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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Last Post of the Year

Hard to believe the end of the year is here and that we're starting a new decade.  Time seemed to go so slowly as a child, but now just seems to zoom by.  Well, I'm not going to get sloppy and sentimental about stuff, "it is what it is".

But, I do want to wish everyone a great new year ahead, full of fun, health, and lots of crochet!!

Today's Thought:  If you go out tonight, just be safe.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Too Soon?

Well, I've already got  a free Valentine's heart pattern posted on my Ravelry designer page and on FaveCrafts (!  It's probably too soon, but it's nice to be thinking about Valentine's Day, mainly because it means that we will be half way through winter by then!  Though I did just see candy heart boxes in Macy's today, so I guess I've got to go with the flow :-)

Also, I am extending the special pricing on the Yarn Club for Crocheters until January 15, 2010, because I've been having some technical difficulties in advertising the discount.  But that's it, so sign up soon ;-)

Today's Thought:  Having trouble keeping the sides of your crocheted blankets straight and even?  Hope this newly-posted tip on helps!  Check under the category "starting a project".

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Revamp is in Order!

As the new year approaches, I will of course use it as an excuse to try to recommit to half-done projects, to reorganize my ever-growing yarn stash, and to revamp my online presence.  I meant it when I said that technology is overwhelming -- there are new widgets, apps, and programs available every day to do things that you never thought of.  And, as each one comes out (and I become aware of it!), it makes me rethink the way the blog is organized and what I've posted, the services that I use, and whether I'm ever going to actually get my "real" website up and running :-)

But, I think all of that might have to take a back seat right now to my creative juices, they are flowing!  I'm having a project spurt and I need to just go with it.  I wish I could be more methodical, setting aside the same time blocks each week to take care of preplanned tasks, but who am I kidding?!  I guess since my day job is so structured, I let my crochet life be free flowing.  Well, it is important to get in touch with one's inner artist :-)  I hope to have pictures and patterns posted soon.

Today's Thought:  I'm going to repeat my encouragement to all the crocheters to join  It's free and easy and there are so many talented knitters and crocheters on there, sharing their creations.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Technology Can Be So Overwhelming!

So, I was thinking about the monthly newsletter that Helen and I send out each month for Many Creative Gifts and what changes, if any, we might want to make to it for the new year.  I was also thinking about how to make more people aware of it and make it easy for them to sign up and how to make back issues available.  So, I decided to do a search of "how to add email subscriptions to a blog".  The result?!  I think I've yet signed away even more of my life to Google!  Google Feedburner provides a free email subscription service (you can see it to the left) -- if you sign up, you will get my latest posts by email!  I will also add you to our monthly newsletter email distribution list.

For those of you wondering if you want to sign up for yet another newsletter, let me tell you a little bit about ours.  It comes out monthly, usually around the 15th of the month, and basically has 4 sections:  mind, body, spirit, and... crochet!  Each section tries to give a useful tip for the month, and we try to include some free recipes and crochet patterns as well.  We try hard to make it interesting and helpful, so if you would like to check it out and keep up with our blogging, then please sign up!

Today's Thought:  Amazing how white, fluffy, frozen water can bring the kid out in just about anyone!  Hope all of you on the East Coast are enjoying the blizzard (don't think about the aftermath just yet!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The 2010 Yarn Club for Crocheters!

Well, here's my latest venture -- a Yarn Club designed for Crocheters!  I've belonged to yarn clubs before, and I loved getting a surprise package in the mail, full of yarn and sometimes other goodies.  But, some clubs weren't reliable in the timing of their shipments, and often, the patterns included with the yarn were for knitters.  I haven't been able to find a yarn club that had the features that I wanted, so I decided to create my own!

Now, this club is not intended in any way to interfere with your yarn shopping at your local yarn store (like the wonderful FibreSpace!), but is meant to supplement your regular projects with some unexpected goodies and surprises. 

The plan is that you will receive a package of yarn and other goodies every other month starting in February 2010 (then in April, June, August, October, and December). I'm partnering with local and/or small fiber producers to provide you with exclusive and unique yarns that, frankly, are too hard and not cost-effective to stock in stores. Enough yarn will be included in each shipment to complete that month's featured crochet pattern for men, women, baby or the home. Special surprise treats will also be included in each shipment (perhaps a special hook for a Tunisian crochet project or a handmade stitch marker for an amigurumi pattern or a specialty tea packet to keep you warm while you work!)

And the most important parts?
- Timely and Reliable Delivery by Priority Mail by the 15th of the month
- Yarn Selections and Patterns chosen with the Crocheter in mind
- Reasonably Priced for the Quality and Value Received

I really tried to keep the price down as much as possible, but to make it a quality program, a year's subscription to the Yarn Club for Crocheters will be $210.  I am offering preferred pricing of $195 for a full subscription until January 1, 2010.  I think it would make a great holiday gift for yourself or other crocheters in your life!  We can mail or email a certificate to your gift recipient letting them know about your thoughtfulness and the goodies they will be receiving throughout 2010.

If you don't want to commit to 6 shipments and just want a "taste" of what the club has to offer, then we are offering a half-share membership of 3 shipments (February, June, and October 2010) for $125 (or $115 if you order by January 1, 2010).

Please click on the tabs at the top left of the blog and place your order today before prices go up!!  If you've got any questions, just send an email to

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Teaching Crochet

I had another great class yesterday at FibreSpace with three wonderful ladies!  Teaching crochet is fun, and I really enjoy that look of accomplishment and enjoyment that the students get at some point in the lesson.  I keep saying that it's easy to learn how to knit but hard to make anything besides a simple scarf; with crochet, it can be harder to learn, but once you do, you can make anything!

I think the hardest thing for new crocheters seems to be how to hold the yarn. The hand holding the hook should be doing nothing else but wielding the hook; it's the other hand that has to feed the yarn while holding on to and guiding the crocheted material as it's created.  I often suggest holding on to the work itself with your thumb and middle finger and let the yarn come up and over your index finger.  I'm not sure how else to describe it, and I keep experimenting with ways to demonstrate and explain it.  Leave comments if you've got any suggestions!

Oh, and I've got a new free Santa ornament crochet pattern listed on my Ravelry designer's page!  I think he turned out pretty cute --  he's also available on FaveCrafts:

Today's Thought:  I found a great website with free puzzles on it!  It's fun trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle on the computer, and they've got lots of other types of puzzles too, it's a great break, but don't let it become a time suck!