Monday, June 30, 2014

And the Winner is....

Thank you to Robyn, Susan, and Jenny for guest posting on the blog the past few weeks! I hope you have enjoyed reading some different voices.

And the randomly chosen winner of the Annie's Online class giveaway is....

Kathryn V.

Please send me a comment with your email address in it (I won't publish it). Or send me an email at Ellen @ Go Crochet dot com and I'll pass your email along!

Did you know that Annie's has a huge amount of online classes? Like 40 something! Everything from Crochet and knit to quilting, cardmaking, illustration, paper-crafting, beading, you name it! When you buy an online class you can access it through your computer any time you want forever. You can ask the instructor questions and you get all the patterns and paperwork as downloadable content that you can print and use. OR you can buy the DVD's of the classes and ask questions through customer care. Here's the link to ALL the Annie's classes. You can watch previews and read about the class before you sign up.

MY Annie's online classes are:

Learn to Crochet
Learn to Crochet with Beads
Learn to Crochet Lace: Hairpin, Broomstick & Bruges Lace (that's the photo above)
and I have a 4th class that will come out in early 2015?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Go Crochet! Skillbuilder... WHAT is it?

With this book, I wanted to follow up my first book, Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook. I also wanted to be able to do more than motifs.... cuz I just did another book on that! I wanted to share my love for Bruges lace. I wasn't "done" with Bruges lace after the last Learn Bruges Lace book. I wanted to help people both spend down their stash but decide if they wanted to splurge on great yarn for smaller projects. I knew that people love accessories and instant gratification. Putting it ALL together in one book gave us: Go Crochet Skillbuilder: 30 Crochet-in-a-Day Projects to Take you from Beginner to Expert.

So, all the projects I stitched in less than 24 hours. I know some people stitch faster than others. Also, when you are learning something new it may take some extra time to get the hang of the technique and swatching. Still, my idea is that if you start the project at 10:00am one morning, go about your day, cook dinner, sleep through the night... and you stitch in between... you should be able to finish it by 10:00am the next morning.  Some of the projects will take a nice lazy 24 hours at home and other projects can be whipped out in minutes on a busy day. If you take the challenge and complete all 30 projects in 30 days, your skills will be expanded and your stash will be diminished! (also, if you are a sell-at-the Bazaar person... in 30 days, you'll have 30 items to add to your table).

It's on SALE, NOW. Either hardcopy or digital download. Seriously! Amazon says it's not ready yet, but you can get it now HERE.

There is a huge variety in the book. Cowls, bags, scarves, jewelry, coasters, baby items in everything from Tunisian in the Round, broomstick, Bruges, motifs, felting, beads, hairpin... it has a little bit of everything. It has both written instructions, stitch diagrams... AND... process photos of many of the techniques.

Here's the top of one of my favorite hats in the book:  The Delightful Hat

It's made of Classic Elite LIberty Wool Print in "Rose Explosion". Just like the Go Crochet! Afghan book, there is a little personal tid-bit that introduces each project. You'll read why this one reminds me of my Mom. (Gasp, today is her Angel-Anniversary, Hi Mom!)

Here's another little sample of some of the projects you'll find in the book.


That Blue Triangular shawlette at the bottom... Totally already worn that.  Love it. It's called "All Shook Up".
The lilac pineapple stole on the second row... it's called, "Pineapple Stolen Time Stole"  because blocking makes it grow so it feels like you've stolen time. Yep, I've already worn that too.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

MONDAY is Annie's Class Giveaway Day

Just a reminder, Monday, June 30, is when I will announce the WINNER of the Annie's online class giveaway!

So today and tomorrow you still have time to visit these posts and leave comments. A winner will be chosen at random. I'll announce the winner on Monday and I'll need that person to respond with an email address so that I can hook you up with your prize. You'll get to CHOOSE from any of the Annie's online classes.

