I’m going to be teaching at Chain Link!

Finally, I can announce my big announcement!

I’m going to be teaching three classes this summer at Chain Link (aka the Knit and Crochet Show) in Manchester, NH, July 8-10th.

Here’s what I’ll be teaching (with links to the descriptions on the K&C page):

T102C-Ami, Ama, the little Crocheted Toys! (Crochet) This class will be Thursday AM from 9am to noon. If you’ve ever wanted to make those cute little amigurumi and wondered how to get started, then take this class! We’ll go over the basic tools, the various types, how to read symbol only ami charts, and how to design and make your own. It’ll be lots of fun so come on out!

F212C-Broomstick Lace Cloth (Crochet) This class will be Friday PM from 2pm-5pm. This class is based on my Broomstick Lace Cloth pattern and will be a great intro to broomstick lace. We’ll be doing the project in class and depending on how quick you crochet (and catch on), you could have a finished project by the end!

S308C-Everything You Wanted To Know About Felting, But Were Afraid To Ask (Crochet) This class will be all day Saturday. I’m the most excited about this class. If you’ve ever been intimidated by felting, come take this class. We’ll be felting in class! We’ll also go over different stitch patterns and how they are affected by felting. We’ll also explore color and how it affects the felting process.

I’m extremely excited about this opportunity to teach and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone up at Chain Link!!!! I hope you’ll make plans to be there, too!

Another excuse to make socks

I’m joining in on the Summer KAL/CAL (knit-along, crochet-along). The theme this summer is socks and bags. Like I need an excuse to crochet socks. ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaking of socks, I’m almost done with the pair I started at Stitch n Pitch. Unfortunately, I forgot that talking and following 3 conversations is not conducive to doing a heel flap. Yeah, I had to rip out the heel I was working on at the crochet meeting. Oh well. I’ll work on it again here in a bit and get it done.

The first pattern I’m going to do for the Summer KAL/CAL is the pattern I bought from Laurie Wheeler for socks. I’m using the handpainted sock yarn I got for free in my goody bag at Stitch n Pitch.

Then I’ll very likely buy some yarn later this month. I was fondling inspecting some Bernat Comfort Sock at the shop the other day. The solid color was really deep and it was very soft.

In other crochet news, I spent most of the last two days doing paperwork. I finished formatting the pattern for the tree skirt. I have one more picture to take and that’s of it around a tree (which I just borrowed from Margarita). That will likely be done today.

I also got my teaching stuff organized. Lesson plans are now written out and in place (for a few lessons, I have more to do, but I’m ahead of the curve). I also have my forms and such in place.

Well, today is a day off for me (other than taking the photos). We’ve got a party to go to tonight and then the rest of the weekend to relax. So, if you don’t hear from me, that’s why. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great weekend everyone!

Totally a good day

Today has been one of the best days in my professional life.

After doing household stuff I finished up the rest of the design I’ve been working on. And it worked! So, Monday morning that pattern will go up. ๐Ÿ™‚ Unless I decide to “work” over the weekend.

Margarita came over and I did the Broomstick Lace class with her (using the Broomstick Lace washcloth pattern available in the side bar). She picked it up quickly and loved it. We chatted during most of it and when we felt like we were done, we decided to go yarn shopping.

My friend Marion wants a pair of socks out of the TOFUtsies yarn so first we were going to drive back into Tampa to go to Fiber Arts and pick up the sock yarn (that’s where we all went the other day). Well, after realizing that it’s a REALLY long drive from here, we decided to go check out a new yarn shop….A Yarn Outlet in Bradenton.

So we got directions and headed down. John was working on the motorcycle so he chose to stay here rather than go with us. We got there and found it with no trouble. We walked in and realized that all we had heard was true…they are totally crochet friendly. In fact, the first thing you see to your left when you walk in is a full display of crochet thread! Margarita was in threadie heaven. I wandered on in and looked at a lot of different yarns. They didn’t have a lot of TOFUtsies, but I found a color that Mare would like and grabbed it.

We started talking with Debbie, the owner, and I let her know that I’m a budding designer and also a crochet instructor. The conversation went really well (and lasted over an hour) and I’m now going to be her crochet instructor. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll also likely be crocheting samples for her store….this works for me since I’m mostly a process crocheter and I love making things even if I’m not ever going to wear them. I just like trying new patterns. As Margarita said, I’m going to get paid to play with yarn. ๐Ÿ™‚

So yeah. I need to think and get my thoughts together and write her on Monday with what classes I want to teach and how I want to set them up. Then I’ll go in and discuss yarns to plan samples for the classes. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m so totally excited and happy and freaking out and thrilled. I’ve spent most of the afternoon just sitting here saying, “Oh my goodness”. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s wonderful. I’m really looking forward to being able to teach my classes my way.

