Thursday, July 22, 2010

chainless foundation

I've just uploaded a new tutorial at the Cabana on the chainless foundation. I've done hdc and sc. May also do dc after I've had a break. :-) You can find the new tutorial here.

That's all. Short and sweet. :-)

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

at the Cabana

Just a quick post of what I've been doing the past couple days. It takes a good long while to research, crochet, take a picture, edit the photo, write the text and do all the things needed for a new tutorial. That is why I'm so slow. Even when I'm inspired. LOL Then more often than not I find an error and have to retake some. LOL Since I have only the two hands and I need them for crocheting, taking photos is interesting at best. I am hopeful I'll be able to start doing some videos soon and dive into that realm.

Until then, here's what I've done on the web site.

I've done the linked triple crochet tutorial, which is my favorite linked stitch. The double is very similar so I'm sure if you can get this one you can figure out the double.

I also added some pics to the dictionary pages. The Y stitch was my favorite there. Really cute stitch. If you're interested, just scroll through the dictionary pages and look at the pictures.  :-)

I also added instruction for extended stitches on the page for that stitch. IOW extended double crochet is on the double crochet page and extended triple crochet is on the triple crochet page. There is only one step different so I just added a note at the bottom of the pages.

Hope you enjoy those additions. Next up I plan to work on the chainless foundation if all goes well. That is one I've been wanting to get to and no time like the present since I'm on a roll here. :-)
Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

the Cabana

Now that I've finished the Masters course, I have had time and inspiration to do some updates on some of the pages at Crochet Cabana and added a few new ones.

I get inspiration for things to put on the site from all over and since I learned a few new terms during the course of my course (doesn't that sound funny) I decided to share my newfound info with my visitors. Those on my Crochet Cabana yahoogroup already got the notice of what has been added so far. Here is what I sent them: Added information about the Golden Loop, a term I was unfamiliar with until working the course, though I was familiar with the process. I added some new photos at the bottom of the page. This also references the Golden Loop  I added info on U.K. hook sizes for steel hooks and suggested threads to use with specific size hooks. Also deleted a couple of bad links. Added a different method of making a corded edge with photos.  Added a photo of several rows popcorn, using both front and back popcorn stitches. 
I also added a few references in the dictionary as I went along.
Since I posted those links I have added photos to the Cluster / Bobble page as well for the Cluster. I hope to do the Bobble soon as well.
And created a page for the Berry Stitch 

Note that any new info at the site is not from the Master course and has no relation to that course. You should not judge what you'll be asked to do on the course by anything I have written. I assume the course patterns were designed by CGOA leadership.

I have been inspired to work on the site as a result of working on such a variety of stitches, some of which I realized I did not have on site.

When I add things to the Cabana I use both my personal preferences and also check around the net to get an understanding of what other people are doing. Even then I make errors which I later have to correct. Often, I find that different people use the same name for different stitches or they work the stitches in different ways or they use different names for the same stitches. Hopefully a pattern you are trying to work will identify and give instructions for any special stitches, those other than the basic ones. I have particular sites that I trust to give me correct information.

A lot of crochet is personal. I call things by the names I choose and I use stitches in the way I choose. That might not be the way others choose. And that is OKAY. We don't all need to be robots following one another. Crochet is a skill of creativity. So it's no surprise that people are creative. :-) That said, there are some things that can only be said one way. If you have to double crochet and chain 1, then that is the way you have to say it.

I plan to add a few more tutorials, some I've been meaning to get to for a while now and some new ones that seemed appropriate now that I have a better understanding of how to do them myself. I'll keep you posted as that comes along.

Happy crocheting!

Monday, July 19, 2010

crochet courses

Sorry I've been MIA lately. I spent all of last week working on the CGOA Master of Advance Crochet Course Stitches & Techniques. It is now sitting in my guest room waiting to be mailed in for review. They have a backlog as more crocheters are purchasing the course and finishing it, as I did, in short order. I was so excited to get it and begin! It's a little disappointing to have to wait, but such is life.

If you are interested in the course, you can read about it on the CGOA Education page . It gives a detailed list of what is included in the course and it is spot on.

In the first section I think the only thing I had not actually done before was the chainless foundation. I knew about it, of course, and even have a book here on it, but had never actually used it because I have no problem working with a foundation chain. I enjoyed working with it though I probably won't use it much.

In part two, it talks about gauge and the Golden Loop. I had never heard of the Golden Loop and could not find anything about it on the 'net, but when I read their description, I went "ahhhh". I knew what that was. Just had never heard it called the Golden Loop. Of course everyone knows about gauge. I never use it. The items I made generally don't require a specific gauge to work and since I rarely make a pattern as it's written I wouldn't get the designer's gauge anyway. However, in order to be complete, this course HAD to include gauge.

To me, that was the most difficult swatch to make. I was so excited to get a 4" x 4" square. Then I realized I had made it two stitches too small. LOL I did finally get it, but it took many swatches before I got the stitch count and the size correct. So don't give up if you have problems with that. Just plow through. You will get it. I have to say I probably crochet a bit tighter than many so I had to really lift my Golden Loop up to get this gauge, and in a few of the other patterns as well. For most projects, I use a ch 2 for the turning chain with a double crochet. When using the GL I could easily use ch 3 as my tch and it was the proper height.  It was good for me to get this down and I think I will be using it in future.

