Wednesday, December 30, 2009

BIZ-BIZ-BIZZY (like everyone else) & Time for a BLOCK PARTY!!!

Well it sure has been quite a while...It's time to recover from all the holiday chaos & get back to work! November went by fast & December has just been a blur. Kelly was home & gone again in the blink of an eye. It was the best Christmas present ever to have her come home...just wish I got to spend more time with her! The second best present was my trip to WEBS from Rich ~ YARN NIRVANA~ The poor man loves to torture himself by bringing me up to Northampton. He wanders around town for hours while I pet & play with all the fiber. This was followed by a great lunch at Sylvesters.
On the crochet & knit front...It's just been hectic getting the holidays gifts done. TONS of hats & scarves (mostly Dee's Tumbling Clusters Scarf & many of the Divine hats by Rheathelia) another awesome designer!!! Unfortunately I didn't have time to take pictures...
BUT now onto the BLOCK PARTY. We had a power outage that lasted most of the day & night yesterday so I got some of pieces finished & blocked. I started another scarf last night (IN THE DARK)...That goodness for those wonderful Crochet Lite hooks! I was working with the Noro Sock yarn & had no idea whether or not it would look good. Now to shed a little light on the darkness, I think it will be OK...Check Ravelry in the future for pictures.

Well enough blabbing for now...back to the "domestic" chores & a little knitting!!!

Here's to a healthy, happy, prosperous NEW YEAR filled with peace & love...


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Great New Yarn Shop In Plainville, CT...BAYBERRY KNITTING!!!

There is an awesome new yarn shop in Plainville, CT called BAYBERRY KNITTING!!! I'm currently teaching crochet at the shop...starting with Beginner's Crochet, Refresher Crochet, Felted Bags and the Swirl Shawl. We are also having a Coffee, Crochet & Chat group on the first Weds. of each month for anyone that would like to get together to crochet, knit & make new friends! The CC&C will be from 10:30 - noon. Feel free to bring your projects for a little show 'n tell too.
We had a "crochet celebrity" visit Bayberry as well...Dee Stanziano made a guest appearance (Crochet With Dee). She brought along her great new pattern the Tumbling Clusters Scarf. I stitched up a sample for the store using 3 skeins of Plymouth Boku. Dee & I had a great time chatting and "doing lunch".
CALLING ALL HOOKERS (Crochet Hookers that is) ~Who knows...with a little luck we may be able to start a CGOA group for this part of the state!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, September 7, 2009


Last weekend was so much fun...It was spent in one of my favorite places ever...Gloucester, MA! Rich & I had such a wonderful time (except poor Rich was very sick & guess who's sick now). It's been a rough week with a heck of a cold, so not much has gotten done!
While in Gloucester, we visited my favorite yarn shop in the area...COVETED YARN. Robert, the owner & his assistant, Astrid were very gracious hosts! If you are ever in the area, Coveted Yarn is a must see. The shop is jam packed with gorgeous yarns...many sensory delights to be had ~ including Blue Heron & Noro yarns...2 of my favs!
Here are a few pictures of the goodies I came home with...Blue Heron Beaded Rayon (on sale)!, gorgeous Blue Heron Rayon Metallic that I just couldn't live, & a gorgeous skein of Frolicking Feet from Done Roving in Christmas Cactus colorway. Robert was so very generous to send me home with the Frolicking Feet yarn all because I just adored the colorway. It looks like an explosion of autumn leaves in every color imaginable. Hopefully I'll feel better this week & can get down to business swatching the yarn. I can't wait to see what creations await!
Thank you Robert & Astrid for a fun visit...Looking forward to seeing you again soon! Yet another reason to fall in love with Gloucester...In addition to being by the ocean, all the gorgeous sights & sounds, great seafood, chocolate/fudge shops, yarn & most importantly...a wonderful partner to experience them all with...who could ever ask for more!!!

Till next time...

Friday, August 7, 2009


Well YES it is totally awesome to have your designs published in leaflets, books & offered online; BUT do you know what is even better?!? My daughter, Kelly, asking me to make her an afghan. Let me explain ~ Kelly is in the army stationed at Fort Rucker, AL. She is an air traffic controller, working in the tower & telling the "big birds" what to do. She spends her time directing the helicopter pilots. She works long, hard hours as do her peers...& this mom couldn't be more proud of her!!!
As hot as it is in Alabama in August; Kelly has asked me to make her an afghan. (By the time this is finished it will probably not be so hot). Everyone could use a loving hug from their mom ~ even though it's many miles away! For me this is no ordinary project. I spent many hours & days trying to find "just the perfect" afghan pattern to suit Kelly. Yesterday I finally narrowed it down to 3 patterns & set off to A.C. Moore for the yarn. After fiddling around...this is the design I'm using. As usual, I will probably change up the pattern for the joining & border.
This project is very close to my heart & I have a feeling it will be loved & cherished by Kelly for many years to come (even long after I'm gone). It will have to suffice for a big bear hug until she returns home for a visit at the end of the year.

