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, November 30, 2007

When I showed the Amazing Star hexagon to my husband, he said that he liked it. He suggested changing the pink to a red for a Christmas afghan. Since my greens were not bright, true greens, I thought that I'd go for a Victorian Christmas look. I changed the pink to a cranberry color, and the bright white to a soft white. The border round I changed from dark green to the cranberry. Again, the colors that I'm seeing on my moniter look nothing like the actual yarn colors. Maybe they're better on yours! The center and outside round are a deep cranberry.
I made up the new hexagon at the CGOA chapter meeting tonight. Everyone was fascinated by the process, and Crystal asked to braid the chain loops. Here is the completed hexagon, I love it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Small square in progress

and completed!

On my scanner the darker color looks blue, but it is pure purple (Red Heart Amethyst).
I think that an afghan made out of these blocks would look like a quilt. What if you made half the squares with the light color in the center and border, and the other half with the dark color in the center and border; then alternate them when you join the squares. This would also make an awesome "scrap" ghan, blocks of 2 shades of purple, 2 blues, 2 greens, 2 yellows,...oh the possibilities. I think this would make an adorable baby afghan, also.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New technique

Tonight at our crocheting in public (Borders), I tried a new technique from a leaflet I recently purchased. The patterns are called "Amazing Star Afghans". There are 4 motifs for afghans; two squares, one hexagon, and one a circle. The motifs feature a short chain loops between groups of stitches, and you lace the loops up to create a look that's a little like a cable. The really interesting part, is that you start at the outside of the motif and work rows toward the inside. I must admit that the work in progress didn't look like the motif shown, I had to take it on faith. I started with the hexagonal motif, and I really love the finished motif, the texture is amazing. I think I might like to do this as a future "It's All about the Purple" afghan - amethyst, pale plum, white and bright pink. I think it would make an awesome baby blanket, and I do need to make one of those in the springtime. 2 shades of green, white and yellow? After finishing the hexagon, I started on the small square motif, I didn't get very far, so will probably work on this a little in the morning.
I'm already thinking about how this will look in thread, possibly a small doily, or join several motifs to create a runner.

The colors are dark sage, light sage, white and petal pink. On my moniter the white and pink look too much alike. It's much brighter in reality. Can't wait to work up some of the other motifs. This is too much like playing!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Blocks for Warm Up America

I'm sending off the blocks that I've finished, a total of 16 from Sunday through Wednesday! I found out few interesting things...
1) The stitch called the "bushy stitch" in "63 Easy-to-Crochet Patterns Stitches Combine to Make an Heirloom Afghan" is the same basic stitch pattern as the Flying V's at the Warm Up America website. However, the Flying V's has a ch 3 at the beginning of the rows, and a dc at the end. This creates a nice straight left and right edge, while the Bushy stitch has a shell-like edge.
2) I really love the Trinity stitch in the 63 Easy...Stitches book. I might use this for a baby blanket.
3) I really love the Star stitch.
4) I never get enough time to try all the beautiful stitch patterns in all the books.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another busy crochet week

After Sunday's Yarn Event at Michaels, there was Monday's Shawl Ministry. I finished three 7 x 9 blocks on those two evenings. Tuesday was crocheting at Borders night. Since then I've received some new Leisure Arts patterns books that I ordered online, or won on eBay. I've practiced some new stitch patterns by making more 7 x 9 blocks. I have a total of 12 since Sunday!
Today was Class Preview Day at Michaels. I brought several Tunisian stitch books along, and started several 7 x 9 blocks in fun patterns. I started with the Shells and Columns, I think it's my favorite. I was working it in a light raspberrry. It seemed to catch a lot of eyes, many people asked what I was doing and commented on how beautiful the stitch was. I got a lot of opportunity to discuss Tunisian. Next I started a block of my own design, with alternating knit and purl stitches to form a bottom border, then sides borders (knit/purl) and a body of Tunisian knit. I then started a basketweave. Those show a variety of Tunisian stitches. I'll have to finish those three blocks tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Crochet as Art - Teapot and teacups

So I joined another online crochet group,...I guess it's my newest Syndrome. (PAS, YAS, BAS, HAS, TAS; That's Pattern Acquisition Syndrome, Yarn, Books, Hooks, Tools,...) What else do I like to acquire for my craft?
Anyway, I joined the Art Crochet group. This is going to be a passionate group of people who are very creative. I look forward to all they're going to share with the CGOA, such as information on art gallery and museum shows, workshops and demonstrations. The photos are fabulous and inspiring. The discussion "What is Art Crochet?" will generate a lot of thought about where crochet can go, what it can become.
Now, I'm not a crochet artist, as these people would define that. Some of my doilies are works of art, and yet I wouldn't expect a lot of people at the art gallery spending inordinate amounts of time studying them. I do enjoy looking at art that is created using fibers and crochet techniques.
If you're interested in crochet as art, or are a crochet artist, check out the new group on Yahoo. "Artcrochet"
And check out the Title link to see a great example of crochet art, a crocheted teapot and cups displayed in a NYC shop window.

I guess 5 hours straight crocheting Michaels wasn't enough. I went home and made two blocks for Warm Up America. Last night was Shawl Ministry night and I made another block. I tried a new stitch pattern called Flying V's; this is really nice, I think it would make a great baby blanket.

