Saturday, March 30, 2013

Blog Tour Through Crochet Country

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Blessings to those of you who observe Easter and Passover!

Do you love to crochet? Can’t get enough? Do you say, “Just one more row?” even though your eyes are bleary and it’s way past your bedtime? I hope you have shouted about your love of crochet from the rooftops this month during the annual National Crochet Month. 

I am the founder of The Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) , a Past President and a Professional member. I have just celebrated five years of blogging and am delighted to have been invited by Amy & Donna over at Crochetville to participate in this blog tour to celebrate! 

CGOA started National Crochet Week back in 1998 as a promotional effort to celebrate our beloved craft and to let others know about the guild.  Its popularity has grown exponentially. It is now a whole month long and we call it National Crochet Month. Now many other associated groups have jumped on the bandwagon and have found creative ways to celebrate crochet and have fun with other crocheters. There’s so much to celebrate!
As CGOA prepares to celebrate its 20th Anniversary in 2014, my thoughts have turned to the  history of the organization. From humble beginnings, it has grown, thrived and set a high standard for serving the needs of people who are passionate about crochet. With that said, I have prepared a Narrative History of CGOA and placed it here on the blog in a page:   Read it at your leisure; it’s long so skim through it to see, some never-before-seen photos that are sure to bring back fond memories!

I’m very excited to announce that the manuscript for my newest book, The Fine Art of Crochet – Innovative Works from 20 Contemporary Artists, has been submitted to the publisher. I expect it to be on sale by June 2013. No book like this that focuses on crochet as art has been published before, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed bringing you 20 fascinating stories about 20 amazing artists! I have written about crochet art and artists for the past twenty years and I will continue to feature crochet art on my blog, as well as post updates as the book goes through its publishing journey. Please follow its progress at and click to follow on my blog. I'd love to have you as a follower.

My latest pattern, Gwyneth Cable Cowl, is just finished and I am happy to offer it to you at a 20% discount for TWO DAYS only at my Ravelry store. Use the coupon code 13NATCROMO AND The offer ends on April 2 at midnight. 

To work independently and at home as a designer has both its joys and its challenges. One tip that I offer up to anyone thinking of becoming a designer is that you must be organized! My goal is to become 100% paperless in the near future. By doing so, it is critical that I organize my documents so that they are readily available and labeled logically. Only you, the designer, can know what “logical” means, but the key is to set a standard and stick to it. Here is a peek into my studio where it all happens; and I must admit, hard as I try, it is still sometimes organized chaos
Yarn stored in chest and computer central
Yarn Stash

Printer/Scanner and files full of designs and design inspiration
My collection of approx. 300 crochet books

The comfy spot where most of my
crocheting is done

 During this month-long Tour of Crochet Country.  I personally have enjoyed checking in each day and reading about my fellow designers. I think I can speak for my colleague, Karen Ballard, when I say that we are pleased to be included in the Tour and to be featured as it comes to an end. If you checked in after the tour started or didn’t have time to visit each blog, it is not too late. Check this list and visit the designer’s blogs often. We always have crochet goodness to share with you!

Thank you so much to Marcy Smith, Editor of Interweave Crochet magazine who gave my Crochet Anonymous video on YouTube a shout on on her tour day, March 24. If you missed it, it is always clickable from my blog here:
We designers on the tour voted to support Project Night Night as our charity of choice.  This organization provides Night Night packages free of charge, to homeless children from birth to pre-teen who need our childhood essentials to feel secure, cozy, ready to learn, and significant. We hope you will check out this wonderful charity and consider making a donation.

I hope you have enjoyed the blog tour and will click to follow my blog and come back to visit often! I also hope to see you at the 2013 Chain Link Crochet Conference in Indianapolis, IN where I will be teaching five crochet classes. Click here for photos of what I will be teaching  and here to register for the conference:

Friday, March 29, 2013

Top 7 Crochet-Sightings in 2012

The media frequently highlights crochet fashion on the runway, in magazine ads and in articles where celebrities strut their style in crochet. Over the years, journalists and writers have gotten better about labeling crochet 'crochet" instead of knitting. Be sure to check bag often and look at the "Crochet Sightings" tab  at the top of my blog for crochet sightings as they happen. 2013 has already gotten off to a good start.

Here's look at my favorite crochet-sightings of 2012.

Jessica Chastain in Crochet-look  top
Marie Clair magazine
Dolce & Gabbana-Marie Claire magazine
Irish Crochet flowers we're so familiar with
used on a straw bag: $4,245!
Oscar de la Renta
inspired by doilies
Marc Jacobs-Vogue
The same shawl in a different ad and different staging of
the familiarly not-so-attractive models!
Valentino Haute Couture
Price upon request
Marc JacobsThe not-so attractive "
waif" look, but highly artistic with crochet as the focus

Alexander McQueen-Pseudo-crochet and what an honor
that crochet inspires McQueen-Vogue magazine


Monday, March 25, 2013

Crochet in Popular Culture

Monday, March 25, 2013
Of all places, the body shop, to find a "crochet sighting!" But yes, it happened this morning when I took the car in to get an estimate on some repairs. There, in UsStyle magazine, April 2013, was an ad for Tampax : "You stand out. Your period doesn't."

