Crochet · General

Crochet-A Snapshot of my Blogroll

Here’s the thing, so much of my blog-reading experience began with my first tentative forays into the world of crochet.  Odd, I know, but once it was on, it was on. I’ve always been a magazine junkie, so you can only imagine the bender I went on once I began to understand the scope and dimension of the blog world.  There’s just so stinking much to choose from! Every subject, style, approach, whatever that you can imagine!  Very quickly, my Google Reader was up to around 1500 new blog posts a day.  Impossible, right?  Right.  Some had to go.  I hadn’t limited myself to crochet.  I had branched out into Finance, Environmentalism, Books, Cooking, Photography, DIY, Quotes, and on and on and on.  Slowly, over time, my reading list morphed.

I thought I’d share the Crochet blogs that survived.  There are several more on my list, but these are the ones that I actually open and read.  I can’t really tell you why.  I think it’s more about the feel and styling of them.  The things they crochet are doable.  Except for Doris Chan. Her stuff is comparatively complex (to me).  She’s just funny.  I like that someone that gifted is that down to earth and open with her thoughts.

Sarah London

Attic 24

Doris Chan: Everyday Crochet

In reality, you won’t always get your best information as far as “actual learning” from the blog world.  What you get is perspective.  Lots and lots of different perspective.  All in the form of tutorials, patterns, examples…it helps you figure out what you do and don’t like.

And although my “Crochet” specific blog list may be shorter, the number of general “Craft” blogs that include crochet has gotten longer and longer.  I gravitate toward Crafters that express themselves in an array of arts and media, like…

Artsy-Craftsy Babe

Wise Craft

Aesthetic Nest

Polka Dot Cottage

Posie Gets Cozy

As far as sites that actually provide more resources than eye candy, you’ll want to look to ones like:

http://www.crochet.org

http://www.crochetville.org

https://www.ravelry.com

I’ve just skirted the crochet world with my list. What are some of your favorites?

Isn’t it amazing! If you’re reading this post, all the answers are at your fingertips.

Very, very cool.

 

Crochet

Whitney’s Scarf

Ok, I know.  To the naked eye, I look to be in a be bit of a rut.  But it’s just such awesome gratification when I complete a variation on this scarf.  Not to mention the fact that my dear, sweet darling daughter has been asking for one since the process began.  So this is the “Whitney” scarf.  She sat down with the rainbow of lovely Catania cotton and chose these colors.

You’ll note that the stitch pattern is very similar to the Spring Green scarf I posted last week. But the color variations bring it a little more into alignment with the Seascape version. Instead of chaining 308 to begin, I chained 208 to adjust for the ten-year old factor.

My child has an eye for color.  Always…all her life. This color pallet reminds me of Easter.  The pastels and gemtones of Easter eggs nestled in the grass.

Have a great Monday!

General

Catch and Release

Last week was Spring Break for my kiddos.  We didn’t plan a trip or family vacation, but we did a little “stay-cationing”. We were looking for something to do on Friday and decided to check out the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center.  Yes, I know, sexy right?  Not so much, but it was actually pretty cool.  I had expected a freshwater aquarium. I had heard that there was a pond where this kids could fish, but I didn’t realize that they had developed a small wetlands trail and preserve.

Or that they encourage wild life habitat as part of the preserve

It was beautiful and unexpected. And even though I did expect lots and lots of catfish.  I don’t know that I was prepared for these guys!

or these

You could buy fish food from a small vending machine for a quarter and it created quite the frenzy.  I had to coax the kids to go back over after they got splashed by some pretty fishy fish water. You actually did find yourself a little worried about the probability of fish obesity and the heart-health implications of the constant food….

But then when you get down to brass tacks, it’s really all about activities that, although not great for fish well-being, are all cosmic reminders of the interspecies food chain…Right?….Maybe not.

This was an awesome little “catch and release” pond situated in the middle of the center. Apparently, the fish were biting right up until we dropped our lines in the water… 🙂  Note to self: One has to catch in order to release.

Have a great weekend! Check out some of the natural beauty that may be around the corner in your neck of the woods.

Crochet

Seascape in Catania

 

A variation on Pierrot 29-31 that I posted here.  You can find the pattern on their site.  I love these colors! They make me crave the beach and all things reminiscent of the sea. I used Catania mercerized cotton and I’m experiencing a little mini-obsession with this particular yarn.

