Tuesday, July 1, 2014

More Amazing

Good Morning Everyone,

First day of July, gorgeous blue skies, everything around me bursting with color, I love the Summer.

In keeping with my blog posts about all the amazing people in my world, I would like to introduce you to my friend Stephen Haggerty.  I met Steve through my Shakespeare Club, and when he told me that he wrote poetry, I was immediately intrigued.

Stephen has written his first book called COWS IN THE FOG, and I love it. I asked Steve if I could interview him for a blog post.  I told him that my blog was mostly for knitters and crocheters, but that did not bother him at all, he said that he would be “honored” how’s that for a real gentleman J

MH: When did you realize you had a gift for writing poetry?

SH: In general, I realized I had a gift for writing in grade school. My father was a musician editing Broadway Musicals at the time, and he encouraged me to write. In first grade, in fourth grade, I won the class contest.
In college, my writing professor for poetry and fiction had me stay after class and told me I had the ability to be a successful poet and fiction writer. She liked a poem I wrote about a character in Vermont. I wrote with a spirit of enthusiasm, and was creative in coming up with ideas.

MH: What was your schooling?

I graduated from Greenwich High School in Conn. I received my bachelor’s degree from Southern Vermont College in Communications with a minor in English Literature. I went to the University of South Carolina on a full scholarship to the College of Journalism. There I studied with William Price Fox, who was known to be one of the top fiction writing teachers in the U.S. (He taught with Kurt Vonnegut at the U. of Iowa Writer’s Workshop, known as the leading U.S. writing school.)

During college, I wrote articles for the Bennington Banner in Vermont.

For my first job, I was selected as one of 40 students for the American Society of Magazine Editor’s Internship Program in New York. Upon completion I was chosen as one of three American students by the Vice President of McGraw-Hill Publications as a trainee.

I worked at McGraw-Hill Publications as a reporter, writer and staff editor for magazines, and have also edited published inspirational magazine articles. I wrote and edited many pieces.

MH: What inspires your poems?

My poetry was inspired by the fact that I love to read poetry. On still evenings when snowflakes are falling, or on quiet evenings listening to the brook flowing and to crickets chirping, I like to enter into a poem and to be swept away by its feeling.

     For this book, I was inspired by my childhood summers in Vermont. We lived secluded summers working on family dairy farms six miles back on a dirt road working for people whose families had lived there since the 1700s. I spent many afternoons walking up mountains, strolling through meadows and streams. At night, we would walk in the dark down country dirt roads. Writing poetry takes me out into nature.

Writing poetry also gives me warm connections to people. I am sharing my life, and learning about other people. I enjoy reading my poems to groups to do this. 

Here is a photo of Steve reading some of his poems to our Shakespeare Club.

   Here Stephen is posing with his new book, and I added my great grandson's visiting flat Stanley into the photo. Steve was such a good sport and got a kick out of it.

Cows in the Fog will be available on amazon.com very soon.

Stay tuned, I know a lot of interesting, fascinating and truly amazing people.

Have a great day,



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Amazing People in My World

Good Afternoon Everyone,

I had a rare day today, a day that had no appointments, no deadlines looming, nothing that had to be done yesterday and it was also gloomy and raining. I planned to do so much work, but I had a little trouble getting started. 

I am working on another  new book (really just beginning) and it is proving to be a challenge for me, as it is a little different than anything I have ever done before.  I have been driving my editor, Linda Neubauer, slightly mad (she would never tell me that) with my unending questions and phone calls. While talking to Linda this morning, I realized what a truly amazing person she is. After I spoke to Linda for about the 3rd time, a germ of an idea was planted in my brain. I thought that I should do a series of blog posts acknowledging some of the amazing people in my world.

Before I start this journey, I have to go back to the beginning and thank my wonderful Mother, who always encouraged me, was so proud of me, and even told me that I could be president if I wanted to.  My Father who told me that I was given a great gift and told me never to be too lazy to open the box. The first two truly amazing people in my world!

