Category Archives: A Day in the Life of a Traveling Writer

Crochet Book Giveaways, + Today in Review: 7/14/2015

So far, today has been a great day!

My Current Works-In-Progress Are:

In this photo collage, you can see two different examples of the Jardin Cowl, which is a crochet lace scarf pattern for girls aged 2-12. The example on the left is a finished cowl, which appears in the book "Imagical Seasons: Crochet Couture for Kids 2-12, Volume 1, Spring." The example on the right is a work-in-progress photo crocheted and photographed by Amy Solovay for KnittingandCrochet.net.

In this photo collage, you can see two different examples of the Jardin Cowl, which is a crochet lace scarf pattern for girls aged 2-12. The example on the left is a finished cowl, which appears in the book “Imagical Seasons: Crochet Couture for Kids 2-12, Volume 1, Spring.” The example on the right is a work-in-progress photo crocheted and photographed by Amy Solovay for KnittingandCrochet.net.

The “Messy Nessie Crochet Baby Bib”

I'm working on crocheting the "Messy Nessie Baby Bib Pattern" by Brenda K.B. Anderson, from an Interweave Press book called "Beastly Crochet". In this photo collage, you can see how the piece begins by working a charted design in either the tapestry crochet or intarsia technique.

I’m working on crocheting the “Messy Nessie Baby Bib Pattern” by Brenda K.B. Anderson, from an Interweave Press book called “Beastly Crochet”. In this photo, collage, you can see how the piece begins by working a charted design in either the tapestry crochet or intarsia technique.

When this crochet baby bib has been completed, it will look like a cute, imaginative, baby-friendly version of the loch ness monster. Right now, it’s a work in progress.

Today I Worked on…

  • …a couple of my works-in-progress, as pictured above.
  • …letting everyone know about Alla Koval’s new crochet pattern books plus the book giveaway that’s currently happening at KnittingandCrochet.net! (update: the giveaway has ended. Thanks to everyone who participated. I hope y’all had fun!)
  • …sending out a newsletter to my subscribers at KnittingandCrochet.net
  • …revisions for a freelance writing project I’ve been doing

Today I Ate…

  • Organic dates
  • Organic coconut
  • An organic omelet with leeks, chard, spinach, potatoes, and herbs
  • A gigantic fresh organic spinach tomato salad with herbs
  • Organic homemade tomato vegetable soup with sweet potatoes, leeks, and bunches of other herbs and veggies

Today’s Workout…

…was a long walk. We started off walking by the beach. It was a hot day, but there was a lovely breeze blowing, and the Mediterranean Sea was dotted with whitecaps from the wind.

Mike did his usual workout by the beach. While he was doing that, I walked up and down the stairs connecting the beach and the cliff several times.

I’m hugely pregnant at this point, and I’m finding that even walking slowly is getting to be a major exertion — let alone climbing stairs. But my midwife has advised me to take a walk every day, so I am walking. I also remember reading that climbing stairs helps get a baby’s head settled into mom’s pelvis. I definitely want to make sure my baby stays head down, and tired as I may be, this is a high priority.

From there we walked to the neighborhood grocery store to pick up a few things.

This wasn’t really a workout by my previous standards, but it was sufficient to tire me out. I’m not sure how much baby weight I’m carrying, but it’s probably in the range of 30-35 lbs — which for me is a massive weight gain. By the time we got back to the boat, I was thrilled to sit down and relax a bit.

May 25, 2015: New Crochet Book Reviews

Today is May, 25, 2015. I’m beginning my notes for this post at 9:55 am local time here in the Med, and it’s already uncomfortably hot and humid here in our sailboat. This sort of intense heat zaps my energy and sucks it right out of me, so I’m hoping today’s post won’t end up reading something like “Today I slept all day. The end!”

Speaking of sleeping: My kitties all got up at some stupid early hour this morning, and they were running around like wildcats. I was awakened by one of them taking a broad leap and landing on my head. I have scratch marks on my face to show for that. 🙁

Now the kitties are all sleeping like little black and white angels. Happiness = 4 adorable sleeping cats.

6:24 PM

I ended up being more productive than expected today. No sleeping for me — not even a little nap.

Today I Crocheted…

…a swatch of “zig-zag lozenge stitch”, from Sarah Hazell’s Crochet Stitch Dictionary.

Today I crocheted this swatch of ZigZag Lozenge Stitch  from Crochet Stitch Dictionary by Sarah Hazell.

