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Taking Crochet to Elementary School

Taking Crochet to Elementary School

YARNutopia was invited to share about our love of crochet at High Interest Day sponsored at a local Elementary School. High Interest Day (HID) is a way to expose kids to things they may learn to love. It’s also a way for students to see people who have worked hard and created careers based on their passions. We spent the morning talking about crochet and how my parents and I have made this small idea into a fun and inspiring career, blogging and vlogging YouTube crochet tutorials. It was a morning that flew by because, like it is always said, “time flies when you’re having fun!” And FUN was had by all.

My sister-in-law, Samantha, is a kindergarten teacher, and the school where she teaches hosted this dynamic event. She was part of the committee that organized this interactive day filled with many demonstrations where kids could participate and learn through hands-on activities. From chemistry fun, crochet demonstrations, yoga instruction, learning about snakes, or decorating cookies, each segment offered the opportunity to get the children involved in thinking creatively of ways to make hobbies and activities they love into a possible ‘someday’ career. With so many bloggers making careers on the internet, it was a good fit to participate and teach children how they can develop a craft and turn it into a career. The children were various ages ranging from kindergarten to 5th grade.

The kids were given the chance to participate in three workshops throughout the day. They could pick their top five choices of offered interests, and then they were assigned to attend three of those top choices. In our workshop we had three different 40 minute sessions with approximately 12 children in each group. It was a perfect size to give every child a chance to work with yarn and a crochet hook. They loved getting a feel of how it is to crochet and create with YARN!

 

The classroom I was teaching in offered me access to the internet as well as a document camera, or doc cam, to project my hands on a big screen to help the kids see up close. I started out sharing what I do and how I began crocheting as well as sharing photos of my various projects. The Beauty and the Beast costumes and baby items were big hits with everyone. It was fun to hear the kids shout “You made THAT!!!??” And then following that with “I want to learn how to make stuff like that!”

My dad was hamming it up with the kids when I was sharing how my videos demonstrate the patterns. I used my Watermelon Bib as an example and had a prototype of the bib to show the ‘finished product.’ Of course, being my dad, he has to add his silly antics and get the kids laughing. And laugh they did when they saw a grown man modeling a baby bib!! I was able to play the video while showing the children basics of what I do, how we film, walking step-by-step through a tutorial and skipping to the end, ending up with a great finished product.

Once we covered those basics it was time to get hands on! We provided crochet hooks and yarn balls for each child and I demonstrated using the doc cam on how to make a basic chain. My parents, Samantha, and I were able to go around to each child and help them with this technique. The classroom ran the gamut of emotions once we got started. In each group, there were kids who caught on right away, others not so much, and a couple even ended up near or in tears. It pretty much sounds like all of us when we start out crocheting for the first time, am I right??


Samantha explained there’s a huge emphasis in education right now on helping students develop a “growth mindset.” Learning a new skill is a great way for them to understand that mistakes help them learn and that they need to push past frustration and setbacks if they want to grow. We saw that in our sessions with students who cried or got frustrated. They’re working on developing grit and learning it’s okay if something doesn’t come easily the first time they try. From an educational standpoint, that’s what HID is about. We watched many push through and stick with it to accomplish making a foundation chain. Once they were able to get the hang of it, we fastened off and made the chain into a bracelet. They were pretty excited about this small take-away from the session.

Over half of the students have families who work very hard to meet their basic needs, and these students may not have the opportunities or resources to explore their interests. HID is an opportunity for them to explore possibilities that were presented in these sessions that they may have never considered otherwise. The program was appreciated by all, and it meant a lot to the kids and has lasting impact.
Volunteering and participating in these activities can really take the art and craft of crochet to an entirely new level. The beauty of what we do can reach further than the items we create. It can open up a whole new world.

On this day of Thanksgiving, I am so thankful for this experience to share my passion with so many children that were as eager to learn as I was to teach. In a world that is not always kind, I was given such a gift and watched kids of all ages work together helping one another as they learned to crochet. It is a moment that warmed my heart and will stay with me for a long time to come.