Back to Linda. I have been working with Linda for about 9 years and she has always been encouraging and most helpful, guiding me through some of the technical stuff that I was not familiar with, always with a smile and such patience. 

Besides being an editor, Linda is an expert at sewing and has written quite a few books herself -  THE COMPLETE PHOTO GUIDE TO WINDOW TREATMENTS, COMPLETE PHOTO GUIDE TO SLIPCOVERS, THE COMPLETE PHOTO GUIDE TO CURTAINS AND DRAPERIES, to name a few. All are available on amazon.com

        Linda Neubauer, amazing person

Thanks Linda for all your help.

Have a great day everyone.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Great New Book

Hi Everyone,

I have a nice surprise today, just for leaving a comment on my blog, you have a chance to win this great book - CROCHETING CLOTHES KIDS LOVE - by Shelby Allaho and Ellen Gormley.

This book has 28 designs for garments and accessories for school-age kids. I really love them all, but two of my favorites are the Pretty Popcorn Vest, and the Chelsea Capelet. 

All projects are designed using a variety of yarn types  in fibers that are easy to care for.  Instructions and schematics make it easy for even beginners to crochet these great projects.

A little about the authors:

Shelby has won numerous design awards, and has been published in magazines. When I first saw Shelby's work I was immediately taken with her attention to detail and unique designs. Shelby has also contributed to two of my books. You can see more of Shelby's work on her blog

Ellen, has had so many designs published in numerous magazines and has also contributed to one of my books.  Her designs have been shown of the PBS show Knit and Crochet Now! Her two books are Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook and Learn Bruges Lace. Ellen is now editor of CROCHET! magazine.

Shelby and Ellen, together you have created a great book for all who love to crochet for kids.

The book is available on amazon.com

Have a great weekend everyone


PS: I'll choose the winner after midnight May 23rd.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Good Morning Everyone,

This past week I have been a little under the weather and so had the opportunity to catch up on some reading.  I recently purchased THE FINE ART OF CROCHET by Gwen Blakely Kinsler
and I just loved this book.

In the introduction, Gwen States the the book represents "the diverse styles, unusual shapes and exquisite textures, that characterize crochet art today" that says it all.

Gwen has featured 20 artists that incorporate crochet in their work. Many I knew about, some I have met personally, and others were brand new to me.  I found that reading about their lives, how they evolved into the art that they are currently creating, and the different mediums used was truly fascinating.

I have been knitting and crocheting for more years than I care to remember, and seeing photos of the work that these fine artist create, the amazing mix of textiles and color, and the truly diverse styles, really gets the creative juices flowing.

Thanks Gwen, for a beautiful, informative book.

(The book is available for sale on amazon.com)

Have a great day,


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Good Morning Everyone,

Its been a while between posts, but being it is still National Crochet Month, I thought I would get something done.  Been kind of hectic and a bug laid me low for over a week, just beginning to feel better.

Our meeting of the Happily Hooked on Crochet Guild in CT. was such fun this month, lots of show and tell and a special exhibit on crochet doilies. Our meetings are held in the Danbury Library, and the Library has a showcase for special events, this month it was crochet. Everything is behind glass so photography is a little tricky.

Some of the show and tell items

Anna has singlehandedly made so many blankets for donations to charity that I have lost count. Great work Anna.

Ruth is another crocheter constantly working for charitable organizations, great work Ruth.

Fluffy shared how she made her great granny bag, thanks so much Fluffy.

I Just love it when readers send me photos of things that they made from my books or magazines. This week I received a letter from Kathy, telling me that she made my sweater called
MY ANTONIA from RUNWAY CROCHET. This sweater is so dear to my heart, and named for one of the most favorite people in my life, so I was thrilled that Kathy loved it so much. In fact she told me that she loves it so much, she is going to make it again.

Beautiful photo, just love it! Thanks for sharing Kathy.

