Sunday, December 14, 2008

1st December Challenge

1st December Challenge Finished and Posted

It was fun to make and work with such talented artisans such as Feistywomandesigns ( see her blog at to see how the yarn was made) and WhirlygigYarns. I love working with this yarn. It's light weight and the colors are just gorgeous! Now on to the next two. I'll have them up as soon as they are finished.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Korners Folly

Just returned home from Kernersville, NC where we went to see Korner's Folly, a three story house with 7 levels inside, 22 rooms, built by Jules Korner in the 1800's. Absolutely fascinating place- great inspiration for victorian styling. See Pictures - Some of the ladies from my unit went with me and my adorable grand-daughter.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Kiss your kids tonight

I decided when I started this blog that I would concentrate on just my crochet work here. But in light of the recent story about the young man who escaped from his abusers in California, I feel compelled to write something here. I have been a Child Protective Services Supervisor with my local DSS since July 1998, that's 11 1/2 years. Before that I was a CPS Investigator since 1989, with a 2 1/2 year stint in Ohio as a Case Supervisor with a children's mental health agency. Especially in this time of the holidays, look around you and notice the children in your life, in the stores as you walk through, in the malls, on the sidewalks, when you drop your kids off at school, in your neighborhoods, and where ever you go. Then just take a moment, just a moment to smile at one of them. Just a kid you don't know but who looks a little down or maybe he/she needs someone to show they care, if only for just that moment. I don't know how many times I went out on a report and just because I took extra time to sit down with a child and really listen, stories unfolded that led to real life changing events for them and for me. Every time I came home late at night from making sure someone else's kids were safe, the first thing I did was walk into my children's rooms and made sure their blankets were pulled up, they were peaceful and warm and safe. I was lucky to have a husband who could do this for me when I was trying to do it for others. Sometimes all a child needs is someone to smile to show that somewhere someone cares.

My heart goes out to that young man. And, I pray every night for the ones we will never know anything about. So kiss your kids tonight and tell them you love them. That's not just words - it should be a way of life.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

OK - I did it. I added a 1000 Markets shop last night. Sat up working on it until 2 in the morning. If anyone is following my blog, check it out at I'm excited about a new venue and hope that it brings some more biz. Dreamwoven from Etsy has started a new market there called Wearable Art. That looks very interesting and a wonderful way to "market" handmade items. Makes me wish I was more in a situation where I could quit my day job and just work with yarns. But alas, the finances just aren't there yet. Making myself venture out more into this internet marketing is really stretching my internet knowledge. Also, just started uploading my etsy shop on to Google Base. Still having a problem with the automatic upload so I'm doing it manually every morning. OK, let's see how this goes.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

EtsyFAST December Challenge

I'm a member of the EtsyFAST group (Etsy Fiber Artists Street Team). Feistywoman designs wrote up an article about our December Challenge. I'm working on this with another Fiber artist, Kitty Grrlz. Here's the article:

When mine are completed, I'll post them here as well as on etsy, facebook and twitter.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Fiber 8 - Live on

I am so pleased to be a member of the "Fiber 8" and grateful to Bonnie Samuels for putting this article together. Read and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Custom Made Framed Doilies

Earlier this year a friend of mine at work went on my etsy shop and fell in love with my framed crocheted doilies. Thus began an endeavor that took me about a month to complete and had very favorable results. She picked out a pattern by Patricia Kristoffersen; I modified the pattern to fit what my customer wanted. Then she brought me a pillow sham that matched the comforter and drapes in her bed room and a picture of her bedroom furniture. We were able to match the colors in her pillow sham exactly (natural light) for the mats. I crocheted the piece, cut the mats, cut moulding that matched her furniture and with help from my friend, the framer, Carolyn's Frameworks in Belmont, NC, put the whole piece together. The results are stunning. Kay, my customer, is already planning to come back for another piece for her den, which will be another custom order. It was fun putting all the aspects together.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

History of Victorian and Edwardian Crochet

Found another article about the history of crochet. The website link is:

