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 29, 2006

Crochet Memories free doily patterns

If you're not sure about ordering patterns from Crochet Memories, even after my exuberant recommendations, why not go to the last page of doilies and download one of the free patterns. After working up one of these you'll be impressed and feel more confident about purchasing the patterns. Here is a picture of the Autumn Reflections Doily that I made.

Current doily

Tuesday evening at the Michaels Sit N Stitch I started another doily. It's the Crochet-A-Long Doily from "Crochet Memories". Hey, if you don't have this site saved to your Favorites list yet, do it now. I can't keep giving it to you each time I mention it. I have purchased many patterns from this site, and they are all exceptionally well written. They're also all beautiful!
Since we haven't fixed the problem with the software on the camera and printer/scanner I can't take pictures with the digital and get them uploaded to the computer. So the blog has been devoid of pictures for a while. I realized that I can put flat items, like doilies, on the scanner and then upload them here. So, here is a picture of the doily in progress.

I especially love the third round of this doily which uses a variation of crossed doubles, it creates a lovely texture. Here is a detail shot.

I've recently purchased the pattern called Masquerade Party Crinoline Girl Doily. It's at the bottom of this page "crocheted doll patterns" I'm hoping to make this before Halloween. I bought the black and orange thread already. I thought that finding those two colors was going to be difficult, but Michaels had them both on the shelf. At the same time I purchased a ball of light orange that I thought was pretty. I'm now thinking how those two oranges look together. Maybe after I've finished the Masquerade Party girl, I wil find a doily to make with the two shades of orange.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Crocheted Puppets!!

How much fun is this! Check out the above link for some wonderful puppets to make for your children or grandchildren. Pets, farm animals, zoo animals, woodland animals, and sea creatures.

I think my favorites might be the goat and the cow. I love the set with the blowfish & the starfish. Look around, can you Find Nemo?
The pattern books each contain 3 puppets, for a price of 2.75 pounds, a little over $5 US. You can choose to get the UK or the US version of the printed pattern.

Be sure to check out all of the patterns at this great site. I just love the Jack-0-Lantern earrings on the Seasonal page. Don't miss the Christmas Earrings - angels, holly, snowflakes, pointsettias, Christmas trees, Wow! Don't miss the Party through the (Y)ear! - along with the Jack-)-Lantern earrings, there are autumn leaves, hearts, shamrocks, dragonflies! and summer hats with ribbons. The summer hats are definitely my favorite!

Check out all the other patterns, too. I purchased the pattern for the rainbow baby afghan. I love that, and it has potential for a lot of variations. I discovered this site while searching through Yahoo's list of crochet groups. I'm thinking of joining several more groups. What, 11 isn't enough for me? But, I do learn different things from each group, and they're great for giving you links to great patterns.

Harrisburg Area CGOA Chapter forming!

That's right, we've been working hard behind the scenes to get a chapter of the CGOA in the Harrisburg area! There is a chapter in Pittsburgh and one in Philadelphia, but Pennsylbania's a big state, we need several in Central PA.
Our first meeting is Thursday, Sept. 28th at 7 pm, at the East Shore Area Library, Colonial Park. That's on the Eastern edge of Harrisburg, behind the Colonial Park Mall.
The theme for the meeting is Getting to Know You through Crochet. The posters, and messages posted to online groups said to bring along a project you're working one, one you've finished, or a pattern of something you'd like to do. That reminds me, I've made a list of all the things I need to do tomorrow to get ready for the meeting, but I haven't selected a project to bring along. Maybe I'll just take the doily that I started at the Sit N Stitch at Michaels last night. Doilies, and Tunisian are my favorites,....I can take a couple Tunisian scarves.
I think October might be a planning meeting. Margie & I had a meeting and made a list of topics, themes, ideas, techniques, field trips. This meeting could be an opportunity for others to let us know what they want to do each month.
I should let you know more about that "we". Margie & I meet at the Spring Regional Conference in King of Prussia last year. When she found out I was in the Harrisburg area, she said we should start a local chapter. Since I had been thinking about that for several months, I was all for it. But, that was in March, you know, during the school year. When I got home from the conference I had a lot of school work to catch up on, and the chapter got left behind. Margie & I met again at the National in King of Prussia this July. Summertime, a few months free of lesson plans, grading papers, and a short tutoring schedule, much time for crochet.
Next weekend, there is Arts Community of Easton, where local artists will hold Open House at their studios. Susan Huxley, famous sweater designer and author of crochet books will be one of those artists. So, here's our first field trip opportunity!
Susan graciously offered to teach a class, and help get our Chapter rolling. She has a great class idea, she's sent me a picture, and it's a perfect item for Christmas gifts. While emailing & working out the final date, time, etc I should ask if I can post the picture here. Meetings, a field trip and a class, I'm excited!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

