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...

Sunday, April 30, 2006

2 Days in a quiet house & progress

The hooks have been flying for 2 days. Yesterday I worked on lesson 4 of the Delta Star Jasmine doily. Then spent some time on a Tunisian shawl for the Shawl Ministry, more time on the doily, and then pulled out the baby sweater that had gotten set aside.
Today I finished the baby sweater. It's fabulous. It is a gift for my niece who's expecting #2 in June, it's a boy, so I used a baby blue acrylic yarn. I promise pictures soon. Without a digital camera, actual pictures take a little while. I love the doilies & swatches that I can put on the scanner and get pictures up here immediately! Anyway, the pattern was designed by Kay Jones and is available "here" It's pattern #99 Baby's V Neck and Round neck Jacket. The pattern is very well written, has no mistakes, is full of information - sizes in centimeters and inches, body length & sleeve length, abbreviations, stitch instructions, and has a clear, full color picture. Note the UK in the web address, this pattern is written in "European" crochet language. Instead of yo for yarn over, they use yrh for yarn 'round hook; Rtrf for Raised Treble Front instead of Frdc or FpDc for Front Post Double, etc. But, I had no trouble mentally adjusting the stitch names.

I'm pretty sure I bought pattern #94 Babies/Childs Tunisian stitch Jacket. Isn't that adorable! Hey, I should have purchased #58 while I was purchasing, that's sweet!
I did buy the Ladies Cardigan #118, no definite plans, just future project. After having finished this babies' sweater so quickly and easily, I think I'll search for the perfect yarn and move this on to the Definite To Do List. I'm thinking blue or sage. Need to sort through pattern books and select a pattern stitch to work up a summer top. I need a few self made (hopefully, self-designed, too) tops to wear during the convention.

Friday, April 28, 2006


Last night I finished the Tunisian scarf. I really love it, 23 year old daughter had good words for it, too. This yarn is so soft, and so light, this is no heavy winter keep-me-warm scarf. Definitely light, colorful and fashionable.
Today, I got to play with mathematics and crochet. Someone on one of the groups I belong to wrote that she had misread a pattern and created 5-sided motifs instead of 6-sided, how could she assembled them. So, I wrote a little about tessellations, and browsed through a great book Introduction to Tessellations by Dale Seymour and Jill Britton. Jean Leinhauser had a sugguestion for assembling 6 pentagons with triangle inserts, need to play around with that idea.
Tonight I started on the Delta Star Jasmine Doily in #10 thread. Just had to have something to work on while watching tv. It took me about 10 minutes working on the blossoms and corners blossoms to get that figured out again, but then I did the first 6 rows looking only at the chart.
I just finished scanning the chart for the next sections (rows 7-12), I cut the wording off and enlarged the chart so it's easier to read. So I have something to work on tomorrow. It's going to be pretty. Love this Delta!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Tunisian skinny scarf

I'm taking a short break from the Delta lessons to make a Tunisian skinny scarf. I'm using an interesting yarn I picked up from Michaels' clearance bin. The yarn is from Moda Dea, and called Cheri. It's a thin, black, fuzzy yarn that has a strand of chenille-type yarn in neon colors, blue, periwinkle, pink, yellow, green...
Pictures very soon.

Dee & I discuss the Delta crochet class

Dee has finished lesson 3 of the Delta crochet, also. She's posted a picture of the doily on her blog, please check it out. Dee's always writing about interesting yarns, classes, techniques, etc and always with a lot of humor. I love to read her journal.
Well, Dee mentioned that she had trouble with the pictures on the lessons and asked if I had similar problems. I posted a comment on her journal, but thought I'd add the info. here also. Just in case anyone's following the progress, or also taking the class.

I had great trouble figuring out those detail pictures. I kept fussing "I don't know where they want me to put this petal". The hardest was the "corner blossom".
Here's what I finally figured out, the entire series of detail pictures (below the full chart) is show from the point of view of the completed blossom. For the first 3 petals you are working on a row, the last 3 petals are worked on the following row. Instead of showing the first 3 from the direction you're working that row, it's shown from the direction it will be when finishing on the following row. That's why I made use of the colored highlighters. I colored the first petal blue on both charts (full & detail) then in blue, I wrote out the directions. Petal 2 I colored green, then wrote out the directions in green. Then I was able to work from the directions that I had written. That helped me to understand what I was seeing on the charts.
I think it might help, if there was a note between detail picture # 3 and 4 that you've turned your work.
The next 3 lessons are creating a full sized doily. I'm thinking of buying some nicer thread for that. Maybe a #20 Cebelia, now what color?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Delta Star coaster finished

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Progress on latest Delta project

Yesterday I started on lesson 3, the Star Coaster, making good progress today. I have about 1 round left, then blocking. I'm really enjoying learning this new technique, even when I talk to myself "corner blossom", "side blossom", "where does this petal go?" "corner, side, side, corner, I'm here". I love a challenge, and I really like the look. So far I've been working in #10 thread, an average brand. I'm thinking of getting some #20 in a high quality thread, maybe something with a little sheen.

