Book Review - Every Which Way Crochet Borders

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Title: Every Which Way Crochet Borders
Author: Edie Eckman
MSRP: $18.95 USD (Spiral bound) / $9.95 USD (Kindle)

Book review by Pia Thadani - Stitches'N'Scraps


You've found today's stop on the Crochet Borders Blog Tour! Be sure to check out some of the other reviews too.



This is Edie's 2nd book of border designs (you can find her first book here), and it's so inspiring to flip through! There are 139 stunning borders to spark your imagination. I'm a sucker for borders and edgings because the right one can really take a project to the next level. These aren't just for your crochet projects either - they can be used with knitting and fabric as well!


The book is available in two formats - spiral bound or Kindle edition. I love digital versions of books, because that way I don't feel guilty about crowding my limited bookshelf space. For a physical book, spiral bound is a great format for this kind of book, because the pages lie completely flat.

I found the organization of this book somewhat unique. It was almost 2 books in one. For the first 30 pages, it reads like a book about borders, not just a book of border patterns. This section is exceptionally well written, with a flow that encourages you to read it from start to finish rather than treating it as disparate reference entries. It explores choosing the right border, colors, and yarns to suit your project, as well as customizing your border. This is followed by tips for executing your chosen border successfully on a variety of different surfaces.



All this information helps a lot in choosing a border, which is good because there are so many beautiful borders to choose from! Simple to complex, subtle to show-stopping, chunky, lacy, fringy - you'll find them all here. There's a border directory at the back that's also quite helpful in choosing.


I can't wait to try some of these - how about you? Enter to win your own copy of Every Which Way Crochet Borders! This prize is generously provided by the publisher, Storey Publishing. To be eligible, you must be 18 years of age or older, with a valid, US shipping address. The winner will be contacted by email, and must reply to that email and provide the shipping address within 1 week in order to receive the prize. If the winner does not reply within 1 week, a new winner will be selected.

The giveaway ends on March 10th. Hurry and enter below! 

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Disclaimer: A free review copy of Every Which Way Crochet Borders was provided by Storey Publishing. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review.  My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions. All images of copyrighted material are used with permission.

9 (Mostly Free) Crochet Patterns Perfect for Spring

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I'm Marie from Underground Crafter. Each month during 2017, I'll be sharing a seasonal roundup of crochet patterns by some of the many talented designers who are members of the Crochet Guild of America.

This month's roundup features 9 (mostly free) patterns that are perfect for spring. The green in these projects is sure to delight (but, of course, you can choose your favorite colors for your own versions). All photos are used with permission of the respective designer or publisher. Enjoy!


Clockwise from upper left corner:





What are your favorite crochet projects for spring?

Getting To Know You - Pattie Aaron

Friday, January 27, 2017

Welcome to "Getting To Know You" on the blog. This is an opportunity for our members to share a little bit about themselves, and for us to learn more about each other and continue the family feel after leaving the annual conference. Although we may crochet by ourselves in our own homes, we are not alone in our love of crochet, and we have more in common than we realize. By sharing our experiences and knowledge, we will all learn something new about each other and the art of crochet! This month, enjoy getting to know...

Pattie Aaron






Location: Chicago Northwest Suburbs


How many years crocheting and how did you learn to crochet?:
I learned to crochet from my grandmother as a child, but did not work on it much then. After my 20's, a group of my friends and I decided to take a class from our local school.  I found that I loved working with yarn, but feared color changes so I stuck to solids for years.  Luckily, my fellow chapter members opened my eyes and now I can do all sorts of cool things that I never knew before.







Do you crochet with your left hand or right hand and how do you hold your hook?

I’m a righty knife thrower!



What is your favorite crochet hook?

I am a Susan Bates lover with a wooden handle, but will try others.  I have started using ERGO hooks to help with fatigue and pain.


What is your favorite yarn?: 

Acrylics are my fave – WW= 4.  Vanna’s Choice all the way.



What is your favorite crochet stitch?:

The hdc is the best for what I like to do so it has less holes.


