Thursday, April 30, 2015

Craft Yarn Council Certified Instructor Program

Here is a link to the Craft Yarn Council's Certified Instructor Program
The program is for crochet AND  knitting. It's a really great course and I'd recommend it to everyone who would like to improve their skills. Here are some other fantastic benefits of the course:
  • COMMUNITY: There is a private Facebook group for students and graduates which is totally awesome, supportive and helpful.
  • EXPERT MENTOR: You are paired with a wonderfully experienced teacher/mentor who assesses your work in a final phone interview. My mentor is just lovely. I'd like to talk to her every day ;)
  • WORK OPPORTUNITIES: The course is linked with the craft store Michaels so there is an opportunity to teach there if you want to make some money.
The first level certifies you as a instructor able to teach beginners and the rather more challenging second level certifies you as a teacher of more advanced learners.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How my crochet career began

I'm a 43 year old British mom and freelance researcher. I moved to the US (Houston, Texas) three years ago when my hard-working husband was offered a transfer to the Land of Opportunity. It's difficult to pinpoint exactly how my crochet career started but I'd been toying with taking a distance learning course in the UK to improve my technique. I have a butterfly-like personality where I flit from extracurricular activity to activity usually moving on after 12-18 months and sometime returning to an earlier hobby enjoying my increased proficiency. Crochet has been a rather more enduring hobby than many I think mainly because of it's calming effect and the health benefits that it brings. Life can be pretty crazy at times!
After settling the children into our local public school, volunteering to make some friends and getting my freelance career up and running I had a little time to return to the goal of improving my crochet skills and found that teaching hours were required for the US equivalent certificate from the Craft Yarn Council. My first student was a fellow Brit and retired private school Principal. Since I'm not a fantastic housewife (you can't do it all - that's just a fallacy) and I couldn't face inviting people to my messy house I asked the local yarn store if I could teach on the comfy sofa in their back room where beautiful high-end yarn is stacked from floor to ceiling.
So before my first teaching session I'm doubly nervous - first about teaching at all and then thinking "Crickey, my student is a school principal", "what if she doesn't think I can teach?" "Well then I'll be done for, career over". Anyway since I'm here now, all went well.  The yarn store owner and the principal met at a mutual friend's wedding and since we live in a world where it's "who you know" the owner told me once I had my certificate I could run the store's Friday afternoon workshop for crocheters ...and knitters!  And that was eight months ago. Now Friday afternoons are simply the best part of my week. Big smile :)))


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Charity project rolls on

Just had an update through from one of my Yak and Yarners - her new recruit has cranked out a further 20 squares. By my reckoning that means we're onto lapghan #5 now. I need to recruit another assembler of squares. Lapghan #3 is being edged in black and I am loving the way it makes the colors pop.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Another shawl

Wanted to make a shawl for a friend to brighten her day after she admired my recent Anzula make. Found a beautiful variegated skein in the sale bin at the yarn store where I work. I watch those sale bins like a hawk! Found a suitable pattern on Ravelry the Elise Shawl. It's more a shawlette but we'll see blocking can work it's magic!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015

2nd Yak & Yarn Meet Up

I'm amazed at the enthusiasm of our newly-formed group. Eleven ladies showed up and almost all are working on crochet squares at the meeting and in between. We now have enough for a second blanket (I have determined that 63 5"x5" squares make a lapghan).

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lucy Croft Diamond Vest Top

Marvellous my Anzula yarn doubled will match the gauge required for a vest top I like the look of.  We always fall in love with yarn and then struggle to find a pattern we like. I've been looking for patterns for the Anzula yarn since November (well sort of on and off being interrupted by other yarn projects with more pressing deadlines.) The rule of thumb is times the gauge by 0.7 so 30 stitches per 4 inches becomes 21 stitches per 4 inches.

The pattern is in Simply Crochet issue 22 Diamond Vest Top but I will crochet it in the round rather than front then back because I dislike seams.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Crochet Necklace Gift

Used a pipecleaner to make the shape and added on two more rows of crochet. Maybe I could start a trend? It's another gift for 10 year friend of my daughter's.

Cute crochet Dolphin gift

Made a dolphin for my 2nd grade son's teacher's birthday. It looked like a shark until my dear husband pointed out that dolphins are curvy! Pattern from most awesome book:  "75 Seashells, Fish, Coral & colorful marine life to knit and crochet" by Jessica Polk.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Blocking time again

Hooked this up in no time. Gorgeous single skein of Anzula haiku yarn and pattern from Simply Crochet issue 27 Beaded shawl (without the beads.) Will wear it with my bright cocktail dress at the kids' school auction party this Saturday.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Rose Basket

Made a cute rose basket for my friend's birthday.
The basket was a smaller version of the base of this Lion Brand pattern:
The curlicue roses are on Fiber Flux blog:
The leaves and handle I just made up. Stuffed it with split peas inside a plastic bag.
I hope she likes if!