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Friday, November 18, 2016

Thankfulness again . . .

"Start every day with a grateful heart"

I saw this saying on a plaque at Hobby Lobby this week - it is simple but not always easy to do.
There is so much to be thankful for and I find if I start my day reflecting on those blessings, I do have a better attitude and can handle the upcoming challenges with much more grace and patience.

As I reflect on what I am thankful for, I think of my friend, Bonnie Barker - she has been a special friend to me since we met several years ago at a CGOA professional development day.  We sat next to each other and while I took notes on the speaker, Bonnie crocheted a beautiful square motif complete with intricate braided cables!  I was impressed that she did it so quickly and without a pattern.  Now I understand why she was able to do that - she has been working with crocheted cables for years making all kinds of beautiful combinations and projects.

Bonnie and I have been able to keep in touch through email and I have greatly appreciated her encouragement and support as I home school my children. (She is a veteran home school mom of five children!)  She also has provided understanding and camaraderie as we both continue on our journey of crochet designing.  I love that we both also share a deep love for music and have even be able to perform together - I look forward to more opportunities like it in the future.

Well, Bonnie just published another book showcasing those 'beautiful combinations and projects' of crocheted cables and I have had the pleasure of perusing it and trying out a design.

You can purchase this book here on Amazon - you won't be disappointed!  Read on to see what I think of it and to see some photos of my favorite projects: 

(all photos courtesy of Bonnie Bay Crochet and Interweave Press)

I like how Bonnie included an introduction in the book that includes tips about yarn choices, figuring out the gauge and visiting her YouTube tutorials.  As you read it, you feel like you are sitting with Bonnie in her living room. 

The photography of each project is wonderful - The brick buildings and cobblestone streets make for a classy backdrop to each of Bonnie's creations.  I like how you can clearly see the cable stitches in the close-up photos. I also love all of the Celtic Knot details and graphics on each page.

A great addition to this book are the clear stitch diagrams that help you see how each cable stitch is laid out within the project.  The step-by-step photos (of how to crochet all of the stitches in the book) are excellent and I like how the stitch multiples are included.

Aranmore Sweater Wrap

This wrap has a creative construction and uniquely combines cables and lace.

Tic-Tac-Toe Bag
I love the clever use of the two cable stitches in an alternating pattern.

Vicki's Sweater

Bonnie's Celtic Weave stitch is one of my favorite stitches and it looks great at the top of this top- down sweater.

Binne Cardigan

This cardigan is very feminine  - I love the off-center opening and the way the cables provide a hint of a peplum along the back.

Emerald Celtic Weave Infinity Scarf

And here I love how the Celtic Weave stitch is front and center.  Such a lovely green color!

This is the project I made using the "Tidal" colorway in Red Heart Boutique "Unforgettable" - I used 2 skeins and made mine a little longer than the length stated in the book.

I recently wore my scarf and received many compliments on it.
If you've wanted to try crocheting cables but didn't know where to begin, then this is the place!

Sunday, November 13, 2016


As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, I have been thinking often about "Thankfulness".
I recently found this quote on Pinterest:

"There is always something to be thankful for"

I have also been thinking about this past year (that has flown by) and how full it has been for me and my family  . . . .full of so many things to be thankful for.  So, I decided to share some posts here of experiences and people that I am thankful for.

First up - my wonderful trip to Ireland with Annie's and Craftours and all of the great people I met while crocheting and touring there.

I am thankful for the fantastic scenery of Ireland.

This is on our way to Dingle - We drove along the coast of the Dingle Peninsula - the view around every bend was breathtaking.  We were very thankful that it was a sunny day which made the blue of the ocean shine brilliantly.

Everywhere we went it was so green! I am thankful for all of the beautiful flowers we saw along the roadside and in the gardens of Kylemore Abbey and Blarney Castle.

I am thankful for the 3 workshops I taught  - I loved the enthusiasm of all the participants and how delighted they were to complete their Celtic Knot projects.  It was such a blessing to teach and get to know these women.

Jeanette from S. Africa

Danny, Alice and Elaine (from Australia)

Mary, Peggy, Shereen and Deanna

Hazel (with 2 completed projects)

Phyllis and Lisa (mom and daughter duo)

Our tour guide, Agnes (shown below on my right), and all of the Irish people we met along the way were very friendly and helpful. I am thankful for their accent and the words they use - so fun!

Want to see more photos and find out more about the trip? Check out the page on the left !

More on what I am thankful for in the next post  . . . . 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Christmas Gift Idea

Do you like to crochet gifts for your family and friends?  I have been crocheting gifts for others since I was a little girl.  Back then it was an affordable way to show how much I appreciated each recipient and I loved the creative process of brainstorming unique ideas for each person.

Now I have much less time than I did back then so I don't get to make as many gifts as I would like.  And with the ability to order everything under the sun on the internet, making a special gift has become even more valuable to me. I think giving someone a handmade gift is like giving them a big long-lasting hug that says, "You are very special to me."

Are you like me in that you love to make gifts for others but you lack time and have too many ideas?

Well, here is a simple but elegant scarf that was in the Oct. 2015 issue of Crochet World -
Bangle Bead Scarf.

This scarf is very classy and almost like a necklace.  It is crocheted with Berroco's Captiva - a beautiful yarn that is a shiny silk-like combination of cotton, polyester and acrylic. See more colors here.  The scarf shown is crocheted in the Garnet color.

I found the scarf bails (large metal tube-like findings) on Ebay and the sparkly beads at Hobby Lobby.  With all of the colors and beads available now, the possibilities are endless so you can make one for each of your friends but no two will look alike.

(Even though this pattern is in an issue from 2015, you can still purchase it here for just $5.99  - the Oct. 2015 issue will download instantly to your computer and you'll have 18 more patterns, too!)