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Are you excited about the Great American Eclipse? Are you lucky enough to live in the path of totality, or will you be traveling to see it?

Dave and I booked a super cute vintage bungalow in Bend, Oregon, through Airbnb (affiliate link! we love Airbnb) more than a year ago. His parents, Rosemary and Curtis, will be RV’ing from California to Madras, Oregon (Dave made them book their campsite as soon as the campground was taking reservations for eclipse dates). We’ll be meeting them at the campground Monday afternoon, and staying with them til Tuesday afternoon some time.

Regarding eclipse knitting: I did a quick search on Ravelry. There aren’t too many eclipse-themed patterns. Frankly, the search I did showed up a ton of patterns that had absolutely nothing to do with eclipses! Some were Twilight/Bella related: mostly striped hats, and a pair of socks that were inspired by the book cover.

Tania Richter’s Dragon Eclipse Blanket features a gorgeous dragon (and moon).

Eclipse by Shellie Anderson, in Shibui, is my favorite of the eclipse-themed patterns. The use of two highly contrasting colors (and yarns) in the sample really evoke the idea of an eclipse without being obvious or gimmicky.

I’m surprised no one’s come up with an idea incorporating this sort of image (stranded cowl, anyone?).

If you broaden your search to include sun or moon themes, you can find a ton more patterns, including my Under the Sun and Beneath the Moon shawls (shown above).

Other neat sun and moon themed patterns include:

Are you going to see the eclipse? Let me know!

If  you’re interested in learning more about the eclipse, check out these links:

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Are you interested in teaching crafts? Pick up a copy of Marie SegaresMake Money Teaching Crochet Workbook Edition ($24.95, 118 pages).

The information applies to teaching crafts in general, not just crochet, though specific examples (such as some of the resources) apply to crochet.

The book is organized into 5 sections: Getting Started, The Business Side of Things, Marketing, Prepping for Class, and Resources.

In Getting Started, Marie offers practical advice, with an emphasis on guiding the reader to explore why they want to teach, what sorts of students they expect and want to teach, and so on.

The chapter on business aspects includes consideration on pricing and other policies, as well as a few notes on business organization and taxes.

The Marketing chapter looks at a plethora of options, from on line to contacting reporters.

Prepping for Class addresses both in person and on line classes.

Resources offers links to everything from small business sites to professional crochet links.

If you’re just getting started, this book is a good place to begin (and the resources section points you to sites to further explore or research topics in more depth). If you’ve been teaching for a short period of time, or intermittently, this book can help you fine tune different aspects of your business.

About Marie: Marie Segares is a crochet and knitting teacher, designer, blogger, and podcaster. She hosts the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show, the podcast where you can find great ideas for launching, managing, and evolving your yarn-related business, and shares her patterns, tips, and projects on the Underground Crafter blog. Since she began teaching crochet part time in 2008, she has taught hundreds of beginners to crochet and helped even more improve their skills. Marie is a professional member of, and volunteer blogger for, the Crochet Guild of America, a designer/teacher member of The Knitting Guild Association, and an affiliate member of The National NeedleArts Association. Marie is a graduate of Barnard College and earned master’s degrees from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and New York University Stern School of Business. She lives in New York City.

 

I received my copy of the book from the author. All opinions are my own.
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Under the Sun is the companion shawl to Beneath the Moon. It’s worked in Mrs Crosby Reticule and uses two skeins.

I originally did the swatch in Mrs Crosby Hat Box, but opted for the lace for the yardage vs cost. Reticule, at around $23/skein, is a lovely, luxurious option at a really good price.

Having said that, the pattern is easily modified for really any yarn weight. Just work the swatch (directions included) to get a fabric you like, and go from there!

This lovely laceweight shawl, worked as a wedge from the bottom up, incorporates a modifcation of one of my favorite vintage lace patterns, Print of the Wave. The half wave edging is worked as a knitted on edging to bind off the top of the shawl.

Both charts and line by line instructions are provided.

One Size (easy to alter size)

Finished Measurements
Height: 63.5” / 161.5 cm
Top Edge: 52.5” / 133.5 cm
Hypotenuse: 75”/ 190.5 cm

Yarn
Mrs Crosby Reticule, 100% Merino wool (840 yds / 768 m per 100 g), 2 skeins. Shown in Greystone colorway. Sample weighed 189 g and used 1588 yds / 1452 m.

Needles
US2 / 2.75mm (your choice straight or circular), or size to obtain gauge

Gauge
24 sts and 39 rows over 4” / 10 cm in Main Body Repeat lace pattern

Gauge is important. Alterations in gauge will affect yarn requirements and finished size.

Notions
yarn needle

Skills
lace knitting
knitted-on edging

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One of the things I really love doing is designing around a theme.

California Revival Knits (CRK), my first book, was built around the theme of Californian Spanish Revival architecture. The Wild West e-book collection was inspired by, as the tagline says, the flora, fauna, and geology of Arizona. Hitch, of course, focuses on designs inspired by the films of Alfred Hitchcock.

 

I only choose themes that really grab me.  I’m not an expert in any of those topics, but I do have a decided interest — and, honestly, a love for — each.  But it’s not enough for me just to have a love for a topic — the theme has to evoke certain colorways, shapes, or something that I feel I can interpret (however loosely) in a knitted design.

Choosing the colorways that fit the theme, or are evoked by the theme, is one of my favorite parts of working with a theme.

For CRK, I chose colors that you can find in the brightly colored deco tiles so ubiquitous in everything from fountains to kitchen and bathroom tiles. Earthy to bright reds, deep blues, vibrant turquoise, and creams formed the backbone. Here’s a link to part of the book proposal PDF (check out the old logo!), and one page excerpted below:

Hitch required drama: black (including deep grays) and cream, with splashes of (blood) red. Only one sweater (the Cypress Point cardi) is an outlier, and that’s because unfortunately the dye lot of the yarn we received was more yellow than the described and anticipated cream. Stuff happens.

Here’s the initial proposal for Hitch, showing the planned colorways:

I got to play with lots of dusky, earthy colors with the Wild West series, with splashes of turquoise (yes, turquoise is a favorite of mine!). Unfortunately I deleted the promo stuff for the Wild West series, so I don’t have a document like those above to share.

As you can see from the proposals and links above, I do also use the themes as inspiration for shapes and motifs. The Wrought patterns from CRK exemplify this. It’s not just me who does this ; Elizabeth Green’s San Juan Bautista Shawl is another fabulous example. Compare it to the Saul Bass Vertigo poster in the Hitch proposal.

Although I often choose yarn companies based on the fact I’m trying to promote other small to medium businesses, yarn selection is also impacted by the theme.

For the upcoming Winery Knits collection I wanted yarns that were subtle and earthy. I chose yarns from Elemental Affects, Sunday Knits, Shalimar, Sincere Sheep, and Harrisville, focusing on solid but heathery yarns in creams, browns, and sky blues.

Let me know in the comments if you enjoy themed collections; and if so, what do you like best about them?

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