Get Your Labor On Early With This Deal

$5 off

your next purchase when you spend $10 or more in my shop.

Get labor day started early.

Use promo code: 5LABOR

at checkout to receive discount.
Hurry, offer ends Monday, September 2nd, 2013 midnight Pacific time.

Start Shopping

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Top Secret Stuff Here

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I’ve been a member of the CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) for quite a few years now. What I’ve never done up until this year however, is to enter the member’s only design competition. I just mailed off my entry and it will be on showcase at the  Knit & Crochet Show/CGOA Conference in Charlotte, NC, October 2- 6.

Now the reason I say “Top Secret Stuff Here” is because I can’t tell or show you what I entered. Buzz kill right? Sorry, but the judges want all entries to be completely new to them, so I will be disqualified if I were to give you even a tiny sneak peek, and I definitely don’t want that to happen.

So, if you are lucky enough (because I unfortunately am not) to be heading to the conference in October, be sure to stop by the CGOA design competition booth and keep a look out for my entry. It will be the one that looks like…. ha ha, thought you almost got me there.

Anyone else entering this year (remember the deadline to get it to Doris is the 6th of September)? You can share your name  below if you want us to keep a look out for your entry as well.

Goodbye Costco… I’ll Miss You

Why can't you be everywhere?
Why can’t you be everywhere?

I’ve announced previously that I am moving soon. It is actually going to be sometime at the end of next month. It’s a military move, or for the military families in the know, we are PCSing.

The small little town in the middle of the desert we are moving to has very little in the way of shopping. It most definitely does not have a Costco, and today I made my final visit to my main staple buying store.

You see, my membership expires this month and renewing isn’t a wise option since we will be at our new base for at least a year with no Costco within a distance that all of my food won’t quickly spoil in the 100 degree heat.

Anyone who has ever walked into a Costco knows how addictive the bulk items and awesome priced home goods can be. I can buy a pound of butter, an HP printer and a pair of pants all in the same place. Mother’s of young children know how convenient this one-stop shopping can be. I will miss it dearly.

I love me some Costco and am sad to see it go. I’m not even going to start in on the fact there is no Target either, I might just start crying. Thankfully I’ll have a commissary (military speak for grocery store) that should make up for the lack of my favorite two stores. But I just had to share my ode to Costco to get it out of my system. Now back to packing.

Anyone else ever move and totally miss a store that no longer was around you? I’d love to hear about it. Share your story below and make me feel better about the Costco withdrawals I’m feeling already.

Cascade Eco is on Sale on Craftsy!

They have all 10 colors shown here on sale.
They have all 10 colors shown here on sale.

If you have been looking for Cascade Eco to make the Owl Basket, it is on sale right now at Craftsy (along with a lot of other  yarn up to 72% off!). They have Lion Brand Hometown as well, which is a 100% acrylic super bulky that would work great for the basket. The sale ends tonight at midnight so hurry over!

Do You Picot?

What is a picot you ask? According to Wikipedia, a picot is a loop of thread created for functional or ornamental purposes along the edge of lace, ribbon, crocheted, knitted or tatted material. These loops vary in size, according to their intended function and to their creator’s artistic intention.

If you’ve never used it before, it’s a really great versatile stitch that can add some dimension to your next crochet project — and it’s really easy to do.

Picots give this owl's eyes the pointy points.
Picots give this owl’s eyes the pointy points.

You can use them on a corner to get a nice pointy edge. You can use them as an edge for a bumpy border, or even inside of lace work for extra texture. There are so many things you can do with a picot.

So how do you do them?

Easy, all you do is CH 3 where ever you are at and then SL ST in the 1st of the 3 CHs — picot complete. You can substitute the amount of chains you make for your picot, but the basic crochet picot usually uses 3 chains.

If you’d like to see the picot in action here is a short video (lefties click here) on how to make them and what they look like as an edging. Let me know what you use picots for below!

This Owl is Ready to Wash!

I finally finished the Cabled Owl Washcloth pattern. It is now ready for your download enjoyment (lefties click here)!

Be sure to let me know if you have any requests for future videos. You can leave requests in the comment section.

Plus I’ve got some exciting news coming up soon, so follow the blog to be one of the first to find out what it is.

