Book Review: Crochet Stitches Visual Encyclopedia

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I was very excited when I received my review copy of Crochet Stitches VISUAL Encyclopedia: 300 Stitch Patterns, Edgings, and More by Robyn Chachula from Wiley. Robyn is a structural engineer by training and is known for using stitch symbols with her designs.  I’m a stitch guide junkie (see my reviews of 20+ crochet stitch guides in my collection here), and had really high expectations of this Encyclopedia.  I fully expected the book to include the stitch symbols Robyn is known for as well as the detailed photos that you always find in books published by Wiley’s VISUAL imprint.  My excitement about the book kept building during the 14 stop blog tour which ended last week.

Summary

The Encyclopedia is organized into nine chapters, which are further subdivided into different types of stitches:

  • Chapter 1: Simple Stitch Patterns includes Slip Stitch Patterns, Single Crochet Patterns, Half Double Crochet Patterns, Double Crochet Patterns, Treble Crochet Patterns, and Combined Stitch Patterns,
  • Chapter 2: Textured Stitch Patterns includes Simple Texture Patterns, Bobble Texture Patterns, and Cable Stitch Patterns,
  • Chapter 3: Lace Stitch Patterns includes Chain Space Stitch Patterns, Shell Stitch Patterns, Cluster Stitch Patterns, Wave Stitch Patterns, and Pineapple Stitch Patterns,
  • Chapter 4: Unique Lace Stitch Patterns includes Filet Stitch Patterns, Short Row Stitch Patterns, Brussels Stitch Patterns, Loop Stitch Patterns, and Partial Motif Stitch Patterns,
  • Chapter 5: Colorwork Stitch Patterns includes Mosaic Stitch Patterns, Embroidery Stitch Patterns, and Charted Color Stitch Patterns,
  • Chapter 6: Tunisian Stitch Patterns includes Simple Stitch Patterns, Textured Stitch Patterns, Lace Stitch Patterns, and Color Stitch Patterns,
  • Chapter 7: Square and Hexagonal Granny Squares includes Classic Granny Squares, Hexagon Motifs, and Lacy Motifs,
  • Chapter 8: Flower, Snowflake, and Joining Motifs includes Flower Motifs, Circular Motifs, Snowflake Motifs, and Joining Motifs, and
  • Chapter 9: Edgings includes Simple Edgings, Shell Edgings, and Special Edgings.

There is also an Appendix which includes a key to the standard crochet pattern abbreviations and symbols, and written descriptions of different standard stitches.

What I liked about the book

  • Each stitch includes both pattern abbreviations and stitch symbols.
  • Robyn made an effort to include stitches that are less common in U.S. crochet stitch guides, including Brussels (Bruges) stitches, Tunisian crochet, and joining motifs.  If you are interested in one of these techniques, there are stitches here that you are unlikely to already have in your collection.
  • There is a close-up picture of the swatch for each stitch.  The swatches are made using a variety of yarn colors, which makes the book “eye candy.”
  • The book is highly organized, making it easy to find a stitch you liked again after closing the book.
  • The book is a hardcover.  This is great because stitch guides tend to see a lot of wear, so it makes the book more durable.  It also makes it easier to hold the book open while you are crocheting.

What I didn’t like (or what’s missing)

  • There are no photo or illustrated tutorials in this book.  I was quite surprised by this, especially since Wiley’s VISUAL imprint is known for great step-by-step photos.  Most stitch guides I own include a small section with illustrations or photos of forming the basic stitches and/or less common techniques (e.g., Tunisian crochet, working in the round, etc.).  This means that you essentially can’t use this book unless you already know all of the basic stitch techniques, are quite adventurous and don’t mind many stitch failures, or you have the ability to learn from written technique descriptions.  Alternatively, you could use other sources to find out how to do Tunisian crochet, for example, and then come back to this book for stitches – but that means this book isn’t a “one stop shop” of stitches.
  • I find Robyn’s way of describing some of the less common stitches confusing.  This is probably not her fault, but due to the fact that there isn’t a common language for these stitches.  For example, I worked on a swatch using a Brussels crochet stitch for yesterday’s post, and had to rework it several times before the meaning was clear.  I think if there was a small tutorial (see point above) introducing new techniques, these stitches would be much easier to follow.
  • It is not always clear where the hook is inserted from the stitch symbols.  I use several Japanese stitch guides, and I am fairly comfortable with stitch symbols.  However, at times the stitch symbols in this book are sort of floating and it isn’t clear if the stitches are worked into the previous row or a space between stitches.  I think using a larger size for the stitch symbols would help.  In many cases, there was a lot of “white space” on the page, so a larger size for the symbols would have been possible.
  • The stitch symbols don’t have a “start” and “end” symbol.  This is challenging in some sections with more complicated symbol charts since every row isn’t numbered during a pattern repeat.

