Sunday, March 27, 2016

Brand new crochet magazine launched this week

One of my crafty friends, Catherine Peacher, from just up the road from me in Kingwood, Texas has just launched her magazine Crochet Unites, with the Spring Edition available this week. Hurray and congratulations to Catherine!

I met Catherine totally by chance via Craig's List, the US equivalent of the UK's Gumtree. Close to two years ago I was randomly looking at Craig's List. I've never advertised or bought anything there and have only visited the site a handful of times since moving to Texas. But for some serendipitous reason I searched for "crochet" and found Catherine seeking a partner to start a crochet business. Of course, I had to call!

We met at a Starbucks half way between our homes and became firm friends. How could we not with our shared love of all things crochet?! I didn't become Catherine's partner because after deep reflection I felt that I couldn't devote the time to building a second business from scratch as I had with TG Research, my primary business but we stayed in touch. I helped Catherine out when I could mainly with encouragement and brainstorming ideas! 

It's absolutely fantastic to see her magazine launched. Catherine has some great content in there. I wrote an article too: The Amazing Health Benefits of Crochet. It's available in digital or print format or both! I'd highly encourage you to buy yourself a copy! Here is the link on Magcloud:

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Crafting in the great outdoors

My usual blogging time is early Saturday morning while my kids are just waking up and my hubby is out on an early ride with his bike club but last weekend we were camping making the most of the glorious spring weather in Texas. Of course a WIP came too, as it always does. I am working on the extremely cute bobble vine jacket by Edie Eckman with the last of my bargain Cascade Alpaca Lana D'Oro stash yarn.

I love crafting outdoors with my dog by my side in a beautiful peaceful setting accompanied by the sound of nature. I've even taken it so far to entice friends to learn to crochet while camping with us when I needed my teaching hours for my crochet certificates - a captive audience. Poor things. Read my post The Joy of Crafting with others for photographic evidence.

I thought I'd peruse the web for others fond of knitting and crochet in the great outdoors.

What are the best outdoor projects?

I found some extremely sensible advice on the Knitpicks Blog:  3 favorite projects for the great outdoors These are #1 portable socks, #2 modular projects such as squares for a blanket and #3 finishing off. 

Where is a good place to crochet outdoors?

Rachel Choi of the CrochetSpot blog suggest a number of good places to crochet outdoors in her article 6 fun places to crochet outside. Love it!

Knit some camping accessories 

Actually found a book about knitting projects specifically for camping. How fun! Check out In the Woods: 20 Projects for the Great Outdoors by Shannon Okey.

Crochet a camping adventure

Yes I do have this book, a Christmas gift from one who knows me well. It's adorable. Let's Go Camping!: Crochet Your Own Adventure by Kate Bruning  Reminiscent of vintage camping memorabilia, create a nostalgic collection of crochet projects encompassing all aspects of outdoor life ranging from vintage caravans and ice cream trucks, to tents and teepees with all the camping paraphernalia of sleeping bags, backpacks and a log fire, as well as mountain and forest scenery.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Happy Birthday to Yak and Yarn

My crafting group Yak and Yarn is one year old this month. And we are going to eat cake and celebrate!

We meet at a local cafĂ© twice a month (one day time and one evening meeting to cater for all). We have three core members. I am know as The Fearless Leader which makes me smile because if you know me I'm very relaxed. I set the dates and let people know via our Facebook group and email list. I also research pattern ideas for our group projects.

Audrey is our Head of Charity. I started the group just as a meet up with no particular mission other than fellowship for yarn lovers. Then Audrey was asked for blankets for a local charity and so our joint projects began. After the blankets came the scarfs for the homeless and then baby blankets for a third local charity. Making things together has really brought us closer as a group and given us a sense of purpose. But there is no judgment if someone is working on their personal project instead.

Roxanne is our Head of Recruitment. She has been doing an awesome job asking her friends and neighbors to join us and even teaching her friends so that they can take part too.

As for the other members we have a real mix of nationalities: American, Kiwi, English, Scottish, Indian, Russian, Italian, Canadian.... apologies if I've missed any of you. Houston is a very culturally rich place. Our youngest member is 12, a daughter of a member, and our oldest is in her 80s, the mother of a member in Indiana (satellite members are welcome to join). People come and go and that is fine by us. Life is busy and priorities change. But I feel confident our group will continue ... 

PS The pattern for this adorable slice of birthday cake by crochet designer Donna Childs came from the most recent 10th Birthday Collector's Edition of Interweave Crochet.  The yarn store where I work has just starting stocking this magazine. I am SOO happy. It's just marvelous!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

March is NatCroMo National Crochet Month

I first found out about Crochetville and National Crochet Month listening to Mary Bird talk to Amy Shelton on her Yarn thing podcast six months ago. At the time I was thinking, "Wow, this is incredible". Of course, I forgot all about it in the interim but on Tuesday I spotted #natcromo in my Twitter highlights and I managed to climb on board the Crochet Express on day 1. Yay! 

You board the train by joining the Facebook group National Crochet Month The Crochet Express is Crochetville's month-long virtual passenger steam train trip taking us on a whirlwind tour of crochet designers, crochet-friendly local yarn stores, and yarn companies.

The Train Staff comprise: Amy Shelton as Conductor and Donna Hulka as Ticket Agent both of Crochetville and Tammy Hildebrand of Hot Lava Crochet.

There is a lot going on but I'm particularly enjoying the train stops at the websites of crochet designers and looking out for the daily giveaways. As a passenger on the train you can also post your favorite finds of the day and share your current crochet projects. How fun!

Anyway without further ado I invite you to jump on the train with me: