Sunday Stitch Review- Tecumseh by Caitlin Hunter

So, I recall when I first saw Tecumseh on Ravelry. “Yeah, that’s nice, but I doubt I will ever make one”, I thought. Then I went to a Rhinebeck last October, and this sweater was EVERYWHERE. I have to say, it is much prettier when you see it in person. And I saw so many variations in color schemes as well. After Rhinebeck, I knew I would have to make this sweater. I cast on a few weeks ago, and it has knit up quite quickly. Also, I rarely make a pattern more than once, but now I want a blue one, too!

So, as to the pattern; it is extremely well written. It is designed as more of a swoncho than a sweater, but a trip to Ravelry showed me that some knitters had modified the fit by knitting a smaller size than recommended and dividing sooner for the sleeves than the pattern calls for. That is what I decided to do, as I really didn’t want the armpit down by my elbow, and wanted a more fitted sweater. There are so many who have done this on Ravelry, so it was easy to follow their suggestions. Important to note, though, is if you make this modification, you will need to decrease the same number of stitches early on as you are working the sleeves. The charts for the colorwork are easy to follow, and there is enough plain old stockinette in between the colorwork rounds that it is a quick knit, and easy enough to watch a movie or Netflix without getting lost.

Here I am after finishing the body. Still need to knit sleeves.

I chose to use Tahki Yarns Classic Superwash. I ordered six skeins of black, one of turquoise and two light grey. I have some yarn left over, so I had plenty to create this project; I might even knit up a matching hat! I chose this yarn for its ease of care as well as the fact that it is wool. It is not a super soft wool, but I have been wearing it all evening against my bare arms, and it is comfortable. I expect it will be even better after washing and blocking.

Finished!

Quite proud of how neatly I stitched it, so that the inside looks pretty, too!

Hope everyone has had a peaceful Passover and a happy Easter. Make life DIY!

Advertisements

Stitch review Sunday

Me, wearing my Adventurous cardi, standing in the doorway of the church in Avebury, England, this past February!

So, now that I have switched jobs, I am actually reclaiming some personal time. One of the things I hope to return to is blogging again with something resembling regularity. Please don’t take that as a promise, however, to be here every Sunday; but starting today, I am going to use Sunday as the day to talk in depth about different projects. That might mean knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, dyeing, or any of the other myriad things I tend to get into. Since I am calling it “Stitch Review Sunday”, it will most likely involve fiber crafting in some way, shape or form. I may also have a guest blogger from time to time, so if you are a fiber pal of mine, and want to contribute, shoot me a message!

This week, I am going to talk about my (so far) all time favorite knit project. I made the Adventurous cardigan by Joji Locatelli a few months ago. I have been wearing it (read: living in it!) non-stop, except for wearing it to work. It is not a piece that I wanted to expose to the rigors of the home healthcare world. But I digress.

I had originally planned to order the same yarn it was designed in, Sweet Georgia yarns superwash DK, but none of the available colorways really spoke to me. A trip to Webs online stoRe, and several clicks later, I settled on Valley Yarns superwash DK, hand dyed by Manos del Uruguay in the Herbal colorway. This yarn is a superwash, meaning I can throw it in the washer on a cold gentle cycle, and it will survive. Like a good little knitter, I responsibly knitted a gauge swatch (and did get stitch gauge with a size 6 US; but row gauge was a little short. That’s okay, I am a little short, too.) and test washed it. I even forgot, and threw it into the dryer with the rest of the load, but it came out intact, soft and squishy. Perfect!

