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 25, 2009

Progress on baby dress

I've been crocheting almost non-stop for days, just trying to finish the skirt on this baby dress. My husband came home from work today and said "She's crocheting. Still working on that skirt!"
Tonight I actually finished the skirt, and the sleeves, and started the collar. Tomorrow I have one row of the collar, and then need to buy some white bamboo thread. There's one row of white on the bottom of the skirt, bottom of the sleeves, and I think 3 rows around the collar. Then I'll be all done. It's really a very sweet little dress. Note - when you go shopping for the white bamboo thread, look for 3 buttons for the back.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We need pictures...

I'm really wishing that I had more pictures lately. Here's a scan of the progress on the baby dress. Still loving that bamboo!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Latest project

I'm still thinking about the perfect sweater/top pattern for the jade cotton, but in the meantime I'm looking for other projects to use up stash yarn (and those beautiful things that I just had to have!).
I sampled some wonderful #10 thread in bamboo, and shortly after Annie's Attic Free Pattern of the Day had a beautiful baby dress in #10 thread. It's called Little Pink Princess and it was designed by Collete Blair. I usually prefer a very tightly twisted thread for doilies, etc which makes me always think it would be stiff and rough for a baby dress. The bamboo #10 would be fabulously soft! So I printed out the dress pattern and ordered 3 balls of pink. Yesterday I started on the dress, and have most of the bodice finished. This is so amazingly soft. Now, usually a softer fiber is produced by a softer twist, which means that the thread frizzes and seperates easily. The soft finish on this thread is all due to the bamboo fiber, and it still has a nice tight twist. No lint, frizzing, or splitting. I plan to write a full review later.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Along with teaching Tunisian crochet, I'm very involved in helping others learn to crochet and helping with other aspects of crochet. I am one of two volunteer email correspondents for the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA). I also answer crochet questions on AllExperts.com We answer all kinds of crochet questions - how do I do an sc dec? I'm in the SCA or a Civil War Reenactor, can I make crochet garments? I'm having trouble with the following instructions.
I also am an instructor and a moderator on Ravelry's Learn Crochet group.
Today, I helped a crocheter who was making a bowtie for a bear on an afghan. I broke the instructions down step-by-step. In order to do this accurately and write it as clearly as possible, I grabbed a hook and yarn. Here's the little bowtie:

I had to show that pretty Sonshapes hook that I used!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Blue Skies Jacket

Friday evening I started my newest project. The Blue Skies Jacket from the July 2008issue of Crochet! magazine. The sweater vest was designed by Tammy Hildebrand, and it is super fast and easy. It's made with a bulky weight yarn, I used that Bernat Softee Chunky that I bought on clearance Thursday evening. Then the stitch pattern is basically V-stiches, then V-stitch in the chain 1 space of the V-stitch,... It could have gotten boring, except that I could see the sweater happening so fast! I made a few minor modifications, first adding about 5 rows to make it longer. Then on the front border I added a row of reverse slip stitch. That adds a nice, classic, tailored finish. I skipped the bottom border, and did a single in each dc and in each chain 1 space, then a row of single in each single, then the row of reverse slip stitches. I had already finished the sleeves with the little shells, but after trying it on for the zillionth time, I decided to frog back the shells and put on the row of reverse slip stitch.

I finished the vest tonight, Sunday. I used less than 5 of the 6 balls of yarn, purchased for $1.99 each. So this is my $10 weekend sweater vest. I finished the baby sweater on Friday morning, after finishing the Short and Sweet Cardigan on Monday. So it's been a very productive week or two! I hope to take pictures of all the sweaters tomorrow. I wore the newly finished Short and Sweet to school on Tuesday, and plan to wear the Blue Skies this Tuesday! Tuesday is the last day of school, and Student Recognition Night, and I'm finished teaching for the year. I'm hoping to spend the summer doing a lot of crochet related things.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

How is the organization process working?

How is the organization process working? and is it helpful?
Well, I thought that I had lost the papers with my list of stashed yarn purchased for sweaters/tops. But I found it. Must, must, must get some papers filed! Anyway, the first page has yarn weight, fiber content, color, #of skeins and total yardage of yarn in stock. Then I have several pages with names of patterns, location (specific book or magazine), fiber recommended, yarn weight, # of yards. Then I've been slowly making notes of what "in-stock" yarns might work with these patterns.