I want to extend a special Thank You to my sister-in-law Samantha, the school, and especially the children for the invitation and welcome I was given as a presenter for HID. I appreciate being provided a platform to explore this opportunity and share my craft with everyone. It means so much to me to get involved in such an important program and share the love of crochet with so many growing minds. I loved it!

~Nadia


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Crochet Tutorial: Razzle Dazzle Chunky Hat

Crochet Tutorial: Razzle Dazzle Chunky Hat

When Extra Chunky Hats are all the rave, but cost an arm and a leg, we pull out our hooks and we make our very own! I’m introducing the Razzle Dazzle Chunky Hat!! Make it in a single strand (the hat with the pink pom) OR for an EXTRA chunky look make it with two strands of chunky yarn (the hat with the green pom). Whatever way you choose, you are going to raise your temp to extra warm with this fun, colorful hat!!

Follow along with this video tutorial to learn how to make this hat:

My dad will continue to be the videographer, editor, and photographer for our videos when I move away.
Support YARNutopia today so we can continue to bring you clear, quality crochet tutorials even after I move into my new home!
There will be an added expense of more travel and hopefully this won’t deter our ability to provide consistent videos on a weekly basis.

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**You can always contact me via Facebook if you have any problems with the pattern. I am happy to help if you have any questions along the way.

***These patterns are copyright YARNutopia © so PLEASE DO NOT COPY, SHARE, ADJUST OR RESELL MY PATTERN. I wrote and tested this pattern myself, from beginning to end. It took a lot of time and work, and I would really like to have it remain “my pattern.”

***You can definitely sell anything you make from my patterns, please just link back to my website YARNutopia.com. Thank you!

Teacher: Nadia Fuad
Video and Editing: Fuad Azmat (My Daddy)
Share your work on Facebook!
Add me on Snapchat: YARNutopia
Follow me on Instagram
Visit My Ravelry Store and add this to your Favorites!
Follow me on Twitter: @YARNutopia
Enjoy this video and subscribe to my channel on YouTube for more tutorials on how to crochet!
Leave a comment, and share with your friends!

Pattern:

Designed by Nadia Fuad
You *may* sell items made from my pattern, but please reference my website YARNutopia.com.
Please do not copy, sell, and/or post this pattern and claim it as your own.
Shop Red Heart, America's Favorite Yarn

NOTES

-Watch the FULL introduction of the video tutorial for frequently asked questions and watch the full video for tips on how to make these smaller or bigger.
-You will need approximately 110 yards of yarn for this hat and will fit an ADULT.
-This hat measures 22 inches around the head and 11 inches long.
-You can use one or two strands of yarn in this project.
-Make your slip stitches loose so you can work in them in the next row. (See video tutorial for visual instructions)
View this blog (about halfway down the page) for other sizes so you can make other sizes of this design!

Materials you will need:
Red Heart Yarns Collage Yarn in Circus
Size 12mm Crochet Hook
Faux Fur Pom Poms
Yarn Needle
Scissors
Measuring Tape

Shop Red Heart Yarns Website Today!


Special stitches:
Ch(s): chain(s)
YO: Yarn Over
St(s): Stitch(es)
Sl st: slip stitch
SK: Skip
SC: Single Crochet
DC: Double Crochet
FPDC: Front Post Double Crochet
BPDC: Back Post Double Crochet
3rd Loop of the HDC is explained in the video tutorial

Pattern:

If you have any confusion or difficulty with reading this pattern, please watch the video tutorial to have visual instructions.

Pattern:
You can use 1 strand of yarn or 2 strands of yarn for this part:
Ch 16 (or any amount that is the height of the hat) See hat heights here!
Row 1: Sl st in 2nd ch from hook and next 2 chs, HDC in the rest of the chs across, ch 1, turn. (15 sts)
Row 2: (WORKING IN THE 3rd LOOP of the HDC sts) HDC in each st until 3 sts remain, sl st in last 3 sts, See video tutorial for visual instructions, ch 1, turn. (15)
Row 3: SC in the 1st 3 sts, (WORKING IN THE 3rd LOOP of the HDC sts) HDC in the rest of the sts on the row, ch 1, turn.
Repeat Rows 2 and 3 for however long you need to make your piece. (I ended on row 24), you need to end on a repeat of row 3 before you fasten off.
Fasten off with long tail for sewing.
Sew up back seam and cinch top closed.
Weave in ends.

