Monday, October 8, 2018

How to Use a Novelty Ladder Yarn!


Many of us have purchased these beautiful ladder yarns, not knowing how we would use them. I tried crocheting and knitting with them, and felt that the yarn lost its beauty in the process. The ladder yarn just sat in my stash for a few years... until recently when I was searching for yarns for a new weaving. This ladder yarn went so beautifully with the other yarns that I wanted to include. I wanted something thicker though, so I decided to take one of my bulky yarns and weave it through the ladder. This technique keeps the beauty and integrity of the yarn, so I was very pleased with the result! I ended up using it to make a long tassel for the weaving pictured below. I also plan to try weaving it in a future piece!

How do you use ladder yarns, I would love to hear your ideas!



Monday, October 1, 2018

Handy Crochet Hooks!

In my last post I talked about how handy I find crochet hooks, and that I am always finding new uses for them. It occurred to me how great it would be to have some on my keychain. Hoping that something like that existed, I did a quick online search and found these. I don't know if I was more excited that they actually exist and I could order them right now, or that there was someone out there who also thought this was a fantastic idea! So handy.  One more thing to add to my bag of tricks... I mean purse. :-) I'll be there whenever there is a sweater snagged near me!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Another Use For Crochet Hooks!



In working on various projects and in daily life, I often come across new uses for my crochet hooks. Recently, I was putting the finishing touches on a new weaving and I needed a tapestry needle to string up some wooden beads. I was searching for just the right size, one that had a large enough eye to be easy to thread, but not so large that it wouldn't fit through the hole in the bead. I didn't happen to have the right size with me, as I was out of the house, but I really wanted to finish the project! Since I had my crochet hook set in my bag, I had the idea to use one of them instead. It worked so well that I actually wished I had more beads to string up! 

It is much more enjoyable to work with a crochet hook. Luckily, my 2mm Etimo hook was the perfect size! There was just something so satisfying about putting the string through with a hook. Next time you want to string up some beads, give it a try!



The Finished Weaving


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

New collection of Crochet Patterns: The Stone Necklace Trio!


As it comes time for a new school year to start, I always feel a sense of a new beginning and I have been thinking about my goals. I love anything to do with yarn, and have been working in so many areas of the fiber arts lately. This year I have decided that I need to focus on the things that I like to do the most. I love it all, but something I really enjoy and am known for, are my crochet jewelry designs. 

I  am planning to design and release more jewelry patterns this year on Ravelry and Craftsy, and to kick start my new goal, I have just released a new trio of necklace patterns! I love the idea of jewelry made with natural stones, but sometimes they can be heavy, and since no two rocks are the same, it would be difficult for people to create the necklace as designed. I always keep a skein of Berroco's Comfort Sock yarn, in Dunedin, because it is lovely to work with, and it is perfect for making natural looking stones! I wanted the stones to be 3-D, and I didn't want the supply list for the necklaces to be too extensive, so instead of stuffing them with fiberfill, they are stuffed with crocheted pieces. They are the perfect shape, and add just enough weight to the pendants so they hang nicely. 

I started with one design, and I just couldn't stop there! I have previously designed another trio of necklaces, the Bella Necklace Trio, and it has done so well on Ravelry, that I thought it was time for another trio to join my pattern collection!  Each one has its own personality and would make a unique gift. You can choose to embellish the stones with embroidery, or let the crochet and beauty of the yarn speak for itself! 

I am gathering more inspiration for future jewelry designs and I look forward to a new year in crochet design!





Sunday, August 26, 2018

Me on the Yarn Thing Podcast!



I am excited to tell you that I will be Marly Bird's guest this week on the Yarn Thing Podcast! It will be a live interview from her studio in Colorado to my studio in Kuwait! I have had the pleasure of meeting Marly at the Chain Link Conference, but we have never had the chance to have a good chat, until now! I have been listening to her podcast for years, and her friendly voice has filled my home so many times, I am looking forward to being more than a listener this time! 

I will be talking about crochet and our eWoodStory line. There will be a giveaway as well! I will be giving away one of our new Mini Weaving Kits, and the winner's choice of 3 of my crochet patterns.

The show will be this Tuesday, August 28th at 10am MST. You can catch the show live, or anytime after the show via Marly Bird's You Tube channel. I hope you can all join us! 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Chain Link Crochet Conference 2018!

With the Laurinda Reddig, and Carissa Jane Reid, the amazing women of the Ficstitches Yarn Kit Club
I just got back from a great trip to Portland, Oregon, where I was attending the Crochet Guild of America's annual conference. I was so happy that the conference was held just 2 hours from my hometown of Eugene!

It is always great to meet up with old friends and there were also so many wonderful new people to meet!

I took two classes from the amazing Lily Chin: Fine Shaping in Stitch Patterning and Two Color Tunisian Crochet in the Round. Lily is really brilliant and I loved her style of teaching. She blends storytelling with tips and tricks, technique practice, and a show and tell of samples demonstrating the techniques she is teaching. She is a true inspiration, and one of the most dynamic teachers I have learned from!
Lily Chin in action!

So amazing to work in the round with a double ended hook!
I also took a Pleats and Darts class from the legendary Pauline Turner. She is an encyclopedia of knowledge and she allowed us to ask her about anything we could think of on the subject of crochet!

Our instructor Pauline Turner had one of the attendees model a beautiful crocheted dress with darts and a pleated skirt.

Close-up of the pleats

There were lots of fun activities like the fastest fingers crochet contest, and the yarn tasting. They had a selection of yarns from the vendors at the show for us to try out. My daughter loved this idea, and couldn't resist trying out her favorites!

This was my favorite!

Deciding which yarn she likes best!

Attending a book signing with Suzann Thompson, author of the adorable book, Cute Crochet World!
Our eWoodStory stitchable frames and Weaving Kits were for sale in the Ficstitches booth, and I had the pleasure of demonstrating crochet based weaving AKA "weavrochet" on our looms in the booth!
Weavrochet purse in progress



Friday, July 6, 2018

Summer of Fiber Arts Began at Black Sheep!



The end of June is one of my favorite times to visit Oregon because I am fortunate to be able to attend the Black Sheep Gathering! An amazing event for all things fiber related. They put together an extensive collection of classes taught by very experienced instructors. This year, I decided to buy a spinning wheel, as last year I felt like I was the only one there who didn't know how to spin on one! Shortly before I arrived in Oregon, I ordered a Spinolution Worker Bee. I unboxed it, just a few days before Black Sheep and tried to get the hang of spinning on it. I enrolled in a Beginning Spinning Class, so I was trying to get a head start. We spent about 5 hours on our wheels, and that was the concentrated time I needed to get to know the wheel and actually make some yarn! I was able to spin up most of the fiber you see in the photo below. Spinning is one of those things you should probably never start if you don't have time in your schedule, because once you do, you won't want to stop!


It just so happens that my 12 year old daughter is in love with spinning also. We are sharing the wheel, and since we have taken it out of the box, we have been taking turns! She really clicked with spinning while at Black Sheep, and was so happy to be able to spin in the "Spinner's Circle" with the other spinners. The magic of being around so many fiber enthusiasts! 
I also took a Blending Board class, which was such fun. I just loved creating little works of art to roll up and spin. It is a surprise for me to see how each one will spin up!

After the classes were over, my daughter and I shopped in the Marketplace for spinning materials. One of our favorite booths had baskets full of dyed locks that you could choose and buy by the ounce. We were almost tempted to take home a whole basket because each hand-dyed lock you pick up is more beautiful than the last!

Of course, we couldn't go home without making friends with an Alpaca :-) We have more fun each year we attend, and are already thinking about next year!