Monday, September 30, 2013

Standardizing Crochet

Standards. This 9-letter word can be so easy to understand, yet so difficult to achieve.

To be honest, it's one of the things preventing me from sharing free patterns (well, that and laziness). Most knitting and crochet designers should know that patterns (particularly those for sale) have to follow certain standards when publishing their creative works.

Fortunately, the Craft Yarn Council has devoted many resources to help out designers in need. Check out for more information on standard yarn weights, knit/crochet abbreviations and symbols, skill levels, and body measurements. There are a couple of downloadable resources for designers available: Downloadable Guidelines in PDF and Downloadable Skill and Yarn Weight Symbols.

I do understand that following these standards would benefit all crafters in general. It might be a pain for designers to have to follow ALL of these instructions, but I guess it doesn't make sense to release a pattern that nobody could understand or follow. Still, I have a few concerns:

  • Not all crochet stitches are included in their list of abbreviations and symbols
  • Skill levels are difficult to standardize--what's "easy" for one person can be very challenging for another. Good thing the CYC defines the skill levels on their website, but not everyone knows how the skill levels are defined.
  • In the Standard Yarn Weight System, yarns are classified based on gauge. We all know that crocheters and knitters all have different tension in their work. A more accurate classification would be by wraps per inch (wpi).
It might sound like I'm nitpicking on the website, but these are just my thoughts. I think all crafters should be aware of this. We should all contribute to make these standards work for everyone--so this should always be marked as a work in progress.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Croccy Preview

Claireity Crochet is brewing up something pretty! But we gotta keep it on the low down (so shhh!). Here's a little preview of what I'm working on now:

Yep, I'm working on something using crocodile stitches. It's far from finished yet, so I'm pretty sure y'all will be in for a surprise with the finished pattern.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Getting back into the groove

Yowza! I've been out of the crochet blogging scene for so long. I've been reacquainting myself with crochet pattern templates, blog dashboards, and the latest crochet news. Still, I feel inadequately informed and unprepared.

I guess it's normal to have a little self-doubt. Me being me, though, I'm pretty sure I'll get the job done (and done well!). It just takes a while to get used again to everything.

Since it's a Thursday, here's a little throwback picture of me with one of my first crochet projects:

Haha. I look so happy. Frankly, I was relieved that I was able to finish such a big lace project. This is Doris Chan's Chrysanthemum Tea Shawl - more details about my project on Ravelry here.

I had no idea I'd be capable of customizing, writing, and eventually publishing new crochet patterns. It's such a big blessing to be able to share your creations. I can't get enough of people thanking me for patterns they've used over and over again, specially for gifts. And now, I can't wait to do all of that all over again.

Be blessed and have a great day!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why Claireity?

Hi! I'm Claire Ortega-Reyes, and I'm the writer/crafter behind Claireity Crochet.

I used to blog at The Artful Hooker (naughty, I know!). I also wrote crochet tutorials and patterns for Crochet Spot. I decided to create a new blog because I felt like the things I wrote for The Artful Hooker don't exactly jive with who I am now. A LOT of things have happened to me since I stopped writing for my old blog:
  • I switched jobs, trying to find my place in the sun (or workforce)
  • I got married to my best friend, AKA the best husband in the world
  • I became a mom to a beautiful baby girl
  • I lost my mom, but she's happy in heaven now
  • I quit the job I worked hard for, to help with our family business
  • As cliche as it sounds, I realized that every moment we have is a blessing and that we should be thankful always, for everything that happens to us
  • In between all of that I never stopped crocheting :)
In short, I've grown so much as a writer, crafter, daughter, sister, mother, wife, and all the other things that I am. I see life a little bit clearer, because through everything I've gone through I discovered the most important things in life.

Claireity Crochet is all about my journey in life, through crochet and other crafts. By sharing my experiences, I hope that I help other crafters discover what they truly want out of their craft. Every now and then I'll post tutorials and free patterns, too. I hope I can help a lot of people out there!