Archives for category: Hobby as Art

I know that the first day of spring is designated as March 20th. However, March in the midwest where I was born doesn’t usually feel too much like spring. For me, Easter always seemed to be the more logical, fun, and yummy (mmmm, chocolate!) start of spring – and I still feel this way. So let the cuteness begin!

chick in egg

Peek-a-Boo Chick – http://grietjekarwietje.blogspot.com/2012/04/haakpatroon-kuikentje-in-ei-op-pootjes.html (in Dutch)

baby bunny

Baby Bunny – https://amigurumi.today/crochet-bunny-amigurumi-pattern/

Lace Eggs – http://www.dontpayfull.com/blog/6-quick-ways-to-save-money-on-easter-parties

lace eggs

Gossip Chicks – http://www.vendulkam.com/2015/04/happy-easter_6.html

gossip chicks

bunny basket

Bunny Basket – http://foodsafteyvideos.blogspot.se/

hens

Pretty Hens – http://handmade-paradise.ru/kak-svyazat-kryuchkom-kurochku/http://handmade-paradise.ru/kak-svyazat-kryuchkom-kurochku/

Lamb

Lacy Lamb  –  http://art-madam.pl/szukaj,artysta-tygrysiesploty

 

 

mandala eggs

 

Mandala Eggs – http://www.echtstudio.nl/pakketten.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crochet Duckies  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/karla-fitchs-ravelry-store

rubber duckiessweet lamb

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Lamb – http://www.sewrella.com/2016/12/little-crochet-lamb.html

                   And the Big Man Himself, Grandpa Easter Bunny

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www.bonanza.com/booths/CrochetedButterfly

Happy Easter to All, and to all a no-upset-stomach, no-sugar-high, blissfully quiet night!

(All photos reposted from Pinterest. I do my best to give the correct URL to each photo, but I can’t be responsible if the site has taken the page down or if there is no pattern. I consider this type of blog “inspiration”, and if a pattern is available, that’s just a happy bonus!)

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I couldn’t resist the allure of Irish Crochet Lace for this most wonderful of Irish holidays, St. Paddy’s Day!

Paraphrased from Wikipedia, “Irish crochet” was originally developed in mid-nineteenth century Ireland as a method of imitating expensive Venetian point laces. Irish crochet lace is characterized by separately crocheted motifs, which were then assembled into a mesh background.

This lace is made with a very fine steel crochet hook and fine crochet cotton or linen thread. It begins with an outline of the pattern on a piece of cloth. Each motif is then crocheted separately, using cotton cord for volume and shaping. The finished motifs are then basted (sewn with a loose stitch for temporary tacking) onto a cloth in the shape of the pattern. The motifs are then joined using chains and picots. When all the motifs have been joined together forming one piece of lace the basting stitch is removed from the back cloth revealing the completed lace.

I’ve gathered the following examples of Irish lace from Pinterest, all coming from Russian sites. However, I did find a wonderful Facebook group called Irish Crochet Lab that is run by Larisa Chilton, who is an instructor and has developed an online course for those who want to learn Traditional and Modern Irish crochet lace. You can find Ms. Chilton’s site at https://www.facebook.com/videotutorialsandpatterns/ . Enjoy!

Irish Crochet 2

From postila.ru

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irish crochet 3

From postila.ru, a type of Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irish crochet 6

https://www.livemaster.ru/item/17305403-odezhda-vintazhnyj-kaftan-suvenir

Irish crochet 5

http://www.facebook.com/Asia-Verte

Irish crochet 7

http://www.facebook.com/Asia-Verten

Oh, yes, just one more thing. Today is my brother-in-law’s birthday – Happy Birthday, Craig!

IMG_0435ASo in my last post I let you know I had gotten a job as a crochet teacher at Needles, Hooks, and Yarn in Glendora, CA. I’ve certainly been quite busy since then, not only with students but with creating items to promote yarns, classes, or just crochet itself. Yarn companies have a notorious tendency to omit crochet when making samples, so it’s my job to bring this art to light for Needles, Hooks and Yarn!. The other reason I’ve been so busy is that Nancy, the owner of the shop, came down with shingles at the beginning of August and asked me to keep the store open for her while she recuperated. Thankfully, she is well on the mend now and back to her old self again.

