I’m so pleased to share that I am going to be teaching at the Interweave YarnFest this April. YarnFest runs from Wednesday April 20th – Saturday April 23rd. There are lots of exciting workshops and 3 of them will be taught by me.
You can visit the website by clicking here, once you are on the home page the Green “Register” button takes you to the pages to view all the workshops being offered. You can sort thru the offerings using the drop down menus to tailor the view to what interests you most.
You can save $20 on a workshop if you register before midnight (ET) January 31, 2022!
If you don’t live in the Colorado Front Range, this is a great way to treat yourself to a visit to the area and some fun with yarn and fiber as well. YarnFest is held in the Loveland Embassy Suites Hotel, a great place to stay to enjoy the festival and Colorado.
The workshops I will be teaching are…
This workshop is a great introduction to needle-felting, especially if you haven’t ever tried it out before. You will be making a fun little project that will introduce you the basics for making a successful needle felting project. You may end up with a whole little flock of sheep.
The workshop kit includes full color handout, 1 felting needle, all the fiber you’ll need to create the class project and pin backs. I’ll be bringing surfaces for students to work on, so you will only need to bring your excitement to learn.
This workshop is especially for those that have been mystified by crochet stitch charts, or maybe you can figure them out better when they are part of a written pattern. The first time I ever encountered crochet stitch charts I was thrilled. I had struggled with written patterns for years, but stitch charts helped me bridge the gap and suddenly I was pattern following genius. Over the past 15 years I have collected an extensive library of stitch dictionaries, books and magazines that feature stitch charts. Many of these are in languages I can’t read, but the stitch charts allow me to decipher those patterns too.
Come join me in this workshop you will leave knowing exactly what the stitch charts are telling you. You will be crocheting various small projects in class working from stitch charts only as part of this “bootcamp”.
Don’t worry, I’m a really nice drill sergeant.
I have always loved to do sculpture. I’ve sculpted in clay, wood and stone; but needle felting is one of my very favorites. Sculpting in fiber is full of easy choices and wonderfully therapeutic.
In this workshop I’ll share all the tips and tricks for making 3D sculptures using needle felting. You will learn how to build shapes and join them together, different ways of creating underlying structures to support larger sculptures, refining your sculptures and how to embellish your sculptures with other materials.
The workshop kit includes a full-color handout, 2 different felting needles, all the fiber you’ll need to create the class projects, beads and other embellishment materials.
I’m so excited to share with all my readers that I will be teaching 4 classes during the month of July for the Crochet Guild of America’s Virtual Conference. Like many of my followers that had hoped to go to the conference in Denver this year, I will miss seeing everyone in person. The silver-lining though, for those that can not usually make it to the conference, you can still participate in the classes because I (and all the other teachers) will be presenting our classes via Zoom.
All skill levels, best if students are comfortable with making chain, sc, dc stitches.
Simple and sophisticated this shawl will become a favorite project for you to work on over and over. Choose any yarn with an appropriate size hook to crochet any size shawl. Class will focus on tips and tricks for working a top-down triangle shawl from the yarn you have available. You’ll learn how to take the basic triangle shawl and change it up with a variety of stitch patterns and border options.
No Homework before class. Supplies students will need: Approximately 100+ yards smooth light colored sport or worsted weight yarn for class project, Basic Crochet Kit: Hooks Size G (4mm) thru K (6.5mm) crochet hooks, Scissors, appropriate sized yarn needles, 3 locking stitch markers, Calculator.
Intermediate skill level, best if students are proficient with making chain, sl st, sc, hdc, dc crochet stitches, reading stitches and fabric.
Hats are great gifts and fun portable projects to work on, but nothing is more frustrating that a hat that doesn’t fit. Wouldn’t you love to be able to always crochet a hat that fits and be able to use whatever weight yarn you have handy in your stash? In this technique class you will learn how to pick the right hook for your yarn, the measurements you need, plus tips and tricks for making a hat that will always be just the fit and size you want. In class you will also learn the Adjustable Slip Knot start, working tall stitches in continuous rounds, 2 different increase methods, and tips for a snug ribbed brim/cuff to finish off the hat. All these techniques will be practiced on the class project, a new born sized hat.
No Homework before class. Supplies students will need: Approximately 80+ yards smooth light colored worsted weight yarn, Size G (4mm) thru J (6mm) crochet hooks, 8 locking stitch markers (7 in one color, 1 in a different color), Scissors, appropriate sized yarn needles, Measuring tape, Calculator, a 11 or 14” baby doll (can substitute a tennis ball or softball). The doll (or ball) is to give you a small head to measure for the class project.
