Tag Archives: Fearless Leader

Christmas time crochet and the list goes on…

So, I decided this year I was going to crochet presents. I crochet fast. In fact, I crochet very fast. I really could be my own one woman sweatshop. Heck if I get really desperate I can pay my daughter poorly so she can join in on the sweatshop action (tongue in cheek!)…

So, life got hectic in October. Beyond, my normal work, I added extra, and then of course my father in law passed away so very quickly that we’ve spent the last week just trying to wrap our heads around the situation. Oh my he is very missed.

We know our holidays are going to lack a little luster this year, and probably for the next few to come. So, today when we got together with my husband’s siblings and their families, I asked, “Who’s up for afghans?”

I have teenage nieces, and a 10 year old nephew, they were the first to raise their hands! I mean I know they like it when I make them things, but wowsies! How cool was that?! I told them all they will be lapghans, and I’ll make them in favorite colors, and that it is unlikely that they will be all done by Christmas. But I can give them hats and scarves first in a stitch pattern that I’m doing their comfort-ghans in.

I told thim it’s an Aunty Laurie hug. Just because right now we all need a lot more hugs and we live far away from each other. No immediate hugging gets to happen.

I love being able to do this. I’m half way through the squares for my mother in law’s comfort-ghan. She gets the first one, because as much as we all lost a very important person in our lives. Her loss is the hardest, she lost the love of her life. I can’t do a lot about that, but I can crochet some love.

So my crochet list gets longer just as the holidays hit, but that’s ok 😉 Even if a few are late, that just gives me an excuse to visit later with crocheted hugs to hand out.

I’ll post photos of the squares when I get a chance to scan them. I’m using Bonnie Pierce’s 24 Blocks on a Roll. Beautiful squares with bullion stitches! You can check out Bonnie’s fantastic work on her website!

When the crochet won’t work…

   Normally I crochet under stress, in fact it’s my preferred coping mechanism. This weekend I made sure I brought my crochet with me to get through the devastating moments and hours and days of watching my husband and his family suffer through the aggressive onset of cancer that claimed my father-in-law this  Monday morning.

  Normally, I can just sit and let my hands work. I couldn’t. Normally, I would make something to ease the pain and stress. I couldn’t.  It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been unable to crochet due to physical and emotional exhaustion.

Not that I didn’t try, mind you. Sure, I pulled out a hook, some yarn, any old yarn and made a ring, and started some lace (my stress go to stitching habit), but my hands wouldn’t work. It was like they were too sad to function. Even the hook acted strangely in my hands, like it was a stranger not a well worn, used friend.

I carried my yarn bag with me everywhere I went, kind of like Linus and his blankie. Watching my husband and his family love and tend to their father, watching my mother in law try to cope with such devastating and horrific circumstances. I just couldn’t do it. I think beyond being unable to help them, or offer them more than a hug, or a back rub, or a listening ear, even a cup of tea, but nothing really helps; what made me feel most helpless in those moments was being bereft of my crochet. It was the signal that something awful was happening when my brain just didn’t want to go there.

Watching the man who accepted me and my children from the day I met him, go from being one of the most vital, active, intelligent and gifted human beings I’ve had the pleasure to know, to a helpless man given hours when we thought we had years, was heart wrenching. The man who once told me how glad he was that his son finally had someone to love him, and be with him; that he had been worried his bachelor son would have no one to care for him when he was without his father. He said that to me ten years ago, I never forgot it. After all, isn’t it what every daughter in law craves? Needs? To hear that her husband’s family is so glad to have her?  On my part, I was able to tell him throughout the decade I have known him, how much I loved and cared for him as my father in law. No regrets on that one.

To have the wind taken out of your crochet sails, really does signify something. I’m still musing on what it means. Emotional and physical exhaustion for certain come into play. Worry, anxiety and fear certainly don’t help the creative process.

But then we were watching a very creative life end and mercifully it happened with enough time for most of his nearest and dearest to attend him. Even more mercifully he passed on in peace.  Perhaps that’s the reason it couldn’t and wouldn’t happen. When creativity ends, we need to pause, to think, to feel, to be present in that moment, or moments.

The crochet will come back. I have comfort-ghans to make. That I can do, but maybe not for a day or two.

Spookilicious Spider Hat!

Originally uploaded by angelacatirina

As promised! I’ll posting some of my favorite Halloweeny projects from Ravelry.com. This morning’s offering comes courtesy of AngelaCatrina! The Along Came a Spider Hat is totally Spookilicious!

What an amazing and fun idea! Too much fun!

You know me, I’m a sucker for a funkydoodle hat!

I was going to post the links to the pattern because they were once available. Sadly this designer no longer has her patterns for sale,and she has wonderful projects in her project page.

If she ever does go back up online, I want to know because I will link her greatly creative and funkified patterns here on the blog!

Speaking of Halloween… It is 4am I am not in bed yet, because why? I was digging through my “office/room” looking for the hat that goes with my Pirate Outfit. I turned the entire place upside down, and yes, there is mucho mucho yarn and fiber to contend with…I HAD to find it, because the outfit so doesn’t work without the hat!

