March 15: A Tour through Crochet Country

National Crochet Month Continues: Day 15 of A Tour through Crochet Country

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 15th day of A Tour through Crochet Country, we’re visiting Andee Graves and Kimberly McAlindin.

[button link=”http://mamas2hands.wordpress.com/”]Today’s Stop 1: Visit Andee Graves[/button]

I’ve been fortunate to spend time with Andee Graves at several CGOA Chain Link conferences. Some of my fondest memories are the fun late-night evenings at the now-defunct Club Caron Dance Party, doing the chicken dance, which Doris Chan would reluctantly play just for Tammy Hildebrand.

Before I talk about her design career and aesthetic, let me share some of Andee’s other talents. She has recently retired as a licensed massage therapist, but she continues work in this area as a freelance health and wellness writer. She will present a session on hand health at Professional Development Day this year.  Andee also enjoys painting, printmaking, sculprure, free-form crochet, and other multi-media projects. Her training in art and design, including coursework in drafting, are evident in her three-dimensional designs.

Her understanding of three-dimensional work is informed by her training in art and design, including coursework in drafting. These skills are also displayed in her other artistic endeavors: painting, printmaking, and sculpture (wood, ceramics, plastic, stone) as well free-form crochet creations and other multi-media projects.

Andee launched her independent pattern line M2H Designs in Fall 2010. Andee’s work has also been published in Crochet!, Crochet World, and Crochet 1-2-3 magazines. Her designs have also appeared in crochet books and leaflets and in patterns published by various yarn companies.

Over the past couple years (since I started coloring my hair a deep dark brown instead of its usual dark blonde), I have started to love the color red. So of course I was drawn immediately to Andee’s lovely Lace with a Twist Wrap. This appeared in a 2010 issue of Crochet! magazine. CGOA members, if you don’t have the print magazine, you can access the digital version of the magazine on the Crochet! magazine website when you log in with your member number.

Lace with a Twist--National Crochet Month

Lace with a Twist
Crochet! magazine, March 2010

These little Luv Bugs are just too darn cute for words!

[button link=”http://hookedonknitting.com/”]Today’s Stop 2: Visit Kimberly McAlindin[/button]

Kimberly is another designer I’ve had the privilege of hanging out with at CGOA conferences. In some ways, we’re diametric opposites: she’s a bold, unapologetic New Jersey girl with attitude and I’m more of a sweet, innocent Southern belle who can “kill someone with kindness.” Yet we have so much fun hanging out with each other. Well, I won’t put words in Kimberly’s mouth, but I definitely have fun hanging out with her.

For those of you who plan to attend the Chain Link conference in Indianapolis, I’ll give you a word of warning. We’re reserving a block of rooms on the same floor, hopefully right across from each other. With the two of us, our roommates, and one other friend being that close to each other, if you don’t like lots of late night giggling, silliness, and general carrying on, you might want to give the hotel our names when you check in and ask to be located as far away from us as possible!

Kimberly has been knitting since she first learned how in 4th grade. She learned how to crochet in self-defense when a lot of her friends were having babies at the same time and she needed to make baby shower gifts QUICKLY! She took to crochet like a fish to water and she hasn’t stopped since, branching out further and further into the world of fiber. She’s now an accomplished spinner. (I so want to have time to learn to spin one day, drop spindle and spinning wheel both.) She’s also the co-host of the Namaste Farms podcast with Natalie Redding.

You can see Kimberly’s designs in Interweave Crochet and Crochet! magazines, in books such as Unexpected Afghans and 10 Secrets of the Laidback Knitters, and on yarn company websites such as Red Heart, Coats & Clark, NaturallyCaron, and Lion Brand.

I have a special story to share about this pattern of Kimberly’s. This issue ofCrochet! magazine was just about to hit the shelves right after Chain Link. I was given an advance press copy of the issue at Chain Link and fell in love with this Circle Vest. I came home and showed it to my 18-year-old daughter who had just recently graduated from high school. Her words: “It’s really not ugly at all!” The words were meant to convey how much she, too, loved the vest, which I knew, since she asked me to make her one. (Teenage girls very rarely ask their mothers to crochet them an item of fashion!)

While on the surface the words sounded quite rude, I knew Kimberly would immediately understand the spirit in which they were said. So of course I had to immediately send an email to Kimberly. Luckily, I was right. We’d all been feeling the post-conference letdown blues, and we needed a reason to laugh. Kimberly said that little note cheered her right up and gave her a good laugh right when she needed one the most.

Circle Vest

Circle Vest
Crochet! magazine, September 2010

The colors of this beautiful wrap just make me feel happy and lift my spirits, and I usually don’t like orange at all. But there’s just something about this wrap. Even better for you: it’s a free download on Ravelry!

See You Again Tomorrow!

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

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 lilmissdisney and Lynn Vars!

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: What is your favorite snack/beverage to eat and drink while crocheting? Feel free to share your recipe with us in your comment.

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.

Book links go through Crochetville’s Amazon Associates affiliate link.

4 Comments

  1. Lynn Vars March 15, 2013
  2. Cindy Lane March 15, 2013
  3. Sherry Bohrmueller March 15, 2013
  4. lilmissdisney March 15, 2013

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