Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Yarn Love Challenge

Have you been following the YarnLoveChallenge on Instagram? If not, here are a few of my highlights:

My handmade home... We have about 11 crocheted afghans at last count, that are in active use in our home. This blanket above is from BEFORE I started designing. It's still holding up!

#Gratitude My first book, translated into Chinese. Chickee's boyfriend speaks 4 languages and was able to read the dedication back to me the other day. When I wrote this book, I had no idea all the wonderful blessings that I would have in this day.

Random photo of Theo because he's so darn cute. He is in the hanging chair that is in Chief's room. 

Here is about half of my yarn book library. I have an additional two shelves on the other side of the room and random books scattered around the house with projects and a stitch dictionary in the car... ya know, in a design emergency.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Old School

I was having trouble visualizing a shape I wanted to design. I went old school. I got out the big 1" grid paper and drew out the actual size and shape I wanted to recreate in crocheted fabric.

As I work, I can put the crocheted piece on the paper and make sure I'm getting it right. I made a paper pattern, basically.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Dune Throw, A Second Chance!

If you didn't get my Dune Throw pattern in my book, Learn Bruges Lace, you have another chance! The pattern is now in the Easy, Breezy Crochet Lace special issue.  You can buy the hardcopy or you can get the digital download. Or, you can message me and I'll sell you Learn Bruges Lace (in USA only). Here's the link to the pattern details on Ravelry.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Name That Crochet Clip!

Here's a hint... I'm really late to the party on this one.

I actually have several clips from this show. The art director must have been a crochet enthusiast!

Name that show! If you can't get it, I'll post another clip from the same show as an additional clue.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Wrong Side

There's a wrong side of the bed. The wrong side of the tracks. When you drop a piece of buttered bread, it always lands with the wrong side down.

Some crochet projects have a wrong side. Sweaters of course have a wrong side against your skin so the right side can be seen by the world. But what about blankets?

90% or more of my crochet motif projects, I design with all the "right sides" facing. That is, I don't turn when I join rounds. In some ways I would rather that one side be 100% right and the other side be 100% wrong than to turn rounds and have both sides be 50-50.

Of course blankets, worked in rows, not worked in the round, are always 50-50. Of course if you put an edging on it, you often have to choose which side is going to be the right side. And you can't put the edging on the wrong side because as soon as you put it on you are declaring it the right side.

But, if you put the edging on the side where you have woven in ends, then you have put it on the wrong side. That would really be awkward.

Above, Theo is sitting on the wrong side of the blanket.

So, my question is, when it comes to blankets, does it bother you when one side is the right side and the other side is wrong? Would you prefer to have 50-50 blankets where they are both equally right and equally wrong?  Do you prefer your motifs be turned or all worked on the right side? (I won't judge!)

Sometimes it's hard to tell right from wrong, and not just in blankets! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Designing Again

I've never stopped designing but I did slow down there for a while. It's fun to pick up the hook and yarn again with no agenda but my own musing to drive the project. You've heard me say it before and I'll say it again... The cure for a lack of creativity is to just start with no regard for the outcome. Make no plan, have no expectation, just play. When you like something, keep going. If you don't like it, go another direction.

I have some very exciting irons in the fire right now. I'm really hopeful that a new permanent agenda will unfold soon.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Optimism for the Win!

I feel like I should say something about the Super Bowl. Maybe something about crocheting while watching the big game. But the truth is, we only watched a few minutes of the game while we ate dinner at a restaurant. The Falcons were up something like 21-0 at that point.

I really shouldn't sink to the level of cliche and say that it's a commentary on life... when you think you are down and out of the game... but then you persevere and show up anyway and keep striving. Then somehow you come back in extra innings (haha, just kidding) overtime to win the game. How it's always darkest before the dawn and all that. Slow and steady wins the race... etc.  (Do you have any more cliches for pressing on?)

Just last night I had a conversation with Chief about the importance of optimism and how it can be difficult to be around pessimism.

I have a very optimistic week ahead. Wednesday I should have some crochet to show you... a sneak peek at least!

Chickee had her Sophomore dance this weekend.

Friday, February 3, 2017

The Next Day

Minnie is asking, "What will you do next?"

I'm not sure, Minnie, I'm looking at my options. I have tons of yarn, plenty of ideas and now an open schedule. I've wanted to write another book. I'd like to help someone write their next book. I'd love to help a company sell some yarn. I am sort of (kind of) thinking of running a marathon. (That rhymes! ok, it loosely rhymes)

I have an abundance of confidence ;) a ton of experience, and God on my side. (I think I can, I think I can...)

You WILL see new designs from me. I already have two on the calendar. Stay tuned!

On Instagram, I've just joined in the #yarnlovechallenge  Follow me on Instagram (GoCrochet) and see the daily yarn related postings for the month of February.

If we are connected on LinkedIn and you feel compelled to recommend me, please consider it!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Shocking News...

Shocking News... do I have your attention yet? It's a really long, but not that long, story. I am no longer the editor of Crochet! magazine. After 3 years of being committed to the magazine's success, it's time to move on.

Now what?

I am looking for another job that 'utilizes my talents' and provides for my family in a way allows me to continue to juggle it all while being creative.

In the meantime, I'll play with yarn.

