Podcast, NYC-bound, and Thoughts on Windows (the Glass Kind, not the Microsoft Kind)

Happy October! It's been busy around here. Did you have a chance to catch my appearance on Marly Bird's Yarn Thing podcast? Here's the link in case you missed it. I enjoyed the conversation--Marly always asks good questions and is fun to talk to. Thursday 10/4 is my appearance at Lion Brand Yarn Studio in NYC. I'll be giving a short talk and hosting an audience-participation fashion show with scarves from Crochet Scarves: Fabulous Fashions, Various Techniques. Want to model? Now's your chance! The event is free, but you have to let them know you're coming. Did you RSVP yet? Here's the link for more information and to register.  I love the Studio and am eager to return there--this will be my third visit. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and I start doing my thing at 6.

Recently I've been attending to some home chores, including window-cleaning. (Now, before you read on, you have to promise not to give me any window-cleaning advice. I say this not because I am close-minded, or because I don't value your grandma's tried-and-true method, but because I promise you I have tried every technique you could mention. No matter what I still end up with streaky glass and the knowledge that I'm just not good at this! Telling me that you have a foolproof method will only reinforce my feelings of inadequacy in the window-washing department. So, thank you for your restraint!)

Here is a partial list of my unsuccessful attempts. I've tried vinegar (house smelled like salad dressing for a week), crumpled newspapers (ruined my rubber gloves), plain water, water with dish detergent, Windex, paper towels, environmentally friendly glass cleaner, a chamois, soft rags, old towels, and a squeegee. I've cleaned the windows in bright sunlight, when it's overcast, and when the moon is in the seventh house. I even followed a recommendation to wipe up-and-down on the inside and back-and-forth on the outside to make it easier to see which surface was streaky. (Answer: both.)

Even though I'm terrible at cleaning the windows, I am also really slow at it!You may think this is a minor issue, but with 21 double-hung windows, it is a time-consuming enterprise. Or maybe escapade is a better word. Fortunately, the windows tilt in or I'm sure that the caption by my picture would read "Splat!"

I do know to do the upstairs windows before the downstairs ones. Please don't ask me how I learned this.

The frustration of doing the glass is matched only by the disgustingness of cleaning the dead bugs out of the frames and drainage channels. Blecch! I read that there are more than 300,000 species of beetles in the world, most of which apparently sent representatives to die in my window frames. I brushed them out with toothbrushes and flushed them out with water.  Some of the not-quite-dead ones weren't too happy about this, including several torpid stink bugs and a quite angry wasp.

My goal was to finish this chore before the exterior painting began, so I wouldn't be washing dirt and bugs onto pristine new paint. As far as that goes, I am pleased to report Mission: Accomplished. The painters are here today and my house is ready for them. True, the windows could probably be cleaner and less streaky, but the bugs have been banished and I made enough of a difference that I can actually see through the glass now!

Now I can turn my attention back to my crochet projects. I'm enjoying my work for Debra at My Crochet Kits. She packages yarn and patterns together so crocheters have exactly what they need and can start on a project right away--what a super idea! Debra is featuring several of my patterns, including some I designed just for her. Here's the link to her site.

With the leaves turning and a nip in the air, I'm inspired to create nice warm accessories. Hope you are feeling invigorated, too!


New Patterns and More Tour Stops

Ever seen one of those balance boards that are on top of a cylinder? You put one foot on each side and try to keep the edges of the board off the ground.

That's a bit what it feels like marketing a finished project while working on new ones. It's best to go back and forth, not leaning too much to one side.
Some top crochet bloggers have been helping me get the word out about Crochet Scarves by hosting a blog book tour.  In the past few days, Annie Modesitt (www.modeknit.com) and Ellen Gormley (www.gocrochet.com) have blogged about the book. Please visit their websites to learn about their many books and patterns!
I've been pleased that the bloggers understand how the scarves in the book are also teaching tools to help crocheters learn new things. Here is an excerpt from Ellen's review:
Many of the projects caught my attention, but the one I will try first is the above photo, Premium Cable.  This is a simple Tunisian CABLE pattern.  There are 21 photos that illustrate step by step how to do this technique. Don't be scared though, 21 photos doesn't indicate how hard the pattern is, but how thoroughly Sharon teaches!  Have I brought home my point yet? The point is... this book is about learning new things... and scarves are just the vehicle to make great projects in the process. You can apply these techniques and stitch patterns and apply what you've learned to any project.
Coming up shortly are blog stops with Robin Chachula (www.crochetbyfaye.com) on 8/3, then the tour's first international stop with Mary Olivier (www.livredefil.com) on 8/9, followed by a visit to Eurona's wonderful blog, www.handsindelight.com on 8/10.  
So, that's one side of the balance board, marketing the latest book. New designs and projects are on the other side. I've just finished Ripples on the Lake, a pattern for the second kit I've designed for World Wide Yarns. This one in Dyelot Yarns "Recovery Package" set of four yarns in one colorway (avocado). There's one thick-and-thin yarn, one smooth cotton, one chainette-ish yarn, and a lusciously draping rayon. The kit with pattern will be available from WWY on or before September 1; I'll announce the availability as soon as I get the go-ahead.  I really enjoyed working on this!

Next, it's time to return to some UFOs and finish them up. There's the asymmetrical garment in Blue Heron's mercerized cotton "Wintersky" colorway that's almost done; a navy and cream striped sweater that I stowed away and want to return to; and some baby items for gifts and for publication. As my space fills up, I'm also getting ready for a "sample sale," offering some finished items for sale on etsy or elsewhere (haven't quite worked out the best way to handle this yet).

Don't forget to keep up with the blog tour stops and enter to win your copy of Crochet Scarves! Each blogger is offering a giveaway.