Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Good morning Everyone,

I would just like to take a moment to wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year and to thank you all for the fantastic acceptance of my new Granny Square Book.

I have been so busy starting another new book, and getting ready for Christmas, that I have not been blogging much at all.

I hope that any one who lives in the New York area will be visiting the Vogue Knitting Live show. If you do attend, I will be doing a book signing for my new Granny Square book on Jan 14th.

Hope to see you there.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011



As usual, I am rushing around, trying to get ready for Christmas and family gatherings, lots of Christmas parties etc. Still trying to find the time to get some work done in between all the festivities.

Those that know me know how I love hearing from people who make things from my books, and I am especially happy when they share photos with me. LBBsM, posted a picture on ravelry, of the needle case from my book KNIT OR CROCHET - HAVE IT YOUR WAY. I loved how it turned out, so I asked her if I could post a picture of it. I really liked doing this project and I am happy that it turned out so well.

Thanks LBBsM, keep on letting me hear from you.



Saturday, December 3, 2011


And the winner is

---- Lily----

Congratulation Lily, please write to me at mhdesigner1@aol.com and I will send you instructions for downloading your e book.



Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Giveaways

Good Morning Everyone,

I have some great news today. In keeping with the holiday season I am able to offer you two chances to win some special prizes.

If you go to http://craftside.typepad.com you will have a chance to win a copy of my new book, THE GRANNY SQUARE BOOK, plus many other chances to win other prizes.

I have also contributed to a book called SIMPLY CROCHET, which is being released in the next week or so. The book includes some small, one skein projects, up to a few larger projects, but none take more than 5 skeins of yarn. Some of the most well known designers in the crochet world have contributed to this book. Interweave has allowed us to give one E Book to one of our blog subscribers. My contest ends at midnight Dec 2, 2011, and I will notify the winner some time tomorrow on how to download your book. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post to be included in the drawing.

Below is a list of all contributing designers, check out their blog posts in the coming days.

Simply Crochet Countdown to Fun Schedule:

1 Ball or Less

Dec 1 Iced Ascot by Rebecca Velasquez, http://rebeccavelasquezdesigns.blogspot.com/

Dec 2 Flapper Hat by Margaret Hubert, http://margaretshooksandneedles.blogspot.com/

Dec 3 Billows of Baubles Scarf by Sheryl Means, http://sherylmeanscrochet.com/

Dec 4 Twist Cowl Wrap by Linda Permann, http://www.lindamade.com/wordpress/

Dec 5 Mystic Cuff by Robyn Chachula, crochetbyfaye.blogspot.com

Dec 6 Emma Lace Scarf by Simona Merchant-Dest, http://stylishknits.blogspot.com/

Dec 7 Diamonds and Lace Hat by Linda Permann, http://www.lindamade.com/wordpress/

Dec 8 Neck Lattice by Vashti Braha, http://designingvashti.blogspot.com/

3 Balls or Fewer

Dec 9 Botan Placemats by Marlaina Bird, http://knitthing.blogspot.com/

Dec 10 Tapestry Basket by Carol Ventura, http://www.tapestrycrochet.com/blog/

Dec 11 Blooming Beauty Purse by Tracie Barrett, http://traciebarrett.com/blog/

Dec 12 Nedburt Puppet by Robyn Chachula, crochetbyfaye.blogspot.com

Dec 13 Natalie Shrug by Megan Granholm, http://loopdedoo.blogspot.com/

Dec 14 Giselle Vest by Simona Merchant-Dest, http://stylishknits.blogspot.com/

Dec 15 Sidney Cardigan by Robyn Chachula, crochetbyfaye.blogspot.com

Dec 16 Annabel Shawl by Kristin Omdahl, http://www.styledbykristin.com/

5 Balls or Fewer

Dec 17 Tallula Baby Top by Marlaina Bird, http://knitthing.blogspot.com/

Dec 18 Amelia Cardigan by Julia Vaconsin, http://www.juliavaconsin.com/

Dec 19 Float Vest, Float Cardigan by Robyn Chachula, crochetbyfaye.blogspot.com

Dec 20 Linked Jacket by Robyn Chachula, crochetbyfaye.blogspot.com

Dec 21 Dots and Dashes Blanket by Ellen Gormley

Dec 22 Spa Shawl Top by Doris Chan, Spa Shawl Tunic by Doris Chan, http://dorischancrochet.com/

Have a fun day checking out all the offers and good luck on winning a prize.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving and, if you are anything like me, you are already rushing into preparing for Christmas.

