Deadlines – we all have them

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Crocheting on a deadline always brings to mind the children’s book “The Little Engine that Could”  – as the dead line approaches I am going up the mountain saying I think I can – I think I can – Praying that  I will make my deadline and will be saying I knew I could – I knew I could – – – this time next week.

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Just a thought…..

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If you are still undecided and at a loss figuring out how to participate in National Crochet Month, I might have a suggestion for you. Before I started blogging I had a blank journal that I would add pictures to and some pertinent information that I called my Crochet Journal. Remember that this was back in the dark ages, before internet and the availability of the many types of journals and templates so easily accessible today.

After placing a picture of a project or useful article on the page, I would fill in the following information:

Where I found the pattern.
If it was a gift who I might give it to,
the washing instructions of the yarn.
Any personal observations I had about working the pattern for future reference.
The hook, especially if I used a different one then what the pattern called for.
The yarn I used.

It was not fancy in any ways, but it did help me remember the projects I had worked over the years. When I started my blog I kinda of got away from it and blogging replaced my Crochet Journal. In a lot of ways it helped to prepare me for blogging, by writing down my feelings and thoughts on each project.

This could be a small investment simply by buying a blank journal at Walmart, or a larger investment by purchasing a journal designed for cataloging crocheting projects. Nowadays they have many templates on the internet for downloading that could be placed in a 3 ring binder. Although I have not personally checked out the usability of this app, I did find one in the iTunes Store for a digital journal of your projects that you could keep on your iPad or iPhone. (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/crochet-journal/id866600896?mt=8) I would caution anyone who uses the digital road to make sure of the dependability of how the information is stored.

Which ever path you decide, consider this month to start a journal. If not for your self, how about as a keepsake that could be passed down to your grandchildren children as part of your family legacy? Think about it as you look lovingly on them, is there one there who will carry on the crochet torch? As I am aging, I am realizing how important it is to inspire and influence the next the generation to keep this art form alive.

Until next week, keep those hooks flying.

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Annie’s Beginner’s First Doily Online Class Review

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In February I decide to invest in one of Annie’s On-line crochet classes, The Beginner’s First Doily. (Beginner’s First Doily)  This is the least expensive of all the Annie’s online crochet classes, costing me only $6.99 to add to my library. This class is part of a larger class, and if you act on it like I did and purchase this one-first, you will receive a code for $5.00 off the “Learn to Crochet with Thread” class.

The entire class is less than 41 minutes to view. Then, upon watching again as you work the “easy skilled” doily, you could crochet it in one short evening. Making this a great class for relaxing one night and one that will produce quick results with a finished project.

It is not a class for a novice. You will need a working knowledge of the chain stitches, (The Chain Stitch) single crochet,(The Single Crochet) double crochet (The Double Crochet) and treble crochet. (Triple/Treble Crochet)  However, the instructor, Susan Lowman, does teach you how to follow a symbol chart to complete a small lace doily. So if you would like more experience with reading charts, or if you would like to try your hand at working with thread, then this is the recommended class for you.

Things you will learn in addition to reading charts. You will;
Learn how to work and join rounds.
Learn how to single crochet in a ring to form the first round.
How to change colors.
Learn to work a simple treble crochet shell.

Susan did a wonderful job in demonstrating the process. I had no trouble understanding what I needed to do to complete the project. I was also given access to the pattern for pdf download, so that I could follow alone with her.

Some suggestions:

I agree with Susan, and strongly suggest you take the time to count each row. This may seem time consuming, but in reality it saves a lot of time, and helps to spot any mistakes early.

I would suggest using a stitch holder at the beginning of each row. I have found in my working with students that some have trouble knowing where the beginning of one round begins and the previous one ends.

Conclusion:
I was wanting to use some of my thread stash, so I made one doily in only two colors of white and green, which is now residing in my living room. I would suggest this for your unused thread as this is a small project.

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I then proceeded to crochet a second one in all white, which I intend to give to a friend who has a birthday in the middle of this month.

