Category Archives: crochet

Project Mr. Right Now: Vintage Jewelry Renewed in Crochet

I love to take vintage jewelry and give it new life and enthusiasm by combining it with crochet embellishment. Sometimes I do this by recreating them into a new piece of jewelry, like a necklace, but they also make wonder hat pins for my hats.  These are some of the latest vintage finds I’m brainstorming with. Except in the case of broken jewelry (or lone earrings), I prefer to keep the original jewelry piece intact, so no chance of destroying a future collectible. Pictured here: an emerald green rhinestone flower/circle pin, a gold earring turned into a button and an ornate square enamel pin. We’ll see what all I come up with.





Filed under Artist Information & Notes, crochet

New Term Tuesday – What Does “Frogging” Mean?

This cute "Frog King" crochet frog is designed by Barbara S. of Amigurumi Paradise. Click the photo above to download this free pattern from Barbara's website and check out her other awesome critters!

In crochet as well as in knitting, the term “frogging” refers to pulling your yarn stitches out.  Confused as to what frogs have to do with that?  It’s because when we frog something made of yarn or thread, we “rip-it, rip-it” apart! (Get it? Rhymes with “ribbit?”)

Hence you’ll hear phrases about how many times someone had to “frog” a project to get it right, or how far someone got before they had to “frog it all.”

“Frogging” can also be used as a handy yarn world curse word of sorts too.  As in the case of, “Well, ain’t that just froggin’ great…!”  We could also carry that on to the variant “so sorry to hear that – how froggy that must be.”

Why yes, we are yarn geeks after all and we do experience frustrations from time to time in our work.  Perhaps yarn art vernacular will evolve further someday and instead of something being totally “wicked” or “bitchin’,” maybe we’ll say it’s “totally froggin’!”

Errrrrr…  Well… maybe not.

And so now you know what the term frogging means!  😀

That’s it for this day’s post for New Term Tuesday!


Filed under crochet, Crochet Community, Crochet Education, New Term Tuesday

Stitches Make A Difference, Crochet!

After some prompting from peers on the matter, I’ve decided to at least occasionally write about technique on my blog.  I’ve crocheted for over 33 years now, so there’s a lot of information and observations in my head and much of it is outside of the box.  I don’t always think about it, but some of it might be helpful to others as we continue together to promote and explore the art of crochet.  So though I’ll have to work on these entries in bites, we can add all this to the learning community.  I’ll also see in the future if I can get some of my peers to chime in and lend their expertise as well.  After all, crochet is a very large umbrella with many specialties.  And who knows, maybe we can drum up some give-aways here at some point.  I’m short on time, but I’m up for some game time fun.  You too?  Please remember though, if you find a post helpful or interesting, please be sure to give it a star rating, thumb it up and share it with others.  I appreciate it!

Today I want to illustrate the possibilities in creating soft structure that remains as comfortable to sensitive skin all crocheted up, as it feels on the skein.  I have learned a lot over the years from creating crochet for chemo patients who have extremely sensitive skin.  I also have always marveled at what people will create and put on babies, especially preemies and newborns, who also have very tender skin.  A good test is to rub your proposed end fiber (in a stitched swatch) on your inner wrist for a few seconds.  If it feels even a little uncomfortable, it’s not going to be comfortable to an infant.  And unfortunately, not only can they not tell you, they can’t stop you either.  This is always an issue to me when it comes to donations for preemies – please remember your end product’s actual comfort!  Use quality materials and careful stitches.  You can read more about crocheting for preemies here and chemo patients here.

OK, so let’s talk about structure.  What you see pictured here is just one of three different proto-types of a pattern I’m working on.  I wanted an eclectic look, something outside the usual “rectangle” style scarves you see.  However, I did not want to sacrifice warmth or the soft feel either. One of the reasons a rectangle scarf is a classic is not only its ease of creation, but the physics behind a single layer of stitches wrapped around a neck.

Carnival Twist Prototype

However, everyone has a classic style scarf.  When you are competing for attention, or simply want something different, you need a new edge of some sort.  In this case, I chose a new “twist” to the idea of soft structure.  This is one of my favorite design pieces, just for achieving a striking unique look and comfort simultaneously via stitch work alone.  This numbly scarf is buttery soft, made from some of the softest materials I’ve ever worked with.  And it was carefully crafted with the right kind of stitches so the feel of the yarn was preserved in-stitch.

Wondering what I mean?  Well, your stitches really do have a lot to do with how soft your end product will be, no matter how soft your fiber is on the skein.  It is entirely possible to take an incredibly soft (and expensive) yarn and crochet it into an incredibly uncomfortable and scratchy feeling garment on the skin – all based on your stitches.

One of the easiest ways to ruin the feel of your garment is to make your stitches too tight.  Tight stitches have their place.  You need them in many lace techniques.  You need them for many amigurumi techniques too.  But when you are working with something to be worn against the skin, take extra care to watch your tension.  Too-tight stitches make it difficult to frog errors and to work with fine yarns altogether.  And unless you are creating an industrial style piece that needs to be stiff and strong, I recommend a looser tension or a larger hook to carry out your goals.

As far as our example here, this particular scarf design also utilizes a-typical stitches as well, which lend to the shape as well as the skin sensation at the touch.  So when you are getting ready to create something new, take notice of the structure of the stitches you are preparing to use.  Some stitches are best suited for strength, as when being applied to a belt or a purse.  Others are more conducive to flow.  And some, like broomstick lace, are somewhat of a combo, with the large flowing stitches that show off the beauty of yarn, combined with locking stitches.  When softness is important to you, I highly recommend swatching, not just to be sure your gauge is correct and that your yarn will look good in that stitch, but also to test on your wrist and feel the result of the texture you will create.  You are also testing to see how your fibers behave.  You can get different results from equally soft yarns in the same stitch based on how those yarns are structured and what they are made of as well.  Alpaca and cashmere do not behave the same.  Equally, when you mix either with silk.  All are incredibly soft, but may feel dramatically different in the stitch.

So give it a whirl and make some swatches to see what I mean.  Leave your comments or write an article about your experiments and link it here.
I’d love for you to share your experiences and photos here to help others while we continue to promote the art of crochet and expand our creativity.

See you soon!


Filed under Charity Crochet, crochet, Crochet Techniques

The 2011 Flamies Crochet Awards Live in Georgetown, TX!

The Crochet Liberation Front’s Annual Flamies Crochet Awards are coming live to Georgetown, TX April 18th, with classes from Crochet Liberation Front founder, Laurie Wheeler and designer Karen Whooley in the Austin area all weekend. This is part of what’s been keeping me busy lately!   😀  I’m really excited!  Some of you are probably going to wonder what all this is about, so I’ll try to explain and tell a bit of the story.  Go to to register for the event though!

What on earth did Julia get involved with? 

Well, here’s the back story – as told by me!

If you’re here, then you already know I’m a crochet designer/artist. My main work is in the arena of One of a Kinds (OOAK).  And though each year I tend to make mainly what I’m asked to (more hats than anything else), I don’t really align myself with any one specific crochet medium either.  Clothing, throws, jewelry, miniature, free-form or tapestry crochet (not to mention my fascination for spider webs and love of hook carving) – whatever catches my whim is what I work on.

I have one main rule, that crochet is a love for me and it’s gotta stay fun, because honestly, that’s where the creativity comes in.  If my heart and passion isn’t in it, then frankly, it won’t be nearly as good and I don’t want to burn out on something that I find largely meditative and expressive.  It’s one of the few escapes I can take with me just about anywhere.  So no – I don’t really want to lose that.  The fact that my crochet creations ever turned into something people were interested in buying was a complete surprise to me and as far as I’m concerned it’s a bonus.  Like any art, you have to do it for love, in spite of everything else.  I crochet whether anyone buys it or whether I donate it for cancer or not, and so if someone loves what I make enough to buy it, kudos to me for being able to justify my obsessions.  I say we all have a “madness” or two of some sort, and crochet just happens to be one of mine.  All that being said, no where in all my talk about loving the creative process am I supporting under-valuing one’s work, time or expertise.  Better believe I charge for my skill and time.  I’ll save more about this sad occurrence of under-valuation for a future blog post.

“What is the Crochet Liberation Front – some sort of hook wielding terrorist organization?”

I hear such comments from time to time when I mention The Crochet Liberation Front.  And I just chuckle, because it’s nothing of the sort and all in fun.

There was a time it would never have occurred to me to look for crocheters online.  Largely because I’m not a joiner by nature.  Oh I’m social, but just not into memberships and clubs much.  I spent a lot of time at shows lecturing and demoing about crochet and expanding the horizons of the masses when it came to the possibilities of crochet.  Some of you met me that way.  Maker Faire Austin was my absolute favorite experience, setting up a nook for kids and adults to just hang out to learn and crochet or finger knit with each other.  I was there both years it came to Austin and really missed it when it couldn’t come back.  That perfectly suited my personality, being absorbed by the simple joy of making.  No labels, no judgments, no “right” way. (I’m really not into drama and politics. As far as I’m concerned it gets in the way of true creative joy.)

However, three years ago I found a group that worked for my individualistic personality.  I became a member of the Crochet Liberation Front (CLF) about six months after it began, helping to promote and preserve the last fiber art left that cannot be replicated by machine.  They shared the same passion for innovation and preservation I already had and I found friendly camaraderie without expectation or labels.  I had spent a lot of time feeling like a lonely voice when it came to education and pushing the boundaries of expectations in crochet.  It was amazing to find others “like me.”  How could I not?

