Jane's Hooked on Crochet

A place to write about my crocheting, things I'm learning, book reviews, ideas, projects in mind, works in progress, patterns, photos, fair entries, whatever...

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Practicing new stitches

Tonight I've been working on some new stitches from the Harmony Guides 300 Crochet Stitches, Volume 6. I love the Diamond Shell Trellis stitch. I started working in #10 thread because I thought it would make a nice table runner. However, I decided it might be easier to learn the stitch with a bigger hook and yarn, and when I've gotten it down I can move to the thread. Of course that gave me ideas for more projects!

I also received the latest issue of Talking Crochet with Carol Alexander. There was a short article on the Fiber Arts Market in CA, with a lot of pictures from the fashion show. Wow! Lots of great crocheting. The CGOA spring conference will be in CA in April, and the National in King of Prussia in July. That's alread on my calendar and I've started saving my money and planning what classes I want to take!
Talking Crochet also had a short survey about crocheting, and when I finished they gave me a pattern as a thank you. It's a mini purse, very cute.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Original afghan finished

I finished the afghan I started earlier this week. It's hunter green and soft white, in panels worked from side to side, so no joining to do. It's rows of double, half double and clusters. I decided on a simple edging of 1 row of half double, then a row of reverse crochet on the long green edges only. No border on the top and bottom, which are the ends of the stripes. I love it!
Took a short break, then started on a pillow top in soft white. I'm using the Tunisian shells and columns. Possibly my favorite Tunisian stitch, followed by a honeycomb, then Tunisian knit. I'm thinking of finishing a Tunisian baby sweater I started to design some time ago, the bodice in knit stitch, with the skirt potion in a shell pattern. Would need to design a bonnet and booties to match. We'll see.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Web ring

Hey, that Crochet Blogs button is supposed to be on my sidebar and not in with the daily entries. I have read all kinds of things, and tried all kinds of things and can't get it into the sidebar. Oldest daughter said she'd look at it and see if she can help, otherwise I may have to pay a specialist. That might be daughter #2, who seems to be able to do anything with a computer!

Organizing the Fair paperwork

Yesterday I put my fair information into a spread sheet. Section, class, item name, description, premium, and whether it had been completed. I planned what I thought I could resonably finish in the available time. The filled out the entry form. I mailed it out today. I entered 11 items, have 6 of them completed.
Next I want to make a master list and tape to the lid of the storage tub I'm using to collect all the items that will be going to the Fair. So far the tub contains a pullover sweater, Tunisian scarf, baby dress and booties, Polish Star potholder, and 2 doilies.

I've been busy crocheting, and not writing.

Early this week I decided to take a break from the afghans and try my hand at a Polish Star potholder. I've never tried this technique and it looked interesting. I made a blue and white potholder from Sugar and Cream. I'll enter it in the Fair, Usful kitchen item. When you work the first couple of rows of this, you have areal mess! I wondered how it was all supposed to come together to make a potholder, but it finished up very nicely.
Take a peek at the pictures in this blog, she has a shot at about the half way point, and the finished item. "Polish Star potholder"

Back to the afghan - I still was not happy with the hearts on the Tunisian afghan. Had completely about 2/3 of the first panel, out of 4. It was moving very slowly, because I was working from 4 balls of yarn at the same time. Decided I really wasn't happy enought with the design to spending so much time on them right now. School starts in about ten days! And the Fair registration deadline is tomorrow, with the Fair in about 3 weeks. Then this afghan for a wedding gift about the same time! So I started a new pattern, my own design. It's working up extremely fast! Like a Mile a Minute pattern. Now have to decide on a border, and "to fringe or not to fringe" that is the question.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

It's Old, but New to Me

Here is something I was not familiar with, a machine that mimics crochet edgings.
It's long been said by crocheters that knitting could be done by machine or by hand, but crochet can only be done by hand. The machine doesn't actually crochet, but these edgings do resemble crochet edgings. Check them out.
"Merrow Crochet Shell machines"

Monday, August 22, 2005

Crochet instructions throughout History

Today I found a website where the author has collected "how to crochet" information from various sources prior to 1930. Very interesting information.
"Pre 1930 crochet stitch instructions"
I especially like the instruction to "throw" the thread over the hook.
Try comparing instruction on one particular stitch from all the different sources.
For example in the Handbook of Needlecraft, 1915 the description of a double crochet, sounds like what I use as a single crochet. But, don't forget that British and American instructions also have this discrepancy. What they call a short treble, with a note that it is sometimes called a half treble, is what we call a half double.
The Handbook of Needlecraft includes instructions for the roll stitch, also known as bullion.
The Emma Farmes Lingerie Book, 1907 includes instruction for Mile a Minute Lace. I thought Mile a Minute was a very new technique.
I don't know how anyone could have every learned the knot stitch from any of the directions!
This resource could be extremely helpful if you're working a on a project from a vintage book. It is also interesting on it's own.
Vintage - that reminds me, don't you hate it when someone refers to a pattern from the 60's or 70's as vintage! I think the 30's and 40's qualify as vintage, patterns from the 70's are hardly even old!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Afghans in Progress

