Monthly Archives: July 2010

Happy Third Birthday CLF!

July 27 the Crochet Liberation Front turned three years old!

I can hardly believe it! First of all the past three years have flown by and secondly it really did start out as a joke.

I don’t want us to rest on our laurels by far, but I do want to list some of them.

  • Some yarn companies are making changes to their labels to reflect crochet hook sizes and gauge.
  • Our annual crochet awards, The Flamies, have garned crochet a huge amount of attention and given our designers real boosts in their professional standings!
  • I have noticed a distinct change in the yarn store mentality both on line and off line regarding crochet and crocheters. More people are asking what they can do for crochet enthusiasts now! Well done guys!
  • There is more available in the way of patterns online, though I find the magazines are still hit and miss on their art direction and delivery.
  • Our book made real waves and though it hasn’t make the NY Times best seller list, I think it did give a wake up call to the big publishers because I’m seeing more offerings in line what we are asking for trickling through the bookshelves and on Amazon. (Keep buying the ones we want guys! They will publish more if we do!”
  • Many who joined the CLF are amateurs (those who do something because they love it!) have turned pro and have launched successful careers.
  • Many who joined the CLF who felt alone, now have made good friends.
  • Many who joined the CLF who felt their talents were nothing more than just “something” they did, now know what they do requires skill and effort, and IS something to be valued.

I think those last three points are the most important. If we don’t see ourselves as loved, or worth while or what we do as valuable, none of the rest of it makes one bit of difference.

   Where to go from here?

Well, I need you all to sign up for the retreat! Go to the CLF website and sign up for the Crochet @ Cama Retreat. My Local Yarn Store is even hosting our yarn tasting! Come on you know you want to! If you need room mates let me know, we’ll try to get something set up on the message board on Ravelry.com for that.

Also, we need to keep pushing stores, magazines, and yarn companies to deliver. If you haven’t noticed we have not suceeded in all of our aims and goals just yet. Let’s be a bit like the Spice Girls and “Tell ’em what you want, what you really really want!”

Support the administrative efforts of the CLF if you can by purchasing our fabulous Crochet Propoganda from our Zazzle store, or our book.

Lastly, keep crocheting, at home, in public, meet up with friends, teach your kids and relatives and friends, spread the joy of the hook whereever you go. 

Thank you so much for such a fabulous three years! May we enjoy many more!!

Happy Birthday Crochet Kharma!

Yesturday was my birthday, my gift from husband was a trip out to my favorite bookstores, which is a long drive through pretty country side.

This one book store has all manner of treasures, I know if I’m looking for something funky, out of the ordinary, or a subject that has little information on it, this used book store will have it at some point. Today I scored crochet gold!

I found two older crochet books, one from 1948, hardbound even, entitled  “The Complete Book of Crochet” by Elizabeth L. Mathieson. It’s a fabulous book for the crochet historian to possess. I’m honored to be it’s latest keeper!

The second book I found is PROOF of all that I have been requesting in books on crochet!! It’s entitled, “America’s Crochet Book”, by Gertrude Taylor. Published in 1972 by Charles Scribner & Sons. This book has it all from how to learn crochet with some of the best written instructions I’ve ever seen, (Lefties beware though, the antiquated view on left handedism is present but the other information is so worth skipping that vingnette).

Chapter One includes:

  1. General :  Types of hooks and hook sizes: Steel hooks, Aluminum or plastic hooks, wood hooks, afghan hooks
  2. Description of Beginning Stitches: Chain stitch, Single, Half Double, Double, Treble, Double Treble, Triple Treble, Slip Stitch
  3. Shaping of Crochet Pieces:  Decreases (in each of the stitches by the way), Increases, Bind off.
  4. Pracice stitches with yarn: Joining new thread

From starting your first project, to learning how to fit garments and finish them correctly (to make them as polished as anything anyone else purchases!) to instructions for Tunisian Crochet and hairpin lace…this book is an amazing amazing tribute to our craft.

The information on fitting garments and how to alter a pattern to fit YOUR body is EXACTLY what we have been asking for, and when publishers say it can’t be done we can now point at this book and blow them big raspberries!

It can be done! It has been done! And where was this book in my life 20 years ago!!! It’s fabulous! Written in plain Engligh with the beginning garment maker in mind I love this book.

Here’s a sample of some of the encouraging text!

“So many people think that they need only purchase yarn, hooks, and a pattern book to create gorgeous garments. This is not so. You must develop a new skill and start your way at the bottom of the ladder and work your way up rung by rung. If you have crocheted for years, making doilies, edgings, or tablecloths, you have a little head start on the brand new beginner, but still you must learn how to fit, block, and finish garments made of yarn.”

