If you are a crocheter who frequents Facebook or YouTube, then you probably have heard of The Crochet Crowd. Started several years ago by Michael Sellick (who was later joined by his partner Dan Zondervan) as a little website that provided crochet tutorials, the Crowd has now grown two include two more team members, a very busy Facebook page, hundreds of YouTube videos, a partnership with Yarnspirations (and more), and a series of very popular crochet cruises.
Mikey and Dan are actually based in Southern Ontario, not too far from me, and have taken part in the Creativ Festival in Toronto many times. Somehow, though, I never got around to taking a class with them. I managed to remedy that just this past weekend when they taught a mandala crochet class at the Markham Guild of Craft.
We spent several hours discussing a brand new pattern Mikey had just finished creating, a pretty squared-circle mandala-inspired afghan square. (Yes, it will eventually be released, for free, once it goes through a little more testing and tweaking.) Dan shared some thoughts on mandalas and colour choices, and Mikey spoke a lot about crochet diagrams and why they are so handy to learn. (I’m a convert now, for sure!)
Mikey and Dan brought a whole pile of yarn with them, and we picked three balls to work with. Since I am boring, I decided to get three of the same colour–Bernat Mosaic in colourway Pink Poodle. (I love Bernat Mosaic, and I was super disappointed when it was discontinued.)
The pattern itself is not too hard, just a bit fiddly. There are front- and back-post crochet stitches, bobbles, and more. Once the circle is completed, it is squared off using a mixture of single, half, and double crochet stitches. The resulting square is very pretty and full of texture. Some of the ladies changed their colours nearly every round, and they we stunning. My square is a little more plain, but still attractive.
Mikey and Dan are a great team. The class was loads of fun, and they really know their stuff. Both were patient and happy to help anyone who was having trouble. They definitely deserve their popularity and good reputation, and if you love crochet, I recommend taking a class with them if you can. Even better, go on one of their cruises.