Tuesday, October 13, 2009


You know that old saying "Be careful what you wish for..."?

Well, lately I am learning to appreciate that on a whole new level. To quote Dolly Parton, "I'm busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest!"

Not that I'm complaining. Afterall, I'm just beginning to get what I have wanted for a long while and am looking forward to it continuing. I'm just saying it's an adjustment.

Over the summer, as you've read, I attended the National CGOA conference in Albany, NY. Since Meg dominated that posting, I didn't have a chance to share that I won first place in one of the categories of the National Design contest. I won for this freeform handbag in the Accessories category. (A press release from the CGOA can be found here.)

With the end of summer also brings the State Fair of Texas and of course, the Creative Arts contests. In years past I have always been more optimistic than realistic and have registered a few more projects than I actually complete and submit for judging. And that includes the last-minute-staying-up-all-night-to finish-it-and-barely-get-there-in-time projects!

This year, I swore, would be different.

Surprisingly, it was. I registered only 4 items and I had all items completed without any last minute rushing or late overnight finishing. Here's how that went:
Afghan: First Place

Let me just go on record here and say I am less than thrilled with the way they chose to display this item...

I mean, it's the first place winner in its category - could you at least spread it out to show the varied stitchwork and cabling designs?
Here's a better picture of it as modelled by my friends Jan and Molly

I also entered a lace stole: Second Place

(I have no idea about the popcorn box and frankly, was afraid to ask...)

I entered a Vest in the Felt-Craft any item category: Second Place

I also entered a sweater: Second Place

A little side note here about the sweater...

In 2006, 2007 and 2008 I won the first place ribbon in the sweater category, but this year, taking second was even more gratifying! The person who won the first place ribbon this year for sweater was none other than my friend Jan Scogin - AND it was for the sweater she made while I was teaching my crochet group how to make a sweater during our multi-month sweater project! Wa-Hoo!!

In addition to the Fair, I also stay busy making items for friends and for charity projects.

Here's a Lace Stole I made from 100% Silk that I hand-dyed. I donated it to the Silent Auction for the Balck Tie Dinner:(Sorry, the picture isn't too great. I grabbed some poor innocent worker at the auction and forced her to model it for me since the only other pictures I have of it include Louis helping me block it out...

Things have been hopping along on the professional side of the craft, as well.

I'm still learning the craft of hand-dying yarns and usually am pleased with the results... But sometimes, I get the strangest results. Case in point - I was dying up some sock yarn in the Charlie Brown colorway when I started to notice something strange.

"Hmmm," I said to me, "I wonder why that one hank looks lighter?"

Always the optimist, though, I continued on, thinking that somehow, the universe would correct this obvious error on its part and magically all 4 hanks would match when I was done. Afterall, they were all 4 dyed at the same time and had all come out of the same bag of hanks I had pre-skeined for dying.

In the end, though:

"One of these things is not like the others..."

I racked my brain for hours. Cleaned my glasses several times. I even took the skeins to various sources of light. Finally, I had to admit something had not gone quite right. I put on my inspector cap and started the investigation. Then, like a bolt out of the blue, it hit me. Could it be? Surely not! Well maybe...

I have figured out what happened and am offering a free hank of sock yarn (in your color choice) to the first person that posts in the comments of this blog and correctly identifies specifically why this happened.

Luckily, my yarn lots generally turn out much better. At the DFW Knit Out Crochet, Too event last month I donated some of my handiworks to help get the label name out there. There were 2 individual door prizes of hand-dyed silk/merino laceweight, each with about 1500 yards:


Sea Bubble

I also donated seven 100-gram skeins of sock yarn, 4 of them 100% merino (365 yds each) and 3 of them 75%merino/25% nylon (464 yards each):

The person that won the sock yarn did a celebrational dance and high-kick I will not soon forget. I couldn't convince her, though, to do it for the picture.