Fist, let me talk about the pattern. Joji is a designer that I have followed for some time. I love her design sensibility. I had actually bought this pattern SIX YEARS AGO! I knew I had to make it, but at the time, I didn’t know if I had the skill to pull it off. This past Fall, I decided to print it out and order the yarn. It all starts with a clever construction. A provisional cast on is called for. You work a few inches of the collar band, then pick up the stitches from the provisional cast on and work a few inches of the other side. Then, through a clever series of increases, the sweater starts to grow, almost magically, so that you are working the cabled front bands, the back cables and the body simultaneously. Bonus: no sewing of pieces required! Gotta love that. Working from the top down, when you get to where the top of the sleeves are, put those stitches on waste yarn, finish the body, then come back and pick up the stitches and finish the sleeves. Again; no sewing! This is a very large project, but with the cables and increases and everything going on, it was never boring. I can honestly say, I was a little sad when it was finished because I was really enjoying the process. I want to make another in a rusty color. Haven’t found the right yarn yet.

Now, as to the yarn. Valley Yarns is Webs store brand. The line I bought is hand dyed by Manos del Uruguay, which is known for its own fabulous yarn lines. Valley Yarns Superwash DK is extra fine superwash Merino. As I said, I did wash the swatch in a cold gentle cycle, then threw it (unintentionally) into the dryer. It fared quite well. Since the making of the sweater, it had been machine washed twice. (Note: I do put it into a mesh bag, so that it doesn’t get wrapped around the spindle in the washer. We still have an old fashioned top loader.) The first time I did lay it flat to dry (per care instructions), but because this cardi is quite long, the weight of it has allowed it to grow…kind of all over. So I did throw it in the dryer the second time, on a low heat setting, hoping to actually shrink it a bit. It did revive the elasticity of the yarn and it is now not quite so big, but it is growing again now. The biggest draw back of this yarn has been the softness. I hear you looking at me strangely. “Why is softness a problem?”, you may be wondering. This yarn has pilled with all the wearing I have been doing. Pills happen when soft little ends that stick up from the surface of the fabric are subjected to friction, and ball up, creating pills. So my sweater needs a de-pilling session. I have a Gleaner, which has several sweater stones that are designed to remove pills, so that’s gonna happen. With most sweaters, there will come a point in time when all of the ends have pilled and been removed.

As I said, I wear this sweater…all. The. Time. It was made to replace a sweater I previously wore out that I had purchased on a trip to Santa Fe. I will definitely wear this one out, too, I am sure! Here are a couple more pictures of me wearing my beloved sweater on a recent trip to England.

It was a lovely trip to London, with a one day trip to see Stonehenge, Silsbury Hill, West Kenneth Long Barrow and the world’s largest stone circle at Avebury, with a tasty lunch at the Red Lion Pub in Avebury. Interesting fact: The Red Lion is the most common pub name in England, according to my tour guide.

Until next time, keep making life DIY!

Making life changes

I have been pretty busy lately. I have gotten some leisure time in on the last couple of weekends. This past Saturday, I went with my son and his family to Wonders of Wildlife in Springfield, Missouri. It was fun; plus, they had half price entry if you are a local. It was very crowded, but the aquarium was pretty cool. Last weekend, I went camping with them. The updated campground are Bull Shoals White River State Park are awesome!

Knitting projects I have finished lately included a pair of knee socks for me, and Eli got a new sweater.

I now have Tecumseh, by Caitlin Hunter on the needles in Tahki Classic Superwash. This was a pattern that I liked when she released it, but wasn’t really itching to make one. But then I went to Rhinebeck last fall, and there were Tecumsehs everywhere! It is really a beautiful sweater, and I decided then and there that I had to make one. It is a lovely pattern, and pretty straight forward stranded knitting. I am following the lead of several other knitters, by dividing early for the sleeves, so I will have less positive ease than the way the pattern is written. I am almost ready to divide for the sleeves now.

I also have some changes coming professionally. I have agreed to go back to work for Baxter Regional Medical Center, and will soon be running a new PT clinic in Yellville, in the Ahrens building. I am really excited for this change, as it is something I have wanted to do for a very long time, and have attempted to do via several other routes. This finally fell into place when my former boss called me and asked if I still wanted to do this! So for my local peeps, stay tuned for further information about this, as I will be posting when we open the new clinic.

