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.

 

 

When I Think Of You Scarf

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

On da Hook: May 6, 2014
Off da Hook: May 7, 2014
Pattern: When I Think Of You Scarf by Hooker Leo (In Development)
Yarn A: Be Sweet Bambino Taffy (Fiber Content: 70% Organically Grown Cotton/30% Bamboo; Yarn Color: 883 Spearmint Gum; Yarn Weight: 4)
Yarn B: Be Sweet Bambino Taffy (Fiber Content: 70% Organically Grown Cotton/30% Bamboo; Yarn Color: 881 Salt Water Taffy; Yarn Weight: 4)
Hook: Bates US G/6 – 4.0 mm
Dimensions: 86 x 5 inches

I was so excited when I learned that the Skacel Zauberball Crazy yarn had come in, so Lenora and I could begin the updated Convergence sweater pattern pictured in the 2013 Crochet Special Collector’s Issue of Vogue Knitting. My excitement was quickly quelled when a phone call from Min indicated that she was going to make it as well, leaving only two balls left. I suppose I could start, as more yarn has been ordered, but I was really excited to begin my first top/sweater.

So, I started looking through the Rowan and Berroco books for a crochet pattern I could make as a store sample. I was sadly disappointed that the Rowan books only had knitting patterns. It’s not that I can’t knit, but as the crochet instructor at the store, I have to represent. The Berroco books were ideal as they explicitly indicated whether the item pictured was crocheted or knitted, saving time of perusing each pattern for determination. I am writing both company’s with my opinions.

Finally, Bruce suggested something out of the Be Sweet Bambino, which has just been marked down 25%. I had just seen the Mitered Squares Scarf by Annette Petavy on Ravelry and knowing I could make that without purchasing the pattern, I set to designing. Allow me to comment on the Be Sweet yarn at this point. It is a nice cotton/bamboo blend with – what one might describe as soutache – plied together. I am not an organic type of person, so I find the price point for the yarn to be exorbitant. I used the Bambino Taffy which is comprised of five colors that are tied/knotted – yes, knotted – together. Coincidentally, my pattern works out so that there is enough of each color within the skein for a single square.

The pattern includes my color scheme if you wish to duplicate the scarf pictured. Lenora prompted me to write up the pattern quickly, so she could purchase it for her daughter, who like Be Sweet yarn. While writing it up, I thought: “Why not ask her daughter to test the pattern and give it to her for free?” That is my plan and I’m sticking to it. I am awaiting confirmation from the daughter to test the pattern. Once it has been tested, I will make it available in the patterns section and on Ravelry.

New Skill: Crochet Afghan Repair

Crochet Afghan Repair: Before

I suspect my boss took this repair into the store, assuming I could fix it. I have been asked before to fix something and ended up re-crocheting the afghan because I could not understand how I could make the repairs, as crochet is done on completed stitches. That seems easy enough, but when I thought about the last (top) row being worked in the the stitches above, I just could not conceive any idea on how to accomplish that.

Well, money is one of my great motivators, especially because I don’t have any. Because I am fond of my bosses for giving me an opportunity for stable employment, I said I would try, but made sure, she knew I wanted premium pricing. The initial repair – the blue section – seemed easy enough and when I got to the big hole, the ease of repair continued, though presented more of a challenge in its approach.

I think we matched the color pretty closely and while I did not perform the puff stitch in the exact same manner, I am proud of my work on this afghan repair. What do you think?

Halcyon + On + On Wrap

Halcyon + On + On Wrap

On da Hook: March 30, 2014
Off da Hook: April 16, 2014
Pattern: Halcyon + On + On Wrap by Hooker Leo
Yarn A: Cascade Ultra Pima (Yarn Color: 3734 Turquoise; Fiber Content: 100% Pima Cotton; Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn B: Cascade Ultra Pima (Yarn Color: 3757 Zen Garden; Fiber Content: 100% Pima Cotton; Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn C: Cascade Ultra Pima (Yarn Color: 3742 Pale Green; Fiber Content: 100% Pima Cotton; Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Hook: Bates US G/6 – 4 mm
Dimensions: 66 x 16 inches

Ellen S. had just gifted me with two skeins of Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton when I came across the design on Pinterest, as a result of a Google search for “latest in crochet design.” Of course my first thought was “I can make that!” So I found a third color and set to designing.

This a very simple pattern for beginners, though tedium could be attributed to the fact that you must double crochet into each chain for structure stability versus over the chains. Each row begins and ends with a flower. I changed color every row, but you may choose to do something different. When the pattern is coming out of your head you have small mistakes: some of mine are flowers that are not staggered, as desired; flowers hanging at different lengths due to lapses in counting; and while I wanted my double crochets to be five across the whole piece, somehow, I ended up with a five/four design.

Aside from those small mistakes, I am in love with the color scheme, as are most of the crocheters/knitters I hang with. This piece can be worn as a wrap/shawl or scrunch it up to be worn as a scarf. The open mesh style makes it perfect for summer days/nights.

The project name – Halcyon + On + On by Orbital – comes from my music library.

