Saturday, March 12, 2016



Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.

There are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry. This number is more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.


As Irish immigrants spread out over the United States, other cities developed their own traditions. One of these is Chicago’s annual dyeing of the Chicago River green. The practice started in 1962, when city pollution-control workers used dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and realized that the green dye might provide a unique way to celebrate the holiday. That year, they released 100 pounds of green vegetable dye into the river–enough to keep it green for a week! Today, in order to minimize environmental damage, only 40 pounds of dye are used, and the river turns green for only several hours.

St Patrick's Day Parade 

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in the United States on March 17, 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City.
The Parade always occurs on a Saturday. If St. Patrick's Day does not fall on a Saturday, the Parade is held the Saturday before. The Parade always steps off at noon.

The Irish in Chicago have always exhibited a remarkable sense of community, solidarity and togetherness. It is that sense of community that has nurtured the prosperity of Irish-Americans here. The Chicago Irish-American Bar Association aims to embody the spirit of previous Irish generations by bringing together the Irish-American legal community and fostering its continued development.

Irish was estimated to be the top ancestry in Chicago in 2010, closely followed by German and Polish, which were ahead two decades ago. But the Irish-American population has dropped since 1990 by about 16.4 percent, or about 39,000 people, according to U.S. census data.

When the Irish diaspora began with the coming of the Great Famine in 1845, the City of Chicago was only 8 years old with a population of 6000. Thus, the early Irish immigrants in Chicago, in contrast to their counterparts in the great US cities of the east coast, had a genuine opportunity to be a part of, and contribute to, the growth of Chicago from its inception. It was an opportunity the Irish seized. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hello Again A year since the last post

Hello how are you doing? It has been more than a year after my last post. 
The truth is that I have neglected the blog, but I have not had much time to devote to it.

Last year, I went under various medical and chirurgical  procedures. The most important,   bilateral cataract surgery one after two months of the other. For almost six months I had to use a magnifier because I couldn't see anything without my lenses, I received the order for the new ones 4 months after the second surgery and now I can see far objects fine, but I can't read anything close to me without them 

I also had leg and spine problems which are consequences of back surgery I had 27 years ago.
For this, I received an injection via epidural, which helped me for about a  month only.    I have an appointment with my Dr  in a couple of weeks to see if he will inject me  again or change the dose of medication I take.  But I do not want to bore you with my problems,

I have to say I've been working a lot on my knitting and crochet patterns. Thank God I have had good response from most of my clients, they contact me when they find a mistake and then help me to work on the updatee. Then, I change directions and photos and post the updated pattern.

There are always some unhappy customers, but that's life.

Something that has been welcomed by many people are circular, long, short ponchos, turtleneck, round neck etc. I have several patterns of those already on sale and some to finish (they are still being tested)

Here I will show some of the Circular Ponchos we have for sale, I hope you like them as much as I do.

Link under each picture, takes you to the listing.

The Green Poncho

The Brown Poncho

The Blue Poncho

Circular Poncho for Girl

 Short Poncho # 2

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Heart & Sole Slippers Free Crochet Pattern

Heart & Sole Slippers| Women size | 

Free Crochet Pattern | Written Instructions and Graph

This is a supercute pattern courtesy of
My Hobby is Crochet
It was published yesterday
Just in time for Valentine's day.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Three Wise Men or The Magui

The Three Wise Men or The Magui

We really don’t know the names of the magi because the Bible doesn’t tell us. In fact, the Bible is silent on how many wise men visited Jesus. However, tradition has it that the wise men who came to seek and honor the infant Jesus were named Gaspar, Balthasar, and Melchior. Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar started the gift-giving custom of Christmas by bringing gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Christ child on Epiphany, the day on which the infant was presented. 

 It is a common misconception that the wise men visited Jesus at the stable on the night of His birth. In fact, the wise men came days, months, or possibly even years later. That is why Matthew 2:11 says the wise men visited and worshiped Jesus in a house, not at the stable. 

 We assume that there were three wise men because of the three gifts that were given: gold, incense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11). However, the Bible does not say there were only three wise men. There could have been many more. Tradition says that there were three and that their names were Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, but since the Bible does not say, we have no way of knowing whether the tradition is accurate. 

