Monday, March 23, 2015

Crochetville's Designer Blog Tour+ 2 Giveaways

Today is I Hook Designs day on the Crochetville National Crochet Month Designer Blog Tour.  I am so thrilled to be part of this tour, Donna and Amy do wonderful things at Crochetville to share our craft.  Please take some time to check all their social media sites including,Crochetville FB page and group,, Crochetville Ravelry community,Crochetville blog...

This year the charity of choice is Halos of Hope. A charity that collects knit and crocheted hats for cancer patients of all ages and ships them around the country wherever there is a need.  Visit them at Halos of Hope and consider sending some items.

I want to share my experiences with The Crochet Guild of America, Knit and Crochet Shows and other trade shows I've attended.

The Crochet Guild of America (CGoA) is a wonderful organization that brings together crocheters from all over, by offering a Master Class for crochet, a mentoring program for those seeking to work towards becoming a professional, great links to teach crochet and a community of like minded people to share with.  Some of the benefits of joining CGoA are that you receive a subscription to Crochet! magazine,
the official magazine of CGoA, discounts with national retailers and discounts when attending the Knit and Crochet Shows and CGoA conferences.  I took advantage of the mentoring program and had the talented Margaret Hubert as my mentor, you may have one of her many books in your own library.  It was a great experience to have someone to email and ask "the stupid" questions and get support from a pro.  I also love that CGoA has a buddy program for first timers to the Knit and Crochet Show CGoA conference so that newbies don't have to figure everything out on their own, this is totally an option for you when attending.

Attending these trade shows if soooo much fun. There are pj parties (Stitches events), Get your Geek on to talk the geek language of crochet, Master Class, Professional Think Tanks and of course great classes for all levels.  There is a Fashion Show and Dinner, informal get togethers and a Design Competition of which this year I am one of the many volunteers for.

I can't say enough how much fun it is to visit, network and learn with the people that sustain our craft.  I have made many new friends from all over the country and look forward to seeing them each time.

Take a look at the CGoA site and consider joining, you do not have to be a member to attend the Knit and Crochet Show but if you are a member you get discounts and early registration.
                       Click here to check out CGoA

I am happy to have two giveaways for the Crochetville National Crochet Month Designer Blog Tour.  Follow instructions below to enter to win one signed copy of Elegant Fashionable Chic Accessories to Crochet or Formal Jewelry, my latest books.  They are also available Here through Amazon

                 a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I also encourage everyone to check Crochetville's blog and catch up with the designers you've missed and see who's new each day.  Don't forget about the daily Red Heart Giveaway........ 
Hope to hear from you. 
Karen McKenna

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March is National Crochet Month

Did you know that March is National Crochet Month??

My friends at Crochetville, Amy and Donna, have again put together an amazing blog tour across the country to share the love of crochet.  There will be 2 designer blog stops each day with many giving patterns and other goodies away.  You will learn a little about the world of crochet from each designer. Crochetville has partnered with Halos of Hope, a charity that collects donated hats and distributes them to facilities around the country to give to cancer patients.

Red Heart Yarns is giving away product each day through the tour, please bookmark Crochetville here and stop back often.

This is the link to the designer tour schedule click here.

Crochetville is a big supporter of The Crochet Guild of America.  To learn more about this organization  Click Here


Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway: Tunisian Shawls by Sharon H. Silverman

I am happy to review another of Sharon Silverman's Leisure Arts books, this one is Tunisian Shawls.  At the bottom of the page is a way to enter to win a digital copy of the book.


 Tunisian crochet is fairly new to me, but thanks to Sharon's books I'm gaining confidence.  When I looked at her newest book Tunisian Shawls I was amazed at how beautiful they are, stunning.  I had to make one.  I chose the Popover Wedge using Red Heart Unforgettable I had in stash.

It was so easy, a Tunisian simple stitch done in wedges by decreasing and increasing at the ends.  The size shown fits an average woman, I am larger than average, and my gauge was a little off to the smaller side, not having a larger Tunisian hook to go up to,  for me I would have made two more wedges, if I had the yarn, and it would have been perfect.  I took pictures of it on my neighbor and it looks great.  She especially liked the neckline not right up her neck.

