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Monday, December 11, 2017

CITW: Crochet in the Wild




Last year, before it was my son's school, my cousin asked me to crochet some hats for the Mom's holiday bazaar fundraiser. I didn't really have the time, but I donated the Driftwood Cap pattern and the Saturday Beret pattern for other ladies to make the hats to sell.  This year, Chief attends that school and imagine my delight when I went to this year's holiday bazaar and found a stack of beautifully stitched hats! Crochet in the Wild for the WIN! 

Not exactly in the wild... but Chickee has been wearing the First Frost blanket as a cape since, well, the First Frost. (YAY she likes it!) 

 



Nope, it's not crocheted, but I bought this adorable reindeer with his adorable knitted sweater. Don't you think he needs a crocheted scarf for his ensemble?

Happy Monday everyone!

How will you be awesome today?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Adding Stability to A Crocheted Edge

Sometimes on a crochet project, I want to add a little stability to the edge. Make the border a little more firm, make it hold its shape, etc. Today I'm sharing a couple of strategies for doing that!

1. If the final row/round edging is flat or not made of picots, Slip stitch in every stitch. That gives the finished edge a slight "cording" look to it. Use the same color as the final row/round so that the slip stitching is practically invisible or use a contrasting color to create an "outlined" look.

2. Same concept as #1 but with a little more texture: (Ch 1, slip st) in every stitch around. It will look like a tiny chevron or rickrack. (So cute). I also love this concept in a contrasting color.

3. Work on the Wrong side. TURN for your final row or round and work on the wrong side to help combat fabric curling.

4. Use a smaller hook for the final row/round to help tighten it up.

5. My new favorite corded edge... the double slip stitch (DSST): Insert hook in the same stitch that was just used, yarn over and draw up a loop; insert hook into next stitch, yarn over and draw loop through the stitch and the next 2 loops on the hook.

It's kind of like a slip stitch decrease or a slip stitch 2 together type thing but you insert your look back one stitch, then in the next unused stitch.

The Crocus Mandala Vest is a project where I used the DSST to help stabilize the edge. Find the free pattern HERE.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Hint


Here's a hint... and a few random cat photos. 

 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday Motivation: Listening

When I run long runs, it gives me time to reflect on life. I find my mind wandering in almost a random fashion. I assume that everything that I see and hear becomes a metaphor for my life. I try to listen to messages from God about what I should be doing, or figuring out why other people do what they do.

Here are a few of the images from my long run on Saturday. (Yes, I often stop and take photos).

Isn't this sky shot amazing? 
Is God saying, 'Pay attention'? 

Is this a metaphor for my life? Was a crisis averted? or Did a miss a date with destiny by *this* much? Or neither and it has nothing to do with me.  This sign has been here for years and I know it's been along my path every single time I have run here. But today, I noticed it. 


I didn't get a photo of the sign that said, "Wildlife Management Area". I thought it should be changed to "Attitude Management Area". Because running often changes my attitude.



All these photos are from the same day. There was hardly anyone around on this park's path, so I was glad no one was around to hear me muttering to myself, processing whatever was going through my mind at the moment.

How will you be awesome today?


Friday, December 1, 2017

2018 is Going to be AWESOME!

Hi Friends,

I'm giving you a head's up, 2018 is going to be awesome! Together we are going to make it happen. If you are not already signed up for my monthly newsletter, you should get on board now. There is a place to sign up on the right side bar and here's the link too:

Sign up for the Monthly Emailed Newsletter 

Things are seriously changing at Ellen Gormley/GoCrochet.  Expect exciting news. Join now and you'll be the first to know.

Blessings to us all in 2018!



Thursday, November 30, 2017

How many?

Occasionally, I clean my office. It's tough to clean my office because it sends me down memory lane. Oh! I remember that yarn... I bought it at CGOA in 2014. I had big plans of designing a top-down sweater with it!  And oh yeah! I forgot I bought that luscious hank of hand-painted yarn because I couldn't resist the color... I had no plan for it but I knew that I HAD to have it.