 The wise men, also known as magi, were men belonging to various educated classes. Our English word magician comes from this same root. But these wise men were not magicians in the modern sense of sleight-of-hand performers. They were of noble birth, educated, wealthy, and influential. They were philosophers, the counselors of rulers, learned in all the wisdom of the ancient East.  They were certainly men of great learning. 

The word Magi comes from the greek word 'magos' (where the english word 'magic' comes from). Magos itself comes from the old persian word 'Magupati'. This was the title given to priests in a sect of the ancient persian religions such as Zoroastrianism. Today we'd called them astrologers. Back then astronomy and astrology were part of the same overall studies (and 'science') and went hand in hand with each other. The magi would have followed the patterns of the stars religiously.

They had seen an unusual new star in the sky, and knew that it told of the birth of a special king. No one really knows what the new star is the sky was, and there are many theories including comets, supernovas, a conjunctions of planets or something supernatural!  

 They would have also probably been very rich and held high esteem in their own society and by people who weren't from their country or religion. The wise men were guided to look for the King of the Jews by a miraculous stellar event, the "Star of Bethlehem," which they called "His star" They consulted with King Herod in Jerusalem concerning the birth of Christ and were directed to Bethlehem They followed God's guidance joyfully .

 This is how they are often described: 

 Gaspar (or Caspar), who has brown hair and a brown beard (or no beard!) and wears a green cloak and a gold crown with green jewels on it. He is the King of Sheba. Gaspar represents the Frankincense brought to Jesus.

 Melchior, who has long white hair and a white beard and wears a gold cloak. He is the King of Arabia. Melchior represents the Gold brought to Jesus. 

 Balthazar,who has black skin and a black beard (or no beard!) and wears a purple cloak. He is the King of Tarse and Egypt. Balthazar represents the gift of Myrrh that was brought to Jesus. 

Herod asked the Wise Men to find Jesus and tell him where he was, not so he could go and worship him as he said, but so he could kill him! He thought that Jesus sounded like a new King that could come and take his power away.

  When the Wise Men found Jesus and Mary, they would have been living in a normal house in Bethlehem, because by this time Jesus would have been aged between one and two. Then they gave their gifts to him. 

The gifts seem quite strange to give to a baby, but Christians believe that they had the following meanings:

 Gold: is associated with Kings and Christians believe that Jesus is the King of Kings.

 Frankincense: is sometimes used in worship in Churches and showed that people child worship Jesus. 

Myrrh: is a perfume that is put on dead bodies to make them smell nice and showed that Jesus would suffer and die. 

The gifts are also all things that come the east of Israel in Arabia. 
Their gifts for Jesus were costly, and they worshiped Him.  

When they were about to go to tell Herod where Jesus was,  God warned them in a dream against returning to Herod, so, in defiance of the king, they left Judea by another route so Herod could not carry out his horrible plan.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hello, it's me again

Hello, it's me again

For long time I have not written here because I've been spending all my time in writting knit and crochet patterns. 

 I'm doing this is because I can not work on big things as i used to do before. A health problem does not allow me to knit or crochet in the way as I did before. 

 Most of my patterns are easy to make and they have both, written instructions and many pictures to guide you through the work. 

These are the last ones... do you like them?

 My patterns can be found in my Craftsy  

Visit ToppyToppyKnits's Craftsy Pattern Store »

And Etsy Shops

In Etsy you can find many of the patterns, as well as a lot of things that I have made during this year before my health problem. There you can find supplies, embroidery and cross stitch complete kits and much more. 

 I hope you can visit both shops and maybe find something you like, for you or for give it as a gift in this upcoming holidays.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lightweight Crochet and Knitting Patterns

     Lightweight Crochet and Knitting Patterns 

Spring and Summer

  Shawls, Pareos, Stoles, Vests, Ponchos etc

Poncho Crochet Two Rectangle Pattern

Skill level: easy

$5.00 USD



Cover Up, Pareo, Scarf, Shawl, Crochet Pattern 

$5.00 USD 

Skil level: easy


Shawl Cross Vest Stole Multifuncional

Knitting Pattern  Skill level: easy

$5.00 USD 


Knit Stole, Shoulder wrap Shawl pattern

Skill level: easy

$5.00 USD 


Granny Stitch Shawl Crochet Pattern

Skill level: easy

 $5.00 USD 



Scarf Shawl Wrap Gypsy Crochet Pattern

Skill level: easy

 $5.00 USD  



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Stop Homophobia

Stop Homophobia

Have you ever have been in a Gay Pride Parade? Do you know why people are were able to?

