Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Giant Funky Granny

I've been asked by several people recently when and how I first learned to crochet.  Below is an excerpt from an article I wrote for the CGOA crochet e-newsletter.

I first learned to crochet in the early 70's. I was taught by a neighborhood friend's mother. She gave me a g hook and some white scrap yarn and taught me how to make a granny square. Shortly after that lesson, my friend and her mother moved, thus making that my first and only lesson. I didn't know what else to do but to continue working on that granny square.

My mother would buy me skeins of white yarn, whatever was on sale, and I would go around and around my granny square. I remember being very excited when she finally bought me a set of hooks, so much so that I had to try out every hook on my granny square. Eventurally, I guess I tired of the square and began to learn other stitch patterns. I now have a giant, odd shaped, many shades of white, giant funky granny square.

I guess my friend's mother taught me the granny sqaure because granny square's were popular in the early 70's. I wonder how many crocheter's taught in the early 70's have giany funky granny squares of their own. Did everyone who learned in the 70's learn the granny square? Did crocheter's learning to crochet when my grandmother was a child learn how to make fine lace or doillies or whatever was popular at the time? What are today's beginners learning first?

Granny squares seem to have made a come back. Maybe there will be another generation of giant funy grannies!

(Note:  I still have my giant funky granny square - is my doggie's favorite blanket.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Flower Wrap on Michaels

View & Download a copy of my bright summer flower wrap at Michaels Craft Store!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Free Crochet Pattern Spotlight - Love Notes Scarf

Perfect Summer Accessory!  Use as a light wrap for cool summer evenings and walks on the beach!

I was sent NaturallyCaron.com’s new Spa yarn in Rose Bisque right before Valentine’s Day and asked to design a purse and filet scarf Since I am currently a woman in love…….

I am lucky enough to have a love with a sensitive heart, a fondness for old sweet love songs, and the thoughtfulness to send me love notes often. He inspired “Love Notes,” a motif of musical notes with hearts used as the whole notes on a music staff.

NaturallyCaron.com’s new Spa yarn has the softness that Caron’s Simply Soft is know for yet is a thinner gauge yarn (yaaa!!!). Don’t be afraid of thinner than worsted yarns! Yes, a project may take a little more time but more stitches per inch allow for more intricate patterns, a lighter hand for greater drape and softness you wouldn’t believe.”
You can purchase NaturallyCaron's Spa Yarn here:  http://www.shopcaron.com/Spa_c_25.html

Download a copy of this pattern free:  http://www.naturallycaron.com/projects/chakra_scarf/chakra_scarf_4.html

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Free Crochet Pattern Spotlight - Summer Flowers Shawl!

Perfect Summer Shawl for cool evening walks on the beach!  My Flowers Shawl is worked in Caron International's Simply Soft with Caron Brites summer flowers. 

Bright pink, green, orange, and yellow flowers are worked seperately then joined to the shawl.

Download a copy of this pattern free: http://www.caron.com/projects/ss/SS2_floral_shawl.html

A black version of this shawl with beaded brites flowers was published in Cari Clement's book "Embellished Crochet". http://www.caron.com/embellished_crochet.html

Friday, April 30, 2010

Free Crochet Pattern Spotlight - Evening Ruffled Purse

A girl can never have to many bags [or shoes]!

Most evening bags are tiny - lipstick and a driver's license is all you are supposed to take with you when you go out apparently.

I designed this bag to be suitable for an evening out yet large enough to actually carry what you need. The body of the purse is worked in Caron International's Simply Soft with a Bliss ruffled top flap.

Download this crochet pattern free: http://www.caron.com/projects/bliss/B17_fancy_ruffle_purse.html

Happy Crocheting!

Get Your Own Chain Tree!

Take the challenge and start your own Crochet Tree Chain!

Make the pledge, send me your names and get your own tree!

See below post or Click here for details!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sorry Granny, This Is Not Your Crochet!

Crochet has come a long way from the doilley's of the 50's, the apron's and snoods of the 60's, the granny square's of the 70's, the over sized and over colored sweaters of the 80's, with mainstream progress finally coming in the 90's, to the Crochet Couture of Today.

