Today marks my two year blogiversary, and I’m one of the stops on A Tour Through Crochet Country! If you haven’t been following along, this is a wonderful blog tour organized by Crochetville. The tour features over 50 Associate Professional or Professional members of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA).
If you’re new here, welcome! I’m a crochet (and knitting) teacher, designer, and blogger. In addition to sharing my own projects and news on my blog, I also do a lot of interviews (I’ve even won a few awards) and book reviews. I’m really honored to be part of A Tour Through Crochet Country. To celebrate National Crochet Month and my blogiversary, I’ll be sharing a free pattern and a coupon code today. But first I’d like to talk about how important the CGOA has been to me.
As many of my regular readers know, my grandmother taught me to crochet. After she passed away in 2007, I didn’t have any important people in my real life to talk with about crochet. Through my membership in CGOA and my involvement in the CGOA Professionals listerv, I’ve had the chance to virtually meet many wonderful crocheters who share the same passion for the hook as I do.
Back in 2009, I had the honor of being introduced to a wonderful mentor, Mary E. Nolfi, through the CGOA mentoring program. When I was first exploring design, Mary guided and encouraged me. Her primer is a great intro for aspiring crochet designers. I still remember my excitement at emailing her when my first designs were selected for publication. I’m also grateful to Michelle Maks, yesterday’s stop on the the tour, for taking a chance on me when she was the editor of Crochet World. I’m thrilled to have another mentor, Marty Miller (March 13′s stop on the tour), who is helping me explore tech editing.
And, of course, CGOA membership has other benefits, even if you aren’t a professional (or aspiring professional) in the industry. You get a subscription to Crochet! magazine and discounts at national retailers as well as on CGOA educational offerings. You can also participate in your local chapter. (I’ve been a member of the NYC Crochet Guild for years and in addition to great monthly meetings where I can hang out with fellow crocheters, they also offer classes and local discounts.)
I’d like give a shout out to a some other CGOA members I’ve met (in real life or virtually) who have been very helpful to me in the past few years.
Vashti Braha (interview) has taught me so much through her Crochet Inspirations newsletter, which has also inspired me to keep experimenting! Kim Guzman (interview) is so generous with her knowledge online and is a great teaching author. Juanita Quinones (interview) is a wonderful tech editor that is volunteering on the Home work project on Ravelry, which is giving a second life to vintage designs. Mary Beth Temple (interview) is a very strong advocate for crochet and has been a professional inspiration. Charles Voth (a.k.a. Stitch Stud) (interview) is a talented – and nice! – designer and tech editor who always shares so much of his knowledge with his fellow hookers online.
If you’ve made it this far, your probably asking yourself, “Didn’t she promise a freebie? And a coupon code?”
Charity Crochet for Project Night Night – The Rectangular Sampler Blanket
Early in my career, I worked for an organization that provided temporary housing for hundreds of homeless families, so the tour’s featured charity, Project Night Night, is really close to my heart. I wanted to create a project that was beautiful to look at but also fun to make.
The Rectangular Sampler is a variation on the traditional granny square that incorporates a stitch sampler to keep things interesting. There’s a granny rectangle, an alternating v-stitch, staggered puff stitches, and a fun edging.
Download the Rectangular Sampler Blanket PDF Pattern
(You can also find the pattern on Ravelry or Craftsy.) This makes a great stroller blanket or play mat, or even a baby or comfort blanket. I plan to donate my sample to Project Night Night, and I hope you’ll consider making one to donate to Project Night Night or a local children’s charity.
I crocheted the sample with Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash in Pacific, Cordovan, and Alaska Sky. None of these pictures really do justice to the Alaska Sky, which is a pale, sky blue. I like using non-traditional colors for children’s blankets because I think it gives them a longer life cycle when they can be displayed in more settings.
To celebrate National Crochet Month and my blogiversary, I’d like to spread the love by sharing a coupon code for my Ravelry shop. Use coupon code NatCroMo13 for a 25% discount on any pattern through April 1, 2013. Thanks for your support of independent designers!
And now back to a A Tour Through Crochet Country
Here’s the schedule for the rest of the tour. I’ve actually had the pleasure of interviewing several of the CGOA pros on this list, so I’ve also included the links to those interviews below. I hope you will stop by and check out all the posts (and tutorials, giveaways, and discounts) the other participants have to offer. Enjoy the rest of National Crochet Month, and don’t forget to enter my current blog giveaways here and here.
March 1 Shelby Allaho
March 16 Laurinda Reddig
March 21 Alaina Klug
March 27 me! and Brenda Stratton