How did the busy holiday time sneak up on us so quickly? It seems that the days go flying by so quickly that I am always playing "catch-up". I am working on another new book and that means coming up with lots of new ideas, ordering yarn, and making it all come together into a book.

I get lots of letters from readers telling me that they loved a design, and occasionally someone sends me a picture of their work. I love receiving the photos, and when I receive permission, I love sharing them with you.

Here is the latest in my gallery of photos from readers. L is wearing the "Fred" sweater from the "Fred and Ginger" sweaters in INTERWEAVE CROCHET magazine. I really should do some more sweaters for little boys, L is a perfect little model.

Have a great day,


PS: Watch here for an announcement tomorrow.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Another Great Class


It is a crisp Fall morning in New York, and I am rushing around getting last minute things done for my trip to Greensboro and the Knit/Crochet Conference. I am almost ready, but not quite.

On Wednesday, I did another Free Form Knitting/Crochet Combo Class. I did this class at the East Fishkill Library in Fishkill, New York, and it was attended by a group of very enthusiastic knitters and crocheters. I love doing this class and it is turning out to be my most requested class of all. One of the reasons that I love doing this class so much, is because the diversity of the students never fails to amaze me. They all have the same homework, and all their projects turn out to be really individual, creative pieces. Look at all the happy faces!

One student, Cindy P, decided that she did not want to make a bag, and she started a much more ambitious project of a free form blanket. Hats off to Cindy for really spreading her wings. Another student, Cathy Conrady, made my capelet, but definitely put her own stamp on it. It looks wonderful Cathy.

Have a great day


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Busy times

Good Morning Everyone,

I had a very busy weekend, packing a workshop, Memorial Services for 9/11 and family stuff into two days.

On Saturday, I did a Knitting/Crochet Free Form Class at The Cornwall Yarn Shop in Cornwall, NY. The shop is a charming shop, jam packed with wonderful goodies, that would make any fiber fanatic swoon, and Gail Parrinello, is a most gracious host. On my arrival, the first thing that I noticed was that Gail has a sign on the door that says "A CROCHET FRIENDLY YARN SHOP", what a nice surprise.

The very enthusiastic students arrived very well prepared, their homework done, and ready to work on their free form bag. They were so caught up in their work that they did not even want to break for lunch. I did eat though, having left home so early to arrive on time, I had skipped breakfast.

Every one was on the way to finishing their little bag, and we even had time to learn a few new stitches. Another great thing about Free Form is the great diversity in the finished projects. Take a close look at the photos, everyone had the same homework, but their choice of yarn and placement, makes each project unique. Fun was had by all.

Have a great day,


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pam's Comfort Cables

Good Morning Everyone,

I hope that everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend. It has been quite a week in New York and elsewhere on the east coast, first an earthquake then hurricane Irene. I fared better than a lot of my neighbors, but still had trees down and power outage for 2 days. Not fun, but many of our friends in New Jersey and Connecticut still do not have power.

I had a breather for a few days and thought that I would tell you about a project that I have been involved in and that is very close to my heart. About a year ago, a dear friend and fellow designer was diagnosed with late stage breast cancer. Pam is a beautiful young woman with a young family, and this was devastating news.

Several of her friends and fellow designers came up with a unique idea to help Pam and her family. We decided to collaborate on a comfort afghan for Pam, each one of us designing a square, then putting our design into a booklet for sale, all of the proceeds going directly to Pam. One of Pam's favorite things is crochet cables, so each square is a different cable. I am sure that you will recognize names of some of your favorite designers.

After months of treatment, Pam is cancer free, but not expense free. The cost of treatment, as many of you know, can be overwhelming. We recently had a note from Pam, that the royalty checks she has received have been so helpful, but in addition to that, so many have written to her. She says the notes wishing her well, are so uplifting.

With the help of so many, we put together this great booklet, all the information is listed below.


DESIGNS BY: Tracie Barrett, Angela Best, Gwen Blakley Kinsler, Vashti Braha, Bendy Carter, Robyn Chachula, Doris Chan, Drew Emborsky, Lisa Gentry, Ellen Gormley, Mary Jane Hall, Jill Hanratty, Tammy Hildebrand, Amy O’Neill Houck, Margaret Hubert, Kimberly Kotary, Marty Miller, Annie Modesitt, Diane Moyer, Kristin Omdahl, Dee Stanziano, Mary Beth Temple, Karen Ratto Whooley

TECHNICAL EDITING: KJ Hay, Kimberly Kotary, Susan Lowman, Marty Miller, Annette Petavy


INTRODUCTION: Marty Miller, Diane Moyer



20 pages
24 cabled designs
100% of proceeds go directly to Pam Gillette

I am honored to be part of this great project,

Have a great day!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Last of my Conference photos

Hi Everyone,

What a gorgeous, bright, beautiful, sunny day we are having. I wish it could be like this every day, but I'll take it right now and enjoy.

