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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Where Has the Summer Gone?!

It's really hard to believe that tomorrow is September 1st.  And, even though it's still pretty hot out there still, there really is a different feel in the air.  That "back to school" feeling, even if you don't have any kids around.

And, the baby duckie -- well, he's not such a baby anymore and will probably be flying away soon.

And I am, as always, spreading myself too thin.  Have I sewn on the pom poms?  No.  But, my strategy is to wait til the other poms arrive, then sew them all on at the same time (at least that's what I'm telling myself :-).  Thursday, I'm hoping to stop by Looped Yarn Works because, of course, I must frolic among the new fall yarns!  And breathe in the yarny air and actually begin to figure out a schedule of beginner crochet classes!  I'm looking forward to teaching crochet again, and it'll be so convenient.  I think I might offer Tunisian Crochet classes again too.  I was just ahead of my time a year ago when I offered the class -- I've been noticing a lot more articles, books and patterns with Tunisian Crochet coming out recently.  It really is a fun technique to try, but we'll see...

Alright, as I'm known to say, stay tuned!  Let me leave you with a philosophical thought:  what you don't like and can change, you should change; what you don't like and can't change, you should learn to accept. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Duckie Update

So, the mama duck has not been around the last week to 10 days, but let's look at happier times:

The baby has grown quite a bit since this picture actually, but s/he is still doesn't seem ready to fly yet.  I'll try to capture him/her floating around in the fountain, s/he really does seem quite at home in those moments :-)

Oh, while I'm giving updates, I just got the sample white pom poms from WinterCrochet (who is on Etsy) -- they are just PERFECT!  All I need to do is sew them on the green clownie and take some pix.

Ok, which means I got me some work to do!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back At It!

So, I'm back home, digging through mail and dirty laundry!  But, of course, the first thing that I do is get on the computer, checking email and all my sites :-)

And, now I sit here, wondering if I blew the chance to visit a yarn shop while in Atlantic City.  I just hopped on to see if I missed anything (great site -- all you have to do is type in a zip code or city location, and it lets you know if there are any LYSs in the area).  Looks like a yarn shop has not opened near A.C., but I am looking forward to visiting Kitschy Stitch in Rehoboth Beach when I visit in September.

But, I need to recover from this trip first!  More posting soon!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Blogging from A.C.

Yes, I am actually on vacation in Atlantic City, New Jersey!  It's kind of a crazy place to go on vacation, but it's got a nice beach, some wonderful restaurants, tax-free outlet shopping, and free wifi at the Starbucks, so what more could I want!!  Today is kinda overcast, so seemed like a good time to fire up the netbook and blog :-)  I just also put up some new tips on the Lifetips site.  I found a great blog, Crafting With Style, in which the blogger posts a guide to all of the different bed and crib sizes and how to figure out the right size to make a blanket or afghan.

I'm also interested in doing a little more research into Intarsia.  I always thought of that term as being for only knitting, but I've come to realize that it can apply to crochet as well.  I posted a tip about that too, but I really haven't used the technique very much before -- maybe the next project.  I have started the hot water bottle cover project because I was in the mood to work with FPdc (front post double crochet).  I really like how you can create the look of cables in crochet using this technique.  I've almost got enough done to be worth taking a picture of and posting, but that'll have to wait til I'm back home.

And, for those of you following me for the small business and self-publishing tips, I will hopefully be posting on some breakthroughs I've made recently, but it's a bit premature, so please stay tuned!

Ok, I see the clouds shifting, so it might just be time for a beach walk! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


So, now that the poms are (hopefully) under way, I'm already thinking about what my next crochet project is.  Being one of those folks who can't seem to focus on just one thing at a time, I'm sure I'll start at least 3 things in the next few days.  I've been asked to make a baby gift for January, so that's sort of back burner.  I've been thinking about boy baby items too, especially something that will utilize this beautiful moss green bamboo yarn that I got recently.  I'm hesitant to design a piece of clothing with it because I keep reading about how bamboo really doesn't hold up very well in apparel -- it stretches and loses its shape after washing, which with a baby, is a regular occurrence.  I got Elsebeth Lavold's Bambool, which is 80% bamboo and 20% merino wool, so I'm thinking that the wool is there to help counteract bamboo's shortcomings.  Mmmm, maybe I'd better start experimenting with it!

