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...

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Happy Dances

Dee is dancing! Her journal has been selected as an Editor's Weekly Pick
"Editor's Weekly Pick"
Make sure you take the time to check out Dee's journal
Dee has a lot of information about crocheting, new yarns and other fibers, stories of her work and family, and it's always good reading.

I'm dancing a little, too. When I came home from the Conference I sent in an application to change my CGOA membership from a regular member to an Associate Professional. I was accepted! So I have been busy this week reading on the CGOA website and the Teach Crochet group. I also mailed my application for the CGOA Basic Stitches course. Hope to finish this in a reasonable amount of time this summer, and hopefully take the Craft Yarn Council Certified Instructor course.
"CYCA Certified Instructor"

Last night I finished the purple ripple afghan. The pattern called for a white border, but I used the amethyst, it's really purple. In the back of my mind, I'm starting to design the next afghan for the "It's all About the Purple Afghan" fund raiser at the dance studio. I think the first one I made and donated last year brought in about $350!
Now I really would love to finish the summer sweater I started, maybe I can alternate that project and the next baby shawl. Today I serviced a sewing machine for an acquaintance, tomorrow I should get mine set up and practice the embroidery for the baptism shawls.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I joined another on-line group

Okay, I think I'm addicted! I joined another on-line group, TeachCrochet. I'm now a member of CPlist, The Tunisian Crochet Group, Easy Tunisian Crochet, Elegant Crochet, Knit Crochet Mix and Teach Crochet.
Teach Crochet has some great information in their database already (it's a new group), including a list of recommended books, teaching tips, record keeping tips, and some info on what students are charged per class. Very helpful as I continue to persue more teaching opportunities.


A vendor at the Conference had coffee mugs with yarn/knitting related pictures. I bought one that said "Wouldn't it be great if all your prolems could be rolled up into a big ball of yarn?" It has a picture of a ball of yarn and a cat. They had other mugs with yarn and knitting needles, but no crochet themes. Why am I telling you this today?
Because CrochetwithDee "Dee's Journal" has made items with crochet themes and they're available at CafePress "CafePress CrochetwithDee"
I ordered a mug and a tote bag! Had 2 different mugs in the "cart", but sometimes we can't have everything we want, we have to make a choice!
My first mug is white with maroon picture, writing, handle and rim. I have my small collection of wooden hooks displayed in the mug. Two hooks are made of purpleheart, 1 with garnet and silver, the other has a purple bead with rose. They look really great with this mug.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Off the hooks

Last night I finished the baby shawl. I made it with TLC Amore (there's an accent mark over that e). I add a simple border of 3 dc shell, skip a stitch, 3 dc shell, with 5 dc on each corner. Took pictures today, roll of film is almost finished, so I should be adding more pictures soon.
I spent today sorting pages of Tunisian stitches, tips, patterns, etc to organize into 3 ring binders. I had piles of papers everywhere, I think I was started to print out patterns that I had printed out already! Of course, this requires a lot of time, and creates a long list of "Oh, I want to do this next"

Sunday, April 24, 2005

On the Hooks and Off the Hooks

On the Hooks - I am almost finished with the purple ripple. I've neglected this a little, I could have had it finished long ago. I am putting the ruffles on the baby afghan - this is a forever project - Terry Kimbrough likes a basic simple afghan body, then an elaborate, complicated, Victorian border. I have also started on a baby shawl for the shawl ministry. This is done on a Tunisian hook with the Shells and Columns stitch. The group has decided to give a white shawl to every baby baptized at the church. Someone suggested embroidering the baby's name and date of birth on white satin ribbon. I seem to be the only one in the group with a machine that has that capability. It won't take much time once I've practice a little. I've done it once for a Terry Kimbrough afghan I did for a customer. It probably means I'd like to have my machine set up in a semi-permanent place.

Off the Hook - oops, looks like I haven't finished anything new.


Yesterday, I received my Encyclopedia of Crochet by Donna Kooler. Since I went out to the Ballet with some people from the dance studio, I just got a chance to flip through this book. First there is an introduction and history of crochet, then the book is separated into 3 sections - Basics, with patterns; Beyond the basics, patterns; and a Pattern Gallery; last an FYI section. On the inside front cover is a list of abbreviations, and on the inside back cover, chart symbols - including Tunisian!
Someone on the Easy Tunisian list was looking for instructions to make bobbles, so I first flipped to a pattern named Baby Bobbles. It is beautiful, and the designer is Melissa Leapman. Still flipping I found more patterns by Melissa, and patterns by Kathleen Power Johnson. I had classes with both these designers at the CGOA Conference.
The introduction sections has photos of antique hooks, and pieces of crochet lace. There are charts of hook sizes, yarn label symbols, weights of yarn,etc. The book is jammed full of information and pictures. And the pictures are fabulous! This is not a thumbnail of a stitch in black and white, but a full sized color photo so you can see all the details. Stitch instuctions are fully detailed, both right and left handed, and have an abundance of pictures.
The Pattern Gallery has individual stitch and stitch patterns. Each entry has a nice color picture, instructions in symbols and in words.
I have picked out several stitches that I have to try, afghan ideas!
I have been crocheting for over 40 years, had a supply of crocheting books, and this is sill a must-have!
Read editorial review and customers' reviews at Amazon "Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet"

