Saturday, November 24, 2012


When I was at Stitches East last month I had the opportunity to try the new Red Heart Celebration yarn. I'm a big fan of bright, bold, in-your-face colors (which none of you probably knew about me) so I was instantly drawn to this yarn. It comes in aqua, blue, gold, lime, pink and purple. Each color has a metallic polyester thread which adds even more "bling". I love it!

I stuffed as much as I could into my suitcase and decided a couple weeks ago to make something just for fun. I don't get to do that very often since I'm usually racing against deadlines. My first little granddaughter is due to arrive soon. Two weeks from today actually so I grabbed a skein of the pink, relaxed in my recliner while watching a good movie and created this dress for Willow.

I have been reading all the wonderful comments on my giveaway post. They have been heartwarming and so full of passion. Crochet and knitting is so much more than merely making loops with yarn. Many readers shared how they still feel close to mothers and grandmothers that that taught them to knit or crochet and have since passed. People are able to show their love and let someone know how much they care by gifting prayer shawls, cancer caps, afghans and petghans to shelters, baby gifts to welcome new little ones and the list goes on. I think "Celebration" is a great name for this yarn since we DO celebrate our stitching! It was a celebration for me to create this and it will be an even bigger celebration to see Willow wearing it and welcome her to our family. 

If you haven't already entered my giveaway, make sure you do it! There is a skein of Red Heart Celebration in the prize package. Just comment on my November 19th blog post. Contest ends November 30 at midnight.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Red Heart Yarn Giveaway!

As we enter the holidays and prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, we realize we have so much to be thankful for. Take yarn for example. Who isn't thankful for yarn? Who loves trying all the great new products from Red Heart Yarns? Who needs more yarn? Thanks to Red Heart's generosity, one lucky winner is going to get a whole bag full of yarn to try out!

It's easy to enter! Simply leave me a comment! Tell me your favorite fiber story. Something funny, something sweet, a gift you gave or received, how you learned, whatever! If you'd like to earn a couple extra entries (totally optional), you can "like" my Facebook page Hot Lava Crochet, follow me on Twitter or Tweet about this contest with something like "YARN #giveaway knitting/crocheting @RedHeartYarns&@HotLavaCrochet Comment to Enter #win RT"

Contest ends November 30th at midnight! Good Luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 8, 2012

Furls Crochet

Usually I have to force myself to walk out to the mailbox. I know it's never going to be an enjoyable experience since nine times out of ten, the box is filled with bills and advertisements but it has to be done. So it was a great surprise to open the mailbox and instead find a wonderful little package from Furls Crochet.

I had the pleasure of meeting Harrison Richards at the Crochet Guild of America conference in Reno last month. He is the founder and president of Furls Crochet and an all-around nice guy. He is absolutely passionate about his hooks and with good cause - they are amazing! You can see for yourself in this video

As I opened the box, it is instantly evident that Harrison gives impeccable attention to detail, not only with his hooks but with everything involved with the entire process.  My hook has it's own beautiful, little bag all carefully wrapped! Also included is a postcard with fantastic photographs of some of his hooks and a write-up about their "Refurls Promotion" on the back of the card. You receive two "15% off your first purchase cards" to share with friends. When they order a hook using these referral cards, you receive a free...YES....I did say FREE hook! How cool is that?

In Reno, Harrison measured my hand so my hook is a perfect fit just for me! And it is so gorgeous. I selected Tulipwood in a size I (5.5mm). There is nothing better than a functional piece of art.

Please check out his website and tell him I sent you! You can also find him on Facebook He's always giving away free (YES...I did say free again) hooks on there so you're going to want to "like" his page.

Thank you so much for my amazing hook Harrison! I'm looking forward to seeing you again at a future conference!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Friends at Stitches Midwest

One of the best things about going to shows is seeing friends! Some friends I have known for years and other friends are brand new from this show!

Many of you probably know Brenda Stratton. Brenda is a great crochet designer and she was one of the editors at DRG Publishing. I hadn't seen Brenda for 5 years so it was very exciting to finally see her again and to meet her husband Carl. My husband George attended many shows with me and Brenda always wanted the two of them to meet. They are both very easy going and laid back, humoring our yarn addictions.

And then things began to get silly!

I took a picture of Kathleen taking a picture of Carl taking a picture of her!

Another dear friend that I love spending time with at the shows is Bobbie Matela. Bobbie works for Coats and Clark so we get to spend a lot of time together in the booth. 

