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Crochet Glow-in-the-Dark Yarn Idea

I crochet pretty little things for my bedroom that glow. The one pictured here is from about three years ago and it has kept me from bumping into this bedpost every night since then.

Glow in the dark crochet bracelet pattern
Glow in the dark crochet “Jasmine Rope”

I like to sleep in total darkness. This puts me at risk of bumping into something if I have to get up in the middle of the night, but even the dimmest night lights are too bright for me.

My favorite solution is a bit of crochet that glows in the dark! It glows just enough in the middle of the night that I don’t notice it while I’m in bed, only if I’m walking around in total darkness. I can make it any size, shape, and color.

I also crocheted a snug mesh cover for the bathroom doorknob in the same yarn.

(Pattern and yarn info: the yarn is Bernat Glow in the Dark, discontinued. Other glow in the dark yarns or carry-along threads should work. The soon-to-be-published pattern, Jasmine Ropes, has a project page that you check in on to find out when the pattern PDF is ready.)

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I Wore Starwirbel as a Ponytail Lace Veil

I’ve been waiting for photos to surface from this summer’s CGOA’s Chain Link crochet conference (end of July in Manchester NH). Here’s the only one I have from the night I wore a crochet lace funnel cowl as a short veil covering my ponytail! You can barely see it in the first photo. In the second photo is Starwirbel – the flaring star stitch spiral of fine sequined mohair and silk.

It was fun and judging from the comments I received, it worked! I wouldn’t have thought of pinning a lace capelet as a veil-like hairpiece, but I was dressed in mostly black with some paisley and a sparkly silver belt. I wanted to include Starwirbel, but not as a cowl…and…voilà: un voile!

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Lab Experiment: I’m Customizing a Tank Top with Crochet

Customizing a tank top with crochet: hem in progress with pink DV Lotus yarn.
Crocheting the bottom hem. Armholes & neckline next.
Crocheting the bottom hem. Armholes & neckline next.

This is my first attempt at customizing a tank top with crochet, so I’m using a $4 scoop-neck tank top from Walmart (White Stag brand).  Update: It’s coming along well! See this followup post.

It looks dowdy on me, so I drastically cropped it and turned the neckline into a deep V. The crochet you see adds length along the bottom hem. I’m using standard sport weight yarn and a US/F (3.75 mm) crochet hook. The steel hook you see here is the largest sharp-headed crochet hook I have. I wish I had one that’s slightly bigger for pulling through loops of sport weight yarn. Crazy?

The real reason I’m doing this:

  • What is it like to crochet DesigningVashti Lotus yarn onto t-shirt fabric? Is sport weight yarn a good match? (If I have to use lace weight yarns, I might as well just crochet the whole darn thing.) What does the texture of this yarn look like with a plain cotton machine knit fabric? 
  • I have mill ends of this “Pink Sugar” color; the dyeing looks more tonal than solid (not in this photo though). Do I like it? What is it generally like to pair Lotus colors with my tee shirt colors?
  • Can I use a super sharp crochet hook when customizing a tank top with crochet? I want to be able to start crocheting right onto fabric and get a result I like. Would I enjoy doing it more than sewing along the cut edges first? (I sealed the cut edges with an invisible permanent washable no-fray liquid.)
  • How will it all hold up to wearing, machine washing and drying, and the Florida sun? Will the no-fray liquid add enough strength to the edges?
  • How will I like wearing it? Will I find I have a preference for customizing a tank top with certain kinds of crochet stitches? What if the crochet adds too much weight to the top?

Lots of what-ifs. Will I want to do something similar with my cashmere sweaters? ::gasp::

I have a few pullovers that I want to convert into cardigans. Ideally, give them a roomier fit while I’m at it. Heck, add beads. Cashmere love is a many splendored thing.

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Beaded “Delta” Types of Crochet Lace

I have some fun photos of beaded crochet swatches to share: overflow from newsletter issue #62, “Delta-Type” Crochet/Hexagonal Lace Types. Click on each photo to enlarge it and see comments.

Note: I’m using “delta crochet” to refer to a category, not for a single kind of stitch pattern, and not for triangular items such as shawls. I mean geometrically a type of lace grid. In the four-sided lacy net category we have the filet type (square/rectangular spaces that stack up in columns), and the fishnet or diamond mesh type, which have diamond-shaped spaces that are offset/staggered. “Delta” is pretty well known to mean triangle, whereas a term like “isometric” might be less helpful. If you have a better term to suggest than “delta,” please leave a comment, thanks  🙂

The gist of the newsletter is: Crochet nets of three-sided triangular lacy holes (or “spaces”) have a fundamentally different kind of lace structure, or grid. You can create them with several different kinds of crochet stitches, and they all differ from nets with four-sided spaces in looks, stretch/drape properties, and the experience of crocheting them.

When I experimented with beading delta laces, interesting things happened. Adding beads to love knots is in some ways very similar to beading chain stitches. I haven’t even tried several more ways to add beads to the ones shown here. Adding beads to the classic tall-stitch delta type, though, is more limited. It would be super tricky* to add beads to a whole post of a tall stitch.