I have reworked the poinsettia and now have an official pattern available in my store. I do want to make a cream and pink version, but those are on the back burner for now because I’m busy making a very cute ghost and will be starting a witch’s hat soon.

Below is my VERY FIRST top that I’ve ever made, and it was created using Weekend DK by Berroco. I call it “The Weekender” (yes, I know, but I thought the name was appropriate). I was so happy that it actually fit the mannequin! The original pattern I saw is free and was written by Emma on her blog Gathering Beauty at http://www.gatheringbeauty.com/2016/04/diy-granny-square-crochet-top.html. However, the pattern Emma found is free and posted on Maria Valles’ blog atIMG_0450 - CopyA http://www.mariavalles.com/blog/i6k6696x8q4zkndhkqf7tko06iyj8g. I have written a very detailed pattern for my version of this top, but ethics dictate that I too should list this pattern for free. I’ve put a lot of work into this pattern, though, so I don’t want to do that. I’m thinking that if I let people know where the pattern is available for free and give them the option, that should let me off the “ethical hook”. Please let me know your opinion!

For those of you who aren’t aware of ‘the Dark Side of Crochet Patterns’, unethical people will take other designer’s free patterns, rework the graphics a little and/or make minor changes to the pattern, then SELL the pattern on their site. Of course this is much easier to do than to come up with an original design and write the pattern from scratch. Technically, this is what I’m proposing to do with The Weekender, but if I give the URLs to the free sites before someone purchases my version, then they can decide for themselves. I don’t see a problem with this, but please give me your feedback. Sometimes I get tunnel vision and need other people’s objectivity. Thank you for letting me know what you think.

Cockatiel looking in Mirror 1

Yes, once again it has been forever since my last post. But this time I have a REAL good reason. I now have a job – I’m a crochet teacher! My husband found an employment ad and passed it on to me, so I called. The classes are being held in Needles, Hooks & Yarn, 209 W. Foothill Blvd., (626) 824-4101, a new yarn shop in Glendora, California (just minutes from where I live!). Currently I’m in the store Mondays 10 – 1 pm, Wednesdays 6 – 8 pm, and Saturdays 10 – 5 pm, but I’ll accept appointments. The owner, Nancy, and I are trying to put together beginning and intermediate classes, but  working with people who need help on a pattern is no problem, either.

Nancy has me busy working up a poinsettia pin for “Christmas in July”, but if it doesn’t work out for July we can do it for December. I’m also working on a granny square openwork top/swimsuit coverup for a beginner class. There are also plans for a Cro-hook Tunisian baby blanket.

Right now the classes are two hours long and it’s $80 for four and you get the fifth one free, plus you have to buy your materials from the store. If you are coming in with your own pattern and yarn for help, the classes are $15 an hour. And for those who just aren’t sure if needle art is for them, we offer a one hour free class with the purchase of a beginner’s kit. Monday mornings and Wednesday evenings are “open” times for anyone to come and knit/crochet. Nancy also offers classes on knitting, weaving, and needlepoint as well as a wonderful assortment of yarns and accessories.

So if you know anyone in the Inland Empire of California that would enjoy a little social time while advancing their skills, we’d be glad if you passed the word along. Plus I’d be happy to hear any suggestions regarding classes and how to get more people in the store, please!

Below is one of the poinsettia pins (still have to do the leaves), and I’ll be posting photos of what I’ve accomplished for the classes as I go along.

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Yarn Bombing, known as Guerilla Crochet/Knitting among other names, will take over the world. June 11th (as well as being my younger son’s and his cousin’s birthday) has been designated International Yarnbombing Day. The start of this movement has been attributed to Magda Sayeg, 37, from Houston, who says she first got the idea in 2005 when she covered the door handle of her boutique with a custom made cozy. I’m sure she had no idea what she was starting!

Some don’t like this event, saying it’s a waste of yarn; some love it and say it brings fiber art to the masses. Personally, I just think it’s fun!

