And this is why we love it…

Pre-Winter Crochet Week is at it’s mid-way point…I have to say it’s been so much fun on the CLF message board on Ravelry.com, and on our facebook page.

It seems I have a new local group, my best friend (who can crochet, but prefers I make the hats…sigh…”you’re quicker” she says…but at least she handspins lovely yarns and I get to play with soft and yummy goodness) and another friend who fell in love with Amigurumi and wanted to learn. We’ve decided this shall happen every tuesday at my best friend’s house (she is the famous pair of feet in my Bestest Friend/Loopy Lou sock pattern only $.50 for a download, special CLF Savings 😀 I am going to raise the price back to $4.00 after the holidays!). I have to say that this gal who’s initials really are CLF (It’s fate I tell you), is the BEST novice crochet student I have ever had. In our first lesson we went from chaining straight up to single crochets and shaping! She made the body of her piggy the first lesson, tonight? We made the snout, legs, ears and curly queue tail 😀  I made up the pattern on the fly, and she got it…every step of the way and tonight? She learned to READ the pattern! Talk about gratifying!

 Front view of sir piggy wiggy…no eyes yet, she’s gonna get him all googlified…

      And a rear-view of that cute little tail! This is her very very first ever crochet project!!!   

We’ve had so much fun, and the best part as her guide, has been watching her sense of satisfaction and accomplishment along the road. In her “spare” time, she is a 4-H leader and has a gaggle of pre-teen and teen-aged girls at her heels, she wanted to learn to make critters for them as gifts…too  much fun!

That’s why I love crochet, with a simple tool (though if you ask an anthropologist they will explain the complexities of using a hook versus a straight object) and some long fiberous stuff we can make ANYTHING from beautiful lace to cute pigs and dolls. We’ve had community, laughter, the joy of eating good chocolate and watching someone feel just GREAT about learning something new, and finishing a project…she even wove in her ends. (Much better than her teacher who never bothers unless I have to…isn’t that what kids are for?)

Yes, I will be writing up this and  the other patterns I make up on the spot for my pal CLF, maybe I’ll make a little booklet 😀 They are quick and fun 😀

Hope you are enjoying your Pre-Winter/Pre-Sumer (OR heck Pre-Solstace Seasonal Shift) Week

Don’t forget you can still order the CLF Book hard copy or pdf download from the CLF Website! While you’re there you can check out the new gear 😀

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Crocheting Takes a lot of Balls… Tote Bags from Zazzle.com

Crocheting Tote Bags from Zazzle.com.  This was too fun to make!!

Thread Heads

I… Love…Threadwork…

Chant with me…I …. LOVE…Threadwork…

What?

I know, I know modern crocheters shy away from thread…why oh why I’ll never know. For me thread is the quintessential medium in which to crochet.  It’s just counting people, so much of beautiful thread work is just a series of negative spaces created by chains at repeated intervals. Don’t fear the steel hooks (we need more cowbell)…

Beautiful and quickly made ornaments and appliques can be easily achieved with so little effort! Don’t let people fool you, it’s not hard, it’s just a matter of paying attention to your counting! So, why not make some snowflakes or flowers? If you don’t like thread, MANY sock yarns will work up beautifully too!

Let me inspire you with some of the thread work I’ve found on Ravelry…and may this inspire you to dust off those little hooks, grabe some size 10 thread, and have jingly and merry crochet time 😀

Click on the pretty pictures to get to the pattern pages on Ravelry 😀

By CLF member KidMay using a Patons pattern

These cute stars were made by catsmum on Ravelry, the pattern (click on photo to get there) is by Julie A. Buldoc for JPF Crochet Club.  Love MUCH!

SHINY!!! SPARKLEY! Now that's what I'm talking about!!

 I love the glass ornament covers! WOWSIES…and they aren’t as difficult to make as they look…the fabulous use of negative spaces involves really long chains, that’s it folks…COUNTING…I know you can do this!! This lovely pattern was designed by Susan M. Allen, click the pretty picture to get to the pattern download on Ravelry.com!

Pretty Angels, flat even 😀

These angels are just too dainty 😀 Click the photo to get to the project page on Ravelry.com. Designed by Pascilla Hewitt, this pattern is free via a direct PDF download on the project page on Ravelry!

I just thought they were too sweet…
Stunning cameo effect…

In the words of Molly from the musical Annie, “Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!” This is such a beautiful keepsake ornament! It’s worth EVERY penny of the $5.00 price tag! Click on the photo to go to the pattern download page on Ravelry.com. Designed by Sue Pendleton. I have to say I am in love with this beautiful piece!

Now, if you have trouble crocheting with thread because of the small hook shaft, take a few pointers:
A) Loooooseeeeennnnnnn up! No death grips…that leads to injuries, trust me. Just think about how you hold your knife or pencil, you don’t death grip those do you? (I dunno maybe you do, so lighten up!)
B) If you can’t seem to lighten your grip there are several things you can do.
     1) Get foamy hook covers that help with ergonomics
     2) Get the egg shaped hook handles that you can put over your steel hooks.
C) Don’t be afraid of thread at all…and get this, you can make the same kinds of ornaments in sock yarn 😀 I usually use a C or D hook, and crochet tightly 😀
Don’t be afraid of thread, it doesn’t bite!! It’s fun…it’s fast…and it’s pretty 😀 (Well unless you’re making a bedspread or a table cloth, but that’s another story!!)

Crochet Give Aways during Pre-Winter Crochet Week

Hey all! A few of our CLF members are in for this week being a “holly jolly” week of fun and loops…so I thought I would post two great contests!

Karen Ratto Whooley, of KRW Knitwear Studios is hosting a drawing on her site for one of two Etimo hooks! You can’t win if you don’t enter! Go to her site for more information and a chance to win one of these two awesome hooks!

