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Friday, December 30, 2011

Professional Application to CGOA

Today I am completing the application process for Professional Status with the Crochet Guild of America CGOA.

Professional Status is for "someone who has been working professionally (derives some of all income from this work) in the crochet field for at least 2 years" (http://www.crochet.org/)

I have been an "Associate Member" since I took early retirement from teaching in 2009. Since that time I have devoted a considerable amount of time to the art of crochet and honing my crochet skills.

As proof of qualification I have included several documents with the application to show that I derive some income from crochet. These documents include a business card, a copy of my pattern from Quick and Easy Crochet Magazine, my State Tax Certificate, an invoice from a Ravelry sale, and a copy from my blog page advertising crochet lessons.

I'll let you  know when and if the committee approves my application.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Yahoo Groups

If you like to converse with like-minded crochets artists, but time and distance are an issue you might explore “Yahoo Groups”.
I belong to several online groups which I have listed below. The short descriptions are taking right from the groups’ descriptions.  
If you decide to sign up for a group, I suggest you select  the “digest” format.  that way your inbox won’t be inundated with individual group updates.
Just go to http://groups.yahoo.com/ and search for groups, or you can even start your own group.
Crochet Guild of America Professional Members. . You must be a paid member of the Crochet Guild of America, and have Professional Member status to belong to this group. The membership of this group is made up of many different crochet professionals including, but not limited to: EDITORS, PUBLISHERS, MANUFACTURERS, DESIGNERS, CONTRACT CROCHETERS, CROCHET PRODUCERS, AND YARN REPRESENTATIVES. All aspects of CROCHET may be discussed on this list

Crochet Partners is a very large group with over 6000 members. Crochet Partners is for crocheters worldwide. Their skill levels range from beginners to professional designers and publishers. Members love to share their thoughts, comments and knowledge about crochet with others, and believe that there is no such thing as a dumb question!
Knitting with a crochet hook    This group is using 2 different ways to do conventional knitting using tools that have crochet hooks on them.

Known in Asia as "Magic Needles" these have been called "Amazing Needles" in the US. Recently the term "Knooking" has become popular.

This has been a focused discussion group knitting_with_crochethook on Yahoo since 2004 currently with over 700 members, with files and links to help you get started.
Publish Crochet was created for Crochet Designers to learn from and discuss the business side of the industry. Appropriate topics include: general business aspects such as sales,
accounting, self-publishing, marketing and Copyright.

This list is not appropriate for those needing help with crochet techniques.

Tunisian Crochet. Whether you call it Tunisian, Tricot or Afghan Stitch, you've found the right place!  This group is all about Tunisian crochet and has a lot of files to share.

Have fun exploring Yahoo Groups

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Free Knook

Hey Everyone, for a chance to win a Free Knook or IPad go to Leisure Arts. 

I've seen the Knook and I've watched the videos, but I haven't purchased it yet. So many things to try, so little time.  The finished product is supposed to look like knitting but you use a crochet hook.  Very Interesting.

I've seen the Knook at Hobby Lobby, and Walmart. I'm sure it is sold other places too.  I need to buy one, just to learn the new technique.

Anyway, I digress. Here is the link to the contest.  Good luck

Enter the Contest



Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Angry Birds

Angry Birds is a fun game that is available through your mobile device app store.  If you don't know what or who Angry Birds are, just ask your children or grandchildren because they will know. 

I came across a video by the Crochet Geek that shows you how to crochet the Angry Birds.  These would be a big hit for any person that plays the game.  Check it out.

Angry Birds

Monday, November 28, 2011

How to Fasten Off

I was just reading in another discussion list today about how to fasten off a project.  Some crocheters make a "knot".  This is a no no in crochet.

If you are considering the CGOA Masters Program, you need to fasten off your swatches correctly or they will be rejected and you will be disappointed.

Here is a great little video on how to fasten off that I found on You Tube that shows the correct way to fasten off. No further knotting is required.

How to Fasten Off

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kathy's Infinity Scarf

I made this scarf for my sister for Christmas. This shade of green is one of her favorites so when I saw the yarn, Patons Lace Sequin,  at my local Hobby Lobby I knew I had to get it for her. The color is a lovely peridot.

You can find the pattern in my Ravelry Store. The really neat thing about this scarf is the number of ways it can be worn, either in loop fashion, or twisted for a cowl, or hooded cowl.


That's all for today. I need to finish up my online classes. Later today Walt and I are flying to Utah to enjoy Thanksgiving with our  family there.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Crochet Handy App

Interweave has launched a new app called "Crochet Handy" for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. The app cost .99 and is available through the App Store on your device or at iTunes.