When you read someone's blog, do you read all the comments, too? Sometimes I do, but many times I don't read them all. Here are some of the kind words that "Dee" left on my entry about the County Fair. "I'm sure, along with the ribbons you won, your work inspired someone to pick up a crochet hook for the first time or to try a new crochet technique." I sure hope that my crochet work entered in the fair, and my blog entries about making things for the fair, will inspire someone to learn to crochet, go back to an old hobby, or learn a new technique. I know that looking at other peoples' entries often gives me inspiration or an idea for a new project.
I try to think about inspiring others when I select a project to make for the fair. I love to enter projects done in Tunisian crochet, even though I think judges may not be familiar with this type of crochet and therefore not judge it fairly against classic crochet. Wait, maybe I'm underestimating the judges, they may be very familiar with the technique. This year I entered a Tunisian scarf made with a trendy novelty yarn, in black with lots of neon colors. It didn't place, but I loved making it. I also hope that people will see that crochet can be new and trendy, as well as vintage and classic. One of the doilies that I entered was a new pattern, and one was a pattern from a 1915 needlework book. The baby afghan was made from a doily designed by a woman born in Russia in the 1800's. This is one of many designs preserved in a collection at North Dakota State University "Crochet Work among German Russians"

Monday, September 25, 2006

Afghan in design stage

Friday, with the fair results in hand and the contract project finished and on it's way, I started on another project. It's an afghan for my brother, worked in Tunisian crochet. I've finished about 35 rows and I'm super pleased with how it's working up. I've got all my notes written, will have to type the final pattern, make a small swatch and get this out to a publisher. Who do you think would be most receptive to a Tunisian design? Maybe Crochet!

Fair Results

Once again, I'm going to encourage you to enter your local County and State Fairs. It's a lot of fun looking through your patterns and trying to decide what to enter, then the fun of the actual crocheting. Then you get to go to the fair and see how you did, and look at what others have entered. That gives you ideas for the next year.
I like going to the fair and looking at the results because it's always such a surprise. Sometimes the item you thought was just so-so wins a nice ribbon, other times the very difficult, very well made item doesn't even get an honorable mention. Every once in a while I say "Wonder what they were looking at?" But then I have a challenge to try to impress them the next time.

I'm please with the results this year:

2nd Baby sweater, hat and bootie set - Pineapple sweater made in lilac fingering. If you remember my entries on this, I loved the sweater, but was disappointed to find the hat and bootie design really didn't match the sweater. The first place set was white, perle cotton christening set.

2nd Baby afghan made from a vintage doily pattern - I'd like to try this pattern again with a tightly-twisted cotton baby yarn.

2nd Watermelon hot pad - This was better than I expected, this pattern was very simple. But I think the summer fruit idea fits in with a summer fair.

4th Intarsia hot pad - This had great potential, but I was almost finished when I realized that the solid color cotton yarn was thicker than the multi-colored. The idea was to change colors to create a diagonal split in the square. The color change did crate a diagonal, but if you folded the hot pad on the diagonal line, the solid color was slightly larger than the multi. Live and learn.

2nd Spiderweb doily - This I was figuring would place well. The design looks complicated and requires great accuracy, this also was from a vintage pattern.

This picture was taken before the doily was completed.

4th Snowflower doily - This doily is this year's "What were they looking at?" Definitely a complicated design, pineapples, rounds worked behind previous rounds, layers, 10 bazillion picots. That's mathematically correct, I counted!

Since we haven't corrected the software problem with the digital camera and the printer, I will have to take some pictures with my 35 mm camera. Yeah, we have to wait till I finish the roll of film, take it to be developed, scan each picture,...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Catching my breath,....starting up again

Well, it's been very busy for the past week or so. I finally have a few minutes to catch my breath, and catch up on blog entries.
Friday I drove to Gratz to drop my entries at the County Fair. Well, actually Hubby drove while I stitched some seeds on to a watermelon hot pad. On the way back from the fair I decided to start one of the little fruit baby hats. I had red, green and black yarn in my bag, so I decided to try the pattern for the pumpkin hat, and make it into an apple. The directions had me peeved for a little while, she gave conflicting instructions which were mathematically impossible. She says to work every third row in the back loop only, so that they all show on the same side. Well, if you work every third row in blo, the even multiples of 3 will be on 1 side, the odd multiples of 3 will all be on the other side. So I went with the spirit of the instructions rather than the words of the instructions, and worked every 4th row in back loop only. For the pumpkin, you change from orange to brown at the top of the pumpkin, and make the top & the stem brown. For the apple, I worked the red further up & completed the top, then changed to green for the stem only. I also modified the leaves to make small, smooth leaves. The hat is really cute, it's been riding around in my car since Friday. Need to get a picture.

From the fairgrounds we drove to North Carolina to visit with family, arriving at my oldest brother's home about midnight. Sat, went to #2 brother's house, where parents joined us. My great-niece, who is 7, brought 2 wooden crochet hooks to show me. They're learning to crochet in school. I don't think she knew about my obsession. Anyway, I went to the car and got the 2 hooks that I made at the CGOA convention, and showed them to her. I also brought out the red and green yarn. I made a slip stitch and put it on her hook and showed her how to make a chain. She had a hard time because she pulled so hard trying to get the hook through that the chain tightened up and she couldn't get it back through. She figured out that if she did her yarn over, then with 2 loops on the hook she could use her right hand to pick up the first loop, bring it over the second and off the hook, creating a chain. She was so excited, and she made a long chain which she decided was a headband for her baby brother. She then made a long red chain and it was a bracelet for her grandmother. I left the ball of green yarn for her to practice with.

We drove home on Monday, arriving about 1 am! I had to be up at 6:30 am and teach for the day. I worked at the dance studio Wed evening & tutored on Thurs., in between I completed the contract project I had due. Friday I got the item shipped out, and mailed my CGOA application - updating from Associate Professional to Professional! Then I gave myself a treat and went to the fair to look at the crocheting. That'll be tomorrow's entry.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Crocheting in Plain English

Crocheting in Plain English by Maggie Righetti is a great crochet book. If you want more than a book of patterns, this should be on your resource shelf. It was one of the first resources that I purchase. It's now on sale at Maggie's Crochet for $12.71. Check out the above link to see some of the topics covered.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Links to Fun Baby Hats

Crocheted Hats
Since Halloween is coming, why not start with this adorable Candy Corn hat or a pumpkin?
"Candy corn"

"pumpkin hat"

How about using a cute hat as a simple costume for babies too young for masks...
"Kitty Cat"


"Snowman hat"

Knitted Hats

"apple hat"

"gift apple hat"

"berry tart"


"fruit orchard"
(lemon, apple, peach; note – these are premie sizes)


"frog hat"
This hat has matching socks.

"duck hat"
another set with matching socks.

Christmas is coming, here's some festive hats.
"Christmas tree"
Another set with mathcing socks.

"Snowman hat"

This site will give you a lot of ideas, once you've mastered the basic hat


Lettuce Knit newsletter

At the Shawl Ministry meeting on Monday, we got into a discussion about a baby hat that look like an apple. Several people were interested in having the pattern in either knitting or crocheting. I mentioned having seen them online, and everyone knows how I can search & locate whatever is needed. While gathering up dozens of links to patterns, I came across this newsletter. Go down to "Extraordinary New Yarns from the Fibre Company" and look at that gorgeous display of yarn. A blend of merino, alpaca and silk, I'll bet that is yummy to work with and would make a wonderful sweater. I'll have to skip it, those wool allergies! But if you can work with wool, why not try out some of this new yarn.
While you're at this site, skip down to This Month's Favorite Links and check out the article "The Ideal Beginner's Yarn?". While written from a knitter's perspective, the information will be helpful for beginners in crochet or Tunisian.
Now skip down, and look at the new Posh Yarn. It's a blend of cashmere, silk and cotton, that should be yummy to work with, also. Cashmere - that's from goats, not sheep. Wonder if I can use this, I normally shie away from all animal products, allergeric to wool, cats, why should goats, or alpacas be any different? Maybe I can find some to check out at my LYS.
There are more yarns further down the page, so many interesting fibers that I've added this to my saved Favorite sites.
Did I get distracted from those baby hats? I have a list of links ready to email to the leader of the Shawl Ministry, and I think I'll post them here. I did print out a couple of the crochet patterns, and put them in my stack with the Caps to the Capital paperwork. Check out the Tulip Preemie cap pattern on "Dee's blog". I have that pattern in the stack, also. Dee has done a great job creating a template for these little hats, and explaining it so well that we can all make a template to help us in making these little hats. Those are close to the top of my "Crochet Things to Do" list.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Picture on Tunisian Crochet group home page

One of my pictures has been selected and posted on the home page of The Tunisian Crochet Group. What a thrill!
Here's a posting from one of the other members, "Love the new picture. What is that article done in white in the background and which stitch pattern is that?"
That happens to be a baby blanket that I designed, and the stitch is the Tunisian Shells & Columns. It's one of my current favorites. Along with the baby blanket, I've used this stitch for scarves, and a shawl for the Shawl Ministry. I'm currently working on some other projects with this stitch. I created a Shaded Shells and Columns, with the shells in white and the columns in blue. Stunning! But it requires a lot of color changes, in picking up loops you pick up 1 dark, and then 3 light. In working off the loops, I think it requires changing colors for each stitch. Don't think that a Tunisian pattern with color changes every stitch will be a big seller. I might work it up in a small article, like a teddy bear scarf, just to show it off. How about in some school colors, or team colors?

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Lion Brand has a new yarn that you can crochet or knit and it creates Ruffles! Click on the word Ruffles above and it will take you directly to the "how to crochet" instructions. I've got some ideas already. I guess I'll have to get a ball and play around, when I get all my other work done.
I have about 4 more items to finish up for the fair, have about 2 weeks for that.
On the hooks - thread baby bootie, my design, hope it comes out to match the first
thread pineapple edging, to put on a pillowcase
fingering weight baby bonnet to match pineapple sweater
Tunisian shells & columns shawl for Shawl Ministry
confidential project
Works in Mind - too many to list
And Today's Annie's Attic Free Pattern of the Day didn't help. It's a vest that I'd love to make, great design.

When playing with the Ruffles, and getting ideas, let's remember subtlety. Check out the Lola cartoon on Lion Brand web site