Ok, go back to these posts and leave comments (if you haven't already...)
Jenny guest writes on GoCrochet
Robyn guest writes on GoCrochet
Susan guest writes on GoCrochet

You can also visit the other blogs and leave comments there for chances to win there too!
CrochetByFaye/Robyn Chachula
The Crochet Architect/Susan Lowman
Jenny's Crochet World/Jenny King

Also, come back Tuesday (July 1) here and I'll direct you to the Behind the Hook Blog, (or just go there July 1) because I'll be doing a CAL of this motif FREE, from my new book, Marvelous Crochet Motifs.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Double the Fun

This is so RARE. Minnie and Charlie, together, agree that you should check out my new books, Marvelous Crochet Motifs and Go Crochet! Skillbuilder.

They disagree on everything else, but they have come together for this common goal. :) 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Guest Writer: Jenny King!

Welcome Jenny King to the GoCrochet blog! 

 G’day my name is Jenny King and I am an Australian crochet addict!

 Let me come visit and sit down with you and show you just how to do Bavarian crochet. Yes, at your place. In this Annies online class you will feel like I am there. I will do what the Mother and daughter from Bavaria had endeavoured to do in Australia and that is how to create the beauty of Bavarian crochet without need for translation.  You will love it and you will become addicted.

 I walk you through the process slowly and repeat myself so much that you may nearly get sick of hearing my Aussie accent telling you to pull through 2 and pull through 2. I am grinning ear to ear as I say this to you.

 We start with a headband working in a simple strip to demystify the stitch and its 2 row repeat.  Although this class is taught in USA crochet terms I couldn’t help but tell you how to do it in the terms used by the rest of the English speaking world so no-one gets left out. So if you live in the United Kingdom, South Africa, New Zealand or Australia you will be able work along with me as well.

I originally wanted to call it this the Mystery history stitch as the origins of this amazing stitch eluded me for over 15 years of thorough searching. I even took samples to USA to consult with the experts. Funnily enough all searches led me back to my own state of Queensland, Australia.  You can hear all the history as I explain the stitches.

I have simplified this original Mother and Daughter design  and instead of only working it in a square  I have experimented to make all manner of shapes . Let me show you how to do this stitch in a long strip as a scarf, as a decorative edging on slippers, and finally extend your skills to create a top-down seamless baby jacket, and nearly everything else  in between. 

 I should warn you though that Bavarian crochet is just delightful and you may become addicted. It can be worked in any color combination of your choice or you can experiment with the wonderful textured stitch if it is done in just one color as in the wrap vest in charcoal.  That is just Yummy.

See you soon at your place. I can’t wait.


Ellen says....  Leave a comment on this post and on Susan's post from last week and you'll have TWO chances to win a free Annie's online class of your choice!  Visit Susan's, Jenny's and Robyn's blogs too for more chances.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Marvelous Crochet Motifs

Marvelous Crochet Motifs is now available!  Soon, I'll have a CAL on the Crochet! magazine blog.

The book is availabe in the print version or the digital download for $9.95.  It is 48 motifs and 4 projects.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Guest Poster: Robyn Chachula!

Please Welcome, Author, designer, teacher, friend, Robyn Chachula!  Robyn taught a new class for Annie's called 'Learn to Crochet Jewelry' and the designs are super cute!

I love jewelry.  I love big bold funky statements to delicate classic beauties.  I never feel truly dressed until I am wearing a matching necklace.  My kids have other ideas.   In steps crochet to my rescue.  Instead of worrying about yet another “mysteriously” missing necklace my daughter borrowed or another being used as a teething ring by my son; I know I can fix all.  With a few quick techniques, I know I can whip up overnight any ring, bracelet, or necklace for any outfit.  So no more stress about ruined favorites, instead my little pumpkins are just giving me more opportunities to crochet!
Before I started crocheting jewelry, I thought I would need a ton of equipment and tools to get a true professional look.  Boy, I was mistaken.  In class, I walk you through exactly what you need to make your perfect accessory.  And most of them are probably sitting in your yarn bag or toolbox right now.   We will talk about a few tools that you might want to get after you get completely hooked, but for the most part your main tool will just be your hook.  

