Category Archives: Instruction

Learning Free Form Crochet From the Master – Prudence Mapstone

Even Ghandi was cold today!

Today I had the pleasure of finally having the opportunity to take a free form class with one of the masters of the art — Prudence Mapstone! I have had the opportunity to get to know Prudence over the last few years and couldn’t wait to hear about her process directly from her. It was quite cold when I left the house (10 degrees Fahrenheit) this morning at 5:45 a.m. to meet up with a fellow free form buddy to catch the bus to New York City.

Within the hour we were a few blocks from the Lion Brand Yarn Studio enjoying a wonderful breakfast! Afterward we headed out into the wind and cold to walk the last few blocks to the Studio. We arrived at 9:25 a.m. for our class. To our disappointment, the woman working refused to let us in saying we were there too early. We tried to explain that we were told by arrive by 9:30 a.m., but she was adamant and wouldn’t let us in and said to come back at class time. Annoyed and cold, we walked another block to a coffee shop and sat another little bit to sit and warm up. We let 15 minutes pass and decided to walk back and tell her that if class is supposed to start at 10:00 a.m., they would have to let us in ahead of time to be ready. Well, to our surprise, the shop was already bustling! I was quite miffed! When I asked why it was now OK, she said (and I quote), “well, you got here at 9:25 and I wasn’t opening the doors until 9:30.” Um, really? She knew I was less than pleased and ignored her and headed over to see the person I wanted to see and visit with most of all…Prudence!

We all immediately started chatting at once like school girls! It was wonderful! After a quick catch-up, we settled down, ready to begin.

Prudence’s amazing wall hanging!

She already had some of her wonderful scrumbles out, her wraps, beautiful coats and an amazing new wall hanging!

I cannot describe how helpful her guidance for free form projects was today! She shared how she develops her scrumbles, assembles her garments and connect scrumbles to each other. At one point I became somewhat stuck with the piece I was working on when I asked her for assistance. She simply said “it has finished telling you what to do with that piece right now–put it aside and start another one.” She also advised to never pull apart a scrumble because you don’t like it at the moment. Set it aside and start a new piece. It has finished “speaking to you” at the moment. Give it some time…a few days to even when you are ready to do something with all your pieces. You never know how they will all work together!


One of Prudence’s amazing scrumbles!

The hours passed by quicker than you could imagine. After a few quick purchases, the ladies of the International Free Form Crochet Guild posed for a few photos. We said our goodbyes so Prudence could prepare for her afternoon class and headed into the cold again (now a balmy 30 degrees) to catch the bus back to New Jersey.

I cannot thank Prudence enough for her time, her encouragement and her creative thought process. I plan to send her photos as my scrumbles progress and turn into whatever they tell me they should be!

If you would like to see more photos of today’s class, please join my Facebook page.

Stitching at Starbucks in Rockaway

The next get together will be this Thursday,January 28th, 7:00 p.m. at the Starbucks coffee shop next to Pier Onein the Target strip mall at the Rockaway Mall, Rockaway, NJ. We arehaving a great time getting together every few weeks and would love tohave more join in on the fun! I can’t wait to see everyone again!

Many of us are also attending the Prudence Mapstone class at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City this weekend and we will be discussing the upcoming day!

If you are on Facebook, search under groups for Stitching at Starbucks and join our happy little group! Hope to see you there!

Fiber Artist Prudence Mapstone Comes to New York City

The amazing fiber artist, Prudence Mapstone, from down under will be teaching a class on free form knitting and crochet at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City on January 31, 2010. I already signed up and just can’t wait!

I have always wanted to take a class with Prudence, but never had the opportunity. I truly admire her work and know this class will exceed all my expectations!

You can learn more at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s web site. If you are able to attend, trust me when I tell you…you will NOT be sorry!

Iris Schreier at Nonna’s Yarn Cafe

Lead designer of Art Yarns and fiber artist Iris Schreier will be teaching a very special class at Nonna’s Yarn Cafe on Sunday, October 18th from noon – 3:00 p.m.

Iris will be teaching her technique for reversible cables from her latest book, Reversible Knits. Her other books include Lacy Little Knits and Modular Knitting.

Nonna’s is a wonderful little shop on Broadway in the heart of Denville. For more information, call Josephine or Nickie at 973-983-9276.

Stitch Alchemy

One of Interweave’s latest offerings is Stitch Alchemy by Kelli Perkins. This book is a true introduction to mixed media.

This book provides inspirational photography, very well-written instructions and creative projects to try. As a fiber artist, I am finding this book very intriguing. I especially look forward to making paper beads and using them in my projects.

There are many great directions on how to add techniques like embellishment, blotting and printmaking to create what the book refers to “paper-cloth.”

What I especially love is the “happy accident” section, which discusses how to take an unexpected result and make it into a wonderfully creative and unique piece! This book truly give you permission to play and create!

