Ripple Mania CAL: Week 3 – Ripple Variations

This week is all about ripple variations – how to make your ripples pointier, lacier, more or less textured, and so on.  This week’s Ripple Mania PDF includes four stitch patterns and one project.  Due to Hurricane Sandy, I didn’t take as many pictures as I would usually, but here are the patterns you will find this week.

I’m also very excited to announce two sponsors for the Ripple Mania prizes: Coats & Clark and Leisure Arts.

The CAL is free to join.  Each week, an updated PDF will be available to download on Ravelry, and Ravelry members can chat in the Ripple Mania CAL thread in the Underground Crafter group.  (You do not have to be a Ravelry member to download the PDF.)  Once the CAL ends on November 21, Ripple Mania will be converted to a “for sale” pattern ebook.

Ripple Mania CAL Schedule

Wednesday, 10/17 – Ripple Mania Kick Off!

Ripple Mania CAL Chat on Ravelry

Week 1 Chat on Ravelry

  • Supply list and project suggestions
  • Colorize Your Ripple: Choosing a Palette for Your Project

Wednesday, 10/24 -Ripple Basics

Week 2 Chat on Ravelry

Wednesday, 10/31 - Ripple Variations

Week 3 Chat on Ravelry

Wednesday, 11/7 – Squaring Up Your Ripple

Week 4 Chat on Ravelry

Wednesday, 11/14 – Adding ripples to hexagon and square motif patterns

Week 5 Chat on Ravelry

Wednesday, 11/28 – The Big Reveal!

Visit Ravelry to get started with the Ripple Mania CAL!

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

Holiday Stashdown Challenge, Week 25

The last few days have been really hectic due to Hurricane Sandy.  As of this writing, my family and I are safe and we are among the lucky folks who still have power.  To be honest, I haven’t been thinking much about holiday crafting for the past few days :).  Since revising my list last week, I’m feeling very secure because I only have a few projects left to make.  I took a little break from pressure crafting after banging out a series of projects on commission last week.  And, of course, with the storm, even if I did make something over the weekend, I wouldn’t be able to photograph it outside, so I decided to just take some time for myself.

How is your holiday crafting coming along?  Feel free to share your progress and links in the comments!

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

Accessories: Autumne 2012 by Voie de Vie Blog Tour and Giveaway

I was thrilled when Denise from Voie de Vie invited me to be part of the blog tour for her new pattern collection e-book, Accessories: Autumne 2012.  I first “met” Denise soon after I started blogging, when I hosted the yarn swap adventure through the Blog Hub group on Ravelry.  (By the way, Denise was a very good sport about that swap.  You can read about her swap adventures here, here, and here.)  Denise has also been generous enough to offer a free e-book to one of my blog readers, so continue on for details about how to enter.

Denise has done a courageous thing with this pattern collection: She included both crochet and knitting patterns.  Even though it seems that about 60% of yarn crafters both knit and crochet, some folks seem to feel pretty strongly that they don’t want the two crafts to mix.  Not to worry – if you’re one of those people, you can also buy each pattern in the collection separately.

So what’s inside the collection?  As the name suggests, the e-book includes five patterns for fall accessories and is available for $14.99.  The e-book layout is like an online magazine, with full page photos, mini essays describing Denise’s inspiration, and many pictures of each design.  Denise also includes some process photos for broomstick lace and tassels.   A lot of designers skimp on pictures because they worry customers will complain about the ink required for printouts, but Denise has combined the best of both worlds here.  She has a visually stimulating layout, but the pattern pages are more-text heavy with only one or two pictures so you can save ink by printing just the patterns.

The collection includes one crocheted hat, Slouching Towards Tassels Cap, and one knit scarf, The Piaf Scarf, which are both for sale individually for $3.99, and three crocheted neck/torso projects, Enveloped Cowl, Le Bouquet Stole,  and Rustically Elegant Shoulder Warmer, which are for sale individually for $5.

My favorites are the Enveloped Cowl, which Denise blogged about here, and Le Bouquet Stole, which Denise blogged about here.