Motif of the Month August 2013: Starburst Motif

Think of the endless color possibilities!
Think of the endless color possibilities!

The newest Motif of the Month was actually a view request. She emailed me asking for a video on this traditional motif and she called it the Starburst, so I’m sticking with that name. 🙂

There is a written pattern here as well as a step-by-step video. 

If you’re a lefty, don’t despair, you’re covered here.

My Mini Review of the Clover Amour Crochet Hooks

Amour on top, Soft Touch on the bottom
Amour on top, Soft Touch on the bottom

If you’ve been following along on the blog, you know that I’ve been lusting after the Clover Amour Crochet Hook . I finally broke down and bought 6 different sizes, and I wanted to share what I’m loving about them and what the jury’s still out about.

Love

1. The Colors

I love colorful things, and having each hook size in it’s own candy colored hue is visually appealing to me. This was the number one reason why I bought these. I usually choose decor items that make me smile (hence my cow taking a shower bath print), so when I can find pretty and practical things it’s like an awesome twofer.

2. The Length

If you notice in the picture above, the Amour hook is slightly longer than the Soft Touch — not only in body length, but in shaft length as well. Having the longer shaft really helps on those stitches where you do multiple yarn overs or keep multiple loops on your hook as you work (ie. my 5 DC bobble).

3. The Hook

The actual hook is of course the most important part of the whole thing. If it doesn’t push through stitches easily and grab yarn without splitting it or get caught on it, nothing else would matter.

When I crochet with the Amour, I can’t tell a difference between it and the Soft Touch. If you like the point and grab of a Soft Touch you will not be dissapointed by the Amour. It slides easily through any yarn and is not too pointy at its tip, so you won’t split yarn easily nor stab yourself when you need to help your hook through a tight spot.

4. The Handle

The elastomer rubber handle is very comfortable to hold. Like the Soft Touch it has a wide base that is easy to hold. I want to say that the little dark brown soft spot on the Soft Touch is the same material the whole Amour hook is made out of, but don’t quote me on it. However, if you’re wondering what the handle feels like, that is what it is closest to.

Jury’s Still Out On

1. The Handle

Yes, I like the feel of it, but I’m worried that the rubber’s texture could change over time. If it is made of the same material as the soft spot on the Soft Touch (say that 5 times fast) then I know that the rubber will hold up because I’ve been crocheting with the Soft Touch for years with no change in it’s texture.

However, with the larger surface area, I don’t know if oils and other crud that comes off of my hands could alter it down the road. I’ll keep you up to date with any changes that show up (if any) as I keep working with them.

2. The End of the Hook Handle

The rubber extends about a half inch past the rigid hook interior of the handle, so you can actually bend the end of the handle.

I worry about this because my kids have an uncanny knack of knowing exactly how to break anything they put their hands on. So I might give them one of the hooks just to see how much bending power they can put to it and see if the end breaks off.

These two last points are of course going to be found out with time, but overall I love these hooks as much as the Soft Touch. The wonderful colors and softness of the handle make them edge above slightly. As long as the the two above concerns don’t ever pan out, then my new go-to hooks (when I inevitably lose one to my hook gremlin) will be the Amour.

I also made up a little video with the comparisons above (and show how bendy the end of the hook is). You can check it out here.

If you’ve been using the Amour please let us know what you think and if you’ve had any problems with the handles.

For Your Summer Pleasure

Here is the latest Free Pattern Workshop. This was a viewer request; she wanted a fun and beachy themed Starfish Washcloth. If you have any requests be sure to contact me and see if I can make it up for you and everyone else.

Using about 60 yards of 100% cotton, you can make one of these up in a couple of hours. You can download the pattern here.

If you are left handed here is your version of the video.

When Will My Owl Obsession End?

Owl Washcloth
Coming Soon

No time soon!

I’m making up a new video on how to make this cabled owl washcloth. The cabled owl has been around since the 70s in knit form — I know this because I found an old ad for a pattern in one of my vintage magazines. I wanted to come up with my own crochet version of it and this washcloth is what happened. I’m 3/4 of the way finished with the video and should hopefully have it up by next week. If you’re not following the blog already, now is a great time to sign up. You’ll get notification as soon as it’s added!