Archive for category crochet

Stitches East Knitter’s Conference

” I have died and gone to knitter’s heaven!”

It was my first thought when I walked in the door. I have never been to a Stitches conference before and I understand that this one was MUCH smaller than in years past, but I was still WOWed!

I was in attendance out of the kindness of one of my wholesale customers, Suzi at . She invited me to tag along at her booth and bring my ABLETs. How could I turn that down? I had considered going on my own, but couldn’t figure it out what with having to be there all day every day for 4 days and a nursing baby and no help at the booth and the expense… and Suzi solved all my dillemmas in one fantastic phonecall!

So, as many of you know, preparations began in full swing. For about 3 weeks I glued and beaded and chained and packaged whenever I could. I had many dear friends offer their help.  I ended up with about 100 to bring with me.

Well, to make a long story longer…

Friday: Ted stayed home from work to watch the baby.  Rowan and I drove to Hartford early Friday Morning with my basket.  Suzi had said she had a display so I needn’t bring one. Folks rummaged through my basket all day. Rowan worked hard, demonstrating how to use the ABLET and even up-selling for a conversion kit.  I sold a few, not a lot, but enough to break even on my expenses. Comments were all very positive and enthusiastic and everyone seemed to think it was a really neat idea.  Several people liked them enough to slip them discreetly into their bags when we weren’t looking. I was a tad discouraged. I knew a nice display would help, so I plugged through my exhaustion when I got home and slapped a display together.

Saturday: I wrote up a sign “Win an ABLET knitting Abacus drawings at 12:30, 2:30 and 3pm” We had a lot of people sign on to our raffle at that point. 3 times on Saturday an announcement was made over the loud speakers

“So and So you have won an, um… AB… ABLET, um… knitting… abb-ack- oos, please go to the Knitting Ranch, booth 204 to collect your prize.”

It was great for me, because people came over to see what it was all about. I had to demo over and over (no Rowan) and my throat was getting sore, but… By Saturday Afternoon, I heard “OH… so that’s the knitting abacus everyone is talking about.”  WOW.

I managed to give a birthday present to  Rick, one of the editors of  Knitter’sMagazine. It wasn’t his birthday, btw, but my note that I left telling him I had a birthday present for him got his attention enough to get him over to see me 😉

The editor of Moo Dog Knits came over and took my picture. She said she’d call for an interview this week.

Sunday: While the marketplace was much slower,  my sales steadily increased each day. I had to arrive quite late because of dropping the kids at Sunday school. When I got there, Suzi said a bunch of LYS owners had come over asking for my card and that a sales rep had also stopped by interested in talking with me.

By now, many folks new what I an ABLET was and were bringing their friends over and showing them how to use this great new tool.

Since things were a bit slower, I was able to go around and network a bit more. I spoke with several vendors who were all so supportive and enthusiastic. They shared details and ideas for my own booth (maybe next year).

I particularly liked Mocha’s Fiber’s booth, for a small 10X10 space, which is probably all I’d need. ABLETs are quite compact.  Her hand painted yarns are exquisite, btw. If you knit, you must check them out! 

I met a couple who travel the world going from yarn conference to yarn conference who have gorgeous silk ribbon. I bought some to use with my ABLETs and I’ve already made one up with it. I think I’ll be switching, as long as it doesn’t fray.

I even met a charming couple who were LYS owners all the way from Australia!

When the show was ending, I grabbed what was left in my basket and ran through the marketplace handing out freebies to any LYS owners who seemed interested. I probably gave away as many as I sold.  It was such a fun and exhausting weekend. And I have Suzi to thank for it. She agrees, that all in all it was a terrific show for me. She told me that when I’m rich and famous I’d have to pay her booth fee.

Well, Suzi… now you have it in writing! What you did for me deserves a good turn. I hope your business is every bit as successful as mine… um, that is if mine’s successful, cause if it’s not that wouldn’t be a particularly good wish for you, now would it 😉

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Knitting Abacus

knitting abacus display

It’s been a while since I posted, mostly because I have been so busy finalizing my packaging and display for my newest obsession: The knitting abacus. The knitting abacus, or ABLET (ABacus braceLET) for those that don’t know is a uniquely designed row counter bracelet. My Patent Pending status came through a few weeks back and I’ve been busily trying to get all the loose ends tied to get marketing like a madman. The patent is due to the unique design in how this bracelet works. Much experimentation has gone into finding the perfect combination of beads and other materials. The beads slide on the string and stay where you put them until you move them. They don’t need to be manipulated through a loop. (Other row counting bracelets use a bead through a loop technique).

Of course, if you do know me, you know what an ABLET is because I’m driving everyone nuts talking about how much I love them and how I know absolutely anyone and everyone who knits or crochets  is going to want one too! Maybe I’m being overly optimistic here, but I’m seriously thinking that this is as important as blingy stitch markers and fancy needle ends. Personally, I believe it’s up there on the list of must have knitting tool importance right next to calculators and tape measures.

So here’s a picture of my POP display. I’m pretty happy with it so far.  I think it needs paint and some lettering or something to jazz it up a bit!

