Category Archives: Crochet and Knitting

News and more on Drape Competition!

First Iwould love to share the great news that Mary Beth Temple’s Hooked for LIfe is going into it’s second printing! Hah, we kept saying the crocheters could read! Congratulatoins to Mary Beth Temple on that brilliant good news, and I have to admit that after the review here on the CLF Blog; I have read and read the book at least five times πŸ™‚ Love it!

I WANT MORE LIKE THIS!Β Β 

By the way, it’s Monday and that means Mary Beth Temple’s LIVE podcast happens at 9pm Eastern/6 Pacific at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mary-beth-temple! Don’t miss her show!

And more information about the competition!

Someone posed this thought/question “Is it not unfair to have lace entered or open work because they automatically drape?”

Nope. It’s not unfair, and one reason is that they do not always automatically drape. I make lace so tight I don’t need starch. And, if you use worsted weight yarn and a g hook you get stiff no matter what, you may end up with a “drapier” fabric that way, but it will not necessarily produce drape.

We want every kind of drape you can think of in crochet: Solid fabric, open work, lace, swatches of all of those…what ever. Send in your photos PLEASE!

The more PROOF we have the better, and I promise a WHOLE BLOG PAGE to the results!

Remember the competition ends August 9th! I want pictures!

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Change of Plans & Choices & Books

Ok, CLFers don’t hate on me, cause I’ve had a change of plans for August. Yes, I said I was going to Buffalo, I wanted to go to Buffalo. I love my CGOA brothers and sisters. I wanted to take my hooks and yarns, and buy more hooks and yarns, and play play play! However, I had a few decisions to make and I will spell them out just so my loyal minions and ring leaders know why. I believe in transparency.

If you noticed I haven’t been talking up book 2 too much. That’s because, as with book one, the problem was my computer was running sooooooooooooooo slow.Β  Now as I wrote in the last post, the CLF has finally made enough to oover a few basic expenses. (Certainly not enough for me to fly to Buffalo AND stay in a hotel, let alone do silly things like eat and stay in the black). So, I made an executive decision to buy new memory for the lap top.

It was a good decision. For you technophiles, envision this. I pulled off a 198 page full color book will a laptop with 2Β  512K memory sticks installed. Today I got 2 1GB cards put in, I’d have loved to put more, BUT my laptop can’t handle more. Now I should have less freezing, and my c omputer should be able to handle the load of the books.

There is no inspiration for working on a book when your program decides not to respond and you have to recover files and pray you saved the last bit, because it may or may not be able to recover the page.

So, no Buffalo. But, I will be mailing a few things to a few dedicated CLF minions and ring leaders to pass out to all and sundry. And, I will be doing a little subversion here on the left coast. Stay tuned for those details.

The other reason, I chose this, is that my local community fair is the week before Buffalo, and I am the Department Head of the Hand spinning and Fleece division. All of my normal help are elderly, and some of them have been quite ill this year. I will not have the help preceeding the event as normal, and that means for 2 weeks in July (not to mention the actually 3 days of the fair) I will be running my buns off doing my job here locally. I know how exhausted I get those weeks before the fair, and after the event itself, and as a measure of self care, part of my decision to spend the airplane ticket money on the computer (and the other subversive activity) was made knowing I would end up zombie like if I pushed myself.

Thank you for understanding that my will to go cannot meet my physical ability to do so, and I am sad I will miss out on the fun andΒ  seeing and meeting you! BUT next year is the retreat for the CLF, AND I’m thinking of doing a SE USA tour…more details to come when I figure it out !

Hooks Raised! CLF SALUTE!

Kitschalicious Cozy!


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Originally uploaded by kristyashmore

Call it a cozy, call it a bag, this is so darn cute!

CLF Member KAshmore makes these really cute bags to hold your Gadgets! The pattern is available for download at her Etsy store,
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5772656

KAshmore pat yourself on the back! These bags have earned you the Kitschalicious Award for awesome crochet kitsch!

Hooks Raised, CLF Salute!

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.Β  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!

Crochet ignorance…

You know what really steams me up? (Oh I hear your chuckles loud and clear!)

