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, September 27, 2008

How did I fare at the Fair?

With the start of school, extra students in tutoring, and working extra evenings; I decided not to try to make things just to enter in the fair. I had to look at all the things I had completed this past year, and how many of them still were in my possession, and from that decided what to enter.
I entered a little handbag that I made from Stitch N Bitch Happy Hooker; no fancy stitches, no emellishments, just a basic bag in half-doubles. It received a second place ribbon.
Then I entered a Patricia Kristofferson doily, Posh Pineapples. If you've done any PK work, you know how complicated her patterns are, lots of texture, post stitches, overlays, etc. This doily won a 4th place ribbon. Lastly I entered a doily called Trish, a tribute to PK; again lots of complicated stitches, textures, post stitches, etc. This doily is meticulous, you could display it with the wrong side showing and it would be admired

(but you'd miss the beautiful sunburst on the front!).

This doily didn't place at all.

I love entering items in the fairs, and I like to encourage others to enter their fairs. But, we've got to keep this ribbon and placement thing in the proper perspective. I can't let the placements or lack of them define who I am as a crocheter or as a person. Some years I come home with firsts and seconds, that doesn't make me the greatest crocheter ever,...that year my items hit just the right spot with whatever judges were there. This year, the judges found something they liked better in someone else's entries. C'est la vie!
Now, I have a huge stack of doilies that are calling "Make me next!" Which one shall it be? What color or colors should I use? Does anyone want a doily or two for their house? I've got at least 3 set aside for Christmas gifts, I need homes for a lot more doilies. Which one should I enter into the PA State Farm Show in January?
Must go pick up hook and thread!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Since Saturday I've been working on a new thread project. It's a doily that's part of a crochet-a-long contest with one of the groups that I've joined. It has a start in the center, then works out to shells. I decided to work the star in a white thread that has a "pearlescent" effect, then the next section in pastel variegated, and the outside shell rounds in a medium blue. I really love the way it worked up. Tonight I took it along to our "Crochet in Public" at Borders, I had about 1 1/2 rows to finish, and they were easy enough that I thought that I could work them while doing our usual chatting.
An employee came around and told us that there was a guest author, Jason Wright, who was going to do a reading and book signing. I'm an avid reader, and enjoy these things so I asked if anyone wanted to go along with me. Two of us took our needlework and sat down in chairs facing the small table with books. There were only a couple people waiting, so the author chatted with us, and asked what we were working on. Justine's mom was making a scarf for the Special Olympics challenge, and our CGOA chapter participation in the 60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge, and told about that. I was working on the doily. Later during the talk Jason stopped, said that we'd show up in a later book, and asked how the doily was coming. I told him I make them because the pattern calls to me and I have to make them, but seldom are they for anyone specific. He said that he wanted it. While waiting in line to get my book purchase autographed (The Wednesday Letters), I finished the doily. I told him that I'd block it, and send it to him. He said "I was just yanking your chain". He didn't want to take it from some orphan, somewhere.
After arriving home tonight I worked in the ends, it's difficult to do that in the lighting at Borders at night. I've just finished blocking it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dating crochet

I belong to several crochet groups wherein I'm asked about the history of crochet. Through personal research I've found crochet instructions and patterns dating as early as the 1850's. By the instructions, it seems that crochet is "rather new" at this point, but it's still been around long enough that it isn't introduced as a totally new needle art. While reviewing past issues of the Talking Crochet newsletter that I mentioned in the last post, I came across a reprint of an 1954 article " Excerpts from the Ladies Complete Guide to Crochet & Fancy Knitting, 1854".
The beginning paragraph states that crochet has been known for about 20 years. That's the closet that I've come to the beginning of known crochet history.

Crochet, dance, theatre, art

I received the latest Talking Crochet newsletter this week, and it had several very interesting articles. One that caught my imagination was the newspaper article from Tacoma, about a fiber festival. One of the activities involved public participation in crocheting dresses on dancers, and then the dancers performed. Since daughter #1 is in theatre and opera, and daughter #2 is in theatre and dance, and I'm so into crochet, it really was of interest. Hope that you enjoy it.
BTW, if you still haven't signed up for the Talking Crochet newsletter, don't miss another fun, fact-filled issue. "newsletters"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Spiderweb table runner

Here's a shot of the runner that I'm working, I'm about half-finished.

What's happening this week

A large part of this week has been occupied with school and work, the school year has started!
Late in the night I get some time and work on the runner. I love how this is working up, maybe I'll scan a little of it and give you a peek. I've also blocked two doilies, and selected what I'd take to the fair. I drove to Gratz yesterday, an hour each way, in the rain! Was glad that hubby decided he'd ride along with me, we had some time to talk, and went out to dinner on the way home. At the last minute on Thursday I remembered that I had a drawer full of doilies and maybe I'd have something that I liked a little better for the fair. But, what was made this year?, what was made earlier?, what had already been entered last year? Luckily, I realized that I could look back at the entries here in the blog to see what had been finished since the fair last September. I entered the Posh Pineapple that I made in October...

