Tuesday, August 17, 2010


My website now has 188 hits! It makes me wonder 'Who is looking at my website!?' It's quite exciting.

My goal this week was to complete the masters crochet program but I don't think I'm gonna make it. Which means I'll have to ask for an extension. I've really enjoyed the experience and would recommend it to anyone wanting to develop their crochet skills. The first half comes with descriptions as to how to create the swatch they are asking for, including diagrams for clarity. Chances are that if you've been crocheting a while and/or have done a variety of crochet projects then you can complete this program. For me this was money very well spent!! Visit the Crochet Guild of America website at www.crochet.org for more info.

I start a new series of the BEGINNING CROCHET CLASS and a brand-new series of TUNISIAN CROCHET PROJECT CLASS in September. Each series is 4 sessions. Visit http://tashiab.com/crochet_teaching_schedule OR www.knit1chgo.com for more info.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

my early birthday present

30 minutes before my birthday I open my inbox to find my official acceptance to North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago. Woohoo!! I'll be getting my Master of Arts in Theological Studies with a concentration in Old Testament. I'M SO EXCITED! After 12 years, I am going back to school. Classes start in 3 weeks. I am soooo ready for this. Bring it on! LOL

Monday, August 9, 2010

30 minutes until ...

30 minutes til my birthday! woohoo!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


One of my students at Knit 1 told me today that my teaching schedule from my website is one of her page favorites. Yeay! I'm on someone's favorites list!

I also just updated my teaching schedule with a Tunisian Crochet Project Class and new Beginning Crochet Class. These are both 4 session classes. Check it out and sign up today!

This evening I am seaming together the filet crochet tank top I've been working on for the last couple of months. It is almost done. But it may be set aside to complete the Masters Crochet program with a deadline at the end of August. If need be, I can ask for a 2-week extension. I'll have to see how it goes.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair 2010

Today I went to the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake, IL. So much fun! I was able to spend time with some ladies from Crochet Connection, new friends from other meetup groups and ladies from Knit 1. Oh, the knowledge. Oh, the creativity! I was impressed many times with the absolute creativity and fiber genius I saw. Unfortunately, I'm not a big picture taker and looking over the ones I took, there were certain things that I wished I had taken pictures of. Like the mongo knitting needles and crochet hooks from Bagsmith Big Stitch. (Size U crochet hook!?!) All of the fiber was actually quite overwhelming. There were so many choices! Hand-spun and hand-dyed yarns are costly. I regret not having money to buy some of the great products I saw. But one day ...

my first Hairpin Lace project

This is my very first attempt at Hairpin Lace Crochet. It is a skinny fashion scarf in white with a bit of sparkle to it. Very pretty. Very cute. So fun and easy! I will certainly do another hairpin lace project.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Basic Granny Square Stitch Diagram

While preparing to teach on stitch diagrams, I was looking for the basic granny square stitch diagram but couldn't find one. This pattern is so simple that I understand the lack of need to have a diagram. Yet it is a great teaching tool. So I'm putting it here for those of you who can also make good use of it.

Other resources for crochet stitch diagrams are:
the Yarn Council of America - http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/chart_crochet.html
AND an article at dummies.com - http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-follow-a-stitch-diagram-in-crochet.html

The written pattern used for this basic granny square is ...

Chain 4, join with slip st to form a ring.
Rnd 1 (right side): Ch 3 (counts as first dc, now and throughout), 2 dc in ring, ch 2, (3dc in ring, ch 2) 3 times; join with slip st to first dc: 12 dc.
Rnd 2: Slip st in next 2 dc and in first ch-2 sp, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same sp, ch 1, * (3 dc, ch 2 , 3 dc) in next ch-2 sp (Shell made), ch 1; repeat from * around; join with slip st to first dc: 4 Shells.
Rnd 3: Slip st in next 2 dc and in first ch-2 sp, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1, * work Shell in next Shell (ch-2 sp), ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1; repeat from * around; join with lip st to first dc.
Rnd 4-6: Slip st in next 2 dc and in first ch-2 sp, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same sp, ch 1, (3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) across to next Shell, * work Shell in next Shell, ch 1, (3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) across to next Shell; repeat from * around; join with slip st to first dc; at end of last rnd, do not finish off: 72 dc.
Slip st in next 2 dc and in next ch-2 sp; work Edging.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Now at more locations!

In addition to teaching crochet at Knit 1 (3823 N Lincoln), I will now be teaching at Nina (1655 W Division) as well! I love it!!

Check my website for the teaching schedule. Intermediate Crochet class at Knit 1 this month! I'm currently developing a Hairpin Lace Crochet workshop too.


Crochet Provisional Knitting Cast On

So, I've recently learned to knit and found this method of casting on fascinating, as it uses a crochet hook!

Friday, June 25, 2010

"oh my" crochet!

Talk about "oh my" crochet! Take a look at this wedding dress:

Read the article about it here: wedding dress. Now I don't know if I would ever take the time to create this dress from 2 miles of crochet thread, but it has a high WOW factor for me.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tunisian and Intermediate Crochet update

Just found out that I have 8 students for my Tunisian Crochet Workshop on Saturday. For those of you who don't know, the standard is 5 or 6 so this is a lot of students. But I'm not worried. It will be lots of fun!

Now I'm working on curriculum for intermediate crochet classes. Thanks masters course from CGOA!!

I'm having so much fun with my new crochet career!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

knitpicks does crochet

Highly acclaimed [by knitters] KnitPicks FINALLY embraces crochet with gusto! Take a look: http://community.knitpicks.com/group/crochetalong

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

new website

a little about myself
teaching schedule
crochet resources

Monday, June 14, 2010

What have I been up to? Well ...

  • Another project is almost finished. (If you are on ravelry.com, you can see it here. It is further along than the picture, but you get the idea.)
  • Tunisian Crochet stitch samplers are done. I'm very proud of myself that I am on the ball with this one. The workshop is in 5 days!!
  • The work for my masters in crochet is moving right along too. I'm now on swatch 14 of 48. Whew!
  • I've started to formulate my ideas for a beginning crochet book. Naturally, I'm someone who likes to be thorough and precise, whether in words or tasks, and I need a book that I can use to compliment my teaching style. What I've seen out there are instruction books that are 3/4 patterns. Makes since, so that students can make something right away. But I don't want to add $15 to the class fee just so they can take the book home. I want to create a simple, yet comprehensive instruction book that I can use in my classes. My mind is just spining with ideas ...
  • Working on a professional crochet website where I can post my teaching schedule and turn this crochet hobby into a money making something-or-other. LOL
  • Ordered my first business cards as a crochet instructor. Thanks vistaprint! No, I did not fall for all that upselling garbage. Just paid for shipping - the "slow" method that only cost me $5.67. Yeah, I've worked in retail management and know how that game works.  ;)
  • I've caught the Hairpin Lace Crochet bug. Oi!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

the first 8

The first 8 of 48 swatches for the Masters Crochet course are done! I call them the minis. They cover 8 different ways to start a project.
With all of the ways to make stitches in crochet, this course will not be boring. I'm looking forward to it! I'd really like to move onto swatch 9 but, alas, I must sleep ...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Woohoo!! (the Masters from CGOA)

Woohoo!! For about 6 months now I have been developing my crochet skills. One of the things I really wanted to do was the Masters course from the Crochet Guild of America (www.crochet.org). Up until May 1 it was unavailable due to updating. On May 1st it was released! I wanted to get it soooo bad. But I didn't have the money due to moving just weeks before. New paycheck ... new opportunities. I am now in possession of the Masters of Advanced Crochet Stitches and Techniques!! Woohoo!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sold Out!!

Okay, so I found out tonight that the Tunisian Crochet class that I am teaching in 3 weeks is booked. SOLD OUT! Wow! I knew if I was able to offer crochet classes beyond the basic level that there would be a response. And Tunisian Crochet attracts both the crocheter and the knitter, since the technique is really a blend of both. This is so awesome! Do ya think I should do it again!? LOL


Friday, May 21, 2010

The drive to CREATE

I'm go excited about a little crochet group that is growing one person at a time. In 2 months we have doubled in size! Now at 45 members. After making June's schedule, I am more excited than ever. Crocheting at the Gospel Music Festival in Millennium Park on June 5, joining in the World Wide Knit in Public Day at the French Market downtown on June 12 and our very first monthly workshop on June 19. The workshop has gotten the quickest response of any previous meetup. What a hunger there is for crochet knowledge! It warms my heart.

How amazing it is that in a day when machines can make our clothes, accessories and home decor, we still have this drive to create them. At Knit 1, people continue to sign up for knitting and crochet classes. (We just scheduled new beginning crochet classes and Tunisian crochet basics classes.) There is just something about making something with your hands. Yesterday was the second beginning crochet class and the students came in showing off what they had made with there new skills. It is amazing how a hook and yarn can make you feel. I guess it all makes since when you think that we were made in the image of our CREATOR  and we were given his desire to CREATE.  :)


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My visit to the knitting guild

So tonight I visited the Windy City Knitting Guild. I know. I'm not a knitter ... yet. But I was invited by Lynn, the owner of Knit 1. Figured it would be a great opportunity to network, attract some crochet students and business to Knit 1 and see how this guild operates. Upon arriving, I was warmly greeted and all the women in my row made me feel very welcome. At the onset of the meeting, of course, guests were asked to introduce themselves. So I did, saying that Lynn of Knit 1 invited me. When asked how long I have been knitting, I said that I wasn't a knitter but a crocheter. An uproar exploded in the room! But I was quickly reassured by the leadership and those sitting around me that I was welcome anyway. (I knew it. That's what all the knitting groups say.) Minutes later Lynn walked in late. She was asked to give an update on Knit 1. (It having reopened since the last monthly meeting.) Lynn was very gracious to include me in her spiel and gloated about what a great teacher I am, since she finally learned how to crochet. My feelings were not hurt by the uproar moments earlier, simply surprised by the loud response. Yet I felt vindicated in my presence at a knitting guild meeting but not being a knitter. I did say Lynn invited me. LOL

Despite the "kink" in the evening, I had a really good time. Learned a lot about the Navajo-Churro sheep, its history, its wool and its significance to today's fiber artists (like me!). I think once Lynn teaches me to knit that I just might join this guild!

Monday, May 17, 2010

It is finished!! Yeay!

Finally! It is finally finished and I am very happy with the way it turned out. It took 6 hours of my day today but I think it was well worth it. Not only to finish a project but to finish it in time for the birth of the baby. On to the next project-in-progress that it due to be completed - a store sample for Knit 1.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Today's Mission ...

Today's mission is to finish the baby afghan for my cousin's baby due next month. Just a few more rows and then I can do the edging. Whew! It's a super cute afghan and I'm so excited to share it with my cousin. Tifany - don't be afraid to use it!
front side
back side

Friday, May 14, 2010

Yarn, Yarn & More Yarn

I first picked up a crochet hook over 7 years ago purely on a whim. While perusing the isles of Micheal's Arts & Crafts store in Pasadena, CA, I became mesmerized by all of the yarn. The colors ... the textures ... the possibilities. I was inspired to be creative. Finding myself in front of the "yarn accessories", I had a decision to make - knit or crochet. Most pattern books had instructions in the back and I thought that I could surely figure it out. Seriously, it came down to economics. A set of 5 crochet hooks were the same price as one or two sets of knitting needles. Since I didn't know what size needles to get, I went for the set of hooks thinking they'd give me more options for less money.

Yep, I learned to crochet from the back of a pattern book. Since no one was around to catch my little mistakes or "bad habits", it has taken years to call myself "proficient." Now I get to pass on my crochet wisdom to others through the Crochet Connection meetup group and teaching crochet classes at Knit 1. These are both new developments and one really came out of the other.

For Christmas 2009 gifts, I didn't have much money to spend. So I decided to pick up my crochet hook and make them - mostly scarves. Wow, I had forgotten how much I truly enjoy the craft of crochet. The creativity is so expressive and its repetitive nature is so relaxing. These are the reasons I stuck with it in the first place. Duh! My new year's resolution for 2010: pursue the art of crochet by developing my skills and interacting with the greater crochet community. So I got instructional DVDs and pattern books for Christmas and started looking for a group to crochet with. The two best ways were meetup.com and local yarn stores (LYS). There are many knitting groups - open to crocheters - on meetup.com but when I visited them I found people who did not know how to crochet and, instead, spoke the language of knitting that was very foreign to me. I haven't been back since. Then there was one group just for crocheters. One problem: there were no meetups scheduled after I joined the group. I waited ... and waited ... and waited. Finally, I emailed the organizer and learned she just got engaged and was planning the wedding within only a few months, i.e., no time for the crochet group. About two months later, meetup.com sent a notice to all group members saying that the organizer had stepped down, had not nominated a replacement and the group would close in two weeks if someone didn't step up to organize it. Is it me? Do I want to do it? Do I want more leadership responsibility in my life? Oi! You guessed it, I did it. I became the organizer. But I really like doing it. No regrets here!

In my search to find fun and diverse meetup locations, I found Knit 1 - a cute yarn store in the North Center neighborhood of Chicago. The store had just come under new ownership and my email was the first she received. Divine appointment? Most assuredly. Not only does Crochet Connection have a meetup location but I am now a crochet instructor. I'm currently in my first series of beginning classes and am developing other classes, like Tunisian Crochet. I will be developing an intermediate class soon. (In my research, intermediate crochet classes are rare. As someone who was once earnestly looking for such an opportunity, I know there is a market for it.)

My goal is to take every opportunity that comes my way to advance the art of crochet.  :)