The 2017 Gift-A-Long is here!

The 2017 Gift-A-Long is here!

GAL 2017This is the fifth year for the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long and I’m super excited for it to begin. What is Gift-A-Long? It’s a multi-designer promotion to help you kick your holiday gift-making into high gear!

Basically, 311 indie designers of knit and crochet patterns, have banded together to support each other and help everyone get their holiday to-do list done while having a lot of fun and possibly winning patterns and yarn and kits and lots of other fiber finds.

In a nutshell there are:
311 designers from 31 countries with lots and lots of donated free patterns to win as well as physical prizes.

There are over 18,000 patterns to knit or crochet that will make you eligible to win one (or more) of the fabulous prizes.  Of the over 18,000 patterns, 5,300+ of them will be on SALE for 25% off!  Yup! Big Savings so stock up on your favorites.  The sale runs from Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm US EST to Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 11:59 pm US EST.

There will be Pinterest boards and Ravelry Bundles available to peruse for all the sale patterns.  Each designer has at least 5 and up to 20 patterns on sale. Once you get your sale pattern, check out the other patterns the designer offers.  All patterns are eligible for the KAL/CAL threads and all paid for patterns (self, or third party published) are eligible for prizes.  Did I mention the prizes??? Tons and tons of prizes but you gotta’ be in it to win!

Check the Ravelry group for more information.
You can find all my GAL eligible patterns here: Crochet by Darleen Hopkins on Ravelry

Confused?  Check out the FAQs!

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It is almost time for the 2016 Gift-A-Long!

2016-stats

The 2016 Gift-A-Long is about to begin!

This is the fourth year for the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long and I’m super excited for it to begin. What is Gift-A-Long? It’s a multi-designer promotion to help you kick your holiday gift-making into high gear!

Basically, 335 indie designers of knit and crochet patterns, have banded together to support each other and help everyone get their holiday to-do list done while having a lot of fun and possibly winning patterns and yarn and kits and lots of other fiber finds.

In a nutshell there are:
335 designers from 33 countries.
Lots and lots of donated physical prizes, and more coming in…(2015 had over 150)
Over 2,200 digital prizes (patterns!)

There are over 17,500 patterns to knit or crochet that will make you eligible to win one (or more) of the fabulous prizes.  Of the over 17,500 patterns, 5,106 of them will be on SALE for 25% off!  Yup! Big Savings so stock up on your favorites.  The sale runs from Tuesday, November 22nd at 8:00 pm US EST to Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 11:59 pm US EST.

There will be Pinterest boards and Ravelry Bundles available to peruse for all the sale patterns.  Each designer has at least 5 and up to 20 patterns on sale. Once you get your sale pattern, check out the other patterns the designer offers.  All patterns are eligible for the KAL/CAL threads and all paid for patterns (self, or third party published) are eligible for prizes.  Did I mention the prizes??? Tons and tons of prizes but you gotta’ be in it to win!

Check the Ravelry group for more information.
You can find all my GAL eligible patterns here: Crochet by Darleen Hopkins on Ravelry

Confused?  Check out the FAQs!

Save

The Potholders Have Arrived!

YIPPEE!  They arrived!  The packaged didn’t even make it to the house before I ripped it opened.  And they are gorgeous!  In May I posted about a crochet potholder swap  (Post 1 and Post 2) and I’m super excited to share with you the three beautiful potholders I received in the swap.  I can’t wait for the next one 🙂

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The round purple/teal was crocheted by Sybil. The pattern is called Disc Disc.

The lavender and white was crocheted by Linda. The pattern is Vintage Climbing Trellis Hexagon.

The dusty red and indigo was crocheted by Linda. The pattern is an Ornamental African Flower Potholder!

hotpads

Confessions of a Crochet Addict

You know you are addicted to crochet when…

KissyFishFace (1000x1000) …you are 2 stitches into a 100 stitch row and it is time to leave and you say, “I just have to finish this row first”.

…you keep a project bag in your car for the “just in case I have to wait five minutes to crochet while waiting for ______ to finish”.   (Fill in the blank with any child’s sporting or school event.)

…you find stitch markers in your slippers.

…you buy a new camera just so you can take better photos of your projects.

…you buy a smartphone just so you can take quick photos of your projects.

…instead of counting sheep, you count stitches.

…you don’t mind arriving early to work to secure a parking spot because you are happy to sit in your car and crochet for a few minutes.

…you recall your vacations by which project you made while traveling.  “Oh I remember that trip.  That was when I made….”

