It has been far too long since my last post, my friends. I have sadly been neglecting this blog for the past couple of years, and I have come to the realization that I can no longer make any promises when it comes to writing. Or designing. And, while it’s been ages since my last published design, I have continued to design, but haven’t released anything to the public. It has been a rough couple of years, but things are beginning to look up. My focus has gotten somewhat better on where I want my life to go, which is what I’ve been needing.

Anyway, I just hope you all can bear with me as I have some random posts here and there. Things I’ve been intending to write about, but haven’t, book reviews, as well as just things that have been going on in my world. I also plan to add links to more patterns once I finish them and have them tested, so fear not, fellow crocheters! More patterns are on their way!

So, in closing, I will say this:



I was reading some of my old posts, and I realized something: I’ve never told you about my Canadian Production Wheel, Eugenie.


This is what she looked like when I first received her. I had won her on an eBay auction last May, and a fellow Raveller was traveling down to Georgia and South Carolina within the week after the end of the auction and she offered to pick her up. So, khyricat picked up my wheel from the Atlanta area and drove her all the way to Ohio, where she met up with mirranda2. Mirranda2 drove out to Granville about a month later, where we met up one day in early or mid-June. A couple of hours later, I had her back home in Worthington and this is her first picture. As I examined her, I noticed several things, such as a lot of grime, white spots all over the spinner’s side, and the shellac had alligatored on the same side–I suspect that for years, she had been used as a decoration, perhaps either sitting in front of a large window, or perhaps even in front of a fireplace.


As you can see from her hub and uprights, she was pretty grimy. I seriously do not want to know what the grime was!


The inside of her rim, and one of the spokes, with a glimpse of the dirty table.


At first, I thought the white spots had been mold, but upon careful cleaning and inspection, it turned out to be white paint spatters. As I shared this pic on Ravelry, it was suggested that I call her “Polluck”. (I’m glad I didn’t 🙂 ). As you can see, the cast iron fitting in the upper right needed a good seasoning.


The wing nut is unusual in that instead of looking like it has a chicken head (as many CPWs do), it looks more like a turkey, and there is a capital letter B on its “tail”.


Her flyer, which is original to the day she was made.


Her cast iron treadle, which also needed a good seasoning. The cross bar, that goes at an angle from the pivot bar and attaches to the treadle and the footman, has faint traces of really old paint. You can’t really tell from the photo above, but in sunlight I can make out “187-“. The fourth number has been obliterated with time.

I gave her a bath with Murphy’s oil soap, and the water was a really disgusting black when I dumped it out. Since it was raining that day, and she had just had a bath, I let her rest in the garage for a couple days until I could get back to her again.

Finally, on a free, dry, and gorgeous day, I was able to get started on the mother-of-all (MOA). I bought some denatured alcohol, some terrycloth rags, and some chemical-resistant gloves. After lots and lots of rubbing and scrubbing, this is what I ended up with:


Ain’t it purty? And I absolutely fell in love with the wood grain that just popped out from under all that nasty shellac.

From then on, I gradually reamalgamated the shellac on most of the entire thing. After about 2-3 weeks, I was satisfied with the reamalgamation, but the denatured alcohol really dried out her wood. So, I made a trip to Whole Foods and picked up a quart of walnut oil. Using another terrycloth rag, I began rubbing the oil into the wood. I think I gave her about 5 coats of oil before she stopped drinking it in. So, here she is, below, after a fresh coat of oil:


Isn’t she pretty? I just love the tiger maple spokes, table, legs, and MOA. I have no idea what the wheel rim is made of, but it sure is gorgeous.

She is such a dream to spin with, and I’m sorry to say she’s been a tad neglected lately; I need to give her another coat of walnut oil since my new residence is so dry in the wintertime, and I really need to spend some time spinning with her.

Anyway, I just wanted to share a little bit about her. There’s just something about antique spinning wheels that just call to me, and I’m glad she found me. 🙂


A friend and I were talking tonight. The subject of emotionally moving beyond the past came up, and along with it my impending dissolution. I had stated that many people in my life–friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances–have asked why I am not far more emotional about it, why I’m not kicking and screaming about everything. Why I’m not trying to “get more” out of my ex. The truth? I have no desire to, and the reason is not what you might expect.

About a year ago, I felt I had pretty much emotionally hit rock bottom. Somewhere, in my mind, I knew that I had to claw my way out of whatever hole I’d sunk into, but also that I couldn’t do it alone. One night, before I went to bed–perhaps I was already in bed, I can’t remember–I began to pray. I prayed that God would help me through everything I was going through, because I couldn’t do it by myself any longer. I also prayed that He would help me forgive my soon-to-be-ex in the same way He has forgiven me. I fell asleep, troubled, but I do remember that I fell into a deeper sleep than I had in quite some time.

