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WeCrochet & CGOA Podcast - Crochet Jobs

Friday, July 16, 2021




Do you know all the different education programs offered by the CGOA? 

WeCrochet invited CGOA board member Pia Thadani for an interview all about teaching crochet, and the various education programs that CGOA offers. 

Hear her interview, plus others, in this fabulous podcast episode! 

https://blog.crochet.com/wcp-episode-40-crochet-jobs-part-3-teaching-crochet





You might be a better crocheter than you think!

Monday, April 5, 2021

 

Have you ever passed on a pattern because it looked too difficult? "There's NO WAY I could make that," you say.

We've all been there - lusted over a design we were sure we couldn't possibly execute. I get it. You certainly don't want to make the commitment of buying the pattern and all of the supplies just to find out you don't have the skills to make the project.

But, consider for a moment, that you might be underestimating yourself and your crochet skills.

Let's talk skill levels for a moment. You may consider yourself a beginner but you might actually be able to complete something that's labeled "Advanced Beginner". Even if you're an advanced crocheter, you probably still find things that make you think twice about making a design.

A designer generally uses the following list to determine the skill level for the pattern:

  • Beginner - Projects intended for first-time crocheters using basic stitches. This level can help ANY crocheter build skills and provide practice. These patterns are no-brainers for experienced crocheters.
  • Advanced beginner - Patterns for the advanced beginner use basic stitches and repetitive stitches and patterns. There may be color changes, simple shaping and may require some finishing.
  • Intermediate - Projects will use a variety of different stitches and techniques. More detailed shaping and finishing will be required.
  • Advanced - This is where the rubber meets the road and everything is on the menu - intricate stitch patterns, multi-color techniques, small hooks, detailed finishing, to mention a few. These patterns really are reserved for the most experienced although, depending upon the number of advanced techniques, this would be a good stretch for the experienced crocheter. 
How do you decide? Look at why a designer may have classified a pattern with a certain skill level using the guidelines above. How many of the techniques or stitches in the design are you not familiar with? Remember, many designers provide resources to help you master the skills used in the design so it may be possible to easily make the design.
 
Obviously, it will be up to your judgment to decide whether or not you should try a pattern.

 
First and foremost, stop underestimating your crochet skill. Be realistic, sure, but don't pass on a pattern for the wrong reasons.

Push yourself to try new things. Again, you do have to be realistic. However, by trying new things, you get the chance to improve your skills, opening the door for even more complex pattern making down the road.

Prepare yourself for the more involved patterns by practicing your crochet skills and pattern reading skills. Find a pattern design that incorporates just one new skill and go for it.

And, don't forget, one of your greatest assets is your fellow crocheters. Ask advice, especially in Facebook groups, at your local yarn shop, YouTube. Find a group meeting at your local library or church. Crocheters LOVE to share their knowledge so go tap into that wealth.

 
The Crochet Guild of America is here to help!
  • The organization provides online classes taught by world-class instructors. You will not be disappointed!
  • Under the heading "Resources - Learn to Crochet" you'll find videos and lessons for basic crochet skills. You can choose right-handed, left-handed and children.
  • If there's one near you, join a CGOA chapter. Learn from other crocheters.
  • Crochet for Charity is a great way to practice skills and give back at the same time.
  • And, participate in a Crochet-Along. Not only will you improve your skills, but you'll have a built in community of crocheters working together toward a common goal. Have a question? Someone will have the answer!

Now, go out there and get that pattern. You can do it!

Debbie

What to Look for Before Purchasing a Crochet Pattern

Friday, March 19, 2021


Starting a new crochet project is exciting for so many reasons. It’s the opportunity to carve out a little “me” time as you get to create something new. You are also able to enjoy artistic journey of picking out yarn types and colors to make the new creation unique to you. There is a little spark of energy as we sit down to begin a new project and see our vision come to life.

 

But, that spark can fade fast if the pattern you are working from is confusing, incomplete or not detailed enough. The joy slowly dwindles as you have to reread instructions, have to frog rows of work because it doesn’t look right, or after hours of work you realize it is not going to be the right size. However, there are ways to help prevent this frustrating situation.





Put On Your Investigation Glasses


Once you decide you want to make a project from a crochet pattern you will spend a good amount of time looking for just the right pattern. As you browse the multitude of patterns available there are going to be some you are just drawn to. But, before you decide to hit the “add to cart” button, check a few things out. 

Check those reviews. This may seem like a no brainer, but it is important not to just look and see if they are a 4 or 5 star pattern designer. Click on those buttons and read, this is where you can really discover some good information. See the below crochet pattern reviews: 


Clearly written, and support videos for further explanation make for a great pattern and experience. Thank you!”