Overall rating

In some ways, I held this book to a higher standard than most stitch guides based on the author and the publisher.  My expectations weren’t entirely met.  In particular, I was disappointed by the lack of tutorials/illustrations and the issues described above with the stitch symbols.  I think a newbie to stitch symbols would find this book very challenging.

On the other hand, the book is beautiful to look at and has a very thorough approach to a range of stitches.  I was pleased to see many new (to me) stitches, and I own more than 20 stitch guides!  If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I usually host a giveaway for my review copy when it is provided by the publisher.  In this case, I’m keeping it – so I was generally pleased with the book obviously.

I think an intermediate through advanced crocheter would love this book for the design possibilities.  A beginner through intermediate crocheter, or a stitch symbol or pattern reading newbie, would probably find this book much more challenging than the other comprehensive stitch guides on the market.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Full disclosure: A free review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. Although I accept free books for review, I do not accept additional compensation from the publisher, nor do I guarantee a positive review.  My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions. This also post contains affiliate links. You can read my affiliate and review disclosures here.

Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class – Bruges crochet

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This post is part of my Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crocheters series. To read more posts in this series, click here.

I decided to take stock of how my project of blogging my way through Crochet Master Class is going.  There are 18 chapters and crochet masters in the book, and so far, I have done:

Today, I’m working on Bruges crochet with Tatyana Mirer, which will bring me about 1/3 of the way through the book.

I was inspired to choose this chapter because I recently received a review copy from Wiley of Robyn Chacula‘s Crochet Stitches VISUAL Encyclopedia and I wanted to work up some swatches as part of my review.  Since the book has an entire section on Bruges crochet (called Brussels stitches in the Encyclopedia), it seemed like a good choice.

An unblocked swatch of the Annaleise stitch from the Encyclopedia.

I used the Bitsy Knits yarn, Bitsy’s Sock in colorway Quite a Party, that I picked up at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival in September.

Quite a Party, at the front, is one of the skeins I bought to match my coat.

It turns out that once I wound the skein, Quite a Party is much more like a pastel baby yarn than I thought it would be.  I don’t think I will use it for a winter accessory for myself, so now it is a yarn looking for a project.

I teach an ongoing crochet class at DC 37 on Saturdays, and several of my students are interested in learning Bruges lace.  Now that I have successfully worked through a swatch, I can walk them through it, too.

For more Year of Projects posts, visit When Did I Become a Knitter.

Interview with Lisa Bogart, review of Knit with Love, and giveaway

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Today, I’m interviewing Lisa Bogart, my virtual friend.  I met Lisa on Ravelry and we have since helped each other establish our Rav groups and chatted about knitting and other projects.  I will be reviewing her new book and offering a giveaway of my review copy, so read on for details!

Interview

Lisa is a Midwestern native who now lives in California.  In 2010, she was selected to attend the Guideposts Writers Workshop in Rye, NY, and her second book, Knit with Love: Stories to Warm a Knitter’s Heart was recently published by Revell.  Lisa also works at Piedmont Yarn and Apparel two days a week.  Lisa can be found at her website or in her Ravelry group, Knit with Love.  She is currently coming to the end of her book tour, and will be at Debbie Macomber‘s A Good Yarn Shop on Thursday, November 10.  (For more details on the book tour, check out the News & Events page on Lisa’s website.)

Lisa Bogart, excited about barbecue during her book tour.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first get started knitting?

Lisa: I learned to knit when I was 13. There was a class at the local library. But like many teens, the skill didn’t stick. Then I knit my son a little cardigan when he was born, 18 years ago. But I really didn’t pick up knitting again until about 10 years ago when I read an article in Guideposts magazine about their Knit For Kids Program. It has become my charity of choice. Their pattern is so simple it lends itself to creativity. Because I am not trying to fit a particular child, I can play with color and stitch patterns. I know there is a child out there that is a perfect match.

