2011 in crochet: Jo Hamilton, Love Lace Winner, Hilo Haven Thread, Yarn Wall Posters

I’m covering two weeks of last year in crochet this week because there won’t be a post in this series next week. Stay tuned to the blog for a Tuesday announcement about why that is!

Crochet Art

I profiled plarn crochet artist Lisa Young. She actually uses her married name: Lisa Young-De Leon. She crochets plastic bags into really simple shapes. But where the art comes in is that she finds these plastic bags in public spaces and video records them floating around being a danger to the earth before she takes them and turns them into art on a gallery wall. I hadn’t seen anything about this artist in awhile but then this week she posted a link on a discussion forum. The link is to This is Southbay, which is described as “a blogazine that covers Art, Culture, Food, & Music in the South Bay region of Los Angeles.”

Artist Jo Hamilton shared her creative space. I love Jo Hamilton’s skill in creating crochet portraits and have been happy to keep following what she does. Probably the coolest thing she’s done since this post last year was share a stop-motion video of her work process. She’s also gotten a lot of great media attention recently with articles in an Askam Turkish Newspaper and on The Huffington Post.

The third annual Powerhouse Museum Love Lace competition happened and I took a look at the 11 artists competing who used crochet in their work. The winner was Anne Mondro who crocheted the engine shown above.

Crochet Books

I reviewed Hooked on Jewelry by Pat Harste. This book was included in Designing Vashti’s roundup of crochet jewelry resources done in March of this year. Harste’s book is a Sixth & Spring publication. I’m looking forward to a new book from this publisher due out in the fall called Crochet Noro: 30 Dazzling Designs.

I also reviewed Carol Meldrum’s Simple Stitches: Crochet: 25 Projects for the New Stitcher Crochet Books: Simple Stitches Crochet. Meldrum has a new book that just came out this month (but I haven’t seen it yet) called Heads Up: 21 Fabulous Fascinators, Hair Clips and Accessories to Stitch and Sew. She also has a knitting book coming out later this year.

Crochet News

Lappajärvi Dye Works started selling crochet lamp kits called the Valoa Virkaten Lamp.

Other news:

Crochet Fashion

Fashion Designer Christopher Kane talked about his work. I loved the granny square work that Kane had in his 2011 collection but it doesn’t look like he’s including any crochet in 2012.

Model Carla Rademan at 2011 RHS Tatton Flower Show from the celebrity crochet roundup

Crochet Quotes

“The great doilies are stories in crochet, with a beginning, character development, and plot twists, periods of conflict, growth, and redemption. And the best of them have slam-bang endings.”- Doris Chan

“I do think something like crochet gives a person an opportunity to learn how to do something. In addition to this, learning a craft gives you the curiosity to continue learning more about it and in most cases, like crochet, there truly is no end.” – Crochet with Cris

“I make landscapes out of what I feel. I make holidays of my sensations. I can easily understand women who embroider out of sorrow or who crochet because life exists.” – Fernando Pessoa (translation)

“Anything that can be cut into a strip can be knit or crocheted. And here’s the gig: Whether you’re coming at it from a traditional knitting perspective, a fashion perspective or an art perspective, there’s something for you in the crafts.” – Vickie Howell

“Filet crochet gives me the ability to display any kind of design from easy graphic patterns to flowers and delicate pictures. My designs can be used by crocheters all over the world – whether we speak the same language or not – because we are all working from a pattern without the need for long instructions.” – Hartmut Hass

“Nowadays, environmental consciousness isn’t just about recycling plastic bottles and refusing to drive a gas-guzzling car. It’s a way of life – a way of thinking about life and making choices to help create a better world. As a stitcher, you’ve already taken a humble step in the right direction: you choose to create instead of consume, and to use simple resources to practical effect. Yay for you!” – Aware Knits

“While continuing traditions of the past, we can enjoy delving into tried and tested techniques and dipping into stitches, mixing them up with modern yarns and colors to give crochet a 21st century update.” – Carol Meldrum

“When drawing or making movies digitally, I stare at a flat computer monitor. But when crocheting amigurumi, it’s refreshing to make something in real-life 3D, with plushy form and textures.” – Howie Woo

“The exact origins of crochet remain a mystery. We have only theories and suppositions about the first projects created. Were the first examples of crochet blankets, hats, mittens, or lace, and who were the people who first discovered the beauty of crochet?” – Toni Rexroat

“It seems to me that when my hands are busy my mind can be still, or at least drift a little. When I crochet, I feel peaceful and calm. It is the most relaxing thing I know of, and that is one of the reasons I love crochet.”- BellaCrochet


I wrote about a new type of yarn called Bionic Yarn. It is made from plastic bottles! The Bionic Yarn Facebook page explains: “Bionic® is the first high-performance eco-thread, and represents the fourth-generation yarn structure in the history of commercial textile production.” The yarn does not appear to be available for individuals to purchase at this time. It’s used in commercial products.