At its heart and intention, the CLF is a bunch of crocheters who just want to have fun, complete with a sense of humor to go along with it.  We do however seek to broaden the horizons in our industry, and promote the beauty and innovation present everywhere in crochet.  Many of us have felt general dissatisfaction with attitudes, industry dynamics, treatment of crochet designers and patterns available, especially in the US.  I’m not super in touch with the common industry at large because it usually fails to supply much of anything innovative, technical or unusual enough for my tastes. Not to mention the fact that I do not use patterns. And besides, after all, I AM Aberrant Crochet and it wouldn’t be much in keeping with my personality to be keeping step with the Jones. That makes me a little different, because personally, if everyone else is doing it, I’m much less interested.  Even if I started it.  Seriously, if the world starts obsessing over crochet spider webs, I will be the first to lose interest.

However, all that being said, even I have noticed what seems to me an odd perception that crochet is only beautiful if it’s from somewhere else, like Russia.  As if the only thing that exists in the US are granny squares, shawls and doilies.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a very healthy respect for the history of crochet and its development.  And granny squares, etc. can be awesome.  However there is so much more to our fiber art.  And I know I don’t appreciate being pigeon-holed as to what my art is supposed to look like.  If you’ve seen photos of my work, you can totally get where I’m coming from.  I’m pretty proud of the fact that customers at shows so often marvel at my creations and the fact that they never thought crochet “could look or feel that way.”  Education at its finest!

Die-hard crocheters seek to preserve this art and promote its continued genius and development.  Crochet is the very last fiber art left that cannot be replicated by machine.  At all.  Not one iota (yet).  I kid you not.  Google “crochet machine” and you will find machines made in China that knit a chain, but they use the term “crochet” interchangeably.  However, crochet is purely and always created by a hand and a hook.  No machines.  There is always a cap on just how much one pair of hands can create at any one time.  Even that mass produced crochet you see at the store?  All of it was created with a human hand and a hook, and all too often by children.  (I’ll save the subject of repetitive motion injuries in children for yet another blog post.)  You can see a bit of where our passion for our craft comes from.

OK, what’s the deal about the “Flamies?” How does that fit in with crochet? Did it simply catch fire?

The Flamies” are a grass-roots (I almost typed a grass-fire!) style annual crochet awards that we started some three years ago, and their popularity has grown by leaps and bounds. The CLF itself was started somewhat as a joke by Laurie Wheeler (we call her Fearless Leader), looking to provide a fun home for crocheters around the world to commune, talk shop and celebrate crochet. Something different and outside of the usual boxes available to folks out there.  And BOY do we have fun! Well, the group took off.   And not too long after, due to disenchantment with the yarn industry’s lack of support or celebration for innovative crochet (in the US in particular), it was decided to create our own awards – the Flamies.

The Flamies, you ask? Umm, yeah. Kind of a long story, but it’s a reference to the Flaming Crochet Hook of Justice, which has been waved liberally over the years.  And yes  – the Flamies are a nod of fun to the Emmys and Grammys as well.  In fact, my tapestry crochet charted pattern for my Flaming Crochet Hook design was published in the Crochet Liberation Front: First Ever Book.

Long story short, a bunch of us decided to stop waiting for the industry to provide what we wanted and we began creating it ourselves. We even created our own crochet awards.  And you know what happened? IT TOOK OFF! Today, yarn companies, magazines and designers are competing for the Flamie crochet awards and this year a whopping 30,000+ turned out for voting! The winners will be announced live this year!  Talk about becoming the change that you seek in the world! 

The Landmark Tavern – Georgetown, TX

The event? It’s happening a bit on the fly, but the Flamies are coming LIVE to Georgetown on Monday, April 18th. The editor of Interweave Crochet magazine, and designers from both coasts are flying in for this event, including Mary Beth Temple from Getty Loopy, along with Fearless Leader kicking off her US Tour here in Texas! Nothing like this has ever been done in our niche industry before. It might be just crochet to everyone else, but this is big for us!

Tickets are being sold to the live event held at the Landmark Tavern, (wonderful neighborhood wine bar) on the Georgetown Square where we will have a red-carpet event with photographers, April 18th 7-11pm. And I’m so lucky it’s right here practically in my own back yard.  If you want to come and hang out with crochet creative types (you don’t have to crochet, but you must be friendly), it’s $25 a ticket which includes a drink ticket and snacks.

This is a semi-formal event! Wear your best crochet if you have it! If not, wear your favorite fiber thing!  We’ll be walking the red carpet at The Landmark, so it’s a chance to dress-up. Businesses also have the opportunity to buy tickets to this events in blocks. For a minimum of 5 tickets, the price drops to $20 per ticket.  Go to for more details on registration for the event and about the CLF in general.

I hope we’ll see you there!

Calendar of Weekend Events:

April 16: 11am‐ 2pm Meet & Greet in Georgetown, Texas at Dukes BBQ (right on north bound I35): This is a family friendly event, free for crocheters to attend to meet up, admire each others’ crochet and organize local meetings and relationships. We’re expecting a lot of people to attend this event.

