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Showing posts from September, 2013

Crocheting with Cabochons

Monday, September 23, 2013
Have you ever crocheted with cabochons? Do you know what a cabochon is? Well, it's a french word meaning, a gem or bead cut in convex form and highly polished but not faceted. Because I am on a mission to "cover my world in crochet," I've been intrigued by cabochons for quite a while. 

Today my favorite cabochons come from Tanya McGuire Lampwork & Jewelry. We met a few years ago at a fiber show and Tanya is a gem of a person who creates fabulous "gems" with her lampwork. I fell in love with her pieces and this past summer I bought my first cabochon from her. Here's what I created...
Tanya gave me a shout-out this week on her blog

Following is a little history of how I got started making brooches from cabochons. I love the colors, designs and the possibilities. Some of the first cabochon brooches I made were done with cabochons I made myself from postcards and decopage. Remember that stuff? I called it my "Famous Faces Ser…

Book Review: Crochet for Beginners Who Want to Improve by Ali Campbell

Wednesday, September 18 2013

This self-published book by Ali Campbell has 93 pages packed full of crochet knowledge; and as the title indicates, it is meant for beginners who want to improve their crochet skills. Ali offers an immense amount of crochet information which, if followed in order, should birth many new, enthusiastic crocheters into the world! She offers this version with U. S. terminology which Americans will appreciate
Obviously passionate about crochet, this British designer has a solid background in crochet and much experience teaching through her online [] and one-to-one classes in Dorset, England. Using a unique approach to achieve success for her readers, Ali uses a rainbow of color coded text for specific points of interest. She explains that green means “go” and text in the color green offers “tips, tricks of the trade and “cheats.” Red means “stop” and warns the crocheter to take the time to do what the instructions say! Text in the col…

Guest Blogger: Kristen Stoltzfus

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I recently had the opportunity to interview Kristen Stoltzfus in Talking Crochet eNewsletter and because she is such an interesting person and so passionate about vintage crochet patterns, I invited her to be my guest. Please enjoy what Kristen has to say about the "Swing Era;" her love for vintage style in her crochet designs shines through!

Swing Era Crochet: Using Vintage Patterns as Inspiration for Today by Kristen Stoltzfus
Before the modern resurrection of crochet as a fine-tuned make-it-yourself fashion element, crochet was often thought of as either a Victorian needlecraft, with fine thread and scanty instructions, or associated with the hippie movement and splashy granny squares in coarse, fuzzy yarn.
Actually, crochet enjoyed a long period of usefulness in the eras between the early 1900s and the 1980s. Especially popular during the 1940s when “make do or do without” was the order of the day, creative women everywhere turned their focus away …

The Top Five Books in My Library

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
My crochet library, which includes  over 300 volumes, is very personal to me. My books are my friends and that’s because I personally know so many of the designers and authors with books in my collection. A sizable number of the books are even autographed and that increases their value!  Deciding on which five books to highlight here was an enormous, close to impossible, task. Because crochet is so diverse, there is a wide variety of offerings in the books that grace the shelves of my large bookshelf. I started out trying to pick a book that would be representative of each of five decades. However, I quickly realized that my oldest book is from 1916 and I have one from the 1920s, but  there is a gap in which I don’t have any books from the 20s, 30s or 40s. Booklets were common in the 1940s and probably very few books were published.
I began crocheting in 1971 and as my skills grew, so did my wide-eyed excitement about crochet patterns and designs. I was on …

Crochet and Society: How Crochet has Contributed

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Because I am passionate about crochet and because it plays such an important role in my life. I am constantly “thinking crochet.” I want to bring awareness about crochet to everyone in the world. They don’t necessarily need to achieve the level of passion that I have for the craft, but my dream is that our society in general would come to recognize crochet as a valuable art and craft.  I also want to see the entire genre of crochet planted firmly on a continuum with all the other needle arts as a valuable pastime and art, and for the day to come when society stops confusing it with knitting!

I have often joked that I am “covering my world in crochet” and that’s because I think crochet can beautify nature as well as contribute to many aspects of my community. I have been covering rocks for years and I turn them into sculptures or decorative objects.

I also yarn bomb in my community or on my travels to bring awareness of crochet to whomever might see my work an…

Guest Blogger: Jude Butterworth - Alternative Materials

Tuesday, August 3, 2013

I first “met” Jude Butterworth on the Internet via Ravelry when I admired and bought one of her gorgeous shawl patterns. Since that time she has been an active and very creative participant in my Ravelry Fan group, Cro-Kween Designs.  I admire Jude's beautiful free-form and other crochet work. From Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, she is one busy and talented lady. I asked her to share some of her insights on alternative materials for use in crochet.
Alternative Materials: A Practical Guide
by Jude Butterworth
When I was a university student, I had very little money and used what little I did have for food and shelter.  During that time I had such a strong urge to crochet that I had to get inventive.  Whether by necessity, curiosity, or the desire to recycle detritus that would otherwise end up in a landfill, many crocheters are experimenting with materials that diverge from traditional yarns often found in the crocheter’s basket.
As part of my brief guide to working…