Tag Archives: crocheting

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.

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!

Oh baby! Show me them knuckles!

Need some quick Holiday crochet ideas! I love fingerless gloves just for that purpose, quick gifts that you can whip up in a jiff! Now you can make more complicated patterns with complicated stitches too, and those are fabulous, but if you’re checking over the gift list and find you’re missing someone, these are a great, fashionable, and popular item! Kids and adults love them! So here are a few I have found in the CLF projects on Ravelry.com. Not all of them have patterns, but we have several GORGEOUS patterns in the CLF First Ever Book, which is only $9.99 as a pdf download off our website 😀 Or you can hunt for patterns on Ravelry! Tons of them there 😀 Enjoy the inspiration!  Click on the photos to view the project page on Ravelry.com!!

So many kinds of fingerless gloves…HECK just go check out the wonderful projects listed JUST in the CLF HQ group on Ravelry.com! It’s amazing!!!

Crochet The Postive, Eliminate the Negative…

Hey all! We’ve had quite a discussion going on at the CLF HQ on Ravelry.com regarding a certain catalog that tends to cater mostly to the pointy sticks. The discussion revolves around whether we are merely being paid lip service or if they really do get what crochet friendly really does mean. I think the discussion has been rather civil personally, these types of debates can be quite heated.

Am I mentioning the company here? Nope. I hold my own opinions about them and several other companies that pretty much make mouth music about crochet, and or patronizingly pat our hands and tell us to be good little girls and boys and be quiet over there in the back of the class, in the corner. I’m not one to settle for spending my dollars where they are not treated equally, and since I spend a LOT of my dollars on yarn and accessories etc, I choose to patronize companies who really really appreciate my money!

 I will not talk about the companies I do not shop at, because I have not one IOTA of intention to give them free marketing dollars. Remember ALL PRESS is good press, and frankly I am not in the business of advertising those with whom I have zero desire to patronize.

But, what I really REALLY love to do is to send you to folks that DO LOVE US! So here’s a few linkies to a few of my favorite crochet friendly people and companies, or even better those who treat us just like the folks we are, equal to every other craft in the world. Now that is worth talking about.

  • Coveted Yarns , owned by Robert Porter, this is one of the FRIENDLIEST yarn stores for any craft that I know of! Robert is a great supporter of crochet and even donated yarn to the CLF RETREAT!! Yay!! He sells yarn in his brick and mortar shop as well as online. He runs wicked sales, and he’s one hell of a guy!
  • Threadart.com for the THREADIES! Size 8 and size 10 thread at really reasonable prices. Smaller balls, but still affordable in lots of colors.
  • Jelly Yarns, owned by Kathleen Greco, another VERY CROCHET POSITIVE person! She too donated beaucoup yarn to the retreat, and her stuff is FUN FUN FUN! Can you say glow in the dark?
  • Pinch Knitter Yarns,  yes, this is a VERY Crochet Friendly yarn store. I should know I teach there!
  • Designing Vashti patterns from the delicious Vashti Braha and equally tasty Doris Chan at great prices and a wonderful free newsletter!
  • KRW Knitwear Studio From Karen Whooley, designer and teach par excellence!
  • Hooked For Life Publishing From our BELOVED Mary Beth Temple and hostess with the mostest of the Getting Loopy Podcast she so rocks & so do her designs!
  • Lacis  just start drooling now…and catch it after you go through the pages. One of the most awe inspiring stores/museums I have been to in my life!
  • Stitch Diva Studios Gorgeous patterns, gorgeous yarns gotta love it!

These people adore us, love us, want our dollars, and back up their love of crochet and those who do crochet! So put our money where our mouth is shall we and support them back? Like I said, we don’t need to whine and moan about those who don’t serve us…let’s support those who do..

Speaking of those who do, two online magazines that I TREASURE

Crochet Uncut ~ The unofficial official magazine of the CLF. Articles, patterns and more! Support them please! It’s a volunteer effort truly worthy of more than just a glance! WE LOVE THIS MAG!

Crochet Insider – Dora brings us great articles and news about those who crochet, and our beloved art/craft!

Oh and before I get comments from folks who do “both” crafts wondering what all the fuss is about…Well, let’s put it this way, pretend you didn’t do the acceptable one and then walk in the shoes of someone who is just looking for a crochet pattern when the ratio is 15:1 then you will see why…It’s a stupid bias, it’s moronic…and frankly I refuse to spend my hard earned $$ with those folks…I would rather support those who do cater to my needs and wants. Hence the linkies 😀

Your wish is my command!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of the CLF Members in the USA. I don’t know about you all, but here on Camano Island it has been COLD! Unseasably cold, and somewhat tundra like, the North Sound is a bit quiet these days as snow and ice have rendered many house bound. I am always so grateful I crochet at these times when I am house bound, or forced into pedestrian activities (trust me yesturday I walked two miles uphill both ways in the snow…them are some big hills.)

That being said, I have not been inspired to write about crochet, because well, I’ve just been doing it. Getting fingerless gloves, and hats, and scarves and blankets done for Christmas presents, I am tickled pink to spend hours by the fire, hot cocoa or hot buttered rum within easy grasp, watching my hands dance with creative spurts of energy. It’s a cozy time. But, fear not, I never neglect you, dear readers, for too long a stretch! I know you want more information, I know that we are so underserved by the publishing world, that I shall not ever take too long a break from the blog.

So, I asked on the CLF Facebook page what more did you want to know about crochet, and two respondants asked about non-yarn projects, in particular Rag Rugs. So, off to Ravelry I went to search for patterns, and to give a bit of thought to the matter.

Some of the best bath mats I ever made years ago were out of old cotton bedsheets. I cut the strips about 2 inches wide, and with a Q hook crocheted them into giant wash clothes about 19 inches long by 14 inches wide, just single crochet rows. They were super absorbant, easily washed, and lasted forever!

Here’s a project with a free pattern from Suzie Johns for a cute little rag rug made out of t-shirt materials etc, you can make them out of any fabric, her directions are metric, but I find for t-shirts you want the fabric not less than 2 inches wide, often a bit wider because it is more fragile.

 

Other neat finds on Ravelry? Oh yes, yes there were a plenty! Check out some of these cool projects!

 Click on the photos to go to their pages on Ravelry!

Hope that gives you plenty of crochet inspiration! Remember if there is a technique you are interested learning more about, always feel free to give a shout on our Ravelry Group, CLF Headquarters HQ or on our Facebook Page!

I will leave you with one last thing, the CLF Website is finally back up and running, and I have spent a good part of the afternoon working on the redesign at home. I will let you know when I get it all polished and published. A face lift, a new way to look at us, and I’ve even figured out next years, crochet retreat theme!!

Deck the Halls…

It is now safe to go to the CLF Website. All fixed, all better, now I can get back to work on the website. YAY… So let’s celebrate with some Holiday Carols shall we? This adorable wall hanging is perfect for those who “Need a Little Christmas” or enjoy the by gone Victorian mood of the holidays ;D That and I think they are so cute! For only $15 you get an amazingly detailed and versatile pattern! Too much fun!

 

The pattern is by Lois Leigh Anderson and can be found here!