“It’s perfect. I actually turned around and bought four more patterns.”

“Such a cute little garment. Easy to follow pattern. And the designer was so helpful to answer all my questions.”


These review all came from the same crochet pattern shop, and are all recent. This is a great sign that the pattern you are looking at purchasing is clear, has all the information you need and has resources to help you out along the way.  





Check the Pattern's Description


Always take a minute to read the pattern's description. This is so important, if the basic pattern information is missing it could be a sign that the pattern is also missing info. Always check to see that the following is listed: 

  • Size of Crochet Hook needed

  • Weight of yarn needed (amount can be helpful as well)

  • Are there any other or unique supplies needed

  • Is the pattern written in US or UK term

  • Is the pattern written, chart or graph





Contact and Follow


Is the patter designer available if you might need assistance? One way to find out is to read their bio (this can usually be found on the website you are ordering from). You can also check their social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any others out there. The designer does not have to have a huge following to be good. There are some amazing up and coming designers that are just starting out. But, if they have a presence on social media or have ways to reach them in their bios that is a good sign that they can and will offer support. 





Support Those You Love


After you have completed a project from a pattern, if you had a great experience continue to support that designer. Next time you are looking for a new pattern, check their shop. You already know you like the format they use and that they offer support if needed. Chances are you will have another great experience on your next project. 

Feel free to take it a step further and share your completed work with the designer as well. There is no greater reward to a pattern designer.



Christine Sweet Potato 3










Holiday Gift Roundup for Crocheters

Monday, November 16, 2020

The holiday season is fast approaching and shoppers have shifted into high gear when it comes to preparations. As a crocheter, you've probably already started making gifts.

Let's take a moment, though, to think about what YOU might want. What ends up on a crocheters wish list?

Here are just a few creative and fun ideas.

Yarn Bowls

To keep yarn tidy while working on your next project, choose a handmade yarn bowl. Lots of choices, including wooden and ceramic, abound on Etsy. This one comes from Maid of Clay Ceramics. Any bowl can be personalized with up to 9 letters.


Handmade Crochet Hooks

This one can be a bit tricky because crocheters can be picky about their hooks! However, a little luxury in your toolbox never hurt at all! Check out these shops...

Buttons

Yes, buttons! Imaginative buttons make a fabulous stocking stuffer or small holiday gift for any crocheter. They come in all shapes, sizes and materials. You'll find lots of interesting choices on Etsy, like the metal button at the bottom from SmartParts.


Stitch Markers

A crocheter can NEVER have enough stitch markers. Just a simple search on Etsy gets you a wide variety of choices including clay, glass, beaded and wood. Here are a few shops to check out:

Project Bags

Every crocheter I know has multiple WIP's at the same time. What better way to keep them organized and ready to hit the road than with a project bag. Three Bags Full and Binkwaffle both have a wonderful variety of prints and sizes, with expert detailing and stitching. 



Artwork

For some beautifully drawn, fun fiber artwork, visit Sheep Incognito by Conni Tögel. Her shop includes sheep themed prints along with other items like mugs, calendars and totes.


Yarn-themed Paraphernalia

What about a yarn-themed phone case? TeeAvan has a vast array of phone cases, along with other items such as t-shirts, project bags and, yes, leggings!


One last thought...

Show a little retail love for our fellow handmade entrepreneurs by shopping at small businesses and Etsy shops this holiday season. Support those who make our jobs as crocheters easier and a bit more fun. We need each other!  


Debra Field
MadameStitch

June Quarterly Crochet-Along

Friday, May 8, 2020



We are so excited to write to you today to announce the June Quarterly Crochet-Along.

Whether you've never participated in a CGOA CAL before or joined us every time, you won't want to miss this unifying new project taking place in a fun new location with an all new Crochet-Along team!

While we can’t spill all the details about the June CAL just yet, we can say that for the first time ever, the Quarterly Crochet-Along will have you crocheting an amigurumi with fellow CGOA members! We can also say that the pattern we have selected is both timely and meaningful.

Convinced? There’s more.



We’re taking this opportunity to move the Quarterly Crochet-Alongs to an all new private Facebook group. We strongly feel that with Facebook being the easiest to navigate and most widely used social media platform, moving our event there will allow for even more of you to join in on the fun!

To participate in the June CAL, get exclusive pattern tips and information straight from the designer, and enter to win super cool prizes, please join our new private Facebook group, CGOA Members CAL Crochet Along Group, at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cgoaquarterlycals/

You will be asked to enter your CGOA membership number and agree to the rules in order to be admitted into the group. Your membership number can be found on crochet.org under Members & Membership Renewal & View/Print My Membership Card.