April 16: 7‐9pm Fearless Leader & Friend’s soiree at The Knitting Nest in Austin, Texas.
A more adult evening of wine and song. Promoting all that is crochet in one of the leading yarn destinations in Texas. So far at least 25 people confirmed.

April 18: 7‐11pm The Flamies LIVE! Red carpet event in Georgetown, Texas at the Landmark Tavern (a gorgeous wine bar). This year’s awards ceremony will take place as per tradition on the Getting Loopy Podcast with Mary Beth Temple, and at the live event which will be web cast so the millions of crochet fanatics around the globe can see the best of the best! Party goers will receive a drinks ticket, nibbles, goody bags and prizes! We have room for 120 guests!

Go to for more details on registration for the event and about the CLF in general.


Filed under Community, crochet, Crochet News, Events

My Next Flapper Purse in Silk

I still have to find the right purse frames and clasps for the flapper purses I’m working on. But here’s the latest “Mr. Right Now” project I’m working on. This particular fringe is harder to work with and more elaborate than the last and the construction is very slow going. It’s a lovely rust made in India.
The purse is constructed of the same brand of silk fiber in this purse as the previous purse, except in an amazingly matched (to the fringe) rust. This is more of that 70% silk/30% nylon yarn called Contrasto (made in Italy) that I’d been trying to figure out what to do with. It’s a yarn that is actually a knit tube in design. Yarn descriptions have described this yarn as woven, but it is truly a knit tube. Refer to my post on Dec 8th here for more details and back story:
This purse will be larger however, and I’ve already had to begin a 2nd ball of silk in the construction so far. I am hoping that this purse will be deep enough to hide away a small book as well as a wallet. This particular beaded fringe, as mentioned previously, is a beauty made in India and sports ribbon covered beads in the tassel design. About 8 yards of it will finish this purse at $8/yd (my cost). This fringe is called Jhalar, meaning “tassel and trimmings,” and is a type of interlaced, braided and fringed trimmings that traditionally have been used to enhance window decor. They were quite popular in the Victorian era and of course are making a refined come back today in a variety of ways, including as elements in our beloved steam punk genre. And worked into this purse, well… it’s just awesome!
Remember that golden rod satin I thought about lining the other purse with? It’s going to line this rust one instead. Which is rather appropriate since the tassel and trimmings are from India as well! The rust and the rich goldenrod play beautifully together. Though unfortunately, my new camera phone tends to cheat the yellows of their glory. I also found in my stash of goodies from my grandmother just the perfect shade of slate blue velvet for the lining of the other flapper purse (which I can’t finish until I find just the right clasp). So I’m thrilled to have found all this and been able to put it together out of my own sewing and yarn stash, no longer lurking in the back recesses of my cabinets and closets and ready to not just come out into the daylight, but in the end, ready to go out for a party! I have a third one to give a try after I get this one done as well. Photos pending once under way.
So right now for this purse, my material costs are already about $100. I expect my material cost to increase another $25-30 by the completion.  And it’s a larger purse than the other one as well.  Definitely swanky for special occasions!  I’m really rather proud!


Filed under Artist Information & Notes, crochet

A Day of Knitting and Crocheting with Alpaca!

Photos from my visit to Peaceful Prairie Ranch an alpaca ranch in Prescott Valley, AZ.

I met Emily at Debra’s Christmas party at A Good Yarn and she invited me to tag along with the Prescott Knitters (Ravelry group) on Sunday to visit the alpaca farm. As I mentioned to folks along the way during my visit that I had new plans to visit an alpaca farm Sunday, I received a lot of incredulous replies along the line of: “There’s an alpaca farm in Prescott?! I didn’t know that!” Well, so I made a point of spreading the news. 😀

The Prescott Knitters Ravelry group was real friendly and an all round awesome group of folks. If you’re in the area, you can drop by and join their knit-ins (whether you knit or not) confident that you will have a great time! Trust me, whenever we go back, I’ll be checking to see what the Prescott Knitters are up to and working it into my schedule! Big hugs and thanks to Emily, Capi and the others who made sure I felt welcome. More about Capi and the gorgeous crochet hook she gave me later.

Wendy, the awesome owner of Peaceful Prairie ranch, carries roving for felting as well as spinning, as well as a lovely variety of spun fibers for knitting, crochet and whatever other crafts you might need yarn for. I’ve ordered what turned out to be bad baby alpaca before, which has left me shy to order any online ever again. In fact I still have a whole box of lace weight “baby” alpaca that feels like super thick rug yarn, and not at all something you’d want against your skin. I haven’t yet decided what to do with it, though I imagine I’ll get creative and come up with something.

But let me tell you, Peaceful Prairie’s alpaca products are top notch and after being able to listen to Wendy talk about her passion, see and feel the fibers, even in various stages, not to mention experience her top notch customer service, I’m convinced whole-heartedly in ordering from her online anytime! Her husband Dave was also cordial and helped make us all feel at home even while Wendy was busy.