…you are more excited for a “snow/ice day” than your kids.

…when packing for vacation you pack your yarn first.

…you find stitch markers in every room of your house.

…you post more photos of yarn and your projects than pictures of your kids.

…road trip = more crochet time (oh, and family time too!).

…you compare how much something costs to skeins of yarn. (It’s how much?  Gosh that’s like five skeins of yarn!)

…your idea of a good date night involves a yarn store and coupons.

…your idea of an exciting Friday night is blocking a shawl.

…you have daily UFO sightings at your house.

…your teenage son actually knows the difference between knitting and crocheting.

…you find stitch markers in the dryer.

…you are having a panic attack because you can’t find your *favorite* G hook.

…you tell your son, “Sorry, your homework has to wait.  I need the computer for this pattern.”

…you’ve used the phrase “yarn diet”.

…you have more throw blankets than couches, loveseats and chairs combined.

…new car shopping involves checking for enough *leg AND crochet bag* room.

…you find crochet hooks under your couch.

…you find yarn under your couch.

…you find stitch markers under your couch.

…you have crocheted by candlelight.

…you get excited when your husband says “road trip” before you even know where he wants to visit.

…you take a vacation day to catch up on things at the house and the number one item on your list is to finish your current crochet project.

…your cat totally ignores the balls of yarn splayed across the floor, “Been there, done that-Meow!”

…you store yarn in your bathtub.

…you find stitch markers at work.

…you are annoyed when you DON’T have to wait at the doctor’s office.

…you have a room dedicated to just yarn and crochet.

…you think it is totally normal to ask someone his or her head circumference.

…you find pieces of yarn in your purse and your coat pockets.

…you find stitch markers in your purse and your coat pockets.

…you suffer from APDS* and AYDS*.

*APDS-Acquired Pattern Disorder Syndrome.  The inability to stop purchasing patterns, resulting in a collection of patterns that far exceeds your life expectancy.

*AYPS-Acquired Yarn Disorder Syndrome.  When you’ve acquired so much yarn you will never, ever use it all in 3 lifetimes.

…you find you can relate to all of the above!

We adopted our cat from a shelter so we don’t know a lot about her parents.  She does have some Manx in her as she does not have a tail.  So…. you might be addicted to crochet when your son asks you to crochet a tail for your cat and you pause a moment thinking over the possibility of this project.
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Relax! And enjoy your healthy addiction to crochet. Now go create something extraordinary.

EyeballPillow900

Crochet and knitting and football and basketball

Crochet and knitting are as similar as two of America’s most popular sports-basketball and football. 

It's a crocheted shawl, not knit!  How to explaid the difference between knit and crochet.

What a beautiful knit shawl! Thank you but it’s CROCHETED!

“She’s crocheting, you know, knitting.” How many times have you heard that?? or “Isn’t crochet just the same thing as knitting?” or “What’s the difference, really? They both use yarn, right?” Well, yes, knitting and crochet both use yarn but as you and I know, they are very different in some ways and very similar in other ways. The next time someone comments how they are the same thing….try to explain the difference in a way many will (hopefully) understand..

Crochet and knitting are as similar as two of America’s most popular sports-basketball and football.
Let me explain.
Yes, knitting and crochet both use yarn and a pointy thing to stitch rows and ultimately a finished item. But they differ in three very important ways.

First, the tool. The crochet hook and knitting needle are about as similar as the balls used to play football and basketball. While both balls are filled with air, they are shaped differently and used differently. Nobody kicks a basketball and nobody dribbles a football.

Next, technique. Both sports have an offense whose purpose is to make a touchdown/basket but how the football offense is played is very different from how the basketball offense is played. Have you ever seen basketball players in a line of scrimmage? Nope. Same with both sport’s defense; they serve the same purpose but executed differently. Similarly, while both knitting and crochet have a goal to create stitches, how those stitches are made are very different. We, knitters and crocheters, use our tools differently. The result is the same, a lovingly stitched item, or for the sports-minded, a game well-played.

Last, language. While both fiber arts use patterns, our language is very different. A crocheter who has never picked up knitting needles is not going to be able to read a knitting pattern. It is a learned skill as is reading a crochet pattern. I have heard a lot of both football and basketball terminology in my house, I have a sports enthusiast husband and two teenage boys, but I really don’t know what most of them mean. I know the basics, a three pointer is good in basketball and a blitz is a football thing, but that’s about all I know. And although I can’t explain basketball terminology or football terminology, I know they are different.

