Teaching Crochet In Chicago!

If you would have told me a couple of years ago that I would be a crochet designer, published in several well-known magazines worldwide, I would have thought you were crazy. Then if you added to that, that I would be teaching on the National Stage at conferences, I would have asked for you to check what was in your water. I never would have seen this is the future journey that I would have been on. After all I was working in a support position for social works in cafe of the elderly. I found my job rewarding, knowing that I was making a daily difference in the lives of people in my community.

Well, changes in the structure of my job, as well as the needs of my young kids helped me envision a new path. I still have to pinch myself at times to realize that I really have accomplished these things, and that I am teaching again this year at the Crochet Guild of America’s annual Chainlink Conference, this year July 26-29, 2017 in Chicago.

www.lindadeancrochet.com

Needle Felt crochet motifs on fabric

I am teaching some classes you may not have expected. I am teaching how to Needle Felt your motifs directly onto fabric, allowing you to take your crochet into an entirely new direction with no sewing required! Barbed needles are great tools that can be used to create some fabulous projects, but using it with crochet is a direction that you may not have explored, until now.

www.lindadeancrochet.com

Convert It! Learn how to crochet your favorite knitting pattern

I am also teaching Convert It! This is a class that will overload you with information about how to take your favorite knit design and recreate it in crochet. Learn what drives you to choose your pattern, and then understand how to dismantle it and put it together for the exact look you want, while learning and understanding the basic differences between knitting and crochet and how to use the strength and weakness of each to complement each other.

www.lindadeancrochet.com

What the Pattern Does Not Say

What the Pattern Does Not Tell You covers all the things that designers, writers, and publishers assume you already know. There are many simple things that can get overlooked in the writing, but can really make a complete difference in the outcome of your success. Don’t let the lack of this information hold your crochet back.

While teaching Re-Invented Broomstick Lace, I have learned so much myself. People have an idea of the basics of Broomstick lace, but there are so many possibilities. This class offers inspiration in how to use this stitch to create stunning fabrics that will leave everyone asking how you did that. It can be your secret, and hopefully you will get inspired to invent even more new approaches to this lace technique.

www.lindadeancrochet.com

Re-Invented Broomstick Lace

It will be a fun couple of days in Chicago, and if you can join me it would be great to see you. I don’t know what crazy adventure I will be on in the next couple of years, but I have learned, NEVER, rule out anything!

Make It For Me- Flutterfall Shawl

ScannedImageThank you everyone joint me today from ELK Studio for the month long Make It For Me Event! (If you are not aware of this event, check it out here).

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Flutterfall Shawl By Linda Dean

I am happy to share my Flutterfall Shawl with you as my FREE pattern today. It is primarily created with just a chain stitch, and allows for a simple skein of yarn to go on for what seems like forever, and if you have a varigated yarn, it creates interesting pooling (more than might be usually apparent).

The design begins at the base of the neck and is increased at both sides as well as the center to create a flowing triangle, that is quite graceful.

The sample below is created with just 1 skein of a hand painted yarn, Lisa Souza Dyeworks Deluxe Sock! ( it is light weight, 80% superwash Merino, 10% nylon, 10% cashmere, 4oz/495yds), but the pattern can really be created with any yarn using an appropriate size hook. Just work it until you are happy with the size and add the edging.

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Flutterfall Shawl By Linda Dean

 

Flutterfall Shawl   by: Linda Dean (Get a Printable Version here for $2.00 US)

Stunningly simple, yet the effect is confident and enjoyable. This simple stitch pattern allows the yarn to be the star; it has great drape and fabulous flow. This is a design you will work up over and over again.

Skill Level: Advanced Beginner    Finished Size Approximately: 64”x 31”

Material List:

  • I/9/5.50mm crochet hook
  • Lisa Souza Dyeworks Deluxe Sock! Light weight 80% superwash Merino 10% nylon 10%Cashmere (4oz/495yrds) 1 skein
  • Tapestry needle

Gauge: 4 (sc, ch 3) groups/8 rows= 4”

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

dc: double crochet

rep: repeat

sc: single crochet

sk: skip

sp(s): space(s)

st(s): stitch(es)

Yo: yarn over

Pattern Note /Special Stitches

This pattern starts in the center middle and worked outward.

Shell- [dc, (ch1, dc) 4 times] in the same indicated stitch.

Row 1: Ch 2, [sc , (ch 3, sc) 3 times] all in 2nd  ch from hook, turn. -4 sc, (3) ch-3 sps

Row 2: Ch 6 (counts as dc and ch 3 now and throughout), sc in next sc, ch 3, dc in next ch-3 sp (place marker in dc to mark as center), ch 3, sc in next sc, ch 3, dc in last sc, turn. – 3 dc, 2 sc, (4) ch-3 sps

When working a (sc, ch 3, sc) into a marked dc, move the marker up to the ch-3 sp to mark the center of the shawl. When working a dc into a marked ch-3 sp, move the marker up to the dc to mark the center of the shawl.

Row 3: Ch 1, (sc, ch 3, sc) in same dc, ch 3, (sc in next sc, ch 3) across to marked st, (sc, ch 3, sc) in marked st,  ch 3, (sc in next sc, ch 3) across, ending with (sc, ch 3, sc) in 3rd ch of beg ch, turn.  –8 sc, (7) ch-3 sps

Row 4: Ch 6, (sc in next sc, ch 3) across to marker, dc in center ch-3 sp,  ch 3, (sc in next sc, ch 3) across to last sc, dc in last st, turn. -3 dc, 6 sc, (8) ch-3 sps

Row 5-52: Rep Rows 3 & 4 twenty-three times. – 3 dc, 102 sc, (104) ch-3 sps

Row 53: ch 1, sc in same st, [Shell in next sc, sc in next sc] around. Finish off. -52 shells, 53 sc

Finishing- Weave in ends and block.

