Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hi Everyone.
I hope you are all enjoying the summer.

I have been busy writing and crocheting samples for the book. I think you are all going to love the new designs! It' been a lot of hard work but I am having a blast. I'll be able to share more with you soon.

I received two emails this week about the Bella Shrug. It seems that there is some confusion about the assembly once the rectangle is complete. I uploaded a revised version of the PDF to both Ravelry and Craftsy, but I thought I would add the new schematic and revised instructions here also.

Repeat rows 8-11 until the piece measures 27 (28, 29, 30) inches. End with a row 11.

Work 6 rows of sc. Fasten off.

With wrong side facing, fold lengthwise. Measure & pin 8.5 inches on both of the shorter ends to form sleeves.  Seam the ends together using your preferred method. For the sample I used slip stitch crochet. 

I hope that helps clarify the construction. The "cuffs" mentioned in the previous version are simply the 6 rows of sc that are at the beginning and end of the rectangle. If you are still having problems just send me an email. I am basically working two jobs at the moment so it may take me a few days to get back to you, but I will try and answer as quickly as I can.

Finally, I have been reading the George Smiley series by John le Carre on my commute to and from the hospital. It's outstanding. If you love mysteries and thrillers don't miss these wonderful novels. I don't even mind if the trains are delayed because it gives me a few more minutes to read!

More soon...

Happy Crocheting,

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Hook me up!

I have a friend who ardently believes that the first actor you see portraying James Bond in a movie will forever be your favorite movie James Bond throughout your life. His philosophy may explain both my preference for Sean Connery and my way of thinking about crochet hooks.

I learned to crochet on a pair of aluminum hooks that were passed on to me by my Aunt. She kept those hooks in a yellow, repurposed chocolate box. Today I keep my aluminum hooks in a green, repurposed glass flower pot I purchased at Goodwill for 15 cents. I tend to favor the same Boye crochet hooks that my aunt favored. I don’t know if it is in the design, or simply a fond childhood memory firmly rooted in my subconscious, but there is something about those hooks that just feels right in my hands.

Hooks have been made from various items over the years. Steel and bone hooks were the most popular from the 1900's until World War II, when rationing and the war effort curtailed hooks being made of steel. Boye introduced their aluminum hooks in 1949. Today you can find hooks in everything from steel, plastic, aluminum, bamboo, rosewood, ebony, clay and several other sources, natural & manmade. A quick search on Etsy will reveal a multitude of artisans creating custom and one of a kind hooks. There are also a growing number of people who collect vintage hooks. Something I have managed to avoid so far, but the quick search I did on eBay for this post made it tempting to start.

The bottom line is that there is no one ideal hook. Try a few out and go with what feels the most comfortable for you. There are no crochet police, so make sure you are always having fun with this! As long as the stitches are coming out okay, how you hold the hook and what material your hook is made of is entirely up to you.

What you choose to make with that hook (and some scrumptious yarn) is also entirely up to you. To help with that portion I'm giving away a copy of the new pattern book, Quick Crocheted Accessories (3 Skeins or Less) by Sharon Zientara


If you would like a chance to win this great new book with some really stunning patterns all you have to do is enter here: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. 

Ends the earlier of Jul 12, 2015 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. 

See Official Rules

I will be giving away more books in the future, some crochet, some knitting, some other stuff, so keep checking the blog or follow me on twitter for the latest news regarding my giveaways and your chance to win some fabulous books!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Twitter Sweepstakes

I'm having a sweepstakes and you can have a chance to win a copy of A to Z of Crochet, The Ultimate Guide for the Beginner to Advanced Crocheter. Everything you wanted to know about crochet tips, techniques and tools can be found in this book. It is a must have for any crocheter's library.

It's simple to enter. All you have to do is follow me on Twitter! 

See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of May 5, 2015 11:59 PM PDT, or when all of the prizes are claimed. See Official Rules

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Makers, Vintage Patterns, and Anonymous Designers

F&K's 1940's bag Butterfly and my version in pink
Makers: Women Who Make America is a brilliant documentary directed by Barak Goodman, and written by Goodman and Pamela Mason Wagner. The project was created and founded by Dyllan McGee of Kunhardt McGee Productions. Shown on PBS in 2013, the three part film deals with the struggle for equality by women in the United States over the course of the last fifty years. Full episodes of the the first series, and several of the second series, are available to stream on line here

The second series, Makers: Season 2, began airing in September of 2014.  It is a six part series with each installment focusing on a different career field, and features prominent women in that particular field. Topics include Women in Comedy, War, Space, Hollywood, Business, and Politics. 