The most important tool I try to stress is understanding crochet patterns.  Whether you are looking at a modern stitch dictionary with all the directions completely listed or an antique crochet leaflet with just some diagrams; I want to make sure you are totally in control.   In class we will de-mystify crochet diagrams and sharpen our skills at reading patterns.  We go through learning patterns and diagrams so you can grab any stitch dictionary and be able to turn an edging you love into a bracelet or a motif into a ring. 
What do I want you to make jewelry out of?  Anything.  In class, we talk about all materials from basic crochet thread, to thin gauge wire, to leather and hemp; and even end with yarn.  The materials do not make the jewelry, you do.  So we talk about how to dress up or down the material you are working with.  One basic way is using metal chains, jump rings, and beads to connect your crochet together.  In just a few steps, I show you all you need to know to attach your beautiful crochet together into fantastic jewelry.  One word of warning, is the jewelry techniques I show you in class are so simple it is very easy to slip into another hobby and love every minute of it.
The best part of creating and making jewelry is it always cheers up my day.  Any day I get to crochet for a few minutes is great.  To be able to then wear something I made the next day, even better.  Hope you will join me in Learn to Crochet Creative Jewelry class.  I truly can’t wait to see what you can create!

Leave a comment here, on this post, and the other "Guest Writer's" posts (3 chances to win here!). At the end of the month, I'll choose one winner at random who will win a FREE Annie's online class of your choosing. The comment needs to have your first name and some identifying bit of info, city, nickname, Ravelry name...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

In honor of Father's Day, here's our kids with my Dad, Grandpa Joe.  He is the king of corny jokes. He was a runner in High School, perhaps I got that from him. What I didn't get from him is his quick math brain and gardening skills.

And here's my Bonus dad, Grandpa Dave, with his wife, Grandma Glenda.

From Grandpa Dave, I gained an appreciation for old cars... (the first car I ever drove was his 1933 Chevy) and I learned that when you have to be at a hospital with a loved one, you take notes.

And here's my other Bonus dad, "Pappy". Pappy is Tom's Dad, here with Chief last year. From Pappy I learned that the gorgeous electric blue bird that I see occasionally is an Indigo Bunting, that men should sing in Church, and when offered ice cream, "Vanilla or chocolate" you should always answer, "a little of each".

Happy Fathers' Day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Guess what went live today!


I'm so happy with the projects in this class.  I hope you'll love it as much as I do! 


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My turn!

Hey! I'm a guest poster over at Jenny King's website and blog! 

Check it out :)

Jenny's Crochet World

Monday, June 9, 2014

Guest Writer: Susan Lowman!

Welcome to the first of my Mondays in June Guest writers... Susan Lowman!

Susan and I go way back... please give her a warm welcome... 

