Eclectic Closet Litblog, Book Reviews & Knitting Designs

A litblog dedicated to book reviews/recommendations, as well as literary and publishing news. Now enhanced with knitting designs.

Patterns to make you smile

December4

As we get further into December, there are some very grey and dreary days. Gift-A-Long has some fantastically cute and funny patterns, the perfect thing to combat an overcast day.  The challenge here was paring the list down to these selections.

 

Celtic Cabled Mandala by Tatsiana Kupryianchyk

Celtic Cabled Mandala by Tatsiana Kupryianchyk

 

 

Lady of the Lake by Lotta Groeger

Lady of the Lake by Lotta Groeger

 

My Little Slug by Selina S.

My Little Slug by Selina S.

 

 

Venn by Ella Austin

Venn by Ella Austin

 

 Woolbringer: A knitted sword by Emily Ringelman

Woolbringer: A knitted sword by Emily Ringelman

 

Zombie Knitster by Julia Swart

Zombie Knitster by Julia Swart

 

Karen by Tanja Osswald

Karen by Tanja Osswald

 

Mullioned Hat by Katy H. Carroll

Mullioned Hat by Katy H. Carroll

 

Flidais Stole by Stephannie Tallent

Flidais Stole by Stephannie Tallent

 

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

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Patterns to tame the inner geek

December2

Whether you’re a fan of Harry Potter, Doctor Who or Firefly, the Indie Gift-A-Long has something for everyone.  Here are some of my pattern picks that celebrate various fandoms.

 

Venomous Tentacula by Jennifer Dassau

Venomous Tentacula by Jennifer Dassau

 

Space Cadet Sweater Vest by Nicole Montgomery

Space Cadet Sweater Vest by Nicole Montgomery

 

Doctored by Gabriella Henry

Doctored by Gabriella Henry

 

Shoggoth by Lee Meredith

Shoggoth by Lee Meredith

 

 

 

Jayne Cupcake by Kathleen Sperling

Jayne Cupcake by Kathleen Sperling

 

The One Ring by Renée Kies

The One Ring by Renée Kies

 

Guinan by Akua Lezli Hope AkuaDesigns

Guinan by Akua Lezli Hope AkuaDesigns

 

Mithrandir by Amy van de Laar

Mithrandir by Amy van de Laar

 

 Calluna Brae by Sally Oakley

Calluna Brae by Sally Oakley

 

Omar Alien by cheezombie

Omar Alien by cheezombie

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

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posted under crochet, Knitting | 1 Comment »

Patterns to make you wish you crocheted

November24

I don’t know how to do much more than a single crochet chain but I can appreciate the beauty of a great crochet design.  To kick off the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long blog post series, I decided to share my top picks from the Gift-A-Long crochet designers.

 Amigurumi Nativity Scene by Justyna Kacprzak

Amigurumi Nativity Scene by Justyna Kacprzak

 

Inca Blocks Wrap by Beth Graham

Inca Blocks Wrap by Beth Graham

 

 Dancing Owl by Tatsiana Kupryianchyk

Dancing Owl by Tatsiana Kupryianchyk

 

Rippling Arctic by Elena Fedotova

Rippling Arctic by Elena Fedotova

 

Gathering Leaves by Lily Go

Gathering Leaves by Lily Go

 

Winterlaced Hat and Cowl by Yuliya Tkacheva

Winterlaced Hat and Cowl by Yuliya Tkacheva

 

Hardware Heaven by Sarah jane Jackson

Hardware Heaven by Sarah jane Jackson

Threaded Colors Chevron by BabyLove Brand

Threaded Colors Chevron by BabyLove Brand

Lace Labyrinth Scarf by 10 Hours or Less

Lace Labyrinth Scarf by 10 Hours or Less

 

Lona by Julie Blagojevich

Lona by Julie Blagojevich

 

 Robijn by Susanne Visch

Robijn by Susanne Visch

 

Cowl Neck Sweater by Natalia Kononova

Cowl Neck Sweater by Natalia Kononova

posted under crochet | 2 Comments »

Interview: Darleen Hopkins

December16

Today’s interview is with crochet designer Darlene Hopkins of Crochet by Darleen Hopkins.

