Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Purple, The New Black ?

Happy Wednesday Everyone,

Commentators, during and after The Emmy awards show, told us  that purple is the new, hot color.  Several of the gorgeous stars wore different shades of purple gowns, so now we are told "purple is the new black".   I get a chuckle out of this because, well every year we are told that some color or other is the "new black".  I guess every year we need something to shake up the fashion world.   Do "the powers that be" hope that everyone will run right out and follow the trend, replace their little black dress, their classic black pants or skirt, with a purple one?  I am not sure why this happens, I just find it interesting.  I personally love my black basics, because they make a great palette for showing off my colorful free form pieces. 

Just for fun, I looked through my gallery of photos just to see how many times that I have used purple in the past few years.  I did use it quite often, in varying shades, for jackets, bags and hats.  I found that I used more of the lavender shades than the deep purples.  I did remember that one of the reasons I do not use it more often, is that it is very difficult for me to get a good photograph of anything purple.  What it all amounts to, as far as I am concerned, is you should wear what looks terrific on you, and what you love.

Have a great day


Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Good Morning all,

It occurred to me last night, that I have not mentioned my Free Form Knitting and Free Form Crochet Videos in a long while.  Since there has been a huge renewal of interest in Free Form, and it is one of my most popular workshops, I thought I would remind you about them.  In fact, I am doing a workshop in FINISHING YOUR FREE FORM PIECES at Knitting Central in Wesport CT on Sept 10.  For information  contact  

The videos are  now available in DVD format.  They can be ordered at , but the DVD's are not listed as yet, so you will have to write a note requesting that format.  Same content, same price.  They both come with a booklet that has all the stitches shown on the video, plus a few other items.

I also have two booklets on Free Form Crochet, published by Annie's Attic and available at, ,  or you can get them directly from me. 

Now the silly stuff.   I live in a very wooded area.  I love it here most of the time.  Lately we have been plagued with deer eating every single flower and plant around.  A family, mother and two fawns, have moved into my yard, and they are not even one bit afraid of me.  I can walk right up to them, shout "go away" and they laugh (If you could see their faces you would agree).  Finally, I am the one to leave. 

As if the deer were not enough, we also have a bear family.  Because of the bears, (and I am afraid of them), we are not allowed to put out bird feeders any more.  Watching the birds feed in the morning is a great pleasure for me.  With my flowers all eaten and my birds gone, it seemed that my tranquil little piece of heaven was taken away from me.  I am not even mentioning the little chipmunks,rabbits, squirrels and all other little critters that eat what the deer leave behind.

If you remember, yesterday when I could not get home because of the fallen tree, I went back to The Yarn and Craft Box in Pawling.  Several women were gathering for the Monday afternoon knitting class, that Marie Stewart conducts.  I cannot remember what brought the subject up, but soon I was voicing my displeasure with the animals for "invading my space and making living in the woods no fun any more".  Well Marie, really burst out laughing, reminding me that I was the one invading their space, not the other way around.  Well, she is right of course, and I guess I never gave it a lot of thought.  We could get into really deep discussions here about invading other's spaces, but I won't go there.  So I have decided that if I want to live here, with all the trees and the lake and the quiet, and not in a city, I will try to find plants that the deer do not like to eat (although no one bothers to ask the deer), and wait till the bears hibernate or leave for other parts before feeding the birds. 

Have a lovely day


Monday, August 28, 2006

Best laid plans/knitting crocheting for charity

Happy Monday Everyone,

The day started out gloomy and drizzly , but cleared up nicely by noon.  I was on my way home from my usual Monday morning class at The Yarn and Craft Box in Pawling, determined to use the afternoon to get a lot of work done.  I was not far from home and was abruptly stopped by a huge tree which had fallen across the only access road to my house.  Two other cars, one on each side of the fallen tree,  were there minutes before me and were trying to figure out what we should do.  The tree was huge, there was no way we could move it or go around it , and I was not about to leave my car on the side of the hill and walk uphill all the way home.  After notifying the proper authorities and finding out that it was going to take several hours to remove it - well whats a girl to do, I turned around and went back to the yarn shop :-).  There went my resolve to get home early and get tons of stuff accomplished. 