*By “super tricky” I mean unpleasant and perhaps impossible LOL.

Check back, I’m swimming in swatches and blogging them all – my goal is a short blog post most days per week. I love comments!

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How to Produce Crochet Newsletters: Class Resources

Interested in emailing your own newsletters, and building your own readership? Then sign up to attend my presentation during Professional Development Day at the Crochet Guild of America’s (CGOA) Chain Link Conference this October 2, 2013 in Concord (Charlotte), North Carolina. Please note: this conference is held jointly with the Knitting Guild conference (TKGA). Together the event tends to be known to the larger public as The Knit and Crochet Show.

Below is a list of additional information for those who attend my presentation. If you can’t attend, I hope you’ll also find something of use here. The list below is divided into seven sections:

  1. Some Notable Crochet Newsletters
  2. Starting Off Right
  3. Promote Your Newsletter
  4. Take Your Newsletter to the Next Level
  5. ESP Providers (and the companies that use them)
  6. More Crochet-Relevant Newsletters
  7. Email Newsletter…or Sales Flyer?

Producing Crochet Newsletters: Resources

I. Some Notable Crochet Newsletters 

To help you bring your own newsletter into focus, subscribe to some of these below. Pay attention to the design of its subscribe form, any triggered welcome emails, special offers, etc. Watch when an issue arrives in your inbox (day, time of day, frequency). See which topics, formatting, or images get your attention. If you unsubscribe, note any “sorry to see you go” emails.

  1. Focus on content (article style): Annette Petavy, Annette Petavy Design: http://www.annettepetavy.com/pages/en/newsletter/2012/09.html
  2. Digest Type (A roundup of blog posts and other links in interesting categories): Ellen Gormley, GoCrochet archives: http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/home/?u=5133fbb5647a595b35f277792&id=d523b15acd
  3. Newly revised to complement a daily blog: Stacey Trock, Fresh Stitches http://www.freshstitches.com/free-amigurumi-crochet-tips-ebook-newsletter/
  4. 19,623 readers, several writers: Rachel Choi’s Crochet Spot: http://www.crochetspot.com
  5. Trendy style: Linda Skuja’s Eleven Handmadehttp://www.lindaskuja.com/p/newsletter.html
  6. Jocelyn Sass, Cute Crochethttp://www.cutecrochet.com/orderinformation/mailinglist.html
  7. Deb Richey, CraftyDebhttp://www.craftydeb.com/newsletter
  8. Uses PHPList service: June Gilbank’s PlanetJunehttp://www.planetjune.com/list/
  9. My own DesigningVashti newsletter, since 2010: Vashti’s Crochet Inspirations Newsletter: http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=8d9b0b0df0b73f0fdcb7f4729&id=9c8df8dd87 (An example of the handy archives and click-to-subscribe page that is available from MailChimp, the email service I use.)
  10. Three long-running crochet newsletters:

 

II. Starting Off Right: helpful online articles

  1. Common terms associated with email newsletters: http://www.mailermailer.com/resources/email-dictionary.rwp
  2. Name Your Newsletter: http://writtent.com/blog/6-tips-on-creating-compelling-newsletter-titles/
  3. Importance of Subject Lines: http://www.mequoda.com/articles/email-marketing/3-email-subject-line-formulas-proven-to-increase-open-rates/
  4. Create an Email Newsletter Calendar: http://www.mequoda.com/articles/email-marketing/create-a-calendar-for-better-email-marketing-management/
  5. About the Can-Spam Act: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAN-SPAM

 

III. Promote Your Newsletter

You can’t promote it enough.

  1. Example of a Newsletter Pinboard: Vashti Braha, DesigningVashti: http://pinterest.com/vashtibraha/vashti-s-crochet-newsletters/
  2. Example of a dedicated blog page tab (Blogger): http://designingvashti.blogspot.com/p/crochet-inspirations-newsletter.html
  3. Example of a dedicated information page for a Ravelry Group: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/vashtis-crochet-lounge/pages/Crochet-Inspirations-Newsletter-FAQ
  4. Example of a dedicated Facebook Page for your newsletter: https://www.facebook.com/pages/DesigningVashti-Crochet-Inspirations/156608107685576
  5. Inspiring example: A yarn company’s promotional design elements: Lion Brand produces 3 weekly and monthly newsletters, such as The Weekly Stitch. See the information-rich newsletter page here: http://www.lionbrand.com/cgi-bin/newsletters.cgi (archives too). Note how each newsletter issue is formatted. The top right corner has a table of contents, while tabs across the left just under header link to key website pages (OUR YARNS –  PATTERNS – SHOP). Also see the footer of each newsletter.

 

IV. Take Your Newsletter to the Next Level

  1. Berroco may have been the first to regularly embeds videos in their long-running KnitBits issues: http://www.berroco.com/knitbits-newsletter
  2. Knit designer Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer displays her longtime newsletter experience in the fine-tuned elements of her Heartstrings newsletter: http://www.heartstringsfiberarts.com/newsletterarchive.shtm
  3. Online articles about newsletter refinements:
  4. Some examples of newsletter segmentation:

V. ESP Providers and Companies Who Use Them (incomplete list, alphabetical)

Be sure to subscribe to the newsletters of ESP providers that interest you; or explore their online resources. I especially like AWeber’s, MailChimp’s, and Mailermailer’s resources.