Darleen Hopkins

Darleen Hopkins

Who taught you to crochet/How did you learn to crochet?
My sister taught me how to chain and double crochet when I was about 10. I never did much with it then. In 2005 I picked it up again and I haven’t stopped.

How did you get started designing?
I started designing right away. I spent many months working on tension by making pot holders/trivets in various shapes. They were basic designs but my own creations. After that, every time I tried to follow a pattern I always wanted to tweak it to see what it would look like if I tried this, or tried that…

What inspires your designs?
Anything and everything. Sometimes things just pop in my head. My Christmas Tree Holiday Centerpiece was one of those. Sometimes my family suggest items. My youngest son suggested the idea behind the Baby Kitty Blanket and my mom suggested the design for the Picture Perfect Baby Blanket. And sometimes I may read about a call out for designs and try to come up for something that will fit the theme. For example, June 2015 issue of ILikeCrochet.com was looking for some wedding themed items and some baby themed items. The obvious answer, to me, was a baby bib that looked like a tuxedo! And the Pretty Spiffy Baby Bib was born.

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
The inspiration almost always. Once I “see” it in my mind, I search for the perfect yarn.

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
I try to figure out the easiest way to make a design work. I also like to make my designs fun and unique.

What is your favourite type of item to design?
I love to make hats, silly hats, or anything silly. I also enjoy designing pretty shawls but I think my favorite is anything a little silly.

Kissy Fish Hats

Some of the donated Kissy Fish Hats

Tell me about your “fish hats”, what is the story behind these designs?
As I mentioned, I love to make silly hats. I also love to make hats for children going through chemo treatments and I have been making hats for Halos of Hope for a few years. In 2013, Halos of Hope ran a campaign to collect Under the Sea themed hats for the Atlanta area children’s hospitals. This campaign inspired me to design the Kissy, Kissy Fish Face hat. I also wanted to help collect for the campaign (I live about an hour north of Atlanta) so when I put the pattern up for testing I asked each of the testers to donate the test hat to this campaign. The test was open to any who were able to use an appropriate yarn (soft only for chemo hats please!) and able to mail it to me by the deadline. I ended up collecting 31 hats for them. I was so proud of all who helped out. After the test was over, one of the testers mentioned something about a monster fish and this lead to the Black Piranha hat :)

Do you have an aspirational crochet – a complicated/challenging design that you want to crochet “some day” when you feel ready?
Broomstick and hairpin lace. I tried broomstick once a number of years ago. I got the basics but it wasn’t as neat as I wanted it. I decided to put it down and try again later. I also want to learn how to crochet left-handed. That way, if I ever need to show a lefty how to crochet, I can.

What is coming next? What’s in your release queue?
Not sure. I think I’m going to spend some time making a couple hats for donation first.

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only crochet with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
Pretty much any cotton with some acrylic blended in for stretchiness. I rarely use wool or other animal fibers as I’m sensitive to them. But I love soft cottons and cotton/acrylic blends. CottonEase was one of my favorites but it has been discontinued.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
The Baby Kitty Blanket. This is my favorite design. I think some may be intimated by the size but it is really pretty easy. The pattern has links to videos on my website that illustrate the color changes for the diagonal squares for those who like visual aids. My son had the initial idea for the design and he helped me with the square placement and colors. I really enjoyed designing and making it and would love to see more FOs of it.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other crocheters?
Keep crocheting. It is a skill that you can use your whole life. Even if you stop for a few years, pick it back up and enjoy.

Any crocheting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
I have a throw rug I have been wanting to make for some time now out of felted thrift store sweaters. They are already felted sitting in a box, ready to be cut into strips and crocheted. I just haven’t had the time. I also want to finish the Crochet Guild of America’s Master Crocheter program. I started it this summer and got about 1/2 way through. I put it down and became sidetracked with designing. And more designs of course.

View all of Darleen’s patterns here. All photos copyright Darleen Hopkins. All images used by permission.