Next morning, I awoke refreshed, renewed, and light of heart. While the sun was not shining outside, I felt inside as if it were. I thought about my circumstances, and I was no longer angry. Did I still hurt? Sure, but I was no longer angry about it. Until that point, my husband and I had a tenuous relationship–snapping at each other, fighting for no reason other than the toilet paper roll needed replacing. This day, however, felt different; I felt different. I went through my day, and he eventually came home. I remember standing in the bedroom, and telling him I needed to talk to him. His countenance became irritated, and his body language was telling me he was on the defense. He made a remark–not a very nice one, as we had sadly fallen into that habit–and I brushed it off. I said that it was something important. He just stood there, as if waiting for the other shoe to drop.

“I forgive you,” I said. He still stood there. “I know I haven’t been perfect, either, but I just wanted to let you know that I forgive you.”

“You forgive me?” he asked. “Why?”

“Because God forgave me,” I told him. “Who am I to be so angry with you, when Jesus died for my sins and He forgave me? It doesn’t make sense.” He didn’t say anything, but just looked at me. I shrugged. “So, I forgive you. That’s what was so important to say.”

He was quiet a moment. “Okay,” he said. “Thank you.”

I simply smiled and walked away.

Have we fought since? Yes. I mean, who am I kidding? I have forgiven him, but that doesn’t mean that we both still do things that get under each other’s skin. The anger just doesn’t last as long as it used to. And the more time that passes, the less angry I am. I’m able to see things more objectively, and arguments are not as common as they once were. Are we still seeking dissolution? You bet. But I have peace.


I didn’t wish to add this in the previous post. I have decided that in light of all the changes within the past year, it would be most appropriate to change the name and headline of my blog. More details will follow soon, as I must needs consider where I would like to take this blog so that all of you will be able to find me. For one, I am no longer homeschooling; Munchkin now attends a great public elementary school, and Bug comes to the daycare with me. For another, I really would like to discuss more of the fiber arts in this medium, to share testing announcements, pattern releases, yarny eye-candy, spinning successes and failures. So, next time you see me, I’ll be sharing some of my brainstorming and testing it out on all of you. 🙂


In Which I’ve Failed in My Resolutions Thus Far…

I am fully aware that I have thus far failed to complete or even begin any of my resolutions. I had resolved to write at least once per week here, and it just didn’t happen. I could come up with any number of excuses, but, well, I won’t attempt to bother you all with mundane details.

I will, however, update you on what has been happening in my life crochet-wise. Soon, really soon, I will be releasing the first pattern in a series of Steampunk-inspired accessories. Yes, I know, smaller accessories are a tad different from what I’m known for, but hey! At least I’m expanding my horizons a bit and trying to reach a bit of a larger audience. And if they are not well-received, then we know I should and shall stick to what I know.

Once I get my grubby little hands on a camera (need to borrow/purchase one), I’m going to attempt a photo-shoot of my latest out-of-testing design which I call “Oxidation”. You are simply going to have to trust my description on this for the time being until I can post an update with photos. It is sized for either men or women (the men’s, of course, being the larger of the two), and is a loose cowl with a separately-worked crocheted ascot. My sample cowl has been made with Malabrigo Arroyo in “Pocion” (seen here) and the accompanying ascot was worked with Malabrigo Sock in “Marte” (seen here). The effect I am attempting to go for is metals that have been compromised: the Pocion as corroded silver or even copper, whereas the Marte is seen as ferrus-oxide–aka, rust.

In my notebook, I have begun the idea for a matching pair of mitts to go with the Oxidation Cowl. How they’ll be implemented I have no idea, but I’m working on it. 🙂

For the upscale ladies, I have also been getting ready a ladies’ neckwarmer called “Feminine Pande735818_10200344461441914_546933727_o(1)monium”. My sample is made with Malabrigo Arroyo in “Archangel”, and a coordinating ribbon used to tie it closed around the neck. This pattern is so easy, a beginner crocheter could complete it in a matter of a couple days, and an intermediate to advanced crocheter could make it in a matter of hours. This pattern is to begin testing next week, and will be available to the public in a couple weeks to help celebrate my birthday. 😀 Yay! And yes, I am also writing up some matching mitts in laceweight to go with it, as any self-respecting lady would never appear in public with bare hands. Feminine Pandemonium and mitts (yet to be named) will also be included in my Steampunk line.

I also have a couple shawls in the works. More about these will be announced as time goes on, as these are to be parts of a series of shawls based on a theme to be announced upon the release of the first pattern.