Crochet has grown and flourished, finally able to hold it's own on modern fashion runways. Top designers now incorporate crochet into their collections.

Crochet is no longer the ba#!&^* step child of knitting but a glorious art form of it's own. It is finally being recognized as a technique superior to knitting in it's versatility, unique in it's distinctive non-commerically produced look.

In today's fast paced world, the pursuit of the handmade can be a means to center and replenish our souls, to grow and connect with ourselves and others, to meditate, reflect, relax, regroup.

Crochet is now fashionable, fun, funky, artful, and everything in between. Join the revolution. Learn new skills or teach someone to crochet!

BikiniMeBeautiful Swimwear Line
Participate in a Crochet Tree Chain - make a pledge to teach three people to crochet - have each one of them pledge to teach at least one person to crochet. Even if you only teach a person the very basics of crochet - they may continue learning on their own.

When I was 8 - a freinds mom taught me the granny square - that was my first and only lesson and I have not put down my hook since!

Start building your Tree Chain today! Email me and I'll post your Tree Chain progress - femmefibersblog@earthlink.net

View My 2009 - 2010 Crochet Tree Chain!

If you have a website or blog that offers Free Crochet Instructions - email me and I'll post it here:

Learn to Crochet from Lion Brand: http://learntocrochet.lionbrand.com/
Learn to Crochet from Craft Yarn Council: http://www.craftyarncouncil.com/instructions_cr.php3
Crochet Support: http://www.ravelry.com/

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Free Crochet Pattern Spotlight - Plymouth Woven Wrap

More Free Patterns From Naturally Caron.

This wrap is worked in Caron's Country merino wool blend yarn.
"Country is a sumptuous merino blend, multi-ply yarn that combines the unparalleled softness and drape of a super-fine acrylic with the body and warmth of a fine merino wool.:

My Plymouth Woven Wrap is now available for download free at: http://www.naturallycaron.com/projects/plymouth/plymouth_4.html

The wrap is worked in four warm autumn colors - Chocolat Truffle, Spice House, Vicuna and Gilded Age. Naturally Caron's Country is available in 24 colors for you to choose from.

This lightweight wrap is ther perfect accessory for cool evenings out.

Purchase Country for this wrap http://www.naturallycaron.com/shade_cards/country_sh.html in the colors shown - or choose a more summery color pallette for evening walks on the beach!

Happy Crocheting!

Connect With Me on Raverly!


If you are a knitter, crocheter, or general yarn-o-holic - you will love the online community at http://www.ravelry.com/ - membership is free - as is the support of the Ravelry community!

Be on the look out for new pattern postings that will only be available on Ravelry!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Free Crochet Pattern Spotlight - Kingston Jacket

Everyone that knows my work knows I'm a fan of Caron International's Yarns. Caron launched some new yarns and a new website - http://www.naturallycaron.com/.

This Kingston Jacket Pattern is worked in Caron's Country - "Country is a sumptuous merino blend, multi-ply yarn that combines the unparalleled softness and drape of a super-fine acrylic with the body and warmth of a fine merino wool."

Country is available for purchase here: http://www.naturallycaron.com/shade_cards/country_sh.html in 24 beautiful colors.

My Kingston Jacket was worked in Taupe and Silver with a feminine ruffled edge as well as an attached ruffled scarf. The ruffled jacket edge has openings for the belt to slide under so there is no added bulk around the waist. Instructions are included to make the beaded buckle for the belt as well.

This is a versatile jacket that can be work many ways, worked in a springy stitch that is lightweight yet warm.

The pattern is sized for Small through 3X.

Dowload your free copy at: http://www.naturallycaron.com/projects/kingston/kingston_8.html

Happy Crocheting!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Weird - Maybe......Wonderful - Definitely!

I often search for "weird" on etsy just to see what comes up. Some things are just weird but some are absolutely wonderful. This will be a monthly feature showcasing some wonderful weirdness that can be found on etsy.

This item is from etsy seller Spiderwoodhollow and may be one of my favorite items ever found on etsy. The artist takes pieces of found driftwood and moss and adds copper wire webs as well as wire spiders to create the stunning pieces.

