Monthly Archives: December 2006

Bobbie’s Sweater

I actually finished this about a month ago, but haven’t had a chance to post photos for it yet. So here ya go:
Cute, eh? The stripe pattern is modified from one of Candi Jensen’s, but other than that it’s 100% original work.

I had originally intended to make her sleeves in the same stitch pattern as the body of the sweater, but it was taking far too long, so I frogged it in the interest of time. (And yes! it gets cold enough in Texas to need a sweater like this. Geez, people!) I did the sleeves and collar in two days and rushed the collar through right before going to work so she could wear it that day.

But I didn’t like the collar, so the very next day I frogged it & replaced it with this:

It’s now almost a turtleneck. Two rows of HDC (one to establish the neckline, one to decrease its size some) and then several rows of a rib stitch comprised of 1FPDC followed by 1BPDC. Smaller hook too. She can wear it without a shirt under it now without worrying about it falling off one shoulder.

I got the usual comments about “working up the courage” to crochet a sweater when I showed this off at MamaDrama, so my current project is to make a tutorial on sweater-making while making a sweater for Linda. So look for that within the next few weeks. It’s really ridiculously easy to make a sweater.

Oh, before I forget, the specifics:
yarn~ Caron’s Simply Soft
hook~ H for the body & sleeves, F for the collar

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Merry Christmas

Of course, it is just barely still Christmas here, and for those of you already on the East Coast it’s Boxing Day already. (No, I don’t celebrate it, I just read far too many Regencies as a child.)

Here is my contribution to Christmas crochet, a project which occupied way more of my time than it should have:

I crocheted all the ornaments for my tree this year.

The reason behind this is rather odd, which is typical for me.

I had never before gone out on Black Friday, but this past day after Thanksgiving I actually did.

Some issues with an overheating van prompted me to stop at Home Depot for a cool-down, and I decided this meant I needed to buy a tree.

I found this adorable little potted tree there and had to have it. I am odd in that I prefer small Christmas trees to large ones. A carry-over from my childhood when we just couldn’t afford the bigger ones, I guess.

Anyay, I bought this one and brought it home and decided I wanted to have it decorated by the time Robert got home from work. I confidently opened up the box marked ‘X-Mas Decorations’…only to find nothing more than a few strands of lights and a jingle-bell wreath.

Darn.

So I grabbed the materials I always dohave to hand, and set about crocheting the popcorn garland. Then I made a couple of balls and a couple of spirals.

The project grew from there. I decided to make a snowman. Then I knew I had to make other stuff too, so I set about finding stuff to make.

But, since I can’t let anything be easy, I set myself some simple guidelines. Number one: no novelty yarns. It would have been all too easy to use up some of the fizzy furry stuff I have sitting around to make interesting ornaments. But I wanted to stick to the plain Jane stuff. Most of what is there is actually worsted weight too. Number two: only use my F and E hooks. I hate small hooks, and I rarelyuse anything smaller than a G. So I set out to do something different here. I think this is mainly because the first hook I found was an F. Number three: no patterns. It was OK to look at pattern pictures for ideas, but I had to figure out how to do it on my own. Number four: whenever possible, use HDC. My favorite stitch.

Close-ups of some of my favorite ornaments (and I apologize in advance for the poor quality of these photos):

C’mon, you know this had to be there. Self-explanatory. Texas flag. Crocheted sideways to make it easy, using a vague intarsia technique for the red and white stripes. (I wanted to work them at the same time & make sure they were connected.) The star is simply embroidered on it, of course.

This picture frame was a royal pain in the rear end to make, and I am not thrilled about the final product. The picture is only somewhat secure in there. This is really just an excuse to put a picture of my girls up on my blog.
I’d re-take this picture, but I am far too lazy. I hung the cross backwards in this picture. There is actually a very nice slipstitched green border on the front of the ornament. The overall effect is reminiscent of a stained-glass window, or so I like to tell myself.