A brand new friend I had the pleasure of meeting at this show is Jeanne. She walked up to our booth wearing my Hip Granny Tunic I was so thrilled and especially since she is such a sweetie! You can check out her page at CrochetByShadeyJ

Another new friend is Dawn from Maggi Knits. We met at Stitches South last April and just instantly felt like we had been friends forever. It was so good to see her again!

A long-time friend that never fails to crack me up - Lily Chin. For each Stitches show Lily comes up with some incredible costume to unveil. I can't wait to see what she has in store for the next show. 
She never disappoints!

And my final friend that I got to see at Stitches was.....GEORGIE! It's kind of sad that our lives have become so busy that we don't see each other at home but it was really sweet for him to stop by. He drives truck and happened to have a delivery nearby. It felt like the old days when he used to come to the shows with me. Thank you Georgie!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Stitches Midwest part 3

Our booth neighbor at Stitches Midwest was CGOA. The Crochet Guild of America is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to preserving and advancing the art of crochet. The main purpose of the Crochet Guild of America is to educate the public about crochet, provide education and networking opportunities, and set a national standard for the quality, art and skill of crochet through creative endeavors. If you're not a member, check out their site for all the benefits of joining.

Volunteers from the Northern Illinois chapter staffed the booth including founding member, Gwen Blakley Kinsler pictured below. You can read more about the show at Gwen's blog Crochet Queen Royal Ramblings Thank you for all of your help!

Penny Sitler and Karen Kinese, part of our management team.
I just love these girls!

Each year our board of director members create a special design to be 
compiled into a book, "Across the Board", which new members receive
when joining. Penny and I are each wearing a beautiful necklace created
by Guild VP, Cari Clement.

Here is the cover of the 2012 Across the Board book of crochet designs!
FREE with membership!

In my next post I'll share some pictures of special friends I got to see at the show!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Stitches Midwest Part 2

Thursday evening is the first opportunity for people to shop at the Market preview. They start lining up at the door long before opening time talking about which booth they want to visit first and how they have been looking forward to this for so long. They are a very loud and excited group of people ready to fill their bags and empty their wallets. We hear the final countdown begin; 10, 9, 8, 7.......

Amy Shelton, co-owner with Donna Hulka, of Crochetville is ready for business! I love working with Amy. No matter how busy we get, she is always this calm and cool, never getting frazzled by the line wrapping around the booth.

The shoppers arrive! The booth looks great and everyone is happy! 

Check out the cool Red Heart bags we were giving away in the
 picture below. They were perfect to stuff full of yarn!

Just look at all these beautiful yarns with the gorgeous colors
and textures! If you couldn't make it to the show, don't worry, 
all these yarns are available online at Red Heart Yarns

I was very excited to discover that my design; the Square Deal Sweater
was featured on one of the big Red Heart banners! 
I had to have my picture taken with it. 

Tomorrow I'll tell you about our neighbors, the Crochet Guild of America, right across the aisle from us. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Stitches Midwest 2012

I think it has become abundantly clear that I am the world's worst blogger! When it has been so long since you've posted that you have to look up your log in information, you know you're in trouble! I'm going to try and change all of that and post regularly. I am now busier than ever but that also means I have lots of exciting things to tell you.

Back in April, I attended my first Stitches show in Atlanta. Red Heart yarns and Crochetville partnered together and somehow I ended up in the middle of it. Could I be any luckier?! Here's a picture of our very first booth.

We just got back last night from our third show (we were at the Knit and Crochet show in Manchester back in June) so I thought it was time to share with you. If you haven't checked out Red Hearts yarns for awhile, you're going to want to see all the amazing new products they are offering. There is something for everyone! Each show we need to bring a little more stock because it has been so well received. We had 5 pallets of wonderful yarns, books, Red Heart bags, hooks, needles and the list goes on!

I thought you might enjoy seeing the booth before we get it all put together. It's a lot of work but we have such a great team that we actually have fun doing it. Team Red Heart consists of Kathleen Sams of Red Heart, Amy Shelton of Crochetville and of course, me! We also had Amy's sister Julie with us this time. You'll want to check out her page at She is a glass artist and brought some gorgeous jewelry to sell in our booth. She's busy working on shawl pins for a future show.

Ok, on to the pictures!

 Yarn, Yarn and MORE Yarn!!!

Getting the shelves ready for all that yarn! There is excitement in the air as the countdown to market preview is quickly approaching.

The poor naked mannequins waiting for their gorgeous display samples.
Come back tomorrow to see the finished booth and hear more about what a great show it was! The next Stitches show is in October so there's still time to make plans to attend.