Friday, August 08, 2008

Sneak Peek

I'm about to start another secret project for Robyn and come to realize I never posted a link to her sneak peek for the last project! Well the beautiful Blue Sky Royal alpaca I posted about turned into this wonderfully soft and ruffly fall accessory that Robyn blogged about in a sneak preview back in May! Rumor has it, that the accessory was touched and felt and even worn by many staffers at the publishing establishment. I'll let you know when it's really out!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Blog hiatus....

I can't even begin to explain... suffice it to say that blogging time was usurped by the rest of life.

Here's a cool thing called a wordle to begin my return to the blogosphere

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Secret Project #4

Did I mention I love being a pattern tester? Well you can add in contract crocheter as well. I have another secret project!! All the WIPs are on hold now as I have a special quick project to crochet for Robyn [Ravel It!]. I can show you the yarn this time. I wish you could touch's amazingly soft and luxurious. And just look at that little Alpaca face..

[Ravel It!] links for Ravelry members only... Join now it's amazing!
All other links accessible by all.

WIP: Garden Party Wrap

I just love being a pattern tester! Kim Guzman, aka crochetkim, was kind enough to ask a gang of us at Yahoo crochet-a-long to be her guinea pigs for her first laceweight pattern, Garden Party Wrap [Ravel It!]. Known to most of us as GPW now, this pattern is beautiful, and popular. She really hit it big with this one. It has been holding it's own as #1 new crochet pattern at Ravelry for almost a week now. I thought this would be a cool project to try out my ChainLink 2007 yarn purchase.. Just Our Yarn's "Aziza" [Ravel It!]. A zillion other things have been absorbing my time unfortunately so I have not made it very far on this project. Nonetheless, here's where I am so far...
[Ravel It!] links for Ravelry members only... Join now it's amazing!
All other links accessible by all.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Button Conundrum...

I just can't decide!!! I have to figure out what Purple Haze needs so it can become wearable. Can it handle buttons through the pattern as intended or does it need the structure of adding a button placket? Will a button placket detract from the look of the sweater? Do I start with the somewhat ornate pewter buttons and see if the stitch pattern can hold these buttons? I have 5 of these so I could space them out as shown. I do think these buttons would work if I decided to add a placate, but would they be secure in the pattern holes? I guess I have to try this first.

If the oval buttons don't hold well and I decide the placate changes the look of the sweater too much then I might need a longer button that would stay in place better. I've been searching to no avail and am actually thinking of stealing the buttons off Twyla (these plain pewter, almost toggle-like buttons). In this photo, Twlya is stuffed inside Purple Haze so the button spacing was determined by where they are sewn on Twlya. I only have four of these buttons so I would have to space them out a bit more than shown.

Twyla would then need new buttons! I guess I could see if Twyla's pattern stitch can handle the more ornate oval pewter buttons. I have plenty of the yarn left from Twyla so I could tighten up the button holes as needed.

I also have some wooden toggle buttons or these round pewter buttons.....

Finally, I found buttons to use to make 3 linked-button closures for Drops 97-1. I really like how the color of the pewter buttons matches the edging and how the heart shape blends with the V-stitch pattern. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

FO: Purple Haze

Can you believe it? I finally finished Purple Haze. Well, almost.... I still have to find buttons. It's been a while since I began crocheting it back during my infamous sweater weekend. Nonetheless, I actually wore it this past weekend with a linked button closure that I created on the fly (just so I could try the sweater) but I don' t like the way it pulls on the pattern. It looks like the sweater barely fits around me but that's not the case. Without closures, the weight of the sweater with the yarn-intensive shell pattern drags the sweater down. I had planned to use a whole slew of these little sphere buttons, but the pattern holes stretch too easily so it needs larger, plain (IMHO), pewter buttons. Either that or I might have to rethink creating a button placket with actual button holes so the pull on the pattern is more distributed. So, I'm still thinking about the buttons. In the mean time here are the details...

