The ultimate amigurumi CAL

At the start of this month a great crochet-along (CAL) began on ravelry that is all about amis: the Ami-Along. Didn’t know about it until now? Don’t worry!! It is still going on and won’t stop until the end of August.

ami-along logo

Don’t know what a CAL is? Basically, a group of crocheters make the same thing (could be the exact same pattern, or simply a theme) and cheer each other on as they complete projects. Members of the group have fun sharing photos as they work on their projects, as well as a photo of their finished item so everyone can admire it! CALs are also a great place to ask any questions you might have about the specific pattern you are working on, or any general crochet questions. There are always people in a CAL group that are willing to help a fellow crocheter out, and have the know-how to do so, too.

You can discover some great new designers by joining a CAL.  This current Ami-along includes patterns from 14 different amigurumi designers (including myself).  Some designers even have knit ami patterns, so really, it is a KAL (knit along), too.

One of the best things about a CAL? The possibility of winning a prize! Many CALs include prizes for some of the lucky participants.  There are a limited number of prizes, but the more projects you finish and share to the group, the greater chance you have of winning one.  I know for this Ami-along, there are many many patterns to win, as well as some physical items that will be mailed out. You could win a hookabee pattern if you join in!

Amigurumi moustache by @hookabee

So if you love making amigurumis and plan on making some this summer, head on over to ravelry and join the Ami-along group! There are already over 250 members and more joining every day.  Some members have already started sharing their hookabee creations!

Until next time,

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Yarn related podcasts

Podcast recommendations blog post title by hookabeeI currently do not own a car, and don’t need to living downtown in a large city, but that means I do a lot of walking to get places.  During these walks I like to listen to podcasts on my phone – it makes that time when I can’t do much other than walk more productive!  I also listen while jogging, which means the podcasts I choose have to be pretty engaging or I will start thinking about how much I don’t feel like jogging anymore!

I love to listen to podcasts about other crafty people and their crafty businesses. I get to learn what has worked for them in their business, as well as get inspired by their success. Crafty podcasts in general tend to be geared to those that run a crafty business themselves, but anyone can listen to them and enjoy a behind the scenes view of their favourite artists.  You can also discover new artists that you have never heard of before, but find out you love!

Here I share two of my current favourite yarn related podcasts that I have been listening to consistently for the past couple of months.  While some other craft podcasts discuss an array of different crafts and arts, these two are strictly crochet, knitting, and yarn shows, so if that is all you are into, these ones are perfect for you!

I own an Android phone so I listen to them using the app Stitcher (which is a pretty good app because I can save the podcasts to my phone and listen to them later without wifi, but there are sometimes ads between shows), but you can also find these shows on iTunes.

Yarn Thing with Marly Bird

Marly Bird The Yarn Thing Podcast logoI always look forward to listening to a Yarn Thing episode.  Marly is so much fun and a joy to listen to.  Each podcast is live on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 am MDT, but you can listen to all the past shows in iTunes or Stitcher.  One fun thing about this podcast is that there are wonderful prizes and giveaways each show (such as yarn, patterns, books, etc.), so if you are available at the time it is on, just call in or leave a comment on the episode and you could win something! I haven’t done it yet myself because I usually listen to the shows after they have aired, but plan to soon because I think it would be a lot of fun.

Each episode, Marly interviews a guest in the knit and crochet industry and you get to learn about how they got started, what inspires them, and what to expect from them in the future.

Marly is very bubbly and exudes passion for her industry and her love of all the guests she has on.  The conversations are very informal and relaxed, yet you still discover a lot about the artist and their work.  You get to learn about the big names in the industry, allowing you to put their personal life story behind their work and name.  Highly recommended!

The Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show

Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show podcastThe Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show is a more business oriented podcast. The host, Marie Segares, is the crochet and knit designer behind the blog Underground Crafter.  Marie has a lot of experience working in the yarn industry and she shares what she has learned on her podcast.  Each show usually has a specific topic in which either Marie herself takes you through tips and steps related to the topic, or she interviews a fellow business owner in the industry to discuss the topic (and more!).

