Tag Archives: Laurie Wheeler

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!!!

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Crochet Madness

We are sitting at 11 days until the retreat…am I nervous? Who me? Me? Nervous…nah…ok…well just a little bit. It’s a good nervous though, with donations pouring in from all over the place our goody bags, project supplies, door prizes and yarn tasting will be phenominal! It is indeed a crochet fantasy come true!

Just look at the list of donors to the retreat!

Plus Center For Wooden Boats for allowing us to partner with them in showing off their fabulous Cama Beach  Campus and for bringing in a Fancy Knotwork expert!  I also want to thank the gang at Laurell Hill for giving be a sweet deal on their wood hooks! AND Finally and certainly not least at all, to Sirkku and Pirk Bingham for all of their support and offering up Pinch Knitter Yarns on Monday of the retreat for a private party! Sirkku has been ever so supportive of the retreat, and me personally I don’t know how I would have gotten through August and September without her!

  It’s better than Christmas watching the goodies roll in!

Now if this isn’t just making you drool remember there are still a few more days to get your registration in for the retreat. We have room for another 4 or 5 people to stay at the retreat, and there are a few day passes left. To register go to the CLF Website, if you have questions please email me and I’ll get back to you asap!

Can you imagine four days filled with crochet, hooks, yarn? Making colorwork squares, playing the free form game, learning new skills, carving your own hooks, learning to dye for crochet? Can you imagine creating Puget Sound in yarn? All of that and so much more is on the agenda for the retreat!

By the way…remember that octopus I’ve been crocheting? Well Madame Cr-Octopus is complete 😀 She has approximately 285 suckers, and only part of her eighth leg, that one got caught in some mishap (or I ran out of that yarn…) it looks pretty realistic all told. Next I’m working on eel grass…straight lines sound good to me 😀

The Red Octopus created for the Puget Sound-Scape Project. This was taken before completion

Crochet @ Cama! Classes & Activities

Ok, be prepared, my mind is solely focused on the Crochet @ Cama Retreat! You will be hearing a lot about it from now until the end of September. Why? Because I am a) excited b) I talk about things I’m doing.

Todays post is featuring the work of our fabulous teachers, Karen Whooley, Deb Burger, Jim “Jimbo” Price, and Bonnie Pierce, and yeah me Laurie Wheeler.

There is still time to sign up for classes, I would hate to have to have any cancelled due to a lack of sign ups, and I would also hate for you to miss out because the classes are full!  You must sign up for the retreat or purchase a day pass (coming soon) in order to sign up for the retreat! So do it today!

 Karen Whooley will teach a class on Fair Isle Crochet. You’ll be making a swatch, not this huge afghan but I just love this photo! If you click the photo it will take you to the project page on Ravelry. Karen is a gifted crocheter and a wonderful instructor, she has a very clear and concise way of teaching and infinite patience! 

Karen is also teaching a class on beginning crocheted lace. Whether you’re working in yarn or thread, you can learn some very simple stitching techniques that can lead to beautiful objects like those pictured above!

 How to crochet socks from the toe up are also being taught by Karen at the retreat! Don’t miss an opportunity to learn Karen’s tips and tricks! You’ll love it!

Internationally celebrated, Bonnie Pierce is a gifted crocheter and Free Form Diva! She is offering a three hour class on Beginning Free Form crochet that you just don’t want to miss!

Photographing you Finished Object! With Deborah Burger. Deb is a great photographer, and is teaching this short class on photo techniques for crocheters twice at the retreat! You want to sign up if you want your photos to pop online in your Ravelry projects page, or if you are trying to get published professionally, and especially if you sell your own patterns independently! Deb is also a gifted and talented crocheter and instructor with vast amounts of teaching experience! She and her husband are coming all the way from North Carolina to join us at the retreat, so sign up for her class! Trust me you’ll love the experience!

Whittlin’ is what Jimbo does best…or so he says, I personally think he does a great many things well! I have played with his hand turned hooks, and own a few 😀 Jim is offering two fabulous classes on how to whittle your own hook and our most subversive class yet! How to turn a bamboo needle into a hook! I can not wait for that one!!  This is me and Dippy crocheting together 😀 Dippy is accompanying Jim to the retreat…you too can crochet with Dippy 😀 Check out Jim’s blog to see his stunning work and know that we’ll be in safe hands when we learn to whittle!

And me “Fearless Leader”, Laurie Wheeler am teaching two courses: All About the Yarn, and Commando Crochet, Let’s Go Patternless!  You can learn to do and make things like

 This pirate outfit or a motif jacket or a bag or purse or scarf…Yes, I did NOT use a pattern to make that over coat ;D I’ll give you some really easy and simple information to take your crochet into confident new territory!

All about the yarn will help you get there too! Learning about your materials is important! In fact to add to that class experience if you go to my lulu.com store you’ll find the Secrets of Yarn Guide which is the platform for the All about The Yarn class 😀 It’s inexpensive and  really useful!

