Happy Clappy Crochet

Celebrating Crochet with a Positive Spin

Contest #1 Winner

And we have a winner for Contest #1 – Congrats to Sarah L!  Sarah has won one skein of Roslyn yarn by Cascade Yarns, along with a signed copy of the Ginger Snap Scarf. I hope you enjoy it, Sarah.

© Cascade Yarns - used with permission

© Cascade Yarns – used with permission

It isn’t to late to enter the contest for either the Esme Scarf or Friendship Shawl – complete kits with pattern and yarn! Deadline to enter for Esme is 3-19-2016, and deadline for Friendship is 3-31-16. Please follow directions for entering the contest on this post https://happyclappycrochet.com/2016/03/13/pulling-into-the-station/

NOTE: Commenting on THIS blog post WILL NOT enter you into the contests. You must enter the contest on the “Pulling into the station” blog post! Thanks!!

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Pulling Into The Station

Welcome Riders of the Crochetville Express! This is stop # 38 of the tour and I am happy to have you here.

Since this is my second year on the blog tour, I wanted to do something special to celebrate being a crochet designer. That not only meant designing something awesome, but also finding the perfect yarn. Luckily, I know a gal who does a great job with hand-dyed yarns.

I contacted my friend Julie, of Happy-Go-Lucky Yarns, and we got together one Saturday afternoon and created this.

HGL Glittery in the colorway Gaia ©Happy-Go-Lucky Yarns; Used with Permission

HGL Glittery in the colorway Gaia
©Happy-Go-Lucky Yarns; Used with Permission

Isn’t it beautiful!!! We picked a fingering weight base with some silver metallic in it, and it adds the perfect amount of sparkle! I knew I wanted the colors to transition from greens to blues, and that I would need two skeins of yarn to create the shawl design idea I had in my head. We had a lot of fun that afternoon and I absolutely adore the yarn colorway we created.

So now I had the perfect yarn; I just needed to come up with the perfect pattern. Using a technique I learned from a class I took with Myra Wood, I started with a partial motif and worked from there. Originally, the shawl was going to be all one lace pattern, but after talking with friends, I decided to change things up and go with a couple different stitch patterns, each separated by a band of solid stitching. It took several sessions of stitch and rip, but I found a rhythm that worked with the color changes within the yarn. After several weeks, the Terra shawl was born.

©Laura Krzak

©Laura Krzak

©Laura Krzak

©Laura Krzak

I’m just thrilled with how this shawl turned out and I’m very excited to share it all with you. And in honor of National Crochet Month and my 2nd year on the blog tour, you will be able to get the shawl for $2.00 off the published price. Just enter the Promo Code DCDHGL2016 after you add the pattern to your Ravelry cart and you are good to go! Coupon code is only available until March 20th, so make sure to act quickly!

 

I wouldn’t be part of the blog tour as a designer if it wasn’t for Cascade Yarns. They have really invested in offering free crochet patterns on their website, and I am honored to design crochet patterns for them. To celebrate that partnership, I am offering THREE contests for NatCroMo!

Contest #1 – You will win one skein of Cascade Yarns – Roslyn in the 04-Orange colorway, as well as a signed copy of the Ginger Snap Scarf pattern.

Contest #2 – You will win two skeins of Cascade Yarns – Avalon Multis in the 314-Blue & Green colorway, as well as a signed copy of the Esme Tunisian Scarf pattern.

Contest #3 – You will win four skeins of Cascade Yarns – North Shore in the #11-Coral colorway, as well as a signed copy of the Friendship Shawl pattern.

Contests are open to EVERYONE – worldwide! Yes, I will ship winning yarn internationally!

HOW TO WIN:

Comment on this blog post with your name and country, and let me know which contest you want to enter. Please only enter one so everyone has equal odds.

Contest #1 needs to have all comments entered by March 19th. Winner chosen by March 21st.

Contest #2 needs to have all comments entered by March 26th. Winner chosen by March 28th.

Contest #3 needs to have all comments entered by March 31st. Winner chosen by April 3rd.

Winners will be contacted by email so I can get shipping information. If a winner doesn’t contact me back within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

If you have any questions, please comment below and I’ll get back to you.

I hope you enjoyed your stop! Now get back on that train and check out all the other wonderful designers, yarn stores and yarn companies that are part of the tour!

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Quick Monday Smile

My 40 hr a week “pays the rent and bills” job is working for the family business, which means I’m spending several hours a day working with my dad.

