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 27, 2008

I found the book!

I mentioned last week that I was looking for a pattern book with a specific baby afghan. Someone at the Shawl Ministry had purchased two finished afghans at a thrift shop, and wanted to know if someone could reproduce the afghans. One was a granny square with a large, open "cabbage rose". I was able to create the rose with some playing around, and it would be easy enough to attach some white and create a granny square with the rose in the center. The second pattern had a 3-D flower created with double crochets, and the petals did a twist and stood up. I played and swatched, but couldn't re-create the stand up petals. I spend most of a day searching on line. For some reason, I thought the pattern was a Maggie Weldon design, but couldn't find it on her website. I searched eBay, spent hours on searches that read "40 baby afghans", etc. I finally found a picture of the afghan, and the seller listed most of the afghan names, but not the title of the book.

Last night at Michaels, I spent time flipping through books of afghans, baby projects, etc. I'd start with scanning the table of contents (if the book had one) looking for names on the list, then flipping through the book. A friend helped with selecting about 4 afghan books and bringing them to the classroom. We had a good time looking at afghans & discussing what we liked, colors, etc. I finally found it! It's "The Best of Maggie Weldon Crochet Afghans". A friend loaned me a 40% off coupon (I just asked with a please, please, please voice, I didn't beg. But I think that I would have!) I have the same coupon here at home, so I've dropped it into my project bag, and I'll give it to her at the CGOA meeting tomorrow.

I had about 5 skeins of various colors in my bag, I had planned on swatching during the evening. I made a flower with RH periwinkle, it was cute, but very stiff. I tried again with an orchid, softer, but not what I want for a baby. I think I'll try RH Soft or Caron Simply Soft, or maybe a baby pompadour yarn with a little sparkle in it.

There are some beautiful afghans in this book, many with flowers. There's another baby afghan that's a large granny square in white, then white roses and just a touch of color with green leaves. What a great baby gift! There are plenty more with flowers, more granny squares, afghans made with strips and motifs, mile a minute types, ripples and pineapples. My favorite, along with this 3-D flowers baby afghan, is a granny square done in green with large yellow & white daisies. It's so fresh and crisp, and spring-like!

There are plenty of extras in this book, including a list of abbreviations, yarn standard guide with gauge and suggested hook sizes, US and International terms chart, a chart of hook sizes in US (letters and numbers) and metric, a chart on how they label patterns (beginner, easy, intermediate, experienced), information on achieving gauge, joining, and finishing techniques.

I'm going to highly recommend this pattern book. Check it out at "Maggie's site"

Saturday, February 23, 2008

New motif finished

Last week I bought the booklet The Complete Guide to Thread Crochet, simply because of the lovely long-sleeved v-neck sweater in #10 thread. Okay, I might have been tempted by a few of the lace edgings, too and there's a cute runner with filet hearts.
I'm still searching for a pattern and trying to decide what I want to do for this runner that I've promised. I prefer working in one piece rather than motifs. Even though I do love motifs, I have to do the same thing over and over. I was looking at the book & decided that I'd try the motif used in the tablecloth. Well folks, I love this motif. It worked up quickly & easily & it's classic.

I may decided to make the runner with this motif. Or try this motif in the soy yarn that I bought for my sweater. A band of square motifs around the bottom edge of the sweater might just be a good starting point.
In the meantime, I need to search out a good quality thread in a light cream color. Away I go to "Handy Hands Tatting" website.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Gathering of the Guilds

I'm been working very hard at finishing up preparations for the Gathering of the Guilds. Last night I sent out 2 emails to the CGOA Chapter mailing list, 1 reminding them of the date, time and location, and 1 to those I knew were planning to participate rather than just attend. I finalized a lot of details for set up, displays, demonstrations. I've been working this week on creating a display of types of thread crochet, and motifs from the Antique Threadwork motif crochet-a-long. I also sorted out a lot of items that I wanted to display and items to sell. I had a long "To Do" list, and a "Thing to Take" list. Tomorrow I was going to make some 7 x 9 blocks for Warm Up America to show one of the things that we do for charity.
Well folks, we're getting hit by winter weather. This morning's weather predicted snow starting tonight (Thursday) continuing through Friday and Friday night, then changing to ice, freezing rain, etc on Saturday morning. So the Gathering organizers have cancelled the event. Not postponed, but cancelled, so it's a whole year before another Gathering. So today I sent out another email letting everyone know that the event was cancelled.

