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).
Click here for the free pattern for the Recantgular Sampler Blanket.
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 below. 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.
Now I’m paying it forward by volunteering to write book reviews for the CGOA newsletter and blog, and by serving as a mentor to another designer.
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?”
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.
Click here for the Rectangular Sampler Blanket pattern!
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.
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!
March 1 Shelby Allaho
March 2 Ellen Gormley (interview) and Nancy Nehring
March 3 Phyllis Serbes and Mona Muhammad
March 4 Amy O’Neill Houck and Akua Hope
March 5 Mary Jane Hall and Lindsey Stephens (interview)
March 6 Edie Eckman and Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby
March 7 Jennifer Cirka and Annette Stewart
March 8 Andrea Graciarena and LeAnna Lyons
March 9 Dawn Cogger and Angela Whisnant
March 10 Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten and Renee Rodgers
March 11 Joy Prescott and Donna Childs
March 12 Pam Daley and Deb Burger
March 13 Tammy Hildebrand and Marty Miller
March 14 Jocelyn Sass and Jennifer E Ryan
March 15 Andee Graves and Kimberly McAlindin
March 16 Laurinda Reddig
March 17 Brenda Bourg and Susan Lowman for CGOA
March 18 Rhonda Davis and Tammy Hildebrand for CGOA
March 19 Julie Oparka and Cari Clement for CGOA
March 20 April Garwood and Mary Colucci for CGOA
March 21 Alaina Klug
March 22 Erin Boland and Jenny King
March 23 Margaret Hubert (interview) and Jane Rimmer for CGOA
March 24 Bonnie Barker and Marcy Smith for CGOA
March 25 Kim Guzman (interview) and Susan Huxley (interview)
March 26 Susan Lowman and Michele Maks
March 27 me! and Brenda Stratton
March 28 Kathy White and Lori Carlson
March 29 Amy Shelton (interview) and Donna Hulka
March 30 Linda Dean and Kristin Dragos
March 31 Karen CK Ballard and Gwen Blakley-Kinser (interview)
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