Monthly Archives: September 2009

Class at Webs with Mary Beth Temple

Due to a majorly bad headache that scrambled all of my ability to think (or hold down food), I have made several erros on the announcement of Mary Beth Temple’s class.

So it’s Mulligan time:

The Class is THIS Friday at WEBS in North Hampton, MA (mass, not maine)…It IS FREE, and available to all crocheters who can get their hinnies down there! We want you all to represent, and it’s a great opportunity if you can get there!

More details can be found on Mary Beth Temple’s Getting Loopy website .

Sorry for the confussion, my fault, and yes, the headache is gone…

Deal of a life time! Mary Beth Temple @Webs!

Press Release: September 25 …Join author and designer Mary Beth Temple for the free debut of her newest workshop – Design It Yourself Crochet  FOR FREE on Friday October 2 from 10 – 12pm at WEBS. Even if they don’t want to design for publication, many crocheters want to design a project for themselves. While most are happy just doodling with their hooks until they get the results they want, doing just a little preparation ahead of time will make the whole process so much easier – while ensuring that you don’t run out of yarn OR patience! Handout with class notes included. If you like, bring some sketches, swatches, pencil and paper and/or a calculator to play with.


Now folks, this is the opportunity of a life time! I have spoken to Mary Beth on several occasions, been on her show, and organized an awards show with her. I KNOW she’ll be a fantabulous (yes, it’s a word, cause I say so!) teacher.

We complain about no classes, and this one is awesome. Obviously if you can’t get to Webs due to geography then you can’t make it! But you if you are able to go for the LOVE OF ALL THAT IS FUZZY…DO IT!

****NEWS****CLF Events!

This weekend I’ll be down at the Oregon Flock and Fiber checking out all the scrumptious fluffy goodness! If you are there look for me! Don’t feel shy come introduce yourself! Also, while there I’ll be inviting YOU and your friends to show up at Twisted on Broadway in Portland October 30th and 31st (yup Halloween).

International Fiber Artist and CLF Member Rockpool Candy has her mind set on getting crocheters and handspinners together to make a GIANT spider’s web that we will then felt somewhere, some how (workin’ on that). BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! Jimbo will be present with his GIANT HOOK, yup we’re going to see if this HUGE HOOK will make it into the Guiness Book of World’s Records for the Largest USEABLE crochet hook! I can’t wait to see this!

Event times:

Friday October 30th all day or drop in from 5pm -8pm to enjoy some festivities!

Saturday October 31st special happening kicking off at 12noon going until  5pm!

I’ve already learned all of that…

I hear that a lot from my kids, as I homeschool them. “I already know all of that…” It doesn’t matter what the subject matter, or if they have learned all there is, and so I usually reply with, “So, did you know X?” (knowing they don’t, yet), then I begin the arduous process of helping them begin to “know all of that.”

What does this have to do with crochet? Well, I have been prone to saying (when looking at a class list), “But I know all of that!”

When I was talked into taking classes for the first time, I found out just how much of “all of that” I was missing in my repetoire. It didn’t mean I wasn’t as expert as I thought I was, it meant that I had the exciting proposition of still having much more to learn!

I had no idea how many different methods there were to achieving seams, shaping, and other people I thought far more experienced than I were interested in my often “backasswards” approach to crochet.

I think we need to be careful when we say, “I know all of that”…Especially when we have trouble specifying what we want.

When you get a group of inventive, creative, crafty people together there is always something new to learn!

I’m thinkin’ a lot about this subject these days as I plan the retreat 🙂 All of the folks on the committee are brilliant in their suggestions and ideas, and somethings I hadn’t ever thought about as a class! So, folks rethink the “I already know all of that!”

Hookalicious Happyness!

afghan crochet

Originally uploaded by carrosflickr

This afghan totally rocks! I am a huge fan of simple, clean lines. Black and white can do some of the most wonderful things in design, and this blanket proves it!

CLF Member carro, made this lovely afghan for the home out of Alpaca from Webs. I cannot find the words to express how delighted I was visually the moment the photo caught my attention! Carro designed this lovely piece after catching a glimpse of a similar thow in a movie.

This is a great testament to simplicity exuding excellence!

Carro congratulations you are duly awarded the Hookalicious Award for orochet excellence in design!

Classes…and a different question…

Ok, I asked the wrong question, or maybe I put it the wrong way. Or maybe I asked the right question in the right way for that moment, and I need to follow up with this question:

What kind of classes DO YOU WANT to take?

Inquring crochet minds want to know.

Disappointed…Why don’t you sign up for classes?

So, we whine,bitch and complain about crochet not being represented at various events, fiber festivals, and in local yarn stores. Here’s the rub, when they do offer crochet classes, often those classes get cancelled because of lack of sign ups…so what’s the deal?

Recently Myra Wood posted on the CLF message board that her classes had been canceled at the Oregon Flock & Fiber event to be held next weekend (not this weekend). I am so bummed! I was looking forward to seeing her, I am driving down from Camano Island, WA to Canby, OR to check out the event. I’ve heard it is fabulous. My dear friend & I are driving down to drool, and oogle over fibers, animals and yarn!

I am not a big class taker. I’ve had a few classes, including one by the fabulous Myra (and believe me you want to take her classes), and enjoyed myself. But, for me most of what is offered is stuff I have learned over trial and error…What I do want to learn is often not represented in the class lists, or even in my consciousness. I mean really, there are things out there I don’t know about that I may want to learn, I just have not heard of them!

