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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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Adventures in Fiber: 365 days immersed in my passion

Many creative disciplines invite their artisans to spend a year immersed in their passion. Photographers have invited people to take a photograph every day for 365 days and see what beauty they can find. Artists ask those who love art to draw or paint something everyday and watch their skill develop. As a passionate yarnie, I invite you to spend a year in fiber. Many days will be exciting and fun when you wish it won’t end, others day will be frustrating filled with frogging and choice words and yet some will be mundane and boring. What will you discover? The possibilities are endless….

I encourage you to keep a journal in whatever format you choose , here’s my entry for the day!

Day 1:
Activity(-ies):
Pattern writing, email reading, fun knitting and creative inspiration walk
Location:
My house , friends house, mall, parents house, car
Mood:
Jovial at times and exhausted at others
Thoughts:
Today was quite a jam packed day in my first yarn adventure of the year. It started actually at 12:01 am on my way home from a great New Years Eve celebration with family. An email had arrived in my inbox stating that a local yarn shop was closing its doors. Sadly, due to the recent economic hardships and Hurricane Sandy she could no longer keep her doors open. Earlier this week, Trisha Malcolm , editor of Vogue Knitting had posted an article on her Facebook page on how a small local baby shop located in Brooklyn had to close its doors for similar reasons. Friends need I urge you this year while on your many fiber adventures, SHOP LOCAL and SHOP OFTEN. (Sorry for the shouting) There are so many great shops across America it’s up to you to help keep them often. When you travel find them, when someone talks about one listen, many of our favorite online retailers are attached to brick and mortar shops like Jimmy Beans wool, Kaliedoscope Yarns and Metaphor Yarns choose those that support their local economy. You’ll be thankful you did.

As your can all see I am a very passionate yarnie, on a lighter note, I was able to enjoy some leisurely knitting at my friend Annie’s house this morning while we had brunch and watched our children play. What a great time to enjoy some easy breezy knitting. ( I was knitting with Cascade’s Lana Grande, a fun quick knit). I stopped to read a book to the girls and then returned to my leisurely knitting.

When we returned home, my sweet little one settled down for a great nap so hubby edited photos and I started sorting out the see of patterns to be written. Hopefully you will all enjoy the many patterns to come out of the fruits of my labor.

Won’t you share your adventure in fiber with me ? I’d love to hear it!

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Welcome 2013!

My dear blog readers,
It has been quite sometime since I have written on the blog. I want to thank you all for the support through the end of 2012 which was markedly a tough year for many. Hurricane Sandy came and devastated the northeast and effected me in a very personal way. As many of you know I had the opportunity to help storm victims both directly and indirectly as a knitter/crocheter and designer!

First many designers including myself donated the proceeds of patterns to Hurricane Relief. The update from us is that over $100.00 has been raised with more coming in as we will wrap up our last fundraiser pattern at Fiber Space in Alexandria, VA President’s day weekend!

Also we partnered with Lion Brand Yarn with the help of Jack Blumenthal and Patty Lyons to host a Hurricane Sandy Stitch in at the gorgeous Lion Brand Yarn Studio. Thank you so much for everything they did. Not only did they host this lovely evening, they provided all stitchers with gorgeous yarns that work up fast to complete projects that were donated to World Vision. Thank you Lion Brand for not only what you did that day but what you do everyday for Stitchers around the world. They are truly are an amazing family based, customer friendly, American based company!

Lastly, the Hurricane Sandy Relief group on Ravelry came together to donate many many many hats, scarves, mittens, slippers and blankets from around the World. Thank you so much to our stitchers in Arizona, South Carolina, England, California, Maryland and so much more.Your out pouring of love through stitching is just amazing.

As 2012 came to a close, the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, changed the way a lot of us view life. As this wonderful little town is just miles from where my family in CT lives, I spent most of December 14th calling and making sure my family members were safe from such a disturbed person. My friend from college is a third grade teacher at the school and luckily was unharmed and so were her students.

