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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Suffering from Startitis

I feel like it has been forever since I’ve posted a finished object, much less completed a project. I know I’ve been crocheting like crazy, so where are the finished projects? I decided to do a little searching to find out what is going on, and this is what I found.

First off, I do have 2 finished projects – both are baby sweaters for a yarn friend for whom we are having a baby shower. One is the Surprise jacket for Baby by Jenny King. The other is a letterman style baby jacket, done in her favorite football team’s colors. I’ve taken pictures, but can’t post anything until after February 22, 2015, because I want my friend to be surprised.

However, after those two finished baby items, plus a hat I made for Halos of Hope, I am in WIP (work in progress) hell.  After searching through all my project bags and counting, here is the bad news…

I have 12 crochet projects in some state between 1/4 and 1/2 completed, as well as one beginner knit project.

Just let that sink in – a baker’s dozen of unfinished projects. And so, I need to take this surplus of projects and commit myself to only work on one at a time until it is finished.  Why the push to get things finished? Because I have plans for this year! I’m hoping to start my independent pattern line, and my goal is to have 3 or 4 patterns published for sale by the end of the year. There are big dreams in the making, and I hope, dear reader, you plan to come along for the ride.

I have decided on the first project I’m finishing – it is a motif shawl I’m making out of several colors of Palette yarn by Knit Picks. Just a bit of a tease until I get it finished and published.

 

As a non sequitur and as a heads up, I will be part of the Designer Blog Tour done by Crochetville during the month of March, which is International Crochet month. Keep your eyes open for my stop on the tour. There may even be a freebie if you swing by.

 

UPDATE 2-20-15: I found 4 more crochet projects that I had started, so now I am up to 17 WIPs… I do have some good news in that one project is 3/4 done! I just have to decide if I want to add one or two more colors to the finished design.

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