CGOA Member Spotlight: Heidi Yates

Thursday, December 29, 2016

I'm Marie from Underground Crafter and this is my twelfth and final post in a series of interviews highlighting the work of a Crochet Guild of America member. (Don't worry, I'll be back in 2017 with a different series of monthly guest posts!)

Heidi Yates.
This month's post is spotlighting Heidi Yates, the crochet designer and crafts blogger behind Totally Snappy/Snappy Tots. Heidi can also be found online at Facebook, InstagramPinterest, Ravelry, and Twitter.

All images are © Heidi Yates/Snappy Tots/Totally Snappy  and are used with permission.

Messy Beanie Buddies, premium crochet pattern by Heidi Yates for sale on Ravelry.
Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first get started crocheting? 
Heidi: My mom taught me when I was little. I didn't really start crocheting a lot until about 7 years ago when knitting became too painful for my wrists. I picked up crochet again and, with ergonomic hooks, am able to crochet for hours without pain. 

Icicle Ike, free crochet pattern by Heidi Yates.
UC: When did you start designing?
Heidi: I can't remember a time when I wasn't designing something.  I grew up in a very creative home and my mom always encouraged us to draw and try different hobbies. My first published "designs" were tole painted pieces in 1995. I wrote a book and several magazine articles. After that I designed knitted pieces and crocheted pieces. 

Cotton Flapper, free crochet pattern by Heidi Yates.
UC: How long have you been a member of the CGOA? What’s your favorite thing about being a member? 
Heidi: I am a newbie. This is my second year and I'm still finding all of the things they offer. I have enjoyed many of their publications. 

Shark Nap Blanket, premium crochet pattern by Heidi Yates for sale on Ravelry.
UC: You have a multi-craft background. Does your tole painting experience influence your crochet at all? 
Heidi: Absolutely and more so this upcoming year. For over a year I've been working on a new adventure with my painting (prolonged due to personal events) and eventually will be releasing a whole new line of crochet patterns inspired by those designs as well.

I hope my creations look like each other. I think I have a whimsical world playing out in my brain and little by little pieces come to life. 

Velvety Slouch and Scarf, free crochet pattern by Heidi Yates.
UC: What are your favorite types of crochet projects to make?
Heidi: I wish there was an eighth day each week dedicated to crocheting just for the heck of it.  There are tons of patterns I'd love to try for my home and gifts. I mostly enjoy crocheting things for kids.. Of all ages. The brighter and more whimsical, the better. 

Troll Toes and Big Feet, premium crochet pattern by Heidi Yates for sale on Ravelry.
UC: What will you be working on in 2017? What's next for you?
Heidi: I've been working behind the scenes for quite some time and hope to put everything in place by spring, 2017. "Out with the old and more of the best" is my motto for 2017. 

Thanks for sharing your love of crochet with us, Heidi!

Book Review - Crocheted Scoodies by Magdalena Melzer and Anne Thiemeyer

Monday, December 19, 2016

I was provided with a copy of Crocheted Scoodies for an honest review. All opinions are those of Jessie Rayot of Jessie At Home.

Crochet Scoodies: 20 Gorgeous Hooded Scarves and Cowls to Crochet is packed full of warm goodies to keep your winter bright! Using chunky yarns, these scoodies are not only warm, but they work up fairly quickly so you can be off in fashion in no time.

From elegant and chic to sporty and fun, there's loads of variety to choose from. You're sure to find the perfect scoodie to suit your style.

The book starts with a short introduction and then moves right into the colorful patterns. There really is a nice variety of hooded cowls and scarves, in every color of the rainbow. Of course, you can use any color you like, but the colors chosen for the samples are superb. Sometimes a solid color is chosen with just a bit of a second color as an accent, sometimes a set of colors are chosen, and sometimes a variegated or textured color yarn is chosen. You can see that a lot of thought went into just the right yarn for each pattern.

Crocheted Scoodies is also a great book to learn different stitches. Nothing boring going on here! The stitch patterns are constantly changing so no 2 scoodies look the same. There are ripples and ridges, spike stitches and post stitches and more.

At the end of the book is a "How it's done" section that will teach you many of the techniques you will need to complete your projects. All with clear illustrations. After that is a section of charts to help with some of the patterns. This book has everything you need to succeed!

You can pre-order your copy of Crocheted Scoodies from Amazon HERE. You can also enter below to win a copy of your own.

To enter the Crocheted Scoodies giveaway you must be at least 18 years of age with a valid USA shipping address. Giveaway closes at end of day eastern time 12/25/16, after which the winner will be contacted via email. Winner must reply with a valid USA shipping address within one week, or a new winner will be chosen.

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Getting To Know You - Jan Scogin

Sunday, December 18, 2016

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)

Dallas, Texas

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 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,, 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, 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"!
Become a CGOA member today, click HERE to join.
Have a great day!

Brought to you by blogger contributor:
Carolyn Calderon
If you would like to be a featured member, please contact her HERE.

Book Review - Crochet Flowers Step-by-Step

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Title: Crochet Flowers Step-by-Step
Author: Tanya Shliazhko
MSRP: $18.99 USD

Book review by Pia Thadani - Stitches'N'Scraps

Bring a little bit of sunshine into your world with these beautiful crochet flowers. They're fast, fun, and so versatile!

Cover - Crochet Flowers Step-by-Step

The absolute hardest part of this book is page 6. It says "choose a flower," with pictures of all the flower patterns in the book. They're not simply variations on the same basic design. Each one is unique and they're all so pretty that it's hard to pick just one!

Choose a Flower - Crochet Flowers Step-by-Step

Some of the designs may look complex, but the book makes them very accessible for beginners. They're organized by difficulty, so you can work your way up as you master new skills. In addition to clear instructions and charts, the patterns also include step-by-step photos of each row.

Marigold - Crochet Flowers Step-by-Step

To get you started, there is a diagram showing what information is in each pattern and how it is arranged. The basic stitches and techniques used are illustrated in photo tutorials. There are also tips on choosing materials and tools, and reading the charts. Because the instructions are so detailed and the patterns themselves are so small, this could be a wonderful book to learn to crochet with!

Tools and Materials - Crochet Flowers Step-by-Step

Every flower needs leaves, and there are leaf patterns included too. You can use your finished flowers to decorate almost anything, or try one of the 5 fun projects in the book!

Projects - Crochet Flowers Step-by-Step

Enter to win your own copy of Crochet Flowers Step-by Step! This prize is generously provided by the publisher, St Martin's Griffin. To be eligible, you must be 18 years of age or older, with a valid, US or Canadian shipping address. The winner will be contacted by email, and must reply to that email and provide the shipping address within 1 week in order to receive the prize. If the winner does not reply within 1 week, a new winner will be selected.

The giveaway ends on December 30th. Hurry and enter below! 

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Disclaimer: A free review copy of Crochet Flowers Step-by-Step was provided by St Martin's Griffin. 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. All images of copyrighted material are used with permission.
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