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To be honest, I did not believe I would enjoy the online classes, but after taking the first one, and now a second one. I must admit, not only have I enjoyed them but I have also learned something new with each class. I am sure you will benefit as well.

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.

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Celebrating National Crocheting Month

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March is one of my favorite months of the year for two reasons – first of all it is my birth month and secondly, it is National Crocheting Month. National Crocheting month is designed for those of us who really love the art of crocheting. Let’s be honest, if you love crocheting as much as I do, we really don’t need to have a reason to pick up a hook.

So I make a conscientious effort during this time of the year to focus on ways to express the passion I have for crocheting. I have decided this year to celebrate in four different areas;

To show my love to other, I am planning on carrying a crochet bag everywhere I go and publicly work on my projects.

To pass on the skill to others I have been given, I will teach three people to crochet in a beginning crochet class.

To share with others, I have started an afghan in February that I will give as a gift for a friend of my who is getting married on the 24th of March.

To further my own skill, I plan on choosing an online video class and work the project by 31st.

These are just a few of my suggestions, do you have a unique idea we can learn from?

Until next week, keep those hooks flying.

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Join me in National Unplug Day: March 3, 2017

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This week we will all have the opportunity to experience life as it was , before the hectic lifestyles we have all become accustomed to. Our homes and minds are filled with loud unharmonious sounds that are all around us normally and usually are coming from our electronic devices.

March 3 is National Unplug Day, we get the decision to choose whether or not we will unplug from our technology. This means my hubby and I will be powering down our computer and iPad , turning off the television, and yes. even doing without out cell phones for the day. We plan on enjoying a simpler, slower lifestyle for one day out of the year. Who knows, we might even park the car for the day.

Because we are both off of work, our unplug day will be on Thursday March 2, a day I am already planning with some excitement. I plan on starting the day with some of my favorite hot tea, Twining’s Lady Gray and some quiet time with the Lord. The only appointment on my schedule is the Ladies Bible study, which I intend on walking to (weather permitting).

My husband and I have been trying to read a biography for about a month now, so our plan is get in a few chapters in. My husband has a great reading voice, I have always thought he would be great narrator for audio books. Our plan is for me to get some crocheting in while Don reads. This is a good way we can enjoy quality time together while I am crocheting. If you are not into reading, you could always get out some of your favorite music to listen to.

I also really enjoying baking, so I know that will be on the list and maybe an enjoyable walk through the park with hubby. What ever sounds good- this is the day we plan for it to happen.

You are probably asking yourself, what does this have to do with crocheting? Imagine how much crocheting you can achieve, without interruptions from reminder alarms, Facebook alerts, responding to emails and those badly timed phone calls? Don’t we all know a person who just loves to send text after text? Which always seems to last just long enough for me to forget where I was in the pattern forcing me to spend the next ten minutes finding the spot I left off at.

What ever you would like to do that day, choose a day this week to unplug from the world of tech and pick a crochet project to work on instead, and enjoy your uninterrupted flow of creativity, unplugged for the day.

Would love to hear how your day progressed, please share. It is such an encouragement to hear from your experiences.

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.

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Annie’s Hook & Needle Club – Kit 47 – Pocket Scarf Review

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A few months back, I checked on Annie’s Hook & Needle club web sight only to discover that they were about to send me the kit named the Sedona Shawl. This was a kit which I had already received, crocheted and reviewed in the past (Kit 39- Sedona Shawl Review) I was informed that it was a computer problem. They immediately corrected the issue so that it just meant I would not receive a kit that month. Not to worry, because at that time I was busy crocheting Christmas gifts.

The next month’s kit showed on-line that I would be sent the Pocket Scarf, which was the name of my fourteenth kit that I would had previously received. Unfortunately, the call was not in time to stop the delivery and so I was told to just return it at no charge. Out of curiosity I peeped inside only to find out that the titles were the only similarity with both of the kits. Lesson learned: do not judge the kits by the names any more, but look to make sure they are indeed the same kit. My fourteenth kit from months past, (Kit 14: Pocket Scarf Review) although bearing the same name, was completely different in appearance and stitches.