Wendy also helped me purchase a gorgeous green baby alpaca with my credit card since I was there for a trip and not local. A little awkward since it needed to be done through Paypal, but she made it work so I could shop and I really wanted that green baby alpaca hank. It’s soooo super soft! I’ve included a photo of it here too. Whatever I make with it, I expect to be mine this time. I haven’t settled on what just yet. Leaning toward a cowl though. I’m really grateful and my experience with these lovely people only added to the pile of amazing things that became a part of my trip to Prescott.

Thanks y’all, from the bottom of my heart. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!













Filed under Artist Information & Notes, Community, crochet

Enjoying a Crafty Party at A Good Yarn

Debra’s hosting a Christmas party at her store, A Good Yarn, in Prescott, AZ. We’re all enjoying knitting and crocheting together.

Here’s a photo of what I’m working on at the moment and you can see more photos of the shop and group below.
Debra has a new partner this year who carries weaving fibers and supplies. Carma runs the weaving portion. Her prices are awesome and the quality is fantastic. I’ve purchased some wonderful fibers from her by the ounce.

I just have to say that between my two trips to Prescott, AZ, my visits to A Good Yarn are among my favorites amongst the yarn stores that I have visited in my travels. Not only is everyone friendly, and I mean customers, staff and all, but she has an incredibly nice selection in my opinion of less than common fibers. And high quality fibers. And more fibers per foot of store space that I want to work with than most places I’ve walked into. And I love that she carries uncommon buttons too!

I have also overheard her on the phone with customers for private orders and such and just have to say, her and her partners’ customer service is just awesome. She’s really helpful, professional in all her dealings, obviously goes the extra mile and yet, her “knit pit” has the feel of visiting the comfort of someone’s home. There’s no fireplace, but I easily imagined one nearby while sitting on her couch and working along with everyone else. Cozy indeed!

If you’re in the area, definitely stop in and see Debra at A Good Yarn. Tell her you read about her on my blog and extend a healthy howdy from me.




A Good Yarn in Prescott, AZ


Filed under Artist Information & Notes, Community, crochet

Blocking on the Go

Here’s what I came up with to block a couple of scarves overnight that I made on the road and am taking to AZ for gifts. We’ll see how they turn out.

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Filed under Artist Information & Notes, crochet

My latest hand carved crochet hooks


These are the latest of crochet hook designs I’m experimenting with. If you have not taken a class from Jimbo, I highly recommend it. He really helped remove apprehension and helped me take my very intent views on hook shape to the next level. Not to mention repair split hooks I haven’t been able to use in years.

In these examples, you can see the difference in throat lengths, point of the tips, length of the lips, etc. I made one with a flattened edge for picking up stitches as well.

Also, one of the hooks is carved from a Pei-Wei chop stick. This kind of chop stick is unique because instead of being round in diameter, they are oval. I have a theory that this flattened style may be comfortable to both saber hold as well as pencil or chop stick hold crocheters.

And side note, yes chop stick and pencil hold are different. Chop stick hold is loose and just like using a chopstick, control is gained via almost a floating partial rotation on the pads of the three middle fingers. Pencil hold is a clamp style hold and does not allow the hook to float in the fingers.

Anyway, comments on the shapes welcome!


Filed under Artist Information & Notes, crochet

Eastside Knit Night – Nov. 16 for E.A.S.T.

You will find me here teaching crochet and talking about crochet hook design. Might even demo making crochet hooks out of chop sticks.

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Filed under crochet, Crochet News, Events

When You’re Finally A Rock Star…

My darling daughter came home last Friday with the request that I just had to make a hat for her classmate for her birthday yesterday. Say what…? I have four shows this month that I’m trying to get ready for and a deadline to meet tomorrow.

Over the years, several of her friends have received one of my fun hats for their birthdays, usually when we attend a party. I don’t know any of these kids’ birthdays unless I’m dragged to a party.

So anyway, someone in her circle who hadn’t gotten one of my hats yet in all these years finally approached Jess and actually asked if she could please have one for her birthday too, even though she wasn’t having a party. (sigh) They’re in middle school and they’ve all practically grown up together since they began school.

So I said **NO**.

Of course I didn’t! My daughter picked out the yarn and I made her friend an ear hat Sunday night. Had her wrap it though.

I have to admit, it can be flattering when your kids and their friends think your stuff is so cool they just gotta have it. Though I wish the timing were better since I’m trying to get ready for shows.

Then all the girls decided they would all wear the hats I’ve made them to school today. And they actually did. I think even Coach wore hers. I just wish I had a photo.

Then my daughter comes home and tells me, “Oh Mommy, it was great. Everyone LOVES your hats. And oh yeah, the boys are feeling left out too. Michael wants one that says Texas Tech for Christmas. Even Zach said he’d wear one.”

“And which kind would that be, the one that looks like it has a pony tail, or one with ears?” I ask.

“I don’t know. And there’s also Marley (in the rock band) and…..”

“Jess! Do your friends know how much my hats cost?”

“Well, no, but they are hoping you’ll be at the school Christmas bazaar….”


