Thursday, July 27, 2006

My Newest Book

Good Morning Everyone,

I had a really nice surprise yesterday.  I received an advance copy of my newest book - HOOKED THROWS.  This is the third in a series of books that I am doing for Creative Publishing International and is available to order on .  I am so happy with the book.  Like the others, the photography is amazing, the instructions are not crowded on a page, lots of space, easy to read, and a basics section with close-up photos of details.  Another great advantage is  the ring binding that allows the book to lie flat while you are working. 

Most of the designs are easy and fast to complete, some are a little more challenging.  I wanted the book to appeal to beginners as well as more experienced crocheters, something for everyone, and I think that I have achieved that. 

HOOKED BAGS was the first in this series, HOOKED HATS came next and they are both available on amazon or in several book stores and local yarn shops.  Still to come HOOKED SCARVES, available in the fall,  and a fifth which  I just finished (and which will have to remain a little secret for now) will follow soon after.

Very exciting time for me.

Have a great day


Monday, July 24, 2006

Fashion Show at Chain Link

Hi Everyone,

This morning I received an e-mail from Lucy, with an attachement of some photos of my sweater in the fashion show.  Lucy read my blog and saw that I had none.  Thanks so much Lucy, I really enjoyed seeing them.

Vashti Braha is the model, and she is carrying a bag that was submitted by the Crochet Dude, Drew Emborsky .  I told Drew that our items looked really good together. Thanks Vashti, the sweater looked lovely on you.

I was rushing off to my usual Monday morning class when the e-mail came in, so could not post the photos till now.

Have a great evening everyone


Sunday, July 23, 2006

More on Chain Link

Happy Sunday morning Everone,

I have just spent the last half hour looking through photos, on other blogs, from the fashion show.  Two of the best ones that I have seen are and Yarn Over Pull Through . Thanks Dee and Patrice for posting them.

In all of the photos that I have looked at, I have not seen any of my entry into the fashion show.  Not surprising, since there were over 100 entries, so I have posted one myself.  Like so many others attending the conference, I too was putting the finishing touches on it at the last minute. 

Have a great day!



Friday, July 21, 2006

Wonderful Nature

Good Afternoon Everyone,

I have not fully recovered from my wonderful trip to The CGOA/TKGA conference, and I am sure that I forgot to mention someone or something.  I want to blame it on the fact that I no sooner arrived home, then I had to leave again.    

When I arrived home a few minutes ago, I was greeted by a show of nature right at my front door.  I could not believe it, so I had to take a picture and post it.  It might not be knit or crochet, but it certainly is free form.  I just love it, reminds me of one of my bags.  This mushroomy thing measures 19 X 24 inches and the smaller one is 8 X 14 inches.  Truly amazing to me.  Maybe someone can tell me if this "thing" has a name?

Have a great day!


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

More on the King of Prussia Conference

Hi Every One,

I added some more pictures from the conference.  The first is a picture of Myra Wood setting up the exhibit at the Free Form Booth.  You can see more about it at 

The next 2 pictures are of Myra modeling the Coat of Many Scrumbles.  The coat was assembled by Prudence Mapstone, from the many pieces that were sent to her by members of the Free Form List.  Prudence also fashioned a shawl and an umbrella, but unfortunately my pictures of these items did not turn out.  Prudence said that she  will send me some photos when she gets back home.

I enjoyed meeting Bethany, who  was wearing a sweater that she made using my instructions in the "How to Free Form" book.  While it is true, that once you write instructions, it is technically not free form any longer, but it is my hope that the book will be a starting place for a beginner.  Bethany's interpretation of my pattern proves my point.  She put her own take on it, and it was stunning. 

I had such fun meeting Mary Jane at Professional Development Day.    Her friend is a fan of mine, and Mary Jane told her, that the chances of meeting me in such a large gathering were slim, she was so surprised when she found out that we would be sitting side by side.  Her enthusiasm made my day.