Brim:
Attach ONE STRAND of yarn to the brim of the hat
Rnd 1: Ch up 1, SC evenly around the brim (I SC’d 24 sts around), Sl st to first SC.
Rnd 2: CH up 3 (counts as DC), DC in each st around, Sl st to ch up 3 st.
Rnd 3: Ch up 2 (does not count as anything), FPDC on Ch up 3 st from previous rnd, *BPDC on next st, FPDC on next st, repeat from * around, sl st to first FPDC. Fasten off, Weave in ends.

Assembly:
Sew in all loose ends, and attach large pom to add on top! (Get the pom I used here!)

Enjoy!!


This Week's Coupon at Michaels.com

This post contains affiliate links, which I may be compensated for when you make a purchase. That means if you click on any link and buy from the linked websites, I will receive a small percentage of the value of your order. The amount you pay is not changed. Thank you for all your support in clicking the links in my blog!! You all are so amazing!! ~Nadia

The yarn provided for this pattern is courtesy of Red Heart Yarns


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Crochet Tutorial: Two-Toned Cable Boot Cuffs

Crochet Tutorial: Two-Toned Cable Boot Cuffs

I love making patterns that are two-for-one special deals. My Two-Toned Cable Boot Cuffs make the perfect combination of two fun fashion accessories in one fabulous pattern!! Wear one way to match your outfit today and flip them over to match a different outfit you are wearing tomorrow! You can’t beat that! There are tips in the video tutorial for making these in any size! They make great stocking stuffers!!

 

Follow along with this video tutorial to make these boot cuffs:

My dad will continue to be the videographer, editor, and photographer for our videos when I move away.
Support YARNutopia today so we can continue to bring you clear, quality crochet tutorials even after I move into my new home!
There will be an added expense of more travel and hopefully this won’t deter our ability to provide consistent videos on a weekly basis.

Donate Button with Credit Cards

**You can always contact me via Facebook if you have any problems with the pattern. I am happy to help if you have any questions along the way.
***These patterns are copyright YARNutopia © so PLEASE DO NOT COPY, SHARE, ADJUST OR RESELL MY PATTERN. I wrote and tested this pattern myself, from beginning to end. It took a lot of time and work, and I would really like to have it remain “my pattern.”
***You can sell anything you make from my patterns, please just link back to my website YARNutopia.com. Thank you!

Teacher: Nadia Fuad
Video and Editing: Fuad Azmat (My Daddy)
Share your work on Facebook!
Add me on Snapchat: YARNutopia
Follow me on Instagram
Visit My Ravelry Store and add this to your Favorites!
Follow me on Twitter: @YARNutopia
Enjoy this video and subscribe to my channel on YouTube for more tutorials on how to crochet!
Leave a comment, and share with your friends!


CLICK.BUY. CREATE. Shop Michaels.com today!

Pattern:

Designed by Nadia Fuad
You *may* sell items made from my pattern, but please reference my website YARNutopia.com.
Please do not copy, sell, and/or post this pattern and claim it as your own.

Materials You will need:
Red Heart Soft Yarn in Rose Blush
Red Heart Soft Yarn in Berry
-H-5.00mm Crochet Hook (Find the hook I used in my video tutorial here!)
Yarn Needle
Measuring Tape
Scissors

Shop Red Heart, America's Favorite Yarn

NOTES:
-Use a smaller hook to make these smaller
-Use a bigger hook to make these bigger
-Watch the FULL introduction of the video tutorial for frequently asked questions and watch the full video for tips on how to make these smaller or bigger.
-The written pattern is for a calf size that measures 12 inches around. You can chain any multiple of 6 to fit around your own leg.
-This project uses less than 100 yards of yarn total.