Have a great day everyone


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Crochet Fun

Good Morning Everyone,

Another cold day here in New York, but at least the sun is shining. Not for long though, they tell us more snow is coming this afternoon, really wishing Spring would hurry up. 

I received a copy of a great new book in the mail this week. It is CROCHETING CLOTHES KIDS LOVE by Shelby Allaho and Ellen Gormley.  Shelby and Ellen are friends and I just love what they did in this book.  I want to say to any one who has a little girl in their life, you must get a copy of this book. From sweaters, skirts, hats, and bags to whimsical designs in scarves, slippers and leg warmers, this book has it all.

I showed this book to a friend who has 5 granddaughters, and she immediately said that she had to have the book and also said that she loved everything in it.

While all the projects look like fun to make, two of my personal favorites are the Pretty Popcorn Vest, and the Chelsea Capelet. You can take a peek inside the book by going to http://www.amazon.com/Crocheting-Clothes-Kids-Love--Wear/dp/1589237811/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391973291&sr=1-2&keywords=clothes+kids+love+to+wear

I love it when readers send me photos of projects that they have made from one of my books, and I received one this morning that made me smile.  Juanita made my Fiesta Convertible Skirt from RUNWAY CROCHET, but instead of paring it with the shell as shown, she pared it with the Venus Racerback Tank, that was designed by my  daughter, Sharon. What a great idea, sorry that I did not think of it. Thanks Juanita.

Juanita, tells me that she is going to wear her lovely new outfit when her son graduates from college soon.  I wish that she could wear it at the Crochet Conference in New Hampshire this summer, so that she could show it off "-)

So much of our country is experiencing cold, ice and snow, so if you are in a warm sunny spot, enjoy, wish I was there.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Vouge Knitting Live NYC

Good Morning Everyone,

Vogue Knitting Live in NYC this past weekend, was quite an experience.  The crowds of people in the market, and the amazing booths were overwhelming at times, but so much fun.

Most fun for me was catching up with some old friends and making lots of new ones.  

I left Pawling at 8 am Saturday morning on a cloudy, gray day, with some flurries falling, and arrived home to a winter wonderland of trees that looked like they were covered in cotton balls, and streets covered with snow.  My friend, Carol, was with me and she had the job of getting us home from the train station. All was well.

Some of the sights from VKL, enjoy

One of the first people that I ran into was Nicky Epstein.  Nicky's booth with all the wonderful doll cloths from her books, KNITS FOR DOLLS AND CROCHET FOR DOLLS was a big hit with all, especially the young set.

Gabriela Serigatto and me

I had the pleasure of meeting Gabriela Serigatto www.gabrielaserigatto.com, a young, talented, fashion designer from Brazil. Her work blew me away.

 I had to stop by and see Steven Be, Steven always surprises.  The sweater he was wearing actually had some kind of film rolls knitted into it and some other unusual things. When Steven invites you to dance, even if its on the floor of VKL, who could resist?

Always a pleasure to see Kristin Omdahl, designer and author of several books. Kristin told me that this was the first time that she had her very own booth.

The fantastic display of red crocheted doilies by Ashley V. Blalock www.AshleyVBlalock
was so magnificent, truly beautiful.  Unfortunately, Ashley was not present when I was there, so I did not get to meet her.

Another Artist that I got to meet was Carol Milne, www.knittedglass.com. Carol's sculptures were so unbelievable, my photos do not do them justice. I could not capture the detail with my phone camera and the lighting just did not work.

Some other fun stuff, The Yarn Company's booth was represented by several companies.

Me and Richard 
The Verdant Gryphon, with Gryphon(owner) and Hitomi (dancer).

Artist Kelly Fleek, with her amazing creations wwwkellyfleek.com

I hope that you enjoyed visiting Vogue Knitting Live with me.

Stay warm and safe, yet another storm heading our way right now.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Fun Gifts for the Needleworker

Good Morning Everyone,

We had a rainy, windy day yesterday and it washed away all the snow.  It was a warm day for New York in January, so no ice to deal with (hooray!).

