Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays

I want to wish every one a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Healthy
New Year.



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Free Form, Lemons and Stars

Happy Sunday Morning Everyone,

I guess you are wondering what Free Form, Lemons and Stars have in common, well let me tell you an incredible story.

On Thursday afternoon, I left Pawling to attend a holiday celebration of the Soundview Knitting Guild. Some of you might remember that I did a series of workshops for them a short time ago. They invited me to their celebration and asked me if I could do a short talk on Free Form Knitting and Crocheting. I was looking forward to going back to the group, as they were really very enthusiastic students and I had so much fun with them.

As we drove up the country club, where the event was to take place, it was totally dark, one or two cars in the otherwise empty parking lot. Oh, oh, did we get the date wrong, where was everyone? Two women were huddled at the front door (it was a freezing, bitter cold evening). Someone finally answered the door and told us that there was no event scheduled for that evening. By now, most of the fifty expected guests were arriving. The banquet manager was finally reached, and, we really do not know what happened, but signals got crossed, they had us down for a totally different date. What to do now? Fifty, hungry, dressed for a party, disappointed woman, all wanting answers. Someone in the group suggested we try to find a restaurant that could help us. Someone remembered a restaurant not too far away that had a small banquet room. Phone calls were hastily made, arrangements worked out,and they said that they could help us.

Here"s where the "stars" come in. The restaurant is called Stella's, it is in Stratford, CT. Stella means star, and let me tell you, Stella and her staff, were
definitely bright stars to us that night. When we arrived at the restaurant, less than an hour after all the hastily made phone calls, the tables were set with white tablecloths and flowers. Very quickly, salads were served. Shortly afterward, huge bowls and platters of wonderful Italian food and crusty bread appeared on each table. I don't know how they did it, but they did. Everyone had a ball, and we gave the staff a standing ovation at the end. Any one who lives in that area should give Stella's a try, I wished that I lived closer.

The evening went on as planned, we had our free form talk, some of the guests shared their finished projects from the class,we played our gift exchange game and visited with old friends and new. Everyone was laughing and talking and having a grand time.

No, it was not the country club, but the setting did not matter, we were all having fun and enjoying each others company - Lesson of the day, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

Have a great day,


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet

Good evening Everyone,

I am taking a little break from posting all the photos from the Magic Wands Exhibit, to tell you about my newest book, THE COMPLETE PHOTO GUIDE TO CROCHET, It will be out very soon, but it is already available on for pre order.

You can get a sneak peek at Craftside Blog,

Have a great evening,


Friday, December 4, 2009

more knitting photos from Mirjam Cohen

The history of knitting is interesting, its social/cultural status as a creative expressive medium goes up and down in different periods. During some periods it was considered a man's trade, at other times it was deemed to be a leisure activity, sometimes it was a need, at others a lesser job for 'unskilled' workers.

The paragraph above is from Mirjam's introduction to her exhibit. The very first photo is a statue called "The Knitting Lesson" from my collection of Hummels, my husband bought me that little statue in Germany about 50 years ago, and I love it.All the other photos are from Mirjam's collection.

I have tried and tried, and I still cannot get captions on my photos, just enjoy, the classic with the lovely kitsch. Believe it or not, there is still a lot more to come.

Enjoy the day,


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Magic Wands - The Exhibition

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that your Thanksgiving Holiday was great, I had a wonderful time with my family. I did get a lot of knitting and crocheting done, finished a Christmas gift and my contribution for our service men, so I felt good about that.

My friend, Mirjam, has been sending me so many photos from her collection, and I am going to continue sharing them with you. Mirjam also sent me her introduction, and has given me permission to share her lovely words.

The Title of the exhibition is Magic Wands, I am having trouble getting Mirjam's document posted here, but it begins:

Translated from Hebrew:(I had to re-type Mirjam's words as I could not get her document in here)

The Lovely Sorceress picked up her magic wands, turned them to and fro and whispered "Two P, two K, two P, two K" and from the wand a beautiful scarf sprang forth, soft and warm. I always felt that knitting is a form of magic, you take a stick or two and a piece of thread, turn the sticks about, and then an interesting item of clothing falls into our hands, almost out of the blue. The wonder is even greater in our present day mechanized and computerized world. In Hebrew, the general name for crafts is "melekhet makhshevet". In English one can hear the magic in the name, the act of creating something with your hands is called craft, and the act of magic and sorcery is called Witch Craft. The ability to take a thing and turn it into something else using a process that appears to be simple, that;s witch craft, magic, a gift, a talent. It is a skill that cannot be taken for granted. In this exhibition we wanted to focus on displaying item different than the ones usually seen in this country, and to celebrate the magic that takes place between wands and fiber, between the knitters hands and heart.

Have a great day!