You can find Carolyn on the following social media sites:

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

Interview: Yuliya Tkacheva

December4

Today’s first interview is with crochet designer Yuliya Tkacheva of Ms Weaver’s Deisgns and A Cup of Stitches.

Tri cowl

Yuliya modeling Tri

Who taught you to crochet/How did you learn to crochet?
I learned to knit from a book and with some help from my grandmother what feels like a million years ago, but haven’t really practiced knitting in the past couple of decades. Crochet is my much more recent infatuation, since back then, when I was already a confident knitter, I could not for the life of me get crochet. Its non-linear nature could not fit in any of my mind’s drawers. A few years ago I watched a couple of YouTube tutorials and something just clicked somewhere and it suddenly made complete sense. I guess I just needed to forget knitting to be able to understand crochet!

How did you get started designing?
Probably like the majority of us, being rubbish at following patterns! I also seem to constantly have an urgent need to make something which I cannot find a pattern for.

What inspires your designs?
This question is always the hardest to answer! I think there are so many things at play at the same time, that I don’t really have a clue! This is why I find writing pattern intros so difficult: I feel like I should mention the source of my inspiration, but can’t always put my finger on it.

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
The idea! With yarn, we are not a married couple, only lovers. I don’t even own any yarn stash (gasp!) except leftovers from previous projects and gifts.

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
Texture, uniformity and rhythm. I like stability and predictability, and I think that comes through in my designs.

What is your favourite type of item to design?
I’ve always liked to design shawls and scarves since those seem like a perfect canvas for showing off interesting stitch pattern combinations (and I love to play with those!). I often get carried away with garment ideas, although those designs, unfortunately, are not always the best business decisions, at least not in crochet.

Tell me about “Linen Letters”, what is the story behind this collection?
This is actually a very special little collection! A few years ago I received a surprise package with three skein of lovely LitYarn linen from my friend and business partner Lena Fedotova. I have already mentioned that I do not start with yarn, and all those years this linen was waiting quietly for its perfect match. “Letters” seemed like an appropriate name for the collection made with the yarn received from someone living miles away and whom I never met in person.

Do you have an aspirational crochet – a complicated/challenging design that you want to crochet “some day” when you feel ready?
At the risk of sounding arrogant, I don’t think there is anything profoundly complex or challenging in crochet. Crochet can be time-consuming and there are plenty of techniques I don’t know or haven’t tried, or haven’t even been invented yet, but ever since my “big crochet revelation”, I know I am ready for just about anything. Bring it on!

What is coming next? What’s in your release queue?
I cannot tell you how excited I am about 2016! Lena and I are brewing two themed joint collections, which we plan to release in early spring and then in autumn. This is a completely new stage in our designing careers, since so far we have worked pretty much “solo”. It is also a big challenge for both of us, as we will need to bring our designs, colour choices, photography and pattern presentation together into one harmonious whole. We cannot wait to start on those!

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
It would be Malabrigo! There is something about that yarn (luscious squishiness? stunning palette?) that makes me go back to it again and again.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
This would be my all of my garments. I wish clothing were more popular with crocheters!

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other crocheters?
Be adventurous! Learn a new technique, try thinner yarn, make yourself a sweater, get out of your crochet comfort zone! (Although this might sound “rich” coming from someone who likes stability and predictability!)

Any crocheting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
Get more people to make crochet clothing!

Of Sails and Waves

Of Sails and Waves

View all of Yuliya’s patterns here. All photos copyright Yuliya Tkacheva. All images used by permission.

You can find Yuliya on the following social media sites:

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

Interview: Julie of ACCROchet

November30

The first interview today is with fellow Canadian Julie of ACCROchet.com. In French, ACCRO means addict and Julie is a self-proclaimed crochet addict.

Julie, modeling the Méli headband

Julie, modeling the Méli headband

Who taught you to crochet/How did you learn to crochet?
I learned on my own, mostly, with the help of Heather, a friend of mine in the States. At the time, there was no Ravelry (GASP!), no Interweave Crochet. There was Crochet Me. And it was a quarterly (I think) online magazine. I remember waiting and waiting for it.

