Tag Archives: cgoa

Himalaya Tank Top by Gwen Blakley Kinsler (Free Crochet Patterns with Underground Crafter podcast)

Himalaya Tank Top by Gwen Blakley Kinsler on Free #Crochet Patterns with Underground Crafter #podcastI read the Himalaya Tank Top, a crochet pattern from guest contributor, Gwen Blakley Kinsler.

Listen to this episode in the player or download it here. Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or TuneIn.

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ILC 300x250b April 2016About the guest designer

Gwen Blakley Kinsler is the founder and past president of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA). Gwen currently chairs the CGOA Jean Leinhauser Crochet Hall of Fame committee. She is a writer, designer, and teacher who is committed to sharing her passion for crochet with everyone. Her latest book is The Fine Art of Crochet – Innovative Works by 20 Contemporary Artists. Gwen believes that crochet art both amazes and astounds even the most seasoned crocheters and serves to change stereotypical perceptions about the craft. When not writing, Gwen keeps busy covering her world in crochet one stitch at a time!

You can find Gwen on her website or blog, or follow her on Facebook | G+ | PinterestRavelry | Twitter | YouTube


About this pattern

CYC beginnerUS terms 505-bulky 50


Finished Sizes

  • Listen for directions for small (32″ bust). Premium pattern also includes instructions for medium (40″ bust) and large (48″ bust).


  • Himalaya Yarn Company “Tibet” 100% Silk yarn, 3 skeins for small (4 skeins for medium, 5 skeins for large)
  • US K-10.5/6.5 mm crochet hook
  • Yarn needle


  • Pattern repeat (shell, ch 2, 1 dc) = 4″ (10 cm); 4 rows = 4″ (10 cm)

Himalaya Tank Top by Gwen Blakley Kinsler on Free #Crochet Patterns with Underground Crafter #podcastAbout the (Inter)National Crochet Month series

I’m sharing an audio crochet pattern daily in March, 2016 to celebrate (Inter)National Crochet Month! Find the complete schedule including a list of the 27 guest designers here.

If you enjoyed the show, please subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or TuneIn; share this episode with a friend; or sign up for the mailing list. Happy crocheting!

#Crochet #TipsTuesday: How to Find and Join Your First (or Next) Crochet-a-Long

How to Find and Join Your First (or Next) Crochet-a-Long on Underground Crafter #Crochet #TipsTuesdayThere’s something about a crochet-a-long that makes it fun and easy to learn new things and actually finish projects. In today’s post, I’m sharing six ways to find your next crochet-a-long, and tips for joining in and having a great time.

This post contains affiliate links.

But first, what’s a crochet-a-long, anyway?

A crochet-a-long is a way of joining together with other crocheters to work on the same (or a similar) project. Crochet-a-longs are often abbreviated as CAL, and are also sometimes called make-a-longs (MAL). Mystery crochet-a-longs, where the complete project is revealed in stages, are abbreviated as MCALs.

CALs can take place “in real life” with a group of crocheters meeting up regularly to work on the project, or online with participants meeting up virtually.

Most CALs are for a specific pattern, but they can also be organized around a particular type of project (like crocheting your first garment), a charity drive (like crocheting hats for a local homeless shelter), a goal (like stashbusting), or the work of a particular designer.

Some CALs are ongoing and people can join in at any time. But others are time limited, and participants who join and/or finish projects by a specific date are eligible to enter giveaways for awesome prizes. (At least, those are my favorite types of CALs!)

By participating in CALs, crocheters can make new friends, ask questions in a supportive environment, and see some amazing crochet projects come to life. (And, don’t forget the potential prizes!)


6 Ways to Find Your First (or Next) CAL

If a crochet-a-long sounds fun to you, here are six places you can look for a CAL to join.

On Ravelry

Ravelry is my favorite place to look for online crochet-a-longs. Membership is required, but it’s free to join.

How to find your first or next crochet-a-long on Underground Crafter 1

On Facebook

Another great way to find online CALs is through Facebook.

Through Your Favorite Designers and Bloggers

Many designers and crochet bloggers routinely host crochet-a-longs.

On Pinterest

In addition to being a great source of “eye candy,” Pinterest is also a great search engine! Search for “crochet a long YEAR” and you’ll find some exciting pictures leading you to CAL announcements.

How to find your first or next crochet-a-long on Underground Crafter

My search results for “crochet a long 2016” on Pinterest.

At Your Local Yarn Shop

Local yarn shops are wonderful places for finding crochet-a-longs in your community. Stop by the shop or call and ask if any CALs are going on or planned in the shop. You may even find that the shop owner is willing to host your crochet group during your crochet-a-long if you buy your yarn for the projects in the store.

Through Your Local CGOA Chapter

You may have a local chapter of the Crochet Guild of America in your area. If you’re not sure if there’s one nearby, check out the CGOA Local Chapter List. You can also join the Cyber (online) Chapter or start your own! CGOA chapters often host crochet-a-longs.

How to join a crochet-a-long

Once you’ve found the right crochet-a-long for you, how do you join?