Today I crocheted this swatch of ZigZag Lozenge Stitch from Crochet Stitch Dictionary by Sarah Hazell.

This is an intriguing stitch that I’m interested in trying again, next time in stripes of three different colors.

Today I Published…

The short version of these reviews: I love both these books, and highly recommend them. I invite you to check out the reviews if you’re curious about the details of why.

Thanks for dropping by! I really appreciate your interest.

XOXOXOXOXO

Amy

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at ArtsWithCrafts.com, KnittingandCrochet.net and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-3-2019.

May 24, 2015: Today in Review — Crocheting Baby Bibs and More

Today is May 24, 2015 — time to dust off my blog and get back to posting after another long, unintended absence. I’ve been busy doing a bunch of freelance writing, which means I’ve been updating zillions of other peoples’ blogs — just not this one. I also hadn’t been crafting much until Monday, when I finally started a new crochet project. I have been meaning to get busy with making baby projects for months now, but squeezing in the time to do it has been a problem.

My Current Work-In-Progress Is…

…the “Messy Nessie Baby Bib” from Beastly Crochet. This is a surprising turn of events, as I don’t work from other designers’ patterns all that often — plus the pattern isn’t really my style.

This decision came about because I happen to have both the pattern and appropriate yarn on hand, which is a minor miracle. At the moment I have to work from stash, and this was the most workable combination of baby bib pattern and yarn I was able to put together with what I have aboard our boat at the moment.

I’d rather be making Robyn Chachula’s “burp cloth bib” from Baby Blueprint Crochet. However, my copy of that pattern book is in storage in California, and I am in the Mediterranean, so that’s not an option.

Oh well, I think it’s fun to wander out of my comfort zone every once in awhile. As far as baby bibs go, the kid will likely be spilling food all over it. So really, on a scale of things to worry about, the design of one bib is not a biggie.

RE “the kid” — here’s some big news for you. I have a little one on the way! And so this project is earmarked just for him / her (not sure which, as we are waiting to be surprised about whether our little darling is a son or a daughter.)

Today I Worked on:

Today I Ate:

  • 2 Fresh organic grapefruits — 1 sprinkled with coconut, which I love, but we ran out of it and so I didn’t get to put any on the second one I had a little later. Booo! 🙁
  • Organic / free range egg and veggie wraps with fresh, homemade, made-from-scratch bread that is something of a cross between a tortilla and a pita.
  • A gigantic fresh organic salad that was herbed beyond all reasonable levels of flavorful. I asked Mike to stuff my usual bowl full of cucumbers, tomatoes and salad veggies with loads of additional fresh basil, turmeric, garlic and other herbs in an attempt to increase my mineral and nutrient consumption. He complied and I dutifully ate it all, but my taste buds were in shock.
  • Fresh organic pasta with tomato sauce that Mike made by hand, from scratch, using spelt flour. Do the words “unbelievably, amazingly yummy” mean anything to you? The man is spoiling me.

Today’s Workout

…wasn’t actually a workout. Does a leisurely moonlit stroll by the beach count? No? OK, just checking, but I didn’t think so.

I’m still trying to keep active, but the workouts I was doing before are out of the question at the moment. Before my pregnancy, I was doing a lot of lifting-my-own-body-weight type exercises. The more baby weight I gain, the less I feel like doing those. I’m keeping up with my walking (more or less — my speed has slowed a lot) and doing gentle stretching, but tonight, for me, a walk was enough.

This page was last updated on 6-26-2019.

Back From a Long, Unanticipated Blog Hiatus

So, I’m dusting off this blog and trying again with daily blog posts. I stalled out on doing that for a few months, because I’ve been staying at a marina with unreliable Internet access. I haven’t been able to get online until just a few days ago. It has been so frustrating!

In the past, when I used to blog for a corprorate crochet website, I was able to maintain daily blog posts for a couple of years running. However, since I knew I had unreliable Internet access, I used to schedule the posts ahead of time. I’d usually blog about a month ahead. I’m realizing that’s doable in my particular situation, whereas “Today in Review” style blog posts are not necessarily sustainable for my particular situation. At least, not on a daily basis. Bummer! Because I really like doing them. I’m thinking it over and pondering where to go from here.

I do know this: I’m at the mercy of both the local Internet antenna and the network, which are susceptible to going down for a number of reasons. The network seems to go down a few times a day for no apparent reason, and then the antenna often goes down for longer stretches of time — particularly when it rains or gets wet. It was the same when we were cruising in southern and central California; in Two Harbors, California, on Catalina Island, the Internet tower would go down every time it rained — typically every weekend during the rainy season. They wouldn’t usually fix it until sometime Monday morning or afternoon, which would cause me much anxiety and stress if I hadn’t already scheduled my weekly newsletter to go out. I learned quickly: work ahead. Work far, far ahead.

