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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 14 years to get that many views. <<<— This was fun!

Here’s hoping that 2013 will be an even better (and more active!) year in my crochet ventures. I have lots of plans, so wish me luck!

Click here to see the complete report.


20% off my Climbing Leaves Scarf Pattern!

Now through Friday at midnight, save 20% on the purchase of my Climbing Leaves Scarf pattern through Ravelry. Discount automatically applies when you add it to your cart. Happy Thanksgiving!!

 


Think pink with this great collection on Artfire!


For the Love of Crochet!


Yep, that’s my name on the magazine stand!

Interweave Crochet Accessories 2012 came out this week so I made an excuse to do a little yarn shopping and went out to check the stands. Hurricane Sandy delayed the distribution in some places, it seems, so I wasn’t sure where I’d be able to find it when. JoAnn’s and Barnes and Noble were the spots, though! It was so neat to see my name in print – in public!!


FO: Market Bag

Finished crocheting the prototype for my latest pattern project today. It turned out to be just a little too big for what I had planned, unfortunately, but I wasn’t about to frog the whole thing! So I finished it off with a secondary color. I thought it would be a good opportunity to test the strength of a break in the yarn and the color change was the easiest way to keep track of where the offending ends are. So we’ll see how it holds up to some use – and I probably won’t be very gentle on it!

I was so sad when the cone ran dry. :(

What I want out of this pattern is a single strand bag. One cone of yarn. One market bag. No sewing. Other than finishing off the beginning and end pieces of yarn, of course. Well the red cone ran out just shy of beginning the handles (which was probably as good a place as any to join a new strand) so the next attempt will be the next size down. Hopefully I won’t have to make too many changes to the pattern, but it’s still aggravating. Especially after 15 hours of crocheting with cotton yarn. It wears my poor little fingers plumb out! But I knew that the only way to see how big a bag I could make out of a single cone of yarn was to give it a go. I suspected that it wasn’t going to make it from fairly early on, but once I’d committed, I was in it for the long haul. I really hate frogging a project, and even though it means redoing the bag, I can still use the one that didn’t turn out like I planned.

I mean, look at this!

Testing out the handles…

… with juice!

That’s three 46 oz. bottles of juice in the bag with plenty of room to spare! I love it. I’m going to be able to fit SO many groceries in this thing!

Now, it is a little Christmassy looking with the white handles, but it was that, green (WAY too Christmassy), or yellow (eh). So rather than going out and buying something new, I decided to be a good girl and use something I already had. So red and white it was. Of course, I need to go buy a new red cone to redo the bag anyway. Yay for yarn shopping! Even if it’s just one skein for a specific project. Or cone, as it were.

Then it’s back to the adjustable base ring for another dozen plus hours and hopefully a finished pattern this time. By the way, if anybody’s interested in testing the pattern for me, I’d love a second set of eyes!


IC Accessories 2012 is almost here!

Just a few more days before Interweave Crochet Accessories 2012 hits the newsstands!! Are you ready? November 6th is the date!

I was SO excited to get a complimentary copy of the magazine, along with loose pages of my pattern in the mail. Now I just need to figure out how to frame them! Anybody have experience with or suggestions for properly displaying articles?

IC Accessories 2012 pages

It was fun looking through all the pictures that they took and seeing all the ways they played with color in their festive section. I rather liked my white and silver snowflakes on the white wreath, but putting the metallics on a blue wreath really makes them pop. And it was so much fun to make all the different colors!! I made a total of 12 in I think seven different colors. I prefer making the larger ones with size 3 or 5 thread, but the bitty ones (made with size 10, yikes!) are beautifully delicate.

IC also added a chart for them, which is awesome, but it’s also kind of confusing. :( I mean, look at this mess!

ic Accessories 2012 chart

If I didn’t know what I was looking at, I’m afraid the chart would intimidate me. Hopefully it helps with the visualization, though. It really isn’t so terrible as the chart makes it look… It takes me about an hour to work one up which is WAY quicker than any standard thread crochet snowflake I’ve ever made. The smaller ones can take a little longer because it’s more fiddly, but not much. Still less fiddly than my previous experiences with such projects, though. Which is why I came up with the design to begin with.

See, my mother used to make all of our Christmas ornaments and my favorites were the snowflakes. She added glitter to some of them and she also made this absolutely amazing multi-dimensional tree-topper. Wanting to have some of these little beauties of my own, I kept trying my hand at different thread crochet patterns with varying success. Eventually, I decided that the snowflake designs I tried were simply too piddly, so I set out to make my own.