Today my dad asked me “What is it you do? Do you knit or crochet?” When I said I crochet, he brought over a mail-order magazine and asked if I thought this would be a good book. He was pointing to a picture of The Crochet Stitch Bible by Betty Barnden. I smiled and said that I not only owned the book, but it was one of my go-to stitch dictionaries.

“Oh,” he said, then went back over to his desk.

“Why did you ask?”

“Because if you didn’t have it, I was going to get it for you.”

 

That little comment still brings happy tears to my eyes. The encouragement I receive from my parents and my sisters means so much. I hope you have someone out there who supports your love of crafting!

 

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A Nice Surprise

Yesterday, my friend Jen Lucas contacted me to let me know that I really needed to get a copy of the Spring 2016 Interweave Crochet, because Cascade Yarns had used one of my designs for their ad in the magazine.

I went to my local bookstore that evening, but discovered that the newest edition of the magazine won’t be displayed until mid-March. While there I picked up another Spring edition of a crochet magazine, Love of Crochet and flipped open the front cover to find this picture smiling back at me.

©Cascade Yarns

©Cascade Yarns

Cascade Yarns had another ad out, using the Friendship Shawl I designed for them. It was a wonderful surprise to find the ad right before the start of (Inter)National Crochet Month!

By the way, the Crochetville blog tour starts TODAY! Please click here to find out basic info. Not only are they featuring 3 crochet designers a day (each with their own special deals for tour followers), but they are also featuring crochet friendly yarn stores AND yarn companies, as well as daily giveaways! It is a crochet lovers dream month and it really worth your time to check the site on a daily basis.

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I’ll be part of the blog tour on the 13th of March, so please come back and check out what I have to offer!

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Monthly WIP Update – Post #2

Checking in on the Work in Progress project. I’ll admit, I haven’t be able to work on this as much as I would have liked, but paid professional projects that were on a deadline had to be finished first. I am on the 4th section of 5, so the blanket is 3/5 done. Over halfway! Yay!

How are you doing with your WIPs? I’d love to hear an update!

I also want to remind you that I will be part of the Crochetville NatCroMo blog tour this year. It will be my second time on the tour.

© Crochetville

© Crochetville

Please go to the Crochetville website daily starting on March 1st and follow along with all the amazing stops on the tour. When the tour stops here on March 13, 2016, I have some fun things happening – a new pattern release, plus some giveaways. You’ll have to come back to check it all out!

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All Aboard!

© Crochetville 2016

© Crochetville 2016

Just 12 more days until National Crochet Month 2016 starts! Crochetville has really expanded the celebration for March, for not only are they highlighting 3 crochet designers a day, but also highlighting crochet friendly yarn companies and yarn stores as well! Just think of the amazing crochet resource you will have once the month is complete!

This blog will be highlighted on March 13th, and I have some nice things planned for you all – a new pattern release plus two (!) yarn and pattern giveaways! Stay tuned for my stop on the tour!

I hope you check out the Crochetville Blog Tour page on a daily basis. There are new designers to meet, as well as old favorites, and I’m sure you will find several somethings to love during the month.

See you here on the 13th!

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Holy Cow, y’all!

Just checked my blog site and found that you gave my swatch post lots of love over the weekend! And I mean lots of love – 481 views!

THANK YOU! to everyone who checked out my site this weekend. I hope you continue to find reasons to come back and check it out.

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The Taming of the Swatch

I’m currently working on a project which requires me to make lots and lots of swatches. Normally, identifying which swatch is which would be done with paper tags, like the pre-strung ones you can get at any office supply store.

However, not only must these swatches be wet blocked, there are also several of the same color, which can lead to identification problems. I seem to recall that paper and water don’t mix, so trying to keep track of similar swatches was going to be a problem.

And then, I had a lightbulb moment. What if I can make hook size markers and attach them to the swatches? Off to the craft store I went to purchase alphabet beads, beading wire, and crimp beads, as well as a large enough storage case for sorting out all the letters.

I got home, and after a couple hours of television, I had this.

© Laura Krzak

© Laura Krzak

Now, crochet hooks in America have letter designations from B to S, but for this first run, I concentrated on C to J.

Now, a smart crocheter is going to point out that letters are well and fine for MOST of your hook sizes, but what about that US 7 / 4.5mm hook you are so fond of using? How are you going to create a marker for that one. First – Kudos to you for sussing that out! Second – see those little hearts? That is my stand in for the US 7 hook.

After a couple more hours, I had this.

