Wednesday, June 30, 2010

CreateCrochet Team Makes A BIG Impact @ Relay For Life Kingman 2010

Thanks to the ample amounts of time and energy, we have a beautiful blog from Marianne from CreationsByM2. This whole process could not have been done without here and thus, on behalf of the entire team, I thank her!

A few months ago, what started as a typical weekly team chat became an amazing outpouring of love. Pattie (PatricianSpecialties) and I (creationsbym2) were both feeling down because someone we loved was suffering from an evil disease known as CANCER.  I had mentioned that even though I was still using crutches to walk after my four knee surgeries, I was determined to walk in the Relay for Life Kingman 2010 and that I joined a team called Relay Wranglers!

Before you could say “crochet hook”  just about the whole team agreed to donate crochet items (chemo caps and so much more) to be sold at our Relay Wranglers booth during the event that was held June 5th and 6th. Well the Relay Wranglers were so excited the expanded their area and gave me a booth of my own adjacent to them for our CreateCrochet Team as bonus to theirs.

Everything was just amazing after that; you were all right there with me due to your generous outpouring of love.  You sent so many crochet items; it was like Christmas every time the postman arrived.  He even started to get as excited as I was and stayed around to see me open the packages.  He was so taken by everything that he bought a few items and paid more that the asking price!!! Can you believe that :0)

The day of the Relay was hectic, we had to be at the High School Field to set up our pop-ups, tables and anything and everything to be sold so that the proceeds could be donated to the RELAY FOR LIFE KINGMAN 2010.  It was one of the most unbelievably moving experiences I have known.  It was constant (which was good because I never had the chance to be tired enough to want to sleep).

The Opening Ceremonies were moving and there was not a dry eye when the Survivors and their care-takers took the first lap around the track. I was so proud to see my aunt walking. From then on I could not leave our booth.  My husband, John had to do my walking for me.  What a great guy, he even got into the swing of selling our crochet items!

So many people were drawn to the “CROCHET STUFF” as they called it.  They loved our Banner and ALL the crochet items hanging and displayed on the tables.  Once again, I felt each and every one of my team members with me and OH so proud of all you have done. 

When all was done, we made $1,010.00 as CreateCrochet Team which was added to the Relay Wranglers totals for the RELAY FOR LIFE KINGMAN 2010.

The few items that were left were taken to the Kingman Cancer Center and I have been told that the patients were so excited and amazed by the beauty and quality of the chemo hats and the few lovely extras that could make them feel special!

I hope you all know that you have made a huge difference in the lives of people you will never know; but I can assure you that they will know of you and the CreateCrochet Team and your generous and selfless gifts of love.

I have no words that can express the gratitude and joy I feel belonging to such a wonderful group of people from all over the world.  Please know that each and every one of you will remain in my prayers.



Below is a Poem Written by a Cancer Survivor

The light and the darkness of the day and night parallel the physical effects, emotions, and mental state of a cancer patient while undergoing treatment.

The Relay begins as the sun is starting to set.  This symbolizes the time that the person has been diagnosed with cancer.  The day is getting darker, and this represents the cancer patient’s state of mind as they feel that life is coming to an end.

As the evening goes on it gets colder and darker, just as the emotions of the cancer patient do.  Around 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. represents the time when the cancer patient starts treatments.  They become exhausted, some sick, not wanting to go on, possibly wanting to give up.  Participants in Relay feel much the same way while walking during these hours.  They cannot stop or give up, just as the cancer patient cannot stop or give up.

Around 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. symbolizes the end of treatment for the cancer patient.  Once again they are tired, but they know they will make it.

The sun rising represents the end of treatment for the cancer patient.  They see the light at the end of the tunnel and know that life will go on.  The morning light brings on a new day full of life and excitement for new beginnings for the cancer patient.  Participants feel the brightness of the morning and know that the end of the Relay is close at hand.

When participants leave the Relay, they can think of cancer patients leaving their last treatment.  Just as participants are exhausted and weak, so is that person after treatment.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Size matters but what else?

Hello Everyone! I recently came upon a discovery that I just have to share. Some of this information may be known to some of you but for other maybe not. One of the most important tools for us all is our crochet hooks. While at times I may have difficulty trying to figure out which size to use, I never knew that the brand also mattered. I know that may surprise some of you but just take a look.

On the left is the brand Boye. On the right is the Susan Bates brand. They are the same size hook but look at the difference. Boye hooks tend to have a narrow head while Bates hooks have a wider head with a sharper hook. Both of the hooks shown are size 9mm.

Boye brand are commonly found at most super centers while I did not know of Bates until a trip to a craft store.

I also found that Bates brand has hooks with bamboo handles. I bought one on a whim and completely fell in love! I find that the bamboo handle makes the hooks so much easier to work with. Plus if my hands get sweaty the hook doesn't start slipping out of my hands.

Another difference in the hooks are the length. Depending on where you hold your hook can also be a factor to have a project come out a different size than expected. You can clearly see the differences in the hooks shown above.

From the research conducted on this topic I found that some pattern makers not only list the size hook but also the brand and type. Customers apparently like to make sure that when they go to create their work it will turn out how the pattern states. Sometime with out line of work the slightest differences can cause a different outcome in the finished product. Sometimes it can be for the best while at other times it can be frusterating.

I find that both hooks are great to work with depending on the type of yarn being used. It's just something to think about...Enjoy!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Crochet-a-thon Winner Interview - Taraduff

This is our second to last interview with the winners of the crochet-a-thon.
Our wildly successful Taraduff!

Tell us a bit about yourself. - I am a stay-at-home mom of three. I love to cook, garden and crochet. I have a BA in apparel merchandising. I am fluent in portuguese. I spent 2 years in voluntary service as a missionary for my church in Brazil. 

Apart from creating things, what do you do? lots of cooking and gardening. In the summer and fall months, I do lots and lots of canning and preserving.

What first made you want to become an artist? I think staying home with my kids has really contributed to that. Since I don't work outside of the home, I need an outlet for my creativity. I really love to use my hands. I have done my share of hand quilting, but crocheting is so much more portable. It's easier to take with me and pick up where I left off when I have a spare minute. 

Please describe your creative process. - I think it varies a lot for the particular item. Sometimes I see things in the media, or nature that I want to recreate, or put a different spin on. I think about how exactly I want to go about producing the desired shape and feel of the finished product.

What handmade possession do you most cherish? After my first miscarriage, at 14 wks, I was devastated. That winter I made and hand quilted 3 quilts. Two of them match and are on my son's bunk beds. The other is on my wall in the entry of our home. I don't think I realized it at the time, but whenever I see it and how beautifully it turned out, I remember that little soul. All of my love and grief went into that quilt. 

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy or the Create Crochet Team? - Don't be afraid to try something different. Things that are different seem to catch people's eye. You get more attention which is always good. And keep trying, whatever you do. If you love it and want to share it, keep on going. Eventually your customers will find you, and it's likely they will tell others and be a repeat customer.

How do you promote your work? Twitter and Facebook

In ten years, where would you like to be? - Although I have done relatively few patterns, I would really love to be known as a 'designer'.

What was your inspiration for your challenge piece? - My two boys both like playing baseball. That season is coming up! And I so often crochet things for my daughter, I like to make things with them in mind too.

Thanks for reading! please comment and share it with your fans/friends