Monday, September 7, 2015

The 3 Most Important Movies I Have Seen in the Last Couple of Years

The people in my life know what level of respect and feeling I have for America's Warriors.

I am in awe of them, and I respect and thank them for choosing to protect and defend to their very lives.
I can actually "see things" in my subconscious when I am near certain friends who have served in some of the most important theaters on different continents and in different decades.

If you haven't yet, I encourage you to see all of these movies. Not necessarily in a movie marathon or something. 

It will be powerful. And thought provoking. And important.

1.  Acts of Valor

      Utilizing Active US Navy SEALs to play the role of, well, US Navy SEALs; Acts of Valor had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Holding my breath, and FEELING the tension and almost feeling like I was there with them. The realistic manor in which this was filmed heightened the powerful emotions, and I cried openly at the depth of the seriousness and intensity. I cried because this was real. I cried because these are real people risking their lives. These are real people that do a job that is so challenging, and requires such difficult decisions, that the scenario had to be TONED DOWN for the big screen! This is not a fictional story filled the with faces of well known Hollywood handsomes. There are no cleverly written lines. This is important for people to see and understand and know. This is REAL. We saw this in the theater when it first came out. The theater was still and silent as it ended, and we all just sat there quietly watching as photos and video clips of the real soldiers' lives flashed before our eyes, and until all the credits had passed. Not a dry eye to be found.

2. American Sniper

     Most of us have now come to recognize the story of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. The Warrior who served several tours in Afghanistan and hallowed for his hyper marksmanship, lauded as the most lethal sniper in US Military History. Thanks to the thoughtful directing of Clint Eastwood, this movie is powerful, and shares a lot about what is happening for family and friends on the home front while our Warriors are serving, and again as warriors are attempting to re-integrate back to "normal life". Difficult choices are being made on both sides, and relationship things are challenging, and yet the commitment to each other is as strong as the commitment to country. We are all now familiar with the part of the story where he and another Warrior are murdered by a young man recently returned from the conflicts. This actually happens while the movie is being filmed, and the intended ending is modified. His widow asks that the project is continued. We saw this movie in the theater, and I found myself holding my breath every time he pulled that rifle to his shoulder and peered through the scope, releasing my breath only once the target had been achieved. This movie is an important reminder, not only of the level of talent and skill our warriors have and the level of training they go through, but also of the human side of their lives. A debt of gratitude is owed to the families at home, waiting and loving and worrying. Again, as the movie ends, the entire auditorium is silent except for those of us crying as the final scenes of real footage of the funeral procession, and the credits roll. No one moves until the lights come on.

3. Lone Survivor

     Another movie based on actual events and real people in modern war. The title gives away that this story does not have a happy Hollywood ending. The power of their brother-bond as soldiers and warriors is a huge focus here. We watched this at home, and I was riveted. LOTS of "F-Bombs", but totally appropriate for the story. I cried. Again. I cried because what seams like the right and humane thing to do turns out to be the worst thing they could have done. I cried because those decision have to be made in war. I cried because these men bounced down cliffs, and were shot multiple times, yet they continued to fight in an attempt to bring down the evil that not only wanted to kill them, but wants us all dead as well. I cried because through unspeakable pain and injury, these heroes fought the enemy until their very last breath. I cried because in the midst of hell, there are good people, and soon the protected become the protectors. This time, it was my very own living room that fell silent as the real life footage scrolled across the screen, and the real faces of real heroes filled my home. Tears falling from my eyes.

I THANK GOD for men like those portrayed in these movies.
I thank GOD that some of them in generations past were my family.
I think GOD for those that are friends in my life now.

I honor them.
I revere them.
I grieve the loss of them on this planet.
I grieve for their families who loved them enough to let them go and fight for our country, and the world.
I grieve for us, as a nation, and yet rejoice that there are such heroes in this generation.

Because of men like those portrayed in these movies, we all have the opportunity to
Live Well


Saturday, September 5, 2015

A Little History on Crochet

Crochet was once an embellishment exclusively for the garments of the upper echelons and the elite.

Crocheted laces have a long history that begins in the early 1820’s, with the earliest known printed examples of crochet patterns from a Dutch magazine called Penelope circa 1824.

Some years earlier there is a descriptive narrative from 1812 that describes “shepherd’s knitting” as a method of making garments from hand-spun wool. This yarn was likely made by collecting tufts of wool that had snagged on bushes or might have been in the animal’s sleeping area, combing it, and using the hands to pull the fibers apart and twist them together. A hook made from a comb, or carved from a stick would then be used to work the loops to form the fabric.

