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...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Busy week

I got some cleaning finished before driving to Philly Monday to pick up daughter #1. She loves the poncho!
I took several projects along to in-laws for Thanksgiving.
I finished assembling the panels for the afghan, and added a round of sc for an edging.
I made some hotpads in #3 thread for MIL, green and white.
And started swatching with the Glittalic in blue. I started with size P Tunisian hook in alternating simple stitch and purl. Then started slipping an occaisional stitch to help the glittery parts show better, sometimes I substituted a simple for a purl, etc. Whatever seemed to show the ribbon and glitter best. I think it's going to look really great. Now I need to calculate how many more skeins I need to buy.
But today was cleaning up more crocheting stuff and vaccuuming. Tomorrow is lesson plans and preparing to teach and tutor on Wed. Then still more cleaning.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Orchid afghan

Yesterday I finished the 4rd and 4th strip, tonight I made the 5th strip and got a start on #6. Will be finished this weekend, then must finish sorting patterns and organizing yarn. Girls will be home for the holidays and would like their bedrooms fully functional and not as crochet storage.
Tonight I found some gorgeous new yarn, Paton's Glittalic. As it sounds, it's got glittery ribbon and metallic. I've got ideas, will buy 1 skein this weekend and start swatches for a stole/wrap/shawl item for Christmas.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Orchid Afghan progress

Monday evening, while watching tv, I made 1 strip for this afghan. Tuesday evening I finished another strip. Last night I decided to try a little variety, I finished the white center portion of 2 strips and started the orchid on one. Tonight I should be able to finish these 2 strips. This afghan will be finished in no time.
Customer loves the orchid color choice. She gives me a general, "I'd like several shades of blue", or "browns, tan, beige". I guess I should know by now that's she's always thrilled with the colors I select.

Recent reading

I've read through several great books lately.

The first is The Knitting Sutra: Craft as a Spiritual Practice by Susan Gordon Lydon. Crocheters, don't abandon this because of the word knitting in the title, so does include us in that subtitle. This book is small and easy reading. I took to reading one short chapter before I picked up the hook for a session of crocheting. It gave me a lot to think about as I worked in the quiet house. This book could easily be reread every few years, a chance to spend some time thinking about the journey you've been on since the last reading.

Next, Handmade Lace and Patterns, by Annette Feldman. This starts with the history of lace and lacemaking, including cultural and economic impacts on the business. Crochet seems to have come fairly late in the needle arts, but is well represented in this book. Included are pictures of various kinds of lace, examples of lace from museums around the world, and then patterns in crochet, hairpin, knitting and tatting. There's a beautiful crocheted pineapple square that I'd love to try. There are some beautiful knitted and tatted doilies as well.

McCall's Big Book of Country Needlecrafts: 150 Beautiful things for your Home to Quilt, Sew, Knit, Crochet, Embroider, Stencil, Paint, or Work in Wood. Okay, I didn't actually read this whole book. In this I looked at the pictures, used the index to find the crocheted items, and leisurely browsed. Some of my favorites - an afghan with a monogram worked in, Pineapples and Diamonds afghan, and the Baby Blocks afghan. The blocks are diamonds worked in 3 colors then the diamonds connected to form what looks like 3D cubes. This definitely says "Future Project". There is a gorgeous knitted bedspread called Swirling Stars, and a crocheted bedspread with hexagon motifs, called Water Lily. I think I will make just one motif!

Student's afghan progress

Well, student purchased a skein of yarn - Red Heart Super Saver in Sage Mary. She has made a nice swatch, approximately 8 inches square. She loves the color pattern and the stitch, but feels the yarn is not very soft. Oh, have we heard this so much on the cplist! I told her to finish off the end, and run the swatch through a regular washing and drying and see if she liked it any better. In the meantime, I've searched some catalogs and websites and found that this color is also available in TLC Essentials. I think this is a much softer yarn. But, I can't remember if it's available at any local stores in this color. She may need to purchase a skein in a different color and work up a new swatch. If she likes this better, then she could feel confident to purchase the Sage Mary online.
By the way, we meet at the library for our lessons, but often discuss projects and progress at lunch on the day we teach. We have interested another adult in learning some of the stitches we're working on. She has good skills in a lot of basic stitches and makes some baby afghans.

Monday, November 14, 2005

My student has selected her afghan pattern

Last week at our class, my student worked swatches of several more patterns and yarns. She made her final decision, She is going to make the Iowa Throw Afghan from Blue Ribbon Afghans from America's State Fairs. "Blue Ribbon Afghans at Amazon.com"
I taught her the front post double and back post double. She was going to go yarn shopping this weekend.

I don't agree with the reviewer who rates it expert only. Some of the patterns are easily accomplished even by a beginner, but it is not a "learn to crochet" book. In order words, they don't tell you how to make a single crochet or double crochet, but may have a pattern that is made only with these simple stitches. If you had a beginner's book to learn the stitches, or a beginner's knowledge of crochet, you could make many of the afghans in this book.

I went yarn shopping also. I bought the yarn for the afghan I'm making for a customer. I went with the idea of white, lavender and amethyst, but other yarn talked me into buying it instead. It's white, orchid, and dark orchid.