Project details:
Pattern: Purple Haze [Ravel It!] by Lauren Irving [Ravel It!] published at Crochet Me
Size: Purple Haze can be made in a variety of sizes - you can mix and match your sizes based on waist & bust measurements.
Style: There are 3 different sweater lengths (cropped, hip length, or peplum hem) and an optional collar. My sweater is hip length with no collar.
Yarn: Gedifra 'Cotton Merino' [Ravel It!]
Colorway: Purple
Hook: Brittany 5.0mm H hook, 5.5mm I hook for edging
Pattern Changes:
  • Back panel - as written except for lengthening it by 2 rows through the waist, and raising the back neckline as Lauren described in the comments on the Crochet Me website.
  • Front panels - in addition to lengthening by 2 rows, I modified the armhole increases so they would end at the same row as the back panel (I needed that symmetry... sorry Lauren!). The front arm hole increases still start earlier as Lauren intended.

Previous Posts:

I think the armholes ended up a bit too big in the end, but I think I can live with that. I need to resolve the button issue before I can give my final opinion on this project. I still love the stitch pattern. I used a slightly heavier yarn than called for and with the weight of the shell pattern I think that was a mistake. I'm hoping I can use buttons, with or without a placket, to achieve a better fit.

[Ravel It!] links for Ravelry members only... Join now it's amazing!
All other links accessible by all.

Monday, March 31, 2008

FO: Minicluster Lace Socks

In honor of National Crochet Month, the Yahoo CGOA group held a sock help along using the "Minicluster Lace Socks" pattern by Janet Rehfeldt [Ravel It!] which can be found in the book she co-authored with Mary Jane Wood appropriately entitled "Crocheted Socks!" [Ravel It!]. I finished crocheting the 2nd sock while attending a La Leche League Conference this weekend.

Project details:
Pattern: "Minicluster Lace Socks" pattern by Janet Rehfeldt [Ravel It!]
Yarn: Schoeller + Stahl Fortissima Socka 100 [Ravel It!]
Colorway: blue-red
Hook: Addi Turbo 3.5mm
Pattern Changes: Simply put I increased to create a gussett for my ankles and decreased again - keeping with cluster pattern for my long narrow feet!
  • Cuff: Absent mindedly changed the cuff pattern to fpdc-bpdc instead of 3fpdc-bpdc.
  • Leg: As written with 26 miniclusters. Began heel leaving 14 unworked.
  • Short row heel: I worked 24 sc into 12 miniclusters and followed the pattern for the deacreases. As I read the pattern, when begininng the heel increases, one is to add an extra sc (in the side of the step) on each of the first two increase rows - not taking the first and second rows over 2 steps each as others have interpreted the pattern. I continued then increasing one step at a time so that in the end I did more increase rows and had 4 more sc than I had when I started. This increase solved my need to increase the number of stitches around my ankle.
  • Gussett/Foot: Switching back to miniclusters I had 2 extra - now 28 miniclusters. I worked 3 rounds of 28 miniclusters and then worked a decrease across 1.5 miniclusters at the side of the sock on each side so 3 miniclusters became 2 miniclusters.
  • Foot: 10 rounds of 26 miniclusters - repeat the decrease on each side - 15 rounds of 24 miniclusters. Completed the toe as written.

[Ravel It!] links for Ravelry members only... Join now it's amazing!
All other links accessible by all.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

CGOA Chain Link

I love the fact that our National meeting takes place 40 minutes from my home. I can take classes with famous designers, shop at the Market Place, enjoy the company of fellow fiber enthusiasts and still come home and see my family at night! The only sad thing is that I forgot the meeting was moved from the beginning to the end of July so our family vacation is bumping into the front of end of the meeting. I won't be able to attend the Professional Day (wah!) but I will get there by Friday. Online class registration opened on Monday and I was ready at the computer with my finger poised on my mouse at 10am. So here's my class list:

Friday morning: F107C-Half Double Happiness with Karen Klemp
Friday afternoon: F204C-Design Your Own Stitch Pattern with Marty Miller
Saturday all day: S307C-Designing on the Vertical with Dora Ohrenstein
Sunday morning: N102C-Crocheted Tips, Tricks and Hints with Lily Chin

I can't wait!