I believe most people know how different the two sports are. That although they have similarities, they are played differently, the tools are different and the lingo is different. So the next time someone makes a comment about your “knitting”, take a second and try this analogy and maybe it will help them understand.  And when you are done explaining it, tell them you are hoping the Chicago Bulls win the Superbowl 🙂

Whispers

The 2015 Gift-A-Long is almost here!

The 2015 Gift-A-Long (GAL) is almost here!

This is the third year for the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long and I’m so excited for it to begin.  Every year has been a lot of fun and this year, it is bigger than ever and guaranteed not to disappoint.

What is Gift-A-Long? It’s a multi-designer promotion to help you kick your holiday gift-making into high gear!

Basically, 335 indie designers of knit and crochet patterns, have banded together to support each other and help everyone get their holiday to-do list done while having a lot of fun and possibly winning patterns and yarn and kits and lots of other fiber finds.

There is an amazing stats page you can find here: Indie GAL Stats!
#giftalong2015In a nutshell there are:
335 designers from 30 countries.
Over 150 donated physical prizes, and more coming in…
Over 2,300 digital prizes (patterns!)

There are almost 16,000 patterns to knit or crochet that will make you eligible to win one (or more) of the fabulous prizes.  Of the almost 16,000 patterns, 5,065 of them will be on SALE for 25% off!  Yup! Big Savings so stock up on your favorites.  The sale runs from Thursday, November 19th at 8:00 pm US EST to Friday, November 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm US EST.

There will be Pinterest boards and Ravelry Bundles available to peruse for all the sale patterns.  Each designer has at least 5 and up to 20 patterns on sale. Once you get your sale pattern, check out the other patterns the designer offers.  All patterns are eligible for the KAL/CAL threads and all paid for patterns (self, or third party published) are eligible for prizes.  Did I mention the prizes??? Tons and tons of prizes but you gotta’ be in it to win!

Check the Ravelry group for more information.  And be sure to check my Facebook page as I will be featuring a GAL Crochet Pattern of the day, every day of the Gift-A-Long!

You can find all my GAL eligible patterns here: Crochet by Darleen Hopkins on Ravelry 

Hot pad crochet pattern. Christmas candy, gingerbread man and snowman

Summer 2015 Wrap Up

Better late than never…

Wow, you know you are a little behind in posting blogs when you find one from -3 MONTHS AGO-that was never finalized and posted.  Well, here it is, a little late and a little out of season.  I’ll try to be a little more timely with the next one!!

August 2, 2015
It seems so odd to me to be thinking that summer is almost over on August 2, but it is; summer vacation anyway.  I’ve lived in Georgia 18 years now and I still haven’t gotten used to kids starting school in early August.  But we have open house tomorrow and the first day of school starts on Thursday.  My oldest has already started his high school marching band practices (Nov. 1 UPDATE: one football game left in the season) and I’ve had my youngest “training” for middle school cross-country all summer.  The first meet is just 3 weeks from tomorrow! (Nov. 1 UPDATE: He has completed his cross-country season and won the Coach’s award for being a good example and having a positive attitude! So proud of him!) Our summer has been busy with a nice family vacation, some friends over for sleepover parties, a camp here and there, getting wisdom teeth removed for one child and the other getting braces, and teaching the oldest to drive (wow!).  With all this, I did manage to squeeze in a little crochet time.

Hot pad crochet pattern. Christmas candy, gingerbread man and snowmanOwl crochet pattern amigurumi by Darleen Hopkins

In May the Peppermint Pals Hot Pad set was released and I was very excited to complete my charity lapghan for donation to the local nursing home in May as well.

Shawl-Moxie Crochet PatternShells of Love crochet baby blanket

June was a little quiet while I worked on a hat for Halos of Hope but July was BUSY! The Owl Always Love You amigurumi pattern was released in July as was my 4th shawl, Moxie. In addition, the Shells of Love baby blanket pattern was updated. Phew! July was a busy, busy month.

Yesterday, August 1, I posted a holiday stocking pattern for testing and hope to have it available by September 1. (Nov. 1 UPDATE: It is now available! It is hard to think of Christmas when the summer bugs are still singing but the holidays will be here in just a few short months.

The two months of no school and my adjusted work schedule have been nice but I am looking forward to the routines that the school year brings us.  I’m always sad when the summer bugs (the singing ones, not the biting ones) go away.  I love listening to them while I crochet on my back porch.