What is it about crochet thread that makes some people cringe? It’s really not that scary! Trust me! It really can be an enjoyable process to create beautiful doilies or other items with cotton crochet thread. If I can do it, anyone can! The process of making the stitches is identical to crocheting with yarn. The only difference is smaller hooks and fiber. Yes, it can take a little while to adjust your tension to be able to make your stitches smaller. But once you do that, you’ll be off and running on some fabulous projects with crochet thread (there are some “knock-your-socks-off” gorgeous thread crochet projects to be found these days, too!).
After learning to crochet as a teenager back in the 70’s, I quickly progressed to using crochet thread. Since I’m a frugal person by nature, I love the fact that I can buy hundreds of yards of crochet thread for just a few dollars. And with those hundreds of yards of crochet thread, I can make quite a few projects, especially gifts for others. I love to give crocheted gifts and when I use crochet thread to make them, it doesn’t break the bank or my budget!
So what can you make with crochet thread besides doilies? Well, you can make just about anything you want, such as bookmarks, coasters, towel edgings, pins, wiggly crochet hot pads & coasters, Christmas ornaments, lots of jewelry, garments and much more! The sky’s the limit! Yes, you really can make garments with crochet thread, too! I made the jacket that I wore in the video with 2 strands of size 10 cotton crochet thread and a Japanese pattern! It’s one of my favorite crochet garments!
 I had a blast preparing for and filming my Annie’s class last year in Berne, IN in January, 2013. In my class, I demonstrate how to make 7 projects: 2 bookmarks, a filet coaster, towel edgings, a flower pin, a necklace and earrings and a beginner’s doily. All of these projects make wonderful gifts for others. And they’re really fun to make, too! You can see all of the class projects here:
I also made symbol crochet charts for each of the 7 class projects and explained how to read symbol crochet charts in the class. All of these patterns and charts are yours when you sign up for my class. So if you love reading and following symbol crochet charts, you’ll be right at home! And if you’ve never followed a symbol crochet chart before, you may fall in love with symbol crochet charts, just like I did many years ago!
 Another thing I love about crocheting projects with thread, especially projects for the home, is the fact that I don’t have to make them fit! That’s a HUGE plus for those of us who have “gauge issues”, like me! If a coaster comes out larger or smaller than the target size, will it really matter? How about a bookmark or a set of crocheted jewelry? Heck, NO! Obviously, the towel edging should be the correct length to fit the width of the towel. But if it’s slightly taller, it really won’t matter! And unless you have a specific size that your doily needs to be, it probably won’t make any difference if it comes out a little larger or smaller, either.
Of course, I still crochet some garments and accessories, too. Who doesn’t? But I keep coming back to crochet thread to make lovely, lacy projects!
There are so many beautiful crochet techniques that are best made in crochet thread because of the delicacy that can be achieved, such as Irish Crochet, Filet Crochet and Bruges Lace, too. I’ve never regretted for one day learning to crochet, especially with crochet thread!
If you’re already a “threadie” (a threadie is someone who enjoys crocheting with thread), but you’ve never crocheted a doily before, check out my Annie’s class called “Beginner’s First Doily” here: It’s a shorter class that will teach you how to make your first doily worked in rounds, plus I will demonstrate how to weave in the ends. This is a special class that costs just $4.95. And if you decide to take my “Crocheting With Thread” class afterward, you’ll get $5.00 off the full-length class! With any knit or crochet class purchase at Annie’s, they include a special class on Crochet & Knit Blocking Techniques that will teach you how to block garments, doilies, lace and more! And if you have any questions while watching the class video, you can ask me, just as if we were face-to-face in a classroom!
I hope you’ll give crocheting with thread a try! It will open up a whole new world of crocheting possibilities to you that you’ve never dreamed of (or have you?)!!!
Happy crocheting,
Susan Lowman
P.S. I’m giving away a free “Crocheting With Thread” class to one lucky winner at the end of June. Come on over to my website to enter the giveaway! Good luck everyone!

Ellen says...
Leave a comment here, on this post, and come back each week, leaving a new comment on each "Guest Writer's" post (3 chances to win here!). At the end of the month, I'll choose one winner at random who will win a FREE Annie's online class of your choosing.  The comment needs to have your first name and some identifying bit of info, city, nickname, Ravelry name...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Why I run

Almost 3 years ago I started walking on a trail around the kids' soccer practice field... because it was there... and it was too hot to crochet. At some point, I thought I'll just walk 50 steps, run 50 steps, and see what happens. I thought, I'll walk all the hills and run all the flat parts.

In the span of a soccer season, I became a runner.

I'm still not exactly sure why I continue to run. It's hard. It's not fun exactly, but I keep doing it. Over time, I've gotten a little better.  I'm definitely stronger. I'm definitely faster than I was. I'm still not fast. I'm still not talented, but I can do it. Sometimes I stop and walk, more and more often lately, I don't. I've started to skip certain meals some nights in favor of better ones because I know they won't make me feel happy when I run the next day.

I like collecting medals. I like being able to say, "I ran today".

I always hated running when I was a kid and tried to get out of it whenever possible. Now I get grumpy if I have gone a few days without running. I'm not outdoorsy and yet I have found myself running in everything between 12 degrees and 90. I even ran in the rain once. (Who IS this person?)

I keep running, so I must like it. Do what works.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Go Crochet! Skillbuilder!

I just received my advance copy of Go Crochet! Skillbuilder, 30 Crochet-in-a-Day projects to take you from beginner to expert.  And it is delicious!

This was such an exciting projects.  Motifs, rows, lace, accessories, hairpin, broomstick, Bruges lace, Tunisian, Tunisian in the round, Tapestry, crocheting with beads, cabling, felting, IT'S ALL THERE!

In addition to the awesome stitch diagrams for every project, there are process photos for most of them!  I need to take a deep breath, I'm dizzy with happiness.