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)
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"!
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Have a great day!
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