New Class! Zigzag Crochet: A Beginner’s Guide to Ripples and Waves

I have never been excited about a new class like I’m excited about this one! Zigzag Crochet: A Beginner’s Guide to Ripples & Waves is all about my absolute favourite kind of project to crochet. (Uh, obviously, zigzags, ripples, waves, chevrons – whatever you call them.) Come learn how to bend stripes into cool shapes, from spiky chevrons to gentle waves. With texture or lace, and always with colour!

I designed the class around a baby-blanket pattern made in machine-washable yarn (as every baby blanket should be), and I walk you through the project from beginning to end.

There’s loads more in class, too! Learn how to use a zigzag pattern to make a project of any size, from a scarf to a king-size blanket. Explore how yarn weight and gauge affect the size of your projects, play with loads of colour, and learn how to handle all the pesky ends you have to deal with when you work in stripes. Discover how to make a wide variety of patterns, including the feather and fan pattern I’m using to make this epic scarf, and learn how to introduce variations into patterns so you can alter the way they look.

Get Crocheting!

Sign up over at Craftsy, or try out a free 7-day trial of Bluprint – their awesome streaming subscription that’s like Netflix, but crafts, and more.

Mighty Ugly for Valentine’s Day at the Chattanooga Public Library

A couple of months ago, I got a Twitter mention from the Chattanooga Public Library in Tennessee, about a Mighty Ugly workshop they were going to host for Valentine’s Day. And I nearly fell out of my chair. I mean, how perfect is that?! It’s totally perfect. So of course I told the librarian how excited I was, and I sent her a signed book to give away, and I recorded a wee video intro for the event.

Here’s the video (in which I explain why Mighty Ugly and Valentine’s Day are a perfect match, natch) and some tweets from the event that made my heart sing. (If you’re a librarian who thinks this idea is swell, or you’re just an average person like me and you’d like to ask your friendly neighbourhood librarian to host a Mighty Ugly event, check out this link with loads of info to help!)

5 Reasons to Do a Year of Making (+ Free Worksheet!)

I’m still finding my way around Periscope, and one of the things I love most about it is that people can comment as you record, so you can respond to what they say or ask. I just love it. Anyway, as I’ve been experimenting with the platform, I find I’ve been chatting with people more and more about daily making and Year of Making, so I did a scope highlighting five reasons to do a Year of Making. The video of my five reasons is below, as is the link to get the free worksheet I promised in the scope!

Scope Notes

{The app that let me embed a Periscope video here went kaput! I’ll try to dig up the original and will post it when I find it!}

5 Reasons to do a Year of Making, plus FREE project-tracker worksheet!

Joy and Neighbourliness and Books All Over the World

I went to the postal depot at the end of my street today, and over tea, which Sal, the owner, insisted on making me, I sent a signed copy of my book to a reader in Latvia, and another to a library in Oregon that’s in desperate need of a new roof and can’t afford it without a massive fundraiser, of which my book will play a very small part.

While I paid Sal, we chatted about the holidays, and assimilation. I didn’t realize his family is Muslim – they do such a great job of spreading holiday cheer at this time of year. Of course, “holiday cheer” is totally Christmas. So we talked about raising our non-Christian kids (and grandkids, in his case), and how they love Santa and singing Christmas songs at school, and sharing their own identity and practices with their friends, and how we all love seeing family at this time of year because most of our relatives are off work. I realized last week that of course my Christmas-birthday kid will never have to work on his birthday (unless he decides to become a doctor or nurse, or do some other kind of work that non-Christmas-celebrators do on Christmas so Christmas celebrators can celebrate). What a gift.

Sal handed me some biscotti to go with my tea. We wished each other well, and I left with a smile and a wave.

What a lovely errand to run this morning.

Happy Birthday, Make It Mighty Ugly!

 

image of signed copy of Make It Mighty Ugly

It was one year ago today that Make It Mighty Ugly was released into the world!

And what a year it’s been. Personally, this book took me all over North America, which allowed me to meet so many people and have so many fascinating conversations and see so many places I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. It got me on the morning radio here in Vancouver, which led directly to me facilitating my first professional-development workshop (something I’ve long wanted to do with Mighty Ugly). And the book led me into the arms of CreativeLive, which allowed me to go deep into the self-help aspects of Mighty Ugly (and to realize I don’t want to focus on the deep self-help aspects of Mighty Ugly anymore, which has allowed me to focus on what i do want to focus on, which is having fun making things).

Writing the book helped me work through a lot of my own lingering issues about making things and writing. Which led me directly into Year of Making. Which led me to no longer consider it completely out of my league to make (mostly totally shitty) art. Which led me directly into my new thing, #MakeMakingFun (which is, obviously, about having fun making stuff – you can watch the evolution of my thinking about this in my weekly newsletter; also, I’m working on a new book idea about it).

And there’s of course the very much not personal stuff that’s happened in the last year. Which includes people all over the world thinking long and hard about their creative experience. And trying new things. And feeling good about stuff that was making them feel bad. I get emails every so often from people who want to show me their ugly creatures. I love these emails so much. People have told me the book has really touched them and helped them. Sweeter words have never been said to an author.

Happy birthday, Make It Mighty Ugly! May you have a second year filled with fun, demon-slaying, and making stuff even if it’s ugly!

Skype Date with a Book Group

Last week, I Skyped with a book group that’s working through Make It Mighty Ugly in 2015. (You heard that right; they formed the group just to work through the book!)

What a fun way to spend an evening – both for me and, I hope, for them. They brought up some serious food for thought, which is part of why I love talking about ugliness and creative demons with as many people as I can.

Check out the ugly creatures they made after our chat:

Mighty Ugly creatures from book group

If you want to gather a group to talk about and do some exercises from Make It Mighty Ugly, I wrote up a wee guide to help you get started.

​CLICK HERE FOR YOUR MIGHTY UGLY BOOK CLUB GUIDE!