Turns out it is really knitting on the bold and beautiful bicycle pictured in the ad, but hey so many people don't even know the difference. I love the skeins of yarn lying about and all the strings hanging plus the bold colors that draw attention to the yarn crafts.Yarn bomber, Jessie must be quite smitten that she was featured in this ad. You go, girl!

I had a burst of inspiration last night and made some good progress on my creation for the "Hide Your Heart" CAL on my Ravelry page: CroKween Designs:
It was our February CAL, but hey better late than never. I have one more color and texture to add and it should be finished tonight. We are starting a new CAL in April. Keep checking in on the Court and join in the fun. We will "bring the outdoors in."

This is the last time I will be blogging before my featured day, March 31,  on the Blog Tour through Yarn Country. Be sure and join me that day; I will be offering a 20% discount on my newest India pattern: the Gwyneth Cable Cowl. Stop over at Crochetville to see what the many talented designers have in store for you during National Crochet Month.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Two New Designs

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
My long-awaited Gwyneth Cable Cowl pattern is now available in my Ravelry store:

I love the Gwyneth Cable and have used it on a miser purse design as well which appeared in Inside Crochet, the British publication:

Daughter, Bethany, is my best model!

A month ago, I finished a new creation in which I brought the outside in. I was keeping it a secret because I had planned to enter it in the 2013 CGOA Design Contest. However, I've just learned that the contest will be held in Reno and I won't be attending. The design is too fragile to mail, so I'm revealing it here!

I've been working on some projects with a lot of detail and a lot of steps, so I haven't brought anything to completion this week. As is usually my style, I will probably see several to completion all in one week sometime soon!

We are off to babysit the grandkids tomorrow and then rushing back for Crochet Buffet hosted by my CGOA chapter: I am really looking forward to it.

Also, if you haven't been following the Blog Tour of Crochet Country over at Crochetville, there is still time to check it out. It is a wonderful way to treat yourself to a daily blog all during National Crochet Month: My stop on the blog tour is March 31, but I hope to see you back here before then!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Catching Up, Keeping Up

Monday, March 11, 2013
I told you in my post of 2/28-The Deed is Done-about winning the 2012 prize at Bead Crochet Exchange over at Ravelry. Well, my wonderful gifts arrived and here they are. I have also downloaded my 10 pattern gifts and can't wait to go on Thursday to a bead store having a 30% off sale!  Yippee!
It's amazing how just changing the texture and size of the beads can create such elegance!

This is both a necklace & a bracelet!
Thank you KnotChaCha
and anewyarn123!
I made these simple bracelets this past week. They are very plain, but so comfortable to wear. I am going to make one from my new patterns to enhance the blue one. I love wearing 2 or 3 bracelets at once!
Love these beads. It is prettier than it looks in the photo.
Plain Jane but comfy!
I've been working super hard this past week getting ready for the Crochet Country Tour here on the blog. I hope you'll be back to visit me on March 31 and will enjoy what I have in store for you. Meanwhile, enjoy the other blogs who are offering fun ways to celebrate National Crochet Month over at Crochetville:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Snowed in and Loving It!

Tuesday, March 5, 2012
Every other Thursday I walk with dear friends, Debbie and Rita, in the Forest Preserve. Yes, I live in Chicagoland but we are privileged to have acreage set aside for recreation and land preservation with wonderful walk/bike paths. 

Here we are last week between snow storms. The paths were not plowed because they leave them for the snow shoe/skiers. It was rough walking and great exercise for the legs! As we started we saw a larger herd of elk than usual. They are so interesting

As predicted, we are enjoying a huge snow storm with 6 to 10 inches expected. Is it the last storm of March, or knowing Chicago, just the next. I love a snow day; it's like a freeby from responsibility and it brings thoughts of a warm fire crackling, a pot of soup on the stove and warm slippers. I'm spending today enjoying what I have to get done and  not feeling pressured.

Speaking of soup, one of the projects I've been working on is my new display for Crochet Buffet
which is coming up March 23 for our Northern IL Chapter of CGOA, It's an annual event that we are so proud of. A few months ago, like a flash, it hit me that we have never had a display of crochet food. DUH! This is the Crochet Buffet, it's a feast for the eyes and a smorgasbord for the senses! Why never any food. So, Back in January I began to search food patterns and crochet. Here is a sneak peek of what I will be putting on display at my booth. Do join us, the public is welcome and the first 50 in the door get a prize!

Here's a sneak peek of some of the food I will have on display.
Bacon and Eggs


          Hamburger and Fries
Green Eggs and Ham Bone Necklace

National Crochet Month is off and running crocheters are having fun on the Crochet Country Blog Tour sponsored by Crochetville. Just a reminder, I am featured on the tour on March 31." Did they save the best for last?" asked my colleague Karen Ballard who shares the day with me! In addition to varied surprises, all the designers on the tour are featuring Project Night Night which provides night night packages free of charge, to homeless children who need our childhood essentials to feel secure, cozy, ready to learn, and significant. Stop by and make a donation today.

I'm working really hard to bring you something special on the Blog Tour. Stay tuned and visit me on March 31.