Monday, January 30, 2017

When you don't drink coffee...

I don't drink coffee... but at a dinner, instead of giving back the coffee mug... what else is a crocheter to do? This was at the CGOA banquet this past summer in Charleston... so not completely shocking ;)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Crochet and Buttons

Like many of you perhaps, I have inherited my mom's button box. It's in this large cookie tin from a Christmas a lifetime ago. I have added to the box over the years but when I dig down to the bottom and swirl around the buttons, it's a sound like no other sound. There are buttons probably from the 1950's in there mixed with buttons from this year. 

One of my favorite sociology professors in college said that America was not so much a melting pot but was more like a salad bowl. We all belong but we still have our unique identities. Kind of like this button box, we are varied and all belong. 

Back to crochet... The best buttons for crochet, in my opinion are shank buttons. The ones that have the little loop on the back. Hopefully the hole on the back is big enough to thread a thickness or two of yarn through with a tapestry needle. Buttons with eyes are also fine if you can get the yarn through.  I even have button "blanks" in my box to make my own buttons. Either by covering them with fabric (which I have no idea how to do) or wrapping them in yarn (which seems kind of fragile).

I want buttons on my crocheted work that:
1. won't fall off.
2. won't weigh down the fabric and droop, and
3. are the perfect size for the opening so they stay fastened.

What are your thoughts about crochet and buttons? Do you have a button box? Was it inherited?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Have you seen Chief?

I'm not sure if I have shared about Chief lately...

like his sister, he scored super high on the High School Placement Test. He also got invited into the super exclusive scholar program at the school he will attend in the fall! (She goes to an all-girl school, he likewise, will go to an all-boy school).

We are so proud of him! He's such a nice kid, smart and funny.

Monday, January 23, 2017

GoCrochet on Instagram

If you're not on Instagram, you may have missed this post... crocheted snowflakes...
in the window of a gun shop. :) 

Find me as GoCrochet on Instagram... warning though... there are a bunch of running posts. There will be more an more crochet again though I hope. I probably should get a second account for running stuff.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Crochet Decision-Making Flow Chart

Should you bother to untangle a yarn mess? A crochet decision-making flow chart, because sometimes I get goofy on yarn fumes.
Here's a closer look...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Let's Play a Game: Name that Crochet Clip!

I watch a lot of tv on my IPad these days and I love catching crochet in a screen shot!  This is an easy one... who can tell me what show this is from?  

Don't you love the girl's poncho and matching hat? You can't see it, but the mom is also wearing a crocheted hat.  

In the comments below, without peeking at other people's answers.... Name that Crochet Clip! (What tv show is it?)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Top-Down Decisions

How's your Monday? Today I'm going to think about designing a top-down sweater! I'm thinking about neckline shapes and sleeve length and what kind of fit I would like it to have. I'm thinking about what stitch would be good for increasing in the yarn I would like to use...

Decisions, decisions.

What's on your hook today? Or, what's your favorite things about top-down garments? (I totally love trying them on as I go....)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Too Inspired

Many people assume that if you have tons of Works in Progress (WIPs) that you are a non-finisher, a quitter, or scatterbrained... maybe some of those things could be sort of true, but I prefer to think that we are just TOO INSPIRED.

I just want to stitch it all, make it now, all of it. Crochet. Knit. Weave. I walk into my yarn closet and I'm equally overwhelmed by 1. The mess 2. The possibilities.

I get out some project bags and separate yarns into idea bags. Maybe I'll throw in a hook or a sticky note with a rough reminder of what sparked my interest. Sometimes I get as far as unwinding yarn and getting it into usable balls before I put it in the idea bag.

I should get out one of those WIP bags to take to piano lessons later today... maybe start on a new design. But more than likely I'll go into my stash closet, find a WIP bag and have absolutely no idea what I had in mind. :)  Good thing I'm too inspired... I'll just come up with a new plan.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How Can I Inspire YOU?

How can I inspire you today? What's the kick you need to go after your goals? Did you make a statement about renewed effort? You know I love goals. I have tons of posts on creating goals... like 2008, 2011, and 2014. (Can you imagine if I KNEW back in 2008 that today I would have accomplished so many of my crochet goals). Which reminds me of one of my FAVORITE MEMES....

Do you have any crochet goals that I can help you with? 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Driftwood, Drifting Back Again

I just can't get away from the Driftwood Cap.

It just fits SOOOO WELLLL.  It's comfortable and warm. It hugs your head and stays ON, even when I'm running or shoveling snow. So when I want a hat, it's the one I want.

I made another one this weekend, well, almost finished. And I used a gorgeous stitch marker, a Christmas gift from a friend. Sitting with some binge tv and it's a recipe for a great day. 

Get the pattern on my GoCrochet Ravelry Store if you are interested. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Messy Bun Hats

Have you jumped on the messy bun hat craze?

A year or two ago, there was a craze for the crocheted earwarmer/headband with the big flower... like this...

(It's the Winter White Moebius Set)

Or now, the craze is a little more coverage that stops just short of being a full hat. So your bun or ponytail can pop through! These have been around before but the trend is back and the purple pattern above, the Messy Bun Crochet hat, is new. 

Do you love the idea or think it's silly? Are all your relatives begging for messy bun hats?