Saturday, March 25, 2006

So close you can taste it

At this point, I have finished one of the sleeves on my sweater. So, just one more sleeve, and some assembling and finishing touches to go. I am excited and both getting tired of rows up rows of single crochet and front facing single crochet.

I do want to get it done this week, though, as soon my sister will send me the supplies for the shawls she wants me to make. And I want to use some of my scraps to make a cat bed for CeeCee. And there are probably a ton of other projects out there for me to try.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Feeling my Mortality

This is going to be a bit off topic, but I need to get this out.

I know people have car accidents all the time. It's a fact of life. I don't expect to have a front row seat for them while walking the one block between my apartment, and where I catch the train to go to work.

This morning, as I was waiting for the light to change so I could cross the street, I heard the crash of a vehicle accident. My head automatically turned to look, and I saw the car flip over and land on it's roof. It was pretty horrifying. While I did wait to see if the police would want my statement, (they didn't, I didn't see the cause, just the aftermath) I couldn't look at the car. No sounds, no movement that caught the corner of my eye. I hope they were wearing their seatbelt...I hope they got out of the incident able to heal their injuries, but I just don't know.

All I wanted to do was turn around, go back home, and spend the day cuddled with my boyfriend. I was thanking my lucky stars that had that been me injured, I have no words I'd regret as my last to any family or friends.

Instead, after the police said I could go, I went to work. I was pretty shaky for a few hours, and then only slightly after that. And while I try not to let non-work things affect my work, I couldn't help it today. I was slow, and having trouble focusing.

Please, go hug your family and loved ones. Tell them how much you love them. And pray for the unknown person this morning, that they will have the chance to do so as well.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Simple Pleasures...

Or, "Small things amuse small minds".

Like many crocheters who use the net, I belong to several online message groups. On one of them, the topic evolved into how a member didn't like scrap yarn projects because she hated all the joining of different colours, and all the subsequent weaving in of tails.

Another member posted this link and OMG, I am so completely excited by this simple concept, it is unbelievable.
No ends to worry about, no trying to carefully tie the knot in such a spot that it ends up on the "wrong" side of the work. (And yes, I know about "spit-joining", but that only works with natural fibres).

So, after reading the message this morning, I was impatient all day to get home from work to try it. I must say, it works like a charm.

Isn't the internet wonderful?

Monday, March 20, 2006

The agony of Dye lots

This morning I bundled up, and trundled myself out into the cold on a quest.... the quest to purchase enough yarn to finish my sweater project.

I was prepared....I had the stone cold stare-straight-ahead-and-maybe-the-crazy-people-on-the-train-won't-talk-to-you look fixed on my face..I had the label with the dye lot of the original in hand, I had the money in my wallet just waiting to be spent.

I entered the yarn store, and saw success in sight...There was the brand, with the right colour name, and it looked the same as what I had at home. Fingers trembling, I turned the label over to inspect the dye lot...

NUTS...not the same one. But as I despaired of actually getting the same dye lot, I decided to risk it and purchase anyway, perhaps the shade would be close enough to work.

Back home, through the slightly chilly light snow that has passed for winter this year. Back on the train with it's perils and unique smells.

I grabbed a skein from my original supplies, and held the two together in the light.

And there is a noticable difference. My boyfriend says he can't really see it...but, well, he's a boy.

I'm going to forge ahead anyway. The difference is fairly small, and I am hoping if I use the new batch on the sleeves only, it will be a worst case scenario of looking like I planned it that way on purpose.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

An update

It's been almost a week since I posted last. It's been an odd week.

I've been pretty tired, and I think I may either be fighting an oncoming cold, or one that isn't quite completely out of my system from before. So between that, and work, I really don't feel like I have accomplished much at all. Not even normal housework.

On the plus side, I have made some great progress on my modular crochet sweater. I had thought I had gotten to the point of starting on the sleeves, but it turns out, I didn't make it wide enough. Not a huge deal with modular crochet, it's easy enough to add more width, but I am now unsure I bought enough yarn to complete the sweater. I am hopeful that they will still have some matching from the same dye lot tomorrow, and as I went with an acrylic blend (I wanted my first sweater to be easier to wash, etc) I have more hope that I will be able to get it. I would be feeling less hopeful with a more designer yarn, such as a hand dyed pure wool.