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

New Books

Still watching the store closing sale at Ben Franklin,
All the Red Heart worsted weight and all the baby yarns are gone, they still have a lot of high priced novelty yarns, at 40% off. Nothing that I just have to have.
All books are 50% off, so I picked up two patterns books.
LA Seasons of Love Sweaters for the Family by Melissa Leapman and
LA Top This! Tops and accessories also by Melissa Leapman.
BTW I took a class with Melissa at the Conference, Color Play. Great class!
I also bought some books on Amazon.com. Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet, usually $25, I got it for $11.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Another Shawl Completed

Well, I decided to add the orange/brown funky yarn to the Homespun shawl. It looks really great, and it's definitely a one of a kind. My own Tunisian design with Homespun and this yarn. It has a thin thread with oval shapes, they look like seed pods. Colors - off white, tan, brown, orange. I finished the shawl on Sunday, in time to take it to the group get-together Monday evening.
I'll take a picture, then post it here.
I started on a baby blanket (friend's request) with the DK weight yarn I bought at the conference. It is white with blue and has a little shimmer. I swatched about a dozen stitch patterns before I selected the present design. Started with a mitered square, since I learned it in a conference class. Then swatched a double in Tunisian. I liked both, but wasn't sure they showed the yarn in it's best light. Then tried some other crochet stitches, finally decided on a shell pattern from Terry Kimbrough book. The body of the afghan and a top ruffle will be done with the white/ blue, then there is an under-ruffle I'll do in blue. It has a mesh before the 2 ruffles to weave in a satin ribbon.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Knitters' Dream

Yesterday I checked out a new yarn store in the Harrisburg area, Knitters' Dream.
Check out their website, if you're not in the area. "Knitters' Dream" It is in the former family room of a home, very cozy. However, it is well laid out and organized. I was amazed at the great assortment of traditional yarns, hand-dyed yarns, and new novelty yarns. And a great supply of knitting patterns, hooks, and other equipment. There was a small amount of crochet hooks, books, and even some Tunisian hooks. The nice part was the owner was friendly and discussed crochet, hooks, equipment and yarns positively with this crocheter.
I bought a pair of black purse handles for my next crocheted purse. I love the first so much and I'm thinking about using the same pattern, just adding a black satin ribbon to the worsted. But I've also been looking at other patterns. I found several I really like at the Coats and Clark website.
"the black purse"
"Basketweave purse"

I also bought a quilted knitting needle case for my Tunisian and double-ended afghan hooks. When I inquired if she thought the Tunisian hooks would fit in the knitting cases, she went upstairs and brought down her case. Since the Easy Tunisian hooks were on the same display as the knitting cases, I was able to hold them up to the case to see for myself. Last night I put 6 of my Easy Tunisian hooks into the case, leaving spaces for the 2 that are in projects. I also had room to add 2 afghan hooks, and 2 double-ended hooks, and have spaces left. Still not sure that I want to add my thin wooden afghan hook to this case. I put it and my two wooden crochet hooks into the mug I bought at the Conference.

Last, I bought a ball of orange/brown funky yarn. I thought I might add its texture to the Homespun I'm using for a shawl, but don't think I like the shades together. The Homespun itself is making beautiful stripes of brown, orange, rust shades.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Vermont Woodwork hook Posted by Hello

Vermont Woodwork hook

The mailman delivered my latest wooden hook purchased on eBay. It is made by Vermont Woodwork. I love the beadwork and carving, but I don't like the overall hook as much as I like the Sonshapes. On the Sonshapes hook the barrel is the same size to the end, on the Vermont, the non-working end of the hook is about 4 times bigger than the working barrel. The hook is also about 2 -3 inches longer than the Sonshapes, the length and diameter make the hook heavy at the end, not as well balanced. I will probably keep this as a collectible, and not actually work with it. The Sonshapes and the small wooden afghan hook will probably be used occasionally, just to enjoy the feel of the wood. Wood and fiber, how satisfying!

