Nepalese Bliss Cowl

Nepalese Bliss Cowl

Cast On: August 13, 2015
Cast Off: August 14, 2015
Yarn: Noro Taiyo (Fiber Content: 40% Cotton, 30% Silk, 15% Wool, 15% Nylon; Yarn Color: 25; Yarn Weight: 4, Aran)
Needle: US 8
Stitch: Open-Work Mullion
Dimensions: 20 (D) x 6 (W) inches

Price: USD $78.00

I was going to use this skein in the Deeper Shade of Soul Afghan, but feeling it was a whole skein while Deeper Shade of Soul is comprised of scraps, I thought otherwise. Being out of gradient yarn of a natural fiber, I decided to make a cowl real quick with this skein of Noro Taiyo. As it turned out there was some excess yarn buried deep inside, so this may or may not be made of a whole skein. Denise had used the open-work mullion stitch for a Noro wrap she had made a while ago. I remembered the stitch and thought it was simple enough that I could whip this up quickly. I cast on 26 stitches for this cowl and just kept knitting until it was gone. Because I did not know how far the yarn would go, I had to knit a piece of fabric and seam it.

I love the colors of Noro yarns. On the negative side was the fiber content – high cotton/silk content did not provide much give – and the differentiating yarn width.

The project – Nepalese Bliss by Irresistible Force came to mind and is a selection from my music library.

Get The Balance Right Shawl

Get The Balance Right Shawl (Front)

Click an image for enlargement/slide show

On Da Hook: October 10, 2015
Off da Hook: June 26, 2015
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo
Hook: US 7 – 4.5 mm
Yarn A: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 284 Farmhouse White; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn B: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 283 Chickory; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn C: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 291 Hosta Blue; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn D: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 286 Black Walnut; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn E: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 285 Log Cabin Brown; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn F: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 287 Red Phoenix; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn G: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: Cape Town Rainbow; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn H: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 292 Ember; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn I: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 293 Sun Rose; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn J: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 289 Purple Basil; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn K: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 290 Medieval; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Dimensions: 27 (w) x 25.5 (h)

After I was gifted with Madelinetosh unicorn tails (Yarns A-J), I chose a main color (Yarn K) and set forth to creating this shawl. I originally started at one side and was crocheting across. My idea was to continue to the center with the Medieval and then calculating how much yarn would be needed to complete it to the other side – hence the name, Get The Balance Right by Depeche Mode. However, I found calculating the middle was much more difficult than changing the orientation of the shawl, making the triangle hypotenuse the neck, thereby only requiring me to crochet till I ran out of the Medieval. I used the single crochet bar front loop stitch that I had created with How Deep Is The Ocean Scarf and I am very happy with the way this project came out.

About The Yarn: Madelinetosh tosh merino light

Tosh merino light is a 100% superwash merino wool, single-ply fingering weight yarn. With a generous 420 yards per skein, one skein is more than enough yardage to complete a pair of socks and two skeins can complete a full-sized lace project. Each incredibly soft skein is hand-dyed in small dye lots.

~ madelinetosh.com

I love this stuff! To me it’s like knitting with unsticky cotton candy. The hues of the dye work are so rich! I especially like the single-ply! Fabric drapes so well!

I consider myself to be a cheap skate, so it’s a special treat when I have extra money to spend.

Shattered Dreams Afghan

Shattered Dreams Afghan
Shattered Dreams Afghan
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: May 15, 2015
Off da Hook: May 21, 2015
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo
Yarn: 8 skeins Cascade Bulky Leisure HD (Fiber Content: 50% Superfine Alpaca, 50% Pima Cotton; Yarn Color: 9915; Yarn Weight: 6, Super Bulky)
Hook: US K – 10.5 mm
Dimensions: 51 inch Diameter (from point to point)

The name of this project – Shattered Dreams by Johnny Hates Jazz – is inspired by the picture above and the seemingly shattered swirl pattern produced by the yarn.

I originally wanted more of a swirl stitch pattern, but for the life of me, I could not come up with something I liked. I even tried crochet entrelac, but there are just too many colors in the yarn, and because the yarn is discontinued, I did not think a search for a similar solid color would be fruitful. When I decided on the hexagon, I remembered that Ellen had made a shrug from a hexagon shape once. Unfortunately, my hexagon is not a granny square and therefore, would not fold into the desired L shape necessary to create the shrug.