It's easy to forget that the struggle for women to gain a foothold in the working world was really not that long ago.  Fifty years is nothing in the grand scheme of time. I am always sobered by the thought that when my grandmother was born in 1902 women did not have the right to vote in this country. That did not come until 1920. Women have only had the right to vote in the United States for 96 years. 

When women first started entering the world of business, advertising was one of the fields where they could not only be hired, but excel. The male marketing forces recognized that it was the women who controlled the consumer markets, making most, if not all, of the purchases for the family. Who better to target the motivations and desires of women in the retail environment than other women? 

Makers: Season 2, Women in Business features Mary Wells Lawrence, who was the first women to found her own advertising firm in 1966 and also the first female CEO of a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. She was the creative force behind several campaigns for Alka-Seltzer, Ford and Midas. Her company created the "I Love New York" campaign in 1977 that is still used to this day to promote tourism in the state of New York.  (For more on women in the history of advertising check out Malcolm Gladwell's 1999 New Yorker piece "True Colors" on his website,

So if advertising was one venue open to women, what were the other options? The fashion industry was a consumer market driven by women, and one that allowed women into it's ranks, but very few female workers rose to prominence. Most women toiled away in fashion houses, or in sweatshops, or doing piecework out of their living rooms, making clothes and accessories that would be branded with someone else's name.  

What about the yarn industry and the books of patterns they created to sell their brands?

I have an extensive collection of vintage knitting and crochet pattern books. Most of them are from yarn companies that went out of business years ago. Jack Frost, Quaker, Dritz, Wonoco, Raphael Brand Gimp, Glossilla, and my personal favorite for handbags, F&K. 

The market for vintage patterns is a large one. There are several sites that offer free vintage patterns. You can find several dealers on Etsy, eBay and Amazon selling the original pattern books and digital copies available as downloads. Book publishers are still interested in books showcasing vintage patterns, and several books are scheduled to be published this fall featuring retro crochet and knitting patterns. Some of these patterns have been around for so long they have fallen into Public Domain status. 

My version of F & K's Sophistication
To make an item from one of the old pattern books is no easy task. Sometimes the most you get for instructions is a paragraph. The yarn is no longer available and trying to find the equivalent can be a monumental task. Usually, when I am trying to make a pattern from a vintage book, I tend to make an inspired piece using modern techniques and yarns to create an item similar to the picture in the pattern book. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I fail. Either way it's an interesting and challenging process and I usually end with something unique and usable. 

The clutch with the large blue bow is an example. I used Lion Brand Cotton Ease yarn and a G hook for my version. The original, Sophistication, used 1 large spool of Corde and 3-75 yard spools of multi-colored Corde. It was interchangeable with Soutache, Ribbonette or Straw (whatever those are/were). The required hook was a number 5 crochet bone hook. 

Bone hook? It's a struggle to even figure out where to start!

Most of the women who spent long hours designing and making these patterns are completely anonymous. Names rarely, if ever, appear alongside the patterns or anywhere in the pattern books. The one exception is K. Melina whose name is prominently featured on booklets published by the Hiawatha yarn company. She created gorgeous handbags, many of them were beaded crochet, as well as hats. Who she was, and how she managed to receive credit for her design work remains a mystery, like many of her contemporaries.  

Fan Bag, No, 519 by Melina for Hiawatha and my version in green
Designers now receive credit for their work but a few of the yarn companies still seem to have a hard time giving credit to the designers. Most of the larger companies have in house designers. That makes sense from a business viewpoint. If you sell yarn you want to offer people patterns as an incentive to buy your yarn. Some of the patterns are free. Some of them come with a price, usually anywhere from $3.95 to $6.95. The practice of charging for booklets with patterns is still practiced and that makes sense too. The yarn company needs to cover the cost of the printing associated with manufacturing the books. 