When we arrived at Professional Development Day, there were huge heaps of yarn, needles and hooks on the tables.  Rita Weiss asked each of us to  make a 12 inch square or two, the squares would then be joined together to make afghans for  Warm up the World.  We all started to make squares, while listening to the guest speaker, and before the end of the day, a huge box of squares were made.  We got to see a finished afghan Saturday night.

Another highlight for me was seeing the ladies from Crochet Texas again.  I will be doing a workshop for them in October and I cannot wait.  I am sure that we will have a ball.  They are a fun, enthusiastic group.

I had to include a picture of me visiting the Liberty Bell.  I had never been to Philadelphia before so I was glad that I had the opportunity to sight see a little.

Have a good night all



CGOA/TKGA Conference in Valley Forge, Pa

Good Morning Everyone,

I arrived home last night from my week in Valley Forge, PA, attending the CGOA/TKGA conference.  Wow, what a fabulous time was had by all.

I started my week of fun almost immediately upon arrival.  I arrived late Tuesday afternoon, opened the door to my room (and wow, what a room) and Prudence said "Glad you are here, we are going out".  We are being picked up by Nancy and taken to her shop in Philadelphia to attend her weekly knit/crochet group.  Nancy's shop is so very charming, and her building is surrounded by art work.  We had a great night exploring the shop, the surrounding area, and meeting Nancy's group.

I belong to a Free Form On Line List, and our exhibit of 60 Odd Free Form crochet was displayed in our very own booth.  The Founder of CGOA, Gwen Blakely Kinsler, , made this happen.  Myra Wood, another member, arranged to get the exhibit to PA, and planned the whole exhibit and got the display together (Thank you Myra).  With the help of Prudence Mapstone  and Melanie Gill, Myra got all the pieces hung and labeled.  Our booth was visited by so many attendees, and Free Form made a big splash at the fashion show too.  Everything truly looked spectacular.

So much to tell, I know that I am forgetting something, but I will add as I remember.

I attended Professional Development Day, and that was very informative, and I got to sit in with some great professionals.  Jean Leinhauser, Rita Weiss, Kathleen Power Johnson, and Vashti Braha, just to name a few. 

One of the reasons the conferences are such fun, is getting to meet, face to face, all the people you read about and the  people you meet on line. 

Quite a few of our members attended the conference and most of us managed to get together for a dinner.  Melanie Gill, one of our members arranged the dinner plans, and believe me, this was no small feat (Thank you Mel).  After the dinner, we met at the After Hours session sponsored by Berroco Yarns.  Those that could not make the dinner met us there, and we continued the party. 

In picture 4, Brian and Anne from joined us.  Anne Crochets, Brian makes wonderful hooks, check them out.

More as I remember,

Have a great day





Monday, July 10, 2006

Busy Days

Hi Everyone,

I am thinking purple today  - because - yesterday I hosted the Happily Hooked on Crochet Club's July meeting at my home and  Purple is "our" color.  It was a beautiful sun shiny day, and we had a great gathering.  Everyone was busy crocheting, munching and chatting (not necessarily in that order) and enjoying the company of other crocheters. 

Several of the members were working on charity items, several finishing up their latest projects, and I was trying to work on my bra for the Bra-vo auction at Chain Link, but flitting too much to get any thing done.  One of the members shared a beautiful sweater that she had made.  I will have to get a picture of it next time. 

Over the years I  have accumulated such a huge stash of all manner of items, from trims to beads etc, and I invited the group to "shop" in my workroom.  Boy did they have fun!  Lets not tell them, but I was so happy to see the stuff find happy homes, and give me some more room :-)

I was having such a good time, that I totally forgot that I wanted to take some pictures.  I thought of it very late.  Some members had already left.  I managed to catch others, just as they were leaving, for one group photo. 

