You’ve arrived at the annual NatCroMo Blog Tour! What is that, you ask? It’s a virtual celebration of National Crochet Month with new blog content daily throughout March, including featured crochet designers, free patterns, discounts, giveaways, and more.
This year our theme is The Crochet Concert and we are celebrating music as creative inspiration. Each featured designer’s showcase will include an “Opening Act” (a quick or easy pattern); “Intermission” (the designer’s favorite crochet tools, yarn, or books); a “Showstopper” (an impressive or unique pattern); and “Designer’s Choice” (any pattern of the designer’s choice).
See all of this year’s tour here: NatCroMo Blog Tour 2021.
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About Jennifer E Ryan
Our featured designer of the day is Jennifer E Ryan of Celtic Knot Crochet. The best place to get Jennifer’s patterns is in her Etsy shop. Also, look for her patterns published in Crochet World and I Like Crochet.
Jennifer E Ryan is an award-winning published crochet designer whose crochet patterns and projects can be seen in several crochet publications and on her blog, Celtic Knot Crochet.
Jennifer’s specialty is combining Celtic Knots with crochet and she was excited to travel to Ireland on a special crochet tour as the celebrity instructor in 2016. Recently she is very excited that her Flower Blossoms Pillow design made the cover of the Crochet World April 2021 issue!
She also enjoys all of the creative possibilities there are with large scale “yarn graffiti” and has designed and implemented various yarn bomb projects for special events.
Jennifer’s favorite items to crochet are mandalas, jewelry, wall hangings, and recycle projects. She is also a homeschool mom that loves to kayak, rollerblade, spend time outdoors, and photograph wildlife.
Jennifer’s Special for Our Readers
Jennifer will give away one pattern from her Etsy shop – winner’s choice. To enter, must leave a comment (by March 31, 2021) on the blog post for the Celtic Shimmer Mandala found here: https://celticknotcrochet.com/2021/02/celtic-knot-decoration/.html. Winner will be contacted via email the week of April 4th.
Jennifer’s Creative Inspiration
Is music a source of inspiration for your crochet creativity? Or do you listen to music while you crochet? If so, tell us about it. If not, what is something else that helps fuel your creative inspiration?
Music has always been a big part of my life. My mom is an opera singer so I grew up listening to a wide variety of classical music and watching her perform with a full orchestra – Bizet’s Carmen and Handel’s Messiah are two of my favorites. My dad directed our church choir where I learned to sing wonderful choral pieces (my favorites would be all of the Anglican Christmas songs and anything by John Rutter). We also all loved Irish music and now I listen to it all the time especially since one of my daughters is a champion Irish dancer and practices regularly. I love how you can’t help but smile and/or move when listening to the joyful jigs and reels.
If I am inside crocheting, then I may listen to some relaxing music by the Piano Guys or a movie soundtrack – love those!
But I actually prefer to crochet outdoors and listen to the music of my surroundings – the lapping waters of a lake, the singing of the nearby birds, the laughter of children playing or the gentle breeze moving through the trees.
Can you recommend one or two songs/pieces of music you find inspirational?
Soundtracks from the movies, Chronicles of Narnia.
The Opening Act
Pattern name: Celtic Shimmer Mandala
Get the pattern: https://celticknotcrochet.com/2021/02/celtic-knot-decoration/.html (Remember, commenting on this free pattern on Jennifer’s blog by 3/31/2021 could win you a free copy of one of her premium patterns. If you missed it, scroll back up to “Jennifer’s Special for Our Readers” to get the details!)
About the pattern: This design incorporates a very simple yet beautiful Celtic Knot at its center framed by a few rounds of basic crochet stitches and all while wrapping around a shimmery upcycled item that everyone has lying around the house!
Tell us about one (or more) of your favorite crochet-related items.
I love Clover crochet hooks! I usually use size 3.75mm and 2.75mm because I like to work with Size 3 (DK weight) yarn and thread so the silicone handles on the hooks really help my hands not cramp. I also love the shape of the Clover hooks and how well they glide through yarn.
One of my favorite yarns is Sinfonia by Omega – I use it for so many of my Celtic Knot designs because it comes in wonderful colors and is a lightweight cotton that can be worn any time of year.
Pattern name: Clare Beauty
Get the pattern: https://celticknotcrochet.com/2014/06/clare-beauty/.html
About the pattern: This design features 2 large flower-like decorative knots. It is a simpler version of a design that won 2nd place in the Crochet Guild of America‘s Design Competition in 2014 which had 9 decorative knots in it. I loved creating this design – the blue of the yarn reminded me of the rivers and lakes in Ireland. I even wove the knots while sitting by a beautiful lake near my home. Even though it was created several years ago, the pattern is still available.
Pattern name: Celtic Cowl
About the pattern: This Celtic Cowl is an easy crochet pattern that features a beautiful Celtic Knot at its center framed by a lovely textured stitch. It works up quickly and perfect to wear to any St. Patrick’s Day or Irish-themed event!
Jennifer’s Parody Songs
I love to sing parody songs for all kinds of occasions but some of my most fun ones to perform have been the crochet-related ones. In 2019 at the CGOA Chain Link Conference Bonnie Barker and I hosted a fun Friday Night Singalong event. We had a blast sharing all kinds of songs and laughing with the wonderful audience.
My daughter and I sang a yarn lover’s parody titled, “A Million Skeins” (originally “A Million Dreams” from the movie musical, ‘The Greatest Showman’) – you can watch (and giggle) the song here: A Million Skeins parody by Jennifer Ryan July 2019.
Follow Jennifer Online
Here’s where you can connect with Jennifer online to be sure you don’t miss any of her new designs!
- Website: celticknotcrochet.com
- Instagram: @celticknotcrochet
- Facebook: @jennifer.ryan
- YouTube: YouTube channel
- Pinterest: @celknotcrochet
- Etsy: CelticKnotCrochet – Etsy Shop
- Ravelry: Ravelry Designer Portfolio -Ravelry Designer Portfolio
- Subscribe: Subscribe to Celtic Knot Crochet free newsletter