Some of the companies in business today, like the businesses in the past, do not give credit to their in house designers for their free patterns. Some will give credit once the pattern is downloaded, but not on their website. The large majority of yarn manufacturers do make sure that their designers are fully credited and promoted. The really forward thinking companies, like WEBS Valley Yarns and Cascade Yarns, showcase the Indie designers creating patterns with their products on their Facebook pages and blogs. (In the interest of full disclosure I have been the recipient of posts from both of them so I am slightly biased)

For the most part, women are no longer anonymous in today's society. Equality may still be out of reach in some areas, but we are no longer invisible, and we are learning to stand up for ourselves. Today a book publisher would never dream of publishing patterns without crediting the designer of the pattern.  Sites like Ravelry and Craftsy not only offer designers (male and female) the opportunity to showcase their work, they encourage and promote the artistry and talent of so many of them.  Any time art and creativity emerge from the shadows of obscurity it's an amazing thing. 


Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Marcia Shawl & The Outlier Toque Part II

If you ask any writer, artist, musician or innovator what question they are most often asked, I believe that the majority of them would respond that people want to know where they get their ideas from. I would also be willing to wager that it is the hardest question for them to answer and they may not honestly know what the sources of their inspiration are. 

My fascination with creativity is born from my own lack of awareness as to where my creative visions originate from. People ask me all the time where I get my ideas, and the majority of time I struggle with a reply. Sometimes I know where the spark initiated but tend to fall into a creative blackout after that. I wake up and have a hat next to me in bed with only hazy memories of how we got there. 

The Outlier Toque began as a nod to writer Malcolm Gladwell, and in particular his book Outliers. There is a previous post that explains this in more detail, but I wanted to explore some of the hypotheses of the book regarding success, our collective societal definition of that concept, and how it could relate to my work as an artist. 

There is a business aspect that needs to be present in order for any creative endeavor to succeed. That is my weakness, and I suspect the shortcoming of many talented artistic individuals. While it is a book on sociology, not business, Outliers prompted me to think about my craft, and my success as a pattern designer, with a new perspective.

I develop a certain fondness for my patterns for various reasons. I want them to succeed. I want the world to appreciate them as much as I do.  The Neely Slouchy Hat is one of those patterns. The Outlier Toque is another one. I am always surprised by which patterns take off and which ones don't. I love the pattern Berkley, but if you crunch the numbers some people may come to the conclusion it is not as successful as some of my other patterns have been. It's bewildering. 

How do you define a pattern's success? 

Neely has had 4,778 unique downloads since it was first published on June 10, 2014. Berkley has had 1,433 in a year. It was published on 10/27/2013. The Outlier Toque had 377 unique downloads in it's first week. 

Is it simply a matter of numbers and formulas or are there other ways to measure the success of an individual pattern?  

Sometimes, like with the Marcia Shawl, a pattern is inspired by a memory, a place, or a person that is dear to me. I develop a fondness for a certain pattern because I adore the person I created it for. The Marcia Shawl was originally created for one of my closest friends who fought a determined, but ultimately unsuccessful battle with breast cancer. It's still difficult to write about, and I have experienced a long internal debate on whether or not to publish this pattern. I want this pattern to do well for her, because so much of her spirit, courage and faith are woven in with every stitch. I hope that this pattern will succeed in providing serenity for others who are facing difficult times. It was designed for that singular purpose. That is a level of success that is not measurable, regardless of the number of downloads it has or doesn't have.  

When I was designing The Outlier Toque I also had a singular purpose, but one that was quite different from the Marcia Shawl. I wanted it to appeal to as many people as possible. My motto when I design is simple but elegant. This design needed to be easy enough for a beginner who has never stitched a hat before, but would also be handy for a more advanced crocheter who is looking for something quick to create. It should be adaptable in length, from a beanie to a super slouchy. I wanted something that would look stunning in a self-striping yarn or just as striking in a solid color. It needed to use one skein of yarn so it would be a great stash buster. This  pattern was created to be a "go to pattern" for holiday gift giving. 

I stitched the original in a sock weight yarn, Noro Kureyon sock, and published it on 1012/14. 