So why don’t you take classes or go to these events? Why are we allowing the thought the crocheters are cheap, or don’t take classes etc to keep going? What is the deal? I want to know! Reply here people…

And speaking of crochet classes, Karen Whooley of KRWKnitwear Studios is offering a free trial class Crochet A Long on her website!

International Crochet Day~ September 12th

Port Towsend Celebrates it's 33rd Wooden Boats Festival

Port Townsend Celebrates it's 33rd Wooden Boats Festival


So, yesterday and part of today I played in Port Townsend, WA which was having it’s 33rd annual Wooden Boats Festival. Port Townsend also happens to be where Mr. Fearless Leader grew up, and his folks still live so we decided to head over this weekend to a) celebrate daughter’s upcoming Sweet 16th, and b) go look at the new center and see all the funky boats.

However, keeping in mind that today was International Crochet Day as declared by our beloved Jimbo two years ago,  I represented the hook as we walked the docks, and saw some pretty incredible boats!

Crocheting in public

Crocheting in public.

Crocheting on the docks of Port Townsend WA

Crocheting on the docks of Port Townsend WA

Oh yeah and there were boats at the Port Townsend Wooden Boats Festival
Oh yeah and there were boats at the Port Townsend Wooden Boats Festival

Crocheted Hindu Goddess Kali

Crocheted Hindu Goddess Kali

Originally uploaded by melbangel

Ok, there is Amigurumi and then there is this!

This is a fabulous crocheted representation of the Hindu Goddess Kali. As I was sorting through the many fabulous projects listed in the CLF’s projects, this one totally stood out!

So much detail and attention paid to the representation of this Hindu diety. How could we award this anything else but the Hookalicious Award!

CLF Member Melbangel created this fabulous crocheted goddess, and the pattern can be found at !

Melbangel, congratulations you and your crocheted creation have been awarded the CLF Hookalicious Award for outstanding crochet creativity!

Creativity knows no bounds…

I’m of two minds about rules.

On the one hand I am at heart an academic, I love to study and learning the rules to any given matter is exhilarating to me. To delve as deep as possible into the knowledge base of a matter is intoxicating; I adore knowing things. Even better, I am fueled by using that knowledge, and better yet? Passing that knowledge on to others.

On the other hand, I have this rebellious streak. Once I learn as much as humanly possible about a subject, I MUST test the waters and see how strictly those rules must be obeyed. Why are those rules there? What else could be done to improve upon a standard set long before I (little jackanape that I am) came along?

When it comes to crochet, I was taught a set of rules by older relatives, who themselves were taught rules by others. No one questioned those rules, either due to respect of age or skill. I didn’t start questioning the creative rules until less than a decade ago. Until then for me crochet was lace, all manner of lace, and the occasional novelty item. Yet, deep inside of me was that little girl who broke the rules, but once mind you, asking how to crochet a sweater. She got told, “Oh no, you knit sweaters. If you want to make a sweater you have to learn to knit.” 

The rule was, crochet was lace.

Part of me still sees crochet that way, the part of me that has crocheted so much lace over the years, that invariably most of my projects have some kind of lace like element. My hands and fingers know lace, lace and I are friends. I KNOW lace, and it knows me. Then I broke the rules…I made a crocheted sweater. Heck it was just a blankie with sleeves!  It wasn’t hard, there was no mystery to it, and it was and is comfy, and pretty in an organically hippie kinda way. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but on a cold and damp September morning it sure feels good.

Often being of two minds on various issues, I long ago sought to integrate my thinking. It doesn’t have to be rules or no rules. I still hold by learning as much technical knowledge as possible, because it makes breaking the rules that much better!

So when I taught my own daughter to crochet four years ago, I didn’t tell her crochet was only for lace. When she asked what could and couldn’t be done, I asked her what she thought. When she wanted to know how to hold her hook and yarn we found a way that was comfortable for her. Then, when it came to what fibers can and can’t do, I told her the basic information, then handed her scads of small balls of my hand-spun in every fiber imaginable for her to play with…Oh the results were amazing. Watching her freely create, and only imbibing her with the rules of the craft when she asked for them, or when she was having more trial and error than necessary to that fragile beginners ego, I gained a new sense of my own creativity.

Today she still likes “Mom” to make most of her things, but she has made her fair share of projects…these fingerless gloves she made herself are some of my favorites.

Sara made these up as she crocheted along



She made them in the winter months when we were snowed in, they aren’t “matching”, they are her “funk-tional” gloves…


Brother kindly models sister's hat.

Brother kindly models sister's hat.

The hats she and her brother are wearing were also made by her, she learned a few things about hats in making them…she was so proud when she finally understood the shaping from the crown, without needing me to tell her “one more time” how to decrease, but not “too much”.

She ignored my “rules” about color changing, and did her own thing, which ended up showing on the one hat, but not the other. Live and learn…sometimes being creative and learning the rules, requires trial and error.


My favorites are still the gloves (and they are her favorites too!): I like that in those gloves I see the rules and breaking the rules…and her creativity will only blossom further, we do not know it’s bounds…

Of course, do any of us? Do we really know the bounds of our creativity?

If you know a few of the rules in crochet, see how many you can purposely break today and let your creativity flow!