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March 13: A Tour through Crochet Country

National Crochet Month

You’ve arrived at A Tour Through Crochet Country! During March 2013, Crochetville is hosting a daily designer blog tour in celebration of National Crochet Month. Each day, we visit the blogs of one or two crochet designers, who share something with us — a free crochet pattern or tutorial, a peek into their studio or a-day-in-the-life, a coupon code, or something else special. Join us each day for a new surprise!

On our 13th day of A Tour through Crochet Country, we’re visiting Tammy Hildebrand and Marty Miller.

Today’s Stop 1: Visit Tammy Hildebrand

Tammy has become such a good friend of mine over the past year that it’s incredibly hard to believe that before that, we didn’t really know each other that well. For the past several years, I’d helped her with the grunt work of setting up for Professional Development at CGOA’s Chain Link conference, but we really didn’t talk on a regular basis throughout the year. Then we both attended a couple of Stitches Events as board members of CGOA. We shared a room at those events and got to know each other a lot better! Then Tammy attended the Stitches and Chain Link/Knit and Crochet Shows as part of Team Red Heart. You really get to know someone very well when you spent 15 hours a day awake with each other: setting up a booth, interacting with customers all day, going to events, tearing down a booth. If you can be bone-tired exhausted, working like a dog, and you still enjoy spending time with each other and wish you didn’t have to go back home because the conference is ending, you know you’ve found a dear friend for life!

We’re practically the same age; Tammy graduated a high school a year before I did. The more we’ve talked, the more we’ve come to like each other. The sad thing: If we’d met in high school, we’d probably have been running in different crowds and never really had the chance to get to know each other. It’s amazing the amount of crochet energy we can generate when we’re together: One idea leads to another, with each idea snowballing off the next, growing, growing, growing, until we have a snowball that’s so big it could start a major avalance! (You’ll hear more about that later this year!)

If you haven’t seen Tammy and me together yet, I urge you to come to either (or both!) of CGOA’s Chain Link conferences this year: Indianapolis, IN in July and Charlotte, NC in October. You’ll get to see our craziness in action!

Now back to Tammy. She has 147 patterns listed on Ravelry, although I’m not sure that’s the entire scope of her work. Her work has been seen in crochet books, pattern leaflets, in just about every crochet magazine, and on the websites of many different yarn companies. She also self-publishes designs under her company name Hot Lava Crochet. If you don’t recognize her name, you’ll definitely recognize her work. You’ll also recognize her at conferences by her vibrant  personality and equally vibrant red-orange hair!

I could just keep going on and on about Tammy, but you probably want to see some pictures.

First, let’s take a look at the Bloomsbury Top, just published in the newest edition ofInterweave Crochet magazine:

Bloomsbury Top

Bloomsbury Top
Interweave Crochet, Spring 2013

We’ve been featuring two patterns for each designer every day. Tammy has so many fabulous designs, do you know how hard it is to pick only two? I think I’m just going to have to load up one of her Ravelry design pages, close my eyes, and just stab my finger at the computer screen!

Moulin Rouge Afghan

Moulin Rouge Afghan
Available from KnitPicks

Today’s Stop 2: Visit Marty Miller

I have some really special memories about Marty Miller as well. I first attended CGOA’s Chain Link conference in 2008, when I was invited to be the luncheon speaker at Professional Development Day. I could only stay for two days, so I really didn’t get a chance to know anybody (other than roomie Renee Rodgers). I was able to stay for the entire conference in 2009, and Marty was generous to invite me to spend a lot of time with her, Vashti Braha, and Drew Emborksy (aka The Crochet Dude). I’d known Drew through Crochetville since 2005, but didn’t know Marty or Vashti personally, though I certainly knew their work. I would have been incredibly lonely at the conference if it hadn’t been for Marty and crew!

I was brand-new to the CGOA board of directors in 2009. Spending time with Marty at the conference really helped me develop insight into the work done by the board of directors. She also introduced me to many well-known, well-respected crochet professionals, some of whom had been in the industry for many years, others who were relatively new to the industry such as myself. I can never thank Marty enough for nurturing me under her wing that first year! Thanks so much, Marty!

The current issue of Crochet Today magazine features Marty’s first appearance as editor of the Crochet Doctor column. If you have a crochet problem you can’t solve, send your question to Crochet Today and perhaps Marty will be able to provide answers for you.

Marty’s another extremely prolific designer whose work you are sure to know, with 117 designs featured on Ravelry. Again, it’s hard to pick just two of her many designs to show here.

Since she’s very well-known for granny squares, I’m going to have to select the Kaleidoscope Blanket, featured in the July/August 2011 issue ofCrochet Today magazine.

Kaleidoscope Blanket

Kaleidoscope Blanket
Crochet Today, July/Aug 2011

The Beach Tote shown below is one of 7 bags featured in Marty’s booklet from Leisure Arts, Totes for All Reasons. Marty will be available in our booth at Stitches South in Atlanta to sign copies of her book. (and at both CGOA Chain Link conferences)

Beach Tote

Beach Tote
Totes for All Reasons by Leisure Arts

See You Again Tomorrow!

I hope you enjoyed today’s stops visiting with Tammy and Marty Please come join us again tomorrow when we’ll visit with Andee Graves and Kimberly McAlindin.

Remember Project Night Night & CGOA

Project Night NightWe would love your support for our blog tour charity, Project Night Night, which donates comforting nighttime packages to homeless children. You can help by making and sending new crocheted blankets (50” x 60” or smaller) and/or making a financial donation. If you contribute, won’t you please use our form to help us keep a blog-tour tally?

Crochet Guild of America (CGOA)Our blog tour is also promoting another non-profit, the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA). All designers participating in the tour are Professional or Associate Professional members of the CGOA. If you’re not a member yet, there are so many reasons to join!

Our Little Giveaway: Autographed Pattern Postcard

Today’s entries are closed. Winners: Congratulations to Rc Calderman and Rebecca Bisbing!

Each day of A Tour Through Crochet Country, we’ll be giving away two promo postcards, one to each of two winners. These are only available at our 2013 consumer show booths, and will be autographed by both of us, Amy Shelton and Donna Hulka, co-owners of Crochetville! The postcard includes Amy Shelton’s exclusive X Marks the Spot scarf pattern.

To enter, please leave a comment below answering this question: If you could go on a crochet/fiber tour anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?

The fine print: Must be 13 or older to enter. Entries must be received by 12:00 midnight Pacific time on the date of this post. Winners will be selected by random drawing and notified by email the following day. Void where prohibited by law.


All photos used with permission or under the Fair Use Exclusion of US copyright law.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.bisbing Rebecca Bisbing

    Actually, my first choice would be to tour around the US and Canada – so much going on here! I would love to visit the studios of different designers and hear about a day in their lives. It would also be cool to visit a big yarn producer such as Spinrite and smaller yarn companies.
    My second choice would be Japan. I’d like to visit the yarn companies and some individual designers. The Japanese do such intricate things with thread and thinner yarns, I love that.
    Third choice would be to visit Russia, the Ukraine, and Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. I would love to tour one of the Russian crochet magazines and visit with some of the different designers in that area – those dresses and tops they do are mind-boggling.
    P.S., I won earlier so don’t pick me, but this was such an intriguing question I just had to answer.

  • Rc Calderman

    I have enjoyed my journey day by day…. inspirations galore…. oh my goodness… I am on a goal to finish all unfinished projects, before I start a new one, but…. ;) who knows what will be on my hook next!!!

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  • Cindy Lane

    I would love to take the Northeast Cruise Tour of the farms, shops, and sights of Canada & the US. It’s on my bucket list!

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