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All photos are from Pinterest, Yarn Bombing

 

Gorgette, 2006 JV work

As many of you might know by now, I am a lover of lace. There, I admit it! Through the magic of the internet (and a wonderful free service called “Bloglovin”), I was recently enlightened to the existence of Joana Vasconcelos, a Parisian-born artist that uses crocheted lace in many of her artworks. Her works shown here are “Gorgette”, 2006; “Beastie”, 2014; “Giallina”, 2008; “Super Model”, 2005; and “Minerva”, 2005. You can see more of her work and biography at joanavasconcelos.com

.Bestie, 2014 JV work A      Lace snake AB                                                                                                                                                        The following is an excerpt of an article written on her from “The Ten Best Contemporary Still Lifes” from The Guardian –

Joana Vasconcelos looks to her Portuguese roots in works such as Giallina, which incorporate national handicrafts. She first selects a number of cotton doilies bought from local craftswomen, then dismantles and reassembles them over the surface of a glazed snake. She uses ceramics from the traditional Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro factory, and her “second skin” is sewn together by a specialist team. Vasconcelos’s work conflates Duchamp’s mode of not making with a custom of making by hand in order to question what we conceive of as natural.

Super Model, 2005       Minerva, 2005    All in all, I just call them beautiful!

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Well, when I came to the conclusion that I should take a step back from my basically nonexistent crochet business, I decided to try my hand at needle tatting.  It was stated in article that if you could crochet, you could needle tat, so I decided to give it a try. Above is a bookmark / bracelet that I gave my mother for Christmas (After I took this photo I sewed a little bead at the end so it could close).

My problem with tatting is that it isn’t nearly as versatile as crochet, although some absolutely beautiful items have been made using tatting, and the typical thread that’s used comes in fantastic colors. Below are a few photos of tatting for your pleasure. The angel is from http://mami7090.blogspot.com/, the taupe doily is from Carollyn’s Tatting Blog (http://tennbrown.blogspot.com/) – a “tat a long” from Mr. Jan Stawasz), and the just beautiful lavender snowflake doily came from xfree.hu/keres.tvn?mit=kpbeata. They are certainly expert if not master tatters, and they show just how far I need to go to catch up with them! But finding the photo of that magnificent butterfly from Angela Gambka (http://angelagambka.blogspot.com/) sealed my fate and I just had to learn how to tat, although it might be quite some time before I become proficient enough to create that little beauty!

Tatted Angel,Frivolitás-hajócsipke album     Carolyn's Tat Along

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Butterfly, Beaded, master class

 Now here is the quirky thing, though. I decide to ease off from running The Crocheted Butterfly, and all of a sudden I start getting a bunch of “likes” on my facebook page. (A bunch for me is 10 in a week.) I have no idea how or why these people are finding me, but apparently they like me. They really like me!? Do I dare take this as a sign that I should keep crocheting along? Mmmm, I will have to think about this – while I’m crocheting my newly designed baby blanket, of course.

Porvelain gingerbread cookies 3 jpg

I’ve always considered the week after Christmas / before New Year’s as a time of limbo. Or, after I became a parent, as a time to recuperate (and relax, if possible). So while I was taking it easy going through my emails, this little treasure came in from the people that produce Faerie Magazine. I know this has nothing to do with crochet, but I just had to share.

Porvelain gingerbread cookies 5Porvelain gingerbread cookies 7

These amazing cookies are from Hungary’s Mezesmanna (you can check out the Facebook page –  https://www.facebook.com/Mezesmanna).

This is an excerpt from an article that the owner, Judit, sent the magazine:

Gingerbread decoration—”Love” in the words of Judit—started when her first baby was born. At that time she did not work with royal icing, just with frosting.  “As I am a porcelain painter by profession, I always wanted to try something new. I wanted to know if this technique worked on and with different materials, on gingerbread with food colouring, but this time I used powder- or gel-based colouring.” You need to know, that porcelain colouring is powder-based and mixed with thick oil and turpentine in order to be able to paint with it. If you want to paint gingerbread you need to use powder-based material, but instead of turpentine you use alcohol or water as a solvent. Judit uses powder- and gel-based colouring, sometimes both at the same time depending on what she is making and what colour she needs for that. But she prefers gel colouring. She uses a synthetic brush for the painting, this doesn’t lose a lot of hair and is easy to buy in the webshops. “I like trying new materials, pushing the boundaries… and I am a perfectionist.”   No, really?!!

Porvelain gingerbread cookies 2Porvelain gingerbread cookies 6

All my life I have had an ongoing love affair with pastries, cookies, candy – in short, just about anything made with enough sugar to appease my palate. I certainly never thought I would say this, but to actually eat these cookies should be considered a sin and be against the law. IMHO. Just saying.

Porvelain gingerbread cookies 1

 

 

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