Sunday, May 24, 2015

I finally started!

I work best with deadlines so I had to set one for myself to finish Level II of my Knit & Crochet Teacher Certification. I completed Level I 3 years ago which made me a Certified Instructor.  Level II will make me a Certified Teacher.  I decided to start with Crochet and I already know most of the techniques.  It's just a matter of me sitting still long enough to complete the assignments.

Once the application and fee are submitted to the Craft Yarn Council (CYC) you receive access to the manuals and handbook and are sent via email the assignments and homework.  You are also introduced to your Master Teacher who will evaluate your samples, lesson plans and conduct an interview over the phone.

Lesson 6 covers Crochet Meshes Stitch & Color Variations.  There are a total of 4- 5" squares to be completed. For me the challenge has been to get the correct size requirements.  The manual and handbook describe how to make the technique but don't tell you how many stitches to chain or how many rows to do.  I tend to crochet loose so when working on the samples I have to constantly measure.  And yes, I've had to start over and over and over.  The "pressure" is knowing that someone is going to be judging my work.  I know that I do a good job but I'm not used to having my work "judged" by a "master".
 
Fair Isle & Tapestry back view

Double crochet- working between stitches for the top
and alternating front and back posts for the bottom

Single Crochet intarsia front view

Filet crochet

Singe Crochet intarsia back view
  
And my self imposed deadline to be finished with both crochet and knit  is June 10th.  Why... you may ask?  That announcement will be coming soon.  BIG things are in the works.
~Denise

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Knit & Crochet Michaels Class Schedule Updated

             
            
I have updated my class schedule for July - September.  See the calendar to the right?  Click on the specific dates for more details about each class.  Want to see what they look like?  See the tabs above?  Click on the one that says "Michaels @ Avon - Class Schedule & Projects w/Pictures"  Be sure to scroll down to see the knit, crochet and kids crochet & weaving projects.

AND....... There will be another Creative Classes Open House on Saturday June 6 from 11-3.  And YES classes will be offered at 50% off!  You can register in-store or online on the 6th.

I look forward to knitting or crocheting with you soon!
~Denise

Monday, May 18, 2015

Finished!



I finished the crocheted owl bookmarks.  I hadn't thought about ALL of the 'finishing' that these bookmarks required.  Sewing on each eye and the leaves and then attaching them to the branches and then sewing the owl on the branches.
But it was all worth it.  My grandson was happy to choose the colors for his teachers and to deliver them today. I'll deliver 5 more on Wednesday and the remaining 3 the week following Memorial Day.
I think presentation can be as important as the actual item, I decided to make envelopes so the owls could peek out as they were opened and I could include a handwritten note.
I'm really happy with how they all turned out.






Friday, May 15, 2015

I didn't know there was such a thing...


  

I hear that all the time when I tell people that I'm a certified knit and crochet instructor.  To teach at Michaels ALL instructors/teachers are required to be certified.  So what exactly does that mean?  I am certified through the Craft Yarn Council (CYC).  If you go to their website you can access lots of resource information on knitting, crocheting and other yarn crafts.

For certification, I applied and paid for the  correspondence course fees for both knit and crochet Certified Instructors Program (CIP). There is also an in-person workshop option.

I received a handbook and manual along with my assignments. Once all were completed I had to send in my samples and lessons to my assigned evaluator. She then arranged a phone interview and we discussed my lesson plans and samples.  The CYC offers Level I and Level II certification for both knit and crochet.  I completed Level I in 2012 and have had my Level II assignments for a while now and am determined to finish both SOON.  I've asked for and received an extension but I need to settle down and get them both finished.  There isn't that much to do and now I have more experience with formal teaching and know what to expect from my interview.
For the knit I have 5 lessons which include 7 knit samples, 3 buttonhole samples, writing lesson plans for 3 intermediate-level classes and a sweater.
For the crochet I have 5 lessons which include 10 crochet samples, 3 types of finishing, writing lesson plans for 3 intermediate-level classes and a sweater.

