I've been collecting antique, unusual or finely made crochet hooks for several years. One of the few non-antique wood hooks (because I like the ones Dick makes better than any I can find on Ebay or Etsy) I covet are Graydogs (ebay link; check here too.) I have a fairly extensive collection of Bill's hooks in exotic woods - before I retired I was trying to get one in each hook size, both 'regular' and 'steel' - but they can get pricey, especially this time of year when the bidding goes crazy on Ebay. More than a few times I've seen his hooks go for over $100.

In addition to crochet hooks, Bill also does barrettes and needle/toothpick holders from hardwoods. Wenona got me hooked (sorry!) on his needle holders
last year after she bought one for a gift. I've been watching and bidding for about a month now but no luck so far.

But what I did win was two hook auctions. The first is an "H" hook in purpleheart, red palm and "Joseph's Coat" hardwoods.
My photo is really crummy so here's the one from the auction:
The second is a "J" hook in purpleheart, walnut, maple and ebony hardwoods.
Absolutely gorgeous.

These are 'plain' hooks - no fancy flame ends (like the $100 one linked above) or curlicues - which is probably why I got them at an affordable price. And unlike my previous purchases, I plan to use these as everyday hooks rather than saving them for 'special'. Can't wait to show these off at crochet class this week.


Gorgeous, But . . .

This is one of the most gorgeous things I've ever seen. And I really want to make it. But I'm not sure it's wearable. So answer me this: would you wear it?



It's been raining here for about 5 hours, fairly steadily. All the newsies are on STORM WATCH. I feel bad for the people in the burn areas that may get mud flows but give me a break. We might have had a quarter inch of wet by now. Sheesh.

I finished the Window Pane scarf today and love it. Very interesting technique using 2 strands of yarn.
I'm thinking about felting this, just to see what it would look like. The black is superwash, so it won't felt; the pretty colors are Noro Silk Garden, a wool/silk blend and that will felt. Might be a pretty neat effect.I'm also making headway on the Mock Faroese shawl I'm teaching in the spring. This is made with Tofutsie's sock yarn. Love the colors. I think I remember reading somewhere (Cheryl??) that Tofutsie's colors fade badly in sunlight. Sure hope that's not true! This needs to be finished by the middle of December since it's a store sample. Piece of cake (unless I get sidetracked - again - with more projects . . . )


Another Addy FO

I finished another Roselette top for Addy, this one in teal blue, before we left Colorado. Truthfully, I almost finished it - I had to leave the buttons for Rachel to sew on. (Will she? Won't she?? Only time - and pictures - will tell.)

I added the same 4 rows to this sweater - 2 in the top section, 2 in the bottom - as I did to the first to make it long enough for Addy. I also did a foundation single crochet rather than chain stitch for the first row to make the neck stretchier and added a row of picots around the bottom.
Love the picots; I'll definitely add them to any others I make from this pattern.

The yarn is Red Heart's Soft Yarn, which I've never used before. I'm interested to see how it looks after a few washings. I'm not a fan of Red Heart - too scratchy and acrylic (horrors!) - but this is nice and soft,
pleasant to work with and the colors are rich. If it holds up in the laundry, Soft Yarn just might give my usual kid's yarn, Plymouth Encore, a run for it's money.


Birthday Girl

Friday was Addy's second birthday and after her photo session (Rachel should be putting up the photos any.day.now.) we took her to Build A Bear for the first time. I think we were all a little overwhelmed at the choices; not just of stuffed animals, but in clothes and shoes and accessories and strollers and stuff.

There was obviously some thought put into these stores. First you choose an unstuffed animal. Addy's favorite animal is an elephant so Rachel, after showing her a few other options, steered Addy in that direction.

Then you help stuff it. See the pedal at Rachel's foot?
She (and older kids) controlled how fast and how much stuffing goes in. The helpful employee sewed up the back (the threads are already in place, it's just a matter of pulling them tight, tying a knot and cutting the strings) and then gave Addy her new friend. Next up is a 'bath' (air, not water) complete with scrub brushes to get any excess lint off the toy. Then came the really hard part; choosing an outfit and accessories. See the counter behind Addy? That's about one-sixth of what's available, accessory-wise. They even had sparkly ruby slippers to match the ones Addy wore for her pictures. Addy finally settled on a pair of Pretty Kitty pj's for her elephant, passing up the princess, camouflage, and Broncos cheerleader outfits. (She'll probably get the stroller she was also interested in for Christmas.)

We had a minor meltdown at the cash register -
it was well after Addy's nap time - but that was solved by taking her to see the ginormous Christmas tree that was right outside the store. Addy marched around - and around - the tree carrying her new elephant in a box that was almost half her size, and talking to him the entire time. A quick ride on Grandpa's shoulders, with the elephant she refused to put down, then home for a nap in her princess bed. I think my baby likes her new baby.


FO For Addy

I finished Addy's sweater and hat today and she was kind enough to model them for me. The weather is finally turning cold - it was in the 80's the first day we were here - so Addy may get to wear this very soon.

The sweater is the Roselette Top by Sylvie Damey (Rav link - check out all the variations on this pattern);
the hat is Swirls Cap by Sophia Kessinger (Rav link). I added a few rows to lengthen the sweater, so Addy wouldn't out-grow it immediately, and adorned the top with an elephant button flower to match the hat. I made the hat slightly smaller, about 19" rather than the 22" in the pattern, so it would fit Addy's head. It's a little hard to tell but the yarn is a mix of oranges and bright pink. Addy especially loves the pink. Rachel said this is going to be Addy's Thanksgiving Day outfit . . . to go with her pink tutu. Can't wait to see that!