Do you prefer a written pattern, a chart, or both?:I prefer a written pattern with everything spelled out and then I refer to the diagram for confirmation.  I usually write out the repeats and started counting the stitches in total for that row so I do not miss a stitch.  Too many mistakes has lead me here.



What is your favorite item to make?: 

Lots and Lots of cowls.  They make great gifts and keep me 

warm the fall and winter. Tote bags and purse galore.








This Mystery Afghan was a blast to make with the Crochet Crowd!  Our study group participated in this challenge.



How long have you been a CGOA member, and what is a fond memory from a CGOA Conference if you’ve attended one? 
I have enjoyed networking at the annual conferences in which I have been to four.  I love meeting my teachers and designers and enjoy everything they have to offer.  I get to ask them in person to teach at our chapter workshops or our annual retreat weekend. 
Each conference is unique, but each year is even better since you get too caught up with friends you only get to see at conference.  The design competition was spectacular this year especially since I volunteered my time to watch over the items for one shift.  I was able to see the items close up and encourage people to vote for the favorite.  That was a treat.
I cannot wait to see everyone new and old in my home turf this summer at Chain Link.  I look forward to seeing which classes will be offered and who will be honored at the events.

Do you belong to a local CGOA chapter in your area? 
Several years ago I joined my local chapter called Northern Illinois Chapter after I met a member at a local JoAnn’s store.  She was there to promote the chapter while stitching at a table in the yarn department.  She was so friendly and welcoming, I went to my first meeting the following month.  Our group has over 40 active members that come to regular monthly meetings, but in total we have about 65.  Each month we have a business meeting to discuss upcoming activities and event, plus we have a demo class that one of the members teaches.  I have been honored to be the chapter President for the past year.  We learn a great deal from each other.  We also go around the room for show and tell to show off our current or finished projects and tell about things we read in blogs or on-line patterns we enjoyed using.  When I found out all the cool things that this chapter does every month and every year, I was hooked (pun was intended!).   I have met wonderful women (and one man) in our group that have taught me so much that has increased my crochet knowledge and interest in new things.  The chapter also has a weekly study group that one of our members organizes to assist those in need of help and work on small projects together.  So much inspiration!


Any crochet tips that you would like to share?
Ask questions is my tip.  The best way to learn something or find information is by asking those in your group.





Thank you for sharing with us Pattie, it's been fun "getting to know you"!
Become a CGOA member today, click HERE to join.
Have a great day!
Carolyn

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Brought to you by blogger contributor:
Carolyn Calderon
If you would like to be a featured member, please contact her HERE.





9 (Mostly Free) Crochet Patterns Perfect for Valentine's Day

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I'm Marie from Underground Crafter and I'm excited to share a new monthly series of posts with you for 2017! Each month, I'll be sharing a seasonal roundup of crochet patterns by some of the many talented designers who are members of the Crochet Guild of America.

This month's roundup features 9 (mostly free) patterns that are perfect for Valentine's Day. All photos are used with permission of the respective designer or publisher. Enjoy!


Clockwise from upper left corner:

What are your favorite projects to make for Valentine's Day?




Book Review - Baby Shoes to Crochet

Monday, January 16, 2017

I was provided with a copy of Baby Shoes to Crochet for an honest review. All opinions are those of Jessie Rayot of Jessie At Home. This review contains affiliate links.

Baby Shoes to Crochet: Fashionable Styles for Little Feet by Lucia Forthmann is full of adorable baby shoes for everyday and special occasions!


No matter your style or the occasion, you will find something for you in this book. The patterns are all in 3 sizes, 0-3 months, 3-6 months, and 6-9 months.


The book starts with some sweet acknowledgements and an introduction. Right away, there are precious little line drawings that appear all over the book, making it that much cuter! Next is a very comprehensive section on crochet basics with written and photo instructions on everything from a chain, to basic stitches, increases, decreases, some of the special stitches in the book, and more!


Next is a list of abbreviations so you can properly use the book, and instructions for soles. I LOVE that most of the patterns in the book use the same sole pattern. They're shoes, why not use the same sole pattern? It just makes using the book so much easier! There are even stitch diagrams for the sole.