Copywrite 2016 Linda Dean Crochet

No Stitch Join and Standing Stitches

ScannedImageThe more I play in crochet, the more I realize there really are no rules.

It seems that with colder weather finally descending on my community, everyone wants to crochet hats; most of them first time crocheters. So, as of late I have been teaching how to start circles, all three different ways. I have been teaching how to increase stitches. I have been teaching how to join rounds.

An interesting thing with joining rounds, there are a couple of ways to do it, and it can give you some different results. The method that I have been playing with lately does not actually involve a stitch at all.

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Remove hook from working loop, insert it in the point of the join.

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Put working loop over hook and pull it through joining point.

When you get to the point of joining, the hook is removed from the working loop and inserted into the point of the join, the working loop is then slipped back on the hook and pulled through the point of join. This creates a join that has no extra yarn, no extra loops, and does not necessarily flatten out the stitch that is joined to as can happen with joining to a beginning chain.

If this is not enough, I added in a chainless starting stitch. So anytime you begin a new round or when working flat and turning your work, you usually chain a certain number of stitches to equate to the height of the stitches that are being worked. This is because all crochet stitches end at the top of the stitch, and thus the stitches next to it need to be of a similar height or it just pulls the stitches down. When beginning a new round the working loop is at the base poof the new stitches, and if no beginning chain is worked it can pull the stitch over and distort it. However, to get to this height of stitches, you do not necessarily need a chain.

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Pull up a long loop and work a double crochet in the same stitch.

Sometimes this is called a standing stitch, essentially all it is, is a long loop. After pulling the loop through the joining point, pull it up nice and tall, then work a double crochet (or whichever stitch you may be working) in the same stitch. You can even work the long loop among the stitch making it even less visible.

There are always pros and cons to various techniques, and with these two I find that the join can create a slight distortion, but in a different manner then the slip stitch; also it is a little slower to work and when I am crocheting along mindlessly it definitely stops my rhythm. One of the things I really like about this join is that it closes any gaps that might be created in my stitch placements at the joining point.

With the standing join, it is nice that everything looks pretty uniform, and there is no beginning chain that looks different than the rest of the stitches, yet there are times that the long loop can get a little distorted and uneven for me, I guess I need to work on getting a more even tension with it.

I guess with crochet there is always more to discover.

Where Arts Can Learn from Each Other

ScannedImageThis last week I had the opportunity to spend some tie at a knitting workshop. The Hangtown Fibers Guild, my local non-denominational Fiber Guild that has to be given credit for all the encouragement and support of my entering the Crochet Industry, was hosting Lucy Neatby for a day long workshop on a variety of knitting techniques. I helped arrange the workshop, and in handling the support I was able to glean some information from the beginning of the day.

The technique that made me smile was the knitters Provisional Cast On. Casting on is how a knit project begins, it is how to add loops to the needle, and there are various ways to do this. The traditional Provisional Cast On, begins with a crochet chain, and then loops are pulled through the chains, much like the beginning of Tunisian Crochet. During this workshop a variation of this technique was taught, essentially it is crocheting over the knitting needle.

I had an ever widening grin, as this is a skill the crocheters use in all sorts of ways. This is a technique that has been used to cover clothes hangers, to create bracelets, to make rugs. It is a simple part of a crocheters skills, and here it has another use in the world of knitting.

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Pull the yarn overs around the item you want to crochet over.

The basic of this skill is to simply have a loop on your hook, and with the object you want to crochet over in front of the working yarn, you move your hook to yarn over and pull a loop over the item. At this point you can pull through the loop on your hook (a chain stitch) or yarn over and pull through both loops (a single crochet US, or double crochet UK).

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Crocheting over a canning jar ring, I have created a wreath ornament.

Recently I have used this technique to crochet over mason canning rings with green yarn, to create wreath ornaments for the holiday season.

Every skill we learn is an additional tool we have, to grow in all the arts.

Crochet & Bead, Light Enhancement

ScannedImageA few years back my husband put together some bent iron and a couple of chains creating a “chandelier” of sorts. I was grateful for his effort, but needed to add some extra embellishments. I thought as the season changes to one in which we begin enjoying the great outdoors later in the hours of the day, that I would share how I took a couple of ideas and now enjoy the outdoors after the sunset.

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A crochet chain of bead adorns my extra porch light.

Crochet helped me once again in repurposing my new make shift light source. After painting the metal white, I felt that it needed something more. I had been playing with beads and jewelry wire, creating choker necklaces, and as it happened it became an inspiration. I strung several colors of beads on a long spool of wire and then simply began to create a crochet chain. I stretched the stitch after it was made, causing the wire to collapse more around the bead, this chain now adorns the metal by draping between the cross sections, and I created an additional chain of beads to weave through the chain that it is suspended from. It added just enough color and whimsy. So complete the project I added a few votive candles and holders, and now I have a beautiful art piece that graces the seating area of my back porch. It is nice to spend a quite spring evening outside by this soft light that has just a little something extra, brought together with crochet.

I have often considered creating more of these beaded chains, for adornment in other places, maybe I will have to create one to drape from my daughter bedroom window. Various beads can offer different effects and looks, but I think I like the color of these glass beads that allow the light through they almost have a glow about them.