Friday, August 31, 2012

Crazy Big Day & Learn Bruges Lace Blog Tour

It's a crazy big day here at Go Crochet! 

Oh My Gosh.  Did you hear that I filmed a class for Annie's?  Crocheting with Beads!  And now it's LIVE.  Go here to see a preview and watch a short video about me.  There are classes on Crochet, Knit, quilting and more classes are in the works! Here's my 'Meet the Instructor Page'.   
Scroll down for a PREVIEW of the class, Crocheting with Beads.  Click "more info" and there you will see the projects that we make while learning 5 crochet with beads techniques. The class is now available for purchase!  You can watch it at your own leisure and ask ME questions if they arise. I also show you how to join as you go with motifs ;) 

Kim Guzman also has 2 classes available: Tunisian Cables and Lace AND Learn Tunisian Crochet 
Also, other exciting news... the Learn Bruges Lace Blog Tour starts tomorrow:  Here are the dates and stops I know so far...
 Saturday, September 1:  Naida at Crochet Mama's Blog Naida will giveaway a copy!

Tuesday, September 4: Kathryn at Crochet Concupiscence.  Kathryn will give away a copy!

Look for more stops coming soon to:

Susan Lowman at The Crochet Architect.

Rachee Fagg at Say it Rah-Shay

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Learn Bruges Lace Book Blog Stops

I'm working on it!
I think in the next week, you are going to see book tour stops on 3 sites, hopefully more over the following week. 

I don't usually post on Saturday... BUT, Tune in SATURDAY, 9/1 for the first blog stop. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

When is an Octagon not an Octagon?

This sweet octagon motif is in my book, Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook.  I just love it.  I may re-make it soon and blog post about it.  I was thinking that I needed another octagon. I was thinking that I wanted something somewhat open and not too solid. I was thinking that post stitches would add depth and texture.  I know it may not look like an octagon, because it doesn't have any sides at all, let alone EIGHT of them.  But can you see it? 

When you join a floral style motif like this one, it will join to its neighbor at the purple dots.
If you draw imaginary lines from purple dot to purple dot... you'll see the 8 sides of the octagon. If you were to make this into a "join as you go" motif, I would likely use my favorite technique... a chain space.  It looks like there may be 9 dc on each "side" or petal.  I would likely change that to be (4 dc, ch 3, 4 dc) instead of doing 9 dc.  Then when you join the finished first motif to the subsequent motifs, you can join with (4 dc, ch 1, sl st in ch-3 sp of First motif, ch 1, 4 dc) on the final round. My point is... you can turn ANY motif into a "join as you go" motif.  (BTW, 'join as you go' means no sewing. While you are working the final round of the motif, you are finishing the final round at the same time you are joining it to the other motifs, so that when you finish the motif, it is already joined. A dream come true for those who don't like to sew.)  Don't like ends? Make it one color instead of 3, that will dramatically reduced the number of ends (by 2/3rds in fact! 66.6%). 

Octagons though, don't TILE or to use the math term 'tesselate' or become a 'tessellation'. If you put a bunch of octagons next to each other matching sides as if to make a tile floor of octagons... you can't do it without leaving some blank holes.  Matter of fact, you'll get a SQUARE shaped hole where the octagons don't meet up.  This is why Octagons and squares are friends. Pick any one of the 10 squares in my book to be friends with any one of the 10 octagons.  You may need to use the 'join as you go' modification on a couple, but that's not a big deal, I just told you how to do it!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Review: Super Stitches Crochet

Super Stitches Crochet 
by Jennifer Campbell and Anne-Marie Bakewell

I'm not sure why I have never picked up this book until now. Published in 2008, I'm not sure why I always passed it by.  But I saw again, sorta for the first time, at TNNA this year.  Potter-Craft provided me with a copy and you can never have too many stitch dictionaries, so it was worth a try.  When I look through stitch dictionaries, I always have the tiny post it notes and a pen in hand.  As I come to a stitch pattern that sparks my interest, I put on a sticky note and a brief note about what I think the stitch pattern wants to be.  I might say, "baby cardigan" or I might write "drapey-cowl".  I was pleasantly surprised when the book added up to MANY sticky notes and inspiration for projects to come.  Shown in both written instructions and symbol diagrams. (wow, for 2008, it was ahead of the game!) this book, with it's compact size (8.7 x 6), it will become one of my go-to dictionaries when I'm on the go. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bruges Lace Projects Revealed!

