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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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Great things afoot at the CLF

Hey there folks :)

Well we have some lively discussions happening on the CLF Message Board on Ravelry.

Plans, dreams and goals for 2009 abound, we are currently organzing the first ever Crochet Awards (like the oscars but you know for crochet :)) all are welcome to help in the planning, we're shooting to host those in March, which as you know is National Crochet Month (or International Crochet Month, since we decreed it so to not be exclusive of folks outside the US of A)...

We'll have a nominating process up soon :)

We also have ideas of having a "Christmas Present" Challenge for each month so we don't get caught behind again next holiday season (or like we do every year)

We have the yahoo group for file downloads and now have them on Box.net, see the Ravelry thread for more information for the box.net, or join the yahoo group to have access to these great downloads.

I have finally drafted the letter to Michaels Stores Inc, and have a copy for minions to send en masse, you'll have to send it snail mail though, because I haven't had a lot of luck finding email addies for those folks. I have my own letter I shall be sending and will post a copy of it once I have it mailed off...

Finally, the last podcast is finally up...and I promise to do better getting those up in 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Looking forward to 2009

The CLF has grown, and to some extent matured, (though I hope we haven't gotten too mature part of the fun is our silliness!) we've gone from a joke, to a making our presence known to the world of fiber arts and caused a few people to take notice. How could they not, aren't we too cute for words?

We've stirred it up, shaken it up, and made people pause for thought. One of the funny realizations that happened to me personally is idea that some people held/hold of our group. Some people feel we are "militant", or are a bit frightened by our name in fact more than one person said, "It just sounded too much like Patty Hearst to me…" That was until they got to see what we really do, and are about…

For those of you who don't know who and what we are, we are indeed a group of committed crochet enthusiasts who want to see crochet get it's fair share of the market, and fair share of the press. We're tired of being lumped in with the sticks, and we want to have recognition of our craft in and of its own right. That doesn't make us militant, it makes us proactive.

The book took up a fair amount of my energy in the past six months, and I was unable to do everything I wanted to accomplish this year in the CLF. But beyond the tangible tome of crochet goodness, I want to share our absolute greatest accomplishment…We, together as a group, have bonded, empowered and uplifted each other, spurred each other on to greater endeavors both in the virtual world and in real life. We have connected with each other in ways that defeat the 'dog eat dog" dictum of 20th century capitalism, and are creating a burgeoning market that doesn't dislike finances, but doesn't leave people out in the cold either. For this I am proud, as we support each other's work, skills, talents, we all benefit, we all get a slice of the pie. That counts for emotional support too, many of our membership have found the CLF a safe haven in a world of tempestuous upheaval and change. Making the CLF stand for more than a silly play on words and a pseudo political movement, it created a far more worthy title for our group: Crochet Liberating Friends, or Crochet Liberating the Future….

What does our future hold? Who knows, but it's bound to be fantastic.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A few reminders...

Hey, gang just a few fun reminders...

1) We have a Yahoo Group for the sole purpose of downloading CLF Certificates for Local Yarn Stores, that's right we certify Yarn stores for being LYS Friendly! You can also find a letter to go with the handy dandy certificate thanking your LYS for being so great, and if they aren't or a yarn company isn't up to your fancy and you want more we have a nice letter template for you to use.

I still owe you the one specifically for Michael's and I promiss that will be up and available next week.

2) The book will remain on sale for only $24.50 through Valentine's Day. Click on the link with the book cover to your right on the blog and it will take you to the page!

3) We have a podcast and it is my intention to have a very belated episode up and running next week...fingers crossed.

4) Our group on Ravelry is as busy as ever planning Global Domination, please feel free to join in!

Just some friendly reminders! Oh and I still write on my personal blog, feel free to check that out from time to time.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

And what a great year it has been!

We decided we needed a blog of our own in December of '07 and so we started this...and with over 22000 views I say thank you to the readership! How awesome and cool!

I hope all of you have had a fabulous year, a wonderful holiday season, and your stash has both grown and lightened with creative strides!

The CLF has had a remarkable year...January saw us hit 1000 members, and this month we have hit 2765! We grow by leaps and bounds every week, and to that I say WOW and THANKS!

We began our book work in earnest in March of 2008, and saw ourselves in Portland for The Knit and Crochet Show! That was quite the time! We didn't have the books in time for the show but we launched them that week, and we have sold almost 300 since I last checked! Thank you to all who have reviewed the book online, in real life, and on Ravelry!

We even got awesome mention in Yarn Market News, and the Crochet Insider reviewed our book...Frankly I think it's beyond cool...from a joke to this...Where else can we go with the CLF?

