In honor of Green Week

April 23, 2008 at 6:21 pm (Community, Crochet)

Since there’s been a heavy focus on environmentally friendliness, with Earth Day being yesterday, I thought I’d share some nice environmentally-friendly chrochet ideas.

Market Bags.

These are a fairly popular crochet project, with many different variations.  You can make them whatever size you need, and decorate them to suit your tastes.  You can make them out of any type of yarn or fabric.  You can make as many as you want, and then bring them to the store with you to hold your groceries/shopping items, and avoid getting the plastic grocery bags.  Crochet Pattern Central has several market bag patterns(simply search the word “market”) available, but it’s very easy to create your own pattern.  You can stitch together several squares, you can make a tube, you can make one long rectangle and sew up the sides, the possibilities are endless.

 

Plastic Bag Crochet.

Suppose you haven’t created some market bags, and so you come home with tons of plastic grocery bags.  Nothing to do but throw them out, right?  Well, if you’re the crafty type, you can turn those bags into anything from a purse to a pair of sandals!  Sometimes referred to as “plarn” (plastic yarn), plastic bags can be cut into strips, twisted, and tied together to make a unique “yarn” of sorts that is almost as versatile as normal yarn.  Click here for a tutorial on how to make plarn.  You can also use the tape from old VHS cassettes for a similar-thickness yarn, or the tape from old audio cassettes for a thinner yarn.  Some examples of plarn projects are a rug, a bag, coasters, and a pair of sandals.

 

Some Eco-Friendly Crafting Sites.

What’s Cluttering My Couch

HolisticMaMa.com

21st Century Girl: 10 Eco Friendly Knit and Crochet Projects

How to Choose Environmentally Friendly Yarn

MyRecycledBags.com

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Different kind of charity

April 23, 2008 at 6:20 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve supported charity crafting before, but this is a different type.  When you think about charity crafting, you usually think about helping those who are “less fortunate”: making blankets for homeless shelters, hospitals, and abused children’s shelters, making premie caps, making cancer caps, etc.  Soldiers overseas don’t often immediately come to mind as charitable causes.

However, according to this article, someone is trying to change that.  A knitting group in Washington, DC has been getting together and making blankets for the troops since 2004.  To date, over 1300 afghans have been created.  The group, along with over 500 people throughout the country, knit and crochet 6’x9′ rectangles of whatever design/color/theme they choose.  The pieces then all get sent to Maryland where they have “Put Together” events to stitch together the pieces into full-sized afghans that are sent to wounded soldiers and their families.  The entire process is called the Handmade Afghans Project.  You can email Rectangle6x9@comcast.net if you’re interested in contributing to the project.

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Exactly what I’ve been trying to say!

April 22, 2008 at 6:59 pm (Uncategorized)

I was trying to find something interesting to write about when I came across this story on Google News. The story talks all about how crochet is seeing a comeback in the number of people learning the craft, and that young people are taking up their hooks. I like this article because it also provides some background to the art, such as the fact that the term crochet came from a French word for hook, even though the craft probably started in Asia. Tying into my last post, a new website, beginnercrocheting.com, has emerged to help anyone in their journey to learn the art. The site includes not only basic crochet instructions and tutorials, but also tutorials for specific types of crochet.

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Learning to crochet

April 15, 2008 at 10:57 am (Uncategorized)

As I have a friend who is currently trying to learn how to crochet, I have been thinking about what is the right way to learn such a craft?  Is there a right way?

I personally learned from a book, the BoyeI Taught Myself to Crochet” kit.  I know from my shopping experiences that there are also many other crochet teaching books.  The methods are more or less the same: give the name of the stitch, show a picture/diagram or two, and explain in words how to do it.

 

Of course, with YouTube as popular as it is, there are plenty of videos on how to crochet.  These are a bit more interactive than the books, in that they show the person slowly doing the stitch, and sometimes explaining each step as they go.

Then there is always the age-old face to face method.  You find someone else who knows the craft and they show you and explain each step.

Each method’s got it’s own positives, of course.  You can consult a book anytime, even if you’re alone or without internet connection.  You can rewind videos and view the same step over and over again, without irratating the person.  With face to face interaction, you can have the person explain things that you may be confused about.

However, each also has it’s downside.  Books and videos can’t answer your questions.  Watching someone else do it doesn’t give you the same angled view as looking at the work in your own hands.

I suppose it depends on whether you’re a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner.

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Another inspiring story

April 9, 2008 at 7:50 pm (Uncategorized)

It’s always nice to find stories like this one, that show that age does not have to slow you down.  The story is about an 84 year old woman that completed a 108 by 90 inch afghan for her daughter’s birthday.  That works out to 9 feet by 7 and a half feet.  The afghan was made of 399 flower-shaped squares, of all different colored yarns.  It’s very inspiring to see someone of that age continue to be so active and creative.

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A craft for the winter?

April 8, 2008 at 9:44 pm (Uncategorized)

As the weather begins to warm, I find that the desire to crochet starts dropping off.  With the warmer weather, it’s harder to motivate yourself to sit with a heavy yarn creation on your lap.  However, the return of spring and summer does not have to mean that your crochet hooks go into hibernation.  Crochet Pattern Central offers many ideas for spring and summer crochet, such as sleeveless tops, short sleeved tops, beachwear, etc.  If you’re worried about using the heavy yarns, a good summery yarn is cotton.  It doesn’t trap heat the way wool and some acrylics do.

Happy Crocheting!

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Crochet Museum

April 2, 2008 at 9:01 pm (Uncategorized)

You learn something new every day.  Today, I learned that there is a crochet mueseum in California.  Basically, the owner of the museum buys crocheted creations, mostly animals, and displays them in the lime-green building.  Despite all the crocheted creatures in the museum, the owner actually doesn’t even know how to crochet.  For her to be able to distinguish between knitting and crochet is quite remarkable, in my opinion, as even knitters and crocheters have trouble with that sometimes.  Personally, my favorite part of the story is the mention of the museum’s “chicken wing,” the part of the museum that houses the crocheted poultry.

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Blankets for Charity

March 31, 2008 at 3:16 pm (Community, Crochet)

I’ve mentioned crocheting for charity before, but this story really jumped out at me.  It’s about a 95 year old North Carolina woman who crochets blankets for children who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse.  It’s inspiring to see someone at that age still going strong helping others, especially children in need.

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The Yarn Revival

March 25, 2008 at 6:48 pm (Community, Crochet, Knit)

It’s very uplifting to come across articles like this, that show that the yarn arts aren’t dead.  Although, I have to say that though the articles phrases it at “Once associated with grandmothers,” I still do get comments when I crochet about it being a grandma thing (look how many of these pictures show older women).  It is very nice to see the young crowd of yarnworkers getting some attention, though.  Now we just need to get more guys in on it. 😉  Maybe if word starts getting out about how cool knitting and crocheting are, us yarners will become the cool kids on the block 🙂

Now, if we could just get more celebrities to crochet the way the article says they knit…

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National Crochet Month?

March 24, 2008 at 5:37 pm (Crochet)

I was searching for some crochet news when I came across the fact that it is apparently National Crochet Month, and has been for the past 24 days.  I’ve personally been crocheting for over 2 years and was never aware of this.  According to Crochet.org, the website of the Crochet Guild of America (also which I didn’t know existed),  it can be celebrated by learning a new stitch, crocheting for charity, teaching someone to crochet, etc.  I just felt that this was an interesting topic, worth some browsing of the site.

So I suppose happy national crochet month, and enjoy the rest of the 7 remaining days.

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