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Friday, November 20, 2015

Writer's Block

I can't believe how long it's been since I've blogged.  I can't seem to find the words to express where I'm at.  I came up with my bucket list of crochet and knit items, then proceeded to go right off track!  I've been bit by the knitting bug again, so I decided to try brioche knitting.  Despite finding a great video on YouTube and practicing with two colors, I just wasn't getting the results I wanted.  So, I decided that I had better go back and maintain and build some knitting skills. 

I found the Garden View Shawlette by Tracey Withanee that looked like I could handle it but be challenged as well.  I've learned to ssk and sl1k1psso!  The leaves are so fun to make.  But, I ended up turning the project into a scarf because I got within 10 rows of finishing the shawl and ran out of yarn!  Grrr.  But, it was good to start over and re-do because I caught a lot of mistakes and I really want the finished scarf to do justice to the beautiful alpaca yarn that I'm using.  My BIL got it for me when he was up in Frederick, MD, from the Whispering Meadows Alpaca Breeders.  It's just so soft, and it's so fun to work with.  I had no idea about the wonderful properties of alpaca yarn and look forward to using more of it in future projects (remember that alpaca yarn I got in Houston too?)

So, feast on these pix, and I'll be back with more news soon (and an end to writer's block too I hope!)





Tuesday, October 13, 2015

8 Projects on My Crochet/Knit Bucket List

I talk (and pin) a lot of projects I want to make and techniques I want to learn, but it's really time to get serious!  So, I decided if I made a list, I'd be more likely to give each item a try; plus, it'll give me some good blog posts in the future :-).

So, here goes:

1)  Socks

Let's face it, knit socks have more stretch and flexibility than do crocheted ones.  I'd love to learn how to knit socks.

2)  Cables

I think cables look great in both knit and crochet, so it'll be fun exploring cabling techniques.

3)  Brioche Knit

I'm fascinated by the look of brioche -- the knitting technique, not the luscious French pastry bread.  I'd like to try it in two colors for a fun, reversible look.

4)  Charted Crochet

I'm pretty good at following written patterns, but there are some lovely Japanese and Russian crochet patterns out there that, thankfully, are charted.  I'd really like to explore crochet symbols more and get "Global Crochet" really launched!

5)  A Sweater

I love the idea of crocheting or (and?) knitting a chunky mod sweater or coat for myself.  I've seen and pinned some great versions on Pinterest, so I think it might be time to go through the patterns and pick one or two to make.

6)  A Skirt

While I'm at it, I probably should try a skirt too!

7)  Stuffed Toys

I have to admit, some of the amigurumi animals and stuffed toys out there are just too cute for words!  Especially the sheep ;-)

8)  Pillow Covers

Some of the cushions on the couch are looking a little worn, so I think it might be time to whip up some pillow covers in chunky yarns -- they should be quick, easy but designer looking.

Well, this list so far should keep me plenty busy for the foreseeable future, so I'll stop here.  But, I'd love to add your desires to the list as well; please connect with me on Facebook and add on!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I"m Back!

Hard to believe my "little break" turned into the whole summer!  And more than half of September is already gone as well.  But, no mind, we're up and running again.

Let's see, anything new to report?  A few things:  

1) Next year's NatCroMo celebration is going to be bigger and better than ever before!  I think Crochetville is going to outdo previous years by gathering not only crochet designers but indie yarn makers and shop owners to participate as well.  Even though NatCroMo isn't until March, I don't think it's too early to start planning.  I'll probably be giving some hints about my March 10th submission here and there as they develop, and I hope to add to last year's Tiny Squares project.

2)  I've been using this time off to make a few baby gifts and learn some new techniques, which I plan on sharing in future posts.  I've really been thinking a lot about how to combine crochet with knitting in different but easy ways, so I have a feeling you'll be hearing a lot more about that as well.

3)  And speaking of thinking, I've got my friend Charlene helping me with a little bit of strategic planning and niche building, so I'm sure I'll be sharing some of the ups (and inevitable downs) about that too.

So, I think these Fall and Winter seasons will bring some fresh and fun things to this blog, please join me on this adventure!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Metro Yarn Crawl 2015!

Hard to believe another yarn crawl has come and gone!  Two friends and I headed to Virginia last Tuesday and visited Nature's Yarn, Aylin's Woolgatherer, and Uniquities.