New Sonshapes Hook

I got my latest eBay purchases today. I bought another Sonshapes hook! This is a size N, and the wood is several shapes of tan and brown, and a blue-green, much brighter than shows here. The colors remind me of a wood duck. It has silver trim and silvery-grey beads. Super smooth, wish you could all see it and work with it!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Great site for patterns

Love this site. I spent hours looking at all the gorgeous items. I bought an afghan pattern. It's a granny square with groups of puff stitches in pastel colors, looks like puffy flowers in the center of the square. I don't usually do granny squares, and don't like scrap afghans. Let's keep the colors down to 2 or 3 please. So, I was surprised by how much I liked this afghan. I'm thinking of bordering those pastels with white instead of black and making a baby afghan.
"afghan pattern"
I was greatly tempted by this holly afghan, too. This could be worked in Tunisian.
"Festive Hollies Afghan" I decided against it because it came in kit only, and for this I'd want the pattern only. If I decided to make it in Tunisian, I might need more yarn than is included in a kit.

While on this site, I also decided what ornament to make for Christmas this year.
It started when we were first married, homemade ornaments on the tree because we couldn't afford to buy stuff. But I've always been a big crafter, and every year I made new ornaments. When daughter #1 arrived, I made some Baby's First Christmas ornaments, and several family members thought of that for gifts, too. So, I decided that each year I would craft a new ornamnet. Each child would have their own box with their personal ornaments. When the kids were old enough, they would get their box and hang their ornaments on the tree. By the time they were old enough to head out on their own, they should have enough ornaments to decorate a new in their new home.
My Sister-in-law worked at a craft store for years, her job was to make up samples from kits, or items in the store for display. So for many years, we got a new ornament from her. A cradle with Baby's First Christmas, 1983; needleworked poinsettia on a fabric ball;..An aunt worked at a nursing home, each year they had a Christmas bazaar to raise money. She started making ornaments, and her hubby started making some from wood. A cut out State of Maryland, "Not a Creature was stirring" this is my husband's favorite, it's a mousetrap with a little sleeping mouse, the spring-thing is holding his blanket on; a skier made from a pinecone; a sled made from popsicle sticks;... A crafting friend from NJ made one of my favorites, it's a miniature knitted sweater, with a tiny ball of yarn and knitting needles made from toothpicks. I should try to make a similar one in crochet.
My ornaments are varied, fabric, beads, wood, eggshells, and of course, crochet. Snowflakes; ice skates crocheted onto a paperclip for the blades; A Santa face, I think it's the one in Jean Leinhauser's 101 Crochet Squares; poinsettia flower; holly leaves and berries; Santa hats & boots'...
So, this year I have selected a snowflake with a poinsettia flower in the center. I bought the kit from Maggie's Crochet "Poinsettia snowflake"

Monday, November 07, 2005

Project finished

Last night I finished my Christmas gift project. It is beautiful! Wish I could tell you more.
Busy this morning checking out several new sites, patterns, yarns, etc.
These little purses are too cute "Kids Handbugs"

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Australian site you should check out

This link was sent to cplist. Love it, people are always sending links to beautiful yarns, patterns, hooks,....
This site has some gorgeous fibers "Ozeyarn"
I like the Mohair Shawl Coat, "Mohair Shawl Coat" Someone tall & thin like daughter #1 would look good in this. I'm afraid that I might look like a moving couch with afghan.
I am tempted by the beautiful Heiloom Breeze, cotton/wool/lycra blend. medium blue, green, light purple, aqua,...So tempted. But is that 30% wool going to be a problem?
Maybe a local yarn shop would get a sample and I could try a swatch. Oh look! A free sample card, go for it!
Check out the Crochet Tips - no actual tips given, they link you to excellent crochet sites. Learn to crochet, Top 5 books for Beginners, free patterns, a great chart with hook sizes,...

"hook size chart"

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Paperwork & new project

Today I spent a little time organizing swatches. I keep 2 large binders of stitches and stitch patterns, 1 for classic crochet and 1 for Tunisian.
I was getting unlabeled swatches piling up, so I taped each swatch to a page, labeled it with stitch name, yarn type, hook size, book the stitch pattern is in, multiples, and anything else that might be helpful if I decide to use that stitch in a project. Several of the pages are labeled as an idea for an afghan.
Some of the stitch patterns are Wave stitch, I did this is regular and Tunisian; Tunisian Shells and Columns; and Tunisian Diamond & Shell, I think this pattern is also known as Catherine Wheels. Unfortunately, I have several that have waited too long, I can't remember all the important information. I will have to search to find the source of a stitch pattern I've labeled as Popcorn and Fan, "great idea for an afghan panel" with no further information.

I also started stitching a new project. Won't say much, it's a Christmas gift! But, it is Tunisian, my design, and it's working up beautifully!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Hooks, yarn and swatches

Here are some of the wooden hooks that I've purchased. I've swatched some interesting stitches in colorful yarns. The picture was taken by Angeltouch Photography.

Pictures Added

I'm adding pictures to the blog. These pictures were taken by a professional photography, she's also a dance teacher, and the owner of the dance studio where my daughter dances. I work part time for her.
The business name is Angeltouch Photography and she's located in south central PA. She comes with her own professional makeup artist. She did my younger daughter's senior pictures, and they are great.

Here is the picture of the baby dress and booties in fingering yarn. This is the dress that has the front post and back post half doubles that creates a beautiful smocked look. To know more, check out my post of Aug 10.

Crochet time

I finally have some crochet time. The woman that I'm giving private lessons to decided that she is ready to work on a project, and decided that she'd like to make a baby afghan. Yesterday I spent some time sorting through patterns looking for things that she might like and that I thought she could do. Then we had our lesson, she selected a pattern and we started swatches.
The pattern involved switching colors after one row or after three rows, so the yarn couldn't be carried up the side. She decided that she didn't like that, so I taught her how to do a Granny Square. She decided that she prefers to work in a single color, and to work in rows. So, we spent more time looking at and discussing patterns and I gave her a stack of loose patterns and books to take home.
Today, I'm catching up on reading my Crochet Partners digests, looking at patterns on the web, and swatching while at the computer!