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Amazing Internet

Good Morning All,

I have said it before and will say it again, it still always amazes me, that the Internet is truly so life enriching . About seven or eight years ago, I joined an on line forum called THE INTERNATIONAL FREE FORM GROUP. Little did I know that, the simple act of joining an on line group would open so many doors for me. I have made lasting friendships, I have traveled to England, Australia and New Zealand, and quite a few states, through contacts made in this group.

One day, I received an e-mail from Mirjam Bruck-Cohen, a then member of the group, and she went on to say that she was "thrilled" to have found me, that I had been her knitting guru for years and that she cherished my first book "One Piece Knits That Fit" and used it as a reference book all the time. Needless to say, I was very flattered. That book was my first, done in 1978, and I was happy that it was still being used.

Mirjam lives in Israel, a fellow fiber artist, museum curator, and friend
so we have never met personally, but have shared a lot. Mirjam invited me to participate in one of her first exhibits of fiber figures. I was out of my element, being a fashion designer, but I tried. I thought my piece was too child like, but Mirjam encouraged me to send it any way, and it became part of the wonderful exhibit. I called it "Connections" in honor of all the world wide friends that I have made through the Internet. You can see the collection at Mirjam's web page, click on Crochet Figures.

Last summer, Mirjam asked me if I could send her a photo of myself knitting, as she wanted to add it to her collection of knitters, little did I know that my photo would be along side some of the most famous knitting paintings and fantastic old photos, that Mirjam has collected through the years. Last week, Mirjam started sending me some of these photos, I was enchanted, and asked Mirjam if I could share them with you.
There are quite a few, and I am packing and getting ready to leave for my family Thanksgiving gathering, but I wanted to share some with you now, and will continue when I return. They range from Historical to whimsical and I know that you will enjoy them as much as I have.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, Thank You Mirjam for sharing your wonderful collection.


Thursday, November 12, 2009


Good Morning All,

I had a very busy weekend, well actually a very busy few days.
On Saturday, I taught a second set of workshops for the Soundview Knitting Guild, on Sunday, I attended the 8th Anniversary Meeting of the Happily Hooked on Crochet Chapter of CGOA. In addition to our anniversary party, with all the goodies etc, Lily Chin was our guest teacher. Lily taught a workshop on Crochet Tips and Tricks from her new book by the same name. As usual, in addition to a great presentation, Lily was lots of fun.

On Monday, I taught my usual Monday morning class, and last night I attended
a "knit/crochet for our troops" night at my local yarn shop. Marie Stewart, owner of the Yarn and Craft Box in Pawling, NY, a very crochet friendly shop, hosted the
night and gave discounts to all who bought yarn to knit, helmet liners, scarves and neck warmers. I forgot my camera, but one of the organizers promised to send me
pictures and more information on their group. I will post about it, when I receive the info.

I took lots more photos, but for some reason they are very dark. First two photos are the HH_CC meeting with Lily. Second two are the Soundview Knitting Guild.

Have a great day,


Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Soundview Knitting Guild

Happy Sunday Everyone,

Yesterday I spent the day in Trumbull, Ct, doing 2 classes for the Soundview Knitting Guild. We did Free Form Knitting and Crochet Combo class, and a Finishing Like a Pro Class.

Great group of enthusiastic students. We had fun, got a lot accomplished, and best of all, I get to go back again next week. Looking forward to it.

My camera gave out on me , so I am waiting for some of the other attendees to send me more photos.

Enjoy your day.


Monday, October 26, 2009


Happy Monday Morning Everyone,

I am running out to teach this morning but thought that I would take a minute to share pictures from Stitches East in Hartford Ct. Not a bad drive from my house at all, took about an hour and forty minutes, Convention Center is practically right off the highway, so no trouble at all. My friends Carol D. and Frances F. attended with me. They had a ball as they had never been to a venue like this before

Picture taking in the market is very limited, and you can only take pictures with
permission from the person that you are taking a picture of.

One of the highlights of my trip was getting to meet up with my dear friend Myra Wood. Myra was there teaching and also signing her brand new book. We thought that we were going to miss each other, but Myra's plans changed slightly and she was able to spend a little more time in the market, so we got to spend a little time together.

First Photo, Myra and me with Myra's beautiful new book, wait till you see the gorgeous photos in this book, CRAZY LACE.

Next Myra, me and Claudia.

Kathleen Sams (Red Heart Yarns) and Myra.

Penny Sitler, me.

Kathleen and Me

Barry Klein (Trendsetter Yarns) and me.

I'll add to this tonight, have to run now.

Enjoy the day,


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Saturday Everyone,

Finally sharing some of my Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival photos with you.