When people who don’t do much crochet, malign our art/craft. Especially people in the needle arts industry, they should know better and their lack of knowledge often mortifies me.

Here are a few of the myths that make me go “Mmmm?”

1) Lace is difficult.

No it isn’t. Lace takes time, attention, and the ability to count. Yes, you heard me COUNTING. That’s the biggest skill required. In general lace is not difficult to do, it often doesn’t require any stitch more difficult than a crown picot or maybe a clones knot, maybe a bullion stitch. All you have to do is is practice a bit before you do a stitch that needs finger flexibility. Lace is about negative space and making holes. Hard to do with the sticks, easy as chaining three, skipping two stitches and inserting your damned hook into the third stitch and single crocheting, with a hook. Yeah you heard me, a hook.

Does no one wish to sell thread? I mean for the love of all that’s fuzzy, Doris Chan has shown us what we can do with those marvelous old lacey motifs and stitch patterns and do in bigger yarn. So it works up faster. Faster doesn’t mean easier, it means faster. DUH.

2) Only fashion wear is good crochet.

Oh go jump off a tall bridge. All crochet is good crochet when someone pays attention, has even stitch work, and the project suits the needs of the hands that made it. One person’s “OMG what is that THING” is another person’s precious treasure.

If you start telling me that potholders aren’t useful, then pick up a hot dish straight out of the oven or put it on your nice new wood table. If you tell me that slippers aren’t of importance come to my house in January and walk around without socks. If you tell me that hats and scarves aren’t needed, then walk on my local beach in March when a 30MPH squall is blowing. Pillows, afghans, dolls, and toys all have their places too! My teenage neices still have all the dolly blankets, and toy horse saddle blankets I made them when they were young, they are now keeping them for their kids! (I think that is very cool.)

Jewelry, purses, socks, slippers, rugs, shopping bags, bicycle panniers, Ipod covers, cell phone holders, game system holders, and the ubiquitous hair scrunchy; THEY ALL HAVE THEIR PLACE, in the hands of a hookster.

3) You’re only good a needle arts if you use sticks…

Explicative, Explicative, and BLEEP. Rolling my eyes here. No, you are good at needle arts if you do any kind of needle work with attention, patience, and proficiency. And who said you had to be good at it? Doesn’t everyone have to start somewhere? I don’t know many people who started out making perfect projects.

4) If they can’t do it, it’s obvious it’s not a good craft.

Get over yourselves. People who think that way belong back in elementary school. I cannot use sticks beyond swatching. Does it mean I think knitting and knitters suck? Nope, I think I suck at knitting. Am I a lesser form of crafter because I crochet? Hell NO! In fact most of the people who malign crochet couldn’t do half of what I do with a hook with their sticks, and the other half may be talented but are rather short sighted and don’t bother to look past their own feeble crochet attempts.

5) Crocheters love ugly colors.

From what I see in many a magazine and from the big yarn brands you’d certainly think that. Thank the FUZZ GAWD that some of us actually do have an understanding of color and color theory and can see past the “Oh my god that color combination inspires my stomach acid to react to my lunch” color choices they foist on us.

I mean really. And some people do like the color choices, color is subjective dependant on cultural tastes of the beholder. (But I still say they have it out for us.)

6) You can only really be loyal to one craft.

Bull puckey. I know so many crafters who do so much more than one craft. We may have our favorites, but really most of us have dabbled in many forms of crafting. I, for example, am into crocheting, embroidery, rug making, spinning yarn (on a wheel), and have done some weaving (though it’s not my thing), I also felt and make coiled baskets. But because I don’t use sticks, why none of the rest of that can possible count…dripping sarcasm aside, I’d love to ask the folks who think that way to come warp my Jack loom. It’s only 48 inches wide, with four harnesses, I bet they could manage it cold.

7) Crocheters are old, fat, lazy and stupid.

They may not say it, but man they sure act like that’s what we are. I’m not saying there aren’t old, fat, lazy and stupid crocheters out there, but I’ve met some pretty skinny, hyperactive, very young (thinking of my 15 year old) crocheters. I’ve met kids as young as five who crochet, and women as old as 98, most of us fall in between that gap. In fact in one my own online surveys, the average age of a CLF member was 34 years of age.

