My Supermoon Powers Have Shown Good Lovin’

Good Lovin' Cowl

The way everyone jumped on the latest bargain at The Knitting Tree, L A: Karabella Aurora 8 (100% Extra Fine Merino); I just had to try this yarn. I immediately found a fingerless mitt pattern (Maiya Knits – Mayhem Ensues – Black Lodge Mitts) that was attractive, but did not have enough yarn and did not want to complicate my reintroduction to knitting with adjustments. Then I remember a cowl pattern (Kris Basta – Kriskrafter, LLC – Bridger Cowl) I had set aside to knit. I could reintroduce myself to knitting on this fairly simple pattern, and with which I could play with color, as inspired by the mitt pattern.

This is the Good Lovin’ – The Rascals – Cowl.

Good Lovin' Cowl

So Came across Barba Gato (Cat Beard) today and got inspired…

dog_chops

All Star Afghan

All Star Afghan
All Star Afghan
©A Hooker’s World

All Star AfghanThursday, I got a call from The Knitting Tree, L A about a job from the Prop Master at American Broadcasting Company (ABC), who wanted a 30 x 50 inch crochet afghan by Tuesday for a television series called Young & Hungry. Five days to make the afghan. At right is the picture of an idea he wanted. I told him to continue looking for someone because I did not want to say yes, unless I could enlist the help of another person, ensuring I could meet the deadline. Once I secured the help of someone, I called him back, we discussed pricing – based on my normal pricing schedule, which I have been advised is too low – and sealed the deal.

I went straight to the store to buy the yarn and encountered dilemma number one: was there going to be enough of the colors/yarn weight requested? With respect to color, I was doubtful on the navy; with respect to the yarn weight, I was doubtful there was enough white yarn. The store suggested double-stranding a lighter weight and I reluctantly accepted the suggestion. Later, when I got home, I found more white yarn in the correct weight, feeling more secure. However, I ended up using the double-stranded lighter weight yarn because I gave the worsted weight to the person that offered to help. Here is what I ended up buying:

Schachenmayr Bravo Worsted (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 08224; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Universal Uptown Worsted (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 318 Navy Blue; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Universal Uptown Worsted (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 308 Baby Blue; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Cascade Cherub DK (Fiber Content: 55% Nylon/45% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 01; Yarn Weight: 3, DK, Light Worsted)

I must mention that I am very impressed with the Universal Uptown Worsted and will probably make that my acrylic, worsted weight yarn of choice for future afghans.

I got two of ten strips done the first night. The next day, I get a call from the prop master, suggesting that if he paid an extra $100.00, could he get the afghan by Monday, allowing him more time for framing. I agreed and immediately sought more help from two more people that arrived at the store later Friday afternoon. Let me mention that if took a while for person one to match my gauge, using a hook two sizes larger; person two, a hook one size larger; and person three, a hook three sizes larger.

On Friday, person two expressed that she did not want to seam her squares together. That screwed up my payment schedule and was not appreciated. The quality of person three was not up to snuff, but she offered to seam all the squares/strips for me.

On Saturday, person one brought me enough squares for two strips but had left all the tails, which I discovered later – when I was informed by the seamer – were not long enough to work with. Unfortunately, the seamer advised me after she discovered one square, that had already been seamed, began to unravel. By this time, person two had stopped contributing accomplishing enough squares for one strip. By the end of Saturday, all squares had been completed and seamed. That is when I called the Prop Master, who informed me that the afghan was no longer going to be framed, and that he would like it larger: 36 x 54 inches. I was already having issues due to my method of seaming, which was causing cupping of the squares, thereby shortening the length and width.

On Sunday, I crocheted the extra 24 squares necessary to make up the difference in width and length and person three seamed them into place. This was a big accomplishment, allowing me time to wash the afghan, checking for construction quality. When I called the prop master to check in regarding the process, I left a message requesting the original deadline, as it was not longer being framed and he conceded. Phew!

On Monday, as I was tying sewing in the loose ends and resewing the loosened ends, I discovered at least five more squares that were unraveling. Aiyaa! Because it would have take more time to remove them, remake them and replace them, I took a shortcut: cosmetic touch up. I also began the border.