Last night I met a fellow needleworker for coffee at Borders. We had a good time playing with yarn, knitting, crocheting, Tunisian, swatching. She finished a few rows of her knitting - a diagonal baby afghan. I had great fun exploring her pattern in Tunisian. After the coffee was long gone, we went next door to Michaels just to see what they had. Michaels is promising a "new" yarn section for Spring. It looks like they're clearancing a lot of things, but odd categories. Like the Red Heart Super Saver, nomally $2.59, was on sale for $2.29, except for the red - it was $1.49. Neither of us felt that we needed red, even at those prices. Why wasn't the Tweed on sale for $1.49? There was a lovely shade of blue in the RH Designer Sport, but not enough skeins for a sweater, several other blue shades with plenty of skeins, but the color just wasn't as pretty. I'll wait. Then I found Bernat Softee Chunky for $1.99 a skein, only 6 skeins. Wait, I happen to have my stash notes in my project bag. I need x # of yards. Check the yardage, multiply on stash list, there's plenty for this project! So I bought yarn for a lovely sweater vest, total cost will be less than $14!!

I'm finishing up a little baby sweater today, but think that I just might start the sweater vest next. Would love to start stitching on that jade mercerized cotton! Love the color, but haven't settled on the perfect pattern, yet.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Dancing in the Streets may now Begin!!

This morning I registered for "the Conference", and I just reserved "the hotel room"!
We can now dance in the streets and party!!
Am I a little too excited? I don't think so!
I registered for Professional Development Day, and the PDD Luncheon on Wednesday, a full day of classes with "Dee Stanziano" on Thursday (Crochet your Knit and Tunisian- on the Short), a full day of classes with "Lily Chin" on Friday (Crocheting Sweaters from the Top Down), and a full day of classes with "Karen Klemp" on Saturday (Aran Crochet). In addition to all this class time, I signed up for admission to the Market, the CGOA Chapter coffee (Fri), the Banquet, Fashion Show and Silent Auction (Sat), and the CGOA Commemorative Hook.
Hope to see you in Buffalo in August!

The Conference - Narrowing the class selection

On Friday evening I crawled into bed without a novel, instead I had the list of classes for the Conference, my Excel spreadsheet of the classes I wanted to take, and a handful of colorful neon highlighters.
I put pink x's on the classes I didn't want to take, blue checkmarks on classes I've already taken or learned the equivalent information on my own, and green dashes on the ones I really wanted to take. Then I thought about where I wanted/needed to go with my Professional Development in crochet. I then re-read all the classes, more pink x's and more green dashes until I narrowed things down to the number of hours they were offering classes. You just can't take 21 classes when they offer time slots for 8! I made my final decision, a total of 5 classes, leaving Sunday open for site-seeing or driving home. Then I just had to wait until registration opened this morning. I will admit that when I started checking off the classes on the registration form this morning that I did yet another read over of the classes, and made another change. But I like the final decision, and the classes actually fit together rather than a little of this and a little of that.
Details on the final choices are in the next post.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Knitting for your Health

Here's a clip from the Early Show, a segment about knitting and crocheting being good for your health. But we already knew that, didn't we? I really loved it when the neuroscientist from the Mayo clinic said "these types of intellectual activities, might be, somewhat, neuro protective". Needleworkers show less memory loss; it helps to manage stress, pain and depression; helps to strengthen the immune system, and decreases blood pressure.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I think I'll crochet instead of jog.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Short and Sweet

I finished the Short and Sweet last night. I'm going to name it Less Short, More Sweet or Not Short, Just Sweet; because I lengthened it to a nice length for a tall person. I wore it today when I met with Pam at "Yarn-Love" to discuss our CGOA Chapter's recently launched project and agenda for the rest of the year.
I really, really love this pattern and my new sweater. I kept stepping in front of the mirror to look at it, then saying "It's so cute!". I need to get some pictures and post them here, and on Ravelry.