In the long run, I am glad that the yarn is out of my stash. I feel like I am making some progress. I must emphasize the delight the crochet gives by finishing a project so quickly.

Price: USD $320.00 (25% Discount for Friends/Family)

My Funny Valentine Cowl

My Funny Valentine Cowl

Click a thumbnail above to view full-size slide show.

Cast On: January 2015
Cast Off: March 12, 2015
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo of A Hooker’s World
Yarn A: Red Heart Super Saver (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 0722 Pretty ‘n Pink; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Yarn B: Red Heart Super Saver (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic: Yarn Color: 0319 Cherry Red; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Needle Size: US 8
Finished Size: approximately 72-inch circumference x 6.5-inch width

I can’t believe I finished in time for the Basic Two-Color Brioche Workshop I am teaching this Saturday at the Sand and Sea Knitting Guild. This project started out of It’s My Life Shawl (Stephen West Mystery Knit-A-Long: Exploration Station), which called for two-color brioche knitting; a skill I had never attempted. It seemed easy enough when I began, but then I dropped a stitch and went into a complete panic, as I had not inserted a life line. Fortunately, I was able to frog it back to the previous section and maintain the correct stitch count.

After that traumatic experience, I figured I better practice two-color brioche knitting, so I grabbed some acrylic from my stash and set out to learn by repetition. I’ll admit that I had to restart this project at least five times, but one I became focused I discovered that I had about a foot. I decided to continue practicing until it was long enough (my preferred length: 6 feet) for a scarf or a cowl; obviously deciding on a cowl. It wasn’t until it came to the seaming that I decided against giving it a twist. Actually, I am quite impressed with the neatness of the seam, as I was worried about how to bind off the brioche knitting.

Red Heart can sometimes be scratchy, but as I continued to work with these two skeins the scratchiness dissipated and I began to experience more softness. When I launder this cowl, I will use extra fabric softener for increased softness. The name of this project – My Funny Valentine by Sarah Vaughan – hints to the fact that I was hoping to finish by Valentine’s Day, but after a while of knitting, I began to get bored, quickly crocheting Circle In The Sand Mobius Cowl as a diversion.

With this project I finally learned how beneficial repetition is when it comes to learning a new technique. I can put the project down, pick it up and know exactly where I am in the pattern repeat; I began to notice how little mistakes were created by knitting the wrong strands; and most importantly, I could identify and fix mistakes before I got to far along.

Price: USD $50.00

What Does The Fox Say Scarf

What Does The Fox Say Scarf

Cast On: December 22, 2014
Cast Off: January 10, 2015
Finished: February 13, 2015
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo of A Hooker’s World
Yarn A: Berroco Optik (Fiber Content: 48% Cotton, 21% Acrylic; 20% Mohair, 8% Metallic, 3% Polyester; Yarn Color: 4937; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Yarn B: Mutine Bo Bouton d’Or (Fiber Content: 40% Cotton, 32% Viscose, 24% Polyamide, 4% Polyester; Yarn Color: Poivre 464; Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn C: ONline Linie 103 Allegro (Fiber Content: 45% Virgin Wool, 45% Polyamide, 10 Polyester; Yarn Color: 0004; Yarn Weight: 5, Chunky)
Yarn D: Unknown

A previous customer/friend of mine from the yarn store gifted me with a bunch of brown novelty yarn approximately in November 2014. My idea was to just knit it into a warp, not even considering the different weights, which I finally nailed down today in preparation of this post. Of course the sides of my fabric bowed and pulled, which was unattractive. Then a lightbulb went off one night in a dream, when I finally found a use for some fox heads a previous guild member had gifted me with.

Today, having a car, I ventured out to F & S Fabrics to buy a needle that would pierce the hide, a thimble and some heavy duty thread. I then went to Michaels to purchase some Xacto replacement blades for trimming the hides. I sewed the heads onto either end, seamed up the fabric sides to create a tube, and voila!

The project name – What Does The Fox Say? by Ylvis – should be obvious. The scarf if available for purchase: Price: USD $288.00. This price reflects only knitting time, as the yarn was gifted to me, as well as the fox heads.

Pattern Sale!

I have been debating since I got involved with pattern writing whether or not to charge. I ended up charging for more intricate items, and offering simpler patterns for free.

Another issue that presented itself, was my lack of pattern writing knowledge. I tend to write patterns geared for the more experience fiber artist, who can improvise where necessary or build the bridge of comprehension to my instructions.

