Brioche Knitting

Brioche Knitting

It seamed easy enough when Ania explained it to me, after completing section two of the Stephen West Exploration Station Mystery Knit Along. However, watching the video did not provide enough information for me to create a swatch. In most of the other videos, not one person indicated the correct stitch cast on number. In Stephen’s video, he says to cast on an odd number, but I think generally, you need an even number. I created my swatch with his I-cord border but kept getting stuck on row 3. Also, that yarn over/slip was tricky. West kept performing in one motion, which confused me. I started by doing each step and after I caught on, I changed to the one-motion method. Two days later, I finally figured it out. So now, it’s on to section two.

The key features of Brioche knitting are a dense, ribbed fabric, which highlights one of two colors on either side. In my swatch below, the front is red and the back is a plum.

It’s My Life Shawl: Clue 1 Complete

It's My Life Shawl
It's My Life Shawl
©A Hooker’s World

Granted, I am not the fastest knitter, but I love this so far. I was going to make the Merging Ripple Shawl by Kyoko Nakayoshi, but I am really loving this portion of Stephen West’s Exploration Station Mystery Knit Along, which emphasizes the short row turns (holes). However, as I am working this with my friend Ania and I am not pleased with what is coming up. While I am glad to be able to get some brioche experience, I love this shawl just that way it is. I may try to figure out the increase on my own and make one larger.

I am disappointed that I bought such fine yarn for this project, and find myself wishing I had made this mystery knit along with something cheaper. This is the primary reason I don’t like mystery knit alongs; you never know if you are going to like the pattern. After the brioche, which is the next section there is some kind of grid pattern that, in my opinion, is atrocious. Because I already know what the shawl will look like, there is not much of a mystery anymore.

I am glad to have finished clue one, as I told Ania I would be on brioche by the next meeting of One Skein Short, which is in tomorrow.

Santa Baby Set

Santa Baby Set
Santa Baby Set
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: December 22, 2014
Off da Hook: December 24, 2014
Diaper Cover Pattern: Don’t Eat the Daisies Newborn Diaper Cover by Creating Beautiful Things In Life
Hat Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo
Yarn A: Unknown (Fiber Content: [Acrylic]; Yarn Color: [Red]; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted
Yarn B: Unknown (Fiber Content: [Acrylic]; Yarn Color: [White]; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted

I never know how big, or small, to make things for babies or infants, so I felt lucky to be able to measure the baby; I came up with 14 inch circumference for the head and the waist. Because I had never made a diaper cover, I chose to use a pattern. The one I selected was very easy and quick.

As for the hat: I improvised it. I had to started with a one-stitch-increase per row, but found that was getting too long. I think went to a three-stitch-increase per row, but that was too wide. It was the two-stitch-increase per row that was the winner. I think worked to a diameter of approximately 4.5 and then did six more rows in white for the brim, minus the increase. The whole hat is worked in half double crochets.

The obvious name of this project – Santa, Baby by Eartha Kitt – was most appropriate.

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

53 Miles West of Venus Wrap: Pattern

53 Miles West of Venus Wrap
53 Miles West of Venus Wrap
©A Hooker’s World

The name of this project – 53 Miles West of Venus by The B-52’s – is a random selection from my music library.

With so much going on lately, I forgot that I had promised to post the pattern for 53 Miles West of Venus Wrap. This thorn-shaped wrap has the distinction of increasing from the center, which creates a focal point. The shawl is worked in alternating front/back post double crochets and has a very elegant border, which is worked during construction. This shawl can be worn in many different ways, as noted in the original post.

The pattern can be purchased from My Pattern Page or from my Ravelry Store.

Pattern Disclaimer

  • I condone any profit you make from crocheting this shawl.
  • I ask that you link to this page or the Ravelry pattern page on all projects.
  • Technical Support is available from myself via email or Ravelry.

Jesse’s Girl Shawl

Jesse's Girl Shawl

On da Hook: September 26, 2014
Off da Hook: November 11, 2014
Pattern: Delightful Diagonals by Mona Modica from Crochet World Magazine, Spring 2014: Fun With Color in Thread
Hook: US G/6
Yarn A: Berroco Folio (Fiber Content: 65% Superfine Alpaca, 35% Rayon; Yarn Color: 4510; Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn B: Berroco Folio (Fiber Content: 65% Superfine Alpaca, 35% Rayon; Yarn Color: 4518; Yarn Weight: 3, DK)

I was honored by the commission of a friend to make this shawl for her. At the time she asked, I had to finish Cousins Afghan first; that explains the length of time between the start date and the end date.

This was a very simple shawl to make, but the pieces are so big and the stitch pattern so repetitive that the thrill was quickly gone. I did have one problem interpreting a pattern instruction and sent a message to Mona, asking for help, but she never replied. Fortunately, I was able to improvise and finished the shawl by the requested date. When seaming the pieces together, I did encounter a stitch number difference when attaching the triangles and I attribute that to my improvisation of the misunderstood pattern instruction. Additionally, I attached the triangles with the wrong orientation and then backwards, so pay attention to the diagram layout.

The shawl in the magazine is one color. Because I used two colors, I might have been short a skein of one color because I only had partial skeins of either color leftover to do the border. When I advised the client, she said to forget the border. I would recommend doing the border, as I notice that the points kind of curl, though a border might not resolve that issue. I will recommend to my client that she steam it flat.

The yarn is nice, but kind of splitty. I love the colors the client chose.

The client is expected to pick it up today. I hope she likes it. The name of the project comes from the similarity of my client to the name of the song: Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield.

Alpacas at Windy Hill

Alpacas at Windy Hill

Despite having been fired from the yarn store and a lack of coordination, I did make it out to Windy Hill in Somis, California, where I got to meet my friend Lynette’s alpaca, Varon (sp?). Kathleen drove Cathy, Katie, Jessica and I to Skirball Center, where we met up with Jacqui. After a car seating rearrangement, we set out to the farm. After so many years of having passed the Skirball Center Drive exit off the 405, I finally got to see the center and learn a little about it.

The festival was not as big an event, as I had anticipated, but I had a good time. I learned a little more about alpacas and Lynette actually took us into a pasture where we got to pet and commune with the alpacas. I even broke down and bought some alpaca yarn: Near Sawrey Farm Alpacas (Fiber Content: 100% Huacaya Alpaca; Yarn Color: Yellow Onion Accents; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) and New Hope Alpacas (Fiber Content: 100% Suri Alpaca; Colors: [Dark Orange, Orange and Light Orange]; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering). I know I said I would never purchase yarn again, but felt I should support my friends event. Besides, it’s not like I don’t intend to use it to make something.

The day ended with a meal at Feast From The East on Westwood Boulevard. I ordered Pad Thai, but was not crazy about the red flavoring throughout. Additionally, my chicken dumplings were crunchy, but not fried…WTF!? The salad dressing – Sesame Miso – was the best part of that meal.

Overall, I had a good time despite a sour stomach which resumed upon my return home. Went to bed early and need to get ready to meet a client. Enjoy the pics!