Teaching Crochet! My New Adventures

I am excited about my new upcoming adventures. I have a few new teaching events that I want to make you aware of.

Crochet Retreat with Chocolate

January 2020 I am hosting a day long crochet retreat, Crochet with Linda and Chocolate. This one day is designed for anyone at any crochet level that enjoys playing with yarn, good company, and chocolate.

Those attending get to play with yarns from Zombie Yarns, work up a caplet exclusively designed for the event, and get to partake in a chocolate demo from the chocolatier of Annabelle’s Chocolate, Annabelle herself. I always want this event to be more than just crochet, it is an opportunity to learn something new in a location that you may not have ventured to before.

Crochet with Linda and Chocolate

This is the second time I have put on such an event, and space is limited due to the venue size. All supplies and a gourmet boxed lunch are included. If you want more information or to join me, check it out here.

Teaching at DFW Fiber Fest

Then I get prepared to teach at DFW Fiber Fest in Irving, Texas the beginning of April. I will be part of the team teaching Crochet Masters Day on behalf of the Crochet Guild of America. This all day event is designed to help take your crochet to the next level, and aid you in becoming a crochet master.

 There are actually do different Master Certification programs through the Crochet Guild of America, one that essentially is a blind test, and another that is designed to teach you in depth knowledge of certain crochet techniques. Masters Day just touches on the surface of these two programs to start you on your way to really understanding your crochet. Here is where you can find more information about how to join me in Texas.

Teaching at Yarn Fest

By the end of April I will be in Loveland, Colorado teaching another one day at the Interweave Yarn Fest. I am teaching a class on Openwork Crochet, a class about lacework. This is a new class for me that actually is a merging of two of my most popular classes, with some added bonuses. I will be sharing all my insight about Broomstick Lace, Hairpin Lace and Mock Hairpin Lace in a single class.

You will learn how to use these techniques to create fascinating open work, how to then shape fabric with it. Every time I teach these skills I am always reenergized to create more with them and am inspired with new ideas. I know that it will do the same for you. As a teaser, I should mention that you will never look at fringe the same way again. Check out how to join me here.

Teaching Local

As always, if you are in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains you can find me teaching weekly at Lofty Lou’s Yarn Store in Placerville, CA. All skill levels are welcome in all classes, as I teach you essentially a private lesson in a group setting, on any project you want to learn or work on. There are University classes, that offer a price break for the purchase of multiple classes, but I always welcome drop-in students to any of my classes. Make sure and look for the classes by Linda D. offered on Tuesdays. Find more information here.

As 2019 draws to a close, and 2020 begins to dawn I hope you will find a way to join me in person.

A Crochet High- Returning from Conference

Last week I was teaching at the Crochet Guild of America annual Chainlink conference in Portland, Oregon, and you know it had to be a good time when it takes you 4 days to finally unpack. Okay 4 days may not seem like long to some, but I am usually unpacked the same day I arrive home with the laundry in the washer….however this time I just didn’t have the energy, I left it in Portland.

I taught a variety of classes, interestingly enough, I taught 4 classes at a crochet conference and none of them were actually crochet. Well one was, but it was about understanding patterns and how to read them better, the other 3 were not nearly as crochet focused.

I taught how to use beads in your work in my Beads 3 Ways class. It was a room full and everyone put their own style and twist on the necklace we were creating. There were definitely some talented and creative people in that room. They took silk, and threads (from Kreinik threads), and beads (from Bead Biz) and learned different applications to add them to their crochet (or knitting) projects.

Then I spent the entire day teaching people how to actually make yarn in my Drop Spindle class. Everyone made yarn, which is an exciting prospect just in itself. We worked with some different fibers (from Weaver Creek Fibers), and got the hang of drafting, spinning, and parking. We then plied our works and got to experience how to card wool. I haven’t taught that class in a while, and I have to say I was so impressed with what the students created.

The next morning was the class that caused me to drive 12 hours to Portland…Home Dyeing…how to safely dye your own yarn. I am pretty sure everyone had fun in this class. I had to drive to ensure that all  the equipment needed was there for me, so it allowed us to set up dyeing stations and play with all kinds of fiber (from Lisa Souza Dyeworks), with a variety of dyes and techniques. The artistic expression of the students really came out when we just jumped right into all the colors and combinations. There may have been some trash talk, completely in jest, with the class next door as they were learning how to color pool yarn. I had to put forth a challenge that were we dyeing yarn that they could not pool, my fellow instructor and friend, Vashti Braha was up for the challenge. She and I really had brainstormed ways we could work our classes together, but that didn’t come together so this little challenge was a nice addition.

Then I blinked and just like that all my classes were taught. Granted there were plenty of other events that helped cause my days to fly by, there was the member meeting I lead, and the recognition of all the Master Program graduates and Design Competition winners, then the Fastest Fingers Competition where I judged the finals, and you can never forget the CGOA Banquet and Fashion Show. It really is a whirl wind, and I didn’t even join in the actives of the first day.

I have to admit, I have been hooked since I attended my first Chainlink conference in 2011, it just feels like home.

 

Tissue Paper Yarn Dyeing

Dyeing yarn with tissue paper? Yeah, it sounds a bit unusual, however I have been busy playing with all kinds of dyeing approaches this last week as I get ready for a class I am teaching in two weeks at the Crochet Guild of America’s Chainlink Conference.

I have been working with food coloring and Easter egg dyes, while dabbling with Kool Aid. I have been playing with multiple protein based fibers (yarns that are made from animal fibers, like wool, alpaca, silk, mohair, etc.), but it was trying to find something in my closet that sparked me in a little different direction.

