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Monday, February 27, 2012

Potato Chip Scarf

Here is as picture of my second effort at the Potato Chip Scarf.  On my second attempt I incorporated the wrap and turn technique. The result was much better, there are no little holes showing from working the short rows.
Here are the instructions incorporating the wrap and turn technique
Cast on 20 stitches
Knit 8 sts, wrap and turn, then knit back
Knit 6 sts, wrap and turn, then knit back
Knit 4 sts, wrap and turn, then knit back
Knit across
Repeat the series until the scarf is the desired length then bind off
I used yarn from Hobby Lobby, called, I Love this wool, and size 13 needles.

Visit to a LYS

I have to tell you about my adventure to a local yarn shop in Kansas City, Missouri this past weekend. My husband and I were enjoying a weekend get away with my niece Stacy and her husband Bill. On Saturday we visited the National World War I Museum. I had scoped out a local yarn shop to visit, and it turns out it was only a few miles away from the museum. So after we were done with the museum visit, our husbands decided to walk back to the hotel while Stacy and I hailed a cab for a trip to the yarn shop.
We asked the cab driver if he was available and he said yes.  Once inside the cab we gave him the address.  He started driving but then told us this was his second day on the job, and he had no idea how to get to the yarn shop, so he called a friend on the phone for directions.  I knew we were in trouble then.  He and his friend were not speaking English so I had no idea what was being said, but apparently his friend wasn’t much help.  Next he handed me his phone and asked me to put in the address of the yarn shop into his navigation program which I did, but when I pressed navigate it didn’t.  Next I got out my phone and keyed  the address using my “Places” app, thankfully that worked.  Mind you  we are driving in the wrong direction up to this point.  I ended up directing the cab driver using my navigation and telling him where to go, and when to turn. 

 We did get to our destination which was The Studio. The real kicker to the taxi ride  came when we got to the yarn store, our cab fare was over $16.00 for the  original 2.8 mile trip. My niece handed the cab driver a $20 dollar bill and he gave her back $2 saying he didn’t have any more ones! We were just thankful to be at our destination
We did enjoy our visit to the yarn shop. I purchased one hank of yarn from Pagewood Farm U-Knitted Nations, called Swagger, colorway Lavender Fields a 100% Merino Wool, and 3 balls of Berroco Blackstone Tweed, greenish in color a 65% Wool, 25% Superkid Mohair and 10% Angora Rabbit Hair. All  will be knitted into scarves, the Merino yarn into a scarf called Winter’s Tale designed by Cindy Craig, the pattern was free and available at the store. The Berroco yarn will be knitted into an infinity scarf designed by Stephen West called Purl Ridge Scarf.  The Purl Ridge Scarf pattern is a free Ravelry download in case you are interested in downloading for yourself.
Our trip back to our hotel was not quite as eventful. A lovely customer at the yarn store offered to give us a lift to the nearby Sheridan Hotel where we were able to hire another taxi.  Before we got in we asked if the driver knew the location of the Crown Plaza Hotel where we were staying. He said he did. Next we asked about how much the fare would be, it seemed reasonable so we got in and arrived back safe and sound to our hotel with purchases in hand.
If you are ever in Kansas City I do recommend that you make a visit to The Studio. They are located at 1121 West 47th Street, Kansas City, Missouri.  The staff  and patrons were friendly, and helpful. They had a great selection of yarn to choose from, and I will definitely visit this yarn shop the next time I’m in Kansas City.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


My crochet mentor, Pam McClung, owner of Pam’s Patterns told me some time ago about a free web hosting service.  I finally found the time to check it out. The site is called Yola. 
Yola offers limited free web hosting, and also offers more bells and whistles for a fee.
The site is really pretty easy to navigate, and you can have a webpage up and going in no time at all. They even provide a PayPal shopping cart which is great if you are selling patterns like I do or selling anything for that matter.  It would also be great if you wanted to create a personal webpage or a family webpage.
You can customize your site, change banners, and colors, and add pages, and pictures and photos and videos all without having to know html code.
Right now I’m operating the Loess Hills Creative Crochet on a shoe string, and Pam has taught me how to use  free services to promote my business.  Everyone likes free, right!
If you are looking for a way to have a web presence and don’t want to create a blog, and don’t have a lot of idle cash, Yola may be just the place for you too.
Check out the webpage that I created on Yola  for “free” and let me know what you think.
My Website

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Playing With Yarn

Last night  I was playing with yarn and worked up these gift card holders. I cannot claim the idea as my own.  I saw the knitted card-igans,  as they are called, on the website and thought they were just tooooo cute.  My samples are done in crochet not knit, but the general idea is the same.

