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Happy National Crochet Month- Spring Garden Crochetville Blog Tour 2014

Happy National Crochet Month! I am so excited to be apart of the Crochetville’s 2014 National Crochet Month Designer Blog Tour! What an amazing time when many crochet designers come to together to celebrate what we love to do. Crochet is a unique art that is not only gorgeous but portable and super fun. It can tap into creative parts of your brain you never knew existed. I started crocheting after developing a love for handmade items I kept seeing. So while my boyfriend (now husband) at the time was in the hospital recovering from a splenectomy, I grabbed my first H hook and skein of yarn coupled with a Leisure Arts “I Can Teach Myself How to Crochet in One Day” and started my journey.

My journey has been more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined. Crochet has helped me to not only be creative, but has helped me finish grad school as I crocheted in class to help stay focused on what the teacher was saying, start my first creative career selling finished items on Etsy and then developed into my current career as an independent designer with a successful shop on Ravelry (http://www.ravelry.com/designers/suzy-allen ).

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Many ask me how do I find and stay inspired, so join me in my journey as I share with you what inspires me:

Nature:

Nothing to me is more inspiring than the colors, textures and experiences that nature affords to us. I often take my color wheel in my backpack along with my sketching book and head to my local nature preserve to go for a walk. I am captivated by the colors that are in an early morning sunset, ocean vignette or high among the treetops. One summer my local beach became my inspiration, a trip to Montauk Point, left me with a nautical feeling I could not shake. So out of that trip came my Montauk Beach bag (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/montauk-beach-bag ), Yale Cowl (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/yale-cowl ) and the Sea Shore Shrug (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sea-shore-shrug )

Also, the lines, the natural lace, branches, flowers and water features add a multitude of depth to inspire the crocheter. Many a stitch patterns have been chosen or developed after a trip to the park. Color plus texture equals a great fabric making a great canvas for design. To see how I took this inspiration and made it into designs. I will be posting a collection in my Ravelry Shop today! Check it out!

Runway:

This trip for inspiration is as close as your computer as you google crochet fashion to see the latest runway fashions or taking a walk through your local mall.  Crochet has been an integral part of the fashion world since its inception. Crochet lace, creative placement of motifs and accessories are everywhere this season. A great place to see this is by taking a trip to your local Anthroplogie, J.Crew, and Free People. I often find inspiration for home décor by perusing the catalogs of Pottery Barn, Urban Outfitters and Williams and Sonoma. Luckily, I live close to New York City as well so the streets of the city also serve as my own personal runway show full of inspiration.

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Friends/LYS/Crochet Social Media:

Another great source of inspiration for me is getting involved in the supportive community that is the crochet world.  My LYS, (local yarn shop), my local guild chapter (http://www.tkga.com/members/?id=16714646) , Ravelry (www.ravelry.com ), Facebook and of course Crochetville (http://crochetville.com/ ). I’d encourage you if your looking for inspiration to find a local yarn shop that supports and encourages crocheting. I’m very lucky to have one at The Village Knitter (http://villageknitter.com/ ). I love watching my friends creating awesome projects with gorgeous yarn. Often times, when one of us does a project inspires others to do the same.

As the Vice President of my local chapter of TKGA and CGOA, the Eastern Long Island Knitters Guild (http://www.tkga.com/members/?id=16714646) we try to bring in programming that is inspiring and encouraging people to continue their journey in needlework. Not only do I participate in my chapter, I also visit other chapters to either volunteer, collaborate on a project or gain inspiration as well.

Social media can link crocheters from around the world, Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter and of Crochetville has helped me to link up with other like-minded people to help celebrate and share my love of Crochet. Here you can often find a way to get involved with crochet related charities such as Halos for Hope website link , Facebook page . To help out all crochet hat patterns in my shop are 50% off (Code: ch2)

Lastly, taking classes at my favorite Crochet related show is a great way to ignite your inspiration. I have taken many a great classes with the greats of Crochet such as Marly Bird, Lily Chin, Melissa Leapman, Robyn Chachula and more. I am proud to announce that this summer at the Knit and Crochet Show in Manchester, NH I will be teaching for the first time on a national level. I would love to have you join me for Color Theory and Healthy Hands. (http://www.knitandcrochetshow.com/ ) (http://www.knitandcrochetshow.com/pdf/2014-KCS-Classes-At-A-Glance.pdf )

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For more great inspiration: check out National Crochet Month blog tour http://crochetville.com/blog/ . Also be on the look out for an ebook by all the designers on the blog tour with a great Spring Garden theme. Thank you to all the great people at Crochetville and CGOA. Thank you for being awesome !