However, until I know for sure that I can get some of the same, I am going to leave the sweater projects on the side for now. I think I will start with some of my scrap yarn, making some strips and squares I can attach to make a kitty bed for CeeCee. My sister also wants me to make some shawls for her wedding, so once I get the materials for that, I will have enough projects to last me for quite some time.

Monday, March 13, 2006

You Will Feel My Wrath

Yes, it's yet another off topic post. But after our cat, CeeCee got himself dirty enough to need a hand with his grooming, we had no choice....into the tub he went.

He behaved himself very well, really. No hissing or scratching or biting.

But that look in his eyes he had afterwards....I am feeling very scared.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Two Steps Forward...

....And so far, no steps back. At least not this evening.

I'm feeling pretty good because I have finally made some decent progress on my sweater project, after numerous times of frogging, recounting, etc. etc. I really don't know what was going on with it, I normally don't have this kind of issue with dropping stitches, or mis-counting. I think now that I have hit a decent mid-point on it, I may take a little break, and make some squares from my scrap yarn or something, just to take a mental break from it. I may have burnt myself out a bit on my crochet-a-thon this weekend.

Hope you all have a great week.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Road Less Traveled

I know that this is primarily a crochet blog, but it is still my personal blog, and so I feel the need to stray a bit off topic and discuss a matter that is right now rather a huge deal for me.

I am a unionized employee at a company that in November ended a 4 month labour dispute. Bitter is not the word to describe what went on before, during and after the whole debacle. I spent those 4 months standing strong with my brothers and sisters, even though it was tough, emotionally, physically and financially. I saw the end of friendships as people found themselves on opposite sides. I saw the dark and ugly of union and corporate politics. To say that this dispute was difficult, and ended rather dismally for those who chose to stand in solidarity is an understatement; still I would not change my decision. The only change I would want is that I was not very aware of the issues, or involved in effecting changes prior, and I now wish I was.

I could probably fill 3 pages with the details of the dispute, but I won't. What is important to what is currently happening is that the Executive Council (EC) of the union made many strategic and communications mistakes throughout, and lost the confidence of much of the membership. There was particular distrust of the president, as there was a closed door meeting between him, the CEO of the company, and the leader of an entirely different union who is currently under a cloud of suspicion himself. There was no other member of our union present, contrary to bargaining practices in our constitution. The final vote on the contract that was finally accepted was an absolute joke, with many members in rural areas not receiving their ballots. Heck, I never did get one, but I at least live in one of the three major cities this company is located in, and therefore had an office to go pick up a ballot and vote in. And those examples are just the tip of the iceberg.

So, this past week has been the annual convention for our union, where elections are held, policies are made, and other business is discussed. At the beginning, a special convention was called to discuss non-confidence in the current EC, the result of which being that a majority vote of non confidence was reached, the EC positions declared empty, and elections began on Tuesday.

All very nice and democratic-sounding, right? The problem is, rather than bow out gracefully, or run again, our president took the matter to the courts, filing an injunction against the non-confidence vote and new elections on the grounds they did not follow the proper procedure in the union's constitution. The defense is that they simply used provisions under a different area of the constitution, and therefore valid. It's a tricky piece of legal pie, really. I'm not a lawyer, so I am not going to try and explain both sides. Anyone wishing to know particulars, feel free to email me, and I will be happy to send you links to information on the injunction. As it stands, the injunction is in effect until June 30, pending the outcome of a full trial or other action.

Honestly, at this point I think it matter less about which side is right on the legal matter. At this point, it angers me that our president, who should be looking out for the members, who should not be further alienating those already disillusioned with what happened during the labour dispute, is once again looking out only for himself. His supporters claim he is only trying to protect our constitution, but if that is the case why is he suing for monetary damages?

Now, we have a membership divided between those that want to keep the status quo, those wanting to effect change within, and those so completely disgusted and disheartened by the actions of a few, they want to either merge us into a new union or decertify completely in order to get rid of the current EC.

