Category Archives: Community

Best of the Web – March 2013

So in the spirit of sites like Facebook and Pinterest, I thought I would start my own “best of” list for all things fiber art.

Lily Chin’s Latest Release is The Crocheter’s Toolbox. This is definitely on my “want” list. Lily Chin’s books are always great, so I certainly look forward to picking this up!

We all love Malabrigo yarn. Well, I came across this awesome looking scarf  using their Merino Worsted yarn. I think it is just great! I keep looking at it to see if there is a way to make this into a crochet pattern.

You may not know this, but I love owls. I came across this little owl magnet on Etsy. The colors are just great and it just looks perfect to me!

The last link and photo I want to share for March’s “best of” is of a yarn bombing by the Ladies Fancywork Society. Now for those of you who are new to the concept, yarn bombing is an artsy form of graffiti using crocheted and knitted pieces as opposed to using paint. In recent years, yarn bombing has really taken off. This project -The Flower Garden Fence – is a fence in the Downtown Denver Union Station neighborhood. Just awesome!

I hope you liked this first list. Do you have a link you would like me to include? Email it to me at:
andrea@alvbfiberart.com.
I would love to hear from you!

National Crochet Month Blog Tour – My Turn

As I mentioned in a post in February, Crochetville’s Amy Shelton organized a great blog tour. Each day one (and in some cases two) crochet artists, designers, and enthusiasts do a post specifically to celebrate crochet. I decided to share a free pattern with all of you – a kitchen scrubbie.

Crochet Kitchen Scrubbie

crochet kitchen scrubbieAnyone who does dishes by hand knows that a little texture to go along with elbow grease goes a long way! Well, this kitchen scrubbie will certainly help get your dishes clean.

Yarn: Lily Sugar & Cream
Hook: Size “H” hook (5.00mm)

Foundation: Ch 10, join with sl st to form a ring.
Round 1: *Ch 5, sc in ring,* rep from * to * 35 times total.
Round 2: *Sc in next ch 5 loop, ch 3 (counts as first dc), 7 dc in same ch 5 loop (for a total of 8 dc), rep from * to * around all ch 5 loops, join with sl st to base of original ch 3.
Finishing: Ch 12, sl st at base to form a ring as a hanger, weave in ends.

Abbreviations:
ch: chain
sl st: slip stitch
rep: repeat
sc: single crochet
dc: double crochet

I know many people who also use these as shower puffs. The best part is that you can just throw them in the washing machine to bring them back to life.

I hope you enjoy this pattern as well as reading all the other posts! Tomorrow is Joy Prescott and Donna Childs. I hope you will also consider signing up to receive my newsletter that is sent out once or twice a month. Finally, if you love crochet as much as those of us participating in the blog tour do, please consider joining the Crochet Guild of America. It is a wonderful organization!

All Aboard for the Crochet Tour!

March is National Crochet Month and a real treat has been planned thanks to Amy Shelton of Crochetville. She has organized A Tour through Crochet Country during the entire month! Each day one (or on some days two) crochet bloggers will have a special post just for National Crochet Month.

List of Stops Along the Tour

Click on any designer’s name to go directly to their blog.

March 1 Jenny King Shelby Allaho
March 2 Ellen Gormley Nancy Nehring
March 3
Phyllis Serbes Mona Muhammad
March 4
Amy O’Neill Houck Akua Hope
March 5
Mary Jane Hall Lindsey Stephens
March 6
Edie Eckman Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby
March 7
Jennifer Cirka Annette Stewart
March 8
Andrea Graciarena LeAnna Lyons
March 9
Dawn Cogger Angela Whisnant
March 10
Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten Renee Rodgers
March 11 Joy Prescott Donna Childs
March 12 Pam Daley Deb Burger
March 13 Tammy Hildebrand Marty Miller
March 14 Jocelyn Sass
March 15 Andee Graves
March 16 Laurinda Reddig
March 17 Brenda Bourg
March 18 Rhonda Davis
March 19 Julie Oparka
March 20
April Garwood
March 21
Alaina Klug
March 22
Erin Boland
March 23
Margaret Hubert
March 24
Bonnie Barker
March 25
Kim Guzman Susan Huxley
March 26
Susan Lowman
March 27
Marie Segares
March 28
Kathy White
March 29
Amy Shelton Donna Hulka
March 30
Linda Dean
March 31
Karen C K Ballard Gwen Blakley-Kinsler

A special way to participate

Those of us who are participating have also decided to support a charity during this special month. Project Night Night is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides over 25,000 Night Night Packages each year to homeless children. Each package consists of a new sturdy tote bag with a new security blanket, an age-appropriate children’s book, and a stuffed animal. These comfort objects help to reduce the trauma of homelessness for the children served by Project Night Night. Both the handmade blankets and stuffed animals provide the children with objects of love and security.