I tend to be a person that doesn’t really throw much out, if I can find another purpose for it I will hold on to it to use it in the future, so tissue paper from gifts gets saved. When digging through the closet I found a stack of this saved tissue paper and I began to wonder….Can I dye with this?

The answer…YES!

I began by soaking the yarn in a bath of water and citric acid (1 teaspoon citric acid to 4 cups of water), you can use white vinegar instead of citric acid if you like (1/4 cup white vinegar to 4 cups of water), then I wrapped various pieces of colored tissue around the yarn. After covering the yarn with paper I placed it in a microwavable bowl and added some of the water/acid solution. I placed it in the microwave for 2 minutes, took it out and waited.

I have to wait after removing it from the microwave, frankly because I do not like to burn myself. After it cooled down a bit I removed the tissue paper and rinsed out the yarn. I was impressed. Some colors bonded to the yarn better than others, but that could be because I had some different quality papers. There was some white space, and different colors in different patches. Offering a bit of a kaleidoscope of possibilities.

I am continuing to play with this technique, and currently find a vast amount of ideas just bubbling to the surface. I am sure that by the time my workshop comes around in a few weeks I will have a very contagious attitude to share with my students!

Crochet is Everywhere

I have been traveling quite a bit as of late, and have had the welcoming surprise of seeing crochet so well accepted.

The first weekend in April I was invited to offer instruction for the Crochet Guild of America at the DFW Fiber Fest, and teach the CGOA Master’s Day course. DFW Fiber Fest is in its 13th year, and includes all fiber skills; knitting, crochet, weaving, spinning, etc. It feels very much like a family, and there is so much diversity of skills and craft that it really engages the imaginations.

After teaching my course I had a table in the vendor hall to inform people of the opportunities of CGOA, and found my table inundated with people so astonished to find an organization solely focused on crochet, and loved the fact that crochet was at this show.

There were crochet samples in the vendor booths, and the lobby of the convention center was even yarn bombed with crochet. It is always nice to see.

The following week I was in attendance at a blogging conference, SNAP, in Salt Lake City. A crochet class was even offered here, teaching bloggers and crafters the basics to amigurumi (crochet toys). Of the 350 in attendance, 13 specifically focused their writing on crochet. This is among food bloggers, craft bloggers, family bloggers, travel bloggers, makeup bloggers, and such, and there were 13 bloggers that loved crochet. I must admit that I was even surprised by the substantial number of crocheters represented.

During these travel events, I was reminded what an ice breaker crochet is. On my flights I met other crocheters, everyone was happy to talk about their latest projects and the direction this craft was taking them on; making gifts for loved ones, charity projects, projects for sale, the first time attempts, the multiple successes. Crochet brings out the stories that we can all relate to.

I often find that crocheters feel alone in their craft, they might believe that they love a small craft hobby, but the numbers don’t support that. We may crochet alone, but there are many of us, and more places are recognizing this and inviting crochet. Check out your nearest fiber related event, if they are not specifically highlighting crochet, attend anyway and bring your hook, you might be surprised to find how many people open up and relate their crochet stories just by your asking.

 

Bringing Home From Conference

ScannedImage I managed to bring a little of the annual CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) conference home with me. I have many memories, and learned much, but then there were the prizes and giveaways.

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Night of Jazz Wrap 2nd Place Accessories in the CGOA 2016 Design Competition

I entered the CGOA Design Competition and took 2nd Place in the Accessories Category with my Night of Jazz Wrap. (See all the winners on a slide show here) The Wrap was inspired by a pattern I found for curtain trimming in a Needleworks publication from the 1920’s. I used two skeins of Designing Vashti Lotus yarn in Red Rose color and accented it with #6 Czech beads from Bead Biz, it is essentially crochet rings that are join as you go. Then they are bordered and have centers inserted in the rings, and tassels added. I always seem to design items for this contest that are hard to display, but come alive when worn. This was re-affirmed to me after the winners were announced, I had one of the judges approach me and express that no one was sure about it until they had a model put it on, then they knew it was a winner. I hope to have this pattern available sometime next year, so that I can share the enjoyment of the creation more.

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With my purchase of raffle tickets I won the set of Furl Odyssey Hooks with bowl & stand. I won the Knitter Pride Interchangable Crochet hooks as a door prize at the CGOA Banquet

The CGOA was very successful in securing great door prizes and giveaways for the conference, they even offered 2 goody bag nights with bags stuffed with yarns, books, and notions. There were so many more people in attendance then expected that the goody bags ran out early and I neglected bring home any of their content. However I did purchase tickets for an entire set of Furls Odyssey Hooks, with holder and bowl. I was completely surprised when my ticket was drawn, so now I get to enjoy a great new set of hooks, in addition to the Knitters Pride set of Tunisian Crochet hooks that I won as a door prize at the banquet dinner.

I did do a little shopping at the Market Place, Compression Support Socks and a Massage Pillow, both of which I put to immediate use on my swollen feet, but the pillow has become a family favorite at home, and I think it now belongs to my husband.

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On the buggy tour…so many flowering trees.

After my board meeting on Sunday after the conference, my friend Karen McKenna, took me to downtown Charleston to see some sights. It was nice drizzling weather, I was happy for this as it meant that it was cooler than the typical day which I had experienced as hot and muggy. We took a buggy ride and learned a little more of the city’s history. I had to focus to understand the accent of our guide and some of the terms used in conversation, but found everything quite interesting. Every tree seemed to have flowers and everything was green, 2 traits I do not see much at home in California, especially in July. We stopped at a little bistro where I actually had fried green tomatoes and grits that I found quite tasty. It was a very enjoyable day and I am grateful that I actually got to see some of the local charm of places I visit.

I could easily take day by day of the conference and write several posts about the happening, the people I met and the adventures I had, but I should probably begin focusing on the next adventure.