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Everywhere, No where
I started the CLF as a joke on Ravelry, back in July of 2007. The joke was on me, we're a real group, that seeks to liberate ourselves from stereo types about our craft and ourselves. Other than being called "Fearless Leader", I'm a designer, mother, editor, wife, hand spinner, yarn addict, incessant reader, and over all geek in the coolest of geeky ways.

Beware Defamers of the Hook!

Beware Defamers of the Hook!
Like Joan of Arc, and the Scarlet Pimpernel we are here to seek Justice!

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Official Blog of the Crochet Liberation Front

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Let's Represent...Political Hooking...

Ok guys and gals, it's an election year. Are you tired of hearing it? Or are you energized? If you are eligible to vote in your state of residence in the USA or by mail from Overseas do so! I don't care what party you vote for, but exercise your right to vote!

If you have to stand in line at the polls, why not give crochet a little political PR fun! Bring a WIP and hook it up in the lines at the polls! Who knows you could find people for your group, start a group, or even inspire someone to learn, or to pick up the hook again...if nothing else if you are in one of those states with REALLY long lines, you won't be bored ;)

Hook on! Live Long my minions!

The Fearless Leader Award

Originally uploaded by 203gow

Words escape me with this project...the inventiveness...the shear GLORY of the creation that is this "Wood Hand" by CLF member
203 gow...

It is amazingly well made, polished, a work of fiber art that defies the use of common adjectives!

I could have given this kitchalicious, but it goes so far beyond that humble title...

203gow you have been awarded the Fearless Leader Award for really funky cool and awesome crochet!

Shaking it up...

Since I have had some time to ponder the world, hook in hand, yarn sliding ever so smoothly through my fingers, I have come to a firm decision....


Ok folks, our members have taken huge risks from getting out of their social shells and reaching out and starting real live groups, to starting businesses, and publishing patterns for the first time. From these experiences I am sure that something changed in their lives to the more positive because of that one little leap....

You have to remember that when we change one thing in our reality, other things move to meet the change. The more positive the change (no matter how small) the more positive the change to our reality.

We don't have to change the world, we just have to change our view of the world. By merely changing how we say things such as changing "I can't" to "I can" or "I wish I could..." to "I am going to..." voila these changes make a vast rippling effect into all aspects of our lives...


It can be done alone and without support, but it's so much easier to do this with support....And man do we have support or what in the CLF...almost 2500 people willing to jump together, hold each others hands, and press forward TOGETHER...That is the most profound and inspiring aspect of our group....How unusual, no vying for position, no politicing for attention, no flaming, no bad attitudes...a positve wave that gets us resonating at the positive.

I have no doubt that we SHALL change things, little things in our own lives, and rippling out into the wider world...what will those changes be? Heck if I know, as long as they are positive and benefit more people than myself I'm happy...that has always been my personal goal...

I do not lie when I say, I am so very proud of you, and thank you for being the positive people you are...

This more than any angry mob mentality will bring about that which we seek.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What's up Fearless Leader?

Ok, I did get back from vacation and I did get well. Funny thing is I was soooooo tired. And I had to finish cleaning my house. Some where along the book writing, editing, and publishing thing, plus the fair, plus Portland, I had ended up with an UNHOLY mess (is there a holy mess? I'd like to see one)...Anyway, the house is now mostly respectable and family is duly chastised for letting me ignore them ignoring it ;)

I've oddly enough spent the past four days crocheting! Oh that felt so good...I have rediscovered surface crochet, and I have to say I'm in love...If you have a fun yarn, but not a lot of it, it's a great way to use it up, and embellish something...it's easy and only limited to your imagination!

The other thing I've been doing is working on the book...yes, marketing folks...I'll be featured on a blog called Creative Mothers, and in the interview shamelessly promoted our wonderful BOOK!

