Things are Changing

Snow loaded pine trees on a snowy hillside with swing set in foregrounds with snow on seats.

Last week I posted about Spring arriving, 2 days later my backyard was full of snow again and the temperatures dropped below freezing.

Shrub branches with ruffled bright green baby spring leaves.

Today on my walk thru the woods I noticed that some of the brave little shrubs were putting out leaves and my Aspen trees are getting buds.

Along with the change of seasons up here, my blog is undergoing some changes. You may have noticed it has a different look these days. I am updating my theme after 10 years of blogging. I hope to create a great experience for my readers, making it easy for you to find the posts that interest you most and maybe even discover ones you didn’t realize were there.

This new theme is called “Floral”, it has a lot to offer and it may take me a little while to figure out all the new options for both my blog layout and the accompanying pages. I’m also debating on the background color, so please bear with me while I find my way.

You may have also noticed that I haven’t been posting much about lambs or sheep the past 6 months. That is because my farm partner and I have decided to down-size our flock. We didn’t have lambs this spring as some health issues in her family made that unworkable. Many of our flock are finding new homes in the coming months.

I am still working with our wool crops of the past 2 years and hope to be offering yarn, fleeces and needle-felting kits for sell both online and at some festivals this Summer and Fall. We hope to continue to work with wool products in the coming years, but are still deciding how we will structure that.

Meanwhile stay tuned here on the blog for more Crochet designs, fun crafting how-tos and coloring pages. The joy of a creative life is finding flexibility even when there are roadblocks and surprises.

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Springtime is almost Here!

It’s the first week of March and it is time to celebrate NatCroMo again. All over the internet you can find folks holding their hooks high and talking about all the ways they enjoy crochet.

On the CGOA website members can sign up to join in our First CAL of 2019. This time the pattern is my “All Buttoned Up Neck Cozy”. There will be yarn giveaways and lots of fun as everyone shares the journey as they crochet up their neck cozies.

This is my original cozy, but unfortunately the yarn I used was discontinued. I designed it to be an easy project for beginning crocheters. The cozy is crocheted using only single crochet and chain stitches. But it is also a great project for more experienced crocheters for some relaxing crochet time.

As you can see, changing the yarn you use can also keep it entertaining. Hop on over to Crochet.org to join in the fun and see all the variations everyone is coming up with.

I also have a new design out in the April Issue of “I Like Crochet” that is available online. This sweet little dress for baby is called “Spring Playdate Dress” and you can see the pattern now online. The pattern is written in 3 sizes: Small (3-6 months), Medium (6-12 months) and Large (12-18 months).

The dress is worked top down in a combination of open lace and solid shell stitches. The back opening is secured with a button at the back of the neck to make it easy to dress a little one in it. Worked in Lion Brand’s Coboo yarn it is a perfect layering piece that can be worn on it’s own as the weather warms up.

How are you celebrating International Crochet Month?

Did You Miss These?

Wow! 2019 is already zipping along with February nearly half over. I hope all my readers are prepared for Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

I have been so busy the past year that I realized I may have not shared all the new crochet designs I have out there. Seems like today is a good day to catch up with that.

Ring Around the Posies Skirt – “I Like Crochet” April 2018 issue

This is a fitted zippered pencil skirt with an intricate flower motif hemline. This is for the more advanced or the intrepid crocheters out there. A true skill builder project that is worked in Designing Vashti’s “Lotus” bamboo/cotton yarn.

Pronto Poncho – “I Like Crochet” August 2018 issue

This lovely poncho was on the front cover of the August 2018 issue. I designed it in a Tahki Yarns Cotton Classic and mesh stitch for a perfect summer layer. Throw it on over your favorite tank top when the evening cools down, or you are headed into air-conditioning.

Barb’s Shawl – M2H Designs (available in my Ravelry Shop)

This design was the testing pool shawl with the Longmont Yarn Shoppe Casual Crochet group last summer. Some folks worked the shawl in a multiple color yarn like my sample and a few worked it in a solid color. Anne K. worked her shawl in a beautiful aqua color and added beads in the final 3 rows.

Tied & True Cardigan – “I Like Crochet” October 2018 issue. This design you may have remembered seeing here on the blog in October.

One Skein Joy Slippers – “I Like Crochet” December 2018 issue.

Slippers are a great quick gift project and these slippers were not only in the December 2018 issue of “I Like Crochet”, but they were picked for the Best Crochet Patterns of 2018. Worked without cutting your yarn, you start at the toe in the round, switching to working in rows for the foot opening and heel shaping, then working in rounds for the ribbed cuff. One little seam to close up the back of the heel and you are finished.

Sierra Swoncho – “I Like Crochet” February 2019 issue

This is my most recent design and currently one of my favorites. A relaxed fit makes this an easy layering piece. I designed it so that it is easy to get the bust size that is best for your body. I’ve always disliked when ponchos and sweaters hike up in the front because there isn’t enough room for the wearer’s bust, or the front hem droops because the wearer has a small bust, with this pattern you can the perfect fit.

Want to get access to all the wonderful crochet patterns at “I Like Crochet”, click here to subscribe.

Getting Certified

My 2019 has started off with some happiness, I got my certificates and pins from the Craft Yarn Council (CYC) in the mail on the 15th of January.

This summer at the end of the CGOA conference I attended the Craft Yarn Council’s Certified Instructors Program. For over 8 years I have been telling myself that I needed to get my certification, but the timing never seemed to come together. When I heard that the CIP classes would be held in Portland after the Chain Link Conference, I jumped at the chance.