Make life DIY,

Home sweet home

As some of you may already know, I spent a week in London at the end of February. Two years ago, when I went to Iceland to join Helene Magnusson’s Fire and Ice knitting and hiking tour, I had a 24 hour layover in London, during which I got out and explored like a mad woman. I vowed to return and really take the time to explore. I tried to see several sites; Stonehenge, Avebury, Kenneth Long Barrow, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and the Mean Time meridian in Greenwich, where you can stand with one foot in the East and one in the West. Of course, I also found a yarn shoppe, because I had to have some souvenir yarn.

Here, I am standing in the doorway of a church dating back to the 7th century, where worship still takes place.

While I was traveling, I finished a sweater for E

And after I got home, I started on another pair of socks, for myself.

Mom received the yearly onion shipment. I had hoped we could get our share planted this weekend.

Alas, it is raining. Again. Hopefully we can get them in the ground soon, and not have to hold them too long. They do their best the sooner you can get them in the dirt.

I hope you all have a fabulous week, and you make your life DIY!

Last day in London

So, yesterday I left the hotel without a phone. So I had no way to keep track of time nor any way to take photos. As it turned out, most of the places I went yesterday didn’t allow photography, anyway…and hey, I didn’t have anywhere I needed to be, so the time didn’t really matter.

My wanderings yesterday took me first to the Tower of London. I was able to catch a Beefeater tour. The yeoman warder was such a good story teller, that a young man passed clean out during the telling of the tale of the execution of the Duke of Monmouth, known in London history as the worst botched execution on Tower Hill. Assistance was rendered to the young man, as the rest of us moved on with the tour. After the tour, I visited the Crown Jewels, then climbed the White Tower to see the hall of armour. I had some fish and chips in the Tower’s cafe, then wandered outside of the walls to All Hallow’s Church, the oldest church in the city of London. There, you can visit the basement, where you can see tiles dating back to Roman times. The Romans were the original London residents, calling the city Londinium.

My next stop was Westminster Abbey. It is a very British thing to bury their dead in the church floors. There are so many memorials here, including kings and queens. There are some memorial slabs on the floors that have been walked on so much over the years, that the information on the marble is worn smooth. There is an audio guide included with the tour, which is good, because this place can be a bit overwhelming. There is a lot to see here! I had hoped to see St. Paul’s Cathedral, but it would have been really stretching it. I decided to opt for quality over quantity. When I was done in the Abbey, I found a vendor selling hot tea, grabbed a cup and people-watched while sitting near Parliament Square. The Elizabeth Tower (home of Big Ben, the large bell in the Tower) is shrouded in scaffolding, so no photos of that, even if I had a camera with me.

Today was a different story.

I hopped the Tube and rode down to Islington, to visit Loop of London. It is a very cute shop, and the help there is very friendly. I got some gorgeous skeins to remind me of my time in London. I also had breakfast at a lovely creperie with a wonderful salted caramel latte.

I had reservations for afternoon tea at the V&A, but still had time to go back to the hotel and drop off my purchases and work on getting my suitcase ready for in the morning. After finishing my tea (which was wonderful, btw. The V&A has gone to great lengths to make their menu historically representative of the Victorian era.), I decided to skip the ride to the hotel via Tube, and wander back through Royal Hyde and Kensington parks, a lovely mile and a half amble, during which I explored the Albert Memorial and saw Royal Albert Hall. Queen Victoria had these memorials built after her husband died. She never remarried, and would wear black the rest of her life. At one point, I was walking a memorial trail for Princess Diana, marked by the emblem shown above. It was only about 3:30, so about a half mile before the hotel, I sat to rest on a bench and watch the people go by.

London is an extremely diverse city. I have heard so many languages while I have been here. I wish I understood them all! The diversity is also represented by the variety of food one can find in the city. All in all, except for St. Paul’s, I did manage to get to see everything I had planned to see this trip. But there is so much more to see. I think there is a good chance I will come back some day.

Tomorrow I head home. Ending an adventure is always a mix of emotions, as part of me wants to continue the adventure, but there is also a part of me ready to get home.