When we stopped for lunch yesterday on the way home from the airport, Addison kept showing us Christmas trees. Rachel isn't sure where she got her obsession, but Addy is fascinated by them. Not Santa Claus or reindeer - just Christmas trees.

She talks about 'kippy tees' constantly and points out every pine tree as a 'kippy tee'. What's a grandma to do? While Rachel and I were in Target, supposedly to get one dress for Addy's birthday pictures on Friday (we each bought her 2 outfits), Grandma went shopping for Addy's very own Christmas tree.
(And Elmo slippers. Every 2 year old needs Elmo slippers, right? Addy carried them all over Target, hugging and kissing them. Grandma loved that.)

Addy's loved her tree - especially when we turned off the lights and the fiber optic lights started twinkling.
Her very own kippy tee nightlight. Perfect.


Sleepy Time

Addison is getting so big. It's amazing the changes that have occurred just since we saw her last in August. She has very definite opinions now. She knows what she wants to eat; what she wants to wear; and what she wants to do.

One of the cutest things is nap time. When Addy is ready for her nap, she announces 'seepy time'. That's our cue to start the bedtime rituals. Yesterday she told me 'bathroom' so we did that too. (this isn't part of her usual routine, according to Rachel; it's special for grandma).
Then it's on to picking out a blanket - the pink one, not the blue one - her pillow and a toy to sleep with.

Addy decides where she wants to sleep, drinks her bottle, then closes her eyes and she's gone.
Is there anything in the world cuter than a sleeping child?


Up, Up and Away!

We're off to see Addy - and her parents - today. Back in a week, and by then Addy will be 2!! Time sure does fly.



Oreo has always been interested in my yarn. If I leave a ball out overnight, I can be sure she'll find it and chase it over and under and around and about as many rooms as she can get to, making a huge tangled mess. If she sees me put it in a drawer, she does her best (and very often succeeds) to get the drawer open and her treasure out.

So when I started finding my tagged class samples all over the house, I was pretty sure who the culprit was - especially since a fair number of them ended up in Oreo's food dish. I thought I must have forgotten and left them out on the counter.
Uh, no.
Oreo and AJ both like to use these cloth and cardboard drawers as scratching posts (they have no claws, so no damage - or not much damage - is done.) Oreo figured out that my tagged samples were in the top drawer, so she pulls at the handle until she gets it open jusssssst enough to get them out.

Now it's a game. Every morning I pick up her treasures and put them away, carefully closing the drawer tightly. And every night she works until she gets the drawer open and her treasures out, then positions them carefully throughout the house.
Now if I could just teach her to put them away again . . .


Shawl Class

The second Pineapple Shawl class went well Tuesday night, although nobody is even close to being finished. We're having a third session in December, hoping to get through the final third of the pattern.It always amazes me - it's one of my favorite things about teaching - to see how items from the same pattern can be so different. Sometimes I like it, sometimes not; and occasionally I'm almost green with envy and wish I'd thought of it first.

Which was the case Tuesday. I thought a solid color yarn was essential to this pattern; too much color, not to mention glints of metallic, would conflict with the intricate pattern.


One of the ladies did her shawl in Blue Heron's Rayon Metallic in a blue/green and I'm in awe. Stunningly gorgeous.

D**n it. Now I'm going to have to make another one of these.


Tis The Season

For tons and tons of junk mail. If you're like me and would like to end some of the madness - and save a few dozen trees in the process - here's some links to opt out for catalogs, 'pre-approved' credit card and insurance offers and junk phone calls. Enjoy!

www.dmachoice.org (no phone number) will put you on a "do not mail" list for commercial catalogs, compliance by the businesses who send the catalogs is voluntary but you will see a substantial decrease after the first 30 days (they have a separate process at the same link to reduce spam and e-mail).

You can dramatically reduce the amount of unsolicited mail regarding credit applications, insurance offers etc. by contacting www.optoutprescreen.com or 888-567-8688.

And while you're at it, you can contact www.donotcall.gov to register with the National Do Not Call Registry, or call them at 888-382-1222 from the phone you want to have included on their list.


Busy, Busy

I can't believe it's been over a week since I blogged. I've been so busy with classes - taking and teaching - and visiting - took Leia to see Wenona on Friday; went to the Rose Bowl flea market today - that I've either not had time or been too tired to blog.

But I have been getting work done on my projects. (Hmm, haven't updated Ravelry lately either . . .gotta fix that tomorrow.) I took a Continental Converts class last Monday to learn picking, rather than throwing, and plan to get lots of practice knitting my Adult Surprise Jacket. And the Baby Surprise Jacket that I think Leia has already outgrown.

I taught the first half of the Pineapple Shawl on Tuesday,
which includes making another shawl to be sure I remember the pattern before my (5!!) students start asking questions. The last half will be this Tuesday night. Plus I have a private crochet student who didn't want to wait for the next beginning crochet class, so I'm meeting with her once a week (and I agreed to reverse engineer a shawl her mother made so she can make another one. Fortunately, it looks like a pretty easy pattern.)

Also on my list is the basketweave tee; two hats for Addy, with two more in the planning stage; a secret project for Wenona (hee hee); shawl for Tanya; and I ordered the yarn to make the Copenhagen Cardi, a gorgeous, thickly cabled crochet sweater that I can't wait to start. Oh, and I need to decide what classes to teach from January to April and make the samples by the first of December. No pressure . . . .