CGOA's New Blogger Team

Monday, December 21, 2015

The CGOA Now! blog has some exciting things in store for 2016. We've just assembled a new team of volunteer bloggers who will be helping all your favorite long-term CGOA bloggers keep you up-to-date on CGOA news and all things crochet, so you can expect to see more frequent and informative posts in the new year!

We'd like to introduce you to the new team, but first...

Did you know CGOA Now! is your blog? All members of the Crochet Guild of America are eligible to submit blog posts for CGOA Now!. If you have something you'd like to say to the crochet community or would like to join the volunteer blog team (and are a current member of CGOA), please send an email to CGOAnow {at} crochet {dot} org.

And now on to our new blogger team!

Laura Blake

Laura's grandmother taught her how to crochet when she was 8 years old. She crocheted on and off throughout the years until she made a baby bonnet for a friend in 2013, and hasn't stopped crocheting since. She loves to show how beautiful crochet can be (and that's its not inferior to knitting). Her experience has now grown to include testing patterns and proofreading for designers. You can find her on the web on Facebook, Instagram, Etsy, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

Marie Segares

Marie Segares is an accomplished crochet blogger and proprietress of Underground Crafter and the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur podcast. She is a Craft Yarn Council Certified Crochet and Knitting Instructor who regularly teaches fiber classes, has had patterns published in numerous magazines, and contributes to several craft blogs. While crocheting is her favorite craft, she also enjoys soap making, quilting, sewing, embroidery, and even knitting! She can be found on the web on Facebook, Ravelry, and YouTube, and on Twitter @ucrafter and @cyeshow.

Stacy Vaka

Stacy learned the art of crochet from her aunt when she was 12 years old. She launched her blog, Crochet Kitten (where she uses the nickname Animator's Wife), in 2007 to support her crochet and belly dance habits. She enjoys the mathematical, designing aspect of crocheting, but also likes putting together tutorials to share her love of crochet with the world. Find her on Facebook, Ravelry, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Book Review: Boho Crochet: 30 Hip and Happy Projects

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Title: Boho Crochet: 30 Hip and Happy Projects
Contributing Editor: Marinke Slump

Book Review by Marie Segares, UndergroundCrafter

Boho Crochet is a collection of 30 crochet patterns by 10 popular crochet designers (including Etsy shop owners and bloggers) from the Netherlands, the UK, Ireland, and the US. These designers are known for their embrace of bohemian-style projects influenced by 1960s and 1970s crochet as well as their use of vibrant, contemporary colors.

The book opens with an introduction from Marinke Slump, who brought the collection together, and bios of each of the 10 contributing designers. Next, there is a Project Selector, which is a graphic table of contents with a thumbnail of each pattern along with the pattern name and designer name. (This is the only place in the book where the designer name is linked to the pattern.)

The first section, Crochet for the Home, includes 19 patterns for blankets, pillows, and decorations, including 4 “one star” (beginner) patterns, 11 “two star” (intermediate) patterns, 3 “three star” (accomplished) patterns, and 1 “four star” (advanced) pattern.

The next section, Crochet Fashion, includes 2 “one star” patterns, 8 “two star” patterns, and 2 “three star” patterns for women’s accessories such as neckwear, a shawl, a hat, fingerless mitts, and bags.

Each pattern page includes an introduction, a pattern skill rating, and a supply list that lists the yarn by weight and fiber type, but not brand. About half the patterns indicate gauge is not important. Most patterns include several full color pictures.

The final section is Crochet Techniques. Tools and Materials shares some general tips about yarn, hooks, and notions. Getting Started includes multi-step photo tutorials of basic stitches and techniques. There are also photo tutorials for increasing, decreasing, crocheting in the round, changing colors, joining and seaming, and finishing, and a written explanation of common pattern reading challenges. The book ends with a listing of the yarns used in each project and an index.

The bright colors and inviting pictures are definitely inspiring, and the detailed tutorials in the back make this book ideal for an adventurous beginner crocheter who is hoping to take their skills to the next level. All of the patterns have been previously published, and quite a few are available for free online. The book has also been “translated” from a UK version, and all of the patterns use US crochet abbreviations. However, some of the formatting has not made the transition, so US crocheters who are accustomed to reading patterns from traditional publishers will need to adjust to the lack of spacing (e.g., ch55 instead of ch 55).

The book is beautifully presented and would make a wonderful gift. Crocheters who spend a lot of time online may have already accessed some of these designs for free or by purchasing them on Etsy or Ravelry, but others would view the book with fresh eyes. As with any pattern book, your enjoyment will be increased if you love the patterns. Unfortunately, there is no Ravelry source page set up for the book, but you can see several photographs on the official Martingale page for the book here.

Full disclosure: A free electronic review copy of Boho Crochet was provided by Martingale. 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.
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