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From the Archives: Issue #1 “Inaugural Crochet Newsletter” 9/2/2010

New Crochet Talk

You’re reading the very first issue of a bi-weekly crochet newsletter because you subscribed to it sight unseen, and for that I feel honored. I don’t want to clog up anyone’s inbox. I do have a lot to share about the crochet that I make, think about, test, teach, and talk about with other designers.  I’ll keep it to something brief here, put extended material on my blog, and article-length stuff can go on my website (or to magazine editors).

My crochet mojo doesn’t fit neatly into a pattern, and lends itself to being free of charge. I suspect that a newsletter is the best medium for these inspirations. A subscription-based newsletter is kind of intimate, like a club, more so than a blog or open forum. I’m hoping that together we’ll enjoy looking more closely at the crochet we love and which brightens our days.

I’m told that an email newsletter is for selling stuff, but if I used this newsletter for that, you and I would both grow bored. Of course I wish the best for the crochet patterns at my website–each one is like a child with its own destiny–and when there is news about them, I’ll report it in a news section of the newsletter.

I’ve fantasized about having a newsletter that tracks what’s happening in crochet everywhere. We’re members of an exciting global crochet community (thanks to the internet). So, the news section will also contain newsy hookalicious items that happen to come my way.

A Little Inspiration: Crocheted Buttons for Jewelry

This first newsletter issue is mostly a test to see that it works as it should and to let you know what I have in mind for future issues. I’ll wrap up this one with what has been inspiring me the past 3 days. (I can test how the images upload and appear while I’m at it.)

When crocheting jewelry, if I crochet the clasp instead of sewing on a button or snaps, or attaching traditional metal jewelry clasps, I enjoy it more, finish faster, and wear it immediately. Crocheted clasps also have the virtue of being metal-free for my friends who are allergic to some metals.

This week I worked out two “buttons” that I’m really happy about, partly because neither causes a crochet pattern’s skill level to suddenly go from Easy to Intermediate*, and partly because they have a distinctive look.

One is like a wavy donut. I like the look of the waves, and the texture adds to the clasp’s grip. This one’s in size #20 thread (see abbreviations below):

Wavy Donut Button

Ch 9, sl st in the 6th ch from the hook to make a ring, 12 sc in ring, sl st in top of 1st sc to join, [sl st, ch 1] 11 times into ring (you are crocheting around the sc completely), sl st once more, sl st in same 6th ch of the ch-9 as the first sl st, sl st in each of next 2 ch to firm up the button’s post.

The other looks sort of like a plump star. I worked it in sock yarn, so it might not seem super-starry in photos:

Plump Star Button

Ch 5, [hdc, ch 1] 6 times in 2nd ch from hook, turn, sc in each hdc (skipping each sl st), sl st side of first sc, sl st in ch at base of button, sl st in each remaining ch to firm up the button’s post.(Some of the stitches are tight, which helps a button hold up well over time.)

Abbrev’s: ch=chain, hdc=half double crochet, sc=single crochet, sl st=slip stitch.

*For a long time I crocheted clones knots as buttons. When I started writing up the patterns, the tech editor instantly changed the skill level from “Easy” to “Intermediate” because of the clones knot. Also, I had to explain the unusual stitch from scratch each time.

——–

Below was originally the righthand column of the newsletter:

Button Experiments for Jewelry (tiny patterns at left)

I hope you can make out here the zigzaggy surface of the Wavy Donut (green size #20 thread), and the star-like points that the hdc stitches make in the teal Plump Star button (sock yarn). (It’ll be available at the link below so that you can enlarge it.)

The two purple lumps in the photo are beaded puff stitches. I made these a few years ago. The advantage of adding beads to a clasp button is that they add extra friction, which helps the clasp stay clasped. Over time and with even just a little wear, however, the beads loosen and the button is less cute.

The teal button is part of an “Aran Rozsana Cuff” pattern that I’m writing now. You can see project photos here: http://ravel.me/vashtirama/nlfdi (this special link will work even if you’re not a Ravelry member.)


Newsy Items Go Here!

For example, I’m still daydreaming about a blog entry I read the other day about Tambour embroidery, an early form of crochet. This link takes you to exciting haute couture images, plus a photo tutorial of how it’s done.
::crossing fingers that these links are clickable for you::


That’s it for issue #1, first published September 2, 2010.

If you’d like to subscribe, <– just click it to go to a simple subscribe form. To see this newsletter issue in its original 2-columned and tastefully tinted format, click this. If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me: vashtibraha AT gmail.com. Thanks!      —Vashti
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Summer-Fall 2012 Crochet Class Schedule

I’ll Be Teaching Crochet Classes and Meeting Up with Fellow Crocheters at these National 2012 Events

Class: Tunisian Crochet Meshes: The Weightless Wrap & Variations
Class: Tunisian Crochet Meshes: The Weightless Wrap & Variations
  1. June 27 – July 1 in Manchester, New Hampshire: Summer Chain Link Conference produced by the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA); register at The Knit and Crochet Show site. Classes are already selling out and a second hotel has been added!
  2. September 12 – 16 in Reno, Nevada: Fall Chain Link CGOA Conference; registration will open in July here.