I know where I stand in this struggle. I am in the camp that wishes to change from within. We have amazing people in our group, people who could make a difference, who could make this union effective and amazing. I just hope we get the chance to do so.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Frustrations and Yearnings

Well, my sweater project has been coming pretty slowly. I got the front panel finished, and then had to frog it all because it somehow ended up a great deal shorter than what I wanted. So, I am starting again. I really hope this turns out well, I have spent so much time envisioning my sweater that if it doesn't turn out, I may be inconsolable. Hopefully, I will make some good progress this weekend with it. It's supposed to be kinda chilly here, so sitting watching movies and crocheting is sounding like a marvelous plan.

I also have decided to save up and get myself some silk yarn from this site as a treat for myself. I need to decide on a project worthy of such beautiful yarn first, though. Maybe a classy handbag, or a summer-weight shrug or shawl.

Other than that, I have been very distracted by some non-crochet things, dealing with the union of which I am a member. It's a pretty long and complicated issue, and I'm not sure I want to take the space here to rant about it, at least not right now. I may yet do so at some point this weekend. Hope everyone has a wonderful, safe and happy weekend :)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Modular Crochet: The Quest Continues

Well, I was a bit disappointed that the publisher of Judith Copelands book did not have her contact information to forward my letter to her, as she is the one who still owns the rights, and not the publisher.

Then, it suddenly occured to me the whole reason I am aware of her book is that the magazine Crochet Fantasy interviewed her, and published a pattern from the book. So after this rather delayed revelation, I marched along to their website, and sent a letter off to Ms. Copeland via email. I have my fingers crossed that they will pass it on.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing in hopes that you will be able to pass this on to Ms. Copeland, as the company that published her book no longer has an address to forward correspondence to.

Dear Ms. Copeland,

After reading the article in the Winter 2005 edition of Crochet Fantasy, I became very interested in your book, Modular Crochet. Sadly, all my efforts to procure a second hand copy have proved fruitless. The copies that I have found available have been sadly out of my price range. I mentioned my quest to find your book to other crocheters in an online community that I belong to, and many of the members expressed an interest in finding the book for themselves. That coupled with the fact that there is fierce competition anytime a copy appears on an auction site, leads me to believe that there is a great deal of interest in your book.

I checked with your former publisher, and they advised me that since it is out of print, the rights have reverted back to you, and it would be your decision to republish the book, and with which company to have it published.

Please, there is a new generation of crocheters greatly interested in your book, and who would love to own it for themselves. However, if re-publishing proves not to be feasible at this time, I appreciate your sharing what you did with Crochet Fantasy.

Thank you for you time, and with sincere admiration,

Modular Crochet by Judith Copeland : Update

As I mentioned in my post here , I wrote to the last publisher of the Modular Crochet book to ask If there was enough demand for the book, if it would be reprinted. I recieved my response today, and while it's not overwhelmingly good news, I am very impressed with how quickly they got back to me, and how helpful the response was, considering how little the publisher could actually do.

Kudos to Jen Linck of Rowman & Littlefeild publishing group for her response and time. (I feel since her full name is easily available on the company's website, I am not breaching her privacy to post it here.)

Here is her response to my letter:

Since the book is out of print, then the rights have reverted to the
author. If she wanted to publish the book again and could find a
publisher who is interested, then she'd be the one to make the decision.

We only acquired M.Evans in the Fall of 2005 and don't have contact info
for their authors as far back as 1978. We also don't have any imprints
that specialize in publishing craft titles, so it wouldn't be something
that we'd really consider at this point. However, I've copied our
editorial director on this e-mail for him to chime in if he has any

Best wishes,

Jen Linck
RLPG Sales & Marketing

So Judith, if you are out there, and see this post, please, there are many of us who would love to be able to buy your book! And I'm sure there are publishers out there who would be more than happy to do so for you!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Well what kind of crochet blog would this be if I didn't post pictures of some things I've made? I tend to give most of my finished items away, so I didn't have alot to post and show you here, but I promise, any new projects, I will take pictures of.