Next, of course, are the patterns for the shoes. Many of them are pictured with the adult versions of the shoe that inspired them. You will find everything from flats to sneakers, cowboy boots to work boots, ballet slippers to hippy boots, and more!


The patterns are simple enough for a strong beginner, but interesting enough to keep an advanced crocheter going. The instructions appear clear and easy to read. There are photos with each shoe, so you know what you are trying to accomplish. Over all, this is a great  book for someone looking to crochet some baby shoes. 


Baby Shoes to Crochet can be purchased from Search Press (HERE) or from Amazon (HERE). This book will make a great addition to your crochet library!

Would you like a copy of your own? Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win one! The Baby Shoes to Crochet giveaway is open to people with a valid USA shipping address who are 18 years old or older. The giveaway will end on 1/22/17 at the end of day Eastern time. A winner will be randomly chosen and notified by email. Winner will have one week to respond to the email with a valid USA shipping address, or a new winner will be chosen.
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Book Review - Designer Crochet Accessories

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Title: Designer Crochet Accessories
Author: Melissa Leapman
MSRP: $21.99 USD

Book review by Pia Thadani - Stitches'N'Scraps


The right accessory can turn an OK outfit into a show-stopper, and they make great gifts too! In this book, Melissa Leapman shares with us 25 stunning accessory designs. From traditional to trendy, subtle to dramatic, rings to wraps, you're sure to find a new favorite here!


Cover - Designer Crochet Accessories


Speaking of favorites - while all the patterns are very lovely, there's one that completely takes my breath away. The Delicata Reversible Wrap is hands down my favorite of the whole book. It's light and delicate, but still looks warm and fuzzy thanks to the mohair yarn. The reversible stitch pattern is intriguing, and seems surprisingly easy (at least from reading through it).

Delicata - Designer Crochet Accessories


In the front of the book is a beautiful spread showing all the patterns. I did wish they were numbered or labeled in some way, or at least displayed in the same order as the table of contents. For the most part though, it was pretty easy to tell which picture goes with which name.

Contents - Designer Crochet Accessories


As usual with Melissa's patterns, the instructions for all the projects are very clearly written and easy to understand. They also include stitch diagrams, and some include schematics or other helpful illustrations as well. In the back of the book is a helpful resource section, which includes instructions for the basic stitches, help in reading the charts, and tips on finishing.

Resources section - Designer Crochet Accessories



You can enter to win your own copy of Designer Crochet Accessories! This prize is generously provided by the publisher, Creative Publishing International. To be eligible, you must be 18 years of age or older, with a valid, US or Canadian shipping address. The winner will be contacted by email, and must reply to that email and provide the shipping address within 1 week in order to receive the prize. If the winner does not reply within 1 week, a new winner will be selected.

The giveaway ends on January 30th - Hurry and enter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: A free review copy of Designer Crochet Accessories was provided by Creative Publishing International. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review.  My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions. All images of copyrighted material are used with permission.

2017 Chapter Challenge is Here!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


CGOA is bringing back the chapter challenge. The challenge is open to all Chapters and will run from Jan 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017. We are working with Warm Up America on this challenge.




The Challenge:

1.  Create as many 7" x 9" rectangles as you choose for Lapghans for Warm Up America! (This is their size requirement.) Contest ends June 30th.

2.  Visit the "Warm Up America" website at www.WarmUpAmerica.org for details on preferred lapghan sizes and free crochet patterns your chapter can use.

3.  When your Chapter is finished, please count and double count all your rectangles and then make a sign.  Include the Chapter name (as per CGOA website) and the total number of rectangles made.  Next take a picture of the sign - hopefully with some Chapter Members holding it - and email to Karen McKenna CGOAChapters@gmail.com by July 1st.  Please include the number of CGOA members in your Chapter as winners are based on a ratio of members to number of rectangles made, this way smaller chapters can compete with larger chapters.  

Please Note: Do not send any finished rectangles to Karen. You can put the squares together as lapghans for donation, or donate the squares to your favorite local charity. 

