Associate Professional, Crochet Guild of America                            CGOAlogotiny.jpg

Also a member of CGOA local chapter, The Happily Hooked on Crocheting Club8bc2.jpg


Little Less Than Four Weeks to go now!

This has been a FAST year!!!  Last blog post was just before the CGOA Chain Link Conference that was held in Portland, Oregon last July.  This year the Conference is back in Manchester, New Hampshire (love that place!) and a week earlier than usual, July 10-14, at the Doubletree by Hilton.  Same building as previous Manchester conferences, but its no longer the Radisson.

This conference is going to be a busy one for me even though I'm only taking one class.  Among other things going on, I'll be giving the "speech" about this year's Chapter Challenge and announcing the winners during the Members Meeting, and I'll be helping to host what's called the Editorial Meet and Greet.  

The Meet and Greet is where crochet designers, whether professional or hobbists, can meet with editors from publishing companies and/or yarn companies.  Several from each are usually in attendance looking for fresh designs for their publications or to highlight their yarns.  It can be nerve-wracking at times to hand over your work and have it judged worthy or not by the "professionals", but when one is purchased, it's a great feeling! 

I've also donated a basket for the Designer Raffle that's going to held at the Conference.  There are 7 or 8 different designers who have donated, and a raffle ticket can be purchased for $10 that will have 26 chances for you win with.  Just place one (or as many as you wish!) into the container for each Designer basket and wait to see if your name gets drawn at the end of the raffle.

It's always a lot of fun to go to these conferences to learn new things from the classes, to meet others who enjoy crocheting as much as you do, to see what kind of creations have been made, to see old "friends and family" once a year, and to make new friends for next year.  Speaking of which, next year's conference will be in New Orleans!  How exciting!  I LOVE that city!  (just not during the middle of summer, unfortunately!)

Hope to see you there in Manchester!

Have a great day!


21 More Days to GO!

It's almost time again for the next Chain Link Conference!  This time it's in Portland, Oregon.  Every time I've gone to one of these conferences, I have had the best time!  Get to see friends I've mostly "talked" to online annually this way since we're scattered all over the country.  Get to meet new friends, too!  Lots of fiberous eye candy to oooh and aaaah over, and pet, great classes with great teachers, and just plain old fun.

I'm glad that CGOA has been doing a rotation around the country the last couple of years, too, since that gives people from each area a chance to attend.  North, South, East, West, Mid direction, too.

Last year the Chapter Challenge was re-started with making squares for Warm Up America.  There were over 8,000 squares made, 7" x 9", that each chapter put together and donated to their choice place in their community.  This year the Challenge is for chemo caps, but a complete set of three caps - 1 man, 1 woman, 1 child.  It's going to be interesting to see how the numbers turn out for this!


Oh My!

It is said that the older you get, the faster time seems to fly.  Well, I guess I've found that out after looking at the date of my last blog post!!!  WOW, almost four years ago!  I knew it had been some time, but did not realize it had been
_that_ much time!

So, what have I been doing during that time? Well, lots of stitching, of course, along with some house repairs, home renovations, dealing with the aftermath of my mother-in-law's passing, and retiring from the railroad.  I've been so busy this past year since retiring, I've joked about having to go back to work just to get a vacation!

I've had several patterns published since then, too. Here are a couple of them. Check out my Pattern Links in the Navigation area located in the upper right corner to see a more complete list.

©Nancy Smith, NLS Stitc

This is Keyed Pathways Hat and Scarf Set, available through both Ravelry and Lovecrochet.  It is a paid-for pattern.






Little Boy's Blues Blanket, available in Crochet World's October, 2017 magazine.  A fast and fun baby blanket to make.  Done in three panels then joined together and edged with a border.



New Patterns Out!

I have three new patterns that have come out this year!  Two of them are in Margaret Hubert's newest book, Complete Photo Guide to Crochet, 2nd Edition, and the third is an independent publication.  The Starburst Afghan started life as a new cabled hat.  It didn't want to stay that way,  It grew.  Ok, so it'll be a tam or a beret.  No, it didn't want to stay that way either.  So a nice big square appeared before it said, "ok, I'm done."  Then I was asked by Margaret if I would design it into an afghan for her book since it was going to have several new chapters added, and some original chapters were going to be expanded.  This went into the textured/cable chapter.  The other pattern in her new book was my first time ever to work out sizing on something large than a hat.  And wouldn't you know it, it was not a "flat" piece!  It's the Man's Cable and Post Vest.  In five sizes!!  You would have laughed to see how much graph paper I used up!  I really need to get this photographed with somebody in it!  Laying flat just doesn't do this vest any justice at all!

This vest is done all in one piece.  The only seams are on the sides, and when those are done, so is the vest.  The trim around the neck and arm-holes is worked the same time as the body.  The cable pattern is on both the front and back.

The third pattern is a new hat.  Victorian Inspired Cloche.  Now this one was a fun and fast design!  It can be done in one solid color, or with a contrast color added.  I guess you could technically say that this one is a two-fer since I have the original, and another that was adapted from this pattern for a new yarn maker's yummy blend of silk, mohair, and merino yarn.  Lubna has it available as a kit package - yarn, pattern, and project bag. 

The pattern was renamed for Blind Buck Farm as Sue's Chapeau.  Sue is a real sweetie who didn't have much luck getting handmade hats to stay on her head.  For one reason or another, they kept coming off on their own.  So after some measuring, it was determined that her head was not unusual, at least physically.  When she tried this one on, it was a perfect fit for her.

Lubna and Sue are local here in NY, and I can't wait till next weekend to go up to the farm and visit!  If you're in the area, they would love for you to come visit, too!  Blind Buck Farm in Salem, NY.


Does Size Really Matter?

One of my co-workers mentioned in passing that he had a digital caliper set that could measure down to 0.00mm and below.  I was working on knit project that was to the point where I needed to use several sets of needles at the same time to get around the circumference, and one set in particular wasn't marked as to size.  Using the needle gauge, it was pretty close to what I needed.  So I asked him if I brought all my hooks and needles to work one digital caliper set, (hooks from left to right) Annie's Attic, Boye, Chiagoo, Susan Batesnight, could he bring it in so I could measure what I had.  The next night he surprised me by handing the set to me and saying have fun!  Smart move on his part!  It took me two hours to go through all my "utensils", marked and unmarked!

So here's what I found out.  Very few of the needles and hooks were exactly to stated size.  The range varied from a couple hundredths of a millimeter to almost one quarter of a millimeter.

So I thought I would share some pictures with you of my "experiment".  All the hooks used in these pictures were labeled as size H/5.00mm.

All measurements were taken right at the bottom slant angle of the throat area to start with.  Then measured further down the shank to see if any of them came out to exact stated mm size.  The Boye hook was the biggest surprise for me.  I didn't get to 5.00 mm until just above the thumbrest area!!.  I don't know about you, but I sure don't have my yarn that far down the hook to make my stitches!  I'm usually just into the shank portion from the throat.

It just proves to me that the hook size stated in a pattern really is just a suggestion, and that a gauge swatch really should be done to get an accurate finished product!  But be aware!  Even using the same hook throughout a project doesn't mean your gauge won't change!  Mood has a lot to do with it, too!