The first picture is of a "Navaho Afghan" I made using a pattern from this site:

I decided to weave all my ends in rather than leaving them as fringe (if you read the pattern you'll understand). It's a nice effect, but wow, it was pretty tedious to finish off that way, although a simple pattern in and of itself. I don;t have the edge of the afghan in the photo, but you can get a good feel for the overall effect.

The second picture and last picture are the too-short practice run of the modular crochet sweater I mentioned in my first post. There are obviously a couple of issues with it, but I think in a nicer wool, making the neck a bit smaller, and tapering the sleeves a bit, it could look really great, so I am currently working on attempt #2.

The last two pictures are of a shawl I made using a pattern I found at this site

I love it, and the nature of the pattern allows you to make it any size you like. The instructions and pictures of the work in progress are great, making it easy to follow the pattern and know what each step is supposed to look like. The lady who designed this was kind enough to post the pattern for free, but as she states on her page, she supports herself by selling the finished product of her designs, so please, if you wish to make and sell a shawl with this pattern, please contact her first (her info is on her website).

That's all I have to post for now, Hopefully I'll have a picture of the completed, improved sweater soon :)

Odds and Ends

As I mentioned in my first post, I am currently working on a modular crochet sweater.

Since I read the article in Crochet Fantasy where I got this pattern, I have been attempting to find the original book mentioned in the article, "Modular Crochet" by Judith Copeland. When I can find it on E-bay,, etc, it's incredibly expensive, as it is rare and in high demand. I've tried other books, searching for content that would be similar, and so far, just gotten alot of disappointment.

After doing some research, I found the name of the publisher, so I decided to try and write to them, to see if with the apparent demand for the used book if they might consider reprinting it. This is the letter I sent:

Dear Ms Linck,

I am writing to you as I hope that either you will be able to answer my query, or at least be able to re-direct me to the proper person or department who can.

I am writing in regards to the book "Modular Crochet" , author Judith Copeland, published in 1978. I have been able to determine that the publisher was M. Evans and Company, Inc., who at this date are a part of the Rowman & Littlefield publishing group.

After reading an article about this book in a magazine, I attempted to find a used copy through several sources, such as E-bay, used bookstores,, etc. This book, while it can be found, is in such demand that it often has a high cost, indicating that there is a great deal of interest in it still, and could possibly do well if re-published and printed.

I was wondering if it is the publisher or authors decision to reprint the book, and who the best person to contact in regards to trying to bring this about would be.

I thank you in advance for your time, and appreciate any response.

If I receive a response, particularly a positive one, I'll post it here (and to my other crochet groups, as I know this blog has a kinda limited audience at this point).

On another note, I spent a little while yesterday sorting through leftover yarns. I have alot of it, and no idea what to do with any of it. Some of the colours and textures go together, but most of them don't, and there is not enough left for a whole project with any of them. I can;t just throw it away though, as that just seems so wasteful to me. So, if anyone has any small project ideas, I am all ears.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Well, here we go

Ok, so I am completely new to the concept of blogging. Well, alright, I knew what it was, but never created one, cuz really, who really wants to read the ramblings of me, besides myself. But it occurred to me this might be a way to keep track of my projects, get feedback on things I have made, and possibly some new ideas.

As the screen name implies, I primarily crochet, though I am interested in honing my knitting skills and learning other types ones, such as tatting.

Right now, I am working on a modular crochet sweater, inspired by the winter edition of the magazine "Crochet Fantasy", in which there is an article and a pattern for a sweater made using modular crochet. According to the article, this technique is from the book "Modular Crochet" by Judith Copeland, published in 1978.

I actually did a practice run on this sweater using some leftover yarn I had from making an afghan, which ended up too short (and trust me, no one but my boyfriend has ANY desire to see me in a cropped sweater) but otherwise seemed to turn out well, so I am now trying it in some wool I'd actually wear in public.

I will hopefully add pictures and a profile soon, though I doubt I will be updating this blog on a daily basis. Feel free to say hi, and leave any comments you want :)