I spent part of the day creating a Yahoo Group for our CGOA Chapter.
Tomorrow will be a nice day to snuggle under an afghan and crochet.

Some folks must be becoming millionaires on eBay

I was looking at patterns on eBay this week. I have selected a few for baby afghans and made reasonable bids. There was a lovely white one that had blocks of Irish crochet roses as a larger border, then surrounded by a smaller border. It was lovely! It ended today,...at $17.35!!! With shipping, that's $20 for one pattern!
What were these people thinking. Another copy of it will probably show up in a few weeks, the seller hoping to get $20 for their copy, too. Most likely it'll go for $2or 3. Several people got involved in a bidding war, or an "I've got to have that" fever.
Meanwhile the patterns that I've bid on are sitting there at a nice 99 cents. I can get about $20 patterns at that rate!

Monday, February 18, 2008

More Preparation for the Gathering of the Guilds

Saturday I spent all day driving, I picked up two chapter members at Starbucks,... fuel up it's a long day. We dropped flyers at AC Moore and Hancock Fabrics. Later in the day I dropped flyers at JoAnn Fabric, Michaels, and Borders. I tried to get to a new local yarn shop. It had hours posted on the Internet - Saturday 10 to 5. That's what it says on the store window, too. I arrived at 4:40, and the place was closed. This is not a good way to treat customers. Why should I drive to a shop that may or may not be open when I arrive, if I know about 5 other stores that will be open the hours that they have advertised?

Today I spent a long time on the Internet, reading all my crochet group postings, looking at crochet related websites, and finding some fanastic patterns. Do I really need more patterns? I did find the pattern that someone in the Shawl Ministry was asking about on Monday. It's a beautiful baby afghan, granny squares with a flower in the center. Instead of a flat flower, it has 3-dimensional petals. I studied the afghan and I could not figure out how the petals were made. It was exciting to come across the pattern book. Will look for it the next time I get out to Michaels.

This evening I spent some time blocking doilies, motifs and edgings. I think that I will use several of them in a display for the Gathering. I also spent time looking through several vintage books of doilies, tableclothes, bedspreads, and edgings. Still trying to decided on a runner. I'd like to do it all in one piece, but I've only found one of those that I really, really like; and I've done it once already. I just might do it again, it is pretty. But I am looking at several runners made with motifs, or using several bedspread or tablecloth motifs, and just making enough for a runner.

The next few days are school and work. So I'll probably be working extra on Thursday and Friday to finish up anything I want for the Gathering.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pattern testing and editing

Tuesday evening I received a phone call from my sister. My niece had created a chemo hat of her own design, and wanted to get the pattern in writing and donate it to a worthy charity. My sister, an experienced crocheter was nominated to get the pattern down in "conventional" form. The call was a "How do I explain this?" After much discussion by the 3 of us on only 2 phones, they had it down in writing. Then my niece emailed the pattern to me, and I started on the test/edit stage. Last night I emailed her, including scans of the progress on the hat, only to get a reply that I didn't have it right. She gave me a little more information and photos of the hat that she had made. With a little more work, and a trip to the Frog Pond,...we ripped back 6 rounds, I worked again this evening and was able to make the hat look just like hers. I've made a few minor changes in the pattern wording and layout, and emailed the pattern and new scans of the finished hat back to my niece last this evening. Tomorrow I should hear from her whether it passes the designer's approval. It's a beautiful hat, I'm proud of my niece, and her generous heart.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Great post on Kim's blog - Please read this

