Sunday, December 4, 2011

the Crochet Doctor is in

I've been in Seoul, South Korea for 3 months now. As with any international move, there has been emotional ups and downs, but my one constant "up" is crochet. If a crochet hook is in my hand then a smile is on my lips. 

A highlight of my day has been playing crochet doctor for a member of Crochet Connection of Chicago, a Crochet Guild of America chapter. It is something I can actually do from 6500 miles away. This was the question:

"I'm working on a scarf but I'm having some difficulty with the pattern. I'm a bit of a newbie and was hoping someone could help me out. Here's the pattern:

"Row 1: Dc in 5th ch from hook, dc in next ch, *(dc, ch 3, dc) in next ch, sk next ch, dc in next 2 ch; rep from * across to last ch, dc in last ch - 4 pattern reps at the end of this row.
Row 2: Ch 4, turn, sk first 4 dc, *(3 dc, ch 3, dc) in next ch-3 space, sk next 4 dc; rep from * across to last 3 dc, sk last 3 dc, 3 dc in turning ch.

"I have row 1 done but I'm not sure what it means with the '4 pattern reps at the end of this row'
What messes me up is row 2. It says 'sk first 4 dc' but I'm lost as to what to do. I understand what it's saying but still lost. Any help? Thanks!"

This was my response:
It got me thinking of many others who need some help on their crochet projects. With the holiday season now in full swing, maybe that is you. If I could be of any help, please email me at tashchgo {at} yahoo {dot} com. The Crochet Doctor is in!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What do you want to see on this blog?

Next week I'm off to South Korea to teach English for a year. While there, one of my projects is developing this crochet blog. What would you really like to see addressed on this blog? Tips, techniques, links, commentaries, etc. Write me at tashchgo{at}yahoo{dot}com with you requests and suggestions.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

crochet connection of chicago

This month the group Crochet Connection has become the newest local chapter of the Crochet Guild of America. As the organizer/president, it is a great honor to work with the Crochet Connection members. I have so much fun whenever we gather! Visit the websites below for more information.

national Crochet Guild of America website
Crochet Connection of Chicago website

Monday, April 18, 2011

tip for crochet fatigue

It is so easy to get caught up in a project and not realize that your fingers, wrist, back or eyes ache. And when you finally stop, you ask yourself, "what was I thinking!?" Today's tip: build break times into your pattern. I always make a photocopy of my patterns and then write all over them as I work my project. This also makes it easy to set break times within the pattern. Just write it in every 10 or so rows. You know your pattern and speed, so you decide how often.

At break time, get up and walk around. Do some finger aerobics, like alternating making a fist and spreading your fingers into a flat hand or make the sign language sign for "flash" repeatedly. Maybe some jumping jacks to get the blood flowing again. Certainly stretch out those tight places.

Eye strain can be a common nusance. Combat this by looking at things that are different distances away. Your crochet is rather close to you so look at something far away and then at something half that distance away. Vary the order that you look at those things and for how long. Allow your eyes to adjust to each distance. Think "eye aerobics."

Find out what works best for you during those break times. Your body will be less stressed from the constant repetition of crochet movements and you'll be able to crochet for longer periods of time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Check out! If you have ever been a student of mine, please leave a review under "what my clients say". It would really be helpful in finding new crochet students. Thanks!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

infinity cowl and crochet socks

This has been the week of getting projects done, off my plate and into the hands of someone else. :) Earlier in the week I completed an afghan that took a year to make, intended for Trinity. Today I complete two Christmas gifts. Not Christmas 2011 but Christmas 2010. (So you can see why I'm so excited!!)

First of all, today I finished an infinity cowl for Tabatha. I found it on ravelry, and you can view the pattern at I started it last night and finished this afternoon. I think I spent 3-4 hours on it all together.

And secondly, I completed a pair of crocheted socks for Tyler. This pattern was a real find because the designer created a template that can be adapted to any yarn weight and gauge. ( These socks are bulky weight made with a J-10 hook. The first was done in several sessions and felt like it took a long time because I was adjusting the template along the way and measuring the sock for Tyler's foot. The second sock was super easy and quick, taking me 3 hours.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

tip for working in the round

Today I finished my very first afghan. It took me a year to complete and it is a type of chronicle for my growing crochet skills. I learned an incredible amount about working in the round and joining pieces!

These lessons are now passed onto my students at Knit 1. (Interestingly, last Monday's beginning crochet class focused on working in the round and we made granny squares.) With this afghan, the most valuable working-in-the-round lesson I learned was the difference between working into the front of a stitch and working into the back. When working a project where you create ROWS, you are looking at the back of the stitches from the previous row. When working a project in the ROUND, you are looking at the front of the stitches from the previous row. In the picture below, item A is the back view and item B is the front view. Notice a difference? At the top of every crochet stitch is a "V". In item A, the back view, the "V" tip is to the left. In item B, the front view, the "V" tip is to the right.

This is very significant for knowing where to place your hook to create your next stitch. In the picture below, item C shows where you would place your hook to create a stitch when working into the back and it is to the left. Item D shows where you would place your hook to create a stitch when working into the front and it is to the right. When you are working in the round and continue to place your hook to the left, as if creating rows, then your stitches will be off by one space. This one space may not sound like a lot, but in most patterns it will make a big difference.

Monday, February 21, 2011

free patterns

I found a blog with cute free necklace patterns. I suggested to Crochet Connection that we do the bib necklace as a crochet-a-long in March. Check it out:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

finishing the master crochet course

I have finally submitted my name for the master crochet course review. There has been a backlog of those submitting a portfolio for review so I expect to have a few more months to wait, then a month longer while it is being reviewed. In the meantime, I am remaking some of the swatches. I started the portfolio by using cotton and, based on the ravelry discussion, cotton does not do well with the reviewers. Somewhere near the end I switched to wool and now I'm returning to the beginning and remaking those that could really look better in wool.

Yesterday I went through my yarn, hooks and book stash and cataloged everything on ravelry. Whew! I think ravelry's "bookshelf" is really neat! It is so fun to see all of my books and magazines displayed that way. And the best part is that I can do a pattern search based on only MY books and magazines. So awesome! Not all my books and magazines were in ravelry's system, but life goes on.

My goal is to complete the the master's portfolio and the 2 unfinished projects (a filet crochet tank top and and afghan) before I begin any projects in my ravelry queue!! It does feel good to be productive and not procrastinate anymore.  :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

sharing the creativity of crochet

Prepping for a crochet class tonight. It is so awesome to be able to share crochet with others and give them an outlet for their creativity. Today I went through magazines looking for motif patterns that the students can work on. How fun! I'm excited for tonight's class.

Check out for more info!