England does not disappoint

I had the opportunity to take a trip to London at the end of February. Most everyone I know told me I was nuts for coming here this time of year. Yesterday, England experienced a record high, and the temperature reached about 70 F. Wonderful for me! I had scheduled a tour guide to take me to Stonehenge, Avebury, Silsbury and Kenneth Long Barrow. I could not have asked for a more perfect day.

Stonehenge, obviously. There were several school groups here yesterday. Kevin told me that it was really the perfect time to see Stonehenge, as the crowds were very light and there was very little waiting in line. I picked up the official National Heritage guide to take home, so I can learn more about this fascinating site.

Next stop was Kennet Long Barrow. This Is an ancient Neolithic burial tomb. It has been partially excavated, so you can go in about 20 feet. Above, I am standing outside the barrow, the view inside looking out, and guide, Kevin Pearman, standing inside the entryway.

Next, we headed for the village, Avebury. Here is another World Heritage Site, where the largest stone circle in the world surrounds the quaint village of Avebury. A working village, one section is devoted to tourists, the other devoted to the local residents. I was getting a bit peckish, so asked Kevin if we could stop for lunch before hiking the circle. He said there was a cafe at the site, or a pub in the village, called the Red Lion.

Guess which one I picked? Kevin had the fish and chips (HUGE piece of fish! He said it was very fresh and tasty). I went for the sausage and mash. I chose well!

After our gustatory break, we wandered around the site, first walking the stones. At Avebury, visitors can still touch the stones. After visiting the stones, we visited the buildings, the most impressive being the barn and the church.

The barn has been built from two previously existing building, and some of the timbers date from 1300 AD. The church began construction in 1400 AD, and is named after St. James. I am always awed to be standing in such an old place. It is one of the few churches in England that was allowed to retain much of its Catholic iconography, though it is Anglican in the present day. The baptismal font is still present, as is the screen where the monks would have worshiped separate from the public. It is still a functioning place of worship.

The weather promises one more perfect day today, then cooler, wetter weather is moving back in. I am headed to Westminster to catch a cruise to Greenwich, home of Greenwich Mean Time, where I can stand with one foot in the East, and one in the West. See ya later!

2019

Wow. I have not blogged since 2017. The writing bug has been calling me recently, so I decided to revive my blogging. I won’t promise you I will post with anything amounting to regularity for now. I have allowed my current job to spill over into my personal time, and it is showing on my psyche. 2019 is the year that I will be working on correcting the imbalance that has crept into my life.

I have always had a need to strive for balance in my life, as I am sure many of you strive, also. It is such a delicate thing sometimes, balance.

I will be here, brushing up on my dusty blogging skills, as time allows. If there is anyone still following what I write, I wish to thank you.

I do manage to sneak in some creative time, even if it is not at my usual level of productivity. If I didn’t, I would be completely bonkers by now! Here are some photos of things I have completed recently.

As you can see, knitting has been my recent creative go-to. I am still weaving, but have both looms with warps needing attention. I hope to be able to finish weaving what is currently on them, so I can move on to something else. I have also been spinning some. I did find time to take a long weekend last October and visit my friend Nancy in New York, and attend the New York Sheep and Wool Festival (otherwise known only as Rhinebeck to those of us in the fiber arts world). I had an excellent time and was able to reconnect with Nancy, Margaret and a few other folks!

I hope you will stay tuned as I make a blogging comeback and continue to make life diy!

Family ties (and gags?)

I have the great good fortune to come from a family who was always involved on a personal level with helping people. My Dad entered the Army with a 6th grade education as an enlisted man, and managed to retire as an officer. For the rest of his life, he would be a blue collar worker in various fields. He made a decent living. We girls had everything we needed, and some stuff we didn’t, though we certainly didn’t get everything we wanted. We were also fortunate in the fact that our Mom did not have to work outside the home, so was always present for us all. She truly was the glue that held us together.