Special stitches:
Ch(s): chain(s)
YO: Yarn Over
St(s): Stitch(es)
Sl st: slip stitch
SK: Skip
SC: Single Crochet
DC: Double Crochet
FPDC: Front Post Double Crochet

Pattern:

If you have any confusion or difficulty with reading this pattern, please watch the video tutorial to have visual instructions.

Make 2 

With Color 1 (Rose Blush)
Ch 36 or any multiple of 6 that wraps around your calf
Sl st to first ch to form a large ring
Rnd 1: Ch up 3 (Counts as first DC), DC in next ch and each ch around, sl st to ch up 3. (36)
Rnd 2: Ch up 3, DC in next st, *SK 2 sts, FPDC on next 2 sts, FPDC on Skipped Sts, DC in next 2 sts, Repeat from * around, end with FPDC on skipped sts, sl st to ch up 3. (36)
Rnd 3: Ch up 3, DC in next st, *FPDC on next 4 sts, DC in next 2 sts, Repeat from * around, sl st to ch up 3. (36)
Rnds 4-13: Repeat Rnds 2-3
Rnd 14: Ch up 1, SC in each st around, sl st to first st. (36) Change color after this round.
Rnd 15: With Color 2 (Berry), Ch up 1, SC in each st around, sl st to first st.
Rnd 16: Ch up 3, DC in next st and each st around, sl st to ch up 3. (36)
Rnds 17-28: Repeat Rnds 2-3
Rnd 29: Ch up 1, SC in each st around, Sl st to first st.
Fasten off, weave in ends.
Flip your work around and work this last round along your foundation row
SC in each ch of your foundation row. (See video tutorial for visual instructions)

Enjoy!!

This post contains affiliate links, which I may be compensated for when you make a purchase. That means if you click on any link and buy from the linked websites, I will receive a small percentage of the value of your order. The amount you pay is not changed. Thank you for all your support in clicking the links in my blog!! You all are so amazing!! ~Nadia


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Crochet Tutorial: Winter Chic Slippers

Crochet Tutorial: Winter Chic Slippers

I love to be warm and cozy during the cold winter months. I love chunky blankets, over-sized sweaters and soft, comfy slippers. My Winter Chic Slippers are one way to keep toasty while you curl up on the couch with your crochet or a good book on these longer nights. Thick and warm, made with Marly Bird’s Chic Sheep Yarn in beautiful fall colors, these slippers are great to add to your winter wardrobe. Make these in any combination of colors!! With the holidays right around the corner, red, green, and white slippers would be perfect for kids on Christmas morning! In my video tutorial, I explain how to make these in all different sizes! 

 

Follow along with this video tutorial to learn how to make these slippers:

My dad will continue to be the videographer, editor, and photographer for our videos when I move away.
Support YARNutopia today so we can continue to bring you clear, quality crochet tutorials even after I move into my new home!
There will be an added expense of more travel and hopefully this won’t deter our ability to provide consistent videos on a weekly basis.

Donate Button with Credit Cards

**You can always contact me via Facebook if you have any problems with the pattern. I am happy to help if you have any questions along the way.
***These patterns are copyright YARNutopia © so PLEASE DO NOT COPY, SHARE, ADJUST OR RESELL MY PATTERN. I wrote and tested this pattern myself, from beginning to end. It took a lot of time and work, and I would really like to have it remain “my pattern.”
***You can sell anything you make from my patterns, please just link back to my website YARNutopia.com. Thank you!

Teacher: Nadia Fuad
Video and Editing: Fuad Azmat (My Daddy)
Share your work on Facebook!
Add me on Snapchat: YARNutopia
Follow me on Instagram
Visit My Ravelry Store and add this to your Favorites!
Follow me on Twitter: @YARNutopia
Enjoy this video and subscribe to my channel on YouTube for more tutorials on how to crochet!
Leave a comment, and share with your friends!

Pattern:

Designed by Nadia Fuad
You *may* sell items made from my pattern, but please reference my website YARNutopia.com.
Please do not copy, sell, and/or post this pattern and claim it as your own.

