Saturday, December 31, 2011


Well, I've come to accept that idea over the past few years Yeah, I know , it might sound cynical to some people, but let's get real can't be all sweetness and roses. Sometimes it's cold, harsh, bitter and just plain f*cked up!!
I stopped by one of my old crochet classes I used to teach at last week, where I hadn't been there since about May. I officially stopped teaching there as a volunteer several years before, but occasionally, would stop in from time to time, mainly, of the 5 other places I taught, it had the most students, and was the easiest to get to.
But for some time, i began to feel less wanted, more tolerated there. I'm always the only male at this and other similar places, and sometimes felt like a oddball, so, I decided to back away.
So, when I arrive, they're were only a handful of people there before the holidays, but they were all glad to see me. Here's the thing.....
All the time i was gone, not one person ever tried to call. Yeah, they all said they wondered what happen to me since they hadn't seen or heard from me in a while. Even one student said there were times when 'thought' about calling....but never did.
Now you know, if anyone needed my help with something, they always find a way to contact me.
But I guess it comes down to a matter ofconvenience . As long as you're worth something, and you make yourself available, then it's OK. but it you don't, you're just a thought.
"If you don't make the effort, the effort won't get made!"
It irritates me whenever I run into people who say 'I've been meaning to call you", take down your number or email address each time, and never call or write. Like the ones who want you to call, write, or visit them, but they never do. It's just a matter of convenience.
So, one student asked for my number, I told it's the same number I've always had, each and every time she asked for it. She looked back at me like I lost my mind!!
I've decided to call people on their phonyness. What have I got to loose, right?
If you say you're gonna call, then CALL!! Don't ask for my address, and don't write or visit. If you don't have anything to say, just keep it short....I won't be offended if I know it's honest.
It's like being lied to directly to your face. Feeling like you have to say something, isn't worth it to me.
I've learned not to ask for a number or address if I'm not going to use it. but will accept it if offered.
Never been much of a visiting /calling person, I tend to talk too loud and stay too long, and find people need to make excuses to cut the visit or call short. So, from my end, the few and far calls/visits in between, the easier it is on everyone.
Also, I will not give a gift to someone unless it's directly in their hands. Common courtesies, like a 'thank you' response aren't what they use to be....nowadays , unless you're directly in front of the person, you might ever get a thank you, if, or until, the next time they happen to see or hear from you....again, it's just a matter of convenience ...!

Being a Introvert

1. If a person is introverted, it does NOT mean they are shy or anti-social.

 This is probably THE biggest misconception that extroverts tend to have when it comes to introverts.

 And you can’t really blame them for having that kind of misconception.

 Extroverts tend to have to drag introverts to parties, to convince them to go and sell them on attending social engagements. When introverts politely decline, extroverts automatically assume that something might be wrong so they always ask if everything’s all right and of course, everything is all right. It’s just a common misunderstanding. When extroverts see a pattern like this developing, they automatically assume that introverts are shy or anti-social as that can be the only logical explanation to them. What’s more, when extroverts try to engage introverts in small talk, it seems like they hit a brick wall.

 Add to that, most extroverts see that introverts tend to be fond of engaging in solitary activities such as reading, writing, and daydreaming.

Well, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, it must be a duck right?


 Introverts have more brain activity in their frontal lobes and when these areas are activated through solitary activity, introverts become energized through processes such as problem solving, introspection, and complex thinking.

 Extroverts on the other hand tend to have more activity in the back of their brain, areas that deal with processing sensory information from the external world, so they tend to search for external stimuli in the form of interacting with other people and the outside world to energize them.

 There’s a deeper science to this that involves differences in the levels of brain chemicals such as acetylcholine and dopamine in extroverts and introverts, but I won’t get into that.

 The bottom line is that introverts are just wired differently than extroverts. There’s nothing “wrong” with them. They just become energized through different processes depending on where the majority of their brain activity takes place.

 Granted there are introverts who may be shy and anti-social, but that’s just a coincidence that perpetuates the myth that ALL introverts are like that.

 You’ll find that all introverts are fine just the way they are until people begin to subtly suggest otherwise.

 2. Introverts tend to dislike small talk.

 If you really want to engage an introvert in conversation, skip the small talk. Introverts tend to love deepconversations on subjects that interest them. They love to debate, go past the superficial and poke around the depths in people’s minds to see what’s really going on in there. Most, if not all introverts tend to regard small talk as a waste of time, unless it’s with someone new they just met.
This characteristic probably contributes to another misconception that extroverts have of introverts - the misconception that all introverts are arrogant.


 Because extroverts notice that introverts don’t talk that much with other people. Therefore, extroverts assume that introverts think they’re too good to talk to others, hence arrogant and that’s hardlythe case.

 It’s just a matter of preference.

 Extroverts thrive on small talk. Introverts abhor it.

 There’s nothing wrong with either choice, it’s just a matter of preference.

 This brings us to the third point.

