Author Archive

Use Technology to Get Off the “Crochet Island”

Posted in Fun Ramblings on August 2nd, 2012 by A Guest Writer – 3 Comments

A Guest Post by Patricia Shuler.

I was talking with my mom a few days ago. She sits on the couch at night while my dad watches whatever sporting event is on. She knits, crochets, needlepoints… she does it all. I asked her what kind of mobile apps she used to help her keep track of her projects, and she gave me a whole list, but then she sighed and gave me an exasperated look – “Pattie, sitting here can be kind of like being on an island.” I immediately abandoned the idea of re-hashing another “apps list” and probed her for more.

She went on to tell me that technology has actually helped her in more ways than just the ability to manage her projects with apps, that it actually gives her a sense of community when she’s not with her knitting or crocheting group.
I know what she means. As a writer, I understand the solitude of a hobby or profession that is solo in nature. So, here are a few of the ways she connects with her hobby using technology.
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The Top Crochet Apps of 2012

Posted in News on May 5th, 2012 by A Guest Writer – 5 Comments

Four crochet resources to help you get your stitch on.

A Guest Post by Jane Johnson.

I find that when I’m tasked with doing a lot of technical jobs at work, my creative side really rears its head and expects an artistic outlet. That’s why I picked up crocheting about 2-years ago. I find that it helps me really unwind when I pick up and devout a few hours to some stitch work.

Now when the technical side of my brain collaborates with the artistic side of my brain—which isn’t very often—I use my T-Mobile Samsung Android phone to look for crochet tools to satisfy both sides of my personality. And I’ve uncovered quite a few useful crochet apps for cross stitch and knitting that can help both stitch newbies and pearl veterans alike prefect the craft of crocheting.

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Crochet Pattern: Barbie Doll Summer Outfit

Posted in Free Crochet Patterns on April 14th, 2012 by A Guest Writer – 6 Comments
A Guest Post by Mihaela.

This is a unique red and white outfit that you can give to a little girl for her Barbie doll (or other fashion doll) to wear in the summer that any girl will love! The outfit is made in two pieces, a top jacket and a bottom skirt. Feel free to use any two of your favorite colors to make this fun outfit.

Skill Level: crochet skill level easy

Finished Size: 2” (5 cm) across top, 2 1/2” (6.5 cm) skirt

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Crochet Pattern: Amigurumi Baby Squid

Posted in Free Crochet Patterns on March 24th, 2012 by A Guest Writer – 4 Comments
A Guest Post by JennyAndTeddy.

Meet Susie, the little squid! She is extremely popular with kids of all ages, yet simple and quick to throw together. This little baby squid will be a delight in your collection. But be careful, looking so cute this little fellow is a must have and you may be asked to make a beach bucket full of them.

Skill Level: crochet skill level easy

Finished Size: Body is 2″ (5 cm) diameter and Tentacles are 2″ (5 cm) long

Materials:
Medium Weight Yarn (approx. 50 yards)
Crochet Hook F (3.75 mm)
2 Plastic 7.5mm safety eyes
Polyester Fiberfill
Yarn Needle
Stitch Marker (or scrap of contrasting yarn)
Ribbon and craft glue (optional)
crochet yarn size 4

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Freeform Crochet Interview with Renate Kirkpatrick

Posted in Fun Ramblings, News on January 31st, 2012 by A Guest Writer – 10 Comments

A Guest Post by Linda Cee.

I first heard about freeform crochet when I was exclaiming over a beautiful white shawl, I knew it looked complicated and like nothing I had previously seen, so I asked the lady who made it, what sort of pattern she used and she laughed and told me that she just made it up as she went, then she said she would be happy to show me how to make a scrumble. Well my first reaction was, huh? But then she explained that a scrumble usually starts with one piece, a circle, a square or anything else you would want and then you just start crocheting! You could make up stitches, add different colors and textures and use a variety of hooks to achieve whatever you can possibly imagine, I got incredibly excited when I saw a blue and purple scarf she had made that had beads, feathers, and thin gold ribbons crocheted right into it.

Some people compare freeform with sculpting because many freeformers make objects that are 2 or 3 dimensional and while some are very abstract, others are more realistic and recognizable, like a barn scene on a blanket for instance.

Thanks to my current obsession with the craft, I found Renate Kirkpatrick’s Freeform Crochet~Knit~Fibre Designs which is a blog that is delightful to read and has a great introduction to freeform (with pictures!)

I was very lucky to be able to interview Renate Kirkpatrick, who besides being a very gracious lady is also a teacher, fibre artist, and the author of three crochet books (with a fourth coming soon) and so without further ado here it is:



How did you get started crocheting and when did you get interested in freeform?

