Category Archives: Cool Crochet

Sweet Soap or Sachet Bag


Sweet Soap or Sachet Bag

Originally uploaded by Catcro

Summery, and hookalicious!

I love making soap savers, and they are one of those satisfyingly quick, useful, and welcome projects in the heat of summer!

Congrats to CLF Member dbknfivec (Kathy North) for earning a Hookalicious Award! Why? For a soap saver? Because, I am in love with the design, and making something useful AND pretty.

I get requests for these puppies from family, and friends at birthdays and holidays. In fact, I recently crocheted up a quickie for my son’s 13th birthday, because the night before he asked sheepishly if I could crochet him a birthday present. Sure, it was 11pm, sure I was tired, but when your almost teenage son requests a crocheted present? And he loved his very masculine version of a soap saver.

So, Kathy, YOU WIN! Because I am biased, and love these kinds of projects! And that photo is lovely!

If you have never made soap savers, check out Kathy’s pattern for this very wonderful award winning bag!

http://www.piece-by-piece.net/Crochet/soap_sachet_bags.htm

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Set My Picot Free Award Winner!

So, I was doing a search for belly dancing costumes…and what do I find?
http://www.crochetkitten.com/ she has tons of patterns she’s made, and they are so totally awesome.
I contacted her on Ravelry.com and asked if I could use her images here because they are just too nifty. She wasn’t a CLF member at the time, though she might be now, and I’m not gonna check because well..it just doesn’t matter…I’m awarding her the Set My Picot Free for some awesome crochet representin’!

Josephine Scarf Front
Originally uploaded by Selena K

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!

My Bestest Crochet Friend…Stitch Dictionaries

I crocheted for over 25 years before I could really read a crochet pattern. Before that time, I copied my grandmother’s handwork (and other family members old doilies, table runners, and garments), and if there was a really good picture I could copy the stitch patterns. Granted, until about 15 years ago I wasn’t a “serious” crocheter, I dabbled here and there with the hook, always having it in my craft things, making “doodads” mostly, and of course copious amounts of edging for pillowcases, and hankies. I used to make those things for friends as we started out in life.
Before I was a “serious” crocheter, I was an embroiderer. Embroidery was my very first fiber love, I learned to hold needle and thread when I was very young, maybe four or five, and had French Knots mastered by seven or eight years old. I had little iron on patterns, though I never was much good at following inside the lines, I always preferred “eyeballing” my designs, as they turned out better. What can I say, I can’t and don’t want to color inside the lines either.
One of my first crafty related gifts, besides the kiddy craft kits, was a “stitch dictionary.” My great-grandmother presented me with one when I was about 10 years old. In this little tome of embroidery related goodness, I found all the inspiration a needler could want.
So, it was only logical as my craft life evolved and continued, that I sought out such things when I got more serious about crochet. Whereas, written patterns mystified me, stitch dictionaries for crochet gave me boundless inspiration.
I didn’t think of myself as an expert anything, for many years into my crafting life. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because it was just something I did, without too much thinking about it, I just made things. Sometimes they turned out, and sometimes, well…we’ve all had those projects now haven’t we? One of the reasons I didn’t feel expert was my inability to read patterns. I had never thought that I was doing the design work as I made up hats, scarves and little sweaters, dolls, purses and ornaments. I even made up my doilies straight from my own devious mind. Funny how you never take yourself seriously. I can tell you when I finally did think of myself as an expert crocheter, it was 2005 (not long ago eh?) when I was in a local craft store. Someone had a crochet question, and the owner called to me from across her store, “Laurie can you fix this?” she hollered, and then said audibly to the other person, “Laurie is our town’s crochet expert!”
As I whipped my crochet hook out of my bun (yes, I used to secure my then very long hair with a hook) and went to see how I could fix whatever hooking problem was out there to fix, I nearly stopped in my tracks…Expert? Me? Really? But, I wasn’t half as good as my late grandmother! If I can fudge weaving in ends, I do. I hide my mistakes, she didn’t make them. I mean, really … internal chuckle, expert! Hah! Sure.
I walked away that day thinking about what the lady said, and I asked a crafting buddy what she thought, and of course she told me that “Duh, of course you are.” When I protested she eye balled me, with a very loving but steely eye and said, “How can anyone do something for as long as you have and NOT be an expert?”
Well, heck and darn I hadn’t thought of it that way… Then I found the CGOA, and when I said I didn’t use patterns (and said it apologetically) I was admonished by some lovely people who said, “Oh, you’re a designer then!” (Truthfully I thought they were nuts at the time…but I knew they were well meaning nuts).
Now, do I say I’m an expert? Well, not much, but I know I am. I don’t really need to say it to know it’s true. I’m confident in my skills and my limitations. What can I say…but let me tell you, beyond the hours of creating lace as a young person, my stitch dictionaries have been my bestest crochet buddies. They are what are most responsible for my crochet expertise. (Well, that and hand spinning, because knowing your fibers is very important, but that’s another post).
To be honest, I’m still not much of a pattern user, at least not a pattern user in the keeping it inside the lines kind of way. I use patterns for ideas for shapes, and dimensions, flow and drape, I think I’ve managed to follow one to the letter, I can’t help it, I just can’t color inside the lines. When I write patterns, I secretly hope people tweak them to their own satisfaction. I like to give good construction and dimension information in the patterns, hoping to inspire someone to make the pattern their own! But hey, that’s just me.
For those of you who are beginning your crochet journey I highly suggest finding yourself a stitch dictionary. They are hardly ever entitled “Stitch Dictionary”, they are entitled things like “Bertha’s guide to 500 crochet stitches” (joke title), one of my personal favorites is the original James Walters & Sylvia Cosh, Harmony Guide to Crochet Vol. 1. I own many many stitch dictionaries, some of them small leaflets, and others large tomes of hooky goodness. They are my base line, there are the books I have closest to hand in my craft room.
Just as I can’t stand to follow patterns or color inside the lines, I don’t think I’ve made too many projects (other than those for which I write patterns) with only one or two stitches. When I make things for personal use, or gifts, I use at least four or five stitches per project! I love to mix colors and textures, as well as raised and relief stitches.
Oh and while you’re at picking up stitch dictionaries, get some books with great motifs in them! (Some people call them granny squares, but we have so much more than that available to us!)

