Tag Archives: ravelry

#Crochet #TipsTuesday: How To Find Great Yarn Stores on Your Next Trip

How to find great #yarn stores on your next trip | #TipsTuesday on Underground Crafter #crochet #knittingBack in March, I traveled to Atlanta for work. I got into town a bit early, so I had the chance to visit a local yarn shop, Needle Nook.

My haul from Atlanta. | How to find great #yarn stores on your next trip | #TipsTuesday on Underground Crafter #crochet #knitting

My haul from Atlanta.

My journey on public transportation from the hotel took a bit longer than I planned, but the woman was kind enough to let me in although the store had just closed. I discovered a beautiful regional yarn, Sprout by The Fiber Seed, and I also picked up a finger stitch counter. (The buttons are from the Tuesday Morning located in the same strip mall.) Outside of the shop, I started chatting with a local customer and she showed me some stunning projects she had just finished.


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This experience is just one of many great ones I’ve had while traveling, so in this post, I’m sharing 6 ways to find yarn stores while on vacation or trips for work.

Craftsy

But first, why visit yarn shops while you’re traveling?

Besides the fact that you can (almost) never have too much yarn? There are so many reasons to visit local yarn shops away from home, but here are some of my favorites.

  • You can discover yarns that aren’t available in your local area. Ask if the shop has a section for local or regional yarns, or if they have any exclusive colorways. Then you can get a souvenir while adding to your stash!
  • You can meet local crocheters and knitters. Locals can share suggestions that can help you with the rest of your trip, including advice on restaurants, attractions, or events.
  • You can visit neighborhoods you might have otherwise missed. Some yarn shops are off the beaten path for tourists, so you’ll get the chance to see parts of the area that wouldn’t have otherwise been on your itinerary.
  • You can contribute to the local economy. You can support the communities you travel to by shopping at small businesses.
  • You can have fun. Because it’s a yarn shop!
  • You can bring friends or spend time alone. If you’re shopping with other crocheters or knitters, a trip to a yarn shop can be a great bonding experience. If you need a break from your travel companions, you can tell them to enjoy their favorite hobbies while you check out local yarn shops.

Now that you’re convinced, here are 6 ways to find great yarn stores while traveling.

ILK 300x250b February 2016 BannersDo some research before leaving home

If you have the time, doing some research up front can help you plan your trip and give you a head start on making new friends. It can also help you separate the subpar yarn shops from the great ones so you don’t waste your time. Here are 4 ways you can do some research before you start your trip.

  • Ask in Facebook groups. If you’re in crochet or knitting groups on Facebook, mention that you’ll be traveling and ask members for suggestions for the best yarn shops in the area.
  • Find local Ravelry groups. Click on the groups tab and either search for the name of the place you’ll be visiting or browse local groups.

How to find great #yarn stores on your next trip | #TipsTuesday on Underground Crafter #crochet #knitting

Groups in large metropolitan areas may already have a list of suggestions posted, like this one posted in the New York City Knitters Ravelry group.

How to find great #yarn stores on your next trip | #TipsTuesday on Underground Crafter #crochet #knitting

If not, you can start a new thread asking for recommendations.

  • Use hashtags on Instagram or Twitter. If you’re active on Instagram or Twitter, ask about #yarn shops and be sure to use popular hashtags for place you’ll be visiting. You can also tag any locals you know already, or the local tourism office.
  • Ask your favorite crochet and knitting authors, bloggers, YouTubers, etc. If your favorites live in an area where you plan to visit, ask for recommendations. Some bloggers even have a list of favorite local yarn shops already, like my Visitor’s Guide to New York City Yarn Shops.

Keep in mind internet safety as you ask for suggestions. It’s probably not a good idea to announce to everyone on Facebook the exact dates when you won’t be home, but it’s probably alright to ask, “I’ll be in Salt Lake City in April. Do you have a favorite local yarn shops to recommend?”

If you don’t have time for research before your trip

Don’t despair if you got wrapped up in life before your trip. Once you get to your destination, here are two ways to get fast results.

  • Do a quick web search. Type “best yarn shops in DESTINATION” into your favorite search engine.
  • Use YarnPlaces. YarnPlaces is a website that helps you “find places and events related to knitting and crochet.” You can search for yarn shops, fiber farms, fiber mills, events, and more. You can learn more about YarnPlaces in this interview with its founder, Cindy. KnitMap and the Daily Knitter Yarn Shop Locator have similar search features.

For best results, click through to the store and call to verify the hours before you head over!

What are your favorite ways to discover new yarn shops when traveling?

Interview with crochet designer, Olivia Silva, and free crochet pattern roundup

Interview with Olivia Silva from Pitusas y Petetes and #crochet pattern roundup on Underground Crafter | #HispanicHeritageMonth #HHMI’m sharing the fourth interview in this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month series with Olivia Silva from Pitusas y Petetes. Olivia is a Galician crochet designer. I’ll also be including a roundup of my 5 favorite free crochet patterns from Olivia’s collection!

