Crochet Convention

The Knit and Crochet Show in Oakland was wonderful! I took three classes - 2 with Marty Miller and one with Karen Whooley - and shopped till I dropped (all my cash).

My flight got me into Oakland at 8:30 but I didn't get to the hotel - all of 7 miles from the airport - until after 10:00 thanks to the spectacularly unhelpful folks at National car rental. From trying to overcharge me by $100 (thankfully I had a print-out of my reservation with the quoted price) to being 'unable' to give me directions, I can safely say I won't be renting from them again.

The Oakland Marriott made up for the morning's disappointments. The hotel is shaped like my favorite shawl -
with points on either end. See the red dot on the left? That's my room. It was a funny, pointy shape, and both outside walls had windows that, from the 15th floor, gave panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge (I think), and Downtown Oakland. (My pictures don't do the views justice; they were spectacular, especially at night.)

When I checked in for the crochet show, I was handed two big bags, one from Lion Brand and another from Moda Dea,
both stuffed with yarn *, patterns and a pair of knitting needles. See the florescent pink Wool-Ease on the top left? Wait, here's a closer view . . . Everyone got 3 skeins, all in that exact color. I love Wool-Ease, but that pink is very pepto vibrant. A lot of people traded or gave it away, and I lucked into 3 more skeins. What am I going to do with 6 skeins of bright, bright pink yarn? Use the techniques I learned in Marty Miller's second class and make Project Linus blankets.

Thursday's class with Marty Miller was on foundation stitches (how to start projects without using the chain stitch) and linked stitches. I've worked with foundation stitches before but Marty had some variations that I really liked. And the linked stitches opened up whole new worlds. The linked double crochet is now firmly embedded in my bag of favorite stitches.

Friday's class - also with Marty - was Crochet By The Numbers. Marty showed how to use math, like Fibonacci numbers, Pi, and the Golden Ratio, to make garments and designs.
She also talked about how to mix colors, taking a really bright yarn (such as the pink one above) and adding a more subtle yarn, in a specific proportion, to make a pleasing, quieter mix. I'm a mathaphobe but this class was fascinating.

Saturday's all day class was my favorite, as I expected it would be. Karen Whooley taught how to design and make top-down crochet sweaters. Using Karen's basic formula and assistance, each of us designed and started our own raglan-style sweater, either cardigan, crew-neck or "V"-neck. I was hoping to wear mine on our New England trip, but after ripping out and redesigning the section right under the "V" four times, I think I'll be working on this during the trip instead. When I'm done, this will be tunic-length, with long, tapered sleeves. I still have a *little* way to go. And the shopping. Oh my. The show had good vendors, with some very tempting products. Since we're hitting some big yarn shops on our trip next week, I tried to be good but temptation was everywhere. I brought home 5 skeins of fingering weight cotton to make another sweater (it was $4 a skein; how could I pass it up??), four vintage filet crochet books, a *purple* crochet hook (only 2 bucks), a knitting needle holder, sparkly jeweled stitch markers from my friend Laura's booth, AND - my favorite thing - **purple stainless steel yarn**! It's about a lace-weight, very fine, and I don't yet know what I'm going to do with it. Maybe a thread project? Making a super-traditional doily with high-tech steel yarn really appeals to me.

*Marty Miller contributed the coral and yellow Sugar & Cream; I won the two balls of Regia sock yarn in a raffle at the CGOA meeting. Yah!


The Reception

Rachel and John were married September 13 on the beach on St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Their wedding reception and party was on September 22, at the beautiful historic McCreery House in Loveland. From the street, the house is nice - but it's the back yard that really sells it as a wedding venue. It's huge, with little touches of whimsy throughout. The gazebo was in one back corner; the perfect setting for photos.
Marie was the official family photographer. Behind her is the wrap around porch where the ice-cream cone wedding cake was set up. One of Rachel's friends made the cake, which was baked in the cones and then frosted. It tasted wonderful and was a big hit, especially with the kids.

Gary put on a 'real' shirt for the occasion - with his usual rock band black t-shirt underneath.
The star of the day was - surprise - Addison. She entertained the crowd for the entire afternoon, until she finally just passed out.


Suggestions Please?

Dick has never seen the fall colors, so we are leaving Tuesday for a week on the East coast, specifically Boston, New Hampshire, Vermont, and maybe a short foray into Maine. Help!?!? Does anyone have suggestions or 'must see' yarn/fiber store info for that area? Webs and Halcyon are on my list. Any others? Thanks for your help!


And . . We're Back

I didn't mean to take a week's vacation from the blog but we were having so much fun in Colorado that blogging just didn't happen.

We took Addy home last Monday. She entertained our fellow travelers while we waited at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport, then fell asleep while we sat on the tarmac (with no air conditioning) waiting to take off. She woke up two plus hours later as we were circling to land in Denver. I know our plane-mates had visions of 'screaming baby' when they saw us board, but Addy was the perfect passenger.