 3. Introverts do like to socialize – only in a different manner and less frequently than extroverts.

 Yes, it’s true. Contrary to the majority of public opinion, introverts do like to socialize, but again, only in a different manner and less frequently than extroverts.

 Introverts love anything that involves deep conversation. They get energized by discussing subjects that are important to them and they love see what and how other people think, to connect the dots, to dig deep, to find root causes, to use logical thinking via debate in conversation, etc.

 And what’s more, introverts can do a lot of things extroverts are naturally good at - give great speeches, schmooze with everyone, be the life of the party, charm the socks off of total strangers - but only for a short period of time. After that, they need time for themselves which brings us to the fourth point.

 4. Introverts need time alone to recharge.

 Extroverts tend to think introverts have something against them as they constantly seem to refuse generous invites to social engagements. Introverts do appreciate the offers, but it’s just that they know it will take a lot of energy out of them if they pursue these social functions.

 They need time alone like they need food and water. Give them their space. There’s nothing wrong with them. They’re not depressed and they’re not sad. They just need time alone to recharge their batteries.

 5. Introverts are socially well adjusted.

 Most introverts are well aware of all the social nuances, customs, and mannerisms when it comes to interacting with other people, but they simply don’t choose to socialize as much as extroverts, which makes it easy for extroverts to assume that introverts are not socially well adjusted, as they have not seen much evidence of them interacting with other people.

 This just exacerbates previous misconceptions and gives way to labeling introverts as nerds, geeks, loners, etc.

 It’s easy to understand why society tends to value extroverts over introverts. Human beings have lived in a tribal society so having to interact frequently with people came to be a regarded as a very good skill when it came to survival.

 But because of this high value placed on extroversion, introverts tend to feel trapped and find themselves in a catch 22 situation.

 Do introverts stay true to who they are and risk social alienation and isolation or do introverts conform and join the extroverted side, pretending to be somebody they’re not just to fit in?

This is precisely why I adding this article, because if the extroverts can become more educated about introverts, introverts will be able to feel free to stay true to who they are, and that’s a good thing from society’s point of view.

 Trying to “turn” an introverted person into an extroverted person is detrimental because it gives off a subtle suggestion that there is something wrong with them, hampering their self worth and esteem when there is absolutely nothing wrong in the first place.

 There’s nothing wrong with introverts.

 In fact, introverts are the leading pioneers of advancements in human civilization. Albert Einstein, Issac Newton, Charles Darwin are a few introverts that come to mind, just to name a few.

And for those of you not interested in science, but pop culture, you’ll be surprised to see a lot of well known names in Hollywood are introverts as well. Julia Roberts, Steven Spielberg, Christian Bale to name a few as well.

 And for those interested in sports, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods come to mind as athletes who are introverts as well.

 Introverts have a lot to bring to the table. They have an amazing ability to discover new thoughts, an uncanny ability to focus, to concentrate, to connect the dots, to observe and note things that most people miss, to listen extremely well and are often found having a rich and vivid imagination too.

 The more extroverts become knowledgeable about introverts, the less tension and misunderstanding there will be among the two.

 So if you’re an introvert reading this, send a copy of this article to all your extrovert friends so they can get a better idea of what you’re all about.

 It’s time to finally clear the air

Friday, December 23, 2011

Well, I guess I just have to suck it up, and deal with it

Well, I guess I just have to suck it up, and deal with it.

I have to say, that I'm grateful for any assistance I've had since my accident. Knowing that I'm pretty much a loner all my life, it's hard to be depended on other people, especially my family.

Well, I guess I just have to suck it up, and deal with it.

Finding out that my accident wasn't as bad as first predicted, being moved out of my apartment, with no alternative place to live, having all my crochet work sold in one day at a flea market, just to get rid of it, so they don't have to bring anything back. Along with most of my yarn, paper patterns, magazines, and various items that were deemed 'extra stuff that I didn't need',would seemed 'reasonable, right?

Well, I guess I just have to suck it up, and deal with it.

Knowing that my family, after years of distance(mostly on my part), feels that they haven't been satisfied with how I lived my life, and that now, since I'm between a rock and a hard place, they feel they know not only they know what's best for me, but feel to need to determine what I should or shouldn't do,what I need or don't, and that I need to be close to the family.

OK, here's how I see it. simply put, you can't fit a square peg in a round hole. I am who I am. I'm a grown ass man who has lived and survived on my own and by myself since I was 21. I could care less what other people, family included, thinks of me or how I live my life. You can't tell me that if the shoe was on the other's foot you'd know how I feel, well, if you did, most people either never realized it, or, admit to it.

I hurt my feet, not my mind. I'm not some feeble person that needs to be taken care for. Needing help doesn't mean taking over my life, such as it is. My life is my life, not anyone else's. I determine how I live my life. I would never assume to tell anyone else how to live theirs, no matter how much I may disapprove.

  Well, I guess I just have to suck it up, and deal with it.