Yeah, always awesome when your kids volunteer you for birthdays and Christmas.

If I end up making hats for the entire 8th grade, they better model for me and drop my name around a few times…..

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Filed under crochet, Doing the Show Circuit, Friends and Family, kids

I Am Totally A Crochet Geek Now….

It just occurred to me that the phrase in the popular club song “Like a G-6” (by Far East Movement) could be applied to a crochet hook……

::head slap::

It’s official – I’m a geek.

And the sad thing is that I would totally, totally make a spoof video too.

Maybe I will.

Update: I also posted this to the CLF group on Ravelry.  So far the consensus is that I must make this video. Guess I’ll see what I can do….!


Filed under crochet

Giant Adjustable Crochet Halloween Spider Web Pattern – For Haunted House or Costume!

I continue to get hits for my blog post last year about developing this pattern and have received contacts looking for the pattern. This post is just to update and make sure everyone knows that yes, this pattern is available. I don’t know why Google is picking up my old blog post and not any of my more recent ones.

You can get this pattern right now on Etsy and Ravelry.

Look for it here: and on Ravelry  HERE.  The pattern is an instant PDF download on both websites after payment.

This is a completely adjustable pattern allowing you to extend it to the size you want, up to about 6 feet in diameter. It is also unique in that it can also be used to create a spider web to wear for a costume.

Spider web can be used as a costume accessory

You can read more about this pattern and its requirements at the above links.  You can also find several OOAK ready made (finished) spider webs in my store at: on a seasonal basis. If you do not see a finished web for sale, but want one, just convo me.  I usually only list them during the second half of the year, but receive input all year round.

Christmas Spider Web

I am also working on a crochet pattern for a 15-20 foot spider web for serious outdoor use. It is an advanced pattern using reinforcing stitches there are currently no yarn standards for (hence the delay in its offering). This design is to help produce an incredibly strong web for lots of stress, use and abuse outdoors in trees, etc.. (Things that often wear fibers out.) If you are interested in the more fortified giant spider web pattern, contact me directly.  However, it is not currently ready for publication yet.

All Content Copyright © 2008-2015 by Julia Meek Chambers, Aberrant Crochet and Pixie Worx, all rights reserved.

You may sell finished products created from my pattern as long as they are not mass produced and are hand-made by you individually. Any items for sale must state in the item description that they are based on my pattern and include a link to my website. Any items you sell based on my patterns must also feature your own photographs. You may not use my images to help sell your finished items. If you have a charity project in mind which would require multiple volunteers, please contact me.

Purchase of this pattern grants you permission to make and sell items created from it, but not to republish, share or resell the pattern itself. A lot of time, cost and technical expertise go into my designs, as well as over 35 years of intensive study and application. Tech editors, etc.. So my patterns may NOT be reproduced or distributed — mechanically, electronically, or by any other means, including photocopying, without written permission. Please do not hurt my ability to feed my family and pay for medical bills. Thanks!

Other licensing inquiries:


Filed under crochet, Crochet Patterns

Haunted House Spider Web PDF Pattern – Aberrant Crochet Exclusive

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Spider web can be used as a costume accessory

Many people have asked about a pattern for my spider webs. Though the spider webs you see in my shop are all OOAK and each unique, I have written a more simplified pattern for purchase.  It is a 9 radial spider web that can be easily customized to the size you need, up to approximately 6 feet in diameter.  This is not the same pattern as my giant 15-foot Metamorphosis Spider Web which I’m still working on the technical writing for.  But I think for many the smaller size will do.

You can purchase this pattern on Etsy and Ravelry!

Halloween Spider Web – A Variable Pattern from Aberrant Crochet is now also listed on and on Ravelry.

This detailed 5-page pattern offers a variable-sized crochet spider web for display or costume wear. It includes a glossary of terms, color photos, display guidelines, and instructions for sizing up to an estimated 6 feet in diameter. Gauge is not particularly important to the construction of this pattern, but it will affect the end size.

Stitches are overall fairly straightforward.

Nine Radial Spider Web with Support Wedges

However, this pattern requires a lot of counting, basic lace concepts, and prior knowledge of extended crochet stitches beyond double crochet.

As such, this pattern ranks as intermediate crochet according to pattern standards guidelines and is written in American English terms. You will find a glossary of abbreviated terms used in this pattern on the last page.

Hook size: 10 (J) or 6 mm
Yardage: 300 – 600 yards
Sizes available: variable up to about 6 feet depending on your tension

Designer’s Notes: Though this pattern officially ranks at an intermediate level according to yarn standards, I do believe that it is straightforward and repetitive enough for an adventurous beginner to make. If you are still learning stitch and tension control, then this pattern may be difficult for you. I recommend very even and loose stitches for this pattern and a highly structured worsted weight acrylic yarn. However, this pattern does work with sparkly and novelty yarns for an eclectic look under a black light or “in the shadows.’