The icing on the cake of a lovely day was our  youngest member presenting me with a gift.  She had been quietly working away, busily creating her own design.  When she was done she came up to me, and placed her lovely finished work around my neck.  it is the necklace shown above.  She is turning into quite a crocheter, and whips things up really fast.  Do we have the next contender for World's Fastest Crocheter right in our very own group?

It is really special to see our love of crochet being passed on to the young ones.

I am leaving for the TKGA/CGOA conference tomorrow morning, and I am all packed and ready to go.  Still have to put the finishing touches on my bra-vo entry and also on the sweater that I have entered in the fashion show, but there is the long car ride down and a few days before the fashion show, so it will get done.

  I will be gone all week, don't know if I will be able to post while away, but lots to tell when I return.

Have a great week.


Thursday, July 6, 2006

Sculptural Knitting and Crocheting

Hi Everyone,

On the Free Form Crochet List, the topic of sculptural needlework came up.  The writer asked if any of us had any experience with this medium and if so, to share our experiences.  The question brought to mind my experiences and I thought that it was a great topic to share with all of you. 

Many years ago, when I worked as the needlework instructior for Bloomingdales in NY, I met Mark Dittrick.  Mr. Dittrick had just written a book called HARD CROCHET.  He made very unusual articles, bowls, vases etc with a hook and all manner of cords, thread etc.  He was so enthusiastic, that I thought I would give it a try.  I discovered quite rapidly that this was definitely not "my thing".  My hands hurt so badly, that I could not knit or crochet for a week.  That was the end of "hard crochet" for me.

Years later, while vacationing in Florida, I saw the most enchanting dolls in a local yarn shop.  By now I was a grandmother, so I started on a journey of making 8 of them, and quite a journey it was.  They are from a series of leaflets, from designer Jean Greenhowes, whose wonderful, whimsical dolls are fabulous.  The dolls are all different, with the most incredible details.  Pictured above is the Golfer Clown.  After this project was completed, I vowed never to do anything sculptural or doll like again.  "stick to fashion" I told myself.

More years go by, and now I am on the Internet, I am incredibly busy, my days are flying by, I am designing again, teaching all over the place, writing books again etc, and --  one of our fellow listers, Mirjam Cohen of Haifa, tells us that she is putting together a crochet  exhibit in Israel.  She invites several of us to participate.  The theme was to be figures, any interpretation that we wanted.   At first I did not want to participate, but having my work in a museum in Israel was so tempting that I agreed to do it.  I had no clue as to what I would do.  I was fairly new to the Internet, and the fact that, through our list, I was literally meeting people all over the world was mind boggling to me.  It dawned on me that our common interest was crochet and I tried to come up with a concept promoting this idea.

Coincidentally, at the same time I was attending a series of lectures by Dr. Rock Brynner, on literature.  Dr. Brynner's special cause is making people aware of how we are eroding our natural resources, and so he started his lecture with a little speech about this.  He likened our world to a sweater, went on to say, how someone was snipping a stitch here, and another person snipping a stitch there, and soon the whole sweater would unravel.  Someone in the audience, knowing I was there, said "give it to Margaret, she can fix it".  Well it did get a laugh, and wouldn't it be great if it were that easy.  I left that night with the seed of CONNECTIONS planted in my brain. 

Thinking of the world as a giant sweater, with everyone, crochet hook in hand, working to restore their little corner of earth.  WOW, I liked it a lot.    My grandchildren helped me find  a picture of an oval world map (I needed a visual to copy and wanted it oval instead of round) and some costumes.  My son helped by cutting down very small crochet hooks to fit my doll's hands.  I was on a roll.  While I loved my idea, I personally think of my execution of it, as very child like.  In spite of this, people seemed to like it.  It was in the exhibit, along with some wonderful artists works, and I was thrilled to be part of it all.  Pictures of the exhibit may be seen at  

Once again, I am thinking, that I probably will never do this again, but I have learned one thing over the years, and that is - never say never.

