Thursday, March 23, 2017

Springtime Petals Crochet Collar!



There is about a week left of National Crochet Month, and I hope you all have been crocheting to your hearts content! 

I had over 900 downloads of the Petals Collar Pattern this month, and I am hoping to see lots of project photos on Ravelry! 

The first project photos were posted last week, and it the collar is so pretty, I asked the maker, Mimouna, if I could share her photos with you. Thankfully she graciously agreed! She says she is a newbie crocheter, and you would never know it from her beautiful work!

I just love how the collar looks in purple, and her photo really celebrates spring!

I would really love to see more versions of the collar, so anyone who makes one, please post your photos!


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Weaving Stories Exhibition, The Next Chapter!


In honor of Kuwait's National Day, we were asked by 360 mall to exhibit the Weaving Stories woven wall and interactive loom for 9 days! It was wonderful to be able to share the exhibition with even more people! 

The interactive loom was a real hit and many people of all ages stopped by to try their hand at weaving and write a little something that they wanted to share about themselves.




The loom filled up several times during the 9 days, and we now have a lovely collection of woven strips. We are brainstorming how to display them in the gallery.

Here are snippets of all of the crochet panels that were in the wall. Some wonderful techniques and stitches were represented: applique, filet crochet, interlocking crochet, freeform crochet, broomstick lace and crocheted motifs. It was wonderful to have another chance to photograph the wall again, as I was able to focus on specific elements this time, and take pictures in natural light! 

                                                                        "DESERT"

"SEA"

"ISLAMIC"

"TRADITIONAL KUWAIT"

"MODERN KUWAIT"

Soon, we are hoping to have a permanent location to display the wall for visitors to see for years to come!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Crochetville Designer Blog Tour 2017 Giveaway!



I am thrilled to be a part of Crochetville's National Crochet Month Blog Tour! It kicked off yesterday with posts by: Kristine Mullen and Marie Segares

Follow along the tour for up to three special daily blog posts from crochet designers and giveaways from designers and companies. There are a lot of ways to celebrate this month! You can keep up with the tour on Crochetville's website and Facebook page.

Every year I do something a little different for the tour. This year I decided to do a limited time giveaway of one of my accessories patterns listed on Ravelry. For one week (March 2nd-9th), I will be offering the whimsical Petals Collar pattern as a free download! 

I originally designed this pattern with my daughter in mind, and that is why I crocheted the sample in bright colors. You could also make it look more sophisticated by changing the colors. I think it would look amazing in black and white for a woman. You can experiment with different types of yarn and various embroidery stitches, to embellish the collar as well. As I always say, there are endless possibilities! If you make one, I would love to see your version! Please post any photos on Ravelry, so they can appear on the project page. If enough people post photos, I will do a special blog post to show off all of your collars!

To get the Petals Collar Pattern, click here, and when checking out, enter the coupon code: Crochetville.

I hope your March is filled with lots of wonderful crochet!

Petals Collar

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Crochetville 2017 Designer Blog Tour!


It's that time again! National Crochet Month! Celebrate with Crochetville all month long! Crochetville has lined up a host of designers and a collection of giveaways. Follow the tour with daily posts from the designers who will be doing special posts in honor of the month. I am scheduled to post on March 2nd, and I am going to be offering one of my patterns for free for a limited time, so please visit my blog this Thursday to get the code to download it from Ravelry.

It will be a fun month, so plan to add the tour to your blog reading list every day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Tale of Two Japanese Crochet Hooks!



Recently I was at Daiso, which is always so much fun! There is nothing like aisles and aisles of interesting things that you have never seen before, almost all priced at $1.50! I read that they produce 1000 new items a month, and every time I go there I find some little treasure.

This time I found their section of crochet hooks and knitting needles. I was intrigued by their ergonomic crochet hooks. I am a huge fan of Tulip Etimo hooks, and use them almost exclusively, but since these hooks are available locally, I thought I would give them a try!

They have a large selection of ergonomic and acrylic crochet hooks as well as bamboo knitting needles.