As 2013, came closer I welcomed the idea of a fresh start with open arms. Out with the old and in with the new. New beginnings for a lot of my friends and families.

So wont you welcome 2013, with me! To a great year filled with stitches!

Regards
Suzy

Suzy’s Christmas Countdown day 2

Day two of our Christmas Countdown is here and what a special treat we have for you!!! One of our most popular patterns using Cascade’s Casablanca, the Autumn Sunset Shawl is just a dollar on ravelry. No coupon code necessary the price adjusts automatically at check out. Merry Christmas and Happy stitching to you!

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/autumn-sunset-shawl

Summer Crocheting

It’s that time of year when most crocheters but their hooks aside and replace them with other crafts and summer time activities but I’m here to say that you don’t have to and that in fact the summer is the perfect time to stitch.
So why stitch in the summer?
1) Great to do in your spare time!
I love stitching poolside, by the beach, at the park or my favorite in the Ac at home while watching a movie.
2) Get a head start on your gift list.
How many of us are up late stitching close to the holidays? I know I am get a head start now and get that throw for your daughter finished.
3)So many great warm weather fibers to fall in love with.
I love cotton. It’s soft, strong and versatile. I love to make warm weather tank tops as well as market bags and clutches.

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What are the qualities of a Crochet Hook that make them FAME-ous

Qualities of a Great Hook

          There are so many crochet hooks the process of selection can be daunting. We have decided that for our first issue to review three of our favorite hooks. We have come up with a little acronym that will assist you in identifying a hook that is sure to meet your project needs!

So here is what makes a hook FAME-ous!

Qualities of the perfect crochet hook:

1-    Feel in hand:

If you pick it up and it feels right it probably is

2-    Ability to grab the yarn

Some hooks pick up the yarn just right with every yarn and technique and some are best used for certain applications

3-    Material

Most hook decisions are made here. Some choose based on affordability others convenience some ethical stances

4-    Ergonomics

This term is defined by the ability of the user to use it with comfort and ease. Whether it grabs the yarn easier so you do not have to pull hard or it has a great grip this is a super important feature.

To read our review of 3 of our favorite hooks subscribe to our magazine at http://www.etsy.com/shop/chaintwoezine . Find us on ravlery either by searching for designer Suzy Allen or Chaintwomag user name!

Love to hear your comments !

Please also check out our webpage at http://www.chaintwo.com

This is the Tangerine Crush Cowl from the Summer Issue of Chaintwo! To purchase https://www.etsy.com/listing/104459197/tangerine-crush-cowl-pdf-pattern-only

Yarn Events June 6-11

Are you looking to fill your weekend with fun filled stitching related events? Here are a list of a bunch. Do you have one to add? Leave a comment to add the event! Thanks everyone and have a chain filled weekend!
June 4-10 Yarn events

Local:

June 9, 2012- Argyle Park, Babylon, NY Long Island Knitters Guild Bring a chair, refreshment and can for a local food bank hosted by

Knitty City hosts World Wide Knit in Public Day in Bryant Park

Sunday June 10th, 2012- Bryant Park 2:00-4:00

National:

June 5th 10-12 @WEBS Yarn store in North Hampton MA, Meet Iris Schrier

June 6-10 Rockywold-Deephaven Camps, Holderness, NH Squam Art Workshop Retreat

June 7-10 Fairgrounds at Stanley Park, Estes Park, CO Estes Park Wool Market

June 8-10 Institute of Texan Cultures, San Antonio, TX Texas Folklife Festival

June 8-11 Coast of Maine Maine Knitting Cruise with Bill Huntington

June 9-10 Dallas County Fairgrounds, Adel, IA Iowa Summer Sheep and Wool Festival

June 9-10 Butternut Hill Campground, Bouckville, NY Central New York Fiber Artists & Producers Annual Showcase: From Animals to Art

World Wide Knit in Public Day www.wwkipday.com Find an event in your area