 

Classes Listed by Topic

See event links above for class descriptions

Slip Stitch Crochet Classes:
Combines two basic Slip Stitch types
Class: Introduction to Slip Stitch Technique (Slip Tectonics Cowl)

  1. Introduction to Slip Stitch Crochet Technique: June 28th in Manchester NH (SOLD OUT), and September 13 in Reno NV (see registration link above)
  2. Class: Advanced Slip Stitch Technique (Slip Swoop Loop, forthcoming design)
    Class: Advanced Slip Stitch Technique (Slip Swoop Loop, forthcoming design)

    Advanced Slip Stitch Technique: June 28th in Manchester NH (SOLD OUT)

 

Tunisian Crochet Classes:

  1. Tunisian Crochet Lace 101: June 29th in Manchester NH (SOLD OUT)

    Class: Tunisian Crochet Lace 101 (Quartz, class project version of Aero)
    Class: Tunisian Crochet Lace 101 (Quartz, class project version of Aero)
  2. The Five Peaks Shawl: September 12 in Reno NV (see registration link above)

    Class: The Five Peaks Wrap (Tunisian crochet on the bias with lacy eyelets for a shape that stays on your shoulders)
    Class: The Five Peaks Wrap (Tunisian crochet on the bias with lacy eyelets for a shape that stays on your shoulders)
  3. Tunisian Crochet Meshes: The Weightless Wrap: September 14 in Reno NV (see photo at top of screen and registration link above)

 

More Crochet Class Topics for 2012:

  1. Embracelet
    Class: Creating Crochet Jewelry (Embracelet)

    Love Knot Adventures: June 29th in Manchester NH (SOLD OUT)

  2. Creating Crochet Jewelry: September 13 in Reno NV (see registration link above)
  3. Class: Love Knot Adventures (Nakshatra, forthcoming)
    Class: Love Knot Adventures (Nakshatra, forthcoming)

    How to Prepare a Design Proposal, presentation for Professional Development Day: September 12 in Reno NV (see registration link above)

 

Regional Crochet Events

I’m honored to be leading the Annual Crochet Retreat of the Northern Illinois CGOA Chapter in Oregon, IL (Chicago area), October 26-29 2012. Retreat topics (more details to come):

  1. Special Topics in Slip Stitch Crochet
  2. Advanced Tunisian Crochet Lace

More Relevant Photos:

Retreat Topic: Advanced Tunisian Crochet Lace (Rivuline, preview of forthcoming design)
Retreat Topic: Advanced Tunisian Crochet Lace (Rivuline, preview of forthcoming design)
Class: Advanced Slip Stitch Technique (new stitch combos, forthcoming design)
Class: Advanced Slip Stitch Technique (new stitch combos, forthcoming design)
Class: Creating Crochet Jewelry (Cabochon Braid, forthcoming design)
Class: Creating Crochet Jewelry (Cabochon Braid, forthcoming design)
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Newest Crochet Design: Undaria Flutter Scarf

This is the first blog post using a new feature here at my DesigningVashti website headquarters: I can blog right here at my own website.

I have some design news. The downloadable crochet pattern for Undaria is being tech-edited now. This means it will be available just after Thanksgiving, most likely this Monday, Nov. 28. You can see several wearing styles in the meantime, all possible with the same pattern:

I really enjoyed designing and crocheting this exciting shape.

The next pattern after Undaria will be the Thaxton Hooded Cowl. Both of these designs are cozy new ways to use crochet slip stitches. The short rows keep them interesting.
…and now to see how this new kind of blog post looks!

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The DesigningVashti Blog

The DesigningVashti Blog

Free Crochet Tips, DesigningVashti Events, and More

For crochet enthusiasts at all levels, Vashti maintains three essential crochet blogs:

bullet  The original DesigningVashti Blog since 2006
bullet  The Crochet Pattern Companion Blog
bullet  The ToyDesigningVashti Blog

Visit Doris Chan’s Everyday Crochet Blog, awarded a Flamie for Best Crochet Blog in 2009 by the Crochet Liberation Front.

The original DesigningVashti Blog

The entries in the original DesigningVashti Blog are indexed with topic labels, such as Tunisian Crochet, Conferences, Book Reviews. The list of labels is found in the right hand column and they are clickable. This makes it easy to find all the entries about your favorite topic.

In the DesigningVashti blog, here are links to all posts about:

The Crochet Pattern Companion Blog

For free, in-depth crochet project information, the Crochet Pattern Companion Blog is a handy source of pattern support and project tips. The entries in this blog are indexed with clickable topic labels found in the upper right-hand column.

In the Crochet Pattern Companion Blog, here are links to all posts about:

 The ToyDesigningVashti Blog


Toy Tester Bob
The ToyDesigningVashti Blog follows the adventures of Toy Tester Bob and his friends over the years, as they check out all sorts of fun crochet toys and play items for kids.