The purpose of this great little app is to help crocheters determine how much yarn they need for projects.


The Crochet Handy  app provides yardage requirements for basic caps, scarves, bags, afghans, ponchos, baby sweaters, skirts, and tops. Both apps show all sizes ranging from baby or toddler to large adult, using five standard yarn weights—from fingering to bulky.

 All it takes is three easy steps:
  1. Select the measurement units in imperial (inches and yards) or in metric (centimeters and meters);
  2. Select a project type, then choose gauge (ranging from 3 to 9 stitches per inch) and size;
  3. The yarn amount is calculated.
Yarnies will want these apps any time they are working with their yarn, whether buying online at a craft or yarn shop, or researching projects for their yarn stash at home.

The above information was retrieved from Pitch Engine

I have downloaded the app and I'm ready to give it a try.   Many times I have been at a craft store, and have seen yarn on sale, but alas no particular project in mind, so my rule of thumb is to buy at least four skeins.  With Crochet Handy I will have a quick reference guide with me as I'm out there hitting the yarn sales and building my stash with purpose. My husband will be so proud of me!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Baptismal Gown

My sis sent me this picture. She found this baptismal gown and cap in her cedar chest.  WOW.. This is the gown and cap that I made for my niece Amy way back in 1977.  As you can see, I entered the set in our local county fair and both won blue ribbons. I gave the gown, cap and ribbons to my sister for her baby girl.

Sadly, I don't think my niece ever wore the gown or hat. It ended up in the cedar chest to be saved as a family heirloom.  Amy, the baby I crochet this little outfit for is now 35 years old. Oh my goodness, does that make me feel old.

I don't remember the origin of this pattern, but I know I no longer have it.  I love this pattern and if I ever come across it again you can be sure I'll be adding it to my pattern archive.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Caron's Twelves Days of Christmas

How would you like to get a Christmas present everyday for 12 days? If you are signed up to receive Caron's free e-mail newsletter, you just received day two of the 12 days of Christmas free pattern event.

Day one was a great his and hers scarf designed by Darla Fanton,  and day two is a super looking knit infinity scarf designed by Lisa Gentry.  With talent like this contributing to the event, you know the patterns are going to be something special.

If you aren't signed up for the newsletter, you can check out the connections archives at
www.caron.com/connections.html

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hooded Baby Blanket

This is one of the new crochet projects that I will be teaching at Michael's Craft Store. It is not a beginner project, but would make a good second or third project. The combination of one single crochet and two double crochets gives the appearance of a cluster stitch.

The hood which is added later is a good way to practice double crochet increases.


The afghan is made using one skein of Lion Brand's Pound of Love acrylic yarn and would make a great gift.

The doll baby is my antique composition doll. As near as I can discover she is a doll from the 1940's made by the Ideal Doll Company.

If you want to learn to crochet or know someone that would like to learn to crochet contact your local Michael's Craft Store for a schedule of classes.

Monday, November 14, 2011

More on StitchWorks

Can you tell I'm excited about this software! I still haven't purchased it. I'm trying to decide if I should wait until "payday" or add it to my Christmas wish list.

I want to thank Darlissa Riggs for directing me to a review of this software that she authored.  I thought you might like to check it out too.

http://crochetuncut.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=207

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Crochet Symbol Software

Did you ever wonder how to create those symbols and charts that you see along side of written crochet instructions? While reading in the Crochet Partners Group, I came across a post about Crochet Symbol Software. We are seeing more and more patterns with written instructions and charts and symbols, and I think this software may very well be worth the the $50 price.

I haven't purchased the software yet, so I cannot tell you how easy or hard it is to use, but if you visit the website you can download a trial version and try it out for yourself, that's what I intend to do.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Good News to Share

It has been a while since my last post.  Life and ordinary daily chores seem to consume the day.  I do have two pieces of pretty exciting news to talk to you about though.

I received  the contract form from Quick and Easy Magazine and my scarf and hat set will be published in the Winter 2011 issue.  They have changed the name to "Color Me Warm" I hope you will pick up the magazine and check it out!

This is my sis wearing the model scarf and hat.  It will be interesting to see how they present the model in the magazine.

The other piece of good news is that I passed Level II in the CYC (Craft Yarn Council) crochet teacher certification program.  To reach this level, I had to complete 10 lessons and 30 hours of volunteer crochet instruction.  I have shared highlights and pictures from the crochet instruction in previous postings.

These successes have inspired me to continue my crochet adventures.