4 Days of no crocheting

4 days of no crocheting, I never would have believed that I could do that. Several times I've started to reach for the hook and one of the WIP, but decided to let the shoulder heal a little more.
Yesterday I spent more time with the Needlework book, read about patchwork and quilting. I was not very interested.
I also spent time on line looking at the website for a local yarn store (LYS). I was told about the store by a mom at the dance studio. Went out in the evening to spend some time checking it out, but ran into a heavy rain, and decided I wouldn't have enough time to really enjoy myself. Went to Michaels instead and bought some Homespun and Lion Soft Baby for shawls. Shawl ministry meets on Monday, but I doubt that I'll have either completed by then. Picked up the Homespun and Tunisian hooks last night and worked the first 4 rows, but was not comfortable, then was in pain all night. Need to spend more time organizing, searching websites, and getting design paperwork ready to be submitted.
I'm heading out to that yarn store this afternoon!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I've crocheted myself into a medical condition. I have tendonitis in my right shoulder. I am trying very hard not to do any crocheting, and give the shoulder a time to heal. Problem is, I have all those ideas from the conference.
In my usual crochet time, I am looking at patterns on the web and at crochet books. From the library yesterday, I borrowed Woman's Day Book of American Needlework. This was written by Rose Wilder Lane, the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder of the Little House on the Prairie books. The book's subtitle is A Comprehensive History, from Colonial Times to the Present with 140 Full-Color Illustrations and 50 Black-and-White Drawings, plus Step-by-Step instructions for every type of Traditional American Needlework with Hundreds of Graphs, Diagrams and Charts. That's a mouthful.
The book reads a little like a history book with a totally different point of view. No lists of wars, battles, dates and generals, etc. But American History told through the point of view of women transported from the "Old World" to a "New World". Chapters include Embroidery, Crewel, Cross-stitch, Needlepoint, Patchwork, Applique, Quilting, Hooking, Crochet, Knitting, Weaving, Candlewicking and Rugmaking. Of course, I read the crochet chapter first, but the writing is so engaging that I started from the beginning and I'm enjoying the entire book. Rose Wilder Lane has such a love for needlework, and I appreciate her view of crochet as America's real lace. "Someday collectors will value American laces as now they value the laces of fifteenth-century Italy, and they will say: "The revolutionary spirit of the New World is in this lace. It follows no tradition; it is true only to eternal principles of mathematics and art. Each piece of it has its own individual character. Patterns are repeated, but the tension of the thread, the rhythm of the stitches, the effect of the whole, shows you the personality of the unknown maker.'"Of interest to me is that the afghan stitch is included in the how to crochet section, but only one example of the stitch is shown in the 200+ pages of the book, and that is in the chapter on needlepoint! There is a beautiful needlepoint of a dog, surrounded by a wreath of ivy, in the center of a carriage blanket made in afghan stitch crochet. Correction, the 5-Panel afghan shown in the crochet section has 3 panels worked in crochet with front post doubles, and 2 panels in a striped pattern with a variation of the afghan stitch.
The book was printed by Simon & Schuster in 1961, 62, and 63. It would be a great addition to a needlework collection.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Another Wooden hook purchase

I came home last night to about 80 new emails. I haven't caught up yet, but had to read the most important ones first. I found out that I won 1 of the hooks I was bidding on at eBay. It is a size H, made in purpleheart wood with a purple glass bead on the top. The bead has a pinkish rose on it. I will add a picture of the hook soon, probably after tomorrow's busy day of teaching, followed by tutoring, followed by working in the office of the dance studio.

An interesting note about my last wooden hook. At the conference I was wearing my Tunisian crochet shawl, made in blue/brown Bernat Boucle and thought I needed a way to keep the shawl on, and still have 2 hands on crocheting, so I used my wooden hook as a "shawl pin", threading the hook between the double crochet stitches. Wow~!

CGOA Regional Conference

I'm home from the conference. Tired, behind in school work, but oh so happy!
I left Wednesday evening for King of Prussia, where I had a room at the Scanticon. The Scanticon hotel, the Radisson hotel and the Valley Forge Convention Center are connected and the CGOA conference and the KGOA (Knitting Guild) was spread from one end to the other.
A Fiber Arts Market was in the lower level of the Convention Center. Talk about a Drool and Pet session! Beautiful yarns, hooks, needles, handblown glass buttons, books, patterns, totes, yarn winders, everything you can think of relating to fiber arts.
Classes were held in conference rooms at each end of the two hotels. Sometimes you had a 10 minute (I'm tempted to say 10 mile)walk from one activity to the next. I attended six 3-hour classes and one 6-hour class - 24 hours of classes on crochet!!
Then there were Breakfast/Fashion Shows, lunches, evening Banquets, Meet the Designers, celebrity auctions, door prizes,...
If you have the opportunity, think seriously about attending. I've been crocheting for more than 40 years, and I still learned a lot of new stitches, new techniques, new tips and tricks, I made new friends, and even got two new nicknames (hope one doesn't stick. I'd be okay to be known as "The Tunisian Lady". But there are a lot of famous designers in Tunisian who should already have that title. I did talk about Tunisian every chance I got. Tunisian is often maligned by crocheters the same way crochet is maligned by knitters. We need to spread the word about the marvelous fabrics you can create with Tunisian.
Anyway, I will need to go into details at another time. I'm 4 1/2 days behind in "school work". I teach tomorrow and I used my lesson plan/grading papers time at the conference.