UC: What type of projects are your favorites to knit?

Lisa: I have knit a fair number of large sweater projects. But lately I like quicker things where I can see progress. So I’ve been making a lot of socks. My son stated school at Boston University and my California boy needed a lot of woolie socks. But the pendulum is swinging back.  I’ve been looking at sweater patterns again. I’m itching to take on a challenge.

UC: Your latest book, Knit with Love: Stories to Warm a Knitter’s Heart, was just released. What was the original inspiration for this book? What was the writing/development process like?

Lisa: I really enjoyed reading Betty Christensen’s book, Knitting for Peace: Make the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time. The best part was learning the stories behind all kinds of knit charities. I began to wonder if there were local stories like that. So I started digging. I looked on the internet. I asked friends and customers at the LYS where I work. And discovered all kinds of great stories. It was a delight to talk to so many different new fiber friends and write about their knit adventures. My current book tour has given me the opportunity to meet even more knitters and I am still collecting stories. A second book is in the works.

Lisa with Susan Mock from the Stitchin Den in Estes Park, CO.

UC: What is your favorite knitting book in your collection (besides your own, of course)?

Lisa: I actually have a section in my book devoted to titles from my knit library. It’s so hard to narrow it down. For color inspiration, I love to look at Kaffe Fassett’s Family Album: Kniting for Children and Adults. For stitch inspiration, I like the Field Guide to Knitting by Jackie Pawlowski. And a recent fiction favorite was Casting Off by Nicole R. Dickson. I have a soft spot for knit books and my library grows almost as fast as my stash.

UC: Do you have any favorite craft/writing/creativity websites or blogs to share?

Lisa: My go-to knit site is Ravelry. I love the community. I am beginning to venture further into cyberspace but it’s with suggestions from Ravelry. For example, I just discovered the podcast Cast-On with Brenda Dayne. So, I’m listening to all the old episodes as I am traveling.

UC: Your book tour is bringing you to yarn shops around the country. How did you choose these particular shops to work with?

Lisa: My tour was done a shoestring budget. I mapped out places where I could stay for free with family and then drew a 50 mile circle around each stop. Then I contacted shops in the circle. I started in Colorado staying with my mom and then moved to Minnesota to stay with my cousin. I’ll end the tour in New Jersey at my sister’s house. And along the way I managed to squeeze in Parents Weekend at BU so I get to see my son. All this plus yarn and new knitting friends? It’s been a great trip!

Lisa with a Culver KnitWhit.

UC: Tell us about how your book tour is going so far, and about your project with Warm Up America.

Lisa: The Warm Up America blanket project got a slow start but picked up a full head of steam when I visited the Culver KnitWits in Coon Rapids, MN and they contributed 58 squares! They are a very active charity knitting group. I have a lot of seaming to do now but it is a delight to connect knitters from California to Minnesota.  I will probably have enough squares for two blankets (each takes 63 squares) by the end of the tour. I hope to get the blankets seamed for the last stop on the tour November 10. I’ll be at Debbie Macomber’s A Good Yarn Shop in Port Orchard, WA. I’m really looking forward to signing the book with Debbie.

The tour has gone very well.  No travel glitches unless you count trying to get on a plane for Tulsa when I was suppose to go to Minneapolis. Southwest caught my mistake right away and pointed me the right direction. I’d love to do it again and expand the list of shops. Of course I may need an assistant to help me! I’ll bet I could get a few volunteers though. What knitter would not want to join me on a national yarn crawl?

Warm Up America blocks by the Culver KnitWhits.

UC: Thanks, Lisa, for stopping by!  We wish you a lot of success with your new book and look forward to seeing the next one.

Book Review

I don’t generally read heart-warming, inspirational books along the lines of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and while I consider myself a spiritual person, I’m not affiliated with a particular religion, so I wasn’t quite sure how I would respond to Knit with Love: Stories to Warm a Knitter’s Heart. I grew up with an unusual, multi-faith background, and often feel excluded by or uncomfortable with faith-based authors.  Lisa has a really warm and inviting personality, though, so I really wanted to give her book a try, and requested a review copy from Revell Books to accompany this interview.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book.  It is a quick read – I was able to finish it over the course of about 2-3 days of commuting time.  Each chapter is organized around a theme which is metaphorically linked to knitting.  (For example, Chapter 3: Knit Two Together, is about friendship.)  I enjoyed reading the stories about how knitting brought together communities, helped individuals through difficult times, and how knitting charities started.  There were also some interesting tidbits about charity knitting in history.  The book definitely has some tearjerker stories, and I confess that I did have “something in my eye” a few times on the subway ride.  Lisa’s writing style is very casual and when reading you feel as though you are having a conversation with her.  Towards the end of the book, she provides some tips for knitters and shares her favorite books and websites.