The History of Victorian Crochet
The exact origin and date of crochet is in great doubt. Some believe it goes back to before the time of Christ, but there is no record of this form of needle art before the 1800's and it was not until the 1840's that written instructions began to be published. Crochet has been handed down from generation to generation through family and friends and from what I understand in the early years, without written patterns. It was very common to work directly from a picture of the finished work or from a sample of crochet. Have you ever tried to crochet a pattern from the 1800 or 1900's and found that most of the directions seem to be missing? Needlework was taught to the young women in school from the early 1800's through the early 1900's. The women of that time knew what the publishers meant because they were all too familiar with crochet instructions from their needlework classes. Thus, publishers didn't think they needed to put all that extraneous stuff in the written instructions. Have you ever wondered why most crocheters hold their hook like a pencil? At that time it was thought that it gave the lines of the hand a more feminine and graceful look. Now they are discovering that if you hold your hook in the palm of the hand it cuts down on carpal tunnel problems.
Did you know that if the piece being crocheted was not worked in the round in other words worked from row to row, that at the end of each row the thread was broken and retied to the beginning of the row? The backs of the stitches were never meant to be seen and were viewed as crude. In some of the old Victorian patterns you might find directions that tell you to work one pattern using loose crochet and another pattern using tight crochet. Now days all patterns come with a specific tension requirement and are largely dependent upon the crochet hook if done properly. Stitches in that time were generally crocheted into the back loop of the stitch. It was a method that was taken for granted during that time period. Now it is the accepted practice to crochet a stitch using the front and the back loop of each stitch.
Crochet began as a cottage industry in Ireland with a lace called Irish crochet or guipure lace. In the mid 1800's it became a large industry because of the need of the people to supplement their income due to the great potato famine of that time. It has been suggested that four Irish nuns who were trained in a French convent introduced crochet to Ireland. It was a common practice in that time for each person to become skilled in making one thing and one thing only, such as a leaf or a flower. Another person would then crochet the different motifs together using a background stitch. If you have ever tried to crochet an Irish crochet pattern you can understand why it becomes such a difficult and tedious a project. The people who crocheted the Irish laces were truly masters of their craft. They didn't have radio, television, or even access to very many books during this time in history. This contributed to their ability and desire to focus on such an intricate and elaborate art and create such finely detailed work.
It is still a cottage industry in some countries such as India, Greece, Italy, and some Asian countries.
For a more detailed history please read "Crochet History & Technique" by Lis Paludan.It is a fabulous book. I recommend it highly.

Monday, September 22, 2008

History of Crochet

Just recently began to do some research on the history of crochet. So many people have called my crocheted doilies a "dying art". So I found this article about how the art started. Enjoy.

"But let's speak about crocheting. As in 1589 William Lee invented a special knitting machine so nowadays knitted things can be easily made. But crocheting is really unique. One can't invent a special machine to replace hand-made crochet things. So in crocheting you can find originality, singleness of the thing. Laces are very famous. In 16th century laces began to walk over Europe" and in 19th century this art became really jewellery. Crocheted things of that time kept safe in some houses and museums charm with beauty and grace and amaze with mastery. Russian laces are also very popular. For ages Russian people improved this mastery. Every girl should have a dowry. And all women of her family provide a dowry for her. Usually they get together and wave clothes, crochet laces for towels and bed linen. In old times every peasant woman had to do needlework. To provide clothes to her family she had to be able to weave, embroider, knit, and crochet. The most skilled took part in making lord's clothes. For the first time Russian lace was mentioned in the Ipatiev's chronicle. It was called gold lace because it was made of gold and silver thread. This lace was even sold by its weight. "

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Close Knit, Gastonia, NC

Sherry Balke, a friend and neighbor of mine, has opened a new shop in Gastonia, on Oakland Avenue, near Piedmont Charter School and Roosevelt Tire. You walk in and Sherry's easy manner welcomes you into a haven (and Heaven) for yarnaholics, like myself. The walls are lined with a delectable selection of soft, colorful, multi-textured fibers of all descriptions. She is quite a connoisseur of yarn. And, her prices are reasonable too. I highly recommend this shop to those who wish to peruse finer yarns.

Monday, August 25, 2008

August EtsyFAST Team Challenge

All the gold the American athletes brought home from China inspired the creation of this scarf. I used Red Heart Sports weight yarn and some Yarn Bee Yarn I had left over from another project. I love these projects that just speak to me and let's me know how to work them. The American Women's Gymnastic Team uniforms/Leotards inspired the colors used - gold, red, blue. This scarf is light weight with lots of sparkle. Photos don't do this one justice. LONGGGGG for lots of wrapping!

Monday, July 14, 2008

My June EtsyFAST Challenge

The estyFAST team is asking that all members submit monthly challenges and gives us ideas to spur our creativity. In June the theme was "heroes" - I made a scarf based on the inspiration I get from my new grand-daughter who can make anyone smile.
Here's the inspiration: One day on my way home from work, I was in a very serious, tired mood. While sitting at a stop light, I heard my cell phone ding with the sound of a new email photo from my daughter. I flipped open my phone and found the smiling face of my then three month old grand-daughter. Well.... my mood was changed for days to come and even now I look at that picture and smile. My new heroe is that small being who can make anyone smile no matter how they felt the moment before. I made this scarf with that precious face in mind. It's my EtsyFAST Team June Challenge.