Felted Memo Bag revisited

This is the Felted memo bag [Ravel It!] I made as a CAL at Yahoo crochetchallenge in October 2006. In this previous post you can see it pre- and post-felting. I used an old belt as a strap, but I never liked the look of the ripple flap on top of the striped bag. For the past 18 months it has been hanging on the door knob of my yarn room. I thought of this bag while felting this past weekend and came up with a solution for the flap. I turned the ripple flap into an inside pocket for the now flapless bag. I like it a lot better now. Here's the old version for comparison,
and a few photos of the new inside pocket.

[Ravel It!] links for Ravelry members only... Join now it's amazing!
All other links accessible by all.

FO: Lacy-Flap Felted Bag

I knew this would be a quick project! The Lacy-Flap Felted Bag [Ravel It!] by Lauren Irving [Ravel It!] of Little River Fiber Arts was a CAL at Yahoo CrochetChallenge. I'm decided to leave off the flowers, but the bag itself I love. I showed the pre- and post-felting photos with all the dimensions in a previous post. I did off course make a few pattern changes so here are the details.

Project details:
Pattern: Lacy-Flap Felted Bag [Ravel It!]
Main Yarn: Cascade 220 Wool [Ravel It!]
Colorway: Dark Gray
Flower Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes [Ravel It!]
Colorway: Hush
Hook: Brittany K - actually ~6.75 - 7.0mm
Pattern Changes: Just a few!

  • Bag size was a bit different from pattern. My K hook is a bit larger than 6.5mm so my base piece was about 2 inches longer (5" x 17"). The bag itself was not as tall as the pattern - I crocheted until I ran out of yarn (after making the flap and strap).

  • The shaping was a bit more dramatic, because it started wider and I feared running out of yarn, I started making the decreases every row instead of every other row.

  • Strap was made with hdc instead of sc.

  • I felted the bag and strap more severely than the flap. I wanted to maintain the lacy look of the flap and wanted the bag to be smaller and to lose stitch definition.

[Ravel It!] links for Ravelry members only... Join now it's amazing!
All other links accessible by all!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

CAL - WIP: Lacy-Flap Felted Bag

Startitis continues here at Yarning with a Hook. Unlike the others, this one will get to completion sooner as it is a CAL I agreed to do in March. For this CAL at Yahoo CrochetChallenge we're doing the Lacy-Flap Felted Bag [Ravel It!] by Lauren Irving [Ravel It!] of Little River Fiber Arts. I'm still not sure about the flowers, but the bag itself I like. I'm using Cascade 220 Wool in dark gray and my new Brittany (6.5mm) K hook (closer to 6.75mm). Crocheting went very fast and here are the final pieces...
Before felting.
Dimensions: Bag Base - 5" x 16"; Top opening - 5" x 12" ;
Bag folded flat - Top - 17", Bottom - 21". Height 12.5"
Flap - 14" x 6" ; Strap - 30" x 1"

and after felting...
Dimensions: Bag Base - 3" x 10"; Top opening - 3" x 7";
Bag folded flat - Top - 13"; Bottom - 10"; Height 8.5"
Flap - 11" x 5" ; Strap - 20" x 0.75"

[Ravel It!] links for Ravelry members only... Join now it's amazing!
All other links accessible by all!

WIP:Short & Sweet

This post will be short & sweet (i can't believe i just wrote that). I noticed while posting the photo of the Short and Sweet [Ravel It!] bolero for my Startitis post that in my haste to finish the first skein of yarn, I had inadvertantly left no neck hole! So I frogged, and crocheted again to the end of the first skein of Knit One Crochet Too 2nd Time Cotton in Borealis , this time sticking to just one side! So here is the current state of this piece. Now I have to go finish my CAL projects and a few other things (including taxes!) before I will allow myself to continue any of the startitis projects (I know, I'm weird).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Startitis in honor of..

National Crochet Month. I have a pretty bad case of Startitis this time around. I hope I can follow through with a good case of Finishitis! It all began when I started thinking about what I will wear at CGOA's Chain Link Conference this summer. I started perusing patterns on Ravelry and the next thing I new my Ravelry queue had grown considerably and I had begun 3 new projects...

