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.

 

 

When I Think Of You Scarf: Pattern

When I Think Of You Scarves
When I Think Of You Scarves
©A Hooker’s World

The pattern has been tested, is now complete and available for sale for the mere cost of USD $2.50. The original post for this scarf may be found here. As always, with all my patterns, my standard pattern proviso stands:

  • 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

The pattern may purchase directly from this website by going to the patterns page or by visiting my Ravelry store.

The Bad News: Unfortunately, after contacting Be Sweet Yarns for colors used in the tested version, I have discovered that the Bambino Taffy has been discontinued.

The Good News: Because the scarf is constructed in a motif pattern, you can practically use any weight, any fiber yarn of your choice to crochet this easy scarf. You can easily adjust the width of your scarf by making smaller/longer squares and you can easily adjust the length because you can decided when the scarf is long enough for your liking.

Alternative Yarn Suggestions: A self striping yarn might give you a nice effect as the colors run from one square to the next. You may also want to use a gradient with short color runs mixed with a solid for a very interesting pattern of squares.

Have fun and happy hooking.

2014 Los Angeles Local Yarn Shop Overview

Fortunate enough to finally find secure employment at a local yarn store, I was scheduled to work during the 2014 Los Angeles Yarn Crawl. Personally, I loved the beehive of activity the yarn crawl created for our store and the range of people we met from other parts of Los Angeles, and even other states!

One visitor from Ohio sparked the idea for this post. She had researched her trip to Los Angeles, where she was coming for a job interview, and discovered that Yarn Crawl LA was coinciding with her trip, so she decided to unofficially(?) participate. This got me thinking that a general overview of all local yarn shops in the Los Angeles County area would make for an informative post for future fiber artists wise enough to research their trips to Los Angeles County.

Using the Yarn Crawl LA passport as my guide, I have created the following spreadsheet which will provide a general overview of each yarn store, it’s policies and offerings. One of the things I learned in contacting each store:

  1. Most yarn stores are willing to answer a couple of questions regarding projects made of yarn purchased outside the store. Preference/time is more deservedly reserved for customers that have purchased the project yarn in the store.

With respect to my spreadsheets:

  • Yarn Policy refers to organized sit ‘n’ stitches that regularly meet in the store and/or customers that are welcome to sit ‘n’ stitch during operating hours, allowing for space.
  • Pet Policy:
    • Under California law, all stores must allow PROPERLY IDENTIFIED service dogs into the store, properly identified being the operative term.
    • Stores indicating a favorable pet policy do not wish this post to viewed as an open announcement that they are expanding into the petting zoo industry. I suggest you contact the store before presuming your pet will be well received out of respect to store space and/or other customers’ potential allergies.

DISCLAIMER

  • As an employee at a yarn store, I am not offering any opinions regarding each store.
  • As this is my first “official informative post,” I fine-tuned the information culled as I called each store. As such, some information may be more detailed than others.
  • While I tried to be objective and brief, I may have made some mistakes – blame it on being human. If you are a yarn store and would like me to adjust your information, please send me a request via email.

I hope any readers of this post will find it informative. Upon securing more reliable transportation, I look forward to visiting each and every store.

Happy hooking!

2014 Los Angeles Local Yarn Store Overview (PDF)

Torn Shawl

Torn Shawl

Cast On: May 17, 2014
Cast Off: May 19, 2014
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo
Yarn A: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn B: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn C: Knitting Fever Flutter (Fiber Content: 100% Polyester; Yarn Color: 05; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn D: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn E: Plassard Insolite (Fiber Content: 100% Polyester; Yarn Color: 09; Yarn Weight: 3)
Yarn F: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn G: Bernat Boa (Fiber Content: 100% Polyester: Yarn Color: 81305 Parrot; Yarn Weight: 6)
Yarn H: Feza Aspen (Fiber Content: 40% Acrylic, 30% Mohair, 15% Metallic, 8% Nylon, 7% Polyester; Yarn Color: 662; Yarn Weight: 4)
Yarn I: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Needle US 17
Dimensions: approximately 62 x 37 inches

Having a little yarn (the black nubbins) left over from the previous pink project, I decided it was close enough to purple to begin this improvised shawl. Once again, I double stranded the yarns, attaching new yarn to the end of the previous end. One important thing I realized and must remember from this point forward: eyelash must be double stranded with something of more weight to prevent atrophy. In this case, where I the Plassard Insolite and the Knitting Fever Flutter coincided, the shape is bowed. Live and learn.