Crochet began to solidify itself as a ladies fine work in the mid 1800’s, and purses and handbags were some of the first articles crocheted with published patterns made regularly as a demonstration of one’s fine workman ship and wealth. Stitched from silk, gold and linen threads, these elegant satchels would speak volumes about a ladies status without her having to utter a word.

Brittan's Queen Victoria pictured crocheting.
She was also a prolific knitter and needle worker of all sorts. She taught her daughters to stitch as well

Some of the most identifiable crocheted articles begin to emerge in circa 1845 when Ursuline Nuns at the Presentation Convent in Blackrock, County Cork Ireland. As the infamous potato famine left families perishing, a school was established to teach the art of making crocheted lace to help relieve economic distress.

Known as Irish Lace, this unique and often easily identified lace technique is lavishly embellished with individually crocheted flowers, roses and vines, on a crocheted lace mesh. Often these pieces were made by many hands, as one person might make flowers, and another leaves, and another would have the task of joining the piece work to create the final product.

While the world of lace was revolutionized with the development of Irish Lace, American Pioneers made crochet a useful pastime. The adaptability and portability of crochet found it everywhere across the growing nation. While sewing and knitting were constant necessities, crochet became a beautiful pastime which allowed women mostly, of all ages, to create beautiful items for no other purpose than to beautify an otherwise utilitarian environment. Lovely window coverings and lace garment edgings were common in women’s magazines.

Community knitting of socks became a Patriotic necessity during any war, but in particular WWI we so even children pitching in, and there is still quite a bit of evidence in antique propaganda that can be found. But as the war came to its end, leisure work began to make its appearance once more. Women had become more businesslike in their attire as materials and the industry to make them were directed to supporting the war efforts. As lace making began to make its appearance again, it’s output did not, and another element of women’s fashion developed as these laces were more and more frequently applied and made for undergarments. As the Roaring 20’s blossomed, and racy was becoming more the fashion, enticed young women turned their hands toward the making of scandalous “scanties”. Crochet designers published pattern books of boudoir items that were delicate, lacy and feminine.

Crochet remained a pastime of creating finery, until the rebellious children of the 1960’s picked up rope, yarn, wire and anything else they could get a hook on and went on tangents that no one ever thought existed. Men and women created baskets, turned Granny’s Square into and octagon, created three dimensional shapes and utilized colors that had never been explored before.

Our fashion pattern magazines and books now explore even further, and yet still the foundational beautification of domestic necessities still has a strong place in today’s crochet.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I have been really focused on posting about yarn and knitting and crochet and patterns and things related to building my new business for the last couple years.

I feel like I have been neglecting some of the other equally important elements that I began this blog about ... Namely living a full, whole and bountiful life.

Not everything in my worls is happy go lucky, and many things do not come naturally easy to me, but I do have a bit of a knack for letting things SEEM that way sometimes. 

I think this is one of my (many) vanities. Which is funny to me, because I'll go anywhere without make-up and the latest fashions are several years from being donated to the second hand store so I can buy them and put them in my closet. But I do have may vanities nonetheless.

To this day, I remember seeing a drawing on the office wall when I was about 3 in a pre-school, or daycare situation for a short period of time.

Isn't it funny how things can jump into our heads and influence us all of our lives, from even the very youngest ages!
Some influences are good, and others maybe not as healthy.
I'm on the fence about this one today.

I couldn't find a similar drawing, but this photo of a baby duck will serve just fine for my demonstration:

Cover the photo from the waterline down, and only look at the baby duck calmly floating along in the water, relaxed and happy ... Peaceful huh!? Makes you feel calm, and at ease. Until you understand what is happening under the water! 

Those little legs are working like crazy to keep that little fluff ball moving in the right direction, and afloat.

That drawing influenced me at the age of 3, and I didn't even know it. It has impacted the way that I think about the perception others have of me. It has influenced how much I let others see of my struggles and efforts to propel my life and objectives forward.

I have no opinion at this time if that is right thinking or wrong thinking.
It just IS.

And while I may not be sharing the behind the scenes struggles with more people, I am recognizing how long that has been a function in my life, and that maybe I am not as open a book as I used to like to think.

But I thought is was an important recognition. What are the little children in your life seeing, that you might not think they see?

This is just another element of my human growth that I am sharing with you, because on going growing and healing is more than just necessary in our long term quest for ...

Living Well!
Love SuziQue

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dragon Tail Crochet Scarf: FREE Pattern

My designing mind has been at it again! 