On another note, there has been so much talk about knitting and crocheting for charity, that I wanted to remind everyone, that I have 2 easy, free patterns on my site, that are great for charity knitting

One of the sweaters, the little blue one, I made for my grand daughter when she was 2.  She really loved that little sweater and did not want to give it up, so this year, I added several rows of crochet to the bottom of the body and sleeves.  Gave her at least another year or 2 of wear.

Have a great day


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Workshops Etc

Hi Everyone,

It is a rainy, gloomy morning here, but the grass and trees are loving it, everything looks so green and lush. 

I was telling a friend about my Chicago area trip, and how Rosalie Johnston, President of the Northern ILL Chapter of CGOA, escorted me all over the place for two days.  I never would have seen and experienced all the sights if not for her.  My friend commented that this was about the 4th time that I had had the good fortune to be escorted around by someone who knew the area.  It started me thinking about how wonderful this has been, and how the Internet has stretched my world. 

When I first began teaching in venues that were quite a distance from my home, I rarely left the hotel.  I went from the airport, to the hotel, then back again.

Prudence Mapstone started it all, by volunteering her help on my trip to Australia, and what a great trip that was.  Besides attending the Fiber Forum in Geelong,  I visited Prudence in Brisbane,  and then we went to Melbourne and Sydney.  A trip of a lifetime.!  Just this past May, I went to London, and again, relied on Prudence to plan our days of sight seeing. 

 Next I went to CA, and Myra, gave me a tour of the Hollywood area.  Such fun, we did all the touristy things, and even got to visit several of the many yarn shops in the area.  On my next trip, this time  to the northern end of CA, Jorel, was my "tour guide", another fabulous trip.  We got to see the fabulous Artwear - Fashion and Anti Fashion exhibit at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco Legion of Honor.  WOW, is all I can say about that.

In October, I am going to Austin, Texas to teach a workshop at Camp Crochet Texas, and Sharon Dyke, who has helped organize this event, has promised to show me some of that beautiful city. 

I am not only getting to teach in a lot of different venues, but I am really getting to see a little bit of the beautiful country that we live in, and a little bit of some other countries too.  For someone who never used to travel much, I seem to be getting around - what fun.

Have a great day



Thursday, August 24, 2006

Fun E-mails

Good Morning Everyone,

I received the nicest e-mail from a crochet friend that I met at the King of Prussia knit and crochet event.  Lucy Purchased my book, HOOKED BAGS,, and she is already having fun making some of the projects.  Lucy gave me permission to share her letter and photo with all of you.   

Dear Margaret:

I hope you will enjoy seeing the two bags I made from your book Hooked Bags.
You will recognize them as "Shopper's Net Tote" and "Not Net Tote Tagalong".
I made them for my son as a house-warming gift for his first house. I filled
them with treats that he can serve when his friends come to visit. Phil is
an avid environmentalist. I previously made him a plastic bag tote from
recycled bags, but I think your shopping bag has much more style. I know he
will use it often.

I had you sign my copy of your book at's fun to use. Thank


Thank you Lucy,

Have a great day


Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Good Morning Everyone,

I just wanted to share a few of the highlights of my  tour of the Chicago area. 

Rosalie Johnston, president of the Northern Ill chapter of CGOA, organizer of the workshop, and tour guide extraordinaire, took me on a whirlwind, two day tour of the area.  We had the greatest weather, blue skies, lots of sunshine, but not too hot, perfect for sight seeing. 

The first day we visited the Botanical Gardens, magnificent flowers, waterfalls, a Japanese Garden, so serene and lovely, a feast for the eyes and the wonderfull scent of blooming flowers, especially in the rose garden.  Talk about inspiration, explosions of color everywhere. 

After the Botanical Gardens we visited the Bahai House of Worship in Wilmette, Ill., one of only seven Bahai temples in the world at present.  I was so pleased to have visited this unique structure.  We were not allowed to take pictures inside, but it is an amazing temple.