1. Sweet Pea Shawl [Ravel It!] - This gorgeous shawl was designed by Amie Hirtes (NexStitch) [Ravel It!] and published in "Stitch'n'Bitch: Happy Hooker". [Ravel It!]. I made one a year ago for my son's 1st grade teacher. I think this one is for me. (I still have to figure out something for my son's 2nd grade teacher and my daughter's kindergarten teacher... another day.. another post). This time I'm using Classic Elite Imagine in this vibrant colorway of blue pink and purple. This is as far as one skein took me...

2. Borealis Short and Sweet [Ravel It!] - This bolero was designed by Angela Best (La Vonne's Knot Just Knits) [Ravel It!] and published in "Stitch'n'Bitch: Happy Hooker". [Ravel It!]. I think thousands of crocheters have made this in the past year so I decided to join in the fun. I'm using a cotton yarn without sheen or sparle, so I envision this as a more with jeans over a tank or T. The yarn is Knit One Crochet Too 2nd Time Cotton in this cool colorway, Borealis. One skein completed the back top and part of the front... which I think I need to frog. I was only supposed to work one side of the front top...oops.

3. Drops 89-15 Cardigan [Ravel It!] - If you read this blog, you know I love the many crochet patterns put out by GarnStudio Drops Designs. [Ravel It!] This one has been on my to do list for a bit and I finally decided to start it. I'm not sure if I will make the collar. But I love the alternating "Structure" and "Lace" pattern repeats on the cardigan, so I need to show a close up photo. I bought this yarn specifically with this pattern in mind at the 2006 JCA sale. It's Reynolds Madrigal - a "soft speckled cotton". This is as far as one skein took me...
Let's hope in the next month I finish these 3 projects, sew the sleeve on Purple Haze and do my taxes!

[Ravel It!] links for Ravelry members only... Join now it's amazing!
All other links accessible by all!

WIP: Minicluster Lace Sock - one done!

I'm making progress on the socks I'm making with the Yahoo CGOA group in honor of National Crochet Month. Here's the first sock done - except for weaving in ends and stitching the toe closed. The pattern we are using is "Minicluster Lace Socks" by Janet Rehfeldt (Ravel It!) which can be found in the book she co-authored with Mary Jane Wood appropriately entitled "Crocheted Socks!" (Ravel It!). I will detail all me pattern changes in the FO blogpost for this project. (I can never leave a pattern alone...) For now lets just say that I increased for a gussett for my ankles and decreased again - keeping with cluster pattern for my long narrow feet! By the way, I'm using Schoeller + Stahl Fortissima Socka 100 in a cool blue-red colorway.

[Ravel It!] links for Ravelry members only... Join now it's amazing!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Fishnet Crocheters

I've been meaning to blog about why I abandoned my husband on the afternoon of his birthday. (or put in a most positive way... how I gifted my husband with an afternoon alone with his lovely children on his birthday). Back on Feb 24th, I finally attended my first CGOA Chapter meeting with the Fishnet Crocheters. I hope to be able to attend more. The group is geographically spread out with members hailing from Central & Eastern Massachusetts, RI and Southern NH. Their meetings are held in different locations, and with my family's varied activities, I had not yet been able to join them. In spite of the date, this meeting location was just too close to pass up. We met in Gardner, Mass - some photos (including a rather stunning, not, one of yours truly) are posted at the Fish Tales area of their website. They meet twice a month and I'm hoping to be able to rearrange a conflicting Thursday meeting so I can join them while my children are at school. When you add in the travel time to more distant locations, the Sunday meeting would take to much time away from my family.

WIP: Minicluster Socks

Did you know that March is National Crochet Month? Well, in honor of this, the Yahoo CGOA group is conducting a CAL of sorts. There is no designated leader, so it is officially a Sock Help-along as all members will "help each other along". The sock pattern we are using is "Minicluster Lace Socks" by Janet Rehfeldt (Ravel It!)which can be found in the book she co-authored with Mary Jane Wood appropriatedly entitled "Crocheted Socks!" (Ravel It!)

I am known for never leaving a pattern alone, so right off the bat I changed the cuff pattern. Actually this was done unintentionally. It has a fpdc/bpdc pattern, but not in the 1-1 style I have made many times before. By the time I realized this pattern was different, I had finished the cuff and was beginning the leg. I'm not frogging it!

