7.26.2011

I'm off!

Well, this pic is of some produce from our gaden.  Our carrots (they are small on purpose, this variety is meant to be small) and some lettuce.  I hadn't washed them yet in this pic, so they were clean when we ate them.

Anyway, more importantly, I am leaving today for something so exciting that I couldn't sleep last night.  My stomach has been tied in knots since yesterday evening.  I am so excited and nervous!  I am leaving this afternoon for my first ever trip the The Knit & Crochet Show in Minneapolis, MN.  I am so looking forward to meeting some of the designers that I have followed online for years.  I am super thrilled to be on the verge of learning lots of new things to help me along my design career path.  I am also very excited and nervous to meet with editors on Saturday during the designer/editor meet and greet.  I'm very hopeful that I will come home from this conference with some promised jobs in my future. 

I'll get to posting some details, thoughts, and pics as soon as I can after getting back on Sunday.  I hope you all have a great week!  Wish me luck!

Happy crocheting!

April :)

7.12.2011

Off-topic: Garden

 Have I ever mentioned that I garden?  Probably not, I usually try to stay pretty on topic with crafty stuff.  I thought I'd show you some pics of our garden though.  We have strawberries, flowers that our girls insisted on planting in their spots that are marked off with white rocks, squash (that is not doing well), canteloupe (that is not doing well), pumpkin (still a little plant), carrots, green beans, okra, tomatoes, mint, peppers (2 varieties), lettuce, and onions.  We have gotten to eat onions, carrots, and lettuce, but most of the "fruit"-bearing plants aren't producing well because of the heat -- their flowers just fall off without producing anything.  I'm hopeful that we'll get a lot in early September when things cool off just a bit.  Gardens tend to be this way.  Some summers you get lots, and others you don't.  It's been good for me though, it gets me on my feet and out in the sun each day.
 In this pic you can see some of Lady Hops-a-lot's flowers, mint, okra, carrots, onions, and green beans.
In this pic you can see a pepper, tomatoe, green bean, and my lettuce, which I am very pleased with.

Anyone else a gardener?  What do you have in your garden?

Happy crocheting, and gardening!

April :)

7.08.2011

Knit & Crochet Show Gift Exchange

Though I have yet to participate in it, there is a gift exchange on Thursday night of the Knit & Crochet Show.  I had forgotten about it until a few days ago, when my assigned "buddy" (since I am a newbie this year I was assigned an experienced buddy to help me out while there) reminded me of it.  I started looking through patterns on Ravelry (I could have designed something, sure, but I needed this to be pretty quick), and looking through my stash.  So after finding this pattern on Ravelry, and finding some "I Love This Yarn" acrylic in brown and some Naturally Caron Country in "sea spray" I put together an ADOREABLE bag!  I so wish I could keep it...well, I suppose I could and skip the gift exchange....  Anyway, I also used some fabric and ribbon from my stash that happened to match perfectly.  And, here is what I have put together...




No, I am not planning to give all the yarn away too, I just thought it would look nice in the pictures.  I did tweak the pattern.  I made this one in slightly different dimensions, but same general idea.  The rows of bobbles are also my addition.  This was a great pattern though, you could do any number of great things to customize it.  I love how it turned out!  And I am seriously tempted to keep it for myself... :)

I actually took the cover off my sewing machine and used it today for the lining.  Amazing!  If I get up the nerve to give it away whoever receives it should feel very flattered that I dusted off my sewing machine for his/her benefit ;)  Tell me what you think...do you like the bag?  What would you do with this pattern?

In other news, I blocked a swatch today.  Yay me!  Things have been super busy for our family this summer.  My three oldest girls are all taking swimming lessons this week and next.  We also have dance class for Princess once a week and a few scattered pottery classes for Drama Queen.  We are trying to practice reading and math once in awhile so that DQ doesn't forget it all, and pre-school continues for P and Lady Hops-a-lot.  Life is busy, busy, and very happy!

Well, happy crocheting!

April :)

7.07.2011

Knit & Crochet Show Homework, Part 2

Another of the classes that I am taking for the Knit & Crochet Show is a class by Lily Chin that I think is called "Fine Shaping in Stitch Patterning".  I am SO excited for this class because 1)Lily Chin is one of the "big" names in crochet garment design and 2)I think I will learn a lot that is really going to help me improve my ability to design crochet garments, which I definitely want to do more of!  So, one of the homework items was to make a swatch atleast 8" x 8" in any yarn and any stitch pattern.  I grabbed some old sport weight acrylic from my stash from ages ago and worked up this swatch.  Per her instructions, I made 3 photocopies of it.  I've read one of her books before and I think I know what the photocopies are for, to draw shaping lines onto so that you can see exactly how the stitches need to go.  This is a super good idea, and one that I need to use more!  Another part of the homework for this class is to work a couple rows of shell stitch in a worsted weight yarn.  I've also done that.  I'm all finished with the homework.  I still need to get some graph paper and colored pencils for this class, finish up my gift for the gift exchange, and continue to work on my portfolio.  I am working up some new design ideas for it.  I also have some designs previously submitted to magazines that they didn't use in there.  I also have a folder with all of my previously published designs in there.  I also have a spreadsheet with all of the designs on it so that I can keep track of any that get purchased. 

Crochet professionals are such nice people!  There is a Yahoo! group for crochet professionals with CGOA.  I posted a question on there last week asking everyone in the group for suggestions of how to organize my portfolio and got some great suggestions!  That group and my mentor, Jocelyn Sass, have been such great helps to me over the past 2 years as I have worked at learning the business of crochet design.  I have actually turned in my application to be recognized as a full-fledged Crochet Professional, as opposed to an Associate Professional.  I haven't heard anything back about it, so I'm not completely sure what the status on that is, but I suppose I'll find out sometime soon.  Well, I'm super stoked for the conference!  I'll post a picture of my gift exchange item when it is finished!  Until then...

Happy crocheting!

April :)

7.04.2011

Knit & Crochet Show Homework Part 1

I am excitedly preparing for my first trip to The Knit & Crochet Show in just a few weeks!  A couple of my classes require "homework".  One of the classes that I am taking is going to cover Tunisian Entrelac.  This is a crochet method that involves using Tunisian crochet, which differs from standard crochet in that as you work each stitch across a row, you pull up a loop from each stitch and leave it on the hook, then you work back across the row working each of those loops off the hook.
The Tunisian Simple Stitch produces a fabric that looks like this (above).  There are variations on this basic stitch that involve putting your hook through a different part of the stitches in the rows below.  Tunisian Entrelac uses the Tunisian Simple Stitch to work small squares off of the sides of previous squares.  I haven't done it, and don't know exactly how, but I am looking forward to trying it out.  I've ordered some wool yarn to use for this class so that I can felt my project afterward.  My homework was to review the Tunisian Simple Stitch.  Since I've done very little with Tunisian crochet, I figured that would be a good idea.  I'll definitely show you the results when I'm finished!  Here is a close-up of the swatch above. 

It has a different look to it than standard crochet.  I am also taking some other classes and I'll post some other homework pictures later.  I am also preparing a portfolio to take to the Designer/Editor meet and greet that is on Saturday.  That particular event is one that both excites and scares me.  There is a potential that I could come out of that meeting with one or more contracts for designs to be published.  I can hardly wait!

Happy crocheting!

April :)