It's back up for sale now! And you can get it on Amazon.com for $27.75 plus free shipping! I can't come close to offering that good of a deal so please have at it! If you are on Ravelry, or Getting Loopy use their links and they get a few pennies ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hookalicious Mitts

Originally uploaded by sylvchezplum

Ok these Granny Mitts by CLF Member SylvChezPlum (Sylvie Damey) are just too adorable! What a great way to use Granny Squares!! I can think of a ton of motifs to use for something like this! I just love it!

You can download her pattern on Ravelry, it's a great deal at $5!

Too cute and the possibilities are endless!

SylvChezPlum you are duly awarded the Hookalicious Award for these inventive fingerless gloves! Too cute!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Uncle Cancer by Crotcheteer

Fearless Leader's note: This is an article by Crotcheteer...she will be blogging here from time to time as the muse strikes. This is about her mother not mine, though I know those same loving thoughts go out from you to her, as you did to me. We can all give our darling Crotcheteer virtual hugs in this time of struggle in her and her mother's lives.

I’m a spiritual person by nature although not terribly religious. I seek order in the disordered ways of the world – which is probably why I speak in similes and analogies. I try to make sense of things by likening them to other things.

Part of my order-seeking is believing that things happen for a reason, sometimes multiple reasons. There was a reason I had resisted learning a fiber art for so long. It wasn’t time yet. Now that I have learned, it is something to fall back on in times of worry for the calming effect of repetitive motion as well to as use it to assist in whatever small way I can.

My small way this time will be making chemo hats for the one person on this planet who really knows me.

Up until now, Cancer for me has been like that weird uncle in the family no one mentions. The guy no one wants in any of the family photos for fear that they would have to acknowledge his presence. The reason your parents never want you to tell a stranger on the phone that no one is home. Recently, however, Uncle Cancer showed up and knocked on the door.

And he asked to speak to my mom.

In the coming months, he will eat everything in my mom’s fridge, burn cigarette holes in her furniture, kick her dog when she’s not looking, and scare my grandmother. My mother is a stubborn woman who taught me to slay the dragon first and then cry over my ripped skirt later so she’s not asking the doctors for a prognosis. She doesn’t want any preconceived notions about the outcome. I support that. I also know that there may come a time where she decides enough is enough. I support that too.

She's a tough broad, so I almost hesitated to ask her if I could make her some cool hats for when the time came that she would want one or two and she agreed, to my surprise…but not because she needs them…she can buy them if she wants. She’s letting me make them because all the hats she’s seen so far were ugly.

Thanks, Mom!

No really...thanks, Mom. Thank you for letting me help. Thank you for choosing to fight.

- Crotcheteer

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Power to the Picot!

Do I have a story for you...it involves conquest, danger, intregue...ok well none of those except a minor feeling of conquest...

Once a month I host an all fiber arts group in my town. I never know if there will be three or thirty people, we have a potluck, kids are welcome, and you don't even have to bring things to work on...if you're in need of community we're there...if you want to learn something, this is the place to ask! We network with each other, swap stories and techniques, and spin a hell of a lot of yarn.

So, my group happened last night, I didn't really want to go, I was tired, and had had a very small group the last month so I just thought, "Ugh I have to drive into town for two people?"....

But lo and behold I walked in late (I pick up one of the group memebers), and there are already four people there, five more were walking in behind me! WHOOT now that's worth the 2o minute drive!

Here's the funny part, all of the folks I know there are primarily spinners and knitters, they dabble with other techniques. Just like I'm a spinner and crocheter and I dabble with other techniques...anyway, all of them decided to CROCHET at the meeting! Two people bought the CLF book, and I got to sign it...that felt cool.

But after seven years of living here, I have finally made a dent...They were even bragging to some new people that "Oh she can crochet ANYTHING!" LOL...I suppose I could, but their conffidence in me was lovely...

So hook on and live long my friends...If I could witness what I did last night I just know that nothing is impossible!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thoughts from Fearless Leader

Well for the past two weeks I've been too ill, too away, and too busy fixing the book to really cause much trouble...hmmm...I must be feeling better. I'm starting to feel itchy. You know that itch to stir the pot, shake things up, run around with sharp objects, and scream into the silence....Either that or I've drunk decidely too much coffee today. Either way here goes...