By the way, I'm using Schoeller + Stahl Fortissima Socka 100 in a cool blue-red colorway. I have 460m so as long as I don't make the leg too long I should be able to get 2 socks out of this skein. I'll probably stop before the toe and begin the other sock, just in case (I can always make toes in a contrasting color).

FO: Drops 97-1 Hooded Cardigan

I finished my "Something for Me" sweater, aka Drops 97-1. This was part of the "Something for Me" CAL at Yahoo CrochetChallenge. All in all I think it turned out well. I like the final outcome although I was a bit skeptical along the way! I wasn't sure how I was going to edge this jacket, but after stashdiving, I ended up using some gray KnitPicks Wool of the Andes, double stranded.
The major issue involved the waist shaping. I need to remember to trust my judgment about shaping in crochet. Until someone shows me otherwise, I should follow my gut which says not to make increases or decreases that change the width by an inch or more in one row. Let's just say it makes for interesting seaming. Another way this sweater achieves interesting seaming (memories of Purple Haze....yes, it is almost done) is that its front and back shaping are not aligned. This was particularly tough to smooth out with bulky yarn and a crocheted seam. Finally I didn't like the dark brown wooden toggle buttons that I had chosen before I settled on the gray edging. Now I'm hunting again (yes, more PH memories) for some sort of pewter button. But this time I want to make linked button closures so the edging will show on both front panels. For now I'm wearing it open.

Project details:

Pattern: Drops 97-1 or Ravel It
Main Yarn: Reynolds Lopi or Ravel It
Colorway: Red/White #002
Edging Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes
Colorway: Fog
Hook: Boye "N" - actually ~7.75mm
Pattern Changes: Just a few!
  • Assembly - In light of the quirky side seam shaping, I felt the crocheted seaming recommended was too bulky and "bulgy" at the increase points. I actually crocheted an entire side & sleeve seam and decided to frog it in favor of an invisible weave seam.
  • Sleeve Edging - I have long arms so I did 3 rounds of sc in the main color before joining the contrasting color for 2 rounds of edging in sc.
  • Body/Hood Edging - I added a row of main color edging in sc followed by 2 rows of contrasting color edging in sc (not the dc-group)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

WIP: Drops 97-1

This is the sweater, Drops 97-1, I'm crocheting as part of the "Something for Me" CAL at Yahoo CrochetChallenge. I'm using a bulky wool yarn, Reynolds Lopi, in a Red/White colorway. I've made quite a bit of progress so far.
Here's the back panel with sleeve backs.
The front panels are also made in one piece with the sleeve fronts. I'm a bit further along than this picture shows. Here I'm less than 10 rows into the 2nd panel. Now I have just a few rows more to crochet on the top of the 2nd panel.
I need to start blocking the pieces. Assembly comes next!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

FO: Ultimate Crocheted Socks

My husband's belated valentine gift was delivered yesterday evening (minds out of the gutter people) in the form of Dorothy Hardy's Ultimate Crocheted Socks from Crochet Me. A group of crocheters at Yahoo Crochet Socks and another group from Ravelry's Recipe for Sock-cess - CAL also made some UC socks. Here's my pair for my beloved!

Project details:

Pattern: Ultimate Crocheted Socks
Yarn: Patons Kroy Sock yarn
Colorway: "Chelsea Tweed"
Yarn: Silja Sock yarn
Colorway: "Hunter Green"
Hook: Addi Turbo hooks - 3.5mm (sock), 3.25mm (cuff)
Pattern Changes: I made modifications in width to fit my dh's ankles. In addition, this pattern has a bit of confusion at the gussett and heel. So, combining my sock crocheting experience with the suggestions from the designer herself and a fellow raveler, here's what I did:
  • Toe - For a more secure toe, I slip stitched across the bottom loop of the starting chain and then did the first round of the toe with 10 sc in both loops of the starting chain and 10 sc in both loops of the slip stitches. For my dh's wide feet I took the toes out to 48 sc.
  • Foot - Accidentally made a little longer than necessary, I crocheted 28 rounds of esc. I think 24 would be a better length for him, or even 20 with the full gussett.
  • Gusset - Here the marker confusion begins. Here's what I did. Fold the toe & foot flat and locate the center stitch on top of the foot. Place markers 11 stitches on either side of the this center stitch. Because I made my foot too long, and because the width was sufficient at 64 st, I only followed the pattern for gussett increases through round 5. Then I skipped the even round and did one more increase round to reach 64 st, ending at the second marker.
  • Turn Heel - The other point of confusion in this pattern. IMHO, as written the heel would not be centered with the toe. To ameliorate this problem, I suggest one locate the bottom center stitch and then place new markers 2 [3, 4] stitches to either side. Then sc over to the first heel marker, sc in the marcked stitch, and follow the heel instructions beginning with "place marker in st just made". (skip "sc in marked st and in each of the next 14 sts"). Since I had ended the gusset with 64 st, I now followed the heel instructions for medium size, but ended the heel when I reached 52 st to accommodate dh's wide ankles.
  • Ankle - I decreased to 50 st in the first round of esc, even for 5 rounds, decreased to 48 st on the 6th round, even until yarn ran out (9 more rounds).
  • Cuff - I switched to the contrasting color, crocheted a round of dc and then 4 additional rows of fpdc/bpdc ribbing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

WIP: Ultimate Crocheted Socks

These socks are going to be for my husband. Apparently, unbeknownst to me, I started a tradition last year of crocheting him socks for Valentine's Day, so I had best finish these ASAP... they're a few days late. I'm making Dorothy Hardy's Ultimate Crocheted Socks from Crochet Me. These began as a CAL for more experienced sock crocheters at Yahoo Crochet Socks . I also invited people from Ravelry's Recipe for Sock-cess - CAL group to join in on the fun. Shown here is the completed first sock. I'm turning the heel on the second sock and heading for the finish line. I'm using Patons Kroy Sock yarn "Chelsea Tweed" with Silja Sock yarn "hunter green" for the cuff.

Valentine hearts for the kiddos

I decided to make a quick heart to give my beloved urchins, along with their conversation heart candy, of course. I love Ravelry. I searched and very quickly found this Roxycraft pattern, I <3 U [Ravel it] (that's a sideways heart between the I and the U). Perfect... and with some yarn in stash I was off. I finished the 2nd heart just before they hopped off the bus!

Project details:
Pattern: I <3 U from Roxycraft
Yarn: Caron Perfect Match
Colorway: Red
Hook: Addi Turbo 4.0mm hook
Pattern Changes: NONE!! (can you believe it??!!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sneak Peak of Secret Project #3

Robyn just posted her Sneak Peek of the last project I crocheted for her. You can read about her thoughts behind this project here. The anticipation of seeing it actually on Suzi has been killing me (and I know what the whole item looks like!). I just had to see it with the buttons and the arm bands... and now we can! Go, click, follow the links to Robyn's blog. The sneak peeks for this booklet have been awesome. I want it now!

Monday, February 11, 2008

WIP: Drops 97-1

In the midst of all these baby items, a "Something for Me" CAL at Yahoo CrochetChallenge began at the beginning of this month. I'm making the sweater that was next on my list - Drops 97-1. I'm using Reynolds Lopi in a Red/White colorway. With the bulky yarn it's coming along quickly. I realized last night that the sleeves are actually made in one piece with the back/front panels. I'm just about at the point where I need to add on the sleeves. More to come later....

FO: First Love 3

At the suggestion of my daughter, I added a blanket to the Baby Hoodie & Hat before shipping them off to friends. I was stashbusting for these projects and had some, but not a lot, of the Monet left, and none of the gray. So I added in some white and a medium blue to try to keep this gender neutral. This is a pattern that I have done twice before, pre-blog, for a cousin's baby and for another friend's baby.

Project details:
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver, 100% acrylic; ~150 yds
Colorway: Monet
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver, 100% acrylic; ~225 yds
Colorway: Windsor Blue
Yarn: Caron Perfect Match, 100% acrylic, ~250 yds;
Colorway: Bright White
Hook: Brittany I (5.5mm) hook
Pattern: First Love [or, on Ravelry]

Hopefully blocking will help solve the problem I created using different brands of yarn. Not all worsted weight yarns are the same! Caron Perfect Match is heavier, IMHO, and honestly I also think the Windsor Blue was heavier than the Monet... so the blanket wasn't laying perfectly flat.