I was coveting Paton’s Silk Bamboo Yarn. It has proven to be one of my go-to yarns for the past year. I do continue to really like it. However I should note that the last bulk order I got included a lot of balls with knots in the middle of the yarn. Although I do put knots in my own crochet work, I don’t like when there are random knots in the middle of the ball of yarn so that’s been a little irksome.

I reviewed Six Skeins Meditteranean Mood yarn. Six Skeins was one of the first sponsors for my newsletter that I launched this year, which was terrific.

I reviewed Hilo Haven’s waxed polyester crochet thread, which is what I used to make this wine cozy.

I got in this green yarn from Jane & Michael, which is the yarn that I used to make my newest crochet dress.

Roundup of yarn lovers’ wall decals. Looking back this wasn’t a very good roundup. I should do a better roundup to compensate!

Here What I was Up to A Year Ago

I continued to moderate the Hookin’ Up project. I did a review of the week with links to interviews/ reviews by Affordable Wonders, CultGrrrl, Crochet Your Way, Purple Butterfly Collection, Short’s Sutures, Yarn Dharma, Crochet with Cris, An Open Book and Cute Crochet Chat. Then I did a roundup post with links to all 30 posts that were part of this great project. That included the final post in which Cute Crochet Chat did a post about me.

I started the Hooked Together blog project. I continued it for more than six months but it’s on hold for the moment. I was working alphabetically so the first blogroll I explored was A Stash Addict’s Ramblings. Some of the blogs I discovered through this blogroll exploration and continue to read today include Easy Makes Me Happy, Natural Suburbia, and Crafts from the Cwtch.

I shared my freeform crochet art piece. Recently I’ve been making more crochet art but instead of doing freeform work I’m crocheting motifs onto canvas.

I continued crocheting wine bags as part of my Year of Projects.

I made my plush pink crochet scarf using post stitches.

I shared some things about me in a 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 post. And revealed some more about me by sharing a collage of Etsy items I’d want if I were ten again. I recently shared a few more things in my Introduce Yourself post. And I shared 25 people I’d like to crochet with.

This Day In Crochet History

Heading to the Google news archives, I checked out what happened during this week in crochet history in 1950, 1965 and 1980:

  • In 1950, many newspapers were writing about how Laura Wheeler was making knit and crochet simpler by creating charts for patterns. They were advertising a filet crochet pattern for a scarf made in rectangular blocks. You could mail away for the pattern for 25 cents.
  • In 1965, the papers were all writing about something called Jiffy Crochet, which I gather is a crochet pattern for some type of jacket. By this time the pattern price had gone up – to 35 cents.
  • In 1980, Laura Wheeler makes an appearance again but this time her through-the-mail crochet pattern price has gone up to $1.75.

Did you miss any of these posts last year? You can visit the originals using the links throughout this post.


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


  1. danidoesdoilies Reply

    You see, Granny squares can be cute! Christopher Kane did an excellent job with the granny! I suppose the purpose of it is to use scraps of yarn, but there is something about neatness and order that really excites me! I really, really, really love your blog! I only hope that one day mine will be as neat and orderly as yours is! I can’t wait to read then the and now articles that you’ve done; what a great idea!

    • CrochetBlogger Reply

      @danidoesdoilies I definitely make grannies to use up scrap yarn but I know tons of people buy fresh yarn just for big granny projects (like the Flowers in the Snow afghan pattern that’s so popular!)

      My best tip for having an organized blog is to have a posting schedule that you stick to. Like I always blog about crochet art on Mondays and crochet in fashion on Thursdays, etc. And I tag each blog post with a category or post tags so that you can easily see what posts go into each topic area. Not that this is necessary to have a great blog – just a random tip!

  2. danidoesdoilies Reply

    :) Thanks! I am still working on building enough content for at least a week’s worth of post that is outside of my book content. I read in a Writer’s Digest that what you put on your blog is stuff that could be going into your book so…I don’t want to put my book chapters online. I’ll have to google Flowers in the Snow afghan because I hadn’t heard of it before now.

    • CrochetBlogger Reply

      @danidoesdoilies That’s an interesting writing tip! I put a lot of stuff on my blog that could go into a book instead … sometimes just to test the waters to see how material is received but mostly just because I want to share the information with as many people as possible!

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