The second day we headed for Chicago.  We saw and did so much that my head is still spinning.  We walked the golden mile, and oohed and aahed over the magnificent fashions all around us (more inspiration), we visited Navy Pier, We took the Architectural Boat Tour on the Chicago River, We took the fastest elevator in the US (their claim, but it really is fast) to the top of the Hancock Building and saw the most breathtaking views of the city.  We visited the American Girl Store, and Grandma that I am, could not resist buying the Bitty Twin dolls for my Grand daughter.  I hope that I can hold off giving them to her, they are supposed to be a Christmas gift. 

We even managed to eat in between all this activity.  I know that I am forgetting something, we did fill the day.   Rosalie said that I probably saw more in two days than many people who live there get to see.  I had a ball.

Have a great day



Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Northern Ill Chapter of CGOA Workshop

Hi Everyone,

I arrived home this afternoon from a wonderful trip to the Chicago Area.  I went to do a "Spectacular Squares" workshop for the Northern Illinois Chapter of the CGOA. 

My "Squares" workshop consists of learning to make a lot of different items by combining different square shapes.  The trick is to use lots of different yarns and stitches, thereby making your squares truly unique.  We start out by learning to make a bag, using a lining as a base. and hopefully build from there.  This group wanted to combine a little free form crochet with their squares, and the combination made for some interesting results.  By the end of the workshop we had some great  bags in the making.

I hope all will send me pictures of their finished projects so I can share them with you.

Have a good night,


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fourth in the Series of Hooked Books

Hi Everyone,

The arrival, just minutes ago, of the advance copy of Hooked Scarves, prompted me to write twice in the same day.  The book looks great.  Just like the others, beautiful pictures, clear, lots of white space pages, easy to read and the spiral binding allows it to lie flat while working.  You can order this book at  The cover scarf is made in Rayon Metallic by Blue Heron Yarns, in a wonderful color called Sunset.

I am really happy with the way these books have turned out.  Still 2 more to come in the series, but they will be awhile yet.

Have a great evening


Busy, busy time

Good Morning Everyone,

So much going on all at once.  I am leaving very soon to teach a workshop for the Northern Ill, Chapter of CGOA, at the Rolling Meadows Library in Rolling Meadows, Ill.  This workshop was the "baby" of Rosalie Johnston, who convinced me that her group would love me to come do a workshop for them.  I won't forget my camera this time, so watch for pictures soon. 

Previously I told you that my pal Tim Klein, would be in Austin , Texas, in October, at the same time that I will be doing workshops for Texas Camp Crochet.  Tim and I are trying to plan the possibility of meeting at the workshop so that all the attendees can get to meet Tim and see his fabulous car.  Wouldn't that be a hoot if we can pull it off. 

In the midst of all this preparation for the upcoming workshops, several of my design proposals have been accepted, and the possibility of a new book is becoming very real.  More on all this activity later.

Have a great day


Monday, August 14, 2006

This and That

Hi Everyone,

I've had a very busy few days.  Yesterday was the monthly meeting of the Happily Hooked on Crochet Guild in Danbury Ct.   Our group is growing, we had such a nice gathering, plus 3 or 4 visitors.  I think two of them decided to join our group.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera, but several of the women said that they would send me some photos to share.  We had fun with show and tell, and seeing what everyone is up to.

This morning I had my regular Monday morning class at the Yarn and Craft Box in Pawling, NY.  One of my regular students was just about finishing a project that was giving her a little grief, but it turned out really nice.  Another students, who embarked on a pretty ambitious project, was also moving along.  We had a pinned together fitting, and its looking great.  Perhaps when they are done, I can get them to share a photo.  If any of you live in the area be sure to visit the shop, Marie Stewart the owner, gives discounts to guild members.  You can almost always find me there on a Monday morning (except when I am off traveling ).

In this morning's mail, I had a note from Tim of the art car, telling me that he was going to be part of an exciting event happening in Austin, Texas on Oct 21st.  Well it just so happens that I will be in Austin on Oct 21, but I will be teaching all day.  I will be doing workshops for Crochet Texas and I am looking forward to doing the workshops and seeing some of the area.  Sure would be nice to get to see Tim and the car again.  Here is a copy of Tim"s e-mail,  check it out.