So now I have to find a new place, get my stuff in it, and accept that 'what I have is what I'm left with'. Well, I guess I just have to suck it up, and deal with it.

As far as my family, well, I've never been a 'family' type of guy. I've come to understand it, and accepted it. I know my family doesn't agree, but...

Well, I guess they'll just have to suck it up, and deal with it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011



Well, I finally finish a sweater jacket I've wanted to make for myself from a frogged woman's coat I made a couple years ago that was too long The pattern measurements were incorrect, and I should of known better!). I adapted it from a old newspaper'paper' pattern I've had for a couple decades.

The original is a ridged shawl collared,4 button men's jacket than fits over the hips with a buckle belt. Has fitted sleeves with buttoned cuffs and patch pockets. Made with 2 strands of worsted weight yarn (most all their crochet patterns use worsted weight yarn, mainly that old Columbia Minivera or New Brunswick or Germantown). The stitch pattern was a alternate of (sc, sl st) across, working in reverse on the next row, with a 'K' hook.

What I decided to do was using 2 strands of worsted weight yarn (Red Heart Super Saver, of course), with a 'Grid St' pattern (sc, dc), work the 2 Fronts and Back into one Body section, worked in inside vertical pockets, make the Body a little shorter. Everything else is pretty much like the rest of the pattern, except I don't have buttoned cuffs or a buckle belt.

It's basically a traditional men's jacket, the kind you might expect a older guy would wear. I thought by changing the length, the pockets, and leaving out the cuffs and belt, might appeal to someone younger.

I was talking on the phone with a good fellow crochet friend for over a hour that I ran into the other day, and we got to talking creatively about ways to make a men's Kangol-style Cap in crochet. I finally came up with a very easy version, made a few ones, now all I need is to take photos to put with the written pattern.

I started another sweater jacket, but not using a pattern. I'm making it in Michaels 'Loops & Threads'-"Charisma" yarns, in both Dk Blue & Lakeside (Variegated), with 'K' hook. Mainly worked with a row of sc, then a row of dc. Made in one Body section (less sewing), with horizontal inside pockets (patch pockets tend to stretch, and if not sewn right, can make the garment look less professional). Just going to make fuller sleeves and a regular type of Collar, with a buttoned down front. I would love to line it with some fleece.

Now, if I only had my camera!!!.....;-(

Thursday, December 01, 2011


OK, now let's talk about my crocheting. First, I haven't stopped, nor do I ever plan to stop crocheting.It's been my lifelong passion. It's just a part of me. But, I just want to do less, mainly for health reason. Spending too much time sitting isn't good for me in this stage of my life. It got me through some hard physical and mental times, but now I need to be more active.I might go back to some teaching in the future.

Mainly, it means I'm not taking any orders. I had decided that long before I was injured, so the decision isn't based on after I was hurt. Gotten to the point in my life were I just want to do the things I want to do, whenever I feel up to it (but not as much). It's never been a "I gotta make that money thing!" for me. I just enjoy what I do. It's not a visual advertisement for orders.

But I can relate to how other's may feel about it. They're just looking at it differently, from a 'business' point of view. That may be fine for some crocheters, it's just not me. Now, don't get me wrong, if someone wants to buy anything I've made, that's fine. but to sit and make duplicate copies of the same thing isn't for me.
Crocheting for me is a 'hobby', not a 'job'! If so, I wouldn't have a problem sitting here, day after day, night after night, crocheting, if my income depended on it (I know someone were it does). It's daunting task, but you do what you have to do!!

So, I decided, I'll first work with just the yarn that wasn't sold, and the unfinished projects I asked to save. Mobility has been a problem for me, since I don't drive, so in the past, whenever I got the chance and the funds, I'd stock up on lots of yarn, even though I may not have any immediate plans, having a variety of yarns, gives me a variety of choices. I'm not a 'one project at a time' kinda guy!

Relatives and friends say they would pick up yarn for me, but that suggestion doesn't work for me. I need to see and feel the yarn I want. And having some people who, although well meaning and with the best intentions,of course, don't have a clue about my craft, and/or aren't a 'creative' type person, make decisions for me. Plus, things are easier said than done (although well meaning and with the best intentions,of course!!) ;-) You usually have to wait until it's convenient for them to either pick it up or deliver it to you (most times, they'll just wait until you come by their house to give it to you) ...although well meaning and with the best intentions,of course!! ;-)


I finally got the word that I'm all healed up. OK, I might not be able to walk as I did before (some physical therapy might help), but,all in all, I'm OK.

Now, just need to get some diabetic shoes (they're not as bad as they used to be (ugly ass 'Earth' shoes!). , and I'll be hitting the streets looking for a small apt.

Living here with my oldest brother isn't bad, but I've lived by myself at my last apt for 30 yrs. Just used to living on my own.

And to think, I had one doctor tell me my feet were close to be amputated!!