I finally decided, albeit a little late, to only charge a nominal fee of USD $1.00 for ALL my patterns; recipes are still free. This price will be in effect for 2015 and shall be reevalutated at the end of the year to see if pattern sales have increased, or if there is any demand.

There is a bit of ego involved with this decision, as I feel that maybe by lowering my prices, I might become more known as a designer.

I think USD $1.00 for my patterns is a good deal, as I don’t prohibit you from making the item for sale. Additionally, I am available for technical support on all my patterns as I know my pattern writing skill may leave a lot to be desired for some fiber artists.

Happy hooking!

Mexican Radio Cowl

Mexican Radio Cowl

On da Hook: December 12, 2014
Off da Hook: December 15, 2014
Hook: US M
Yarn A: Lion Brand Homespun (Fiber Content: 98% Acrylic, 2% Polyester; Yarn Color: 300 Hepplewhite; Yarn Weight: 5, Bulky)
Yarn B: Red Heart Baby Clouds (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 9074 Pale Pink; Yarn Weight: 5, Bulky)
Yarn C: Lion Brand Homespun (Yarn Color: 392 Cotton Candy)
Yarn D: Lion Bouclé (Fiber Content: 79% Acrylic, 20% Mohair, 1% Nylon; Yarn Color: 133 Tangerine; Yarn Weight: 6, Super Bulky)
Yarn E: Unknown (Color: [Multicolor])
Yarn F: Caron Simply Soft Bouclé (Fiber Content: 99% Acrylic, 1% Polyester; Yarn Color: 0014 Autumn Red; Yarn Weight: 5, Bulky)
Yarn G: Unknown (Color: [Maroon])
Yarn H: Lion Brand Homespun (Yarn Color: 322 Baroque)
Yarn I: Lion Brand Homespun (Yarn Color: 334 Gothic)
Yarn J: Unknown (Color: [Navy Blue])
Yarn K: Lion Brand Homespun (Yarn Color: 368 Montana Sky)
Yarn L: Universal Classic Shades Big Time (Fiber Content: 70% Acrylic, 30% Wool; Yarn Color: 801 Reef; Yarn Weight: 6, Super Bulky)
Yarn M: Lion Brand Homespun Baby (Yarn Color: 169 Soft Lime)
Yarn N: Unknown (Color: [Dark Grey])
Yarn O: Lion Brand Homespun (Yarn Color: 373 Black)
Yarn P: Unknown (Color: [Pale Pink])
Yarn Q: Unknown (Color: [White or Pale Pink])
Finished Size: 96 x 7 inches

Well, I think I have enough bulky/super bulky yarn left to make a hat and then I am done, until I find more in my yarn stash somewhere. At first I did not think the difference in weights was going to make much difference, but as I progressed, I started double-stranding some of the thinner yarns. Considering this was scrap yarns, I was really liking the way the colors worked together. When I showed it to my mom, she commented that it reminded her of a serape and that’s how the name – Mexican Radio by Wall of Voodoo – came about.

Because I was trying to exhaust all my bulky/super bulky yarn, this cowl is very long; long enough to wrap three times. I wore it out yesterday – unfinished – because it is so damn cold here in California, and I got a compliment from a lady at Royal Chinese Restaurant, where I dined. I was loving the wrap too. Today in a attempt to use up the Caron Simply Soft Bouclé, I ended up adding about ten more rows and for the life of me, could not get it to wrap the same way as yesterday. Could the addition of inches make that much of a difference? Another thing I noticed today – which was probably a result of excessive fidgeting and different yarn weights – was that the tails kept coming out. Aiyaa! I fixed them, but worry that they will pop out again.

The construction is thirteen single crochet, changing color every row until such time a color was exhausted.

This item is available for purchase at the reduced Price: USD $25.00 OBO, but may end up being donated…unless I can figure out how I got it to wrap so well the first time I wore it.

Little 15 Shawl

Little 15 Shawl

On da Hook: October 18, 2014
Off da Hook: November 29, 2014
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo
Hooks: US I/9 & US J/10
Yarn A: [Malabrigo] (Fiber Content: [Wool]; Yarn Color: [Grey]; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn B: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn C: Universal Uptown Worsted (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 303 Cream; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Yarn D: Mi Amigo (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown]
Finished Size: 80 x 19 inches

I started this shawl during my last crochet class with Sheila. I was fired before I could show her how to finish hers, but here is my finished product. I was going to donate it to the store, but since I have been banned, I guess I will try to sell it or donate it. This shawl was constructed with yarn scraps that were laying around the store. Regarding the Grey Yarn: I think it’s Malabrigo, but without a label, I can’t be sure; Mi Amigo Yarn: I don’t remember if that is the blue, maroon or the multicolor. The Blue Yarn had to be double stranded to match the weight of the others.

