Thursday, March 16, 2017


Crochetville Blog Tour - March 2017
Blog post March 16, 2017

Welcome to the 5th annual Crochetville Blog Tour! I am pleased to be one of the bloggers featured again this year, and for my blog post I thought I would tell you about some of my happiest times as a crochet professional.

During my crochet career, I have been a teacher, a designer, a tech editor, and an editor. I love doing all of these – but I especially love teaching. (That's probably why I have taught just about everything that I've been involved with – that I've really liked – math, ballet, group exercise, calligraphy, graphic arts and design, education, crochet - not listed in any special order.) Teaching gives me such pleasure, especially when I see my students do something with what they've learned – whether it's solving a math problem, using calligraphy to write an invitation, using graphic arts to design the layout for a written pattern or brochure, or using their crochet skills (and math skills) to design and crochet something. Or to alter something that someone else has designed. And that's what I want to write about today – to celebrate National Crochet Month and the Crochetville Blog Tour -  a blog about my Crochet Philosophy and teaching Crochet.
My crochet "philosophy" is to make things simple, but make them look, not necessarily complicated, but not as easy or simple as they are. This is what I do with most of my patterns, and this is how I teach crochet. And I think my students appreciate this – because some have continued with me for many years. (I've been teaching at my LYS for over 16years!) My crochet class is a "crochet what you want" class. But, I use this to teach them things. And I often suggest that they crochet something that they don't usually chose to crochet. Last year, I realized that I had a lot of good crocheters in class, but they were just working on comfort shawls, or scarves, or blankets. All rectangles. All of them just "pick a stitch pattern and go" type of pattern. Nothing is wrong with that, but I thought they could do more. So I challenged them. I suggested that they try to crochet a sweater. They could choose one of my designs, or someone else's design. It didn't matter. But they should try it. And a few of them did. They picked some of my designs because most of my sweaters, whether they are self-published sweaters, or published in a book or magazine or by a yarn company, are simple shapes – squares or rectangles. And when they worked on the sweaters, they learned some important things. Like checking the gauge before you begin the actual pattern – something you don't necessarily have to do with a scarf, shawl or afghan.
Here are some pictures of my students' sweaters – and ponchos.

Some of my students like to take a pattern and change it a little. They may add something – like fringe, or they may make it wider, or more narrow, or longer, or shorter. They make it uniquely their own. I like that – when crocheters take one of my basic patterns (say, a shawl, or a tote) and do something with it that wasn't in the pattern and make it their own. My students do that and so do my "fans" on Ravelry. I constantly read about how they change something – adding fringe, making something wider, or longer. Or using a different yarn. As a designer and a teacher, I'm pleased that my patterns are used this way.

Here are some totes I designed, crocheted by one of my students - with her "take"on them. Notice, the last two totes are the same pattern - but she added some variations.

Here is another tote she crocheted - based on a simple pattern of mine for a Goody Bag. Her tote is the large one on the left. My various Goody Bags are the smaller ones. 

Same pattern - different sizes, different yarns. 

Here are some pictures of variations of one of my most popular shawls on Ravelry – the One Skein Summer Wrap – all crocheted by priscijo. .

These are only two of the many shawls priscijo crocheted. Notice the fringe on one, and the fancy edging on the other. Those are her additions.

Here is the link for the free pattern for my shawl – feel free to add on an edging of your choice.

All of this makes me happy - what my students do with my patterns, and with other patterns. That shows me that they have learned some things from my classes and patterns. One of my favorite sayings, that my students have started using for other purposes, is "We don't make mistakes. We make Design Decisions!" Remember that, in your crochet or crafty life! We make DESIGN DECISIONS!

One more thing – here is a coupon for 50% off my Craftsy class – 
Coupon Details: Cannot be combined with any other coupons. Expires April 8, 2017.

When you learn Foundation Stitches, you'll be able to make a lot of smart design decisions!
Happy Crocheting!

Here's a list of all the designers taking part in this tour. 
Designers on tour