BTW, I've gotten some responsives regarding my last blog. First, let me assure everyone that my frustration was mainly from not having any say in the matter, due to me being hospitalized and in a wheelchair. Making decisions by phone is not the same as being 'hands on'.I hadn't expected for all my work to sold in one day, but even though, as they say, "well, it's done now", it just 'stings' a little.

Second, I'm very appreciative of my family stepping to help me. It's just I'm very indfependent, and to have the rug kinda pulled out from me, and having peopole come into my place, move me out, without being there and having little time to make the best decisions, and having one brother tell me, " Yeah, and we thru out a lot of stuff, A WHOLE LOT OF STUFF!!".

It's been 3 months since my accident, a month in the hospital, a month in rehab, and a month living here, and I having seen anything from my apt. It's scattered around different family's homes and in one brother's storage unit. Having most of my days having been driven back and forth to the Hyperbaric Center, meeting with several nurses for home care, and going to doctor's appts, while being in a wheelchair, haven't much time to do anything of my own.

So, finally, things will start to change. Feels good to know you have some independence back. My goal is to have a place before Winter, if possible.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Think I Would of Lost my Mind

When my family moved me out of my apt, the women in my family (3 sister-in-laws and my sister) took all my crochet items and all my yarn to sort it all out. OK, I'll admit I have accumilated alot of both over the years, and to the everyday person who doesn't crochet, it would seem to be too much.

So, one of my sister-in-laws decided to sell everything at her church's upcoming FLEA MARKET!!! Well, being stuck in wheelchair, with no access to getting there (I think my sister, took charge of it all, didn't want me there), so I little choice in the matter, but I did have a say about keeping my unfinished projects!!)

Now, after they got the first dibs on anything there they wanted (my call), they went on to 'sell' everything else.

What they really did was practically 'give' my stuff away. They just treated my work like it belonged in a flea market!!! Selling thing at 3/4 it's worth, just to 'get rid' of it. They have little sense of the value and quality of my work,well, except for something THEY want!

But to be there at wach it all unfold, I would of lost my mind!!!!

Years of all my work, reduced to 'flea market' prices, and couldn't do anything about it.

I don't like flea markets!!I I't not the forum to sell handmade work.

Oh well,its done now, butI learned a couple of things...not to make so many things, try to sell them right away, just make things for myself, and most importantly,


Had a Nice Little Crochet Day

Well, after another 2 weeks back in the hospital, I'm currently in a rehab center (with mostly seniors, but it's not so bad.....won't be long before I'm one too!) Been here for about 3 weeks, but will have to leave soon due to my insurance. My family moved me out of my old apt (yeah, it was about time, been there for 30 years), because it wasn't safe for me since I'm in a wheelchair. But they haven't found a small apartment for me yet, in the meantime, I'll be staying with my oldest brother in his apt. So, while this is going on, back in the rehab, I have to daily morning physical therapy (lower body strengthning), and, daily occupational therapy (upper body strengthning) in the afternoon. Plus, I have to go to a hospital for my daily hyberbaric oxygen therapy. All things considered, it's not so bad. Well yesterday, because I mentioned that I crochet, and one of therapist does as well, I earlier had asked the therapist to bring some yarn so I could show her a new stitch (the diagonal shell stitch). As I was working along, other people showed interest, including my personal therapist, who knew how to crochet, but hadn't done it in awhile, and promised to bring in her hooks tomorrow. She also decided my crocheting will be apart of my therapy, to strengthen my fingers and for my hand/eye coorination. But my real joy of the day was when 2 of my local crochet friends, Karen Thompson, from Hooksations, and her friend/student Marva.I hadn't seen them since the summer so it nice to see them, even though they put me to work!!(Yeah, they know know that I don't mind. I was especially nice because they wanted to learn the same stitch as the therapist! They talked about their trip to the latest crochet convention, met a few crochet celebs, but generally had a good time. So, as they were leaving, they swore me to let them know where I'll end up living,and keep in touch. With friends like these, I definitely will.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Well, I did it this time!!!

Well, I did it this time!!!!

Over the years, being a type 2 diabetic, I've had to deal with numbness in both my hands & feet. It's worse with the feet, but bearable.
But every now and then, I get this shooting, sharp, needle type pain than hits irratically in one spot, in the same foot, for at least 12-18 hours.
It's been happening for a few years now, never in the same spot, or in the same foot. I've complained to my primary physican several times, having him look at me as some hypocondriac :-).
You know what I mean, when you never have the symptoms at the doctor office, right?
So, recently, I mentioned it again, but this time he suggested something (didn't say what it was, just that it would make me drowsy & nausous ( like that a lot of fun!).
He wanted me to wait after he looked over my bloodwork he had just taken, and would let me know by next week. That was on Wednesday....The pain flared up on late Friday night, continuing on to Sunday afternoon

At my wits end from no sleep, and trying not to use too much ibuprofren, in desperate need of relief, I went online to find some options. Typed in 'nerve pain', looked under 'symptom relief', where they listed some medications I never heard of, walking it off (well, there's Hurricane Irene right outside, so that's out of the question!), but lastly, they suggested to soak your feet.. OK,now that I can do.

