Celebrate Your Favorite Crocheter

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hello crocheters!

I'm Marcy Smith, former president and current board member of CGOA. My work this year focuses on helping to develop CGOA's education programs. It's pretty exciting and I can't wait to tell you how it all shakes out. My day job is editor of Interweave Crochet and crochet content strategist for FW Media. I get to work with crocheters Every Day, which is pretty swell.

If you missed the post by Tammy Hildebrand, Veep of CGOA (and a fine friend and fellow Tar Heel as well!), do check it out. Tammy gives a terrific tour of CGOA, crochet.org and all its benefits. I second everything she says about the special fibery goodness of CGOA, particularly the annual conference. See all the fun Tammy is having in those pictures? It’s even more fun in real time. Come join us. 

And a big shout-out to Crochetville for organizing our monthlong celebration. Because, you know, we all crochet every day, but it is a most excellent thing to devote every day of a whole month to celebrating crochet. It takes a good bit of time and effort to organize us all. So, thanks Amy and Donna!

Before I get started here, I want to ask you: Who is your favorite crocheter? Ruminate on that while I tell you what I've been up to.

Lately, my daughter and I have been crafting together. She is sixteen, going on seventeen, so it’s nothing short of remarkable that this is even going on. We have great fun (really!) taking a project from a quick idea to a finished product, both of us contributing suggestions and materials as we move forward. Here are some things I’ve learned as we’ve worked together.

Now is the time to make a thing. Don’t put it on a list. Don’t say you’ll do it on the weekend. Do it now, when the idea is fresh and new and ready for nurturing. Working with someone else can be especially nice, because one person may see a use for a thing that you hadn’t considered. Which brings me to …

Nothing is too precious to use. That ball of yarn you’ve been hoarding saving for just the right thing? Use it right now! The adorable notebook you’ve been afraid to make a mark in? Open it up and sketch your next project.  The special bead nestled in velvet? String it on thread and wear it.

Open yourself to inspiration from others. Pinterest is a terrific idea-generator.  Seeing how other people use yarns and beads and paper and whatnot is a fine way to whet your creative appetite. That said, remember …

You are the maker. Don’t worry about exactly duplicating that nifty necklace on Pinterest. Use it as a launching point to create your own great thing.

We are all makers, but we can get caught up in a list of Things to Crochet and forget to really enjoy crochet. Or maybe other work gets in the way of crochet.

So here’s the thing: When’s the last time you crocheted a thing for yourself? Not for a client, relative or friend in need. Can’t remember? Then the time is now. I’m going to give you a little recipe to jump-start your creativity AND make a gift for yourself.

This recipe, also, comes from my daughter. As a toddler, she put together the most amazing outfits, from her pink Mary Janes to her yellow-hat-with-the-pink-flower, with all manner of textures and colors in between. At the very end, she’d throw on a macaroni necklace that pulled the outfit together in a most excellent way. My latest obsession takes a page from her book of style by crocheting my own brand of “macaroni necklace.” Bead crochet necklaces!

The necklace is super-simple. I know you can crochet fabulous, complicated things. This isn’t one of those things. You’re going to make a beautiful object, using skills that are second nature to you, in a very short period of time. And you’re going to relax your mind so that it can dream up one of those fabulous, complicated things (but no pressure—really the goal is to relax your mind Right Now and crochet a present for yourself. Because you deserve it.)

Here’s the recipe: Go fetch crochet thread and beads. If you don’t have beads (and why not?), go get yourself a tube of them from the local craft store. (We’ll still be here when you get back.) Get beads that make you want to sing, because of their color or shapes or variety. While you’re there, get yourself one of those narrow, flexy needles with the big eye for stringing the beads.
If at all possible, tuck your beads & thread & needle & hook into a bag—throw a notebook in there, too—and go to a coffeeshop or bookstore. By yourself. If you can’t get away, tuck yourself into a nook with a cup of tea. 

One of my bead necklaces in progress.
String all the beads on the crochet thread—do not fret over the order of color or size; just thread them on as you pick them up. When they’re all strung, leave a 6” tail, make a slipknot, then *crochet a few chains, slide up a bead, crochet a few chains, slide up another bead, rep from *. Easy-peasy. There are a variety of ways to arrange the chain lengths and beads—follow your intuition. Pause occasionally to jot down any ideas that flow into your mind as you mesmerize yourself with the chaining and beading.  When you’re done, clip, leaving a 6” tail. Tie the tails together in an overhand knot. Put on the necklace. 

The necklace I wear all the darn time.
Wear your necklace as much as possible—it will go with everything!—to remind yourself that you are a creative being. A maker.

So, who is your favorite crocheter? If the answer is not YOU, it should be. Say that out loud: "I am my favorite crocheter!" Wow! Stunning, isn't it? Isn't it awesome that you CAN crochet? It is. Totally a Stuart Smalley moment. Wallow in it for a second or two.

Happy crocheting.


  1. Thanks Marcy, I am printing this & passing it around at my next CGOA Chapter meeting. Then, taking it home to post on my refrigerator.

  2. Made one last night, and am wearing it today. :) Thank you for this post. :)


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