Have a great day everyone





Wednesday, July 5, 2006

More on the Mystery Book

Good Morning all,

Thanks to everyone who wrote with tips on locating THE book.  I have tried them all to no avail.  I still have not heard from anyone who actually owns this book.  This in itself is very strange.  One of my books was a book club selection over twenty years ago, and copies of that book are all around.  Thousands were sold, and I see it on ebay and amazon all the time (and not very expensive either :-).  I meet people, who tell me that they own my book, all the time.  It is definitely odd to me, that a book which was released in November 2004, is nowhere.   I wrote to the book club that supposedly had it as a selection, and their response was "Thank you for contacting us.  Unfortunately, the book is no longer available through the Club".  That was it, 2 sentences, with no other information, another dead end.  Sooooo, the mystery continues.  Today, I am going to try my local Library and see what happens.

Have a great day


Tuesday, July 4, 2006

A Crochet Book Mystery

Happy Fourth Everyone,

Several months ago, at a Happily Hooked on Crochet guild meeting, one of the members, Celeste,  mentioned that she was trying to buy a book that she had seen a picture of.  The description of the book sounded very intriguing.  Among other things it said that it contained such crochet stitches as The Lilliput Stitch and the Pistachio Stitch.  It also included Fence motifs.  Celeste asked me if I had ever heard of these stitches, and I had not.  It really peaked my interest though.

Celeste really wanted that book and I was interested in seeing it myself.  After several tries on line she came up empty handed.  I tried a search and found the book on and I ordered it for Celeste.  After a few more months and several e-mails from amazon telling me it would be a little while longer, I just received a "sorry" we cannot deliver.  I put a call out on two crochet lists, asking if anyone heard of this book, or actually owned it.  I received lots of replies, but so far no one claiming that they own the book.  One nice person found a seller on ebay who claimed to have 117 copies, and you could buy it now.  I was over joyed, and I sent the information to Celeste.  Within the hour, I received another e-mail stating that the seller on ebay, actually did not have the copies, but would order them directly from the publisher.  We have a title, we have the proper ISBN number, we have the author, and the publisher.  Even on the publishers site, it comes up as no match.  I am wondering if this book was ever printed at all.  Does any one out there really own this mystery book??  I would love to hear from you, and I am sure that Celeste would too.

The Name of the book is Beautiful Crochet Stitch Patterns, by Adam Ward, published by Sterling, ISBN number 1402708327, released 11-01-2004.

The search was fun, took way too much time, and still no book.  Oh well, I had fun "talking" to lots of people joining in the hunt.   enjoy the rest of day everyone, the mystery still continues.



Monday, July 3, 2006

More from Crochet in Morcambe England

Good Monday Morning Everyone,

Because of the Holiday Weekend, I have no class this morning.  Finding myself with a few spare hours coincides nicely with my receiving a disc from Prudence, containing hundreds of photos from our recent trip to Morcambe.  Prudence has been traveling almost non stop since then, so it is amazing to me that she found the time to send it to me at all.  I thought that I would share some of them with you.

The photos show some of the goings on at the event.  Pauline  ,and James Walters , cutting the cake celebrating the 25th anniversary of crochet in Morcambe.  The cake cutting preceeded the fashion show.  Later I will post some more pictures of the fashion show, but I had to include Pauline's fabulous peacock cape. 

The most unbelievable work was the Bong Tree, by Helen Jordon of England.  Helen chose the poem THE OWL AND THE PUSSY CAT as her theme for her sculptural part of her Crochet Diploma.  Helen told us that the tree took her about 4 years to complete.  The picture does not do it justice at all.  The trunk alone is a textural marvel, and the tree is very tall.  The Tree took center stage at the Platform, where the craft event took place.

The last few  photos are of some the scrumbles made by the attendees as part of our workshop.  Sorry that I cannot identify each piece with the name of the crocheter.

Have a Happy and Safe Fourth Everyone!