When I was on the first part of our family vacation we went to a lovely little musuem in Cashmere, WA called inventively enough Historic Pioneer Villiage... Which indeed it was a museum of pioneer history and indeed had a villiage of pioneer era cabins made up like a little town from the late 1880's in Eastern, WA.

They were all old cabins, many had been in use up till the 1950's by folks in that area.

What was cool was how they outfitted each cabin as it may have looked "back in the day." I actually remember some old towns having furnishings, and insides much like what the cabins were like when I was a child in Oregon. These were in out of the way places like the Oregon Coast, or Eastern Oregon in my childhood.
The people who lived in such places were interesting and colorful characters, not in the least pc or tolerant of much nonesense and tough as nails. They had to be, they were the kind of people that came from the stock that civilized the West and made it more comfortable for the people who've now moved to such places with their "million dollar" homes, with "great views"...oddly enough many of the million dollar homes are built on hillsides that will fall down, or slide, and are made out of materials that won't conceivably last as long as these old tongue and groove cabins.

How the hell does this correspond to crochet? I'm getting to that...

I come from that kind of stock, mine just chose to live in a more comfortable clime earlier than the die hard folks who settled the more interesting and rugged terrains of Eastern WA, and Or.
What does my family have to do with this? Just hang on, I'm getting to that... I come from not only Pioneer stock, but folks that helped found Quebec in 1530, fought in the French Indian War (on the French Side), moved to NY in the 1700's fought in the Revolutionary War, and when Westward expansion happened after Lewis and Clark, they went close on their heels to the great NW in search of the Fur Trade (not to mention my Spanish ancestors that were on the expidition that founded San Franscicoin 1775)...Yes, Fearless Leader comes from a long line of trouble making French folk and Spaniards (throw in some Irish, and now I start makin' ALL kinds of sense don't I?)....the women in my family can only be described best by my late great uncle, "Beware a Rivers' woman (my maiden name, "de la Riviere" before anglocized) they are intrepid beasts made to civilize the uncivilized...don't argue with 'em you'll never win..."

Ok, you really think I'm side tracked now...but again bear with me...

As I walked through the buildings, I looked at the decor.

Most of it was somewhat period in feel, but most of the crocheted table cloths, and hand towels, dish rags etc were more modern, but they kept the feel... I thought of the hands that made these items...and why they made these items.

The same reason the ladies of my family would have made things in their rudimentary homes (waiting for the nice house to be built). A table cloth not only beautified their surroundings, but saved the pretty wood from the table that had been brought around the Cape by boat from Boston. The rag rugs saved the wood floor from spills, and mud, was much easier to replace than the floor that had to be swept, mopped and waxed.

Doilies provided some cheer, and still protected the beautiful things that they treasured...

It wasn't peasant work. An educated woman like my great-grandmother who not only ensured that her husband couldn't buy a car without her learning to drive (the tales of her ostrich feather hat whipping in the wind as she sped through our town are of legendary proportion), and her roofing a church on the same day as kicking her brothers out of the local tavern, axe in hand while fighting for the right of women to vote, would not have purchased doilies unless to help a neighbor who needed cash...she made her own, in her spare time (little that she had) to preserve the good furniture and provide her home with some pretty things...

No wonder people who have never had such stories in their background, or history known to them think of crochet in terms of peasant/not peasant. Instead of considering that the situation was more like this: people worked hard building a civilization that we can enjoy, and used their hands not only to work hard but to make pretty and useful items for their homes. It was leisure, it was pleasure, and those who didn't like to do it, might have paid a widow, or poorer housewife for their labor (ever heard of buying local?) to help out and save someone's pride...

This is where the snobbery stops... Right here! Right NOW!

Here's the deal folks, in the total of human history we have in general (but for a few and I mean very few individuals) have had to work hard to survive. At one point in our history this was a valued thing...people took pride in what they did, no matter what they did...and to dismiss said acts with snobbery is just plain wrong...

Given the current economic climate, many of us may turn to making our gifts versus buying them in a store...Does it make our gifts less meaningful?