The onsite program included both Level 1 & 2, so there was a lot of homework to do before the actual class. We also had 3 months after the class date to finish our homework. Which was a good thing as my Level 2 baby sweater took me a little extra time.

Some of you that have taken classes that I taught in the past may be wondering why I am taking the CYC program at this point. I’m really glad I did. The input from the other experienced teachers in the class and the review of teaching beginning crochet were so enriching and inspiring.

I even learnt some new-to-me crochet techniques during the class. Like the Romanian Point Lace Cord (aka a Lobster Cord). This is a mind bending crochet stitch but creates an amazing cord. I made a little bit of cord in class learning the technique. 

One of the more daunting tasks for many folks in completing certification is getting the required 30 hours of teaching hours turned in. Fortunately for me we were able to use teaching hours back as far as a year before our on-site class. I just had to sit down and figure out all the hours I had taught in the past year and the 4 months following the on-site class.

I filled out the online form in mid-December after I had received the okay on my baby sweater project from my CIP teacher, Barbara Van Elsen. I had completed most of the necessary teaching hours in the preceding year and only needed to teach a couple more classes to finish up those hours.

I love sharing my passion for crochet and fostering it in others, so I hope having this certification will help me expand my teaching opportunities.

If you are interested in becoming a CYC Certified Instructor as well visit the Craft Yarn Councils website to learn more about their programs and opportunities for online or onsite classes.

A Crochet Valentine Party

Seems like the weeks are zipping by in 2017. I’ve been busy with my big de-clutter and organize the house project as well as getting all my new technology talking to each other.  Sometime today my newest bit of technology will be arriving, a new camera. This is one with a lot of bells and whistles, my first DSLR.

I just keep telling myself that learning how to use all these new hardware and software technologies will help keep my brain agile. Either that, or my head is going to explode from technology overload.

Fortunately yesterday I got to have some great low-tech fun with my crochet friends at our Bi-monthly crochet group. This is the Casual Crochet group that meets at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe on the 2nd and 3rd Wednesday morning of each month.  Since this gathering was close to Valentine’s Day I brought in cards and chocolates.

hearts-and-card-andee-graves-m2h-designs

The shop has been collecting hearts made from yarn for a yarn-bombing event next Monday. So we all crocheted some hearts to include.  This heart is my Crocheted Love heart from a couple years ago. The pattern is here on the blog.

margies-blanket

We also celebrated with Margie, who finished her Fans & Lace Blocks blanket that she had started as part of our CAL.

claudia-n-anna-marie

Claudia and Anna Marie both got started on a cowl project. Claudia was helping Anna Marie learn the Foundation Double Crochet stitch. Looking forward to seeing how their projects are coming along next week.

Time to head out to pick up boys from school. I will hopefully be back to my regular blogging schedule soon, as you can tell, things have been a bit busy of late.

Here comes Summer!

I know for lots of folks the start of summer is Memorial Day weekend. Since that is this coming weekend we are nearly there. For my family though, the start of summer is when school ends and this Thursday is the last day of school for my 2 monsters. They are counting down.

Thing 1 hiking 2

My oldest and I are already planning what hikes we are going to do over the summer. We have a plan of starting out with some short local hikes and building up to longer and higher altitude ones later in the season. He has always been my hiking buddy, even when he was small. The photo above was my improvised backpack for him to carry his supplies on a hike.

Mr Sparkle Yarnit

Of course with all that hiking you might think I’ll be taking a break from crocheting. Not the case at all, I’ll be taking projects with me on the hikes and I’ll be keeping my yarn neat and safe in my awesome “Yarnit”. I love this clever little yarn carrier, and it is perfect with it’s nifty strap for taking on hikes or car trips this summer.

Yarnit

I actually own 2 Yarnits. One that I purchased at the TNNA Winter Show in 2015. It was a new product at that show and I was really excited about it. The only issue I had with it was that the closure was a bit loose and the 2 halves would come apart when I was wearing it with the shoulder strap

Cherry Yarnit 2

Fortunately the lovely Kate Sullivan, creator of the Yarnit, had come up with a solution. This nifty little rubber plug fits in one of the ports along the closing seam and keeps it all together.  All Yarnits come with this feature now.

I purchased my second Yarnit at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe. Gail had gotten in some of the “Mr. Sparkle” Yarnits, so I needed one (yes, I needed one). I’ve got projects in both of my Yarnits and love how easily the ball of yarn can move inside the globe. No more tug of war with my yarn when I am rocking along on a project.

Now Kate is developing a larger version of the Yarnit for those bigger skeins of yarn, or multi-color projects. She has a KickStarter fund-raiser going on right now to get it in production. Click here to find out more about the “Big Sully” and the awesome funding rewards.

I hope everyone has a good start to their summer.

Happy Birthday Grandma

Today is August 8th and it was the birthday of my Grandma V. Grandma V taught me a lot about thread crochet and to appreciate quality in craftsmanship in all things.

She was my maternal grandmother and wasn’t always easy to get along with. She often was dismayed at my preference for playing in the barn and mud-puddles, and endlessly attempted to turn me into a “lady”.

She passed away nearly 20 years ago. She owned and ran a very successful antique business and had many beautiful doilies and fine pieces of crochet around her house and shop.  With all the designing I’ve done in thread crochet the past year she is often in my thoughts.

I wonder what she would think of her “tom-boy” granddaughter being a crochet designer? I’m pretty sure she would be surprised.

Watercolour Rose

 

Today is also the birthday of my dear youngest sister, Hatty, and my good friend Mary Beth Temple. Clearly August 8th is a date for the birth of interesting and dynamic women.

Happy Birthday to Hatty and Mary Beth too!