Today, I was just about to finish the border when the prop master arrived at the store. He grabbed some lunch while I finished the last half of the last round, came back, admired the afghan and made the purchase.

While I am ever grateful for the help I received from persons one, two and three, I have learned some valuable lessons from this project:

  1. No one will ever match my standard of quality, just as I am sure I could never meet another person’s standard of quality
  2. I allowed my ambition to fulfill a life’s dream – crochet an afghan for a television show – to compromise my standard of quality, which led to me being dependent on others
  3. Unless all the yarn I estimate for a job is available at one time, I will not deviate or make concessions
  4. I need to take a deep breath before accepting jobs that I have never quoted and make sure I have consulted with others before committing to an estimate
  5. I discovered that I am blessed to know more people than I thought, who could have guided me more accurately regarding my price estimate
  6. If I ever solicit help from others, I need to be extremely specific as to my expectations

Overall, I am glad the project is done and cannot wait to see it on television. I received a phone call from one of my bosses while composing this post, inquiring if this was a done deal and if the prop master was pleased with the outcome. I can only assume he was pleased because he paid, unless he has some secret elves stashed somewhere that can crochet the same afghan overnight. My boss surprised me the confident suggestion that I would have been able to complete this project alone. Perhaps that confidence will instill itself within me for future projects. I am blessed to have such thoughtful employers, who allowed me to use the store as a workshop, arriving/leaving outside normal operating hours to work on the afghan.

The name of the afghan should be obvious and comes from the song by Smash Mouth from their 1999 album Astro Lounge.

Blame It On The Bossa Nova Baby Bonnets

Blame It On The Bossa Nova Baby Bonnets

Even when mistakes are made, the thread of destiny is ever-present.

These started out as a store sample – commissioned by my boss: “Annette” –  for Cascade Fixation (Fiber Content: 98.3% cotton, 1.7% elastic; Yarn Color: 9245; Yarn Weight: 3, DK, Light Worsted) and pattern: Basic Crochet Bikini. I chose to make the pattern for the smallest cup size: A. The pattern called for Crochet Hook: B/1 – 2.25 mm and Patons Grace Yarn, but the Fixation called for crochet hook: F/5 – 3.75. I started using the hook the pattern called for, but found it a little challenging using a smaller hook with the Fixation and the “branches” (affectionate term for customers, mostly female) at The Knitting Tree L A kept commenting that the cup was looking too small, so I switched to the larger hook. Being a homosexual, I don’t have much experience with breasts or cup sizes. 🙂

After switching to the larger hook, the branches kept commenting that the cup size was not accurate, so I did some errata investigation. I could not find any, but did find a bigger and much more detailed picture on Ravelry that indicated I was crocheting with the wrong orientation. The pattern does not clearly indicate this; I have commented on the pattern, but never heard back from AllFreeCrochet.com. That problem solved, I set forth, but for some reason experienced difficulty with my counting and had to restart at least two times.

In the meantime, a young, beautiful friend of mine from the store said whe would model the bikini upon completion, but A cups were not going to “be big enough for her girls,” so I changed to C cups and restarted again. Upon completion, the branches of “The Tree” told me that the C cup looked more like a D cup. Aiyaa! I proceeded to make the second cup, as I had not seen my model lately and she would be the ultimate decider. After finishing the second cup with the same majority opinion, no one was a fan of the pointed cup – a la Madonna’s cone bra from Vogue.

During one of Annette’s sillier moments she discovered another use for the huge cup: a baby bonnet for the gangsta baby who resides in the store. As an exclamation point on the story of these baby bonnets, I decided to name them after Blame It On The Bossa Nova by Annette Funicello.

I think I may still attempt to make the bikini, but will have to work out that point or find someone that likes it!

