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, September 25, 2009

Fiber at the American Museum of Natural History

I've just finished reading a fascinating newspaper article about a new fiber. Bamboo? Milk fiber? Sugarcane? These are all fairly new fibers out on the market, and I'm eager to get my hands on some of that sugarcane. I've tried a cotton and milk fiber blend, but I've seen some 100% milk fiber on Ravelry that looks super scrumptious. But this fiber is spun from the silk of...no, not butterflies,...spiders! Specifically, golden orb spiders from Madagascar. The article had a picture of some of the spiders, not thrilling. But also a picture of the lovely fabric that was woven from the spun silk. The rectangle of fabric is a lovely golden-yellow, natural not dyed; and shows an intricately woven design. The article goes into detail about the spiders, their silk and the spinning process. By weight the thread is 5 to 6 times stronger than steel!! No broken threads, no knots discovered in the middle of crocheting your doily. Well, I can dream, can't I?

I've included a link to the article, but I fear that you may need to register with the website in order to read the article and see the pictures. And even then, the article will probably will available for a very limited time.

The cloth, though, is on display at the American Museum of Natural History. Anyone feel that a field trip is in order?

edited to add: Thank you National Geographic! Here is another article and several more photos of the beautiful fiber:
"National Geographic article"

What's on the hooks?

Our church Shawl Ministry is always willing to take up new projects when requested. Along with shawls for people in the hospitals, nursing homes, or recovering at home; and shawls for family members who've suffered a death in the family; then the church got a request for soft chemo hats; after that the group started making white shawls/blankets for each baby baptized in the church; then we started making afghans in school colors for each high school graduate. Our latest? We're making black hats for the members of the Church's Puppet Ministry. That was my focus for this week. I'm using the pattern that I developed for the chemo hats, a basic close-fitting hat made with double crochets. Although I will admit that about half-way through I get bored and decide to add some fun stitches in the last few rows.

I'm also adding a few rows everyday to the Tunisian baby afghan. This item doesn't have a specific place to go when finished, I just love the stitch pattern and color.

I'm a happy crocheter!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What I made to wear at the Conference

In April I made the Short and Sweet Cardigan from The Happy Hooker. The design is by Angela Best. I made it longer than the pattern, and with less gap in the front. Otherwise I knew that I would be tugging at it, trying to cover the way I like. The yarn is Little Lehigh Pebbles from Kraemer yarns. It's blue with little bits of green and fuschia, though that doesn't show well in the photo.

Next I made the Blue Skies Jacket from a Crochet! magazine, design by Tammy Hildebrand. I found the yarn on sale at Michaels as I was browsing, trying to decide what to make next. The yarn is Lion Brand Jiffy. This lovely sweater vest cost less than $10!

This last photo is a Ring Around the Posie that I made for last year's conference. But it's so cute, and lightweight & cool that I had to wear it again this year. The design was in an issue of Interweave Crochet, and is by Tammy Hildebrand. The yarn is NaturallyCaron Spa in a bamboo and acrylic blend.

Photos from Chain Link Conference in Buffalo

It's taken a little while to get photos from my camera onto my computer. I usually like to go back to the corresponding posts and related photos, but I think this time I'll add some post just of photos.
Here are some shots of the architecture around the hotel and conference center.

I asked Margie to pose as if she was studying the architecture:

There was a beautiful fountain between the conference center and one of several spots that we tried out for coffee. Here's Margie in front of the fountain:

A Crochet Quiz

Well, school has been back in session for a week or two, it's time for a quiz. Don't panic, it's a crochet quiz.
Hmmm, Have I posted this link before? I like the fact that when you check your answers they give the % of quiz takers that got that question correct. As expected the basic questions about abbreviations and beginner patterns got about 94-98%. I was amazed that on the question about what size hook to use to make a doily, only 28% got the right answer. Surely there are more crocheters than that who make doilies! I can't be alone in this love! Wait, I know that I'm not because of all the great groups to which I belong: Antique Threadwork, Doily of the Month, Crochet Partners.
Have fun!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tumbling Clusters Autumn Scarf