Part Three had swatches for extended stitches and linked stitches. I'd heard of both before but had never done the linked stitches. I really like them - especially the linked triple crochet. Very nice stitch. Gives a very close worked material which would be quite warm for those in cold climates. I'm glad I was forced to try it! LOL

Part Four and Five focused on textured and decorative stitches. I'd done many  of these, though some worked in a different way. All quite interesting and some quite challenging. I would suggest you work on these when you can concentrate and pay attention to each instruction carefully. Of course you should do that for all the swatches, but particularly when working a pattern. I know I have a tendency to skim patterns and say, oh I see where they're going with this and continue on. But you MUST read the patterns and follow. I found only one tiny error, a missing asterisk (*) which was not a problem, so the patterns are correct insofar as I could see. If there are other errors, I didn't find them.

Part Six is motifs (square, hexagon etc.). Most have done these at some point. My problem in this section was the instinct to "fix" the pattern to my way of doing it so it would lie flat. However, I decided that the point was to get it to lie flat by adjusting the stitch height. Which I did. Successfully. Yay!

Part Seven was edgings. I had not done some of these, but they are all beautiful and I enjoyed the opportunity to try them. Some folks have trouble with reverse single crochet. I love the rsc and use it quite often. If you are one who has trouble, just practice a bit with it. Perhaps go to YouTube and see a video to give you some confidence. It will come. It really isn't a difficult stitch to do once you get the hang of it.

Of course I haven't talked about each thing included, but I don't think you will be disappointed if you purchase the course. I'll let you know if it was worth the $75 after I get my review. ;-)

A couple things you might like to know. You have to tag each swatch. I bought tags (the kind with the string attached) from Office Max. I found these worked well. Round about swatch 24 it said to put your name on one side of the tag and the swatch # on the other. My first 23 I had put both on the same side. So heads up for you all, do them on opposite sides. I did not change my first ones as the instructions at the beginning did not say you had to do that.

You also will need a large binder (I used two of them actually, one was 4" and one 3" I think) and sheet protectors. You can put more than one swatch in a protector. I personally put each (or a few) in plastic bags and then put them in the protector so if they fell out they would be protected from dirt and loss. I asked if that was okay but have not gotten an answer on that yet. I probably used a couple dozen sheet protectors, maybe less as the smaller ones would fit many in one.

Now one might ask how this course compares to the CYCA course. Well, I did that one a long time ago but there are a few differences I can tell you right off. For the CYCA course I used four large binders. A few of the items I made were quite large - a shawl was one as I recall. For that course I did hairpin lace, filet, tunisian and such, in addition to "regular" crochet.

The goal of the CYCA Certified Instructors Program course is to make you a TEACHER of crochet not evaluate your crochet skills - though that certainly is part of it. The CGOA course states: Intermediate or better crocheters are invited to enroll to stretch their knowledge and show mastery of advanced techniques and stitches.

For the CYCA course I did a lot more typing and compiling teacher sheets on various stitches. For each group of lessons, I made comments on the lesson itself. A lot of the information I needed to send for these lessons I already had done for my web site. Some I added to the web site after I completed them. I took a lot of photos to include in the lesson sheets and had to resize those photos for printing using my photo program.

The lessons (CYCA course) did have drawings on them to demonstrate what you were to do in most cases where there were few drawings in the CGOA course (but they do tell you that from the start). There were also a lot of reference sheets, a history of crochet, info on color, fiber, and shaping of garments in the CYCA program. This information would be things you need to know to teach someone else to crochet. Most of it is readily available now on the Internet with a little digging.

The most time consuming and the part I had the most difficulty with in the CYCA course was the actual teaching. I could have finished the course in short order but for that. I was not allowed to teach anyone online and the time for completion fell during a hurricane evacuation when I had students scheduled. I was able to extend my deadline and did finish, but my husband and children had to take lessons. I had to barter. I watched football with my husband and during the commercials and after the game he took lessons. ;-) I included the lessons in my son's homeschool experience, and my daughter was easy - she enjoys crocheting! The lessons could not be paid lessons. They had to be volunteer. (I don't know if it is the same now) Thankfully there were two local ladies I was able to teach and two young girls in our homeschool group took lessons. My sister also took a lesson. I have a great family! Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed and do enjoy teaching. That's why I took the course.

I still have my binder of lesson sheets that I created, but have long ago disassembled all the swatches or used them for other projects.

Since these two courses were designed for different purposes, they can't really be compared side by side. I think they are both excellent courses and I am glad to have taken both of them. I think the lesser time consuming would be the CGOA course and you would get a good idea of your regular crochet skillset by taking that course. But that is just my opinion.

I'm glad to have the CYCA certificate. It gives me confidence when I teach and I think having this second certificate will be a wonderful addition. Now if only I would inherit a bunch of money or win a lottery, I'd take that Pauline Turner course. LOL

I am happy to answer questions if I know the answers, just know that I am not a part of the masters team. I am just a student like you, taking the course.
Happy crocheting!