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, January 30, 2008

Book review - Way to Crochet!

Last Thursday I was at the library and decided to look at whether they had any crochet books in the children's section. I found two rather new books, and I liked them both. So, here's a short review, including all the information to locate the books at a local library, bookstore, or online.

Way to Crochet! 20 Cool, easy projects for Kids of all Ages.
Sherri & Michelle Haab (a mother-daughter writing team)
published in 2006, by Watson-Guptill Publications, NY

The book included supplies needed, and how to's - clear, well-written and plenty of photos. They were great projects for the pre-teen, young-teen set. Lots of jewelry; such as rings, bracelets, necklaces; accessories, such as headbands, belts, scarves, purses, a backpack; and put items such as cat toys and blankets. My favorite, because I don't think I've seen it anywhere else, was the crocheted shoelaces! The back of the book included a section on color theory, a project journal. There were interesting quotations scattered thoughout the book, and the projects included lots of beads, buttons, and fun.

Check out the book "on Amazon"

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Dress Bookmark

Here are some of the bookmarkers that I've been making. Aren't they just too cute!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Can you pass 8th Grade Math?

I better be able to pass this! Especially since I teach it!
You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

Just for the Fun of it - Muppet Personality Test

You Are Gonzo the Great

"Is something burning in here? Oh, it's just me."
You're a total nutball who will do anything for attention.
The first to take a dare, you'll pull almost any stunt.
You're one weird looking creature, but your chickens don't mind!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Well, for most of the past week to 10 days, I've been snuggled in the Lazy-Boy with an afghan. No, not actually crocheting on one, just under one trying to get more sleep and recover from a bad cold (sinus infection?)
Last Monday, I skipped going to the Shawl Ministry get together, I did get up and teach my math classes on Tuesday, but skipped our weekly crocheting in public at Borders. Called off work on Wednesday evening, and cancelled tutoring sessions on Wed. & Thursday. I was home from Tuesday afternoon (15th) until Tues. morning
(the 22nd). For several days I didn't do any crocheting, it even took until day 3 or 4 before I picked up a crochet magazine and flipped through the pictures. I didn't read any of the articles, or try to make sense of any patterns.
I'm finally feeling much better, and I'm busy with a #7 steel hook and thread. I'm using up a lot of ends of balls, and creating some bookmarkers to give away as door prizes at the Gathering of the Guilds.

Yarn that Glows!

Battery powered yarn - it glows! Okay, where do we purchase it? How many yards per skein? What weight is it? What colors does it come in? What stitches will "show" best? Do we need our lighted hooks when we work on it?
Should we use small amounts, like a stripe on a sweatshirt, so that we can be seen when walking on a dark street? Or do we crochet an entire sweater so that we can be really seen when we walk into a dark nightclub? Definitely avoid large "splotches" like in the photo.
As I understand the basics, it's a yarn dipped in a light-emitting ink, then wrapped in a thin layer of material with small holes for the light to shine through, then another layer of yarn. When attached to a battery, electricty flows through the yarn and ink. Science is just too cool!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Motif CAL

I'm trying to select motifs from vintage books, however, I find these a little challenging for the average crocheter. Not because the stitches or stitch combinations are difficult, but because the style of pattern writing is so different. Designers and pattern writers, and pattern editors are working hard to get a "standard form". So, those of us who learned to crochet from modern patterns are used to specific words, phrases and order of instruction. The older patterns were more verbal patterns that were passed from family, friend or neighbor, and then written down. They often assume a knowledge of stitches and techniques, where modern patterns don't assume, they tell you step by step.
One thing that may confuse beginner crocheters is a pattern that gives you 1/6 of a round on a doily, and then says something in the way of "complete the round to match". Another thing I have found in the older patterns is finishing the final stitch and join together. For example, a modern pattern may have you making ch5 loops with a single in a loop of the last round. The final loop will be a ch 5 and slip into the first single, then slip stitch to the center of the next loop to start the next round. An antique/vintage pattern may have you create the final "ch 5 loop" by a ch2 and then a double into the "joining space". This puts your thread in the center of a loop and you don't have to slip stitch to the center of the next loop.