I have a few more photos to share, then I think that will be it for the conference. I sent off my contest entry sweater on Monday, and just received word that it arrived safe and sound. Thank you, Doris Chan, for letting me know that my precious cargo has arrived.

Photos in order
Me and Vicki Howell (Vicki was amazed that I was on twitter and facebook, that I blog etc, (should I tell her that my kids drag me kicking and screaming into each new adventure?), Zontee from Lion Brand (whose smile always lights up a room), Ellen Gormley (my savior in getting my presentation up for Professional Development day, thank you Ellen and thanks to my son, Chris, who did the photos), me and Vicki, getting ready for our talks. Marty Miller, Rene Barnes, Karen, Dinner in the grill, Amy Shelton, President of CGOA, Rene B, Jo'Elle Galo, Karen R. Whooley, Cari Clement, Vice President of CGOA, and Mary Colucci, board member.

I'd also like to take a second to thank Penny Sitler, Executive Director of CGOA and her staff for making the conference a great one for all. Kareena Gibson, especially is my "go to" person for help, and she always has an answer for me. Thank you all.

Have a great day


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More Conference Photos

Good Morning Everyone,

Here are some more photos from the conference, most are from the Saturday Night Banquet some are from the market floor. Unfortunately my camera does not do well for long distances, so most of my fashion show photos are too dark to be of any use. Enjoy the photos.

First photo - Kathleen Sams, me, Rene Barnes

Second photo - Me with my Texas buddies, Jan and Molly, Third and Fourth photos attendees having fun at the banquet.
Missy Boo modeling in the Fashion Show, Beautiful Free Form Sweater, Last but not least, Kathleen Sams and Mary Carlucci manning a booth in the market.

Have a great day!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Classes at MN Conference July 2011

Wednesday was such a busy day. After the Professional Development Day program, Many of us loaded into buses and went over to the MN Fiber Center for a special program. This event was originally planned to induct Jean Leinhauser into the CGOA Hall of Fame, as its very first member, but it also turned into a moving memorial for Jean. Rita Weiss, Jean's business partner and very dear friend, put together a spectacular slide show of Jean's life, there was not a dry eye in the place.

Thursday was the beginning of classes, friends gathering, the market preview, busy, busy, busy and lots of fun. Photos 3 and 4 are of 2 of my classes. Somehow after the first two classes, I forgot to take photos.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Good Morning Everyone,

I have been home from the conference for over a week, and I finally unpacked the last bag, put everything away and feel "caught up".

I have lots of photos from the conference and I'll post a few today, more tomorrow.

The conference was terrific. My week began with my speaking at Professional Development Day, my topic-IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL; How to Reinvent Yourself to Succeed! I guess the committee chose me to talk about this because I have been in the needlearts business for a very long time, having my first design published in 1976 and my first book in published in 1978. Nineteen books and countless publications later, I am still very active in this business.

My son put together a slide show of my body of work, and seeing it all together in a series of 48 photos, was overwhelming to me.

Professional Development Day is an exciting day for any one wanting to work in the many aspects of the knit and crochet world. In addition to my talk, Vicki Howell gave a very comprehensive talk on how to use social media to advance your business, and Ellen Gormley spoke on how to give your designs a "wow" factor.

First photo is of me, trying out the podium, getting ready for my talk. Me and Vicki Howell "posing for the camera", Kimberly McAlindin,Tammy Hildebrand, Cari Clement, Ellen Gormley, me and Vicki Howell, just before getting ready for our talks.

After breaking for lunch, all attendees had the opportunity to attend 3 sessions with professionals, representing quite a few different aspects of business.

A great day was had by all. Classes began the next day.

Have a great day,


Friday, July 15, 2011

New York State Sheep and Wool Festival

Good Morning Everyone,

I know that it is only July, but October is coming up very fast. Time to register for your classes at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY.

I am teaching lots of crochet classes and if you want more classes in crochet, you have to attend them. I will be teaching Free Form Crochet, Free Form Crochet and Knit in combination, Bavarian Crochet, Entrelac Crochet and Intermeshing Crochet. The classes will be held Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 13, 14, 15 and 16. Hope to see you there.


