Saturday, March 1, 2014

Where Do You Find Your Crochet Inspiration?

Another snowstorm has been forecast for our area this weekend, which means that dreams of walks outside and open windows will have to be put off for yet another day. It is on these cabin-fever-days that creativity comes to my rescue. With my hands and hook busily working the yarn, I can drift away to sunny places for a while.

As a lifelong creative, I've found inspiration in most intricately woven spider web glistening with morning dew drops...the bright colors of fresh fruit lovingly displayed at an open air market in the joyous giggles of small children playing in the carefree way they always do.

When it comes to crochet inspiration...although it's certainly all around...I find I'm most inspired by seeing the work of other crocheters. An interesting afghan pattern, article of clothing or adorable amigurumi critter can get me excited about adding a new project to my Crochet To-Do List. I enjoy reading other crocheters' blogs (I'll always come and check out your blog and leave a comment if you link to it in a comment on one of my posts), and find a lot of inspiration there. And the same is true for Google+ and the crochet communities I'm involved with there.

My #1 place online for finding crochet inspiration is Pinterest. If you're not on Pinterest, I'd have to ask you "Why on earth not?" And if you are, I invite you to follow me by clicking here, so we can share our crochet inspiration and accomplishments.

Where do you find your crochet inspiration? What sources do you turn to again and again?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Off-the-Hook Friday -- Link to Your Recently Finished Projects

Don't you love the phrase "off the hook"? It evokes in me feelings of freedom...of time to spend on yarny creations or other crafty pursuits. Freedom of all kinds come with being "off the hook". As I write this, I allow myself to enjoy the buttery caramel aroma drifting in from the kitchen (freedom from calorie-counting!), and imagine the feeling of the soft, variegated boutique yarn I'll be using in an upcoming project that I'll be free to start very soon.

I especially love it when I'm "off the hook" as far as work goes, having finished whatever needed to be done for my writing clients. Because once I reach this point, I truly am free to work on a new blog post for you or spend time on a crochet work in progress.

In terms of crochet, the phrase "off the hook" can be exciting and sad at the same time. Exciting because it's a wonderful, pride-filled moment when you can finally reveal something you've been working hard on. Sad because a little piece of our hearts goes into each work, doesn't it? And that final stitch can be somewhat bittersweet.

I'm coming to the end of my Flowers in Bloom scrapbuster baby afghan, which I began blogging about here.

I'll be sad to see this one come off the hook because its end will coincide with my time here in Arctic Illinois drawing to a close, and it will be quite a few months before I can see my family again. Seeing my sweetheart when I return to Germany will be know how it goes when you're happy to see someone and sad to leave others behind for a while?

But I've digressed because that's not yet a finished project! Here's a sneak peek at a multi-stitch infinity scarf I recently finished and have been wearing about.

New design for a multi-stitch infinity scarf
Today is Off the Hook Friday here at the Go Crochet Crazy blog! 

I'd love to see what you've recently taken off the hook and give others the chance to view your work, too. Simply comment below this blog post and include a link back to your blog post or photo on Pinterest, Flickr or wherever you've got it publicly posted. I'll be sure to stop by your blog and comment on your post! Seeing what others have completed never fails to inspire me, so let's celebrate one anothers completed projects together! If you're ready to stock up on supplies for your next project, I invite you to stop by my Go Crochet Crazy Amazon Store!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

How Did You Learn to Crochet?

Several friends and family members have asked me to teach them to crochet or create a few video tutorials they could use to take up the craft. Though I've given their suggestions some thought, I've determined that's not the direction I want my crochet business to take (I'd need a 36-hour day to get everything done!).

This led me to think about the many ways in which people learn to crochet. I've heard stories of people learning as young children, while sitting next to a favorite grandma or a mom who deftly wove her crochet hook in and out of a skein of yarn. Others are self-taught, with written instructions found in a book or on the internet, or through video tutorials.

Years ago, when I was pregnant with my second child, I bought a crochet book and a couple skeins of yarn at Joann Fabrics and taught myself to crochet. I distinctly remember crocheting the granny squares -- made with lovely shades of creamy yellow, pale pink and white. I have no clue whatever happened to that growing pile of squares. I was a big sewer back then, supporting my growing family as a single parent through my seamstress work. I ended up sewing my daughter a baby blanket, which became a beloved favorite.

Fast-forward to a few years ago when the need to fill some time with a productive activity brought me back to crochet. I relearned how to do it by watching video tutorials on YouTube by BeThinTx1, BobWilson123 and Crochet Geek. As I listened and followed, listened and followed (pausing often until I got the hang of it), I began to feel a connection with these ladies and the sounds of their voices as they led me through the process of learning something that would become a huge, important part of my life. I've been hooked ever since!

Crochet, I find, is a very personal craft, mostly because it connects us to loved ones -- past, present and future generations -- and fills various needs. I hope you'll share your story about how and why you learned to crochet. Isn't it lovely to know you have a common bond with countless others around the world?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How Long is Your Crochet Project To-Do List?

Apparently, I'm a focused crocheter. Until recently, I never had supplies urging me to hurry up and finish one (or two) projects so I could start the next. Oh, I always have a mental list of crochet items I'd like to make or crochet business tasks I want/need to do. But I've never had a "Waiting in the Wings" list of projects, with yarn bought and ready to be used.

Currently, I'm working on finishing up my "Flowers in Bloom" Scrapbuster afghan and the fourth in a series of infinity scarves which I'll be releasing in an upcoming pattern eBook.

Waiting in the wings is this gorgeous boutique yarn that's going to be turned into a beautiful, assymetrical poncho.

And I'm planning to recreate the pattern my grandmother used to crochet the afghan she made in 1937, which I inherited after she passed.

This is new territory for me...working on two projects at once and having two waiting so impatiently in the wings. More beckon my attention, but I keep telling them to go away until I complete my current To-Do list!

How about you? How long is your Crochet Project To-Do List? What are some of the projects on it? If you happen to need any supplies, I invite you to stop by the Go Crochet Crazy Amazon Store. But especially come tell me what you're working on...perhaps you'll give me more ideas to add to a future list!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Yarny News -- Sale & New Additions to Bulk Up Your Stash

One of the things I love best about blogging is the wonderful people I get to interact with, who fill me in on all kinds of noteworthy, yarny news! If you're looking to add to your yarn supply soon, here are two bits of news that might be of benefit.

Michael's Craft Stores is currently having a pretty terrific sale. Through March 1st, 2014, all Sugar n Cream 2.5 oz skeins of cotton yarns are 4 for $5. Time to stock up and start dreaming about spring and summertime crochet projects!

I love Sugar n Cream's stripes collection. The gorgeous skein in the foreground is what I use to make my spa cloths, which I blogged about here.

Spa cloths made with Sugar n Cream 100% Cotton Yarn
In other news, those of you who love Bernat's thick, plush Baby Blanket yarn will be excited to know that the company is going to expand the colors available for this line!! Beginning on April 1st, 2014, Bernat is adding home decor colors to the Baby Blanket yarn collection so us crafty people can make plush, soft blankets in grown-up colors. Woo hoo!

Some of Bernat's current Baby Blanket yarn colors.
If you've got any further yarny news, be sure to share. Who doesn't like to start off the week with a bit of good news?