Enveloped Cowl. This about describes how I feel about the pattern. I love the use of broomstick lace and the buttons are awesome!
Le Bouquet Stole is elegant and classic.

Denise is also hosting a JAL (join-a-long) in her Ravelry group here.  Besides all of the fun of working on your projects alongside other crafters, there are prizes involved for everyone who posts project pictures by December 9.

Thanks, Denise, for providing me and one lucky reader with a free copy of your e-book!  If I wasn’t worried about Hurricane Sandy, I might even be outside crocheting up a swatch for one of these projects.

Giveaway

Are you ready to win your copy of Accessories: Autumne 2012?  This giveaway is open to all readers with an email address.  Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, November 2, 2012.

To enter:

Good luck!

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers andCurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

 

Year of Projects, Year 2: A quickie

I’m sharing a quickie post today because I’m running out to meet my mom and join the lines of New York City shoppers preparing for Hurricane Sandy.  Public schools are closed tomorrow, but I haven’t heard about the colleges yet, so I may or may not be going in to work.  I hope everyone in the storm’s path remains safe over the next few days.

On a lighter note, I did make one charity square this morning.

This is the Dog Rose from Granny Squares: Over 25 Creative Ways to Crochet the Classic Pattern by Stephanie Gohr, Melanie Sturm, and Barbara Wilder.  (I’ll be reviewing this book soon, by the way.)  I haven’t woven in the ends because many of the charities ask that you don’t – it seems that some people just “knot and cut” and to make sure your ends are woven in sturdily, the charities ask you to leave the yarn tails hanging.  It doesn’t make for a neat photo, though.

For more Year of Projects posts, visit Come Bl0g-a-long on Ravelry.

 

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and  CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

Red Scarf Project

It’s that time of year when crocheters and knitters are sending their handmade goodies to the Red Scarf Project.  If you aren’t familiar with the Red Scarf Project, it is a program operated by Foster Care to Success: America’s College Fund for Foster Youth.  FCS sends foster care college students care packages, including a Valentine’s Day care package with a crochet or knit red scarf inside.

This charity is close to my heart for a few reasons.  Early in my career, I worked with a youth program and made frequent visits to foster care group homes.  That experience definitely showed me the tremendous challenges that foster care youth face.  And, when I first started connecting my passion for crochet with the online crafting community, the Red Scarf Project was the first charity I learned about online where I could send my crocheted goodies.

Due to space restrictions, donations are only accepted between September 1 and December 15 each year.  In case you’re interested in sharing some of your crochet or knitted scarves with the Red Scarf Project, I’m including the guidelines from their website here:

RED SCARF PROJECT GUIDELINES:

Size: approximately 60” long and 5” to 8” wide. Scarves should be long enough to be wrapped around the neck, with tails long enough to be tied in the front.

Style: Think unisex collegiate. Fringes are optional. Your scarf should drape, tie easily and be soft.

Color: Red! However, this could mean burgundy, cherry, russet, red stripes with other colors, or multicolor hues including red.

Finished & tagged: Yarn ends should be securely sewn in. For a personal touch, attach a tag saying “Handmade for You” with your first name, city, and group affiliation, if any. Donors have also included washing instructions, messages of encouragement, gift cards, and more.

Mail to: Foster Care to Success, Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry Drive Suite 130
Sterling, VA 20166

NOTE: Scarves are accepted between September 1 and December 15 annually.  As we have limited storage space, please send your scarves only during this time period.

As I was looking over the Red Scarf Project website this year, I saw that there are links to nine pattern pages, but only one is to a crochet pattern :(.

After working relentlessly on secret projects for the past week, I’m in the mood to mindlessly follow someone else’s pattern.  Now that I’ve been so good about busting stash, I only have about 250 yards of red yarn left, so I did a Ravelry search for low yardage, unisex scarf patterns.  I came across the Eva’s Ribs Scarf Pattern by Vashti Braha (interviewed by me here).  I remember Vashti’s slip stitch explorations in her newsletter, so I’m excited to try this out.  Who knows, if I like slip stitching, I might end up making myself the Eva Shrug

 

Do you have a favorite charity that accepts handmade donations?  