My friend Dee designed this really cool scarf using linked stitches. This is a technique that she taught at the Chain Link Conference in Buffalo in August. I took the class and was amazed at the fun things you can do by linking different stitches together. I've been playing around with ideas and have a start on a doily, a baby hat, and maybe a shawl.
I purchased the pattern via a PDF download, and got started immediately. It took a little bit of time reading, thinking, stitching and re-reading,...but it clicked. And yesterday I finished a scarf in a pretty pink. I took a picture, but not sure when I'll do the technical stuff and get them posted.
edited Sept. 14th to add photo:

This is the first of the scarves that our CGOA Chapter will be working on as part of Dee's 60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge. But, when I checked Ravelry last night, they already had 30 scarves completed, just since Sept. 1! Bernat announced their Knit & Crochet Breast Cancer Collection just the day before I read about Dee's Challenge for 2009. The ads for the yarns look pretty, and I've heard that the local AC Moore has it. Will need to do some shopping this week. Although hubby will bemoan that I'm buying "more yarn". Just a little, for charity projects...

Friday, September 11, 2009

barnacles and coral

My daughter sent this link to me after a friend had sent it to her. We have a lot of fun when she's home. I sit at the computer in the kitchen and she's at her laptop in the dining room and we occasionally send a "linkie" to something interesting. Sometimes we giggle and have to traipse to the other room to see the pictures. Expecially when daughter #2 sends a LOLcat!
Of course, I had to reciprocate and find links to hyperbolic crochet, and the coral reef projects.
Here's a set of pictures of a "reef display at the Chicago Cultural center" in 2007.
And a blog with photos of a "reef display in Sydney" .
For the geeks - "here is a website with the mathematics involved!"

Isn't this fascinating stuff! The beautiful crochet work, the reef structures, the mathematics....
Hope you see something that you like.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Teeny, tiny crocheted animals

Would you like to see some of the smallest animals ever crocheted? I can't believe how small these are. My favorite is probably "Bon Bon Bear"
Just look at the size, or lack of it, in "this little bear"
They're not all bears, there are chicks, dogs, dolphins, ladybugs, and look at "these little snails!"

I am just amazed at the tiny, delicate work. This is amazing!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

ADD crocheting & some blogs to read

This week I've been ADD crocheting...a little scrumble for the purse on Tuesday evening, a little on the Mystery CAL on Friday, a little on a baby afghan on Saturday evening, ...
then a little on-line pattern search on Saturday afternoon, a little technical work this evening...

I've just enjoyed reading Doris Chan's blog, and realized that it's one that I haven't recommended to readers. Here it is "Doris's blog"

My "read it every day" blog is Dee Stanziano. Check out "Dee's blog"
Her post of September 1st reminds me that it's time for the 60 Scarves in 60 Days Challenge. I've participated for several years, and this year I'll encourage our CGOA Chapter to participate. In a Bernat newsletter yesterday they announced new yarns and a new promotion called Knit and Crochet for Breast Cancer. They have some lovely new yarns, and 4 free patterns - chemo caps, prayer shawls, and scarves. I think I'll combine the Bernat and Dee's 60 Scarves Challenge for the chapter. We can donate the scarves to the Hershey Medical Center.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

New hooks

I discovered these double ended hooks today while doing some research. Each end has a different size hook, so you have the same number of hooks in half the space. I love the bright colors on the handles, a quick way to grab the right sized hook. The thicker hook handles, and the shaped grip look like they would be good for crocheters who have trouble holding the small hooks. Personally, I like to roll my hook on different stitches or techniques, so that grip would bother me. They also look short, like the Clover hooks. That means that the end of the hook would be hitting my palm, and not extending out past my hand, like my wonderful Boye hooks do!
You can buy the hooks separately, as well as in the set. Either way, with shipping and handling the hooks will be about $10 each. Ouch! And they're not even wood, no beads or jewels. They're not on my wish list, but I know some crocheters who would be willing to pay extra for that comfort handle!

I just found a nice "review of these hooks" . Okay, forgot that you actually have 10 hooks, that's about $5 each. More expensive than a regular hook, but for the comfort, it's reasonable. Check out these hooks if you're a Clover Soft Touch fan.