Thursday, April 28, 2016

Book Review: Vintage Modern Crochet by Robyn Chachula




Robyn Chachula is the "Wonder Woman of Crochet Design!" Not only has she appeared regularly as a crochet expert on the PBS show, Knit & Crochet Now, and continued to create pattern books that inspire her fans; but she has also created two children in the last few years!

A modern young designer, Robyn also has great admiration for the traditional fine thread motifs that would surely have been showpieces in her grandmother's home. Her talent lies in her ability to use classic stitch patterns that date back to the 1850s while transforming them to trending fashion!.

Zandstraat Jewelry by Robyn Chachula

Together with some of the most innovative crochet designers in the crochet world, her passion for breathing new life into classic stitch techniques inspires her team. Crochet is a vibrant art form, and the compelling use of vintage techniques in the book gives the reader designs in which they can look fabulous yet not out-dated!

Carefree Pullover by Natasha Robarge
Including 5 chapters, the book highlights a specific technique in each one: Pineapple lace, Bruges lace, Filet lace, Irish lace and Tunisian crochet. Robyn provides a brief yet interesting history of the technique in each chapter, and experts fill each one with inspired fashions. I particularly like Robyn's guidance at the beginning of each chapter that advises the crocheter on how to choose the pattern best suited to his/her skills or goals. "Technique Tidbits" also provide further insight into understanding what to expect from the patterns.

Bromelia Infinity Scarf by Moon Eldridge

Fidelma Motif Shawl by Cristina Mershon

Tunisian Swing Top by Megan Granholm
Perfect for any crocheter who respecst the traditions from our past and wants to dress fashionably today, I highly recommend Vintage Modern Crochet. Published by Interweave, it retails for $24.99.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Crochet Fgures Prominently in Etsy Article

Granny Squares (which the article calls "knitted sweaters!#*!!#%) Clothe the Exposed Ducts at Etsy

I read an article in New York magazine (April 4-17,2016) early this morning, and it jump-started my adrenalin flow for the day!! Entitled "ETSY Wants to Crochet Its Cake & Eat it Too," The author is Amy LaRocca, and she asks the question, "Can a company upend capitalism without really earning a profit?"

I loved reading about the corporate culture at Etsy which is a "peer to peer" operation that connects makers to buyers. For those working on the inside to keep the machine humming, there is free lunch after employees are encouraged to ride their bikes to work. There is also on-site education and 40 hours per year of paid volunteer time along with 100% paid health care premiums; 26 weeks of paid parental leave and great wages!

Accredited a a "B-Corp," Etsy has declared itself "equally responsible to its community and to the environment as to its shareholders who are duly warned that the company may not try very hard to make a profit."

Do you sell your handmade creations on Etsy? Link to the article and let me know what you think in the Comments section here on the blog!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Still Celebrating National Crochet Month with the Underground Crafter


I am honored to be the featured designer today over at the Underground Crafter podcast. Marie Segares has generously organized a stellar list of designers and free patterns in our joint effort to highlight and celebrate National Crochet Month sponsored by the Crochet Guild of America.

Marie discusses and reads my pattern, Himalya Tank Top, on her Podcast. She has a novel idea that introduces those interested in crochet not only to great patterns but also to the designers who make them. My design is made with the wonderful recycled silk made from saris imported from Tibet by Himalya Yarns. Anni Kristensen, the owner of Himalaya Yarn Company, is a kind, peace-loving woman and former social worker who has dedicated her work with these yarns to employing the people of Nepal.. I thoroughly enjoyed working with her yarn and designing almost 20 project patterns for her.


National Crochet Month has been quite a time of celebration for me. I worked weeks on a freeform crochet cowl swap which was challenging and fun and I taught pre-kindergardeners all about crochet, hooks and yarn the week they were sytudying the letter Y. Participating in today's podcast culminates in my belief that we should celebrate crochet every day, not just during the month of March!

Thank you, Marie!