Category Archives: CLF news

Apple Blossom Stole Set’s Our Picot Free!


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Originally uploaded by mooncobress

CLF Member MoonCobress made this stunning stole! And her Ravelry project notes are excellent! She used Kal Mistry’s Apple Blossom Stole pattern which is available for free here http://www.theinsideloop.com/Issue2/Patterns/appleblossom.html

MoonCobress I adore this piece, I would so wear this piece, you have set my imagination and my picot free! Congratulations, you are duly awarded the Set My Picot Free award for stunning crochet!

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It’s time to pony up!

Candi Jensen, Executive Producer of Knit and Crochet Today asked me if the CLF would help her generate awareness about the need for funds to produce Season 3 of the show! (To air on PBS starting Jan. ’10).

Before I tell you all that a $5 donation could actually help save her show, I want you to know a little bit behind the production of the highest rated tv show of it’s kind!

Candi is a one woman operation. She fell into being the Executive Producer of the show, had to learn how and what to do as a producer and owner of a production company. She’s a designer by trade, and has many patterns, books and articles floating out there. But imagine being thrown into that awesome path, having to learn on the fly and THEN losing the sponsor and having to find the money to keep the EMMY NOMINATED and HIGHEST RATED TV Show on the air!

WOW! Daunting! I so resonate with Candi, and over the past few months have had the absolute pleasure of helping her with ideas for fundraising, and gotten to know that she really is as nice as she looks in her pictures in the magazines! (I’ve admired her and her talent for YEARS…yes, I have stars in my eyes)…When I found out she was a one woman operation I had to help, even if she named her show incorrectly. I mean we all know it SHOULD say Crochet and Knit Today, but really there’s trademarks and copywriting in the way now, so I’ll stop bugging her about it.

I’m a one woman show too, and thank heavens I have so many willing helpers in the CLF to get things moving and running! That’s why I offered to get the word out! So, here’s the deal, the link to the donation page is

http://www.knitandcrochettoday.com/donate.html  

You can help by donating, or blogging about this fabulous TV Show. I have the shows on DVD and I love them. I have even learned a thing or three from them. (And shshshs don’t tell anyone, I was even tempted to pick up the sticks!)

Please help the show out! There is more information on the website listed above. I think we often imagine tv shows being millions of dollars of budgets. I happen to know that this show doesn’t have that kind of budget and if we can help raise about $50,000 in small donations then YEAH we can show the world that we LOVE this kind of programming. It’s worth it to me, and I hope it’s worth it to you!

Fuzzy logic; Economics and Crochet

So, I’ve been reading this book called “Banker to the poor” by Mohammed Yunis. If you don’t know who this guy is, you should. Professor Yunis is the man who founded Grameen bank, the only micro-lending bank of it’s kind. And, read that sentence again, the ONLY micro-lending bank of it’s kind.

This man was a professor of economics around the time Bangladesh gained it’s independance from Pakistan in the 1970’s. He noted the extreme poverty in the villages surrounding the university where he taught, and began to think about how to “fix” the problem of extreme (and I mean extreme) poverty. I won’t detail how he started Grameen Bank, or his economic theories. What I do want to do, is state that what I have observed in his writing (and I’m half way through the very thoughtfully written tome) is two fold:

1) Dr. Saif, whereever you are, can you PLEASE change my grade in economics now? I know it’s been twenty years, but really, this guy has done exactly what I was talking about in 1989 and it’s working. I would like that C marring my GPA change to at least a B+.

2) Much of what Professor Yunis has done is address not just the money side of poverty but the social side of poverty. And this is where my thoughts are turning.

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH CROCHET? A lot.

1)  Go into any department store and you will see crocheted garments and accessories (you will also see hand knit items)., these are made most often in third world countries by the poor. Unless it is a special fair trade organization where the workers are allowed to both acrue and re-invest their earnings, most of the goods are made by people who make less than a sustaining wage. Forget living wage, most of those people end up owing the factories for their room and board, and never ever have a chance of succeeding in feeding their families or educating their children. This ensures future generations of poverty.

