Maggie's Essay Contest: Maggie's Crochet Website Meets My Needs

Although Maggie has selected the top three entries, we want you to nominate your favorite essays for the People’s Choice award. The recipient of the award will win a package of crochet books and yarn totaling over $100.

To vote, click on the blog article. At the bottom of the article you will see a “Facebook like” button. The entry with the most likes by February 14th, 2012 wins. NOTE: You must have a Facebook account to participate. You can vote for as many essays as you want, but the top three entries do not qualify for this portion of the contest.

Maggie’s Crochet Website Meets My Needs

By: Christine Janczuk

My mother taught me the basic crochet stitches when I was little, but I never got passed the practice stages when I lived at home. After I got married and was expecting, I was determined to make a Sacque set for my baby. My mother didn’t live nearby so I had to learn how to read a pattern by myself. My first pattern had a mistake, but I managed to figure it out. My mother was happily surprised when I told her I managed to complete a project by myself.  She immediately began sending me some of her favorite crochet patterns.

Most pattern books in the 70s were a mix of knit and crochet items with more knit than crochet. My mother and aunt used to get me subscriptions to the old Workbasket. The monthly Workbasket usually had only 1 or 2 crochet patterns. I showed a friend my collection of patterns and asked her to pick out something for me to crochet for her new baby. Like many novices, she didn’t know the difference between knit and crochet and she picked a knit pattern. The hooded blanket that she selected was an easy piece and, even though I was a beginner, I managed to convert the pattern to crochet. I was glad when magazines and books dedicated to crochet finally were available.

I had subscriptions to crochet magazines for many years, but it was always tedious flipping through a pile of magazine pages to find the right pattern whenever I started a new project. The magazines tried different ways to make pattern searching easier. One magazine added a table of contents that crossed multiple years/issues. It was helpful but if you couldn’t recognize the pattern by its name you were lost. One magazine added a color photo at the end of magazine that included all of the items in the issue. That was a step in the right direction, but you still had to pour over the stack of magazines until you found the right one.

I was glad when I found Maggie’s Crochet website. It met 2 of my needs.  Maggie specializes in crochet patterns and the online patterns are organized by category.  Searching for the right pattern now is a cinch. I love the daily newsletter and the free patterns. I bought a Maggie Weldon Reindeer Mini Kit back in 2000 and I have probably made 100s of reindeer since my first one. This year I’m making the reindeer head and adding a back piece. I’ll sew the 2 pieces together so they fit over a tootsie roll pop for a treat for some of the children (of all ages) on my Christmas list. Some of my old patterns are timeless but I love the newer designs.

I resurrected an old scarf pattern called the “Cat’s Paw”. Some of today’s popular patterns have the same general shape but the simplistic double crochet stitches of the old pattern were replaced by a more classic look using intricate pineapple and Victorian motifs. The simple hooded scarf has also made a comeback with more intricate and interesting stitch patterns. I made a few of the new ruffle style scarves and I’m anxious to make the new styles of cowls, infinity scarves and tube scarves for our Prayer Shawl group Christmas project.

Thanks for reading,

Hugs, Maggie

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