Annie’s Attic: New cabling technique booklet Preview

I can finally announce it! You can go to see a preview of a booklet I have coming out here! If that does not work, go to Annie’s Attic and then click on “Coming Soon,” you will see my new booklet coming out for cabled afghans. If you go here, you can see the other photos of all afghans in the booklet by clicking on “see all photos”. (EDIT: seems the other photos is not working, nor is the email notification link, and I have emailed the webmaster about this).

I am not sure how long this preview will remain there, but you can see it now!

These are not your traditional cables. This is an absolute new cabling technique I have developed. Each afghan within this booklet is unique in its own way, all playing off of this simplistic technique.

I have been waiting for so long to talk about this and announce it! For so long, I have kept this technique under wraps… The photographs they took turned out so beautiful… I think my personal favorite is the brown one. You can see just the corner of it on the front photo in the upper right.

I had been talking a while with one of the editors for Annie’s Attic, about submissions etc. They were interested possibly in some hats and scarves. A few months had passed since I was so busy. Then I sat down one day and began swatching. I wanted something unique, and different. I have a passion for cables… so a cabling I went.

And just by experimenting, I was on to something, but I did not know what yet. Something was trying to surface, but just didn’t….yet. That night, I woke up super early, and went back to my swatch. I knew what to do… I thank Algebra for this (long story). Anyway… I continued to swatch with a surge of ideas how to play on this very simple technique. I then talked to the editor, and I asked if they were still interested in some designs, and that I think I made a new technique… She was quite intrigued and asked for swatches. As soon as they saw the swatches, they gobbled them up, so to speak… They decided they wanted afghans… and so it was set.

I decided to go with testers from the Crochet Garden, rather than going with people who do stitching on a regular basis to be my stitchers. It wasn’t that I did not have faith in other stitchers out there. It was just that with the testers, I knew their work; and I am so familiar with them and converse with them on a daily basis. Though none had ever been a professional stitcher, the testers at the Crochet Garden are phenomenal, and that is why I chose CG testers to work up the afghans. I am sure they will be thrilled to see the work they handmade, in print. Thank you to my testers!!!!

As of right now, it is listed to be available March 17th, and it looks like you can click there to get an email notification when it is indeed available.

I am so proud of this booklet. My whole heart went into it. Well, it always does when I design something… but that this was a new cabling technique, and I have such a passion for cables. I also wanted something easier than traditional cables. I find that many people have a hard time knowing which post st to work around when doubling over, reaching over, etc other post sts. The basis of this technique is very simplistic, and the different ways it can be manipulated can become very intricate. Take for example, the brown afghan. Using the basic technique, and then playing off of that technique in different ways yielded an entirely new, unique looking afghan, but all using the same initial technique, just much more complex.

Now the waiting game, until mid/end of March for the actual booklet to be out!

Testing Forum (only): Back Up!

To Crochet Garden testers:

Yes, the Testing Forum is currently down. I will keep everyone posted here as I find out more information. It could be that it is updating. Keep checking back both here and at the forum. Hopefully we are back in motion soon!

To everyone:

This does not affect the Crochet Garden main website, nor the Support Forum, nor email. Everyone can still purchase patterns and visit the Support Forum as usual. This is ONLY affecting the Testing Forum.


Forum is back up! Basically, the mySQL database “fell over,” but my host was quick to respond and has fixed it. So all is well! For future reference, any problems with the website or forums will be posted here!

Happy Thursday!

I kind of lapsed this last go around of blogging.. but I am trying- honest!! I really need to ditch that all or nothing mentality I have… I either have to blog a lot, or not blog at all… for some reason, there is just no in between! So, even if there is only one word, I should blog it… but then, may lose a few readers with a one word blog post. hah.

So.. some updates… I know people have been waiting for a pic of my son bald after the team shaved their heads… here it is… though they did leave like a fraction of a millimeter of hair on his head, and the beautiful color just accentuates it, it really truly was bald!

Ok first a racap…

Before: Here is a photo at a swim meet: (A beautiful strawberry blonde)

First the whole swim team stripped their hair of color… most ended up a white brassy blonde.. some pure a real white white.