Also our beloved Jim “Jimbo” Price has a great contest up on his blog for a hand carved Holly hook! Go to his blog for a chance to win!

Did you like the LED Christmas Light Cozy?

You can jazz it up a bit by doing a second round of dc, 2dc and then binding off, makes it a little frillier..I did that with some of the Silver Icing Jelly Yarn 😀

But in honor our one of my favorite threads on the CLF message board right now, Favorite Project Ever, want to give you a little holiday gift of the flannel Christmas ornament that I made 12 years ago to adorn my tree…just hung it up tonight actually 😀 (Yeah I’m running a bit late.)

 The pattern can be found here   I have it up on the other blog as a valentines’s ornament, but it can be used for any holiday you like ;D

Let the Pre-Winter Crochet Week Begin!

Gwen Blakely Kinser presents Chris Krauss with the CLF Crochet Friendly LYS Certificate!

I can’t think of a better way of kicking off this week than by sharing some fun and great news!!

Gwen Blakely Kinser, known to many as the founder of the Crochet Guild of America or humbly as Crochet Queen on her blog and as “Crochetkween” on Ravelry,honored her local yarn store, with a CLF Crochet Friendly Certificate! High praise indeed for an LYS!

Fuzzy Wuzzy, owned by Chris Krauss, in Arlington Heights, Illinois must be something pretty darned crochet friendly for our beloved Crochet Highness to dub them crochet friendly! If you’re in that neck of the woods, stop by and say hi, pick up some yarn and some hooks and tell them THANKS from the CLF!!

Do you have a favorite LYS, one that is crochet friendly?

What is that? LYS = Local Yarn Store

 What IS crochet friendly?

Well, we’ve come up with a criteria over many discussions:

  • Is inviting to those who use hooks (or not derisive, we’ll take that they are nice to you)
  • Offers supplies for crocheters
  • Sells books/patterns/magazines for crochet lovers
  • Offers crochet classes
  • Encourages crochet

In order to further encourage Local Yarn Stores, which are small local businesses who need local support, we have created a way for we who crochet and spend our hard earned $$ in their store to thank them for believing in the hooks! (Hey who doesn’t like a certificate now and then?) You can download this certificate for free, and present it to your local yarn store! Don’t forget to fill in the name of the yarn store and sign it as a CLF member!! (We suggest printing on photo paper, it’s all shiny and cool looking.)

 In our opinion it’s the perfect gift for the yarn store that has everything this sparkley light-filled  season!

Speaking of lights and sparkle…

If you’ve read my whiny facebook status, you’ll know I’ve been under the weather, yesterday I finally had the energy to put hook and yarn in hand and play a bit. With an H hook and some Jelly yarn I created fun little LED light covers for my LED Christmas Lights… I want to stress they are LED meaning they don’t produce the heat a normal lightbulb does, so PLEASE if you make these little light decorations use them responsibly…

Now here’s the fun part…Any Jelly Yarn will do! I used

Pink Peppermint (Glows in the Dark) Fine

H  Hook (you could use a smaller hook if you want, I play with my tension, so maybe a G is what you’ll have to use…)

It’s easy peasy!

 To begin: Ch 4, join into circle with slip stitch

Rnd 1:  DC 12 into circle

Bind off, weave in ends. 

Do the next one 😀

You can purchase Jelly Yarn from their website! It’s too cool not to try this stuff out 😀

My son thinks they’re really cool, and since he’s 14, he knows cool…

Special Pre-Winter Crochet Week Happenings…

I’m getting holly jolly excited about the pre-Winter Crochet Week starting Sunday Dec. 5th running through Saturday Dec. 11th.

For the past two days, I’ve ruminated on what kind of pre-wintery goodness we can come up with! Now, I realise this is northern hemisphere biased, sorry folks in OZ, but you southern hemisphere types can participate as well by taunting us up North with your summery yummy goodness!

What’s gonna happen?

Crochet Bloggy Goodness… Here on the CLF Blog each day of the Pre-Winter Crochet Week there will be wonderful hookalicious goodness to inspire you!

If you are a crochet blogger I encourage you to post wonderful pre-wintery crochet stories and links to positive crochet in the news on your own blogs! Let’s get a real happening crochet presence out on the web!

On the CLF Message board on Ravlery.com we shall exhort the greatness that is crochet and all we love about it…and I may have a few fun little projects to share  here on the blog.

Currently, I’ve been playing with some Jelly Yarn making some yummy bits for my tree 😀 I’m thinking these will make it up on the blog tomorrow 😀 Simple, quick and fun!

Fearless Leader Decrees…First Annual Winter Crochet Week!

As Fearless Leader of the CLF I hear by decree the very first Pre-Winter Crochet Week…December 5-11, 2010

During this week, we shall do the following:

  1. Seek out the best of the best in crochet to highlight here on the board as well as on our blogs! Let’s show the world how wonderful we really are!!
  2. Have an entire week where we discuss all crochet in a positive light! We can leave What Not to Crochet to that blog and ignore it for a while.
  3. Have an entire week free of the compare and contrast discussions with those who use sticks. We need compare our craft to no other.
  4.  Support each other in our crochet crunch time for those of us who wait to the last minute to finish holiday crafting…(like me)…
  5. Actively seek out cool crochet stories in the news, ignoring what the reporters get wrong,because seriously they really don’t care as much as we do, if it’s really bad we can revise the thought..or wait till the next week…

The GOAL? To empower ourselves, to showcase why we LOVE our craft, to show the public why we love our craft and to support each other in our crafting efforts..On this day, December 1, 2010 I, Fearless Leader in a Captain Picard like manner (only with way more hair) here by declare to the members of the CLF… MAKE IT SO!