Friday, November 30, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Clever Crochet Accessories Giveaway!

Yes, I'm biased, Yes Interweave gave me a copy of Clever Crocheted Accessories and I'm taking a large measure of joy that my hat is on the cover. 
Here's a link to preview the book
Here's a link to buy the book.

When I heard that I had a pattern included in this amazing compilation of big names in the Crochet Business, of course I was thrilled.  THEN, Brett Bara told me that she liked my hat so much, she MADE ONE for herself!  (GASP!) When I saw the cover with my Saturday Hat on it, I nearly fell off the couch. Really, it was exciting.

In beautiful Interweave fashion (Think Unexpected Afghans, Blueprint Crochet, Simply Crochet., etc) the photography is clean and engaging, the patterns clear and tested.  In this accessory book is everything from hats to jewelry, socks, mittens, belts to capelets... no, really, it starts with a hat (mine! squee!) and ends with a Chunky Capelet (Doris Chan!) 25 Quick weekend projects. 
And in between are names you will know and love: Robyn Chachula, Marly Bird, Drew Emborsky, Vickie Howell, Linda Permann, Amy Polcyn... I really would love to carry around Regina Rioux's Amazing Motif Bag.

If you like my Saturday Hat, it's a Bruges Lace style pattern, check out my book Learn Bruges Lace for two more Bruges style hat patterns plus a blanket, a bracelet, a cowl, and two scarves in this exciting style.  Learn Bruges Lace. Or, if you want a signed copy and live in the US, you can buy Learn Bruges Lace from me by clicking "Buy Now" in the upper right hand corner of this blog page.

The Clever Crocheted Accessories Book Giveaway:
Leave a comment on this post by 1:59 pm EST on Dec 3, 2012. with your name and city/town/identifying detail.  The winner will be chosen at random from all entries.  The winner will be announced on December 4, 2012.....the winner should email me at ellen @ GoCrochet dot com    by December 7, 2012.....  Sorry, I have to pay for shipping, so it's open to US residents only.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday Crochet

It's Cyber Monday!  Are you shopping for great crochet deals?

Check out my Online Class "Crocheting With Beads"

or great deals on CROCHET
  Use keycode EXK15CR to get $5 off a $15 crochet purchase at Annie's 

Or use this link to shop on Craftsy for great deals on classes.

We had a really nice Thanksgiving.  I'm so proud of myself, I ran the 10K Thanksgiving Day Race for the first time.  I really didn't think I was ready, but my friend Anne made it impossible to say no by having an answer for all of my logistical concerns.  I finished 7 minutes faster than my goal, so I was thrilled. Of course, I haven't run since. LOL. I took off a few days to recover, and then it got cold, and today is kinda busy.... 
I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving!

If you aren't shopping, are you crocheting? I am!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Crochet With Beads SALE! TODAY!

Sorry everybody, this discount went live over the holiday weekend, (and I wasn't on the computer much, and probably neither were you!) But you have until 11:59 pm EST TONIGHT to take advantage of the $5 off COUPON for my Annie's Online Class 'Crocheting with Beads'.  Once you buy it, take your time to watch and re-watch it as much as you like, whenever you want, forever.  You get all the video instruction on at least 5 different beading techniques and 5 patterns to help you practice the skills.  Here's the link to BUY the class   And this is the Discount Code to get the $5 off:


That code expires tonight at 11:59 pm EST, so go buy the class now, even if you don't have time to watch it immediately.  The class will still be there for you when you get past this busy weekend and beyond!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Free Crochet Pattern!

Red Heart Yarns sponsored this Colorful Squares Throw!  Thanks to them it is now a FREE pattern!  As my buddy, Kimberly McAlindin said, 'It would be a great stash-busting project!' Thanks Kimberly!

Here's the link to the project page at Red Heart. Tweet it, Facebook it, Make it, show it.... :) 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chanel Cape Revealed!