  • Some CALs are formal and you’ll need to sign up, while others are more casual and you pop in and out. Some CALs are free and others are paid. Typically, paid CALs require the purchase of a pattern and/or a kit including the pattern and yarn.
  • Read through the CAL announcement to find out where the action is. Whether it’s in a Facebook or Ravelry group, or in person in your community, you’ll have the most fun if you interact with other crocheters, so don’t be afraid to introduce yourself.
  • Don’t be surprised if the patterns or projects include new-to-you techniques and skills. Go easy on yourself if you’re feeling challenged. CALs are great places to ask for help and you’ll be proud of yourself later when you learn something new.
  • If you feel confident about your crochet skills, don’t be afraid to help out. Share your abilities with other crocheters and you’ll be helping the group have a fun CAL.
  • And, just like elsewhere in life, be nice! It takes a lot of work to organize and host a CAL, but not every CAL is right for every crocheter. If the CAL doesn’t appeal to you, find another one that’s a better fit for your interests and skills.

Where do you find out about crochet-a-longs?

#Crochet #TipsTuesday: How to make the most out of your first (or next) yarn show or fiber festival

#HowTo make the most out of your first (or next) #yarn show or fiber festival | #Crochet #TipsTuesday on Underground CrafterYarn shows, also called fiber festivals, are wonderful social events that span the course of a day or even a weekend. At a yarn show, you can visit the booths of many yarn companies and shops, see firsthand and purchase different types of yarn, take classes at a variety of skill levels to improve your crochet/knitting/yarn spinning/yarn dyeing knowledge, and interact with other likeminded attendees.

Whether you know many other crocheters (or knitters), or you feel like the only one in your community, attending a fiber festival can be a wonderful experience.

At the same time, going to a yarn show or fiber festival for the first time can be overwhelming. Here are four tips for planning your first trip (or your next trip) to a yarn show or fiber festival so that you have a great time.

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Find the Right Event for You

Many crocheters and knitters prefer to have their first festival experience close to home, while others want to combine travel with their love of yarn. The Knitter’s Review maintains one of the most comprehensive lists of fiber events throughout the world, organized by date. Although some of these events are knitting focused, more and more cater to crocheters, others are all about spinning, and some welcome a variety of yarn crafts.

Full Moon Farm booth at Vogue Knitting Live (New York) 2014.

Full Moon Farm booth at Vogue Knitting Live (New York) 2014.

Your local chapter of the Crochet Guild of America (or your local guild of The Knitting Guild Association) is another great source of information. Many chapters/guilds organize trips to local or regional festivals. If you want to spend several days away from home and meet enthusiastic crocheters from around the world, consider traveling to the annual Knit and Crochet Show, co-sponsored by the Crochet Guild of America and The Knitting Guild Association.

Plan Your Schedule

It’s very easy to become overwhelmed once you get on site, particularly at a large fiber festival. It helps to look through the agenda in advance and set up a tentative schedule.

Meeting the animals at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival is always fun.

Meeting the animals at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival is always fun.

If you’re on a budget, look for free events such as fashion shows, lectures, or book signings. You may want to ask local chapter or guild members, or friends from online forums like Crochetville or Ravelry, for suggestions about favorite activities. (If you are traveling for to an unfamiliar venue, don’t forget to ask about great food near the festival, too!)

Keep in mind that at events that are primarily knitting focused, crochet classes may be cancelled if enrollment minimums aren’t met, so registering early is important.

Although you may have planned out your schedule in advance, remember that flexibility is key. Your favorite speaker may be sick on the day of the event, or you may find that you would rather go to lunch with some new friends than shop.

CraftsyDress (and Pack) for the Festival

Your wardrobe and packing list should be customized for the festival you choose. Many attendees will showcase a special project by wearing it. Some crocheters or knitters spend the months before a large event working on show-stopping garments. A shawlette in a pretty yarn, crochet or knitted jewelry, or a fun hat are great last minute projects to wear.

Comfort is also important as fiber events typically involve a combination of walking, sitting for long periods, and carrying bags of yarn. For a large festival, comfortable footwear is critical. Dressing in layers can help at both indoor and outdoor festivals as temperatures may fluctuate.

Here's a quick project I made to wear to Vogue Knitting Live (New York) in 2013.

Here’s a quick project I made to wear to Vogue Knitting Live (New York) in 2013.

Bring a small day bag or purse rather than a large bag or backpack as you may find the marketplace crowded with limited aisle space. Don’t forget to charge your camera or phone so you can take pictures. If you are attending classes, bring the required supplies and any homework listed on the registration form.

Expand Your Knitting SkillsBudget for the Marketplace

It can be easy to go overboard on your first trip to a fiber festival, especially since most vendors now accept credit cards. You will be exposed to new yarn lines, fibers, brands, and colors that aren’t usually available in your local area, as well as delightful tools and accessories.

Before going to the festival, consider setting a budget. You can set your budget as a dollar amount, or as a limit to the number of yarn skeins or books you will buy. If your budget is strict, keep your charge cards at home (or in your hotel room) and bring only cash with you.

My yarn and roving haul from the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival in 2012.

My yarn and roving haul from the North Jersey Fiber Arts Festival in 2012.

At a smaller festival, you may be able to walk through the marketplace once before purchasing anything. At a larger festival, that will be infeasible. If keeping to a budget is important, bring along a wish list so you can separate an impulse buy from a purchase you’ll feel good about later.

With a little planning, you can have a wonderful time at your first fiber festival. You may even find yourself hooked!

What tips do you have for yarn show/fiber festival newbies?