Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Book Review: Quick Crocheted Accessories: 3 Skeins or Less

Quick Crocheted Accessories: 3 Skeins or  Less
Sharon, also the author of It Girl Crochet  which I reviewed, has assembled a stellar group of crochet fashionistas who have designed accessories that are not only quick but they also underscore the praises of clever crochet!

There is a unique quality about each person in this group of designers yet a commonality in how they look at crochet that unites the designs in this book. Sharon, a fabulous designer in her own right, has tapped into those qualities to ensure you will want to add it to your library.

Wavelength Beanie by Sharon Zientara
Many of the designers within are women whose crochet I have greatly admired in the past while crocheting marvelous projects from their patterns. Several of the designers are European-born which, it seems, exposes them to a legacy of needlework and fashion sense. Others in the book bring graphic design skills and television costume design experience.
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Mosaic Slippers by Cristina Mershon
Honeycomb Shawl by Regina Rioux

Combine all this with observation of new things that bring fascinating ideas, yarn-obsession and other interests like belly-dancing, and you have a captivating group that brings out the best in crochet! 

Corona Cowl by Kathy Merrick

Sharon believes that the desire to take the time and care to make something balances how we live in a fast-paced manner these days. However, she says that “you don’t need to spend a huge amount of time, money or effort in order to create something by hand. Near instant-gratification is built into these pages.”
Quick Crochet Accessories is published by Interweave/F+W and is available now for $23.99

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Comforting Hugs from Baskets

Craft Fair Basket I've had for 30 years and still love it
I have a thing for baskets and quite a collection of them, I must say. They comfort me and when I look at them, I feel joy. I've collected baskets for many years from craft fairs, travels and from other countries I've visited or lived in.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

21st Annual Chain Link Crochet Conference Report

We always come home from the Crochet Guild (CGOA)-sponsored conference on such a high. It does take a while to come down from the excitement. This year I came home on the "red-eye," San Diego-Chicago, and spent all of Sunday in a fog-like trance. Probably won't do that again!

It was not without great forethought and trepidation that I attended this year leaving my husband with 24-7 caretakers in charge. All went real well from start to finish for both him and me. I couldn't have had smoother travel. I loved my hotel room and enjoyed the balcony and the near-perfect San Diego sun & air. I logged lots of steps on my Fitbit. To my great relief, I found everything in good shape when I returned and thank goodness for texting as I was able to keep in close touch with my dear husband every day and often!

I arrived Thursday afternoon and enjoyed a leisurely time getting the lay of the convention center, getting registered, and running into familiar faces. Oh yeah, and I pre-ordered the Annual CGOA Commemorative Hook and picked it up.

Unraveled Ewe Company: Cocobolo wood
While there, I kept a Facebook Journal, so will direct you there if you want to follow my every step. #KCS2015.

Thursday evening's Annual Membership Meeting has become pretty much a non-event in my opinion! Since we hired the management company, it has been boiled down to a scripted session consisting of introducing the board, last year's minutes and treasury report. It doesn't feel like members are welcome to ask questions (except the ubiquitous "Where are we meeting next year?), air concerns or offer ideas. Nor do the board members seem willing to speak to what they have accomplished or plans for the future. Please tell me I am wrong!! Caring & Sharing has become chaotic with no one in charge. It would be more interesting if I just randomly handed a gift to a person on the street and then hoped someone would come along for a gift for me!

For the first time in a long time, I actually ventured outside the hotel and took the Trolley Tour of San Diego. It was $39.00 well spent; I saw so much in two hours. I had to be back at the CGOA booth at 12:30 on Friday as they were honoring the Hall of Famers by having us greet members.

Knowing how these things go, I organized a dinner on our free Friday night and shared a meal with some old friends. It is always so hard to have good conversations during these hectic weekends as we all run hither and yon. The gathering was well received and I got many comments of appreciation for bringing us together.. Everyone seemed to have a good time; maybe it will catch on as something we do every year!

Although I only took one class, it was a great one. Engineered Tunisian by Jennifer Hansen offered some Tunisian stitches I had never tried. It was challenging, fun and at some point I will have a beautiful cravat! Jennifer is an excellent teacher: knowledgeable, relaxed and more that willing to help everyone who needs her guidance.

Engineered Tunisian: Cravat
After 40+ years of crocheting and twenty years of attending these conferences, I really didn't have a wish list for the Marketplace. In fact, I vowed not to buy any yarn. Welllllll, vows are meant to be broken! At the Knitting Tree booth I noticed notecards with a knitting theme. Of course, I had to speak up for crochet and was told that they had them also for crochet but sold out. Good work crocheters for buying products that keep our venders coming back! The sales person was also wearing crochet so I took that as a sign. A 3-pack of coordinated colors started calling to me and I caved in; excited to figure out what I will make with these lucious colors. No regrets! I had come away without stitch markers so I also picked up a pack of Clover markers that were new to me. I've always been a sucker for stitch accessories anyway!

Louisa Harding Yarns: Azalea, Amitola, Anise
There is no readily evident reason why I would need to purchase another pair of scissors, except that they are just so darn adorable! They were also for sale in Tumiko Alexander's booth. She is the author of Rustic Modern Crochet which I have reviewed here on the blog.

It was so exciting to meet her in person and see her lovely model projects on display.I was happy to support her in this small way.

Tailleur:  La Belle Vie De La Couture
I have a weakness for handmade soaps and the grandfatherly figure in the booth wearing  his white lab coat cinched it for me!

Harmony Skin Care: Coconut
Throughout the weekend, I enjoyed meeting cyber-friends and Courtesans from my Ravelry Group. At the Saturday night Banquet/Fashion Show, I enjoyed the dinner, but then had to exit to get to the airport. No report on how that went.

Time will tell if I am able to attend the 2016 Conference in Charleston, SC. Here's hoping....