With this snowflake, there are no slip stitches worked into the chain (which is the part that I find aggravatingly time consuming and finger cramping), PLUS you can modify the final design during the blocking and stiffening process. Simple chains are twisted to create the length and points of the arms, which pulls the crocheting together without having to work stitches into the chain. It also adds a textural element to compliment the star in the center.

Now if anything about this pattern is difficult, it’s the star. Its texture comes from post stitches and sometimes getting them worked into the right place can be a little tough, particularly when using the size 10 thread. That’s why I would recommend using larger thread the first time you try this pattern, just to see how it works more easily. The last point of the star is the tricky one, but it’s absolutely worth it.

snowflake wreath

I’d love to hear what you think of the pattern, so if you give it a try, let me know how it goes and I would absolutely love to see pictures! You can link in the comments here or find me on Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. And, of course, if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to holler for help. :)

-C


Green Camo For You and Your Pet


Happy Halloween and Happy Samhain!

happy halloween

No, I didn’t get all dressed up this year, but I still tried to be festive with a little black and orange today! I also took the opportunity to add a splash of crochet with the scarf. ;) I hope everyone has a very safe and fun holiday, however you choose to celebrate.

-C


Wait… have I not shared this with you!?

Okay. I know I’ve been slacking on the blogging lately, but I really have to share this with you – even though it’s something from way earlier this year.

See, I sculpted, in crochet, an Arkansas razorback hog. Oh yes. This is where I’m from. We are maniacal hog fans back home. And one of my girlfriends from high school requested that I crochet a piggy for her hubby as a wedding gift. I thought, “Sure!” there’s got to be hog patterns out there, right? Ha! I was SO disappointed. So what did I do? I decided to sculpt one. Freestyle. Wingin’ it, if you will. It was an exercise in patience, creativity, and vision. That’s right. Vision. I had to SEE where I was crocheting. Have you ever tried this? Ack! It’s intimidating. And I had lots of frogging moments (ripping it out so I could re-do it, over and over and over again), but by golly I DID it!

And yes, if you can’t tell, I’m rather proud of my little razorback. No, there isn’t a pattern. I started trying to kind of keep notes on how it went. … But I re-worked so many parts of it that it was hard to keep up with and I was a little concerned that I’d encounter troubles with their trademark rights, so I decided it would simply be a one-of-a-kind piece of art. You hear that, Amber? Lol. It was, though. It was a labor of love. Art. Fiber Arts!

It just so happened that we were late for the wedding (only maybe five minutes, but everybody was GONE!) which afforded me the opportunity to take some pretty awesome pictures of it on her grandparents’ farm. So while they were off in the fields getting hitched, here was what I was doing:

arkansas razorback hog

arkansas razorback hog

arkansas razorback hog

arkansas razorback hog

I’m sure it was a beautiful ceremony – I do always enjoy country weddings, especially when there’s great scenery – but I’m also kind of glad that I got to take these shots. They were so much better than anything I could have done anywhere else besides on a farm in Arkansas.

So, “Woo pig sooie!!” and congratulations to a very dear friend of mine on her wonderful wedding, even though we missed it!


New Photo Prop!

So I found this AWESOME new photo prop on Craigslist. Okay, well I guess that means it isn’t new, but it’s still in great shape and I am SO excited about it! I’ve been wanting to get a cradle for a while now but they’re so dadgum big! I couldn’t resist this one, though. I love a nice cherry wood finish and most of the cradles I’ve seen are those crazy sliding mechanism things – just waiting to pinch some fingers if you ask me. I wanted a solid design. I kind of wanted a white one… It seems like it would go with more, but I just can’t bring myself to paint over this one just yet. Maybe one of these days when it gets more banged up, as I’m sure is inevitable with all the moving the Army will have us doing.

And maybe, just MAYBE, it will also see some more functional use in the next year or two… Hint, hint. ;) Meanwhile, I’ve got at least two blankets lined up for a photo shoot, as you can see by all the stuff in it already! I just need to find a good backdrop – like a California king flat sheet. It was a lot bigger than I expected it to be. I think probably because the only cradles I’ve actually been around are newborn or doll sized. :- / But it’s totally worth the space it takes up, I think, and I really really do hope that we’ll get to put it to a more practical use in the relatively near future. :)


Stellar Snowflakes in Interweave Crochet!

That’s right, folks! I am PUBLISHED! Interweave Crochet Accessories 2012, page 125: Stellar Snowflakes by Connie Lee. Hooray!!

The magazine won’t hit newsstands until November 6th, but it is available for purchase as a hard copy to have shipped (I’m not sure if it’ll arrive before the 6th or not) to you or as a digital download through CrochetMe.com There are over 50 patterns in this issue, so be sure to check them out here!

