crochet

In Memory of Wink: Let's Crochet #MandalasForMarinke

Photo from  Crochet Concupiscence .

The crochet world was rocked last week by news that Wink from A Creative Being had taken her own life after battling severe depression. Her battle was no secret; in fact, her most recent blog post announced the struggle, prompting a multitude of supportive comments and private messages from friends and fans.

There's little I can say on the subject because it's not something I've experienced, but Kathryn from Crochet Concupiscence wrote a blog post that beautifully summarizes what we've all been feeling these past few days.

As a result, Kathryn has put together a lovely project for us to remember Wink by: #mandalasformarinke. I'll let this page on her website speak for itself, but I think it will not only be a wonderful tribute to a person who touched so many in our ever-growing world of crochet, but a beautiful art piece that serves as a reminder that life is, indeed, only fleeting and we never know how long we're going to have with one another, so make the most of it.

On a final note, it's worth mentioning that Kathryn is the author behind Crochet Saved My Life, a book that chronicles how crochet can be used to help us overcome a wide variety of personal health conflicts. Marinke is featured in the book, and although her story may not have ended in ways we all hoped, it's important for us to acknowledge how crocheting (and knitting) are more than hobbies to so many of us. If you're so inclined, I urge you to pick up a copy of the book (or download it on your Kindle) for some amazingly inspired stories, which is something we can all use under any circumstances.

Finished: Crochet Vines for the #100WomenProject

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So poop - I totally forgot to talk about my participation in the #100WomenProject. Well, we're changing that now!

More than a few months ago, I was asked to crochet some vines for inclusion in a University of Richmond student's Honors Thesis Exhibition. The artist, Amy Reader, sought to engage women around the world for a large display comprised of smaller, crocheted pieces resembling wisteria vines. The pieces could be crocheted (or knit!) in any color and almost any length, and would be installed to look like a forest of wisteria trees.

The photo above shows me with my two vines, which I promptly mailed out in early April to make the submission deadline. I was honored to not only be asked, but to also have been part of an exhibit that showcased women and a craft that's often tied to our assumed domesticity. I say "assumed" because I knit and crochet with such passion, but I can't sew worth a lick and my house is a childless disaster area. So to me, the combination of over 100 women crocheting art appealed to my feminist side (and gave me a chance to put my undergraduate art degree to good use - we creatives need to stick together).

If you want to read more about the exhibit, then make sure to visit the website. Or, if you want to find out why Amy decided on a women-only project, read her article here.

Free Crochet Pattern: St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Applique

If you’re anything like my cats, the promise of spring is trying to lure you outside to bask in what little bits of sun make it through those snowy clouds. But then the harsh reality that our most hopeful season is three weeks away slaps you in the face with another bout of freezing weather.

Yes, before spring comes, we still have a few more depressing weather hurdles to overcome. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still find something to celebrate. For many of that, that celebration comes in the form of St. Patrick’s Day.

Whether or not you’re Irish, the sight of four leaf clovers is often the first sign of spring to come. And while we wait for the last of the technically-still-winter winter holidays to arrive, there’s no reason why we can’t start enjoying its sights early.

So here’s a cute little shamrock I whipped up using some yarn I purchased from Blitsy. It’s perfect for wearing on a cute jacket, or can be modified as a cute hair accessory (for kids or adults!)

Free Crochet Pattern: Really Easy V-Stitch Beanie

Cute and simple, this free crochet hat pattern uses basic hat construction to create a great-looking accessory while experimenting with different stitches (I wouldn’t want you to get bored!). It’s perfect for beginners looking to crochet something a bit more advanced, but more advanced crocheters will enjoy how fast this hat works up.

Finished: Crochet Nature Spun Fingerless Mitts

Yarn: Brown Sheet Nature Spun Fingering in 720 Ash

Pattern: Flora Mitts by Linda Permann (available on Craftsy).

Difficulty: The pattern claims it's intermediate, but I think it's somewhere in between easy and intermediate. It would be a good transition project for someone who's just learned how to crochet and wants to practice more advanced techniques, like joining and ribbing. The main stitches are chaining, single crochet, and double crochet, and instructions for the special puff stitch are included with the pattern.

Notes: Although I made sure to crochet over almost all my ends, it seemed like there was a lot of joining/weaving in to do throughout the project. It wasn't a big deal, and the result is totally worth it, but it seemed like a lot for a tiny project. Also, the instructions for joining the flower motifs were a bit confusing at first, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. I'm able to pump out a mitt a night (I work full-time and manage two side businesses), so for me, that's pretty phenomenal.

Life Update: The world has been pretty grand to me lately. I've been able to see a lot of my friends, what with parties and camping (it's shockingly fun and I don't hate it), so that's been a good time with lots of laughs. And bacon.

It's currently Musikfest in my neck of the woods, which means lots of bad food that tastes good and decent music. Hubby and I are heading to The Avett Brothers tonight with a couple of our friends; we've seen them before, so we know it'll be a terrific show. Then tomorrow, a group I like (JD McPherson) is playing on South Side, so I'm looking forward to a relaxing Friday evening catching up with some good tunes.

Hope all is well on your end!