[Ravelry] links for Ravelry members... Join now it's amazing!

Friday, February 08, 2008

FO: Baby Hoodie & Hat

One more baby project done, and not with much time to spare. This baby is due on the 23rd so I must get this shipped out ASAP. The parents have decided to let the baby's gender be a surprise, so gender-neutral colors available in stash were chosen! Once again we must have Big Baby model the outfit! As always, photos are clickable.

Project details:
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver, 100% acrylic, ~350 yds;
Colorway: Light Gray (~280 yds), Monet (~70 yds)
Hook: Brittany (4.5mm) hook
Pattern: Baby Hoodie & Hat [or, on Ravelry]
Size: 6 month
Pattern changes:
1. Edging - I did 2 rounds of sc. For sleeves, I put in some decreases in the 2nd round to gather in the sleeves a bit.
2. I did not include the drawstring. Instead, I made a crochet button, a la BICO [or, on Ravelry], and a loop button hole instead.

[Ravelry] links only work for members of Ravelry... Join now it's amazing!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Absolutely Precious 3 - Navy

This sweater & hat set will be gifted to my niece along with the Shades of Blue Round Ripple. This is the third sweater & hat set I have made. I think it makes a very nice gift set. This baby, due in May is the first of the next generation. So I guess I'm establishing a precedent with this layette!

My own dd is insistent that I photograph these pieces on her doll, "Big Baby". I have to admit she wears them well! Remember all photos are clickable!

Project details:
Caron Simply Soft - light worsted weight - acrylic - ~400 yds
Colorway: Navy Blue
Hook: Brittany G (4.0mm) hook
Pattern: 'Absolutely Precious' [Ravelry], designed by Denise Black in "24-Hour Crochet Projects" [Ravelry] ed by Rita Weiss
Size: 3-6 month
Accessories: 4 baseball buttons
Pattern changes: Only minor corrections to the body pattern.
Body - Row 1 ends with Ch 3, turn. I think it should be Ch 1 because Row 2 begins sc in first dc.
At the end of last row, I do not finish off but instead continue with the edging (if not using contrasting color).

[Ravelry] links only work for members of Ravelry... Join now it's amazing!

Friday, February 01, 2008

February CALs

I've been swallowed up by CALs again.... but it's a good thing. I just finished my blanket for the Round Ripple CAL with the Yahoo crochet-a-long gang. Today is the beginning of a "Something for Me" CAL at Yahoo CrochetChallenge. I'm going to make the sweater that was next on my list - Drops 97-1. I'm using Reynolds Lopi in a Red/White colorway. It should move pretty quickly using bulky yarn. I think the straight parts of the back and front panels will be my Superbowl crochet projects on Sunday.

Today or Monday another CAL starts. This one is for socks..... Dorothy Hardy's Ultimate Crocheted Socks from Crochet Me. I miss making socks! Somehow I stopped making them...not sure why. Anyway, this CAL is happening in 2 places. I started it as a CAL for more experienced sock crocheters at Yahoo Crochet Socks . (There's also a beginner one running at the same time where parts of a pattern are given put in Lessons). In this CAL people just get the pattern and crochet at their own pace. I figured the more crocheters involved the more fun we'll all have, so I invited people from Ravelry's Recipe for Sock-cess - CAL group to join in on the fun.

BUT... I must finish a baby sweater for my niece's baby due in May. I'm using the pattern I have used twice before - Absolutely Precious by Denise Black in 24-Hour Crochet Projects ed by Rita Weiss. My niece heads out of the country in 10 days and I want her to have the sweater & blanket in hand before she goes. So today while I watch the sleet and hail fall, I am folding laundry and crocheting a baby sweater. The sooner I get it all done, the sooner I can start my CALs!! Somewhere, somehow I should also finish my Purple Haze. I just need to attach the 2nd sleeve and crochet the edging. I'm still not happy about my button choices, though, I think that's why I'm sidetracking....

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

FO: Shades of Blue Round Ripple

This was done as part of the Round Ripple CAL at Yahoo crochet-a-long. I chose Lyn's Round Ripple pattern I did for a neighbor 2 years ago (pre-blog). This one will be for my sister's grandson (due in May).