On June 28, 1969 the Stonewall Riots took place at the Stonewall Inn at 51 Christopher Street in New York City, sparking a civil rights movement for LGBT community in the United States.  Let’s look at what you could expect in America at this time, and why the anger was boiling just below the surface for so many LGBT people in the US:

Forty-three years ago here is what  an LGBT person in the United States could expect:

  • Your name (along with all of your friends and family members) would be put on a list by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, because as a homosexual you were “prone” to blackmail and “overt acts of perversion”
  • The United States Post Office also kept your name on a list to monitor any homosexual “paraphernalia” you were receiving so they could tip off the police and have you arrested
  • You would be dishonorably discharged from the military, fired from your government job or job as a teacher or professor at a college if you were suspected of being gay with no legal recourse
  • Your neighborhood would be “swept” periodically to arrest you and anyone else who was a presumed homosexual or wore clothes not “for” their gender
  • The American Psychiatric Association classified homosexuality as a sociopath personality disturbance and you were considered mentally infirm (this did not change until 1973).
  • You could be arrested for holding hands in public with your partner


There were no legal places where LGBT people could get together either so organized crime stepped in and opened the few gay bars that existed in New York City. A gay bar could expect to be raided at least once a month, no matter what “payoff” they gave to the NYPD.  The Stonewall Inn was one of those bars.  

Owned by the Genovese crime family who turned it into a gay bar in 1963, it had no running water (the glasses were dunked into standing tubs of water) lacked proper toilets and was one of the only places in New York City you could go dance, with a light “cue” on the dance floor that turned on when the police showed up to inform patrons to stop dancing and touching.  It is no surprise that in this tense, repressed, bigoted atmosphere that something was going to give.

In the wee hot hours of June 28, 1969 the police did a typical, routine raid on Stonewall Inn, but the night did not end as they expected.  Fed up with being bullied, harassed and otherwise pushed around and denied the basic freedoms everyone else had – something snapped for the men and women at Stonewall.  Those lined up along the walls inside of Stonewall refused to show their ID or identify their gender.  

Those who were not arrested went outside the bar and did not leave.  Instead they hung around and soon the crowd grew to ten times it’s size – and very quiet.  An unidentified lesbian was brought out after being hit in the head with a billy club for complaining that her handcuffs were too tight, she shouted to the crowd, “Do something!” and the crowd did, pelting the officers with bottles, pennies and whatever else they could find and shouting phrases like “Gay power!” and singing “We shall Overcome.”  The police immediately tried to disperse the crowd, calling in a Tactical Police Force, but the crowd grew larger as patrons from other nearby bars (straight and gay) joined in the fray.  The rioting lasted until around 4am. 

By the time it was over the officer in charge of the raid, Inspector Pine, had his wanted result anyway, a burned and completely trashed Stonewall Inn. 

 What he did not expect was the outpouring of sympathy and empathy that came from New Yorkers toward the LGBT community in the days that followed.  For five days after the initial riot people gathered in Christopher Park to discuss plan, organize and demonstrate.  

The Gay Liberation Front (GLF)  was  created as well as numerous publications, support groups, open LGBT dances and the birth of the first Gay Pride March in 1970.

In at least 77 countries around the world today, same sex relationships are illegal, at times involving life-time imprisonment. 

In 7 countries, same sex acts are even punishable by death. 

In almost all countries, freedom for people to live out and to express their true gender identities – and to have them rightfully recognised by the state – is harshly limited by transphobic laws and attitudes.

But even in progressive countries, violence and discrimination against LGBT people still exists in the form of discriminatory laws, unjust representations in the media, unfair treatment by employers, negative social attitudes, and even in everyday interactions with people we care about, and who care about us.

Homophobia and transphobia target all people who don’t conform to majority sexual and gender

roles, and they affect the lives of everyone – to express themselves and their opinions freely, and to have the rights of their, friends, family members, and loved one’s recognised.

In 1994, a coalition of education-based organizations in the United States designated October as LGBT History Month. 