Greetings, my sure-footed and vitamin-enriched mailing list members!
I've finally gotten around to writing up my appearance with the Yarn
Car in Reader's Digest and (for about 2 seconds) on Good Morning
America.  I even have a short video clip of the latter, for your
viewing enjoyment...

Still got scads of stories and photos from past adventures that I'm
dying to share with you all, but for now that's all that's new.  I
hope all's right in your far-flung corners of the world!

And for those of you within striking distance of Austin, Texas, come
say hello at the viewing area on Congress Ave. at the end of the
Austin Art Car Parade on October 21...
(The web site doesn't do it justice -- it's one of the country's
biggest art car gatherings.)

Take care!

Your pal,
Dallas, Texas, USA

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Happy Saturday Morning Everyone,

If you would like to plan a really great vacation for next year, I will be teaching on a Knitting Cruise, which is sponsored by Creative Knitting Magazine.  The cruise will take place April 22 - 29, 2007, sailing from Miami to Belize, Costa Maya, Cosumel, Grand Cayman. 

Other instructors are Kathy Wesley and Lorna Miser.  You can find out more about the cruise by calling 1-800-765-1191or visiting the web site at (click on activity cruises).

Of course I will be discussing this more as the time draws closer.  I only mention it this early on, so plans can be made well in advance. 

Enjoy the wonderful weekend


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Workshops Pending

Hi Everyone,

Workshop season is fast approaching.  My first workshop will be at Knitting Central, 582 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880.  If you have never visited Knitting Central, and you are anywhere nearby, it is truly worth a trip.  A wonderful shop, full of the most beautiful yarns imaginable.  The workshop will be held on September 10th from 12 noon till 5 pm. 

Last season we had a fun workshop learning about Free Form Knitting, and our next workshop will be all about Finishing Your Free Form items.  Most students started a small evening bag, and hopefully will get it done this session.  If you would like any information about the workshop you can contact Sally at Knitting Central  Even if you have not taken a free form workshop with me before, you can still learn a lot at this workshop.  Hope to see you there.

I will be posting my schedule soon.  I am a little behind getting my workshops organized.  I did not book too many workshops because of all the book deadlines and traveling that I have been doing, but I will post the upcoming ones soon.

Have a great evening


Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Knitting/Crocheting for Men

Happy Wednesday Everyone,

I have been very lax about adding to my blog.  I have been away too much, summer heat etc are all good excuses.  Truth is I have been so busy trying to come up with new designs and class proposals, that my days are just flying by. 

I have been trying very hard to come up with some men's patterns in crochet.  I have been asked over and again "why no great men's patterns in crochet".   One of the reasons, is that many crochet patterns look very lacy and feminine, the more textured patterns tend to be very heavy. 

A while ago, I did design a man's sweater, combining knit with entrelac crochet, which is a form of Tunisian Crochet.  No one was interested in it because of the combination, reasoning that all crocheters do not knit, and all knitters do not crochet.  I liked the sweater, so I self published it, adding it to my  2 other self published patterns (my only adventure into self publishing).  I must admit, that it is not selling very well, so the publishers were right.  I got the idea of adding the knitted sleeves to the crocheted body of the sweater hoping to make a less bulky, easier to wear garment. 

I had previously made a child's cardigan, with the sleeves all in Tunisian Stitch, and that pattern sells very well .  There must be an answer here.  Crocheters want to make sweaters for the men in their life, so I will keep trying to come up with something.

We have a gorgeous day today (two in a row), so hopefully I will get a lot done.

Enjoy your day,


Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Knitting and Crocheting in the summer Heat

Hi Everyone,

I am visiting my son and family in MA, and just discovered that I can post to my blog.  For some reason, I thought that I had to be at my home computer in order to add entries.  Oh well, good thing that I can knit and crochet more efficiently that I can work a computer :-).

I managed to finish all my projects and meet my latest deadlines before leaving, so I am now concentrating on some new designs.  While attending TNNA and CGOA I made lots of contacts with yarn companies, publishers, magazine editors etc, and came home with new yarns to try out.  The heat in the Boston area has reached record breaking numbers, but thankfully we are air conditioned and pretty comfortable, so this afternoon, I started playing with yarn, hooks and needles.

Keep cool