Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2014

Book Review: Rustic Modern Crochet by Yumiko Alexander

February 28, 2014
Rustic Modern Crochet by Yumiko Alexander

I don’t know when I have been as excited about a crochet fashion pattern book as I am about Yumiko's new book Rustic Modern Crochet! I can’t wait to get started making many of the designs within, and I have put the Driftwood wrap at the top of my to-do list. Its shimmery drape is so interesting with alternating sections of fan lace and chains. This wrap will shout "elegance" as you step into the room at your next social soiree'!
Dr As we have come to expect from Interweave, this is a lovely and colorful book on quality paper stock. The full-color illustrations are abundant, and symbol crochet is included along with the written instructions. Not everyone wants to use symbol crochet, but it is nice to have the choice.  For me, symbol crochet enhances the written instructions and they are a helpful, visual way to confirm instructions. A key to the symbols is included for those who have never tried this method.

A Tribute to My Dad

February 25, 2014

Time softens some of the loss and settles the mind. It has been a whirlwind since my dad died on February 11. We left returned home to Chicago that day having shared our love for dad in his last hours. Shortly after on February 15, we left for our long-planned vacation to Anna Maria Island, FL with the blessings of my brother to go ahead with our plans knowing that his memorial was planned for March 1.

Now that I am back home and settled in from traveling, I turn my thoughts to my dad, Martin Blakley. He was a quiet and humble man who had a subtle sense of humor. Kind, caring and helpful, he had so many friends who loved and depended on him.

Having served in the US Army during World War II, my dad's Division landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy on that fateful D-Day. Yes, he survived but he saw many, many of his comrades perish that day and never wanted to talk about it much. I am so proud of him and his bravery and can only imagine what it was like to go through a …

Chicago One-Of-A-Kind Show Freatures UpScale Crochet

February 8, 2014
As reported by Amy Kaspar in the Chicago Knitting Examiner on January 28, 2014, “Women Taking Action, an organization founded by Kamilah Paden and Angela Underwood to further the education and empowerment of women in both their personal and corporate worlds, held their day-long workshop at the University of Illinois at Chicago.”

The keynote speaker was Shirley a New York-based designer, who had previously worked in corporate America before making the daring decision to become a knitwear designer. Paden's keynote address, “Finding the Courage to Follow Your Bliss” was focused on her personal journey and how her story can be an inspiration to others to follow their own path they carve for themselves. Shirley’s closing remarks resonated with everyone when she told them what her husband had once said to her, "If someone made you work this hard, you would quit immediately."
Once a year, the fantastic designer craft exhibit, One-of-a-Kind, comes to the Chicago Me…

Book Review: Tunisian Crochet Baby Blankets by Sharon H. Silverman

I love Tunisian crochet and I’ve been doing a lot of it lately. This beautiful book by Sharon Silverman gives me a few more items to put on my “to-do” list!

Tunisian Crochet Baby Blankets offers 8 classic patterns, including ripples, cable, bobbles and basket weave, but done in Tunisian crochet, a technique that combines the drape of knitting with the ease of crochet. Joyful photography of real-life babies throughout, will make you smile! 

Also included are the great illustrations that we have come to expect from Leisure Arts; the materials needed are listed generically with the Craft Yarn Council number standards. In the Yarn Information section, Sharon provides the exact yarns used in the book’s projects. There will be no mistaking which yarn to use to achieve gauge! The General Instructions section is very useful and the unique Tunisian crochet stitches are clearly explained and illustrated.
Sharon is a Professional member of the Crochet Guild of America and a lifelong crafter with a …

CGOA Celebrates 20 Years: Part 1 Book Review: Today's Crochet

February 3, 2014

Today’s Crochet – Sweaters from the Crochet Guild of America by Susan Huxley

Because I believe that this book is just as useful today as it was in 2003, I’ve wanted to write a review of it for some time. This is the first of a series of blog posts that I will be doing in conjunction with the 20th Anniversary of CGOA. I want to look back into the history of the organization and bring to you an update on “Where are they now?” about some of the important contributing volunteers who’ve shaped our organization and made sure that it endures.
A timeless classic, this book was published in 2003 in cooperation with Martingale who so graciously worked with CGOA member and author, Susan Huxley to bring together the best CGOA designers to create this book for the 10th Anniversary of CGOA. 
Crochet Guild President at the time, Tosca Mark, said in the forward: “The Crochet Guild of America dedicates this book to the memory of our forebears, who diligently preserved their handiwork. It …