PLEASE NOTE: These spider webs are designed for decor and when worn, with teens and adults in mind. Spider webs are NOT toys. And a spider web should never be hung or left where a small child might get tangled in it or where it could pose risk or present a hanging hazard.

All Content Copyright © 2008-2012 by Julia Meek Chambers, Aberrant Crochet, and Pixie Worx, all rights reserved.

You may sell finished products created from my pattern as long as they are not mass-produced and are hand-made by you individually. Any items for sale must state in the item description that they are based on my pattern and include a link to my website.  Any items you sell based on my patterns must also feature your own photographs.  You may not use my images to help sell your finished items.  If you have a charity project in mind which would require multiple volunteers, please contact me. 

Purchase of this pattern grants you permission to make and sell items created from it, but not to republish, share or resell the pattern itself. A lot of time, cost, and technical expertise go into my designs, as well as over 35 years of intensive study and application. Tech editors, etc.  So my patterns may NOT be reproduced or distributed — mechanically, electronically, or by any other means, including photocopying, without written permission. Please do not hurt my ability to feed my family and pay for medical bills. Thanks!

Other licensing inquiries:

Spider web can be used as a costume accessory

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Filed under Artist Information & Notes, crochet, Crochet News, Crochet Patterns, Halloween

The Best Potholders Ever…

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Complimentary colors for my sister in law

Lately I’ve had a hankering for simpler projects than I usually have my hands in. And after some recent stress and discouragement I found myself looking back for sources of comfort, to one of the very first “real” projects I ever learned to crochet some 30+ years ago – my Grandmother’s pattern for potholders.

Grandma’s double layer potholders have, to this day, been the absolute best potholders I’ve ever had. (And I’ve bought a lot of pot holders and hot pads too.) She made me a pair some 20 years ago that became my everyday potholders in motherhood. They’ve never burned me. They’ve never torn nor have they fallen apart from singeing and heat. Neither have any of the ones I’ve made in child or adulthood before or since. (Can you tell I cook – a LOT?) They wash and dry so well and overall, they still look pretty good! And not only that, but I prefer them equally to cork for use as hot pads too, when I need to set something on the counter or table.

They’ve done an excellent job of protecting my furniture from heat damage.

Various sizes, even for my little tea pot

The potholders you see pictured here are the new ones I made last week. I made several in different sizes, even some small enough for my little tea pot. And a complimentary pair for my sister-in-law who dug through my bag ‘o yarn and picked out the fibers. I really like how the textures play out.

It was comforting to “sit with Grandma” again. I’ve updated the look a bit, but in my heart it’s still Grandma’s pattern.

Miss you…


Filed under Artist Information & Notes, crochet, Crochet Techniques

Old plastic crochet hooks…..?

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In a world where crochet hooks are my favorite tools, I personally find plastic hooks to be the least of my favorites. I have a couple, just ‘cuz I’ve been stranded without a hook before and have gone to the nearest craft store and grabbed one. Why you ask? Because even using a plastic hook coupled with box store yarn is still better than none a’tall when you are doomed to sit and wait for hours on your kids or a late appointment.

Since I really don’t like plastic hooks though and because they are cheap, I hang onto them to give away to those I end up teaching crochet to, etc.. They are not bad for beginning to learn. (And believe it or not, doing a crochet demo for kids at a show can make a big difference in attendance on your side of the expo while folks watch -and they will- not to mention the general behavior of bored kids tends to improve as well. I’ve been thanked by surrounding artists more than a few times.)

Susan Bates Vintage "Bone" Luxite Crochet Hook

If you have vintage “bone” colored hooks that are Bates, they are probably Luxite like this one, not Bakelite. These were made to look like bone. Genuine bone hooks are somewhat collectible and perhaps Luxite would be to some degree. Though I do collect hooks, I don’t personally collect these. However others do.

If you don’t want to hang onto your older plastic hooks, try eBay and throw them together as a mixed lot. I do see the older ones sell there in many conditions I wouldn’t buy for actual use. Modern plastic hooks are not really a draw for bids alone, but older hooks are. People will buy an auction full of hooks to get just one vintage one they want, like any collectible hobby. Even so, I have seen “bone” hooks on eBay that are obviously not.

When listing a lot of hooks together for an auction, you might consider tossing in a couple tags in like 4-H and Girl Scouts and teaching too. And better yet, write an explanation about the idea in your description. When I did demos for Maker Faire Austin and a scout class, I scoured eBay for economical hooks that I could afford to lose or give away.

And I know I’m not the only one!

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Meet the Goblins…

I started making a fun series of completely One-Of-A-Kind crochet “Goblin Hats.” And since I love to create with words as well as my hands, I started writing down the little stories that came to mind as I explored the personalities of each little “Goblin” in the making. So here are a few of them – see what you think!

The Bubblegum Goblin

The Bubble Gum Goblin is a joyful little beast whose diet consists of jawbreakers, lollipops and of course bubble gum marbles. It can be seen on occasion eating flowers for their rich colorful flavors. A creature of pure giggles and sunshine, it can’t help but infect its host and passerby’s with smiles on end.