The beginning chapters are definitely geared towards a Christian audience in terms of the language used.  However, Lisa addresses this exact issue in Chapter 2.

If you tell a new knitter to knit two together, yarn over, you will get a blank stare.  The same barrier goes up if you launch into apologetics with someone who doesn’t speak Christianese.  And even worse, they may tune you out immediately.  “The Lord told me…”  Suddenly, there’s a blank stare.  If you want to help a new knitter get more comfortable with the lingo, explain as you go and show, don’t tell.  Speak an inclusive language.  If you want to share your faith, speak plainly the language of love.

I didn’t find the language after that point to be very exclusive, but some readers might be uncomfortable with the Christian emphasis of the book.  From time to time, Lisa quotes Biblical verses that relate to service, charity, and love.

The book would be a nice gift for a Christian knitter and a great read for someone who enjoys inspirational books.  It would probably be an awkward gift for most atheists or non-Christians, though some would certainly be willing to read through the first few chapters to arrive at the more inclusive language.  It is lightweight and portable, and is a great read for a train or bus commute, or while waiting.  I would give it 4 out of 5 stars for Christian knitters, the target audience.

Full disclosure: A free review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. Although I accept free books for review, I do not accept additional compensation from the publisher, nor do I guarantee a positive review.  My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions. This also post contains affiliate links. You can read my affiliate and review disclosures here.

Giveaway

I’m giving away my review copy of Knit with Love: Stories to Warm a Knitter’s Heart, courtesy of Revell Books.

Interview with Susan Huxley, organizer of Chase the Chill, the Original

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Susan Huxley is an accomplished needlecrafts author who first came to my attention when I checked out her book, Today’s Crochet: Sweaters from the Crochet Guild of America, from the library a few years ago.  (And, no, I didn’t get around to making a sweater from it before I had to return it.)  I had the pleasure of meeting Susan virtually through the Crochet Guild of America‘s Yahoo group for Professional and Associate Professional members.  Susan is an active member of the Arts Community of Easton, and is involved with many fiber arts events.  I was so “hooked” on her Chase the Chill: The Original project that I asked to interview her here on my blog.

For those of you in the Easton, Pennsylvania area, you can get involved with Chase the Chill on Saturday, November 5.  Read on for details!

Susan Huxley’s plarn gown at the CGOA Fashion Show, 2010. (Photo by Nancy Smith.)

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first get started crocheting?
Susan: I was wielding a hook when I was knee-high to a grasshopper. There isn’t a time in my life when I wasn’t exposed to knitting, crocheting, sewing, and other crafts. My grandmother was at home crocheting when this little bundle came home from the hospital. When my military-sailor father went to sea we lived with “Nannie.” And thus began my stitching education. It continued when I lived with her full-time until I was 12. By then I was more than capable of initiating and stitching on my own, and had plenty of craft magazines close at hand to teach myself interesting new things. That’s how I learned circular work on double-pointed knitting needles, for a stuffed octopus toy. Nannie had me make several more to grace the back of her living room sofa.

My first distinct memory of a crocheted project was “The World’s Longest Crochet Chain,” worked as the family drove across Canada, from an island off the West Coast mainland to the new place Dad was stationed in Halifax.

UC: When/why did you decide to merge your love of crafting with writing and publishing?
Susan: It was accidental…and inevitable. First, I was a truck driver, only crocheting or embroidering while waiting to load. Yes, 18-wheels. After establishing my fallback job skills, I took up clothing and textiles in the Home Economics program at the University of Alberta. A sudden move to central Canada put the kibosh on that career path. Shortly before the move, my English prof offered me a position in the Honors program. I couldn’t find a home ec program in Toronto, but her offer inspired me to move in new directions. I was accepted into the English program at York University and the Journalism program at Ryerson. The Ontario College of Art rejected me. I chose the Journalism program as more practical, and after a year had quit to work full-time as a reporter on a community paper. Then I freelanced for the national newspaper The Globe and Mail. And starved.