Take a look at my crocheted Chanel style cape in the new issue of Crochet! Winter 2012. It is one of the very rare times I was able to crochet with black!  (Have you ever noticed how rare it is for a model to be wearing black? Crochet just doesn't photograph well in solid black). But this red and black faux houndstooth really is sharp. :)

I made a little video of me designing this cape... let's see if I can imbed it here. It's a special 2 min video addition of "What was I thinking".   Yes, I cut off most of my face, but I was ok with that and I wanted you to see me sketching.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Annie's Crochet Classes!


Give it a peek. I had a great time taping the class Crocheting with Beads. Also check out Kim Guzman's Tunisian crochet classes. More classes are being added all the time. Once you buy them, they are yours to access whenever, forever. They come with a money back guarantee. You get all the patterns associated with the class and the ability to ask questions!  If nothing else, check out my hair and nails, I did it special for the taping! 

Photo Friday

Me feeding a giraffe. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Adventures in Crochet

But I can't tell you. It's the last of my business trips for 2012. Yet another trip to the salon for hair and nails.  I'll tell you when I'm allowed. In the meantime, tell me what have been your crochet adventures in 2012? Did you take a class? Did you learn a skill? Did you try out a new yarn? Did you venture out into a new type of project?  Share! Certainly meeting the Alpacas at the Country View Llama and Alpaca farm was by far a highlight of my 2012.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Crochet Kids Winter Warmers

Want to knit or crochet some quick kids accessories?  I was reminded about a pattern booklet where I have patterns on the cover and I'm not sure I ever told you about it? Maybe I did, I don't remember! LOL

15 Knit & Crochet Designs to Warm from Head to Toe.  The Tea Cup Wristers and the Flowered Earflap Hat are my designs.

The book is going into REPRINT already!  So many of you have already found this little gem. 
The booklet with both knit and crochet designs is available at Red (direct link to booklet)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Crochet at Home: 25 Clever Projects

Look what I found!  A preview of Brett Bara's new book, Crochet At Home, the preview shows some pretty pictures, but none of them are mine.  I have 2 projects in the book and I'm looking forward to seeing all the other projects that are included.  Looks like color was a major theme for the book so it should be really fun to look at!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Make it Better: CraftAlong for Sandy Relief

****THANK YOU! 5000 items were donated, and donations are no longer being accepted.********

Crochet, Knit, Sew for others. So many of our friends in the North East need help. You can donate from your heart, from your stash!  Brett Bara and her friend Natalie (from a Dose of Delightful) created this effort to offer relief to members of their community.

They are collecting items to provide warmth and hope. I hope you'll consider whipping up something warm to share (I did!) and send them to:

Natalie Soud
Soho Grand Hotel
310 W. Broadway
New York, NY 10013 

Check out Brett's and Natalie's blogs for more information, and/or check out the Facebook page for this effort:

While the need is immediate, I imagine the need will be present all winter long. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Photographing your Crochet Work

There are so many tasks as a business owner that a crochet designer has to know. Really, the list is pretty long.  Many of us crochet designers consider ourselves a "one man band" of sorts.  Crocheting is only PART of what we get to do. Do we really need to do a quick run-down of the list?
  1. Bookkeeper
  2. gopher (post office, office supplies)
  3. IT expert
  4. Graphic designer for pattern formatting
  5. pattern writer
  6. model maker
  7. advertising executive
  8. administrative assistant (letter writing, proposal making, scheduling)
Though I was a photography major in college, it was all artsy stuff, and was many years ago. So, when I saw there was a Craftsy class for crafts product photography, I thought, I could use a brush up on my skills and likely a few tips for the digital world.

Caro Sheridan does a great job of giving a crash course in photography in her new class "Shoot It" She briefly goes over the basics of how a camera works, general rules of composition and why to break them. The part I most enjoyed and found most useful was watching Caro do a photoshoot with a model with all Caro's explanations and tips as she went along.  I instantly have a few things I can apply to my next photo shoot.