Have I been channeling her? Is she still around? Does anyone know her or did know her in real life, because I want to make sure some one hugs her on my behalf! I love, love, love this book and it is now my brand new favorite of all time!

Did I mention it’s in mint condition, dust jacket and all? Oh yes, it shall have a hallowed place in my home.

I want to thank all the wonderful folks on the CLF message board on Ravelry, and on Facebook for the birthday wishes!  How lovely to be thought of!

A reminder to you all the Crochet Liberation Front’s 3rd birthday is July 27th, what do you want to do to celebrate?

More Hookalicious Crochet!!

Congratulations to CelticMommy, a very active CLF member who used Julie Armstrong Holtz’s pattern to make the Hong Kong Bag found in Uncommon Crochet! CelticMommy you are the recipient of the CLF Hookalicious award for outstanding crochet! I love the notes, and the details you put on your project page!!

Love this bag!

Simple Summer Crochet Fun!

Back to handing out awards for crochet fabulousness! CLF member LittleThingies has a great example of what can be done with simple motifs. These examples are a simple hexagon motif (the pattern for which is on the project page on Ravelry.com, but you could use circles, triangles, squares, polyhedrons, octogons, oh heck any thing that fits and looks good as an embellishment!

I love what she did to the sneakers!

Congratulations!  I award you, LittleThingies, with the Hookalicious Award for creative and fun crochet!

Also, if you haven’t seen the recently updated CLF Website, I finally was able to get photos up to represent what will be taught in our classes during the CLF retreat! You can check that out here!

Accomplishment

I was reading an interview Katie Couric did with several of the scions of the feminist movement, and something Ms. Couric said really stayed with me, “It seems that women are more interested in being viewed as “hot” versus
accomplished.”

So, let’s speak about this as crocheters, sorry dudes I know 5% of the CLF are guys, and I don’t ignore you really, but this is a great place to discuss the topic, and it affects you too.

It is my humble (or not so humble) opinion, that as long as traditional feminine tasks, occupations, and roles are viewed as inferior to that of traditional male tasks, occupations and roles, that being “hot” will be the standard many women choose to fly over “accomplished.”

After all, look at our own dear realm of fiber arts. For the past 200 years fiber arts and needle work have been primarily the pervue of women, before the industrial revolution these traditional arts and crafts were done by “master crafts MEN”. Once the job became relegated to feminine turf, the value decreased, the status decreased and the PAY decreased.

For all we, women are now “allowed” access to the hallowed halls of the ‘boy club’, what we haven’t done for ourselves is truly value that which is FEMININE, the urge to make, create, to organize, to nurture. We’re drawn to those kinds of professions, we’re drawn to that line of work, and yet, it consistently offers us less in the way of pay, retirement, and yes, accomplishment.

I think this is a sad state in which  to find ourselves, because until we view what we traditionally do as females something worth claiming as an accomplishment, I fear we shall never really be equal.

Liberation means the act of freeing ones self. You can free your mind from it’s mental chains in so many ways. Let us start in our own little corner of the world by not apologizing for our love of traditional feminine handcrafts. Let us proudly announce that what we do is something of value and requires specialized skills, just like carpentry or plumbing.

It’s not about being one of the guys, it’s not about being one of the girls, it’s about being equal as humans, and that means getting respect for who we are, not what we do. That’s an old game, let’s change it up.

Crochet: Life of the Partay…

My friend always hosts the 4th of July party at her house, and this year we had quite a mix of folks. Several gentlemen who were former coworkers of her husband came to the party, and we milled about eating yummy kabobs and sampling wines. I crocheted a good part of the time, ball of yarn in bag, hook in hand, mystifying the kids running around that I could indeed, walk, talk and crochet.

I was talking to one of my friend’s long time friends I see on holidays, and asking him some questions about computer programming, when one of the gentlemen I hadn’t met, asked, “What do you do? Are you a programmer?”

I laughed, and Mike laughed, and he said, “Hell no, she’s a professional hooker.” (He was then pointing at my crochet)…

The look on the other fellow’s face was…well, damn it was priceless. “A programming hooker… what every man wants!” he exclaimed.

And they say crochet and crocheters are boring…Hah!

Hats…

Recently I asked on the CLF Facebook fan page, “Do you crochet hats? Do you wear them besides in winter?” The responses were quite amazing, it appears that I am not the only hat loving crochet fiend!

I love wearing hats, recently though I have gotten rather sick of my hat collection and want to make more hats to replace the “same ol’ same ol'”. Especially since I am almost done with the blanket I’m making for a college bound niece, and want a few immediate gratification projects…

So I thought I would ask you guys to suggest hat patterns, mostly for spring, summer and fall…what are your favorites?

Hook on! Live Long!

Laurie