It was a great fall day, crisp and very cool. The crowds were huge, the foliage was coming into fall colors, and there was yarn everywhere. All kinds of food was available but the lines were very long. I was not able to get any photos inside the buildings, too many people and all taller than me. Every time that I tried, I got a sea of heads.
In the first photo, meet The Knitmore Girls, Jasmin and Gigi, a mother-daughter knitting production, and Meghan, from Stitch It!! There was a huge crowd surrounding the girls, not only were they happy and obviously having a ball greeting all their fans, they were handing out free kits, with yarn, instructions and even tea and a recipe for Pumpkin Yummy Muffins. Definitely a high point of my
trip. You can follow them on ravelry at

Next photo is Doris Chan, me and Diane Moyer. Next is Irene, a member of the Happily Hooked on Crochet Chapter of CGOA, me and Frances F. Next photo is Doris Chan, Me, Diane Moyer and Frances F, chatting and having some fun, while Doris and Diane are trying to get some food. You can actually make lasting friendships while waiting on the long food lines :-).

Just an overview of the S & W, we had a great day, I bought very little yarn, but I did find just the right yarn to add to a project I have already started. I am also always on the lookout for my next design project and did get some interesting yarns for swatching. I met quite a few old friends, met several people who had taken workshops with me, and made a whole bunch of new friends.

The vendors booths were beautiful and all the yarns very tempting, and all the vendors were very friendly and helpful. I saw people walking around with huge bags of yarn, excited with their purchases. The attendees were a fashion show in themselves with an amazing array of outfits constantly parading by. It seems that everyone there was wearing a knit or crochet item, each one unique and beautiful. My Free Form jacket got quite a bit of attention, and people were constantly stopping me and asking me about it. That always makes me feel good.

It was a great day, I always look forward to attending this event.

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Complete Photo Guides

Hi Everyone,

I just discovered that both my new books are available for pre-order on amazon.
I have been working on these books for the past 10 months, just finished the second one a few weeks ago.

THE COMPLETE PHOTO GUIDE TO CROCHET, will be shipping January 1st, THE COMPLETE PHOTO GUIDE TO KNITTING, will be shipping in July.

I am very excited about these books because they are not just another a book of stitches. I have invited other designers, who have expertise in very special techniques, to share their expertise with us.

In the crochet book, there will be sections on Tapestry, by Julia Bryant, Hairpin Lace and Broomstick Lace, by Jennifer Hansen, Overlay Crochet, by Melody MacDuffee, Bruges Lace, by Tatyana Mirer, and Polish Star Stitch by Pauline Turner.

Nancy Nehring has written a fabulous history of crochet, and Jules Kliot has contributed the Lacis Story. Very fascinating articles. Included is a gallery of some amazing pieces by the contributors and also photos from Prudence Mapstone, Myra Wood, Pam Shore, who made a gorgeous jacket using Kite String!

There will also be special sections on Free Form crochet and One piece crocheting.

In the knitting book, in addition to the stitch patterns, the specials will be, Fair Isle Knitting by Sasha Kegan, Ouroborus Knitting by Debbie New, Beaded Knitting by Judy Pascal, Twined Knitting by Beth Brown Reinsel, and Crazy Lace, by Myra Wood. Very exciting stuff!

There will also be special sections on Free Form Knitting and One piece Knitting.
A history of knitting is also included.

Great way to start my day,


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Good Morning Everyone,

I am so behind on blog posts again, just not enough days to do it all.

The October meeting of the Happily Hooked on Crochet Chapter
of CGOA, met on October 11th. As usual the meeting was filled with
members having a great time, doing good works and really enjoying
each other.

We were making hats, scarves and gloves for the Salvation army,
and making chemo caps and preemie caps for Danbury Hospital.

I managed to make one preemie cap, one hat and was working on a scarf at the meeting. I finished the scarf and decided that I would start another. Well I ran out of yarn, and was running out of time, as the deadline for bringing the things to the Salvation Army was looming and the meeting was almost over. What to do when life hands you lemons??? make lemonade. Karen D, finished her scarf and had a bit of yarn left over, which kind of went with my project. I "fought" off another member to grab Karen's leftover yarn, realized it still would not be enough to make a scarf, so I turned my half done scarf into a great hat.

Our Member, Elaine B,
won a prize for the best use of color for her hat and scarf, at the Big E, her prize was a $100 gift certificate for Webs. Way to go Elaine! My photo does not do justice to Elaine's entry, it was gorgeous!

Kathy made a great scarf for kids (sorry my picture is on its side, won't turn for me). Nancy made the adorable baby set and could not resist clowning around.

Members,once again, made tons of hats, they are the best.

We had visitors from the newly formed LI Chapter, they were shy about having
their picture taken, so they are hiding behind Patty E's blanket. Deb S, asked me
for some advice about the lovely shawl that she was making.

Nancy, the baby set it just wonderful. Nancy made the blanket using the
double sided crochet technique that I taught at the last meeting.

What a happy, productive group, we always have fun at our meetings.

Have a great day,