Rachel and I did a lot of shopping and planning for Saturday's wedding reception
while Dick stayed home and played with Addy. (It was his choice. He could have come craft-store shopping with us . . . Yeah, like that was going to happen.) I finished weaving in the ends & sewing the trim on Addy's new dress - and also made her a Pretty Baby sweater. It's a good thing I was able to try it on while it was 'in progress' - the 6-9 month size was about right for width, but much too short. I ended up using the 12-18 month sizing for the body and arm length. I was really pleased with how it turned out. On Thursday, Rachel and John made dinner reservations for us at the Melting Pot in Fort Collins (a 3-course fondue dinner that included a pot of dark chocolate with brownies, strawberries, bananas, Rice Krispie treats, and more to dip. Heaven!)so we could celebrate our wedding anniversary (# 33!) a day early. We decided to make a day of it, starting at Lambspun - an entire house of knitting, crochet, spinning, & weaving goodness, with its own cafe on the premises; thanks to Kristi I knew exactly which shop I wanted to visit - and then antiquing at several shops along College Ave. Dick found a couple of tools, including an antique staple gun, to add to his collection; I restrained myself - it was hard! - and came home with just two vintage linen doilies. Thanks to Rachel and John's thoughtfulness, it was the perfect anniversary/ date-day celebration.

Tomorrow - the wedding reception.


FO - And A Present

Addy's Bella dress* is done and it fits her perfectly! I still need to weave in a few ends and find a ribbon, but I can do that later this week. Rachel wants Addy to wear this for the wedding reception next Saturday. I think Addy will steal the show. Aunt Wenona made Addy a present - a super cute denim dress with pink trim. I forgot to take a photo of the little pink bow buttons on the back; they're wonderful!The dress fits very well, with a bit of growing room so Addy can wear it longer. The beautiful blanket was a gift from Ellen - a 'grandma's house' blanket. The broomstick lace looks so elegant and made the perfect backdrop for Addy's photo shoot. Thanks, Ellen!

Can you tell that Addy was hamming it up for her modeling session?
She was laughing and clapping and having a wonderful time. Whenever she's grumpy, all you have to do is point a camera at her to get smiles.

As soon as I picked Addy up off the blanket, AJ moved in to see what all the fuss was about.
The cats have been curious about Addy this week but have learned to stay well out of her reach. Addy is very enthusiastic in her petting.

*Tech specs: Bella Crocheted Baby Dress by
Posie: Rosy Little Things, made with Dalegarn Baby Ull in color #5303 (3 skeins) and #5245, using an "H" hook. The pattern called for a "G" hook but I swatched and the "H" gave me the correct gauge.


Only One Day To Go

Hi Mom & Dad,

I'm falling over with joy - I get to see you in only one more day!

Love, Addison



Look what showed up in my driveway this morning. An early anniversary present. I knew Dick had been shopping for something but I had no idea what it was. He and Matt viewed just about every pre-owned Audi available in two counties before settling on this one. She's a 2004 Audi TT with 46,000 miles, leather interior and power everything. The seats fold down and the trunk is large enough to stash spinning wheels and grand children. A sports car with room for my toys - the absolute perfect car.


Kickin It

Hi Mom and Dad,

Grandma decided we should stay home today and relax. She said I was getting over-stim, over-simt, over-smi too tired. I had a nice long nap and woke up feeling much better. I had sweet potatoes for lunch -
yummy! - and lots of baby crackers. I'm getting very good at putting them in my mouth all by myself. I practiced standing up - I can stand by myself for a few seconds and I'm getting steadier all the time.

We went to the post office - I didn't want to stand in line so I stayed in the car with grandpa - and to the store. Grandma bought me two new toys. I love the rings and I can take them off and almost put them back all by myself.
The little Gloworm sings and her face lights up. I was afraid the first time she sang, but now I clap my hands and sing along. Grandma says I can bring my new toys home with me on Monday. I can't wait to see you!

Love always,


More Visitors!

Hi Mom and Dad,

Guess what! Grandpa taught me to clap my hands this morning. I've been doing it all day, whenever somebody asks me to. I think it's a pretty neat trick.

I thought you might like to see where I take my nap. Grandma is a worrier; even though I can't turn over very well yet, she's still afraid I might roll off the bed while her back is turned. So she made me a pillow mountain. She mostly uses it when she's taking a picture of me; otherwise she's sitting right beside me, watching me sleep.

We had lots of visitors today. Aunt Breanne and Garrett came to see me and even took me for a stroller ride to the park and around the neighborhood. Garrett is very nice; I let him hold me and play with me without making any fuss at all. He makes funny faces and I like that. I told Breanne that she should keep him - she thought that was pretty funny. We went to Uncle Matt's house because Breanne hadn't seen it yet. Nai'a had to go to her swim lesson but I got to watch Miles play with his mom. Aunt Breanne is pretty good with babies; I let her feed me and she did a good job. I only kicked her in the face one time. It was an accident, I swear! Breanne and Garrett were fun. I hope they come back to visit soon.

Love always,