National Crochet Month: Donna Hulka on Community

Donna, crocheting

Donna Hulka
Crocheting in the Early Morning

I’m Donna Hulka, the co-owner of Crochetville and a crochet designer. I’m writing today for A Tour through Crochet Country, Crochetville’s own blog tour celebrating National Crochet Month 2013. Each day we visit with two crochet designers, and today my business partner, Amy Shelton, is also writing for the tour.

These days I spend much more time working on Crochetville than I do writing patterns, but I truly enjoy the entire process of designing — from coming up with the idea to writing the pattern and photographing the finished item. I always try to take good photographs of my work even if I’m sending them off for publication elsewhere. Looking at my fairly short list of published designs, I think I need to give myself a little push and put some of the ideas in my head into action!

As the co-owner of an online community I am both amazed and appreciative of the dedicated people who continually give their time and share their creativity with others. There are so many places for crocheters to participate online — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Ravelry, Crochetville, and much more. With so many sources vying for time, I’m truly grateful to have such wonderful members who regularly participate in the Crochetville forum. Amy and I strive to maintain an atmosphere that is warm and welcoming to everyone, but without people, a house is not a home.

At Crochetville, we have members who always welcome newbies to the forum, who make sure everyone gets wished a happy birthday, who crochet special items for monthly giveaways, who are always there to answer questions, who inspire us with photos of their beautiful creations, who share life’s ups and downs with each other, and on and on. Even though many of our members never see each other face to face, they come to Crochetville daily and count on hearing from each other every day as part of their support network. Some designers say they got their start through the encouragement and support they found at Crochetville.

Another form of community is the one you can find at CGOA Conferences. If you’ve never been to one, you’ll be amazed at what it’s like to be in a hotel full of people who share your passion for crochet and who understand you! There are classes and activities and meetings for hobbyist crocheters as well as professionals. Not to mention shopping for yarn and hooks and baubles at the Knit and Crochet Show! If you’re able to make it to a CGOA Conference — they’re in Indianapolis IN and Charlotte NC this year — I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Crocheters excel at giving back to the community through donating handmade items. Crochet for Charity is a very popular activity on Crochetville. So I hope you’ll consider participating in our blog tour charity, Project Night Night, which provides nighttime comfort packages to homeless children. You could donate a handmade blanket (or other items) or give a monetary gift. If you contribute, will you please use this form to let us know so we can keep a group total?

Jimbo Hook: Deadman Crick Fir (bottom) Jimbo Hook: Deadman Crick Fir (side view)

So, now on to my giveaway! One of our many unique and treasured members at Crochetville is Jimbo. He hand carves beautiful and really amazing crochet hooks from branch wood he collects from the ranch on Deadman Creek, where he has a little cabin in the woods. Today I’m doing a giveaway of a hook made by Jimbo last summer. The hook has never been used, and has been waiting to be given away to a loving owner! This hook is just shy of 8″ long overall, 2 ¼” from the tip to the start of the thumb rest, and the thumb rest is a little bit more than 1 ¼” long. The diameter of the bottom of the hook is irregular, ranging from 1 ¼ to  1 ½ inches.

About this size L fir wood hook, in Jimbo’s own words:

“The L is made from genuine Deadman Crick Fir and is done in a partial rustic style, with a bit of bark here and there, plus I left some of the chipped out areas which happened when the branch broke on it’s way to becoming a really amazingly beautiful hook.  The finished parts fairly glow and the rustic parts recall the character of the hook’s previous home in the woods. The Fir is a softwood, so that’s the reason its a larger size. But being a softwood, it wants extra gentle care in handling and crocheting…. It is intentionally made for soft, warm, slow, contemplative and comfortable crochet.”

Jimbo Hook: Deadman Crick Fir: L

Hand-Whittled Crochet Hook by Jimbo
Deadman Crick Fir, Size L

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post answering this question: What is (or would be) special about crocheting with a handmade hook?

The fine print: Must be 13 or older to enter. Entries must be received by 12:00 midnight Pacific time on Saturday, April 6, 2013. One winner will be selected by random drawing and notified by email. Void where prohibited by law.


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