There were a few random sources of help on the web, and I managed to find books locally, and Heather coached me through email.

The rest was trial and error, like realizing you can’t just cut your yarn as close as possible to the stitch when you’re done.

Hah. Yes, that is a true story.

How did you get started designing?
I tell this story wrong when I’m asked, because I remember it differently from day to day.

I was invited to participate in a fiber festival a few years ago.

I now go every year, but that first year, on top of some of my crocheted items, I decided to bring the patterns for a hat, cowl, and fingerless mittens I’d written up. Super simple items for my crochet students.

Lo and behold, people asked me all weekend if I had more. They were excited to find designs in French. (I offer my patterns in French & English).

I had shared the booth with a knitting designer friend of mine, Stéphanie of À la maille suivante.

We vowed to design at least 1 pattern per month during the year before the next event! I haven’t stopped since.

What inspires your designs?
I apologize for the cheese, but literally everything. My entire online world is an endless feed of inspiration. I’m on Pinterest, Instagram, and I have a crazy collection of blogs in my RSS… ALL related to yarn, fiber, colour, design (knit and crochet).

Even in real life I can’t shop without accumulating mental (or cell phone) pictures of the items that I’d rather make than buy.

I’m pretty sure all of the gets into my head and colours what comes off the hook.

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
Hard to say. Sometimes a few designs are floating in my head and I go to The Stash to find something that would work with them.

Then I end up designing something completely different with the yarn I picked out.

I don’t know how to answer this!

Pumpkin Spice Mittens

Pumpkin Spice Mittens

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
I really like for my designs to be simple enough so that new crocheters don’t shy away from them, but also interesting enough so that those with more experience will want them on their hook.

What is your favourite type of item to design?
I seem to design a lot of cowls. I love to wear them, so I imagine that would explain that. I also design a lot of hats, and a good number of modern shawls.

Quatre 4 in 1 cowl

a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/quatre-4-in-1-cowl”>Quatre 4 in 1 cowl

Tell me about “Quatre 4 in 1 cowl”, what was the inspiration for this piece?
This pattern was designed for Design Wars, a weekly crochet design challenge that involves some 40 independent designers.

The theme for that particular week was convertible cowls (that transform into a hat). I decided to go one step further and make the cowl not only convertible, but also reversible. I’m really proud of that design.

Do you have an aspirational crochet – a complicated/challenging design that you want to crochet “some day” when you feel ready?
I would love love love to design an intricate lace shawl, with lace weight yarn. I have options in The Stash, but I currently don’t think I have the concentration for it!

I’m thinking I might want to do it in Tunisian, too.

What is coming next? What’s in your release queue?
I’m releasing one, possibly 2 bag patterns at the end of the month & into January. One is a clutch, with beaded flowers. I can’t wait for it to be live! The other is a thought. I need to sit with it quickly and get it out there.

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only crochet with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
Anything by Julie Asselin. Her hand-dyed yarns are scrumptious, and she can do no wrong in terms of colour.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
I’d say the Modern Hippie Blanket doesn’t get the love it deserves!

It’s a colour-block scheme but with no assembly. The colours are worked into each other as you go, not shapes to be assembled.

I really love it.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other crocheters?
Don’t think too hard about difficulty levels. With patience and the strength to frog your work when you spot a mistake, you can crochet anything.

Any crocheting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
I want to release my patterns in collections of 2 or 3, rather than randomly. We’ll see how that goes; it’s usually hard for me to hold onto them once they’re ready to go.

If you could have dinner with one crochet designer (living or dead) who would it be and why?
Doris Chan. She was the very first designer I discovered, and she introduced me to her unique technique (no seaming!). She’s quirky, and involved with the crochet world. I can’t think of a reason why dinner with her wouldn’t be super interesting.

View all of Julie’s patterns here. All photos copyright ACCROchet except for Adstock shawl, which is copyright Karine Viau. All images used by permission.

You can find Julie on the following social media sites:

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

Interview: Vicky Chan

November23

Today’s second interview is with Vicky Chan of Vicky Chan Designs, a fellow Canadian designer of both knit and crochet patterns, as well as those that combine both.

Who taught you to knit/crochet – How did you learn to knit/crochet?
My aunt taught me to knit and my grandmother taught me to crochet when I was little. It was fun learning with my two sisters the basics through knitting a scarf and crocheting a coin purse.

How did you get started designing?
It all started with “may be I’ll give it a try”.

What inspires your designs?
Fashion magazines and Japanese craft mooks.

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
The inspiration.

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
Botanical and lace themes.

What is your favourite type of item to design?
Sweaters.

Many of your pieces combine knitting and crochet. How does the design process differ than designing for just knit or crochet?
(I only have few pieces combining knitting and crochet at the moment, but I do plan to design more of them.)
The design process is pretty much the same for me, except I would also consider how the knit and crochet portions should complement or balance each other, and if the gauge difference between the two would impact the yarn choice.

Do you have an aspirational knit/crochet – a complicated/challenging design that you want to knit “some day” when you feel ready?
I would like to try free form crochet on a sweater.

What is coming next? What’s in your release queue?
A knitting pattern is coming next in my release queue.

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit/crochet with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
Any nice, soft cotton/linen yarn because I have sensitive skin.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
The sweater that I have wanted to design for my husband.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters/crocheters?
Make a swatch.

Any knitting/crochet/designing New Year’s resolutions?
I’ve never made any New Year’s resolutions – I’m too impatient to wait for the New Year. ?

If you could have dinner with one knitting/crochet designer (living or dead) who would it be and why?
Michelangelo! What? He doesn’t do knitting/crochet design? Can I still have dinner with him? Pleeease…

View all of Vicky’s patterns here. All photos copyright Vicky Chan. All images used by permission.

You can find Vicky on the following social media sites:

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

Interview: Sarah Jane

December11

Today’s Gift-A-Long interview is with crochet designer Sarah Jane from Brisbane, Australia.

Sarah Jane

Sarah Jane

How did you get started designing?
Once when I was browsing around on the internet I came across an ad on the website of an Australian yarn company looking for designers/sample crocheters or knitters. I sent them an email, they took a chance on someone who had never designed a thing in her life and I never looked back…about 6 months after that I stumbled across Ravelry and things were never the same again!

What inspires your designs?
Just about anything can inspire a design, sometimes it’s the yarn, sometimes a stitch pattern and sometimes I am after a certain ‘look’. For the most part I seem to have more ideas than I could possibly ever create, I have a notebook full of (very bad) design drawings and notes. My mind is constantly thinking about different designs and how to construct them in crochet.

Rough Cut Diamonds

Rough Cut Diamonds

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
It varies, sometimes I am inspired by the yarn and sometimes I have an idea that I need to search out the perfect yarn for. There are times when I need to design to a criteria that includes a certain yarn as well.

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
I’m not sure really, I love texture and I like things that are just a little different, I would say that my main criteria is to try and design things that are outside of the ‘norm’ for crochet.

Hardware Heaven - Statement Neck piece

Hardware Heaven – Statement Neck piece

What is your favourite type of item to design?
I would have said that I don’t have a favourite until I looked at my page…it seems that I have a particular penchant for designing hats and cuffs. I do love designing accessories, they are a type of instant gratification and they suit my lifestyle, I am hoping to branch out into more garments though.

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit/crochet with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
Goodness, the pain of having only one yarn to design with..how to choose! I think I would have to go with Dream in Color’s Jilly…the range of colours is gorgeous and fingering weight yarn is my favourite to use.

Soft as Butter

Soft as Butter

What’s your “comfort crochet?”
Ummm, I don’t really have any, it’s usually just whatever I am working on at the time along with a good movie.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
My Asperous Hat and Cowl is a design that I really love but it never really went anywhere.

Asperous Hat and Cowl

Asperous Hat and Cowl

Which three GAL designs are top of your list to knit/crochet?
I’m not sure how to pick only 3 but I love Shakespeare in Love by Carol Sunday, Sheepy Draughts…and a Wolf Too by Aurelie Colas and Floral Bubbles by Elena (Lena) Fedatova.