A few days ago I got the idea of experimenting with various yarn weights using the same pattern. I wondered if the yarn called for could make or break a pattern's success. Do knitters and crocheters have a loyalty to a weight of yarn? I tended to use worsted weight yarn exclusively for my designs. 

Why worsted? 

I didn't really have an answer. I have a lot of it in my stash but I have a lot of bulky weight yarns also that I tend not to use when I am designing. The popularity of the Fascination Street Slouchy, stitched in a bulky weight yarn, was the catalyst for my thoughts on different yarn weights. Which led me back to my ever dwindling yarn stash. All roads seem to lead me to those rubbermaid storage containers. 

I love the idea of being able to have one pattern and also have the ability to choose between 4 different types of yarn weights when you stitch that pattern. I have plans to try it with another hat, this time a beret. It's an interesting concept and one I intend on exploring further over the next few weeks in between hockey games. 

I have created a version of the Outlier Slouchy Toque in DK (A very special thanks to my friend Stuart who gave me the gorgeous yarn for the DK version as a gift), worsted and bulky weights in addition to the original in sock weight (The Outlier Toque). 

Success is still an elusive concept for me, but I am learning.

All four patterns are available for free on Ravelry and Craftsy. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Malcolm Gladwell, The Outlier Toque & 10,000 Hours of Playing with Yarn

"Achievement is talent plus preparation"  
Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers 

Malcolm Gladwell has been taking a fair amount of hits lately from the mainstream media and certain corners of the internet over a theory he popularized in his book Outliers, The Story of Success. I sometimes think that I have read a different book by someone with the same name, and the same book title, because the book they are describing is not the book I read. I even went back yesterday and re-read the chapter on the ten-thousand-hour rule just to make sure I wasn't idealizing what Gladwell had written. Yes, he is a proponent of the ten-thousand-hour rule. No, he does not theorize or promote that theory as the sole factor in succeeding. For those not familiar with the book, and if you haven't read it I highly recommend it, the ten-thousand-hour rule is roughly the amount of hours an individual needs to put in to become an expert in most fields where there is a level of complexity or skills to be mastered. 

A recent study came out reaching the conclusion that the ten-thousand-hour rule may be inaccurate. In fairness, I have not read the new study written by Brooke Macnamara, David Hambrick, and Frederick Oswald, but I have read the one by Ericsson and his colleagues, the latter being one of the sources Gladwell used when writing Outliers

Most of the media pieces I have read about the release of the new study seem to gleefully toss Gladwell on the fire for popularizing the theory in a book that was published in 2008. That was six years ago. Outliers is not a book solely about the ten-thousand-hour rule. The part practice plays in success is one of several components, including innate talent and the opportunities, privileges and lucky breaks that make up the complete story. 

The ten-thousand-hour rule was a not a new theory when Gladwell wrote about it. The phrase "practice makes perfect" has been around since the middle of the 16th century and is a revised form of "use makes mastery," according to Forty years ago Herbert Simon and William Chase published their conclusions in American Scientist, estimating that it took between 10,000 and 50,000 hours to become a chess master. Another major study was conducted by researchers K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf TH. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer that was published by Psychological Review in 1993. Other authors have drawn upon the same studies including Michael J.A. Howe who wrote the brilliant book Genius Explained. 

As I read more and more articles I found myself wondering when the current study was initiated. Was Gladwell's writing on the ten-thousand-hour rule the catalyst for the new study? Or had it begun prior to Outliers being published? 

When I re-read Outliers recently I noticed that I kept thinking about my definition of personal success, not necessarily professional, and how the theories proposed in the book applied to my passion for my creative endeavors. I wondered how many hours I had put into crocheting over my lifetime. There were large stretches of time I did not work at my craft. Despite that, when I do the math, I probably do have about 10,00 hours in. I'm not sure I would call myself an expert, but I would say that I have mastered the art of crochet. There is a level of complexity and skills you need to be able to design patterns and I have achieved those. It would be interesting to know how many hours of practice the top crochet and knitting designers have. Unfortunately no one has undertaken that study yet, but I would love to see those results.  

