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The Crochet Express National Crochet Month Blog Tour
Want to Chat about the Tour?
Part of the fun of taking a passenger steam train trip is talking with your fellow passengers. This year, we’re providing two locations where our passengers can get to know each other. We’d love to hear about your favorite things you’ve discovered on the tour and see photos of your current crochet projects. You’re invited to join us daily for virtual cocktails/appetizers and dinner. (We’ll be sharing links to some fabulous recipes!)
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Amy Shelton, Crochetville
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Amy Shelton with us today, March 29, as one of the featured designers on our 2016 Designer Blog Tour in honor of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo). If you’d like to know even more about Amy, check out our post from last year’s blog tour.
I come from a family of crocheters. I learned the basics of crochet from my third-grade teacher, then my mother and grandmother, longtime crocheters themselves, helped me expand my skills. I have been happily crocheting, left-handed, for over 30 years. My favorite things to crochet are all types of garments and accessories. I am a crochet designer, instructor, blogger, and social media queen, with a crown to prove it! (You can see the crown when you visit our vendor booth at crochet shows and fiber festivals.) I served on the board of directors for the Crochet Guild of America for four years and as president in 2011 and 2012.
Tell us about your favorite travel destination.
I can’t pick just one favorite destination. I grew up in the mountains of east Tennessee, so I always feel like I’m heading back home whenever I’m able to spend time in the mountains again. I also enjoy spending time at the beach: Emerald Isle, NC and Gulf Shores, AL. I’m pretty fair, so I spend a lot of my time sitting on the beach, in the shade of my tent, crocheting or reading a book. My other favorite place is Disney World, as I have so many fond memories of our family vacations there when my kids were younger. My husband and I love Disney ourselves, and we hope to return there this December for our first solo trip since 1991.
Tell us about a “dream” travel location that you’d like to visit one day.
When I was a teenager, I always dreamed of visiting Australia. Ever since The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies were filmed there, I’ve wanted to visit New Zealand to see all the fabulous scenery. Of course, I’d have to pay a visit to the Hobbiton set while there. A little birdie has told me there’s a possibility of taking a trip out there next summer!
Do you visit yarn stores when traveling? If so, tell us about one of your favorite finds.
Most definitely! When I’m traveling to run the Crochetville vendor booth at fiber festivals and crochet events, I often don’t have time to check out local yarn stores. But whenever possible, I try to arrive a day early or stay a day late so I can have the opportunity to check them out. Whenever I’m traveling on vacation, I make it a point to find all the local yarn stores before leaving home and plan a day to visit during my vacation.
I don’t have just one favorite, as I’ve found many wonderful stores while traveling.
- Haus of Yarn in Nashville, TN
- Serendipity Needleworks in Tuscaloosa, AL
- Clara’s Loom and Coastal Textile Center in Bon Secour, AL
- Smoky Mountain Spinnery in Gatlinburg, TN
Packing: Tell us about any crochet clothing or accessories you pack when traveling. Do you have any really cool packing tips to share?
When packing for a crochet conference or fiber festival, I pick garments and accessories that highlight some of the things we’ll be carrying in the booth, whether that’s a yarn or a pattern. For personal travel, I love to take various wraps and shawls with me. I have Reynaud’s and my fingers tend to turn purple if I’m in drafty air-conditioning. Shawls are easy to take on and off as needed, and don’t take up much space at all.
I love rolling up my clothes instead of folding them, as the clothes take up less space and don’t get as wrinkled. I also love to stuff socks into my boots and shoes.
When I’m flying, I try to remember to pack a change of clothes, pajamas, and essential toiletries (at least toothbrush, toothpaste, and a hairbrush!) in my carry-on bag. I’ve had too many friends arrive without their checked bag at a conference and be stuck trying to find something to wear until their bag arrives.
Tell us about any crochet projects you take with you when traveling: How many projects do you take? How do you decide which ones to take?
I always end up taking more than I can possibly finish, and usually even work on. But I like having variety, because I never know what I’ll be in the mood to work on. I usually take 3 or 4 projects, each in their own project bag.
Do you have any stories or anything else travel-related that you’d like to share with our blog tour readers?
I encourage everyone to travel to attend a crochet event whenever you can. Don’t wait until a show is in your own backyard. Hop on a plane or get in the car and drive: You won’t regret it, I promise!
STITCHES events are primarily geared to knitters, but you’ll find a small number of crochet classes and a ton of nice yarn on the show floor. The Crochet Guild of America’s Chain Link conference is held in conjunction with The Knitting Guild of America’s annual conference, so you’ll find a 50/50 split of crochet and knitting classes. Of course, you’ll want to consider the brand-new Get Squared Retreats for three full days of crochet garment-making goodness with Jenny King, Tammy Hildebrand, and yours truly!
STITCHES South, March 31 – April 3, Nashville, TN, Crochetville Booth 316/318
CGOA Chain Link Conference, July 13 – 16, Charleston, SC (Crochetville Booth # TBD)
Get Squared Retreats: Columbus, OH; Franklin, TN; and Atlanta, GA (click the link for dates)
Visit Amy’s Site: NatCroMo Specials
Crochetville is partnering with Jenny King Designs today to give away a student ticket to the upcoming Get Squared Retreat in Atlanta, GA. Click here for today’s giveaway post.
If you’re not familiar with my work already, I’d like to share three of my designs with you.
1. La Fantasie Violette Infinity Scarf, $1.99
My inspiration for this infinity scarf was a solid rectangular knitted scarf with a similar open loop treatment only on the ends as trim. I thought an infinity scarf made entirely of the open loops would look really cool!
2. Business Card Case, $1.99
What better way to show off your business cards than in a crocheted case? Don’t have business cards? This case is perfect to tuck in your pocket with your ID, a credit card, and a small bit of cash. With a little adaptation this pattern can be made with any weight yarn you choose by adjusting the length of the beginning chain.
3. Queen for a Day Crown, $4.99
Every woman deserves to be a queen for a day. Have a friend or family member who could use a treat or little pick-me-up? This super-sparkly, fun crown will make anyone feel special. Let the royal treatment begin!
Find Amy Online:
Ravelry Designer Page: ravelry.com/designers/amy-shelton
Additional Blog Tour Information: