For “I Love Yarn Day,” Join CGOA

The Craft Yarn Council celebrates I Love Yarn Day every October. This October 13, why not celebrate your love of crochet by joining the Crochet Guild of America?

The Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) is all about crochet! As it is the only national organization dedicated to the craft of crochet, CGOA provides the opportunity for members to learn more about crochet, be inspired by innovative designs, and connect with other passionate crocheters.

Join this community of more than 3,000 enthusiasts from all over the country—and the world—to connect about crochet on all levels. You can learn as a beginner, become a master, be inspired by new designs, and engage through our educational programs and annual conference.

If you crochet, you really should be a member. Continue reading

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Learning Lace

I grew up with the Saxon Math series, and I wouldn’t want to have learned algebra and trigonometry any other way. The premise of John Saxon’s teaching method is “incremental development.” Each concept builds on the previous one–and prior lessons are reinforced through daily practice–until little by little, what seemed “hard” becomes “easy” through repetition. One fine day, it all makes sense.

It’s impossible for me to remember things I only do once or twice. Daily repetition and practice is my painless way to learn. That’s how I progressed from yarn crochet to thread lace and finally made my first doilies.

This is my execution of a design by Ocie Jordan called “Graceful Doily” from Beginner’s Guide to Thread Crochet, by Leisure Arts. Continue reading

Color

I haven’t typically been in the habit of choosing a “Word of the Year,” but a couple Decembers ago it struck me that my New Year’s word could be “Color.” I thought of it in the sense of seeing with fresh eyes and choosing to accept the bright and varied ways God opens new and unforeseen paths, as opposed to being stuck in the familiar, worn out ways that become stale and colorless. For 2017, Color it was.

It’s never a bad time to add new color combinations to crochet projects, either. This pattern is Lion Brand’s Modern Ripple Baby Blanket. I’ve been intrigued by Lion Brand’s Bonbons,” miniature balls of yarn in colors that make me smile. This was a good project to justify finally buying the Bonbons.

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Cashmere Is Fit for Royalty

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed Prince Louis Arthur Charles into the world on April 23. This day had special meaning for Anglophiles everywhere as also being the feast day of St. George, patron saint of England, and the birthday of William Shakespeare.

Lion Brand released two special patterns in honor of the birth of the first Cambridge baby, Prince George, in 2013. Royal Prince Baby Booties and Royal Princess Baby Booties are both made with the softest LB Collection Cashmere Yarn in Cruise and Sprout. The boy’s version has dapper bowties, and the girl’s are like ballet slippers. I was able to make one pair of each with only two balls of yarn (one ball of Cruise and one ball of Sprout).

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Winter Ends When You’re Ready

Around the time the Christmas Season officially ends at Candlemas, I usually regret it’s over. I wish we could start the season over and savor it again. I’m not ready to let it go.

This year I also found myself still perusing the December 2017 issue of Crochet World, well into February. Gemma Owen’s Holiday Wonderland Doily, with circular Christmas trees surrounded by a white border, and her poinsettia-themed Winter Cheer Centerpiece have made it onto my list of thread crochet projects for “someday.” Continue reading

“Knit Your Bit” (or Crochet) for Today’s Veterans

I was in grade school during the first Gulf War. We prayed the Rosary for peace and for the deployed family members of students.

I also remember that when war was imminent, a priest at my Catholic parish announced he was becoming a Navy chaplain. I don’t remember if he already had a past in the Navy; it seems likely he did. But in 1990 he was not a young man.

He enlisted as a chaplain because our country was going to war, and he wanted to serve the spiritual needs of the men and women who were going to fight it. I remember feeling a kind of awe that Father Ryan knew instinctively what he ought to do at that moment in time–and that he so straightforwardly did it. His farewell was a lesson in selflessness and in doing what was right without fanfare, fuss, or delay. Continue reading

Beautiful America

One of the most beautiful blankets I’ve ever made is a pattern called Little Boy Blue by Lion Brand.

This jewel-tone afghan was designed for Lion Brand’s Heartland, which happens to be Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s October Yarn of the Month. Heartland is 100% acrylic and weight 4 (medium). Heartland has a soft, silky feel and is comfortable for me to work with.

I enjoyed the variations in stitch patterns from row to row, which produced such a distinctive border. I counted stitches carefully at the end of each row, because mistakes would show and disrupt future rows. It is well worth the time and effort to ensure each section is correct before moving on. Continue reading