4.  Winners will be announced on Saturday, July 28th in the Market Place at the Chain Link Conference in Chicago!


AND WE HAVE A SURPRISE….

RED HEART IS SPONSORING CASH PRIZES!!

 1St Place
Golden Hook Plaque & $75.00 Cash!

2nd Place
Silver Hook Plaque & $50.00 Cash!

3rd Place
Bronze Hook Plaque & $25.00 Cash!

A BIG THANK YOU TO

CGOA Member Spotlight: Heidi Yates

Thursday, December 29, 2016

I'm Marie from Underground Crafter and this is my twelfth and final post in a series of interviews highlighting the work of a Crochet Guild of America member. (Don't worry, I'll be back in 2017 with a different series of monthly guest posts!)


Heidi Yates.
This month's post is spotlighting Heidi Yates, the crochet designer and crafts blogger behind Totally Snappy/Snappy Tots. Heidi can also be found online at Facebook, InstagramPinterest, Ravelry, and Twitter.

All images are © Heidi Yates/Snappy Tots/Totally Snappy  and are used with permission.

Messy Beanie Buddies, premium crochet pattern by Heidi Yates for sale on Ravelry.
Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first get started crocheting? 
Heidi: My mom taught me when I was little. I didn't really start crocheting a lot until about 7 years ago when knitting became too painful for my wrists. I picked up crochet again and, with ergonomic hooks, am able to crochet for hours without pain. 

Icicle Ike, free crochet pattern by Heidi Yates.
UC: When did you start designing?
Heidi: I can't remember a time when I wasn't designing something.  I grew up in a very creative home and my mom always encouraged us to draw and try different hobbies. My first published "designs" were tole painted pieces in 1995. I wrote a book and several magazine articles. After that I designed knitted pieces and crocheted pieces. 

Cotton Flapper, free crochet pattern by Heidi Yates.
UC: How long have you been a member of the CGOA? What’s your favorite thing about being a member? 
Heidi: I am a newbie. This is my second year and I'm still finding all of the things they offer. I have enjoyed many of their publications. 

Shark Nap Blanket, premium crochet pattern by Heidi Yates for sale on Ravelry.
UC: You have a multi-craft background. Does your tole painting experience influence your crochet at all? 
Heidi: Absolutely and more so this upcoming year. For over a year I've been working on a new adventure with my painting (prolonged due to personal events) and eventually will be releasing a whole new line of crochet patterns inspired by those designs as well.

I hope my creations look like each other. I think I have a whimsical world playing out in my brain and little by little pieces come to life. 

Velvety Slouch and Scarf, free crochet pattern by Heidi Yates.
UC: What are your favorite types of crochet projects to make?
Heidi: I wish there was an eighth day each week dedicated to crocheting just for the heck of it.  There are tons of patterns I'd love to try for my home and gifts. I mostly enjoy crocheting things for kids.. Of all ages. The brighter and more whimsical, the better. 

Troll Toes and Big Feet, premium crochet pattern by Heidi Yates for sale on Ravelry.
UC: What will you be working on in 2017? What's next for you?
Heidi: I've been working behind the scenes for quite some time and hope to put everything in place by spring, 2017. "Out with the old and more of the best" is my motto for 2017. 

Thanks for sharing your love of crochet with us, Heidi!


Book Review - Crocheted Scoodies by Magdalena Melzer and Anne Thiemeyer

Monday, December 19, 2016

I was provided with a copy of Crocheted Scoodies for an honest review. All opinions are those of Jessie Rayot of Jessie At Home.

Crochet Scoodies: 20 Gorgeous Hooded Scarves and Cowls to Crochet is packed full of warm goodies to keep your winter bright! Using chunky yarns, these scoodies are not only warm, but they work up fairly quickly so you can be off in fashion in no time.

From elegant and chic to sporty and fun, there's loads of variety to choose from. You're sure to find the perfect scoodie to suit your style.