In fact, this hat is beyond special to me, because when I wore in pubic the first time for the CGOA regional in Portland Oregon (Fall ’08), Doris Chan loved my hat! Yes, DORIS CHAN loved my hat!
I was most pleased that she noticed the fact that the outfit comes together through the hat.

When I designed the outfit, I found that it was lacking something when I put it on. Sure it was cool and the epaulets are a neat touch, but it swamped me small frame. So I made a glorious Chapeau a la Pirate and voila, the whole thing really does becomes one great piece. Panic happened when I could not find me piratey hat…the good news? I had it safely put away where it couldn’t get hurt…Which of course is why I could not find it 😉 Since when do I put stuff away right?

Now for my hook collection, where is that L hook?  …

When it rains it pours… (Or crochet feast or famine)

So, I went to my local yarn story today to pick up the very wool which will become my warm socks that I so desperately need. The owner Sirrku is a knitter par excellence, and a brilliant crocheter besides, sher’s IS one of the most CROCHET friendly yarn stores, and I am blessed to have her just a hop skip and jump from my house. She recently moved her premises into a lovely new space with gorgeous hardwood floors, and PLENTY of room to display her yummy wares.

You can get good old fashioned kitchen cotton in a fabo range of colors, good workhorse acrylics and wools, and then delightfully fine and fuzzilicious baby alpaca, scrumptious Merino, and to DYE for silk/mohair lace weight yarns. I love her store. And she carries both crochet hooks and knitting needles in equal measure. I love her shop. It’s called PinchKnitter’s and is in Stanwood, WA. What? I am recommending a store with a knitcentric name? Yeah I am, because it’s named after Sirrku (the owner) she has been “pinch knitting” for folks for years before she opened the shop, and I like the play on words…And she’s the only game in our small town AND makes no bones about welcoming you regardless of your craft of choice!

So, what does this have to do with when it rains it pours? Well, we have talked around my teaching classes there for about a year or so, with nothing much happening about it. Mostly due to my schedule being wackadoodle and her changing shopfront’s twice (each time to bigger and better!…I’m so proud of her!)…So starting next February I will be teaching several beginning classes, and one lace class (which I think an advanced beginner would have a easy enough time for it.)!

“Laurie ” She says to me, “I am getting oodles of requests for crochet classes, so write your blurbs and email me! We’ll shoot for February!”

So if you want to learn how to make Irish Crocheted Roses, or want to expand your personal stitch dictionary I’ll be teaching a basics  “Make decorative washcloths” expanding stitch vocabulary class through out the Fridays in February, I’ll just do the one Crocheted Roses classes, which can be done in lace thread or in large yarn (doesn’t matter, shapes all work the same 🙂 ) and we’ll see how it goes !

If you go in before that time, look for the CLF postcards on her counter! Ooodles of fun they are!

So more crocheting is feasting on my table. OH and I’m almost done with that hammock, one more 400 yd skein of yarn and we should be big enough to hold most of the collection. At this rate I think my niece might fit into it as well! LOL


Time for a Rant: Demanding some maturity!

One of the great pleasures I have is receiving your notes and emails. I love hearing your stories, and even answering questions from time to time. Yet, once in a while I get a note from one of you that makes me either sad or angry for you!

I got one such letter from a CLF member the other day, first thanking me for putting links to some CLF member designer’s pages where their patterns can be found, and then informing me as to why she was having trouble getting patterns in her area. Her most local yarn store, is run by an immature, thoughtless person (my words not hers)!

One day this CLF member went into the store, was going to purchase some very nice silk, and there was a class happening IN THE MAIN ROOM of the store! Yup that’s right, I know many LYS owners who do that so that they can help clients that walk in when they are short on staff or have a small store. The CLF member in question asked for help and was ignored, she continued browsing and looked up from time to time to see if she could catch someone’s attention…Well, heck and darn, one of the people taking the class (a pointy sticker, bless her heart and a nice one) pointed out that a customer needed help. And here’s the truth…and it’s just galls me to no end…

The yarn store owner said in a LOUD whisper, “Oh she’s just a crocheter, I’m not going to help HER.”

So, our dear CLF member walked out, not making a purchase and will not return. Good for you CLF member! Don’t forget to check the Crochet Friendly Yarn Store List for stores that DO want your money.

In this economy where people are giving people the line of “it’s tough times” and “I can’t afford to advertise” and “I can’t afford this or that…” then maybe business owners would remember that customer service is their FRONT LINE on making money. Most silk skeins I’ve seen in yarn stores aren’t cheap, that could have been a good sale…But no, someone had to be immature and decide that high school clique was in fashion this season and had to lose a sale…

MY GOD PEOPLE IT”S YARN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s all it is! Yarn…Yarn doesn’t care what you do with it, as long as you use it…

Crocheters, listen to me…Don’t spend your money in places like this, come over to the CLF Message Board and look at our long list of stores who DO want our money.

And for you immature folk out there who want to have dividing lines and don’t think our money is good enough for your store? Have fun trying to stay in business. Because my friends, had some of my pointy stick buddies been there, they would have walked out hearing a comment like that.

Stop the Croch-Ate…