Crochet with Linda at the Winery

Crochet with Linda at the Winery, a new adventure. Just when I think life should be settling into a rhythm, a new idea spices things up! I have spent the beginning of 2019 traveling and teaching, and just as I set my schedule for teaching at my local yarn store I add in something new….retreats!

I am offering the first of several retreats Thursday, August 29, 2019 from 10:30-4, just south of Placerville, CA.

Crochet with Linda at the Winery, featuring Holly’s Hill Winery and Lisa Souza Dyeworks Yarn

I have been imagining these retreat events for quite a while now. An event that engages skill building with inspiration, in a great setting, with great materials. And maybe doing something that you have always meant to do. This one in just a few weeks, definitely fits that build!

The Skills and Project

Sometimes gaining skills at a Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels can be a challenge. This unique design and pattern has been created to do allow skills to be built and advance your skill. The same stitch pattern utilizes three different ways to create a cowl. Beginning level works the cowl flat, while intermediate works in the round, and still advanced works in the round moebius from center out. The cowls are wide enough to be hooded, and with just enough lace work to allow this cowl to be worn in many seasons.

The Location

A family owned and operated winery, in a beautiful setting. Holly’s Hill overlooks the north fork of the Consumnes River Valley, and features French style Rhone Wines. The Co-Winemakers, the husband and wife team of Josh and Carrie Bendick, have a hand in every aspect of the process. They use old fashion techniques to create these Rhone-style wines. We are fortunate enough to have an exclusive tour of the winery. While learning about the wine making process from the experts. In addition you will get to sample a variety of wines in a tasting, while relaxing and enjoying the beautiful view.

The Materials

We will let a fingering weight superwash merino and bamboo yarn flow through our fingers. Lisa Souza Timaru Sport is a luscious yarn that has a coolness to the touch and a beautiful shimmer. Three hand dyed colors available to choose from, a warm, neutral and cool color, which offers a bit of something for everyone. Lisa is known for her gorgeous colorways of yarn, and these will not disappoint. Hooks will be provided (beautifully turned wood), but if you have a preferred hook in your set, please feel free to bring your size G/6/4.00mm.

Enjoy the view, the wine and definitely the crochet!

Enjoy gourmet box lunch, also included. No pepperoni pizza here. There are menus are being worked up with locally renowned restaurants to provide a day that allows everyone to feel pampered and valued.

As the final outlines of this event are being worked up, plans are well underway for another in October. If you want to be kept abreast of these new retreats, please sign up for my newsletter. Want to attend this event, register here.

I hope to see you soon, and will keep you posted on this new adventure!

Gearing Up for Teaching

It is a bit satisfying, a bit unnerving, and a bit of second guessing getting ready to teach multiple classes at a singular event. This last month I have been prepping for 4 classes that I am teaching at the Crochet Guild of America annual Chainlink conference and it is almost time to put all that planning to the test.

I have been updating notes, writing handouts, doing current research and putting together samples and such. So this month I have been making yarn with a drop spindle and dyeing all kinds of yarn in a variety of ways.  I have been studying patterns and playing with beads. I have been mentally teaching my classes for hours, working on finer points and ensuring that I have everything in place.

In addition I have been putting together kits for materials for my class. Personally I do not enjoy taking classes that have lengthy material list, especially when it is not completely familiar with the things on the list. So as a teacher I have a small material fee, but I put together kits of the items needed. This might take up some room while traveling yet it is so worth it to have my students be successful with new techniques.

Now as I box everything up and start putting things together for my 10 hour drive I go over and over all possible items I might be forgetting. Life never fails I am sure I will remember something I need several hours from home, so I will be finding a replacement or improvising in class. That is what keeps it entertaining after all.

I really enjoy teaching, and how much I learn while giving instructions to others (I continue to take classes, check out why here). I am looking forward to the adventure that this week has in store…I will share my progress….

Worth a Routine Change

Settling back into a routine can be a bit of a challenge, but teaching at the Crochet Guild of America annual Chainlink conference is really worth the change of schedule.

This is my second year teaching at CGOA, and this year went by faster than I thought possible. I blinked and it was over.