Duck Update:  so the mama flew the coop, or fountain as the case may be, again over the weekend, but this morning, she seems to be back.  I got a little worried last night when I got home from work because I couldn't see the baby either, but turns out he was rummaging around in the bushes eating dinner!  So cute to watch him (her?) stick his bill into the dirt and munch.  His wings still don't seem to be well-formed enough to be flying or anything, so I imagine the fountain will remain his world for a little while longer.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pom Poms and Ducks

What do the two have to do with each other?  Oh, nothing, just trying to come up with compelling titles ;-)

But, I do have something to say about both.  First, the pom poms.  I think I've found someone to make them for me, whew.  Just working out the details, but all I'll say right now is that Etsy is wonderful for finding artisans and crafters who can make just about anything for you to your specifications.

As for ducks, there has been a continuing saga at my condo complex all summer.  We have a beautiful fountain in front of the building, and a mother duck has made it her home.  She started out the summer with 4 baby ducks, but alas, only 1 seems to have made it.  Can you imagine the trials and tribulations of trying to protect your chicks in the middle of DC?!  I saw her leading 3 of them down the street towards a major thoroughfare earlier in the summer.  What has been amazing is watching the humans become fascinated by her and her struggles.  People were stopping traffic to try to protect her!  Thankfully, she finally seemed to figure out that the fountain was the place to stay put.  She and her baby would snuggle together on the ledge, or she would sit while the baby would swim around and around. 

Last weekend, though, another duck came for a visit.  The three of them hung out all weekend, but then on Monday, the visitor duck and the mother were gone, and the baby's been there by him (or her)self all week :-(  I guess it's the way of the duck world, but it just seems so sad by human standards.  Well, the saga is not over -- mama duck is back this morning!!  Maybe this was a test run to see how baby would do without her.  I guess she's just got to start toughening up baby so that s/he will be ok when it's time...

Again, what's been so interesting is the reactions of the humans around here.  There seem to be two camps:  one that worries about the ducks bringing diseases or nuisance, so they seem more concerned about keeping the ducks away and the other camp that seems to want to be sure the ducks are comfortable and taken care of.  The latter camp saw to it that a ramp was propped up in the fountain so that the baby could make it up to the ledge when people saw s/he was struggling to get out of the water.  I admit, I think I'm in the latter camp -- I find myself looking out the window all the time or stopping by the fountain to be sure that the baby is still swimming around or resting on the ledge.  Mmmm, I think we need a webcam!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Clownies Live!

Ok, so they are still without pom poms, but both have been put together.  The green clownie still needs his collar too, but I should be able to whip that up soon.  The pom poms though...

I'm realizing that I think I used a different yarn than Nana did for her clownie -- it's just not as soft, so apparently, that is the big difference between Red Heart's SuperSaver and Classic yarns.  I'm not the biggest fan of these yarns, considering there are so many other, more natural yarns out there that are reasonably priced as well, but I admit that this is a great yarn to use for making the clown doll because it does work up uniformly and keep the spiral shape pretty well.  Now I'm itching to make one using the Classic yarn, so I will report back on that.

Now, about those pom poms... 

Friday, August 6, 2010

It's Coming!

A beautiful new yarn store in Dupont Circle!  It's called Looped Yarn Works, and you can read all about it on their website at  I will start teaching there in the fall :-)

Clownie is also coming, but the pom poms are turning out to be very challenging.  Even got some gadgets to help in creating the pom poms (instead of having to resort to cardboard), but they are still not coming out round and fluffy :-(  Back to the drawing board tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Eating Lots of Colors

Helen's book is available, and I hope you'll check it out.  She has come up with a really cute but educational book for children on nutrition and learning their fruits and vegetables.  Mom and Dad aren't going to get bored reading it to the kids either, and there's a chart in the back on which everyone can check off their food colors for the day.  Order directly from us and save 10%!!

This morning, I am experimenting with a gluten free summer squash bread!  I threw in some rhubarb too, so this should be quite interesting.  I've really got to step up the cookbooks so that we will be able to launch them this summer, and I am running out of summer!  Ok, better go insert that toothpick :-)