Saturday of the Crochet and Knit Show

Ok, so it’s officially Sunday early AM right now, it was a really long day, and I should be in bed right now, but you know me…le sigh 🙂

Anyway, this morning at “bleary eyed o’clock” I had Myra Wood’s Advanced Free Form class. I loved every minute of it! Now, I already knew most of the stitches, but I didn’t take the class to learn a new stitch, that’s what my stitch dictionary collection is for! No, I took the class to be in Myra’s aura, her creative spirit and energy is vast and glorious. I have never met a person, yet, who has taken her classes and left disappointed!

I got inspired to do some very useable art…yes, useable art. Art for artsake is freakin cool, but I have this real practical streak and I like to use my art…it is both amusing and fullfilling!

After class, my dear friends Gabrielle and Thomas Chavez, met up with me, and I went to the Portland Raw Food Meetup’s potluck. That was a great deal of fun, and met a lovely lady who knits, and told her about the show, and showed off a little crochet goodness, she may now be tempted by the hook 😉

After that little bit for Crochet-Evangelism, I came back to the hotel with daughter and we relaxed for a while. WHOOT…

Then came the dinner and fashion show. Oh my, what a nice show it was too. Garments both crocheted and knit festooned our evening and tickled our eyeballs (and brains, lots of inspiration).

What was the coolest part of the show, to me, was how many crocheters there were! In fact when the “raffle prizes” were drawn folks were asked for their preference in the prizes! “Knit or Crochet” was the call about half of the lucky winners were heard to shout proudly and in a distinguished manner, “Crochet!” I had to root and cheer for each one! YAY for Crochet!

I am too tired to take photos off camera and get them on the blog at the moment, but I will most definately be doing that either later this morning, OR Monday 🙂

Tomorrow holds checking out from the hotel, seeing if I have enough cash to do one last dash through the market, and then off to the Museum of Contemporary Crafts because of this exhibit!

Then it’s to the Batmob… I mean the train station and back to Camano Island where my hubby, son, cats and dog are waiting for us!

It was sure fun (if not a little too warm for me)…but it was a HOOKALICIOUS convention, I’d say it rates hand over fist from last year! Live and learn I always say, but thank you Portland you were a fabulous host as always!

Crocheters go to Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland

Ok, so last year I missed out on the Voodoo Doughnut experience, this year I was determined (especially after seeing the place on a Foodnetwork TV show) to make my way to this very bizarre store!

Sara and I, went with Jorel and Melanie Gill (aka Mel), into this tiny little place on NW 3rd in

Portland. OMG, this is a riot! It took us a while to figure out what we wanted, well ok I knew I wanted the voodoo doll shaped doughtnut ’cause that’s too hilarious 😉


So, here’s the girls making up their mind, and Jorel and her lovely smile outside the bakery…

Sara got the Tex-Ass mongo sized doughnut!

I got the voodoo doll 😉 And I liked it.

Oooh and I gave them CLF Postcards, because one of the girls there is crocheting up a dozen doughnuts! ROCK ON! The hooks shall rule the UNIVERSE!

Off to the CGOA Regional in Portland, Oregon!

I’m excited!

Tomorrow morning my daughter and I head up to Mt. Vernon, WA. in order to take a train to Portland, Oregon. Our destination is the CGOA Regional event at the Doubletree Hotel in Portland, Oregon. It’s also called the “Knit and Crochet Show” and well, I have protested the name in the past (what else who you have me do), but the name of the show has nothing to do with the Crochet Guild of America, the “show” is owned by Offinger Management. But, they’ve done better listing crochet in their literature, and class notes. So, I give them a crochet nod.

I am taking a class on broomstick (jiffy) lace from Jennifer Hansen of Stitchdiva Design Studio, and a class on advance free form with Myra Wood.

I am also looking forward to going to Voodoo Donoughts because even though I grew up in the Portland Area, I have never been there, and I don’t know how on earth I ever missed such a place! I mean donoughts shaped like voodoo dolls? With red “blood” filling? I mean really! Me, who loves the first Shrek movie specifically because of the “Gingerbreadman” getting tortured? “No, NO! Not the MILK!”

I digress.

So, it’s a good thing that as part of my last minute preparations for the trip, that I have double checked what I need for the class. Um…Yeah. Sure I had it memorized, NOT!

So, I don’t think I have the correct sticks for Jennifer’s class, nor do I have the kind of yarn Myra called for in her class. Sigh…I barely EVER work with worsted weight yarn, so now I have to go digging through my stash one more time.

Yes, I will blog from the event! Yes, I’m taking pics! Yes, I have cool stuff to wear! I even made special elven slippers for crocheted yarnie goodness to wear in the halls 😉