Happy Stitchin'

Friday, July 31, 2009

CROCHETED GIFTS...Awesome New Book

Did you have a chance to check out the new book from Kim Werker ~ Interweave called Crocheted Gifts? There are many awesome patterns crammed into the book. LOVE the layout of the book too. There are great pictures to go along with the patterns & a whole lineup of great designers. Lets see if I can name them all...Kathryn Merrick, Kristin Omdahl, Katie Himmelberg, Donna Hulka, Chloe Nightingale, Jennifer Hagan, Lisa Naskrent, Annie Modesitt, Robyn Chachula, Christina Marie Potter, Kim Werker, Jill Wright, Sandi Wiseheart, Doris Chan, Toni Rexroat, Myra Wood, Megan Granholm, Erica Alexander, Julie Armstrong Holetz & me too (Karen Drouin). I am so proud & excited to be part of this publication! There are so many projects for terrific gift afghan, set for baby, jewelry, scarves & outdoor wear, clothing, & handbag. I'm sure I'm forgetting something.
Yes, I am biased...BUT seriously ~ there are many awesome projects in this book!!!
Already on my "To-Do List" is the Shawlette in Chains by Kristin Omdahl, the Trinity lace Shrug by Annie Modesitt, the Sorbet Scarf by Robyn Chacula & the Berry Baby Hat & Booties by Chloe Nightingale for a special little someone on the way!!!
So did I mention how awesome, spectacular, incredible, stupendous & fantastic this book
If you have the opportunity to do so...grab a copy today & you won't be disappointed. Kim Werker & Interweave produced another winner!

~Happy Crocheting~

Sunday, April 26, 2009

"CHAN'neling Doris

The crochet dilemma for this week:

Our church in Southington, CT is in need of prayer shawls...preferrably made with Homespun. OK...I've knitted a few; BUT I want something quick, mindless, cheap, practical AND appealing. Could I be asking for too much...
I don't want anything too long, clumsy OR too holey. It has to be warm BUT not too bulky because chances are most of these will be going to the elderly. Could it be made with only 2 skeins of yarn to keep the cost down? You bet!

I can be sooo anal! It has to fit the bill and still look somewhat fashionable...In the end, it must past the "Karen Test".

Enough rambling already...To make a long story short, I decided to alter THE ALL SHAWL to my satisfaction for a prayer shawl. I was going to call it THE UNHOLEY PRAYER SHAWL (think I need to rethink that one)! No disrespect intended...just pun!

If you'd like to try my version of the All-Prayer Shawl here it is:

*****Special Stitch: 5 Dc Shell - 5 dc's w/ a ch 1 between each dc*****

Using an L Hook & 2 skeins of L.B. Homespun yarn, follow Doris' fantastic All Shawl Pattern through Row 19. The pattern is free online. You will have 18 dc's in between each section.

ROW 20: Turn, ch 3 & work even, skipping 1st sp & last sp, ending w/ a dc in turning ch.

ROW 21: Turn, ch 3, dc in first sp and each sp across, ending with a dc in turning ch. You will end up with an increase at each end.
At the end of ROW 21 you should have 141 spaces.

EDGING: Turn, sl st into 1st sp, ch 1 & sc in same space, *sk next sp, 5 dc shell in next sp, sk next sp, sc in next sp. Repeat from * across ending w/ a sc in last sp. Finish off & weave in ends.

I'll be making more of these & they need to be done in a hurry...We are having our prayer circle on Tuesday & I'm hoping to make at least 2 more by then. These are so quick & easy to make that it shouldn't be a problem.

I really like the way this looks in general & it is a great way to give someone you care about a warm "hug". If you make one, I'd really like to see the pictures.

Happy Crocheting!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Holey Moley

Let me start by saying I am a HUGE fan of Doris Chan! I've made many of her fabulous designs and Doris has been a great mentor...
My newest "quickie" project is the Mei-Mei from Doris' Everyday Crochet. Talk about a quick, satisfying project. My little cover-up was finished in one evening! There is just one little problem though...I could not handle the holes on the bottom fronts. OK it is probably just me (YES I can be a little anal...OK more than a little). These holes probably don't bother most people & I really do like the design. BUT I just had to eliminate those holes if I'm ever going to wear it; especially since I will be wearing a black tank top underneath.
Last night I had dreams of changing the bottom edge...The most practical idea I came up with (without losing the look of the Mei-Mei) was to whip out the darning needle & get to work closing up those holes. I chose to weave the yarn back & forth gently eliminating the holes as I stitched. If you'd like to give it a go, here are a few pictures of what I did. Hopefully they will show my stitches OK.
Now I'm done with my rant...onto the next project in preparation for Key West!!!