OK then each kid colored their hair to a color of their liking (or to their parents’ disliking). My son went aqua: (I actually kind of like this! Maybe it is because it matches my blog.. Nah… my son is handsome anytime, and the aqua is really cool looking )


I think he looks great… and with all the muscle he has built, when he wears jeans and a t-shirt, he looks so healthy. I think he is going to keep up with swimming. Even though the season is ending, they start practice again everyday after spring break, then also in the fall, right before the winter meets begin.

His hair is growing back fast. hasn’t been that long, but it looks great, and his friends are all like, “mine is growing at a snail pace..” So, he announced his not going to cut his hair again, until it is shaved off next year at nest year’s regionals (eek.) I was always partial to the clean cut look, sometimes, long hair with style.. what can I do? He is expressing himself and finding himself.. I can maybe drop my little hints here and there… and see if they will be taken… or maybe hide a tape recorder under his pillow “I like short hair… I like short hair…” nah……………….. lol.

Ok, on a sad note, Skyler’s test results came back a while back… it was cancer again. However, and this may be a good thing, or rather, the lesser of 2 evils and me looking at this in the best possible light that I can despite the big C word. It was a different kind of cancer. The other one was a mammary carcinoma… this one was a sarcoma, basically, a skin cancer. I find it odd that both happen one right after the other.. maybe a coincidence.. maybe something in medial science we have not yet discovered some sort of linked chain reaction in specific situations where there are some undefined common factors.. not sure. But, if it were the same cancer, it would be a poorer prognosis.

It has been a while since the surgery.. and I tell you, she is really now acting like her old self.. cannot take her outside without her 90lb body trying to fly in the air after every motor vehicle passing, giving my joints a test of their true strength… Yesterday, she rolled all over the backyard, in the snow.. then would get up play with me, as if wrestling.. Her spunk is back.. you can see her just sitting there, and panting like dogs do, and I swear she is smiling. I do believe dogs smile… and she has been smiling so much! So now, I keep a close eye. Now that she has had cancer twice in such a short period, need to watch her like a hawk. So, this is both bad news and good news.. I have had a while to come to terms with my feelings on it, and at the sadness when I first heard that it was cancer.. but after it was absorbed, it lots of fun, tlc, and thinking on the bright side.. it is a different cancer- and her spirit and everyday demeanor is evidence that she really is feeling better and not in so much pain when she did have the cancer…

Ok, off to get some work done.. I can see it is going to be a productive day today.. I blogged!

My son’s going bald, my weight loss.

I love Fridays… Kids are home, I do lots of cooking, and even though I still work, it is at my own pace. And what is great is I rented a couple of movies!

One of them I have been waiting forever to come out ever since I saw the first preview. It is definitely my kind of movie…. Becoming Jane– (link to website, and click play to see the trailor there) based on Jane Austen’s romance- the foundation of her wonderful novels. Ann Hathaway plays the role, and I utterly adore her… She was wonderful in Ella Enchanted… I HAVE BEEN WAITING SO LONG I could scream!! Sorry, I just cannot wait to relax tonigh and watch this while working on a dress pattern! What a better way to put me in the mood for designing.

No wonder Pride and Prejudice is my favorite novel and movie! And my other favorite actress, Keira Knightley plays in it.. and you know what Pride and Prejudice is- it is one of Jane Austen’s novels! Ha! yes, sorry I am excited, hard to contain! Quite funny, when I went into the video store, I noticed they have 5 NEW copies of Pride and Prejudice in. I kid you not, I am sure it is because of me. I think I have rented that movie more than all the  movies I have ever rented combined, and I think I gave a few sour looks when I have them check several times to see if it is in since sometimes it was checked out.. LOL if only they knew it was me who created their chaos! haha

It is odd, many times, especially while writing my stories.. music or a movie, something that takes me away, sets the tone for my stories and projects. You know.. one of these days I should share some excerpts from my stories.. maybe even the novel I have been working on. I have bean soup cooking, the house smells lovely, an hour before I pick up the kids, another hour after dinner and clean up, then my movie time!!!