Now where did I put that hook!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Disappointing News

I received notice that I did not pass the Masters of Crochet Techniques and Stitches Program.  I reviewed the feedback and noticed that my choice of yarn played a big role in not passing.  I used some soft yarn (Caron Simply Soft) which in retrospect was not a good choice.  The stitch definition is just not there.

I purchased some Paton's Wool yarn, and I'm  reworking the swatches which look much better.  This was a lesson learned the hard way.  The devil is in the details when it comes to this type of program. 

Just a word to the wise for others considering this program. It takes months to get a reviewer, and now I have to start the whole process again.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Crochet Class Projects & Michaels Store

My crochet students have agreed to continue crochet classes with me through the first week of September which will complete the 30 hours of teaching required for Level II certification for the Craft Yarn Council's Certified Crochet Teachers Program. My course work for Level II certification is now in the hands of my assigned reviewer.

Over the course of the past several months that we have been meeting our relationship has evolved from teacher/students to friends and it will be difficult to end our weekly meetups. 

Here are a couple of pictures of current projects, one is a toiletry bag and the other is a rose mofit which can be fixed to a headband.


 Following class I headed for Michael's Craft Store for my first day as the store's crochet instructor. Right now I'm trying to drum up interest in crochet classes by conducting in store crochet demos and talking to customers.  Knit and Crochet classes are returning to Michael's Stores; it will take awhile to get the word out I'm sure.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

And The Class Goes On!

The crochet class that I started with way back in May is still  with me and going strong.  They have agreed to stay with me and continue their crochet lessons through September.  This is great because it will enable me to complete the required 30 hours of teaching for the second level in the Craft Yarn Council's certified crochet instructor program. It has been such a blessing to see them gain confidence and to take on more challenging projects.

I can now see the light at the end of the certification tunnel.  My last five lessons are in the hands of my reviewer, Barb Van Elsen.  I'll be on pins and needles until I hear that she approves of my work.

Her approval and the completion of 30 hours of teaching crochet will bounce me to another level in the CYC certification program.  An additional 20 hours of teaching will earn me "professional status" in the CYC certification program.  It has been a fun and rewarding  journey.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Toiletry Bag

My mother came to my crochet class last week as a special guest. I told her to bring along something to crochet.  She brought a small toiletry bag that she crochets for a non profit organization in Arizona that supports abused men and women. Every person receives one of these bags filled with toiletry items. My students were very impressed with the bag and the utility of such a bag. They began discussing  many ways the bag could be used and asked about the pattern.  Mom said she really didn't have a pattern, she just sorta made it up.  My students looked at me wanting to know if I could show them how to make the bag. I told them, I'd come up with something. Here is my bag which looks very similar to the bag my mother was working on.
And here is the pattern which I will also make available in Ravelry as a free download. You can search for me under designers as Mary Riley Hunt


Special Instructions: Do not join rounds. Place a stitch marker at the beginning of each round, move the stitch marker up each round as it is worked to mark the first stitch in each round.

Ch 41
Rnd 1: sc in the 2ch from the hook (place stitch marker) and in each ch to the end, do not turn, but continue to sc along the back side of the chain. (80 sc)
Rnd 2-24 sc in the back loops around for 24 rows or until desired height has been reached.
Rnd 25: at the row marker slip stitch next stitch, chain 4, skip next stitch, *dc in next stitch, ch 1, skip next stitch. Repeat from * around. Join with a slip stitch in the 3rd chain of beginning ch 4.
Rnd 26: ch 3, 2 dc in same stitch, *dc in next ch 1 space, 3dc in next stitch. Repeat from * around. Join to beginning ch 3 with a slip stitch. Finish off and weave in ends.
Tie:  chain 100. Finish off and weave around the ch 1 spaces in the bag. Add beads to both ends of the ties if desired.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lesson Ten

I finally completed the last lesson in the CYC crochet certification program. Can I hear a drum roll please! The project package went into the mail today, and is headed to my reviewer Barb Van Elsen.
 

My lovely daughter in law, Dasny is modeling the vest. It is called Blue Waves Vest designed by Dora Ohrenstein.

 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lesson Nine

Lesson Nine in the CYC Certified Crochet Instructor's program is on finishing techniques, namely seaming and buttonholes.

In This lesson I was required to plan  an intermediate class project to teach  the mattress stitch, the back stitch, and the slip stitch method for seaming.  I decided to use use granny squares for my lesson plans because everyone at the intermediate level should be familiar with the basic granny square and since granny squares are generally joined it seemed like a good fit. The actual joining is done in a contrasting color so the reviewer is better able to see the seaming techniques.

