Sunday, October 31, 2010

If you're on my Christmas list, (and you want to be surprised) DON'T READ THIS POST!

Much of our Saturday was spent trick-or-treating, visiting friends and lazing around.

However, this post is to celebrate the fact that in between all that,

I managed to trade all of this:
tns given quirky 11-10

For ALL of this:
got 11-10
(and even a little bit more that I couldn't fit into the collage)

Trading is one of the absolute joys of my crocheting life. 
(Thanks Etsy!)
(Thanks fellow Trade-a-holics!)
(thanks muffintop!)
(thanks peculiarparchment!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why I Crochet


(This doesn't have anything to do with crocheting, but it's kind of important so that the part that does have to do with crocheting makes sense.)  

So, I have this friend.  Her name is Lee and she's about 45 years older than I am.  I met her when I was going to college.  I was an 18-year old freshman, and she was a sixty-two year old woman who was taking as many music classes as she could.  We were in choir together.

We kept in touch over the years as I moved from state to state and city to city.  And then, one year, we lost touch with one another.  I didn't know where she was, or whether she was even still living.  For about two years I thought of her, tried to track her down, and wondered how she was. 

And then one day, about a year ago, a mutual friend called me, and in the course of our conversation, she told me what was up with Lee.  Specifically, she told me where she was living, what she was up to, and how I could get in touch with her.

The next time I was home, we met up.  What a treat that was!  She was 83 years old, and still as good-natured and courageous as ever.  We had a really nice chat before I left, and we determined to start up our mail correspondence once again.

And now we come to the crochet part:

About four months ago, in one of my letters, I mentioned that I had opened an etsy shop, and that I was making quite a few hats as well as other items, and that I was enjoying it.  Lee wrote me back, asking what kind of hats I had, and how much I was charging for them. In my next letter to her, I sent her a sheet with pictures of some of my more popular hats (but no prices).

She then wrote me back (you might think it would be more efficient to use the phone, but we're letter people), asking if I could send her one of my newsboy caps.  She had found that as she was getting older, her hair was starting to break off on the ends.  The fact that she put her hair in rollers every evening was compounding the problem, but she isn't the kind of person who feels comfortable not having her hair done, regardless of pretty much anything else.  

So, her plan was to wear one of my newsboy caps on weekdays and Saturdays, and only roll her hair up for Sundays.  She was hoping that by doing this, she could still feel pretty on the weekdays, AND slow the damage of her hair.  

Naturally, I sent her two caps, one in blue and one in creme.  (You would have done the same, I'm pretty sure.)

Well, from the next letter I received her, you would have thought I had sent her the moon on a string with a side of mozzarella cheese sticks.  She was thrilled, and as I read her effusive letter, so was I.

I like to think of her, hanging out in a creation that came out of my own fingers, feeling stylish and pretty.

sal 10-10

In fact, thinking of that scene in my head sometimes just makes my day. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

"nice warm toasty woasty"

(The title is a phrase that my dad used to say to me as he tucked me into bed.  Now I say it to my little girl when I tuck her into bed.)

For the past few weeks, I've been in slipper mode.


I've never really gotten into making slippers before, because I've struggled at times with getting both slippers to be the same size, which was discouraging.

However, a few months ago, my sister-in-law proposed a little trade to me.  She would make me a quilt if I would make her a crochet bag and a couple pairs of slippers.

You should see her quilts.  They are beautiful!

Suddenly, I was very motivated to learn how to make slippers.  I purchased this pattern from, and got to work.

After a few mishaps in sizing, I finally got a couple of pairs that I felt good about, and sent them off.  Melissa loves them.  That gave me confidence to try to make some more.  I've been making them for awhile now, and have about eight pairs in black, creme, white, red, green, yellow, and blue.  I don't have pictures yet, (some of them still need trim and sewing work done) but when I do, I'll post them here.

One struggle I've had with slippers is sizing.  It's all very well and good if I'm making a slipper to fit my size 8 1/2 foot, but not everyone has my size feet.  So I've done a little sleuthing around, and I've found a size chart for socks (posted below, link here) that I'm hoping will help me out.  I figure I'll use it to determine what sizes my slippers actually are (as some of them are too big for my foot, and some of them are definitely too small), and then do a few field tests.

sal 10-10

©Catherine Goodwin
 (used with permission)

I'll let you know how it goes.

slipper picture courtesy of Vanessa Yvonne
('cause, you know, mine aren't finished yet)