I am really becoming a fan of making projects in this fashion. They are quick and easy, allowing the yarns to create the wow factor. Even the Feza Aspen used in conjunction with another yarn looks better than the Grape Soda Shawl I made using only the yarn, which in person appears quite brash, presuming not everyone, like me, wants to stand out or make a statement.

The construction worried me a bit because I only increase on one side, every row. While it was on the needles, I was thinking the shape was too narrow, and was much relieved when I bound off and discovered the shape was not too narrow. The shawl is work in garter stitch, using a KFB (knit front and back) increase.

The name comes from the song by Natalie Imbruglia and basically describes my emotional state of late. Being sick is not one of my favorite pastimes, especially when I am being kept from making an income. Emotionally, my mind is in upheaval over issues I must deal with that I have procrastinating on. I don’t know which came first the name or the design element in the center back of the shawl. I was also torn as to whether, or not, I should gift the shawl to Madeline, my Jewish mother, or sell it. I just sent her pictures and she loves it, so at least that is one less decision I have to make.

I am hoping to make a crescent shaped or half circle shawl next…in blues.

Price: USD $60.00

My Apologies

I have been putting together a post comparing all the local yarn stores in Los Angeles County. I advised many stores that the post would be up by today, but due to illness – being the drama queen that I am, I suspect MERS – I am postponing the post.

This will provide more time to get in touch with the last five stores, where I have reached answering machines, minus the one store that did not want to participate.

I hope to have the post up by the middle of this coming week.

Happy hooking!

Hooker Leo

Peg Shrug

Peg Shrug

Cast On: May 17, 2014
Cast Off: May 17, 2014
Pattern: Peg Shrug (Improvised) by Hooker Leo
Needle: Unknown Size
Yarn A: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: [Magenta]; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn B: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: [Multicolor]; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn C: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: [Pink]; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn D: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: [Multicolor]; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Dimensions: 30 x 12 inches (open)

So because I am sick…again…I decided to stay home and see if I could crank something out from all the novelty yarn I have collected. About a couple of weeks ago, I organized most of the novelty yarn by color.

Basically, I double stranded the yarns, connecting a new yarn when one yarn ran out, and cast on 45 stitches on about a US 15/17/19 needle. Worked in garter stitch, this shrug is very shallow, only sewing the corners together to create the armhole. As you can see, I stared with the magenta yarn, which is some kind of chenille or velour, double stranded with a multicolor knobby yarn. When the chenille ran out I attached a pink mohair type yarn. When the knobby yarn ran out, I attached the final multicolor bouclé yarn.

I did not continue into the purple novelty because the color would have been lopsided and I thought it was long enough. I would have preferred something longer/deeper, but had already cast off. What is interesting about this shrug, is that one side is heavier (chenille side/knobby) than the other (mohair/bouclé). I think this coincidental design makes it appropriate for either cold or warm nights; all you have to do is decide how warm you want your shoulders to be.

I am unsure of the fiber content of any of the yarns and did not perform a burn test on any of them. I am pretty sure the chenille is some kind of acrylic with nylon; the bouclé is almost certainly some kind of acrylic, as well as the knobby yarn; and the mohair type yarn could possible be real mohair.

The name of this project – Peg by Steely Dan – is a selection from my music library.

Price: USD $40.00

 

Peg Shrug

Peg Shrug

Cast On: May 17, 2014
Cast Off: May 17, 2014
Pattern: Peg Shrug (Improvised) by Hooker Leo
Needle: Unknown Size
Yarn A: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: [Magenta]; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn B: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: [Multicolor]; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn C: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: [Pink]; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn D: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: [Multicolor]; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Dimensions: 30 x 12 inches (open)

So because I am sick…again…I decided to stay home and see if I could crank something out from all the novelty yarn I have collected. About a couple of weeks ago, I organized most of the novelty yarn by color.

Basically, I double stranded the yarns, connecting a new yarn when one yarn ran out, and cast on 45 stitches on about a US 15/17/19 needle. Worked in garter stitch, this shrug is very shallow, only sewing the corners together to create the armhole. As you can see, I stared with the magenta yarn, which is some kind of chenille or velour, double stranded with a multicolor knobby yarn. When the chenille ran out I attached a pink mohair type yarn. When the knobby yarn ran out, I attached the final multicolor bouclé yarn.