From left to right, is the mattress stitch, the back stitch, and the slip stitch
In lesson nine I also had to plan a project to teach button holes which included written instructions and a worked project.

Yoga Socks

My sister is a yoga enthusiast. Recently she gave me a pattern for yoga socks. The socks were made using Lion Brand Cotton Ease. I made the socks but wasn't completely satisfied with how they turned out.
Here is a picture.

This was enough inspiration, however,  for me to try my hand at designing yoga socks.  I purchased some Paton's Kroy sock yarn, measured my foot with a piece of yarn and started crocheting. Here is a picture of my first attempt with my own design.  It is worked in the round without joining.

My first attempt at my own design













I wasn't completely satisfied, and decided to try another pair this time, joining and turning the rounds, and I actually made a swatch to get a better count on the number of stitches per inch and rows per inch. The sock yarn this time is  Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight Yarn.  I shortened the distance a bit on the foot so that more of the ball of the foot is exposed to the floor.  I like the results, but I don't like that I can see the joins. Here is a picture, although you probably cannot see the joins.


My second attempt at my own design

I have more sock yarn, and I'm ready for a third attempt. I've decided to go with  a single crochet in the round without joining.  Stay tuned for a picture of the final sock design.





Monday, July 4, 2011

More Pictures from Crochet Class

I am so proud of my ladies in crochet class. These pictures were taken at our most recent class on June 30th.  Here is Dollie modeling the shrug that Lorraine made. Lorraine was too shy.  This pattern is a free download from lionbrand and looked great on both Lorraine and Dollie.

And here is a picture of Lorraine seaming the shrug, and Dollie working on a ripple stitch baby afghan.



Charlotte's Baby Afghan

April 15th my Great Great Niece Charlotte was born. I promised her mother, Kate  that I would design baby Charlotte a unique and special afghan  just for her.

Of course when I was designing and crocheting the afghan I didn't know if Charlotte was going to be a he or a she so the colorway is a nice spring color suitable  for a boy or girl.

The pattern is still in spreadsheet form. I haven't decided yet if I'll self publish the pattern or submit for publication to a crochet magaine.  The yarn is I love This Yarn, purchased at Hobby Lobby.


You can tell by the big smile on Kate's face that she was happy with the finished product.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jean Leinhauser

It is with a heavy heart that I am passing along the word that Jean Leinhauser passed away today from a heart attack.

I never had the pleasure of meeting Jean, but I own several of her books. Jean is an icon in the world of crochet. Jean  has designed and published numerous patterns and books, and her talent will be missed by many including me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Working in The Round

For our first lesson in June I opted for working in the round on a coaster project. We accomplished several objectives in this lesson.Students learned how to
1) increase stitches
2) slip stitch rounds together
3) learned the hdc (half double crochet stitch)
4) learned how to combine stitches like hdc and slip stitch to create other stitches like a  scallop.

I forgot to take pictures, but will take my camera to our next class.  In our next class, we will learn how to decrease stitches.

Students are beginning to pick out their own patterns for the next project. Some ideas include a baby afghan, scarf and shrug.

In case you are interested in the coaster pattern we used. Here it is. It is a design by Grace Ann which I found on Ravelry as a free download.  Thank you so much Grace Ann for this free pattern

Cutest Scallop Coaster pattern
By Grace Ann
Well, I was experimenting a bit this morning, and wanted to make some coasters, so I came up with this pattern. It has a really cute scallop around the edge, that I LOVE! I just want to make thousands of those little shells! So without further delay, here's the pattern:
Use any worsted weight yarn and the hook that is a comfortable size for you. And if any of you see any mistakes in the pattern, just let me know in the comments.
Rnd 1: Chain 4, join into a ring, chain 2, do 9 Half Double Crochet's into the ring, join.
Rnd 2: Chain 2, Do 2 Single Crochet's into each stitch around, join (18 stitch's)
Rnd 3: Chain 2, Do 2 Half Double Crochet's into each stitch around, join (36 stitch's)
You can keep it like this or do 1 more round and make the scallops.
To make the scallops, *Skip 1 stitch, do 4 half double crochet's into next stitch, skip 1 stitch, Slip stitch into next stitch*, Repeat from *to* 8 more times.
Finish off and weave in ends.
And you don't just have to use these for coasters, you could embellish a purse or use it as a granny square and connect them to make an afghan. That would be beautiful!
OH, If any of you are wondering about copy right issues, feel free to sell what you make with my patterns, but not the pattern itself. Thanks!
UPDATE: I just put this pattern on Ravelry. Please post your projects!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Class Pictures



These pictures were taken during our fourth lesson together. Our first finished projects were eyeglass classes using single crochet stitches. Ladies made the cases to fit cell phones, scissors, and large sunglasses.  What a great sense of accomplishment to be able to finish something. I think it is much more important for beginners to have success with a small project, than to start a large project and get overwhelmed.

