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Showing posts from November, 2013

Museum of Contemporary Art: Crochet!

Monday, November 25, 2013
First off, Happy Anniversary to the love of my life, Alan Kinsler!

A pictorial essay on our trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, recently. The photos pretty much tell it all!

After a pleasant but chilly trip on the El to downtown, we stopped for hot chocolate first!
We opted for Hershey's because we'd been to Ghiradelli's before. Delish!

Dutes told me that he and his partner Stan Shellabarger learned to crochet just for this project, but that they only know the one stitch they are using. Note: Red Heart "Pound of Love" under the chair.
A very congenial couple, Dutes also told me that they started this project ten years ago as a symbol of their connection, their relationship. When they started with the foundation chain, they literally sat knee to knee and we both crocheting on opposite sides of the chain. As it grew, they were able to crochet simultaneously. The choice of the color pink symbolizes "skin" and the inte…

Guest Blogger: Vashti Braha - The Birth of a Yarn

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Birth of a New Yarn  by Vashti Braha 
Please welcome today's guest Blogger, my friend Vashti, by following her fantastic blog! Vashti and I met years and years ago at Stitches Midwest Pheasant Run, St. Charles, IL, for those of you who remember back that far! As I recall, Vashti had just joined CGOA and came bouncing up to the CGOA booth that I was running with Nancy Brown, former CGOA President. She later served on the CGOA board as Vice President.
To know Vashti is to love her. Anyone who already follows her blog knows that she has the keen mind of a scientific researcher! It's just that her research delves into crochet and yarn! Vashti also has a giving spirit and is willing to share what she knows with anyone. 
I’ve been taking a fresh look at yarn lately: yarn as a modern-day product. This is partly due togetting my own first yarn ready to launch at my site, and partly to my research for a crochet class I taught last month at CGOA’s Chain Link c…

Evolution of the Word “Curate”

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I read with great interest recently, “Choose Your Art Wisely – The Curation Issue.”  featured in the Chicago Tribune “Arts & Entertainment” section. All the articles in the section were curation-related and several grabbed my attention. It got me thinking about my experience with the word "curate," and I reminisce here about the history of my passion for curating or promoting crochet art.

I am the author of The Fine Art of Crochet, an art book that captures a moment in time from 1915 to the present and documents the use of crochet as a medium of artistic expression. If thought of as a crochet art exhibit of modern times, then I am the curator of the exhibit within the pages of my book. The book, and its colorful art and amazing beauty, is a long-held dream and the brief history that follows will shed some light on why. I hope you will purchase the book as a treat to yourself this holiday season!
At the time I didn’t realize I was “curating,” bu…

Book Review: Crochet Stitch Dictionary by Sarah Hazell

Monday, November 18, 2013
Crochet Stitch Dictionary By Sarah Hazell

Every crocheter, whether experienced or just learning, needs a good stitch dictionary in their  crochet library. This latest offering by Interweave, Crochet Stitch Dictionary, is a smart choice. The visual references that are both colorful and clear result from author Sarah Hazell’s many years of experience as a teacher and designer. The step-by-step photos and charts help crocheters learn how to perfect each stitch. Offering 200 stitches with written, charted and photographed instructions, Crochet Stitch Dictionary is broken down into ten color-coded sections.
The thorough beginning section is sure to make a great crocheter out of anyone wanting to learn for the first time. The illustrations could not be clearer and Sarah offers the basics on hook sizes, reading charts, and how to crochet both flat and in the round. Included in the final section are techniques such as joining motifs, weaving in ends and blocking, all …

Book Review: How to Make 100 Crochet Appliques' by Deb Burger

Monday November 11, 2013
How to Make 100 Crochet Appliques’ Patterns for Fun, flora, Fauna and Icon Patches By Deborah Burger

According to Deb Burger, she lives in a “whimsical” world where she shares inspiration from many media. You’ll find finished artwork, plans, recipes and patterns: all products of her imagination and delight in living. She is active in the online community, Ravelry, as Cerdeb and blogs at Dragonfly Cottage Design. 
That same whimsy is certainly evident throughout her new book, Crochet Appliques’. With her patterns, she shows how to make 100 crochet patches arranged in sections, including: ·Celebrate! ·On the Farm ·Sea and Shore ·Le Jardin ·Into the Wild
Deb asks her readers, “Why leave something plain when you can add a finishing touch to make it personal and meaningful?” Inside, you’ll find 150 color photos of crocheted appliques  skillfully photographed, and written instructions accompanied by stitch diagrams.
The book is hardcover with a “wire-o” binding that makes it ve…

Guest Blogger: Deb Burger-Yarn Bombing Realized

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Deb Burger lives in a whimsical world with her artist husband, Don, and blogs about many artistic media. She is cerdeb on Ravelry where she has catalogued 452 projects! Deb and I are cyber-friends; we have never met. I am privileged to meet special people from time to time in my cyber communities and sometimes I "click" with a person who shares common passions. Such is the case with Deb and I. She is the author of Crochet 101 and her latest book is Crochet Appliques  which I will be reviewing next week. Stay tuned and for now, enjoy Deb’s essay about her unique yarn- bombing experience. 
Yarn-Bombing Realized By Deb Burger 
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” That quote is often used, as Shakespeare intended, to signify the difference between what we call something and what it really is.Yarn-bombing is the common term attached to the practice of decorating public or private property, usually outdoors, with crocheted and knitted patchworks…

Vogue Knitting Live, Chicago 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013
I spent this past weekend at Vogue Knitting Live, Chicago in the luxurious Palmer House Hilton in the "loop." The promoters of VKL generously gave artists the opportunity to exhibit in the "artists' gallery" and I took advantage in order to promote my new book, The Fine Art of Crochet, and to exhibit some of my art.

In this often knit-centric conference, crochet was more visible this year. They have been gradually introducing more and more crochet over the last couple of years. This year there were crochet classses, many products and books for crocheters and the ever-present Crochet Guild of America, ably represented by the 3 Chicago land chapters. I was very pleased to be able to show the beauty and versatility of crochet with my display to so many knitters who were in awe of the "delicate stitches and interesting art."

I was very pleased with all the contacts I made, the books I sold and the many crocheters I was able to spe…