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...

Friday, September 30, 2005

Hats & hooks

I dropped three more hats off this morning. That's 9 for the church group, and 1 for a cousin. Now, I'm going to take a break from the hats and get back to what's on the hooks. Think I'll start with a few rows of the diamond trellis, then start the daisy hexagons for the afghan. That means that soon I'll have to go to the craft store for the bulk of the afghan yarn. I purchased 1 skein of about 5 colors to swatch and make the final decision on the colors, I have enough to do the hexagons.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

More Hats

I've finished 3 more hats. Made 2 in Red Heart Soft pink, one with multi-colored Fun Fur, one with pale pink. Plan to make several more hats tonight while watching tv. Then I should find time to work a little on the shawl I started at the last meeting, it's Homespun Water color.
Need to find some time to work on the thread project, diamond trellis. And also get started on the next afghan.
Keep those hooks flying!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Soft hats

Last week at the Shawl Ministry get together we were asked if we'd like to expand our work again. We started with simple shawls, then were asked if we'd like to make a white shawl for each baby that's baptized at the church. Now we've been asked if we could crochet some soft hats for people undergoing chemotherapy. Several people said yes, if they had the pattern. But, there was no pattern, only a sample hat. So, I said I could write up the pattern. I counted stitches & rows & scribbled down a quick pattern. Over the weekend I went to several stores trying to find a soft yarn similar to the sample. I brought home a skein of Red Heart Soft. Red Heart put out a soft yarn a few years ago, this is new,...much softer! I also selected a skein of Lion brand Microspun. This is also very soft. The Microspun tends to split a little more, but both work up very nicely. I made one hat in Red Heart baby blue with one row of Fun Fur - blue, pink, purple. Then one in Microspun cream with a Fun Fur of blue, cream and brown. I wrote up the pattern and sent it out to the rest of the group. Tonight I made 2 more blue hats. The last one I was going to run out of blue before finishing, so I put in a row of cream alternating front post doubles and half doubles; then a row of blue dc; then another row of the cream in pattern; then a blue dc, ch 1, skip 1 pattern. I finished with the cream making little shells of single, half double, double, half double, single. Very cute.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Afghan, swatching, color choices

Last night and tonight I've been playing around with swatching some colors and stitches for a new afghan project. It "bugs" me that the variegated yarn is so much thinner than the solid colors of the same brand of yarn. I'll have to try holding 2 strands of it together, but think the colors might "muddle" a little more than I'd like. I tried holding a strand of soft white with the variegated, and love how it muted the colors, but it is a little too thick. I wonder if I can find this soft white in a sport weight?
So far I have daisies in cornmeal and soft white, with ripples of soft white, buff, warm brown and aspen print variegated.

The Fair!!

Today, I went to the fair to look at the needlework (and to see how I did!). There were less than 2 dozen afghans, but most other categories had even less than that.

Doilies - 2nd, and 3rd
Polish Star potholder - 2nd
Tunisian pillow - 2nd
Sweater - 1st
Baby dress - 1st

I made a pair of booties to match the baby dress, and couldn't find a place to enter them. There was a sweater, hat and booties category. Anyway, when I dropped things off I asked for them to be displayed with the dress, which they did. And today I found booties with placement ribbons. So I went back through the many pages of Department, Section, Class and found them under Socks, Slippers & Booties. Ah, well, I know for next year.

I entered 8 items in the fair this year. Last year I had plenty of projects around and I just had to gather them up. This year most of my crocheting was sale items, or for classes, and had very little ready to go to the fair. So I found myself in the last few weeks trying to complete items for the fair, while starting back teaching and working. So today it came to me that I could plan on making 1 item per month, and by next September I'd have plenty of things all ready for the fair!
I should start this week, because I'd like to enter some things in the State Farm Show again this January.

Great experience!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Purple Afghan & other items for the Fair

Last night I finished the purple afghan. It turned out beautiful, and very soft.
Then I started on a Tunisian pillow top. It is hunter green and soft white, made with yarn left over from the afghan. I used the brick stitch from the 52 Tunisian Stitches book. One side of the pillow has the green as the A yarn, and the other side uses the white as the A. Same, but different. I finished the pillow top this evening, then packed everything into a tub & loaded it into the van. I got everything checked in at the fair about 7:30. It took over an hour to drive to the fair, remember that next time.

I ended up entering 8 items. Had registered 11, but got an order for an afghan and decided a money making opportunity for a return customer had priority over finishing everything. Items entered: the purple afghan, mint Must Have Blouse from 24-hour Crocher Projects, lilac baby dress and booties from Sunday's Best for Baby, blue & white Polish Star potholder, green pineapple doily, aqua spiderweb doily, yellow Tunisian scarf, and the Tunisian pillow.

Anyway, the fair opens Sunday morning, and I'm planning to go then. Hubby is camping, daughter #1 will be working at the Renaissance Faire, daughter #2 is at college. The day is mine!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

A short update on the Fair

The afghan is almost finished, I have about 10 rows to go, then the border. I was hoping to make a baby sweater, hat and bootie set tomorrow, but not sure that I'll have time to make the complete set. Items have to be at the fair ground Friday afternoon or evening.
Back to the yarn and hook!