Intermediate skill level, best if students are proficient with basic crochet stitches (ch, sc, hdc, slip st) and reading crochet fabric.
Spirals are a great way to crochet a seamless striped hat. You can use 2 contrasting colors or even mix a hand-dyed multi-color with a solid for beautiful blending. In this class you will learn the tips and tricks for working head-ache free spirals for top down hats, a fun and elastic crocheted ribbing, and how to modify the pattern to work with different weight yarns.
No Homework before class. Supplies students will need: 2 colors of smooth worsted weight yarn approximately 100 yards each, Crochet hooks – Size H (5mm) and I (5.5mm), 8 Locking Stitch markers in 2 colors (4 of each), Blunt yarn needle for weaving in ends, Measuring tape and scissors.
Stitch Chart Bootcamp
Friday, July 23, 2021 9 a.m. – Noon (Central Time)
All skill levels, best if students are comfortable with basic crochet stitches: ch, sc, hdc, dc, slip st.
You’ve seen crochet stitch charts and you may have even referred to them in a crochet pattern that uses both text and chart. But are you ready to work from only the chart? There is a whole world of international patterns open to you when you can decipher stitch charts, even if you can’t understand the written language that accompanies them. In this class you will work solely from a stitch chart to crochet a lovely motif. You’ll learn what the various symbols in the charts stand for, how they may change depending on the country of origin, and the skill to get results that please you when working from charts alone.
No Homework before class. Supplies students will need: Smooth Worsted weight yarn in light/medium colors approximately 100 yards, Range of sizes of Crochet hooks 3mm thru 6mm, Locking Stitch markers in 2 colors, Blunt yarn needle for weaving in ends.
I’m excited to announce that I will be teaching 3 crochet classes and 1 Needle-felting class via Zoom for the Longmont Yarn Shoppe this fall. I’ve been learning about teaching on Zoom and am really looking forward to this opportunity. Especially as this gives my readers that aren’t local a chance to take a class with me from the comfort of their own home. Keep in mind that I am in Colorado so the times listed below are Mountain time zone.
The 3 Crochet Classes are:
Strawberry Fields Crochet Shawlette: Class will be held in two sessions, the first will be Friday, October 2nd from 9 – 10 a.m., the second will be Friday, October 16th from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. In the first session of class, you will learn how to work the mesh body of the shawl, then the 2nd session of class will be adding the lace border. This will include tips and tricks on how to keep track of your lace repeats, using wet blocking to really “open” the fabric of your shawlette, and tips on how to make a larger shawl if desired.You can register for this class on the Longmont Yarn Shoppe website here.
Crochet Slippers 101: Class will be held in two 1.5 hour sessions on Friday, October 23rd & 30th from 9:30 – 11 a.m. This class is project centered and uses my One Skein Joy Slippers pattern to introduce students to making crocheted slippers. In class you’ll learn the tricks for completing your slippers without tears, crocheting 2 at a time, a handy elastic crochet ribbing, and some fun tips for personalizing your slippers as well.You can register for this class on the Longmont Yarn Shoppe website here.
Crochet Slippers 102: Class will be held in two 1.5 hour sessions on Friday, November 13th & 20th from 9:30 – 11 a.m. In this class students will learn how to modify One Skeins Joy Slipper pattern to use it with any weight of yarn with an appropriate hook to make slippers that will fit every time. You can register for this class on the Longmont Yarn Shoppe website here.
Needle Felting Class
Itty Bitty Angel: Class will be held in one session on Sunday, November 15th from 10a – Noon. Come learn how to create these adorable compact angels that can be jewelry, toys or little ornaments. They are perfect for using up bits of wool yarn and loose fiber from other needle felting projects. You can register for this class on the Longmont Yarn Shoppe website here.
Every Christmas morning when I was a child my whole family always received hand-knitted slippers from my mom. We wore them until they were nearly tattered or we had outgrown them. In honor of that memory I designed the “One Skein Joy Slippers” in crochet. The first pair I made were a gift for my mom for Christmas 2017.
You only need one skein of Berocco Worsted Weight Ultra Wool to make a pair of slippers that fit a US Women’s size 7.5/8. They were originally published in the December 2018 issue of the online magazine “I Like Crochet”, the pattern is now available for sell in my Ravelry Shop. The PDF version of the pattern includes stitch charts and photo tutorials to help you successfully crochet up some slippers for yourself.