I’ve found a further activity for us, as a member of the community on Camano Island expressed interest in the Coral Reef Project, well heck we’re on Puget Sound, we can make a Crocheted Sound-Scape! How cool is that, and man do I have lots of yarn to share with you all!  So imagine this: We’re having a “Yarn Tasting”, Crochet Fix It Clinic, Dye Workshop, Afghan Making for Center for Wooden Boats (Our partner), our local LYS in Stanwood, WA Pinch Knitter Yarns is hosting a private party for us on the Monday during an extended lunch time!!

Can you believe all of this? Plus evening speakers and games, it’s all crochet, it’s all the time…Heck it’s a forward kind of retreat!

Now to take these fabulous classes you MUST sign up for the retreat! So do it quick, the price goes up to $95 on Sept. 2! Get your early bird deal NOW!!! Only $75!

And life goes on…

Before I get down to brass tacks and business, I want to thank you all for the beautiful messages of condolence. I’d like to say that I’m “over it” and moving on, but I can say, I’m merely moving. Truth be told, I’ve experienced a lot of grief in my life and it is really no stranger. This time though it’s just a wee bit stacked up, and I’m just trying to put one foot in front of the other to get my work done in between fits of pouting and mourning.

Sometimes life just ain’t fair.

And again, thank you so very much for your kind words and thoughts.

So, maudlin blahing aside, here’s the work at hand.

Please register for the retreat by going to the CLF Website !!  I know I’m going to need it by October, that’s for sure!

We have people coming from all over the US, from New Jersey to Colorado, Montana to Califoria, it’s really amazing to see the registrants home bases! We can sure use some local Washington folk, so I’ve finished our brochures and those will be sent to local yarn stores every where in the North Puget Sound area. Come on people, sign up, let’s show the industry what we’re made of…

I even added a new afternoon workshop: How to Dye Yarn for Crochet! Ooooh yeah, we’re gonna have a good ol’ fashion dye party!

The retreat is October 17-21, 2010 at one of the most beautiful venues you can find in Puget Sound!

Crochet Time…

Well, I’ve obviously not be blogging much, sadly I haven’t crocheted a whole lot either, well that’s not true. I can say I have crocheted but not finished anything of note. I have a broomstick belt that needs another five rows, a half done wash cloth, the back of a sweater, half an afghan, three quarters of a baby blanket, and 1/4 of a hooded cowl on my hooks right now. I’m scattered.

I have to say it’s just the way it is right now in life. I’m scattered, my brain is scattered, my life is scattered, and so my crochet is scattered. I attacked my house with a vengence yesturday and cleaned, trying to create order. I mean I have a retreat to finish up, by the way don’t forget to register!! Articles must be written, samples must be finished, and presents need to be whipped out and ends woven in!

May be I’ll get some of that done to tomorrow! The one thing I do know, is I absolutely love every project I’m working on, so it could be worse 😉

CLF News: Fearless Leader activities & Sightings…

If you haven’t already heard, I recently had a pattern published in Crochet Today! I know, I know, what happened to my indie spirit? What happened to my wanting to go it alone? Hey, I found out that I can indeed work on a contract, and it turn out great! LOL, I still have my indie self out there, and I don’t mind working for “the fuzzy man” (or woman as the case may be)…

In the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Crochet Today! my Hiking Socks are featured. Huges thanks to the patience of the tech editor and to the editing staff at Crochet Today! What a cutie that model is! To see this pattern online go to Crochet Today’s website.

I actually really enjoyed the process of working with someone else, especially since it entailed a lot less work to just write the pattern up and mail off the socks. Normally, that’s only my beginning, then I have photography, and editing photos, and laying out pattern, and making sure it’s correct and blah blah blah…and then I publish it 🙂 This time I just got to be the paid “crochet sock monkey”…that worked for me! I look forward to more pattern writing for others in the future, but for now?

I’m still working on the book, I’ve found some little niggly things that I’m tweaking, the book will most likely max out at 80 pages. So why is it taking longer? Um…so I don’t have to redo it three times like I did the first book 🙂 That’s why!

The good news is that it’s looking great, I love the patterns, and I’ve enjoyed designing the book. It’s a little more “traditional”, but the content is too much fun! The book looks like it will max out at maybe 80 pages (doing the dividers now etc and some filler) which will make it considerably cheaper, while still being full color! YAY

Thanks for all of your patience!

Holiday Crochet: Rose Brooch


red rose brooch front

Originally uploaded by nezumiworld

The clock is ticking, and inspiration may be waning, or if you’re like me you may get more inspired as the season goes forth and not have all the time to do all the sugar plums and fairies that flood your crochet-gamation!

Here’s a cute quick project that’s bound to wow them! A cute crochet rose pin!

This one is created by Michelle Ryan of Nezumi’s World and yes it too is a free pattern. You can find it on Michelle’s blog!

For an Irish Crochet Rose you can go to my personal blog (which I have been TERRIBLE about posting on)  and it too is free. Now the pattern is just for the rose on my blog, but I’m quite sure you can figure out how to affix said rose onto a pin back 🙂

Happy crocheting!!