and a doily call Trish which I finished about a week ago. I don't think that I've taken any pictures yet. Here's the pattern "Trish"
I made it in a bright golden-yellow, and it has a lot of textured stitches like posts and overlay.
I also entered a small purse that I made to display in our CGOA groups library display this spring. I had planned to enter the runner, but I just ran out of time. I also planned to enter the Ring Around the Posie top, but at the last I worried about whether it would be handled gently enough. Most likely they would hang it on a hanger, or drape it across the wooden bleachers,...and I'm still treating it with kid gloves. And then, Tuesday is picture day at school, and I think that I want to wear this top!
I have a pass for the fair, and I usually go up in the middle of the week to get inspiration from the other items entered, and see how I placed. I was thinking that I wouldn't be able to go, because the pass is for Wednesday and Thursday, and I work both evenings. But maybe they open early enough during the day that I could go for an hour or two and still get back in time for work. hmmm Will have to check the Fair website and see when they open.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Must See Site of the Day!

This link is to an eBay seller, so it might not be a permanent link. Please go take a look at the stunning doilies this woman has created. Butterflies, bluebirds, hummingbirds, roses, sunflowers,...and not all round, the shapes are as amazing as the colors and the birds,...Utterly Awesome. I'm naming this the Must See Site of the Day!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Fall Interweave Crochet magazine

Wow! I just looked at what's in the new Interweave Crochet magazine, and I have to pick this up at Borders tomorrow evening. There are some great looking sweaters, cardigans, pullovers, dolmans; a gorgeous skirt; then accessories like mittens, socks, and scarves; and an afghan. The designs include some of my favorite designers, like Doris Chan and Drew Emborsky. Maybe I'll find the perfect sweater pattern for that cotton that was gifted to me.

Newest thread project

A few day ago I went to Walmart in search of the illusive Delft blue Red Heart yarn. I'm planning to make some scarves for the "Special Olympics scarf project"
While at Walmart I decided to browse to see what else they might have of interest, I don't shop there often, only when I can't find what I want at Michaels, AC Moore, or JoAnn Fabric. I found a new "How to" booklet put out by Coats & Clark, it has knitting, crocheting, tatting and embroidery. It had a nice placemat and centerpiece in a "spiderweb" design, one of my favorites, along with pineapples. Anyway I thought that a one-piece runner might make up a lot faster than the motif one that I started for hubby's aunt. I've been dragging my heels a lot on that one. This is a very traditional design, it looks a lot like two of the vintage crochet pieces that my mother-in-law purchased and has in her living room. So I think that this design would work well for her sister. I also picked up a large ball of Aunt Lydia's #10 thread in ecru. Very traditional.

I started last night, using the chainless sc foundation, and I can happily say I finally have this down. I finally found a website that explained it better than any book that I've used! Today I had time to work, and I'm amazed at how fast it's working. I hope that I can continue at this pace, as I'm hoping to enter it in the county fair before gifting it. Is that tacky? Or a good use of time? Anyway, I'm scheduled to drop the items at the fair on Friday, and tomorrow is lesson plans and tutoring, Tuesday I teach then Crochet in Public, Wednesday and Thursday evening I work,...it could be pushing it!

motif CAL

Here are the motifs that I selected for August and September for the Antique Threadwork Crochet-a-Long. I made a few little changes to the last round, as I was just making one of each motif, and not joining them for a tablecloth or bedspread.

August motif "Summer Snowflake"

September "Pineapple Square S-744"

Friday, September 05, 2008

little things finished

Hope you noticed that I managed to get the 60 Scarves Challenge button up on the blog last night. I can't take the credit, daughter #1 did most of the html work.

Tonight I finally got the blocking done. There are two doilies and a motif drying on the ironing board now. Maybe tomorrow I'll finish the Sept. motif and get that blocked before taking the ironing board back down. Then take photos of the doilies, and scan the motifs and get them posted to the Antique Threadwork group.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge

In a recent newsletter, there was an article about crocheting or knitting scarves for the Winter Special Olympics Games. The scarves are to be made of Red Heart Super Saver yarn in White and Delft Blue, using any pattern you want. I like to make scarves because they are quick projects, and I can be as creative as I want. I especially love to use new Tunisian stitch patterns to create unique scarves.

At the Harrisburg CGOA meeting last Thursday I presented the idea of all of us working to make scarves for this event. Our group doesn't have an "official" charity that we all work on projects for, because everyone in the group was already busy making items for their favorite charities. Well, this is a short-term project, all scarves need to be shipped in time to arrive at the even by mid-January. And, as I said, scarves are quick and we can all do something different. It will be fun to see what everyone has create when we get together at the meetings for the next few months. Shelby had her copy of Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet and found a few stitch patterns that look a little like the Olympic rings!

Today, while catching up on blog readings, I found that Dee has issued her 60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge. Dee, I'll take you up on the Challenge and start working on scarves for Special Olympics. The biggest challenge for me, will be to get that 60 Scarves logo into my sidebar! My #2 daughter who's done a lot of that work for me is working out of state for the year. Maybe daughter #1 can help? Check back soon to see if you see the 2008 60 Scarves logo!