Days Go By Sweater

Despite rusty counting skills, I finally finished Days Go By Sweater for M. K. Aguilar. I can’t believe how complicated a simple pattern can be. I saw this sweater as I was surfing for a pattern. I immediately loved the Hexagon Sweater at Cozy’s Corner. As it turned out, it is based on Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sweater, the pattern I never acquired. The first thing that bothered me about the pattern was the neglect that one is crocheting a piece that is “meant” to ripple and curl. Because of this error, I made the pieces twice! I’ll chalk counting errors up to poor health and painful feed.

Anyway, I am finally done and I love it! I might put snaps on, but will wait to talk to the mama. This sweater was made from Bernat Baby Coordinates (Fiber Content: 75.2% Acrylic, 22.2 % Acetate, 2.6% Nylon; Yarn Color: 01009 Soft Blue; Yarn Weight: 2, Sport) with a US F/3.75 mm hook. I want to make one in green and blue stripes next.

The project name – Days Go By by Dirty Vegas – was a random pick from my music library, but is kind of apropos as to the passing of time to birth day.

Upside Down Blanket

Upside Down Blanket

Upside Down BlanketI kept putting off infant crochet for my future great nephew, and the other day I realized I better start crocheting faster because he is due in January 2018.

I had been wanting to save the Wobbly Squares Blanket pattern for Bunnyland (a project in conception), but thought this would be a good place to try the pattern. OMG! The pattern is so simple and once you understand the repeats, it is not problem. Warning! Keep track, I lost count and almost ended up with a completely lopsided blanket due to wrong stitch counts: 48 on side one, 48 on side 2, 52 on side 3, 52 on side 4. I managed to catch this before the last eight rows and was able to conceal the mistake with only 1 adjustment row.

I had to dig up all my baby yarns and found a box of Bernat Baby Coordinates (Fiber Content: 75.2 % Acrylic, 22.2% Rayon, 2.6% Nylon; Yarn Colors: Lemon Custard, White, Blue/Green mix, and Green/Yellow/White mix; Yarn Weight: 3, DK), so I mixed them up and started. Unfortunately, I forgot to include the mint green and baby blue I had, but looking at the blanket now, I think it would have been too much. My afghan measures approximately 32 inches square. I chose not to put a border. Next is a blue and white striped sweater.

Ironically, the project name – Upside Down by Jack Johnson – is appropriate to the pattern, which appears to be v-stitches, but in reality are double-crochet clusters – the Upside Down of v-stitches.

Upside Down Blanket

 

Splish Splash

Splish Splash by Bobby Darin

This is a much needed crocheted bath mat I finally was able to make from a very generous cotton donation from a friend. If it looks a little janky, it is!

I improvised the design without researching the required multiple for this stitch used and ran into trouble – noticeable along longer edges. Another thing that was challenging with this project was changing colors every row. In another mat – I might make – I think I will carry the alternating color. Finally, I ran out of the teal – upper right hand corner.

Bottom line: I don’t have to worry about slipping anymore!

Dimensions: 26.5 x 18.25 inches

Splish-Splash

 

Pick Up The Pieces Scrapghan: WIP

Pick Up The Pieces Afghan
Pick Up The Pieces Afghan
©A Hooker’s World

In an effort to have less scraps lying around, I decided to start a scrapghan. I am crocheting a ribbed afghan, using alternating front and back post triple crochets. So far I have used Patons Canadiana (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic, Yarn Color: 11420 Pretty Baby, Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) from A-Tisket, A-Tasket Kerchief, some unknown blue from Agua de Beber Cowl, and three unknown purples from a test afghan I had previously started. For this project I am also using a J hook. I thought the project name – Pick Up The Pieces by Average White Band, was appropriate for this scrapghan.

Agua de Beber Cowl

Agua de Beber Cowl
Agua de Beber Cowl
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: October 6, 2015
Off da Hook: October 6, 2015
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo
Yarn: Unlabeled Scrap Yarn
Hook: US I/9
Dimensions: 6 (W) x 62 (D) inches

I have been feeling so bogged down and uncreative lately, so I set my mind to it, organized my acrylic stash by color and set to work on this mobius cowl. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not crazy about this project; primarily due to tension. For the feel I like in my crochet, I should have used a bigger hook; this project is just two stiff for me. Secondly, I don’t think I am a fan of mobius cowls anymore because of the twist; however, I am a fan of the construction, which seems more efficient. The project name – Agua de Beber by Antonio Carlos Jobim – is a random selection from my music library.

I decided to donate this cowl to charity.

Crooked Teeth Shawl: Complete

Crooked Teeth Shawl

On da Hook: August 16, 2015
Off da Hook: September 22, 2015
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo
Yarn A: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown [Tan]; Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn B: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown [Purple Gradient]; Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn C: Pingouin Pingoluxe (Fiber Content: 73% Acetate, 32% Polyamide; Yarn Color: 01; Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn D: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown [Blue Gradient], Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn E: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown [Green], Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn F: Artfibers Carezza (Fiber Content: 30% Silk, 30% Baby Alpaca, 40% Extrafine Merino Wool; Yarn Color: 17 [Green/Brown Gradient], Yarn Weight: 1, Fine)
Hook: US F/5 – 3.75 mm
Dimensions: 45.5 (W) x 22 (H)
Price: USD $75.00

I am really loving the colors on this mid-riff shawl. I would have made it longer, but the back is approximately twice the length of the sides due to a mistake in construction. Despite the mistake, I like the lay of the shawl on the shoulders, contouring the natural shape of ones neck, shoulders and back. This shawl was made from some gradient yarn (D & F) gifted to me by an old acquaintance a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Much to my surprise some, the yarn F turned out to be something extra special, and that is provided I have the identification correct. Yarn D also turned out to be a natural fiber yarn, per a burn test. The solids I had purchased a long time ago for a Create Your Own Knitted Shawl Class I had taken; I never finished that shawl. I also was not crazy about the back loop single crochet at the beginning, but began to like it as I progress.

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From Tangled Hank To Yarn Cake

Newtons' Yarn Country Blue
Newtons' Yarn Country Blue
©A Hooker’s World

Have you ever received a hank from someone that is tangled. I did and I loved the color so much I set to winding into a ball and untangling. I got about a third of the hank done. On my birthday, Lynette and Cathy stayed later than the other guests. We went inside my room and they worked on the hank some more, probably accomplishing about another third. Today, while watching two movies, I finished the untangling and wound it up into a yarn cake. I am estimating it took about 15 hours to urn the tangled hank into a yarn cake. As for the fiber content, I am guessing Rayon. Now, what is it going to become? Without yardage, I am hoping it might be enough for the Swank Tank or making the Amita Shawl.

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.

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.

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.