Embracing Selfish Crochet

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Designer, author and instructor Tian Connaughton shares the following insights about you and your crochet.

Stock image of hands crocheting

Embracing Selfish Crochet

by Tian Connaughton

Does this sound familiar? Have you said this or heard it said? Can you relate?

In a world that glorifies productivity and selflessness, taking time for oneself can often feel like a luxury reserved for the privileged few. For many individuals, especially women, hobbies like crochet are viewed as costly and indulgent distractions rather than essential forms of self-care. The pervasive societal perception that crochet is a frivolous activity further compounds feelings of guilt and inadequacy among those who find solace in the rhythmic motion of hook and yarn.

At its core, crocheting is a form of self-care—a refuge from the chaos of everyday life where individuals can find peace, purpose, and creative fulfillment. The therapeutic benefits of crochet are well-documented, with studies suggesting that engaging in repetitive, rhythmic activities like crocheting can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. For many, the act of creating something beautiful with their own two hands serves as a powerful reminder of their inherent worth and potential for growth.

Yet, despite its numerous benefits, many individuals still struggle with feelings of guilt and selfishness when it comes to prioritizing their own crochet projects. The societal stigma surrounding women's hobbies, including crochet, often leads individuals to question the validity of their interests and desires, and the value of their time. However, it's essential to recognize that self-care is not selfish—it's necessary for maintaining mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

In a world that constantly demands more of us, it's easy to lose sight of our own needs and desires. But by embracing our love for crochet and prioritizing our own well-being, we can reclaim our sense of identity and purpose in a society that often overlooks our contributions. One way to combat feelings of isolation and guilt is to connect with others who share our passion for crochet. Whether it's joining a local crafting group, participating in online communities, or attending crochet workshops and events, engaging with like-minded individuals can provide a sense of belonging and support. 

So, to all the individuals who feel guilty about taking time to crochet, remember this: your happiness is not a luxury—it's a necessity. You don’t have to earn your self-care or wait to feel worthy. You are deserving right now. So go ahead, pick up your hook and yarn, and crochet your way to a happier, healthier you. After all, you deserve it!

Meet Tian and our other fabulous instructors at the 2024 (Ch Sp) Retreat! 

Ask the Expert: Courtney Whitehead (Session #1)

Sunday, July 10, 2022

 Appearing LIVE at the Chain Link Conference

Thursday, July 21, 12:30 - 1:30 in the Lounge

Bring your lunch and learn from Courtney Whitehead at Creations by Courtney during this free session! 

(Courtney will be appearing along with Tamara Kelly at Moogly)

About Courtney

Creations by Courtney specializes in size-inclusive women's garment patterns, and connecting with fiber enthusiasts. She loves helping others improve their skill by trying new techniques. Creations by Courtney is the destination for discovering crochet garments & accessory patterns for curating your handmade closet. 

Courtney is most excited creating women's crochet garments and accessories that can be colorful, textured, and created with minimal seaming and unique, easy shaping. Every body is beautiful, so all Creations by Courtney crochet garments are size-inclusive, and meant to help one feel confident while proudly showing off one’s skills. 

Accessory patterns range from hats and headbands to totes and shawls that are functional and stylish.

One Lucky Winner

One lucky winner will receive one crochet pattern of choice, and a zippered canvas project tote bag that says "one more skein..."


This is a New Event!

Do you have a burning question about crochet that you've been dying to ask an expert? Grab a lunch to go and join us Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 12:30 to 1:30 PM in the Lounge for this FREE event. 

You'll be able to meet some of your favorites in the industry up close and personal, where you can ask them anything and learn some of their crochet secrets. This year's include: 

Ask the Expert Session #1: Tamara Kelly

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Appearing LIVE at the Chain Link Conference

Thursday, July 21, 12:30 - 1:30 in the Lounge

Bring your lunch and learn from Tamara Kelly at Moogly during this free session! Tamara is also our CGOA President.

(Tamara will be appearing along with Courtney Whitehead of Creations by Courtney)

About Tamara

I've been running Mooglyblog.com for over 10 years now, and it's become the home of my original crochet designs, video tutorials, the Moogly Crochet Alongs, giveaways, and more! I've published one book, Quick Crochet for the Home, and have taught several Craftsy classes. I also regularly teach crochet for Michaels Community Classroom online, and love playing with new techniques and stitches!

One Lucky Winner

One lucky winner will receive an autographed copy of Tamara's book, 

Quick Crochet for the Home: 20 Fast Projects to Liven Up Every Room.

This is a New Event!

Do you have a burning question about crochet that you've been dying to ask an expert? Grab a lunch to go and join us Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 12:30 to 1:30 PM in the Lounge for this FREE event. 

You'll be able to meet some of your favorites in the industry up close and personal, where you can ask them anything and learn some of their crochet secrets. This year's include: 

Class Schedule for Chain Link 2022

Thursday, March 24, 2022

The Fun Part Begins! 

It's time to start planning your conference schedule: the 2022 class schedule is finalized and viewable. 

Registration opens in early April. Conference dates are July 20-23, 2022.
Scroll down to see our lineup of teachers.

Helpful Details for Planning Your Trip

Conference Schedule of EventsNEW THIS YEAR - Longer Lunch & Dinner Breaks so you can enjoy NOLA.

Our hotel in New Orleans is the New Orleans Marriott Warehouse Arts District. They're excited to have us! Hotel rooms reserved for our group can be booked now.

Top Notch Crochet Teachers

Learn from the best! It's what our Chain Link conferences are famous for throughout the yarn industry. Since 1995.

24 Crochet Hats Book Review

Friday, March 11, 2022


Hi I’m Blanche of @beeoutrageous.com here to review “24 Crochet Hats” by Kristin Omdahl. 