What’s the best thing about crocheting?
The creativity available with only a hook and some yarn…you can make almost anything and it doesn’t make much mess (if you don’t count the stash!)

Frostberry Hat

Frostberry Hat

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other crafters?
Don’t let any technique or stitch scare you. Anything is possible if you take it a stitch at a time.

Any crocheting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
Not yet but I’m sure I’ll have some by the end of the year. I am hoping next year to become more serious with my designing as my youngest child starts school and I should have more time.

View all of Sarah Jane’s patterns here. All photos are copyright Sarah Jane and used by permission.

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

The number of crochet designers participating in Gift-A-Long this year has grown. For a listing of all crochet designers, please click here.

Interview: Beth Graham

December4

Today’s interview is with crochet designer Beth Graham. Beth is another local designer and friend of mine. Her patterns have been featured in several crochet design books, as well as through her independently released designs.

Beth Graham, modeling Scarf Theory

Beth Graham, modeling Scarf Theory

How did you get started designing?
After I began teaching crochet at my local yarn shop, Shall We Knit?, owner Karen Crouch suggested that I make up my own patterns to go with the classes. Although I wasn’t sure I could do it, I decided to give it a go, and discovered that I really enjoyed the challenge of communicating clearly in this format. A Useful Pot to Keep Things In, is an example of an early design I wrote to support my teaching.

A Useful Pot to Keep Things In

A Useful Pot To Keep Things In

What inspires your designs?
I design mostly for myself – as well as for my imaginary student. I like to learn new things and I have a goofy sense of humor. In fact, I’ll often come up with a silly word or phrase first, as with my Wedgie Blanket, and then play with ideas that fit the name.

Wedgie Blanket, photo by Mary Chapman

Wedgie Blanket, photo copyright Mary Chapman

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
I like texture, geometry, and simplicity. Specifically, I like patterns that look harder than they are, and I’m drawn to tailored forms that appeal to knitters just discovering crochet.

Chained Scarf

Chained Scarf

What is your favourite type of item to design?
I really love quick, one-skein projects – primarily pieces using fingering-weight yarn, which I find can soften crochet’s structured look and feel. I also love using up leftovers from previous projects, so many of my designs incorporate small amounts of scrap yarn.

Offset Spike Scrap Cloths

Offset Spike Scrap Cloths; copyright Annie’s; Published Crochet World, October 2014

What’s your “comfort crochet?”
A better question would be, “What’s your ‘comfort crafting’?” And that would be socks. There’s nothing better than making and wearing handknit socks. In fact, I must have about 30 pairs in my sock drawer right now!

One of the best things about knitting so many socks? I end up with lots of leftovers for my long-term Bandwagon Blanket project.

Bandwagon Blanket

Bandwagon Blanket

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
The Jenny June Scarf, adapted from a thread crochet bedspread motif in a book from the 1880s located via www.antiquepatternlibrary.org, is perhaps my least-appreciated design to date.

Jenny June Scarf

Jenny June Scarf, photo copyright Mary Chapman

Which three GAL designs are top of your list to knit/crochet?
Howlcat by Alex Tinsley; Vinter Votter by Anniken Allis; and Soft as Butter by Sarah Jane Designs.

What’s the best thing about knitting/crocheting?
For me, the best things about knitting and crochet have been the people I’ve met and the chance to learn new things.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other crafters?
New crafters should strive to be fearless learners. It’s really hard to learn new skills, and as adult learners we often fall into “all or nothing” thinking: If I can’t learn something immediately, that means that I’m no good at it and that I’ll never be good at it.

Not true.

Learning is hard work, and it’s a process. Be gentle and patient with yourself, and remember that all the mistakes you make now will turn you into a better crafter down the road!

View all of Beth’s patterns here. All photos, unless otherwise noted, are copyright Beth Graham and used by permission.

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

The number of crochet designers participating in Gift-A-Long this year has grown. For a listing of all crochet designers, please click here.

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