The Boy With The Thorn In His Side Wrap: Pattern

The Boy With The Thorn In His Side Wrap

Here is another version of The Boy With The Thorn In His Side Wrap, this time made with Schoppel-Wolle’s IN Silk (Fiber Content: 75% Merino Wool, 25% Silk; Yarn Color: 6683 Celery; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted). I think the inclusion of the silk lends a lightness to the finished wrap. The primary difference between this version and the acrylic version is the length and design, measuring 74 (length) x 26 (widest width) inches, and the absence of the slip stitch section and the final treble crochet border at the widest edge. The final treble crochet border would have caused me to break into a fourth skein and being financially challenged, $23.60 per skein did not seem worth it, as most of the skein would have been unused. Perhaps if I had crocheted the wrap with a tighter tension, I would have had enough for the treble crochet border, but I wanted more drape to the piece so I opted for a loose tension.

A special thanks to my model: Ellen, who is impervious to camera shame, a master crocheter and excellent knitter.

The pattern is written as an recipe to accommodate easy adjustment for width and includes instructions for the acrylic version as well, which includes the final treble crochet border and the slip stitch section. I intentionally left of the slip stitch section on the final version because other than acting as added weight and length, the eyelets were hardly visible and the construction a challenging. The pattern may be purchased from my patterns page or from my Ravelry store.

PROVISO

  • I condone any realized profit from selling your finished project
  • If you are on Ravelry, I would appreciate your linking your project to this pattern/recipe, so I can send a request to feature your finished object.

I Was On Television: KTLA Morning News

Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes Shawl

Leonardo Aguilar and A Hooker’s World were on KTLA Morning News this morning!

They asked for emails of your latest crafts. I sent in Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes Shawl and they showed it on television, never thinking it would appear on television. Boy, was I wrong. I almost fell out of my chair when I saw the shawl on television.

I stopped watching Today over the firing of Anne Curry. I then switched to ABC, but was not much of a fan of the personalities or the fact that the weather did not usually include the beaches, which is where I live. Now, it’s KTLA Morning News for me!

Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes Shawl
©A Hooker’s World

Spill The Wine Bag

Spill The Wine Bag

Dimensions: 16 inches tall & 8 inch square opening

This is my template for another shawl design I will be working on next and an excellent way to use up your scrap yarn. I was thinking of selling this at my trunk show, but I really like it! I may use it until such time I can make a nice one for myself. My first idea is to make it out of the Romney wool in the store and felt it! At first I was just interested in the design, considering it as a market bag. The more I look at it the more uses I can think up: a perfect project bag for that project on straight needles, or a vodka carrier – because I don’t go near wine. The top presented a problem for me, but a the idea finally came to me this morning and I finished it off.

The scrap yarn used ranges from cotton to acrylic; only two skeins still had the label: Red Heart Super Saver (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic, Yarn Color: 0312 Black; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) and Caron Simply Soft (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 9727 Black; Yarn Worsted). Both labeled yarns were double stranded to reinforce the seams.

I think I may carry it around for a while and if it generates enough interest, I may write up a pattern. I was searching for a button I had purchased previously for bag closer; I could not find the one I was looking for, but found this orange ceramic button that I think was a gift from Pandorra7. For that reason alone, I should keep the bag for personal use as a project bag.

The name – Spill The Wine by War – was a random selection from my music library. It was not until the name came up that I thought of using the bag as a wine carrier, which is ideal for the inverted method of toting your wine around, and keeping the cork moist.

Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes Shawl

Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes Shawl

Click a thumbnail for enlargement/slide show…

Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic
Dimensions: 60 x 30 inches

I didn’t realize this star-shaped shawl was as close to completion as I thought. When I measured it the other day, while trying to organize my projects for sale, I realized that I only needed about two more rows and to apply the beads. I finished this today and it is now available for purchase.

The fiber is a very light-weight, barn red, acrylic fiber that I crocheted on a larger hook for a lacy effect. To add weight, I applied some black, iridescent, half-inch beads at the peaks and valleys of the last row.

The project name – Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes by K.D. Lang – was chosen for the word star in it and the color – Barn Red – which in my mind indicated a country song would be most appropriate.

It sure feels good to finish another project, I just wish they would sell as fast as I complete them.