I did not continue into the purple novelty because the color would have been lopsided and I thought it was long enough. I would have preferred something longer/deeper, but had already cast off. What is interesting about this shrug, is that one side is heavier (chenille side/knobby) than the other (mohair/bouclé). I think this coincidental design makes it appropriate for either cold or warm nights; all you have to do is decide how warm you want your shoulders to be.

I am unsure of the fiber content of any of the yarns and did not perform a burn test on any of them. I am pretty sure the chenille is some kind of acrylic with nylon; the bouclé is almost certainly some kind of acrylic, as well as the knobby yarn; and the mohair type yarn could possible be real mohair.

The name of this project – Peg by Steely Dan – is a selection from my music library.

Price: USD $40.00

 

Again And Again Hats

Cast On: May 8, 2014
Cast Off: May 16, 2018
Pattern A: Seed Stitch Beanie by Lisa Gentry from Leisure Arts Slouchy Beanies and Headwraps

Yarn A: Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 149 Silver Grey?; Yarn Weight: 4)
Yarn B: Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 151 Charcoal Grey; Yarn Weight: 4)

Pattern B: Ribbed Beanie by Lisa Gentry from Leisure Arts Slouchy Beanies and Headwraps

Yarn: Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 151 Charcoal Grey; Yarn Weight: 4)

I was given this project by the store owner, for a customer who’s daughter had purchased the supplies, but decided not to make the hats for her and her boyfriend. I will admit that I was not a happy hooker when I received this assignment and to be rigorously honest, I entered “angry knitting” mode. Angry knitting was explained to me by a child that came into the store one day with her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. When I asked her what angry knitting was, she explained that her stitches were too tight. I have expanded on that definition: focused and intent knitting on a project that is challenging when you would rather be crocheting.

The patterns were well written and the hats worked in the round, an added benefit because I dislike seaming knitting. I am not a fan of DPNs, preferring a couple of circulars instead, but even this proved difficult towards the end of the first hat. On the second, I found an extra set of circulars on the table and borrowed them. Using three circulars versus two made finishing the second hat a little easier. I was asked to make the hats based on the larger size (21 inch circumference): the first one slide right over my head, which leads me to believe my tension was too loose; the second actually grips the head, so I think my tension improved.

I am glad to be done and think this is the last time I will knit something in the round. My index fingers hurt and the tightening of the stitches as the circle closes is not a fun experience, especially when you are trying to knit three together. I am glad that I got over my knitting dislike which resulted from a dropped stitch in my Black And White Cowl, which is a currently hibernating template for the Happy Cowl. I still have to finish the Orange Crush Shawl and a knitting blank, which now I wish I had crocheted versus knitting. Doh! Having done a little yarn reorganization, I also have sorted my novelty yarns from my Japanese grandmother by color and they are just waiting to become scarves, wraps, cowls, shawls…easy stuff. But all knitting will go on hold again, as I complete the Ballet-Neck Tee from Vogue Knitting Crochet Special Collector’s Edition magazine.

Goody Two Shoes Baby Booties

Goody Two Shoes Baby Booties
Goody Two Shoes Baby Booties
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: May 9, 2014
Off da Hook: May 12, 2014
Pattern: Crochet wrap around button infant boots- girls and boys by Ashlee of I’m Topsy Turvy
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 9730 Autumn Red; Yarn Weight: 4)
Hook: Clover G/6 – 3.75 mm

I finally finished them! I am definitely going through a funk. Normally, a project like this would only take a couple of hours at most, but this time it took me three days…at least. I just could not get into the project: changing from a Boye to a Bates to a Clover hook, as one of my primary reasons. I think working at such a tight gauge also threw me off. I am, however, very proud of the finished object. The first time I made these, I fudged up the pattern and counts. This time, despite the counts not being exact, the outcome is much better. I even went as far as to buy the buttons and sew them on!

My friend Eve is having twins: a boy and a girl. In case you can’t tell the difference above, the booties with the scalloped edge are for the girl and the booties with the crab stitch edge are for the boy. The color was one of three requested by the mother. Last I heard, mom was in the hospital, under observation. I need to find out where she is so I can deliver my gift.