The second project was a dish cloth using double crochet, chains, and single crochet around the edges. The ladies had fun, and one even embellished the edge with picot stitches. What a fun and creative group of women.




My Class has decided that they would like to continue the lessons through June which is fine with me. An additional eight hours will be more than I need to satisfy the Craft Yarn Council of America (CYCA )requirements for volunteer teaching and Level I certification which they call  "Instructor" level.  I have already completed the first four lessons and have passed review, 15 hours of volunteer teaching will complete Level I requirements.  I am looking forward to receiving my Instructor Certificate and Pin.

Next week I will be showing the class how to increase and decrease stitches. If time allows we will also introduce working in the round.

 In June, we may pick up a couple more beginner students. Stay tuned for further updates.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Lessons Learned

One of the great things about teaching is that the teacher learns right along with the students.  I have now completed thee of the four scheduled beginner crochet classes. I have six true beginners.  I want to share with you several things that I discovered to help  my beginner crocheters.

  • Beginners tend to crochet "tight" so have students use a size or two bigger hook to make their starting chain.
  • Beginners can have a problem finding the first and the last single crochet stitch in a row. Use a safety pin, or a length of yarn (contrasting color) or a commercial stitch marker to mark the beginning and ending single crochet stitches, moving the marker up on each row.  This was a big help to my beginner students.
  • Encourage beginners to "count" their stitches often making sure they are working even and not increasing or decreasing accidentally.
I'm sure I will learn more as I continue to lead these students, and I'll share what I learn with you.

Lesson Eight

Lesson eight in the certified crochet instructors program is about specialty stitch techniques including: Cro-Hook, Broomstick Lace, and Hairpin Lace. The assignment is to create a swatch of each and then plan a lesson to teach one of these techniques including the finished project and written instructions.

This lesson is a bit of a challenge for me because I've never crochet anything using these techniques. I didn't own a broomstick pin, a double ended crochet hook, or the hairpin lace tool.  A trip to Hobby Lobby, and I was in business to learn Cro-Hook and Hairpin Lace.  The Broomstick pin was a problem, Hobby Lobby didn't have any, so my dear husband came to the rescue. A trip to his "shop" solved the problem. He sawed off the end of an old broomstick, and smoothed off the rough edges, and I was in business.

Thank goodness for You Tube.  I found lots of great videos to help me to learn these specialty stitch techniques.

I'm not crazy about Broomstick Lace. I didn't care for it back in the 70's when it was very popular, which is probably the reason I never learned.  I do like the look of Hairpin Lace, and plan to work on this technique more so that I can move beyond the basics.  I also found Cro-Hook fascinating.  My lesson plan and project uses Cro Hook to make a potholder. I also have ideas about using this technique to make a baby blanket, but that's for another day.


The pattern instructions aren't too long so I'm including them in the blog for all of you. I'll also make the pattern available as a free download through Ravelry, but give me a day or two to get that done.

Cro Hook Potholder
Intermediate Skill Level
1 skein Color A
1 skein Color B
H double ended crochet hook

Special Note and Tips: Each row consists of 2 passes, one pass to load loops on hook and one pass to remove loops from hook. The color you use to remove loops from hook is the same color you use to load the loops back onto the hook. Count the loops on the hook frequently making sure you have 25 loops each time the hook is fully loaded. If you want, you can use a regular H hook to make the starting chain, and to complete the single crochet edging.

Chain 25 with color A

Row 1: Insert hook under the horizontal bar of the 2nd ch from the hook (you are working on the back side of the chain), yo and pull loop through (there are now two loops on hook.) Insert hook under the next horizontal bar, yo and pull a loop through (there are now three loops on hook).  Continue until the end, 25 loops on the hook. Drop color A, move loops to the other end of the hook and turn hook. Make a slip knot with Color B put the slip knot on the end of the hook and pull through 1 loop only, *yo and pull through 2 loops, repeat from * to end (1 loop left on the hook)

Row 2: With Color B. Insert hook under the 2nd vertical bar, yo and pull up a loop leaving it on the hook.
*Insert hook under the next vertical bar, yo and pull up a loop leaving it on the hook. Repeat from * to the end (25 loops on hook). Drop color B, move work to the other end of hook and turn. With color A, yo and pull through 1 loop, *yo and pull through 2 loops. Repeat from * to end (1 loop on hook)

Rows 3-28  repeat the method described in row 2, using whichever color you used to remove the loops from the hook to reload the loops onto the hook, then move the loops to the end of the hook and turn hook. Use the other color to remove the loops from the hook. Note that each row consists of two passes, one pass to load the hook with 25 loops, and one pass to remove the loops from the hook.

