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Monthly Archives: April 2011

2012 Special Olympics Scarf Project

Scarves I made for the 2011 project – all ready to go

I am excited to be able to pass on the news that the 2012 Special Olympics Scarf Project is getting started but also that they have announced the official colors.

*drum roll please*

NAVY and CHERRY RED

So it’s a blue and red kind of year!

If you are looking for more information on the project, do visit their website at http://www.scarvesforspecialolympics.org/

The website includes the color numbers as well as pictures of the yarn to be used.

Like last year, Red Heart brand yarn is to be used; however, there is additional news. Scarf  makers are not restricted to the Super Saver line only. This year you can use the colors from the Super Saver line or the Soft line of Red Heart yarn. I know I will be using the Red Heart Soft yarn simply because it is softer. It may be a little more expensive, but there is something to be said about cuddling up in a nice warm soft scarf.

I hope you take a moment to consider donating your time and efforts to making a scarf (or two or three or twenty) for our Special Olympians this upcoming year.

 

It’s a Guy Thing…. too

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to know that while the professional chef industry may be male dominated, crochet is definitely a girl thing – but does it have to be?

I was pleasantly surprised two weeks ago when I attended my first ever yarn group meet-up that a gent was at the end of the table, knitting away. I believe he was sitting next to his wife, but I am too new to the group to be making assumptions.

I was equally as thrilled a few days ago when my son asked me if I could show him crochet so he could craft at the yarn group too. I didn’t think anything of it as I got him started and showed him the half double crochet. (he chose camo yarn… no surprise there).

In the 30 years I have been crocheting, I must admit I have never noticed guys taking up the craft until the last few years, which I personally think is a great thing. Perhaps I didn’t notice because I really don’t view it as a “girls only club.” I may sound like an uneducated oaf to some when I say this: I think that each individual can offer a different perspective to various tasks, and I think that a person’s gender can influence his or her perspective. So having “guy eyes” and “girl eyes” on a project could possibly lend way to more creativity than we already have.

*waits for hate mail on the topic*

Anywhoozles – with all of that said, there is still a negative connotate when it comes to males who crochet or knit. Many times these guys are looked on as weaker or effeminate. To this, I say balogna-sauce! Ya know who else would say balogna-sauce?

Mike Rivera.

Who is Mike Rivera? Well, the sports fan would identify him as a 6′ 2″, 252 pound lineman for the Miami Dolphins who landed himself on the inactive list after getting injured.

However, if you ask the students at Hillcrest Elementary School, they would say he was their crochet instructor ‘Michael.’

Yup – tough man is a hooker too.

According to an article posted on ESPN, Rivera is using the NFL lockout time to crochet more. He learned to crochet when he took a trip to Guatamala, where a former classmate was teaching. Rivera is quoted as saying “people say ‘crochet, isn’t that something old ladies do?’ … Football is masculine and testosterone driven, but I think it shows you can do other things and be well rounded.”

People fight stereotypes every day, including myself; however, Rivera’s openness and willingness to teach children to crochet is tearing down the walls associated to crochet being ‘only for old ladies.’

According to the ESPN article, Rivera does not watch television or play video games. He spends an adequate amount of time volunteering in his community. He volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club and has recently starting teaching crochet. He is even considering opening a shop to sell his crocheted hats as a side project. From the article, it appears that Rivera is taking heed in knowing that he will not be able to play football his entire life. He wants to become a teacher when his football career ends –

Now, the ESPN article doesn’t say if he wants to teach crochet or teach in the traditional sense of the word – but either way, if crochet needed an ambassador to show males it is ok to crochet, I think Mr. Rivera is a good first round pick – or hook, as the case may be.

References:
ESPN Website – http://espn.go.com/espn/page2/index?id=6420424
Miami Dolphins Website – http://www.miamidolphins.com/content/mike-rivera

 

Crochet Content

Hello, everyone!

It has been a few since I updated my blog with anything and today will be no different. I don’t technically have an update, but I do have a question… perhaps more like an idea I’d like to run by you all.

I was just having a conversation with a co-worker via email about crochet. She brought up showing her three younger cousins how to crochet – and they are lefties. She said it was hard doing everything as a mirror image to what she was used to. She even said that later that night, she had to put her crochet down because she had confused herself with trying to show them how to crochet backwards.

So – is this the case? Is left-handed crochet only a mirror image of right-handed?

Obviously, from my videos, I am a right-handed crocheter, but my thoughts are this: if left-handed is nothing more than a mirror image, I could “flip” my current crochet videos and provide a right- and left- version of whatever I am demonstrating. I have the software to do it, I just never thought to do it before.

I know there are a few people on YouTube who already do this, – do you think it’s tasteless to “mimic” what they are doing just in my own videos? Obviously, I am building my own video library here, so it makes sense to just do it.

I’m just struggling with 1) is left-handed crochet truly a mirror image of right-handed and 2) is it tacky to just flip a video and 3) would I be a copy cat?

I’d appreciate your input on this.
Thanks!

 

Big Blue Bear; Big Blue Chain

I’m a yarn and crochet junkie. I am always looking for awesome new patterns and really cool techniques, but what a lot of folks do not do is look for crochet in the news. Granted, I don’t get to look everyday and sometimes, there just isn’t anything there. Today, I found some I wanted to share:

Ladies Fancywork Society Tags 42-ft Bear Statue

As it turns out, there is a HUGE bear statue outside the Denver, Colorado Convention Center. The bear is 42 feet tall and, oddly enough, is blue.  As you can see from the picture, it’s rather up close and personal to the Denver Convention Center.

So as it was, this group of crochet enthusients who call themselves the Ladies Fancywork Society have had a long-burning desire to ‘yarn bomb’ the bear…. and they succeeded!