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Olivia can be found online on her website and blog, as well as on Etsy (where she sells patterns, purse frames, and yarn), Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Ravelry. All images are used with permission and are copyright Pitusas y Petetes. Please note this interview was translated from Spanish to English.

Little Lucas, free crochet pattern in English and Spanish with detailed progress photos by Pitusas y Petetes.

Little Lucas, free crochet pattern in English and Spanish with detailed progress photos by Pitusas y Petetes.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet and knit?

Olivia: During my childhood, I remember my mother was always teaching me the things she learned to do, specially crocheting, knitting and sewing.

I come from a modest family and I only had one doll to play with, so I made her clothes. I would make her pretty dresses with fabric and would knit and crochet her sweaters and hats… She was the prettiest and best dressed in the world. 😉

From there, I grew fond of any type of craft as I grew up. I’m a self-educated person and I’m in constant learning, and I have been adapting my knowledge and experience to contemporary designs.

Social CrochetingUC: What inspired you to start designing?

Olivia: It never occurred to me to make my own designs, I always took designs from the web, blogs, magazines… and, I would have millions of ideas in my head, until one day I started creating my own designs. By starting from the same base and modifying specific stitches, you can create a variety of original designs… You just have to be a Little creative and visualize what you want to do before doing it, aside from knowing many stitches.

I recommend to every person that starts doing crochet that they shouldn’t settle for the basic stitches, that they dare to experiment and create with more elaborate stitches. More possibilities will arise and from a simple design, they will be able to make something amazing.

Manta de Apego (Security Blanket), free crochet pattern in Spanish by Pitusas y Petetes.

Manta de Apego (Security Blanket), free crochet pattern in Spanish by Pitusas y Petetes.

UC: Although you have variety in your patterns, you definitely have a lot of coin purse patterns. What do you enjoy about designing coin purses?

Olivia: I started crafting simple purses and I would only change the color or the clasp. Little by little, I started combining new stitches, from simple ones to more elaborate ones, trying types of threads, and doing pretty decorations… From my notes, I went on to do my own graphics and I thought it would be a good idea to share my designs with others since there were no original designs in the internet. That’s how my presence on Etsy started. That’s where you can find the patterns. I also share some free designs on the blog, which I invite you to visit.

I feel very proud knowing that in some part of the world, someone is making a purse with one of my patterns.

ILC October 2015 squareUC: Do you plan to add knitting patterns in the future?

Olivia: Although I’m more focused in crochet, I really like knitting. For now, I haven’t got the time to make my own designs but, little by little I hope to be able to get more into this task and share it with my followers.

Right now I am immersed in my own amigurumi designs. It is one of my passions. Since I made the first one, it has been impossible for me to stop. I also translate patterns from other languages… I just love challenges. (*^^*)

Basic Coin Purse, free crochet pattern in Spanish with international stitch symbols by Pitusas y Petetes.

Basic Coin Purse, free crochet pattern in Spanish with international stitch symbols by Pitusas y Petetes.

UC: Most of your patterns are available in English and Spanish. What do you see as the benefits of writing bilingual patterns?

Olivia: I think it is amazing, I am Spanish and my level of English is kind of bad but it is not necessary to dominate it to be able to understand the explanations and graphics in another language.

Symbols are the same in both languages and abbreviations are very simple to understand, so it hasn’t been difficult for me to translate my patterns to English and, at the same time, other patterns from English to Spanish. And it has been a wise move since I have been able to reach the entire world thanks to this language. Otherwise it would’ve been impossible.

UC: Where do you find your creative inspiration?

Olivia: Inspiration is anywhere: old magazines, the streets, nature, even in dreams, yes! When I sleep I come up with a lot of things. 😉

Also pn blogs, Pinterest, and pn social networks there is a lot of inspiration, and in my favorite app, Instagram, where I have been able to find people that make amazing works.

Vintage Coin Purse, free crochet pattern in English and Spanish with international stitch symbols by Pitusas y Petetes.

Vintage Coin Purse, free crochet pattern in English and Spanish with international stitch symbols by Pitusas y Petetes.

UC: What was the crochet scene like in Galicia when you were growing up? How does that compare to the yarn crafts scene in Galicia today? Does your cultural background influence your crafting? If so, how?

Olivia: In the past, crochet was very simple. Housewives and grandmothers did it, and basically they made rugs, blankets, curtains, towel stitches, cloths, etc… it was all very basic for daily life use in any household.

Some time ago, they stopped doing this craft since it was seen as something from the past, it was related to traditions of village people, and it was even despised. Because of that, many young generations haven’t been lucky to learn this beautiful craft from their mothers or grandmothers.

Recently, it has been coming back into fashion. It’s even well looked upon that you know how to do these crafts, there are groups who share experiences, there are blogs and web pages about this topic, there is a great variety of products for crochet, and it grows more and more every day.

It is also true that thanks to technology many young people have become interested in learning crochet, and today you can find people crocheting in any geographical place… it’s amazing and it makes me very happy.