The purple afghan is working up very fast, still surprised at how soft this mill-end yarn is! I'm about half-finished.
My friend selected a hunter green and off-white for the afghan, and I puchased about 15 skeins of yarn. I started with a Tunisian design with hearts, but wasn't happy with the way it was working. Could it be the size I hook with a worsted weight yarn? I could have been crocheting a chalkboard, it was that stiff. I then tried a post stitch pattern, then another Tunisian with "long stitch". I think that's the stitch I "created" for my baby layette, need to check back on that pattern. Anyway, the 2 colors created a tweedy effect, but wasn't totally happy with that. I went back to the hearts but upped the Tunisian hook to an L. Love those Easy Tunisian Hooks! The hearts are not very heart-shaped. Is there a way to crochet a really nice heart?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Copying published patterns - It's a Baaad Move

I like Dee's idea, we need to band together and remind everyone that it's not okay to make copies of copyrighted patterns and give them away to family, friends, and others in our online groups. That's baaad, it hurts the designers and publishers who make a living in the field of crochet. If we cut their profits too much, they're going to stop creating new designs, and then we're the losers. Support your Local Crochet Designers and Publishers.

Flexible planning

In order to organize my plans for the County Fair, I put everything onto an Excel spreadsheet. I have columns for department, section, class, item, description, premium, and whether it's completed. I was originally thinking about possibly 20 entries, but will have to cut back. I have finished 2 doilies, a scarf, and the baby dress. Evidently there is no place to enter the matching booties, but I will take them along and see if they will display them together. I could enter a baby sweater with bonnet and booties, but probably won't have time to do that now.

On Friday I was asked (by a frequent customer) to make an afghan for a September wedding. Since I start teaching again in the beginning of Sept. and need time to plan lessons and syllabus for 4 classes, I just have to cut back on items for the Fair.

I went to the stash-enhancing store yesterday. Red Heart Super Savers (8 oz) were on sale for $1.59. The plan was to purchase RH in amethyst for the "It's all about the Purple" afghan to be raffled off at the dance studio. I also wanted to purchase some Bernat Softee Baby in white for a baby afghan. The pattern is in a new booklet that I purchased (like I needed to buy more afghan patterns!), "Love Me Tender Baby Afghans". The afghan is made of hexagon shaped motifs with 6 hearts in each hexagon. I really like different geometric shapes, something besides the usual squares. Remember, I teach math. Anyway, the plan was to make the baby afghan for the County Fair, and after the Fair is over, to take the afghan to the Shawl Ministry at the church. The store had every color of Softee Baby except white.

Next, they also didn't have any RH in amethyst. The best laid plans.... So, what do they have? What can I work into my ideas? In the mill-end assortment they had a beautiful purple put up in one pound skeins at $3.59, so I bought all 6 of the skeins. I now plan to use this for the afghan to be raffled, after entering it in the Fair! I am using a pattern form the Afghan Collector's Series from the Needlecraft Shop. I selected it because it includes front post and back post doubles, more of a challenge than a ripple or granny square. But the pattern is working up much faster than I was expecting, I finished 15 rows this evening. The yarn is very soft, I'll keep my eyes open for what else they might have in mill-ends.

Baby Booties

I finished the booties, I sewed a single rose on to the front of each. Soooo cute!
As of now, I'm not planning to make that matching hat/bonnet, or the fabulous matching coat. Project list continues to grow, and I can't get everything done before the Fair deadline.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Baby Dress for Fair

I finished the baby dress I was making for the County Fair entry. I chose a lilac fingering weight Bernat yarn. The bodice is worked in half doubles, with front post and back post hdcs. It creates a smocked look, absolutely gorgeous. The skirt is patterned with ch 1, skip 1, hdc; then next row has split hdc clusters with picots. There is 1/4" satin ribbon woven through the last row of the sleeves, I liked the look and decided to add a ribbon through the next-to-last row of the skirt, also. The pattern called for 6 roses embroidered on the bodice, but I thought it would detract from the smocked-look. I bought some ribbon that had white satin edging, pale green vines and leaves, then roses in lilac, pink and yellow. I cut off a single lilac rose with leaves, cut away the ribbon backing and sewed one to the center front of the bodice.
Today I finished one of the booties, and just started the second. They are beautiful! Tomorrow, bonnet. The pattern has a matching hat, it's not quite a mop hat. I don't particularly care for it, I'm thinking of attempting to make a traditional baby bonnet using the stitch pattern.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Catching Up

Well, I'm back from vacation. I was away from my computer and fast internet connection for more than a week. I visited my parents, saw both brothers and my sister, several neices and my only grand-niece. We had a lot of fun visiting, swimming in the pool, doing jigsaw and crossword puzzles, and playing games. My sister and I did some crocheting, and discussing projects. I'm hoping to work on some entries to this site tomorrow. That's after I work with my MathCounts students, and have a staff meeting (classes start in 4 weeks).