So I'm writing about it today is for 2 reasons:

1) to give people a better idea of what it takes to be certified

2) accountability for ME to get it done

I'm not dreading it or anything, it's just that other things keep coming up.  Like the bookmarks I decided to crochet.  At first it was 4, now it's 10.  I mentor/tutor 4 students in reading and wanted to make them something. Then I decided to make the teacher who leads the program something. (+1) Then I decided to make one for each of my grandson's preschool teachers where I volunteer twice a month. (+2) Then I thought the library staff at my granddaughter's school where I also volunteer would like them (+2) and since someone has been nicer than when we first met months ago, I thought I'd make her one too (+1).  (=10)
Owl bookmarks in progress
But the bookmarks WILL be finished tonight.  And this weekend I WILL get started on my Level II certification. I think the part that will take the longest will be the designing, writing an original pattern AND knitting and crocheting the two sweaters.  They can be adult or child size.  I really don't want to have to ask for another extension.

My other motivation to finish is that I have lots of new things on the horizon.  I'm almost finished with all of my de-cluttering.  I am soooo happy with all of the space that I have again in my house.  It was quite a process though.  There were items that had me upset for some of the things I put up with in the past and many things that showed me just how far I've come in the 24 years of living in Indy.  

I recently responded to a question about what age in my life I'd like to be and I have to say I am very happy with my life as it is now.  I am doing things I didn't imagine I would and they are bringing me so much happiness, peace and joy.  It's everything that I've been through that has brought me to this time and place in my life.  Adult children who are healthy, doing great, positive and inspiring things; being a business owner happily making my own decisions; having a flexible schedule that allows me to volunteer whenever and wherever I choose; the opportunity to be available for my healthy, happy and often times funny grandchildren and spending time with them on a regular basis; good health and enjoying getting out and walking to ensure that my health remains good; people who support my business and artistic endeavors. 
I really couldn't ask for anything more and am thankful each and everyday!
Now to get back to crocheting and knitting  so I can post progress pics :)
~Thank you!


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Introducing...

My new logo doll- Meecy!
  
When I first wanted a logo, I knew what I had in mind.  But things fell through (several times) and then it hit me.... I crochet dolls in the likeness of people so why not make my own?!

That's just what I did.  It was quite interesting to make a doll that looks like "me".  I named her Meecy because that's what my 3 year old grandson calls me.  

See her nose ring and glasses?
Her Fitbit

An actual pair of earrings. 

When I do events I wear an apron

Rubber bands helps her to hold onto the box of yarn

The apron has pockets

The apron is removable

Close up of the apron.
 

I found this mini hat box and painted the dots so it matches the hatbox that I transport yarn in.
 Yes, those are real balls of yarn. 
I am very happy with how she turned out, just like the vision in my head!  She will grace my new business cards, apron, and address labels among other things and maybe accompany me to events.

Oh, and I am officially a business owner!  I am a real EIN (employer identification number), TIN (tax identification number), LOC (location number) having business. I also have a business bank account.
I've opened shops on Etsy and Scott's  Marketplace.  I'll be working on those slowly.  Notice the link to my Etsy shop to the right->

I'm feeling excited about everything. I'll still take things slowly and am happy that I was able to take time off from filling orders to work on these things.  It's let me re-focus and re-energize.

I have some other things in the works. It seems like I get a new idea everyday. The best part... not having to ask for permission to do the things that I want to do.  I'm the boss :)

I've also been doing some major de-cluttering.  I'm sure that the things that I'm donating will bring joy to others.  I'm loving all the space that I now have, again.

UPDATE:  I know that the doll that I donated to the Avon Outdoor Learning Center online auction was bought but I'm not sure about the birdhouse that I donated to Partners in Housing Indy.  Silent auctions are sooo very different  nowadays.  It's all done on a mobile device and I didn't get set up to follow the bids. I'm hoping that "Not For Birds" went to a good home.

I'm looking forward to taking orders again.  I have some flowers to crochet to deliver on Saturday, one of my daughters has asked for some special crocheted dolls, I'm going to knit 2 surprise gifts for my mother and I will probably participate in an upcoming art show.

And the de-cluttering will continue.  I have no idea why I was holding onto some of these things.  But they are moving to new places and people so that new things can come into my life.
~Denise