Error in pictured ornament

Yesterday I noticed an error in the pink ornament, the Blossom ornament. I missed a ch4,tr just before slip stitching at the end of the last round. Part of yesterday's frogging included taking out a few stitches and correcting that error. I hope to scan & post the corrected ornament later.
Here it is -

Delta crochet tip

I'm not a visual learner, and was having difficulty reading the chart.
Thanks to an earlier fellow student for the idea of highlighters. I have a set of 50 colored pencils in my crochet bag, for design ideas. After printing out the lesson plan, I put the chart into my scanner & made a scan. I then enlarged it & printed it out. I brought this full page chart and colored pencils to where I was working. I memorized a small portion of the chart, say treble ch4 treble, then worked those stitches, then colored them in with the pencil. Then went to the next group of stitches. I used a different color for each round, which is extremely helpful when you get to the blossoms and the first half are worked in one round, and the other half are worked in the following round.
For the first 2 ornaments, I had to color every single stitch in every round. I'm now working on lesson 3 and find that I only have to color about the first 1/6 of each round, and I can follow the pattern for the rest of the round.


Spring is finally arriving in Central PA. I love this time of year, the colors of the trees and the flowers, the birds chirping and singing. I think my favorite spring sound is the spring peepers, the little frogs that are hatching out in the ponds and in the wetlands. There's a stretch of Boat House Road through Hershey that has a long stretch of wetlands, and the peepers are really loud. I love to roll down the window and listen as I drive home from work.
What does this have to do with crocheting? Well, during the last 2 days, I've done a lot of frogging. You know, when there's a error in your work and you have to pull or rip some of it out, rip it out, rip it,...
I'm working on the 3rd doily of a set from an antique pattern, written in English rather than American terminology, too. See entry of Feb. 10th for a picture of the small doily in blue. I made 2 more small ones in white. They have a circular center, then 8 shells around the center. The larger doily starts the same way, then the next round has 16 shells around the 8. Well, I got the 8 finished, and got to about the 3rd when I realized that something wasn't right, I wasn't going to get 16 around, so I pulled those 3 out. Started the shells again, and got the problem straightened out, got to about the 6th shell, and it's not going to fit where it should. Now, what's wrong? After checking the stitches in this row of shells, and recounting, I check back to the first round of shells, and there is a shell that has only 9 "fans" when it should have 10. Rip out again. About this time, my husband kids me about just starting over. Not such a bad idea, I start over. By this afternoon, I'd finished the center and put on 2 shells in the first round. I desperately needed to look at something else. My fingers were stiff from the thread work and could have used a break, maybe I should work with yarn and work on the afghan. But, no, I pick up the next lesson in the Delta crochet. After pulling out part of round 3 several times, I find the problem and things are starting to move along nicely. But think it's definitely time to put the hooks down and get some sleep. Maybe things will flow better tomorrow.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Check out Dee's blog today. She feels like a celebrity after being spotted by an Internet fan. Well Dee, you've made me feel like a celebrity after writing about my Delta crochet projects in your blog.
The Delta crochet ornaments and the coaster are from the first 2 lessons of the Star Jasmine Doily. That's right I'm only on lesson 2 and producing items that Dee is complimenting in her blog. Just wait till I finish lesson 6! This class was only $5, one of the best crochet investments I've made. Check out the other classes and patterns at "Delta Crochet"

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Seaweed & silk yarn

Thanks to a fellow CPer for the mention of this yarn. I googled and found some information. A yarn made of 30% seaweed, I guess similar to the bamboo fibers, it's supposed to have antibacterial and antimicrobial benefits, and give vitamins and minerals to the skin, yet mixed with 70% silk - soft texture, vibrant colors, wow! Some even have silver spun in with the seaweed and silk - oh, luxury!
Here are some blog enteries so you can read more about it, plus gorgeous color pictures. The first link also has a list of current retailers.
"Knitty Blog yarn reviews"
"Linda's Craftique"
If you're actually ready to buy some on line check here "Colorsong yarn"
"Gaspereau Valley Fibres"
or "Little Knits" The Periwinkle dye lot A is closest to my favorite colors, but look at the Straw!! Don't you think that crocheting a shawl out of that would feel like spinning straw into gold?
For the scientist or the science-curious, here's a little information on Textile World about the fiber CD=3089&ID=9629>"TextileWorld"
This site, selling clothing made of organic materials, has a nice page about organic fibers, such as bamboo, seaweed and papaya! "Ekyog Organic clothing"

Monday, April 10, 2006

Blossom coaster in Delta

The lesson calls this a coaster, I think it's a good size to call a doily. I'm quickly improving on reading the charts, and creating the little blossoms.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Delta crochet

I signed up for another online class, this is Delta Crochet's "Learn How to Delta Crochet: Star Jasmine Doily". It was only $5 for the class, which started on Saturday, April 1st. Since I was in Slippery Rock for the weekend, Honors Convocation for daughter #2, I didn't get started right away. Came home Sunday with lesson plans to finish, papers to grade for Tuesday, taught Tues. then a tutoring session, Wed. tutoring sesssion, then working at the dance studio, Thurs. luncheon with daughter #1 and friends, then knitting class. So, Friday I finally got started on lesson #1.
Delta crochet reminds me to Filet crochet, beautiful threadwork. Filet is done with double crochet stitches and is worked in squares, open and solid. Delta is done with treble crochets and is worked in triangles, open and solid. The lessons have some written directions, and nice charts. They recommend you work as much as possible from the charts. And if you have to use the written work for the first practice piece, make another and rely more on the chart. So I'm learning a lot about reading charts. Now, remember this is not my learning style. I'm not at all a visual, give me a book, language, written words! The beginning stitches and patterns were easy and I picked up on reading the charts without too much trouble. The lessons introduce stitches and have you make practice pieces, then you make a nice, small ornament using the stitches. I made the first Star Ornament with no trouble. Then I started on the little corner blossom motifs, I finally had to make an extra copy of the lesson. I took this page, pencil with eraser and a set of colored highlighters to the couch with my thread and hook. I looked at the chart, counted stitches, made a few stitches, checked the chart, wrote some notes, made a few stitches, read the directions, did a little frogging, highlighted some stitches in red and made notes in red, made some more stitches, highlighted some of the stitches on the chart in green, made notes in green, etc. and after a full day, aha! moment. The little blossom finally bloomed in my thread work!! When I finished the practice piece I made the Blossom ornament. I'm hoping to block these 2 ornaments tomorrow, then I can put them on the scanner and get pictures up here. Next in the lesson is a blossom in the interior of a piece, then make a coaster.
The lessons on this technique are exceptionally well written and broken down into nice steps of learn a few stitches or a stitch pattern, make a little project, learn more stitches, make another little project. I highly recommend this, if you're interested in learning a new technique.

Thursday was Fiber fun Night

Thursday evening I went to the Local Yarn Shop - Knitters Dream. I took a class in beginning knitting! I know how to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off (I think I remember how to do that). The class was on various methods to increase and decrease, and pattern reading. I've been looking at some simple knitting patterns and trying to convert them to Tunisian. Well, now I know what it means to "slip one stitch, purl-wise". Great sized class, there were two of us, so the teacher, shop owner Linda, was able to give us a lot of individual attention. Oh, the other lady was finishing up a little purse crocheted in nylon, with a a row of loop stitch in a variagated ribbon, and the cutest little flower button closing. Linda was helping her with the finishing touches. By the way, the shop sells crochet hooks, and patterns, and is very crochet friendly.
While attending the Knitters' Day Out earlier this year, Linda and her co-owner/daughter Angie admired my Tunisian knit scarf. I told them a little about Tunisian, and they asked me to teach a class at the shop! Thursday I gave them a class proposal with pictures and patterns of the scarves I designed. The class will be an introducation of Tunisian and making a fashion skinny scarf.
Then, the yarn shopping! This store is fabulously stocked, well-organized, neat and clean, and lots of everything you can think of! I purchased some yarn for socks for the Crochet-a-long, a pretty aqua shade, and a striped with the aqua, pink and white. I bough some boucle in blue and purple for a Tunisian scarf. Then a pink ribbony fiber and some pink/blue/white thread with glittery effect. Plan to combine those in a Tunisian scarf, that'll be for Pink Day at the CGOA convention this summer. Then I had to get some blue nylon cording and a pretty variegated cord to make one of those fabulous little purses! My purchases were all nicely arranged in a shopping bag with colorful tissue paper, like at a fancy boutique. Oh, and everything in the store was 20% off. Except for the boucle, I picked that up in the clearance room, for 30% off. I'm so happy, droooling over the fiber!!
"Knitters Dream online store"

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Japan's Knitting Prince

So, why am I linking to an interview with a "Knitting Prince"? First, he's wearing a gorgeous crocheted jacket. That's perfectly fitted. Love the design. Secondly, the interview is great, this man loves his fiber, and loves to promote his handwork. Many of the things that he says about knitting are how I feel about crochet. Last, crochet and knit are related fiber arts, we can learn so much from reading about both techniques.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Hyperbolic planes in easy to understand form

This site has a great article on crochet and mathematics, in words that all of us should be able to follow. The first article is about "Knitting for Peace day", after reading that, skip down below the crocheted leprechaun to "It's a crochet kind of Day" posted on March 17. The author's explanation of how to crochet flat circles, and curving bowls leads naturally into crocheting hyperbolic planes. She also nicely explains why you can crochet hyperbolic planes, but it's almost impossible to knit them.