While making this I did take advantage of Leisure Arts video tutorial on crochet cast on. What a great help and now I've learned another technique for adding stitches.

I cannot wait to make the Cables and Hearts, it will be my next Tunisian challenge, but with Sharon's clear directions and knowing that I have Leisure Arts video help at my fingertips the only thing to do is decide on a yarn. 

Another favorite is the Fair Isle Capelet, combining the techniques of Tunisian and fair isle, wow.

Your can purchase Tunisian Shawls from Leisure Arts, AmazonBarnes and Noble, as well as major craft and hobby stores nationwide.
To see what Sharon is up to check her  blog and website
For my other reviews of Sharon's book click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 19, 2015

Day One of Formal Jewelry Blog Tour

Today starts a month long tour of blogs reviewing my current book, Formal Jewelry from Leisure Arts.  Many of the bloggers will be having giveaways for a digital copy.  I hope you take the time to visit these blogs not just for the book review but the wealth of information they share about crochet, fiber arts, etc.

First stop is Crochetville.
If you are a crocheter I hope you have heard of this blog, web site, Facebook page.  Amy and Donna do an outstanding job of sharing and discussing the crochet world of today.

Read their review here -

Friday, January 16, 2015

Is Your Daughter Looking for Prom Ideas??

My current book from Leisure Arts, Formal Jewelry has you
 covered for beautiful crochet beaded jewelry.  The pieces in the book are made using not yarn and not wire but gold and silver embroidery thread and black and silver elastic cord.
The necklace below is made with silver elastic cord and sparkling beads for the evening of dancing.  

Below are Black Barefoot Sandals perfect for the beach or pool on prom weekend.  I grew up in NJ and it's all  about the shore on  prom weekend...These give you style without wearing shoes.  There are two styles of barefoot sandals in Formal Jewelry.

Of course everything in the book would work for weddings and other dressy occasions too.

You can get your copy from Leisure ArtsAmazonBarnes and Noble and major craft and hobby stores. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Who's Planning a Wedding?

Here are more ideas for wedding and formal jewelry.  Easy crochet beaded jewelry with no wires.

These designs and more are available in Formal Jewelry published by Leisure Arts.  Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and your local craft/hobby shop.

Double Pearl Necklace

Something Blue Garter

Leisure Arts has also included video tutorials with this book for extra confidence.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Playing with Tunisian Crochet

In the past I reviewed two of Sharon Silverman's tunisian crochet books and have been very intrigued by the crochet technique.  I purchased a couple straight Boye tunisian hooks, they were ok but I had nothing to compare it too.  I will say the weight and length of the hook was not comfortable for me.  I asked Sharon Silverman and others which tunisian hooks they prefer, I went with Sharon's recommendation of Chiaogoo bamboo tunisian flex.

I love them, I ordered them through Four Pearls yarn shop in Winter Haven FL.  Mona could not have been nicer or more efficient. These hooks are light and love the flex.

So, I got out my trusty stitch guides including Leisure Arts Tunisian Crochet Stitch Guide by Kim Guzman.

Here is the result of playing with Tunisian Crochet.

The yarn I'm using is Blue Heron Egyptian Mercerized Cotton, one of my favorites.
In the meantime I'll keep playing and see what appears. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Formal Jewelry Now Available

Here is my current book, published by Leisure Arts
The idea for this book came from several ideas.  I wanted to try crocheting with materials other than yarn, so while wandering around the craft store I came upon embroidery thread and thought ahhh beads.

I love classic jewelry, pearls, diamond studs etc. So I designed 12 items using beads and materials other than yarn.  There is a headband, garter, and two barefoot sandals along with necklaces and bracelets.

I love the thought that wedding parties can make their jewelry for the wedding and the bride, along with honeymoon extras.  Young girls can get together and make jewelry for their dances and formals. Of course other family members may want to make these as gifts of for themselves. 

I'm very happy with this book and the designs, you'll notice I am wearing the Classic Pearl necklace in my headshot picture.
Formal Jewelry is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and will be available soon in major craft and hobby stores.

Feel free to share.