She has different shaped webs - all creatively beautiful. She also sells just the spiders which are cute all on their own. Her shop is definitely worth clicking through.

This next item is from etsy seller igotcooties. She offers many different cooties - she has caring cooties, warrior cooties, and even apology cooties. Her location is even listed as "cootie-ville". This is a very creative, fun item that I think is definitely wonderfully weird. She even has a blog that has photos of "traveling cooties" http://www.igotcooties.tumblr.com/ if you want to see where here cooties go.

Stop by her shop - she has cooties for every occasion to fit all your cootie needs.

This item is from seller justJB. It is a polymer clay turtle shell with the steampunk style gears and other watch pieces. The description reads: "A turtle's shell is strong protection from most any danger; worn over the heart, it surely would keep away some of the most dangerous things. In a world where gears and screws and other metal bric-a-brac might go zooming off of your neighbor's flying contraption, it's better to be safe than sorry." There is a lot of steampunk style items on etsy - I just found this one to be more interesting and creative than a lot of them - definitely wonderfully weird.

This next item is from OddBob. What do you do with those old record albums? OddBob makes "GrooveBowls". You even get the original album cover with the bowl.

Stop by OddBob shop - he may have your favorite classic groove bowl album.
This item is from seller AwakenJournaling. There are many beautiful leather journals and bookmarks offered. I really liked this idea of a journal pendant - a scroll with paper inside - you could have it ready when traveling or hiking to catch your thoughts - and it doesn't just look like a book slung around your neck. Very wonderfully and creativiely weird.

Check back next month for more wonderful weirdness.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mandala Series - Honoring Extraordinary Individuals

I began work on a crocheted art series some time ago - a series of Mandalas to honor remarkable individuals I've encountered in my everyday life. Mandala is Sanskrit for 'whole world' or 'healing circle' and is a representation of the universe.

I've posted three of the mandalas in my series. I hope in reading through you find some inspiration as well and invite you to think about any remarkable individuals you've come across in your own everyday life. I'd like this feature page to be a place to post projects others have made to honor somoeone in their own life who has made a difference in their world or inspired them in some way to be a better person.

I invite you to submit a project you've made to honor someone along with a few words about why you chose this person for your project and in sharing - invite others to be inspired too! Submit your story and project to: femmefibersblog@earthlink.net

Free Patterns Always A Treat

If you are looking for quality free patterns on the web be sure to check out http://www.naturallycaron.com/projects/item_index/crochet.html for free patterns for Caron International's new yarn line - Naturally Caron. Click around http://www.caron.com for free patterns in Simply Soft and other yarns as well. Send me your comments of what type of designs you'd like to see more of (my patterns posted under Kim Rutledge).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A New Look For a Fresh Start

I decided to finally make a new blog since the focus of my work has changed somewhat. I've stopped making the BikiniMeBeautiful Swimwear line except for special custom orders (Pattie ;-) some time ago. My love of learning new techniques and working with a wide range of materials lead me to making wire, thread, and sculpted clay pieces - mainly jewelry.

Selling them came about much the same way as the crocheted garments, wear one and always have a card with your email, blog or website address handy if someone tells you they like it or asks, "where did you get that?" [Tip: Put a small photo of a piece of your work on the card so when they come across your card they will remember why they have it.]

I am still publishing crochet patterns here and there. Thank you to all at www.ravelry.com who have made one of my designs. It truly is the highest form of flattery and designers appreciate every stitch you make. I hope to have time soon to publish more patterns and some tutorials on Ravelry.

For those not familiar, Ravelry is a wonderful online community of knitters and crocheters - membership is free. If you are a pattern designer, even if you've never published a pattern in a book or a magazine, you can self publish - free or for sale - on Ravelry. [Look for future post on a few tips to making patterns for publication.]

I hope everyone likes the new look the new content for this next chapter in my pursuit of creativity.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Visit Me on Flickr

Visit me on Flickr to view photos of my work. View a small selection of my wire crochet, beaded, and hand sculpted clay jewelry. More to be posted soon!