Happy Clappy Crochet

Celebrating Crochet with a Positive Spin

5 Years On – Stitches Midwest

Five years ago this month, I started a bit of a rant on a Ravelry group that ended up bringing about some change. That rant had to to with the lack of crochet classes being available at Stitches Midwest in 2011. I won’t go into the whole story here, but if you are interested, you can follow this link to learn more.

I was able to take a crochet class at Stitches Midwest in 2011 – it was offered as a one-hour market session. I know that doesn’t seem like much, but when you account for planning logistics, it was a pretty quick response to offer any kind of crochet class just 4 months after the initial topic had started. Since 2011, there have been a minimum of 10 (true) crochet and crochet-friendly (classes for both knitters and crocheters) offered at each session of Stitches Midwest. For August 2016, there are 13 crochet and crochet friendly classes being offered.

Why am I bringing this up? Well, it is an anniversary of sorts. I had the opportunity to talk with Tammy Burke when she was guest hosting the Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird about a month ago. My call comes in at the 24:18 mark. During the call, I encourage crocheters to take a class this year. I’m quite passionate about it. This anniversary had me thinking about that call, and I decided to check how much I’ve practiced what I preached.

I logged into the XRX website and checked how many classes I’ve taken since 2011. So far, the total stands at 19 – one 1-hour market class, seventeen 3-hour classes, and one 6-hour class. My total will grow by the end of this year, with another crochet class that will be taken at Stitches Midwest in August as well as 15 hours of classes at Camp Stitches in November.

So, 5 years on, and I owe some thanks. First to Benjamin Levisay of XRX for not only asking for feedback on improving crochet outreach for Stitches events, but actually following through on many of the suggestions. Second, I want to thank the other posters in the Ravelry thread where the conversation started who took the time to give reasoned and constructive feedback to Benjamin. We helped start a big change that is still going, and I thank you all for that. I’d like to thank the teachers who have offered crochet classes over the past 5 years. I know that the classes may not have been as full as you may have liked, but it meant the world to me to be able to take classes from the likes of Kristin Omdahl, Myra Wood, Edie Eckman, Marly Bird, Jenny King, and Marty Miller. I’d like to thank the teachers who adapted knitting classes so that they were crochet friendly as well – Laura Bryant has done much of this over the past 5 years. I’d like to thank the sponsors and vendors who have helped to make the event more crochet friendly, offering crochet tools and books in their booths, as well as showcasing crocheted items in their booths and in the fashion shows.

Finally, I want to thank the crocheters themselves who have attended the Stitches events over the past 5 years. You’ve taken classes with me, enjoyed the PJ party, and showed off your amazing handiwork during the Saturday Student Banquet. Our attendance numbers are growing, and we are even starting to fill classes to the point that they are sold out. This post wouldn’t be possible without your support of taking crochet classes when they are offered and attending national shows. I thank you deeply, and I hope to see many of you in Schaumburg in August. For those of you on the fence, there is still time to sign up for classes. Check out the list and see if something strikes your fancy. Come to the Student Banquet and show the room the wonderful things you make with your hook. I really do hope to see you in August!

 

Please Note: Neither Benjamin or anyone associated with XRX had any idea I was going to post this. I am not being paid by XRX to promote Stitches events. I just realized today, during a conversation with a friend, that I had been taking crochet classes at national events for 5 years, and that is what prompted this post.

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For Susie – In Memoriam

I heard some sad and unexpected news last night. Fellow Cascade Yarns designer Susie Bonell had passed away quite suddenly. Because it was so sudden, there aren’t many details to share.

I didn’t know Susie personally, but I started seeing her crochet designs for Cascade around the same time mine were being published, so I friended her on Facebook and shared several of her crochet patterns when they came out.

I’m saddened that the crochet industry has lost another creative spark, yet her memory will live on in the designs she has already published.

For a look at the crochet patterns Susie designed for Cascade Yarns, please go to this Ravelry pattern list. As for me, I think I’ll be making a couple of her hat designs for donation to Halos of Hope as a way to honor her spirit.

My hook is raised in salute, Susie. May God speed you on your way.

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Monthly WIP Update – #3

Anyone else think this year is going by a bit quickly? Between International Crochet Month, Easter, Crochet Work and getting sick, the last half of March just flew by! In fact, I hadn’t realized until now that I hadn’t posted my WIP update, so I decided to get it up now.

The Good News – I have finished 4 complete color sections on the ripple afghan I am making for my cousin. At the moment, it measures about 5 feet in length. At first I was wondering if I would have to crochet the last color section, but after some time, I think I do need to stitch that last section. Unfortunately, that last section may have to wait until late May to get started.

Why the delay? Well, when I started the blanket, I didn’t have any outside crochet work that needed to be completed. However, in the month of March, I sent two finished items with patterns to Cascade Yarns, and I am in the process of working on several more patterns for them. Since I only have so much crochet time (i.e. evenings and weekends), it is reserved for the paid jobs at the moment. However, I should have the blanket done and shipped to my cousin before the football season starts, so good vibes all around.

So to recap, blanket is 4/5ths done, but won’t be worked on again until late May / early June. That means the next WIP update will happen when I start working on the blanket once again.

Anyone else have a work in progress that seems to be taking forever? I’d love to know I’m not alone!

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Thank you & More Winners!

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who came and checked out this blog during the Crochetville Crochet Designer Blog Tour 2016. I hope you were able to find something you liked to read on this site, and I hope you will stop by in the future to check out what is new.

Secondly, a huge THANK YOU to the 43 people who were part of the giveaway that I ran here on the blog during the month of March. I have the second and third winners to announce.

Congrats to Robin D. who won the yarn and pattern to make the Esme Scarf!

Congrats to Tammy B. who won the yarn and pattern to make the Friendship Shawl!

Please continue to check back here and see what is new, and share what is new with you as well!

If you are on Ravelry, you can find me there as Xnedra2, and there is a Happy Clappy Crochet group there. Please join and share your love for crochet!

 

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