Archive for » February, 2014 «

Learn Crochet Techniques

I have been a crocheter for approx 37 years and I still learn new things on a constant basis about crochet. There are so many techniques that range from easy to difficult and are very worth giving a try. Do not ever give up trying to learn one, you always have me to ask or you can always post on the ravelry group Witchy Crocheters which is a wonderful resource because you will get different answers. Now this does not mean that there is a right or wrong answer, it just means basically that there is more than one way to use a crochet hook, hahahahaha. Once you start to expand your skills, you open up to the many possibilities that crochet has to offer. Sweaters, shaping, hats, socks, bikini’s, underwear, and more. So don’t give up, keep on trying and ask questions.

I do have a list of techniques that you may want to take a look at and of course if something isn’t on this list, just ask and it can certainly be posted on here.

Few Crochet Techniques

Category: crochet, patterns  Tags: , , , , ,  Comments off

Sylvia Cosh and James Walters

There are several crocheters out there that I like and admire but there are two that I idolize and yes it’s a good thing I do not live near because I would get the stalking charge. Sylvia Cosh and James Walters in my eyes are the best of the best in the crochet world. Sylvia Cosh sadly passed away from breast cancer and James Walters continues to bring the most delightful and beautiful techniques to crochet. To my knowledge, the books they have written are no longer being published but if you check List of Books Published you will find a complete list and yes I have them all. I continually refer and use “The Crochet Workshop” because it has how to do everything in crochet. If you ever happen to find a copy grab it because they are few and far between or if you do happen to look at online shops they can be quite pricey.

Although I never did get the priveledge to watch any of them, Sylvia and James did appear on public television with several how to’s and luckily you can now check it out here Workshops and download the many worksheets that are available. They are both the masters of Crochet and of course their wonderful tutorials on freeform, which is what first drew me to these two. Please do check around the rest of the website as there are many pictures and techniques that will certainly show you just how far you can take your crochet.

Category: book reviews, crochet, patterns  Tags: , , , , , ,  Comments off

Fairy Ring

This is a filet crochet Hexagon (6 sides) panel that you will crochet in the round starting from the center out. In order to accomplish this, it will help if you have a slight understanding of how to make a granny square, remember the corners ? Each time you came to a corner you had to place 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc in order for it to grow larger evenly.
This uses that same concept sort of :
1. On the chart when you see a white or open mesh square on the edge in the next ch 3 space you will ch 2, dc, ch 3, dc, ch 2.
2. On the chart when you see a dark/block or open mesh square on the edge in the next ch 3 space you will do 2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc.
If this is as clear as mud, not to worry, I have written out the first 5 rows so that it will make it much easier to understand. Let’s get started.
Materials: 1000 yds of size 10 crochet thread
Size 7 hook
Gauge 10 squares = 2.3 inches, 10 rows = 2.5 inches
Based on filet: solid block = 4 dc open mesh = dc ch 2 dc
Row 1: ch 6, join to form a ring. . Ch 3 (this will count as a dc ) dc 23 more times in ring, join with a slip stitch to the top of beginning ch 3.
Row 2(1st row of your chart): Ch 5 (this will count as a dc and a ch 2 )* skip 2 dc, dc in next dc, ch 3, dc in next dc, ch 2* Repeat from * to * 4 more times, skip 2 dc, dc in next dc, ch 3 join with a slip stitch to the 3 rd ch of beginning chain.
Important Notes: I do not like the way it looks when you have to slip stitch over so in order to avoid that, we will be starting the next row in the middle block of the chart. In order to keep track use your ch 3’s as a guide (these ch 3’s are in between each panel). See on the chart we have 3 open squares(or mesh) for each section, here is how we are going to do them.
Row 3: ch 5, *dc in next dc, ch 2. (dc, ch 3, dc) in next ch 3 space. Ch 2, dc in next dc, ch 2 *. Repeat from * to * 4 times. Ch 2, join to the 3 rd ch of beginning chain.
Row 4: ch 5, *dc in next dc, ch 2, dc in next dc. Ch 3, skip ch 3 space. Dc in next dc, ch 2 , dc in next dc, ch 2*. Repeat from * to * 3 times. Dc in next dc ch 2, dc in next dc.
Ch 3, skip next ch 3 space. Ch 2, join to the 3rd ch of beginning chain.
Row 5: ch 5, *(dc in next dc, ch 2) twice. (dc, ch 3, dc) in next ch 3 space. (Ch 2, dc in next dc) twice, ch 2 *. Repeat from * to * 3 times. (Ch 2, dc in next dc) twice, ch 2, (dc,ch 3, dc) in next ch 3 space. Ch 2, dc in dc, Ch 2, join to the 3rd ch of beginning chain.
Row 6: ch 3 (counts as a dc), (2 dc in next ch 2 space, dc in next dc) 2 times, *Ch 2, dc in next dc. Ch 3, skip next ch 3. Dc in next dc, ch 2, (dc in next dc, 2 dc in next ch 2 space) 3 times, dc in next dc. * Repeat from * to * 3 times. Ch 2, dc in next dc. Ch 3 skip next ch 3. Dc in next dc, 2 dc in next ch 2 space, join to 3rd chain of beginning ch.
From here just follow the chart, making sure to make your solid blocks solid, and your open mesh open.