What does 2009 hold for the CLF? Well you never know what our collective genius will come up with, but I can tell you these things for sure!

January 2009 will see us begin to take submissions for the "Adult" crochet book...that should be an interesting endeavor! LOL

Our dear member "Crochetgo" (Ellen) suggested we have an 2008 crochet awards, you know like the Oscars? So, we are going to gladly sponsor this activity awarding designers, companies and more ... We'll post more as we solidify information! If you have ideas or want to help out in this process, check out our thread "Crochet Awards 2008" on Ravelry.com.

I will be making an appearance at both the Knit and Crochet Show Spring Show in Portland, Oregon in May...and ta da...I AM GOING TO MAKE IT TO CHAINLINK! WHOOT...Yes, I shall shuffle off to Buffalo! I can't wait, I hope to meet so many of you CLFers there!

I don't know exactly what we are doing, or where we are going, I think our organic approach to life has it's own chaotic charm, and it suits me just fine!

What I do know is this, I thank you for giving me lots of interesting things to do and think about, you've kept me out of trouble by giving me trouble to make...I love you all!

Happy Holidays, Happy New Year...and thank you so much for wanting to help Crochet Dominate The GLOBE!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fearless Leader's Gnome Wishes You Warmth

illusivenorweigian gnome
Originally uploaded by CMHS yarn & designs (laurie wheeler)

Baby it's cold outside....Here's my little illusive Norwegian gnome, and that was last week, this week he's tucked up in a little mound of snow...

He wishes you warmth, and happy holidays...and offers proof that indeed, I do love gnomes ;)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Holidays !

Well, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire inside's delightful.... let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Like much of the northern USA we're snowed in here on Camano Island, I have to say I am SO glad I crochet. I have made a pair of mittens, two hats, a long hooded scarf, and now am designing some soap bags, and some socks. I'd be stir crazy by now if I didn't have something to do with my hands!

I didn't have the opportunity to get out and finish the last of my Christmas shopping, but I have enough stash that I can easily make up the rest of the presents...and it's cozy and nice.

I was bothered most about not being able to ship off the rest of the contributor copies, or get the third round of revisions uploaded for the book...but you know, I guess this just gave me some much needed crochet time ;)

I hope this blog post finds you all happy and healthy and hooking away not with frustration or fear of not finishing, but with a contented joy of the winter holidays...

I want to thank all of you for reading the blog, and for those of you who have purchased the book many thanks to you....it will make the next round more wonderful...

I am really looking forward to next month and the beginnings of our second publication :) I can't wait to put all of my new found knowledge and skills into action!

If I don't get back on before Christmas, I wish you all the best, happiness and joy, and peace everlasting in your hearts. I've got everything I've ever wanted really, my family, my friend's and my own little liberation front, man that makes life really cool!

Hooks Raised, CLF Salute!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Crocheting in the Deep Freeze :)

Well, at least I'm not AS cold as some of you folks in the Mid-West and North East of the USA, but man it's sure colder than normal here !

We did great with the storm, and luckily only a little bit of ice managed to stay near my house but the hill is clear, which is why I can work on this blog today...but tonight and tomorrow? More snow....

So we'll see when I get back here :) I hope you all stay warm, dry and have enough stash to keep you home and busy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

If Fearless Leader Disappears for a while...

Ok, we got a doozy of a "Winter Storm" (we never get cool names like Typhoon, or Hurricane, but we get the storms) blowing in...and if the weather folks are correct we'll start getting snow in about two hours...If we get the "up to six inches" I'll be snuggled all cuddly in my bed, or couch, crocheting and drinking hot cocoa...

I cannot,and I repeat, cannot make it up my hill in the snow....sigh...So we'll see how things play out, and if I have to get on the dial up I will...but oooh I hope I don't have to!

So for now...Chins up, Hook Up!

CLF Salute!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Giving it away...

I know 'tis the season of giving, but I want to have a chat with you about this...Yes, you...Because this isn't about making gifts etc, this is really about how so often we just "give it away."

Women tend to be the worst about giving "it" away, whether "it" is their time, talents, patience, caring...After look at all the somewhat traditionally female job roles those that involve creative nurturing (nursing, teaching, seamstress work, childcare, elder care) almost all of these kinds of jobs are low paid, certainly lower paid than the traditionally male job roles.

So, let's look at our making things and designing things...I have been to so many bazaars where crocheters have made BEAUTIFUL things and had them priced at dime store discount prices, often the price didn't even cover their materials, let alone their time. And the plethora of free patterns on the web, I'm not talking about the simple scarf, or the basic hat, I'm talking about dresses, and skirts, and large table cloths, and baby sets with intricate color work or stitch patterns....Why are these free patterns?

