Read, Listen, Learn

This is not the post I had lined up for today. That one will wait for another time.

Today, I want us to take a step back. Look at what we read. I know my own to-read pile consists of primarily white men and women. Especially men.

Especially white.

Today, I want us to all read books and poems and articles by people of color. I want us to listen to them.

To learn from them.

Please do your own research to determine who you want to read. A beginning list could include

  • Toni Morrison
  • Maya Angelou
  • Langston Hughes
  • Octavia Butler
  • Gwendolyn Brooks

These are just a few. This list is far from exhaustive. Start here, but add your own. Ask for recommendations from your friends.

Never stop reading. Never stop listening.

Never stop learning.

Learn to Read a Pattern: Parts of a Pattern

Last week, we talked about some common abbreviations that you will see in crochet patterns. Abbreviations aren’t the only things you need to know in looking at a pattern you might want to make, though. (If you need a refresher on the abbreviations, that post is here.)

Let’s take a look at a pattern and dissect the different parts of it. The parts every crochet pattern has are:
– Photo of the finished item.
– Materials/supplies needed
– Special instructions
– Notes
– Gauge
– Instructions/the pattern
– Charts/diagrams/schematics

Continue reading “Learn to Read a Pattern: Parts of a Pattern”

One Quick Way to Make Writing Easy

Last week, I talked about three ways to start writing now. (If you missed that post, you can see it here.) Today, I want to focus on just one of those three ways.

Make it easy.

I know. You often hear about how writing isn’t easy. It’s hard. It’s lonely. It’s a lot of work. Blah, blah, blah. (Or yada, yada, yada.)

Honestly, sometimes it is. But you can make the actual process easier on yourself.

Continue reading “One Quick Way to Make Writing Easy”

Learn to Read a Pattern: Common Abbreviations

A few days ago, I shared a picture on Instagram. It was a project I’m working on without a pattern. A friend commented that was how she needed to do projects because she doesn’t know how to read a pattern. It got me thinking.

I decided to do a series on how to read a pattern. I don’t know how many people are in a similar situation, but if it helps even one person, it’s worth it.

The series will be broken up into three parts. First is common abbreviations. Next week will be pattern shortcuts. We’ll wrap it up with a look at a pattern and break it down for how to put it all together.

Continue reading “Learn to Read a Pattern: Common Abbreviations”

3 Ways to Start Writing Now

In a previous post, I talked about three reasons why you should start writing now. Today, I’m going to address three ways you can start now. (I thought about giving you five ways, but I decided to stay with threes.)

There are numerous ways to start writing now, but these three have helped me get started and keep me going. We’ll talk about

  1. Carrying a notebook all the time.
  2. Starting (and continuing) a writing practice.
  3. Making it easy to write.
Continue reading “3 Ways to Start Writing Now”

3 Reasons to Start Writing Now

You know you’ve either said it or thought it. “I want to write a book someday.” Maybe you didn’t even say/think “a book.” Maybe you left it at “I want to write.”

Today is your lucky day because I’m going to help you bust through three of the most common excuses. And I’ll do it without using current global circumstances as a crutch.

Continue reading “3 Reasons to Start Writing Now”

Ambition in Creatives in a Time of Crisis

Links in this post are not affiliate links. I will not make anything from them if you click or purchase.

First I would like to give a little background. It is no secret that this blog has had a few iterations. You only have to look at the archives to discover that. The primary consistency, though, has been the theme of creativity. Whether mine or yours or both is irrelevant.

What is relevant is that I am going to pivot again. I had narrowed down to talking only about crochet. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I do more than that. If you recall, I am also a writer. I am bringing that back to the blog. This would have happened if there wasn’t a global pandemic going on right now, though that did rush it along a bit.

To that end, I often read books about business and professional development, whether or not they relate directly to writing. This book is one of those.

Continue reading “Ambition in Creatives in a Time of Crisis”

How to Crochet the Camel Stitch

In the past, I have shown you how to do a star stitch as well as shared a couple patterns. Today, I’m going to show you how to do the camel stitch. It’s a key part of a pattern I will be releasing on Ravelry soon.

You do need to know how to do the basic half-double crochet. If you don’t know how to do that, here’s a quick description.

After you do your starting chain, yarn over and insert your hook in the second chain from the hook. Yarn over and pull up a loop. You should have three loops on your hook. Yarn over and pull through all three loops. There’s your half-double crochet.

The camel stitch is a variation of that. It works in the third loop (I’ll describe that in a minute) and produces a ridge that mimics a row of knit stitch.

Here’s what you need to know for that.

Instructions

You will need:
Crochet hook (I’m using a 7.0mm hook because that’s what I’m using for the pattern)
Worsted weight yarn

For your swatch:
Chain 21
Row 1: HDC in 2nd ch from hook, HDC across, chain 1, turn your work
Row 2: In 3rd loop (see pictures), HDC across. When looking at the stitch, you see the first two loops you usually work into. Rotate your work slightly to you. You should be able to see the third loop on the back of the row.

Repeat row 2 until you have approximately 20 rows or until you are satisfied wth how your camel stitch looks.

For Visually Impaired Crocheters

Finding the third loop might be difficult. I had trouble with it when I first started. to help with this, I did a setup row of single crochet. In fact, when I started this swatch, I had trouble seeing the third loops. So I went back and did the single crochet setup. Then I started Row 1 of the half-double crochet. That way, when I started Row 2 working in the third loop, that loop was facing me. I could feel where it was and, after a while, I got to where I could see it.

I’m not saying it got easier to see. I think that because I trained myself where that loop was, I started to see where my hook needed to go, whether I actually see the loop/stitch or not.

If this doesn’t help, let me know and I will do my best to break it down more to help you get this stitch effect.