 

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and  CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

Sharing the crochet blog love

Confession time: I never read blogs until I started blogging.  I would occasionally Google something and find a blog post that answered my question, but that was about it.  I never subscribed or returned or remembered which blog I had read.  The main barrier for me was my (irrational) fear of blog readers – the descriptions always seemed overwhelming, and with no place to organize the blogs I was interested in, I couldn’t really keep track of any.  (I eventually started using Google Reader, which is much less overwhelming than it seemed to me when I read about it!)

This is my second year participating in Blogtoberfest, and I want to spread the blog love today by sharing five crochet blogs I started following this year.  For me, this was easier than trying to pick from the larger group of blogs I’ve been following since last year :).  These aren’t necessarily blogs that are participating in Blogtoberfest, by the way.  If you’d like to check out any of the 300+ blogs that are participating, stop by I Saw You Dancing.

alottastitches

This blog is written by Linda74, who is a prolific ripple crocheter.  Although I only learned about this blog a few weeks ago, I actually dove into the archives and found some really cool posts!  Linda74 does a lot of charity crochet, and common posting topics are finished objects, yarn hauls, and information about upcycled crafts.

Some of my favorite posts:

Lanas & Hilos

I’m a big fan of this bilingual blog.  (I even interviewed Ana as part of my Hispanic Heritage Month series.)  Ana is participating in the motif challenge along with Barbara from Made in K-Town, and you can find her finished motifs here.

Crochet Boulevard

And speaking of Made in K-Town (which I’ve been following since last year), Crochet Boulevard is my new favorite crochet link party.  I always find awesome new blogs there.  Unlike many of the other blogs I follow, Barbara seems to have a very international following.  You can find bloggers from all of the world posting on her link parties.  The current theme is Free Topic, so why not stop by and link up one of your favorite projects?

Stitch Story

I’m not quite sure how I originally came across Shelby Allaho‘s blog, but her designs are wonderful and I love how she shares her inspiration for different projects.  Some of my recent favorite posts are her reveal of the Natalie Cowl design and A Dozen Ways to Wear the Ruffles Scarf.  (I’m sort of styling challenged, so I love when people show me how to wear things!)

Crochet Nirvana

Robin is one of the bloggers who joined in the Year of Projects this year.  She is a librarian and often shares research in her posts, which I find really interesting.  She also really engages her readers with posts and questions.  Some of my recent favorite posts are Robin’s tips for stiffening crochet lace and her explorations of the granny square.

 

If you aren’t already following these blogs, I recommend that you check them out!

Have you found any new (or new-to-you) crochet blogs recently?

 

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and  CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

Blogtoberfest Rerun: Getting started as a local needlecrafts teacher

This post was originally published on April 18, 2011.  I’m rerunning an updated version today, along with additional links to teacher interviews, as part of Blogtoberfest 2012.

 

Last year, while updating my email contacts I discovered that I had taught over 100 people to crochet or knit since 2008!  That is pretty awesome (to me anyway), considering that I work full-time in another field and also have other part-time jobs.

I’m in several teaching groups on Ravelry, and the topic of how to get started as a local needlecrafts teacher comes up periodically.  To celebrate the breaking of the 100 beginner student barrier, I wrote a series of posts on starting out as a local needlecrafts teacher.

Feel free to contribute if you are currently teaching needlecrafts or dreaming of teaching needlecrafts!

Part 1: Getting started

Part 2: Credentials, or do I really that certification?

Part 3: Location, Location, Location

Part 4: Drumming up business

Part 5: Preparing for class

Part 6: Staying creative and current

 

Related posts

Teacher interviews

Vanessa from Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts

Angela Davis (also known as alittlebird on Ravelry)

Becka Rahn (also known as beckarahn on Ravelry)

Gwen Blakley Kinsler (Cro-Kween Designs)

Rosana (also known as Traviesa88 on Ravelry)

Catherine Hirst (author of Granny Square Crochet)

Linda Peitz

Sandie Petit (founder of Crochet Cabana)

 

Teaching Tools Bag

Angela Davis Guest Post

UC’s Teaching Tools Bag

Teaching Tools Bag – Tips from Ravelry Knitting Teachers group

 

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and  CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

Ripple Mania CAL: Week 2 – Ripple Basics

This week is all about ripple basics.  Most ripple newbies struggle with one of three things: increasing, decreasing, or changing colors.  Not to worry!  This week’s Ripple Mania PDF includes photo tutorials for all three!