In spite of how hard my Dad worked to provide for his family, he was always quick to give of his time, sweat, and if need be, his home and his money, to help someone. Sometimes the people he helped were family; sometimes they were not. But if he and Mom saw someone in need and they had the resources to help, they would.

I guess growing up, I never really considered whether my folks were liberal or conservative; Republican or Democrat. I was a kid, so such things never crossed my mind.

We had the good fortune to be close to one of my Mom’s brothers and his family. They spent quite a bit of time on our family farm. The three youngest boys all lived with us for periods of time shortly after becoming adults. My Dad would often take them under his wing and help them find work while they lived with us. Most of the guys were like brothers to us, but there was one who was often mean with his comments to us girls. We pretty much just took it. For awhile.

This cousin lived with us for awhile after a very serious car accident. We waited on him hand and foot, as he was pretty busted up. I remember painting a Razorback on one of his casts and Rolling Stones lips on another, as he was a fan of both. In spite of his verbal abuse, I really wanted him to like me, and to be nice to me. I mean, I thought I was doing everything I could to make that happen. So one day, when my Aunt and Uncle came up to visit, they brought one of my cousin’s friends with them; a young woman. Sometime later, my cousin gave me a baggie of pot that he asked me to hide for him. It seems his friend had brought it for him, but he didn’t want to have it within his things, lest it be discovered. In my 16 year old people-pleasing frame of mind, I took it and hid it inside of a stuffed animal. It wasn’t until a day or two later that the gravity of what he had asked me to do was weighing heavily on my mind. My sisters and I didn’t do drugs or smoke pot. My conscience couldn’t take it anymore, so I told my younger sister what he had asked me to do. She encouraged me to tell Mom, so I did. Besides, my hiding his stash hadn’t made him any nicer to me. He was every bit as mean and nasty as he ever was.

My aunt and uncle were still visiting, as I recall, or maybe my uncle made a special trip back up to take care of business; I don’t remember. By that time, my cousin was up and walking pretty well and doing more for himself. I do remember my uncle taking his son for a walk. I don’t know what was said, but my cousin packed his stuff up and left with my uncle.

Over the next few years, my parents would help this same cousin again. They tried to create work for him with a small sawmill. My Dad decided to buy the land next door, and said cousin wanted to “buy in”, though in the end, he contributed very little. In spite of this fact, Mom and Dad carved out a couple of acres for him and his family, which by then consisted of his wife and two kids, and just let them have it. In the time that they lived there, our family helped them with numerous things.

So, in 2017, I find myself to have gotten over my drive to be a people pleaser. It has taken a long time to reach the conclusion that trying to please people has never gotten me anywhere. What has gotten me to where I am today; a post-graduate, first generation, college educated woman who makes a substantial income in a very rewarding field? Hard work, the ability to think for myself, the ability to use critical thought to try and enrich the world around me in order to do my best to try to leave it a little better than I found it. These are all skills that have been hard fought for and hard won.

So in a post-factual, Donald Trump America, apparently my opinion has no value any longer. At least according to my cousin. He has taken to spewing uninvited and unsolicited hate and vitriol on not only on both of my sisters’ social media, not only on mine, but on my Mom’s as well; the very person who allowed him into her home. The very same aunt who cooked for him, gave him clean sheets to sleep on at night and welcomed him as one of her own. The same liberal aunt who   did her very best to make him a part of our immediate family.

Now, allow me to digress for just a moment. Let me clarify that I am not talking about someone who approaches the issues with the attitude of engaging in an intelligent debate, respectfully listening, and being listened to. I am not talking about a person who can separate his feelings from the spirit of a debate, and give critically thought out, evidenced based support of his stance on the issues. Nope.

I am talking about a person who, instead, resorts to name calling, profanity, and when backed into a corner to substantiate his claims either says things like, “Delete me I don’t give a shit” or just goes missing all together.

My family, as far back as I can remember, has ALWAYS engaged in reasonable debate. My Mom and Dad, who had very few true fights, frequently had very lively debates between each other, often one of them playing devil’s advocate. In the end, they would usually end up laughing and they still kissed each other good night before bed.