Bind off. With color A insert hook under the 2nd vertical bar, yo and pull through both loops (1 slip stitch), continue across in this manner to the end, but do not finish off

Edge: sc in each loop around pot holder ending with a slip stitch to beginning sc. chain 10, slip stitch in same sc. Finish off  weave in ends and enjoy.


Lesson Seven

Yes, I'm still working on the advanced lessons for the Certified Crochet Instrutor Program.
I recently completed lesson seven, but didn't blog about it at that time mostly because I've been busy with other things including teaching six online classes, for three different colleges. I really do need to practice the word "no" :-)

Lesson seven consists of Tunisian and Aran crochet stitches.  There are two parts to this lesson, one is to crochet a swatch in Tunisian crochet and then work cross stitch on the swatch.





The second part is to plan an intermediate project using the Aran stitches knurl, diamond, and cable stitches.
First I had to "practice" these stitches, then figure out a small project incorporating all of them. My project is a small pillow top.


The program handbook does provide assistance on these stitches, however, the multiples given are not correct. It took me a while to figure this out because I assumed that I was the problem not the handbook. The handbook turns out is not correct.

It is Official

I heard back from the editor of Quick and Easy Crochet magazine. She likes the model in person just as much as she liked the pictures. This means that my design will appear in a fall issue of the magazine. YES!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Exciting Day

This is an exciting day for me.  I'm sending off my very first model and instructions for publication with the the Crochet Quick and Easy Magazine.  If the editor,  Diane Simpson,  likes the model as well as she liked the pictures of the model, the hat and scarf will be published in the either the Oct/Nov  or Nov/Dec issue of the magazine.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bunny Purse

These bunny purses are so cute! I saw the pattern on E-PatternsCentral and couldn't resist. I have two great nieces that I thought would enjoy having them for Easter.

Like most things, practice makes perfect. The yellow purse was made first, and it turned out okay, but I learned with the second purse to crochet the face then add the cheeks, nose, eyes and little flower to the face  then add the completed face to the purse.  It just seemed to work better that way.

I received two thank you notes in the mail today, a sign that the bunny purses were received and appreciated!

Sheila Leslie is the designer

Monday, March 28, 2011

I Passed

For the past several months I have been working on the Certified Crochet Instructor Program through the Craft Yarn Council.

I'm pleased to let you know that I have officially passed  Part I which consisted of four lessons and numerous swatches.  The first four lesson covered beginning crochet. The concepts and techniques covered included the foundation chain, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, front and back loops , and increases and decreases for both single crochet and double crochet.

Textured stitches included: crochet ribs, clusters, popcorns, ripples, square and hexagon motifs.

My most challenging assignment was to create a beginner spiral project. I designed a ski hat, which I shared in an earlier blog post.

My assigned reviewer, Barb Van Elsen, provided a phone critique of my work to this point. She was pleased with the swatches that I submitted. She offered words of encouragement and several good teaching tips for teaching beginning crochet.

Now it is onward and upward to complete  the second half of the program which covers teaching intermediate crochet.  I'm well on my way. I  am working on  lesson seven and will be sharing those swatches with you in this blog as soon as I have them completed.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lesson Six

I'm still working through the Craft Yarn's Council Certified Crochet instructors program. I just finished lesson six which covered
  • between stitches
  • around the post stitches
  • multi-color crochet using three different techniques
    • carried yarn method
    • woven yarn method
    • crossed yarn method  (otherwise known as intarsia)
I'm still waiting to hear back on  lesson's one through four.  Six lessons down, two more to go!
Swatches for lesson #6, Intarsia, between stitches, carrying multi-colors and post stitches

Monday, February 28, 2011

Lesson 5

I have finally completed lesson five on my way to being a certified crochet instructor.  The first four lessons are in the hands of my assigned reviewer, and I'm anxiously awaiting her  feedback.