Of course, it strikes me as a bit macabre to have a reminder of Jesus’s death displayed for the holiday celebrating His birth, but I was doubtful of my ability to crochet a manger. (I think I will save the crocheted creche for next year.)

This was requested by my husband. He works for Roto Rooter now, and this is my first iteration of the Roto Rooter emblem. It’s not very good, but it is recognizable as the subject at least.

By the way, the Roto Rooter guys are authorized to work on gas lines. Surprised me. My husband is in training and thus far seems to have spent as much of his time unclogging drains in the city zoo as anything else. But I digress.

This is my favorite:
Miniature sweater. I got the idea here, but that one is knitted. I have such a short attention span and this in particular really played right into that. I think it took about a half-hour’s work, total. I may need to get into miniature crochet some more.

That is all for now, Merry Christmas to everyone out in the blogosphere, and hot coffee vibes to all my fellow Episcopalians. For those of you who are Christian, especially my fellow Protestants, spend some time this busy holiday season thinking about Mary and the huge sacrifice she so willingly made. We tend not to give her the credit she is due.

New Book: Crochet Squared

I love this book. Indeed I do. I bought it about three or four weeks ago, or rather made my hubby buy it for me, because I’ve been once again fascinated by the idea of modular crochet, and the entire idea of this book is that you use two stitches (chain and single crochet) and two shapes (squares & rectangles) to create a number of garments.

Of course, I am not enamoured of scarves, or ponchos, and this pushes my “stupid invented names for everyday stuff” (is ‘shrawl’ really a necessary part of anyone’s vocabulary?) buttons. But it is, at it’s heart an excellent description of a fascinating technique.

So last week I decided I’d blog about this book, and I went on to Amazon.com to swipe an image for it. Which you can see that I’ve done here. While there I came across the reviews. A good many people apparently bought this book because the author is black.

My bad. I didn’t realize what hue the author’s skin was until actually the day last week that I decided to write about it here. I know how to crochet already, so I tend to skip past the front section of a book if that’s where the how-to stuff is. I was bored at work, though, so I decided to read through the front section, and it was only then that I noticed the author was black. Far be it from me to give a darn what the ethnicity of a book’s author is. (Sometimes, gasp, I even read books written by liberals.)

But this review in particular has caused me to invent a new rule. First the review, then the rule:

I bought this book primarily because it’s by an African American author–I rarely see people like me crocheting, let alone, publishing a book. I also bought this book because I thought it’d have some innovative techniques I was not privy to.
Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with my purchase. I love Ms. Polk’s yarn selections, but they are not cheap and you need a lot to make most items featured in the book. Also, it takes forever to make her items since she only uses about two small stitches, particularly single crochet. Granted she uses oversized hooks for some of her projects, many crocheters might have trouble finding these hooks. Also, I tried her scarf pattern but was confused because the stitches look elongated, but she does not say she’s elongating–just using a size S or T hook. I used both of mine and did not get the same effect she did. Some of her patterns also are a little hard to begin, as if the author assumes readers know what to do.
Once again, I feel deflated by the crochet/literary world. No wonder I turn to knitting books and magazines, and adapt the patterns into crochet.

OK, now for the rule. If you buy a book ’cause the author is black, then that damn well better be the basis for your review. Don’t say “I bought the book primarily because the author is black, but I don’t like the techniques in it.” Uh-uh. If you’re gonna buy the book because the author’s skin tone matches yours, then review it on that basis. If you buy a book ’cause the author’s black, then your review ought to read “This book’s author is indeed a dark-skinned woman! Woo! Great book!” If you want to be a grownup and buy a book because of its content rather than its author’s color, then review it on its content. (Geez, where have I heard this content rather than color stuff before?) But if you buy a book just because the author looks a certain way, then review the book on that basis.

Sheesh. It’s like buying a book just because Sean Hannity is on the back cover and then complaining that his sentence structure sucks.