Let me just say on the outset, that I am truly a KO Fan Her heart warming story of providing an income for herself and her son by creating her business. And her enthusiastic presence on social platforms (Instagram, Facebook, her You Tube Channel) and appearances on The TV Program “Knit and Crochet Today” make her an inspiring leader in our industry. 

This ebook doesn’t disappoint. It serves up hats to grace the heads of men, women ,children and infants. Many sizes are provided for each. Not only are there 24 easy to follow written patterns, but there are sections on:

How to read patterns
How to measure gauge
How to weave in ends
Various ways to block your work
Yarn substitutions
Size tables 
Crochet Hook Sizes

All of the above make this a veritable one stop resource for creating crochet hats. Each hat utilizes different crochet stitches , techniques and yarns. The video tutorials for the patterns of “24 Crochet Hats”are provided on Kristin’s You Tube Channel. 

My favorite hat is Kendra. Perhaps, it’s the color of the yarn that intrigued me (bubble gum pink) or because the stitches are created with Broomstick Lace and a Cabled brim. But that being said, this hat is a stunner. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t include a mention of Kristin’s Fund Project Kristin. A portion of every sale goes to help survivors of domestic abuse. I hope this review will encourage you (if you don’t already) to follow her account www.Kristinomdahl.com where you can buy her ebook , purchase her yarns, and crochet accessories.

Blanche xx

Choosing the Right Crochet Hook... for you!

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Like many of you, I’m sure, I’m a member of a number of different crochet-related groups on Facebook.

One question that I see frequently is “What crochet hook should I buy?” Plenty of suggestions get thrown

about, but very few responses reflect the reality of choosing a hook… the real answer is, “it depends.” We

can all share our favorite hooks, but honestly, choosing the right hook is really more of a question of

choosing the right hook FOR YOU!

There are many different types and styles of crochet hooks out there, and not every style or type works for every crocheter. Let’s take a look at some factors to consider when choosing a crochet hook.


Inline hooks have a head that is “in line” with the shaft of the hook; in other words, it doesn’t extend any

wider than the rest of the hook. An inline hook usually has a deep mouth, and comes to a sharper angle

than a tapered hook. Many fans feel that they get a more consistent stitch size with an inline hook, but

some people find that due to the deeper mouth, inline hooks “catch” more, and slow them down.

Tapered hooks have a head that extends past/is wider than the shaft of the hook. The mouth is not usually

as deep as an inline hook. In contrast to an inline, some people feel that a tapered hook glides more easily,

but others feel that it’s harder to stitch consistently. Your mileage may vary.


Another consideration when choosing a hook is the material used to make the hook. Aluminum,

plastic/acrylic, wood, and bamboo are all common material types, with aluminum probably the most

common. There, too, preference comes into play. Some people will change up their hooks based on what

fiber they are using; wood and bamboo may not glide as easily as aluminum, which may make them

preferable for more slippery yarns, while aluminum may be preferable for yarns that are a little rougher

and more likely to catch on the hook. There is also a weight and feel factor in terms of material - you want

to consider how the hook feels in your hand (more on that later…).


This is actually a big consideration for some people. I have a friend who almost exclusively uses standard

crochet hooks - your basic aluminum hooks you can buy almost anywhere. I, on the other hand, rarely use

anything but an ergonomic hook, especially when using smaller hook sizes. Ergonomic hooks typically

have a wider handle of some sort to allow the user to use a loose grip on the hook, with less stress on the

hands and wrists. Some have cushioned handles, others have shaped, solid-construction handles. 


There is a wide range of pricing of crochet hooks. Some, such as a standard aluminum hook, are

inexpensive and available almost anywhere, and are easily accessible to those on a tight budget. Big box

craft stores often carry their own house brands of ergonomic hooks at the lower end of the price range.

Other stores and websites carry a wide variety of brands, including some inexpensive no-name brands.

Then you start moving up the ladder to a wide range of brand name crochet hooks and a number of

different custom hook creators. When looking at ergonomic hooks, there is an element of “you get what

you pay for.” You may spend less on a set of no-name hooks from a discount seller, but is it really a deal if

the handle starts coming loose 6 months later? (Yes, I learned this lesson the hard way!)


This is probably the most important factor to consider, although for some, it may be the most challenging.

The hook you choose needs to fit comfortably in your hand, ultimately an extension of your hand/arm. Test

out different brands - some hooks are longer, others shorter. Some are narrow, some are wide. Over the

past 3 years, I have tried almost every major brand crochet hook out there, and keep coming back to my

preferred brand because of how it fits in my hand. You need to think about how you hold your hook, as well

as the size of your hand. My preferred brand fits perfectly in my hand, but for a friend of mine, the hooks

are too short, and rub the side of her hand the wrong way. I have other friends who love a popular, more

expensive brand, but they’re too wide for my short fingers and don’t sit right in my hand. If you love

crocheting, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with a hook in your hand. You want to make sure that

it’s going to be comfortable.

If you’re looking for a new hook, my ultimate advice to you is this:Try out a variety of hooks in different styles and materials. Don’t commit to a set right awayIf you have the money, buy a single hook in your favorite size in the styles/brands you want to try, and

test them out. Even better, see if your crocheting friends have something you want to try and ask to borrow

it, even just to crochet a couple of rows with it.

Obviously, consider your budget. You do get what you pay for, but you also don’t want to go bankrupt.

Once you figure out your preferences, watch for coupons and sales. For some hooks, it may be cheaper

to buy the set with a coupon, for others, you may need to watch for sales and buy a hook or two at a time

Finally, have fun learning more about yourself as a crocheter!

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! 


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!


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...


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. 


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

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.
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