 

The Boy With The Thorn In His Side Wrap

The Boy With The Thorn In His Side Wrap

Pattern: The Boy With The Thorn In His Side Wrap by Hooker Leo
Dimensions:
approximately 30 x 96 inches
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 9793 Autumn Red; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Dimensions: 102 (L) x 27 (W, at widest end) inches
Price: SOLD

This is my template for The Boy With The Thorn In His Side Wrap pattern I will be writing up. The pattern project – I’m pretty sure – will be made with the Schoppel-Wolle’s IN Silk (Fiber Content: 75% Merino Wool, 25% Silk) for it’s lightness. As for color: I am still not sure whether to color block the garment or stick with one color. I am still unsure which color to use: Yarn Color: 6683 Celery, Yarn Color: 4193 Navy, Yarn Color: 9220 Grey Light Heather or Yarn Color: 9680 Grey Dark Heather. For some reason, I am really liking the Celery shade of green, as I think it is very springy.

After I write up this pattern, I think I will be duplicating the shape with a different orientation, which in my mind already seems to be quite challenging. The pattern will also be more like a recipe, so that crocheters can customize the length to their liking.

The name of this project – The Boy With The Thorn In His Side by The Smiths – should be apparent from the shape of this wrap.

Price: USD $50.00

The Boy With The Thorn In His Side

Yarn Colors

Yarn Colors

Inspired by Stephen West’s Color Craving, I am in the process of designing a similar garment. Today I finished version one, crocheted with Caron Simply Soft (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 9730 Autumn Red; Yarn Weight: 4) while at my Wednesday Morning Knitters group. After it was done I consulted Yarns from the Southland, who shared with me how she wears Stephen’s Color Craving, sparking two new design elements, one which I was able to improvise while I was still at The Knitting Tree L A.

However, the general consensus was that my template must be wider, which could be achieved with a fiber that can be blocked. Then there is the dilemma of which yarn to use. I have my eye on Schoppel-Wolle’s IN Silk (Fiber Content: 75% Merino Wool, 25% Silk) for it’s lightness. As for color: I am not sure whether to color block the garment or stick with one color. My choices for IN Silk are heavily leaning toward a Yarn Color: 6683 Celery/Yarn Color: 4193 Navy or Yarn Color: 9220 Grey Light Heather/Yarn Color: 9680 Grey Dark Heather combination. Then there is the MadelineTosh Vintage (Fiber Content: 100% superwash merino wool; Yarn Color: Torchere; Yarn Weight: 4), which I love and is available in the store, though I would really like to use Yarn Color: Neon Peach, but that colorway would have to be ordered.

I am not including any pictures yet because I don’t want anyone stealing my idea. You might have noticed that I did not identify the project type, which I am viewing as added security. As it is, I think I can append the suggested design elements and then there is the problem of buying enough yarn in the same dye lot to complete the final design. Stay tuned!

Second Hand Rose Shawl

Second Hand Rose Shawl

On da Hook: May 20, 2014
Off da Hook: May 23, 2014
Pattern: Original Design by Hooker Leo
Yarn A: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn B: Plymouth Royal Bamboo (Fiber Content: 100% Bamboo; Yarn Color: 0020 Turq Blues; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Yarn C: Kollage Cornucopia (Fiber Content: 100% Corn; Yarn Color: 4 Island Sea; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Yarn D: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn E: South West Trading Company Oasis (Fiber Content: 100% Soy Silk; Yarn Color: Sapphire; Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn F: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Dimensions: 60 x 22 inches

For Sale: USD $90.00 + applicable shipping (does not include shawl pin)

Working from the stash of novelty yarn gifted to me by my Japanese Grandmother, here is the latest creation: Second Hand Rose Shawl. I was very eager to make a half-circle/crescent shaped shawl. At first I was going to knit, but then thought the ends would be hard to hide, so I change my mind an opted to crochet this shawl.

The pattern follows the formula for a circle, using back loop double crochets and ending with a crab stitch border. I strategically positioned my increases so that they would not be so noticeable: on the end for odd rows; in the middle for even rows. I really enjoyed working with all yarns except for the chenille type yarn, which proved a little difficult to hold, for reasons that still leave me baffled. Yarn A could be some type of soy, worsted; Yarn D is a chenille-type, worsted; and Yarn F, which is the border, is a mohair type yarn.

The name was selected at random, as it was the song – Second Hand Rose by Barbra Streisand – that was playing when I started photographing it. I must admit that the name is quite appropriate as the yarn is hand-me-downs.