Have you noticed the stop sign here on my blog? It says "STOP Copyright Theft Hurts" and links to an excellent article about copyright of patterns, on Craft Designs for You. You can read my previous post of Oct. 11, 2006 "Oct. 11, 2006" .
Kim Guzman has written another excellent blog post about copyright theft and how it hurts the pattern designers. Please read Kim's post, and all the comments. The next time that you think about copying a pattern, instead of buying the book; or the next time you think about making copies of a pattern and passing them out to your friends;...please think about the designers, and think about what will happen to the future of good designs if no one is willing to pay for them.
I love to check out crochet books from the library and look through them, sometimes I use a pattern and make a project. I frequently check out the same book, however, if I make more than two projects from the book, it's time to purchase my personal copy of the book. That leaves a good book in the library for others to use, and puts money into the pockets of the designers whose work I treasure.

Give your friends the web address so they can go and get their own pattern, pass on the name on the book, booklet or publication where they can find the pattern and they can purchase their own copy. If they're on a tight budget, give them that 50% off coupon from AC Moore or Michaels. Show them that you're a friend, and appreciate the situation, but you still have to do what's right.

Next major project - move the old encyclopedias off the book shelf (I use online encyclopedias now most of the time) and get the recently purchased crochet books in to that space.

Progress on baby afghan

Today I took a group of students to the Mathcounts Chapter Competition. We met for registration at 8:30 am, and finished about 2:30 pm. When I got home I did a "veg out" in front of the tv, but I did have hook in hand. I finished 28 rows on the baby afghan. Once I got the stitch pattern in the brain, it works up very quickly. I'm already thinking about what kind of border to add!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Motif CAL

Last night I selected the motif for the Antique Threadwork Crochet-a-Long. It's not an antique pattern, which is what I usually select. But it's a great tutorial for crocheting from written patterns, and working from charts and symbols. And the motif is a little heart with a ruffled edge. It's perfect for Valentine's Day!
I found the pattern and tutorial on the DMC thread website while looking for different thread colors.

Crochet in Public

Tuesday night I worked on swatching some Tunisian stitches from the antique needlework book. I found one more that I really like the look of, but also found two that I really can't figure out. "You want me to put the hook where?" "I'm sorry, what?" That's what I was saying to myself most of the evening.
I then took a break and started on a thread edging that I'm hoping to make great progress on by the Gathering of the Guilds. It would be nice if I had enough finished for one pillow case!
Tonight I bought the variegated yarn for the Ocean Waves baby afghan. Also found the buttons for the baby sweater. I had been thinking of something fun like ice cream cones. The ice cream cones were a little too pale, I thought, and also too large. The ABC blocks were also too large. I really loved some little cup cakes, they were in pale purple "papers", white icing, and purple sprinkles. They came 2 on a card, and I had 3 cards in my hand ready to head to the checkout, when I realized that they were over $4 per card. About $13 to put buttons on a baby sweater! That's a little wacky. I looked at the fun buttons again, loved the helicoper and airplane set (too boyish?), and a kitty face with a ball of yarn ($4 per card of 2!), so finally settled on white and yellow daisies (5 in a bag for $3). I almost got a bag of yellow, a bag of blue, orange, green, etc, so I could put on one of each color. The yarn is white, with dots of yellow, mint, periwinkle, orange. But then I'd be up to the same price, and have lots of buttons left over. I already have a good starting stash, some pansies, garden hats, dragons,... I think the daisies will be very cute.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Ocean Waves stitch