I’m not sure I want this blog to consistently include bunches of scheduled posts, just for the sake of maintaining a daily blog. That doesn’t make much sense. So I still have some thinking to do about whether to just pick up with what I was doing, or try a different approach.

I did use the down time to begin working on a crochet book, and the book is now nearly finished. I’ll be posting more about that soon. Update 7-9-2019 I decided to scrap the book and post all those patterns for free instead of trying to sell them. But I did resume working on the crochet stitch dictionary I started before I gave birth to my daughter.

Also in the works, for those of you who are crochet fans, I am putting the finishing touches on an interview with Sharon Silverman. I’m hoping that will go live later this week at KnittingandCrochet.net. Update: You can now find 2 interviews with Sharon at my website: Interview #1 with Sharon Silverman covers Tunisian crochet shawls, Tunisian crochet tips and more interesting stuff about Tunisian crochet. Interview #2 with Sharon Silverman covers crochet cowls, fashion tips and more.

I’ve also been caring for a disabled cat, in addition to all the other cats I already help to take care of. Poor little baby. I’ll post more about that soon, too.

Well, hopefully I’ll be posting about those things soon. We’ll see how that goes. I’ll be posting soon if all goes according to plan.

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at KnittingandCrochet.net , ArtsWithCrafts.com and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-9-2019.

September 29, 2014: Today in Review — Blogging, Internet Advertising

Today I Worked on…

  • …a bunch of crafts blog posts that are scheduled to post during the holiday season
  • …trying to understand online advertising better; reading what a bunch of successful bloggers and website owners have to say about it, and their recommendations for various ad networks

Today’s Workout…

…was kind of hurried, but at least I got out there. I did:

  • A warm-up consisting of various stretches, head rolls, etc.
  • 50 situps
  • 10 ab crunches
  • Various machines at the free gym — these are machines where the workout comes from lifting your own body weight. 15 biceps, 15 triceps, 25 delts / triceps, 40 legs.
  • There was more, but that was most of the workout.

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at KnittingandCrochet.net , ArtsWithCrafts.com and Crochet-Books.com. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-9-2019.

September 28, 2014: Thanksgiving Craft Projects / Today in Review

Today I Published:

Today I Worked on:

  • A few holiday blog posts that are scheduled for later this year.
  • This page of free napkin ring instructions at ArtsWithCrafts.com. I had already published the page a couple of days ago, but I just added several new pictures and links to the page. If you don’t already own a set of pretty napkin rings to go with your holiday table settings, now would be a great time to get started making some. You have time (but not too much time) to get ’em finished before the holidays arrive.
  • …a ghostwritten article for someone else’s website.

Today the boat was rocking like crazy all day, making it trés difficile to get anything done. 🙁 And it’s still rocking…

This page was last updated on 6-26-2019.

September 26, 2014: Napkins and Napkin Rings / Today in Review

Today I Made…

…a cloth tea napkin. It isn’t finished yet; I still have to add an edging. Then I have to complete the set. Thus there will be more napkin-making in my future soon. Maybe. Hopefully. I’ve been known to make one napkin at a time, and then not finish a complete set, and so I have a bunch of oddball napkins hanging around. This time I’m hoping to get an entire set done, but we’ll see how that goes.

Today I Published…

Today I Worked on…

…updating my crochet pages at this website; I added a few things to a couple of pages:

If it seems like I got a lot done today, that’s because I stayed up all night working. I am exhausted now.

Today I Ate…

  • Organic homemade energy bars made from dates and seeds
  • Organic vegetable soup
  • Organic grapefruit
  • Organic mango

(So far.) Wondering what’s for dinner tonight.

A cat broke the pressure cooker lid this morning by knocking the whole thing on the floor. This might not seem like a big deal to you landlubbers out there, but it’s the only pot we have aboard our sailboat at the moment. Losing its pressure-cooking capabilities = total bummer. 🙁

Today’s Workout…

…hasn’t happened yet. I’m hopeful that it will, but it’s a little up in the air at this point.

This page was last updated on 6-26-2019.

