Unexpected Afghans Celebration Weekend!

This weekend Interweave Crochet is kicking off a celebration for the new Unexpected Afghans: Innovative Crochet Designs with Traditional Techniques!

I am so excited that I can finally tell you about this design. I loved every minute of this design.

Okay, let’s start with the photo, because that’s what y’all want, right? Here you go! Here’s my design, Amada Baby Blanket:

Amada Baby Blanket

I started this design with the idea of making lace in a worsted weight yarn. When I got the call for this book, I knew I had to send it in. The swatch was done in the same yarn as the final project (so happy for that!) and it’s Universal Yarns Cotton Supreme. If you haven’t used this yarn, seriously, pick some up. It’s so smooth and silky and has incredible drape.

Robyn was fantastic to work with and she picked a stunning color for the final project. I loved the bright pink. It gives it such a pop and a flair. However, any color you work this blanket in will be stunning (and change the look significantly).

Don’t let the lace fool you into thinking it’s a hard pattern. It’s not. It’s a simple four row repeat that’s super easy to memorize. Because it’s in a worsted weight yarn, it goes super fast. It really is a great way to introduce yourself to lace crocheting.

And it’s not just for babies! This blanket turned out a bit big for a baby blanket, 39″ square. So it’s perfect for draping over a favorite chair and using to cover your lap or shoulders. I originally pictured this as a porch blanket, perfect on a porch swing on a cool spring evening.

I do hope you’ll check out this book. Not just because I’m in it. But because it is so full of great designs from great designers. I have so many of these patterns marked to make at some point. There is some top notch work in here. Designs that are far from the typical patterns found in afghan books.

Now, if you’re interested in winning an e-book version, just respond here by 11:59pm Eastern Time on July 4th with your name and an answer to this question: What’s your favorite technique for afghans/blankets?. Are you the big and lacy type? Simple and traditional? Motif? Back and forth?

Also, check out the rest of the celebration at the links below! I hear that there will be giveaways there, too!

Robyn Chachula Crochet By Faye

Dora Ohrenstein Crochet Insider Newsletter

Ellen Gormley Go Crochet

Carol Ventura Tapestry Crochet

Linda Permann Lindamade

Diane Halpern Three Rivers Crochet

Drew Emborsky The Crochet Dude

Annette Petavy Annette Petavy Design

Jill Wright Wool Crafting

Simona Merchant-Dest Stylish Knits

Doris Chan Everyday Crochet

Edie Eckman Edie Eckman

Mary Beth Temple Addicted to Alpaca

Kristin Omdahl Styled By Kristin

Marty Miller Not Your Grannys Crochet

Annie Modesitt Modeknit

Megan Granholm Loop de doo

Kim Guzman Wips N Chains

Apparently I “denigrate” Olympic athletes now

UPDATE: The USOC has updated their apology with one that should have been there in the first place. Read the top part. Thank you. I still stand by what I said, and I’m still not sure what I’m going to do about the situation, as I don’t know if this would have come about had you not had to deal with a HUGE Twitter storm of PR Nightmare. But, actions will speak louder than words. Know that every action y’all take now is being watched to see if this is sincere or not.

Yeah, so news to me yesterday, apparently my participation for the last two cycles of the Ravelympics (as well as being a captain of a team this year) is denigrating to the Olympic Athletes. Wait, I’ll give you a minute to pick your jaw up off the floor before I continue.

Hang on, wait, no, read this first, then come back: Article at Gawker

How did I do this?

By crocheting.

While watching the Olympics.

For the first time since I was a child (watching the Olympics, not crocheting).

Because apparently I’m so daft I would consider for a moment that making a sweater (Summer ’08 games) and a beaded mohair shawl (Winter ’10 games) is on par with athletes who train all their lives to compete in the Olympics (here’s a hint, I don’t).

Summer ’08 Ravelympics entry

Winter ’10 Ravelympics entry

Oh, and I also apparently assume that these gold medals (you know, bits on a screen) are the same thing and on the same level as the serious hardware our athletes strive to receive.

My “gold medal” for my sweater that denigrates athletes

My “gold medal” for my shawl that denigrates athletes

I know it’s different. I have the utmost respect and admiration for our Olympic athletes. But honestly? Prior to the Ravelympics I rarely watched the games. I didn’t make it a habit. But when I was starting my project at the start of Opening Ceremonies? My butt was in a chair with the ceremonies going on full blast. I was cheering my country’s team. I was tearing up during it. I found the opening (and closing) ceremonies beautiful and a testament to what the Olympic spirit is all about.

