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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mussels or Muscles?!

The other day I got a pleading-for-help message on Etsy -- a crocheter was so excited about making this beautiful vest, but was having problems understanding some of the instructions.  She asked if I could help her figure out the next steps in the project.  So, I went to investigate and discovered that the pattern designer/writer is Danish.  I think she might have used a Google program or something to translate the pattern, and interesting things happened as a result!  The instructions kept referring to making stitches "in the next mussel".  After looking at the original Danish pattern and looking up the original word, I discovered that another meaning of the word "musling" is ....   SHELL!  So, she was trying to describe our shell stitch :-)  Mystery solved!

Friday, October 21, 2011


No, not the whale!  It's the means by which one can create an ebook for Kindle.  Since I just went through this process for 101 Crochet Tips, I wanted to share.

Now, first step -- get over your fear of the computer and html :-)  It's really not that hard, especially when a wonderful person posts everything you'll need.  Helen Hanson has a blog on which she very methodically has laid out each step to take.  She really makes it fun and is very responsive when you have a comment or question. I carefully followed each step she suggested, and it worked!  A bit of advice -- be really precise in how you name files and insert the code because just one letter out of whack, and it will not work.

I'm realizing that I haven't posted my musings on running a small business in a while, and I know that, frankly, that's what some of you are more interested in than the crochet.  So, keep a look out for such postings soon.  I feel like I'm still figuring out this blogging thing ;-)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Knitting and Meditation

Talk about a day of mind, body, spirit, ... and knitting!  The Shambhala Center in DC had a day-long program on knitting, meditation, and a little bit of yoga thrown in also.  It was really a nice way to spend the day, and I feel like I got a lot out of it.  Though not really a part of the program, the first thing I learned was the "Portuguese knitting" technique, which was a breakthrough for me.  It's a method by which you wrap the yarn around the back of your neck (to control the tension) from right to left over your left shoulder and then use your left thumb to flick the yarn around the needle if you are a right-handed knitter.  I guess this is similar to continental or English style knitting.  I found it pretty easy, with a lot of economy of movement.  Now, of course, since you are using different small muscles, I have the feeling there might be some new twinges as a result, but I really enjoyed playing around with this technique.  Crochet will always be my first love, but I'm looking forward to adding some knit elements to future designs.

Next step, slipping stitches!

Monday, October 10, 2011


I meant to keep my promise to myself not to buy more yarn, but you know where this is going...  I was in Looped Yarn Works the other day and came across a yarn made from 95% Turkish cotton and 5% real silver!  It's called KB Cotton Sifa, which is a natural, untreated cotton that contains silver, said to have healing properties for many ailments.  As a result, you can work up projects like booties or mitts that are both beautiful and health-building.  The non-slippery, woven chain ply keeps cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  And, on top of all that, the yarn is sourced from the town of Golcuk (on the Northwest coast of Turkey), which was devastated by a 7.6 earthquake in 1999 but since rebuilt, in part by the fact that the Golcuk Art and Culture Center has given the women of the community the opportunity to express their talents and generate needed incomes through arts and crafts.  The founder of The Knit Box has her own wonderful story and provides stockist information in the UK and US for this and some other really beautiful Turkish yarns, so please check it out! Oh, and what should I make from the Cotton Sifa -- booties/socks, mittens, or something else?!  Visit my Facebook page and let me know!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Laptop!

So, I finally have the luxury of getting a new computer without having had the old one crash on me!  It's giving me the chance to actually clean through files, choose the programs I really need and want and just load those on the new computer, and really set up this thing the way I want it rather than just desperately trying to get up and running.  But, it really takes so much time, loading and resetting everything...

But I am loving it!  My new Acer laptop is fast and pretty :-)  What more could I want?!

Give me a little time, and I'm hoping my technological progress here is going to really help me bring better and more beautiful content to you!  In the mean time, stay tuned for our monthly newsletter -- that too has gotten a bit delayed with the transition.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Mmmm, I still have a crush on my husband!  He's just so cute, inside and out.  And today is our anniversary, number 6.  I'm very fortunate -- despite some crazy work hours lately and being behind on projects, housecleaning, etc., life is still pretty good.

I was reminded of this yesterday when a single friend of mine was bemoaning the dating life.  It's easy for me to talk, but I was encouraging her to just try to enjoy each day and each encounter and try not to think about where it could lead, what it all means, etc.  But, it's true for all of us, single or married.  We're not promised tomorrow, we just have this very moment, to make the best of it as we can.  I tell myself that when bending down for the upteenth time to pick up that man's balled up socks (see, married life isn't all perfect either!).  But, I'd rather be bending down for those socks than dealing with some of the challenges that I know lots of people amazingly deal with every day.

So, no matter what your situation is, please stop today for just a moment, and think about one bright, positive thing going on for you and relish it, squeeze it tight, and "be thoughtful" about it.