I have been working furiously behind the scenes trying to organize my overly massive yarn stash. You know the type – a few boxes here, some bags of yarn stored in my bedroom closet, some baskets full in the living room, unfinished objects stored here there and everywhere – it’s totally out of hand!
Back in January, I decided that everyone else in my home had their own space and I deserved some too! I’m the mom, after all. Why am I the last to have a space of my own? So, I set about cleaning out the chaos that was our “game room”. It was full of unused homeschool supplies, various items that nobody knew what to do with, and lots of video games that my son played in there. With his help, we whittled down the mess and I was able to create a nice living space in there. I like it a lot! But, so does everyone else, lol, so the space mom set up for herself is also communal. Isn’t that the way it goes?
But, I’m getting more serious about getting my business started and that meant phase 2 kicked into high gear after the conference. There isn’t a lot of storage space in this room and all the floor space is taken up by the big comfy sofa and my desk so I had to get creative.
I covered the one big wall that has no windows or doors with pegboard. 10 pieces of 2×4 foot pegboard, to be precise. It is a hugely versatile storage solution and I encourage you to consider too. Best part, it’s affordable! And modular so you can build it as you need it!
Once the wall was in place, I started with one hundred 4 inch hooks. They hold about 1 ball each. Anyone know how long that lasted? About 2 hours before I realized I needed a lot more.
Now some people get all tidy and wind each ball on their winders, but who’s got time for that! I decided to go with a more lackadaisical method – hang it the way it is. So some is hung as balls, some as cakes, some as skeins, some as hanks. I didn’t get too hung up on color perfection either. I did mostly an arc that follows the colors of the rainbow but there’s room for expansion at the top and bottom. The result is a beautiful piece of wall art that gets all my yarn where I can see it for inspiration.
Want to build your own? Here’s a quick list of all the supplies I used:
4 inch hooks – the vast majority of my yarn is hung on these hooks. I can fit most medium balls and cakes on these hooks. I have purchased 350, but in the pictures on this post, I have only used about 250:
10 inch hooks – hold 3 small balls of thread, 2 large balls of thread, larger skeins of yarn like RHSS, or multiple hanks of yarn. I currently have 100 but will soon be ordering more:
50 total small plastic hooks in two shapes – these are to display finished projects and support my Yarn Vault sign. One package is all you need to do a wide variety of tasks.
12 inch hooks – these aren’t really necessary, but they hold large skeins of yarn slightly better than the 10 inch hooks. I’m only using a few here and there.
What a week! This conference really hit all the notes I needed to get moving on building this business. It’s been a few weeks, so I’m going to do my best to remember everything. So much happened!!!
Tuesday: Flew into Manchester from RDU via Charlotte, NC. Note to self: 30 minutes is not long enough to cross the entirety of Charlotte airport with two heavy carry-ons. Fortunately there was room on a later flight so I arrived just after midnight.
Wednesday: Professional Day. Well worth it! We started with a talk given by Mary Beth Temple. She’s pretty amazing! Lots of experience and knowledge about staying relevant in the changing world of crochet. Later, I sat in on sessions led by Moogly, Marly Bird, and Marie Segares. Monetizing your Blog, Turning Your Hobby Into A Business, and How To Run Your Blog. Learned so much and really reevaluated how I want to move forward. More on that soon. I ran into my buddy from Chicago, Melissa. It’s great how this business really connects us, even across time and miles. 🙂
Thursday: Started the day with an exciting session called Crazy Cool Crochet led by Melissa Leapman. I sometimes worry my skills are too advanced for a stitch based class, but this was a lot of fun. I learned a few new stitch combinations and got to see Melissa in action which was very informative. I liked seeing how she pushed through creating new stitch patterns and hearing a little about where that inspiration comes from.
I had lunch on Thursday with a new friend, Robbie, who lives in Atlanta. We got caught in a heavy rain storm 2 blocks away from the hotel and made a mad dash back. Memories are made of this!
Thursday night was the Mardi Gras party. We made Mardi Gras masks, had crepes with berries and all the works (just berries for keto me, which was a nice treat! I didn’t expect to have anything!) and collapsed into bed at 10 pm. Conferencing is hard work!
Friday: No classes scheduled, and I can’t stress enough how nice it is to have some unstructured time. I volunteered at the CGOA table for a few hours in the afternoon and gave out the goodie bags! What a big bag they were too! So much yarn! I didn’t have room to bring it all home but had fun with what I could fit in my suitcase. I got to chat with Andee Graves, the current CGOA Board of Directors Vice President and Jennifer Williams, our dedicated volunteer coordinator.
Friday night was the gift exchange. I got the cutest little earrings in the shape of yarn hanks made by Bonnie Barker’s daughter. After the gift exchange we had a sing along led by Bonnie Barker and Jennifer Ryan, along with Jennifer’s mini me daughters. We had a blast. Juliette Tebeau Bezold and I competed in a mock Price is Right game and oh my gosh, what fun! Juliette and I were of like minds and threw ourselves into character with abandon. I wish I had video of this. It was truly a night to remember!