Project details:
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft - light worsted weight - acrylic - ~1000yds
Colorway: White, Light Country Blue, Country Blue, Navy Blue
Hook: Brittany H (5.0mm) hook
Size: Approximately 40" in diameter
Pattern changes: None! I ended with the hdc edging suggested in the pattern.

A new fiber artist is born...

I had so much fun on Sunday afternoon. While the wind howled and a snow squall blew through our town, my 5 yo dd curled up on the couch with me in front of a roaring fire and asked me to teach her to crochet. We started with finger crochet, and progressed to a large hook. She decided that using that hook was hard but finger crocheting was fun! So we stuck with finger crocheting for now. Many chained belts, headbands and necklaces were made that afternoon.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Round Ripple CAL

Well, this past Monday we officially started the Round Ripple CAL at Yahoo crochet-a-long. People are free to choose their own RR pattern. I decided to stick with Lyn's Round Ripple pattern I did for a neighbor 2 years ago (pre-blog). I am making this for my niece's baby boy (due in May). I am using some Simply Soft I had in stash. I started with white, then Light country blue, and then country blue. After a few more rounds I plan on adding navy and then a final border row of white.

I have a lot of Simply Soft in navy, so I'm hoping to do a baby sweater for them as well. And I bought the cutest baseball buttons today for it!

Secret Project #3 is finished

But that's about all I can say...

I mailed secret project #3 off to Robyn 2 days ago. You can read about her thoughts behind this project here. So, hopefully she'll receive it today, put on the final touches and post a sneak peek by early next week. As always, it was a joy to crochet something designed by Robyn. The pattern was clear, well written and the final garment was fantastic. We are all in for a great treat when this booklet of crochet by faye patterns for the "yet to be disclosed" yarn company is available. I, for one, can't wait!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Motif - Pattern identification

I hope someone out there can help me. My neighbor & her Mom have discovered an unfinished family heirloom. It's a crocheted tablecloth that my neighbor's grandmother was working on before her death, many years ago. They even have the thread she was planning on using to finish the project. We are trying to identify the pattern for these motifs so that they will be able to commission someone to complete the project. It appears to be a collection of larger circular motifs that are joined with a smaller circular motif.
So... anyone have any ideas??

I Love this Case!!

I can't believe I lived so long without a hook case. And more to the point I can't believe I waited so long to order this hook case after I discovered CrippenWorks. OK - I'll back up. I needed a case for my crochet hooks. I kept thinking I was going to crochet one like this, or make this Felted Hook Case (it was actually on my WIM list in August 2006) or even this Berroco one. But as my hook collection grew, I realized that all of those would be too bulky to carry all my hooks and I just couldn't seem to leave home without all my hooks! Then I saw the story "Going Custom" in Crochet Me about handmade crochet hook cases designed by Katharyn Crippen Shapiro of CrippenWorks. I was in love! The article explained how you can buy a standard crochet hook case (or knitting needle case) or you can work with her to design the case that's right for you. Following the suggestions in the article at Crochet Me, I prepared. I counted my hooks... there were 29. I measured their lengths, I grouped them into sets based on circumference. Finally I sent Kathy a note last summer, detailing my hook collection and all their measurements. She sent me back a note within 2 days explaining my options. She recommended I make two cases with 20 slots each so I have room to grow. She also said she was happy to make just one case, a longer roll, if I preferred. Well the ball was in my court and I was stumped. I couldn't decide. I pondered and then I procrastinated.
Well in the chaos of late December I managed to lose not one, but two of my beloved Brittany hooks. Enough was enough. I waited until after the holidays (well sort of) and sent Kathy an e-mail in the midst of New Years weekend! I received an e-mail back on a Sunday morning promising me a price and delivery date later that week. On Wednesday, that arrived. I paid by credit card at her website, and on Monday the case was in my mailbox! Now here's the funny part... we had 14 inches of snow on Monday, so I never made it down to my mailbox that day. So finally on Tuesday, as I waited for the school bus with my kids I picked up the mail, and started cheering. So here it is filled with my hooks! It is everything I wanted and more. It is beautiful, expertly made in my choice of fabric and I know it will protect my cherished hooks for years to come!