Yarn requirements will be released on May 15, and the pattern will will be revealed on June 1.

Join us on Facebook today to get to know your fellow CAL crocheters and our new team!

The Quarterly Crochet-Along will now be led by CGOA member Julie Desjardins, with help from fellow members Lauren Venettozzi (Pattern Tech), Trisha Ankaraju (Graphics), Gwen McGannon (Social media), and Bobbie Matela (Prizes).

We're excited to crochet with you in June!!

Your CAL Team.

Build Better Garments with Body Basics by Lindsey Stephens

Friday, September 27, 2019

Title: Body Basics
Author: Lindsey Stephens
MSRP: $29.99 USD (e-book)

Book review by Pia Thadani - Stitches n Scraps

I received a free review copy of Body Basics and Schematics Templates, from The Lindsey Life. Although I accept free products for review, I do not guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions. All images of copyrighted material are used with permission.

Do you like to crochet garments? Have you ever thought of designing your own, or adapting a pattern to fit better? If so, you need Body Basics! Keep reading for a special discount code on this e-book.

Cover of the book Body Basics. Shows a woman's hands measuring a crochet swatch with a tape measure.


About Lindsey 

Lindsey Stephens, the author of Body Basics is a brilliant tech editor with a gift for math. I've had the pleasure of working with her, and she really knows all the little tweaks that can make a pattern more accurate, and easier to read. She's also a CGOA member and a wild, wacky, wonderful friend :)

A woman wearing a head covering and sweatshirt in a parking lot with trees in the background


Diving Deep


Body Basics is the ultimate guide to sizing garments. It's not a quick reference, a size chart or a formula. It's an in depth discussion of how sizing works, and how to make it work for you.

Lindsey explains which measurements matter and how they work together to fit actual bodies. The math of calculating stitch and row counts is not the main focus of the book. Rather, it teaches you how to manipulate measurements to create the shape and fit you want.

Easy to Read

There's a lot of information, but it's easy to navigate with lots of helpful diagrams and charts, plus highlighted tips and notes as well. The ebook includes a clickable table of contents so you can easily jump to the section you want.

The first section talks all about width measurements, followed by a section on length measurements. Lindsey goes through each measurement, one by one, and explains how slight variations can change the fit and overall style of a garment.


Table of Contents from Body Basics by Lindsey Stephens

Focus on Tops and Sweaters

Body Basics focuses on the upper body, for tops and sweaters. It does not include sections for pants or skirts, but many of the same principles discussed throughout the book can be applied to those measurements as well.

Get the Bundle! 

The review copy I got came with a bonus book of Schematic Templates. This invaluable resource is a series of labeled schematic drawings. The measurement lines are indicated, but no measurements have been written in. These schematics are a great starting point, and combined with Body Basics, they make the ultimate garment design workbook. 

Cover of Schematic templates by Lindsey Stephens


As of the time I am writing this, Schematic Templates comes FREE with your purchase of Body Basics! You can also buy it separately. 

Save $5! 

Lindsey has generously given me a special coupon code to share with you. Buy the Body Basics bundle and enter the code CGOA at checkout to get $5 off your purchase. This coupon code is valid through 11:59pm Eastern Time on October 17th, 2019, so hurry and get yours now! As always, Please be sure the discount shows in your cart before completing your purchase.

2019 CGOA Fashion Show

Sunday, July 21, 2019


Were you able to attend the fashion show at the CGOA Chain Link Conference last week? We had a very full show this year, with 58 items!

 

We didn't have an official video this year, but Lauren Venettozzi recorded most of it and shared the video on Facebook.


All the amazing photos you see in this post were taken by Bonnie Barker of Bonnie Bay Crochet Photography, with the help of her daughter, Becky Bluebush.



Below is a list of all the items that were displayed at this year's fashion show. If a pattern or more information about an item is available online, I have added a link to that information.

Many of these patterns are not yet available but will be soon. If you know of any other links that become available or are not included here, please leave a comment and I will add them in.



Special thanks to Red Heart for sponsoring this year's fashion show again, and for all the fabulous prizes. Tamara Kelly and Marly Bird, both with Red Heart, were our MCs.



I'd also like to thank all the amazing crocheters who submitted projects, and all the volunteers who made the show possible. The models are listed in the line up below, and our other volunteers were:


  • Photographer: Bonnie Barker and
  • Garment Manager (and emergency model): Laurinda Reddig
  • Door Monitor: Christine Bitner
  • Timekeepers: Lauren Venettozzi, Julie Marz, and Candace Pisterzi


I hope I haven't forgotten anyone, and I can't wait to see you all again next year!



