We featured David Muir on our Facebook page earlier this month, which received an overwhelming positive response. We asked him a few questions about himself and how he got interested in crocheting.
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself, like where you’re from and why you decided to join the military.
I’m originally from Easton, Maryland but I call Pooler, Georgia home now. I joined the Army because of the “adventure” and “awesome toys” — eventually it became more than that. I worked with a group of individuals that became my great friends, and my family.
I was in the Army for 10 years until I decided to seek new adventures. Many of us were stationed together for 6+ years. At that point, others started getting out or changing duty station. It just changed. It wasn’t the same. I needed to try something new. When I got out of the Army in July 2011 I lived in Spain for the summer. I even worked at a scuba dive shop just for fun.
|David Muir and his first afghan,
made with Hometown USA.
After that I moved to Pooler, GA where I lived with my brother, Danny. I worked for Gulfstream as a Quality Engineer but soon missed my Army brothers. When I heard my old unit was deploying to Afghanistan, I decided to look for a job with the slight chance I’ll see them again. Working on the Apache Helicopter is my specialty so our field is quite small. Unfortunately I didn’t get the same base as my old unit, so I’m not in the military anymore. Now I work for DynCorp Aviation.
I believe strongly in the power of crochet to improve quality of life whether you’re suffering from a serious condition like depression or just seeking to experience more inspiration in your everyday life. One of the key ways that I believe crochet can help is through embracing each stage of the project including the process of visualizing, working on, and finally completing the work.
Many people underestimate the value of this first step of a crochet project but it can be immensely beneficial to focus on it. Truly embrace the process of thinking about what you want to make, how you want to make it, who it will be for, and which yarn you will want to use.
Maggie Weldon is a crochet expert who loves to share her expertise with those wanting to master the art of crochet.
How many times have you carefully counted your chain stitches when starting a crochet project to find that you’ve come up short or have extra? With the Chain-Less Foundation Row, also known as a Foundation Single Crochet, you’ll never have to count chain stitches again! Watch the video below to learn this easy technique:
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Last week I put up my Christmas tree, a tiny two-feet tall plastic tree that was the perfect size for a cozy apartment in New York City. Since I started working at Lion Brand a few months ago, I’ve been thinking about adding some handmade ornaments to reflect my love of yarn and crochet.
When one of our readers had mentioned she had used baby booties as ornaments, it gave me the inspiration to crochet amigurumi! They would be small enough to fit on my tree and could also fit in a shoe box once the holiday season was over. Cute and functional!
Here are some ideas for decorating your tree:
|Amigurumi Graduation Bookworm
in Vanna’s Choice® and Vanna’s Glamour®
|Amigurumi Lady Bug
My daughter loves octopuses (or is it octopi?) and is almost never caught without holding one of her 7 stuffed octopuses or wearing one of her growing closet of socks and tees. When I saw this pattern for an octopus costume there was no contest as to what she wanted to be. She got so excited and immediately asked that it be made in her favorite colors: purple and “lellow” (yellow) with pink spots.
Crocheting the entire thing would be a feat that would’ve taken more than a month’s planning. And while I could quilt, the pattern was beyond my skill level. Thankfully Jackie, our Technical Editor, was an expert seamstress and offered to help out. Since I love creating new things using yarn, I wanted to add some personal handmade touches.
But I also didn’t want it to be just handmade – I wanted it to sparkle and glitter.
When I first saw the pattern I immediately wanted crocheted medallions for the suckers and the spots.
Vanna’s Glamour fit perfectly with what I wanted, and her mustard gold yarn went well with the deep purple velvet fabric. Soon I was swept up in a creative moment and started picking out more colors like light gold and pink, which would give the costume a cool, colorful, and textured look. Even Michala, our Design intern, found it so adorable that she also wanted to assist. Since I knew she was fast crocheter, I asked if she could make some medallions whenever she had free time.
By the time I looked away, I found a pile of medallions of varying sizes already on the table. She even had extra time to crochet the eyes and a pink bow too!