Yesterday I got out my binder of color cards. I have a lot of the Red Heart and Coats & Clark yarn cards. This saves a lot of time at the store, running from store to store, and looking on the Internet deciding what colors go together. I especially find the Red Heart Super Saver indispensable, along with short strands of the exact yarn, on the back is a list of the variegated yarns and what solid colors match. I started with a list of variagated choices and made a list of what blues went with each. Then I got daughter #1 involved, and we looked at the colors together. She selected several combinations that she liked. Today, I went to the stash and pulled out some skeins and partial skeins and started the swatching process.
Shaded blues and periwinkle,...no, the periwinkle is bright, and the shaded blues are dusky. I like the periwinkle and Monet, and even though we started with the idea of a blue, or blues, she prefers Monet and white. The white makes all the colors in the Monet really stand out! And there are a lot of colors - blues, greens, purples, rose, yellows, and wonderful shading. I'd love to find some of the blues and that shiny blue-green in a solid!
In swatching I did find a small error in the pattern. Row 1 needs to have a [hdc in next st] twice, between the two doubles and the last 2 singles. I'm also planning to switch the single crochet row to half doubles. It'll work up a little faster, add an interesting ridge that helps to set off the solid color, and no one will ever know the difference (unless they read it here!)
Now I'm working on checking gauge, deciding on finished size, and calculating the starting chain. I'm thinking approximately 36 x 40, with a small border. That's the hardest part for me, working out the border.
Check out two of the color choosing swatches.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Another Busy week

I've been busy this week, but have a lot that I'd like to post. Writing "blog entry" on my things to do list doesn't seem to be enough to get me to actually write and post. Too many other things seeem to take priority. This week I've tried a new approach, I start a new post, write in the title and possibly add a link, then save it as a draft. When I have time to write, it's a great reminder of what I wanted to write, and it saves time searching for the links.

Tuesday night was our Crocheting in Public at Borders. See an earlier post (Friday, Feb. 1) Thursday night was our CGOA Chapter meeting. We had four of the regulars, and we were busy with making small door prizes for the Gathering of the Guilds, coming up on Feb. 23rd. Faith is making heart shaped ornaments, Shelby is making flowers and leaves to glue on notecards, and I'm making more bookmarkers. Crystal was working on a long-term project, a beautiful afghan in white with "hearts" in pink, red, purple.

At home, I've been working on the thread bookmarkers, and also swatching Tunisian stitches from the book Essential Crochet Treasures (future post!). I've also been on the search for a pattern for a baby afghan for my daughter to give to a friend. I want something different, more modern, rather than traditional, pastel, cutsey. I think that I've happened upon the perfect stitch pattern. It's called the "Ocean Waves stitch" . We're thinking a navy blue, and a variegated that has blues, purples and maybe pink. Red Heart Monet is one that comes to mind, I think the other one I'd like is Red Heart, something like Seashore. We're planning to look at color cards later today for more ideas.

Crochet in Public night

Our Tuesday nights at Michaels has been shifted a lot recently. We used to meet every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at Michaels, and the other Tuesdays at Borders. Lately, Michaels has needed the classroom for other classes, and has been shifting the Sit N Stitch to Mondays and Wednesdays. I usually can't make Mondays, preparing to teach on Tuesday, and once a month the Shawl Ministry. I can't make the Wednesdays at all, as that's a night I work at another job. So I've been making it to Borders every Tuesday. Some nights there are only three of us, other times it's a great crowd. Crocheters, knitters, and some who explore all types of needlework. There's a group of knitters who meet there once a month on Tuesday nights, it's a lot of fun to see what they're working on, what types of fibers they're using, etc.

This Tuesday the events coordinator approached us and asked if we'd like to have the group mentioned in their newsletter, were we open to adding new "members'. The more the merrier, and free advertising! We had to select a name rather quickly, and I vetoed anything with "hookers". It's a cute play on words, and I like the humor, but it turns a lot of people off. And we are a family group, we have at least 2 regulars who bring along their pre-teen daughters. So, I suggested "Hooks and Needles" as that covers all types of needlework. It was quickly agreed upon, and I'm eager to see the post in the next Borders newsletter. If you're in the Harrisburg/Paxtonia area, meet us on Tuesdays at the Borders on Route 22 in Paxtonia.