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I.M. Merino

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Merino Wool.You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to keep you close because you are so softhearted. You love to be comfortable and warm from your head to your toes.
Take this quiz!


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Necessities and OCD

After a fairly productive morning (I moved 2 courses of landscaping rocks in the yard, came in, baked a dozen healthy muffins from scratch and started a weightwatchers-friendly cauliflower soup), I looked at the godawful mess I just made in the kitchen. I peeled garlic for the soup and wondered what to do with those few loose cloves that always fall off the bulb. I usually keep them in a cheapie purple easter basket in the pantry with potatoes and other root vegs, but they always fall to the bottom and dry up or get moldy. I needed a little container, but someting flexible that wouldn’t tip perched on toppa the spuds. I suddenly got very excited about finding some yarn and a hook, but composed myself, finished the soup and sort of cleaned up.

Detail of “Myrellen’s Coat”

I get jazzed about being able to make something that I need, and not having to wait for it. It makes me think of colonial times or maybe the great depression, when the tenet was to make do or do without. I occasionally go overboard with hoarding (my basement “craft space” holds way more than just my yarn stash) and I freely admit to being an active thrift shopper (making new buttons for an old coat in my Ravelry queue) and sometimes, when I need to clean out the closets, I recall a trip to the John Waters-esque American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore.

The museum of “outsider”/self taught art was closed for renovations save one gallery. I saw the embroidery of a woman named Myrellen from Knoxville, TN. Her husband committed her to a psychiatric hospital in the 1940’s, there she saved tiny pieces of thread from clothing, sheets, etc. to stitch artwork and messages, her entire autobiography onto a denim coat.

Though the coat was similar to the long dusters that the burnout girls in my 8th grade class wore in 1981 (you know, when dinosaurs roamed the earth between classes), more memorable to me was the frame of mind this woman was in to unravel rags to obtain materials for her work.

Myrellen was later treated with electroshock and thorazine and retained no memory of her work. She denied ever making it.

Now how can I throw out that old sweater with the hole in the neck that is under a pile of workout clothes in my closet? Because I’m not insane, you would answer.

I crochet, therefore I have therapy. I spy a nice big addi turbo hook and some jewelry making hemp sitting in a drawer in my coffee table, waiting for this moment to come along. I used hemp once before for a coin purse and that stuff hurt like a mothertrucker in sc at a small gauge. But this I could handle.  I had previously toyed with the idea of fashioning a little catchall for the bathroom sink or dresser like (a. recent. pattern. I. saw. that. I. can’t. find. now. that. I. need. it. the. story. of. my., so I had a maybe 2’x3″ dc patch started. Boy was I like the wind. You have to understand, my 4 year old’s favorite pastime is climbing all over my lap the instant I plant my butt on the couch, yarn be damned; but I persevered. Tadee tadah, lookee here!

the garlic nest…

I hdc’d around the edges of the bottom, adding an increase in each corner on every row. After about four rounds, I wanted to tighten it up so I went 2 rows sc, then a sc with decreases. And since I just learned crab stitch edging, I finished it off nice and purty, ‘n even wove my ends so I could show it off  fill it up and put it back in the cabinet.

So I got’s me a garlic nest, in about 20 minutes or less. The kitchen will probably look the same after 2 hours, though. One thing I’m not obsessed with is cleaning, unless you count my obsession about not doing it. My husband often tells me he wishes I had the “good OCD”. Like him.

Britney hooked.

“Oh, this old thing? Just part of my “creative rehabilitation”, ya’ll!”
* Link over to Extreme Craft’s photostream for images from the Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph, MO or check out a gallery of works by Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching fame for a modern “outsider” look at traditional embroidery.


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Notes and a Meme

I have something like 12 drafts of blog posts waiting to be finished up or edited, so I thought I’d throw in something quick to get me in writing mode again.

I’ve been listening to a few crochet and fiber podcasts – they are hard to keep up with and slowly taking over my hard drive! If anyone knows any good gems (or dogs) let me know so I can cull my iTunes list. I got this meme from a mention on the Yarn Thing Podcast. They’re not strictly crochet but I listened to a few episodes and they are a fun bunch of gals who giggle a lot and have some really interesting content.

You are Fozzie Bear.
You are caring and love your friends as if they were family. For only they will put up with your stupid jokes.
FAVORITE AUTHOR:Gags Beasley, comedy writer
HOBBIES:Telling jokes, dodging tomatoes
QUOTE:”Why did the chicken cross the road?”
NEVER LEAVES HOME WITHOUT:His joybuzzer, his whoopee cushion and Clyde, the rubber chicken.

Take this quiz!

Since I seem to swing back and forth from calm and sweet Kermit to wild-n-crazy Animal, Fozzy is fitting, but a bit surprising to me. A fun cute quiz if you ever liked the Muppet Show…

I’ve been on Ravelry a lot lately, checking out the patterns and participating in a few groups. My finished projects are migrating there too. Do check it out and get thee on the invite list, the place is amazing.

I hope to have a real post soon (with pics)…Thanks for stopping by!

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Bagged today…

flowerprintpantfab3.jpgAwesome cute print on a thrifted pair of pants. I want to make a felted clutch in a matching dark/medium pink and use this fabric for the liner. I love the colors. I think they look modern, but the pants are pegged and appear very 80’s in style.

