Thursday, September 15, 2016

Crochet Pattern: Happy Links Necklace and Bracelet My Latest #Crochet Writing

This is my latest blog post for Crochet Spot! Read the whole article on crochetspot.com

I bought a bag of beautiful embroidery floss from the craft store and I have been loving the experimentation process. How can I combine different strands to achieve a different look? Since embroidery floss will always remind me of friendship bracelets, I wanted to make a chunky bangle to keep or give to a friend. I had so much fun with the technique that I kept going! The end result was a jewelry piece that could be used as a necklace or bracelet, featuring links that are perfect for attaching charms. Fun for adults, and kids, too!


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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Book Review: Knit, Hook, and Spin by Laurie Carlson

It is an absolute pleasure to review the book Knit, Hook, and Spin by Laurie Carlson.  The timing is quite apropos, as a new school year is upon us!  Teachers, parents, and kids may want to give this book a try.




Before we get into the nitty gritty, I should say that Chicago Press provided me with a copy of the book but all opinions are my own.

The reason I had an interest in this book is that I have been working with elementary-aged students.  What impresses me so much about them (and one of the things that impressed me about my older students as well) is how wildly expressive they are.  I love how my students dive in and create without fear.  For them, creating is a game and it's a lot of fun!  I couldn't agree more!

One thing that I lament a little is the fact that I can't teach them everything I want to share with them about different art forms.  That is one of the reasons why I was so impressed with this book.  It serves as a valuable resource that children can pick up on their own and learn about all kinds of fiber arts by reading and then trying.  

Carlson divides the book into eight crafting sections, covering felting, knotting/braiding, spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet, dyeing, and recycled crafts.  The introductory section is about all different kinds of fibers, and the final chapter serves as a call to action: Get Involved!  These sections contain wealth of information and may help a dedicated crafter know what to do with their creations and new knowledge.

I like the look and feel of this book.  The layout and fonts are inviting and fun.  The black and white illustrations are clear.  I love that there are no photos, because kids can follow the directions and come up with their own version of the projects.  There is no pressure to make your project look glossy and professional.  Kids should be exploring and having fun!  A final thing I love about this book is that the projects are practical.  From felted soap to crochet comfort dolls, children can make things that they can actually use!  I love it!

The picture below will give you an idea of how the book looks and feels.  I will link to a free download of the book page on October 1, 2016.



As always, thanks for reading the blog!  Please leave your thoughts, ideas and questions in the comment section below.  If you liked this post, please share this post with a friend through social media & trumpet the need for great books like this! Like my Facebook page for updates and more crafty sharing!

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Crochet Pattern: Tiny Heart Charm My Latest #Crochet Writing

This is my latest blog post for Crochet Spot! Read the whole article on crochetspot.com

My artistic heart has been strongly drawn towards mixed media and art journaling lately. While I am learning dozens of interesting techniques through watching instructional videos and devouring books, I am always thinking about how I could incorporate crochet into the mix. This tiny heart is perfect to tuck into a journal or attach to a page if crocheted in embroidery floss. If you decide to scale the hook and yarn size up, this cutie can embellish a hat or a bag. Switch up yarn color combinations for lots of mixed and matched fun!


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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Crochet Pattern: Pineapple Applique My Latest #Crochet Writing

This is my latest blog post for Crochet Spot! Read the whole article on crochetspot.com

Have you noticed how popular pineapples have been lately? Artistic renderings of pineapples are adorning all kinds of things from clothing to accessories to school supplies! This crocheted pineapple applique was inspired by a cartoon image I found online. I like how this one is a little unsymmetrical. For some reason that appeals to me. It would be fun to crochet this in different colors to decorate a tote bag, t-shirt, pencil case, or even a book cover. Just use strong glue to attach them.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

How to Crochet: Standing Single Crochet My Latest #Crochet Writing

This is my latest blog post for Crochet Spot! Read the whole article on crochetspot.com


Standing single crochet is a method for joining a new yarn and/or color to your work. It is as simple as starting with a slip knot on your hook with your new yarn and making a single crochet stitch. You can use this technique in place of having to tie your new yarn to your work.

How to Crochet a Standing Single Crochet Tutorial by Caissa McClinton @artlikebread for @crochetspot


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