I'm so excited to FINALLY get the Learn Bruges Lace book projects up on Ravelry!  So now, you can go and 'favorite' all your favorites!

Here's the link to the Ravelry page with all the patterns. And here's the link to buy the book. You can also get the book on electronic download through the same link to buy.

There going to be at least three blog book tour stops.  They may or may not be doing giveaways. I'll let you know as the details firm up. On this blog, there may or may not be giveways in the next 3 weeks...  ;)

Let me show you the Bonus Scarf

I called it the "Bonus" Scarf, because I didn't intend to make it for the book.  It wasn't in my proposal, it wasn't part of the plan. I finished all the other projects and felt like I wasn't done yet.  I thought the book needed another project.  I had a few balls of this fantastic Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK. (Gosh, how I love that yarn), and it's in one of my favorite colors, so voila' the Bonus scarf.  I literally finished the book and when I sent in all the projects, I enclosed a note to Connie, my editor, 'Oh, by the way, there's an extra scarf in there if you like it, it's sort of a bonus'.  It's very easy, one long strip is made, then the second long strip is joined to the first as it's made.  Karen Manthey made beautiful symbol diagrams for all the projects in the book. This scarf is already back in my possession and I guarantee I will be wearing it all winter long. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Lake

Sorry, we dropped everything and took a last minute trip to Lake Erie.  This was our last chance to squeeze in a vacation before the kids go back to school.  But never fear, I took crochet with me.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


One thing the Captain, an architect, and I, a crocheter, can agree on is that every successful project must have a firm FOUNDATION.


Want some tips on making your crochet foundation it's very best?

1. Use one size bigger hook unless this makes your work look sloppy.
2. Place a marker in every 25th chain to help with count.
3. Do the foundation chain all at once... don't put it down and pick it back up again in the middle because your tension will be off.
4. Think smooth thoughts. Try to use an even rhythm.
5. Take care not to twist the beginning chains.
6. Be consistent. Either work in the back ridge of the chain, or the top bar and back ridge, but whatever you do, do it all the way along.
7. For a firmer edge, use a foundation stitch, like the foundation single crochet.
8. If you are going to work into the foundation row again later (like for an edging), when you make your first row, work only in the "back ridge" loop, leaving the other two remaining loops for an easy place to put later stitches.
9. COUNT. If you are "off" your count at the beginning it will be frustrating, but often, if you get the foundation row right, it's smooth sailing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's here!

Learn Bruges Lace just arrived at my door!  With all my projects so that I can show them to you IN PERSON in Reno next month!  I'll be signing Learn Bruges Lace on Saturday, September 15, at 1:00 at the Crochetville/Red Heart Booth.

56 pages and 8 projects for $9.95! That's $1.25 per project and doesn't count the 19 pages of full color practice instructions! There are no special tools needed for these projects... just hook and yarn.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Online Classes at Annie's!

Check it out! Sign up to be alerted when it is available for sign-ups!  Check out the current class list.

Look! That's me in the middle in the blue dress! Am I crocheting with beads, perhaps? And look at Kim Guzman in the coral with her crochet class! 

Annie's Online class catalog

Friday, August 10, 2012

Photo Friday: A new Trend?

This is the kind of detailed photos that are in my new book, Learn Bruges Lace. And let me show you another project from the book...

The Bruges Toddler Hat (in Caron Spa)

Not in the book, but other appearances of Bruges Lace...
 Oh! And look, my Bruges Beret on the cover of Brett's new book... Clever Crocheted Accessories ... (coming soon).

 Oh! And look, my Bruges Wintergreen Cowl in Interweave's e-book A Snowflake Story ...