 

Materials You will need:
Red Heart Yarns Chic Sheep Yarn in Suede (3 skeins)
Red Heart Yarns Chic Sheep Yarn in Linen (1 skein)
Red Heart Yarns Chic Sheep Yarn in Sunset (1 skein)
-H-5.00mm Crochet Hook (Find the hook I used in my video tutorial here!)
Yarn Needle
Measuring Tape
Scissors

Shop Red Heart, America's Favorite Yarn

NOTES:
-Use a smaller hook to make these smaller
-Use a bigger hook to make these bigger
-Watch the FULL introduction of the video tutorial for frequently asked questions and watch the full video for tips on how to make these smaller or bigger.
-The written pattern is for a size 7.5/8 US Women’s Size Shoe. You can adjust the size for measurements.
-Use 2 strands of yarn at the same time throughout the whole pattern.
-This project uses 860 yards of yarn total.

Special stitches:
Ch(s): chain(s)
YO: Yarn Over
RS: Right Side
WS: Wrong Side
St(s): Stitch(es)
Sl st: slip stitch
SK: Skip
SC: Single Crochet
SC2TOG: Single Crochet Decrease
DC: Double Crochet
FPDC: Front Post Double Crochet
BPDC: Back Post Double Crochet
5DC Cluster: [YO, Insert hook, YO, pull through, YO, Pull through 2 loops] 5 times, YO pull through all 6 loops on the hook. Cluster made.

Pattern:

If you have any confusion or difficulty with reading this pattern, please watch the video tutorial to have visual instructions.

Make 2 

**USE 2 STRANDS OF YARN FOR THIS WHOLE PROJECT**
With your main color (Suede):
Ch 36 or any even number that measures the length around your calf

Row 1: SC in 2nd CH from hook and across, turn. (35)
(WS) Row 2: Ch up 3 (counts as first DC), 5DC Cluster in very next st, Ch 1, sk 1, *5 DC cluster in next st, Ch 1, sk 1, Repeat from * across, end with DC in last st, fasten off with long tail for sewing and change color. Turn.
(RS) Row 3: Attach color 2 (Sunset) yarn in last DC from previous row, Ch up 1, SC in same st, 2 SC in each ch 1 sp  across, ending with 1 SC between last cluster and last st, and SC in last st, turn (35)
Row 4: (Color: Sunset) Repeat Row 2
Row 5: (Color: Linen) Repeat Row 3
Row 6: (Color: Linen) Repeat Row 2
Row 7: (Color: Suede) Repeat Row 3
Row 8: (Color: Suede) Repeat Row 2
Row 9: (Color: Sunset) Repeat Row 3
Row 10: (Color: Sunset) Repeat Row 2
Row 11: (Color: Linen) Repeat Row 3
Row 12: (Color: Linen) Repeat Row 2
Row 13: (Color: Suede) Repeat Row 3
Row 14: (Color: Suede) Repeat Row 2
Row 15: (Color: Sunset) Repeat Row 3
Row 16: (Color: Sunset) Repeat Row 2
Row 17: (Color: Linen) Repeat Row 3
Row 18: (Color: Linen) Repeat Row 2
Fasten off.

Assembly step:
Sew the sides together INSIDE OUT so you have a seam up the back (See video tutorial for visual instructions)
Flip Right side OUT and go on to making the top cuff.


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Top cuff:
Attach your main color yarn (Suede) on the back by the seam on the last stitch of the last row on the leg piece.
Rnd 1: Ch up 1, SC in same st, 2 SC in each ch 1 sp  around, ending with 1 SC between last cluster and last st, and SC in last st, sl st to first SC. (35)
Rnd 2: Ch up 2 (does not count as anything), DC in each st around, sl st to first DC. (35)
Rnd 3: CH up 2 (does not count as anything), *FPDC on next st, BPDC on next st, repeat from * around, sl st to first FPDC.
Rnd 4: Repeat Rnd 3
You can continue repeating round 3 if you want your cuff to be longer.
If you are happy with this height, fasten off, weave in ends.
Set this piece aside and go on to making the sole.