Whenever I was working on my project for the games, I would watch the Olympics. I was actually paying attention the last two games, more than I ever had before. Even when I finished my projects before the close, I still watched the closing ceremonies, too.

So, imagine my surprise when I saw the cease and desist letter from USOC. Now, let me clear up a few thoughts:

1. I understand trademark law. I get that you have to protect it in order to keep it. I’m not faulting you for the initial part of the cease and desist letter.

2. HOWEVER, I wasn’t aware that the word was trademarked by the US Olympic Committee. Pretty sure the Olympics are a worldwide event. Or are we the only ones who are so money hungry we trademark anything that stands still long enough to slap a TM on it?

3. Really? -lympics infringes upon the trademark? Well, that’s for people way above my pay grade to sort out, so I’ll leave that one alone.

4. It is the tone of the letter, the ugly and denigrating terms used in the letter, that has not only me, but everyone else up in arms.

There’s been a response, finally, from the USOC. “Apology” from USOC. It’s a half-arsed apology, one that I wouldn’t accept from the boy if he tried to give it to me after saying the same things the USOC’s law clerk (yes, clerk) said in that letter. So, no, I’m not accepting the apology from the USOC. And no, I’m sure as heck not going to be making anything to send to them.

I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do about Ravelympics this year. I was really looking forward to participating, to sharing the excitement of the Olympics with the boy, to showing him how to take on a challenge of something you’re not sure you can do and pushing to do it (what the Ravelympics and the Olympics are about…last I checked).

Now? Now I’m not so sure. How do I explain to him that the USOC puts money (and their sponsors) above average citizens (and their sponsors customers…lest we forget that)? I will gladly and always support our athletes. I will not, however, continue to support an entity that has apparently forgotten its entire purpose.

So while the USOC would like to say shame on me, I’m saying “Shame on you.”

Now excuse me while I go back to my knitting (yes, a post on that forthcoming, this one caught me by surprise).

Why you need a tech editor

I’m thrilled that Laurie of The Crochet Liberation Front featured me in today’s newsletter. If you’re not a member over there and love all things crochet, do check them out. I’ve been a member of the CLF since close to the beginning and have never regretted it. I’m also a proud Indie Pro Plus member and cannot recommend it enough. There are exciting things happening there and on Hookey.org, the place where we go to play.

In today’s newsletter, Laurie mentioned my tech editing side of my business. I have a page here on my site describing my services, but thought I’d answer the age old question I hear a lot from newer designers, “Why do I need a tech editor?”

The answer is simple and blunt. No one is perfect.

While I can’t answer as the end all be all of the tech editing world, I can tell you what I do and why I think it’s important for every designer.

1. I check to make sure that if you abbreviate a stitch one way in your abbreviations list, you abbreviate it that way all the way through your pattern. In other words, consistency.

2. I check to make sure that you’ve explained the stitches you need to explain. If you are using a special stitch, it’s explained in the beginning and that abbreviation is used throughout.

3. I check to make sure you have all the materials listed. This can be something as simple as listing that the crocheter will need stitch markers to complete the pattern.

4. I check all that pesky punctuation. As we all know, punctuation is very important in pattern instructions.

5. I check to make sure your repeats actually work out.

6. I check to see that someone who didn’t design the pattern can actually make the pattern. I was a designer, I know how easy it is to go off of what you have in your head and forget to put something important in the pattern.

7. I make sure the pattern is easy to read and understand.

8. I make sure the pattern lines up with your style sheet. And if you don’t have a style sheet yet, I help you come up with one. This goes a long way for branding.

9. I ask the questions a crocheter might ask, so you can take care of it in the pattern rather than waiting for the customer service questions.

10. I give you peace of mind that your pattern can be made successfully by others.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. “But Tracie, tech editors are expensive, and I am a one person show here, without a lot of spare money.” I get that. I do. I was the same way. So, I’ll say this. My rates are pretty reasonable. And well written patterns don’t take me as long to tech edit. If you do the work ahead of time to make sure your pattern is the best it can be, then you’re likely only paying me for my hour minimum to double check everything. I will be posting more soon on what you can do to help your tech editor (whether that’s me or someone else).

So, I’ll close this short blog post with this. If you are a designer and interested in having your patterns tech edited, use the Contact form found here and let’s talk. I always do an estimate prior to starting work, so you know a ballpark figure. If I think I’ll go over, I let you know before doing so. I understand the plight of the independent designer. But let’s talk.

© Copyright Fibers By Tracie - Theme by Pexeto