Thursday, March 4, 2010

Knitting Daily

I watched a tv show today that kind of took me by surprise. I had set the DVR on a whim a few days ago when I saw the title. The show was Knitting Daily. The episode was #110: All About Texture. Although I do knit, my expertise in that area is pretty much limited to simple dishcloths and other simple projects. So I thought what could it hurt, I might learn something new. And learn something new I did, but not about knitting!

I was happy to see that the show is crochet friendly! Kim Werker, billed as their "Crochet Ace," is one of the regulars on the show. On today's episode she met with Robyn Chachula who showed her a different kind of double crochet stitch. It is called a "Linked Double Crochet" (abreviated Ldc). It creates a more solid fabric that is great for wearables. She used the stitch when designing her Rosemary Sweater which was featured in the fall 2007 issue of Interweave Crochet. Robyn is also offering a free download of the Rosemary Sweater via the Knitting Daily webiste.

In addition to the crochet segment, they talked about different yarns and thier textures. Even though the information was primarily geared toward kitters, I think there was much to be learned by crocheters as well. After all, yarn is NOT knitting exclusive! I will definately be watching Knitting Daily on a regular basis.

If you want to check it out, it's on PBS. You can look for the show in your area on the Knitting Daily website.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Another History Lesson

I promise to keep this one brief! I just wanted to follow up a bit on my previous posts about George Washington Carver and antique patterns.

Undoubtedly, one of the most popular, as well as historical, crochet items that was ushered into the new millennium has been the shawl. Many Prayer Shawl Ministries have emerged in the past decade or so in an effort to provide comfort and emotional support to those experiencing hardship and loss. What once was worn primarily as a garment of necessity, has become one of comfort and support.

I thought it would be fun to re-create a Civil War Era Shawl and share the pattern with everyone for your ministries, personal use, or participation in Civil War Reenactment. Keep an eye out for the pattern within the next week. In the meanwhile, here's a sneak preview:

For more details about the history of crochet, Ruthie Marks has provided a wonderfully detailed historical timeline of crochet. It is posted at (opens as a PDF)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

National Women's History Month

Yesterday I talked about National Crochet Month, well March is also National Women's History Month. What started just a few decades ago as International Women's Day, has evolved to encompass a full month dedicated to educating students of all ages about the importance of women throughout history.

This year's theme is Writing Women Back into History. Although it may be politically incorrect in today's society, it is a fact, historically speaking, that crochet and most other needlewark was primarily seen as "woman's work". Antique Pattern Library is working to preserve the the art form by making available the many patterns our foremothers used during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Included in the library are crochet, knitting, tatting, embroidery, needle lace and other kinds of needlework patterns. No matter your needleart of choice, you will surely find something there that will help you give you a sense of needleart history.

Monday, March 1, 2010

History Lesson

March is National Crochet Month. The origin of crochet often falls under scrutiny. Some believe men may have been among some of the first crocheters during the early centuries, others say there's no evidence of the artform until the 19th century when it was popular with European women of the day. In more recent times though, history has come full circle with men finally reclaiming their niche in the world of crochet.

During the mid to late 20th century, crochet was beginning to be seen as the pastime of "old ladies." It was mocked, berated, and seen as inferior in the world of fiber art. During the 21st century however, it has become a modern and hip way of expressing ones creative spirit. From amigurumi to the classic granny afghan, crochet is making its mark on the new millennium in a very postive way.

Perhaps its current popularity can be attributed, at least in part, to some modern day celebrities who lend their name to the enjoyable hobby. One of the first names that comes to mind is that of Vanna White. From pattern books, to her own popular line of yarn, her name has helped to revitalize the once jeered art form.

While Vanna may just be the most well known woman in crochet, the most celebrated "dude" associated with crochet is not who you might think. Yes, Drew Emborsky most certainly is The Crochet Dude, but the identity of an earlier male fiber fiend may just surprise you.

He was born a slave in 1864, just before the abolition of slavery, in what is now Diamond, Missouri. In the absence of his natural mother, his owners, Moses and Susan Carver, raised him as their own. Susan not only taught him in his youth to read and write, she also taught him to crochet. Historically, he is best known as the man who discovered 300 uses for the peanut.

Have you guessed who he is yet? I'm sure you have.

Yes, George Washington Carver was a crocheter!

You can catch a glimpse of him with his handiwork at approximately 1:45 into the following video:

Stay tuned for more on this subject!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My New Hair Stick

Never let a 2 year old near your Blogger account! I just logged onto Ravelry and happened to notice my recent blog posts and thought to myself, "when did I post that?" I've removed the post, but if you missed it, it was just a link to a silly pattern I am making for a swap. I'll share the results when I've finished and it's happily in its new home. :)

Onto some other silliness:

My hair has been getting a bit long these days and I don't like it hanging on my neck unless the temps are cold, so during the couple of warm days we had last week I wanted to put it up but couldn't find a scrunchie. This is how I improvised... It stayed there all day and didn't budge!

Friday, February 19, 2010

What's In A Name?

I've been thinking it's time for another change around here...

When I updated the look of this blog a while back I had also considered a name change, but at the time thought it prudent to hang onto the Dishcloth Diaries label. I didn't want to confuse or lose anyone. All the links people have bookmarked to thier computers, not to mention the links on Ravelry, CPC, my sidebar... Yes, I was (and still am) feeling selfish for not wanting to change all of that.

But when it comes right down to it, Dishcloth Diaries just doesn't seem appropriate any longer. The name no longer represents me or the purpose of this blog. I haven't had a dishcloth on my hook or needles in quite a while, and well... I'm just plain getting bored with the name.

I've been trying on a few ideas just for fun. Let me know what you think!
It's Crochet By Me. (A play on the phrase "it's okay by me")

April's Crochet Palette. (If it works for my Yahoo! group it will work for my blog, right?)

The Left Side of Crochet. (One: because I'm left handed. And Two, because I think it sounds fun and quirky ;)

The Blog Formerly Known As Dishcloth Diaries (Nah... just kidding! LOL)

I still don't know if I'll actually do this. I do have one possible solution for the bookmarks/links/etc... I could just leave the URL as is and just change the name only. Hmmm... something to think about.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


This year is whooshing by. I can't believe it is the second week of February already! It seems like it was just yesterday that I was promising new patterns and griping about New Year's Resolutions.

With all the inclement weather, the school closings, and just the general disarray I've been feeling very scattered. The weather has completely disrupted my routine. Laundry didn't get done today, the recycling is piling up, so are the puffies that need to go to the post office. I know my swap partners will understand if they are a little late, but it still stresses me to see them sitting here.

There are so many tasks that desperately need to be accomplished. Designs to be worked out, patterns to be written, WIPs & UFOs to be finished, and TONS of things around the house; cleaning, organizing, etc... I tried to make a to-do list but became overwhelmed by the enormity of the task.

And then, this past Saturday, on top of everything that's been stressing me, my Norton's 360 decides to take an undeserved vacation and allows a virus into my computer! Long story short, I ended up having to run my boot disks. Arrgh! I'm just glad I keep everything backed up on my flash drive!! It was a major pain in the rear, and took most of the weekend, but at least everything is back to normal now. At least with the computer anyway...

And now for just a little bit of eye candy...
Some Valentine Fridgies I made for a swap