How many of you, like me, have abandoned single skeins in your closet? They are too good to get rid of but the plan for creating from them just hasn't happened.

How many, would you guess, single skeins do you have in your yarn closet?

Do they have memories for you like souvenirs like mine do? Where is your most obscure skein from?


Monday, November 27, 2017

A New Binder

Keep your fingers crossed for a new binder project.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday Motivation: Going Without

We had a family wedding this weekend. Tom's Niece, Erica is now married to her beloved Jeff. Here I am with Chickee.

A rare photo of Tom and me. 

Then, as promised... Monday Motivation. Yesterday was cold. It was blustery. I was tired. It was a long (but fun) weekend. I couldn't think of a good reason to run. I already wore the dress, so I didn't have that hanging over my head. I had a race last weekend, the last one for a while... so that wasn't motivating me. My running partner, was out of town, so I didn't even have peer pressure to motivate me.  I got to the park, and as you can see, I was stalling taking selfies instead of getting out the door. The only thing I could think of was that I hadn't run all week and I'd feel really sluggish if I didn't get out there soon. I knew I'd probably feel happier once I got it done.  I'm 15 miles BEHIND my goal for the month. It would be so easy to just say, 'I blew it, I give up'. So... I would just have to run without motivation. Just go without. I had shoes and warm clothes, who needs motivation? Not me.

And a random cat photo. 


Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday Motivation 230%

When the alarm clock rings at 4:30 in the morning for a 7 am race when it's cold and dark, it would be easy to hit snooze a couple of times. But really, it's much easier to "don't think, just go" first thing in the morning when I am still asleep and half conscious than convincing myself to exercise at say, 6 pm.

In the afternoon or evening there is plenty of time to talk myself out of doing things that get me to my goal. That's why, I know that if I don't exercise before noon, it gets less and less likely that it will actually happen.

Anyway, yesterday I got up at stupid o'clock, in the dark, in the cold, to go run 13.1 miles. At that point in the morning as we all congregate around the start line, you can hear people saying, "Why did I think this was a good idea?" and "This seemed like a good idea over the summer..." and "Why am I doing this again?".  But, at that point, the decision has already been made, so finishing is the only real option.

I guess my point is... don't talk yourself out of your goals. Don't think, just go. Show up at the start line. Be there. Get it done. Whatever your start line is.

#willrunforbling

Doesn't everyone plop down on the ground in a parking lot? #dontcareaboutdirt

Wow, 230% of my day's activities done before 10:30. That's kinda cool. 


Friday, November 3, 2017

Doting on Dots Revealed!

The Doting on Dots handbag is here! It's a new pattern in the December issue of I Like Crochet magazine. Check out the full issue which also includes my Isabella Cowl that I revealed on Wednesday.


I don't get to work with black nearly enough! Yes, working with black yarn is tough to see and requires great lighting but I think it's worth it. 

See... you don't have to be a great sketch artist to be a crochet designer. ;) 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Isabella Cowl Revealed!

The Isabella Cowl is a design that had been on my mind for some time but I hadn't gotten around to stitching it until I Like Crochet gave me the opportunity! It's in the new, December issue of I Like Crochet, which can be found HERE.




Here's my original design doodle: 




Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday Motivation: Conquer the Moment

Minnie doesn't cuddle. She doesn't. Like ever. So when she hopped up on my lap while I waited for her to eat her dinner... I took the time to enjoy the moment. She might stand next to me for a few minutes per day to let me pet her, but it is extremely rare for her to sit down and sitting on me is really odd. 

I think success and productivity is in the moments. It's what you do with the spare moments that determine whether or not the day is productive. If you have 20 minutes do you think, "I can't get anything accomplished in 20 minutes" and so just spend it mindlessly? Or do you think "I have 20 minutes! I can get a start on ... a blog post, a sketch, a list, a few more rows of stitching..."? 

I also believe that using the spare moments to breathe and pray is still productive. 


On a totally unrelated note... I imagine that saucers were invented to go under hot drinks to prevent spilling. If you are like me... you might need a super saucer (aka vegetable serving bowl) to prevent disaster. This helps make sure I don't spend my spare moments trying to clean hot chocolate off the couch.