2019 CGOA Fashion Show Lineup:

Group 1

Item

Crocheter / Designer

Model

Coral Ranuculus Vest Gwen Buttke McGannon Gwen Buttke McGannon
Trade Winds ShrugMarette Whitney Marette Whitney
Pineapples on ParadeTammy Hildebrand Willow Hildebrand
Palm Beach PonchoJoan A. Davis Julie Desjardins
Sand Dunes Drift Away Wrap Sarah Sullivan Sarah Sullivan
Rhythm of Shells Cowl Andee Graves Creusa Gilmore
Garden by the Sea Poncho Joan A. Davis Shari White
Seaglass Tank Top Carolyn Calderon Kristin Lynn, Lyndall Reeve, Sara Huntington
Mykonos Susan Sullivan Susan Sullivan
Hello, Yellow Crochet Top Yarnspirations Design Team Allison Herron



Group 2

Item

Crocheter / Designer

Model

Red sweater set Deborah Hamsho Shari White
Floating Diamonds Shawlette Andee GravesAmy Daraghy  
Pot PourriMargaret Hubert Susan Lowman 
Tunisian Flower Garden Sweater Carolyn Calderon Karen Pankiw
Floral Fantasy Headdress & Woodland Shawl Marette Whitney Marette Whitney
Simply Iris Blanket Wrap Sarah Sullivan Sarah Sullivan 
Red Cable CardiganChris LeachChris Leach
Maraksesh Express with Freeform Crochet Beret and Mitts Barbara Hynes  Barbara Hynes 
Rhythm of Life Alpaca Sweater Susan Walsh Susan Walsh
Off-Center Triangle Shawl Diane K. Moyer for Red Heart Allison Herron




Group 3

Item

Crocheter / Designer

Model

Dark Side Lace Jacket Creusa Gilmore Creusa Gilmore
Kaleidoscope Shawl Shari White Shari White
Tunisian Triangles Cowl Dela Wilkins Dela Wilkins
Sister Act Shawl and Shrug Marette Whitney Marette Whitney
Red Hot Little Mama Tammy Hildebrand Willow Hildebrand
Filet Cabled Cardigan Amanda Saladin Amanda Saladin
Doilies Refashioned Various / Cari Clement Gwen Buttke McGannon
Jewelweed Shawl Sue Perez Sue Perez
Lattice Poncho  Dixie Fairies Dixie Fairies
Color Block TunicYarnspirations Design Team Allison Herron




Group 4

Item

Crocheter / Designer

Model

Remembering Babi's Shawl  B.J. Licko-Keel Julie Desjardins, Amy Daraghy 
Frosty Lace Cardigan Susan Lowman Susan Lowman
Once and For All, a Vest Deborah Day Deborah Day
Striped Shawl in WOBBEL technique Dela Wilkins Dela Wilkins
Chevron Cardigan Pattie Aaron Regina Venettozzi
Penny's Cotton Cardi Sandy Walker Sandy Walker
Plus Size Coraline Top  Pamela MacManus Pamela MacManus
Dress (natural beauty) Yvette Jiggetts Yvette Jiggetts
Bernat Women's Curvy Crochet Cowl Pullover Yarnspirations Design Team Laurinda Reddig





Group 5

Item

Crocheter / Designer

Model

Daisy Chain Cardigan Susan Walsh Susan Walsh
Boho Blossom Poncho Carolyn Calderon Karen Pankiw 
Floral Garden Dress Gwen Buttke McGannon Gwen Buttke McGannon
Copperleaf Tunic Sue Perez Sue Perez
Red Orchid Shawl Sharon DeCaroRegina Venettozzi
Prism Poncho Shari White Shari White
Psychedelicized Puro Ilo-takki Barbara Hynes Barbara Hynes
Takotsubo shawl Dela Wilkins Dela Wilkins
Japanese Cardigan and Tote Susan Lowman Susan Lowman
Bernat Origami Crochet CardiganYarnspirations Design Team Allison Herron





Group 6

Item

Crocheter / Designer

Model

Golden Circles Cardigan Juliette Bezold Creusa Gilmore
The Eternal  Love Wrap Shari White Shari White
Sunset pullover-poncho Julie Desjardins Julie Desjardins
Sunset on the Water Willena Nanton Willena Nanton
Miami Magic Nights Joan A. Davis Regina Venettozzi
Downtown After Dark Shawl & Purse Andrea Kraus Andrea Kraus
Dress (jade dress) Yvette Jiggetts Yvette Jiggetts
Two-Rectangle Sweater Marty Miller for Red Heart Allison Herron
Rockabilly Swing Dress
  (Design Competition Winner)
Nancy Nehring Katie Winegarden



  





Photos courtesy of Bonnie Bay Crochet Photography
 
 
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