Ah, the holiday season. I still have thoughts to crochet or knit gifts for my in-laws, even though I know it's practically impossible for me to do so at this point, even overlooking the wee detail that Hanukkah is well underway. As things are shaping up today, even so early, it looks like I'll be working a bunch this weekend anyway. And as we all know, working in crochet means no gifty crocheting.
But alas, I do come bearing gifts for you, dear readers.
Behold, the pattern for Gordo & Doug is free on the Lion Brand website (reg. required; see their newsletter today)! I knew when I designed them that they'd be hard to keep out of the homes of friendly crocheters. They're just so charming. If you haven't seen (or, *cough* bought) the Crochet Me book, this is a great peek at what's inside. Granted, these goofy Canucks are the least wearable projects in the book, but you'll get a flavour of the tone I used writing the essays, bios, and tutorials. Also, these guys make great gifts and are super fun to hang out with. (Note: I'd say this isn't an "advanced beginner" pattern as they list on the LB site; it's perfect for total noobs. It has a concentration rating* of 2 [crochet it in front of the TV] in the book, merely because there's counting involved with shaping the dolls. But the skills required make this project totally appropriate for someone who's never crocheted before.)
But wait, that's not all!
During my Fall-season-which-might-otherwise-become-known-as-the-three-months-of-Crochet-Me, I had little energy leftover to tell you all about another book that came out this season. Get Hooked Again is a stand-alone sequel to Get Hooked, and features over a dozen new patterns for the young'uns in your life (including you), designed by some of the best vibrant designers out there. As it turned out, we didn't have room in the book for all the great patterns they designed, and I put two up on the website for your crocheting pleasure. Enjoy!
Peek-a-Boo Flower Hat by Mary Jane Hall
Dreaming-of-Spring Bracelets by Shelby Allaho
ETA: The fabulous CRAFTers have named Crochet Me to their Holiday Gift Guide. Thanks, kids!
* On my most demure of days, I dislike difficulty ratings on patterns (on my less demure days I say they're evil). I think they unnecessarily make timid crocheters think they can't make a project, and I believe in the core of my being that there's no room for can't in crafts. So in the Crochet Me book, which isn't even intended to be a learn-to-crochet book, I rated the patterns on a scale of 1-4 according to how much concentration each might require (for an average, made-up crocheter; you, as always, know your own skills and desires and should interpret such loose guidelines as you see fit). Because, whether you realize it or not, it's not about what we can and can't do, it's about how much effort we need to put into a project in order to get it done. Here's how the ratings in the book work:
- Crochet it at a party. Very little direct concentration needed. You'll be able to chat the night away.
- Crochet it in front of the TV. The stitch pattern is easy to memorize so after a little bit you'll be on autopilot.
- Crochet it with mood music. You'll probably want to watch your work progress, but you'll have enough spare energy to occasionally hum along.
- Defcon 5! Crochet it in a quiet room. Turn the telephone off—you'll want your full attention on your work. When it's finished, bragging rights will be yours.
So, in the example of Gordo & Doug, if you're a new crocheter, you might need to prepare yourself for level 3 concentration. If you're an experienced crocheter who's never made dolls, you might prepare for level 2. For peeps like me, who lurve some doll-making, level 1 it is. For everyone, though, all you need to know before beginning is how to make single crochet and half double crochet.
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