Shop Red Heart, America's Favorite Yarn

Sole:
With Main color (Suede):
Ch 4
Row 1: SC in 2nd ch from hook and across, ch 1, turn. (3)
Row 2: 2 SC in 1st st, SC in next, 2 SC in last st, Ch 1, turn. (5)
Row 3: 2 SC in 1st st, SC in next 3 sts, 2 SC in last st, Ch 1, turn. (7)
Row 4: 2 SC in 1st st, SC in next 5 sts, 2 SC in last st, Ch 1, turn. (9)
Row 5: 1 SC in 1st st, SC in next 7 sts, 2 SC in last st, ch 1, turn. (11)
Row 6-27: SC across, ch 1, turn (11) (Measures 7.5 inches at this point. If you need to make less rows if your feet are smaller or more rows to make it longer, you can continue until you are satisfied with the length, then go onto the instructions for row 28)
Row 28: SC2TOG, SC in next 7 sts, SC2TOG, Ch 1, Turn. (9)
Row 29: SC2TOG, SC in next 5 sts, SC2TOG, Ch 1, Turn. (7)
Row 30: SC2TOG, SC in next 3 sts, SC2TOG, Ch 1, turn. (5)
Row 31: SC2TOG, SC in next st, SC2TOG, Ch 1, Turn. (3)
Fasten off. Weave in all ends.



Top of Foot:
With your main color (Suede)
Ch 4
Row 1: SC in 2nd Ch from hook and across, ch 1, turn. (3)

Row 2: 2 SC in each st across, ch 1, turn. (6)

Row 3: 2 SC in 1st st, SC in next 4 sts, 2 SC in last st, Ch 1, turn. (8)

Row 4: 2 SC in 1st st, SC in next 6 sts, 2 SC in last st, Ch 1, turn. (10)

Row 5: 2 SC in 1st st, SC in next 8 sts, 2 SC in last st, Ch 1, turn. (12)

Row 6: 2 SC in 1st st, SC in next 10 sts, 2 SC in last st, Ch 1, turn. (14)

Row 7: 2 SC in 1st st, SC in next 12 sts, 2 SC in last st, Ch 1, turn. (16)

Row 8: 2 SC in 1st st, SC in next 14 sts, 2 SC in last st, Ch 1, turn. (18)

Row 9: 2 SC in 1st st, SC in next 16 sts, 2 SC in last st, Ch 1, turn. (20)

Row 10-24: SC in each st across, ch 1, turn. (20)
If you need to make less rows if your feet are smaller or more rows to make it longer, you can continue until you are satisfied with the length, then go onto the instructions for dividing the leg opening.

Divide for Leg Opening:
Right Side:
Row 1: SC in 1st 8 sts, Ch 1, turn. (8)
Row 2-12: SC across, ch 1, turn. (8)
Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Left Side:
Row 1: Sk 4 sts on Row 24 of foot, SC in remaining 8 sts, Ch 1, turn. (8)
Row 2-12: SC across, Ch 1, turn. (8)
Sl st to each st on right side (See video tutorial for visual instructions)
Fasten off with long tail for sewing.

Assembly Step:
Sew sole to top of foot piece, INSIDE OUT. (See video tutorial for visual instructions on how to sew these pieces together)
Weave in all ends.
Turn Right Side Out when you are done sewing the pieces together.

Ankle:
SC 35 sts evenly around ankle, Fasten off with long tail for sewing.

Assembly:
Sew Cuff to foot ankle part INSIDE OUT. See end of video tutorial for visual instructions.
Weave in all ends.
Make another one to complete the pair!

Enjoy!!

This post contains affiliate links, which I may be compensated for when you make a purchase. That means if you click on any link and buy from the linked websites, I will receive a small percentage of the value of your order. The amount you pay is not changed. Thank you for all your support in clicking the links in my blog!! You all are so amazing!! ~Nadia




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My New Blocking Station Product Review

My New Blocking Station Product Review

I’ve always wanted a blocking unit for my crochet pieces. For someone like me having a handy tool like this makes my work a little easier. Recently, I received The BlocksAll Station from Chetnanigans. Chetnanigans has an Etsy Shop and is definitely worth the look. Today, I had the opportunity to give this product a try. Here is my assessment of this fun tool.

