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 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!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Summer 2018 Weaving and Kids Classes in Eugene, Oregon!



I have arrived in Eugene, Oregon for the summer, and am gearing up to teach at the wonderful Cozy yarn shop! I will be teaching the following classes for adults and children:

WEAVING 101

Date: June 23
Time: 10:00-2:00
Cost of workshop: $80.00 (includes $40.00 for the kit)
Description: An introduction to modern weaving with a lap loom, to create small-scale woven paintings created using a mix of techniques and surface textures. The class will teach you how to use all of the tools in the eWoodStory fiber arts kit, which will be yours to take home and continue creating with! In addition to learning how to weave, you will learn how to make tassels, pom poms, and lucet cord with the specially designed tools in the kit.

WEAVING 102

Date: July 21
Time: 10:00-1:00
Cost of workshop: $30.00
Description:
A freeform approach that will add texture and interest to your weaving. We will explore spiral weaving, gradation, wrapped tassels, carpet pile, surface crochet and embroidery embellishment, shaped borders, applying gold leaf, and more!

KIDS UPCYCLING &
ADVENTURES IN YARN WRAPPING

Date: June 24
Time: 12:00-2:00
Ages: 7-12
Cost of workshop: $25.00 ($20.00 + $5.00 supply fee)
Description: Learn how to upcycle containers by using fun yarn wrapping techniques, in addition to learning how to make tassels and braid with 4 strands.

KIDS FABRIC PRINTING 
& ART WEAVING
Date: July 22
Time: 12:00-2:00
Ages: 7-12
Cost of workshop: $25.00 ($20.00 + $5.00 supply fee)

Description: Learn beginning weaving techniques, and an exciting method of fabric printing to incorporate your own artwork into your weaving.

You can sign-up for the workshops in person at the Cozy yarn shop, or online here

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Spreading the Joy of Crochet!


It is always so wonderful to hear about what people do with my patterns!  Recently, a lovely lady from Australia contacted me to ask if it was ok to use my Sweetheart Button Frames pattern to make hearts to give away in her non-profit craft shop as a way to revive interest in crochet. I loved the idea, and told her that she certainly could!

The photo above was a sampling of the hearts that she made. She also had the brilliant idea to use Rainbow Loom bands to crochet around, instead of the elastic I used. This pattern was designed pre-Rainbow Loom craze, so I think I will update the pattern with this clever tip!

She told me that the giveaway generated a lot of interest in crochet and people requested the pattern so they could make some. It was really lovely to hear that this little crochet pattern could get people to want to learn to crochet. I was so impressed with the effort that she put into this giveaway, and I only wish I could have attended!


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Combining Surface Crochet and Weaving!



I am always looking for new ways to incorporate crochet into my projects, and surface crochet is one of my favorite techniques. You can literally insert the hook anywhere in your work and take your yarn for a walk!

I work in a freeform style, which is why tapestry weaving really appeals to me. I began this piece by weaving a random design in chunky yarn, then I went back in and filled in all of the spaces. The resulting piece looks so different from my other weavings, I almost feel that it was made by someone else! I love the change in style, and this weaving has inspired me to create more weavings using this technique.


When I finished weaving and took the piece off the loom, I felt it was missing something. I wanted to further define the shapes, and surface crochet came to mind! I also wanted to include some metallic yarn in the weaving, and surface crochet was delicate enough for the sparkle not to overpower the other yarns. Suddenly, the piece came together and made sense! The surface crochet also inspired the chunky metallic tassels in the fringe. There is something so satisfying about the surface crochet technique and being able to "draw" with your hook!