It also has its very own Ravelry page already, so pop on over to take a look and add it to your queue. You can also see my original versions as they’re linked as a project. Here’s my favorite picture, though (that I took):

And the wreath that I made, which is what inspired the main project photo:

 

There should also be a page with more information on blocking and starching, but as of today it just says “coming soon” so if you have any questions, just holler! Hopefully they’ll get it updated soon, though – I’m interested to see what their advice is.

I am absolutely tickled pink about this achievement (in case you can’t tell!) and I am anxious as all get out to get my hands on a copy of the magazine! Or two or three – my mother will want one, too, of course! But I have to wait patiently and resist buying the digital edition just so I can see the final layout. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to wait, though – November 6th is almost two weeks away still… :( Patience is a virtue, though, right? And despite my affinity for piddly little crafts like thread crochet, I really don’t have that much of it! So wish me luck and let me know what you think when you get YOUR copies of this season’s IC Accessories!

Ooh and here’s the pinkalicious one, too. ;) Perfect for Breast Cancer awareness!


What a wonderful wedding!

I just returned from marrying off my youngest sister and as exhausted as I am, I have to say it was an absolutely beautiful wedding. One of the best I’ve been to, actually!

It was held in the rock amphitheater of the city park in our home town and with the leaves turning colors and gently falling around us all, it was stunning. The minister conducted a simple, Celtic inspired ceremony that made me wish I’d been able to have a similar service for my own wedding! My husband’s only request was that ours was in a Catholic church, as that’s how he was raised, so I could hardly disagree. Here’s a picture I took there last fall:

I DO wish we’d been able to go to the park for pictures, but there just wasn’t enough time, especially with our photographer being from out of town. My sister’s photos are going to be amazing, though, and I can’t wait to see them! One of our cousins recently started her own photography business, so of course, she got the job. *smile* You can check out some more of her work on her facebook page, but here’s the first sneak peek she shared with us:

They had a fabulous fall theme and her colors were red, orange, and yellow (simply put – I won’t get into the “technical” color names!). Each of the ladies in her wedding party wore a different color and of course the decorations at the reception were similarly colored. She had the cutest idea of using a ribbon wrapped pumpkin as the ring bearer’s “pillow” and I also incorporated them into her garter.

This isn’t the best picture, but I had to snap one the night before the wedding just to make sure I had one before I gave it to her! It’s actually the garter I crocheted for myself, just redecorated for her. So I reckon it’s well on its way to becoming a family heirloom now! Along with my father’s Father of the Bride hat, apparently. He insisted that I take it to add to the “collection” because he refused to wear it again. So I guess it will belong to whomever happens to be the next father of the bride in our family. With only one of us grandkids left to tie the knot and no plans to get married anytime soon, it could be a while before the next wedding. Shame, really – I do enjoy a good wedding! Of course, the great-grandkids may well start getting married before we know it!


Wow. I haven’t been over here in ages! I’ll have to try to remedy that. :)

It seems like things have been hectic since summer began. We did some traveling and oh! the weddings! My little sister is actually getting married this weekend, so I’ve been busy with that, too. Exhausted these last few days! But it’ll be fun and I’m looking forward to it.

Patrick will be training for the next month, too, so maybe that’ll give me time to settle back into a reasonable routine, to include more frequent blogging! Then it’ll be time for Thanksgiving and we’re hosting this year, which I’m really looking forward to. I just need to make sure I get everything planned out as best I can ahead of time so I’m not stressing too much. Pie crusts made in advance – I’m going to try freezing them this year. Turkeys bought soon. Patrick wants to fry one this year, so I also need to find a fryer. Any suggestions??? I’m a little nervous about it, but I’m sure they’ll be careful with it. I hope…

I feel like I’ve been slacking on the crocheting this year. I think I’ve just been too distracted with other things. I’m now a Mary Kay Consultant, too, so that takes some time away from my crocheting. As does trying to keep up with the housework. :- / NOT my favorite pastime. That’s my goal – I want to make enough money between my crocheting and Mary Kay that I can hire someone else to clean my house! Is that lazy or what!? But I really, really hate cleaning.

Okay, I’d better get back to the pinata I’m making for my sister’s bachelorette party – talk about a crafty adventure! ;)

-C


Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, CO

Please pray for our firefighters as they battle the Waldo Canyon Fire here in Colorado Springs. It has doubled in size in less than 24 hours and breached both primary and secondary containment lines to reach across the city limits and into residential areas.

If you would like to help in the disaster relief, you can text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation via your cell phone bill. Here is a link for a list of other ways you can help, too: http://www.kktv.com/news/wildfire-help

For those of you who have friends and family in the area, you can access a map of the fire through KKTV here. It’s the most accurate and updated map I’ve seen so far.