NO! In fact, compared to the cookie cutter, imported plastic doohickies we can pick up in any large impersonal big box store, maybe making something is the RIGHT thing to do, both economically, environmentally, ethically and morally...may it's not...I don't know, only you can judge that for yourself...

Let us value these things, dated as they may be, historic as they are, they are OUR crocheting heritage...Anyone want to snob on that one?? And frankly, I DO value things made by human hands no matter what social class the hands come from...I'm just that kind of people person.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

CLF Book News

Ok, the books files are all up loaded YAY! It will still be a week or so before things are back up and running the way we'd like them too, but in the mean time Gail's Yarns has 10 copies of the First Ever Printing of the FIRST ever book and a wonderful insert for the errata made by yours truly!

If you are itching for a great book, it's just as gorgeous as the second printing, and the errata is all nice and neatly there for you! PLUS Gail can offer GREAT shipping to International buyers!

So head over to Gail's to get these fabulous books!

Her store for US sales and shipping

International Orders go HERE!! (She can give the BEST deal on international shipping!)

So speaking of Errata...more to come on the website... I missed most of Andee Graves article on how to keep your hands healthy...That's a nice long article I'll give that baby it's own little web page ;) And for some reason, and I think it happened when I resized the book, I missed the end of Jennifer Reeves Dragon Scale Sock pattern... Now if you are on Ravelry, all the Errata for patterns is listed up on our Errata page.... I have yet to get Andee's article up...but it's coming, this afternoon if all goes to plan actually!

So hooks up! Keep hookin'!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back from Vacation and to work....egads...

Hey there folks...

Ok, I'm still sick, but finally recovering. Had a great vacation, I even got to crochet! WHOOT! And as I wait for the PDF to finish distilling I will be uploading the revised book, with all the necessary changes. Hopefully tomorrow AM our beloved Technogoddess will upload the new version of the book cover...which should me a better thumbnail on Amazon.com....YAY...

Some of the very nifty changes that we made since we were redoing things anyway was to include page numbers...They would have been in the first version but unfortunately my computer was not cooperating, and I was stressed and tired and opted to live without it versus killing my laptop.

In a more relaxed frame of mine I have included these things so that they actually show on each page (long story), and now have a table of contents that reflect the page numbers (time consuming by worth it)...Also, Carol Ventura granted permission to flip the skull chart for the Tapestry Crochet UFO Bag so that lefties don't have to flip the chart in a mirror! YAY...I'll try to get that posted on the errata page tonight for you wonderful lefties who already purchased the book!

So hopefully in a day or so I can approve the book to be a go again, and we'll be on our way to Crochet History!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

HEY, HEY, my my…

I’d venture to say at this point that in hook years, I’m a teenager. My edges are pretty straight, my stitches mostly uniform (although I can still tell the difference between crocheting while watching CSI and crocheting while watching whatever hack Science Fiction movie my son has going on.) I can single, half-double, double, triple, double triple, back handspring triple lutz with the best of them. I can granny square, doily, beanie, scarf, sweater, and shrug as long as the pattern is clear.

Yet despite my seemingly precocious talent with the hook, my family insists on requesting things that require nothing but the simplest of stitches. My grandmother’s shawl for instance…it’s a simple half granny square. You’d think I could whip it up in the time it takes for my son to go through a pitcher of juice, but I have one fatal flaw.

I bore easily.

These simple stitches feel like being forced to box-step, one, two, three, chain, one, two, three, chain when I want to Tango - step - turn – cha-cha-cha…or Samba…or even Hokey-Pokey for gawds sake!. I’ve started and stopped unnumbered blankets and throws for the simple reason that the repetition is more than my constantly buzzing brain can take.

Am I doomed to a life of drooling in a half-double haze or will I be immobilized by the soporific single to get these gift requests finished?

Take heart, my children. Come…gather ‘round the altar of the hook. I have a revelation to impart.