© Laura Krzak

© Laura Krzak

I had LOTS of extra beads, so I decided to make my markers a little prettier by adding a bit of color. The loop gets put on a locking stitch marker, the stitch marker is attached to the swatch, and swatches are ready for their bath without losing important information that I need.

© Laura Krzak

© Laura Krzak

I’m really happy with how they came out, and they should prove to be a great help with this project.

Have you ever had a brainstorm of an idea to make your crocheting better? Please share!

 

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Monthly WIP Update – 2016 Edition

Last year I blogged about multiple works in progress as a way to hold myself accountable to get some things finished. However, I didn’t do a good job on that accountability and so projects didn’t get finished.

However, 2016 is a new year, and rather than dwell on what I didn’t get done, I’m going to approach this as a fresh start/new beginning. So last weekend, I reorganized my yarn closet. Yes, I said yarn closet. After organizing, I realized I really shouldn’t buy any more yarn until I use some of the wonderful stash I already own. With that in mind, it was time to look at stitching time.

Like many of you, I have a full-time job, so my creative time is limited to evenings and weekends. That precious time is further divided by designing tasks like creating new pattern proposals complete with blocked swatches, writing new patterns, and crocheting the new designs, as well as finding time for crocheting projects for donations or gifts. As a new designer, I also need to increase my presence as a designer, which means time spent creating and sharing blog posts like this one. I’m not spelling all this out in order to complain – far from it! I feel very blessed to have designed so many wonderful patterns for Cascade Yarns over the past several years, and I look forward to the new patterns that will be created and released over the coming year.

Since I’ve started designing patterns, my WIP pile has grown, and that is on me. One of my stitching goals for the year is to finish some of those items, and I’m going to use the blog to help keep me accountable. I am also going to use my weekly group stitch time as WIP time, so those projects get some dedicated stitching time.

With all that in mind, let’s introduce WIP #1 for 2016 – a blanket for my cousin Ruth.

© Laura Krzak

© Laura Krzak

Using Wash (worsted weight) by Willow Yarns, I am making my own pattern – Spirit Wave Stadium Blanket – in the colors she chose. The blanket is a (belated) wedding gift for her and her new husband. As they have kids, I wanted a yarn that was easy care, which is why I picked this anti-pilling acrylic yarn from Willow Yarns.

© Laura Krzak

© Laura Krzak

Currently, I am half-done with the blanket. If I continue to use the 2-3 hours that I weekly get together with yarn friends, I hope to have the blanket finished by Spring. It may be too late for this year’s football season, but I’m sure it will be welcome just the same.

 

What works in progress are you trying to get done? Share your progress with me and we can cheer each other on to completion.

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Stitching For Fun

Last year, my friend Jen Lucas discovered the fun of counted cross-stitch. I was quite happy to encourage her with this new craft, as I have been a cross-stitcher for decades.

After her first foray into cross-stitch, Jen decided that she wanted to try another project, but one that was a bit more complex. She picked The 2016 Pumpkin Passport stitch-along by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. She posted about it, and last week I decided that I would join in as well.

Now you may be thinking, “Laura, don’t you have a crapton of crocheting to do? Do you really have time for another craft which will take away crocheting time?” I agree, those are valid questions. I hope the following is a valid answer.

When I started crocheting again about 15 years ago, it was for pleasure. I would make gifts for friends and family, I bought patterns and magazines and books, and started stashing yarn. Big plans were created for all the amazing things I would crochet. I started taking classes and learning new techniques. I found a local yarn store where I could hang our with others and play with yarn.

And then, about 5 years ago, things started to change. I started teaching at that local yarn store, so I needed to create patterns to use for classes. I was contacted by Cascade Yarns and started creating crochet patterns for them. As the years went by, I started a blog. I joined a crochet blog tour. I released my first self-published pattern. I launched a website. More and more, crochet became a business. While I still have fun crocheting, and most of my evenings and weekends are filled with crochet time, less and less of it was crafting time just for fun. I don’t know about you, but I really need that wedge of the self pie chart to be there, even if it is small.

Knowing I needed some of that crafting “me time,” I chose to join the stitch-along. It’s a mental health thing, and it charges the creative battery so I am able to do the crochet business work more effectively. What makes this a great choice is the time commitment. Sections of the pattern are released monthly, so there should be enough time to get everything done. The pattern itself (so far) isn’t too difficult skill-wise -no partial stitches, minimal backstitching – so the actual stitching goes rather quickly.

There is still time to join in if you are interested! All you need to do is either purchase a kit or a pattern PDF, gather your materials and start stitching away. It’s a matter of Ready, Set…

© Laura Krzak

© Laura Krzak

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