Archive for November, 2010

Thankful for Tunisian Crochet

It is no secret that I have fallen head-over-heels in love with Tunisian crochet. In fact, most of the designs that I have “cooking” right now are done in Tunisian crochet. And, I am sure you noticed that my husband’s new hat is being worked with the characteristic long hook as well.

Recently, I stumbled across a seamless technique for Tunisian in the round which was “unvented” by Jennifer Hansen, aka stitchdiva. I am thrilled by the possibilities that this method opens up and I couldn’t resist hyping up her fantastic series of videos. I have several design ideas in the works based on the method now – the trick is to just find the time to get them fleshed out and completed! ;)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I have so much to be thankful for – my family and friends, my health and of course, my crochet obsession.

November 24, 2010 at 10:05 am Leave a comment

Playing with Alpaca…

As soon as I got home from the festival on Saturday, I couldn’t resist “playing” with my purchases. I have decided to start by designing a hat for my husband using Tunisian crochet. (FYI – the pattern will be available for free as a tutorial on some of my favorite Tunisian crochet techniques.)

This was actually the first fiber arts festival to which my hubby has accompanied me. He is so patient and very indulgent of my crochet “needs” and “wants.” However, he had a lot of fun on Saturday telling EVERY SINGLE VENDOR that I have never made a project for him. So, he picked out both of the blue skeins for himself. And now, I have to work up something for the love of my life ASAP!

I have been sneaking in a few rows here and there. Believe or not, I actually had to frog the darn hat 4 times already! I love designing – it is so cathartic; but, it can be frustrating too. And, let’s not even mention how one of the hanks got tangled after I put it on the swift. I need a class in winding yarn, for sure!

November 22, 2010 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

Back from the Alpaca Festival!

I just returned from a magnificent day at the Maryland Alpaca and Fleece Festival where I gave completely into my fetish for fine fibers. As usual, I blew right through my planned budget and came home with some of the “good stuff” (those fabulous finds that you just can’t walk away from) to further pad my stash.

Let’s see, I bought:

  • 300 yds of 100% suri alpaca worsted weight yarn in a heather grey color by Dragonfly Alpacas in Marydel, Maryland
  • 480 yds of a 100% suri alpaca lace weight yarn in a pastel pink and green variegated color called ‘Avocado Rose’ by Wild Rose Suri Ranch in Havre De Grace, Maryland
  • 364 yds of a 80% alpaca/20% silk yarn called ‘Paca de Seda’ in a deep wine/mulberry color by The Alpaca Yarn Company – this was purchased by Paso Ligero Alpacas in East Berlin, Pennsylvania
  • 230 yds of a 70% alpaca/30% merino wool DK weight yarn in a slate navy color by Prairie Lakes Alpacas in Smithsburg, Maryland
  • 64 yds of a 80% alpaca/20% merino worsted weight yarn in a rich midnight blue color by Fiber Mojo in Dickerson, Maryland

As festivals go, the Maryland Alpaca and Fleece Festival was a wonderful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the bigger named fiber arts events. I actually had an opportunity to talk with each vendor and casually stroll through the display areas without worrying about fighting for the last skein of this or that. It was a very pleasant, laid-back and comfortable atmosphere.

However, if I were a betting gal, I would say with a doubt that this festival is sure to grow exponentially as others catch on to the event. After all, this was only the first year and the festival had so many positive attributes to speak of – first of all, it was well stocked with yarns, fleeces and great finished objects. The vendors were all super friendly and very knowledgeable. This is a great time of year and the perfect opportunity to get started on Christmas shopping – there is still plenty of time left to finish a few last minute gifts with my purchases. And, although it won’t always be the case, the weather was great. However, the beautiful fall colors will continue to serve as the perfect backdrop for buying cozy alpaca fibers. Truly, I can’t wait until next year!

Here is a sneak peak of my time at the festival this year.

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If you missed all of the fun today, don’t despair. Day 2 of the festival is tomorrow at the Howard County Fairgrounds from 10 am until 4pm. Good luck and happy shopping!

November 20, 2010 at 8:06 pm 5 comments

Did you fall off the blogosphere?!?

I am sure by now you are wondering if I fell completely off the blogosphere…..boy, have I missed blogging! It is as much of a creative outlet for me as crocheting itself.

The truth is, though, I have been too busy :( to find a few extra moments to blog. I have been SUPER busy tech editing some great patterns…..I can say, without a doubt, that there are some fantastic patterns coming out by some phenomenal designers and it is a pleasure to work with each and every one of them.

Also, for all those “dance moms” out there who can relate…..it is NUTCRACKER SEASON! So, my life revolves around Nutcracker rehearsals – not to mention piano lessons, swim practices, monitoring homework etc. Yep…..you would not believe how time-consuming it is to put together a 90-minute production with 100 dancers.

And, last but not least, I have been suffering from a back injury which has required numerous dr’s visits and some crazy meds that make me loopy.

I did find a few moments to review Interweave’s Crochet Accessories issue a couple of weeks ago. Initially, I was a little upset that this issue was not included with my standard subscription, but I made the extra trek to the book store anyway….what can I say? I am a crochet addict!….and the publication did not disappoint. It includes over 40 wonderful accessories patterns, many of which work up really quickly and could be done in time for Christmas. 

Honestly, I could not pick a clear favorite pattern. But, I am dying to give Marcelle’s Fancy Neck Wrap by Sheryl Means (shown below) a try. I am off to the Maryland Alpaca and Fleece Festival this weekend, so I hope to find some great yarn to use in my wrap.

The best part of the issue, though, is a great article by Dora Ohrenstein on luxury yarns – my favorite topic! Ohrenstein does a splendid job of introducing crocheters to the beauty and benefits of working with cashmere, silk, linen, mohair, alpaca and yak yarn. And, I could not agree with her more – we need to treat ourselves to these finer fibers every now and then. Speaking of which, I still haven’t determined my budget for the upcoming alpaca festival. Considering the fact that I more than doubled my budget at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival last May, I am trying to be more realistic this go-round. Although, the good and bad news is that my husband will be there to keep me sane and constrained.

It’s good to be back! Happy stitching!

November 18, 2010 at 1:13 am 1 comment


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