I haven't written up any instructions yet because I'm still in the exploring stage and trying various stitch patterns and yarn weights. The yarn  on the left is a sock weight yarn, the other three are a worsted weight acrylic.

So far I'm liking the card holders with the texture created by the front and back posts double crochet stitches.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Certified Crochet Instructor

In the mail today, actually by way of UPS, I received my certificate of completion for the Craft Yarn Councils Certified Crochet Instructor's program and pin. I'm so excited.
To earn certification I had to complete and pass 10 varied crochet lessons, and teach 30 volunteer hours in crochet.

I have taught several people to crochet, but now I have the proof that I really know what I'm doing.  It's nice to have the validation.
I also teach crochet lessons for the Michael's Craft Store in Sioux City, Iowa and certification is a requirement.

Having the certificate will also be helpful when it comes to promoting private lessons.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Potato Chip Scarf

To Wrap and Turn or not to Wrap and Turn, That is the Question..

I went
A couple of weeks ago at our local needle arts meet up, a member was knitting a ruffled scarf. It looked like a fun scarf, and I asked about the pattern. She said a friend had given it to her. It’s very simple she assured me and gave me the pattern which I quickly jotted down.
I went home and found some yarn in my stash and started knitting.
The next day, my sister texted the same pattern to me with a slight variation.  Someone had given her the pattern at her knitters’ meet up.  Her pattern had a name, the Potato Chip scarf.
I started Googling “Potato Chip Scarf”, and found multiple free versions of the pattern. But I was unable to find the original source. It seems this is one of those patterns that has been around for awhile and gone “viral”.  Some sources say you can't make just one, which is the reason it is called Potato Chip, other sources say the ruffles resemble potato chips.

This is my first effort at the potato chip scarf

No Wrap and Turn, note small holes
I have only been knitting for a few months, so I’m a real beginner.  Above is a picture of my first Potato Chip scarf.    The scarf is constructed using “short rows”.  All of you experienced knitters know that short rows are often used for shaping.   Well I discovered that my scarf had small “holes” resulting from turning the short rows.  There is a remedy for this, and it was contained in the instructions that my sister sent me. There is a technique called wrap and turn which prevents the small holes.  Being a new knitter, I had no idea what wrap and turn was all about, so I Googled it, and found instructions that were very helpful.  Check out this link. How to Wrap and Turn My advice and the whole point of this post is that if you knit the Potato Chip Scarf, I strongly suggest that you add the wrap and turn. You are going to find some patterns that leave this part out. The results are just so much more professional looking.

Using Wrap and Turn, small holes gone

Here are the instructions incorporating the wrap and turn technique
Cast on 20 stitches
Knit 8 sts, wrap and turn, then knit back
Knit 6 sts, wrap and turn, then knit back
Knit 4 sts, wrap and turn, then knit back
Knit across
Repeat the series until the scarf is the desired length then bind off
For my second scarf (which isn't done yet) I am using yarn from Hobby Lobby, called, I Love this wool, and size 13 needles.
If you look closely, I think you will agree that the scarf with the wrap and turn is much more visually appealing.

No more annoying small holes

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Professional Status

Great news. I received email notification today from the Crochet Guild of America that my application for professional status has been accepted by the committee.

"The main purpose of the Crochet Guild of America is to educate the public about crochet, provide education and networking opportunities, and set a national standard for the quality, art and skill of crochet through creative endeavors." (

A crochet professional is someone who has been working in the crochet profession and deriving some or all income from their work for the past two years.

I have been crocheting off and on for 40 years. In 2009, after I took an early retirement option, I picked up my hooks and got serious about crochet. In 2010, I designed my first pattern, an aran style afghan for my niece Stacy.  Since then I have designed several more patterns, set up a Ravelry store, an Etsy store, started a local needle arts group, became a certified crochet instructor, joined several online crochet communities, teach crochet, and have had a pattern accepted and published in Quick and Easy Crochet Magazine, and started this blog.

I guess I have been pretty busy.  I'm still not completely retired. I continue to teach online classes for 3 colleges, which is the reason why I haven't had a lot of time to "design".  I guess I'm still not ready to make the final leap and derive all income from crochet, but I'm sure that time will come and when it does, I will post the notification here. 

A big thank you goes to my crochet mentor, Pam McClune. Pam has been a source of inspiration to me, and has been very helpful along the journey to professional status.

I'm soooooo excited. Where are my crochet hooks, I feel like crocheting :-)