I was packing away all the Christmas things, and contemplating all my lovely gifts and I thought that you might like to see one of them. My daughter in law, Marianne, always manages to find something special for me. This year her surprise was a new iPad cover. My iPad is the original one, and my cover was getting kind of shabby, but I could not find a new cover. I was toying with the idea of knitting or crocheting one for myself, but this is what I received as a gift.  I don't know how she does it, but always a nice surprise.

Marianne gave me a knitted calendar, that looked like a long bell pull.  The dates were printed on the fabric, and each day you unraveled that day. When I got to July, I had quite a large ball of yarn. So I cut the yarn, and started a new ball. At the end of the year, I had two balls of yarn, my year "unraveled".  The recycler in me thought "what can I do with these 2 balls of yarn?". 

Well this is what I did with them, I turned them into a scarf, and put it in Marianne's Christmas stocking :-).

Have a great day,


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Goodbye 2013

Happy New Year Everyone,

Last year, when I did a post called "GOODBYE 2012) it was my most read blog post to date. Since then I had another blog post (The Clog Blog) Which was my all time most read blog post. Literally thousands of readers checked that one out.

Here it is, another year gone by, and as I look back, it was another eventful year.  A year filled with highs and lows. Some great happenings, and some not so great.  I read somewhere once "that you do not know when you are on a mountain top, unless you have been in the valley".

My year began with trying to finish up loose ends on my book RUNWAY CROCHET.  It was a fun book to do, and I had lots of help from fellow designers.  I had just come off a rough year and I was so grateful for such talented friends - Shelby Allaho, Ellen Gormley, Tatyana Mirer, Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby and Sharon Hubert Valencia, all contributed designs.  Gwen Blakely-Kinsler, founder of CGOA, recently reviewed the book and you can see her review here.


At the same time that I was finishing up RUNWAY, I was starting on GRANNY SQUARE FLOWERS. Unbelievable, one book not quite finished, next one in the works already. GRANNY SQUARE FLOWERS was my second book on beloved grannies.  Isn't it wonderful, from Runway fashions to Granny Squares in the same year! Lots of room for both in my world.

My first book on granny Squares "THE GRANNY SQUARE BOOK, was doing so well, I was asked to do another.



First Granny book was so popular that it has been translated into Italian.  Some of my other books have been translated into other languages, but this one is the first in Italian, so it is a little special to me.  Besides, I have a bunch of new friends from Italy on Facebook, such fun!

I'm afraid I got a little over the top with the Granny motif. While at the conferences, I was wearing my granny square sweater, my granny clogs and made granny square cookies. Never enough of granny, she's been good to me :-)

Early in the year, I had finished with the loose ends on RUNWAY, started second Granny book, finished that one and no sooner was that one finished, started on another (title still under wraps, but due out soon).  If that wasn't enough I am now working on another new book (also still under wraps). Should keep me busy for awhile.

In addition to all the books, I did several workshops throughout the year.  I attended and taught at CGOA events in Indiana and North Carolina. Did book signings at several events, like the New York Sheep and Wool Festival and Stitches East in Hartford, Ct.

Visited and taught workshops in two really lovely shops, one in Middletown, NY,  one in Wallingford, Ct. Met so many wonderful people had such a great time.  

Here are some photos from my workshops and visits, too numerous to post them all;

Yarn Tasting at the Yarn Box in Pawling, New York, such fun, about 84 people attended the festivities in the newly renovated shop. Marie, owner of the shop, and Erlinda, from Cascade yarns provided yarn, food and fun for all.

                    American Needleworks in Middletown, New York

American Needleworks in Middletown, NY
Country Yarns in Wallingford, Ct
                     Lauren at Country Yarns in Wallingford, CT.

                      Hooked on Dutchess, Poughkeepsie, New York

Even had time to make myself one new sweater, featuring one of my favorite things, the 

Have a wonderful, happy and healthy New Year,