The book starts with a short introduction and then moves right into the colorful patterns. There really is a nice variety of hooded cowls and scarves, in every color of the rainbow. Of course, you can use any color you like, but the colors chosen for the samples are superb. Sometimes a solid color is chosen with just a bit of a second color as an accent, sometimes a set of colors are chosen, and sometimes a variegated or textured color yarn is chosen. You can see that a lot of thought went into just the right yarn for each pattern.


Crocheted Scoodies is also a great book to learn different stitches. Nothing boring going on here! The stitch patterns are constantly changing so no 2 scoodies look the same. There are ripples and ridges, spike stitches and post stitches and more.


At the end of the book is a "How it's done" section that will teach you many of the techniques you will need to complete your projects. All with clear illustrations. After that is a section of charts to help with some of the patterns. This book has everything you need to succeed!


You can pre-order your copy of Crocheted Scoodies from Amazon HERE. You can also enter below to win a copy of your own.

To enter the Crocheted Scoodies giveaway you must be at least 18 years of age with a valid USA shipping address. Giveaway closes at end of day eastern time 12/25/16, after which the winner will be contacted via email. Winner must reply with a valid USA shipping address within one week, or a new winner will be chosen.

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Getting To Know You - Jan Scogin

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Welcome to "Getting To Know You" on the blog. This is an opportunity for our members to share a little bit about themselves, and for us to learn more about each other and continue the family feel after leaving the annual conference. Although we may crochet by ourselves in our own homes, we are not alone in our love of crochet, and we have more in common than we realize. By sharing our experiences and knowledge, we will all learn something new about each other and the art of crochet! This month, enjoy getting to know...

Jan Scogin (“Wrynne” on Ravelry)


Location:
Dallas, Texas

How many years crocheting and/or how did you learn to crochet?:
I’ve been crocheting a little over 40 years. I learned from my best friend, Dorinda, in college (my Ravelry name is in honor of her). I learned using one skein of horrible black yarn. I must have made and ripped out half a dozen projects with that yarn!

Do you crochet with your left hand or right hand and how do you hold your hook?: 
I’m right-handed and use the knife hold. What I do differently is how I use my left hand. I lost the very tip end of my left middle finger, and it has a skin graft on it and I can’t “feel” with it. So I hold my project with my forefinger and use my middle finger for pulling up more yarn from the skein. It’s made for some interesting photos, where I’ve had to Photoshop out my middle finger so people won’t think I’m making obscene gestures.

What is your favorite crochet hook?
I’m more interested in the handle, than the point. I love Furl’s wooden hooks, but some yarns “stick” on them. If that happens, I use a Tulip Etimo Rose hook.

What is your favorite yarn?: 
I really don’t have a favorite weight or content of yarn. It’s more about what works for the project, or what yarn calls to me (a very serious problem at vendor marts). I find myself tending to use finer yarns lately and more wool. What I dislike is skeins with lots of knots in them, but doesn’t everybody?

What is your favorite crochet stitch?:
I honestly don’t have a favorite stitch. It’s all about the process. I like to take a pattern and play around with it until it becomes something slightly different or even a whole new technique.



 I enjoy Mosaic Crochet, where you take this complicated set of instructions and all at once something magical emerges.



I also like crocheting with beads. Right now I am trying alternating groups of beads with Turkish flat bead crochet, but the results are not promising. Er, what was the question again?

Do you prefer a written pattern, a chart, or both?:
I love having both written patterns and charts. I try to provide charts whenever I write a pattern.


What is your favorite item to make?: 
It’s really hard to get me to select a favorite anything. There are so many choices and so little time! I make a lot of scarves and shawls because they work well as gifts and for charity donations.
I make many necklaces because I love playing around with beaded crochet.




And I make at least one pillow to enter into the State Fair of Texas each year. In fact, a (now defunct) neighborhood magazine called me several years ago when they were doing an article on people who enter the fair. They included me with my pillows!



Who do you crochet for? 
First of all, for charity. My CGOA chapter, Crochet Texas!, does prayer shawls as a thank you to the church where we meet, and we make items for the Scottish Rite Hospital’s bazaars. A local fiber event, DFW FiberFest, has several charity opportunities. Not to mention scarves for Texas Special Olympics, squares for Warm Up America and Heartfelt Blessings, and I don’t know how many lemon stress balls I’ve made! Some links with information on the charities can be found at www.crochettexas.org under the charity tab.