The first stop was Nature's Yarn.  I couldn't believe that the store has been open for 7 years, and I've never heard of it.  But they did say that this was the first year they were participating in the crawl, so why else would I have heard of it since I think of Fairfax, VA, as the edge of the earth ;-).  I didn't actually buy any yarn at this store (even though they had a lot of great fibers), but scored some Knit Blockers and this beautiful shawl pin by Jul.


Then it was on to Aylin's.  It's a little tricky to find since it's actually on the third floor of an office building wedged between the Loehmann's and the Giant grocery store.  I love this store because it still carries the Catania yarn by Schachenmayr that's so impossible to find.  With 20 percent off, I loaded up on some beautiful colors and think I've found the perfect project for it (which of course will be in another post).


We were starved, so after a quick South American chicken lunch, we were back on the road to Uniquities.  This is such a great shop and totally worth the trip out there to Vienna, VA, even when it's not crawl time.  I managed to not buy anything after breaking the bank at Aylin's, but there was some hand dyed sock yarn that I've got my eye on!  It was definitely Mary's favorite, and she scored some wonderful sock yarn and a yarn bowl at an awesome price.

So, after our Virginia adventure, we made it back to civilization (aka the District limits) by 4, just in time for me to drool a bit more over my purchases and take a nap!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Pink, Orange, and Color Theory

I've been thinking a lot about colors and color theory lately because a few weeks ago, there was a great article in the Washington Post's Local Living section (here) about the pink-orange combo, which you know I just love.  And I've been seeing a lot of pink in stores lately (actually scored a lovely dusty pink jacket for the spring/summer). Having just received the shipment of Petunia's wool, this year I'm really toying with the idea of dying some of it (even though its natural color is so beautiful).

I also came across a wonderful blog post about color theory by Tanis Gray on TanisKnits.  I really appreciated her first bit of advice to BE BRAVE in your color combinations while knitting (or crocheting of course).  It's frustrating, though, when you find colors you like and, when you go to buy more, you discover that they are discontinued because they are not "in."

For example, Pantone has decreed that Marsala is the color for 2015.  While I think it's a beautiful color, I lean more toward the "cool" colors, like a burgundy that has a bluish undertone (rather than the warmer colors with yellowish undertones).  Remember when discovering "your colors" was all the rage and whether you were a "winter" or a "summer" resulted in banishing certain colors from your wardrobe and makeup palette forever?!  I guess there's a part of me that still clings on to the concept :-)

I've also discovered that Dragonfly Fibers is actually just up the road from me!  Great article about the owner in a recent Washington Post article:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/inside-the-workshop-with-yarn-dyer-kate-chiocchio/2015/05/01/9a3aaf44-ed09-11e4-a55f-38924fca94f9_story.html

And you know how much I love the colors and yarns offered by Wandering Wool.  Mmmm, I think an internship in dying is in my future!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2015

I have finally gotten to go to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!!  Every year it seemed there was some reason why I couldn't go, but this year was perfect.  The weather was beautiful, and a friend's husband volunteered to drive us there.  We went early on Sunday morning, so it took us only about an hour to get there.  I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, but if you've ever been to an outdoor crafts festival, it's pretty much the same but with mainly yarn and live animals.  Oh, and food, lots ... of... FOOD.  Mainly of the lamb variety, which still bothers me a bit considering, but I got over it enough when I came across a lamb sausage wrapped in puff pastry and Moroccan mint tea :-)

Along the path to the fairgrounds (it was held at the Howard Co. fairgrounds), a local group did a wonderful yarn bombing.



Then, how could I not visit with the sheep!

video

And these sheep were pretty awesome too by local artist Liz Printz (check out her page here for other examples of her beautiful work!)

(photo with permission from Ms. Printz)

Yarn, yarn everywhere.  These hanks by Sea Colors were tantalizing!


Even took home a little sheep of my own :-)  The Bees Folks had yummy honey, hand lotion, and these little candle gems



 
Hope to make it back next year!





Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Crochet, Coral Reefs, and TED

Watching 60 Minutes tonight and the segment on TED Talks reminded me of one of the first TED Talks I saw back in 2009 -- "The Beautiful Math of Coral" by Margaret Wertheim.  She's the science writer who, along with her sister Christine, founded the Institute for Figuring (the IFF), an organization dedicated to the aesthetic appreciation of science, mathematics, and engineering.  She's the one who started the crocheted coral reef project to draw attention to the dangers facing coral reefs around the world as well as the ability of only crochet to model hyperbolic planes and space (though I think now with 3D imaging on computers, that might not be a wholly true statement anymore).  And exactly what is a hyperbolic space?  Think lettuce and kelp -- they are natural examples of hyperbolic geometry - which is also found in the anatomical frills of sea slugs, flatworms and other underwater life found in coral reefs.  And what's really cool is that it was Dr. Daina Taimina, a mathematician, who discovered in 1997 how to make physical models of hyperbolic space using crochet; previously, many mathematicians did not believe it was possible for humans to construct such forms in the physical world. Sadly I missed the opportunity to help create the crochet reef that was on exhibit at the Smithsonian in 2010-2011, but you can see some photos from my 2011 blog post about the exhibit and a list of the contributors to the exhibit here.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Facebook Visit

So I'm still struggling to figure out how to utilize Facebook as a platform on which we can communicate. I enjoy spending time on Facebook as an individual, seeing what others are posting and sharing the patterns and posts that I think my friends will like. But on the ManyCreativeGifts page (www.facebook.com/ManyCreativeGifts), I usually try to remember to update when I've done a new blog post or received word about my beloved Petunia but haven't really figured out how to make that page a place worth visiting!  So I'm asking you to help me :-). Please visit my Facebook page and respond to my post requesting comments on what YOU want to see on the page. All commenters will receive a special thank you, which should be ready in the next day or two. THANK YOU!!

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Special Anniversary Discount

As I promised, we're going to be doing a little celebrating for the rest of April, and the first special involves 50% off in my Ravelry store (http://www.ravelry.com/stores/phyllis-serbes-designs---many-creative-gifts).  Just use the coupon code "HappyAnniversary" between now and 11:59 PM EDT on April 19th.  There's no minimum purchase required, so I hope you'll give one of my patterns a try :-)

Visit our Facebook page next Tuesday for the next little surprise!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Crochet is NOT Yoga!

Now, don't get me wrong, I love both, but I'm a bit miffed with all the "hey, we've discovered crochet" articles lately!  There was an article just the other day in the Washington Post Express magazine here.  Now, again, it's awesome that crochet groups and guilds (I'm a proud member of CGOA and Crochetville!) are popping up everywhere and that people are drawn to trying crochet and utilizing it in all sorts of different ways.  But, for those of us who've been doing it for a loooooong time, we know the mental and physical benefits of crochet, and yours truly here has been talking about them for 10 years now.  In fact, I'm realizing we just passed Many Creative Gifts' 10th Year Anniversary on April 5th.  Wow, well, stay tuned for some special celebrations throughout this month ;-)

But, I digress.  My main point is that we Americans seem to need to take ancient practices (yoga has been around for millenniums, and crochet is centuries old) and make them new and trendy.  And then we tire of them and have to find the next big thing.  Well, I know my dear readers, both new to crochet and old hats at it, appreciate the virtues of crochet and are not approaching it as a passing fad.  Each crocheter has her or his reason(s) for taking up the craft:  for relaxation, to do something tangible and useful with your hands, to give or donate special mementos, and on and on...  Whether you crochet by yourself for yourself or in a large group for charitable reasons or a bit of both, crochet means whatever it means to you, and as long as it remains meaningful to you in whatever way, please continue to embrace it no matter whether it's the latest trend.

Ok, off my soap box and onto the celebration!  For the month of April, I'll be having some really great specials in my Ravelry store and through this blog, so come back on Friday and see what's here!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Baby Hat Obsession

A number of my friends are having babies!  And boys, so I've been trying to find out-of-the ordinary ways to make some boy baby gifts.  I came across these two knit baby hat patterns that I just love:  Tegan by Julie Taylor and a scalloped hat from Marie Carlander's blog (don't worry, keep scrolling down her site for the English version).  I loved them so much, I really became obsessed with knitting them.  Plus, as beautiful as a crocheted baby hat is, it just won't have the same stretchiness that a knit one does. 

Now, mind you, I can do simple knitting, but using DPNs (double point needles) and a circular needle are quite new to me.  Joelle from Wandering Wool helped me pick out the right needles from Chia Goo (affiliate link below), and I like them a lot.  I've been using Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash because it's machine washable and can be tumble dried and it's just soft and great to work with. 

But, really, whether it's crochet or knitting, it's all about repetition and practicing.  Now that I'm on my fourth hat, it's feeling quite good. 




I think the skull pattern turned out pretty good too since it was my first try at using two colors and making an image in the knitting.  The dad-to-be is the sweetest guy but has lots of tattoos, etc., so I knew I had to come up with an edgy baby hat :-).  More pix to come!