You can help Project Night Night by making and sending in a new crocheted blankets (50” x 60” or smaller) and/or making a financial donations. I hope you will consider supporting this organization as part of our celebration of crochet.

So I hope you will hop on the train for the tour and enjoy all these wonderful artists, designers, and bloggers have to say! And if you would like, please spread the word to other crocheters. All aboard!

Now Contributing to AllFreeCrochet.com

I have some exciting news to share! I am now a Contributor for AllFreeCrochet.com. For those of you not familiar, AllFreeCrochet.com is a huge community of bloggers, designers, and other stitching professionals who all work to share their love of crochet with their readership.

AllFreeCrochet.com’s parent company, Prime Publishing, is a member of The National Needle Arts Association and The Craft and Hobby Association. You can check out my profile page to see my latest articles and patterns. Currently, I have two patterns online – an adorable baby pumpkin hat, and a kitchen scrubbie. I hope you will check in from time to time to see what is new on the site.

We are Jersey Strong

“The Jersey Shore of my youth, it is gone. No question of my mind, we will rebuild it, but it won’t be the same,” ~Chris Christie

I am a proud Jersey Girl. I have posted in the past for my devotion, pride, and love of my state. Well like many this week, my heart is breaking.
I’m lucky. I made out very well. We have had minor inconveniences. I look at what my state has been through – it just breaks my heart.

Me and my friend Gina at my Uncle’s
bungalow in Seaside prom weekend.

While Jersey is often the butt-end of jokes and many think of stupid so-called “reality shows” are New Jersey, many of us know better. We know the jewel we have.

Like many, the Jersey Shore was my birthright. My Aunts and Uncles lived in Seaside, right down the street from Rainbow Rapids. I spent prom weekend at Seaside, piling people into my Uncle’s bungalow after a ride down the Parkway blasting my Meatloaf cassette in my 1986 Mercury Cougar. Yes, I was the essence of cool.

It was a right of passage we took for granted. Playing the wheel at The Union Jack. The Chair Lift. Skee-ball at Lucky Leo’s. The Casino Pier Carousel. Cheese steaks at The Midway. Clams at the raw bar under the Log Flume. Cotton Candy. Kohr’s Frozen Custard. Salt Water Taffy. It wasn’t just walking the boards for me; it was the food. All the stuff you weren’t allowed to normally eat – those rules went right out the window Down the Shore. I could go on forever.

Our view from our motel room at
The Crusader in Wildwood.

After I was married, our Shore plans moved further south to Wildwood and Cape May. Our spot was The Crusader – a classic Jersey Shore Motel. One year we went straight down the day my husband finished school in June. It was great.
Now… I’m speechless. Watching Chris Christie after his first tour of Seaside – it broke my heart. When he said The Midway was gone. That’s what did it for me.

But let’s face it. We’re Jersey. We’re tough. We’re Jersey Strong. To live in a state that is mercilessly made fun of – you have to be tough. We’ll be back and better than ever. But for those of us who grew up going “Down the Shore” – it will never be the same.

I pray for those who lost everything that they will find the strength to move forward.

We are all doing our best to help. With that said, all proceeds from my pattern sales will be donated to The Red Cross to help my fellow Jerseyans. If you are in need of a crochet pattern, I hope you will consider making a purchase. You can find them on Patternfish, Ravelry, and Craftsy. And if you don’t – well, I hope you will consider making a donation to The Red Cross.

Meeting Other Artisans

Today I participated in a unique craft and lecture event at Saint Clare’s in Denville. While the attendance was light – and on such a beautiful fall day, who wants to be inside – I did have a great time and was able to meet three incredibly talented artisans.

Next to me was Miriam Seiden. She had some of the most lovely jewelry I have seen in quite a while. Her work was of high quality, incredibly creative, and certainly unique. She used a lot of big stones and silver in her work she had available. Each piece made a statement.

Ameenah Designs designs capes, shawls, vests, coats, and hats. Each piece is made by her and has great style and quality. It is easy to see the care and creativity in her work.

My favorite, I think, was Peach Fuzz Fiber Art. She had great bags, fiber bowls, jackets, shawls, and other incredibly creative items. Her free form-style work had just the right touch of whimsy!

Overall, it was a fun day, even though we didn’t have many customers.

Upcoming Arts & Crafts Event!

On September 23rd, I will be a part of a unique event in Denville. The Image Forum. This event is sponsored by a physicians group and will be a lot of fun!

The Image Forum will be held 11 AM Sunday, September 23, 2012 in the Urban Auditorium inside Saint Clares Hospital on 25 Pocono Road, Denville, NJ. The event includes a light brunch, chamber music, several medical lectures, and an arts and crafts show. The best part is the entire event is FREE to the public! Simply register in advance (so they have an accurate head count) by calling 973-994-2484 or emailing Lmichaelson@nj.rr.com. Please tell them you are my guest.