I will also be teaching this project as a Zoom class thru the Longmont Yarn Shoppe in late October. I’ll provide the link to class registration here as soon as it is available. The class will be taught in two 1.5 hour segments to give students time to complete work between classes and will be called “Crochet Slippers 101”. I will also be teaching a follow-up class, “Crochet Slippers 102” later in November that will expand on this pattern so you can work the slippers for various sizes of feet.
Now you might be thinking, why would I want to buy my ticket if the event is already happening? Because you will still get access to all the Live Videos to watch as many times as you want over the next year, you will get all the patterns, and you’ll be able to read the conversations and questions on the various patterns.
Of course, the sooner you purchase your tickets the more of the Live Videos you’ll be able to participate in Live. Tickets are now $80, but that is still a bargain for all the lessons and patterns. I have paid anywhere from $85 to $95 for one 3 hour class at a conference, and you will have access to 15 classes with the addition of being able to review them as often and at any time over the next year.
At $80 that comes out to approximately $2.67 per class and pattern. Plus you don’t have to get dressed up, you can join the classes and fun interaction with your fellow crocheters wearing your PJs if you want.
I’ll be teaching later today at 5 p.m. all about Mastering theTricks for Easy Perfect Crochet Spirals. Go grab your ticket now to join me, or even if you miss my class time today you can still watch the video later and learn all about crocheting spirals.
Oh my goodness, I have had a crazy busy couple of weeks. I have been preparing for teaching 2 different classes.
One is at Longmont Yarn Shoppe where I will be teaching this coming Sunday, September 15 from Noon to 3p. I’m teaching a striped hat class worked with 2 colors. You can still sign up for the class on the Longmont Yarn Shoppe website or call the shop at 303-678-8242.
It is definitely getting to be the time of year when hats will be needed again. The last couple of evenings the temperatures up here on the mountain have dropped into the low 50s and high 40s. Our days are still fairly warm, though I have to confess I am not missing the 90+ temperatures of August.
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links.
I am sad to see less hummingbirds at our feeders in the evening. The photo above was taken one evening when our flock was at it’s largest. The whirring of their wings and the cloud of them around the feeders is impossible to describe. Now most of them have headed off to warmer climates, the few we are still getting are likely just stopping for a meal on their journey.
The other class I am preparing for is my ” Master the Tricks to Create Easy Perfect Crochet Spirals” at Stitch Makers Live next week. I am really excited to be one of the teachers at this event and I hope you’ll join me.
With the one ticket you will get 15 classes, and 15 patterns. It is quite the bargain at $80. The one class I was able to squeeze in at the CGOA conference in July cost me $85, and it didn’t include a pattern.
If you missed the Early Bird Price for Stitch Makers Live, and are sad because $80 seems like more than your budget will bear don’t despair. I have a coupon code for $20 off the ticket price for Stitch Makers Live. The code is: 2019SML20off. The code is only good until Monday August 16th at 11:45 p.m. Eastern time. Click here to buy your ticket now and join me and all the other teachers for an awesome online conference.
UPDATE September 13, 2019 – If you missed the Early Bird Price and are sad because $80 seems like more than your budget will bear don’t despair. I have a coupon code for $20 off the ticket price for Stitch Makers Live. The code is: 2019SML20off. The code is only good until Monday August 16th at 11:45 p.m. Eastern time. Click here to buy your ticket now and join me and all the other teachers for an awesome online conference.
My latest finished design is the Whirling Ends Scarf and the pattern will only be available for the next year to attendees of the Stitch Markers Live 2019 online conference. The pattern contains my usual detailed photos, stitch charts and written instructions to help you successfully complete this project.
With your ticket to the conference you be able to take an online lesson with me where I demo my tricks for making spirals, including some secrets I’ve never shared before. As well as being able to ask questions and get help from me the whole 3 days of the conference.
But that is not all! You get all 15 patterns from the 11 designer/teachers and the opportunity to attend 15 different live lessons. Plus the same live access to all the teachers. You don’t have to worry about the agony of deciding between one lesson over another, because each class will be offered one at a time. You can attend each live lesson if you want, all for the single ticket price, no paying a separate fee for each lesson.
Even better, you will have 1 year access to all the lessons from the conference. Which means if you don’t get to one of the projects right away, you can have a refresher by reviewing the lessons.
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links.