If you’re a ripple pro, there’s still something for you.  I included patterns for three ripple stitches, tips for sizing your final project, and instructions for my Eyelet Ripple Infinity Scarf.

Ripple Mania CAL Schedule!

Wednesday, 10/17 – Ripple Mania Kick Off!

Ripple Mania CAL Chat on Ravelry

Week 1 Chat on Ravelry

  • Supply list and project suggestions
  • Colorize Your Ripple: Choosing a Palette for Your Project

Wednesday, 10/24 -Ripple Basics

Week 2 Chat on Ravelry

Wednesday, 10/31 - Ripple Variations

Week 3 Chat on Ravelry

Wednesday, 11/7 – Squaring Up Your Ripple

Week 4 Chat on Ravelry

Wednesday, 11/14 – Adding ripples to hexagon and square motif patterns

Week 5 Chat on Ravelry

Wednesday, 11/28 – The Big Reveal!

Visit Ravelry to get started with the Ripple Mania CAL!

 

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and  CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.

Holiday Stashdown Challenge, Week 24

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

I’ve made some progress on my crocheted snowflake cards in the past week, but I haven’t had time for blocking or starching.  I found that most of the snowflakes are larger than the cards I already have, so I’m going to buy bigger cards (half fold size rather than quarter page size).

I also reviewed my Holiday Stashdown Challenge list again.  As we get closer to my self imposed deadline, I made some decisions about what I can still reasonably accomplish.  Interestingly, since I have actually destashed quite a lot this year, I’m short on yarn that would be ideal for some of the people on my list.  (For instance, I don’t think my uncle would look great in the more feminine colors that remain now that most of the grey yarns are used up.)

So here are my thoughts on the rest of my list.

The “Still to Make” List

1) My dad’s partner – A cabled hat in this skein of Cascade 220 Superwash I won in a giveaway.  I have a stitch pattern picked out but need to finish my gauge swatch and then cast on.

2) Another scarf for one of the ladies in my dad’s family.  I have a back up plan here – I found a scarf that I made a few years ago but never wore which I can gift if I don’t have time to make something new.  I don’t want to leave her out since I already finished scarves for the other three women in my dad’s family.

3) My Uncle M – A hat.  I may need to buy yarn for this but I should still have time for a quick crocheted had in bulky yarn.

The Maybe List

1) CG, my BFF from high school - I’m not as worried about time for this one, since we usually don’t meet until after the holidays anyway.  I would still like to make something with this yarn that I bought with her in mind.

2-3 ) My sister and my mom - I’m at the point where I may not make anything for these lovely ladies.  I made my sister a bedspread last year (ok, I finished it in March, but it was for Christmas, 2011!) and I’m working on a bedspread for my mom’s birthday in February.  If I have time, I think I’ll make house slippers or finish this shawl for my mom.

3) MC, my special guy – If I have time, I’ll make him a pair of house slippers or a new hat since he has pretty well worn out the one I made him a few years ago.

Bumped off the list

1) My cat – I just made him a new cat blanket so I’m not too worried about holiday gifts.

2) JM, one of my high school BFFs – I don’t think he will feel sad if he doesn’t get a homemade gift, so I decided to save myself the pressure.

3 – 6) Aunt K and Uncle T, and RP and CA, my colleagues and work buddies for the last four years  - We don’t always exchange gifts, so I decided not to add the handmade burden for this year.

7 – 8 ) Mom’s dog and Dad’s cat - These two were always a long shot!

 

How is your holiday crafting going?  Are you reconsidering your list or just getting started?  Feel free to share your holiday crafting journey in the comments!

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.