Happy New Year: Is It Your Time?

Fireworks - Happy New Year from This Is Crochet




Happy New Year!

Did you complete all your crochet holiday gifts? I did, but I have to confess that my gift was a blanket which I didn’t finish last year. It was huge, but it’s done and delivered.

Now that the holidays are over, I hope you have time to make some things for yourselves. For me, 2011 was a year of sacrifice. My time and energy was devoted to helping my family. With work and school, there was very little time for crochet. This summer I became a stay-at-home grandmother, and all I can say is I tip my hat to all SAHMs! This is a full-time job.

It’s been a while since I blogged or emailed, and I am happy to be able to get back to designing crochet. I’m sure you all know how frustrating it is to have all sorts of creative ideas and not be able to get them out. I’ve had lots of time to rethink this crochet thing, and I’m excited to see what 2012 brings.

January is National Hot Tea Month. There are lots of fun tea-related projects on Ravelry like cozies, doilies and coasters. I think I will start with a mug cozy.

Claire Montgomerie Is New Editor of Inside Crochet Magazine

Interweave Crochet Magazine, Summer 2010On June 7, Claire Montgomerie officially became the new editor of Inside Crochet Magazine. Claire is a trained textile designer, and her designs have also been published for the past six years. It’s always exciting to see what new editors bring to a publication so I look forward to what Claire will bring to Inside Crochet.

I saw an issue of this magazine once in Barnes & Noble. It isn’t easy to find near me, but I always look at all the designs on Ravelry when they are uploaded.

If you would like to get a sense of Claire’s style and see some of her designs , you can visit her website at www.clairemontgomerie.com.

My Favorite Sites for Free Crochet Patterns

First for Women MagazineMy Favorite Websites for Free Crochet Patterns

First for Women Magazine asked me what were my five favorite sites for free crochet patterns for their December 7, 2009 issue.

Here are my favs:

Top 10 Free Crochet Pattern Websites

My Top Five (Ten) Free Crochet Pattern Websites

1.       Crochet Pattern Central
Crochet Pattern Central is an online directory of thousands of links to free crochet patterns of all levels.  In addition to the patterns, CPC has links to tutorials and stitch instructions.

2.       Berroco
Berroco is a yarn company that also offers free patterns featuring their yarns.  The patterns are stylish and contemporary, and they range in level from this cute Stanley doll, http://www.berroco.com/exclusives/stanley/stanley.html to this jazzy Aruna sweater, http://www.berroco.com/exclusives/aruna/aruna.html.

3.       Ravelry
Ravelry is an online community for fiber lovers to keep track of patterns, yarn, tools, etc.  There are also messageboard forums, a newsletter, and groups.  Users can list their own designs to share or to sell.  There are several thousands of free patterns on Ravelry.  New ones are added everyday.  Visitors have to join to participate.  There is a small waiting period to join, but it is more than worth it.

4.       Lion Brand Yarn
Lion Brand Yarn has thousands of free crochet patterns for adults, babies, children, teens, pets and the home.  Visitors must register in order to view patterns.

5.       Crochetville

The Crochetville messageboard community features a Free Original Patterns forum.  Members of the community share their original designs.  This is a great place to try new patterns, and there is the added benefit of being able to ask the actual designers your questions.

Honorable mentions:

Naturally Caron, http://www.naturallycaron.com
Interweave Crochet, http://www.interweavecrochet.com/projects.asp
Stargazer’s Crochet, http://home.inreach.com/marthac/links.html
Yarn Lover’s Room, http://www.knitting-crochet.com/crochet/antiquecrochet.html
Free Vintage Crochet, http://www.freevintagecrochet.com

Do you have any favorite sites for free crochet patterns?  If you do, please leave a comment and share them.

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Free Crochet Pattern Websites Worth Visiting

Free Crochet Pattern Websites Worth Visiting

First for Women Magazine asked me what were my five favorite sites for free crochet patterns.

Here are my favs

Gardener’s Apron CAL – Come Join Us

Would you like to crochet an apron?  Well, come on and join us!

A CAL for the Gardener’s Apron from Crochet World Magazine is being held on the We Love TurquoizBlue group on Ravelry.  The CAL will begin on March 1, 2009 and run through April 30, 2009.  This will be a quick and fun project to do for National Crochet Month, which is the month of March.

If you’d like to participate, stop by the group and let everyone know, and when you begin your project just add the tag — ApronCAL — so we can find each others’ projects.  You can also use the following banner on your blog/website to link to the CAL if you’d like to share with others.  Just please be sure to copy it and upload it to your own image host. K’ thanks!

Gardeners Apron CAL

I’m going to make one to use in the kitchen.

We Love TurquoizBlue!

There is a crochet group on Ravelry that is dedicated to discussing my designs and whatever might come up with.  Some of the ladies on Ravelry were kind enough to create a group, and I am extremely honored that they would think that a brand new crochet designer like me should have her own group.  The group is called We Love TurquoizBlue.  Can you all believe it?

I will work on coming up with some creative things to do in the group.  Some fun stuff, and I have to work on self-publishing some of my crochet designs.

For those who have asked, I promise I’m going to work on recreating the Webbed Top.  I’m going to have to design the crochet pattern from scratch because I crocheted it so long ago.

Tagging Projects on Ravelry

How do you determine how to tag your projects on Ravelry.com?  Do you just pick the first words that come to mind or do you have a system?

Ravelry is a search-based website so if you want others to be able to find your projects, it is important to use good tags.  If you don’t want to be searched, then do the opposite of what I’m about to share.

The first suggestion I have is to try to come up with more than only one or two tags.  Okay, you’ve uploaded a project for the sweater that you started making.  What tags are good ones to use?  Sweater is obvious, but what about top, shirt, camisole, cardigan, pullover, boatneck, raglan, tunic, shawl collar, etc.?  Think about what tags you can use to further describe your project.

Now you have a few tags that indicate the project you are making.  How about a few tags describing the yarn manufacturer and yarn name, you can even list the color(s) of the yarn.  Any special treatments?  Is it beaded, embroidered, etc.?   Is it a themed item — holiday, seasonal, or based on a movie, book, song, person, etc.  Is there a special technique that you used?  All of those make great tags to add.

Don’t forget to create a tag for the designer of the pattern or publication/book, and please don’t forget to make a tag for your username.

When you type a tag on Ravelry, type tags that contain one or more word or phrases as one long word.  If you type the words or phrases as individually in between commas, Ravelry will merge them together as one word.  If you type them as separate words without commas, Ravelry will consider each word to be a separate tag. To the right of the box where you fill in your tags is a small icon that looks like a label or tag.  You can click on this to select from previous tags that you have used instead of typing them over again.  Ravelry remembers the tags you previously used.

Tagging your projects allows Ravelry to become even more search-friendly for you and for others who might be looking similar projects or even your projects, specifically.  I hope more people will consider adding more tags to their Ravelry projects.