Debate used to be something we Americans were good at. We might not always agree, but we could all agree to respect one another. We could agree to disagree. We could agree to keep things fair; to not call each other names or to direct profanity at one another. We could agree not to let outside forces affect our responses to each other. Because, in the end, that is really all we have control over. We can’t have much control over the state of our country, except through the exercise of our Constitutional rights. If others denigrate you for the exercise of those rights, ignore the abusive treatment. They also have the same rights. But what you do have control over is how you respond.

I choose to not be hateful. I choose to exercise my Constitutional rights, while being mindful that my rights do not infringe upon the rights of others. I choose to search for the truth, to look at the evidence with objective eyes and figure out for myself what is going on. I choose, above all, to be kind to others, even if my opinion is different from theirs.

To paraphrase my younger sister, the attitude that “you have to put up with bad treatment just because we’re family” is hogwash. You don’t have to put up with bad treatment; ESPECIALLY, not from family.

If my cousin were to show up at my door today, I would fix him a meal, put him up for the night and treat him with every kindness I would give to anyone, in the spirit of my Mom and Dad. Not to be a people pleaser, but because he is family, and it is the right thing to do.

 

Hello…is it me you’re looking for?

This morning, I heard the sound of a siren echoing through the woods. Most of you may be thinking, “So what? I hear sirens all the time.” That may be true, but here amongst the hills and hollows of these Ozark mountains, it is not a sound I hear frequently.

I have lived in the city before. I once lived for three years in El Cajon, California, in an apartment a mere two blocks from the police and ambulance station. When you hear them all of the time, you learn to tune them out. But here in my little house, on the edge of Rodgers Ridge, the loudest sounds I typically hear are the hoot owl who occasionally lights outside my window, or the bullfrogs in the pond in my front yard. Here, when I hear a siren, it gets my attention. Here, when I hear a siren, it means one of my neighbors is in trouble.

I stepped onto the back porch to determine which direction it was coming from; North, headed South. In my mind I started listing all of the folks I know who live down that way. We are not extremely good friends, but with many of the folks on the other end of the road, I have a friendly acquaintance with them; if we see each other in town, we stop and chat for a bit. There are also people on the other end of the road that I don’t know. Does that lessen my concern for the unfortunate unknown soul on that ambulance? No it does not.

As the sound of the siren faded away, all that was left was the sound of the crows cawing up in the field and the January breeze rustling the the dead leaves on the ground and the late hangers in the trees. I came back in the house and made a cup of coffee and began to ponder a bit.

What if we were all concerned for our neighbors? What does it mean to be a neighbor? Well, I did a little bit of traveling this past summer. During my travels, I met a lot of people from all over the world. Here’s my conclusion: we are ALL neighbors. We should all be concerned about each other. Guess what the immigrant from Korea wants? He wants to live in a free country, to be safe and to be allowed to work hard at a business of his own choosing. Guess why the young woman from Vietnam, who made fast friends with me, was in the US? To get a quality education in New Orleans, and to see the wilds of Alaska for the summer. Guess what the native Alaskan man I met in Fairbanks wanted? For his people to be recognized as the only true Americans, having been the original inhabitants of the area, long before we immigrants came.

Right about now, you are probably thinking, “Wait…what? I am not an immigrant! I was born in the United States of America!” You would be right, on one hand. You are an American. But if you are like me, my roots were planted in the soils of other countries. England, Ireland, France, just to name some of the ones I know about. Most of my American roots were planted in the 1700’s. I even have a few revolutionary soldiers in my heritage. Does that make me any more American than anyone else? 

No; it does not. 

But before I get off course, talking about immigration, (we’ll save that discussion for another time), let me get back to my main point. We are all neighbors. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, who you love, what your religious or political beliefs are, where you come from or whether you are a man, woman, boy or girl. We are ALL neighbors.