September 22, 2014: Journaling, Blogging, New Christmas Crochet Project + Today in Review

I used to journal every day. I started sometime when I was in junior high, although my earliest journals have not survived (because I shredded them at some point when I was in high school.) When I was in college, I got too busy for daily journaling, so it morphed into once-a-week journaling. Then I stopped journaling when Mike and I moved in together and other things took priority.

I miss journaling. While I would love to go back to it, I’m still finding that I can’t make it a top priority. If I were to devote the same amount of time to journaling that I used to, something else that’s more important would suffer.

Blogging isn’t quite the same as journaling, but I’m thinking perhaps it could be productive and motivating for me to start posting “today in review” style blog posts. Motivating, because if I know that I have to share my accomplishments at the end of every day, it means that I will have to accomplish something worth sharing — something better and more shareable than “snuggled with the cats in bed all day.”

I’m going to give this a try. Can I keep it up? I don’t know. Will I always have something worth sharing? I hope so, but again, I really don’t know. Let’s see how it goes.

Today I Made…

this crocheted wreath ornament. The free crochet pattern is available at KnittingandCrochet.net.

If you celebrate Christmas, perhaps you'd enjoy crocheting this cute little lace wreath ornament. The free crochet pattern is available online.

If you celebrate Christmas, perhaps you’d enjoy crocheting this cute little lace wreath ornament. The free crochet pattern is available online.

Today I Worked on…

…this list of Christmas patterns to knit and crochet

Today I Saw…

…two young foxes playing together and chasing each other. They hopped up onto a fence and were running gracefully along; being atop the fence was not an issue for them at all. They were perfectly balanced. I had no idea foxes were so nimble. They were amazing.

Today’s Workout

  • The usual warmup
  • 7 different types of kicks — 15 of each, on each side
  • 30 scissor kicks on each side
  • 30 straight-leg situps with toes pointed. 10 more with toes flexed.
  • 10 ab crunches
  • Various machines at the free gym — these are machines where the workout comes from lifting your own body weight. 20 biceps, 10 triceps, 10 delts / triceps, 25 legs.
  • There was more, but that was most of it.

Scrapbooking Layout: Brian Head, Utah. Supplies by Reminisce.

My husband and his friends are really into mountain biking. This past August, we took a trip to Brian Head, Utah, so they could ride in a race that was taking place there. I actually took my bike along for the trip too. It was so much fun, even though I fell off my bike a bunch of times and got totally scraped, bruised and sunburned.

Normally when I go on these trips I take a camera, but not a bike. These guys are really experienced riders, and I am not. I do enjoy riding the trails with my husband, but it’s not as much fun for me when he gets together with a bunch of hardcore riders and they decide to ride down really insane terrain. To that, I say, “No thanks!”


I usually have more fun taking photos of them than I would have if I were attempting to ride with them. I took quite a few photos on this Utah trip~ almost 1,000 photos all together. No, I am not going to scrapbook them all. 😉 But I am picking out all my favorites to print and scrap.

It was sooooooooooooo beautiful up there in the mountains, and it was hard to take a bad picture up there. Everywhere I looked, there was gorgeous scenery. Pretty incredible! Utah is just spectacular.

The rider pictured in this scrapbook layout is my husband. For his cycling layouts, I try to keep it simple- definitely no paper lace, ribbons, or Prima Flowers. The truth is that my husband would rather just have his photos stuck in albums. He does humor me with my scrapbooking, but I try not to press my luck and go too crazy with embellishing his bike photos. 😉


Interestingly enough, I’ve found that he seems to like the layouts I’ve been doing lately with Reminisce’s Great outdoors line. The papers are really ideal for this kind of layout — much better suited than the few-and-far-between bike-themed papers that I’ve seen. I do dream about the day when someone will release a downhill mountain biking themed collection, but until then the Great Outdoors line is the next best thing.

Supplies Used To Create This Scrapbooking Layout:

  • Camping Alphabet Stickers: by Reminisce, from the Great Outdoors Collection
  • Wilderness Map / Trail Map patterned paper: by Reminisce, also from the Great Outdoors Collection
  • The Great Outdoors Journal Stickers by Reminisce
  • The strip of Camouflage patterned paper is by K & Co.
  • Black Sharpie Marker
  • Gray Cardstock
  • Fiskars Paper Edgers — I think this design is called “Mountains”. It seemed appropriate. This particular design is now hard to find, but you could substitute either a pair of pinking shears or a different pair of paper edgers. There are a zillion of ’em. If you are doing a “guy” layout like this one, it’s a good idea to avoid the ones that are too froofroo, but you have quite a few choices available.