So I get out my foot basin, started to turn on the hot tap water, but due to the Hurricane, my water heater pilot light must of flooded out. Living on the 2nd floor house apartment, I don't have access to the basement, and it wasn't worth getting the landlord to come over.

So instead, I heated up some water on the stove, thought I only heated it up until I saw steam rising, so I emptied it in the basin, along with some cold water, and took the basin to my bedroom. Tested it with my finger and my heel, but I guess the numbess underestimated how hot it actually was, beause I put my feet in. My feet never felt hot, and the nerve pain did slighty go away, so, after a few minutes, I pulled one foot out, and noticed some blisters, so I immediately removed both feet and realized that both feet were effected. I tried lightly to dry them off, but the skin started to break.
Still having no pain from the burn, I noticed my heels weren't burned as bad as the soles, so, I gently walked to the bathroom to get some large gauge pads, a couple of ace bandages, antibodotic cream, and gauge tape.I try to wrap my feet as best as I could.

Being that I don't drive, and would have to walk on them to least to go down steps, just to get to the front door. Keep in mind, there's stiil the hurricane,having the city to literly shut down. So, all I could was stay indoors, keep my feet elevated and try to get a little rest.
Although the rain form the hurricane didn't seemed as bad as they predicted, but we had very strong winds the next day, and the city was still under lock down, and with finally not having any foot pain at all.
I decided to just wait the day out, but called my oldest brother to see if he knew of anyone that had a pair of crutches, thinking I could use them to get out of the house to at least get to a car or van. He didn't know of anyone off hand, but he said he'd let me know.
I didn't want him to how bad my feet might actually be ( knowing his crazy behind, he would of tried to come over). But I guess with me not sounding like I'm any kind of pain, he thought it wasn't that bad.
I called him the next day, (he's not known for calling you back right away....always been like that, love him anyway ), and he remembered one of his daughters need them recently, so he picked them up, and brought them over that evening. Once he saw how bad it actually looked, suggested to go to the hospital, the next day.
Again, no big sign of pain, no immediate need to go , right?
Now it's Wednesday, we finally get there, and really get to see how badly burned my feet are....PRETTY BAD!!
But I kept saying to myself, at least I wasn't in any pain. That was sort of my monthra I used to keep things in prespective, stay calm, and think rationally.
I did experience the same throbbing pain that first lead me to all this madness, along with the cold shivers, a fever, and a severe headache. But with some pain pills they gave me (and a couple of my own), the leg pain and the headache went away, and my fever broke. Talk about being grateful!!
OK, I'm a 'wimp' when it comes to pain, avoid it at any cost.....I don't have a problem being, poked, pinched, even probed, but having to endure any pain, no thanks!!
So, Ive been told that some some unknown reason, my potassium level is really high, too high for the skin surgeons to work on my feet....hmmmm
What might of happen was my potassium level started to go up due to the scolding,and increased each day before I went to the emergency room.
Well, it's been nearly a week since I was admitted (08-31-11), and it looks like I'm gonna have to wait to have a skin graft a few more days than expected. But the good thing is that I've met a lot of fun nurses.
They make the days go by faster. One in particular is named Diana,a short, cute, small middle-age South Philly Italian, full of jest and life, always cracking jokes,and shows real concern for her patients.
One of the other nurses told her about seeing me crocheting, and we talked about her experiences, and found out she too, knows my friend Jane (Jane's Yarn Shoppe), by those damm loop stitch jackets.Speaking of crocheting, I tried to do some while lying here, but my fingers get numb, so it's a little awkward to crochet.
I was able to make a couple of diagonal squares for a afghan.
I really want to get on the Internet, but still no such luck here. There's no wifi, and I wished I had that wireless modem thingy, but it cost too much.
OK, it's 09-14-11, and I'm supposed to have the skin graft surgery (take some skin from my thighs to cover the affected areas arounfd the top of mt feet)today....we'll see!! ;-)
Went for the skin graft and found out that they didn'ty actually do it. They took the loose skin from my toes to cover the open wounds. Not sure about my soles, but I don't think they
There's a good chance that I'll be getting outta here today (09-16-11). Waiting for the surgeon to give me the OK, then talk to a home health care provider. It looks like I'll need to have my feet vacum sealed while I'm at home with a suction monitor attached to each foot for dranage.
I'll need to speak to some physical therapy workers, a home health care nurse, and a caseworker before they'll let me leave
I'm not quite sure if I'm be going home or to some healthcare facility. Either way, it'll be good to get out of here...
OK, OK, it's not like I lead a full, exciting life, let's face it, I really wasn't doing all that much anyway. Juist getting up, eating, getting on the computer, eating, watching soaps, doing some housework (if necessary!), eating, doing some crocheting while watching TV, then go to bed.
Exciting, huh?
Well, at least I got a chance to kinda reconnect with my brothers & sister(a double edge sword kinda thing). They all want me to move, and now they have a justified reason to nag me to death about it.
I always wanted to move, it's just as time went by my energy went too.
My biggest treat was when my ex boyfriend Mallory came up from Baltimore over the weekend, along with flowers (never gotten any before)
I'm a proud, self sufficent private person, who will only ask for help if I truly need it, and just feel a bit awkward to ask for help from people who I don't stay in contact with.
I don't have any local friends, so I'm left to do what I can with the hand I dealt for myself. I k now I've let things slide, allow problems with the apartment to be put off, and not to complain that much. I guess I got too settled and lazy.
I need a smaller place, like a a large efficency/studio apartment. I would like to move in to a small senior apartment, that has a laundry room on each floor.But I'm too young for any right now, so the only thing I can do is to put myself on a year or two waiting list.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Reflections of a Male Crocheter