My main goal this year is to head up another mystery crochet-along. I have no timeline for this as of yet because I’m still working on getting my life together–mayhap I’ll do a mystery CAL to release one of the aforementioned shawls, but this will be a paid-for CAL as opposed to free in the past. I have researched and read several posts on Ravelry, and I have decided this will be the best course of action at this time. I will still be available to answer questions at my earliest convenience–most likely within 24 hours–and I am working on new layouts for the .pdfs, so they’ll look far more professional (ha! We’ll see 😉 ).

Anyway, this is all I have for the time being. I have promised myself that this year, 2013, is going to be MY year. I’m claiming it. It’s going to be fun, perhaps fast-paced (as evidenced by my design journal/calendar/whatever), and I hope to take you all along for the ride.

Blessings to all!

2013 is going to be the best yet for me. :)

That’s it. I’ve determined that after 2012 has gone bust, 2013 is going to be my best year ever. 😀 Without going into a lot of detail, it’s been quite a rough year, my dear friends. It was a crazy, roller coaster year, complete with lots of ups and downs, twists and turns, and loads of loop-de-loops. Ugh. I’m tired. NO MORE DRAMA!

So, 2013, I hope you have my back, because here are my resolutions:

  1. Lose weight and get into shape. This is a must for me. I tried last year, and was making some progress until I contracted PARA-pertussis mid-July. This made me lose 10 weeks of my time and all progress I had made. This coming year? Better not happen.
  2. I’m going to really take the time and focus on my designs. I purchased a calendar and mapped out my first 4 months with tentative plans for getting things moving, as far as working on patterns, testing them, and, ultimately, releasing them. I aim to publish, at minimum, 2 e-books this year. Wish me luck.
  3. Purchase a Wii. Now, it’s not what it seems–yes, I do enjoy playing video games as much as most anyone else, butI have restrictions that I’ve set in place: Any games that are played in this house will be active. Wii Fit/Fit Plus. EA Active. Just Dance and any of its sequels. You get the idea. I have a feeling this winter is going to be a bad one, and I know myself: I won’t leave the house if I durn well don’t have to, especially if it’s freezing outside, and even if there’s a gym nearby. I also don’t want my girls to become what I call video zombies; anything they play needs to be played standing up and moving. Ahem.
  4. I’m going to become a lot more active within my church this year. I’m already one of the Children’s Church teachers, and I’ve spearheaded the prayer shawl ministry there. This past year, though, the shawl ministry has fallen greatly to the wayside because a) my heart wasn’t in it; b) there was a lot going on in my life; c) I became very sick (as was posted above) for a long time and didn’t want to contaminate anything I touched. This year? My goal is to complete at least 1 shawl every other month for it. This is my challenge to you, dear readers: If you knit or crochet, please try to make at least one prayer shawl this year and give it to your local prayer/comfort shawl organization. If you neither knit nor crochet, but shop at 2nd-hand shops, be on the lookout for cast-off knit or crocheted shawls. In the past 18 months alone, I’ve rescued 5, of which only 3 could be donated (the other two I’m writing up reverse-engineered patterns so others can enjoy them; one was in pretty rough shape and I kept it for my girls to play dress-up with, and the other had name labels in that were ironed onto acryllic yarn, making a big mess of the corners of what was otherwise a lovely shawl).
  5. No more pop/soda (whatever you’d like to call it! :D). Tonight, I’m going to enjoy my last bit of Cherry Coca-Cola for a while, because I know it’s one of the main reasons I’m struggling at the moment with my weight. Ahem.
  6. I’M GOING TO WRITE MORE! There. I said it. I’m going to write a lot more here on my little corner of the ‘net and attempt to make my mark. I have so many ideas I’d like to share with you, and I’m wondering if this is why 2012 has stunk in part (I haven’t written since April!) because I hadn’t the heart to write, but I should’ve done it anyway.

So, that’s what up at the moment. I hope you all had a far better 2012 than I did, and that your holiday season has gone quite smoothly. I also pray that you all have a wonderful New Year, and please be safe tonight!

God bless!


Mystery Laceweight Shawl CAL 2012 Canceled. :(

It is with great regret that I have canceled this year’s CAL. With the divorce coming up, and having to seek full-time employment, as well as several other projects and things taking over my life, I sadly do not have time to monitor a CAL here or on Ravelry. I will still release the pattern I had planned, but it will be open-format and released all at once so that there will be photos permitted, making spoilers unnecessary. I will release the pattern soon, and I will give updates as to when. 🙂


Gregory has a message for all of you…

After waking from a mid-winter’s nap,

Gregory napping

Gregory awake and at attention

he sat up, stretched, and yawned, then he realized when it was in the calendar.

