Have You Ever Done a Make-Along?


Depending on what you choose to do as your creative outlet, a make-along could be a crochet-along (CAL), knit-along (KAL) or something else.
This year, I participated in my first ever crochet-alongs. One was in March for the Crochet Guild of American (CGOA) in honor of March being National Crochet Month. The second was with Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts and Furls Crochet on her desig, the Bronwyn Shawl.

I made a cowl and a short scarf for the CGOA CAL. I’m almost finished with the Bronwyn shawl. Both designs turned out absolutely beautiful. I have to admit, though, the Bronwyn shawl kind of tested my patience, especially at the beginning when I kept getting a trapezoidal shape to what is supposed to be a triangular shawl. But after starting over five or six times, I LOVE it!

The question that serves as the title for the post is a real one. Have you ever participated in any kind of make-along? What was your experience like? Tell us in the comments.

3 Reasons Writers & Makers Use Facebook

I realized a few days ago that I’ve been on Facebook for over ten years. Sometimes I wonder why.

I started out with no purpose other than keeping up with friends and family. Then I decided it would be a good way to promote my writing.

There are several reasons why someone would want to be on Facebook, especially writers and makers. Here are three:

  1. Promote work – Make use of Facebook groups and fan pages to promote your work, whether writing, photography, fiber arts, or whatever you do. You can use your personal profile for this too, but groups and pages give you a wider reach.
  2. Network with others – This is another good use for groups. Also use Facebook Live chats and videos for this. Your profile page is not the best place for this. Frequent groups where people you want to associate with hang out.
  3. Sell work – Several ways exist to do this on the Facebook platform. Your personal page, fan page, Facebook Marketplace, groups, and Messenger are all good for this. You can tie Shopify to your account for selling purposes too.

I know I haven’t covered even half of the reasons why writers and makers might be on Facebook. What is your reason?

March is National Crochet Month

I recently joined the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA). Why?

There are several reasons. One is that I’ve wanted to for a while, but I assumed the dues would be out of my price range. I found out that isn’t so. It’s $35USD a year for individuals.

A second has to do with plans I have for the near future. I want to teach some classes at a local store and I thought it would look better for me to be a CGOA member. (I also discovered they have a certified instructor program that would be good to do too.)

Third is I’m really interested in some of the events coming up. For example, they have a conference in July. I don’t know yet if I’ll be able to go or not, but it’s good to know. The website is also why/how I discovered March is National Crochet Month.

With all this, if you’re a crocheter, you might be interested in membership benefits. From the welcome email:

CGOA membership offers great inspiration and connection with other crochet enthusiasts as well as the following member benefits:

  • Annual free subscription to Crochet! Magazine
  • CGOA Member newsletter “Chain Link”
  • Bi-monthly eNewsletter
  • FREE Patterns
  • Quarterly Crochet-A-Longs
  • CGOA BLOG
  • Educational Opportunities:

– Discount on Craft Yarn Councils’ Certified Instructor Program

– Discount on Master of Advanced Stitches and Techniques programs

  • Access to a teacher contact list for CGOA chapter workshops
  • Networking

– Join or start a CGOA chapter to connect locally – there’s even a cyber chapter

– Volunteer for one of the many committee opportunities

  • CGOA Annual Conference benefits:

– Class discounts

– Free entry into the Marketplace

– Meet top teachers in the field of crochet

– Members free or reduced rates on ticketed events

– Members-only Design Competition

– Attend Professional Development courses

There are some other benefits, but instead of showing everything here, click the link above to go to the website.

My Favorite Crochet Hooks

It’s no secret I crochet. A lot. This summer, I actually crocheted myself into tendonitis, but that’s not the point of this post.

I want to talk a little bit about my favorite crochet hooks.

My go-to hook is a size J/10 6.0 mm hook. In the picture here, you can see the wear on my absolute favorite hook in the middle. It’s a blue-green with the underlying silver showing through.

Who thought you could wear the color off of a metal crochet hook? I didn’t. Now I know.

My second favorite hook is not pictured. It’s also a size J. The handle is gray with purple flowers and the hook itself is purple.

I have a third favorite hook. It’s also not picture because there’s a project on it. It’s a size L/11 8.0 mm Tunisian crochet hook. I’m making a shawl designed by Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts. I love the pattern. I love the hook. I’ll share pictures of the finished project if you’re interested.

There you have it. A few if my favorite crochet hooks and why.

What is your favorite tool you use in your creating/making?

Selecting Yarn for a Pattern

I have a lot of patterns. I have a lot of yarn. I don’t necessarily buy yarn for every pattern I have that I want to make. That would be a bit much, even for me. So what do I do?

First, I go through the yarn I already have (and can access because some of it is in storage in the garage). Honestly, I usually find something to use in that. If I don’t, then I go yarn shopping.

It’s such a hardship.

I couldn’t even type that with a straight face.

But seriously, what do you do if you have a pattern you want but you don’t have the yarn that goes with it? Read the pattern and find the recommended yarn. Then check the labels on the yarn you have. Is any of it comparable?

Check the fiber. If it’s a wool blend, do you have a similar yarn? What weight does the pattern call for? If it’s chunky and you only have worsted, can you hold two strands together and make it work?

I do this often enough that I honestly don’t really think about it. I’ve even substituted different weights of yarn. I have one pattern that calls for DK or sport yarn. I don’t have any. Instead, I’m using worsted weight yarn (probably what you think of when you think of yarn) and went up to a larger crochet hook to accommodate it.

The only advice I have for selecting yarn for a pattern or for substituting yarn is this: If you like it, use it. You might need to experiment to get the right hook or needle for the look you want, but it will (usually) work out.

Why usually?

It doesn’t work so well if you’re making garments. Then you do want to use as similar a yarn as possible to what the pattern calls for.