2) Even in the USA where our poor have a much higher standard of living and a better “quality” of life, the majority of people who make handmade items make very little if anything from their labors. Most of them are female, and most often their work is discounted and devalued because it does not meet the current world view on what is and is not worthy of due payment and wealth.

The problem for us as crocheters isn’t the fact that knitters exist, that never has been the problem. They are equally mistreated economically, and in truth they may have a better rep in the handworking world, but all handworkers are looked down upon by the “real world.’

Whatever this “real world” is saying is frankly b.s. and DOES NOT WORK.

Any system (economic or otherwise) that only benefits a minor percentage of any population group or demographic, is a failing system.

Now, we’ve identified the problem. The next step is to figure out what to do about it.

1) Support your local handworkers.

2) Do not accept the lies that what you do is not of value.

3) Buy locally, think globally.

4) Do NOT by sweatshop created projects. Believe it or not people are far better off in their local villages than going into big cities to be indentured or slaves. And yes, that is very much how people are treated. They do not ever have a chance at living, they die young, poor and in bad health; leaving their children to the same fate. Believe me, I have seen these things first hand, ugly and brutal are poor adjectives to describe it.

5) Find an NGO (non-governmental agency) to support that works in fair trade, and then support them.

6) Price your own work above free. What you do has value.

I’m hopping off the soapbox for a little while, but be prepared I’ll be getting back on it as I read through the book. Because it’s making my brain tick. Crochet is a very small part of the world, but I can’t change the big picture. I can work at changing just a small part of this little microcosm. We don’t have to change the world anyway, we can just change our own world.

News, Notables, and Male Members

The weekend approacheth, and I’m busy beyond belief. Half of my to-do list didn’t get done this week, due to some insane wackiness that was sent my way by ill winds of fortune. Luckily, I banished the winds to their rightful place, and am trying to get back on track! YAY. So, this post is going to be a hodge podge of CLF awesomeness!

First of all, the CLF Sponsored Flamie Awards are getting mentioned in print! The latest Interweave Crochet magazine (and on the Crochet Me site) they have an ad for the magazine feature their 2008 Flamie Award for Best Crochet Magazine! That graphic was designed by Darlisa Riggs (Fignations on Ravelry), she is a fabulous artist and also manages and runs the awesome E-Zine Crochet Un-Cut, the Official Unofficial Magazine of the Crochet Liberation Front.

Yup, I just said it. Male members.  We have them in the CLF and while I often wax on about feminism, I acknowledge with ferver that men indeed crochet (and knit, and weave, and spin, and do all the kinds of crafting women do), and we have many men in the CLF. Many of them notable crocheters in the industry, and some notable in their awesomeness as CLF members, and all of them notable not because they are male, but because they are awesome crocheters. They happen to be male.

One such member, is Josh, who’s article on male inclusion into Chat-n-Chains (or Sit and Knits) is featured on the Crochet Insider’s fabulous E-Zine. It’s worth the read, it’s funny, short and makes a really good point. As much as we do not like being harassed as women when passing a construction site, men don’t like being harassed when coming to a handworking event. Oh wait there are female construction workers? Yeah, and there are male handworkers. Equality folks. Let’s not harrass the guys, especially if we don’t like being harrassed!

Oddly this article is timed with some of my very own thoughts on the subject of male handworkers. As I wrote above, I know I have written plenty about the feminism side of life, and have been wondering if that has made the guys in the CLF feel a bit left out. It was and never is intended to leave our male members out of the loop or not included. And I was about to write a post up just for them. Josh, however did a much better job of it, and I think I’m pretty clear in the CLF Manifesto that we crocheters come in all flavors, and sizes.

So with that in mind I’m off and running to the rest of my day, and hoping to get more off that to-do list! YAY for crochet we’re doing more and more out in the world folks. Let’s just keep hookin!

Website update, video tutorials, and other stuff

Well, I updated the CLF website. The front page is changed, I added a page of video tutorials that will be added to from time to time. The offerings on the page are diverse from folks within and without the industry! Rock on folks! We are the hooksters (you know like hipsters) and crochet is very cool…as is evidenced in the videos.

