Katie Clark Crochet on Tour!

Well, it’s not a rock ‘n’ roll tour, but it’s a class tour and I may be coming to a city near you!

Come by and see me at 2019 Fiber Fun in the ‘Sip in Vicksburg, MS September 26-28. I will be joined by other big names in fiber for a slate of classes unprecedented in Mississippi! Click here for a list of classes. Besides the classes, come visit the marketplace heaven for fiber enthusiasts. Click here for info on the vendor hall.

In October, you will find me in Ashville, NC for Southeastern Fiber Fair! I’m so excited to be joining this renowned and respected fiber festival October 24-27! Here are links for classes and event info. Or click the logos for more information on each festival.

Check out Katie Clark Crochet on Instagram and Facebook for updates on my classes and workshops.

It’s time to Let the Good Times Roll!

Let the Good Times Roll Shawl Mystery Crochet Along is live! We are gearing up for 2019 Fiber Fun in the ‘Sip with this fun MCAL. Our vendors have put together yarn kits especially for this pattern. Visit the Let the Good Times Roll page under the Patterns menu or click here for full details!

Ready to jump in? Preregister now!

Already registered? Bought your yarn? Tell us what colors you chose in the comments below!

Mystery Crochet Along Coming Soon!

Fiber Fun in the ‘Sip is coming this September and I have been working on a Mystery Crochet Along, or MCAL, especially for the event! The theme is “Let the Good Times Roll” and we are going to have a great time August 2 through 30 stitching together. More details are coming soon. Stay tuned!

Ravelry, Free Speech and Personal Determination

Ravelry’s administration has made a decision to not only oppress free speech, but also to create a hostile environment by encouraging divisiveness in politics on a platform that should be encouraging unity by exploring those things we have in common: family, friends and a love of knitting.

I believe these divisive topics should be discussed in small groups with friends who will listen, debate, and respect relationships despite disagreements. I don’t believe it is useful to divide people in a worldwide group.

I also believe that business owners have the right to make decisions about their own companies. Likewise, users have the right to choose which companies they partner with. Therefore, as a Trump supporter and a Constitutionalist, I have removed my patterns from Ravelry. My patterns will be available on my website http://www.katieclarkcrochet.com within a month.

If you are interested in exploring alternatives to Ravelry, please contact me at katieclarkcrochet@gmail.com

Traveling with Stitch Markers

I just got back from Boston, and I didn’t lose a single stitch marker! That is a big feat after knitting on airplanes and subways and in meetings (don’t tell!) and sessions. I usually drop stitch markers just sitting on the couch, so I had to figure out a way to hold on to them. My secret is a life line for my stitch markers. Here’s how I did it.

Set up:

Thread the Life Line through markers
with a tapestry needle.
  1. Choose a sock weight yarn in contrasting color. Cut a length at least as long as your needles and up to as wide as your project’s finished size.
  2. With your stitch markers in place on the needles, thread the life line through each stitch marker on your needles.
    • If you have to add stitch markers throughout your pattern, I recommend using open stitch markers that clip closed or bulb pins so you can add them to the life line later.
    • If you use closed markers, you must add them to the life line in the correct place before you continue to step 3. They will dangle from your life line as you work, and that’s ok.
  3. Choose 2 extra stitch markers the same size or bigger. Tie one to each end of your life line to keep it from becoming loose from your work. Your last marker can stay on the needle or dangle free.

Working with the Life Line:

  • Always keep the life line on the same side throughout your row.
  • Do not allow the life line to wrap or yarn over your needles as you work.
  • I recommend working with the life line on the side facing you. Stitch to the first marker. With the life line in front, slip marker purlwise.
Stitched over marker
This is what it looks like when you carry your life line on the opposite side and you slip the marker with the yarn in back.
  • If you have to turn in the middle of the row (for example, when working wraps and turns), the life line must fall to the side away from you. In this case, work to the marker, and with the working yarn in front, slip the marker purlwise. If you don’t do this, the marker will be stitched in like this:

Trouble shooting:

  • If you stitch over your marker as above, you can continue your row. When you come back to the marker, slip it off the needle, pull the marker through the stitch to free it, and place it back on the needle.
  • If you wrap or yarn over your life line, it will become entangled in your work. You must unknit back to the mistake and unwrap the life line from the needle.
  • I prefer using bulb pins with this technique. The large end sits in place on the needle and the small end dangles down a little bit allowing the life line to hang out of your way as you stitch.

