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Tag Archives: Ravelry

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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Christmas countdown continues

Here is our $1 pattern deal of the day;
Merry Stitching
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/breckenridge-shawl

(Reli)ef Bear

Since the end of Superstorm Sandy,we at Chain Two have been diligently trying to see how we as the stitching community can use our passion for good!

Many have donated the proceeds from their pattern sales, others took to the needles to stitch as fast as they could.

We were lucky enough to help coordinate a stitch in at the gorgeous Lion Brand Yarn Studio in NYC. At the end of the event we had 47 hats, 40 scarves, three shawls, 6 pairs of mittens and 4 blankies!!!! Amazing job everyone. World vision was to pick them up today!!!

So our next step is to make sure that everyone knows that the relief effort is very much still happening and help is still needed!

We have partnered with a hand dyed indie yarn company called the Fiberists ( http://www.thefiberists.com) and designed a knitted bear for children effected by Super storm sandy! Many families are now displaced from their homes while the relief efforts continue. We are using the money raised from the pattern to go to World Vision and if you’d like to make a bear and send it our way we are looking to give them to children effected by Hurricane Sandy!

So what can you do;
1) Buy the pattern at: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/relief-bear
2) Make bears and send them out way, email us for the location to send them
3) Volunteer to be a drop off point for bears made in your area
4) Invite us to your guild and we will bring Reli bear patterns so we can get bears to kids!

Regards
Suzy

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A NYC Weekend-Ebook Sales from this Pattern Book Go to Hurricane Sandy Relief

Thank you all so much for those who have already purchased some of my patterns for Hurricane Sandy Relief. All proceeds are going to World Vision to help with the relief efforts in the tri-state area!

The offer for the earlier patterns has expired so we have just launched an ebook called A NYC Weekend featuring patterns that would not only be great to donate to those affected by Hurricane Sandy but also great for everyone on your gift list. The yarn used is NY owns Lion Brand Yarn Company.

The ebook includes 9 great patterns and including both knitting and crochet patterns.
Knitting Patterns:
1) Central Park Knitted Cowl
2) Opening Day Baseball Cap
3) White as Snow Scarf
4) Rockefeller Center Ever-Warmer

Crochet Patterns:
1) Central Park Cowl Crochet Version
2) A Walk in the Park Hat
3) Union Square Brim Hat
4) His Brim Hat
5) Weekend Scarf

We hope that you enjoy our new ebook. It is a great way to give to the Hurricane Relief effort. Great to give as a gift to your favorite stitcher this holiday season as well!

All proceeds from the sale of the ebook goes to World Vision for Hurricane Relief until December 1, 2012.

Here is the link to the ebook on Ravelry
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/a-nyc-weekend

We would love to hear more opportunities for stitchers that are giving back for Hurricane Sandy Relief!

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How your handmade items can help those hurt by Hurricane Sandy

So what can I do as a knitter or Crocheter to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy you ask?
1) Volunteer
If you live locally the most needs now are for house demo and cleaving but not all of us can do that. You can help organize and distribute supplies out to specific relief areas
2) Cook!
Hot meals that are individually packaged are very much appreciated. If you need to find a place to give them call the local churches, libraries and rotary clubs
3) Stitch!!!
Yup that’s right the answer you’ve been waiting for! Hats, gloves and scarves are in desperate need. While we have lots of clothes these items are missing! You can donate them by sending them to Lion Brand’s Yarn Studio and they will be collected and brought to the World Vision store house to be distributed to areas most in need.

4) Buy patterns!
There are many designers donating the proceeds of some or all of their pattern sales to Hurricane Sandy Relief

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I swatched, now what?

The dreaded words every crocheter hates…gauge and swatch! Yup 5 letter words that make us cringe! Let’s put down our fear and learn to love them…
So really why must I do this?
+ Uniformity of your stitches-
When I start a project, I often notice that the starting couple of rows are tighter than once I get going. If you swatch out your project, yes I do mean all 4 inches or more, you can establish the uniformity in height of your project.
+ Sizing
If you achieve gauge in your gauge swatch it helps you to better predict that you will achieve the specifications of the garment that your designer has so lovingly chosen.
+ Helps to get used to the stitch pattern
I like to swatch to know what I am getting into. Sometimes I love a complex stitch pattern, other times I do not. If I swatch properly I can assess what I am getting into.

Help…my swatch has too many or too few stitches…
1) Don’t panic it happens to all of us
2) Let’s assess the situation
– If you have too many stitches per inch–> Switch to a larger hook
– If you have too few stitches per inch –> switch to a smaller hook
3) Check your pattern to see how important the gauge is…
– Some patterns it is not as crucial, for example if your gauge is close to the pattern it is called for in an item like a scarf, bag or baby blanket its not a huge deal just realize you may need more or less yarn then the pattern calls for
– Gauge is ALWAYS important in a garment. (Can’t blame the pattern writer if your gauge is off)

So now I have all these gauge swatches what do I do with them?
In Lily Chin’s Crochet Tips and Tricks book, she suggests to
1) Start a crochet scrapbook and log what yarn with what hook and what project
2) Give the swatch as the gift if the bigger item isn’t finished yet (Brilliant Lily… now why didn’t I think of that
3) Make something new out of your swatches like a baby blanket, clutch or bag
(My two cents: I really like the idea of making coffee cup cozies and coasters- the summer brings ice coffee and I hate when it drips on my desk)
Some of my ideas
4) Make them into little doll blankets and or security blankies- My daughter can literally take my yarn swatches and play with them for hours
5) Bring them to your local stitching group so you can brag I mean share about all the cool techniques you are using
6) Frame them and decorate your craft space or studio with them
7) Use them to make a charity project-
Just remember when using them for a charity project please make the color choices cohesive crocheting for charity does not have to be ugly.
8) Make a patchwork scarf and then pin it on pinterest ! lol

What do you do with your swatches?

Respond and you will be entered to win the summer issue of Chain Two
http://www.chaintwo.com

Check us out on Ravelry
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/suzy-allen

Check us out on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/ChainTwoZine

Check out our Etsy shop:
https://www.etsy.com/your/shops/ChainTwoEZine/

Awesome Swatches on display at Purl Soho

Where does your inspiration come from?

Throughout our summer issue of Chain Two, We shared our inspiration for different patterns. For some patterns it was the warm weather and with this heat wave that’s all I can think about (although we are planning our fall issue so…its tough), the beach, and road trips.

Many of us stitchers, take regular road trips. Some see pretty landscapes and architecture. Suzy Allen our chief Creative Director sees stitch patterns and garments. Check out our fence collection all inspired by fences she has seen while traveling through New England. We hope you enjoy stitching them as she did designing them!

These patterns are great because while the textures are complicated the light airy open work of both patterns are perfect to stitch and wear during the warm summer months.

Happy Stitching in the Summer from all of us here at Chain Two! We would love to hear how you stitch in the summer !

To subscribe check out our magazines homepage at http://www.chaintwo.com