I’m reminding you that today is the last day of Early Bird pricing for Stitch Makers Live 2019. Early Bird Tickets are $55. After midnight eastern tonight (Monday, Sept 2nd) tickets will go up $25 and will be $80. That comes down to less than $1.85 per pattern or lesson.
Don’t miss out on your chance to take classes with these marvelous teachers for such a great price!
Stitch Makers Live 2019 is coming soon and I’m so excited to be a part of it!
What is Stitch Makers Live?
Stitch Makers Live is a 3-day virtual event during which over 10 crochet designers and teachers (including me) are going to spend time with you – right on Facebook. 16 crochet sessions LIVE with industry experts!
Each class comes with a BONUS crochet pattern – to help you master those skills.
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links.
From September 19th thru September 21st , you can participate in every one of these classes. But that’s not all!
There’s even a virtual party in the evening after the last day is over!
PLUS, you’ll get full access to the recordings in the group for ONE FULL YEAR!
These experts are passionate about crochet, and excited to share their knowledge with you. Whether your goal is to improve your skills in hat making, gather the bravery to begin your first sweater, or dive into short rows, our goal is to help you. The teachers and designers were handpicked to bring you the best instructors on a variety of crochet topics.
This is the first CROCHET ONLY online summit we know about – and we’re excited to launch it with you on board!
Take advantage of Early Bird pricing and purchase your tickets before midnight eastern on Monday, September 2nd. After that tickets will go up to full price!
No matter what your crochet skill level it is helpful to understand the anatomy of your stitches. This is especially handy when you are weaving in tails or repairing crochet fabric. It is also very useful when teaching crochet so you can show your students what to look for while working on their projects.
The anatomy of a Chain Stitch
The first stitch most of us learn in crochet is the chain stitch, it is used in many ways in crochet patterns.
The tops of the stitches are the V that you see in the above photo. They are what the working loop on your hook becomes as you make each stitch.
The chain stitch doesn’t have a “post” or “legs”. There is simply the back “bar” or “bump”. You will see either term used in patterns. It will depend on the publication what terminology they chose. This back bump is formed by the working yarn each time you pull thru a new loop with your hook to make a chain stitch.
The anatomy of a Single Crochet Stitch
The single crochet stitch is usually the first regular crochet stitch we learn to make after the chain stitch. The instructions for this stitch are: insert hook in stitch, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull thru both loops on hook. But where do all those various loops end up?
Like with the chain stitch, the working loop on your hook is key. When you finish a stitch you have a working loop of yarn on your hook (yellow arrow pointing to it in above photo). That loop becomes the top of the next stitch you make, no matter what stitch you are crocheting it will still become the top of the stitch.
When looking at your single crochet stitches as you make them (this is the Right Side row) you can see 2 “legs” (vertical yellow lines in above photo), these are the bottom of the loop you pulled up thru the stitch. Looking at the single crochet stitches from the back side (this is the Wrong Side row) you can see the top of that same loop (horizontal yellow lines in above photo) just below the top of the stitch.
If you turn your work over and look at the stitches from the back you can see the path of the working yarn coming into the stitch and out of the stitch (marked with bright pink and arrows in above photo) forming the “post” of the stitch and the new working loop (top of next stitch) on your hook. The aqua and pink line shows the top of the stitch that had been the working loop previously.
The above image shows all the parts of the stitches in 2 rows. The top row is the right-side row being worked and the next row below is the wrong-side row stitches being worked into. Agua lines highlight the tops of stitches, yellow lines show the second loop made for the single crochet stitch, pink lines and arrows show the path of the working yarn and “back legs” of your stitches. If you look closely you can see that the pink back legs are wrapped around the top of the stitches in the third row below.
How do I work into my foundation chain?
Answering and understanding this is one of the most important skills to have in your crochet tool box. The typical start for a crochet project is to chain a length and then work back into the chain. Of course this often leads to the questions about how to work into the chain. Which loop do you work under and how many of them?
One of the first ways I learned to work into a chain was by going into the center of the V on the top of the chain and catching the back bar and top leg of the V in the stitch being made. This is the more traditional way of working into a foundation chain.
This leaves a single strand at the base of the stitches in your first row. This can work well if you are working pieces of a garment that are going to be seamed together along the base of the foundation rows.
The first row worked into the chain using the traditional method tends to have quite a bit of twist to it before you work additional rows.
It also is more stable when you are starting a stitch pattern that requires multiple stitches worked into some of the chain stitches of your foundation. For example…shell stitches.