I use to think I had something to offer in regards to crochet. I started out with the idea of helping improving and expanding the world of crocheters in my area who, in the past, were only doing the same things, year after year.

Ever since I learned to crochet in the 70's, I never wanted to just settle for the status quo....being a 'guy' doing what is normally a 'girls' craft, I tried to be better at the 'details' of crocheting than what I saw the average person was doing.

During the 80's, I really didn't do much crocheting, just a few things here and there, but I always crocheted alone.

By the end of 90's and with the introduction of the Internet, I began to notice a shift of interest in in crafting. Recovering from a bedridden illness, I decided to show my gratitude to 'life' by doing some volunteering (first time for me!). I just didn't want to do just any volunteering, but something more specialzed.

I was suggested to try going to senior centers, because seniors seemed to be the largest group of crocheters (at least here), and that with me being a 'younger male', would bring some new interest in a old craft.

Well, it did....and it was going OK for a few years.

I just think it ran it's course....

Thursday, June 30, 2011


I think I need to go back in the 'closet'...the 'crochet closet'...that is!!

After years of trying to open up and share my love for crocheting with others, I realized that it might be better to just go back to just enjoying it by myself, and only deal with people on the Internet.

Being the only male in a mostly female craft society here in Philly for more than 20 years has finally taken it's tole. Feeling like a salmon swimming upstream.

Years earlier, I had decided to be more 'open' was I had been ill and bedridden for a couple of years, feeling depressed. But once I began to feel better, both mentaly & physically, I thought, although up to then, I crocheted silently at home alone for years, I could share what I know to people that might appreciate it, like seniors.

I knew it might be a challenge, never formally having taught anyone in 20 years, as well as being a younger male, not only to prove myself to be taken seriously, but also dealing with all the gossip that it would generate among the groups of women.

(You know where I'm going with that,right?) ;-)

Tried to earn my 'wings' by starting off as a volunteer, building up my teaching & crocheting skills,confidence,credentials,and fan base.

For motivation, I thought back to my Mom, who always encouraged me to believe in taking pride in whatever you do, and strive to be the best at it. For being my 'business manager' when I first started to crochet. Not once did she discouraged me, or make me feel ashamed or embarressed for doing a'girlie' craft.

But, as time went by, I began to realized that I might have been 'too intense' for most people, who mainly get together for a more 'social' than 'learning' class.

I pride myself as more a 'teacher' than a 'instructor', 'learning something', more than just 'showing how to'.

Well,just cleared a space in the closet, getting my chair, hooks,yarn,something to drink, setting up the music, and shuting the door....


Friday, May 06, 2011

Crochet Designing for Men?

Recently, I was reading a discussion (more a comment), on the Ravelry group,'Professional Crochet Designers',about one's stance on crochet designing for's my take on the topic

I think it's a'cute' idea from time to time, but not really that practical.

For years (40), I've searched for men's crochet patterns, only to be dissapointed. The only patterns I've seen that I like are from Europe.

They tend to be more detailed, use thinner yarns (exception: bulky sweaters/jackets), but aren't as accessible here in the US. Here, we tend to use thicker yarns and larger hooks.

Although there's been a increase in men crocheting, women are still the majority that will buy yarn and crochet.

And if they're not that interested in both spending the time and money, let alone really find out if men actually will wear it, well, what's a designer to do.

More often, most male crocheters crochet for comfort than for style. If were different, not only would we see a lot more men's crochet wear patterns, but more people would actually make them.

I don't ever forsee that happening. Most crocheters tend to want something 'quick, cheap and easy'.

Remember, I said 'most' know who you are!! ;-)

Even if you come from the point of having patterns that are more detailed, use thinner yarns, with smaller hooks (which I've only seen in European patterns), it's just too time consuming and costly for the general public.

Remember, I said 'general public', not you personally, so don't go into 'defense mode, OK? ;-)

It's just 'eye candy' to most to show and talk about it, but not actually do it.

The best we can hope for, is continuing making crochet accessories for men, with a occasional sweater or vest here or there, just to keep women happy to have something they can make for us 'guys', so we don't feel left out.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I Finally Sold Something!!

