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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

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lesson 1

After taking considerable  time to look at all the training material I received from the Craft Yarn Council, I sat down last night and crocheted the two 5 inch square swatches required for Lesson 1.

Lesson 1 included reading the Teacher's Handbook, and specific readings from the Crochet Manual. In this lesson the focus was on how to teach new learners to hold the hook, make a slip knot, crochet a chain, single crochet, double crochet, how to measure a swatch, identify rows and stitches and join new yarn.  These are things that we more experienced crocheters take for granted but can be very confusing to someone just learning. We've all been there!.

And in case you are wondering, yes there are written assignments.  I'm a teacher so I'm very familiar with the concept of homework and written assignments,  although I'm much more used to grading the assignments than doing the assignments.

Part of the written assignment for Lesson 1 is to identify ways to teach the chain, single crochet, and double crochet, and also to identify common mistakes made by new learners. I have been teaching my daughter in law learn to crochet, and she made a very common error with double crochet.  After chaining 3 at the end of the row and turning,  she crocheted in the first stitch instead of counting the ch 3 as the first stitch which caused her to increase each row. We had a lesson last night, and I don't think she will make that mistake again.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Craft Yarn Council

I'm so excited. Recently I enrolled in the Craft Yarn Council's certified teaching program. The materials arrived yesterday, and I can't wait to get started.

The goal, according to the Craft Yarn Council, is to "strengthen your technique skills and to provide you with the necessary teaching skills to instruct others in crocheting in a variety of environments including retail stores."

There are three levels of certification. Level I consists of lessons 1 - 4 and documenting 15 hours of volunteer student teaching.  Level II consists of lesson 5 - 10 and an additional 15 hours of volunteer student teaching. Level III (the professional) level consists of the successful completion of levels I and II and an additional 20 hours of volunteer student teaching.

I have already talked to my friend Teresa at Mercy Medical Hospital in Sioux City, IA and will most likely complete my volunteer training there.  My daughter in law, is also the recipient of my student teaching.

Stay tuned for more about my adventures with this program

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

CurlyQ Yarn

Red Heart  has a new yarn called "CurlyQ".  I couldn't resist playing with this yarn, the name is so much fun and so is the yarn. The yarn is a blend of acrylic, polyester and spandex, and is super bulky. I found mine at our local Hobby Lobby store.

This  is the scarf and hat I designed using the CurlyQ yarn.  The pattern will be available through my Etsy store, and as a Ravelry download as soon as I can get the the pattern written and uploaded. I'll let you know as soon as it is available.

The colorway I used is called Patchwork. I love the vibrant colors! And the scarf and hat are soooo warm.

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Years Resolutions

Generally I don't make New Year Resolutions, but this year I resolve to finish up my crochet projects that are currently in various stages of completion.  There I've said it.  Check back with me at the end of the year and I'll let you know how I did.