In 1995, a resolution passed by the General Assembly of the National Education Association included LGBT History Month within a list of commemorative months.

LGBT History Month is also celebrated with annual month-long observances of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, along with the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. 

National Coming Out Day (October 11), as well as the first “March on Washington” in 1979, are commemorated in the LGBT community during LGBT History Month.

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (marked on May 17) was created in 2004 to draw the attention of policy makers, opinion leaders, social movements, the media, and the public in general to these issues, and to promote a world of tolerance, respect and freedom regardless of people’s sexual orientations or gender identities.

As much as May 17 is a day against violence and oppression, it is also a day to promote freedom, diversity and acceptance.

The date of May 17 was chosen to commemorate the decision taken by the World Health organization in 1990 to take homosexuality out of the list of mental disorders.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father's Day around the world

When is Father's Day in 2014

Italy  ItalyMarch 19
Spain  SpainMarch 19
Portugal  PortugalMarch 19
Germany  GermanyMay 29
Lithuania  LithuaniaJune 01
Switzerland  SwitzerlandJune 01
Denmark  DenmarkJune 05
Austria  AustriaJune 08
Belgium  BelgiumJune 08
Argentina  ArgentinaJune 15
Canada  CanadaJune 15
Chile  ChileJune 15
France  FranceJune 15
Hungary  HungaryJune 15
Ireland  IrelandJune 15
Netherlands  NetherlandsJune 15
United Kingdom  United KingdomJune 15
USA  USAJune 15
Colombia  ColombiaJune 15
Malta  MaltaJune 15
Mexico  MexicoJune 15
Australia  AustraliaSeptember 07
New Zealand  New ZealandSeptember 07
Latvia  LatviaSeptember 14
Luxembourg  LuxembourgOctober 05
Estonia  EstoniaNovember 09
Finland  FinlandNovember 09
Iceland  IcelandNovember 09
Norway  NorwayNovember 09
Sweden  SwedenNovember 09
Did you know? There are more reverse charge telephone calls on Father's Day than on any other day in the year.

Father's Day is a celebration that honours the role of fathers and forefathers. It is a modern holiday, though the ancient Romans did have a tradition of honouring fathers, every February, but only those who had deceased.
Around the world, Father's Day is celebrated on different dates though the day is celebrated in a similar manner, usually involving giving gifts to fathers and family activities.
In Spain, Italy and Portugal, Father's Day is celebrated on 19 March, which is the Feast of St. Joseph who is the patron saint of fathers.
In Germany, Father's Day is celebrated on the same date as Ascension Day.
Across Scandinavia, the tradition of a Father's Day was adopted in the 1930's. Originally the American date was used, but in 1949 the Nordic countries decided to move it to the second Sunday in November. This was partly to place it half a year away from Mother's Day but also it was chosen to increase sales in an otherwise quiet trading period before Christmas. The only country who didn't fall in line was Denmark. They forgot to inform the public and press about the date change, so Father's Day remained on the same day as their other early June holiday,Constitution Day.
In the USA, the first noted Father's Day celebration was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia. It was first celebrated as a church service at Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as Central United Methodist Church.
It is said that Grace Golden Clayton suggested the service to the pastor as a memorial after a mine explosion in nearby Monongah had killed 361 men the previous winter. Another explanation for the service was Mothers' Day, which had been celebrated for the first time two months prior in Grafton, a town that was 15 miles away.
An alternative claim for the inventor of Father's Day is the president of the Chicago branch of the Lions' Club, Harry Meek. He is said to have celebrated the first Father's Day with his organization in 1915; and the day that they chose was the third Sunday in June, which was the closest Sunday to Meek's birthday.
A key figure in the establishment of Father's Day was Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd, whose father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, as a single parent reared his six children. Mrs Dodd initially suggested June 5, the anniversary of her father's death as a date for Father's Day. It is claimed she did not provide the organizers with enough time to make the arrangements, and thus the celebration was put back to the third Sunday of June.
The first Father's Day in June was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, WA. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recommended the day as a national holiday.
President Lyndon Johnson made Father's Day a holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June in 1966, though the day was not officially recognised until 1972, during the presidency of Richard Nixon.
Over 100 million Father’s Day cards will be expected to be given this year in the United States, making Father’s Day the fifth-largest card-sending occasion. 

Source: Hallmark research