10 Ways to Celebrate National Crochet Month

March is National Crochet Month

It’s March, and that means it’s National Crochet Month. Of course, you can celebrate crochet all year, but here are some ideas for things you can do to recognize #NatCroMo.

This post contains affiliate links.

#1 Crochet in Public

Don’t hide! Let others see what you are doing!

Hands crocheting
Image by Lola Reyes from Pixabay

Crochet while you are waiting for appointments, waiting in line, waiting for your kids, or simply spending time outside. Why fiddle with your phone when you could be crocheting?

#2 Teach Someone to Crochet

Teach someone to crochet. Share your passion. If you can crochet, you can teach someone else.

Nervous about teaching? Don’t be! Check out the Craft Yarn Council Certified Instructors Program, a program that gives you the tools and knowledge you need to be an effective teacher.

#3 Learn a New Technique

Learn a new technique. Stretch your wings!

Do you know foundation single crochet? Join-as-you-go? How to avoid gaps at the beginning of rows? How to block your projects?

You can never know everything there is to know about crochet, but take this month to learn more. The more you know, the better (and happier) crocheter you will be.

#4 Learn a New Stitch Pattern

Don’t get stuck in a rut. Let this be the month you try a new stitch pattern. There are thousands of ways you can combine basic crochet stitches to make fabulous fabrics.

Check out online sources for individual stitch patterns, or look at some of the following stitch dictionaries, which offer many stitch patterns in one place.

#5 Get Comfortable with Symbol Charts

Get comfortable with symbol charts. If you’ve shied away from crochet symbol diagrams, take some time now to understand them. Symbol diagrams are a visual representation of crochet stitches. They can be a huge help in understanding the sometimes confusing language in crochet patterns.

To learn about creating crochet charts, read In Search of Crochet Charting Software and watch How to Read a Crochet Pattern, which includes reading a crochet diagram. The very best way to learn about charts is to use them! All of my books, and most of my self-published patterns, include charts as well as text.

#6 Splurge on a New Tool

Splurge on a new tool. Whether it’s that special crochet hook you’ve been wondering about or a special ball of yarn you’ve been coveting, treat yourself to something special.

Clover Amour Crochet Hook Set
#7 Make a Quick Crocheted Gift

Make a quick crocheted gift. Everyone loves to get a handmade gift. Celebrate the month by crocheting a quick gift and give it to someone you love—or to a complete stranger!

Quick Crochet Home Decor Book coer
Quick Crochet Home Decor

For bonus points, wrap your gift in “crocheted” gift wrap paper.

#8 Put Crochet in an Unexpected Place

Put crochet in an unexpected place. Crochet a border on a picture frame or basket. Or go big and yarn bomb something! It’s always fun to see crochet in a surprising place.

Building covered with granny squares
Image by M W from Pixabay
#9 Join a Crochet Along

Join a Crochet Along (CAL). Crochet Alongs happen all the time, so you should be able to find one at any time you happen to read this post. This month, I’m finishing up a 5-Panel Blanket Crochet Along with Plymouth Yarn, but you can still join in and catch up in your own time.

5-Panel Blanket Crochet Along

Previously I did a Skill-Builder Crochet Blanket CAL, but it’s still available for you to join at any time. Check Ravelry for other CALs.

#10 Find Other Crocheters

It’s fun to crochet with others. If you’ve crocheted in public, you’ve probably run into like-minded souls there. Collect their contact information and meet up at a local coffee shop.  

Young hands crocheting
Image by Lola Reyes from Pixabay

Find a local crochet guild, form a lunchtime crochet group at work or school, or see if your local yarn shop has a “open table” for yarn crafts.

Consider going to a crochet conference, where you’ll find oh-so-many passionate crocheters. The Crochet Guild of America hosts the annual Chain Link conference. It includes a market and crochet classes for all skill levels. There’s plenty of opportunity for sharing laughter and knowledge with other crocheters.

What you are going to do to celebrate National Crochet Month?

Learning On Site with the Craft Yarn Council

Onsite Certified Instructors Program graphic

You’ve heard about the Craft Yarn Council’s Certified Instructors Program, and you may have even signed up for their correspondence course. But did you know that they have an on-site program, as well?

With the on-site program, you can cover both Knit Levels 1 and 2 or Crochet Levels 1 and 2 in one weekend. There’s homework to do, of course, but there are additional benefits to taking the course in person.