  1. Aweber (Rachel Choi/Crochet Spot, Jackie E-S/Heartstrings): http://www.aweber.com
  2. Constant Contact (Maggie’s Crochet, Berroco, Classic Elite Yarns, Cotton Clouds, Crystal Palace Yarns, elann.com, Katherine Lee/Sweaterbabe, Linda Cortright/Wild Fibers):  http://www.constantcontact.com/home/signup.jsp?s_tnt=48655:19:0
  3. Get Response: http://www.getresponse.com
  4. iContact (Jen Hansen/Stitch Diva Studios, Tanis Galik/Interlocking Crochet): http://www.icontact.com
  5. MailChimp (Vashti Braha/DesigningVashti, Dora Ohrenstein/Crochet Insider, Ellen Gormley/GoCrochet, Stacey Trock/Fresh Stitches, Loop/Loop Scoop, Linda Skuja/ElevenHandmade, Leisure Arts, Martingale, Tamara Kelly/moogly, Mikey/The Crochet Crowd, Lianka Azulay/BonitaPatterns, Nancy Queen/Noble Knits, Brenda Lavell/Phydeaux): http://mailchimp.com
  6. Mailermailer (Cathe Ray/Needlestack): http://www.mailermailer.com/index.rwp
  7. PHPList (June Gilbank/PlanetJune, Josi Madera/Art of Crochet): http://www.phplist.com

 

VI. More Crochet-Relevant Newsletters:

  1. Tamara Kelly, Moogly: Weekly via MailChimp; takes advertising (Craftsy, Zulily, Annie’s), and the rest of newsletter is blog post snippets. Includes polls. Archive: http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/home/?u=9929d1e9575d4f0e2936a8743&id=0b2d00989e
  2. Tanis Galik/Interlocking Crochet: http://www.interlockingcrochet.com/index.php?option=com_users&view=registration
  3. Amie Hirtes/NexStitch: http://www.nexstitch.com/newsletter.html
  4. Dora Ohrenstein, Crochet Insider archives: http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/home/?u=c96b913e7af278f634924518a&id=f4d2cd72ee
  5. Lisa van Klaveren, Holland Designshttp://etsy.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe/post?u=9dd325c3d57ba71c22622eece&id=8c9695b735
  6. Annie Modesitt, Modeknithttp://app.expressemailmarketing.com/Survey.aspx?SFID=161138 Previous newsletters since 2006: http://anniemodesitt.com/news/
  7. New Stitch a Day: http://newstitchaday.com/blog/
  8. Linda Cortright’s Wild Fibers: http://visitor.constantcontact.com/manage/optin/ea?v=001nFupVrVrNd7iTi7p6_MGYQ==
  9. My favorite example of a blog-to-newsletter email: Martingale’s crochet & knit Fridays, 3 or 4 staff writers: http://blog.shopmartingale.com/crochet-knitting/crochet-and-knitting-museum-becoming-a-reality/ Some interesting topics. I actually prefer the look & feel of the emailed version. It inspires me to use the blog-to-newsletter features of MailChimp!
  10. Red Heart Yarns, blog (scroll to very bottom for newsletter subscribe box): http://www.redheart.com/blog
  11. Some newsletters produced by local yarn shops:
  12. A Good Yarn Sarasota (rapidly growing readership): http://www.agoodyarnsarasota.com
  13. Loops Scoop archives: http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=f97d5ff1f8ea5c331757403a9&id=50768198b4
  14. String: http://www.stringyarns.com/subscribe.php
  15. Natural Stitches Newsletter: Archives: http://www.naturalstitches.com/Newsletter.html
  16. Jimmy Beans Wool: http://www.jimmybeanswool.com/newslettersHome.asp

VII. Email Newsletter or…Sales Flyer?

“Newsletter” implies enough usable content to avoid the “sales promotion” category. A bulk email is often a mix of the two. Even if an email has a newsletter-like format, at least 60% of it needs to be real non-sales usable content for an email to count as a “newsletter.” 

If you can imagine the information in a bulk email as a magazine article, column, or part of a book chapter, it counts as real content!

  1. An example of a sales flyer (rather than a “newsletter”): Knitpicks http://www.knitpicks.com/images/promo/email/bem/BE130722.html?media=BE130722&elink=0–HTM
  2. Jen Hansen, Stitch Diva Studios: http://www.stitchdiva.com/newsletters/
  3. Lianka Azulay, Bonita Patternshttp://etsy.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=eda7d3f5fe05c649e086e1f0c&id=973aaa93b7
  4. Kristin Omdahl, StyledbyKristin archivehttp://us2.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=dc23e5addd7fc32bc5e710d55&id=d93c5b50da
  5. A sales flyer I enjoy. Why? The design photos inspire me in ten seconds before I delete the email — even though none of them are crochet!: Nancy Queen’s NobleKnits sample issue: http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=74c9a5fe681619d5a82b98f3c&id=fb504eff2b&e=7507824e09