I get really frustrated working on the website, mostly because of stupid broken links, everything else is easy. I can do the buttons and scrolling dancing monkies (if I wanted to, but they won’t load on my computer at home on dial up!), but broken links, they are my bane. So, when I whine about building the site, just know it’s the dang typos that are killing me 😉 LOL…I just don’t have all the hours in every day to do all that needs doing 😉 No rest for this wicked wicked woman.

Speaking of no rest for the wicked, I am working away on the adult book. I extended the deadline on the third book, folks will know if they got in by the 12th of June. I’m taking my time with these things.

Remember, though I have “help”, I am doing the book production as me/myself/ and I. I can have folks look over and do some editing. But, ultimately I take on the whole enchelada 🙂 WHOO HOO! Instead of giving myself and ulcer, like I did last year, I am taking it easy.

So while you wait for the second and third books, why not get the first book! You can get it from our website http://www.crochetliberationfront.com/clfbookhome.html if you are outside of the states order your book from http://www.gailsyarns.com/ and if you just want the .pdf download get it from http://www.lulu.com/camanomade it’s only $9.99 there 😉

So, folks we’re plugging away working, juggling, running, and hooking…Thanks for the thoughts and offers of assistance. It’s all appreciated. Oh and I will leave you with this:

We’re planning the CLF retreat for October 2010. Yes, that is right!

Fearless Leader in Crochet Today!

Ok, I’ve said it was coming, I really did, but I didn’t realize the July/August Issue of Crochet Today was out in June! Egads!

There is an article about yours truly, and the Crochet Liberation Front and I hear it’s pretty good 😉 It was a fun interview (which of course happened months ago), and now I need to hunt down me a copy! It’s like trying to catch a rabbit in a brier patch in these parts, I may have to take a 40 minute drive to my nearest Fred Meyer’s (store) to see if they have a copy.

It’s always kinda funny when these articles happen, I know it’s gonna happen, I did the dang interview over the phone, but until you see it in print, it’s not really real. It feels weird when you see yourself or read your quotes, and you think, “Did I really say that?” sometimes I think I sound silly, and other times I wonder at how those words came from me!

It’s kinda fun to see all of this happen, especially since it started out as a joke. We’re obviously not a joke any more, but I like to pretend we are, because then I don’t get all nervous like…cause really folks, I’m kinda shy 😉

Oh, and look at the bottom of the page. I put up our store on Zazzle.com, we have all kinds of CLF goodness. I’m working on coming up with more bumper sticker ideas. I kinda like the “Stash” one, it made me chuckle, and would work for those who enjoy crafting in general 🙂 LOL

Remember every little bit adds up and helps this Fearless Leader keep working on CLF stuff!

CLF News and other things…

It’s a beautiful sunny day as I write this post. I’ll try not to make too many mistakes as I rush to finish blogging and head out side to enjoy the sunshine! In the Pacific NW you have to grab the sun when you get it!

I’ve been crocheting up a storm getting ready for the CGOA regional in Portland, Oregon (also known as The Knit and Crochet Show). Got my train tickets and the event packet showed up in the mail this week so WHOO HOO! Ready for PDX, as soon as I get that free form vest done. It’s looking pretty spiffy, but the back is taking me forever to finish!

At the same time I’m working away at the “Crochet in Chains” book, slowly but surely, this book will manifest. I’ve figured out some layout issues that were bugging me, nothing technical, purely aesthetic, sleeping on the problem fixed it!

I’ve begun recieving submissions for our 3rd book, “400yds or Less” which will have some cute, fun and quick crochet projects. Keep those rolling in!

So, now I am off to Cama Beach State Park to see if our Interpretive Specialist, Tina Dinzel Pedersen needs my help at the information desk. It’s a sunny day, and that makes folks want to play at the park. I like working at the information desk, even when it’s slow, because I can sit and work on the book!

Before I leave my library sanctum, I want to remind you that the CLF First Ever Book is still available at Amazon.com or the e-book is available for $9.99 on lulu.com. Thank you again to all who have purchased the book(s). It was our first effort and an amazing one, I think we’ll all be pleased with the next few books as we’ve figured out how to move ourselves forward.
That being said, I’m so proud of our first ever book! I hope you enjoy it!