This morning, on April 19th, around 4am, the ladies finished attaching an eight foot ball and chain to the blue bear.

A representative of the yarn artists stated that the ball and chain took 15 miles of yarn to make and was inscribed with the message “Slave to the Craft.” The same representative said it took approximately 20 minutes to set up.


The Denver Post was invited to cover the story in the short time that the bear was wearing his ball and chain.
Unfortunately, just before 7 am, the ball and chain had been removed by convention center workers.
Personally, I think this is am amazing display of art using yarn. It is a shame it was not left up longer for more people to enjoy the craft, the humor, and the sheer effort it took to pull of this ‘yarn bombing’

Brava to the Ladies Fancywork Society!

Thank you to Google for allowing me to search for photos on this – most likely taken by the Denver Post.
 

[Video] Simple Chain-Slip Stitch Edge

This video tutorial helps you create a simple edging using the chain and slip stitch.

 

[Video] Stitch: Reverse Single Crochet (rev sc)

This video illustrates how to complete the reverse single crochet as an edging.

 

[Video] Double Crochet/Slip Stitch Edging

This video walks you through making a double crochet-slip stitch edging.

 

At Last – Crochet Comradery

Comradery is not something I had every experienced before when it came to my crochet habit. As a small girl, crocheting, or any fiber craft, was not exactly something people were lining up to do. I had a unique advantage in that my family participated in Civil War Re-enactments; however, while that would have been a prime opportunity to craft with others older, but crafters nonetheless, I spent my time running around riding horses, playing powder monkey to my dad’s cannon crew, and gambling with my fake confederate dollars.

Fast forward to college…. mmm perhaps a little more.

As an adult I have crocheted but mostly at night and on my own. A few times I had looked for a group of fiber artists and never had any luck. I conceded that if I wanted to be in a group, I’d have to create one and most likely be in it by myself for a rather long time… and I was already doing that in my living room.

I have been a member of Ravelry for a while now; however, I must admit that I did not use the groups and forums as much as I could have/should have/do now. I happened upon a group that has weekly meet ups at a local store.

Needless to say, I am very excited to say that I went to my very first fiber artists meetup last night.

I was a little worried at first that it would be awkward considering I knew no one and that I had my children in tow. Granted, my daughter chose to take her loom knitting with her and my son was obligated to finish his homework quietly. While I felt a bit awkward as I approached the table, it only took a couple warm smiles and an offer to draw up a chair to break the ice.

It was a great night. I had a wonderful time and truly enjoyed meeting all the ladies and the gentleman. (and I got 4 rows done on the super-secret mother’s day gift).

I do think this is going to be a healthy step forward with my crochet. One thing I have lost as an adult is having people to go to when I’m in a lurch or to learn about new stitches or patterns. I’m excited to be able to have people to bounce ideas off of and get direction from. As a child I had my mother and grandmother and other people in the family that crafted. As an adult, I don’t have that anymore… I have become that person to my children and other people looking to learn.

While I was hoping to see more crocheters than there were, I definitely will be going back.

 

WIP Wednesday

Ah – another Wednesday which means it is another list of things that I have yet to finish.

For the last couple weeks I have decided against going with my big list of things on the hook and only concentrate on talking about the primary item – the hot ticket item – the thing that needs to be finished first… which pretty much means that since deciding to do it this way, I’ve only talked about the basketweave baby blanket….. that is now finished.

So what is my hot ticket item, you may ask …. well, I can’t tell you.

You see, my mother reads my blog occassionally and with Mother’s Day looming, I am working on something special just for her. I cannot take a picture of it. I cannot type about what I’m doing or how much fun I’m having… or how fast it is working up and how I’m excited to see the look on her face when its done…

Nope – I can’t talk about any of that.



Now Playing: I Love This Yarn – Ivory Tweed
(sounds like a song and a band name hehehe)

I can tell you that for this project I went back to what I love most – my favorite acrylic yarn in one of my most favorite colors.

So since I cannot talk specifically about my project, how about I talk about starting new projects in general.

I personally like a feeling of accomplishment. I think even non-crafters can appreciate this feeling: a big project at work gets finished, painting the living room a brand new color, – anything really where you set out with a goal in mind and accomplish the goal in a relatively acceptable amount of time. What crafting does, for me anyway, is expidite that feeling and allow me to have that feeling as many times as I wish. I can have that feeling of accomplishment quickly if I hook out a set of coasters or take my time and really relish in the feeling after completing something large like an afghan.

So get somewhat back on track to starting a new project – there is something to be said of the feeling I get when the first loop is put on the hook, the first chain is completed – and from there I can see my work efforts grow until goal is achieved, the last tail is weaved in.

I think most of this stems from the idea I know someone, somewhere is going to enjoy the work. It took a long time for me to be comfortable with giving a handmade item as a gift – and in some cases, I still struggle. My crochet is not one of those areas (usually). When I am not making gifts, I crochet for charity, which I encourage everyone who can crochet to do. Something can be said for putting a smile on someone else’s face be it through a gift to a specific person or a box of scarves being given to people who genuinely need the warmth and knowledge that someone out there really cares.

I am glad to have started this project for my mother. I do think she will enjoy it and she will appreciate everything put into each stitch –

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If you are interested in reading what other people have on the hook/needle, visit Tami’s Amis link party for WIP Wednesday.

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As much as I hate to ask – do leave some feedback on the new comment system, even if you hate it. I want to make sure this is a community-friendly blog. I want to get to know folks :) It is hard to do that when we cannot freely reply to one another via comments.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2011 in My Projects

 

[Video] Stitches: Puff Stitch

The following video tutorial will show you how to do a basic puff stitch.