If you are like me, you have practiced many tricks when you are blocking your items. My tried and true way is to spritz a little water on my finished piece, shape it and pin it down on a towel using stick pins or stack my squares on skewers stuck in a Styrofoam block. Then, I leave my piece to dry overnight and wake up the next day to my item blocked, hopefully in the correct form I want. For larger projects this is still the best way I have found to achieve a decent result. However, there are times when making granny square items such as my G.G. Cardigan, my New Beginnings Afghan Block, or we all remember my colossal project the 365 Days of Granny Squares, when blocking single squares become necessary for the best appearance of an overall project. Not everything crochets up as neat and tidy as we hope. That is when the BlocksAll is great option to achieve these results. I set out to give this a test run and was not disappointed!

First, when the item arrived and I opened it, I was very happy to see how well this was packaged. Included were the board, a stand, stainless steel pins, and instructions, all neatly packed and secure on arrival. Seeing it for the first time was thrilling! I always get that excited feeling when a new crochet or craft item arrives at my doorstep. I am like a little child when I see the delivery driver pull up! Once it was opened, I was eager to give it a try!

I decided to give it a test run blocking some squares that I am making for a baby blanket. I sprayed my squares lightly with a bit of water before placing each square on the block. Although I blocked individual squares, you can stack them on the pins and do multiples at the same time. I think approximately 3-5 squares would fit stacked up. There are 50 stainless steel pins included in this set and there are a series of holes on the block. This is important as the placement of the holes make it easy to block items in a variety of sizes! The pins do not rust so if your item is damp, there will be no risk of rust getting on your pieces. It was a bit tough to insert the pins on the first try, but being as this is brand new, I suspect this will become easier the more I use this item. By the same token, the pins were a bit tough to remove once I was finished blocking. Again, with repeated use, this should rectify.

 

The BlocksAll is very sturdy, durable, and it has some weight to it. The stand has rubber grips for anti-slip if you want to stand it up while blocking your pieces. This is a nice feature when you need to apply a bit of force to either push the pins in or pull them out. Otherwise, there is felt on the back side of the BlocksAll station if you wish to lay it on a flat surface to do your blocking. One detail to point out that many will appreciate as I do, is that the pins are NOT sharp. I can’t tell you how many times when blocking my crochet items the standard way that I jabbed a stick pin into my fingertip or thumb and drew blood! It gives new meaning to putting blood, sweat, and tears into a project and hopefully, having this new item will take those elements out of the equation! There is no risk of that happening while using the BlocksAll pins! Another observation, you will want to store the pins in a small case. Because of the amount of pins included in this set (50), it will be a good idea to have a storage container for these small but important parts.

 

Once my pieces were blocked overnight, they came out perfectly shaped for my project!! The size of this board allows for pieces up to 12 inches x 12 inches to be blocked easily. I was so happy with the results of each square and they look perfect with the clean straight edge achieved from using this handy device! I love the look and they stack up nicely in piles waiting for me to sew them together! This is exciting stuff!
I love this wonderful gizmo and working with the Chetnanigans crew was a pleasure! Be sure to check out their Etsy site and all the great items they have for knitters and crocheters!! These would make a great gift for any crafter on your list–including yourself!

Also, be sure to use coupon code YARN15 to get a 15% discount on your purchase!!!  The discount code is only available until November 19th, 2017 so place your orders soon!! That is an AWESOME deal! You won’t be disappointed! Now back to making more squares and playing with my new toy!

~Nadia

Follow Chetnanigans on Facebook here!!

Follow Chetnanigans on Instagram here!!

Follow Chetnanigans on Pinterest here!!

 

 


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Public Speaking for a Media Summit

Public Speaking for a Media Summit

On Sunday November 5th, 2017, I had the pleasure of participating in the 2017 Collegiate Media Summit hosted by Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. This summit highlights professionals across the media industry. I was invited to speak via Skype to the attendees on how I became a blogger and teacher on YouTube. Although quite nervous, I found it to be a very good experience and was thrilled to take part.

