Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most

Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most

Cast On: February 10, 2017
Bind Off: March 5, 2017
Pattern: Garter Stitch
Needle Size: US 6
Yarn A: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Astrakhan (Fiber Content: 60% Merino wool, 30% Microfibre, 10% Cashmere; Yarn Color: 31016; Yarn Weight: 4, Aran)
Yarn B: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Astrakhan (Fiber Content: 60% Merino wool, 30% Microfibre, 10% Cashmere; Yarn Color: 31009; Yarn Weight: 4, Aran)
Dimensions: 23 (C) x 12 (W)

Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most
© A Hooker’s World

I am a big fan of pink and green together, which always reminds me of spring; hence the project name – Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most by Ella Fitzgerald, and apparently, formerly known as Message of Love. I was pleased when this yarn showed up next in my stash for processing, despite the bouclé texture, which I knew would be necessary to knit. That is why I chose mindless garter, alternating colors every two rows. This was my television project.

Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most
© A Hooker’s World

The yarn is so soft and cushy, as I was working with it I was thinking of making if for myself, as I am always cold and have discovered that the key to my warmth is shielding my neck from the cold. Even though this project turned out to be for me, Mojo’s magical fibers of joy and love still annoyed me and attacked my project, but I think I got them all.

Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most
© A Hooker’s World

I did not plan ahead, so I had to seam this project, but I think I did a good job, as it is almost invisible, except for the bulkier texture which can be detected by touch. This is also the first time that I have chosen to make a more cozy cowl, previously opting for longer circumferences with more drape and ability to wrap multiple times.

Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most
© A Hooker’s World

I still have some yarn left, so now the dilemma is do I knit something else or stash away for a scrapghan? I was thinking of trying to knit the yarn on a bigger needle (US 11?) to see if I could get a scarf out of it.

Message of Love

Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most

Unable to work on crochet in the evening, I started a new mindless project for night knitting while watching television: Message of Love (by The Pretenders) Cowl.

I was totally surprised to learn that this bulky-looking yarn only calls for a US 6 needle, but it seems to be knitting up fine despite the knobbiness of the yarn of which I am not a fan. My experience has taught me that most textured yarns are best used in knitting versus crochet, as one is working with live stitches versus working in existing stitches, which can be difficult to identify in crochet.

I started on straight needles, but will switch to circulars, as the length of the straights is a little encumbering.

Man In The Box Cowl

Click an image for enlargement/slide show

This is another stash busting sample for the proposed stash busting crochet event at Concepts In Yarn and Needlepoint. I made it yesterday in about six hours (only because I fudged the construction). This works up real quick and is an excellent stash buster for those short scraps.

This piece measures approximately 16 (D) x 5 (H) inches. The yarn used for this project is some unlabeled acrylic from my own stash. The crochet technique is called Entrelac Crochet and is constructed in a Tunisian method.

This cowl will be donated to Handmade Especially For You after the stash busting crochet event and I can teach you this technique during the event…for FREE!

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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It’s My Life Shawl: Complete

It's My Life Shawl

Click an image to begin slide show…

Cast On: October 31, 2014
Cast Off: April, 14, 2015
Pattern: Exploration Station by Stephen West
Yarn A: MadelineTosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: Vintage Sari; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn B: MadelineTosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: Jade; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn C: MadelineTosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: Leaf; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn D: MadelineTosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: Filigree; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Needle: US 6
Dimensions: 70 W x 35 H inches (approximate, after blocking)

Five months! A friend of mine asked me to participate in Stephen West 2014 Mystery Knit-A-Long. Being a fan of some of West’s designs and having access to some yarn, I decided to participate.

I was so excited when I discovered the beginning of this shawl was similar to Merging Ripples by Kyoko Nakayoshi, which I had been planning to knit up in lime green and cobalt blue. And then it turned into brioche. I had never done brioche and it looked simple enough to learn, so I started immediately without practicing. I got about six rows in and discovered a mistake I could not fix. I frogged back to the end of section one – fortunately having the correct number of stitches – ran a life line and started My Funny Valentine Cowl to practice.

After I finished the cowl, I resumed It’s My life and felt like a professional and seasoned knitter. From that point forward, I encountered no problems and enjoyed the knitting of this shawl. Knitting of this shawl taught me new knitting stitches/techniques, and for that, I am grateful. The i-cord border is really interesting and I may use that again in the future. I also really liked the stripes before the chevrons and will definitely incorporate that into the shawl I will make with the leftovers.

This shawl derived it’s name – It’s My Life by Talk, Talk – because at the time I cast on, I had just been fired from my job at the yarn store and I was feeling defiant. There are a couple of mistakes that will stand out to a professional and smaller errors that could be considered imperceptible, but overall I am very proud of this project.

Price: USD $344.80

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.

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?

Instant Karma Dog Sweater

Instant Karma Dog Sweater
Instant Karma Dog Sweater
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: April 22, 2014
Off da Hook: April 25, 2014
Pattern: Basic Crochet in Leisure Arts Dog Sweaters to Knit & Crochet by Carol Carvalho
Yarn A: Universal Uptown Worsted; Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: Pumpkin; Yarn Weight: 4
Yarn B: Feza Zara; Fiber Content: 65% Acrylic, 35% Wool; Yarn Color: 134; Yarn Weight: 4
Hook A: US G
Hook B: US H8 – 5.0 mm

I made this sweater for Mojo so Jacqui would not have to crochet it alone. Based on the perfect fit of the first one I made – The Look of Love Dog Sweater – I did not do a gauge swatch for this one and it came out way bigger than the first one I made for Mojo. I hope Jacqui’s dog sweater fits Kiki.

I must express my dismay with the non-standardization of crochet hooks. The pattern calls for a F (4.0 mm); all my Fs are 3.75 mm. I do own a G hook so I assumed it was a 4.0 mm, but according to Karp Styles a G equals 4.25 mm and a 6 equals 4.0 mm. Very confusing. I wonder how one would go about standardizing this.

I just received an email from Jacqui, who informs me that the sweater fit perfectly!

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