Why is this important? If you want to be a designer, I think you vastly increase your odds of being successful if you can clearly communicate your skill. That means GREAT photos.  Now, I have stumbled along with mediocre photos for a long time, so it can be done, but GREAT photos are what can set you apart from a sea of design submissions.  Is it worth the price of the class, you bet! When I am deciding how to spend money on my business, I always think of ROI (return on investment), will the cost of the item/class/tool increase my revenue by at least that much?  It's hard to measure it, but I think YES, this class was worth the cost. Craftsy classes are anywhere from $19.99 to $49.99 or so depending on the specials they run and the complexity of the class.

Here's what I learned from Caro:
1. How to direct a model to get her to be her best.
2. How to change up the boring white background.
3. What plan needs to be in place BEFORE the photoshoot.
4. Why a model or location release is important and where to get it.
5. Great results can happen even in your own home without fancy equipment.
6. It's ok to let you model use props.

A few of my own tips:
1. I always use the two corners of my house that have the best windows/natural lighting depending on what time of day it is :)
2. I try never to use indoor lighting.
3. I always take more than one set of photos, one with a flash and one without so I can choose which ones I like.
4. For pattern writing and notes to myself, I'll often hand write a note to myself on a slip of paper and PUT IT IN THE PHOTO to remind myself either of what I crocheted, or what the photo is of "right back" or "step-out 2" or "Tr4tog"
5. I try to put garments and accessories ON people or at minimum ON the dress form rather than flat.
6. Keep the background uncluttered (make sure there are no trees or poles "growing" out of your model's head.
7. Overcast days are great for photography because the colors "pop" with better contrast than on super bright days and you can avoid unflattering shadows on faces.

Here's a sneak peek of a new pattern that will be out soon. It's modeled by my model, Robyn (before I took Caro's Craftsy class!) It will be revealed sometime this month.

Online Product Photography Class

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Virkkaillaan! and Fantasie di moduli all'Uncinetto

Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook has gone global!  These Finnish and Italian copies of the book just arrived in my mailbox.  I knew that having the book translated was a possibility but I never really gave it much thought.  Imagine my gasp of surprise when I opened the box and found these.  It's a different cover, a slightly different title, but all the same content.

I have a couple of copies of each, if you need one for a special gift, email me at ellen @ GoCrochet dot com and let's see if we can "hook you up!"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Yarn Coupon for you!

A quick gift to you.... Click this link below to get 10% off on a $25 yarn purchase.  They have many favorites, but one of my ultimate favorites is the Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK.  I used it in the Learn Bruges Lace book (Twice!) AND, I KNOW that I'm using it AGAIN SOON (hint hint). But the coupon is for ANY yarn, not just this one. The coupon expires December 31, 2012.

Save 10% on a $25 yarn purchase with keycode EXKYN25 at Annie's

Crochet Ripple Scarf

I've updated my Fiesta Crochet Ripple Scarf PDF to include photographs of my beautiful model!  Take a look! You can buy the PDF by clicking the "I'm a Craftsy Designer" badge on the right side bar of this page. Craftsy.

If you have already purchased the pattern, a new version with the new photos should have already arrived in your inbox. The crochet pattern is still correct and unchanged, I only added the photos. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Crochet Yarn

I'm auditioning yarns for inclusion if Book 4 goes forward (I'm always hesitant to say definitively until the ink is dry, but I was told it was ok to order yarn!)

WHAT yarns do you want included?  What are your favorite yarns? Go through your stash, what would you like to use up? :)  Lay it on me!

Book FOUR? you say?  You're thinking "Where is book THREE?". Well, book three is in production and all the yarn is already chosen and on hand... ;)  more info will follow as I'm allowed to release it!  You're going to love it though and it's NOTHING like what you would think I would do. (I think, I really don't know what you might think, you're pretty clever...)

:)  Anyway,  what yarns would you like to crochet with for Book 4? 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Crochet Designer Tip

My tip for aspiring crochet designers...Here it is... are you ready?

Let it evolve.

That's it.  Don't rush it. It doesn't have to be perfect on the first try. Let it evolve. I'm talking both about your crochet career and about individual projects.  Thoughts?