The first thing I compared when I saw the two hooks side by side was the head of the hook. The hook on the left is from Daiso, and the hook on the right is from Tulip. You can see that the Daiso hook is rounded at the top and has a less defined throat. 

The Daiso hook also isn't as smooth as the Etimo, and has less of the hook of the hook exposed. 


They both have silicone handles, but again I found the Etimo to be smoother.

The shape of the Daiso handle is triangular, which is quite different from the Etimo hook that has a relatively flat top and rounded back.

I didn't realize it until I tried the Daiso hook, but the Etimo handle is much more universal due to its shape.

The Daiso hook is really only comfortable if you hold it like a pencil, as illustrated on the package:


I hold my hook two different ways, but not exactly this way, so it would take me some time to get used to it.

I really like the large flat thumb rest on top of the Daiso hook, and think it might be nice if the Etimo's was a little more like it.

Overall, the best thing about the Daiso hook is its price: $1.50 in the US and about $1.95 in Kuwait, vs. $10.63 for the Etimo. I believe the old addage "you get what you pay for" applies here. I think I would be able to recommend the Daiso hook more highly, if I held my hook the way they intended you to.

This test really highlights the importance of design!

If use the pencil hold and have a Daiso near you, give these hooks a try to see how you like them!





Sunday, January 29, 2017

Weaving to Beautify a Community Garden!


Yesterday was a really fun day! In an effort to get people interested in working with their hands, Tammy Asad of TS Daily Treasures, my husband Emad of eWood_q8,  Maryam Al Nusif of Mimikuwait, and I organized an afternooon of weaving with recycled materials, yarn crafts, and woodworking! Maryam who is known as Mimi, started a local community garden in the Salmiya area of Kuwait that hosts free weekly gardening sessions, workshops, and an artisanal food and craft market. We decided to make one of the trees into a double sided loom to weave into. We even left a little stash of yarn in the tree, so anyone visiting the garden can weave while they are there.

 We had the idea to have an afternoon of weaving to teach people about the craft, and to beautify the garden at the same time! Tammy collected wooden pallets and for the month leading up to the event, we all collected plastic strapping that is used to secure boxes and bricks for transport, and is often found on trash heaps in Kuwait. We thought this would be the perfect material to use, because it is practically indestructible. It will stand up to Kuwait's high summer temperatures, and it is easy to clean. I was just hoping that it would look great woven into the pallets. Thanks to the wonderful work of the upcycled!

Tammy prepared little weaving kits that were warped and ready to weave, so people could weave while they were there or take them home. People were even walking around and weaving! My daughter Sara and I prepared popsicle sticks and yarn to make godseyes to hang in the trees. All the visitors were fast learners and all of our yarn was transformed in to little works of yarn art! It was a great way to show people that you can make something wonderful with very basic supplies!



The garden had some tires that had been painted and donated, so we decided to try our hand at making some seats for the garden. Simple, effective, and festive!


Emad set up a little workshop at the garden and began building an entrance arbor for the garden. We will go back this week to finish it! It will be fun to see if our tree weaving has been added to by any anonymous guest weavers!



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Gearing Up for a Freeform Crochet Workshop!



I am very excited to be preparing for an upcoming workshop that I will be teaching the members of the Kuwait Textile Arts Association!

It will span over 2 sessions of 2 hours each. I have a lot of activities planned, so I hope we can fit it all in!

Freeform Crochet is what first got me interested in learning how to crochet, and the International Freeform Guild got me started!

The idea of crocheting without a pattern is so thrilling to me. I love just seeing where the yarn takes me, creating interesting textures, and adding embroidery embellishment. The above photo is a close up of a handbag I made for the Crochet Guild of America's annual design competition. It is such fun to incorporate many different types of fibers, beads and found objects into crochet work!

I will report back after the first workshop on February 1st with some photos from the workshop. I hope many of the crocheters will fall in love with freeform as I have!

Some stitches to be learned in the workshop!