My friends when you sell below the value, you cheapen it for everyone, especially yourself. In fact you are sending the message, "It doesn't matter to me, it's just something I do, why should I get paid?" It is NOT greedy to want compensation, everyone deserves compensation. It is greedy to charge a billion dollars for a pattern, but it's not greedy to charge $7, why? Because the base cost of printing, then mailing, not to mention the design time, graphing, charting, frogging, testing, and marketing....Giving all of that away? For why? For what reason? You are not a bad person for wanting to make something in return for your talents and time...

Why? Because it does matter, you matter, I matter, the designers matter, the yarn companies matter, the publishers matter, we're all in this mess together, and if we get into this get it cheap or free mode, we do what we fear most, hit rock bottom financially.

This whole drive to be known, or published and get out there for FREE is driving down the economics for all of us. In fact, here's a grand REAL LIFE example.

Right now Time Magazine is soliciting photographs from people on Flicker and stating that they can't pay the photographers for their photos that they want to use in their Year End issue....Excuse me? Time/Warner can't afford to pay for photos? Give me a break, of course they can, but some people will fall for it and submit just so they can be in Time Magazine...They are just get credit and retention of their copyright...Hell I did better than that giving contributors copies of the book they submitted to and I'm doing this out of my personal bank account, I have not been listed as one of the 50 biggest companies in the W H O L E F R E A K I N world. (For more on this subject check out Bec Thomas's Blog .)

Ok, so how does photography fit into what I am saying for we who crochet? Because it's the same dang difference. Folks if we all work together to support each other at a fair level of compensation, not Oil Company CEO style, but more like Farmer's Market style, then we're ALL better off...Cause here's the real deal, we'll lose the great designers who do sell their patterns, if people choose to go the freebee route and not purchase the patterns...And if you do make great patterns charge SOMETHING for them, anything is better than free...

And for those of you who make items for sale, charge something that gives you a profit! And if you make gifts for people don't give them to people who are snarky about it, just make things for people who appreciate the gifts!

Why? Self Esteem people...What we do is a SKILL, do you here me!???? A skill is something that takes time, practice and talent to achieve, it's not just something you're born with, and that skill has value....

As long as we give it away, who's going to value it?

The Hunt for Ms. Zimbel

CLF Member StitchnFrog sent me a link that may assist in sending Ms. Zimbel her CLF T-shirt...I mean if one is really going to cover things like tanks in crocheted cozies then they MUST have one of our t-shirts...

Our CLF Member StitchnFrog will be sent one as well!

Vive Le Crochet!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fearless Leader Speaks Again...

A few things of note! Dora at Crochet Insider gave our little book a BRILLIANT review, I feel all cool now and so should you! We're the coolest group on Ravelry in her opinion....(and mine too but I'm like soooo biased!)

Next on the list of things to speak of...since I'm speaking.... Is that if you haven't seen this video from the Colbert Report then you MUST watch it :) You'll laugh, you'll cry...and then you'll think a moment and say "HEY! All the really cool protesty stuff was crocheted...." I have commented on the Colbert Nation site, and I hope you do too!

As for the subject of the video, Ms.Jerilea Zempel I would like to put out a call for her to find us, if you can find her and let her know we want to give her a CLF t-shirt, we'll give you a CLF t-shirt...you know you want one all the cool kids have them! CLF T-shirts will show just how radical and subversive you really are ;)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Uncommon Crochet...what a fabulous book!

Hey all you rascally crocheters out there, have you seen Julie Armstrong Holtz's book Uncommon Crochet? This book is a delightful read, the projects are interesting and different from the norm, but what really makes this book shine is the FANTABULOUS information about crochet from how to design, to materials information, hints and tips galore!

I love it...my daughter loves it, and it will find it's place on that new little amazon widget to your right :)... BTW Julie is a CLF member you can find her on Ravelry as Skamama! Check her out! Yay for you Julie this book is phenominal!

Here's all the pertinent information (and yeah it came out in April, but like I ever find out what's going on first? Nope never...I'm so outta the loops)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

International Shipping and other thoughts....

Ok, so a few more pennies have hit the old bank account and I can now start shipping the International Books....Sigh...I had to first wait on a shipment of books to get to me, and then the moolah to send out the books...and THEN today I drove all over to actually ship the books.

You see I do not live anywhere CLOSE to a post office...stupid rural unincorporated area....I live about 30 mins away from one. I thought I could go to the little mailbox place that is on my island, but nooooo they do not ship internationally...so I had to drag my sorry self into Stanwood, and brave the post office.

