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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Thoughtful Thursdays

As another NatCroMo comes to a close, I've been thinking a lot lately about my yarn collection, material possessions in general, and how to get things organized and decluttered while "sparking joy." Yes, I too have gotten sucked into the Marie Kondo method), though, in my defense, I saw her make an extensive presentation in L.A. about two years ago, and there's a lot to her philosophy and methodology.

Anyway, my point is that the things that surround us should make us happy.  Of course not everything can be beautiful and artful, but we should be thankful for their presence in our lives and the functions they perform for us each day.  But, I think I need to call myself out -- why can't everything be beautiful and artful?!  We should be striving to create or surround ourselves with things that make us and others happy.  One of my tag lines from the beginning has been "be thoughtful" and true to your giving nature.  So, once in a while, I want to take a Thursday post and focus on thoughtfulness, towards others and, even more importantly, towards ourselves.

There used to be the cutest little flower "hut" on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th Street, and, many springs ago, I used to stop by every Friday on my way home and pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers, which often lasted the whole week til the next Friday.  It was an extravagance that I felt like I could finally indulge in, and it brought me such moments of joy seeing that bouquet in the middle of my little 4-seater round glass dining room table in my efficiency apartment. 

These days, I've been trying to have green plants around the condo to help with air quality, but I'm thinking this spring might be a time to bring back a little extravagance.  Please spend a few moments today thinking about something that you used to do for yourself and your surroundings that brought a little joy and spark to your day and see if you can recapture that feeling.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Happy NatCroMo 2019!

Welcome Crocheters (and knitters too)!

Thank you for joining me on my blog day for National Crochet Month (NatCroMo), it's hard to believe how quickly March is passing by.

For my followers, thank you so much for sticking with me as I experiment with crochet-related topics and blogging formats.  For the newcomers, I'm so glad you're taking the time to visit and check me out -- my goal is to provide practical and useful information that will make your crocheting time easier and even more fun! 

First, a big thank you to Marie Segares (the Underground Crafter), who in conjunction with the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) revived the Crochet Designers' Showcase for NatCroMo.  Every day this month, a different crochet designer who is also a member of the CGOA will be featured, and each designer will share a free crochet pattern or a 25% discount on a premium pattern (I'm doing both, read on!).  I love being a corporate member of CGOA because the organization provides so many resources to small crafts businesses and the dedicated officers and members are so supportive.  And Crochet! Magazine is such a great collection of patterns and the newest happenings in crochet.

Marie and CGOA also have partnered with some of our favorite companies to offer great prizes, including yarn, crochet hooks, notions, pattern books, and more! Find out more information about the other participating designers, the schedule, and how to enter to win the prizes in this post


Next, a huge thank you to Laurel Hill, who generously sent me this beautiful crochet hook in celebration of NatCroMo.  And I mean that!  I'm usually so skeptical of free stuff for my "honest" review, but this opportunity was better than I could have expected.  The hook is so smooth and comfortable to hold, and I really like the head of the hook as well.  I'm usually not a fan of wooden hooks, but this hook feels substantial and sturdy, and did I remark on how smooth it is?!  It really is a quality hook at a reasonable price.  Check out my previous blog post with a video on "How to Cleverly Start a Double Crochet Row" to see the Laurel Hill hook in action!

In preparation for Easter, I also recently recorded a video for my YouTube channel (please subscribe, I'm really getting into this movie-making thing!) to demonstrate how to create a Crochet Bite-Size Bunny, and the written pattern is free on Ravelry and LoveKnitting.

I was hoping to also have a brand new premium crochet project and pattern available for discount for NatCroMo, but "due to technical difficulties", it's not quite ready yet, soooooo... I'm giving a 25% discount on ALL of my patterns for purchase in my Ravelry store!  Just type in "NatCroMo2019" as a one-time-use coupon code until April 11th (11:59 PM EDT).

I hope you've enjoyed this post and want to subscribe to future posts (see subscription box in left column).  Thank you for celebrating NatCroMo2019 with me, and Happy Crocheting!!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

How to Cleverly Start Your Double Crochet Rows

Hello crocheters!  First, I want to wish you a Happy National Crochet Month!  I hope you've been enjoying the happenings so far, and here's a great rundown of all the ways to celebrate:

I'll be one of the designers participating in the CGOA 2019 International Crochet Month Designer Showcase on March 23rd, so please come back here to see a special post with some special surprises!

But, to whet your appetite, here's my new Jumprope instructional video on how to cleverly start a double crochet row to make a smooth side with no "holes."

How to Cleverly Start Your Double Crochet Rows by manycreativegifts on Jumprope.