I made my first granny square in my mid-teens from an old tattered ‘How to crochet’ pamphlet that I found in an opportunity shop.

In my late twenties when the children were in bed asleep I crocheted granny square rugs (afghans) for fun, relaxation and gifts but I soon became bored with the repetition and began searching for more interesting, challenging patterns. I had never read a pattern before, let alone decipher what the heck all those odd abbreviations meant but, I persevered and, over the years, through trial and error, gained confidence and experience.

Freeform was introduced to me by a student while teaching at a local craft shop and has become my passion and creative joy.
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Crochet Pattern: Button Cuff Bracelet

Posted in Free Crochet Patterns on January 28th, 2012 by A Guest Writer – 18 Comments
A Guest Post by Karen Vaughn.

I get easily distracted, especially when it comes to crocheting. This pattern came to me in 30 minutes which just happens to be the length of time for my evening news broadcast. I used brown yarn because it was closest at hand and I had this wonderful wooden button just hanging out in the pocket of my hoodie. Buttons tend to hang out in my pockets a lot! Enjoy!

Skill Level: crochet skill level easy

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Golden Treasures in Rainbow Coasters

Posted in Fun Ramblings on January 27th, 2012 by A Guest Writer – 8 Comments

A Guest Post by Eve Tallafer-Sison.

“There’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.” I realized the truth in this saying while working on the pattern of the Rainbow Coaster by Rachel at Crochet Spot. At first glance, the attraction has been irresistibly strong because of the design. The color combination allows pairing the coaster with any placemat or tablecloth. Aside from the fact that the instructions are reader-friendly, making it is very easy to follow, crocheting a whole set of it added these precious gems into my treasury:

  1. A stitch in time saves nine. Making a single mistake in counting in Round 1 spoils the whole plan. Like for this coaster, the 2 sc in each sc around starting in Round 2 provides the foundation of the hexagonal pattern. Making a mistake in the previous row affects the intended formation. This goes to say that every stitch in a row has a purpose and each single stitch counts in the entire project.
  2. Practice makes perfect. An old saying, yes, but while working on each piece of the coaster set, I was able to prove it in the area of changing the color of yarn. While it is true that I learned to crochet at an early age, I worked on all my projects using only one color. I came to practice the art of changing threads recently from online literature and tutorials from YouTube. This coaster was a perfect exercise indeed for me to master the craft as the pattern required changing the color of yarn five times.
  3. Rhythmic numeric chants lead to mastery. People usually repeat what they say in order to strike a point. Familiar with the idiom that states, “The key to mastery is frequent repetition?” I realized the same is true in crochet. Using repetitive numeric chants that create a rhythm helps one memorize instructions and master patterns more quickly. Let me show you how.

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Decorating a Christmas Tree with Crocheted Ornaments

Posted in Fun Ramblings on December 10th, 2011 by A Guest Writer – 11 Comments

A Guest Post by Linda Cee.

My goal for this year was to crochet enough ornaments to decorate an entire Christmas tree (even a small one would be good). I saw a picture online once of a white tree that had blue crocheted snowflakes in all different sizes and shades of blue then a silver garland crocheted from some really glittery yarn. The best part was the topper, it was a white thread angel that was incredibly lacy and must have taken forever to make. The whole thing was so gorgeous it literally took my breath away.
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When Crochet Met Meditation

Posted in Fun Ramblings on December 3rd, 2011 by A Guest Writer – 6 Comments

A Guest Post by Tameko.

Crochet came into my life in 2008. While I have always been around ladies who enjoyed the art of crochet throughout my entire life, I did not start working with crochet until much later in life. One of the things I realized while working on a pattern is that the activity itself is very calming and ushers in much needed meditation time.
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From Umbrellas to Rainbows

Posted in Fun Ramblings on November 25th, 2011 by A Guest Writer – 10 Comments

A Guest Post by Eve Tallafer-Sison.
 
I learned to crochet at the age of nine. My mother, in her early 40s then used to crochet bedspreads, chair covers, doilies and table runners. She would do that in between writing her lesson plans as grade one teacher in my hometown’s Central School for more than 25 years. Watching her was so intriguing especially gazing at her hand movement. I liked it when she would yarn over once, twice or even thrice for a double, treble and double treble crochet.
 
Just like any other child, my curiosity had to be satisfied and so after undergoing my first crochet tutorial in learning the initial step, the rudiments of crochet, that is, doing a chain, it seemed like I had a taste of marijuana. That was fantastic! Practicing making a chain as Lesson No. 1. Just chain, chain, and chain, using my mother’s own crochet hook as she had only one at that time. From then on, I couldn’t wait till she would take some time out either to rest from her project or for some other chores, so I could use her crochet hook.
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