Saturday: I had a full day class with Jenny King called Architectural Crochet Designing. This was just what I needed to fill my head with. She helped us understand structure of garments, seeing the shapes turned on their sides, studying the design of various crochet stitch swatches and how they lend themselves to various projects. Just incredible! If you ever have a chance to take a class with Jenny, just do it!
Saturday night was the banquet. I sat with Marette and another new friend, Amanda Saladin. Amanda gave me perhaps the single most valuable piece of advice I received all week – Done Is Better Than Perfect. I need to post this everywhere I look to break me out of my fear of publishing. Both Marette and Amanda had projects in the Fashion Show so I made sure to document everything for them.
Not crochet related, but this is an important thing for me to remember. Food! I am a former diabetic who is strictly keto. I did just fine this trip, aided by a Whole Foods/Amazon Prime delivery of coconut milk, heavy cream, sliced roast beef, almonds, and seltzers, and a can of Slim Fast Keto for super quick breakfasts. I carried my requisite tea carafe everywhere which made for easy hydration, dashed up to my room for quick replenishment as needed, which gave me more time to socialize and more importantly more money for yarn! I also ordered dinner from the restaurant to be delivered to me at the banquet which was outstanding and totally keto!
Whew! That was a lot! So many things to remember! This is a definite must do conference for anyone in the business. Next year is New Orleans and my friend Christine is coming along for the fun! I can’t wait!
I’m sitting in my hotel room on Thursday afternoon in the middle of the 2019 CGOA Conference. I am so excited! I’ve only been here 2 short days but so much has already happened.
Day 1 was Professional Day. I sat in in sessions led by Moogly (Tamara Kelly), Marie Segares, and the inimitable Marly Bird. I cannot believe the crochet stars I am lucky enough to be surrounded by. Such a lot of information to be fully digested in the coming months but I feel so much more confident after yesterday. I can see my business taking shape! It’s very exciting. Lunch with Melissa, my buddy from Chicago was delightful. The Pho place we headed to originally was closed, but we ended up at a mediterranean restaurant with a very flirty waiter!
That night we had a Mardi Gras party, and while there was a dessert bar, I kept keto and had a small plate of strawberries and blueberries. Made some new friends and solidified connections.
Day 2 started with a class with Melissa Leapman. I learned some great new stitch combinations and found out she lives just a block or two away from where I lived in New York City! I followed up class with lunch with fellow aspiring designer Robbie Crawford at a little Mexican restaurant around the corner from the hotel. I can’t decide if the food or the conversation was better! We got caught in a rainstorm headed back from lunch, so I came back to my room for a quick shower and a blog post. Better update with pictures soon!
I’m currently nearing the end of my first official cable blanket and I have a feeling there will be many more of these in my future. I adore the geometry and complexity of the pattern and watching my concept come to life in yarn.
I’ve always enjoyed making cables. Both the variety of the stitch pattern and the magic illusion of the twisting vines of yarn keep my on my toes. I have previously designed a cable scarf that was very simple and another scarf with some cable like features, but the idea of a large scale blanket seemed years away. How do designers decide which stitch crosses where? How long should the stitch be? How do you keep everything consistent?
I figured these things out in (name of blanket here) and it was surprisingly easy.
I started with some graph paper and sketched out the pattern I wanted to see. I’m not skilled at drawing, so it had to be simple – connect the intersections was as much as I can muster.
Once I was satisfied with the way things fit together, I scanned it and did some magic with photoshop and pieced together a full repeat with both beginning and ending sides and a couple of repeats in the middle.
Great. Now what??? I have a bunch of lines on paper. How does that become a pattern? Which ones go on top and which go on the bottom? I still had more work to do.
This is where I got creative.
Okay, NOW I had something I can work with. I can play with the red yarn and place it over and under to make sure that everything continues in the right fashion. If one pair goes under in one section, it must go over in the next. So, I just pinned and repinned until it all worked out.
Now, I know there’s more to the math of this. I have to delve deeper into cables to understand this better, but I feel like I have a good handle on where to go from here.
I hope you enjoy the results! And, if you made it through all of this, kudos to you! Thanks for reading!
So, a few months back, I started this blog but didn’t really do much with it. I had a lot more prep to do than I’d realized. I also completely changed my intentions with this page so today I have wiped the slate clean and am starting fresh. I still have the posts I’d put up so those will trickle in after I edit them and as I see fit but here we go! Fresh start! Watch this space for more regular posting!
Man, there is a lot to do to get things rolling around here. I have spent the better part of two days choosing color schemes and figuring out templates and how to use Word Press or should I be using Beaver Build and how do I get rid of all the sample text and graphics they insert to help you and Oh. My. God.
It is hard work.
But now I get to start adding content and that will bring a whole slew of other questions to answer. But, in the meantime, here’s my first post. I imagine nobody will ever see this, but in case you bother to read this – Hi Friend!