Til next time...Happy Stitching!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

King Arthur Flour Goes To The Dogs...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOOTIE!!!

Today is my dog Tootie's birthday...she turns 8! What better time to celebrate with her cousin Rangle; and a great time to bake doggie cookies. Tootie's favorite treat is homemade biscuits made with the dog biscuit mix from King Arthur Flour!!! I must confess...these smell so good baking they make me hungry too!

Not much time for crocheting & knitting the last few days. We've gone on plenty of walks and adventures...

All is quiet now, both dogs have a full belly & I think they may actually sleep for awhile. Could it be that I wore THEM!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Fine Line Of Knitting And Crocheting

Well fellow fiber it just me or is that fine line between knitting & crocheting finally less apparent?!? Lately while browsing on Ravelry I've noticed more knitted pieces mimicking crochet & visa versa. All I have to say is...It is about time!
While I enjoy both needlecrafts, crochet will always be my favorite...simply because I relax so much more with crochet & reach my state of "zen" - even when working on a complex piece.
I think the time has come for all to embrace that which they enjoy and make the most of their preferred craft. There are so many wonderfully talented fiber artists around & now it is more apparent than ever since we are so lucky to have a site such as Ravelry.
As of late the laceweight yarns and Japanese patterns have been capturing my attention. I love the detail in these pieces and the fact that they are charted out makes it so much easier. If you are a "visual" crafter and are not yet familiar with these patterns I highly recommend checking them out. They can make all the difference in the world!!!
I am adding a few pictures here of my latest laceweight adventure. Thanks to Sharon who started a Spiral Shawl CAL...otherwise I may have never experienced such pleasure and satisfaction in a laceweight project!!!

Til next time...
Happy (whatever you prefer)...knitting or crocheting! Vive la difference


Monday, January 19, 2009

Coveted Yarn...New Yarn Shop In Gloucester!

Well as a hoarder of the stash, no jaunt is complete unless a yarn shop is found! Thanks to Ravelry, I realized there was a new yarn shop right where we were staying. Yeah...yet another reason to love Gloucester, MA!!!
Rich & I stop by Coveted Yarn and were truly amazing at how much lovely yarn could be packed into such an adorable shop. Upon arrival we were greated by an awesome staff - Robert, the owner & his assistants Astrid & Sari. They made us feel right at home! There was so much to see in this new yarn shop and many gorgeous fibers to touch.
As you can see from my pictures...there is a wall of yarn - all the colors of the rainbow! This alone can mesmerize any fiber artist. The selection of Blue Heron yarn is incredible too. There is a nice cushy sofa right in the middle of the store that makes you feel as though you are sitting in your family room at home. Robert has knitted samples and there are partially knitted pieces for we fiber fanatics to play with as well.
Coveted Yarn is definitely a shop not to be missed when in the Gloucester area. I intend to drop in next time we are in Gloucester & will probably order online too.
I wish Robert and his staff the best of luck with his new venture!!! If all the fiber artists feel as at home and welcome as I felt...this new yarn shop is sure to thrive...
Til next time

Off To Gloucester, MA

Rich & I took another jaunt this weekend. We went to one of our favorite areas...Gloucester, MA. Gloucester is so beautiful...even in winter; though I must admit, it was a little challenging attempting to walk the beach at -4 degrees!
As a fiber artist, I find it truly amazing how the colors and textures of the beach change so quickly. As you can see from my pictures of the ocean...she can be "moody" and change on a dime. This brings to mind the "Knit A Beach" project by Jane Thornley. How could you not be inspired by this painters palette?!?
While in Gloucester we managed to find an awesome new yarn shop to visit...more on this later!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Peace To All In The New Year!!!

So have any of my family and friends made "resolutions" for this New Year?!? I for one have not & will not do so in the future...There is much less pressure in doing the best you can on a daily basis rather than looking at the new year as a whole. I have made a mental list of what I need/want to accomplish for the year. It doesn't make it quite so committing as it would be on paper and it is much more forgiving this way (for me anyway).

Here's to a happy, healthy, prosperous New Year filled with peace & love!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR...Well this isn't exactly the lion laying down with the lamb (but you get the idea)...Tootie wishes you all a Happy New Year too!