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tiny Square 3

I decided not to keep you in suspense too long -- here is our third Tiny Square for NatCroMo!






With a D hook and Rowan Siena 4-Ply yarn in #684 (offwhite, Color F), #683 (orange, Color E), and #675 (yellowish green, Color C),

Round 1:  With Color F, ch 3, in third ch from hook, 2 dcs, [ch 3, 3 dcs] 3 times, ch 3, 1 dc, sl st to top of first dc

Round 2:  With Color E, attach in corner, ch 1, [3 scs in corner, 1 sc in next 3 sts] 4 times, sl st to top of first sc

Round 3:  With Color C, ch 1, 1 sc in same st, [3 scs in corner, 1 sc in next 5 sts] 3 times, 3 scs in corner, 1 sc in last 4 sts, sl st to top of first sc, fasten off.

As I mentioned in my first post about the tiny squares, I've actually come up with some different color combinations and have about 100 squares, so it's about time I start putting them together!  Stay tuned!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tiny Square 2

Hope you all are continuing to enjoy NatCroMo (I just love saying that!) and the Crochetville Designer Blog Tour.  And thank you for returning for my Tiny Square 2.


This is a fun one to make because it starts out round and ends up square.

I used Rowan Siena 4 Ply yarn in colors #679 (navy, Color D), # 675 (a yellowish-green, Color C), and #669 (blue, Color A) and a D hook

Round 1:  With Color D, ch 2, 16 dcs into second ch from hook, sl st to top of first dc
Round 2:  With Color C, ch 1, 1 sc in same st, 1 sc in next st, [(1 sc, 1dc, 1sc) in next st, 1 sc in next 3 sts] 3 times, (1 sc, 1dc, 1sc) in next st, 1 sc in last st, sl st to top of first sc
Round 3:  With Color A, ch 1, 1 sc in same st, 1 sc in next 2 sts, [3 scs in corner, 1 sc in next 5 sts] 3 times, 1 sc in last 2 sts, sl st to top of first sc, fasten off.

One more tiny square to go!  There will be a sneak peek of it on my Pinterest Tiny Squares Projects board and more information about it here before the end of March (gotta keep you in suspense ;-). 



Friday, March 6, 2015

NatCroMo 2015 and Tiny Square 1

Happy National Crochet Month (NatCroMo)!  It's my pleasure and honor to be a part of Crochetville's Designer Blog Tour in celebration of this wonderful time of year. 

First things first, I want to be sure you check out Halos for Hope and try to help in any way you can.  Many Creative Gifts encourages growth as a crocheter as part of our mission, and I can't think of a better way to do that than to make a crochet hat for this amazing organization.  Halos of Hope is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization committed to providing volunteer-crafted hats to cancer centers across the country. The founder of Halos of Hope, Pam Haschke, herself is a survivor of inflammatory breast cancer. As a result of her experiences, she has a passion for helping make sure cancer patients around the country have access to free handmade stylish hats to keep their heads warm while they undergo cancer treatment.  Please try to make at least one hat and/or make a financial donation directly to Halos on their website.  A 100% of donations received from the general public are used only for the costs of shipping hats across the country. All administrative and other costs are covered by private corporate donations.

Mail hats to:
Crochetville LLC
103 Scarlet Oak Circle
Harvest, AL 35749

Now for my contribution to NatCroMo 2015 -- some tiny squares :-).  The Granny Square and motifs trend seems to still be going strong, and awhile back, I came across the French crochet designer/artist Sophie Digard, who uses luxury yarns and intricate small motifs to create her masterpieces.  She's truly talented, but, upon seeing her prices, a little voice inside me said "Oh, Phyllis, you can do this too, they're just a bunch of little squares!"  Well, as proud as I am of these 1-inch squares that I've designed and hope to create something wonderful out of (I've got "only" about 100 of them so far), I now totally appreciate the price point Mlle. Digard is charging and her stamina in creating her famous scarves!  The time and effort to make enough squares for a scarf, shawl or other large project is a bit overwhelming, but it can be a wonderful take-along and long-term project ;-)

I've designed three squares, utilizing six coordinating colors in different combinations, for a total of nine motifs.  The yarn I chose, Rowan's Siena 4 Ply fingering weight 100% mercerized cotton, is truly wonderful to work with but seems to be getting hard to find (isn't that always the case when you find something you love?!).  Below is the pattern for the first square.  Please come back next week to find out about the two other squares.  I'll also be posting some possible projects using the squares, but in the mean time, I'd love to see what projects you come up with -- please "like" and post on our Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/manycreativegifts, and we've set up a special "Tiny Squares Projects" board on Pinterest as well (with some sneak peeks too!).