Category: crochet  Tags: , , , ,  Comments off

Goddess Fall Decor

Size 10 thread Size 0 steel hook Row 1: ch 11, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 8 sc, 3 sc in next sc, working up other side of ch, sc in next 8 sc, ch 1 turn. Row 2: skip 1st sc, sc in next 8 sc, 3 sc in next sc, sc in next 7 sc, ch 1 turn. Row 3: skip 1st sc, sc in next 8 sc, 3 sc in next sc, sc in next 7 sc, ch 1 turn. Row 4: skip 1st sc, sc in next 8 sc, ch 18 ** Repeat rows 1 to 4 18 times. Finish off and hide ends.

Category: crochet, patterns  Tags: , , , , , ,  Comments off

Goddess Spring Decor

Spring will be coming soon so let’s get ready with our next goddess of all seasons decor. This is a great recycling project and since the “Decor” requires very little thread, it is a good way to use up some of your small bits and pieces of thread or yarn. Size 10 thread Size 0 steel hook Ch 9, join to form a ring Row 1: (ch 1, 2 sc, 1 hdc, 8 dc, 3 tr, 8 dc, 1 hdc, 2 sc) in ring Row 2: ch 16, sl st in 9th ch from hook to form a ring. ** Repeat rows 1 & 2 31 times, repeat row 1 once. Finish off and hide ends. You can drape these any way you want to. Add some beads or buttons to make your Goddess unique. We have one more pattern left in this series, Summer.

Category: crochet, patterns  Tags: , , , , ,  Comments off

Goddess Summer Decor

Summer isn’t far away so let’s get our Goddess ready for it. This is the last pattern in our Goddess Decor series. TAA DAA Summer !!!!

Size 10 thread Size 0 steel hook Ch 7, join to form a ring Row 1: *ch 3, (yo insert hook into ring, yo pull thru 2 loops) 3 times “proper stitch name is a 3 dc cluster “. ch 3, sc into ring *, repeat from * to * 4 times. Row 2: ch 14 sl st into 7th ch from hook. **Repeat rows 2 & 3 28 times, repeat row 2 once. Finish off and hide ends. Now your Goddess is ready for all seasons

Category: crochet, patterns  Tags: , , , , , ,  Comments off

Cleaning Up your Craft Room

If I wasn’t so embarrassed, I would of taken a picture of my craft room but instead I will just sort of explain it to you. Yarn everywhere, some things in the right place but very disorganized, things thrown in boxes, lots of totes with just about everything under the sun thrown in, well I think you get the picture. I am sure that more than likely my disorganization is the result of some deep rooted something or another BUT after all this time I decided to clean up. First I started with my 2 rather large legal size filing cabinets that were full of patterns. I went thru them and honestly (that is a very important thing when cleaning up and out) decided what would be going and what would be staying. The results were a 5 shelf book case of what I wanted to keep and the rest I took to my shop to sell. Once I cleared that hurdle, yes I procrastinated about another month before I got enough guts to attempt the actual craft room.

I played hooky one Saturday morning and hit the second hand stores before I opened up and there they were, my extra kick in my back side that I needed to “get r done”!!!! A 3 piece office set which consisted of one low piece with 9 smaller drawers, one piece with 5 short in height but long in width drawers, and one piece that has 2 drawers. I don’t really know if this was a bedroom set or an office set but anyways at $120.00 for all 3 pieces it was a win for me. I have my husband get them home and I purposely had them put into the family room, my reason, they would be in the way so I would HAVE to clean out my craft room in order for them to fit. Well that worked, I got busy on Sunday morning and stayed after it, again using honesty I cleaned, sorted, until I felt satisfied with it. Results are now I know exactly what I have, it is organized, and I feel like a ton of bricks have been lifted from me. Yes I am a little bit ashamed that I have accumulated that much stuff but the good thing is I got rid of what I HONESTLY (there is that word again) know that I will never use. From now on I will certainly think about a purchase instead of just grabbing it because it is craft related. Now hopefully this may inspire those of you that need it, to clean out your stash, books, or even yarn. Good Luck

Category: crochet, knit, machine knitting  Tags: , , , , , ,  Comments off

Goddess Winter Decor

Winter has certainly arrived and of course we need to dress our lovely crochet Goddess appropriately. I used Coats and Clarks metallic thread, but you can use just about any type of cotton thread. For a more dramatic effect,try using 1 strand of DMC metallic floss and 1 strand of size 10 thread held together. Size 10 thread Size 0 steel hook Row 1: ch 5 join to form a ring Row 2: (ch 14 sc in ring) 7 times Row 3: ch 15, sl st in 5th ch from hook to form a ring. **Repeat rows 2 & 3 19 times, repeat row 2 once. Finish off and hide ends.