I spent the last week of July just outside of Chicago sharing my love of crochet with other like-minded individuals. I taught 4 classes, and as there are so many great crochet instructors I vary my topics to help set me apart. This event I taught Needle Felting Applique, Converting Knitting to Crochet, Variations of Broomstick Lace and Things that the Pattern Assumes you Know. I feel like every class I teach is a test; Can I share everything in a manner that everyone will understand? Am I giving the students what they need/want/deserve/expect?

In a respect I think I gain just as much as my students from a good class, which I think each of these were. I get inspired by the work they do and the questions they ask. It helps me explore things in a different way, and I hope that helps me grow as a teacher.

This was the first conference since 2004 that the CGOA did a conference alone. In the recent past CGOA partnered with The Knitting Guild Association for the Knit & Crochet Show, this year the knitting association decided to try something different and CGOA decided to proceed on its own. As a result the show was a bit smaller but this allowed it to have everything much more inclusive, with all the class rooms in the hotel. So no trekking to a large convention center. I could leave my class room and join groups of crocheters working on their latest projects in the lobby. It was really nice.

I also had the opportunity to catch up with old friends and make a couple of new ones. It is like a battery being recharged, but recharged while it is being completely run to empty. I enjoy this show and look forward to next year in Portland, OR.

 

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!

The More I Teach, the More I Learn

Teaching crochet might sound like an interesting way to make a little extra money, but there is more to it than what you might think.

I have been teaching crochet for almost a decade, in a variety of venues with a variety of approaches. I began teaching consistently at a coffee shop, I set up a regular hour a week and had people drop in for lessons at their leisure. I also hosted my own workshops at a local winery, I taught workshops at local guild gatherings. I worked this approach for quite some time.

 The drop in lessons at the coffee shop always kept me on my toes. I never knew student may arrive or what they may want to learn. It kept me flexible, and always expanding my own education to keep up with the requests and needs of those seeking my service. This approach did have its down side however, as I never had any idea if anyone would even show up during these set hours. I had many a day that I would just sip my tea and people watch instead of having any students.

Hosting my own workshops way an interesting experience. I was responsible for everything, the location set up, the advertising, the accounts receivable/payable, as well as all the regular workshop expectations for handouts and material, I even made the refreshments. This helped me to recognize my own strengths and weaknesses, as well as a better appreciation for all the work and undertaking that goes into larger teaching/learning venues.

Teaching at the guild workshops had their own challenges, as I personally knew most of the students. I seemed surreal to me that people I knew actually wanted to pay to take a class from me. It was a safe place, but I had to ensure not to “let my guard down” in a sense. I want to keep things professional and this can be difficult when the room is filled with people that you share a different kind of relationship with. Thus, this experience helped me to understand some of my short comings as an instructor.

From these 3 teaching venues I grew into teaching at my local yarn store, as well as at national conferences. The local yarn store helped me to expand my student following, and introduce me to new people. It allowed me to focus on actual education without having to worry about the advertising, the enrollment, the location. I feel like I have a more formal footing on my class structure and can focus on various ways to explain various crochet approaches. I can better understand different learning styles and different personalities. This has helped me to better structure my classes for national conferences.

The difference from workshops at the local yarn store and those at conferences, is really the students. The local yarn store has a wide base of students, with varying needs and learning desires, those at conferences often are very focused on the topic at hand, and as a result the classes need to be geared to a more advanced student.

That might be the most challenging thing to putting a workshop together, ensuring that you have enough material to keep everyone engaged. It can be a delicate balance, and until you have the students in the room you never really know what the event will look like. You need to have enough material so that the advanced students are kept busy, while not have so much that you overwhelm students that may need more guidance.

The one underlying affect that teaching has, is seeing the joy and excitement your students have when it all clicks into place and they “get it”. I have heard this said by teachers of all sorts, it is a very unique experience that can become addicting. It is really the students that keep me coming back to teaching, they keep challenging me…something that I have always enjoyed.

I guess I can safely say that teaching has given me more than I would have imagined, every time I teach I learn something new. It might be from a question a student asks that causes me to look at the subject matter from a completely different vantage point, or it could be learning a better way to share my ideas and concepts with someone else. If teaching crochet is something you have considered, be prepared to grow.