Monday, June 26, 2017

Pattern Release: The Leftover Crochet Sock

My own pattern The Leftover Crochet Sock is now available for purchase. Please note that if you're searching for it on Ravelry it's called "The Leftover Sock" because the word "crochet" is a keyword. This is what I found out when I submitted my pattern name last week. I'm such a newbie! But I'm still calling it the Leftover Crochet Sock anyway. I launched the pattern this weekend at the Houston Fiber Fest from the Inner Loop Dyeworks booth (lovely Beth at Inner Loop Dyeworks gave me yarn support - beautiful Valentine and Electric Blue sock yarn).

I designed the sock for the class that I taught at the Fiber Fest on Crochet Sock Techniques so that it wasn't just me talking for two hours straight. Although I am sure I could probably ramble on about the back story of my crochet sock addiction for two hours and show them my sock samples and tell them all about the best designers etc......I used some very simple sock techniques in my pattern - short row heels and extended single crochet stitch. It's small and very quick to make. It comes in three sizes: 6-12 months, 1-3 years and 3-5 years. And I've called it the Leftover Crochet Sock because you can use up your leftover sock yarn - if you're anything like me you have leftover yarn and it's a problem!!

I need to say a big thank you to all the people who helped me get this pattern out. There are A LOT of people who go into producing a pattern. First Marie Segares for her Creative Yarn Entrepreneur podcast for telling me the proper way to do things in the Designing and Publishing Patterns mini series... And my super tech editor was Sam of A Simple Melody She was wonderful - and I really thought I'd picked up every little error and typo after reading it a approximately a million times but no - she pointed out a lot of mistakes and also made suggestions. She also checked it again after my test crocheters had tried it out Diane, Ilse and Cat. Diane went above and beyond taking step by step photos for me to give out to my students, without me even asking her to. Diane did get me into all this sock business though - she was the one at my Nimblefingers workshop who said she wanted to learn crochet socks... And then I had to get it looking pretty so Leah made it into a very good looking pdf.

I am running an introductory half price offer on my sock for a month until July 25th - it will be 50% off if you enter the code #houstonfiberfest2017 So if you fancy using up leftover sock yarn, have a little person in mind to make it for and are OK with a written pattern why not try it out and buy now

Hope you have a wonderful week. I'm going to do a write up of the Houston Fiber Fest for next week's blog so be sure to come back then!

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Hoston Fiber Fest is THIS Week!

Houston Fiber Fest starts THIS Friday June 23rd. I am SO excited!! I am going to be there on Saturday primarily visiting vendors and squishing their yarn but also hanging out with people and obviously I'll be there Sunday afternoon for the class I'm teaching.

Lester The Fiber Fest Mascot

Last year I attended just one day but I stayed for seven hours. I felt I had to get around as many vendors as possible so that I could record a really comprehensive audio review for Fay at the Crochet Circle Podcast. It was an amazingly fun day and I just can't wait to do it all over again!

This year I'll be spending some time at Inner Loop Dyeworks Booth #17 with Beth Bower. Beth is a fabulous indie dyer and she very kindly provided me with yarn support for the small crochet sock pattern I designed for my class. She even let me choose my colors and custom dyed them for me! Amazing! Thank you Beth - I'll see you on Saturday with my sock samples!! I'll be launching my sock pattern from her booth. It's called #theleftovercrochetsock because it's baby/toddler size and you can make it with leftover sock yarn once you've made an adult pair.

The meet up tables are back again this year so I will be at the crochet meet up table on Saturday at 12 midday.  It's a really fun way to meet new people who are into the same thing as you. Well obviously we're all massively into yarn but there are meet ups for spinners, weavers, stitch marker swaps and so on. Here is the meet up table schedule. And I'll also be meeting up with a group that I've joined very recently the really fun Houston Fiber Friends. It's going to be the best weekend ever!

Anyway have a wonderful week y'all and let me know if you're attending any fiber events over the summer. And do tell me if you're going to be at the Houston Fiber Fest so I can look out for you!!!

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Trying out: Lyyke Crochet Hooks

I really do love working in my local yarn store. The Knitting Fever rep was visiting on one of my yarn store days and she had a classy looking case with a set of Lyyke crochet hooks inside They were a prototype and won't be available in the store until next month but I was able to have a little go so I thought I'd let you know what I thought. The rep gave me two sets of knitting needles - one straight, one circular to say thank you in anticipation of my review here. That was sweet! It's nice to get a little freebie.

I had already had a chance to try out the needles. They are available at Nimblefingers and in my Friday workshop I help knitters as well as crocheters. So I was ripping back for a student and I remember thinking ooooohh these look great - they are a light colored grainy gray wood. And they feel good too. They are very smooth like silk. I loved them and I kept asking my students who were using them if they needed a bit of help with something so I could get my hands on them again.

They are called Driftwood and I totally got the wrong end of the stick (ha ha) and thought that they were actually upcycled driftwood, harvested from a beach, and that's why they were so strong and smooth. They are not made from driftwood, they are made from resin-coated birch wood. I must say I am a bit disappointed because I do prefer my romanticized version of their origin.

Trying out the prototype crochet hook, I liked it a lot. The Lykke hook is an in line crochet hook which is the style that I prefer in my crochet hooks. Like the needles, it's very smooth work with and looks great. It's very lightweight too. And the hooks are labelled with both mm and US sizing. Very handy! Even after five years in Texas I still use mms for my hook and needle sizings. There are ten sizes ranging from 3.5mm E-4 to 9mm M-13. So although I do like them a LOT and I will probably buy a few once they arrive, I will not be abandoning my Susan Bates Silvulame (anodized aluminum) because I tend to make projects which call for smaller hook sizes and Susan Bates start at 2 1/4 mm B-1.

I hope you found this helpful and I'd love to know what you look for in a crochet hook. Just let me know in the comments below. Have a wonderful week y'all!!

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Book Review - Step into Crochet

Working in a yarn store is just too tempting at times. The sweet owner, my boss Chris, knows about my passion for crochet socks so it took me all of three seconds to purchase Step into Crochet by Rohn Strong when she handed me the newly arrived copy.
I am a big Rohn Strong fan. I first discovered him last year when I bought his book New Methods for Crochet Socks and this led to me to join his Facebook group Crochet Sock Addicts! I took part in his July sock CAL (crochetalong). And on that CAL I made the first pair of crochet socks that actually fit me. I didn't know before I started trying to crochet socks that I have a wider than average ankle and I had to customize them for my feet.

Rohn also has thick ankles and the first pair of socks he crocheted didn't fit him either. He wrote Step into Crochet to help people crochet socks that fit by teaching them "all there is to know about crocheted socks". And the book does just that. There are four chapters covering technique at the beginning of the book before you even get to the patterns. These chapters cover measurement, gauge, sock construction, stitch choice, heels, toes and cuffs and yarn choice. My favorite page has to be "Top five ways to adjust patterns for a custom fit". So helpful for me with my nonstandard feet!!

When I buy books I do tend to go for the ones that cover technique being a teacher it helps me with my students' questions. The patterns are almost secondary.However the patterns in this book are wonderful!! There are eighteen, grouped into Simple, Textured and Cabled, Colorwork and Lace. The three Textured sock patterns in particular are calling to me. They are gorgeous. I feel a little intimidated by the colorwork socks - but I've decided to work up to them. I really like the fact that each pattern gives details on what kind of heel and toe construction is used. I think one of the best things about having a collection of sock patterns is going through them and trying out new types of construction. Then you'll find out what your personal favorite is...

I would highly recommend this book. Rohn told me it took two years to write and he crocheted every single sample. It has taken me three months to design and write up one basic small sock pattern so I'm extremely grateful that he's there sharing all these tips and producing such amazing designs for us!!

Have a great week y'all. And leave me a comment about your crochet sock experiences below. I'd love to know!

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