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This Pocket Scarf was actually my 47th kit I have received from Annie’s Hook & Needle club. As usual it came with two patterns, one to crochet and one to knit if you choose to. I opted for the crochet one.

The kit arrived in the mail containing 510 ounces of blue worsted weight (4) yarn. I just needed to obtain my I9 hook to crochet this easy skill level project. The only stitches I needed to have working knowledge of were the single crochet (The Single Crochet ) and the single crochet join ( also known as single crochet decrease). (Single Crochet Decrease)

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Within one afternoon the pattern produced a beautiful classic rib scarf. I was really pleased with the effortless flow and ease of the project. I was so pleased with the results that I shrunk the pattern and crocheted miniature versions for 3 of my grandchildren. I was so happy that I did this too, for they loved receiving them. They were especially excited with the pockets at the both ends. This is a great pattern to help use up that extra yarn that we all have stashed throughout the house.

I am rating this kit a high score of nine. The pattern was very clearly written and easy to follow. The yarn was great to work with and looked great for this item. I can see this being one of my “go to” pattern when I am looking for a last minute gift. The rating is only losing one point because the yarn coming in the unmarked labels, making it fairly difficult for me to obtain the same yarn for future projects.

On a side note: I am a few reviews behind, as a result I will not be posting the kits in order for a spell. However, bear with me and they will all soon be posted. I am currently working a large project for an upcoming wedding at the end of March, that will not leave much time to crochet the kits for as few weeks.
Thanks for your patience.

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.

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Learn to Crochet Lace: Hairpin, Broomstick & Bruges Crochet Class Review – Part 2

A few months ago I was given the opportunity by Annie’s Craft store to choose, complete and review one of their on line crochet classes. I chose the **Crochet Lace: Hairpin, Broomstick & Bruges Crochet Class**. They generously sought my input and impartial review by using my experience, time and effort after taking one of their classes offered on line classes in exchange for waiving the class fee.

In fear of sounding redundant, and for those who missed it, I am listing the pro’s and con’s I mentioned in the first review:

The Pro’s:
The class was very well presented in an easy to understand way that I had no trouble retaining. I had no trouble following and copying what was being taught or putting into use.

The teacher is very encouraging and did inspire me to go on and try the other projects they assigned.

24 hour access to your on line class. Once you purchase it-you own it. You can go back at any time, and time and time again to review and watch it over .

You can stop and pause whenever you like while doing the class.

Six downloadable PDF patterns, two in each stitch being taught for you to crochet.

Con’s
There is no socializing, and the personalization you get with others. In some cases people prefer that, I like the human interaction. It is just you and your computer or your video device. There is a way to either email or access to online chatting, but there is no face-to-face interaction for question and answer.

Now for my thoughts on the part two of the class, the Broomstick stitch. The class consisted of instructions for a Lace Shawlette and a Baby Love Blanket.

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My hand first reached for the shawlette, a beautiful lacy pattern which would give me some experience not only with the broomstick stitch but also with increasing and decreasing. This was a welcome challenge that I look for in an old familiar stitch, while on my crochet journey. I was excited to start the project.

In this class I got my introduction for using crochet symbols for the Broomstick stitch, which to be honest, I did not know existed. I have worked with crochet symbols in the past, but not for the broomstick stitch. This intrigued me so I couldn’t put this down, so this project went fast.

Since completing the article of clothing, I must admit I have received a lot of compliments on its appearance.

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The second project was a very pretty baby afghan which was very easy to work up in three panels and assemble. I love the look of the pattern, however my practical side thought it was not a good one for a small child. With the open work lace I keep seeing small hands and fingers getting caught in the holes.

But other then that one observation, I really enjoyed the class and already looking forward to finishing the last part. Due to an upcoming wedding, which I am crocheting an afghan for, part three might be a few weeks away for the review.

Until next time, keep those hooks flying.

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