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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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Brenda Stratton, Brenda Stratton Designs
Crochetville is very proud to have designer Brenda Stratton with us today, March 6, 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 Brenda, check out our post from last year’s blog tour.
I’ve been surrounded by crochet, knitting and sewing for as long as I can remember, since my mother and paternal aunts and grandmother were all avid needle workers. However, my mother most influenced my love of crochet as I watched her crochet doilies and rugs for our home. I was 8 years old when she taught me the basics, and I became even more dedicated to it as I grew into adulthood. Eventually, I realized I was more interested in creating my own designs, and so began what is now a 30-year (so far!) career in the crochet industry. I’m happily married to my best friend, Carl, and we are the proud parents and grandparents of 4 grown children, 10 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. Our family is completed by our 2 spoiled Shih Tzus, Gracie and Rosie, who entertain and make us laugh daily.
1. Tell us about your favorite travel destination:
I have two equally favorite travel destinations, Virginia and Michigan. Tammy, our eldest child, lives in Virginia with her family. Scott, our youngest, lives in Michigan with his family. (Our other two children, Christopher and Elizabeth, both live nearby with their families.) Both states have gorgeous countryside and lots of places to see and explore. We are particularly drawn to large bodies of water, and both states offer that.
2. Tell us about a “dream” travel location that you’d like to visit one day:
There are so many places I’d like to visit, but Hawaii is my top choice. My husband had the opportunity to visit there a year or so after we were married, and I’d like for us to go back together so he can be my tour guide. Exploring all their lovely beaches would be amazing. But I’d also like to visit Australia, England, Germany, and so many places!
3. Do you visit yarn stores when traveling? If so, tell us about one of your favorite finds.
Unfortunately, there has been little opportunity to visit yarn stores when I travel, since our destinations are usually far away and vacations have been limited due to job constraints (either mine or Carl’s). However, that isn’t as much of a consideration now as it has been in the past, so it’s definitely something I’d like to explore for future travels.
4. Packing: Tell us about any crochet clothing or accessories you pack when traveling. Do you have any cool packing tips to share?
I don’t typically wear crocheted garments (except hats and scarves in the winter), but I might pack a shawl if there will be an occasion to wear it. I also like to take some of the expandable mesh totes that I designed. They have shoulder straps to keep my hands free when I’m shopping, and they are easy to tuck into my purse or backpack. The only packing tip I have is not to over-pack, which I am often guilty of doing. If that happens, I usually end up re-packing in a panic just before we leave.
5. 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?
There are a lot of variables, but I typically pack 1 to 3 projects, depending on size, complexity, and whether or not I am working on a design that has a deadline. If I’m working under a deadline, that project takes priority. Sometimes I’ll take extra yarn or thread just for working out ideas for new designs, and I also like to take 1 fun project (something I didn’t design). It’s sometimes hard to choose what I want to work on most while we are gone, so it’s usually the yarn and crochet thread that are most likely to cause me to over pack.
6. Do you have any stories or anything else travel-related that you’d like to share with our blog tour readers?
One of my most memorable travel experiences happened at the Manchester, New Hampshire, airport in 2006 (or 2007). I was working as a crochet editor at Annie’s, and we’d just finished up at the CGOA conference there. We, and many from the conference, were milling around the airport waiting to board our planes home, so the waiting area was pretty full. Suddenly, the crowd parted as some of our military troops came marching in formation through the airport with their duffel bags over their shoulders. The usual noise of the airport was drowned out as the crowd burst into applause. It continued until the troops disappeared from sight. Some of them nodded to us, some smiled and waved, but none of them broke stride. It was a very moving moment; the great respect and appreciation for these brave young men and women was unmistakable. It was a moment I’ll never forget.
Visit Brenda’s Site: NatCroMo Specials
I will be offering a FREE PATTERN on my website today. Click here to visit my website.
If you’re not familiar with my work already, I’d like to share three of my designs with you.
1. Passionflower Beaded Doily, $3.69
A beautiful beaded flower is the focal point for this exquisite doily which is rich with beautiful texture and radiant color. The beadwork is artfully carried through to the dainty picot-like edging for a perfect finishing touch.
2. Vintage Floral Lace Doily, $3.29
Sweet beaded flowers, richly textured pineapples, and delicate, lacy fans create perfect harmony in this incredible doily masterpiece. It blends beautifully with many styles and makes a statement of gracious elegance wherever it’s displayed.
3. Rose Splendor, $3.49
With an ornate beauty that defies its simplicity, this stunning throw evokes the feel of formal elegance, yet it can perfectly accent any room with easy-living style. It works up beautifully in double-strand size 10 thread for a look that’s extraordinary.
Find Brenda Online:
Ravelry Designer Page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/brenda-stratton