This time at the request of a customer that noticed that this particular style of scarf pattern is wholly lacking in crochet form!

So, of course I started in and came up with this pretty and fun pattern.

While I did design it with Hayfield Colour Rich Chunky Yarn in mind, it can just as well be worked up in most any yarn you like or have! If you are interested in using the recommended yarn, you can contact me for ordering information.

GO HERE to download your free pattern! Stitch! Have fun!

Watch the tutorial video:

Please be aware that at this time, I cannot reply to your comments on my blog or the YouTube Channel. If you have comments or questions that you would like a response to, please visit Perfectly Knotty's Facebook Page

We love to see how other people are deciding to play with colors and textures, so please share your version of the scarf with us on our Facebook Page. Or on Ravelry

Happy Stitching! Happy Life!
THAT is Living Well!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

2015 Local Yarn Shop Tour Free Shoulder Wrap Patterns

The 2015, 10th anniversary Puget Sound Local Yarn Shop Tour is May 13-17th 2015.

This is Perfectly Knotty's free pattern contribution:

Our featured yarn is Queensland Uluru. One of my personal favorites.
A beautifully soft blend of Cotton, Acrylic and Polyester in colorways that are too delicious to describe! These are the colors I currently have in stock, and it comes in others too!

Both of these patterns are simple and basic, to allow stress free stitching that really showcases this amazing yarn!


Get the Crochet Pattern Here
Watch the tutorial Video:



Get the Knit Pattern Here
Here is a tutorial for the knitted shawl:

(Updated May 30-2015)
(Updated July 16-2015) added knitting tutorial
(Updated July 21-2015) added crochet tutorial

Having fun with your stitching is...
Living Well!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Crochet Tutorials on Foundations and Connected Stitches

The wonderful thing about stitching with a double crochet, is that you get amazing height with it! One row of double crochet is slightly taller than 2 rows of single crochet, depending on your yarn, hook, and personal tension.

The down side for me with double crochet, is that I do not like the gaps between the stitches for a lot of projects,  unless I am making something lacy, or am intending to weave something through the spaces.

A couple of years ago I learned about connecting double crochets, and WOW ... What a difference it has made in several of my projects! You'll bee seeing it more in upcoming designs.

I am also NOT a fan of the long starting chain for afghans, but especially garments! It is too easy for it to get twisted, and is just isn't stretchy and flexible, so not comfortable at all around the edges of garments. I am a lace maker from the beginning of my crochet life ... often referred to as a "Threadie" which is where I learned to make foundation double crochet and foundation single crochet.

Over the years I have combined these techniques together and come up with some great techniques that really are game changers! I present for you here four video tutorials that I hope you find useful and helpful!

Be sure to share these, Pin them on Pintrest, and share them on Facebook and so forth! Let's make them viral! I hope that my tutorials take some of the challenge and mystery out of creating meaningful crochet work for Stitchers everywhere!

This is the Foundation Single Crochet.

Try out the Foundation Double Crochet:

Build on your basic skills by trying the Connected Double Crochet:

Now, put it all together ... DO NOT psych yourself out here!
Take a deep breath and watch this tutorial as many times as you need to to totally master the
Connected Foundation Double Crochet!

Growing and building your stitching skills also grows and builds your confidence and creativity!
Which is another amazing part of

Living Well!
Love SuziQue!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Free Crochet Lisbon Poncho Pattern

This is one of the prettiest patterns that I have seen in a long time!

I first found it on the Berroco Free Pattern Pages, and knew right away I HAD to make it!

I used the Hayfield DK w/Wool that I carry in my yarn shop, and it worked beautifully!

However, I did find that the way the original pattern is written to be confusing and frustrating, so I set about making it more clear and understandable. Beautiful patterns shouldn't be scary :)

Here is the pattern as I edited it Suzi's Edit of the Lisbon Poncho

The texture of the pattern is beautiful, and I can see myself making this pattern again, using my edited version of course.

Don't be afraid to play with patterns that others have written. Much like cooking recipes, they are wonderful starting points for more amazing creativity! I started the pattern again by making a flat, solid, circle with crochet thread that had the correct number of starting stitches. Worked the pattern as usual, only in thread ... and VIOLA ... an adorable draw-string pouch! It could be made deeper by working the rows that create the body one extra time

Exploring texture and technique leads to ...
Living Well,
Love SuziQue

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Expanding Ivory Soap in the Microwave Trick!

This is not new, but it sure is fun!
I started doing this science experiment when my kids were little, so almost 20 years ago.
I had always been under the presumption that the science behind it goes like this ...
Ivory soap is made with natural fats and minerals, including phosphorus.
Fats are acids.
Phosphorus effervesces when in contact with warm acid.
The microwave heats the fats, and that causes the reaction.

However I have recently read that this is not a chemical reaction after all.
It is a physical reaction ...
The whipped condition of the Ivory soap causes it to have air bubbles trapped inside.
As the soap heats in the Microwave, it gets hot and causes the soap to get soft. The
microwaves bouncing around in the oven excite the water and air molecules inside the soap cause them to move in opposite directions from each other and vaporize.

The vaporization of these molecules causes the tiny air pockets or bubbles trapped inside the soap to rapidly expand.
Since the soap has been heated and is in a soft state, the expanding air and water molecules
can easily push it out into a new foam like substance. 

I'm not sure which rationale is correct, but I do know it's super fun and gets and smells out of the microwave!!

Check out my video and then try it yourself! I give some little tips on what to do with that fluffed up soap after you are done. Let me know what you discover!


Trying new things and experimenting with new experiences is
Living Well!
Love SuziQue

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Baby Sara's Bunny Hat: Free Crochet Pattern

This Grami LOVES to make fun things for her grandchildren, so when my daughter-in-law hinted about a floppy bunny ear hat for my granddaughter I got busy!

This hat is stitched using a size H hook and Peter Pan Cupcake yarn; this is a SUPER soft fluffy 50/50 acrylic/nylon yarn perfect for babies! The 50gram balls have about 90meters.

I used one full skein for the back of the ears and the body of the hat; a little bit of a second color for the inside of the ears and a third color for edge joining the inside and outside ear sections and making the ribbing on the hat body edge.

I started first by making the ears. I did a lot of searching to find the right thing and finally happily settled on this one: Mama G's Bunny Ear Pattern. I made a total of 4 pieces. Two are pink, for the inside of the ear, and two are made from the hat body yarn.

After weaving in the ends, I aligned each pair of ear pieces, one inside and one outside wrong sides together and with the beginning knots at the same ends. Starting at the end where the beginning knots are and with the inside facing me, I began the third color yarn in the first stitch with a slip stitch working through the stitches on both pieces to join. Ch2, and dc down the row, inserting the hook in one loop on each ear piece.

To turn the corner at the tip of the ear, I identified the "tip" and one stitch on either side. I made 2 dc in each "either side" stitch, with a singular dc in the "tip" stitch. Dc back down the other side, and finish off, leaving a long tail to secure the ear to the hat later.

To make the hat body I followed my basic hat tutorial, and added 2 rounds of front post/back post dc to make the ribbing. To determine the diameter of the crown, measure the circumference of the head and divide that number by 3.15 (pi). This will give an approximate diameter.

If the crown will not lay flat for you here are a couple of TIPS:
1. For ruffling edges, you are getting too many stitches, or just too much length due to individual stitching style. Back out your rounds until it is laying flat, and stitch your increases in less frequent spaces.
2. For cupping, you are not getting enough stitches or length, again often do to personal technique. Simply back your rounds out until the crown lays flat again and add increases in a couple of additional locations.

Once the hat body was finished and ends woven in, I folded the attaching end of the ears in half, and used a couple of stitches to hold them in place. I used long pins to temporarily hold them in place on the hat until I had them evenly and pleasantly located. The I used the long ending tail to securely sew them to the hat body.

All in all the whole project could easily be done in an evening!
Please message me if you have any questions and I will do my best to make corrections, or answer your question!

Ear version #2!! After making Sara's hat, I got a customer request for another, but with BIGGER ears!

I made these ears single layer, but you could do them double layer so the inside and outside are different colors.

R1: 3FSC (foundation single crochet) Here is the video tutorial for FSC
R2: Ch2, turn. Sc in 2nd ch from hook, and in each sc across, then FSC
R3: Ch1, turn. Sc across the row.
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until there are 9 sc.

Work straight until the entire piece measures 10 inches, or 2 inches short of your desired length.

Decrease by sc2tog at the beginning and end of each row until 3sc remain. Finish off.

Attach trim at the beginning of R1. Work counter clockwise making 1sc in each ends of row, around the end, and back down the other side, leaving the FSC un-worked.

Change colors as often as desired.

I folded a little dart in the FSC row, and with the folds facing forward, stitched to secure near the top of the hat.

Share your pictures!

Adorable babies in adorable hats is truly ...
Living Well!