Tag Archives: CLF

Avante Garde Crochet…Shake it up

Hooksters, Crochet Aficionados, Yarn Lovers…Lend me your ears or eyes as the case may be…

A wonderful member of the CLF has made a very important point on the CLF Message Board on Ravlery. There seems to be a rut in design happening. Now let’s not blame the designers over much, but we have to acknowledge that because of poor wages a designer has to crank out multiple designs at lightning speed to make any kind of earnings at all. This is not grand for creative expression, and it is a sad fact of our crochet industrial world.

On the other hand, publications are not willing to be daring and risky in the designs they publish, and back to what they are willing to pay for something HOOKALICIOUS: Not much. They are also afraid of innovation, because what worked last decade must work in this one, right? WRONG. Sad really.

One of the issues we’re facing, and not to discourage budding new designers in the least, is the amount of people with stars in their eyes to be published as a designer and they put up a rather simple double crochet (dc) or single crochet (sc) scarf or hat into the pattern upload, for free or not for free and flood the pattern searches with things that, may or may not be attractive, but aren’t innovative. Now, again I do NOT want to discourage our budding designers however I do want to encourage you, the budding new designer, to stretch your wings and do something EDGY, do something exciting, do something daring if you are going to publish. After all, we all want to be published out of some kind of desire…the desire to be known, to share our knowledge, to share our creativity, to be seen, to show off our skills and creative abilities. Find your motivation and then DARE!

Dare to be creative, avant-garde, out of the box, create fabulousness…and then…wait for it…wait for it!

                                       CHARGE FOR IT!

The internet is FLOODED with free content, some of it is great, some of it is rubbish, and some of it is just ok. I have seen free patterns that are DIVINE and frankly should NOT be free! If you want to design, that is an occupation that is worthy of compensation, if you aren’t prepared for success, then make a plan and get ready and go for it!

Crochet needs designer leaders, and we have some of those for certain! But you too could be a leader in design…you could be more, design more, and create more…we can all benefit from more creativity…from diversity…from something out of the box!

So, promise me this in 2011, GET OUT OF THE CROCHET BOX and FLY!!!

PHM…what to do?

I have heard your cry! I have your pleas! Some of you are crying boredom, some information overload, some of you still have Post Holiday Crochet Injuries (PHCI) and even worse, the Post Holiday Malaise (PHM). What to do? What to do!?

Here are a few tips that may help in any of the above cases!

Boredom

  • Everything seems same old, same old? Not likely if you’ve just come to the joys of the crochet world, but if you are a veteran, this happens. You get into a groove, and designers get into a groove and well…it can seem that your options are sparse. Here’s a quick tip for overcoming this feeling of crochet ennui without having to put down your hooks!

                * Doodle with yarn. You have stash! You know you do, lots of bits and pieces of fuzzy goodness that are muffled in some tote, bag or box waiting to be played with by your hands and hook! Take them out of confinement and allow your creativity to play! Swatch, doodle, play with hook sizes and stitches. You could call it “scrumbling” as the free formers do, but you could just play and rip, play and rip…cleanse your palette of the same ol’ same ol’! Try something new, learn a new technique…allow your mind to wander creatively.

Information Overload

  • So many patterns, so little time, 200 wips waiting to be finished, but you want more. You are overwhelmed, you don’t know what to do next. Here’s what you are going to do!!

                    * STOP! Stop looking up what other people are crocheting, take out a small wip and finish it or frog it. Then do another one, and another. Get a few projects finished. Those online pattern searches can wait. Dreaming and wishing is a good thing but it doesn’t get your crochet done.

Post Holiday Crochet Injuries

  • Woah Nelly! This isn’t good! Crochet is supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable! Did you out crochet your capacity? Andee Graves (Mama2Hands on Ravelry) is a health writer and retired Licensed Massage Therapist, counseled us at the retreat  to LYB: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!

                     *If you have any pain in your joints, you need to stop, drink water and stretch. You may want to put the hooks down for a little while, and contemplate what hand or wrist movements cause you pain. You may need to change your grip, or get an ergonomic set of handles. You may need to get a massage and tell them you need your neck, back, hands and arms worked on. This is serious! You do not want injuries to cease your ability to crochet!   If you have any kind of numbness or pain get this checked out by a medical practitioner!

Post Holiday Malaise

  • So you aren’t bored, you aren’t injured, you crocheted like a mad fiend all year, and the holidays came and went. It isn’t even like your gifts were appreciated, people may have adored them…so why the let down? Well maybe it’s not the crochet at all, maybe it’s the anti-climax of the holiday season coming to the end…Like the song, “Now the parties over…” Maybe it’s like the baby blues, and when you create a lot of things…that’s alot of babies…here’s what I like to do.