My first and last knitwear design
I learned to knit at the same time I learned to crochet but for some reason I struggled with two needles as opposed to one hook. Crocheting was more organic, so I stuck with that and I quit knitting. I did eventually pick up knitting again as an adult. While I do have some proficiency knitting, I am not even close to master status, and would be hard pressed to design a knitwear item. I made my friend Deb a sweater I designed a few years ago,  but it was a struggle for me to accomplish the task. I would hate to see someone try and make a sweater from those pattern notes! I just muddled through as I went along so it was a fortunate mix of talent with yarn, luck and perseverance. 

Natural talent plays a role as to whether or not we stick with something. Most of us will not continue to play tennis, or the piano, or paint if we have no aptitude for it. You aren't going to get 10,000 hours of practice in if you aren't very good at something, and most of us don't enjoy doing things we aren't very good at. I'm a terrible runner, I hate doing it, so I only run for subway trains and buses. Although I should get extra credit for running in heels. If I had been as inept at crocheting as I was at knitting, or running, I most likely would not be writing this piece today. 

When I was younger I would ride my bike down to the local tennis courts at my high school. They had these concrete racquetball courts there and I would spend hours on my own just hitting the tennis ball against that cement wall. I got pretty adept, I went from constantly chasing missed balls to rarely fanning on a forehand or backhand. I never stuck with it though after I left high school because I had no confidence in my tennis talent.  It was just me on my own. I had the passion, I was putting in the hours, but was missing a key component to succeed. A mentor. 

I had the support of a master crocheter and knitter. That education played a vital role in my development. Success is also about being able to take advantage of opportunities as they are presented. My aunt supplied me with the financial and educational support I needed in order to practice my craft. Without either of those I would not have had the opportunity to put in the hours. 

I started designing and writing my own patterns at a time when all things yarn was coming back into fashion. The creation on the internet of sites like Ravelry allowed knitters and crocheters to find others with the same passions. Suddenly there were hundreds of thousands of patterns available and not just the limited selection of 15-25 books on crochet at the local Barnes & Noble.  I had the talent, I had the 10,000 hours and I was ready to take advantage of the opportunity when it came along. 
“It is not the brightest who succeed,” Gladwell writes in Outliers. "Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.”

I think that practice has to be a key component in higher levels of achievement, but it is by no means the only component. Outliers, for me anywaysis an attempt to redefine the word success, and the criticisms currently directed towards Mr. Gladwell are an indication of the aftermath of success in this country. Creativity, genius, and the roles talent, genetics and yes even practice, play in the creation of personal and professional achievements are all questions that have yet to reach a definitive conclusion. Fulfillment is a blend of talent, practice, passion and opportunity. The business world has latched onto to Gladwell's work, but the possibilities for societal change regarding success and opportunity are what makes his work exciting for me. The best books are the ones you still think about long after you have read the last page.

The free pattern this week is a nod to Malcolm Gladwell, The Outlier Toque. A toque is the term Canadians use for what Americans call a beanie hat. It is a slouchy style worked up with with sock yarn. Two of the samples are made with Noro sock yarn and the solid color hat is stitched using Cascade Heritage yarn. The pattern is available on Ravelry & Craftsy as a free download. 

The Outlier Toque stitched in Noro Kureyon Sock and Noro Silk Garden Sock

The Outlier Toque stitched in Cascade Heritage Sock

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Yarn Stashes and the Fascination Street Slouchy

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”  

The same statement can be applied to a skein of yarn. It’s just waiting for the designer to
discover it. Sometimes the paths to that revelation take various routes, some simple, some more complicated. I can have a pattern flow off my hook the first pass and sometimes I end up frogging it four or five times before it works.

Inspiration can be a fickle muse. 

Last Saturday I was recovering from a nasty stomach virus. I wasn't able to finish the post I had been working on, so as I transformed back into a human being I began to think about what I was going to write about, and more importantly what pattern I was going to put up. I have a sketch book full of ideas but nothing I could whip up in an afternoon. I was a little lost, which led me to my yarn stash.

A yarn stash is exactly what it sounds like, a secret, or sometimes not so secret, stockpile of yarn. Most fiber addicts view the accumulation of skeins as treasure chests overflowing with spun fiber gold and colorful strands of gems. In reality, at least in my case, it is a much less glamorous stack of about twelve large Rubbermaid containers. They are sorted by yarn weights and fibers.

