Category Archives: crochet articles

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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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 🙂 Love it!

I WANT MORE LIKE THIS!  

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!

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!

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!

Weaving in ends…a never ending task.

Weaving in ends is the chore I hate the most. I hate weaving in ends so much, that I have been known to crochet over them as much as possible, or create a fringe to incorporate all the loose ends…there are many creative ways to avoid weaving in ends; unless you can’t.

I just finished the skirt I designed for my teenage daughter, and am thinking of submitting for the design contenst for the CGOA (if I’m not too late). I have spent all evening weaving in ends, and then I still didn’t like the skirt. I realized why once I wove in all the ends, or at least part of the reason anyway; I resented it. I resented the skirt for being that kind of project, you know the kind…the kind where I have to weave in the dang ends. So, I put it down, walked away, had a cup of tea, ate a salad, and came back to it.

Oddly enough, that brief moment of walking away made me look at the skirt in a different light. First of all the daughter loves it. Secondly, the real reason I didn’t like it, is that it needed just a little “something” to finish it. When I figured out that the little something was a really quick and simple fix, I did it, wove in the ends, and voiila. I actually like the skirt now.

Weaving in ends is kind of like the details of life. The little chores we don’t really enjoy doing that make everything else just look better, or at least allow for the space to see what is the real issue. So I am here to say that this week, I will be weaving in some ends in the CLF to do list.

I don’t ignore those ends, there are just a lot of them, and I am only one person. I will be getting in touch with a few of you in order to get some help on some minor details that I do not have to do on my own. But, sadly, some of these things are up to me, and me alone. I don’t mind it, I don’t avoid them, they just pile up, and I’m working through them while staying current on the dailing stuff. So, last week I worked on the website, this week tying up some other loose ends to do with CLF stuff, and I will get back to working on book two.  One of my top priorities is getting a day planner.

What? I don’t have one? Nah, I threw out my old one 10 years ago, swearing I would never own one again (that and a watch), and sigh…here I go getting one. Never say never.

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!