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 28, 2007

Hershey graduate & Shawl Ministry

Sometime last year someone donated a large garbage bag of yarn to the shawl ministry. Included was the beginning of a crocheted ripple afghan in periwinkle blue, along with about 6 or 8 skeins of yarn to complete it. Everyone thought it would be a great shame if this were frogged and made into something else, they all felt that it should be completed. But, they all thought that Jane should be the one to do that! Well, my WIPs and WIMs list was long enough, including some customer ordered things with due dates, and some contract work with due dates, so I put off taking this afghan and yarn home. Recently someone donated a beautiful rack for the Shawl Ministry, and the group had sorted the yarn into different color sections, to make it easier to see what was available. There was the afghan tucked away, and all the periwinkle amonst the blues. I knew that the periwinkle wasn't going to last long and would get separated from the afghan, so I took them all home. Presently I have a short break until the next contract piece arrives in my email in box, so I decided to get working on this afghan. Well, there are about 6 or 8 skeins of yarn, no idea exactly how much, as about half of the skeins have had yarn used, frogged and then rolled onto the outside of the skein; about half of the skeins have no wrappers, no color dye lot; and there are at least two different shades among the skeins. This might take a little thinking and creativity.

One of the latest additions to the Shawl Ministry is to make a throw or afghan for
each of the graduating seniors in the church, using their high school colors. At the last meeting I think we were short about three for giving them out at a service in June. Hershey colors are bright orange and bright, medium/dark blue. Rather harsh, in my opinion, but I usually don't have to deal with it. Idea, I can stripe this periwinkle with a light orange/peach/coral color and it will be a softer version of Hershey colors. Well, another lady had handed me a one pound skein of peach a few months ago and said use this up.

Last night, I started on the afghan, first I had to swatch a little to find the right hook to keep the gauge consistant with the part that's already done. Then I started on the first set of stripes. There were about 30 rows of blue, in single crochet back loop only, this is going to take forever. If I'm going to change colors, I can change stitches, too. So I did a row of peach in sc, blo; then did 3 rows of half doubles. For the "valleys" in the blue, the person had skipped 2 stitches, this didn't show much in singles, but when I did this is half doubles, I had a hole, like an upside down V. So I changed it to two half double decreases, each over two stitches. Then I picked up the blue and did 2 rows of sc blo, then back to the peach, 3 rows of half doubles, then a row of sc blo. Now I'm going to do a large section in blue sc. I need to decide if I'll go with just the stripe on each end, or add a stripe section in the middle. It might decide on how I need to vary the blues, so the different dye lots aren't as noticable.

Back to the hook and yarn!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Busy week

Tuesday was the last day of teaching for this year, happy and sad at the same time. Tuesday evening was Student Recognition, displays of projects, and awards to students. Wednesday evening I worked at the dance studio, Thursday afternoon - tutoring, then in the evening - CGOA meeting. This month we met at Hancock Fabric in Union Deposit, they had a nice, cozy classroom, and they made coffee for us. We spent most of the evening on Show and Tell, and socializing! Although we did browse the sale bins of yarn and crochet books. I bought 2 balls of Dynasty boucle in green with some yellow and blue. I think this will be another Tunisian scarf, to be worked while leading the Crochet-a-Long at the CGOA Membership group, starts the week of May 7th.
Today, I went to the Farm Show in Harrisburg for an Alpaca Show. I arranged to meet up with another Chapter member and we had a short, but very interesting time. There were some yummy fibers, and some beautiful garments and accessories. I took a double dose of allergy medicine today, but forgot to take the inhaler...What was I thinking? But it seems that the small amount of coughing and wheezing were from the hay, straw and dust and not the alpacas and fiber. So maybe I've found one animal fiber that I can work with. The alpacas are so cute!! We found out a lot of information, also. There are two types of alpacas (as far as fiber) The Huacaya (pronounced wa ki ya) have thick fleece with a light crimp, this is used mostly for bulky weight yarns. The Suri have thin, (stringy!) fleece and is used for lace weight fibers. One vendor said her daughter likes to use this for fine lingerie. The fleece comes in 22 natural colors.
I think I'm rambling, will head to bed and maybe tomorrow tell you about what's on the hook tonight.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hot off the hooks

I finished up the second contract piece this weekend. It's really gorgeous. Both projects now really to be shipped out to the designer.

I also finished the second Tunisian baby blanket that I was designing. I finally found that elusive TLC Amore that I've been searching for. I had started this with the idea of just swatching to see if my idea would work for a blanket. It looked so good, though that I didn't want to pull it out, and I had 2 skeins of TLC Amore in white. I thought that might be enough for a small baby blanket, and I knew that I had bought it at A C Moore and could get more (HaHa). When I ran out about 2/3 of the way through the project, I went to AC Moore, they had the Amore, but no white. So I stopped at JoAnn Fabric on the way home, they had Amore, including a bin for white, but no white. I tried again several days later with no luck, so I told everyone at the Sit N Stitch, and at the CGOA chapter meeting that I was in need of this yarn. A friend emailed that they had the white at the AC Moore on the West Shore, so while running errands last week we stopped. TLC Amore! yes!, but no white. I was now pretty sure that I'd have to rip out the blanket, make this into a sweater, hat and booties set, and make the blanket in another color. But my husband doesn't give up easily. He asked a store employee if they had the white, "we were told that it was here". She said "no white", but we have white in the TLC Baby Amore. We went around to the end of the next row and they had the TLC Baby Amore in white, baby blue, pink, yellow and green. It's wound in small "ball" skeins like Baby Soft and Softee Baby rather than the long skeins, and has different labels than the regular Amore. The store employee said "maybe you could use two strands together or something" and twisted the white with a blue regular Amore. But I decided to check the gauge information on the label,...Lo and Behold...the information was identical. The Baby Amore is exactly the same as the Amore, only in different colors! So I calculated that I needed 1 skein, but would buy 2, just in case. Today I finished the blanket. It's absolutely the softest thing I've ever crocheted!

While watching tv I decided that I needed a very small project to work on, wasn't ready to pull out the Cathedral Lace runner that I'm working. That requires more concentration that I can give while watching tv. So I pulled out the pattern for the motif Crochet a Long that I'm doing with Antique Threadwork, and played with some variations. I finally decided that it would make a great start for a cover for a satin Christmas ornament. I worked the first 4 rows of the pattern, then repeated the last row with a slight modification so that it would fit tight against the ball, then started "playing by ear". I've happy with the final project.

Now I must take a small break from crocheting. Tomorrow - grading papers, writing student evaluations, creating certificates and preparing for the last day of classes. Tuesday, last day and Student Recognition Night.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Busting the Bad Crochet Myth

This article in Crochet Insider is a wealth of knowledge about crocheting fashions. It also has some great photos of crocheted clothing, antique and contemporary.
The history of crochet and fashionable items from different periods are discussed. The article talks about two of my favorite subjects - crochet and mathematics, and leads you to articles about crocheted hyperbolic planes, a new crochet book called Geometrics, and a class by Marty Miller about mathematics. I've read the article about hyperbolic planes, I own the book - haven't jumped into any of the projects, yet, and I've taken the class by Marty.
My favorite fashions in the article would be the Irish Crochet wedding gown, and the Doris Chan sweater. Check it out at the above link.

Blog of Interest

I discovered a new blog today that I'm just in love with. I was exploring with Google's image search for crochet. Among pictures of doilies and crocheted tops, which I will explore more later, I found pictures of actual paintings of ladies crocheting. These paintings are sparse compared to paintings of people knitting, so I wanted to explore. That led me to this blog that I absolutely LOVE!
The writer has a marvelous way with words, as well as knitting, crocheting, photographing,... Each blog entry is packed with pictures. I really love some of the photos of a crocheted blanket with a ball of yarn, or a quilted piece with a plate of candy. Each entry is also packed with love; love of family, flowers, books, fabrics, homes, food, chocolate, wine, life,...
And she's writing a book about it all, I just went to Amazon and added it to my Wish List.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wow, These entries are getting few and far between. I'm trying to do so many different things, last night I said to one of my bosses "I need a secretary for my life." I'm thinking of getting a small tape recorder so that I can tape some ideas while driving or crocheting!
Took my Tunisian baby blanket to the Shawl Ministry on Monday night. I got a lot of positive comments - from the knitters! As soon as I catch my breath on a few projects, I'll type this and submit it for publication. I'm presently leaning towards Knitscene magazine published by Interweave Press. I'm so impressed with the Interweave Crochet, and I've even purchased issues of Interweave's knitting magazine, because they have such great articles on color, fitting, design techniques, and they have such fabulously yummy yarns in their ads.
Tuesday at the Sit N Stitch, a co-worker showed us 2 new crochet magazines that were in stock at Michaels, Interweave Crochet and Crochet Today. She asked if I wanted to look at them. I just reached into my purse for some cash and employee discount card and said "Nope, I'm just buying my own copies." Hope to write a nice review of both magazines for this blog, and the 3 Tunisian groups that I belong to on Yahoo groups.
In the meantime, I've started another baby shawl for the Shawl Ministry, not Tunisian. It's a "round" ripple in regular crochet. Will try to post the link to the pattern next week. Also, still looking for TLC Amore in white to finish a Tunisian baby blanket that's holding at about 3/4 finished. Wasn't planning a blanket when I picked the yarn out of the leftover stash. Last night I remembered that I had made a round baby blanket out of a doily pattern and entered it in last summer's County Fair. I need to get that out of the storage bin of "finished but waiting for a good place to donate" and take it in to the Shawl Ministry.
Packing in a frenzy and heading back to Western PA where I was last weekend. More family getting together.
Have a Nice Trip!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Here is a close up of some of the new Red Heart Colors -

clockwise from upper left -

Light Fuschia, Light Periwinkle, Light Raspberry, and Dusty Teal. I think they might look good in a granny square afghan with white borders. I bought one skein of each, I think I might practice some new stitch combinations and make some blocks for Warm Up America.

I finished one of the Tunisian baby blankets. It came out very nice, it's soft and the stitch pattern has a slight stretch. I designed it with making a small edging as you go, I'm very pleased with the design.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

CGOA March Meeting & Library Display

Those Yarn Crocheters, the Harrisburg Chapter of the Crochet Guild of America meet Thursday, March 29th at the East Shore Library. One of the first things that we did was to go upstairs to the main area of the library and look at the display that Faith & I put together after a last minute request. We chose the theme Crochet: From Past to Present, and had pattern books from the early 1900's up to 2007. We had items made from patterns from the whole time span. I also had samples of different types of crochet - filet, Delta, overlay and Tunisian.

The "new business" portion of the meeting involved a report on our field trip to the February Gathering of the Guilds. We also discussed what would be involved for the Chapter to participate in the Gathering next year. We had three new people at the meeting, we hope they had a nice time, learned something and are planning to attend future meetings. In "Show and Tell" Faith shared all the creative hats she's been designing and making, she got plenty of positive feedback. (I'm pushing her to write them and submit them for publication!)