Here's Square 1:






With a size D crochet hook and Rowan Siena 4 Ply 100% mercerized cotton yarn in color # 669,

Round 1:  Ch 2, 8 scs in second ch from hook, sl st to top of first sc
Round 2:  Ch 5, 1 dc in same st, [ch 1, 1 dc in next st, ch 1, (1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc) in next st] 3 times, ch 1, 1 dc in next st, ch 1, sl st to third ch of beg ch-5.
Round 3:  Ch 1, [3 scs in ch-2 sp, (1 sc in dc, 1 sc in ch-1 sp) twice, 1 sc in dc] 3 times, 3 scs in ch-2 sp, (1 sc in dc, 1 sc in ch-1 sp) twice, 1 sc in same st as ch 1, sl st to top of first sc, fasten off.

Have a wonderful March discovering or rediscovering your love of crochet!

Monday, March 2, 2015

10 Things We Love About Crochet

It's National Crochet Month (NatCroMo)!  And, as I'm preparing a special blog post for March 6th in anticipation of participating in Crochetville's Blog Tour again this year, I came across some interesting tidbits about crochet and a wonderful online application at Zanifesto to create a free infographic, so enjoy!


Friday, February 20, 2015

Mama's Bolero



For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now, you know that (years ago!) I promised my mom that I would make her a vest.  I had grand plans to design and crochet this vest using this lovely varigated yarn that she had chosen on a trip to AC Moore because she wanted something thick and washable for the winter months.  Well, you can imagine the guilt I've been feeling in not working on that project, especially after she had the stroke.  But, I have redeemed myself!  She decided not too long ago (thankfully she is doing better and better, albeit slowly) that, instead of a vest (and we'll come back to that project because I still have the yarn...), she would like a bolero of sorts -- something short with short sleeves, in a neutral color, with a pink flower. 

So, first things first, I decided to knit the bolero because I came across this simple pattern that I figured I could adapt.  Then, I found this beautiful Rowan softknit cotton yarn that was so easy to work with.  I had gotten some during the 2013 Yarn Crawl and was able to find a 10-ball pack through Deramores, not realizing I was ordering from the U.K. (the site was in dollars and free shipping so I still did well and didn't have to wait too long)!  Plus, it was so cool to get a package from across the pond :-)

I can't remember where I found the flower pattern, but it's just a simple rose crochet pattern that's done in two rows then wrapped around from center outward.

And here's the finished results!!



I'll be posting better pix later, but just so glad that the project is done and Mom likes her bolero!  And a big shout out to my friend Holly for fixing one of the raglan increases when I somehow managed to either drop or add a stitch (I really couldn't figure out what the heck I had done, but I knew it didn't look right).

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Slip Knot

As I said, I am starting with the basics and building from there.  And there is nothing more basic, but more frustrating until you get the hang of it, than making a slip knot.

The slip knot represents the first loop on your hook at the beginning of a project.  The intention is to create a knot that allows the loop to slide so that it can be adjusted to be not too loose and not too tight. 

After looking around for a good video that clearly demonstrates an easy way to make the slip knot, I decided to make my own!  One of my students showed me a way to make it that is so easy and understandable.  Here's my new YouTube video demonstrating the technique:


 Hope this helps you get your crochet projects started even better and faster!



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Yarn, Houston Style!

I just got back from a quick trip to Houston, Texas!  It was great to be able to take a direct 3-hour (actually even less) flight from Washington National Airport and stay at the Hilton downtown.  As wonderful as the indoor pool and jacuzzi at the hotel were, the best part of the trip was a stop at Knitting in the Loop on Bammel Lane.



What a fabulous store!  The ladies there were so friendly and welcoming, and a big shout out to Ruth the manager who took the time to show me around and point out the locally produced and dyed yarns.  I opted to go with the Alpaca yarn from Rancho Inca Alpacas in Navasota, Texas.


By coincidence, Ruth mentioned how she's really into "geometrics" these days, and I had just been scoping out some of Stephen West's work on Do Ewe Knit's Facebook page, especially Dotted Rays.  She also told me about Melanie Berg and Josh Ryks, and I have to say, Greek Fire is speaking to me!  So, we shall see...




Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Little Green Boxes and 3 Tips for Organizing the Kitchen

Well, I am getting off to a slow start this year with the blog, but maybe I'm striving for crochet perfection (or at least correct and useful information) too much!  So, in the mean time, I'm posting about my New Year's Cleaning (rather than Spring Cleaning) in the hopes that it will be helpful to you.  And, by getting organized and decluttered, I'm hoping my creativity will get a boost as well.

The kitchen is the first room I've been tackling.  I got out my labeler and got all of the half-opened bags and containers of dried goods out of the pantry and into properly sealing containers with labels.  I didn't also add the date on the containers, but that's probably a good idea going forward (hopefully I'll use up stuff fast enough to not have to worry about this, but I think on the next go around, I will add dates so that I'll know how quickly or slowly I'm using up products).

Then I started in on the refrigerator after having read this helpful post by Nealey Stapleton of the Organizing Boutique.  Since I was headed to Bed, Bath, and Beyond anyway for a new shower curtain and toilet seat (the bathroom is next!), I added a 12-inch turntable/Lazy Susan to my list and put it in the fridge to organize all the small jars of pickles, mustard, etc.  I think it's really going to help in avoiding jars of half-used stuff getting shoved to the back of the refrigerator and being left to die.

And, even though I stuck to my list while at BBandB, I did make an impulse purchase of Debbie Meyer's 32-piece UltraLite Green Boxes to preserve fruits, vegetables and baked goods (hey, I had some 20% coupons, so not so bad :-)



We've been trying to eat more healthfully but, if I try to shop for the whole week, by the end of the week, some of the organic produce is looking a little sad...  I'm hoping, based on the great reviews given these boxes, they will help extend the life of our fruits and veggies!

So, in summary:

1)  Get everything labeled and dated -- it will help you keep track of what ingredients and pantry items you have and don't have, how fresh it is, etc.
2)  Keep the refrigerator clean by using a few containers and turntables to help group like items and keep them organized and accessible.
3)  Allow yourself to get distracted by little green boxes if it will help motivate you and help you feel better about starting off 2015 the way you want!

(Disclosure:  We are an Amazon Affiliate and the above-provided link is an affiliate link.  The boxes were $19.99 at BBandB, before the 20% off.)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Welcome 2015!

Go figure that the first half of my last post of 2014 didn't publish...

But we are not looking back, here's to a New Year and a clean slate :-)

So, what do I aspire to accomplish this year?

1)  Blog posts twice a week

One of my action items for this year is to get back onto a blogging schedule of two posts a week (I had been doing that a while back...).  Once a week (probably Tuesdays), I plan on focusing on basic crochet techniques and building to more advanced ones through the year.  What will be different about my posts?  My aim is to "curate" the technique, meaning that I will try to find, in my opinion, the best sources out there on the chosen technique and present them to you all in one place.  There are A LOT of crochet blogs out there now, and I've come across some really good ones.  I want to give credit where it's due and not reinvent the wheel unless I can't find what I think is a definitive, clear presentation of the technique.

The second post each week (probably Fridays), I plan on sharing something along the lines of "learn, make and grow through crochet" by returning to a fundamental objective that I had when I first started this blog -- experiencing crochet in a holistic way through the mind, the body and the spirit.  Recently I was explaining to a non-crocheter that crochet is a lifestyle enhancer in so many ways.  And it conjures up many images doesn't it?  A basket of yarn nestled next to a crocheter, who is stretched out in a favorite sitting area, perhaps with a steaming (or cold) beverage at the ready, working away on a project that is most likely a gift or donation for someone special.  I want to explore how crocheters live "the crochet lifestyle" and the different ways that lifestyle manifests itself.

2)  More communications and interactions

I admit that I am a "stalker" on Facebook and share others' posts without really putting myself out there.  This year I plan on exploring different ways to interact and communicate with crocheters who are seeking the same thing.  Frankly, I'm not sure that Facebook is the best venue for accomplishing this goal, so I'll be exploring different platforms that might work better.

3)  More follow through

You all know that I have the best of intentions, but let's face it, I don't always follow through as I should or in a timely manner.  So, my third goal this coming year is to finish what I start and (try) not get distracted by (too many) bright, shiny objects!

So, once again, I am trying to lay out my plans and aspirations for the upcoming year and hold myself accountable for achieving them (or at least moving closer to achieving them).  I look forward to this journey and hope that you all will join me for the ride :-)