The medical lectures include understanding thyroid cancer, today’s use of cosmeceuticals, what’s involved in permanent makeup. Additionally, there will be a presentation by the non-profit Center for Food Action and music will be provided by The West Essex Chamber Players. A variety of medical professionals will be on hand to answer questions about skin health, breast health, and plastic surgery.

There will be LOTS of artisans, crafters, and unique shopping opportunities, including home decor, unique accessories, custom made table cloths, couture clothing, jewelry, scarves, shawls, hats, Lia Sophia jewelry, Longaberger baskets, and more!

I am very excited to be a part of this event! I hope you will consider joining in on the fun!

A Creative Project and a Wonderful Cause

Since 2006, the International Freeform Crochet Guild has conducted an annual project focused on fiber arts creativity. Over the years subjects have included fairy tales, mythology, the four seasons, earth – air – fire – water, and more. This year, the challenge was to interpret a work of art or music.

Inspired” includes artwork from fiber artists from around the world. The pieces inside are just beautiful and show the creativity of all the different participants.

The best part of the project Inspired is that the book highlighting all the artists is supporting  Doctors Without Borders and Souls of Somanya. All profits from “Inspired” will help these two worthwhile organizations. Doctors Without Borders works in nearly 70 countries providing medical aid to those most in need regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation. Soul of Somanya, Inc. is a small organization staffed mostly by volunteers, headquartered in Mobile, Alabama in the U.S. Soul of Somanya, Inc. is working hard to develop sustainable employment opportunities there (currently in the field of jewelry-making and other bead work) for disadvantaged youth whose job prospects are very limited by their lack of family support and/or limited levels of education.

I hope you check out these amazing works of art!

Ravelry Vs. The U.S. Olympic Committee

If you knit, crochet, spin yarn, weave, or other type of fiber fanatic, you know all about Ravelry. As I have blogged in the past, Ravelry is a wonderful online community where you can meet others who share a love of fiber and chat, find patterns, and share opinions about yarn and all things fiber. It is truly a wonderful place for those of us who are misunderstood by “non-yarnies.”

Since Ravelry’s start, something special happens when the Olympics comes around – Ravelympics! Containing lots of fiber fun, the Ravelympics has great events such as Scarf Hockey. It is a great way to finish projects, share the results, and root for our country during the Olympics.

Well, the United States Olympic Committee has decided to pick a fight with Ravelry over the Ravelympics. Adrian Chen reported that Ravelry was served a cease-and-desist letter by care of the USOC. I read the entire letter and I have to tell you it is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I have ever read, which includes:

“The athletes of Team USA have usually spent the better part of their entire lives training for the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games and represent their country in a sport that means everything to them.  For many, the Olympics represent the pinnacle of their sporting career.  Over more than a century, the Olympic Games have brought athletes around the world together to compete at the Olympic Games and represent their country in a sport that means everything to them.”

And…

“The USOC is responsible for preserving the Olympic Movement and its ideals within the United States.  Part of that responsibility is to ensure that Olympic trademarks, imagery and terminology are protected and given the appropriate respect.  We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games.  In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.”

Well, USOC, cry me a river. First of all, we do not participate in the Ravelympics to denigrate the Olympics or those who participate. And your glib commentary actually denigrates those of us who have spent years perfecting what we do.

Fiber fans everywhere have inundated the USOC’s web page, email servers, and Facebook page with their opinions on this subject. So much so that they have published what should be called “the non-apology apology.”

“Thanks to all of you who have posted, tweeted, emailed and called regarding the letter sent to the organizers of the Ravelympics.

“Like you, we are extremely passionate about what we do. …

“The letter sent to the organizers of the Ravelympics was a standard-form cease and desist letter that explained why we need to protect our trademarks in legal terms. Rest assured, as an organization that has many passionate knitters, we never intended to make this a personal attack on the knitting community or to suggest that knitters are not supportive of Team USA.

“We apologize for any insult and appreciate your support. We embrace hand-crafted American goods as we currently have the Annin Flagmakers of New Jersey stitching a custom-made American flag to accompany our team to the Olympic Games in London. To show our support of the Ravelry community, we would welcome any handmade items that you would like to create to travel with, and motivate, our team at the 2012 Games.”

Not sure if I will be sending anything along with Team USA, but I think the USOC learning a valuable lesson – don’t mess with fiber fanatics.

WWKIP Day Event in Denville, NJ

This year’s World Wide Knit in Public takes place this year from the 9th to the 17th of June – second Saturday to the third Sunday in June. There are great events all over the world, but I wanted to let you all know about a great upcoming event in my neck of the woods – my beloved New Jersey.

On Saturday, June 16th from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Nonna’s Yarn Cafe will be hosting an event to knit and crochet squares that will be made into blankets for St. Clare’s Hospital in Denville. They will supply the yarn and patterns, you bring either a size H crochet hook or size 8 needles and the fun will definitely appear!

Nonna’s Yarn Cafe is located on Broadway in the center of Denville. I hope you will be able to participate!