Speaking of the kids.. my son is coming home bald today! (eek). Yes, you heard it, bald, no hair… nada zip all gone. You see, my son is on the high school swim team, and it is time for regionals. A couple weeks ago, the team all bleached their hair. The subsequent week, they went color (some blue, some red, some black- my son went aqua!). Now the time comes, a week later to shave it all off. We went out to the store last night and got shaving cream and nice shavers, as he also has to shave off all the hair on his arms and legs. They do this to help their swim times… Even if only by a second or two, it could make all the difference.

So… ready to see? Here is a before, a bleach job, then an aqua job. You will have to wait for the bald shot though – That will be tonight when he comes home!

Natural Hair: Here is at one of his swim meets. See the nice strawberry blonde :)

Bleach Job: (egawds)

Bleached hair wet:


I have to admit, I think I like the aqua better than the bleach job. lol, go figure. What could I do? Say hey no you can’t do all these crazy things to your hair?! The whole team is doing it, they are all having fun… forming bonds and kinship to one another… It is the way they celebrate. Just like each day they have a swim meet, they all dress up in suits and ties going to school.. They are all such a great bunch of boys, and going down the right path.. they have to have some fun before their hair is all gone, right? I love ya kiddo!

So, on my last post, I talked about how I lost some weight.. I never really liked photos of myself – all due to my weight. I am somewhat happy with my body, but I am NOT photogenic, and well being “weighty” has definitely not helped the camera’s love for me… It is amazing, I never really knew how much I had gained until really looking at photos of myself. And it is not just a “beauty” thing.. but also a health thing too. I want to live a long, healthy quality life. So, that was it, right after my daughter’s birthday part in late October, I said it is now time. And the very next day I started. I dropped 30 lbs by Christmas. It may seem like a lot, but I think that was only because it was the beginning, and I really never stuck to a diet more than week.

Ok, so cannot believe I am going to show these photos! But hey, gotta have courage. Here I am in June of 06.

Here is a photo of me at my daughter’s party in late October.

Ok, and now here I am 2 months ago at Christmas! And yes these I think are the first photos of me with my hair down :)

I do feel I look better, and I know I feel better. I went from a size 18/20ish to now a 14. My 16s still fit, and the 14s are a bit snug, but I like to say I wear a 14 :) lol But the thing is, before, I could not even get a leg into my 14s and now I can snap them up no problem. I do not really have a goal.. I have a dream goal to be a size 6! But, I do not think I was a size 6 at 12 years old even… But hey, you never know! Anyone want to go in on this with me and be like virtual world losing weight pals??

Another goal is to start going to the gym more. I now have a YMCA pass for both the kids and myself.. I ought to start utilizing it! How did I lost this weight? No diet pills. No shakes, no deprivation. No gimmick fad, no anything. I had researched a lot of diets, and well, I just really hate restrictions. I definitely did NOT want something that could be unhealthy. The best diet I found was the South Beach Diet. It was originally designed by a medical doctor for his patients with heart disease, high cholesterol etc.

There are basically 3 phases. The first phase, all carbs are cut out, and lasts for 2 weeks. That means NO carbs of any kind, including fruit. If anything, the first Phase is the only part that takes any heat. It also includes sugar, (no sugar in the coffee), nothing starchy like potatoes, bread, pasta etc. It very much emphasizes LEAN meat, (not fatty meats like bacon and burgers). Fish, chicken breast, sirloin, etc. It also has a great emphasis on veggies- that part I liked since I am a HUGE fan of veggies.. think I put onions in about everything.

The main reason for this, (I am NOT a doctor, this is only what I learned through research) is to break the insulin dependence the body has on foods high on the glycemic index. Others have deduced this phase is not even necessary, but that it is good in that it teaches one different, but better eating habits.

This phase was hard for me, as I am a potato gal. Not so much chips and such, but I love sugar in my coffee, and I love potato anything. But I did it and followed the first 2 weeks to a T. I lost about 14 lbs.. and not just water, but I really did feel it in my waist line. Now, losing weight that fast IS NOT healthy, but since it is only for 2 weeks I think it warranted following in my case.

What did I eat during this week? I ate lots and very much enjoyed it. It was hard the first few days, but I simply put milk in my coffee and adapted fairly quick. Not sure if it was the motivation aspect, or if it was something else, but it soon was just fine. I ate lots of omlettes, loaded with reduced fast cheese and onions, ham (not the sugar cured, mind ya). I also ate beans, fish, baked chicken, lots of veggies, of course, chilli etc. And what is great is you eat until you are full!! I was NEVER deprived.