Another option is to work under both legs of the V on each chain stitch. I find this to be the most difficult way to work into the chain. It does give you a very stable foundation and the single strand at the base is free for seaming pieces together along the foundation. Working into a chain using this method is easier with a very loosely crocheted foundation chain.
The finished row will again have single strands at its base, but they will be a bit more centered. This row will have a lot of twist to it like the traditional method of working into a chain.
If a pattern doesn’t specify which loop of the chain to use, I tend to use the back bar (or back bump). I like the way the finished foundation looks as it echoes the top of the stitches on the last row of the project. When putting an edging all the way around the finished project I find the base of this foundation easier and neater looking to work into.
Unless a pattern specifies a particular way of working into the chain you can do whatever works best for you. You only need to be consistent for the stitches of your foundation.
If you find that your chain foundation stitches seem to always be tighter than the rest of your crochet fabric it can help to use a hook one size larger for the foundation chain, then switch down to the next hook size when you are ready to begin your first row of stitches into the chains.
Finding the top of the stitch
Now you have an idea of where to spot the tops of your stitches in a chain, but how do you tell where the top of a regular stitch is?
The simple answer, just like for our chain stitch, the top of the stitch looks like a V. If you stop and hold your work so the Vs appear stacked they are easier to identify. As long as you don’t remove your hook from your working loop you can manipulate your fabric without losing any stitches.
Am I working in the right direction?
Once you can identify the top of your stitch it becomes a lot easier to tell if you are working in the right direction.
If your pattern tells you to turn at the end or beginning of a row, then the Vs of the stitch tops of the row you are working into, should be pointing away from your hook.
If you are working in the round without turning at the end of each round, then the Vs of the stitch tops of the round you are working into, should be pointing at your hook.
Where do I insert my hook in the stitch?
For your standard crochet pattern you are going to insert your hook under the 2 legs of the V in the top of your stitch.
To avoid splitting your yarn look for the little gap on the side of your stitch just under that V.
Some patterns will give you special instructions about where to insert your hook to create different textures in your fabric.
If your pattern instructs you to work in the back loop of your stitch. This is generally referring to the back leg of the Vs after you’ve turned your work to begin your new row.
The same is true for working in the front loop of your stitch. You would be inserting your hook under the front leg of the Vs after you’ve turned your work to begin your new row.
What if you need to work more than one stitch in the same stitch?
This can be tricky when you are new to crochet. Especially once you work the first stitch the V top of the stitch is obscured. My favorite trick involves manipulating the fabric.
If you gently pull up on the stitch just made it becomes easy to see where the base of that stitch goes into the previous row. This hole is where you will insert your hook for your next stitches if the pattern tells you to work multiple stitches into a particular stitch.
Now you have a better understanding of your stitch anatomy time to experiment with some crochet swatches.
Chain 15, then work single crochets back along the chain (using whichever method you like) starting with the second chain from the hook.
Chain 1 and turn to work back along the first row of stitches working a single crochet in each stitch to the end of the row.
If you change colors for each row of single crochet stitches you can see more clearly how the stitches fit together.
The further along the journey of life we travel the less patience we often have with ourselves regarding learning a new skill. I have often met people that say, “Oh I always wanted to learn to crochet, but I’m too old now.”
No way! You are never too old to learn a new skill. In fact it has been proven that learning a new skill in our later years is a great way to increase the agility of our mental faculties. You just have to treat yourself with compassion and patience as you learn a new skill.
This is what is referred to as “beginner’s mind”. In many eastern teachings it is about beginning a new experience without expectation. To just be in the moment.
I am often reminded of what that looks like when I am teaching young children. Whether it is crafts or math, teaching youngsters can be so engaging. They have no expectation of knowing how to do the task, they are completely in the moment of learning something entirely new or unexpected.
Sadly, children outgrow this most of the time about 8-10 years of age. Like the adults they will grow up to be, they have an expectation of how they should learn, instead of just being in the learning.
For me, one of the things I love the most about crochet is 40+ years after I first made my first stitches with a hook I’m still learning new things. Sometimes these are things I learn from the teachers in my life, other crochet friends or students in my classes. There are so many things to discover and explore with crochet I’m never bored.
Even though National Crochet Month is over it is never too late to learn to crochet (or tackle a new craft). Just be kind to yourself and allow the new experience to happen without self-judgment. Have fun with being a beginner again.
If you are feeling like starting your crochet journey visit my “Getting Started with Crochet” blog post for some pointers. There are illustrations for both Left handed and Right handed crocheters on holding the yarn and hook.