Tonight was crocheting at Borders. I finished the scarf I started at the Yarn Event Sunday and dropped it off at Michaels for display. I spent most of the evening helping others with learning to crochet, and a refresher. Oh, and drooling over the stack of books and magazines that Faith bought at the thrift store. There was a Magic Crochet that had some beautiful motifs, and doilies; and a book of doiles from House of White Birches, I'll put that in my eBay search.

The mail was super great today. I received the double-ended wooden Tunisian hook I won on eBay, can't wait to give that a try. Also, several Leisure Arts booklets, one the replacement 52 Tunisian Stitches book. I'll probably jump into that one tonight. Then, the latest Crochet! magazine. Haven't had time to even flip through that, maybe tomorrow.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Michaels Yarn Event

The Michaels ad in today's paper said "5 Hours of Demos and Fun". That's what I had. Every hour we did a demonstration of another yarn, hook, and pattern. I started making a scarf, worked lengthwise so you only need to work 6 rows. You use 3 strands of Vanna's Choice yarn and a size Q hook. This yarn was very soft, no splitting, and nice to work with. I think it's a little pricey for an acrylic, but it is nice. Now, if they would come out with some bright colors instead of the muted shades,... I was able to finish about 4 rows during the hour, so I'm going to finish this up at home, and take it back in for display.
Next we demonstrated the Knifty Knitter Long Loom. I did have any experience with this, so I learned along with several customers. Method reminded me of the spool knitters we had as kids. We were supposed to be making a purse, but all agreed the stitch was just too open. We all wanted to modify the pattern, use half the pegs on the loom and create a soft, open weave scarf. To me it was much slower then crochet or Tunisian, it might be a little faster than knitting, without the stitch variety. So I don't see myself persuring this in the near future. We left that for people to look at, but opted to frog that before we left for the day.
The next hour we did a "one-skein beginner scarf" with an N hook and Homespun. Now my theory of working with Homespun is large hook, large stitch, and whenever possible work into a chain space or around the post of a stitch. The pattern was all singles. Slow and boring, and not the best way to have a beginner experience with Homespun. I think we may work more on this on Saturday when we have our class preview, only because the color I selected was working up so nicely.
The next hour we made a crocheted cell phone cover with the Crochet Lites lighted hooks. I was actually able to finish the crocheting, and sew the side seams, so this little project only needs a large snap and a decorative button. Everyone was happy with this project.
The last hour we demonstrated the newborn hats, in knit and crochet. I had completed 2 1/2 hats at home, and Jackie had finished a crocheted hat, and was working on a knit hat with double pointed needles. This project got the most oohs and aahs for the day.
Six hours of crocheting with new yarns, lighted hooks,trying new patterns,...and like I said at the end "I'm getting paid for this". Life is good.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Michaels Yarn Event

Tomorrow is the Yarn Event at Michaels, where I teach Tunisian crochet. It's running from 1 to 6 pm, and there will be 2 of us demonstrating lighted crochet hooks and knitting needles, new yarns, and the Knifty Knitter. I will mostly be demonstrating crochet, and some free patterns for baby hats and cell phone covers. I have been practicing with the pattern for the baby hat, I have 2 1/2 finished so far.
Then I've "designed" a granny square, and I'm making several to donate to member of one of the on-line groups that I belong to. I made two this evening, and hope to make at least two more. I put "designed" in quotes, because it's nothing unique, just a typical granny-style square.
After that I'm going to make some more 7 x 9 blocks for Warm Up America. I usually donate this at the Michaels, but this time our Shawl Ministry is discussing a display at a local community event to highlight groups that benefit the comunity.
By the time I get these items done, it will probably be time to get busy preparing for the next CGOA Chapter meeting. The November meeting with be a planning and working meeting to start preparing for the upcoming "Gathering of the Guilds", hosted by the "Keystone Lace Guild".


You can tell from the last picture what I've been working on lately. Those are the latest motifs for the Motif CAL at Antique Threadwork. The mint green was September's, and it's been finished for sometime, I just hadn't blocked it yet. The pink was for October, and the peach for November. I'm finally catching up. I had started a the peach in October, and got caught up in some items that had a due date. Then started a different motif for October, but it was rather difficult - lots of pictots and triple trebles. I was liking the look, but wasn't sure how many people were ready for that level. We've been working on this for less than a year. I've tried to slowly work on harder pieces.
Here are the links for the patterns, from Celt's Vintage Crochet, one of my favorite thread resources.

Mint "Ring of Roses"

Pink "Chair Set #12"

Peach "Enchantress"

Friday, November 09, 2007

Stack of motifs waiting to be blocked

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

60 Scarves in 60 Days

Congratulations to Dee for setting up this Challenge. And to everyone who worked hard to meet the challenge. Dee posted the final count...was the Challenge met? ...
You bet! The Final total was 124 scarves to a great variety of charities. Congratulations to everyone who contributed.

I completed 9 scarves, and had one still on the hook. I think that I'm going to do a slight modification to this 1/3 scarf, add some buttonholes and buttons and make a fancy neckwarmer. They seem to be the "talk of the town" on several online crochet groups where I'm a member.
If you didn't join in this year, why not plan to join us next fall when Dee will probably Challenge us all again.