Crochet Month Celebration- Free Pattern & Discounts!

ScannedImageI can hardly believe that a month long celebration of crochet is really almost over. Crochetville put together quite the blog tour this year and I am grateful that they have invited me to attend again this year, (if you have missed any stops, make sure and check them out here).

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I will admit that I have found it fun to see the focus on various social media outlets about Crochet Month, but in my personal reality nothing changed too much as crochet is my everyday celebration. I find a little something that fascinates me with this craft nearly daily. It may be the fact that there are so many different locations to place a stitch and get such a different effect that it is almost too numerous to count. It may be that the same pattern worked in a different yarn or with a different fiber can create a completely different look. It might also be that if you just change your hook everything can change. It might seem like small details, but these small details can make all the difference.

I know I probably sound like an artist that is explaining different shades of red, because the most important thing about crochet is the way it makes you feel to create. My personal soap box is that there is never “wrong” crochet, because if you enjoy it, that is all that matters. A statement that I students always enjoy is “If your friends point out your crochet mistakes, they are not your friends”.

To aide your enjoyment of the crochet celebration, I am sharing a free pattern. This pattern, The Small Empress Jeweled Egg, may be a little late for the Easter holiday, but as you may have the plastic eggs around, and these are cute additions that you can use for spring decorations. In addition I am giving a free pattern coupon for my Ravelry store. Buy any patterns totaling at least $9 and receive your choice of any pattern FREE by using code NatCroMo2016 until April 6, 2016.

Also, I am excited to share that I am teaching at the annual Crochet Guild of America conference, known as Chainlink in some crowds and the Knit & Crochet Show in others, this July in Charleston, SC. If you plan on attending, please consider my classes. I would love to meet you there!

Don’t forget to check out all the other stops today on this ride along the blog tour, places like my friend Vashti Braha, I always love reading what she has to say.

If you need some help or ideas for using beads, check out some of my tips here.

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Small Empress Jeweled Egg I do not know why the photo wants to be on its side….

Skill level: Advanced Beginner       Measures to fit plastic egg, with no ease

Material List:

  • Size F/5/3.75mm hook
  • Lincatex Gold Rush super fine weight 80% Rayon, 20% Metallised Polyester yarn (100m/25g per cone)
  • #6 size Czech glass beads 60 grams (beadbiz.org)
  • Small plastic egg, 1 1/4”wide x 1 7/8” long
  • Tapestry needle

Gauge: is not critical for this project

Pattern Note /Special Stitches

Bead Crochet (bc): Slip 1 bead to hook, YO, pull through loop on hook.

Double Crochet 2 together (dc2tog): YO, insert hook into indicated stitch, YO and pull through, YO pull through 2 loops, YO insert hook into next indicated stitch, YO pull through, YO pull through 2 loops, YO pull through last 3 loops.

Small Empress Ornament       Thread 60 beads

Round 1: Ch 4 (counts as foundation ch plus dc), bc, [dc, bc] all in 5th ch from hook 7 times, sl st to top of beg ch 4. (8 dc, 8 bc)

Round 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc here and throughout), dc in same st, bc, [2 dc in next dc, bc] 7 times, sl st to top of beg ch 3. (16 dc, 8 bc)

Rounds 3-7: Ch 3, dc in next dc, bc, [dc in next 2 dc, bc] 7 times, sl st to top of beg ch 3. (16 dc, 8 bc)

Insert small egg and work subsequent rounds.

Round 8: Ch 2 (counts as first dc2tog here and throughout), sk next dc, bc, [dc2tog in next 2 dc, bc] 7 times, sl st to to of beg ch 2. (8 dc2tog, 8 bc)

Round 9: Ch 1, sc8tog  in all dc sts, finish off.

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

dc: double crochet

rep: repeat

sc: single crochet

sk: skip

sl st: slip stitch

st(s): stitch(es)

Crochet -Creating Opportunities and Communities

ScannedImageI enjoy March. How can you not, it is a month long celebration of crochet! This is the third year that Crochetville has put this fabulous blog tour together, highlighting a least 2 different crochet designers each day (if you missed any make sure and spend some time catching up with them from the interviews at Crochetville) and Thank you Amy & Donna for once again putting this together.

halosofhopeFor me I always realize something about the world through crochet, and one of the reoccurring themes is community. This blog tour also brings attention to great service organizations, like Halos of Hope, that use crochet items to better society. Crochetville is taking up a collection for Halos of Hope, please consider contributing.

Crochetville_Designer_Blog_Tour_Promo-e1427303900438Community can be large like the Crochet Guild of America, many crocheters from around the world coming together in one organization, or small like your own local guild (mine is the Hangtown Fibers Guild, you can find one near you here), or crochet group, or coffee chat. But community can be quite unique and sometime taken for granted. So I wanted to share the store of how my Empress Wide Scarf (my free pattern as a gift to you for National Crochet Month), came into being. It is an interesting network that was connected and brought together by crochet.

IMG_6799.1My rural life has me in an area that is great for growing wine grapes, I should preface this by informing you that I have very little knowledge of wine; I know there is red & white, but much more than that and I am lost. With that said I believe the majority of the wine varieties in my area are more reminiscent of Italy then France as it is a region with a Tuscany climate, as a result there are many award winning wineries nearby. So my children go to school with, and are friends with, the children of winery owners and workers. One day I was approached by the mother of one of my daughter’s friends, she has admired my crochet work and was hoping I could create something for her daughter’s birthday. She had some rough idea that she might like a scarf or something that she could wrap around her head in a dramatic fashion like a Hepburn. She would love it to have the feel of a particular shawl I wear often (the Five Peaks Shawl by Vashti Braha), created in a fingering weight hand painted bamboo.

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Empress Wide Scarf – Free Pattern (click link below)

Now this mother knows about as much about crochet and yarn as I know about wine. I know that I cannot find a comparable yarn in the local box store; my local yarn store did not even carry such a fiber, so I began playing with various fibers to see if I could get a similar feel and drape. Then I happened to run into a fiber friend, she is an independent dyer that I have done some other crochet designs for in the past. I did not think to use her yarn at first, but after looking over the stock I found something that would fit perfectly. As it happens the dyer, Lisa Souza, loves that wine that the mother creates, Holly’s Hill Vineyards, so trades were able to be arranged so that everyone benefited. As a result I have been able to take this birthday present and share it with you.

My larger take away from this is how small the world can really be. By not hiding my work, I was able to bring others together in a completely different way, and I am reminded that I have a skill that I can share. Crochet can create a community that may not have been created otherwise, as it creates “ice breaker” opportunities; people are brought to fond memories when they see the fiber arts. (I discussed this more in the blog post Thankful Crochet…Not What You Might Expect)

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Empress Scarf- Free Pattern (click link below)

So the Empress Wide Scarf is created using Tunisian Simple Stitch, but what makes this pattern stand out is that it changes color on the Forward & Return Pass. The effects are very nice. So that the colors do not get too muted together in the Tunisian work, it is edged with standard crochet in defining bands of color.

Visit my Ravelry Store and download your pattern for FREE. If you are so inclined, please feel free to use coupon code “natcromo15” to receive a 15% discount on any order of at least two patterns until April 15, 2015.

I hope you make your own communities, as often as possible.

A Whole Month to Recognize Crochet!

ScannedImageThe month of March is National Crochet Month, and to highlight the event Crochetville (a fun site dedicated to crochet), is hosting a blog tour of Professionals and Associate Professionals members of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA). Check out the fun filled month with a lot of insight, give aways and free patterns (my site is featured on March 30, and I will be having a give away you will enjoy, so check back). So check out the fabulous sites (these are very talent crocheters, and I have honored to be able to be in the tour with them). Here is the current calendar, but check the main tour site as additions keep finding a way in at “A Tour Through Crochet Country”!

March 1 Jenny King Shelby Allaho
March 2 Ellen Gormley Nancy Nehring
March 3
Phyllis Serbes Mona Muhammad
March 4
Amy O’Neill Houck Akua Hope
March 5
Mary Jane Hall Lindsey Stephens
March 6
Edie Eckman Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby
March 7
Jennifer Cirka Annette Stewart
March 8
Andrea Graciarena LeAnna Lyons
March 9
Dawn Cogger Angela Whisnant
March 10
Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten Renee Rodgers
March 11 Joy Prescott Donna Childs
March 12 Pam Daley Deb Burger
March 13 Tammy Hildebrand Marty Miller
March 14 Jocelyn Sass Jennifer E Ryan
March 15 Andee Graves
March 16 Laurinda Reddig
March 17 Brenda Bourg
March 18 Rhonda Davis
March 19 Julie Oparka
March 20
April Garwood
March 21
Alaina Klug
March 22
Erin Boland
March 23
Margaret Hubert
March 24
Bonnie Barker
March 25
Kim Guzman Susan Huxley
March 26
Susan Lowman
March 27
Marie Segares
March 28
Kathy White
March 29
Amy Shelton Donna Hulka
March 30
Linda Dean
March 31
Karen C K Ballard Gwen Blakley-Kinsler