Have a great day


Thursday, June 16, 2011

It has been a long while since I wrote a blog post, life has a habit of getting in the way. Some things that we think are very important, take over and we let them consume us. Yesterday, I opened my email to the sad news that Jean Leinhauser had unexpectedly passed away. So many emotions flashed through my mind. I could not believe this news, it was not registering in my brain. This cannot be true, didn't I just get an email from Jean 2 days ago? When Jean's great friend and business partner, Rita Weiss confirmed Jean's death, I was devastated.

I cannot remember the year that I actually met Jean, but I remember the meeting. I introduced myself, so happy to finally meet her, and she took my hand and said "Margaret, I know who you are". I was so blown away by this that I was speechless. A few years ago, Jean and Rita presented me with a sparkly, rhinestone pin that says "Old Broads Rule" and officially inducted me into the OBC (Old broads club). It has been a running joke and great fun at conferences when we wear our pins.

Jean was to be honored next month at the Crochet Conference in Minnesota for being voted in as the first member of the Crochet Hall of Fame. Her lifelong achievements in designing and publishing are so numerous that it would take a book to list all her books. Now in addition to honoring Jean, all of us will be remembering her and all the great things that she accomplished, and what a great friend she was.

Jean was a legend in the world of crochet and she will be sorely missed. So many wonderful things have been written about Jean, she touched so many lives, I for one will feel her presence every time I attend a conference. I know that she will be with us and making sure that I am wearing my pin, and encouraging all the OBIT's (Old Broad's in Training) to keep on trying for excellence in their work, and to keep on submitting their designs.

We'll miss you Jean.


Photo - Rita Weiss, Me, and Jerry R (from Texas Chapter) surrounding Jean.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Restoring Heirloom Crochet/knit pieces.

Good Morning Everyone,

I'm trying to think Spring even though more snow is forecast for tomorrow, so I thought green print might help. I can actually see green buds on my lilac tree, so maybe it will be soon.

About 2 months ago I received an email from a gentleman, who was looking for someone who would be able to restore two treasured afghans that he had inherited from a beloved aunt. The timing was so bad, I was in the middle of book deadlines and the holidays were looming. I wrote and told him that I would love to see the afghans, but he would have to wait a while.
He sent me photos, and even in the photo you could see that they were badly in need of repair. I eventually saw the pieces in person and they were gorgeous. One was in really bad shape, one much less damaged. I agreed to take on the job. I really was excited about restoring them.

The crocheted one, was made up of 1o4 squares, each square made up of 4 triangles, each one made separately and joined, truly a labor of love. This one was in really bad shape. In addition to many smaller damaged areas, I had to remove several entire squares, re-make them with new yarn and insert them back in place.
The first 2 photos are the crocheted one with a closeup of the triangles/squares.

The second afghan was woven, made up of 198 little woven squares, made on a small loom, then each square edged with crochet. Every single joining had to be reinforced and 6 of the squares had to be repaired. The last 2 photos are the woven afghan and a closeup of the small woven squares.

I love to do this work, even though it is very time consuming, because I really hate to see these cherished old pieces end up in the trash. I'll continue to make time for these special projects as long as I can, and right now I have 2 more thread table cloths waiting for me to work some magic on.

I delivered the restored afghans yesterday, and Mr D was so pleased, it made my day.

Have a great day everyone


Friday, January 28, 2011

Jacket day 2

Good Morning Everyone,

My yarn just arrived for my new project, so jacket may have to wait awhile. UPS apologized for the late delivery, he could not get up my hill. I understood perfectly, as I have not been able to get down my hill. Planning to venture out today for the first time.

Yesterday I worked on the sleeves of the jacket. I took pics of the sleeves in the works and I will go into more detail about using the Mokuba Free Lace. It is easier than other water solubles that I have used, but the sewing part is just about the same.

The first photo is the sleeves just pinned into body, as I have not finished sewing the body as yet. Second photo shows sleeves with the top covering over the whole project and sewn with sewing machine. I noticed that my sewing seemed to shrink the project, but once I immersed in water, rinsed out all the product, it was restored to original size. Third photo is both finished sleeves, they are just about identical in size. When I am all done, I plan on giving the whole project a dye bath. Right now I'm thinking on staying with the ecru color, but just want to even out the difference in all the doilies. May change my mind on this as I am also thinking a color may be nice.

More on this as jacket progresses.

Have a good day,