I’ve got friends in HIGH places

My friend, Dr. Dennis Frohlich, assistant professor in the Department of Mass Communications at Bloomsburg University, approached me some time ago to be a part of the summit. Some of you may remember if you followed my earlier blog posts that Dennis and I actually began blogging and video logging about inflammatory bowel diseases many years ago after meeting online. Early in my diagnosis, I started blogging and making videos discussing my journey through Crohn’s disease. During that same time, Dennis also started a channel on YouTube to talk about his journey through ulcerative colitis. We corresponded over our similar journey through illness. Together we decided to combine our channels and work together. In 2009 we began the United Colon Vlog. Our vlog (video log) provided education and awareness about inflammatory bowel diseases and it solidified a lifelong friendship.

The birth of YARNutopia

Those early days of vlogging helped lay the foundation for me to segue into starting YARNutopia. We decided to dissolve the UCVlog after five years of pioneering to bring a spotlight to IBD. Dennis was on to bigger and better things as he worked toward graduate school, eventually earning his doctorate. I continued to struggle significantly with my illness. After SIX attempts of trying college and having to withdraw for medical reasons, I resigned myself to the realization this won’t work out for me. During a particularly dark moment, my mom gave me a ball of yarn and a crochet hook and the rest is history. YARNutopia was born!

Exciting, but nothing goes off without a hitch

My appearance in this Media Summit was to discuss how I have made my career on YouTube. The summit was bringing professionals together who have made their careers through some media platform. It was such a privilege to be included among so many esteemed professionals. It is one of those surreal moments when you have to pinch yourself to tell if it is real life. How am I part of this?! It was pretty exciting!

Unfortunately, I woke up on Sunday morning with a terribly sore throat and was hoarse. The night before, I attended a family wedding, and I was already feeling under the weather. Adrenaline carried me through the wedding and subsequent party afterward, but everything came crashing down by Sunday. Three Ricola throat lozenges, honey laced tea, and a salt water gargle allowed me to have some semblance of a voice and would have to do as I addressed a room full of participants and students.

I prepared an outline for discussion with the help of my mom. As prepared as I felt, nerves started to settle in. Dennis prepped me ahead of time and in our preparations, he let me know that it will seem as though I am talking to him for the most part. Although there were students present, Dennis let me know he would guide the presentation and that put me a little bit at ease.

One Hour. A lot to cover

The presentation was approximately an hour long. In that time, we covered how I began my YouTube channel with my dad, how my mom and I handle all the creative design, blog, marketing, and social media, what it took to gain followers, and producing revenue through advertising and affiliates. We touched briefly on the highs and lows of being a blogger and YouTuber. I also offered tips and tricks on ways those looking to get into blogging or posting on YouTube can navigate the process. Soon the hour flew by and we opened a discussion up to questions and answers from the students.

Several questions were asked and it made me think on my toes. I am not the best at that, and I also had a bit of difficulty hearing the students. In retrospect, I could have been a little more prepared for that part of the presentation, but I was very satisfied with the outcome.

Closing thoughts

After the presentation was over, I felt pretty exhilarated. I did it! This was a great event to practice public speaking and a wonderful learning experience for me. I realized there is room for growth, and I definitely can make some improvements if I have the opportunity for more speaking engagements in the future. I learned several things in this seminar, and it also has me thinking of new avenues to explore for YARNutopia.


I want to say a special Thank You to my good friend Dr. Dennis Frohlich and all the students and attendees of this media summit. It was a fantastic experience. I appreciate the invitation and opportunity to talk about YARNutopia and for them to provide the platform to do so. It was truly wonderful!

~Nadia

This post contains affiliate links, which I may be compensated for when you make a purchase. That means if you click on any link and buy from the linked websites, I will receive a small percentage of the value of your order. The amount you pay is not changed. Thank you for all your support in clicking the links in my blog!! You all are so amazing!! ~Nadia

 

My dad will continue to be the videographer, editor, and photographer for our videos when I move away.
Support YARNutopia today so we can continue to bring you clear, quality crochet tutorials even after I move into my new home!
There will be an added expense of more travel and hopefully this won’t deter our ability to provide consistent videos on a weekly basis.

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