Sunday, December 6, 2015

Craft Tours - Crochet

Crochet World December 2015 Cover
I was flipping through the Crochet World magazine for December 2015 in hopes of finding inspiration for the holidays. There are so many wonderfully festive patterns this month and of course, on the cover, is my favorite, a multicolored holiday doily with beads. Inside, my eye was caught by an ad.

10-Day Crocheting in the Emerald Isle June 24-July 3
The entire cost is only $3289.00

Package Includes: Round-trip airfare from New York, private motorcoach and driver/guide, first-class hotel accommodations, most meals, sightseeing as mentioned in the itinerary including an optional Irish Singing and Dancing show, a visit to Blarney Woolen Mills, Avoca Weaving and Spinning, & Ross Castle, Irish scone making class, a sheep shearing demonstration, crocheting workshops with the fabulous Jennifer E Ryan and much more!

I would love to do this at some point in my life, but it won't be happening in 2016. If you go to the website, they also have a tour for New Zealand with Crocheting in 2017. I don't know how many of us are globe trotters, but I really do love to travel. Traveling in groups with an itinerary is even better because the work is already done for you and you can sit back, relax and crochet.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Psychology of Color

I found this graphic that goes into great detail about the psychology of color. Color seems to be a hot topic in our meetings lately. I thought this might help people pick colors based on a themed emotion or feeling they are trying to project with their crochet. You can also send a political message using color. It seems a bit absurd, but I always ask myself why do bright red cars always get the most speeding tickets?  Why are bedroom themes commonly done in cool colors? Why are brand images important?  It all boils down to the psychology of color.

You can go to the original blog that goes with this image at

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Curiosity: Where do you like to crochet?

Do you have a favorite spot that you gravitate to for crocheting? Do you have a cat or dog in your lap or a bird on your shoulder? What about food? Do you ever eat and crochet? How do you avoid the crumbs, grease, or other food leftovers? Does your family ever get irritated that you are crocheting too much? Do you watch TV or listen to the radio while you crochet? How about listening to an audio book and crocheting?

I look around my home and I have crochet just draped all over my couch and my desk. Those are the two areas I am at usually. I always have difficulty eating and crocheting, so I usually stick with doing the two activities separately.  I always like to watch TV when I crochet. I am not really watching the TV as much as I am listening to it. One of these days, I should actually listen to my audio books and crochet. I always forget what I have available to me. Most often, I have a cat on my lap or a bird on my shoulder. I struggle with this because if I am trying not to get cat hair on my crochet, I am dodging bird poop from my feathered friends. Large projects are in the biggest danger of being pooped on. Sometimes my birds are fascinated with what I am doing and they want to crawl all over my crochet and mouth everything. They think it is interesting. Much more interesting than the cats think. My cats just want to lay on it to say, "Look at me! Pet me!".

When I crochet, I like to marathon crochet. It can be annoying to some people that have lived with me because I tend to put everything else aside, for hours, until I cannot crochet any more. It is also frustrating because I am not good with stopping and starting projects.A lot of projects I stop end up not being finished for a very long time. Let's not talk about my UFOs. That's a whole other crochet issue!

What does your favorite crochet spot look like? Share!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Color Theory

Before we begin to crochet a new item, we always consider the color of yarn that we would like to use for the project. Color is important to most of us and provides aesthetic appeal to the finished object. It also provides a sense of order, harmony and context.  

Color has three main theories. The first is the Color Wheel. The Color Wheel provides a sense of order, structure and relation to other colors. There are 3 main color wheels. There's the primary color wheel, secondary color wheel and tertiary color wheel.

Primary colors are the three colors, red, yellow and blue. These colors cannot be mixed or formed by any combination of other colors. 

Secondary colors are green, orange and purple. These colors are formed by mixing the primary colors.

Tertiary colors are yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green. These colors are formed by mixing a primary and secondary color.That's why the hue is a two word name, such as red-orange.

The second color theory is Color Harmony. Harmony can be defined as a pleasing arrangement of parts. In this case a it would be a pleasing arrangement of colors. It engages the viewer and creates an inner sense of order and balance for the visual experience. When we do not have harmony, we have boredom or chaos. When choosing a color scheme, we can base them on several patterns. The patterns are as follows:
  1. Analogous Colors - Any three colors which are side by side on a 12 part color wheel. Usually one color predominates.
  2. Complementary Colors - Any two colors which are directly opposite of each other on the color wheel such as red-purple and yellow-green. The opposing colors create maximum contrast and maximum stability.
  3. Nature - Choosing colors you see together in nature. An example of this is would be a red flower with a green stem.

The third color theory is Color Context. This theory describes how color behaves in relation to other colors and shapes. It is the most complex area of color theory. Observing the effects color have on each other is a starting point for understanding the relativity of color. The relationship of values, saturation and the warmth or coolness of respective hues can cause noticeable differences in our perception of color.

How will you pick the color of your next project?  What theory will you be applying?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Fiber Conferences, Fairs, Shows, Oh my!

That time of year is approaching where a lot of activities start ramping up for the spring/summer season in Illinois and Wisconsin. For the people interested in fiber arts, this means fairs, shows, conferences, and more! There are a lot of options coming up in the near future. We have recently lost one of our favorites, Midwest Folk and Fiber, but in it's place we have a few new ones added to the list. Here's a list of all things fiber related to attend in 2015.

  • Yarn Con, Chicago's Indie Fiber Fair, Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union Hall, 1340 W. Washington St., Chicago, IL 60607 - April 18 & 19, 2015, 10am-3pm.

We hope to see you there!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Color Trends 2015

All of us crocheters follow trends whether we realize it or not. We follow it because we are continuously buying yarn throughout each season. Have you ever noticed the store shelves are packed with specific colors during each season? And I think we have all experienced the evasive skein of yarn in the color we need, but cannot find at the local yarn shop. It all boils down to the color trend for the season.

With the color trend information available to us, maybe we can start planning ahead this year.  Planning can be painful, but this time it will be exciting.  We can make a list of all the yarn we need and the colors we desire and plan to purchase MORE YARN when the colors are available!  Yes, I said it. We now have a better excuse to buy MORE YARN! Your loved ones jaws will drop when you tell them why you need to buy more yarn now verses later. What counter argument can they give us to this logic?

According to the Pantone Color Institute, the new colors for Spring of 2015 are:
  • Aquamarine
  • Scuba Blue
  • Lucite Green
  • Classic Blue
  • Toasted Almond
  • Strawberry Ice
  • Tangerine
  • Custard
  • Marsala
  • Glacier Gray 
Check out the Pantone Color Institute website to see samples of these colors. They have also announced the 2015 color of the year, Marsala!