Perfect for a lacy all-weather scarf.  Let’s play hooky and go to the beach!

Get it…..hooky….?

Crochet

The Siren Call of Yarn…

You’ve taught yourself a few stitches, maybe even made your first simple crochet item with from one of the “Learn to Crochet” resources we discussed earlier.  You’re starting to get excited and you’re ready to pick out something a little more substantial.

Here’s what I remember about those first forays to the craft stores.  Whether you’re at a Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Joann’s, whatever, the patterns, yarns and books can be pretty overwhelming.  I had a terrible habit of buying yarn, and then trying to figure out what I wanted to do with it.  Not your best path forward folks.  You wind up with the wrong amounts, or the wrong weight yarn and you wind up going back to the store for more.  You’ll be better served to 1) look at what’s available online. 2) Make a decision about your pattern, and 3) then go in search of yarn.

I know, I know, it sounds like a no brainer, but the siren call of yarn can be a powerful thing.  I’m trying to save you some money and closet space.  Repeat after me…'”First pick the Project.”  Go ahead, repeat it…Now, “Then Pick the Yarn.”  Good.  Repeat it again. “First pick the Project. Then Pick the Yarn.” Say it to yourself about 500 times, and you will thank me.  Your spouse and children will thank me.

Your welcome.

Crochet

Learning to Crochet-Where do I start?

I don’t think you should do a lot of prework before diving into crochet.  Too much research can postpone your experience.  The amount of information on the web can be overwhelming, and I can attest from personal experience that ultimately, it’s a huge time drain.  You start out looking at a couple of random sites or looking for one finite piece of information and before you know it, it’s four hours later and you’ve accomplished nothing!

To this end, it really helps if you know what kind of learner you are.  I don’t mean that you should embark on a big science project of determining your learning style.  I really want you to just take a few minutes and think about the way you’ve learned best in the past.

On a personal level, I’ve never once had an easy time with written instructions.  Think back to a time when you had to put a piece of prefab furniture together.  How did that go for you?  Well I can only say that I would probably never have been able to assemble anything of substance if it weren’t for my husband, and more recently, the miracle that is YouTube.

If you are a visual learner, there are a myriad of sites available, as well as some really comprehensive and well-written books. If you’re an experiential person, however, and you learn best  by doing, it’s probably worth the investment of a little money (and more importantly – time!) to take a class.  It’s amazing how a little one-on-one time with an instructor can cut through confusion.

As I stated in a previous post, I learned from a 1970-ish version of a book very much like the two below.  It worked for me.  It was painstaking, and thank God I had a couple of ladies available to help troubleshoot until I really grasped the concept, but overall, it got the job done.

These little books led to my first real book purchase, “Crocheting For Dummies.”  I kid you not.  The way I looked at it, if I was going to progress, I needed the most methodical, basic instruction I could lay hands on.  Kind of like when I bought”HR for Dummies”  shortly after assuming my first full-fledged HR role.  Scoff if you’d like, but I’m 12 years into a career in HR Management now.  The Dummies book worked then and it worked for crochet. Keep it simple, keep it basic.

Then I googled.  I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.  I googled and I found resource upon resource upon resource! But the most valuable thing I found by far was the goldmine of “how to” videos available.  They were brilliant!

One day I  googled “How to Front Post Crochet, ” and I found my first online video.   It showed me everything I needed to know!  AGAIN, SIMPLY BRILLIANT!!

When all else fails, google people, google!  Here are a few sites I really like.

http://www.lionbrandyarn.com/

Lionbrand’s education options were comparatively skimpy when I first began to crochet.  They’ve done a fabulous job enriching their “Learning” offerings, however. In truth, you can probably begin and end a lot of your searching here.

http://www.nexstitch.com/Tutorials.html

This site helped me immensely.  There may be newer and better, but I have sentimental attachment  to this site.  After all, they were my first…;)

http://crochet.about.com/od/learntocrochet/tp/Crochet_Videos.htm

Loaded with resources! Tons of information, including some very solid videos.  My only criticism, and I know this will sound goofy, but I just don’t care for the bare bones aesthetic of the site.  All the ads get on my nerves.  Having said that, again, lots of really good information here.

If you’d like more information on learning styles, there’s a ton of information here:

http://www.mindtools.com/mnemlsty.html