Martha Stewart Poncho

Well, I have managed to go quite a long time without mention of the famous poncho, but it's brought crochet into the national limelight again. Martha left prison in a beautiful crocheted poncho that a fellow inmate had made. Crocheters everywhere were excited and talked about the poncho, shared newspaper photos, and searched and begged for the pattern. Several yarn companies offered versions of the poncho. "Lion Brand yarn"
"Bernat yarn"
"Interweave Press pattern designed by Lily Chin"

Here's a news article from March about Matha's "Coming Home" poncho "The Early Show"
Well Martha has a new television program and yesterday (Sept. 13th) she had an audience full of people who have made a version of the poncho. Lily Chin was a guest, showing off her super fast crocheting skills.
Don't want to crochet the poncho yourself? The Martha Stewart online store has completed ponchos for sale, with profits going to various charities and organizations that benefit women and families. "Martha Stewart store"

For a long time the original crocheter's identity was not released, but I see that she's now getting credit for her lovely work. Martha Stewart's company, Interweave Press, and Lion Brand all made donations to the prison in honor of the poncho maker!

Crochet is hot right now! And as always, crochet is really cool!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Blog with stunning work

Look at this beautiful purse done in Irish crochet with beads. "Irish crochet purse"

Then take a peek at these change purses. Fabulous work, the patterns are free. "change purses"

Kudos & High 5's to the designer, and the stitcher!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Exploring new software

One of the links I checked out today was for design software using symbols. Check it out here "Symbol Crochet software" I filled out a short survey about my crochet, and experience with computers, then downloaded the program. I am going to play around with the program this afternoon. I'd like to create a motif with a daisy-type center, then becoming a hexagon. I can do it with yarn and hook, and then I'm good at writing that into a pattern, but putting it into symbols, not my expertise. So let's see what I can learn about symbol crochet, computer software, and creating patterns.

If you're interested in learning more about symbols, here are some websites for you to explore:
"Daphne's Crochet Tutorial"
"Granny's Garrett symbol crochet"
"crochet symbols at Haas Design"

or check out some books and magazines that include symbols:
Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet
Crocheting in Plain English; Maggie Righetti
101 Crochet Stitches with international crochet symbols; Jean Leinhauser
Encyclopedia of 300 Crochet Patterns, Stitches, and Designs; Doris M. Smith
Crocheting for Dummies; Karen Manthey, and Susan Brittain
Crochet Your Way; Gloria Tracy and Susan Levin
The Harmoney Guides: 300 Crochet Stitches (Volume 6)
220 More Stitches (Volume 7)
Magic Crochet
Crochet Fantasy

Catching Up

Yes, I did miss almost a week of posting. This is the first week of school. I had to take some time to organize papers, files, grade book, etc. I taught math on Tuesday, then worked at the dance studio in the evening. On Wednesday I had a tutoring session, that worked at the dance studio. Yesterday I caught up on my email, which included a lot of digests from cplist, CGOA membership, Herrshners; and of course, everyone had great links to share. In the afternoon and evening I worked on the "It's all about the Purple" afghan. It's approximately 2/3 finished. I have another order for an afghan, I think this will be another original design.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Diamond Shell Trellis Stitch

Well, I moved from the #10 thread and #7 hook up to a baby yarn and C hook. It helped a little with working the stitch, but this yarn was really stretchy. Keep that in mind for other projects, Lion Jaime baby. So, I moved all the way up to worsted weight and a G hook. After about 7 rows I had the pattern in my head and hands pretty well, so I went back to the thread. Part of the difficulty I think, is that the pattern is written slightly differernt from what I consider "standard" crochet language. I had to keep reading, looking at the picture and stitching, and reading. Finally, I went to the international symbols. Now, why didn't I go to the symbols earlier, you ask? Because I'm not a visual learner, I'm a word person. I definitely learn better by reading than by pictures. But I went back and forth from the written directions, the picture, the symbols and what was on my hook, and finally got it! I've finished about 14 rows, which is about 2 and a half repeats of the diamonds. Looks fantastic.

I've spent several hours today organizing piles of crochet papers. I had stacks of free patterns from various websites, patterns purchased from eBay, stitches that I wanted to try, swatches to go into my personal swatch portfolio, ideas to be worked into designs. I plan to put everything into page protectors and then into 3 ring binders divided by "subject". But things have been piling up waiting for that kind of time and attention, so I started filing them into manilla folders with penciled labels. When I have more time I will work into getting them further filed. But for now, I can find things when I want them.

In the organizing process, I found that I had printed some patterns off the internet two or three times. Seems to me that those should get some priority next time I'm looking for something to play around with.

I also started a new spread sheet with afghan patterns that I want to do. I put info on where to find the pattern, how many colors and how much yarn is required. When I pull something out of the stash and say "What kind I make with what I've got of this?" I'll have another resource. As much fun as I have looking at afghan patterns, I can't spend my life doing that, I need time to actually crochet, also.