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Crocheters gather at online community

This will be the last Crafty Living column. After a three-year run, I’m giving up writing a twice-monthly column on crafting.

Since it’s my last column, I think it’s fitting that I return to my roots: crochet. I conducted an email interview with Amy Shelton and Donna Hulka who run Crochetville (www.crochetville.org) and the Crochetville blog (www.crochetville.com).

It was at Crochetville that I really came into my own as a crocheter and began exploring different techniques in crocheting.

Crochetville started out in 2004 when, disappointed in the lack of crochet blogs while knitting blogs were increasingly popular, a crocheter (and knitter) named Pam created the online forum as a way to connect crocheters, according to Hulka, who was handed the reins of the forum later that year. Hulka and Shelton began running the online forum together in 2006. Crochetville LLC was established in 2007, Shelton said.

“Our skills and strengths complement each other, and we share the same values, vision and passion for achieving Crochetville’s motto of discussing, encouraging and supporting crochet,” Shelton said.

The membership at Crochetville is 65,000 with 175,000 unique visitors per month. That’s from an initial start of 800 members in that first year.

Some changes of note made in recent years include offering independent crochet businesses the opportunity to advertise their businesses free on the forum; a partnership with Red Heart Yarns to be a retail vendor of their yarns at consumer trade shows around the country; an increasing social media presence, including a Facebook page; a digital pattern store; and most recently, the launch of the Crochetville blog.

If you crochet and are looking for a great resource, check out Crochetville. You’ll be among other crocheters, and many experts are available and ready to help you with any problems you run into with projects. Free patterns are offered. And, it’s a great community for getting to know others.

As for the Crafty Living blog, my cohort in crafting, Lara Neel, plans to keep the Math4Knitters podcasts going, but will no longer be offering free weekly knitting patterns. By the end of this year, there will be 151 free knitting patterns, plus the other patterns and instructions we’ve offered. They will remain available on the left side of the blog. The knitting patterns are also available on Ravelry ( www.ravelry.com), if you’re a member of that free site. And, who knows, we’re still crafters at heart, so there may be the occasional design made available.

Thanks for reading these last three years, it’s been fun.

Joyce McCartney is not a craft expert. She is, however, interested in crafting of all types. She shares her experiences and those of area crafters. To reach her, call 461-8364 or email craftyliving@jg.net. Also, read her blog at www.journalgazette.net/craftyliving. There, you will also find the weekly knitting podcast Math4Knitters.

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