Every Saturday during National Crochet Month 2013, I’ll be highlighting one of my favorite online crochet resources. Today’s featured site is Crochet Boulevard, my favorite crochet link party.
I was first introduced to Barbara from made in k-town shortly after I began blogging in 2011. I honestly can’t remember how I found her, but I fell in love with her striking photography, great projects, and clear writing. Soon after I found made in k-town, Barbara started hosting crochet link parties which eventually needed a home of their own — the Crochet Boulevard.
There are just so many reasons I love this link party, but I’ll start with the reality. I’m only aware of less than a handful of others that are only for crochet and not a mix of crochet and knitting. But even if there were hundreds of crochet link parties, I’m sure Crochet Boulevard would still be at the top of my list. Barbara’s readers get to be involved with choosing a theme by voting, so people tend to pick topics where they have great projects to share! Crochet Boulevard is also very international and multicultural. I’m always introduced to new blogs (many of of which are in languages other than English) and I get to “meet” bloggers from all over the world. Even amidst these differences, our commonality – the love of crochet – clearly brings everyone together.
Make sure you stop by Crochet Boulevard this week to share your projects in the latest Free Topic Friday link party! Barbara can also be found online at the made in k-town Facebook page. Although Barbara is a busy lady including being in the midst of wedding planning, she did have some time to stop by for a NatCroMo interview. (As a side note, to keep her blog active during this busy time, Barbara has invited some great guest bloggers to made in k-town.)
Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first get started crocheting?
Barbara: It’s been so long, I actually can’t remember it very clearly. My earliest memory is sitting on the couch on my parents’ balcony (yes, there was a time when we had a couch out there), learning my first chain stitches. I must have been six or seven years old. My first “projects” were potholders and bed socks. Crochet has always been a part of my creative life, so it always felt easy and natural, like painting with watercolors or crafting with paper – the “normal” stuff that every child grows up with.
Barbara still makes potholders. Click the photo to link to her beautiful Spiral Coaster/Potholder Pattern from made in k-town.
UC: What inspired you to start blogging? And then how did you decide to host a link party?
Barbara: There was a time in my early twenties when I lost interest in crochet because I somehow felt like there was nothing new to discover (oh, how wrong I was… *gg*). Then, ten years later, I was sick at home for weeks and somehow discovered the colorful and inspiring world of crochet on the internet. I decided two things: first, I just HAD to grab my hook again and try all the new things I had seen on various blogs, and second: I wanted to be a part of the the online crochet community and share my work, too.
icrochet was one of the sites I visited regularly before I even started blogging myself: it was great to look at the pictures, then follow the links and discover even more crochet goodies. I could spend hours browsing icrochet and all the blogs that were connected there! When I started my blog, made in k-town, I wanted to host my own link-party, too – but somehow I wanted it to be different from the others, and so I had the idea of hosting monthly theme-parties, with topics like “granny squares,” “flowers,” “Christmas crochet” and many more. After a few months I decided to outsource the parties to another blog, because I thought it was a pity that those awesome galleries were somehow lost in the archives with all the other stuff I was posting – and so I started The Crochet Boulevard!
A screenshot of the voting section on Crochet Boulevard. You still have time to vote for the next theme!
UC: Since it is NatCroMo… Can you share a favorite crochet memory with us?
Barbara: It’s funny, I can still remember the night when I first picked up a hook again after my decade-long abstinence. I had discovered the internet crochet world just before I went to bed, but then I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep. So I got up again, sneaked downstairs to my parents’ apartment and searched for my old hooks and some yarn. Back in my own living room, I made myself comfortable on the coach, put on the Country station on satellite radio and started hooking – “just a few stitches” to see if I still knew how to do it. Next thing I remember is my boyfriend getting up the next morning, asking me what I’m doing up so early ;). Luckily, it was a Saturday morning, so I could get some sleep later. That night I had tried all the different granny squares I could find on the internet – they never made it to a bigger project, but I’ll never forget how I got my crochet-mojo back.
Barbara’s African Flower Square from made in k-town. Click the picture to link through to the tutorial.
UC: What was your favorite crochet theme party on Crochet Boulevard?
Barbara: Ah, that’s a tough one! I generally think that the parties are getting better with each month, because there are more and more girls who join us and share their work. So our last party, Colorful, is really a pleasure to look at in its whole! And instead of looking back, I’m really looking forward to the parties that are still to come. I’m dreaming of a huge freeform or yarn-bombing link party, but since both topics are rather specific crochet niches, I’m afraid that only very few of us could actually share their work (although we’d all love to see a little freeform or yarn bombing, right?). Maybe one day…
UC: What are your favorite types of crochet projects to make?
Barbara: Oh my, I’m already bored with my answer: blankets and potholders :). On the other hand: who could ever be bored with blankets and potholders? (UC comment: So true! Check out the beauties in the Crochet Boulevard Blanket link party here.)
Barbara’s double-ended crochet, reversible Magic Blanket is one of my favorite projects from made in k-town. Click the picture to see all of her Magic Blanket posts.
UC: What are your favorite websites for crochet-related content and community?
Barbara: Although there are lots of crochet websites I’ve bookmarked for further investigation, it always comes down to two: Pinterest and Ravelry. Pinterest is my daily crochet inspiration and my favorite resource for general browsing. I’m following lots of crochet boards there, and everytime I visit Pinterest, there’s always something new to discover and re-pin. When I’m looking for something specific, I rely on Ravelry. They’ve got a huge database, and so far I was always lucky to find exactly what I was looking for.
Thanks so much for stopping by for an interview, Barbara, and for creating and maintaining my favorite crochet link party!