8) Crocheters are cheap/low class.

What ever. You should see the emails flying from the Free Form Crochet list as The Knit and Crochet Show approaches. People are strategizing about how many bags they can bring to the show so they can get all their yarn purchases home. There are stories of people getting ready to ship their laundry or yarn home, just to fit it all in to the trip! Yeah, that’s real cheap.

As for low class. Folks, the US Census Bureau has the US Median Income at $40,000 per house hold. We have over 300 million people in this country, you are in the top 20% if you make more than $50,000 per year. I don’t know where you live, but where I live that doesn’t go very far. The majority of people ARE worker bees, and these folks should be respected, and the companies and magazines should think about what it takes to get their business. We all love the bottomless wallet, but there is only a scant percentage of the population with that kind of income. Sorry to burst your bubble, not all of that scant uses sticks.

I’m sure I’ll think of more things that cheese me off, but this should do for today. Industry people, RETHINK how you treat us, cause we’re getting REAL organized.

Grammar Police Where Are You?

Dear Grammar Police,

I would like to entreat you to accost those who list handwork out of alphabetical order. You have no problem letting me know when spell check has missed my homonyms, or typos, or my over use of commas, and semi-colons. You, the Grammar Police, love to point out incomplete phrases, and run on sentences, you have skills, and I wish you to put them to good use. You can correct me any time you want, and often do, but why oh why don’t you get a hold of yarn companies, and catalogues for writing “Knit and Crochet” instead of “Crochet and Knit” ?

A list should be in alphabetical order: point blank.

Now, here are my reasons: I recently contacted a yarn company regarding their use of “Knit and Crochet” and politely asked them to revise their website to reflect the alphabetical listing. I wrote stating that it was obviously an oversight, because they have not ignored crochet as a market, but that we (the consumers) often feel like we’re getting second billing.

Their response was less than desired; I felt talked down to, I felt like was I was patted on the head, and frankly I was really annoyed.

To paraphrase what they wrote me; they use knit and crochet because of how the phrase flows.

Hmmm… I had years of voice lessons, classical voice lessons; if you’ve ever studied classical voice then you will understand that learning to enunciate while singing is a skill that requires years of practice. In fact, “electrocution” (elocution) lessons were a great part of my classical training. Did you know it’s easier to sing in a Latin root language than in English? Did you know why?

Vowels and consonants. Sound is carried on vowel sounds, and soft consonants (m, n, s,z), hard consonants end sound, (t, p,k,d)…So I want you to pronounce with me…let’s say this together phonetically, and if you think I’m wrong, that’s okay. I just think if they are going to say it’s a word flow issue, we should test it out πŸ™‚

NihT anD croshay

Croshay and nihT

Which has the smoother flow?

See I find when I pronounce the “t” in knit that the t is a hard sound which breaks up the flow of the sounds in the phrase. When I say crochet (ay) this flows with more liquidity with two consecutive open vowel sounds and you’ll find you may pronounce the d of “and” softer too, with the t at the end of knit softer but still final. T is always a final sound when you pronounce words in English; It’s a hard, staccato, versus and open legato… πŸ™‚

So next time someone says, it’s for the flow of the sounds and not about billing, I’ll just have to point out how very wrong that is….

You can fool part of the people, part of the time; but you can’t fool all the people, all of the time.

I think saying crochet and knit sounds more equal and less of a billing issue than vice versa…not because of the alphabet even, because of how the word sounds flow.

But pronounce it yourself and see what you think for yourself.

Ok..I done did it…

Hello Minons!

Ok, I finally decided to go with google Adsense… I’ve avoided it because even though you can specify your subject matter, many companies that don’t really serve crochet tag their ads with the word crochet…and we end up with you know, pointy stick ads.

So, the way we avoid this is thus, if you see an ad in your search with the K word in it, and want to bring it to my attention, leave me a comment or PM me on ravelry with the URL and I’ll block said ad πŸ™‚

Again, I remind you I am not against pointy sticks, but we’re cheerleading for the underserved crochet market, and the other market is way bigger than us, so you know it’s not like they are going to hurt NOT being here πŸ˜‰