Next, gifts. Family and friends still seem to like getting crochet presents. I just finished baby blankets for a co-worker who had twins!



Then myself. And some of what I’ve made is still waiting to find a home.

Have you ever participated in a yarn bombing? 
Yes, in 2013 Crochet Texas! had the opportunity to yarn bomb the studio of “Good Morning Texas!” in conjunction with the Craft Yarn Council. In 2014, we yarn bombed the lobby of Scottish Rite Hospital, Dallas, with baby blankets. Instead of being an art installation, this event was a support installation. Guild members crocheted and collected over 65 baby blankets, which were given to Scottish Rite for their Holiday Bazaar. Contributions arrived from across Texas, and from Colorado and Hawaii. You can go to the Crochet Texas! website, www.crochettexas.org, and click on Charity, then Yarn Bombing, for more pictures.




How long have you been a CGOA member, and what is a fond memory from a CGOA Conference if you’ve attended one? 
I have been a member of the CGOA since 2002. I’ve been lucky enough to go to a conference every year except for two. The first conference I went to was in West Palm Beach, Florida in 2002. I met Darla Fanton at the airport gate in Dallas (she guessed I was going to the conference based on a little, er, incident I had with security and the yarn in my purse). Since I had a friend picking me up at the airport, I offered Darla a ride to the hotel. Then I found a guildmate was on the plane with me. I offered her a ride as well. Let’s just say I was getting a little bit over generous. I did not realize the friend who was picking me up had her mother with her, whom she had to take home first. And mother’s home was about 20 miles in the opposite direction of the hotel, and neither one of them was quite sure of the easiest way to get there. And although I am very good with “fitting things in,” we still had to hold luggage on our laps. About an hour later, we finally got to the hotel. Darla almost ran out of the car! I always tell people I kidnapped her. But it was the start of a good friendship. In fact, it was the start of many friendships from the conferences.

Do you belong to a local CGOA chapter in your area? 
Yes, I helped found Crochet Texas! in 2002. We have about 25 members. Along with the classes we have at every meeting, we did the above-mentioned yarn bombings, put together a yarn crawl, support several charities, volunteer for local events, and more. Check out our website at www.crochettexas.org, and we’re also on Facebook.

What are your crochet goals for the future?: 
I do design, but I don’t have the time to invest in trying to publish. So if I ever get to retire, that is a goal. I took a beginning weaving course on a rigid heddle loom recently, and I enjoyed it. I’m torn, do I invest in a loom or not? I don’t have the time for an additional craft, but it was fun! I’m going to take another course first to see if it is still fun. If so, I’d like to combine the weaving with crochet. Some ideas are simmering in my mind.

Any crochet tips that you would like to share?:
For me, the best thing about crocheting is people. I used to crochet alone and very infrequently, and I was not expanding my skills. It wasn’t until I became involved with a guild that I took my crochet to a whole new level. It’s inspiring, it’s educational, and it gives me a chance to teach, to donate to charity, to design. Plus it’s a lot more fun. If you don’t have a guild, get one. Seriously. Start with just a few people, spread the news, and it will grow. If you can’t find enough crocheters in your area, try doing a combo group with knitters, spinners, or weavers. There is really a great dynamic with a group.



Do you have any other favorite past times, interests, sports, or crafts you enjoy doing?
I am addicted to reading. My husband and I play online role-playing games. I love going to the theater, symphony, opera, ballet, etc.

Anything you would like to share, not covered above? 
I work for a graphic design company, and it’s interesting how the skill sets intertwine sometimes. I designed the Crochet Texas! logo and website, for instance. And I use crochet whenever possible for team building projects at work!




Thank you for sharing with us Jan, it's been fun "getting to know you"!
Become a CGOA member today, click HERE to join.
Have a great day!
Carolyn

_______________________________________________________________________________________
Brought to you by blogger contributor:
Carolyn Calderon
If you would like to be a featured member, please contact her HERE.











 
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