Guest Blogger: Ellen
Titled: Blog For Dee
My name is Ellen and I’m a crochet-a-holic.
Somehow, a day without crochet is a day without, well, fun. have several projects that I’m juggling which is actually pretty rare. I’m very much a start one, finish it, start another kind of person. I’m currently working on an afghan of my own design, with a very short deadline. Three weeks for an afghan is a tight schedule for me. Luckily, my three year old son and four year old daughter like to “help”. They hold the Kacha-Kacha counter for me while I crochet and I randomly say, “now” so that they can click it and theoretically keep count of my stitches. I actually had it rigged up on a block of wood at my foot so that I could tap my toe and count my stitches at the same time. It was such a good idea that the kids took it and won’t give it back!
Waiting in the wings after the afghan, I have some luscious wool yarn ready to do some felt experimenting. Jane Davis’ Felted Crochet, inspired this yarn purchase. I thought I would start with her “bowl” design. I thought it might make a great “conversation piece” to place somewhere of honor in our home. Now I need to go buy some treasures to show off the project Hopefully though, it will be gorgeous enough to stand on its own without the distraction of contents. Several years ago, my Mom gave me a piece of wool artwork that a friend of hers made. Her friend raised the sheep, shorn, spun and dyed the wool. Then he sort of twisted it around a wire that was bent in the shape of a bowl/vase. I always loved that piece. Maybe I’ll place the two items near each other.
Back tothe present. I also have several other projects swimming around in my head, that I feel like I am working on, but in reality, I haven’t gotten to them yet. I want to do a skirt, and a vest (not a set), I just bought a baby booties booklet. I realize I have never before made anything with a hood, so I want to do that too. I realize that I’ve never tried tatting, tapestry crochet, Nancy Nehring’s waffle weave technique, or explored enough bead crochet. Hobbies are supposed to be relaxing, but I find it exciting. I stay awake some nights excited about the projects that are waiting to be created! I have a whole folder full of scraps of paper, napkins, receipts, etc that have sketches on them of designs that one day I might get to. Of course all these ideas won’t resemble the finished product that will evolve into whatever it wants to turn into. What technique or project is on your list to do soon? Now, I got myself all excited, I’m going to go start that bowl!
Original Crochet Designs
Guest Blogger: Robin
Titled: March is "National Crochet Month"
March is "National Crochet Month" which means for a whole month we will see (hopefully) special sales, new books and articles on the art of crochet. But how do you celebrate a whole month of crochet?
You could start by making more people aware of what crochet is and what it looks like. When most people see someone working with yarn, they presume it's knitting. You have to crochet in public to be effective with this suggestion. You can (gently) point out that what you are doing is called crochet, it uses one hook and can create beautiful fabric suitable for any purpose, from a lacy shawl to a warm bedspread. You can point out your stitches and explain what you're creating and howit will look when you are finished.
Another way to celebrate is to make new converts. Perhaps at school or work or your place of worship there are people interested in learning how to crochet. You could have a small teaching session at lunch time or maybe after the activity. At your church, you could concentrate on making prayer shawls. Maybe at school, some scarves in the school's colors. And at work, maybe a lapghan because some workplaces are cold, even with the heat on.
Or maybe you could teach your siblings, nieces and nephews, cousins or children or anyone else who would be interested. It's not that difficult to spend some time teaching a child how to master the basic single crochet stitch. By the way, if you're a righty teaching a lefty, use a mirror so the lefty can see how the yarn and hook is manipulated. You can also help a person who has some basic knowledge of crochet and help them gain more skills.
Maybe you've taught everybody in your county and you're up for a bigger challenge. Here's one for you. Most areas have fairs (state fairs, county fairs) where crocheted objects (as well as other handmade objects) are judged. Now is the time to do some online research and find out what the requirements are and the deadline so you can start your project. Now don't get scared, nobody's going to yell if it isn't exactly "right". Just look at it as a challenge and do the best you can do. After all, you didn't learn to ride a bike your first time out, did you? Maybe you'll be so inspired you'll make more than one item to be judged.
Here's another suggestion for you to make crochet more widely known. Make something for charity. Perhaps you can play with the color combinations and make some crocheted squares for Warm Up America (http://www.warmupamerica.com/). It doesn't take a large amount of time and you can do this when you have the chance. You can try some of those stitched you were wondering about to see if you would like making a whole project out of them. Or you could try Hugs for Homeless Animals (http://www.h4ha.org/) if you'd like to make something bigger. Local hospitals are usually quite happy to have preemie hats and booties. Some churches have a "mitten tree" during the holiday season, so you could get a head start on that project. You could also make it a little more personal, if you know somebody in need. Any of these organizations (and there's lots more, just do some research online) would be happy to have your crocheted articles. And even if you only make one preemie hat or one snuggle for a cat, that will be one individual greatly affected by what you crocheted. Here's another suggestion - decide to learn about a stitch or technique that you have never done. Perhaps you want to try crocheting with beads - there's a great website hosted by Lydia F. Borin (http://beadcrochet.com/) that has animated lessons, resources for buying the necessary equipment and some great patterns. Or maybe you'd rather try CGOA (http://www.crochet.org/courses/index.htm) for various courses. You could always go to the library and check out what books they might have on crocheting. (You can also check other libraries, too, through your local library. Most have a system of loaning out books to other libraries).
You could, if you created a wearable crochet item for yourself, wear it in public. Nothing gets the public's interest up by wearing something great. I usually wear my chenille poncho as often as I can in March - everybody is always "Is that knitted?" and I happily say "No, it's crocheted". It's a great feeling.
You could also try to convince your significant other, your place of employment or anybody else that will listen to you that it's actually a _paid_ holiday for crocheters;) And of course, they must celebrate by bringing you vast quanities of crochet materials - threads, yarns, rickrack, beads, books. Let me know if that one works because I have not been able to pull that one off yet.
So plan ahead to enjoy National Crochet Month. It's a great way to get the word out about a wonderful art.