Happy National Crochet Month! Time for a quick recap of January and February before telling you what's going on in March, and the exciting news for April.
January started with a family trip to the Big Island of Hawaii. Could not have had a better combination of relaxing, exploring, and activity with wonderful company. The diving and snorkeling were so stunning that my husband said he felt like he was in an aquarium screen-saver.
Next was nine days in Pittsburgh, and just like that January was gone. I did get some design work done on both trips. Can't reveal much about that yet, but here's a sneak peek:
In early February I was in NYC to teach Intermediate Tunisian Crochet at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. Excellent students and we got a lot accomplished. One thing I learned was suggested by the Education Direction, Gretchen: instead of reviewing the basic stitches in class, assign them as homework to be completed ahead of time. That would weed out students who were not fluent enough for Intermediate work, and would also let us spend all of the class time working on new techniques. Great idea, and I will set things up like that next time.
We had a lot of simply gorgeous weather in February! I know it's probably not good for the plants and animals to have 70-degree weather in winter, but there's no way I can complain about it. I walked at Longwood Gardens with friends several times. The Orchid Extravaganza is spectacular. I also got some weeding done around here and cleaned out our little frog pond. Check out the last photo in the slideshow below and see if you can spot the raft of frog eggs. Looks like we'll have some tadpoles soon!
I've been juggling different types of projects. One writing assignment was my first for Frederick (Maryland) Magazine, about the gardens at Longwood and at nearby Winterthur. It was a quick turnaround article for their March issue, and I understand a copy is already on its way to me. I also wrote a feature for The Hunt Magazine about Longwood's restored Main Fountain Garden, which is set to reopen in May after a 2-year, $90 million renovation. It felt good to do some travel writing even though the destinations are in my own back yard! That piece will be published in the summer issue.
At the same time, I've been forging ahead with the new book. I'm including submissions from other designers, as well as my own work (including the Blue Heron item above). Projects have started coming in and I am thrilled with the quality and variety of the finished items! Some of the patterns have required more attention than others. (I wrote more about that on FB; not worth rehashing here.)
Later this month I'm scheduled to teach Beaded Crochet at the Lion Brand Outlet in NJ. It will be my first time there. I expect to be doing some shopping while I'm at the outlet.
Then it will be April and I'm excited to have been invited by Compatto Yarn Salon in Santa Monica to do a book-signing and brief Tunisian crochet demos as part of the 2017 L.A. County Yarn Crawl! As the Crawl's website says:
"Imagine the perfect Southern California weekend… Beautiful spring weather, great friends, your needles, hooks & yarns. Add to that a special invitation from dozens of LA County LYSs to visit & browse, enter to win great prizes, learn a skill, and pick up some great yarns, patterns and supplies. Hang out with yarn-lovers, meet-up with your internet friends and discover local yarn shops you’ve always wanted to visit....From Santa Monica to Santa Clarita, from Claremont to Long Beach and every square mile in between, your LA County LYS’s are putting on a yarn party just for you!"
I love this idea, and I hope to have time to visit some of the other participating shops. My appearance is Friday, April 7, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Compatto. (They provide bagels and coffee, very nice!) I'll be signing copies of Crochet Cowls, Tunisian Crochet for Baby, Crochet Scarves, and a few of my other titles. If you are in the greater L.A. area, please come out and see me...and if you know anyone who is out there, please spread the word!
A fringe benefit of my trip to Los Angeles for the Crawl is the opportunity to stay with my son who lives out there, and to see an old friend or two. Nothing wrong with combining business and pleasure.