Her show often looks at social media and blogging and how you can use them to grow your business, as well as topics such as how to publish in a magazine, selling at craft shows, contracting a tech editor, failing, time management, etc.  Overall, there is a wealth of information for growing and established crochet and knit designers to apply to their business.

I especially love the show notes on the podcast’s blog, which include detailed notes on each episode with all the links and information you need to act on what was discussed during the show. If you are more of a reader than a listener, you can get most of the information you need just by reading the show notes!  If you are just starting up or really want to grow your yarn related business, I highly recommend this podcast.

So those are the two yarny podcasts I have been enjoying on my walks and jogs.  If you currently do not listen to podcasts, I highly recommend you start! You can learn so much during those times you cannot be sitting down with your eyes in a book.

Don’t forget to sign up for my amigurumi newsletter to receive emails filled with ami fun. You can also follow me on facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest to keep up to date on all things hookabee.

Until next time,

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Terms on Ravelry for newbies

A collection of terms found on ravelry for newbies by @hookabeeIn a previous post I introduced the website Ravelry, which I only recently started really digging into.  As a newbie using Ravelry I ran into some problems because there were all these terms flying around that I didn’t understand.  Maybe it is because I am a self taught crocheter that I hadn’t encountered them before, but they made me feel a little out of the loop.  Many of these are terms and acronyms you won’t only find on Ravelry, but in the yarn/craft industry in general. I thought it might be helpful for others that are just discovering Ravelry to share some of the key ones:

  • LYS = Local Yarn Shop 
    • Used often in discussions about a physical yarn shop vs. an online store.
  • ISO = In Search Of
    • Seen in groups and forums for people looking for a specific yarn or pattern that they are having trouble finding and want the help of others to obtain it.
  • CAL = Crochet ALong
    • A fun event held by an individual or a company where everyone who joins crochets the same thing at the same time (usually) and share the experience together by providing comments, questions, and photos.  Sometimes a prize is involved!
  • OT = Off Topic
    • Often found in the rules of a forum/group specifying they will not tolerate off topic comments.  Or, you may simply see it in individual posts by people indicating they realize they are going off on a tangent with their comment!
  • FO = Finished Objects
    • These are completed projects.  Often seen in forums and groups that want you to share photos of your finished crochet and knit items.
  • WIP = Work In Progress
    • Used when referring to a project you are currently working on but haven’t completed yet.
  • UFO = UnFinished Object
    • Like WIP above, but often neglected or abandoned all together.
  • OTH = On The Hook
    • Also similar to WIP above, it is the project that is currently on your hook that you are in the middle of crocheting.
  • FSOT = For Sale Or Trade
    • On Ravelry you can make some of your items (including yarn in your stash) available for sale or for trading with other members.
  • raveler
    • A member of ravelry.
  • ravatar
    • The profile photo of a ravelry member.
  • destash (DS)
    • This is the term used when you want to reduce your yarn inventory (or stash) – either by throwing out, selling, trading, or giving away the yarn you don’t want anymore.  There are whole forums dedicated to destashing.
  • frog
    • I think this is a very common term in the knit and crochet community, but when I saw it on Ravelry I had to look it up!  It refers to a project you undid, either slightly to fix a mistake, or completely to abandon the project.  You can change the status of your ravelry project to “frogged”, which means you took it all apart and decided not to make it anymore.  Supposedly the term came around because when you make a mistake you “rip it” out, which sounds like the frog noise “ribbit”!

These are the main terms I came across when first exploring ravelry and the ones I think are most useful for those just starting out.   For a complete list of terms that you may encounter, check out the main glossary page: Ravelry Glossary.

Don’t forget to sign up for my amigurumi newsletter to receive emails filled with ami fun. You can also follow me on facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest to keep up to date on all things hookabee.

Until next time,

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