Pattern Proviso

As with all my patterns:

  • I condone any realized profit from selling your finished project
  • I ask that you do not duplicate or copy the pattern for dissemination among your friends. I have no way to police this, so you are on your honor, but I don’t think USD $5.00 is an exorbitant cost, considering all the work that went into writing the pattern
  • If you are Ravelry, I would appreciate your linking your project to this recipe, so I can send a request to feature your finished object

Price: USD $117.00

Stereo Hearts Shawl

Stereo Hearts Shawl

click a thumbnail for enlargement/slide show

On da Hook: April 5, 2014
Off da Hook: April 9, 2014
Pattern: Stereo Hearts Shawl by Hooker Leo
Yarn: Ironstone Bouquet of Colors Brushed Mohair (Yarn Color: Earthenware/9; Fiber Content: 78% Mohair, 13% Wool, 9% Nylon; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Hook: US M/9.0 mm
Dimensions: 70 x 34 inches

My friend Ana has a shawl she made from a fiber similar to this one; if memory serves correctly, her shawl has more grey in it. Still I just love this colorway, and admittedly a little disappointed that the tip, where I started is lighter in color. I thought the lightness would repeat in the yarn, but it never did. The shawl was constructed from three skeins, using the diagonal box stitch. Because I didn’t want mine to be exactly like Ana’s, I put some holes in mine every 11th row. Technically, the shawl still needs blocking, but I hate blocking because I just don’t have the space. I just love the lightness and softness of this shawl. It’s similar to wearing a fluffy colorful cloud over your shoulders.

The project name – Stereo Hearts  by Gym Class Heroes, featuring Adam Levine – is one of my favorite songs from my music library.

Price: USD $144.00

Accidents Never Happen Shawlette

Accidents Never Happen Shawlette
Accidents Never Happen Shawlette
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: October 17, 2013
Off da Hook: February 4, 2014
Pattern: Accidents Never Happen Shawlette by Hooker Leo
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Silk Paints; Yarn Color: 9942 Misty Blue; Fiber Content: 85% Merino Superwash Wool, 15% Mulberry Silk; Yarn Weight: 1
Hook: Boye E/4 – 3.5 mm
Dimensions: 92 x 18 inches

In one of the CrochetMe eNewsletters I received they were talking about Bruges Lace. I had never heard of it. Because there were basic instructions and I love a challenge, when I saw the picture of Lily Chin’s Swan Lake Shawl, I knew I could improvise a shawl and set to crocheting. I tried contacting Lily at least three times because I wanted like to write up the pattern and didn’t want to step on any toes. Twice my email was returned undeliverable and to date, I have not received a reply from her Ravelry group. Because I didn’t know how to proceed, I emailed my fiber-godmothers for their opinion, but they also have not replied.

This shawlette is very simple to crochet, as you are repeating one section. The difficulty for me – as I was creating this shawlette – was determining the connection points and curves. As such, the project name – Accidents Never Happen by Blondie – is tongue in cheek because, of course, there were accidents.

After much labor and revision, I think I boiled the pattern down to simple terminology. Because the pattern has not yet been tested, I am making myself available for questions regarding the pattern and have included contact information in the pattern. Once the pattern has an official tester, the contact information will be removed, but I will continue to be available.

The pattern will also be available for purchase during Yarn Crawl LA at The Knitting Tree L A, but at a retail price. The advantage of buying the pattern in the store is that the yarn used in the pattern will also be available in different colors and I will be there to answer any questions.

As with ALL my patterns, while I condone you selling your finished project, I do ask that you do not duplicate or copy the pattern for dissemination among your friends. I have no way to police this, so you are on your honor, but I don’t think USD $1.00 is an exorbitant cost, considering I am not a professional pattern writer and I provide technical support at no additional cost.

Finally, should you deiced to honor me with a purchase, I would love to feature your finished project on Ravelry where I can be found as HookerLeo or simply send me an email.

Let’s Go Fly A Kite Scarf

Let's Go Fly A Kite Scarf
Let's Go Fly A Kite Scarf
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: December 21, 2013
Off da Hook: January 22, 2014
Pattern: Diagonal Box Stitch
Yarns A, B & C: Unknown (Fiber Content: Natural Animal Fibers per burn testing, Yarn Color: Unknown, Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Hook: most likely an US E/4
Dimensions: 86 (L) x 5.5 (W) inches

This was made from some yarn I had acquired from a yarn sale. I had also acquired some deep purple color and used that in a baby blanket, which I later donated. I was surprised, after learning how to burn test a yarn for fiber content, that this, as well as the deep purple, are natural animal fibers, though which animal I don’t know, but guess wool. I just love this color combination and find it very masculine.

The name – Let’s Go Fly A Kite from Mary Poppins – is a selection from my music library, most likely associated to my desire to view Saving Mr. Banks.

Price: USD $60.00

Night and Day Scarf

Night and Day Scarf Moon

On da Hook: October 18, 2013
Off da Hook: November 15, 2013
Pattern: Night and Day Scarf by Hooker Leo
Yarn A: Universal Deluxe Superwash (Marigold); 100% superwash wool
Yarn B: Universal Deluxe Superwash (Twilight); 100% superwash wool
Hook: Boye US H/8 – 5.0 mm
Finished Size: 6 x 79 inches, excluding fringe

One of my favorite songs is “Night and Day,” by Cole Porter, performed by U2 from the album Red, Hot +Blue: A Tribute to Cole Porter. I finally was able to obtain the song for my own listening pleasure and decided to create this scarf as homage, and as a sample for my upcoming Filet Crochet class at The Knitting Tree, L A.

This filet crochet pattern is based on a 3×3 grid, not your normal 4 x 3 grid, so that every square represents 3 double crochet versus 4.

As with all my patterns:

  • I condone any realized profit from selling your finished project
  • I ask that you do not duplicate or copy the pattern for dissemination among your friends
  • If you are Ravelry, I would appreciate your linking your project to this recipe, so I can send a request to feature your finished object