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 and local yarn stores (LYS). There are many knitting groups - open to crocheters - on 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, 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.  :)