How will you conquer your moments today?

Friday, October 27, 2017

Surrounded by Chic Sheep

Have you heard of Marly Bird's new yarn with Red Heart? It's Chic Sheep and it's 100% superwash Merino WOOL.

Did you read that correctly? Yes, Red Heart is making WOOL with Marly Bird. For real.

And, I had the awesome pleasure of making one of the very first crochet patterns with it! Before it even had a name and a label. (Totally one of the best parts of being a crochet designer!)

It's $9.99 for 186 yards and comes in 24 colors. That's a huge color range for a new yarn. That's how sure they are that you are going to love it and want it in every color. It's 100% merino wool, 4 worsted weight, and machine washable. Shop for it here.

It doesn't look like my free crochet pattern using Chic Sheep is out just yet. Check back with me next week and hopefully I will be able to reveal it!




Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Cozy Hygge Wrap Revealed! Free Crochet Pattern!

Thanks to Red Heart my Cozy Hygge Wrap Crochet Pattern is FREE! Get your pattern HERE.

By the way, does anyone know what "Hygge" means? LOL

When I designed it, I intended for the other side to be the "front" because I liked the surface ribs for texture. Either I tagged it wrong or they liked the back better! Which side do you prefer?




I thought it looked rather architectural. 



The yarn is Red Heart Soft Essentials in Biscuit which is a bulky yarn and super quick to work with.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Crocus Mandala Vest Revealed!

I have to admit, the Crocus Mandala Vest pattern was fun!
It's just one giant motif.  Continuous stitching with no sewing or joining. You can get the pattern for free on Premier's website. While you are there, choose from the various colors of Serenity Garden yarn needed to stitch it. 

Fit check while in progress. 





Friday, October 20, 2017

Problem Solved!

When you have just one skein of a yarn, what do you do? Do you have a go-to plan or strategy to solve the problem of the lonely skein?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

If you Give a Mom a Quarter...

If you give a mom a quarter,
She goes to put it in the vacation piggy bank,
On the way to the piggy bank she spots a full trash can,
On the way to empty the trash can,
She sees some dirty laundry,
While gathering all the dirty laundry,
She pulls sheets off a bed,
While changing the sheets,
She spots a dirty glass on a bedside table,
While taking the dishes to the kitchen,
She runs the dishwasher,
While running the dishwasher,
She hears the mail carrier,
While she goes to check the mail,
She carries in the empty trash cans,
While she opens the mail,
She sits to the computer to pay bills,
When the phone rings,
That a child is sick and needs to be picked up...

And guaranteed, someone will ask, 'What did you do today?'

LOL At the end of the day she wonders why she 'didn't get anything done...'.

:)  Thinking of all you parents out there fighting the same fight!



Monday, October 16, 2017

Motivation Monday: When 'Better Than Nothing' is Not Enough


Whether it's work or relationships or spiritual life or fitness & health, is there any part of your life that has been just 'good enough'?  

Is it time to push past 'Better than nothing'? 

When 'Better than nothing' (in fitness, in health, in relationships, in work) is NO LONGER GOOD ENOUGH. It's time to push past the plateau and create something more. 

Boil it down to what is essential. What do you want to work on? What one step can you take today to get you out of 'good enough'? 

Am I talking in circles or do you know exactly what I'm talking about? If this resonates with you, it's your sign to make progress today and this week. 

We can do it! (As I reach for a stitch dictionary and a hook...)



Friday, October 13, 2017

I Love Yarn Day! Saturday Oct 14

Tomorrow! Get ready for I Love Yarn Day! Read about some activities and inspiration HERE.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Crochet Edgings!

Crochet Edgings for a Perfect Finish is now available!


Crochet Edgings is my 7th online class with Annie's. I hope you love it. It's very fun. I hope that it excites and inspires you to have fun with your edgings and not just think of them as an after thought.

Look for it here on the Annie's website with my other 6 online classes. Is the market saturated by Ellen teaching crochet yet? LOL Thanks for your continued support!

Here are the cats during class development...