I’m Published!

I’m excited to tell you about my latest pattern, Triton’s Trumpet Shawl! It is appearing in Interweave Crochet Spring 2019.

The Spring issue hits newsstands March 12th. I hope you enjoy this pattern! If you’d like to see more of my patterns, check out my patterns page and my Ravelry page

Triton’s Trumpet Shaw
Interweave/Harper Point Photography

Inside Interweave Crochet Spring 2019, you will find 18 beautiful projects to greet spring. Make projects inspired by world travels or create garments and accessories from under the sea. Learn to felt your crochet or try a simplified version of Romanian point lace. Then, read about fiber artists that are using crochet to bring awareness to coral reef preservation and environmental issues. You’ll find so much to love in Interweave Crochet this spring!

Zombies are Crap at Knitting

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But I love stitching them! I made a double knit Zombie Scarf that is sure to keep my brother-in-law warm in the zombie apocolypse!

And, so everyone will be prepared for the impending doom, here are charts you can use for knitting, cross stitching, needlepoint, or any reason you might have for needing to stitch zombies. Included are a zombie head, Crossed Winchester rifles, and a biohazard. If you would like to duplicate my scarf above download the full pattern here. If you have never tried double knitting, you will want to start with a simpler pattern like my Double Knit Scarf pattern. Enjoy!

Art & Craft: What’s the difference?

crochet knit iconI’m so excited to have my work shown in the Mississippi Museum of Art this Thursday, September 20th. The museum is featuring work from the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi in their Third Thursday event this month.

I consider myself lucky that even as a kid, I knew I wanted to be an artist. When I would visit the museum, I dreamed of having my work displayed here. In high school, I had my first opportunity when my drawings and paintings hung as part of the Scholastic Art Awards competition. Now, almost 30 years later, here I am again as a Craftsman!

I find that often in public displays, “art” and “craft” are often separated pretty sharply. I have wondered why that is. In my experience, they are the same, just different media. In any medium, you learn the basic technique first, then you increase your skill by replicating various techniques of the masters. Finally, you rework and extend your technique to create unique pieces. In both cases, when your proficiency and originality reach a high standard as judged by peers in your medium, you become a master.

So, what is the difference? Is it the difference between utilitarian and decorative? Innovation versus tradition? Beauty versus expression? The quality of the work versus the fame of the artist? If you would like to know more about the history of the divergence between art and craft, here is an interesting TedEd.

Top left: Traditional Granny Square afghan made for me by my MIL. <3<3<3
Top right: Granny square hexagon motif used to make Christmas stocking by Katie Clark
Bottom: Detail of table decoration using traditional filet crochet technique by Katie Clark
All images copyright Katie Clark.

Hoarding and the Creative Spirit

crochet knit icon

I enjoy being in homes that are neat and orderly and pretty. Then I go home and I am in a mess. So I start looking around for things to get rid of. But I don’t want to get rid of my stuff!

Lately, I’m having to pare down some things cause of some changes in our house. I’ve spent time going through my pattern books (No!) and my yarn (NO!) wondering why this process is so hard.

Psych students pay attention… Why do I have all this stuff?

My stuff is raw material for creativity. I have a cabinet full–and then some–of craft supplies and random odd items and I see potential in all of it. For example, I have been saving wine corks for years. Years. I’ve had ideas floating around my head about what to do with them, but haven’t had the time to implement anything. Now, I’ve found a super cute pattern that I will make time for in the next few weeks.

http://www.simplynotable.com/2012/pint-sized-pines-in-a-cork-forest/

My stuff is reminders of people and times I love. Talking to friends whose homes I admire, they get rid of things with no second thought. But I keep things cause I have personal attachments. Looking around, my shelves are overflowing, but as I look at items individually, I am happy thinking about whatever attachment I have to it. I’m happy to keep anything I feel that way about, and I’m happy to get rid of anything that has no personal significance.

My stuff includes a lot of toys. Curiosity feeds creativity, so I have a lot of toys, especially STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) toys. My designs sometimes stem from ideas developed from technology and engineering and the “What If” questions I ask.

So I have a choice to make. I can clean up my house and make it more pleasant to be in. Or I can keep my stuff that makes me happy and drives creativity.

Please excuse my mess. I think I’ll keep my stuff.

20180822_213938.jpgAbove: My craft room in the midst of an overhaul
Below: 33 gallon bag of yarn to donate
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