I bought a few skeins of Patons classic merino (petal pink, old rose, burgundy, rich red, that’s pink, and paprika) that would be perfect for this. I intended use them for a ripple to match an Ikea rug that my sister-in-law owns. I’m inspired by the fabric, so that’s a start. I have been reading too many patterns and new books and not crocheting enough lately. Oooh, I just figured out that if I can get a jump in on this, I may be able to have it ready in time for the 2007 Color-A-Long on Craftster! And my neice’s birthday is in July, so I could give it to her as a gift…

The image is from a scan, I need to get my camera fixed so I can post my progress on a few more things. The nikon had an unfortunate accident last weekend involving gatorade and first-grade soccer practice – a nice excuse for a new digital SLR though, no?

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Coupon Links this Week


4/24 Tuesday Only

50% Off One Regular Price Item – Rag Shop

4/24 Tuesday through 4/28 Saturday

40% Off One Regular Price Item – AC Moore Coupon

30% Off Regular Price Krylon Paint 12oz decorator – Hobby Lobby

4/25 Only

“Wacky Wednesday” 30% off Entire Regular Price Purchase – Rag Shop

Sale Ads and expiring deals, not printable coupons:

4/24 Tuesday through 4/28 Saturday
Click on “Yarn Sale-Every skein on sale” on upper right of page and use code APRFSH7352 for Free standard shipping on $35+ through Wednesday 4/25.


25% Off Caron

Through 4/30 Tuesday

Free Vinyl Tote with $20 Purchase Keycode ESDVBAGAnnie’s Attic

Date Unknown has a nice selection of knit and crochet books, however, I am not familiar with their site and don’t know about the competitivness of their pricing.

Please note that I am in no way affiliated with any of the above merchants.
Happy Shopping!

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Stripes The Long Eared Bunny

Is he or isn’t he?
Is He or Isn’t He?

So I picked up my first Rachael Ray magazine last night. My husband and I used to enjoy her old $40 a Day show way back when. (Yeah, we’re cool, we were into her before she sold out and went mainstream, man.) I’ve always thought she was a bit too “chummy”, like your goofy friend that the boys make fun of but secretly like. But hey, that happens to everyone, right? No? Well, nevermind then…I know she’s quite in vogue these days with all the tv and the Oprah and I’ve read the amusing net backlash as well. (“Raytard”. Enough said.) I only bought the issue because cooking is not my forté and I’ve been hearing that a lot of her recipes are simple, and, for lack of a better term, man-pleasing. Superbowl steak sandwiches. Chili. She wrote a book called Guy Food, for goodnes sake, And since my beloved will barely eat what I do prepare, I thought she deserved a chance.

Enough of the backstory. I’m surveying the mag after a late night grocery trip and finding nothing simple nor manpleasing. Since it’s a bit of a lifestyle magazine as well, there are cute tablesettings and household tips and such. I reach the “Everyday Faves” section, which showcases the current must-haves in fashion and home items. And what to my wandering eyes should appear? A forlorn little bunny with floppy striped ears! As surprised as I was to see crocheted toys advertised in a hip mainstream magazine, I was immediately saddened by a mental picture of the poor sweatshop workers having to mass produce them. It looks like all single crochet with color changes every three rows…I get a blister just thinking about it.

I halfheartedly closed my new useless recipe book and dragged the kids to bed alongside my sickly (and possibly malnourished) husband and fell asleep without further thought about cooking or sweatshops. So, imagine my surprise this afternoon while surfing some blogs when I saw this post pointing to a “cute, snuggly knitted bunny”. I know there is enough polarization in the fiber community, and may the great Skein in the Sky forgive me if I am wrong, but I do not believe in my heart of hearts that this animal is knit.

Rachael’s got it listed for sale at, a site which gives no indication of the thing’s construction. A quick google reveals he’s (and let’s call him he for the sake of argument, shall we? I’m sure no one is questioning the gender of a stuffed toy) made by Schylling and sold by dozens of progressive Ikea type boutiques online. Some sites, including Amazon, say he’s knitted, while others have been saved by the don’t ask, don’t tell policy popularized by today’s military. Notice also that he can be “long eared” or “long earred”, which only serves to add more fire to the stew. Though what really caught my attention was the total lack of copywriting originality. Each site seemed to be remixing each others’ descriptions like I did when I copied my term paper out of an encyclopedia in the 7th grade.

Down and Dirty in the trenches

Listen, I know it’s tough enough to crochet in a world that caters to knitters, so let’s set the record straight if we can.

By passing over all the rhetoric, maybe we can out this bunny and bring a peace unto a nation of crafters.

Perhaps it’s true, by Stripes we can all be healed.

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Kuler = Cooler Color


Not directly crochet related but definitely of interest to anyone planning a color scheme for a project. Follow the link above and choose from different “rules” such as Analogous, Complementary, etc and play with the colors until you make a scheme you like. The combinations are endless! Browse other themes by popularity or rating. With names ranging from Japanese Garden and Cherry Cheesecake to Watermelon Stomp and Tech Office, you’ll no doubt be inspired by the creative input of other users. Register to save and publish your palettes, as well as download them for use in several Adobe software packages such as Illustrator and Photoshop.

I’m starting a ripple afghan this week and I’m definitely going to try this along with the random stripe generator at Kiss Your Shadow.

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