Author Kelli Perkins is a librarian who works in mixed-media. Her work has been featured in Cloth Paper Scissors and has also been a guest on PBS show Quilting Arts TV. Her work in this book is a true inspiration and extremely well executed.

I absolutely can’t wait to go page by page through this book and experiment with all the techniques described and discover how to add this to my fiber arts!

Stitchin’ at Starbucks at Rockaway, NJ

If you knit, crochet, quilt, spin yarn or anything “stichy” then join us at the Starbucks store in the Target strip mall at Rockaway Townsquare, Rockaway, NJ!

Our first get together is this Thursday, August, 13 at the Starbucks shop next to Pier One in the Rockaway Mall at 7:00 p.m. There is a group on Facebook, just search “Stichin’ at Starbucks” so you can keep up on all the group’s happenings. It is a great way to meet other stitchy-types, have a snack and chat!

Hope to see you there!

Interweave Names Kathleen Cubley Editor of

The following is an announcement from Interweave…

Loveland , Colo. , July 1, 2009: Interweave announced today that Kathleen Cubley is the new editor of, effective today., serving more than 300,000 knitting community members, recently introduced a newly designed and expanded web site featuring more bloggers, videos, forums and free patterns. Sandi Wiseheart is stepping aside as editor to spend more time writing and today she will move into a new role as a regular blogger for; her blog will be called “What’s on Sandi’s Needles?,” where she’ll be sharing with readers her adventures in knitting.

Kathleen Cubley joins Interweave with a rich background in editing, writing, and publishing. For six years she was Director of Editorial and Production at Mountaineers Books in Seattle . Plus, she’s an all-around crafter and experienced knitter, who teaches knitting at her local yarn shop, A Grand Yarn in Spokane , Wash.

“Interweave is thrilled to have found someone who has the mix of skills it takes to be the online editor of Kathleen’s strong background in publishing, plus her passion for knitting, makes her ideally suited for this opportunity,” says Interweave Yarn Group Editorial Director Marilyn Murphy.

Kathleen’s take on it: “I’m addicted to all things knitting, including magazines, books, online magazines, patterns, and blogs. I’m so excited to become part of the online knitting world, taking over the reins so deftly handled by Sandi.

As a member of Knitting Daily since its beginning, I’ve had the opportunity to watch it grow and change; becoming the KD editor is a fantastic opportunity and I look forward to building on its success and to trying some new ideas, too.”

Kathleen is a graduate of Washington State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, minor in Journalism, and has nearly 20 years experience in publishing. She worked for nearly 10 years at The Mountaineer Books in Seattle , in positions as Director, Editorial and Production, and Managing Editor. She also has worked as a copywriting and editing instructor for the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Washington Extension , Editing Program in Seattle ; and she was the sole proprietor of
Write Now! Communications, where she provided freelance editorial services to publishers around the country.

Kathleen Cubley will work remotely from her home office in Spokane, Wash., while Sandi Wiseheart will continue writing for from her home in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

National Crochet Month

Marsh is National Crochet Month and there are many ways you can celebrate and help spread the word on how wonderful crochet is!

Here is a list of suggestions on how you can celebrate all month!

  1. Wear your crochet out and about and let people see what great things you can make!
  2. Teach someone to crochet. It could be your niece of nephew. You could visit a senior center and hold a free class. The possibilities are limitless!
  3. Make and donate an item to a non profit. There are many worthwhile organizations that accept crochet items!
  4. Learn a new stitch and use it in a project.
  5. Make something for yourself! We love to make things for others that we sometimes to forget to treat ourselves!

So what are you going to do? Let us all know!

For The Love of Ravelry

If you aren’t familiar with a relatively new online community called Ravelry, I highly recommend you check it out!

Ravelry is a great online location for you to meet other fans of fiber, check out and purchase the latest patterns and join discussion groups about various fiber-related topics. I have been a member for awhile now, but only recently started to delve deeper into all the features Ravelry contains.

I currently belong to 16 groups that cover everything from free form crochet to technical spinning to spool knitting. I have in just the last few days, I started to check out the online repository of patterns.

Site owners Jessica and Casey are doing a great job listening to the current users about suggestions and improvements and the community is growing daily!

In order to control stress on their servers, Jessica and Casey are extending invites in groups. Simply sign up for a user ID and you’ll be connected as soon as they send out your invite. Trust me, it is worth the wait!

If you haven’t checked it out yet, I suggest you log on. If you already have, I would love to hear your thoughts!

You can log on to Ravlery by clicking here.

Learning New Skills

OK, I’ll admit it. I’m very late to the You Tube party. I checked it out the other day, not sure what I would find. I did a search for crochet and found tons of wonderful instructional videos! For example, Jennifer Hansen, The Stitch Diva herself, has several great videos available that demonstrate skills like knitting in the round, broomstrick lace and more! It is simple and free to set up an account and you can search for all types of great videos. You can pause and back up videos as needed and can save them in your playlist. I’m sorry that I waited to long to check it out! There are some great instructional videos uploaded and I recommend it to anyone!