First off, I got the first set of my International Diploma in Crochet swatches back this week. Oh my goodness, the shipping time is brutal. They had been reviewed nearly a month ago! I knew that this was going to be a very nit-picky process, and so I'm happy that ANY of them passed on the first try. 5 of my 7 swatches passed with 95% (or higher) scores, which makes me happy as a life-long overachiever. The bummer was that the other 2 were miserable failures and I'm going to have to re-do them. I thought the reviews were fascinating, so I'm going to share the re-do swatches and show you what I did wrong so that we all can learn from my mistakes.
Swatch #1 (a network of chain and slip stitch, with four straight edges): This piece needed to have either a scalloped edge as the base OR is needed to have the side and top edges straight. At the top I should have only put 2 chains between the slip stitches to make a straight edge, and I should have put the hook into the 3rd stitch of the turning chain, rather than the space. This swatch was the one that I felt least confident with when I sent it off, so I'm not surprised that it came back as a do-over. I hadn't been entirely clear as to what I was supposed to be accomplishing with this one, but now I feel confident that I'll be able to pass this swatch next time with no problems.
Swatch #7 (a square of triple trebles): Do you see how the bottom corner curls in the photo? I had blocked it so that it would be straight, but there are just some things that blocking can't fix, and this is one of them. I should have added an additional chain stitch before I turned, which would have caused my corner to lie flat. Other than that I got a delightful comment of 'you handle the tall stitches well'. So, I'll re-do this one with an additional stitch! And then it will pass and I'll be closer to getting my degree!!! Yay school!
Continuing our discussion of school, I'm going to the USC Fisher Museum of Art today to go see an exhibit called A Complex Weave: Women and Identity in Contemporary Art. I am so excited! I have been searching for a museum within 200 miles that had crochet on display to write a report on for my class. I have been sadly disappointed at the lack of crochet in virtually all of our local museums, since I really had my heart set on doing my report on crochet in art. So when I realized that this exhibit had at least one piece that had crochet involved, I had to go check it out. I am not entirely sure what I'm going to see, but it sounds like it's going to be right up my alley. Even if there isn't enough crochet there to write my report, I'm still going to have a good time.
The ebook bonanza was a huge success! Thank you to everyone who went to Amazon and got copies. Over 1700 books were downloaded, which I think is amazing considering you guys had virtually no notice and I did absolutely no advertising. I am grateful to all of you!
I am especially grateful to the Super Dynamos that wrote reviews of the books on Amazon. A gigantic THANK YOU goes out to Teeni, Laura, Jinxed and Nicki! I appreciate your hard work and kind words more than I can express. If anyone else downloaded my books and would like to leave a (hopefully positive) review on Amazon, it would absolutely mean the world to me. And, as always, if there is something you don't like about them, please send me an email at CrochetDynamite@gmail.com and tell me what needs to be fixed. I am still new at self-publishing, and while I strive to put out the highest quality work I'm capable of, I appreciate any feedback that you might have.
The butterflies have been a huge hit! The kids at the hospital and at the homeless outreach have been thrilled with them, so I want to send out a great big thank you to all of you who have donated or have contacted me about donating more butterflies! I'm putting together a batch for Kristy to take this Sunday, along with a scarf 'kit' for one of the mom's at the outreach to use for pattern testing for me. Hopefully it will come out fine, because I can't wait to share that pattern with you in a couple more weeks!! In the meantime, we're always going to need more butterflies to help spread smiles, so if you're interested in donating, you can click on the 'To make a Crochet Donation' button over there on the right.
I need to appologize to you guys for getting behind on answering comments on the blog. I do read everything that you write, and I love it and appreciate your comments so much. I've been volunteering for a couple of hours in the mornings in Mimsey's class, which leaves me about 10 less hours in my week, so I'm going to start designating a day or two a week to answer comments. If there's a crochet emergency, or just something that it would be nice to get a quicker response to, feel free to email me.
Whew. That felt like a Crochet Dynamite: State of the Union! How are you guys doing? Everyone survive the storm? I'm sending all my best wishes and hopes and love to you all to have a wonderfully blessed weekend!