Category: crochet  Tags: , , , , ,  Comments off

Do you Etsy or Artfire ?

As most of you already know, I own a yarn shop for the past year and a half, which has been one heck of a ride. Definitely a work in progress and recently I have decided that I would like to keep my foot in the water so to speak for making and selling things. Believe it or not I have not had the time to properly give Etsy or Art Fire a good look, I am a reader (want to make sure that everything is on the up and up) and recently I did read it all and have decided Etsy and Art Fire are a good start for me. Of course I do have several websites but as we all know that can take some time to get noticed. Now don’t get me wrong, I still think that having your own domain name and website is a worthwhile venture, if you take the time to learn how to put it up yourself (I will be doing a bit of that via the front page ), but for a quick fix Etsy and Art Fire are the good way to go.

Now let’s talk a little bit about Paypal, yes it’s true there is a bit of controversy about them but in the long run Paypal is they way to go. I plan on using them so that I can easily keep the sales I make separate from my yarn shop business. In my opinion most of the drawback about Paypal is how they will put a hold on your account if someone files a complaint so here are my suggestions: Continually keep your Paypal account up to date, when you get money in your account IMMEDIATELY request it to be put where you want it (you have a couple of choices like a check or direct deposit etc.) next it is so worth the $1.50 or whatever the Post Office charges for a signed delivery receipt, I plan on using that faithfully. This has been the biggest complaint I have heard about, customers either claiming not to have received the package (no I am not saying they are not telling the truth) or the package gets lost or who knows. Remember your package is usually one of maybe thousands, things can happen so again very well worth the $1.50 AND let’s just say maybe someone says they did not receive the package and you have proof they did then taa daa your Paypal account can more than likely skip that dreaded hold. To save on postage make good use of the Priority Mail flat rate boxes, this will certainly help keep your prices pretty uniform.

Last but not least, Customer Service. Bend over backwards for the customer, one good way is to think about what it would take to make yourself happy in a particular situation. Shooting off an email that says : Gee too bad you didn’t get your package not my problem call the Post Office : is not going to score you any points here. do everything in your power to get tracking on it so that if you had to you could certainly track that package and either get it back or have it properly delivered to it’s rightful owner. Offer a coupon for the trouble. Honestly giving someone a 10% coupon as an apology can go a long way and possibly make that person a good customer of yours for life. One last thing, Yes anyone in business has them, the hard to please customer. I realize (oh do I on so many levels) that you just can not make everyone happy. Sometimes it is best just to give the person a refund, get your merchandise back and move along. As you deal more and more with people, you will get really good at knowing when that “sometime” happens. Don’t take it as a failure on your part. As my late Dad use to tell me “Do everything possible and if it still doesn’t turn out, then you can walk away knowing you gave it your best”, for me those are good words to live by.

Category: crochet, knit, machine knitting, patterns  Tags: , , , , , ,  Comments off

Step It Up Crochet

Lately there has been quite a bit of controversy concerning crochet. Some feel that crochet is not getting “equal” treatment compared to all the knitting whopla that goes on. Yes I do knit but my first choice will always be crochet so I set out to sort of dig around and try to find out why this is happening and my thoughts on this are not carved in stone, it is just my opinion and what I feel all crocheters can do to sort of get crochet on level ground.

For ages there has been this myth that crocheters are cheap and will only buy acrylic yarn, “POOF” not true. As the owner of the only yarn shop in my town and I cater to more crocheters than knitters, this simply is not true. Crocheters are not cheap and they certainly do buy plenty of wool,alpaca, sock yarn, and they buy it, I don’t give it to them. It all depends on what they are making, I mean we all make dishcloths and there is no way anyone should buy cashmere to make something that you will be washing your dishes with. Ok let’s talk about Afghans, yea this may be why the “cheap” label got thrown out there. Well I am here to tell you that weather you are knitting or crocheting an afghan it can get pricey and you bet your best crochet hook, you want to go the cheapest route possible AND knitters do this as well. It’s alot of yarn and no one in “my circle” wants to shell out $350.00 to make one, not even a knitter.

WHEW, got that out finally. Now in defense of some of the whopla and rumors about crochet I do highly agree that we do need to step it up. Razzle Dazzle it with patterns, show people what crochet can really do. Yes I do plan on taking my own advice and start turning out some “higher” end patterns, one’s that will make people stop in their tracks and say “I want that and I want to learn how to crochet so I can have that”. I do believe that knitting has sort of been a bully to crochet but I also believe that it’s time for crochet to stand up and get noticed. I don’t plan on whining or bombarding any yarn companies, I do plan on hitting them with Razzle Dazzle.

Category: crochet  Tags: , , , ,  Comments off