“Yay!” he exclaimed. “It’s almost time! I get to model again! Please, Tracey? Pleasepleaseplease may I model your new shawl designs again?”

“Of course,” I answered. Besides, who can resist that face?

29 days after tomorrow…

New Pattern Coming Soon!

In just a little over 2 weeks, a new pattern is going to be released in my Ravelry store! Yay! I call it, “Little Red”.

Little Red, Front View

(Please ignore my paleness…I was so excited to have it finished, I forgot to put on some makeup to make the picture look better. 🙂 )

Little Red, side view

“Little Red” is a bulky-weight crocheted hood that only takes a couple hours to work up. It is currently in the testing stage, and will be made available in my Ravelry shop on 2/10/2012. The pattern requires 240 yds. of bulky-weight yarn and an 8 mm hook (size L), and there are suggestions for closures such as the braided ties as pictured, a scarf tie, as well as a button, frog, hook, shawl pin, or ribbon. I will be listing this pattern for $4 in a .pdf download.


(Pssst! Only 5 more weeks until the Mystery Shawl CAL 2012!! Are you as excited as I am? 😀 )

It’s Almost That Time of Year Again!!

Yes, you all know what I’m talking about, right? You know, it’s your favorite time of year. You get to try something new, wield a stick, read some magic words, and presto! You have a new finished object. Still not with me? *sigh* In just a few weeks, hosted here on Homegrown and Homespun will be the FIFTH annual CLF Mystery Laceweight Shawl CAL!! In exactly 6 weeks from today, the Mystery Laceweight Shawl CAL will begin with Clue 1. Each Thursday from then until April will be a new clue, perhaps some photos to assist with techniques–this is because I am introducing something a little new–plus lots of discussion on Ravelry in the TraMari Designs Fan Club. I will add links in the pattern so that Ravelry members may check in their progress, ask questions, chime in on the discussions, and generally just have a great time.

Please allow me to tell you a little more about the pattern:

It will be Faroese in shape and incorporating an experimental lace concept I am working on. It is also a recipe, which means no two shawls will be exactly the same, and you are encouraged to individualize your shawl. This particular pattern will be easily converted to most weights of yarn; I am currently working up two, myself: one in laceweight, the other in an heavier Aran weight (Bernat Super Saver–the label says it’s worsted, but it’s bulkier than that).

Getting excited, yet? Great! 😀 You’ll need around 1200-1500 yds of laceweight (give or take, depending upon the size shawl you want), and I’m currently trying to figure out how much of the Aran weight one will need. For your hook, if working in laceweight, make sure you use about 4.25-4.5mm (depending on your brand). If using Aran weight, try an N hook (apologies, I cannot remember at this time the metric size; I will edit once I find it! 😀 ).

This is all I can say about the pattern for now. On to the next!

I have also decided within the past couple months to change my freelance business name. It’s a good thing, too, because the old one was never registered, and this one befits things better. It seems that Trinkets by Tracey made me think of craft shows, and, while I’ve nothing against them (in fact, I rather enjoy attending them! 🙂 ), I don’t actively sell any products there. Instead, I’d rather design the pattern and allow others to make items from those patterns to sell. 😀 (Yes, I’m a little lazy that way, I confess.) So, I’m changing over to TraMari Designs. I like the sound of it a lot better, and I think it’s going to get a lot better reception in the long run. Besides, if I am making a lot of changes in my life in just the next few months, I may as well do this, too, no?

Something else that’s new! I’m going to be focusing on a Ravelry shop in the near future! Yay! FINALLY! With the shawl patterns I’m working on, I’ll be making them available for sale on Ravelry, with pre-order discounts and the like. 😀 I am in the hopes that I can begin learning to chart my previous patterns of Ostrich Feather Fandango (a LOT of you have been waiting on that one!), Aleatha–which will also be re-worked in the same bundle for Faroese shaping (wouldn’t that be lovely? :D), and perhaps future patterns. Any of these particular patterns will be placed up for sale on Ravelry, with the original patterns (no charts, maybe typos, perhaps a mistake that hasn’t been caught) still up on my blog pages. Before everyone begins protesting, I understand everyone loves the free stuff, BUT if I’m going to put in many hours of writing up the pattern from conception to fruition, as well as charting it out or paying someone to do so, I would also like to be paid for my hard work. I know of very few people who work hard at their regular jobs who do not expect to be paid, and with all the editing, testing, tech support, MATH (and lots of it!), and the like, one simple shawl pattern like Aleatha took me upwards of 50 hours from conception to now. And this goes for all designers, not just me. 🙂 So, that is why I’ve decided to focus on my Rav store.

Well, dearest Readers, I am going to end this post so I may focus on some exciting new projects that I hope to entice you with in the upcoming months!

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Scott Adams