Oh! And look, my Bruges Lace skirts in the Spring 2012 Issue of Interweave Crochet...

Noticing a Trend?  LOL

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Designer Auction to benefit Epilepsy Foundation

My Dots and Dashes Blanket is just one of several crochet projects up for auction! There are also autographed books, knit, jewelry, and fabric projects to bid on. All proceeds go to the Epilepsy Foundation of South and Central Texas. Go take a look!  If there is nothing that strikes your fancy, you can still donate if you wish. The effort was organized by Vickie Howell, who's Purple Stitch Project is raising awareness and support of kids with Epilepsy.  The auction runs until August 24.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Flood Crochet Today with Sunny Spread photos!

Crochet Today wants to see your Sunny Spread photos! 

Flood them with all your gorgeous projects! 

Here's the link:

Here's the link to the FREE PATTERN in case you haven't made one yet... there might be a few of you out there...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bobbles, Clusters, and Popcorns

Crochet Today blogged today about How to make Bobbles, Clusters, and Popcorns based on an article I wrote for them, I can't remember when!  Anyway, take a look! 

I thought, "Hey! I recognize that hook, and that white sheet looks familiar, OH YEAH!" 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Learn Bruges Lace

Is now available!  (I don't have a copy yet... but the website says it's available!)

Here's the Link to the page! 8 projects, full photo and symbol instructions for the technique, 56 pages for $9.95!
Annie's Website.

Here's the Cover design.. the Pea Pod Scarf.
Made in two gorgeous colors of one of my all time favorite yarns... Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK.
The easy green strip is made first, then the ecru motifs are stitched in between, "join as you go" style, so no sewing them in. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Photo Friday

Two weeks ago, we got to take a little trip up and down on a tethered hot air balloon. 
 Chickee on the right with her pal, Hannah.
Chief holds his ears as we took off. We didn't expect the flame would be so loud :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Are pigs flying? And Giveaway Winner

Are pigs flying? It's a KNIT pattern by Ellen Gormley. Yep. For Real.  A FREE knit pattern. 
Here's the LINK to the free pattern on the Caron website.

Are you ready for the Winner of the Crochet Scarves Book Giveaway?  Drumroll please...
determined by random number generator...


AnnaBananas, please email me at ellen @ gocrochet dot com with your mailing address and I will pass it along to the folks at Stackpole books who will mail out your copy!

Thanks everyone 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

FIELD TRIP! CountryView Llamas and Alpacas

 A new llama and alpaca farm has popped up in our neighborhood, Country View llamas and Alpacas, and it's owned by Mike Zimmerman, a friend of a friend! (And now, a friend of mine!)  He was gracious enough to let Chickee, Chief and me visit his award-winning animals. Above, Chickee is feeding Honey, and I'm feeding her Mom.  Chickee said that it is spelled "Honi" but I'm not sure, so I'll defer to tradition until I'm corrected. Honey is 8 months old and so cute!
Here are two llamas, ribbon-winning Nuevo and his Dad. They are as tall as me! I'm about 5'5"

Here is Mike's clever daughter introducing Chief to a baby Alpaca.  (Look at the little ones, checking out the little one). Mike's daughter made a smart concoction of grain and hay "salad" and presented it to the alpacas for variety! She then took Chief to see the Bantam chickens and ducks.  The baby alpaca was about 25 pounds when she was born. Judges at the last competition had wonderful things to say about this baby's first shearing.  There are about 170,000 alpacas in the United States and 2 more will be born to this farm in the spring.  Every alpaca's name has to be registered and may not be a duplicate name of another alpaca already residing in the USA.  Fascinating!

 Alpaca dung, is also valuable (who knew?) There is a winery here in Ohio who uses the fertilizer from Mike's Alpaca droppings for their wine grapes!  Apparently it is exactly they right Ph balance for the grapes. 
Chief feeds the father and son llama pair. 

Country View llamas and alpacas is in the business of selling fleeces, selling the fertilizer and creating an award-winning herd.  For more information, contact owners Mike and Sarah Zimmerman via their Facebook page.

Tomorrow, the Giveaway winner!