In lesson five the emphasis is on working with finer threads and filet crochet. Triple crochet is also introduced

The essay portion of this assignment covered how to teach triple crochet, and filet crochet and common problems.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Published - (Almost)

Very exciting news to share. Quick and Easy Crochet Magazine has accepted my CurlyQ hat and scarf for publication in either the Sept/Oct or Nov/Dec 2011 issue of the magazine. The editor has seen photos, and if she likes the finished model "in person" as well as she likes the picture the deal is done.

Now I have to crochet a model to send to the editor, and write up the instructions.  I know the instructions are written on a legal pad somewhere around here. Now where did I put that legal pad, and I need more yarn.  Hobby Lobby here I come.

Here is a picture of the set.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A New Book In My Library

Have you ever wished that you could sit down with a Master Crocheter, and learn at the knee of the Master?  Well I have, and  I think I have found  the next best thing, The Crochet Master Class, Lessons and projects from Today's top crocheters by  Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss.

This book is not for beginners, but crochet artists that want to stretch themselves by learning new techniques like hairpin lace, tapestry crochet, woven crochet, tunisian crochet, filet crochet, double-ended crochet, overlay crochet, bruges crochet, painted crochet, free-form crochet,  bead crochet, Fashion crochet,  Irish crochet and wire crochet. The bullion stitch are tassels are also included. It makes me tired just to list them all.

Some of these techniques I am familiar with like filet crochet, and tunisian crochet, but I have limited to no experience with the others.

The book includes pictures and stories about the featured artists along with their patterns.I want to experiment with all the techniques, but haven't made up my mind where to start. What a nice problem to have.  So much yarn, so little time.

I definitely recommend this book for your crochet library too.  I found my copy at a local Barnes and Noble store, but it is also widely available online.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lesson Four

While watching the movie Wall Street last night, I finished Lesson Four in the Craft Yarn Council's Certified Teachers Program. Now I'm ready to submit my lesson plan book for evaluation and review.


Lesson Four is the last lesson for this session. and consisted of working a square motif, a hexagon motif, and designing a beginner spiral project with written instructions. My spiral beginner project is a ski cap.  I hope you like it. There is still plenty of winter left so make a couple, one for yourself, and one to give away.

As promised, I'm sharing pictures and the written instructions for the ski cap. This project can be completed in an evening, maybe two for beginners.


Spiral Ski Hat
Vanna’s Choice Yarn, Grey Marble – 2 skeins
H hook
Skill Level : Beginner
Size: will fit an average size head 21 to 22 inches in circumference
Gauge: 14sc = 4 inches, 16 rows = 4 inches

Stitches used:
sc – single crochet
dc – double crochet

Special Instructions: Do not join rounds. Place a stitch marker at the beginning of each round, move the stitch marker up each round as it is worked to mark the first stitch in each round.

ch 6 join with a slip stitch to the first chain to form a ring
Rnd 1. Work 10sc in the ring. Do not join. Place a stitch marker in the first sc (10sc)
Rnd 2.  2dc in each stitch around (20dc) (NOTE move the stitch marker to first stitch in the 2nd round to mark the beginning of the new round. Continue to move the marker in this manner for all remaining rnds)
Rnd 3.* sc in first stitch, 2sc in next stitch, repeat from * around (30sc)
Rnd 4. *dc in next 2 stitches, 2dc in next stitch, repeat from * around (40dc)
Rnd 5. *sc in next 3 stitches, 2sc in next stitch, repeat from * around (50 sc)
Rnd 6. *dc in next 4 stitches, 2dc in next stitch, repeat from * around (60dc)
Rnd 7. *sc in next 5 stitches, 2sc in next stitch, repeat from * around (70sc)
Rnd 8. dc in each stitch around (70dc)
Rnd 9. sc in each stitch around (70sc)
Rnd 10-28 repeat Rnd 9 (70sc)
Rnd 29. sc in each stitch around, join with a slip stitch to first sc and finish off.

Weave in ends. Fold bottom end of ski cap up 2 to 3 inches  to form a cuff around the cap.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Curly Q Hat and Scarf

A few weeks ago I completed a scarf and hat using Red Heart's new Curly Q yarn. The other day, I talked my sister into modeling the set so that I could take pictures for the soon to be written pattern. The pattern is already written, but it is written on a yellow legal pad. There is danger that if I don't transcribe the pattern soon, I won't be able to decipher my own notes.



 

My plan was to self publish, but while driving home from the photo shoot, I decided to submit the hat and scarf to Red Heart for publication.  The submission is on its way to South Carolina as we speak.  Wish me luck.  If Red Heart  doesn't agree to publish, then never fear, the pattern will be available in my Etsy Store, and in my Ravelry Patterns.