The construction is from side to side, working half double crochets in the back post. One side is longer than the other because I screwed up the decrease, but it doesn’t make much difference to the finished project. The name – Little 15 by Depeche Mode – is very descriptive when it comes to the construction. I alternated row counts per color in the following multiples: 15, 5, and 3 until such time the color was exhausted. The border is a 5 double crochet shell, single crochet on the outside and a crab stitch around the neck. The border was crocheted with a US J/10 hook.

The yarn weights appeared to be very similar but when working with them there were some subtle differences. I managed to get past the differences in weight by crocheting very loosely. Again, the difference in yarn weights doesn’t make that much of a difference in wearing of the shawl.

As for the price; make me an offer. Since I did not pay for the yarn, I am willing to let it go cheaply.

I Had A Dream I Was Falling Through A Hole In The Ozone Layer Infant Afghan

I Had A Dream I Was Falling Through A Hole In The Ozone Layer Infant Afghan

On da Hook: November 22, 2014
Off da Hook: November 22, 2014
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo
Hook: US K
Yarn A: Lion Brand Homespun (Fiber Content: 98% Acrylic, 2% Polyester; Yarn Color: 368 Montana Sky; Yarn Weight: 5, Bulky)
Yarn B: Lion Brand Homespun (Fiber Content: 98% Acrylic, 2% Polyester; Yarn Color: 369 Florida Keys Green; Yarn Weight: 5, Bulky)
Finished Size: 28 inch diameter

Almost done with my bulky weight yarn stash, this afghan was made with one skein of each color. I really love the blue and green together.

Construction of this afghan began with a magic loop with yarn A, chain 1, 2 single crochets, 2 half double crochets, 2 double crochets. Yarn B was attached and instructions were repeated. For row two and onward, I simply worked a crochet circle formula in double crochet, increasing every row to the end, alternating between working yarn A and yarn B. The last row of each color (20 stitches) was worked in 20 half double crochets, 20 single crochets, and 20 slip stitches.

I am not sure if I have enough for a matching hat, but am pretty sure I have enough for an infant hat in the same colors.

Price: USD $75.00.

The name of this project – I Had A Dream I Was Falling Through A Hole In The Ozone Layer by Deee-Lite – was a selection from my music library.

2014-11-27 Addendum

I did have enough yarn to make a hat, though after reading the pattern carefully, I discovered that the hat I made is for 9-12 months old versus newborn. Grrr!

Halloween Spooks Baby Afghan

Halloween Spooks Baby Afghan
Halloween Spooks Baby Afghan
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: November 11, 2014
Off da Hook: November 21, 2014
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo
Hook: US M
Yarn A: Unknown (Fiber Content: [Acrylic/Polyester]; Yarn Color: [White]; Yarn Weight: [6, Super Bulky])
Yarn B: Bernat Tizzy (Fiber Content: 100% Polyester; Yarn Color: Creamsicle; Yarn Weight: 6, Super Bulky)
Yarn C: Lion Bouclé (Fiber Content: 79% Acrylic, 20% Mohair, 1% Nylon; Yarn Color: 133 Tangerine; Yarn Weight: 6, Super Bulky)
Yarn D: Lion Brand Homespun (Fiber Content: 98% Acrylic, 2% Polyester; Yarn Color: 790 Black; Yarn Weight: 5, Bulky)
Finished Size: 32 x 32 inches

In an attempt to finish the rest of my bulky yarn stash, I crocheted this baby afghan for that special Halloween baby. Granted, this afghan is smaller than Cousins Afghan and crochet is faster than knitting; this afghan took 9.5 hours to make while Cousins Afghan took 52.5 hours.

The white, Creamsicle and Tangerine were all super bulky weight, while the Black was only bulky. I was surprised at the difference in fabric denseness, but think it works well enough together. I am quite surprised the black and white look good together and I think it’s the breaks of orange that help in that matter – good color theory lesson.

The name of this project – Halloween Spooks by Lambert, Hendricks & Ross – should be obvious.

Price: USD $75.00