Sock yarn colorways included were Strawberry Lipgloss, Charlie Brown, Puddle Gum, Gnosh, Marigolds, Shadow and Bora Bora.

I have a pattern that will be published in a national magazine early 2010. (Sorry. That's all I can reveal at this time...)

I am also working under several other contracts currently. (Again, sorry. That's all I can reveal at this time...)

But never fear!! When the projects are officially published, I'll post here.

Since I don't want to end this post with a note of suspense, I will close with a picture of some hand-dyed 100% silk lace weight yarn...



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Basket Jacket and Color Fun

I've been having fun the past few weeks experimenting with various dying techniques and colorways for the "Dame Etta Vett Designs" hand-dyed yarns line. Here's a few of what I came up with:

The "Stella Mae Sock Weight" (superwash) yarns are:



I love this colorway ( still unnamed) and am currently making a scarf from it.

"True Blood"

The "Lady Sue Lace Weight" (some 100% Superwash, some with 30% Silk) are:


"Sister Mary Fig"


"Prairie Flowers" (l) and "Prairie Meadow" (r)

The "Lord Sully Sport Weight" yarns are cotton/rayon blend and include:

"Granny Python"




Here's one of the "Winston Lou Worsted Weight" yarns. It's 100% cotton:

"Colonel Mustard"

Also, as an update to the project that I thought would never end, I finally finished the "Basket Jacket" I was making from sock yarn - although I worked the front button panels several times before I was happy with it. I'll post more (and better) pictures of it soon...


Sunday, August 23, 2009


Welcome to my new place in the blogosphere!

There's a lot to say about my new ventures into hand-dyed yarn and my efforts at professional crochet design. But, that will have to wait for subsequent postings. Having just attended the National CGOA Conference in Buffalo earlier this month, that seems like the best place to start in catching you up...

If you remember what happened at last year's conference, it should come as know surprise that Meg was up to her old tricks again this year. This time, though, she knew what to expect and it was all I could do to keep her in my carry-on bag during the flight. Once we were onboard the shuttle to the hotel, I thought it was safe to let her out, but...

She immediately began hopping from seat to seat, so excited to be, as she calls it, "where the string meets the hook!"

Her first victim, ...err... new friend was an airline pilot sharing the shuttle. He is from Texas, but he had no idea to what to make of a van full of yarn enthusiasts, let alone a brightly colored ball of hyperactivity packed into 18 inches.

After missing a few of her favorite designers last year, Meg was fully prepared to do whatever it took to ensure the same thing didn't happen again. I guess that's why she ran across the breakfast table to get to one of her favorite designers, Margaret Hubert.

She felt perfectly at ease resting in the lap of the one and only Pauline Turner.

Meg love's Crochet Today magazine so when she met the editor, she and Bret Bara shared a private joke at the Professional Development Day Luncheon.

She caught up with Edie Eckman and

Karen Klemp, both of whom have taught in Dallas at the DFW FiberFest.

Lily Chin taught her how to hold her own in the big city and she rode high on the shoulders of Amy Shelton, creator and owner of Crochetville.

She showed off her party dress to Cari Clement of Caron and the ladies from Lion Brand Yarn, Zontee and India.

Meg went with me and her Auntie Cher exploring the Farmer's Market that was a few blocks away. That's where she met a very special helper at one of the vendor's booths.

She had a great time meeting newer designers, such as Charles Voth and Sonja Hood, both from Toronto:

and enjoyed spending time with a few familiar friends from Texas: (top photo is Cathy, bottom photo, l-r is Molly, me, Bobbie, Sharon and Jan)

After endless pleading and countless bargains, I even let Meg attend the banquet and fashion show. I guess the exciting week had finally caught up with her, though. After dinner was over, she fell asleep briefly during the fashion show.

Finally, back at the hotel room Saturday night, I got her settled down enough to get some rest.

But even while dreaming, all she kept muttering about was next year's convention...