Monday, March 27, 2017

Desert Thread, Moab, Utah - a yarn store review

Last week for the Spring Break holiday my family made the mammoth road trip to gorgeous Moab, Utah (19 hours each way!) Over the five years of living in Texas our driving distance has lengthed as we seek out more fantastic places to visit. While packing my current crochet projects and extra yarn I checked on Ravelry for a local yarn store. (I become extremely anxious about the thought of running out of yarn when on holiday. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way. I've written about it here How to locate a yarn store while away) I discovered Desert Thread had recently stashed yarn from customers (i.e. it's open), stocks brands that I liked and even had a Knit Night Wednesday 7-9pm. Result!

I managed three visits to Desert Thread while in Moab including the Knit Night. Yay! The owner Cathy and her sister Rosie are delightful, very knowledgeable and I could have talked to them all day about yarny goodness (if it wasn't for their other customers and my family waiting patiently to go hiking).

The store has been open ten years and is located in the center of town right opposite visitor information at 29 E. Center Street. I was made very welcome and Cathy told me that some Knit Night attendees are once a year regular returnees. I love to sit with others crafty folk, see what projects they are working on and have a bit of a chat. Yarn gatherings have the power to bring complete strangers together in a wonderful way.
Of course I had to buy local yarn because that's just what one does - support local producers and small businesses. And then I had to find the farm where the sheep who produced my yarn lived... But I'll write about that in next week's blog post. Sign up for my email (once a week reminder, no spam) if you'd like to see my sheep photos! I just love sheep, don't you?
If you're heading to Moab you must visit Desert Thread and please say hello to Cathy and Rosie for me. They have a website Desert Thread and Facebook page too. And I'd love to know if, like me, you seek out local yarn stores when on holiday.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Teaching at Houston Fiber Fest this June

I have hit the crochet professional big time! My proposal to teach a class at the fabulous Houston Fiber Fest was accepted. Yay! I have been teaching for around three years now, the last two and half at my local yarn store, so I thought it was time for a little challenge.


Last year I attended the Houston Fiber Fest for the first time. In fact, it was my first time ever visiting any fiber fest. Places are spread out in the US and with young children there isn't a lot of gallivanting around for me. Anyway, even though it was my first fiber fest ever I did manage to record an audio review of the event and it features on episode six of the superb Crochet Circle podcast around 40 odd minutes in.

I will be teaching crochet sock techniques. If you read my blog regularly you'll know that I was a little obsessed last year about finding the ultimate crochet sock pattern. Here are my blog articles on the topic if you missed them:
The event takes place June 23-25 at the Berry Centre in Cypress, TX. It is truly yarntastic and well worth attending even if you're not one of the special twelve attendees who gets to hook socks with me! Check out the Fiber Fest website, Ravery group and Facebook group. Shall I meet you there?

I daresay you may see crochet socks popping up on my Instagram and Twitter accounts in the near future. I'm @craftyescapism if you hadn't guessed! Have a fantastic week y'all!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

It's NatCroMo!

This month is National Crochet Month and this year's theme is glamping. It's not too late to take part in all the fun....

Crochetville are currently hosting their 5th annual NatCroMo Blog tour featuring 80 designers, crochet-friendly local yarn stores, indie dyers and spinners. There are free patterns and tutorials and daily giveaways too! Here's the link to general information on the CrochetVille website. You can see what's going on each day on the CrochetVille blog and their National Crochet Month Facebook group.

The designers are my absolutely favorite thing about the Crochetville tour. I was delighted to see the inspiring Marie Segares kicking off the blog tour. Of course I had to make the camping trivet (her free pattern for the tour) being a big fan of camping (and Marie!) Being the thrifty Brit I made my own tshirt yarn out of my daughter's old choir t-shirt. It's amazing to see how simply pulling the cotton tight rolls it into functional yarn. Here's the fab video on How to make t-shirt yarn that I found on YouTube by Trisha at Upcycled Stuff.

I loved the projects by new-to-me designer Yuliya Tkacheva and figured out that she works in tandem at Cup of Stitches with Lena Fedotova, designer of the wonderful Entrelac Tunisian yoga top that I've just completed. I also discovered fellow Brit Amanda Perkins for the first time who designs the most beautiful crochet blankets. And the month is barely half way through!

The CrochetSpot blog are keeping things simple by celebrating National Crochet Month with a series of cute crochet applique patterns for us to make.
I'm very taken with the cherry. CrochetSpot also mentions an International Crochet Month over on Ravelry. Their party runs for another week until March 19th.....

Have a wonderful week y'all! You'll find me in between weekly blog posts on Twitter and Instagram as @craftyescapism 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

First time test crocheter

This week I have been working on a test crochet project for the lovely and talented designer Susan Lowman aka The Crochet Architect. I first came across Susan via her review of Dora Orhenstein's new book Top Down Crochet Sweaters on Twitter. And then I had to investigate her blog The Crochet Architect and next I found her Ravelry Group. And when I spotted her call for test crocheters I thought I'd give it a whirl. I'm always up for the latest crochet thrill! I am SO rock and roll, honestly!

Anyway I love love love the pattern. Baby blankets are very popular among my workshop attendees and my charity group make them on an ongoing basis so I'm always on high alert for patterns which might appeal and stretch the growing skills of my hooky peer group. It's an intermediate pattern and I've really had to focus to make sure I'm following it correctly. Continually counting the ch-2 spaces has been crucial. I was working on it in my Yak and Yarn group this week, getting a lot of attention and one of the more forward said "You can make me a copy of that" and I replied sternly "You'll wait until it's published." It's copyright infrigement to make a copy and besides this pattern is my own little secret test project.

I sense more test crochet projects in my future. I am having such fun with this blanket and am thoroughly enjoying the test process. Anyway, check out my Ravelry project page if you want to see my progress on Mom's Favorite Baby Blanket. And for general crochet chatter in between weekly blog posts you'll find me on Twitter and Instagram as @craftyescapism 

Have a wonderful week y'all!