For January, I'm looking for another "snowflake" type of motif. Here is the "snowflake motif that I selected for January. It reminds me of a six-sided rather than a six-pointed snowflake. "Poinsettia"
Since the motif is named Poinsettia, and I've done a lot in white, I thought that I'd do this in red. I've finished it, but haven't blocked it yet. It's in the pile with the 5 sided Pineapple, that's been waiting a while. Still hoping to block later this week.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

2007 Projects

Here is a collage of some of the projects that I finished last year.

Blogger problems again!!

Blogger!!!! I'm tearing my hair out, screaming, pounding keyboards,...
Actually that's only what I'd prefer doing, I'm really just circling the @%$# blogger help files trying to straighten out this problem. I'd really like to just send them an email explaining the problem in detail, and hopefully they'd send back an email explaining what's wrong, or that they're fixing the problem, etc. Instead I go from one help screen to another, one drop down menu to a help group,... none of the drop down menus has the specific problem, nothing seems to lead to an answer.

Specifically, when I go to log in it says my email does not exist, but I can go to a look up page. If I type in my blog name, it sends an email to me at the email in their records. I get that email, at the email address they say does not exist!!
If I put that email in the search page, it sends me a remainder to that email!! But wait, you keep telling me that email address doesn't exist, if it doesn't, how come I keep getting emails from you at that address? I usually resort to clicking the link to reset my password. I type in my current password twice, no I don't bother to reset my passwork, it's not saying the password doesn't match the email address. But somehow, that works to allow me to log in, and post this rant!!
Do you think that anyone ever does a search to see if people write about blogger problems in their blogger posts!

What would be extremely helpful, instead of long, complicated searches through forever help pages, would be a simple "contact us" link.

Once again, I'm very fearful of logging off the site, closing any windows, or anything else that might lose my connection to my blog.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Too Sweet!

How about crocheting up a sweet little project for Valentine's Day? Click on the link above to see some cute smily face hearts, and some yummy cupcakes.

Blogger problems

Blogger is sure in a bad mood. I just spent hours in a big circle trying to log in to my blog. First I was told, repeatedly, that my email didn't exist. Not that my email and password didn't match. Sometimes I do forget which password goes with which account, but I can remember which email address filled in!! I went to the Help section, had at least 5 emails sent to me to tell me the email account that I used to set up this blog. Yes, they had listed the very one that I was using, the very one that the log in screen kept saying didn't exist. I went down the entire list of things to do to correct the problem, I dumped the temporary cookies cache, I checked the settings on my privacy and on my security. I got about 4 more emails mailed to me, and reset my password, twice. I made sure my "script" was properly enabled, Then I did all those things again!
The log is screen still continued to say that the email didn't exist, while the emails from Blogger continued to say that that was indeed the email address. They circled me around to several "chat groups" and someone else had the exact same problem in the middle of December. All the suggestions were familiar, but no one seemed to solve her problem either. It would have been extremely helpful if I could have emailed a real person and explained the situation. Possibly they could have given a helpful tip and straightened the problem out in no time.
I've becomes so frustrated that I've completely forgotten what I wanted to post about in the first place.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Some thread work

I finished the January Motif for the Crochet-a-Long yesterday, it will need some blocking. Since I've had a doily waiting for a long time, I'm hoping to get them both blocked tomorrow. The motif is from Celt's Vintage Crochet site, "Poinsettia"
Here's a scan before blocking, that last round really needs some blocking!