The Cotton Candy Goblin

The Cotton Candy Goblin is a silly little beastie born under an Aquarius moon. Fearless, and addicted to enthusiasm (and arguably a sugar rush or two for good measure), you just never know what this surprising little goblin will do with a caramel café mocha and a double shot of espresso.

The Christmas Goblin loves the winter holidays, what with the long nights and colorful lights. Adorned in crimson and multicolor fashion, it can be found living up the night life while sipping hot peppermint cocoa and shopping for poinsettias. A beastie of distinguished taste, the Christmas Goblin is both stylish and fun. (Unfortunately, this one sold before I could get a photo of it first.)

The Spring Goblin

The Spring Goblin is a sing-songy little beast, hiding out in the tulips and lounging in the daffodils. Gentle and caring, this creature loves gardens

The Cinnamon Goblin - Sold

and all the delights that come with them. Sun-shiny and fun, this goblin can be found tending new growth, and frog-hopping with faeries.

The Cinnamon Goblin is a spicy little beastie, born under a Scorpio moon. Sly and chic, adorned in crimson and indigo, it is a creature of the Twilight. Hiding a cunning intellect under its quirky sense of humor, it can be found sipping martinis and dancing the Salsa, all the while planning world domination. (Now sold.)

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Historical Perspective on Crochet….?

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately via pre-1950′s books on philosophy. Anyway, I came across a book from one the WWI periods that had a statement explaining that to comply with limitations on materials because of the war, they had changed certain things about the paper and materials they used to make the book, etc.. Essentially they were apologizing for cutting back and then trying to show how it was better because it’d be more efficient and save materials. I had heard of food and metal cutbacks and even something about hosiery. But materials used in book making? That was something I hadn’t heard about. It gave me a new perspective on how we see books published today and hit upon something I remember Grandma saying about fabrics too.

When it comes to crochet and lack of good patterns at times over the last 100 years, perhaps the world wars affected patterns and materials in ways we aren’t really aware of today? I know that old examples of fabric my grandma had were exquisite. Then came fabrics later that were not as good of quality. It’s not an exclusive reality necessarily, but elements are there. Perhaps business decisions made decades ago continue to lay a framework for our experiences today. There’s also the consideration that women began working in the industrial age more as their men went off to war. That surely affected the patterns that were published and the materials that were available to work with or even the materials people could afford.

I don’t know. I by far do not have enough information to really have a full theory on this, but these elements have given me another possible point of view I hadn’t thought of previously.

The Great Depression also had an impact of course. My hubby reminded me that there were caps placed on how much something new was allowed to cost etc., but no caps for how much something used could cost. So it caused a change in how much was able to be produced too. Also, as women poured into the work force with WWII, they stayed there. Even after the war was over, many weren’t about to give up the new independence they felt. And then others felt it was the only way to make ends meet and give their kids a better life. Gen-Xers are well known to be the latch-key generation, with moms at work. Women have traditionally been the home experts on all the “crafts,” but while moms went to work, they purchased clothing more than they made it.

I don’t know. I think there’s an interesting story of evolution here.

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Red Hot CROCHET Night April 28th: 5-11pm CT – Etsy Sale 20% off tonight!

Etsy Sale from EtsyHookers Crochet Team! 20% off anything in my shop, 5-11pm tonight!

Red Czech glass 6-Pointed Star Flower Choker - Comfortable Fine Crocheted Jewelry - Exclusive Aberrant Crochet Original Design

I am participating in Red Hot Hooker Night (meaning CROCHET y’all) on Etsy tonight – Wednesday April 28th from 5-11 pm CT.

Flaming Crochet Hook Bag for CLF Book

Gothic Turquoise Crochet Necklace

There will be a lot of sales in the RHHN category and I’m personally offering 20% off anything in my Etsy shop from 5-11pm only.

Not a Joiner - Outrageous Ski Hat

I just picked up the last of my designs from consignment and want to make room for new designs coming out this year.Toddler Bear Hat with Pink Bow

I’ll be working on loading more into my shop today in preparation for the sale. Working on the photos now. Most of my work are OOAKs, so if you like something get it while you can.

Spring Goblin

The official RHHN announcement doesn’t go out until tonight, but figured I’d share with my friends in advance so you can plan.

Modified Railroad Choker with Sun Motif - Czech Glass

"Sun Cherries" Squiggle Hat

Help me ring in the new and let your friends know?

Max the Goblin

The Bubblegum Goblin

Spirit Jumpers get discounts for their Spirit Jumps.

"Vail" Ski Hat with a Squiggle

Contact me directly if you are interested in something for a Spirit Jump.

Again, the sale doesn’t begin until tonight: 5 – 11pm CT!

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Modified Railroad Choker – Featured in a Treasury!

My red and black Modified Railroad Choker with Sun motif has been featured in an Etsy Treasury!

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