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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Know Your Hooks

There are many types of hooks out there -- does it matter which one you choose for your project? Yes it does. For slippery yarns, like silk and bamboo, you are going to want to use a wooden or bamboo hook because it's less slick than steel or aluminum hooks and will allow you to have more control over the yarn as you work. For a cotton chenille or another bumpy, prone-to-snagging yarn, then you'll want the aluminum hook to help the stitches slide along.

Today's Thought: Yokan, or red bean cake, is a delicious Japanese dessert made mainly with red beans, sugar, and gelatin. It's got lots of protein, it's not too sweet, and it's a bit different!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy V-Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody! These are hectic times, but we hope you'll take time today to tell all the folks in your life how much you love them. Enjoy the day :-)

Today's Thought: Yoga Toes. If your feet are aching and cramping, you need these! They look like those toe separators used for pedicures, only larger and of rubber. They take some getting used to, but stick with it, your toes will thank you! They're available through and (you might want to price shop, there is a range of prices for basically the same product).

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Bunny Wear

So, today I learned that Angora yarn comes from the fine, downy hair of the Angora rabbit, and apparently, there are several types of Angora rabbits. They usually shed about three to four times a year, and the fiber literally could be spun right off the rabbit because the fur needs no washing or carding. Unfortunately, Angora remains expensive because, even though rabbits are plentiful, they are small and don’t yield much fiber. But, it is just so soft! I've really been enjoying learning about all these different fibers and passing along the information. I'm hoping I'll get to work with all these different types so that I can figure out what works best with different kinds of projects. I'll keep you posted!

Today's Thought: There's a crochet book, Get Hooked by Kim Werker, that's really intended for teens learning to crochet, but the author does an amazing job of pulling together so much interesting and useful information about crochet, the tools and yarns, etc., that it's worth checking out no matter your age or skill level!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Dog Gone Days

Well, the doggie sweater is done! Hopefully, I will be able to post pictures of it soon, as modeled by the pooch who'll be receiving it.

Now, onto the next project -- getting the baby blankets done for the twins coming in June (I'm actually going to be aiming for the baby shower in April -- whew, that's not really that far away!). I'm debating about whether I wait til the sex(es) are determined by mid-month or just barrel on ahead with my colorful, unisex plan. Since the blankets will be made up of crocheted squares, I think I'll just go ahead and come up with a bunch of squares in each possible color, then put them together at the end of March. I can always make yet another blanket with the "leftovers."

Today's Thought: If you live in Washington DC and haven't been down to Barracks Row, you really need to go check out this up-and-coming neighborhood! In addition to Cafe 8, Ipso-Crafto opened last August next door to Stitch DC (great yarn shop!). They've got supplies for all sorts of crafts, along with classes and special kids events (their site needs a little updating, but it's got all their info on it