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...

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Crochet Library Display

Well, I think this week is going to be as crochet-busy as my weekend was. Yesterday, in the 2 hours I was home between teaching and going to the Sit N Stitch at Michaels, I got a phone call from the East Shore Library. This is where we hold our monthly CGOA Chapter meetings. They wanted to know if we'd like to do a display for March. They had someone scheduled who backed out at the last minute. Since we hold our meetings there, they thought that we might want to advertise our group. I sent an email out to my co-founder of the chapter and tossed her the idea. At the Sit N Stitch I tossed the idea to our other 2 regular attendees. Everyone is go for doing a display. Now we've got to get busy, because tomorrow is March already!
Ideas, plans, items to go will be discussed in another post, because now I've got some work to do. First, a big tub to gather the items together in one place.
Note to self - take pictures to go into a club scrapbook (another future project!)

Excellence in Needle Arts Award

Wow! Wow! Wow! You've got to see this. The National Needlearts Association (TNNA) has announced the winners of their Excellence in Needle Arts Award for 2006. The first place in Knit and Crochet is a lapghan designed and made by a 15 year old "who recently picked up the craft". You sure wouldn't know that by looking at this stunning and very unusual design.
Thanks to Robin who posted this link in her blog "Crocheting Lessons" and then posted a message and link to Crochet Partners.
You can also go to the "Interweave Press" site and see all the winners of the Excellence in Needle Arts Awards. Check out the delicate tatted baby bonnet and booties, and the gorgeous counted thread work while you're at this site.
Hope you're inspired.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Crochet Weekend

Yesterday morning I met Faith and Crystal at Starbucks. We got coffee and headed to the Gathering of the Guilds. The Guilds with tables and displays included two lace, several needlepoint, quilting, knitting. I don't remember seeing the smocking guild there yesterday, last year that had some beautiful pieces. There were some fabulous items on display and for sale. Crystal and I loved the needlepoint with fine threads, some had fine metallic threads, some had beads. We were all fascinated by the bobbin lace pieces in progress. I think the 3 of us may be going to a Lace Making Guild meeting in the future.
Faith found some great crochet, and plastic canvas books for sale. I found some #10 thread in burgundy that I've been looking for to make a doily. I also bought some pretty pink Cebelia #10. I also picked up a deep blue satin Christmas ball. I'm thinking of putting a white crocheted snowflake draped over the top to look like a snowflake in a night time sky.

Afterwards I spent some time organizing books and swatches to take to my class this morning. I also made a list of some websites that had tutorials on Tunisian. I spent most of the afternoon and evening crocheting on the wedding afghan.
Today, I taught my second class at Michaels. I had 2 students, 2 of the 3 from the first class. We reviewed the basic foundation stitches in Tunisian that I taught them two weeks ago, then I taught them doubles, alternatives in purl and reverse, and then we did some shells. They seemed to realy enjoy the class, and asked what I'd be teaching them the next time. They'd like to do a project of some kind. We briefly discussed color changes, so I'm thinking of teaching some intarsia. I'll search for a simple picture and graph it, then probably make a potholder with a picture.

This evening I spent more time on the wedding afghan. I estimate that I'm about 1/3 finished.

Friday, February 23, 2007

An historical look at crochet and crochet terms

Carol Alexander, publishes an excellent e-newsletter called Talking Crochet. In an article for Annie's Attic in 2005, she used an excerpt from an old needlework book. It's quite entertaining, and gives us a glimpse of ladies' lives in the 1800's. I came across this because I'm searching for the term "plain stitch" in old crochet patterns.

Someone in the Antique Pattern Library group was looking for an explanation of the "plain stitch" used in the pattern she's working. The most helpful item I've found so far is a table in the Antique Pattern Library. This table is set up with British (UK) modern terms and US modern terms, then under those catagories there are references to antique or vintage books.

For example - the UK modern term slip stitch, which is also the US modern term, is refered to as a "plain single crochet" in My Crochet Sampler, published in 1844, London by Miss Lambert; and a single stitch in Mlle Riego's Crochet books published in London from 1845-1970; but is called a "plain stitch" in the Royal Crochet Worker published in London 1850's. But, to confuse matters further, the UK modern term double crochet, which is the US single crochet, is refered to as a "plain stitch" in the Mlle. Riego Crochet books. So depending on where and when the pattern was printed, this could refer to a slip sstitch, a single crochet or a double crochet. I've posted some information to the group, but also asked the lady to give us more information from her pattern. It's not only helpful to the person with the question, but hopefully, we've started an interesting and informative discussion. I do love to research!

CGOA Chapter News

The library meeting room where we normally hold our meeting was not available last night, so we decided it would be a good time for a field trip. We scheduled our meeting for the local yarn shop, " Knitters Dream". Then hoped that the weather would cooperate. Last week's snow/freezing rain/sleet/snow had ended, roads are finally cleared (mostly) and the temperatures are zooming all the way up to the high 40's. Here is PA we're thinking spring. So we had a fairly nice evening for the drive up the mountain to this shop.
We had 7 ladies get together for an evening of shopping, talking, crocheting, and hot beverages, thanks to Linda, the owner. The informal business was discussed around a table in the "sale room" where I was tempted by pretty fibers while trying to cover the business. Margie asked the newcomers about their favorite things to crochet, favorite fibers, etc. Faith showed us her latest hat, and talked about some of the other designs she's done. Kathleen showed us the hat she made on her own, after Faith and I helped her start one on Tuesday when we gathered at Borders. Margie finished up another purse from the Bagsmith, and told us of a new design they have out. We decided she needs to bring one of those to show us at the next meeting. We decided on a name for the Chapter - Those (Y)arn Crocheters. So the application is complete and will be mailed today or tomorrow. Tentatively scheduled the March meeting to be planning for next year's Gathering of the Guild.

Thanks again to Linda, owner of Knitters Dream in Harrisburg for allowing us to meet in her shop, and being a gracious hostess. We had a great time, and did a stash enhancement!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Again I block & blog

I finished the doily. My first doily design! It's a cute little thing, not perfect, but really a nice design. It took some serious blocking, it's drying right now.
Today I went to Michaels and bought the yarn for the afghan, I'll start on that tonight. While at Michaels I looked at possible colors & yarns for an upcoming project, I've been Internet searching for possibilites, also. Haven't found exactly what I want, but I have plenty of time to keep looking.
Back to the hook!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Block and blog

My list of things to do today include a note to block and blog.
I signed up for a doily exchange with one of the groups that I'm in, "Antique Threadwork" . I took a break from the Tunisian project to work up a nice doily. I started on it Thursday morning and finished last night. I blocked it tonight, and will get it in the mail soon.
Today I decided to see what I might do with the motif Crochet-a-Long that I'm leading with the group. Earlier this month I selected a motif and posted the link, and then asked for people to make the motif, and think up ideas of what they could do with it. I made up the motif, as written, in #10 thread and in a worsted weight cotton, and posted pictures. Today I decided to see how to join motifs as I finished the last row. I wrote up those directions and posted a photo of the joined motifs. Then I started another motif and decided to try making it into a doily. The first rounds I just made up as I crocheted, but then thought that I could make pineapples. Then thought of putting hearts between the pineapples, but decided instead of put a spiderweb design between. It's working up very pretty, but cupping badly. I'm hoping that blocking will flatten it properly. Otherwise, I'll have to "read" my work, write down the pattern and try it again, possibly with a larger hook or maybe adding a few chains between the pineapples, shells and spiderweb work. I'm thinking that I have about two more rounds until it's finished, then I'll block itand hope that's all that it needs.
I also made a final decision on the pattern and yarn colors for the afghan that I need to make. I'll be shopping for yarn tomorrow. I also need to do a little more planning for Thursday's Tunisian class at Michaels. I taught the students the Tunisian Simple stitch, knit and purl. That is, the purl as most of the books teach it; several of the Tunisian teachers and designers call this the Tunisian reverse.
I also gave them plenty of tips for making the stitching easier, taming the curl, and finishing. Thursday I'm hoping to teach them the Tunisian Plain or Full stitch, the Tunisian double, double variations such as front post and back post, crossed stitches, and then some stitch patterns made by using multiple stitches. I will also need to teach them different working off techniques.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Preemie caps

I took the preemie caps to the Shawl Ministry last night. Another woman had a bag full of little caps, some knit, some crochet, but so cute. She had been making them for the Caps to the Capital program, and didn't get them mailed in time. Another woman had knit three little hats in a sport weight yarn, with stripes and little pompoms, they were adorable. Next time I settle in to make some of these caps, I want to try some sport weight with my wooden size I Tunisian hook.

Last night I finished another Tunisian prayer shawls, so I had two in the stack that were blesssed last night. Was thinking of starting another in that pretty Cyprus green, but was busy sewing on tags, filling out cards and chatting.

The contract project is moving along at a nice pace, and is coming out beautifully. I'm very happy with this project.

Still thinking about pattern and colors for that afghan for a wedding gift. Should probably try out one or two of the patterns that I've pulled out of the file and make a final decision.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Good Crochet week

I had a really great crochet week. I made steady progress on a lot of small items, finished a doily, found a lot of links for motifs for a crochet-a-long, and made several preemie hats.
I taught my first class at Michaels on Thursday. I had 3 students, all with experience in crocheting and knitting. They picked up the technique very quickly, and we made swatches of several stitches, I actually covered a lot more than I had planned. I taught them the Tunisian simple stitch, knit and purl. I also gave them a lot of tips to make their work easier and more finished-looking. They all said they were very happy with the class, and wanted to do more of the stitch patterns - clusters, shells. So, I'm planning some additional classes!
I also have a new stitching contract. Not able to say much about it at this time, except that it is Tunisian! I've been choosing colors and swatching. Happy, Happy!!
Then this morning I got a phone call from a regular customer. She would like another afghan to give as a wedding gift. Evidently family members are talking about the others they've received, and they're all going to want one! Hmmmm, do I have time to design something in Tunisian?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Preemie caps

My husband came home from work Monday asking if I was interested in making preemie caps. He heard on the radio that Hershey Medical center was in desperate need of these. He was also nice enough to jump on the Internet and locate the pattern that was mentioned on the station.
I really had no shortage of patterns for crocheted preemie caps, after all, I was excited about the Caps to the Capital program. I had located a lot of patterns, and had actually made about 7 caps. These caps never made it to the Caps to the Capital program, as I had planned to mail them in December. December didn't go as planned.
On Monday night, I took several patterns to the church and let the leader of the Shawl Ministry know of the need. On Tuesday, at our weekly Sit N Sitch I also shared the notice, we looked over patterns, and I made two additional caps.
First, I experimented with designing a Tunisian cap. I wanted a ribbed brim, and alternated Tunisian Simple Stitch with a front post double. It made a nice rib, but realized that if I turned up a little brim, the backside of the fabric would show. In Tunisian the back side is not always interesting or attractive. So I just continued the pattern, but the little caps need decreases, and I had to do a little fiddling to get a nice pattern. It's cute, but not a great design yet. As I was waking up this morning, it popped into my head - alternate front post doubles and back post doubles. The fabric should look the same on both sides. Then after the brim area, I'm thinking of Tunisian Simple Stitch or the Tunisian Knit Stitch. Both will decrease nicely, and still look pretty.
Next, I tried a little pattern that said it was a 10 minute hat. Now I can crochet pretty fast (no Lily Chin or Lisa Gentry, but no slacker!). I had someone time me, it actually took me 20 minutes for one little hat. Hey, we were talking at the same time. This is a basic little cap, no beauty like Dee's tulip hats, or some of the pretty shell patterns I've tried. But the pattern is easy, and quick. This would make a good pattern to recommend to some beginning crocheters wanted to contribute to a good cause.
Tomorrow I'll put together a list of links to some of these patterns. Check with your local hospital, or you local crochet group to see if there are needs in your community.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

"Pink Blush" doily in mint

Mathcounts and crocheting

I spent all day yesterday at Mathcounts. I took 5 students to the Regional Competition at Penn State Harrisburg, we had a full day of testing. We played math games between different portions of the testing. Had a great day.
Last night I started a new doily. It was the Doily of the Month (Yahoo group) for January, entitled Pink Blush (from FreePatterns.com). I had originally decided not to do this one, the picture didn't took that special, and I have a long list of pineapple doilies that I want to do. But then I decided that I frequently skip the choices of the group, and I joined this group to participate. It was a small doily, about 8", and looked fairly simple, so I decided to do it between larger projects. I started it in a bright yellow, I know it's called Pink Blush, but I have several others that I want to do in pink, and I figured a pineapple would look nice in yellow. After about 5 rounds the doily started ruffling, and I thought that I might need to go to a smaller hook, or a thinner thread. So I tried again in a pale mint green, slightly thinner, but still #10 thread. This thread started nicely, but started ruffling at about the same place. I decide that it was working up quickly enough, if it didn't shape up, I had wasted that much time and thread. Well, about round 9, it started pulling in and laying flat again. I finished the mint today. The 1/2 of the yellow and all of the mint took about 1 1/2 movies. So, maybe later this week I will finish up that yellow one. I've taken the white diamond spiderweb up off the blocking area, and blocked the mint pineapple.
I already have at least 3 doilies lined up to work on next. The February Doily of the Month is a beautiful pineapple with hearts and great 3-d stitches. I've also printed out several Crochet-a-Long doilies from "Crochet Memories" with pretty heart designs.
Now, I really need to spend time on lesson plans, homework assignments and grading papers. Tomorrow is Shawl Ministry night, and I teach on Tuesday morning.