those tadpoles--swimming constantly, bumping into or barely missing each other. Just like that fishbowl, my head always seems to be filled with ideas.

As time passes, we will watch those tadpoles turn into frogs, and then they will be relocated outside. Projects and designs swim around in my head--growing and maturing. Then one day, I wake up and the idea has completely gelled, ready to be relocated to my hands and lap.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I taught a Beginning Crochet class at Fiber Art, Inc. As in any class, regardless of subject matter, there were some students who grabbed the baton and took off running right away. And there were also students who struggled with the new skills. These were students who were already accomplished in other needle arts.

This reminded me of my own experience with crochet. While in Girl Scouts (oh, so many years ago!) I diligently worked toward earning badges to adorn my banner. I did embroidery, needlepoint and knitting. I earned all of those badges.

However, there was one skill that I could not master, and that was crochet. So I gave up.

Until . . . my 2nd daughter (K) was adopted. My best friend had given my oldest daughter (MM) a blanket, and MM dearly loves that blanket. Naturally, I wanted K to have a crocheted blanket too. But circumstances change and a crocheted blanket was not in the cards. K did get a blanket that she sleeps under each night, even though she is a whopping 5 yrs old now. But, this need sent me searching for blanket patterns and I saw so-o-o many beautiful crocheted baby blankets.

One night after all was quiet, I sat down with yarn and a needlework book published in 1974; 2 hours later I was crocheting!

But, I didn't master everything about crochet in that one sitting. My skills have evolved and improved over time. Some techniques I worked on months-trying different hook sizes, yarn types and weights-before I was satisfied with the result.

I also learned and relearned how to hold my yarn, how to pull a loop through, and I had to practice "the right way" a little each day until my hands and brain worked in tandem.

I didn't give up, because it was something that I loved, and I hope the students who struggled (yesterday and in the future) will keep trying until their hands and brain work in harmony too.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Design Debut

My first published design is included in the October 2008 issue of Crochet World! I am thrilled to see my name in print and the wonderful photography of my afghan.