Please enjoy 50% off all crochet patterns in my shop with coupon code: ch2

A sneak peak of my Spring Garden contribution to the ebook is included in the photograph below.

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Year of the Emerald at Vogue Knitting Live

The Year of the Emerald at Vogue Knitting Live

Year of the Emerald Mittens on Ravelry

Year of the Emerald Mittens on Ravelry

As many of you know, Pantone has heralded Emerald as the color of the year. Every year, no matter how much I think I know what the color is going to be I am delightfully surprised at the announcement. This year I was even more excited as it elevates my birthstone of emerald to its rightful place!

Emerald is known to us in the fiber and fashion industry to be part of the jewel stone family. In nature it is a variety of the mineral, beryl and gets the green hues from trace amounts of chromium and vanadium.

“Emeralds occur in hues ranging from yellow-green to blue-green, with the primary hue necessarily being green. Yellow and blue are the normal secondary hues found in emeralds. Only gems that are medium to dark in tone are considered emerald; light-toned gems are known instead by the species name green beryl.” – Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald )

From Local Yarn producers and indie dyers, to our favorite local yarn shops and yarn companies, Emerald was showcased in a whole new light. The natural shades of Emerald were seen throughout.

Local Yarn and Indie dyer herself, Jill Draper from Jill Makes Stuff (http://www.etsy.com/shop/jilldrapermakesstuff), highlighted the yellow-green end of the hue range with Lichen, which is a gorgeous NYS wool that would look great in any garment. Take a look at her Etsy Shop to see her many wonderful colors.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/114783479/hand-dyed-aran-weight-nys-wool-213-yds

The folks at the Neighborhood Fiber Company displayed breath taking colors and Emerald took center stage. For a closer look at their yarn check out their facebook page: (http://www.facebook.com/neighborhoodfiberco)

Green Mountain Spinnery, another great locally based company using solely American wool showcased emerald in their classic line as well as their new yarn (so excited!!!)

The amazing standard in a great line of yarns is Mountain Mohair in the colorway of Wintergreen. It showcases the blue undertones inherent in Emerald.

( http://www.spinnery.com/shop/proddetail.php?prod=5-WG )

Need a great pattern for this color, try my Putney Cowl which is perfect for the extreme winter weather we have been experiencing.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/putney-cowl

Weekend Wool, which debuted at VK live, highlights the deep green hues in the Emerald family in its  Spruce color way. This great new yarn has the same gauge as their discontinued Wonderfully Wooly but has an even greater loft and softer feel!  A great choice for ski hats, sweaters and mittens.

( http://www.spinnery.com/shop/proddetail.php?prod=Spruce )

Knitting Fever and Noro Yarns showcased the very beautiful Karuta in the Noro Line.  A gorgeous hand knit top, using Karuta in the 04 colorway seemed perfect for summer. This yarn is a great representation of the color spectrum that is Emerald. Looking for a great pattern using Karuta, may I suggest my Year of the Emerald Mittens on Ravelry?

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/year-of-the-emerald-mittens

Eventhough, my friends at The Fiberists were not in attendance at VK live, this post would be incomplete without mentioning their amazing Emerald colors as they are continually inspired by the natural world. (http://www.etsy.com/listing/119019161/specimen-184-385-yards-hand-dyed-semi) . If you would love to see their yarns in person, they are sold at Fiber Space in Virginia as well as online in their Etsy shop.( http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheFiberists?ref=search_shop_redirect). They will also be in person at their trunk show at Fibre Space President’s Day Weekend and I will be there as well showcasing my designs.

While this post included many of the emerald yarns available at VK Live and shops across the country we would love to hear what your favorite emerald yarn is !ChainTwo_Fall_2012-3