I emerged from the presidential election feeling a little battered and bruised. I felt that way largely because of the way we neighbors were treating each other. There has been a lot of ugliness. I withdrew from social media for a few weeks, hoping it would calm down and people would return to being decent to each other. But when I returned, I only saw that it has not gotten better. It has possibly even escalated. 

What I hear coming down the road is a siren so loud, we cannot ignore it. When we wonder who is on the ambulance, we should be concerned. Because, folks, WE are on that ambulance. If we don’t stop hating each other and start working together, things are not going to get better; they will only get worse. We should not allow ourselves to be manipulated by anyone in power; we need to think for ourselves, pull ourselves up by our boot straps, roll up our sleeves, get shoulder to shoulder with our neighbors, and get to work. 

Hate cannot win.

New adventures and book giveaways!!!

So it has been a bit crazy here lately. I have three new crochet books to tell you about today, and I have been making plans of late to embark on a new adventure. The kind folks at F&W have agreed to provide a winning copy of each title (giveaway limited to U.S. And Canadian participants only). So…what would you like to hear about first? My upcoming adventure, or the swag? 


Photos copyright F&W, 2016

Okay, I don’t blame you. We’ll talk about the swag first! 

Up first we have Classic Crochet Blankets. This book features 18 lovely projects in DK, sportweight and worsted weight yarns, all designed by various crochet rock stars. We are talking Kristin Omdahl (I have long been a fan girl of her work!), Ellen Gormley, Doris Chan…and the list goes on! There are designs ranging from the classic back-of-the-couch granny afghan in modern fresh colors to several join-as you-go options for those who hate weaving in hundreds of ends. Yes, please! If blankets are your thing, this is the book for you. If you can’t wait to win a copy, you can click here to buy a copy!

Up next, Kristin Ohdahl’s Continuous Crochet. I want to make. All. The. Things. In. This. Book! (Did I mention I am a fan? I already loved her work years ago, and then I met her, and I have to tell you, she is such a sweetheart and a fellow geek, that meeting her just made me love her work even more! But enough about me…ahem!) As I paged through the projects, with each one I found myself muttering, “Oooooh….I want to make that….and that! Ooooh….look at THAT!” I have been guilty in the past of purchasing crochet books for 2 or 3 patterns, but I love ALL of these patterns! A self-professed hater of weaving in ends, Omdahl explores how to manipulate the yarn in what she calls a “journey of ways to move, meander, join & feature beautiful yarns.” 

Omdahl is well known for designing in finer weight yarns, and that is certainly evident in this title, but there are several projects in sportweight and worsted weight featured here. In total, there are 21 hook-worthy projects here for the discriminating crocheter. Want to buy it now? Click here!

Finally, we have Vintage Modern Crochet, by Robyn Chachula. At first glance, I thought all of the designs were by Robyn, but she has invited several of her stitchy pals to the party! (Even Kristin Omdahl. Did you know I am a fan? 😍)

The designers explore the vintage techniques of pineapple lace, Bruges lace, filet crochet, Irish lace and Tunisian crochet by breathing new life into these techniques. With the use of updated yarns, fibers, colors and playing with different weights, Vintage Modern Crochet lives up to its title. The application of the techniques is true to their history, but applied beautifully and stylishly to the 21st century. If you love vintage (and come on, who doesn’t?) click here to get your copy.

Now, in order to enter for the giveaways to win one of these titles, I am getting creative. In the past, I would only have the entry be official if you leave a comment here on the blog. That still works. But you can enter also by commenting and/or liking the post on my Atelier Renee’ Facebook page, sharing the post on Facebook, or tweeting/retweeting the blog post link on Twitter! Come on folks! This is my biggest giveaway yet! Help me spread the word!

Now, as for me, by this time next week I will be in Juneau, Alaska. I am going to give travel therapy a try. Would I like to get paid to travel? Yes, please! I will be working at the Ethel Lund Medical Center, helping to provide care for the Alaskan Natives. Right now, the plan is that I will be there for 8 weeks. I already have several adventures planned for while I am up there. Stay tuned here for pictures and stories of my adventures and see how I go about making life DIY!