Yeah, it’s been a great day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Back into the swing of things

First, let’s do today’s swatch:

From 365 Crochet Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

Date: March 10th
Stitch name: Shells on Parade
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted Weight Acrylic

Texture: This has a subtle texture due to the Back Loop stitching.

Drape: It has good drape in WW with a J hook. Drape could easily be adjusted with yarn and hook size choices.

Opacity: This is a rather opaque stitch.

Comments / Thoughts: I like this variation on shells. It is a really neat stitch and I like the texture from it.


In other news, I’ve finally shook my lack of motivation with crochet. I’m working on a submission piece. I have another one I want to work on after this. I feel good about them both. I wish I could show you, but on the one I’m working on now, even an extreme closeup would be too easy to figure out. And showing pics is a big no no in the publishing world. Even Ravelry is a dangerous place to show things in the works (if it’s a submission piece) because while it’s still invite only, there are a lot of people in the publication world on there. So that’s why there’s always fun pics in my spots for submission pieces. ๐Ÿ™‚ It allows me to put a spot in there if I need to keep track of things, but keeps things top secret. My new plan is to wait until it’s published and then enter the info. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now that I’m way more organized it’s easier to just keep the details in the pattern itself.

Today I go to pick up my items from the Strawberry Festival. I’m still waiting on pics from Kerry of my stuff up in the display. When I get home I will take pics of the items with my ribbons.

I’ve started on a sweater for a former coworker. I’m using a pre-published pattern so I have time to just relax and not have to work and do math. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a hoodie pattern from Bernat. I like it. I’m making it in Softee Baby which I love.

I also need to go to the bank today on my way home from the pickup. I’ve got a teaching check to deposit and hopefully the money from the ribbons. ๐Ÿ™‚

John and I had a good talk yesterday about how things are going for me. He made a very good point. I’m already operating in the black and I’ve only been at this for less than a year. Now, I’m not a whole lot in the black, but I’m keeping my head above water. While I’m not expecting to get rich doing this (I am being practical), I would like to make a bit of a profit. But he said he’s really proud of me. I’m about to be published in a magazine, I’ve sold my own patterns, I’ve taught lessons both in and out of the store, and people are starting to recognize my work and appreciate it. Sometimes it takes John pointing out to me what I’ve done for me to pull my head up out of the yarn long enough to look at things. So yeah, I’m doing pretty well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, back to work. I’d like to get this swatch done and ready to go by Wednesday. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rainy days are good for crochet, but not for photos

I finished the pattern for my lesson next week. I need to take pictures but it has been overcast and raining all day long. Hopefully tomorrow it will clear up and I can get some pics. Then I’ll update the pattern with the picture, upload it (still haven’t decided yet on if it’ll be free or a very low cost download) and print 3 copies on card stock for my lesson (one for me and one each for the students).

I’m also wrapping up another pattern. There’s one sample done, but now I’m testing my pattern. ๐Ÿ™‚

Today while working on the lesson pattern I came up with a fabulous idea for the CLF book! So I will likely start swatching around for that tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I have a class tomorrow night. Yeah, yeah, it’s Valentine’s Day but John will likely work late and we probably won’t do anything. Although Saturday is his birthday! ๐Ÿ™‚

So the goal for tomorrow is to have 2 patterns ready to upload. And then I need to head to my class and teach. Here’s hoping they all decide to take Crochet II over the next two weeks.

I’ve also got to start working on another lesson plan/outline. I’ve got a private group that I’ll be teaching the first Saturday in May. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to do a pattern for that one or not. It’s more to learn the technique than to do a project. And there’s enough different types of stitches with the technique that we can do a bunch of little strips to practice. We’ll see. But I do need to get up on top of that, too.

Okay, time to get back to work. I came in to work late this morning. With John working late this week, it’s just easier to work until he gets home.

Good weekend and easy day

John and I celebrate our 1 year anniversary today. ๐Ÿ™‚ Saturday we went out to a really nice dinner and then to see Carmina Burana. It was a really nice night. Yesterday I hung out with my sister and chatted and shopped. I picked up a new book, The Crafts Business Answer Book.

Today I’m going to practice some new techniques. I just watched Knit and Crochet Today and they did Hairpin Lace and Tunisian so I want to work on those a bit more, but first I need to work on Broomstick Lace. I’m going to write a pattern to use for teaching the lesson on it next week. So I need to play around with it some more and get that pattern together.

Other than that, not a lot going on. I’m going to clean the house today before John gets home and I’m making Shrimp Pesto and linguine tonight for dinner. ๐Ÿ™‚ Should be yummy.

Class update

I had a total of 6 students last night. 2 were employees taking the class for free, but that means 4 paying students. And only one purchased on discount, so that means it’ll be a good check. ๐Ÿ™‚ That class tied with the class of 6 girls on largest class I’ve ever taught. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m starting to get my teaching flow down. I know now that I need to get through chaining by break time and then when we come back from break get them going on single crochet. I probably spend more time on chaining than anything else it seems, but to me, it’s the perfect time for them to figure out how to hold the yarn and hook and project all at once. Plus, you start everything with a chain, so it makes sense to know how to do that.

It’s a rainy drizzly day here. I need to go out and procure some essentials for the house, but I may do that later. The storms are small bands so I think I’ll wait until it passes.

My swatch for submission blocked beautifully. Now it’s time to get the proposal written, printed, and the whole thing assembled. I’m hoping to get it out by Monday.

I also need to schedule my meeting with the tax lady. I got all my stuff together yesterday (hello receipts!) and I have the referral sheet John gave me. I was also smart and made a folder for this year. And I already have in there the receipt for sending out SSP#1 and my check stub for the latest check from teaching.

Okay, I’m going to get some coffee and get a start to today.

It’s in the can, time to move on

Ah, a throwback to my Mass Comm days. You pour your heart and soul into a project, it’s all you know for 6 weeks or more, you eat, drink, sleep the project and then you hit that wonderful moment when it’s in done, it’s in the can, it’s sent off to wherever it goes, and then………

Then you move on to the next project. It was a lesson that was hard to learn in Mass Comm days. I got my life wrapped up in a project for air, and once it was done I wasn’t ready to let it air and forget about it. I wanted to tweak, I wanted to fix the issues, I wanted to do a ton of other things. But I couldn’t. The project was in the can.

So it is with SSP#1. It’s in the can. It’s gone. It should be arriving there in another hour or so (if it hasn’t already, I’ve not checked my tracking number). So now what?

Now I move on. I’ve been reviewing my design spreadsheet to see where things are. I’ve sent an email to my tester to find out her progress and to ask for a pic or two so I can submit via email.

While today was going to be a day off, my hands are itching to play in yarn again. So I have another project I played with a few weeks ago that I may play with today. The yarn is scrumptious and the hook is a lot larger so I should be able to work on it with little trouble.

The rawness in my hands is better thanks to copious amounts of cocoa butter lotion last night before bed. My left middle finger knuckle still feels like I jammed it, but I can bend it, so I doubt it’s broken.

I have another class tomorrow and I need to go over the instructions and do another sample since it’s been so long since I’ve taught that class setup (it’s a special class that’s been set up for a school…we don’t do the kids classes right now at the store). My class last night went really really well. My students were all very interested, and I was able to get them where they needed to be by the end of the class.

Okay, I need to get another cup of coffee and then see what I want to work on. ๐Ÿ™‚

Back to crochet content

As this is primarily my fiber journal I felt weird having the couple of days there with non-fiber entries. ๐Ÿ™‚ So now we’re back on track!

I got up this morning and went to Joann’s to fill out my schedule for next quarter. Not that I’ve taught a class yet this quarter, but I only offered one of each last month and they didn’t make, so we’ll see.

While at Joann’s I picked up some fleece and bias tape and velcro. Yep, this little crocheter also sews and I need to make a coat for Midnight as it was COLD this morning. With everything going on, it’s faster for me to sew him up a quick one for now. I couldn’t walk out without something crochet related so I got 3 skeins of LB Wool-Ease Chunky in a red/black colorway. Camera is charging, otherwise I’d have pics. Gonna make Midnight a sweater and since I can’t find one big enough for greys I will likely just design my own. ๐Ÿ™‚

I also picked up the finishing bits for SSP#1. All this time looking for the 1 thing they requested be added to it, I couldn’t find it. John was going to make one for me, and it was going to work ok, but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. Don’t you hate that? So today while in the area of these items (sorry for all the vagueness, it will make sense later this year) I found the perfect one! Yay! So I grabbed it (see, sometimes my procrastinating pays off).

I am almost done (about 4″ away) with the biggest part of this project. Then I need to do a small part, a medium part, and finish the other large part (it had been started first, but overwhelmed me). Still totally doable. ๐Ÿ™‚

Crochet meeting got moved to next week which helps me a ton! I’ll have this project shipped off and can then work on whatever I want (likely Midnight’s new sweater). And I’ll be able to relax. Right now everything I do is wrapped up in this project.

I have one of my pattern testers coming over today to discuss an issue that popped up with one of my designs. It’s been too hard trying to figure it out over the phone and email. Hopefully it’s what I think it is and all will be well and we can carry on. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, back to work. Lots to do over the next few days. ๐Ÿ™‚ Later….

Things are really looking up

I couldn’t sleep last night and fought the urge to get up and go design. I’m kinda glad now that I did go to sleep.

I finally have a class today! At 1pm I’ll be teaching one student in Crochet II. Yay! Sure, it won’t be a huge check, but it’ll be something. A little at a time, right? First the design and then the classes. Things are finally picking up.

Granted, it kinda throws off my day having one in the middle of the day like this, but we’ll see. I have a crochet meeting tonight, too, so my day is a little chopped up.

But it’s all good. ๐Ÿ™‚

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