The wait begins.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lesson 3

It's been a while since I've posted about my adventure with the Craft Yarn Council's Certification Program. The reason is lesson three had quite a few pieces to complete.

If you have ever tried to substitute one yarn for another you will get a sense of what this lesson is about. For this lesson I completed six swatches in a variety of stitches, using everything from baby weight yarn to bulky weight yarn computing stitch and row gauge for each five inch square swatch. It was fun making the squares using: single crochet, half double crochet,  a cluster stitch, a popcorn stitch, a shell stitch and a ripple stitch.

Lesson three also covered the hdc stitch, methods of teaching this stitch, and common problems associated with teaching this stitch.  In the picture, the large red swatch is an example of using hdc increases and decreases.


I'm looking forward to lesson four, which will cover crocheting in the round. One of the assignments is to work a "beginner spiral project".  I'm thinking a stocking cap will be the perfect project for this assignment. Stay tuned. When I have the assignment completed, I'll post a picture and the instructions.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In Search of "Inspiration"

There are several crochet designers that I admire, but two that are my super heroines are Kristin Omdahl, and Kim Guzman.   I was curious about what “inspires” these crochet designers, so I read some of their interviews.
Kristin lives in Florida and one of the things that inspires her is the beautiful Florida landscape, but she can also be inspired by an outdoor café table top.
Kim Guzman receives her inspiration from photographs of pottery, and also by looking through  European fashion catalogs.
Since learning more about what inspires these two ladies, I have made a conscious effort to be on the lookout for ideas to inspire my own creativity. I now find myself looking through magazines and catalogs with new eyes. I even took a picture of a pedestal of a café table that has an interesting design; if it worked for Kristin Omdahl it  just might work for me too.
Here is a picture that I took at the local Bass Pro Shop yesterday of a sweater.  I love the design in this sweater, and when I saw it, I didn’t think about buying the sweater ( well maybe a little bit) but I mostly thought about an afghan, and how I might incorporate the diamond and seed like stitches. You gotta love it when you feel “inspired”

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Got a Brand New Bag

Isn't there a song with lyrics like that " Mamas got a brand new bag".. Well I got a brand new bag today too.  I found it,  of all places, at the local Office Max store.  It's a cosmetic bag for the woman that wants to have everything in her office coordinated from the desk blotter, to her cosmetic bag.

Well I'm no longer interested in the desk accessories, but I did like the cosmetic bag. It is perfect for my crochet hooks, scissors, stitch holders and tape measure.  What do you think!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lesson Two

I started lesson 2 for the Certified Crochet Instructors Program last night  and finished it up this afternoon. My original thought was to complete one lesson a night,  however the lessons appear to be getting more complex, which only makes sense.

For lesson 2, two swatches were required showing increases using single crochet and double crochet. .

 After the swatches were made the written work began; describe how to actually teach someone to increase and decrease. I had to put my thinking hat on for that part, but I think I came up with some good ideas which included the obvious, like
using illustrations and swatches, and a demonstration.




The last section of this lesson was to create a "simple" and "small" project using increases and decreases  to be used for a beginner with written instructions.  For this part I designed a small and simple teardrop bookmark.  I think it would look better in a finer weight yarn, but since we are thinking "beginners", I believe the worsted weight yarn would be easier to work with. It measures about 7 inches without the tails.


Here are the instructions

Teardrop Bookmark
Special stitches:
Dc2tog: yo insert hook into next stitch yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops, yo insert hook in next stitch, yo and pull up a loop (4 loops on hook) yo pull through 2 loops, yo pull through 3 loops

Ch 3 counts a DC throughout


Leave about a 4 to 5 inch tail.  Make a slip knot and Ch 4
Row 1: dc in the 4th ch from the hook. Ch 3 turn
Row 2: dc in first dc, dc in top of turning ch. Ch 3 turn (3 dc)
Row 3: dc in first dc, dc in next dc, dc in top of turning ch. Ch3 turn (4 dc)
Row 4: dc in first dc, dc in next 2 dc, dc in top of turning ch. Ch 3 turn (5 dc)
Row 5: dc in next 3 dc, dc in top of ch in top of turning ch. Ch 3 turn (5 dc)
Row 6 – 7: repeat row 5
Row 8: dc2tog, dc in next dc, dc in top of turning ch. Ch 3 turn (4dc)
Row 9 : dc2tog, dc in top of turning ch, ch 3 turn (3dc)
Row 10: dc in top of turning ch
Finish off leaving a 4 to 5 inch tail
Add beads to one or both ends if desired

I wonder what lesson 3 will bring. Stay tuned