I made this little beauty in about an hour this evening. It's from a 1949 book of doilies and chair covers. It's a pull for roller window shades, but I thought it would make a lovely little Christmas ornament, so I made a shorter chain loop. I think if I leave out the little plastic ring, and make a small circle to work the first round into that I could make it into a bookmark easily.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

PA Farm Show

Today I met up with Faith, Margie, and Shelby at the Farm Show. We gave a demonstration of crochet, gave a few simple lessons, and talked to people about the Guild Chapter and the upcoming Gathering of the Guilds. The Keystone Lace Guild had postcards with information about the Gathering (I forgot to bring one home!), Shelby had assembled a great handout with links for crochet websites, and I had made a flyer about the Guild Chapter. Everyone had completed projects which drew attention to our table. Which was helpful, as the microphone they gave me worked about 10 minutes and quit.
We were scheduled for an hour, most of the time we crocheted on various projects, a great variety of thread, yarn, novelty fibers; an ornament, scarf and purse. I taught Shelby the basics of Tunisian. We also had some time to chat about things that needed to be done for the Gathering, and what we'd be doing at the next Chapter meeting. We crocheted well past our hour, before cleaning up and doing a little looking at the exhibits in the Family Living area. There was a fabulous Christening dress and bonnet made with white #10 thread, it had filet hearts on the skirt, with a band of squares with Irish crochet roses around the hem. Fantastic work!

More on organizing

I forgot one thing that I did in organizing that's been a big help. When I got home I had over 125 emails, mostly digests from all the crocheting groups that I belong to, but also from yarn companies. I didn't want to miss any important emails, but knew that if I jumped in and read them in order, I'd never get done the work I needed to do before I had to be ready to teach. So I created folders in my email, for Crochet Partners, CGOA Membership, CGOA Professional, Tunisian crochet (2 groups), Crocheta-Long, Doily of the Month, Antique Pattern Library, Antique Threadwork, yarn company newsletters, etc. Each day I spend a few minutes sorting those emails into the proper folders, and that leaves the personal and work related emails in the inbox for me to handle. When I've got work caught up, I can open one folder and read as many of the digest emails as I have time for.
I've discovered something with this method, a lot of the posts make more sense if you read the digests one after the other, rather than randomly over several days. It's much easier to follow the conversations.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


When I got home from vacation, I realized that I had a lot of things to do in my crocheting, and for the Guild Chapter. I had to get things organized so that I didn't forget to do something that others were depending on me to do.
I started sorting and filing patterns that I've been printing off the Internet, but didn't get too far with that. It takes a lot of time, and few people will notice the results.
I caught up on all the emails regarding the Farm Show, and re-checked my list of things to do for the Gathering of the Guilds. Now I have to print out copies of the flyer that I made to pass out at the Farm Show. I hope this flyer with information on the guild and our meetings will increase attendance at the meetings.
Next, I worked on organizing the paperwork and the completed motifs for the Motif Crochet-a-Long that I'm leading on the Antique Threadwork group. I put each pattern into a page protector, and put the large motifs in the page protector. For some of the smaller motifs I had photos that I'd taken of the motif, and put this page in, also. I'm arranging some of the smaller motifs in a small display case that I purchased at Michaels. It's approximatlye 9 x 12 inches, and about 1 inch high. I'm thinking that I want to put some fabric behind the motifs, to make the display a little more attractive, but don't know what color will show them best. This will be part of our table display at the Gathering of the Guilds on February 23rd. I've been searching some vintage pattern books for some edgings, insertions or doilies taht I might want to be working on during the Gathering. This way I can promote the Guild, and the Antique Pattern Library and the Antique Threadwork group. Maybe I should have a small handout with the web address for these groups.
Next, I updated my "Project Priority" list that I created on Excel. I cut and pasted some projects from the top of the "To Do" list and put them on the bottom of the "Completed" list. Then I added new projects to the top of the list.
Now I hope to have a little more time to actually work on some crocheting!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I've been on vacation

I hope everyone enjoyed the Holidays! I've just returned from a trip to MD, and then down through VA to NC. Daughters #1 & #2 joined me on the first part of the trip and Christmas with hubby's Mom. Then daughter #2 returned home with her dad, she has to pack and be ready to start a new job out of state, next week. Daughter #2 joined me for the looooong drive through VA, and we stayed at my parents. My younger sister and her #2 daughter were there, and my #1 brother and his wife and daughter visited several times. We did miss the rest of the aunts, cousins, and in-laws who were unable to make it, but had a fun, relaxing visit.