I learned to crochet when I was about 8 years old, but I didn't become really interested in it until I was grown. My Grandmother was a crocheter, as was her mother, and my mother still does, so I haven't decided if crocheting is genetic or environmental! Either way, I have been known to be perfectly happy doing it all day long (that is, when I'm not scrapbooking...I love that, too!)
I collect patterns, yarn, thread, and unfinished projects, but have very few crochet items that I've made and kept for myself. Almost everything I make is given away as some sort of gift. But that is what I love most about crochet -- making things for the people I love. My list of "To Do's" is nearly as long as the list of things I've "Done", and there never seems to be enough time to get to all of them.
I like to crochet with both yarn
and thread, and have even tried a hand at several other things
like cording, fabric, etc. My favorite things to make are
household items and wardrobe accessories. No poodle toilet
paper covers here! I try very hard to make sure everything
I make is fashionable and trendy, or very classic. I also
make a few novelty theme items such as pillows and afghans featuring
favorite sports teams, etc.
Check out my Etsy website where you can buy crocheted items, papercrafting supplies, handmade cards, and more:
I've fielded quite a few questions about the afghan stitch over the years. It's one of my favorite stitches. It's quite versatile, very simple to do, and it is perfectly suited to charted graph patterns. Since it's so hard to explain to people without the use of pictures, I decided to put together a brief tutorial on how to make color changes and some other neat things you can do with the afghan stitch.
This tutorial does not contain instructions on how to do the basic stitch, since someone else already has a great site all about that. (See Tunisian Crochet (Afghan Stitch) Tutorials ) Rather, I wanted to demonstrate how easy it is to do more than just cross-stitch over this plain but useful fabric.
I used to get a lot of requests for patterns utilizing the afghan stitch. Sadly, all of the sources I once knew are now gone. My best suggestion for you is to just Google it! The world of crocheting on the internet has grown tremendously since I started this page all those years ago, and you can find pretty much anything you want out there somewhere. Two good sources are Etsy and Ravelry. Both websites are host to inumerable independent designers, and they are a great place to look for ideas for your next project. You might also try simple cross-stitch patterns or find a graphic you like and apply it to graph paper to create your own! I've had a lot of fun designing charts for afghan stitch, maybe you will, too! If you do, please let me know!
One of my ongoing projects has
been a series of sofa pillows in a NASCAR Winston Cup theme.
Our whole family is into this growing sport, and I have been decorating
my den/rec. room in this theme, so pillows for each of our favorite
drivers were a must. These are all original designs which
I would be more than happy to share! I have patterns for
several different drivers/teams, and plan to add more as time
will allow. You may view/download these patterns by clicking
on the pillows below.
Another of my projects was to design a NASCAR
afghan for my husband. His favorite driver is Rusty Wallace, so I designed this
special afghan just for him. Just click on the graphic below.
Please keep in mind that these
are original patterns I designed myself, so all copyright laws
apply. Also, if you download one of the patterns, please
drop me an email! I'd love to hear from you, and it will
help me keep track of which patterns are the most popular!
If you don't email, I might think no one's interested, and then
I won't bother to create more.
If you're like me, you've probably got lots of patterns and yarn lying around in stacks and piles everywhere, stuffed in every available space, and otherwise taking up way too much space. My collection got so large that I couldn't find anything when I needed it. In the summer of 1999, I resolved to get it all organized. One solution was some handy little magazine files made out of plastic canvas. Jennie Gaskin of Country Yarns came up with the original holder, which is perfectly sized to fit those smaller magazines like "The Workbasket" and "Crochet Digest". Using Jennie's idea, I came up with the larger version, which is suitable for everything from "Crochet with Heart" to "Leisure Arts" leaflets. I also have some great ideas for yarn storage, as well as a lot of other little goodies for that expanding collection of "stuff".
Another recent project was this hearts and bobbles afghan done in Tunisian Crochet. The pattern can be found in Quick and Easy Crochet, January/February 1998. The original pattern ended with an odd number of repeats of the hearts, so I added one more reapeat of the heart motif to balance it out. I designed a pillow to match it. That pattern can be downloaded here:
P.O. Box 7129
Red Oak, IA 51591-0129
I just love hanging out with fellow crafters, and that's why back in 2007, my best friend, Stephanie, and I started hosting crafting events through our company Crafty Neighbor. You can read all about how Crafty Neighbor has changed over the years on our website, but for now, suffice it to say that we've grown into a fun little company that loves to get together with our friends. During the pandemic, while we haven't been able to go on retreats, or meet in person, we've been hosting some fun gatherings online via Zoom. Most of our Zoom events are FREE, and we love to have all crafters join us! You can find all the details on the Crafty Neighbor website or in our Crop and Craft Events group on Facebook.
As an add-on to our retreats and gatherings, in 2010, we started doing craft cruises. It actually led me to my current career as a travel agent, and now, one of my biggest thrills is organizing crafting and other group cruises. The pandemic has pretty much curtailed that activity, too, but it looks like we will be cruising again very soon! If you are interested in cruising with us, or would like information about organizing your own crochet or other group cruise, please give me a shout! In the mean time, you can check out my travel agency website using the link below. And just so you know, I do ALL kinds of travel!
Crafty Neighbor Travel
And lest I forget, please look for me on Facebook and Instagram. Most of my posted projects are paper-craft related, but I do post some other stuff now and then!
In November 1997, I stumbled upon a wonderful
web site and email list called Crochet Partners. The site itself was a
MUST SEE for any crocheter, and it was a great place to find patterns, links,
a great resource list, a chat room, exchanges, and much more. They also
had a great email discussion group that revived my interest in crochet and has
challenged me to try a lot of new things. I learned a lot from them.
As my children got older, I found I had less time to participate in the group, so I am no longer a member, but I've promised myself to keep this link active for as long as they are around. They've reincarnated a few times over the years but you can find the group in these two places:
Partners Main Group
Crochet Partners Facebook Group
A while back, someone told me about The Hook and the Book, an online virtual exhibit featuring the history of knit and crochet in America. A "must see" for anyone who is interested in the origins of crochet and heirlooms!