I have also been working on a new website where ABLETS can be ordered by the thousand, Ok by the hundred… or the dozen, ok fine, only get one, and then maybe another to give to your knitting friend for her birthday.

ABLET knitting abacusWhat a learning curve that has been! And to think I went to school for this stuff. My site is built through wordpress, so that’s kinda neat. I’m using a shopping cart theme that seems to work pretty seamlessly with wordpress. They claim you can get your store up and running in under an hour… Or under a weekend, anyway!

ABLET packaging, front.Yes, that's a real live bar code, pretty cool, huh! My 100% recycled card is on order and I can’t wait for it to come in for the packaging which will be 99% recycled cardboard and 1% tape.

knit row counter Here is another design… “much sparkly” as my little one would say. It looks gorgeous on. I’ve been wearing it all day to test it out, and the beads still tell me that the date is  the 2nd. Yep, I use mine to tell me the date when I’m not knitting (rarely), ’cause I’m just that ditsy sometimes.

knitting abacus with earrings This blingy row counting bracelet comes with earrings… my daughter’s brilliant idea.

I’ll try and post pics of my wood beaded ones tomorrow, but I’m taking the kids to the zoo, so I may not have time. We’ll see.

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Childbirth Education Doll in Yet Another Book.

RegretsyI’m starting to get jealous of my Childbirth Education Doll. She’s been published twice now, once in the Regretsy book by April Winchell and now in this book by Lela Nargi entitled Astounding knits. This book  has some really cool stuff in it, including a sweater-covered- bus, a 200 foot plush rabbit and a life-sized knitted tree!

This publication is much kinder to her than the last one that covered the childbirth doll. Regretsy was downright snarky, saying “Your kid is going to grow up to hate you”. In contrast, Lela is now my new BFF:

“Really Gives Birth! To Real Crocheted Newborn!”

Astounding Knits is available on

“There was no sensationalizm intended in the original birthing doll Rhode Island mom Sharon Coleman crocheted out of wool several years ago. ‘I designed it as an educational tool for my then-three-year-old daughter when I was pregnant with her little sister,’ she explains. But Internet responses to the pattern for the doll Coleman now sells on her Etsy shop ran the gamut-from simply surprised to downright disgusted.
The latter response strikes the average mom as sligltly bizarre; after all, what could be more natural than childbirth? And for a crafty mom, what could be more natural than explaining the experience to her child using crochet?”

-from Astounding knits.





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Childbirth Education Doll: Clancy Stainer Gowen

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Childbirth Education Doll: Ida Faye Baskin

This is Ida Faye Baskin
…and her baby boy.

As you can see, he was born in a beautiful and easy homebirth.

Her midwives have requested no photography, because, until very recently, midwife attended homebirth has not been legal in her home state of Rhode Island.

But Ida Faye knows that it the



way for her and her to welcome her baby into the world.

The only way to give birth in a truly natural way. 


Thankyou to all the wonderful midwives who continue to take the risks to support our ability to birth naturally!

If you are a hospital midwife, obstetrician or other childbirth professional, please visit my etsy site to purchase a mama doll.

If you own a homebirth midwifery practice and would like your very own Mama Doll, please contact me through my etsy site I offer a considerable discount for homebirth midwives.

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I just got invited to join I signed up for the waiting list so long ago that I had forgotten all about it. I have spend the last few hours trying to figure out the ropes. I uploaded my fingerless mitt pattern, I think. I couldn’t find it again and couldn’t edit it, I forgot a picture and needed to make changes. Ugh. I hate these learning curves. So far I think the site has great potential.

It could be a useful place for me to keep track of needles. But my stash, it’s way too big. It would take me a month just to upload and since I’m missing the little paper wrappers on half of it… My Rowan went through a faze of ripping all the wrappers off of my yarn, the little…

Hmmm, this is some kind of acrylic… this is wool… aaah Malabrigo… PASA cotton… this is a weird blend…this is *gasp* red heart, (I keep meaning to give that away)!

The library feature is nice too, and will be better I’m sure. Most of my books are pretty obscure, and so aren’t in their database.

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The Super Simple Customizable Crocheted Fingerless Mitts with a really long name…

My kiddos didn’t want to share the computer today, and I was too busy re-working “Liv” for the umpteenth time to care. So, sorry for those of you who might have been waiting for this with baited breath! I think there might actually be two of you out there who read this blog!

When I posted about the fingerless mitts on an Etsy chat, there was a disappointed person (who’s name escapes me, or I’d mention him/her here) who wanted a crocheted pattern. Well, I got right on it. So… drum roll please, introducing, by popular demand…


This pattern can be adapted to fit any hand. It is basically a rectangular swatch of single crochet that you fold in half and add a tube of double crochet for the cuff and a tube of single crochet for the thumb. It only requires simple single crochet and double crochet. I have created a cheat sheet for you to write your measurements on so that you (hopefully) have two matching mitts. Print out this customizable pattern here!

Thank you, thank you, your response is overwhelming. (CozyColeman bows.)

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