BTW they were very helpful and kind and showed me a quick but cheaper way of sending off books...so the FIRST of the international copies for contributors has been shipped and next week I'll start getting out the rest....

Sorry it's taken so long to get out all of the books, but all the royalties come in a month behind so I have to wait that long to buy books, and get them off ;)

Slow but steady we're getting there ;)

Much Love to all of you who contributed and know I'm workin' on it :)


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hookalicious Christmas Trees!

Originally uploaded by vegancraftastic

CLF Member Kala designed these cute little trees! I thought these were adorable...and yeah I have to say at first it was the little penguin that caught my eye...I have a thing for penguins (and gnomes as you well know)....but these trees are really cute, and more realistic looking that the usual crocheted ruffly X-mas fare....

Kala you are duly awarded the CLF Hookalicious award for these great trees!

The pattern is a free download available on Ravelry.com

Crochet in the News...

Nothing says the holidays like crochet...oh I know there's a lot of other crafting that happens...but this is the time of year that when I have hook in hand people actually ask me if I'm crocheting...why? Cause "Grandma crocheted me slippers every Christmas..." or "Aunty Suzy made me crocheted snowflake ornaments every year...." or " My mother made me the most awful hats and scarves.... but I wish I had them now...."

That's why...for some reason people remember crochet at Christmas time...and here's a news story that shows one woman's dedication to the holiday and her craft: crochet....It's a heart warmer...

Thanks to Kdmay28 for bringing this story to our attention on the CLF board on Ravelry....Timely and wonderful!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Have Faith Crocheters...

If you haven't heard the news yet (the jungle drums beat quickly on the CLF board on Ravelry), Kim Werker, editor of Interweave Crochet Magazine has both stepped down as editor and has sold CrochetMe.com to Interweave.

There is a bit of grumbling over this, not for Kim making a personal decision that would make her life more enriched, and really her blog says it all and I think it was a very hard but insightful decision on her part...The grumbling is the worry about what Interweave will do to CrochetMe.com and what it will do to crochet online...

Are we going to be lumped in with the stick people, are we going to be treated less than what we are?

My first thought is this: We have been very loud about wanting a Crochet Daily, and CrochetMe.com has the natural customer base to do such an endeavor. If Interweave is as smart as I think they are (and I do believe they are as I have been a reader of SpinOff for almost a decade, and have EVERY issue of IC including the first IK crochet edition, I also own a buttload of their books from Spinning to Crochet...) they will use this to deliver we who wield the hook that which we have asked for...

My other thought is, if they tank the magazine or if they don't serve well we have the wonderful option to take action, both in letter writing, and economically.

I don't think they will tank the magazine, and I don't think they will tank CrochetMe.com I think there is a real revenue potential there and they wouldn't have bought it if they didn't think so either.

So, we'll watch what happens and be alert...because that what we do in the Crochet Liberation Front, and if we have to take action we will...but you know I don't think we'll have to...I hope not cause 2009 is a busy year for us...we have TWO more books starting soon!

BTW If you want to contribute to the Adult book or the 400 yd or Less book check out the CLF Writers Guidelines here

Monday, December 1, 2008

Crochet and the sticks....some thoughts

I spent all afternoon on Friday at Pinch Knitter's in Stanwood, WA crocheting and signing copies of the Crochet Liberation Front First Ever Book.

As usual I was surrounded by Pointy Stick people and they were very nice, most of them felt the same way about the hook that I do about needles, which is they just can't get the hang of it...No blame, no shame, we all shared our ideas, and enjoyed each others projects.

As we talked of what we like to do, we both seemed unimpressed on a certain level...One gal just loves to do knit lace, and I'm thinking, "Meh, lace, I've done so dang much of it, and it's so easy...." and I'm talking about making plain fabric and cables and they were probably thinking the same thing....Here's the epiphany folks...

Making holes with crochet is dead easy, we love it, it's quick and not hard to do once you practice a bit, with the sticks it takes quite a bit more practice and is not the natural activity of most who do stick work...

Making a good flat piece of fabric in crochet is hard to do, and keep even, and keep polished looking, not so with the sticks...

Does this mean people should not do it? (Either one?) Nope...It just means we need to understand that making holes is simple with the hook and hard with the needles...making plain fabric is easy with the needles (if you can use them) and more difficult with the hooks (if you can use them)....

I don't know why I never thought of it before, but it's probably because I don't use sticks, any more than the person I was sitting with uses hooks (other than to pick up stitches)....

But we call keep this in mind...

Happy Hooking!

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