Crochet Bracelet, free crochet pattern in Spanish with photo tutorial and international stitch symbols by Pitusas y Petetes.

Crochet Bracelet, free crochet pattern in Spanish with photo tutorial and international stitch symbols by Pitusas y Petetes.

UC: Which is your favorite book in your crochet collection?

Olivia: I have to confess I don’t have a specific book about crochet. I know there are many good books about it, but I’ve already confirmed that there are others which are very bad and hard to understand (specially for beginners) and of very bad taste (with horrible designs I would never make myself).

However, I am a big crocheting magazine consumer; I have a great collection of both Spanish and Portuguese magazines.

For people who want to start in this world of crochet, this is a good way to start. They can learn to form the basics to more elaborate stitches, patterns are usually well explained, and also the price of the magazines is very affordable.

UC: Are there any Spanish- or English- language crochet/crafty blogs or websites you visit regularly for inspiration or community?

Olivia: There are very good and creative blogs in Spanish but I usually look over to foreign blogs, in any language, from Americans to Russians. There is much activity in this world. For that I really like to use Pinterest. From a photo, I start to look for information about it, where it comes from, whose is it, if it has a blog… and if the place seems interesting, I stay and become a faithful follower.

Another interesting site is Ravelry. It has all types of projects and you can interact with people that have your same interests. Etsy is also a great source of inspiration. There are amazing designers, and it’s also a great to collaborate with your designers so they continue to make great things. That’s one of my guilty pleasures every now and then. Instead of buying me two coffees, I buy a pattern and make a designer happy.

 

Thanks so much for stopping by, Olivia, and sharing your work with us! What’s your favorite pattern by Olivia? You can find the her designs on Etsy.

#FlashbackFriday Crochet Link Blast: Week 2: Softies

#FlashbackFriday crochet link blast by @ucrafter: softies

On Fridays, I share a link blast on Twitter and Facebook to get you excited about crocheting all weekend! Keeping with the #FlashbackFriday meme, I’m sharing patterns were first released at least 12 months ago.

Here’s an archive of this week’s crochet softies picks! All patterns and tutorials are free unless otherwise noted. All photos are copyright the respective designers and used with permission.

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Gift Pocket Bear, free crochet pattern by Marie Segares.

Gift Pocket Bear, free crochet pattern by Marie Segares.

Tessie Bear, free crochet pattern by Deborah Ziegler.

Tessie Bear, free crochet pattern by Deborah Ziegler.

Owlet Lovey, free crochet pattern by Jessie Rayot.

Owlet Lovey, free crochet pattern by Jessie Rayot.

Logan Baby Pig AmiPal, free crochet pattern by Mary Walker.

Logan Baby Pig AmiPal, free crochet pattern by Mary Walker.

Kaguya Hime Kokeshi Doll, free crochet pattern by The Sun and the Turtle.

Kaguya Hime Kokeshi Doll, free crochet pattern by The Sun and the Turtle.

Gema my kokeshi doll, free crochet pattern by Teresa Alvarez.

Gema my kokeshi doll, free crochet pattern by Teresa Alvarez.

Baby Duck, free crochet pattern by Corina Gray.

Baby Duck, free crochet pattern by Corina Gray.

Puppy Lovie, free crochet pattern by Sara Sach.

Puppy Lovie, free crochet pattern by Sara Sach.

Find more amigurumi books on Leisure Arts!

More Cute Little Animals Amy Gaines

Rainbow Rachael Doll, free crochet pattern by Beatrice Ryan Designs.

Rainbow Rachael Doll, free crochet pattern by Beatrice Ryan Designs.

Napolion Lion, free crochet pattern by Dedri Uys.

Napolion Lion, free crochet pattern by Dedri Uys.

Mike the Monster, free crochet pattern by Stacey Trock.

Mike the Monster, free crochet pattern by Stacey Trock.

Kelly's Teddy and Ball, free crochet pattern by Rebeckah Ferger.

Kelly’s Teddy and Ball, free crochet pattern by Rebeckah Ferger.

Easy Amigurumi Bunny, free crochet pattern by Sara Freisberg.

Easy Amigurumi Bunny, free crochet pattern by Sara Freisberg.

Dog Woobie, free crochet pattern by Posh Pooch Designs.

Dog Woobie, free crochet pattern by Posh Pooch Designs.

Baby Bunny, free crochet pattern by Celina Lane.

Baby Bunny, free crochet pattern by Celina Lane.

Design Your Own Monster Class, online crochet class on Craftsy!

Chenille Stuffed Easter Bunny, free crochet pattern by Kim Guzman.

Chenille Stuffed Easter Bunny, free crochet pattern by Kim Guzman.

Leonard & Lucy, free crochet pattern by Deborah Ziegler.

Leonard & Lucy, free crochet pattern by Deborah Ziegler.

I hope you enjoyed this roundup of free crochet softies patterns! If you like crochet lace, check out my Amigurumi – Crochet Pinterest board!

Follow Underground Crafter’s board Amigurumi – Crochet on Pinterest.