I stopped in my old crochet class at the nearest senior center, to help the current instructor with a vest pattern that several students are making I did several years ago.

I also decided to bring a sweater/jacket for a plus size woman I designed to try it on (don't have a plus size mannequin).

Actually, it was a few months ago, when I stopped in the same class, and brought something else for one of the ladies to try. Usually, I make wearables to fit my women's large size mannequin. But one of the ladies smirked under her breath (but loud enough for me to hear), that "he don't make anything for us plus size women!!"

So I decided to shut her up!!

I saw a pattern that had sizes ranging from XS-3X that looked promising, but it was made with pieces that are sewn together.I wanted to make it differently, with less sewing.

So, when I brought it to the class, that same student was there, and I asked her to try it on.

SHE LOVED IT!!! And she wanted to buy it!!

So, I called her at home the next day to confirm the sale and asked if we could meet at either a different place, or a different day from the regular crochet class, so that we can do the transaction in private. She agreed.

So, we met on a designated day, and quietly did the transaction.

Funny thing though,she's also making the famous 'vest' too, and asked me to help her with it.

I was there for 2 hours!!

Saturday, April 09, 2011


Maybe it's just me.....

A few weeks ago, I was asked to help a lady who comes to a friend's LYS, to teach her how to do the entrelac crochet stitch in the round.

She doesn't get out much, and my friend will pick her up and spend the whole day with her. I've known her for years coming to the shop, and she's a nice lady.

So, I've gone to the yarn shop a couple of times, just asked her to either bring/buy lunch for my time.

Well, today I couldn't make it, so I called my friend who picks tyhe lady up, to let her know, and she tells me out that the lady wasn't going there anyway......

OK, is it me, or do I think that's a little strange??

I was taught it was just common courtesy to imform people that you're canceling a appointment, especially if that person's has to travel to meet you.

And not in a 'matter of fact' sort of way....a kind of 'my bad' attitude!!

So, if I hadn't of called, I would of went there for nothing (not that I don't enjoy spending time with my friend)!!

I just don't like feeling like I'm being taken for granted. That, as if I don't have anything else to do, and it's no big thing. But if I was to comment on it, I'm viewed as being too sensitive.

Maybe I'm just too nice, trying to be considerate in a non-considerate world.

Guess it's just the way of the world today.

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Last week, when I stopped by one of my old crochet classes that's near where I live, helping out the current insructor and a couple of her students on a vest pattern I had given to the class a few years ago.

Although I was only there for a short time, I promised to come back next week to continue to help.

So, today, I went, but this time, I dedcided to bring one of my sweater jackets I had made, hoping there would be a student there that was large enough to wear it so I could see it on a female body instead of the wall mannequin I have at home. Just a concept I wanted to try.

Also, it was made with a similar construction as the vest (worked from the shoulders down). It was just another example of working a pattern in a different direction.

Well, everybody ooh'd & aah'd, then here comes the next question...


That's always the next thing they say!!

As if I'm automatically supposed to supply them with a FREE pattern?

I told them it was something I just made up, so, they want me to write it out(and they still want it for free!!) :-0

Well, it'll be a long time before they see that pattern!! ;-)

I shouldn't be too surprised, it happens here online too!!! People try to dress it up by asking to 'share' a pattern (never exchanging with anything,and if they do, then's it's something free that got you can't get that yourself? like, DUN!)

They also think that by telling you some sad, violin playing, soap opera tale, that's about 2 paragraphs long, you'll take pity on them.

Come on people!!! That get's a little old, don't you think?

OK, don't get me wrong, I like free patterns too, but I know the difference between what's a 'free' pattern and one that someone paid for. So, if anything, I prefer to ask where they got the pattern, and if I can still get it, I'll at least try.

OK, OK, maybe it's just me.......I'll just have to remember not to bring anything with out a copy of the pattern....

They'll never change!!!...... :-(

Saturday, March 26, 2011

National Crochet Month...Part Two

OK, so National Crochet Month is just about over. What did you do this year?

Well, even though I pretty much written it off for previous years of lack of/no interest in my community, I did do a couple things:

I was invited to speak at a crochet friend's beginniner crochet class's last day of their Winter session.

I dropped of a stack of old copies of some knitting patterns to one of my former classes (the senior center that's closes to me and has more knitters than any of my other older classes). An of course, I got roped into helping a couple of students, even their new crochet instructor needed help understanding a couple patterns.

A another friend, who owns the only crochet-friendly LYS in the city

(Jane's Yarn Shoppe 1707 E.Passyunk Ave Phila, PA 215-438-8181)

asked me to teach one of her favorite longtime senior customers how to make a Entrelac Afghan. She doesn't get out much, so my friend picks her up on Saturdays, and they spend the day together, then takes her home. She's a nice, funny lady, so I don't mind (plus, she promise to bring me something homemade to eat...YUM!!!)

All in all, this year it wasn't so bad.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Crochet Class Visit

I recently was asked to speak to a good friend's last beginner's crochet class.