My deliverance…my salvation…has come in the form of a HEY! A Highly Entertaining Yarn. I found that if I choose a yarn that has unpredictable color repeats, or some interesting bleed of one color to another, it keeps me engaged enough to want to know what’s going to happen on the next new round or row. It’s like all of a sudden this boring stodgy box-step has become a BIG! HOLLYWOOD! MUSICAL! complete with costume changes and – if I don’t mind the cats- LIONS AND TIGERS AND HAIRS!! OH MY!!

Now granted, my mother told me to use pale pink and green when I asked about colors, but I don’t think Grandma will care. Her eyesight isn’t what it used to be, and if I tell her that the color reminded me of her, she’ll accept that because it’s mostly the truth.

The real truth is that this yarn actually reminded me of grandma’s hair. Somehow, through consumer chemistry, my grandma maintained a head of hair that boasted varying shades of red and brown – sometimes both - throughout my childhood and while it might have looked odd…it certainly wasn’t boring.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I'm getting better...really....and vacation news...

Hey there folks...we'll I got home Friday from the "mini vacation", slept Saturday, and I mean I slept saturday...was I ever ill! The trip to Leavenworth, WA is a blur...Saturday did not happen (cause I wuz asleep) and Sunday with a better brain, and pain free face I was able to make the biggest revisions to the book...I have files now from a few people that had some fixes, and hopefully will have the rest of the fixes by the weekend so I can finish operation clean up, and have the book re-uploaded by Monday morning...then I will order a proof, and I will have that expidited to me, then I will review it and put it up for sale again...

Currently, we owe a huge round of applause to the hubby for finding me a motel with wifi internet so I could check email and messages...This is his first vacation in over a year, and he's had his own busy year...I have been quite good about not mentioning all the work I have to do with the book...and he was so considerate ;) "Um...I bet you want to check in on line..." he said to me as we drove into Forks, WA (which gets 13 feet of rain a year...yeah, the heart of the temperate rainforest!)..."Yup," was my monosyllabic answer....

Tomorrow we head for La Push and lovely beach front cabins for storm watching and jaccuzzi tub :) No, I will not be online, no I will not regret that...yes, I'm looking forward to a nice warm toddy and some R & R

For now...here's the slipper I made (almost done crocheting on the sole of the other slipper/sock) today in the car...(OH, and I got to shop at a Dropped Stitch again in Sequim...always worth the trip)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Book Fix before more get sold...

Ok guys...I have put the book on hold until I can get home and make revisions. The book re-do had some "issues"...if you have purchased the book, all the errata will be online... I will create a pdf as well...but in the mean time I'm going to redo the book...After I get home.

Sick, Tired, and Errata

Hey Gang...

Yeah, I know I'm SUPPOSED to be on vacation...actually I am SUPPOSED to be sleeping right now, but my face hurts so, I'm not. (Stupid cold, sinuses...yeah...)...

So, I have a second apology to make to Julia Vaconsin...a fabulous designer... the errata for her pattern is now listed on our website...This is important, cause it's the thumb gussets for her fingerless glove pattern. We've also noted such on Ravelry.


Here's the Link to the Errata

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Book Selling biznez

I tell ya, it's a dog eat dog world out there :) LOL...The book sold like hotcakes coming out of the starting gate, and now things have slowed down a tad (still selling very steady to my mind) but Amazon decided to "undiscount" the book back to the list price...so folks here a deal for you
Use this code and go to the Create Space Website and let's show Amazon.com who's the boss :)

5Y5EYU78 CreateSpace

This will make the book price as good as I can give it :) So have fun :) Let's show em :)

BTW: Fearless leader is supposedly on a mini vacation, but is sick as a dog and playing on her computer in the hotel room...cause she's about to fall over...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

More about the book!

Origami Socks by Deborah Berger!

WOW...aren't these nifty! This pattern has full schematics and great instructions! It's in the book!!

Ok folks, if you didn't know that there is a reading of the book on our home page at http://www.crochetliberationfront.com/index.html, well now you do! I'll try to get more up for your listening pleasure as we go along...

CLF Fingerless Glove by Elisa Cleveland Me likey :)

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