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.


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.


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.


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.


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!

Glove and Hat Set from 1 Skein! -Rice Paper Weave Thoughts

ScannedImageSpring is on its way, but winter is still holding on….


Rice Paper Weave Gloves
-I made the hand-to cuff a little longer to keep a little warmer-

I was thinking of family that I have that moved to the Chicago area this year, and how they may need to find ways to keep warm, so for the holidays I made them some gloves. They came out well enough I decided to share them in a pattern.

The stitch pattern is worked in a spiral, upon a base of ribbing that makes up the cuff. Instead of making the new popular option of fingerless gloves, I went ahead and added fingers. I admit fingers seem tedious and intimidating, but I found them much easier then I first thought. They worked up quickly in the same stitch pattern and add the practicality of warmth to the project. I also left the option of having a texting glove, by not completing the thumb, but having it long enough to cover the tip.


Rice Paper Weave Hat
-Matches to gloves, and are available in the same pattern-

Then the most amazing part…I still had enough yarn left in the skein to make a matching hat! I worked this design up on an alpaca yarn from Lisa Souza Dyeworks, so it feels yummy and  makes a very nice cold weather glove and hat set (at least for Chicago weather, it might be fall and spring).


Optional “Texting Thumb”

This design is sized for both men and women, in the gloves and the hat, ensuring that with 1 skein you can get an entire set of matching gloves and a hat!

So far it appears that my family members are enjoying them and keeping warm. If you would like to check out this pattern it is available for sale on Ravelry and Crochetville for $5. I call the “Rice Paper Weave Glove & Hat Set”, the name comes to me from the stitch pattern, and to me it reminds me of the placemats I have found at some Asian restaurants, which are woven but have great texture. The mats are probably made with bamboo but my mind keeps thinking of rice…for some reason it just seems a little more fluid.

Anyway, I hope you want to attempt to keep your fingers warm and will check out my latest design.