Just when I was about to gave up on celebrating National Crochet Month, with the lack of activity or interest showed in the past, my fiend invites me to speak to her class.

I have to say I really enjoyed myself.

Everybody was glad to see me, and some had heard about me and seen my work!

It was fun to talk, laugh and engage with the ladies (and the snacks weren't too shabby either!)

Maybe there's hope for the month after all!!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

National Crochet Month?....Really?

March is suppose to be National Crochet/Craft Month.....

Personally, It should just be called National 'Craft' Month, leave out 'Crochet', and just let it fall within the same category.

Every March I look to find out what's going on, what people are doing or planning to do, and each March it's always the same.....NOT A DAMM THING!!

Whenever I bring the topic up, most people look at me like I lost my damm mind,and have no clue of what I'm talking about.

Or, they'll ask ME what's going on, never knowing or doing anything themselves, waiting for someone else to tell them.

And if I get one more person to ask me about the 'Knit Out' (UGH!).... (btw, it's ALWAYS in September, people!!!), I'll scream!!!!

So if something's free, and they can get some 'free stuff', OK, they might be interested. Other than that....couldn't be bothered.

My understand is that this is a month dedicated to help promote handmade crafts, by learning new and diferent things, teaching and improving one's craft talents...

Or am I dreaming??? Or am I just being cynical?

You tell me....

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Why Do I Crochet?

OK, I promised myself to do more with this blog thing, so here goes....

Why Do I Crochet?
Well, first thing, it gives me a great feeling of accomplishment, of being creative, and having determination.

As a young teenager, I never really thought I was much good at any one thing. I was taught to believe in striving to be a 'Jack of all Trades, but a Master at One!!'

So, when I 'sold' my very first crochet item I made, that blew me away!!

Got me to thinking, 'OK, Kenny, maybe there's something to this crochet thing!!'

I've always been a kind of 'loner', so sitting down and crocheting by myself was great for me. I would get into a kind of 'zone', and shut the world out. It especially helps whenever I get sad or depressed.

I found that it's been the one constant in my inconsistant life.

I did have some issues with it during my early 20's, mainly because of people's perceptions and prejudices of what crochet is and that it's a 'woman's' thing.

So you know where I'm going, right? ;-) No need to say it, right?

I'm from a Black urban neighborhood, in a major city, lived here all my life, except for attending college in a very rural area, where I first learned to crochet.

So, what did I know? I was so happy that I was good at something, even to the pointy of trying my hand in even sewing (not a big fan!), and contemplating going to a Fashion school in NYC.

OK, so they didn't work,( a kid can dream, right?), but at least it began to open my creative side, which led me into photography, dance, and even some modeling (back when I had a 'good looking moment!, hee, hee!!)

But most my crocheting in the late 70's was done in private, very few people knew, sold things behind the scenes (my Mom was my business manager). By the 80's, I rarely crocheteed at all. Resided to the fact that 'resl men' didn't least not in public. Whenever I wore something crocheted, I usually tell people when asked, "who made that?", a female family member did. :-(

But in the early 90's, I got really sick and found myself bedridden, most of the time feeling sad and depressed.

So,after a while, I got tired of feeling sorry for myself, I began to pick up crocheting again. My goal was to try to make every adult in my immediate family a small afghan. At least it would be something to remember me by, should my health turned for the worst.

Well, I did make a afghan for most of my family, and as luck would have it, I started to feel better. Saw a episode of Oprah called 'Use Your Life". If there was something you enjoy, why not do something with it, using the power of positive thing...

So, I figured that this must be a sign.....BE GRATEFUL FOR THE GIFTS YOU HAVE!!

I decided to do more, The idea of teaching crochet came to mind, but Who?, Where?, How?

Well, back in college, I started a Sat morning class for a little while, and that seem not so bad, so why not not now?

I decided to try senior centers because the women were from a different generation, and might appreciate a 'young blood' showing in the same interests, and as long as I could prove myself that I, as a Black male, took crocheting seriously, and could back it up, I'd be accepted.

I did and I was...

So, in a nutshell, I crochet just because it gives me great joy, comfort, the ability to give and share, and make good long lasting friends.

And, if I don't like something, I can rip it out, and start all over again, or, just make something else! ;-)

Wish I could do some 'people' like that!!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

What to Crochet!!

It won't be long before Spring is here, and I'm trying to figure out what to make.

Don't know what's the latest trend that ladies would like, and you can forget about making anything for guys!(given up on that idea!)

Being a 4-ply kinda guy, the things most people want to make for the Spring/Summer are usually made with some kind of sport or fingering (UGH!) yarn.

I think I'll just do what I normally do, just make things ahead of time for the Fall/Winter.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Waffleweave Stitch Hat

This is my first hat of the new year!

Had made a scarf from a free pattern, and thought, why not make at matching hat?

Well, the thing is, I couldn't find the same color, so I just use a different one (now all I need is to get another skein to make a matching cowl).

Pattern available at: