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Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Crochet Geek

I had the pleasure of meeting the Crochet Geek Teresa Richardson while she was here in D.C. for a Google-YouTube conference on Capitol Hill.  She was on a panel with two other YouTube success stories to discuss "Making Money on YouTube."  Frankly, she's the only one on the panel who really answered the moderator's questions, even after he was a bit condescending to her (don't worry, some of us in the audience heckled him back!)  It was an odd situation though -- each of the panelists had started putting videos on YouTube as a service to a potential audience and had ended up partnering with Google to earn income, but the audience were mainly Congressional staffers who were trying to learn how to help their members reach their constituents.  There were lessons to be learned, sure, but it was a mismatch in a way.

Anyway, Ms. Richardson did a great job, and I was so glad to be there to support her and learn from her.  You know, when you see a well-made video, you first think "oh, that's easy."  Then, when you actually go to try to make one, as I've been trying recently, you realize how much is involved!  Her videos really are wonderful, and her Sock Monkey is so cute.  Please be sure to check out her YouTube channel via her blog.  And, I hope to have my own announcement soon about some videos I've got planned for my YouTube channel, so stay tuned!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I've been coming across a number of articles lately that discuss taking risks.  We small business owners know all about that, we do it every day!  But, I'm discovering that, even when I think I'm not getting anywhere (had that feeling lately?), just taking the risk of putting myself out there each day, in any small way, that mere action is what separates us action takers from others who don't follow their ideas or instincts.  I really like Rick Marini's (CEO of BranchOut) recent quote "Ideas are cheap, execution is hard." 

Just doing a little each day to put your ideas into action really can make a difference.  For example, I've been picturing in my head this new pattern for girl and boy baby sweaters.  Now, that's great, but finally going to the yarn store and getting the yarn for them is the first action step that I needed to take.  My next action step is to start figuring out measurements and gauge samples.  What action steps do you need to be taking?! 

For more inspiration, you might want to take a look at Seth Godin's new book Poke the Box -- I really like his writing style, he's not saying anything you don't already deep down know, but he organizes his thoughts in a way that makes you think.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Glen Echo Park

Oh, how I love Glen Echo Park!  If you're ever in the D.C. area and want an extra adventure, head on up to Glen Echo in Maryland.  It's an amusement park and artists' colony, with these yurts in which there are pottery classes and calligraphy demonstrations.  There's also this great glassworks gallery with lessons.  I'm already envisioning the possibilities -- first, I'll take a glass bead making class, then one in silversmithing, then combine the two with crochet to make some really interesting jewelry :-)

The Dentzel Carousel there is really amazing as well.  Here's some more information about it, and for only $1.25, you too can take a ride!

Monday, July 11, 2011

That First Row of Any Crochet Project

One of the biggest challenges for me when I'm starting a new crochet design project is figuring out the proper gauge and really how many chain stitches I'm going to need in order for that first row to be the right width.  Well, yesterday, I had an insight and wanted to share -- use the chainless foundation technique to figure this all out!  Chain 2 and make a single crochet stitch in the second chain from the hook.  Then, insert your hook into the loop at the BOTTOM of the stitch you just made.  Yarn over and pull through a loop, then yarn over and pull a loop through the first loop on your hook, yarn over and pull a loop through both loops on your hook.*  Repeat until you have the desired number of stitches, then measure to see the width and adjust accordingly.  If you don't like the way the bottom of the work looks, then at least you'll know how many chains to make in order to make the number of stitches you need to get that width again!  Hope this helps!

*The chainless foundation can be performed with the double crochet stitch as well -- yarn over before inserting your hook into the loop under the last stitch made.  Yarn over and pull through a loop.  Yarn over and pull a loop through the first loop on your hook (you should have three loops on your hook), then yarn over and pull a loop through the first two loops on your hook, then finish by a yarn over and pull a loop through the remaining two loops on your hook.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Excitement is opening your mailbox, finding a copy of Volume 1 of The Crochet Collection, and opening it to see your Scalloped Baby Hat and Booties patterns and name in print!!