Answering an ad for assistant editor of a craft magazine put food on the table. I loved the work. Within weeks of my start date, the editor quit. I didn’t realize that slapping my resume on the editorial director’s desk and asking for the job was ballsy. He continued to interview others. I think I was eventually given the job because no one else would work at the offered salary. So, at 28, I was responsible for the editorial content of a national, glossy, subscription-based craft magazine.

Susan at Easton Sheep to Shawl, 2010. (Photo by Robin Phelps.)

UC: How did you get started teaching crochet?
Susan: At Rodale Inc., I was a senior editor on the sewing book team. (Note the jump from magazines to books…and the change of countries. Risk doesn’t scare me…being hungry does.) I discovered that promoting books I worked on won me brownie points. I didn’t actively pursue teaching gigs, but when they were requested, I didn’t turn them down. The sessions were popular with guilds and stores since I didn’t charge. These teaching sessions naturally progressed into crochet as I took on other craft titles.

I wasn’t afraid to stand in front of a crowd, thanks to competitive Highland (Scottish) dancing and a public school teacher who steered me into the debate club when I was in grade 8. I have some public speaking and debate awards to my name, including a provincial (the US equivalent of a state) title. Being a military brat also played a role since I moved enough to learn to come out of my shell in order to make friends quickly.

As an editor I spent a lot of time attending conferences in various craft categories to hunt down new book ideas and authors. This taught me a lot about good teaching, although I’m not there yet and continue learning how to be a better educator.

UC: Has teaching crochet impacted your personal crafting?
Susan: Absolutely. Even if I pick up a hook and start to stitch for the pleasure of feeling the yarn slide through my fingers—or to learn a new stitch pattern—it isn’t long before the laptop is open and I’m jotting down what I’m doing or ideas on how it can be applied to a project, pattern, or piece of art.

Recording what I’m doing is important because anything a student sees could turn into a request for instructions and further guidance. Rather than trying to recreate the work, it’s easier to write as I stitch. Of course, only a week ago a friend, Robin, asked me to show her how to make a very specific type of mobius, and I fumbled around while trying to remember what I did because I didn’t have access to the notes on my computer. I don’t like wasting a student’s time like that.

Chase the Chill, 2010. (Photo by Robin Phelps.)

UC: You organize Chase the Chill, “an annual happening with a cause.”  How did this event start and what was the motivation behind combining public art, charity, and yarn bombing together?
Susan: I blame my friends, the core group of the Saturday Stitchers of Easton: Robin Phelps, Elinor Levy, and Bonny Peters. And my artist friends. And the shelter down the street.

Safe Harbor has beds for the homeless, a meal program, and counseling. First thing in the morning and at other specific times throughout the day, there’s a steady stream of people who live in nearby inexpensive rooms and apartments—and homeless people—walking down the street where I live, heading over to the shelter to eat. In the winter, some aren’t dressed for the cold. It’s heartbreaking. I’ve bought coats and boots for a few, but that doesn’t have much of an impact.

I wanted to do more. Something that allowed people the freedom of personal choice and the dignity that comes from not having to qualify for aid or be exposed to sometimes well-meaning but smug donators.

Around the same time that these thoughts were bouncing around, I was enjoying weekly stitching sessions with a group of gals. I was kicking around ways to free them from the tyranny (VBG) of the pattern, stop beating themselves up over mistakes, and think of stitching as an art form. I also wanted to encourage others to look beyond their own lives and embrace random acts of kindness. And, finally, I had been cold sheep for a couple of years and was sick of looking at my huge yarn stash. It was time for a stash-down by working up as much yarn as I could.

At the same time yarn bombing images were starting to pop up everywhere online.

One day, all of the above ideas managed to be in the same spot of my brain at the same time. There was a grand collision and Chase the Chill was born. That’s often the way things are with me…they surface as a full-blown idea. Or, in the case of an art piece, as a visual of the finished work.

Scarf bombing works because anyone can claim a scarf without any qualifiers. Do some go to people who can afford to buy their own? Of course. Are some distributors helping themselves to scarves made for others? Probably. Are some low-income people taking more than their share? It doesn’t matter. Who “deserves” a scarf? Does a person have to “look poor to receive a gift?”

Interesting exercise, isn’t it?