                   * Take a break for a few days. Set the hook down, and do something else. Get outside if the weather allows, go for a walk, or go shopping, buy some new yarn, or hooks, or non crochet related things even! Then, after a few days, start a project for YOU. Yes, that’s right, you’ve been making things for others for so long, that maybe, just maybe you need to take care of you and make yourself a present! Did some very thoughtful relative or friend buy you yarn? Or give a gift card? Is there something you’ve always wanted to try, or have that you haven’t done yet? Well, why not start now!

Remember, we crochet because we love it…but as in all relationships sometimes things need to be approached from a fresh angle, sometimes we need a change and sometimes we need a break.

But before this blog post ends….I want to inspire you further!

First of all, I’m working diligently on producing our 2011 year in review video! It shall be entertaining and informative I promise!  Secondly, and drum roll please…Get ready for 2011!

The CLF is going places, in a big way! Are you ready for it? Are you ready to see us really become all that we can be? I’m working hard behind the scenes with a fabulously tech savvy Fairy Godmother to transform us into a “Real Boy”. That’s right, no longer shall we be a talking wooden puppet…but in the flesh and in your face! Ok..well, we’ve always been in your face… but that’s besides the point. Stay tuned!!

And don’t forget to take a look at the CLF First Ever Book, available in hard copy or pdf version! Special rates still apply! You know you want it!

Cro-therapy

For those of you who celebrate the holiday, Christmas I wish you a very merry one indeed. For those of who you do not, I wish you well and hope that what ever you do celebrate, when ever it is celebrated is all that for which you could hope…

 If you didn’t notice, I try not to do a whole lot of Holly Jolly on this blog, not because I’m a bah humbug kind of gal, but because I am quite aware that for many in our community the holidays (which ever there are) can be a very sad and difficult time.

Just like many other holidays, this kind of season or day that offers happy memories, often makes our less than positive experiences in life feel more raw. I know that feeling so well. Every Christmas morning I get up, and I have my yearly sniffle thinking of those whom I love very much that I have lost through distance, time or death. It’s just a wee sniffle, but I like to get it out of my system, and frankly I miss them all the time, but on special days, it is just more intense.

So for those of you who do not find joy in the season, remember that each stitch can ease our tension, and that there is no shame in tears.

This is my first Christmas in my whole life without my grandmother, Irene, and yes, I’m a bit teary thinking of it. It has been weird not to get a Christmas card, or hear her voice on the phone, and it will be really sad on Christmas Eve, because that’s when we celebrated. I’ll crochet to move through it, well that and I’ll make her shrimp/avacado salad, cause well it’s just that damn good.

Left to Right: Fearless Leader, Fearless Son, Fearless Grandma Irene, and MegaFearless Daughter

Coping through loss in these festive times, can be hard. So, if you are facing a time like this please, please know that you aren’t alone. Many others are going through hard times too. Your situation is your own, it is private, it is painful, but there are those who will love and support you, even if only virtually. Crochet, cook, cry, reach out. There’s a really lovely group on Ravelry, called One Stitch at a Time. Many of the people there crochet (and knit) to help keep their sanity together, they understand. You are also welcome to post on the CLF Board at any time, because the great thing about having over 6000 members, is that you are not alone, ever.

CLF Evolution…

“You say you want a revolution…well ya know…we all wanna change the world…”  Recognize the song? I bet you’d be shocked to know it’s one of my favorite songs ever, and has been since I was about six years old. Have you ever listened to the words carefully?

It’s a protest against the call for violent and I would also say, negative, movements for change. It’s showing how silly we can be sometimes as humans as we look at things in terms of black and white.

What the HECK does that have to do with the CLF?

Well my friends, much like my son’s beloved favorite pokemon, I believe in Evolution vs Revolution any day. This is a heads up (if you didn’t notice the blog looks slightly different) that the CLF is getting ready to evolve AGAIN…isn’t that exciting? Nothing too rash at first mind you, but I think it’s time we move upwards a bit…

We have impacted so many changes, many of them small details, and important details. From seeing more and more inclusive crafting language, to seeing the changes in patterns, and the push for more innovation showing results, the CLF has become a force for positive, and proactive change. We should all be proud of ourselves!

I am proud of us 😀 Now that being said, I am working with someone to help us grow, and come February or March I am just gonna say this…you’d better crochet some strings onto your hats, because baby I don’t think we’ll be able to hold on to ’em!!

Are you ready for the next step?

Me too.

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 😀

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…

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!