This is the most recent local update from KKTV. (updated 06/28/2012 14:23)

Please keep those who’ve already lost their homes in your thoughts, as well as those whose homes are still threatened.


US Olympic Committee vs Ravelympics

Kudos to Laurie Wheeler of the Crochet Liberation Front for well-representing the fiber arts community regarding the US Olympic Committee’s letter to Ravelry about the Ravelympics. I am saddened and somewhat disgusted by this matter.

To quote the USOC law clerk, “We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games.  In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.”

Really, now? REALLY? I want to see YOU crochet an afghan in two weeks (even WITH a lifetime of ‘training’) and tell me it wasn’t hard work!! Unbelievable.

To quote my Granny, “This really gripes my butt!” And I think I WILL be participating in the Ravelympics this year, whether it goes by that name or any other.

Open Letter to the US Olympic Committee | Official Site of the CLF.

Ravelry: discussion topic – Notice from United States Olympic Committee.


Connie Lee:

More Vouge Crochet? Absolutely!! Stunning photography and stylish crochet make this magazine a must have for MY crochet bookshelf! How about yours?

Originally posted on By Number 19:

Vogue Crochet Magazine

Vogue Crochet Cover 2012

Just came back from vacation and the new crochet magazine from Vogue Knitting was in my mailbox:-))

Last time Vogue did an exclusive crochet magazine was back in 1994. This one starts with several pages of introduction where crochet is today: Fiber artists from around the globe that explore crochet are introduced as well as different social sites, where you can learn more about advanced crochet skills or hang out with other crochet enthusiasts.

The magazine comes with 42 patterns and many are equipped with charts/diagrams. I am dependant on charts when crocheting so this is a big plus. Unfortunately some of those charts are very small and hard to read. The skill level ranges from beginner to advanced projects. There is an emphasis on simple stitch patterns, so the single projects don’t look too busy. 

Nicky Epstein has contributed with an opulent shawl/blanket. It is crocheted with…

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Press Release: Celebrate Spring Community Event at the Yarn Shoppe!

4th Annual Spring Artisans Community Event Spectacular in downtown Denver, Colorado!   FREE EVENT!

April 27, 2012: It’s time to shop till you drop, knit till you quit, crochet till you can’t anymore!!!  

Bags By CAB – Yarn Shoppe, 1777 Larimer St., #102, Denver, CO 80202, 720.473.2598

www.BagsByCAB.com, specializing in fiber arts knit and crochet, and home of the Denver Crochet Guild, hosts its 4th Annual Spring Artisans Community Event Spectacular, June 2, 2012, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., 1777 Larimer St., outdoor courtyard.  This free community event is not to be missed!  We are honored to present our very special guest Councilwoman Judith Montero, Denver District #9. http://www.denvergov.org/Default.aspx?alias=www.denvergov.org/councildistrict9.

The largest event of its kind in the Rocky Mountain Region, the Spring Artisans Community Event Spectacular is an annual event hosted by Bags by CAB – Yarn Shoppe as an opportunity for local artisans and entrepreneurs to meet and showcase their fiber art designs, small business, connect with the community, and shop LOCAL! 

Sponsored by:  Vogue Knitting, Lion Brand, Interweave, Crochet Guild of America, Denver Office of Economic Development, Vintage Handbags Denver, and Bags By CAB – Yarn Shoppe.  Bring a baby blanket, and booties to benefit the families in critical care at the Ronald McDonald House, our non-profit charity, visit:  www.RonaldHouse.org.

We are proud to bring Denver’s Best women entrepreneurs directly to you!  Visit with Colorado’s own crochet and knitwear designer Marly Bird www.MarlyBird.com, Mayor of the City of Westminster, Nancy McNally http://www.ci.westminster.co.us/818_1353.htm, and Denver’s best cake designer, Diedra Duncan of www.KinglyCakes.com, come out and get your cupcake on!  Need an alpaca yarn fix?  Yarn on over to the Yarn Shoppe, and pick up locally grown alpaca fiber (yarn), local hand painted wool (yarn), and sign up for a knitting, crochet or pattern reading lesson from Cassandra Allen–Brown, President of the Denver Crochet Guild!  Purchase handcrafted knitting and crochet accessories from numerous artisans including Denver Crochet Guild members, including Mayor Nancy McNally’s knitted designs www.MadeAndCreated.com, crochet designer Marie Nevels www.WildWomanDesignsByMarie.com, and Diane Anderson’s knitted designs www.DressUpKnitsByDiane.com.