How did I feel? I was quite tired the first 6 days. Almost like you had just exhausted yourself exercising.. I think that is because carbs give you energy, and your body is now changing where it gets energy from. I could literally feel both good and bad during this first 5 days how bad my body was from eating so many refined things. By the second week, I was feeling much better and getting some energy, and really felt lighter in my step.

The second Phase, carbs are brought back in, but only healthy ones. Fruit, complex carbohydrates such as Whole grain bread, whole wheat bread ( notice the emphasis on whole) , fruit, etc. You do not lost weight fast on Phase 2 and you stay on Phase 2 until you reach your goal. You do not eat the birthday cake, refined carbs (white bread etc), but you stick with whole foods, whole grains etc. I continued to lose on this regime, maybe 1-3 lbs a week. The last 4 weeks I have not lost anything but have not gained anything. I attribute this to eating some refined carbs, not watching my portions as close as I should and lack of exercise but you know what the weird thing is??

I have NOT gained one pound back. So I really believe the first 2 weeks is needed to retrain the body how it uses energy. Every single diet I have tried, I always gained it all back, plus 10 lbs. This is the first I have ever kept it off and did not gain any back. I know if I cut out the refined carbs (have pizza with whole wheat crust instead of white, etc) I will start losing again. So, I plan to work harder at this and get back into the groove. Let me know if anyone wants to change their eating habits with me! Of course, always see a doctor before changing anything and ask your doctor if this diet would be good and safe for you.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This is just a little check in… I have been so super busy- but then that is the story of my life. Today I finish up my last project on my list for publication and mail it off. This weekend I will fine tune and check for any typos etc. in the pattern then email that off. It feels good to be wrapping all that up! In the meantime, my pattern testers have been busy testing patterns… I am hoping to have a launch soon! I do not have many yet, but would like to maybe work up a few more before launching, as well as wrap up all the ones I have in progress.

Skyler (my dog) is doing much better! The other day she was wrestling with a bone with me.. I would take it out of her mouth and toss it to her side, and she would go crazy getting it and giving it back to me… Her appetite is still good.. She really seems to be getting back to her old self.. I really hope this is the last of all this illness for her.. She is such a sweet dog.

On another note.. I have 2 weddings to go to this year! First is my sister’s which will be in June. ACK… that is so close.. only so much time to lose weight and turn myself into a bomb shell (hah). The next one is in September, for my cousin. I swear it seems like they have been dating for a decade! That second one though, I think it is in Pennsylvania? I will have to check the invite again.. It was kind of neat, I got a magnet stating the date time.. Good thing for me with how scatterbrained I am. Now let’s hope my daughter does not make it magically disappear, hehe. At least for that wedding I have more time to lose weight!

I actually have been losing. Since November, I have dropped 30 lbs. Though the past 4 weeks or so I have not lost any, but then I have not even been trying. But the good thing is that I have not gained any back. It will be nice if my body is making a new “set point.” Then when I start losing again, it will create a new “set point” of weight. Every single diet I have always lost, but then gained it all back plus 10 lbs. This diet however I have not gained anything back. This is the first diet I have lost the most with, and have not gained anything back, for the longest amount of time. Hopefully though by the end of the year, I reach my goal.. and then will really start turning heads! :) Maybe in the next post or 2 I will show you some before and some “present” photos!

Well, time to get this project packaged up and sent out, as well as get my taxes out (yipee they are done). Will write more soon :)

Sneak Peak

Yes yes, it has been long enough, I have a sneak peak of something.

Before anything, I must let you know this blog, the website and testing board will be down Feb 8th 10 PM PST until Feb 9th 6 AM PST. My host is transferring some clusters and so if it is not up, do not panic.. they are working on it to be an efficient transition.

Before going on to anything else, I would like to say Skyler seems to be doing a bit better. I gave her a tummy rub and she is quite red. Not infection red, but more of the red you can say ow, that must hurt. So I think that is why she is really taking this surgery difficulty- I think it was a biggie for her. Today though she has walked around more, and has gotten up to eat, and well what really made me smile, she sat under the table waiting for some nibbles from falling food from the kitchen table. So that made me happy :)

Hopefully she keeps getting stronger, and I just now await the pathology results. And in the meantime, shower her with tummy rubs and lots of tlc!