Yarn stashes are popular topics on discussion boards, blogs and in local knitting/crochet groups. Most fiber enthusiasts have a stash of some sort. They range anywhere from a large shopping bag to a massive hoard. The picture below is from a craigslist ad for an estate sale. This was the amount of yarn they were liquidating from one person:

So why do a large majority of knitters and crocheters impulsively buy yarn when we have no idea what we are going to do with it? Wouldn't it be much more sensible to buy it when we have a project in hand specific to that yarn? There may be people out there that can manage to do just that, but after reading hundreds of posts online I think it's a rare occurrence. Stashes that range between 300-500 skeins of yarn are not as uncommon as one would think. The longer one has been a knitter/crocheter, the larger the stash.

So when does a stash cross the line into a hoard? In an article online for the Psychology Today website, writer Jessie Sholl states that there is a fine line between collecting and hoarding. A great deal of people who tend to cross the line consider themselves artists, or in fact are artists. There is an aspect of uniqueness that appeals to those with creative tendencies when they continue to purchase yarn spontaneously. A fiber artists buys that one skein of hand painted fingering weight yarn because they will never come across it again, and that one skein can easily turn into ten. All of those single balls of yarn accumulate, waiting for the right pattern to come along. 

In the book Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding, David F. Tolin, Ph.D.,Randy O. Frost, Ph.D. and Gail Steketee, Ph.D. wrote: "People who hoard often come up with idea after idea, saving things for all kinds of creative reasons but never following through with those plans. They have become victims of their own creativity." This quote refers to extreme cases, and yarn hoarding is very different from the horrific stories we see on the news of people hoarding trash or animals, but it is an interesting aspect of yarn collecting to think about. I may not have a hoard, but I do have a large stash and that quote applies to me. Am I a victim of my creativity?

For yarn collectors there also seems to be a an element of shame attached to their stash. The definition of the word stash, according to the American Oxford Dictionary, Second Edition: v. store something safely in a secret place. n. a secret store of something. Common words associated with stash discussions include guilt, shame, obsessive, compulsive and embarrassed. I'm not immune to those feelings. I am aware of them every time I search through my stash.

Do other collectors experience this kind of remorse? Comic Book collectors are celebrated and their collections are considered investments, even though the majority of their stash most likely has little monetary value. People collect all kinds of things in this world. How is a comic book, a coin, a stamp or a piece of pottery different from a skein of yarn?

Why as crafters are we ashamed of our collections?

The struggle to organize and control the stashes we possess is also a popular topic and has led to several self-help articles on the web. There are stash buster pattern books and mobile apps. It seems like everyone has advice on how to pare down the overflow of skeins into a more manageable number. I succumbed to the shame last year. After donating several trash bags full of yarn that I would never use to Big Brothers Big Sisters, I made a commitment to myself that anything I designed had to be made with yarn from my stash. I could not, and more importantly would not, purchase any yarn to stitch samples. I would "shop my stash" for projects. So far I have stuck with that. It has taken ingenuity and willpower to make it work, but sometimes, like today's free pattern, the inspiration for the project comes from the yarn itself.

The Fascination Street Slouchy didn't exist until I held a skein of Cascade 128 in my hands. I knew I was going to make a hat, and as I picked the colors I knew it would be a slouchy, but it wasn't until I was stitching the third round the vision of the design solidified in my mind. To be able to look at a skein of yarn, hold it in your hands and envision the hat it could become is a little bit magical. I like the notion of having those seeds of enchantment sown throughout my life. Sometimes I don't want the science of where that magic comes from to salt that soil.

Oddly enough the hardest part for me is not coming up with the patterns. The most difficult process for me is coming up with the name for the pattern. How did I finally decide on the title of the new design? I was listening to The Cure as I wrote this post. "Fascination Street" is a great title for a song and for a slouchy hat. It also seemed to fit in with this week's entry. Looking for ideas in your stash is a little like strolling through a Fascination Street, peering in bins, shelves and carts, looking for the one thing that will spark the creative process in your own mind. You'll never know what you are looking for until you find it.

This week's free pattern: The Fascination Street Slouchy

The pattern is available for download on Ravelry & Craftsy.