Learn from Others

You get to spend a couple of days with both a Master Teacher and a roomful of other experienced knitters or crocheters. There is plenty of opportunity to learn from each other and ask questions in real time.

Immerse Yourself

Get away from the hustle and bustle of your home life, and concentrate on your craft for two days. What could be better?

Discuss Real-Life Situations

What really happens in a class, in real life? We’ll discuss ways to deal with challenges you’ll face as a teacher. Everyone will have a chance to speak up and offer suggestions of what has worked for them in similar situations.

Learn the Business of Teaching

Teaching is not all about sitting down and sharing your knowledge with someone. You have to consider how to market your classes and how to get paid. Learn how to be a professional from professionals.

Make New Friends

You’ll begin the course with a bunch of strangers, but you’ll leave with a group of new friends. These new friends will become a new virtual support group. With them, you can share your joys and frustrations as you take your new teaching skills out into the world.

Leave Energized

You’ll be tired after spending hours thinking and learning. But you’ll also be energized and excited to use your new knowledge.

Where Do I Sign Up?

UPDATE as of 5/29/19: Unfortunately, we didn’t receive enough sign-ups for the knitting portion of the onsite course, so that portion has had to be cancelled. I’m very disappointed! Continue to watch the Craft Yarn Council website for announcements of upcoming onsite classes.

The next on-site class for crochet is being offered July 14-15, 2019, in Manchester, New Hampshire. It takes place immediately following the Crochet Guild of America’s Chain Link Conference. I’ll be teaching the knitting program. Barbara Van Elsen will be teaching the crochet program, and we’ll probably be teaming up to team teach some sections together.

If you can’t make it to the on-site class in July, but you are interested in learning more about teaching in your community, consider signing up for the Craft Yarn Council’s (CYC) Certified Instructors Program (CIP) correspondence course. I serve as one of the “Master Teachers” for that program, so you might be assigned to me!

Learn More button

 

How to Measure Gauge in Knitted Garter Stitch

knitted garter stitch closeupThe first knitting stitch you learned was the “knit” stitch, and the first stitch pattern you learned was probably Garter Stitch. Measuring gauge in knitted garter stitch is pretty straightforward, but if you are unfamiliar with the concept of measuring gauge or counting stitches and rows, a few tips are in order.

To create garter stitch, you knit every row (or purl every row) when knitting back and forth. When you work in the round, of course, you have to knit one round, then purl one round to make the same stitch pattern.

Watch this video that covers the basics of measuring gauge in garter stitch.  In future posts, I’ll talk you through what to do when you run into problems like uneven stitches or varying stitch counts.

Do you have questions about measuring gauge in knitted garter stitch? Or questions about gauge in general? Let me know in the comments.

Warm-ing Up (Houston and) America

Warm Up America! FI
Guest post by Sarah Guenther, Craft Yarn Council

Warm up America! volunteer

You may have heard of the Craft Yarn Council, but have you heard of Warm Up America!? WUA! is the Craft Yarn Council’s partner charity and collects handmade items that are knitted and crocheted by people all over the country for people in need.

Warm Up America! squares

Warm Up America! is based out of Carrollton, Texas (near Dallas) and has warmed people’s lives since 1991. It started in Wisconsin when founder Evie Rosen conceived of having volunteers knit or crochet small pieces which were then joined together by other volunteers. It didn’t take long for that idea to spread. These days, Warm Up America! distributes not only afghans, but hats, scarves and other items to tens of thousands of people, thanks to the generosity of knitters and crocheters around the country.

Warm Up America! volunteers

Warm Up America! was at Stitches Texas a few weeks ago collecting completed afghans to send to people in south Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey and inviting attendees to sit down and knit/crochet a square or two to be joined later. There was a good turnout; several afghans were donated and participants worked on knitting and crocheting sections throughout the weekend.

Warm Up America! brochures

The Hurricane Harvey campaign is an ongoing initiative and the goal is to assemble as many youth and adult afghans as possible. Warm Up America! is looking for knitted or crocheted afghans but also accepts 7” by 9” sections too, which local volunteers assemble. You can send completed afghans and sections to the WUA! office, located at 3740 N Josey Ln,, Suite #102, Carrollton, TX 75007.

Want to learn more about WUA! and how you can help? Visit their website and current needs page to learn more.

Learn more about Stitches Events for fiber fans. Edie will be teaching at Stitches West in February 2018.