So, on the crochet front.. I have been busy finishing up another pattern for publication. This is my last one, so that after this I can begin to concentrate on the website launch. It has been so long! And for that, I figure I owe everyone a sneak peak. But then, it may not be a sneak peak, as I am not sure if I am finished with the pattern! The pattern is written out, but not sure if it needs something more… But, at least it is a glimpse of something that has been in the works!

Here it is (yes it is dark, that is why it is a sneak peak.. instead of a cropped photo like my past sneak peaks last year, this one is a dark one… kind of mesmerizing, kind of makes you wonder what it looks like close up :) And a special thank you to Misty taking the perfect photo for this sneak peak!

Sneak Peak

Did I give too much away? Not enough away? Does it bring back the days when the CG website had launched every month? Let’s hope so!! I know it is getting me eager to get some patterns released. But then at the same time, I am so excited to have my patterns out there in the printed world too..

It may be a while still before a pattern launch comes, but do know there will be other things coming out this year that shows where all this time has been spent! I have many many things in progress, and many DIPS (I call them DIPS- Designs In Progress).. some started here and there, some stopped then and there and everywhere… hehe my poor testers “I have baskets of designs of yours waiting to be finished!” But they are patient with me, the “absent minded designer.” So now we have begun the task of finishing up some of those, but then of course it was my nature to start some new things! And then well, the kids and myself being sick and passing it around to one another really caused chaos on the deadlines.. but somehow, I know everything will all come together.

Who knows, maybe things are really always in chaos, and my brain just likes to work that way? Maybe that is why I can never find my tape measure, or even a pencil on my desk?

Well, sorry so short… I cannot go on and on as I need to get some stuff done, and both of the kids are already asleep due to being sick.. so this is some time for me to hopefully get some power work in!

Take care all :)

Skyler’s Surgery

Well, I called at 11:30 PM yesterday to find out how the surgery went, and the lady said they were just finishing up and for me to call at 2PM. That was a long wait, and I was quite unhappy to have to wait.

I called at 2PM, and the vet said it looks exactly like the tumor that was removed 6 weeks prior. I asked him to send it in for pathology just to be sure it is not benign, and in case maybe it is something else. He said he was 99% sure it was malignant, and it was twice the size of the one he removes previously.

I brought her home at 4 PM, and she slept the whole day and night. Today she slept all day again but did get up this morning for some water. This evening she seems to have a bit more energy, in that she is lifting up her head more, and wanted to go out. She barked a couple of times outside, most likely as an animal or maybe someone walking near. It should be about a week before we get the pathology results. It will take a miracle for it to not be the cancer again. If it is, that is not a good thing at all.

I will keep you all posted on what I find out. Yesterday I have been trying to keep busy, trying not to think of it too much.

Other than that, we all have been dealing with colds, earaches, runny noses and the like. I do not think my nose has stopped running this winter yet! Between both of the kids bringing me their germs, and then all these crazy weather changes, it does not surprise me I am the eternal waterfall! hehe

Sorry so short, but time for me to get a few things done and maybe get a good night’s rest..

My Sweet Dog

Well, a couple weeks ago, Skyler, my dog began “swelling” near the incision site. Just a little. This past week, it has grown quite a bit, and I took her to the vet this morning.

The vet feels the cancer is back, and if so, very aggressive, to grow so quickly in a short span of time.  He of course was not 100% sure that it was another tumor, but said he feels surgery is definitely warranted. So tomorrow morning in she goes again to have this removed. I hope it is not the cancer back. I hope it is something benign, or something else non-serious wrong.

This past week though, her energy has been way down, very sleepy, not getting up too much. So I know something is amiss, and I do fear the worse, only because I see how tired and worn she is. Just a few months ago she was still chasing her tail around and wrestling with my son in the living room.

Tomorrow, I will find out after the surgery how it went, and I hope they say it was not a tumor (and hopefully something not too severe). If it is a tumor, it will be another week waiting for pathology reports.

Thanks all for listening :) I will keep you all posted.