Wear comfortable shoes and have plenty of arm space to carry your special “one of a kind finds!”  Ladies, stop inside Bags by CAB – Yarn Shoppe and grab several genuine designer and vintage handbags www.VintageHandbagsDenver.com.  Receive special door prizes from our sponsors!  Bring your friends and family and the kids!  Experience the fun and excitement of the day!  Saturday, June 2, 2012, 11:00am – 4:30pm.  Park at a meter, or across the street at the Tabor Center for $5.00 parking on the weekends.  A once in a life time experience with Denver’s own knitwear designer, Marly Bird! 

Event page:  http://www.bagsbycab.com/Up_Coming_Events.html

Watch our Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_rkFCC4vqo 

Join the event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CrochEtCetera#!/events/249645561779918/

Call 720.473.2598 for more info. 

See you there!  


Lovely Lavender Lilac

“The wonderful lavenders of Spring, from florals to pillows, scarves, napkins, baskets, bears and many more. Celebrating the talent of our great ArtFire Artisans.” – Curated by Charming Elegance on Artfire.


Spring Fling Craft Fair

Join The Mountain Post Spouses Club for a little spring shopping and support some of our local artisans and small business owners!

When: Saturday, April 28th, 2012 9:00am – 2:00pm

Where: The Fort Carson Special Events Center, Building 1829, Specker Street, Fort Carson, CO 80913

Over 60 vendors will be set up for this fantastic shopping event right here on Fort Carson! There will be door prize drawings and snacks available for purchase from the FRG, so bring the family out for a little weekend fun!! Don’t forget that Mother’s Day is just around the corner, too – this would be a great place to find that perfect gift!

This event will help raise money for the MPSC welfare and scholarship programs. FRG (Familly Readiness Group) members will be present to sell snack and lunch items so come on out and support our military families! Visit the MPSC website (www.mpsc.us) to learn a little more about the organization.

Visit my facebook page to join the event and feel free to share the flyer wherever you can. Hope to see you there!

 


Congratulations to Miss Kay!

She’s the lucky winner of the drawing for a pair of sparkly pink flower hair clips! Thanks so much to everyone who posted on the pattern pages!!


I think it’s time for a giveaway!

Wow, y’all! I’m really close to having 500 downloads of my thread crochet flower hair clip pattern on Craftsy!! So I’m going to do my very first giveaway!

You have three places to enter: Craftsy, Ravelry, and here on my blog. Simply leave a comment on one (or all!) of the pattern pages and if I’ve reached 500 downloads on Craftsy by this Friday, April 6th, 2012, I’ll do a drawing for a free pair of the original sparkly pink flower hair clips!

Here are the links!

Craftsy: http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/crocheting/Accessory/Thread-Crochet-Flower-Hair-Clips/2665

Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/thread-crochet-flower-hair-clips

WordPress: http://crochetcetera.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/crocheted-flower-hair-clips/


Connie Lee:

This also works great with purses!!

Originally posted on :

Tonight I’m spot cleaning my dining room chairs, with Soak. I’ve got my favorite bottle of Aquae, a wash cloth and a bowl with Soak diluted in warm water. I’ve got a few stains. They’ll soon be gone. Some patience, elbow grease and Soak ensures my chairs are clean and smell great.

Directions: Dilute a cap full of Soak in a mixing bowl with warm water. Dip the cloth in water. Clean the material with quick firm circles removing dirt from the surface. Try not to over saturate wih water Allow the cushion to dry for at least 24 hours before reassembling chair.

20120401-173946.jpg

I also keep a bowl of clean water handy to wash the cloth, and to ensure I’m not using too much Soak and to make sure I’m not simply spreading the stain around. It’s not fancy, but it is simple, environmentally friendly and it works!

Happy Sunday…

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Something in the Water is going to Brazil!

Check out Wendy Osher’s latest post on her blog about how Daisy Maicel is launching the very first satellite project, Alguma Coisa Na Agua, in Porta Alegre, Brazil! I was absolutely thrilled to be able to contribute to the original piece, first displayed in the Too Shallow for Diving: The 21st Century is Treading Water exhibit at the American Jewish Museum in Pittsburgh, PA May-July 2011. I crocheted eleven different breast shapes out of approximately 200 plastic bags – it quite an endeavor! But it’s something I’m proud to have been a part of and I am so excited to see the project continuing on around the globe. You can see my original post here and read more about my trip to view the exhibit in person here.

Something in the Water Reef on Exhibit, American Jewish Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 25 May 2011

If you’re interested in contributing to this new reef, you can contact Wendy at wendy.osher@verizon.net or Daisy at daisymaciel15@yahoo.com.br.


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