Then I saw Martha Stewarts CraftsTM/MC Glitter Eyelash yarn and it all came together. The sparkly polka dots, the giant eyes with purple eyelashes, even the pink bow on its head. When I showed my daughter the finished product she couldn’t wait to get it on her.
|Michala crocheting away||The growing pile of octopus spots||Sewing it altogether.|
The only bad (or good) part will be trying to take it off her once Halloween’s over.
If you’ve always wanted to learn to crochet but had trouble following written directions and illustrations, check out our video playlist!
Already know how to crochet? Share this blog post with your friends who are interested in learning!
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For more blog posts on crocheting, check out:
Since so many of you turn to Wool-Ease Thick & Quick as your tried and true yarn for afghans and warm fall/winter accessories such as hats and scarves – we’ve updated the line to add a few new self-striping colors. The new colors of Wool-Ease Thick & Quick were designed to create solid blocks of color, then striping blocks of color as you work, so that you won’t have to change yarns to create the effect.
The new colors of Wool-Ease Thick & Quick stripes in Hoosiers, Hoyas, Crimson, Tigers, Huskies, and Spartans make it easy for you to create fun, fast-finish projects to show off your team spirit and school colors. Browse the color selections below and see if there’s a shade for your favorite team!
Crochet Wharton Wristers
Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Spartans
Knit Collegiate Hat and Scarf
Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Crimson
Crochet Bucket Tote
Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Hoosiers
It’s that time of year again! Crochet-along with us as we make one of the following garments!
A crochet-along is a virtual event, where all the participants make the same project together. Follow along with crochet-along host Lauren here on the blog and share your comments and photos. There’s no need to sign up, and it’s free to join! (New to crochet-alongs? Check out our guide here.)
The winning pattern will be announced next Wednesday on the blog—when we’ll also give you details on picking up your supplies and getting started on the project!
Votes must be cast by 12:00 am Eastern August 13, 2013. You must use the link above to vote; comments here on the blog do NOT count as votes.
Knitters, look out for a knit-along later this year, here on the Lion Brand Notebook.
I remember the first time that I tried formal meditation. I sat amidst a group of compassionate people with closed eyes who were letting go of all thoughts, focusing attention on their breath. I felt no compassion for myself as my monkey mind skittered about. I felt self-conscious about my constant twitching and resituating, certain I was irritating the peaceful beings around me. More than that, I simply didn’t enjoy the experience. My anxious mind raced into terrifyingly uncomfortable places. I left feeling that meditation is a great thing…for other people but not for me! Then I found crochet.
Crochet offers a chance to meditate in a way that many people find easier than sitting still in a room and focusing on the breath. Crochet is a relaxing, repetitive craft that can be done as a means to mindfulness. The combination of constant counting, gentle recurrent hand motions and focus on the work is a stress-reducer and a path to being present in the here-and-now.
Want to practice crochet as a form of meditation? Here are some tips:
There is certainly something valuable to be found in formal meditation. However, it doesn’t work for all of us. In particular, people with mental health conditions including depression and anxiety may find it too difficult to simply sit on the cushion and watch the breath. We can use mindfulness crochet instead to bring ourselves back to the present moment, practicing compassion for ourselves and for others with each stitch.
What has been your meditation experience? How does crochet help?
Now that we’ve celebrated Independence day and have spent some time at the beach, it’s clear that we’re in full summer mode! Of course as a crafter, you know that just because it’s warm out – that’s not an excuse to stop your knitting or crocheting. Summer is a good time to work on smaller scale, portable projects. You’ll feel so accomplished knocking out project after project on road trips, or just relaxing by the pool. To get you started with ideas, I’ve included some fast, stress free project from crafters on the Internet, as well as our very own Lion Brand patterns.
Projects from Crafters:
|Crochet Picture Frame
|Moss Stitch Bow headband
|Knitted Jam Jar Sweater
in Vanna’s Choice, Wool-Ease
Lion Brand Projects:
DIY No Tangle Ear Buds
Crochet iPad Cover
in Vanna’s Choice
Mini Granny Square Bookmarks
What are your favorite summertime projects? Share with us in the comments!