One Year Blog Anniversary!

oneyearblogtheneedlebee

Happy  anniversary to my blog!  I can’t believe I have been blogging for a year.

I remember when I hit published on my first post last year on July 16, I was unsure and scared. But I decided to continue and all of those feelings disappeared.  However, this blog is still in the early stages. There are an infinite number of changes and improvements I need to make. It is a joyful journey I must say. I  just wish I had more hours to dedicate to my hobbies.

Writing is not easy! It is scary. But documenting my knitting progress and book reviews has helped me trust my creativity and understand how patterns and colors work. When you sit down to write, you become aware of your weaknesses and strengths. You also have to read and research on whatever topic you want to write about. At the end, you become a more educated consumer. 

This blog has given me the opportunity to meet new bloggers and learn more about knitting, design, books, podcasts, and photography. I want to thank you for visiting my site and for the comments and emails I have received from many of you.  I am happy to share my hobbies, knitting, crocheting and books with all knitters and crafters in this online community. I have also re-discovered my love for sewing and textiles and all things handmade.

So let’s have some cake, coffee or your favorite drink and make something!

 

 

 

Make Money Teaching Crochet, a book review


If you have a passion for teaching others how to crochet and are thinking about creating a business  but need guidance on where and how to start, then I highly recommend getting a book like this written by a very experienced crochet teacher like Marie Segares.

Marie is the  host of the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur podcast and owner of Underground Crafter. There is no question that starting a new business could overwhelming but in this book Marie is basically holding your hand and walking with you step by step telling what to do.

This book is packed with valuable information. It is divided in 5 sections:  getting started,  the business side of crochet like pricing and legalization of your company, marketing, preparing for your class, and resources to help you grow your business along with pro crochet tips related to each section.

What I like the most is how transparent the author is in her statements and the way the book is written in a plain and easy to read language. In my opinion, the book could be used as a reference for knitting or crochet because the business principles are basically the same.

Overall, this is a great book to have in your reference library or to give to someone who is starting to teach and want to learn more about the business side of teaching crochet. The current price in Amazon is $9.99 for the kindle version.

If you want to know more about Marie Segares please visit her website Creative Yarn Entrepreneur for more details about this book, links to the printable and ebook version  plus a 25% off discount through July 4, 2016 and a  virtual book tour in several blogs.

Note: I received a copy of ” How to start a crochet business by Marie Segares” in exchange of an honest review. I did not receive any additional compensation in return. 



Crochet again!


I don’t remember exactly  when I learned to crochet. I am sure it was after I learned how to knit many years ago when I was in second grade  (you can do the math if you want to) but it was back then when my mom had crochet doilies covering the end tables of our living room  and doilies were in almost every home I visited. I remember using only crochet thread in white or beige size 10 and a tiny 1.0 mm crochet steel hook and following the diagram of a pattern on a magazine. In many instances, I designed my own pattern or made clothes for my dolls.

My mom taught me the basic stitches but pretty soon I was on my own. By the time I was 11, I had made about a dozen doilies and  had embroidered several dresses in cross stitch  for my little cousin. By the time I was 15, I started selling embroidered linen doilies with crochet edges and tea towels to my friends’ moms.

These are some of the doilies I made for my mom. Today, they sit in my closet. I guess you can say they are vintage!


Here are a few of my embroidered pieces used to cover the serving trays. We had a set for holidays, for coffee , etc…. They are from the 80’s lol!



But all of that happened when I was living in Dominican Republic. Today,  things are a  lot different. We have stitch dictionaries, lots of yarn choices, pretty patterns, nice hooks and notions , project bags and You tube.  I had none of these when I was in  school (just 2 crochet hooks, embroidery and crochet thread and no internet!)

Somehow, I got the crochet inspiration again and recently started  a chevron blanket. This blanket is super easy  and it is going fast. I found this project in Ravelry by Rachel C. Creations but I’m making a few changes. I am going to use  3 different colors ( I am using Tempo Jojoland in worsted weight and a crochet hook size J) . I am also going to create an ombré  effect starting with gray and ending with navy in a extra large size.  I want a big cozy blanket to wrap myself in on my couch or bed. You can find details on my Ravelry page .

Having  a project with thick yarn and a big hook gives the illusion of a lot of progress. I guess I needed a change because knitting with lace yarn for a while has gotten kind of boring. On the plus side, it is good to have knitting and crochet going on at the same time. Your hands will thank you for it.

So what else is going on?

Summer vacation is finally here! With 3 boys in 1st and 3rd grade, reading is a big subject here in my house. I have been a little obsessed lately with Modern Mrs. Darcy book recommendations. Thank you Michelle from actually knitting for mentioning this in your podcast. I also enjoy Mrs. Darcy tips and tricks on how to get more reading in your life and book suggestions. I  mean this lady knows her stuff! I even got my son into “the boxcar children” series after reading her book list for children. Luckily, my boys like the series and we are all reading along.  Did I mention she also has a podcast? She is the host of  ” What book should I read next podcast.

So what do you think? Do you like to crochet ?

Keep the craft going my friends !


Cable Left, Cable Right book review

Cable Left Cable Right

As you may have noticed, I love books, going to the bookstore and checking out new book releases. I received a digital copy of  “Cable right, cable left: 94 knitted cables” from Storey Publishing via Netgalley.com for review.

If you like cables or are tired of the same old cables you see all the time, then this book is a great purchase. If you are just starting to knit or are a true beginner and not familiar with charts, then I will just wait. I think this is more for an intermediate knitter or advance beginner who is familiar with cables already.

The book is  just over 200 pages and divided in 7 chapters containing basic simple cables, angles and curves, braids and puzzles, fillers, ribbing, and allover pattern cables, beaded cables, colorwork cables, and design considerations where the author explains how to balance cables horizontally and vertically, decreasing and increasing, etc.

What I like about this book (and all books by Judith Durant) is how detailed the instructions and charts are.

Pros:

  1. Every design has a chart and a beautiful picture
  2. An explanation of where the design looks best
  3. Symbols for charting
  4. Offered in spiral print and digital

Cons:

  1. Limited pictures of the back of the pattern, there are just handful of reversible patterns

I can’t wait to try a few patterns (a hat or scarf) maybe.

In summary, this is an  excellent book about knitted cables with beautiful pictures, instructions and charts. The author explains how each cable is constructed  and the best use for that cable or design. This is a great addition to any knitter’s library.

Happy Knitting!

Meet Monkey Jojo!


When my kids saw the Itty Bitty Toys book by Susan B Anderson, they immediately asked for a knitted toy. Well here it is, my first knitted project and first time using  (dpns) double pointed needles. I have to admit, dpns are not as difficult as I thought. 

One of my twins, (Lorenzo) loves monkeys. I mean he has a zoo in his room and he even sleeps with a big cozy monkey. 

Knitting toys is not only a great use of your stash (think of sock yarn leftovers) but also a cute gift. The details of the yarn I used and needle are in my ravelry project page. Look at that happy face with his new friend Jojo!


So if you have never knitted a toy before,  give it a try. It is really fun. My other kids asked for the snake and the hippo. Honestly, they are all so cute I want to knit them all.

Happy Knitting!

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