Category Archives: Handcrafting

For the Mer-folk lovers in your life!


Arianna Mermaid Doll

Originally uploaded by Carolyn Christmas

My teenage niece is totally into Mermaids! I’ve been searching through the crochet projects on Ravelry.com looking for mermaid-spiration for her Christmas present!

I ran across this adorable amigurumi by Caroyln Christmas! The pattern is available for purchase on Ravlery. It’s too cute!

As the count down to the holidays happens, I’ll keep posting quick and easy projects! If you are looking for patterns or inspiration, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to come up with some fun ideas!

And don’t forget the CLF First Ever Book can be purchased from the CLF Official Website, both in Hard Copy and as a PDF download!

 

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Interesting times…

So, there I was feeling all sad because I had to make a choice as to whether I went to Buffalo for some awesome crochet fiber fraternization, or upped the memory in the old laptop…Then I have a person PM me on Ravelry asking if I was going to go to the Sock Summit in Portland. My first thought was, “Isn’t that for knitters?”

Then I remembered that my friend, Karen Whooley, was teaching down there, and so I used the link on the front page of Ravelry to look at the website. Karen is teaching some pretty fun crochet sock classes, so there’s at least a bone being thrown to crochet. Not a big bone, but a bone and that’s something. I love crochet socks, I love designing crochet socks, in fact my best selling and favorite sock pattern (and first one that ever got published “for real”) is my Looks Knit, Great Fit Sock Pattern.

So, in reading the website, I see the vendors market…AHHHHHHHHHHH Fibery goodness. Yummy, fibery goodness, big big big vendor’s market…lots of opportunity to spread the good crochet word…And an opportunity to really bring home the point that the Crochet Liberation Front is PRO-Crochet and not anti-knit. An opporunity to wear some really awesome socks and show off the mad sock skills that crocheters possess 🙂 Ah yes, it is a true moment to evangelize the Crochet Good News! Hookaleuia I say! Let’s show em what we can do…

I’m a little sad that the sock museum doesn’t really give room for crocheted socks. Which is sad, because all through the ’30’s, 40’s and 50’s crocheted stockings were quite the thing. Beautiful lacey affairs that really were sexy and practical. But, I don’t think it’s any anti-crochet sentiment, I think it’s oversight…and like I said, I’m going to spread the good crochet news 🙂

So,  I will get to play with fiber, make a little noise, and have some fun in my favorite town on the planet. I also get to stay with my dear and awesome friends in Oregon City, and have some R&R after a very busy summer.

So, I guess things have just played out the way they were supposed to. A) I can afford this trip, B) I get to visit with my friends C) I don’t miss out on fibery fun! D) I can stir the pot even more in a heavily stick dominating arena 😉 GRIN…Oh now, I’m not going to make trouble, you know me, far too diplomatic for that, but let’s see if we can make some crochet positive change for the next Sock Summit 🙂

Kitschalicious Cozy!


CP-01e

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!

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

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.

Musing and Wondering…

It is no secret that I am a feminist, or as I like to call myself a Neo-Feminist. Why the “neo”?
Because, I think the original movement was important, but instead of creating a real equality where women were viewed as valuable members of society equal due to the fact of their humanity, the matra became that we could be “like” men. That attitude just doesn’t turn me on.

I was a 1980’s teenager, so not only did I get the indoctrination that unless you wore a power suit with power heels you were a nobody, I also got told I could be “super-mom”, “have it all”, and that if I took on the masculine power system I would be the “perfect” woman. I tried it on, went to college, did a bit of ball busting, became an executive, got married, had kids, worked 16 hr days, had a nanny, was one of the pretty people, Prada Hallowed Be Thy Name, had a pretty pretty husband, ball busted some more, proved I could run departments, and divisions, bring home plenty of bacon, kept my crocheting and embroidery a secret, and found myself mentally and spiritually exhausted.

By the time I was 25, I knew that something had to give, and if I didn’t figure it out what was going to give was me.

What does this have to do with crochet? What does this have to do with feminism? Lots.

Traditional Feminine handcrafts, or “gentle pursuits” if you want to put into 19th century terms,
were thrown to the way side, seen as non-important and symbols of repression. So that our old stand by magazines that used to have lovely tips and hints for women on all kinds of subjects (such as Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, Family Circle…etc) now just run articles on how to work 12 hrs and still have good sex. They also promote the tired stereotypes of women who look good all the time, because God-Forbid we age at all, because our attractiveness is above all our greatest asset! Hold on a minute? What happened to feminism?

So, I have to be tough as nails, exhausted, a sexual siren, own false tits, have zero stretch marks, bust balls, can’t create pretty things with my own two hands, have perfect kids with perfect teeth, and have no crows feet? In the words of Fee from the book “Blessed are the Cheese Makers”, Feck that.

We, my friends, have been sold a bill of goods, and we have bought it. With cold hard visa cards.

Guess what? We all get old, natural tits and asses do sag, and it is the most human thing in the world to create. Create with our hands, create with our bodies, that is what women (and men) do. Period, we create, and that should be something in which we revel, and it should be lauded from the roof tops.

As women in traditional roles we do have power, a different kind of power, not saying that them were the good old days, cause they weren’t. But we didn’t need to throw the female baby out with the bath water.

Crochet and all other hand crafts have taken a hit because they were associated with being a feminine pursuit, an entire generation chose not to do handwork because it was seen as a symbol or our repression. Just like cooking went the way of the dodo…Come on, cooking is NOT hard people. Cooking over a wood stove is a challenge, and um last I checked most of us don’t have wood stoves any more, and most of us do have washing machines (which make life considerably easier than a wash tub, I know I’ve used one) but all of the fabulous things that make life on a daily basis happen fall into that very self same category of: Women’s Work.

Say it: Women’s Work.

I bet you say it some how without pride, and with some kind of negative tone.

Now say it happy: Women’s Work.

Say it louder…WOMEN’S WORK!

The mega corps and investment companies are benefitting from our “modern” woman status, they have us convinced that to make things for ourselves is both old fashioned, and arduous. Wanna know why? Cause that way they don’t make a dime from their factories in third world countries exploiting our brothers and sisters who are doing “women’s work” for a dime a day (oooh maybe a whole dollar), so we can pay for shoddily made clothes in inferior fabrics, cheaply.

I know I may not win the battle or even the war on this one, but people, be proud of your creative abilities, be proud of being moms, grandmoms, executives, SAHMs, Working out of the House Moms, what ever you are, not moms, single, married, or other, same sex, different sex, omni sexual…and men too, be proud you craft with your hands. But for some reason when men do it it’s either cute, cuddly, or sexy…Frankly, my husband finds it really sexy when I crochet, which is good, cause I do it all the time. (Oh and he likes my sagging tits and ass too, but maybe he’s just perverse.)

The key is, as long as we buy the bullshit, they sell it. All it costs? Our collective human souls.

/end rant