The whole idea is to have fun putting the scarves out there and inviting people, via a hang tag that says you can take it. Like a Happening in the 60s, the bombing takes on a life of its own. The only rules are no placement on private property without permission, covering signs or working parts of parking meters, or around trees.

UC: How can people get involved with Chase the Chill?
Susan:

  • Donate yarn: Synthetic is best because it’s easy-care for the recipients. That said, the Saturday Stitchers continue to go overboard, creating many exquisitely stitched scarves in the most luxurious yarns. A couple of last year’s distributors told me how satisfying it was to see the thrill on someone’s face upon discovering a real treasure. So special yarns can’t be ruled out.
  • Donate scarves: Last year we had close to 80. I’m pretty sure we’ve topped our goal of 250 for this year, in great part because The Comfort Zone in Phillipsburg, NJ, has been so prolific. I take a photo of every scarf received. Every contributor gets a photo folder attached to the Facebook page Chase the Chill, the Original. And I post the pics, one at a time, to my Facebook page.   Ship to 67 N 4th St., Easton, PA 18042.
  • Start your own local Chase the Chill. I’ll help any way I can.
  • Donate a few dollars to Safe Harbor Easton: It has a Paypal button. Funding has been cut dramatically recently.
Chase the Chill, 2010. (Photo by Robin Phelps.)

UC: Where do you find your creative inspiration?
Susan: A better question for me might be “Where don’t I find inspiration?” It’s everywhere. I love looking at fashion and art on the Internet. And listening to Easton artists talk about their work. Lately, though, I’m drawing inspiration from people. Just this past week I was chatting with a wonderfully experienced stitcher and spinner. Gaye and I were comparing yarn holding/tension techniques. She said she’d love to make a study of this. I’ve built on this comment and now have a new project in the works for 2012.

UC: You seem to be multi-craftual.  What is your favorite “go to” craft when you have time for personal projects?
Susan: I go through phases. I’m also obsessive. I latch onto, say, crocheting with plastic bags. And that’s all I do during my spare time for a year. When I’m working on something my minds wanders to other ways I can work with the same material/technique/concept. Then I wake up one day, decide I’m bored, and move on to something else. My top two craft loves, though, are crocheting and garment sewing. Knitting is third. Quilting isn’t even on this list, although I’m still obsessing about piecing old clothing into new garments these days. I can feel the passion waning, though.

Chase the Chill, 2010. (Photo by Robert Gerheart.)

UC: What are your favorite crochet/craft blogs?
Susan: Do I have to pick one? I only allow myself an hour on Facebook and 30 minutes on the Internet every day, otherwise I’d be lost to the world. A whole new meaning to plug in and tune out.

My favorite art blog is Joanne Mattera Art Blog, which is about marketing every Monday, because the advice is often applicable to us professional stitchers who do fairs, submit teaching proposals, deal with clients, educate the public…

UC: What other projects are you working on right now?

Susan:

Chase the Chill, 2010. (Photo by Robert Gerheart.)

Thanks Susan for stopping by and sharing your projects with us.

If you have a chance to visit Easton for Chase the Chill on Saturday, November 5, you should!  (I won’t be able to attend since I’ll be teaching a beginner crochet class at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden.)

Yay, I survived my first Blogtoberfest! To find more blogs participating in Blogtoberfest 2011, visit Tinnie Girl.  For Blogtoberfest 2011 giveaways, visit Curly Pops.

Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class – Plaid progress

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This post is part of my Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class series.  You can find my other posts about woven crochet here and here.

I don’t have much to report on for my Year of Projects goals this week.  As much as it has been fun to be more active on my blog this month, I am very much looking forward to the end of Blogtoberfest, 2011!  I plan to take a few days off away from the blog, even though I have a few books to review.

Between all of the blogging, a busy season at work, and the secret swatching I’ve been doing for design submissions, I have only made a wee bit of progress on my plaid pillow project, started during my Tartans & Plaids class with Jenny King at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.

One panel is finished, but I still have to weave in the ends.
Thanks to my class with Jenny King, my plaid is woven evenly!

I’m still debating whether I should felt the finished project.  Opinions?

For more Year of Projects posts, visit When Did I Become a Knitter.

To find more blogs participating in Blogtoberfest 2011, visit Tinnie Girl.  For Blogtoberfest 2011 giveaways, visit Curly Pops.