Did you know that March is National Craft Month? Neither did I, until very recently. Even though I was in the dark, I'll take any chance I get to celebrate handmade and all of its wonderful glory.
I chose to celebrate by learning something new: taking a craft I love to a higher level. As you may already know, I love to crochet. The thing about me and crochet is, way back when I learned how, I was only taught a few basic stitches and I made up the rest. Thankfully crochet is a very forgiving craft and a few stitches can take you a long way if your aspirations aren't higher than, say, a piece of fabric that is some sort of square or rectangle shape. So for all of these years, I've happily made scarves and bigger pieces that I've felted in the washing machine to cut up and use for other projects. Some of those square and rectangles have turned into pot holders or envelopes for CDs, and one of them even acts as a table runner. Two squares can become a pillow or one big enough square can be a lap blanket. So even though I've been limited by my ability, I haven't had to limit my imagination.
Well friends, this month I've moved on! I've taken my crochet ability to the next level! Allow me to introduce my very first truly wearable crocheted item: Mittens!
True, they don't match each other, because I accidentally bought two different skeins of yarn — but that's not such a big deal, right?
Anyhow, to celebrate my crafty growth and my ability to actually make clothes out of yarn and a hook, I'd like to give you a pair of mittens. That's right! You can win these mittens, or the ones below and the pattern to make some yourself, thanks to my lovely crochet teacher Sara Delaney, just by leaving a comment on this post or at my personal blog.
This is a picture of mittens in progress, and when I send them to you, they will be all perfect-like — all of those loose pieces of yarn will be gone and all of the parts will be attached!
Aside from taking a crochet class (thanks, Sara!), I've naturally used a few books along the way. I have turned to books to teach me how to join a new color into my project, decrease and increase stitches and naturally to get loads of inspiration. These are the favorites in my personal library:
Teach Yourself Visually Crocheting
Full disclosure: This book was written by a personal friend of mine, and it is so good that I didn't once have to ask her questions on the side to help me out as I learned new things.
Stitch 'n Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker
This book is great for me when it comes to finding hip, youthful designs, which can sometimes be missing from the crochet world. Not that I am skilled enough to have made anything from it yet, but I can dream!
100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet
I have used this book a lot. All of those scarves I made? Well lots of them have been embellished with flowers. This book uses visual charts and written instructions. Even though I have trouble with the charts, it's fun to try to figure them out. It's like cracking a secret code.
So leave a comment here about what your favorite craft is, or a crafty skill you'd like to improve, or visit me at my website and leave a comment there. In two weeks' time, I'll use the random number generator and pick three winners. I'll announce them here on my next post.
Happy National Craft Month, everyone!