Message of Love

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.

Baby Blanket

Baby Blanket
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: January 6, 2016
Off da Hook: January 21, 2016
Pattern: Mayflower Baby Blanket by Tammy Hildebrand
Yarn: Cascade Elysian (Fiber Content: 60% Superwash Merino Wool, 40% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 06; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Hook: US I/9 – 5.5 mm
Dimensions: 31 x 31 inches

Oh whoa! Oh whoa! Oh whoa!

Loved the pattern result. I indicated medium difficulty rating because I am an advance crocheter; Lynette had difficulty with the pattern as a less experienced crocheter. Advise confident knowledge of back/front post construction, which took me a minute to get my stitch count down. The other thing that threw me for a loop was the half double crochets, whose top stitch points left versus double crochet which point right.

Noticed some errors in the copy: Border indicates SC count…should be stitch count. Notified Caron. Once again when it come to the border, my counts got all messed up, so I improvised a border; also because we were not sure we had enough yarn. Commendation to Cascade Yarns for getting back to me within 24 hours; I was right should have read “stitches,” not “single crochet.”

When I calculated 5 skein yardage, I was short. Another visit to the store only produced one more skein and I thought we needed at least two.

Oh well, I am just waiting to hear from the client as to whether she is satisfied and then I will sew in the ends, fluff it and deliver it.

I always try to find a project appropriate song name for my projects, but I my choices are lessening. I named this project after Baby by Justin Bieber. I think I may just start picking song names at random.

Pick Up The Pieces Scrapghan: WIP

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.

The Dead Heart Shawlette

On da Hook: August 25, 2015
Off da Hook: September 5, 2015
Pattern: Boomerang for Hookers by Gail Hovanec
Yarn: Michaels Loops & Threads Luxury Sock Yarn (Fiber Content: 60% Fine Merino Super Wash Wool, 30% Nylon, 10% Cashmere; Yarn Color: 7 Balloons; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Hook: US E/4 – 3.5 mm
Dimensions: 56 (W) x 14.5 (H)
Price: $96.00

I never knitted a boomerang scarf, but it should be just as easy as this pattern, right? I followed this pattern down to the stitch, as I was not sure how my Bar Front Loop Single Crochet would pull the yarn. I used three skeins of the yarn mentioned above to create this scarf, which is I would consider more a shawlette. The yarn has been discontinued, so you would need approximately 688.8 yards to make this project in the same size.

I suppose because I was working with sock yarn, this project seemed interminable. While I am a big fan of orange, I find that I am not crazy about this yarn color or the way it pooled. I named it The Dead Heart – by Midnight Oil – Shawlette to mark the end of my pursuit of someone that I had met and found interesting. The colors reminded me of a sunset also. There was a curl on one end, but I just steamed it out.

A-Tisket, A-Tasket Kerchief

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Cast On: July 23, 2015
Cast Off: August 1, 2015
Yarn A: Patons Canadiana (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic, Yarn Color: 10320 Cherished Lavender, Yarn Weight: 4, Acrylic)
Yarn B: Patons Canadiana (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic, Yarn Color: 11420 Pretty Baby, Yarn Weight: 4, Acrylic)
Needle: US 8
Project Dimensions: 44 (W) x 21.5 (L) inches

I encountered this pattern at the Slipstitch going out of business sale and bought the two skeins necessary for the pattern. I could not believe I had found a pattern for the garter ridge design element I had been trying to replicate on my own. Very easy pattern. I thought it was going to require much notation, but I was wrong as I was able to memorize the pattern quickly. I obviously am a loose knitter, as I ran out of Yarn A, about 25 stitches before the end. I grabbed something from my stash to finish that row and the color difference is hardly noticeable as it is right next to a color change from Yarn A to Yarn B.

Patons Canadiana is a nice worsted acrylic yarn, minus the cut in ply I encountered and which is present on the front of the garment. I might try to fine tune it by pulling the stray ply threads to the back, but I am sure they will eventually work their way back to the front again.

This is an xmas gift for a friend of mine that is ALWAYS cold. Now, she’ll have no excuse. The name of the project – A-Tisket, A-Tasket by Ella Fitzgerald – came to mind from the colors, which reminded me of an Easter basket.

Pink Moon Hat/Scarf

Pink Moon Hat/Scarf
©A Hooker’s World

Cast On: July 8, 2015
Cast Off: July 14, 2015
Scarf Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo
Hat Pattern: Modified Divine Hat by Sarah Arnold
Yarn A: Patons Brilliant (Fiber Content: 69% Acrylic, 19% Nylon, 12% Polyester; Yarn Color: 3425 Sparkling Rose, Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Scarf Hook: US H/8 – 5 mm
Hat Hook: US F/5 – 3.75 mm
Scarf Dimensions: 6 (W) x 58 (L) inches

With approximately 4 skeins left of the Patons Brilliant, I set out to crochet another cowl, but decided in the end to make it a scarf. The scarf is crocheted in the girdle stitch, also known as the moss stitch. My hope was that it would produce a thicker fabric, but with such a big hook it didn’t work.

With some unlabeled yarn left, I started the Divine Hat by Sarah Arnold, which calls for worsted weight yarn. The modification I made was after row 13, where I replaced rows 14-16 with ten rows of front post double crochet, 5 double crochet. After that I did row 17 (single crochet) and then replaced rows 18-21 with five rows of alternating front post double crochet/back post double crochet. The hat fits my 24 inch circumference head tightly, so I presume it will fit most female heads perfectly. The length comes down to just over the top of my ears, so I figure it will fit a female head to halfway over the ear. In other words, a perfect fit. I have had the pattern for so long, but always thought it was too involved to crochet. Now I improvised with a different weight and found the pattern pretty simple. I was prompted to make it as I received the pattern as wrapping on a birthday gift this past weekend at my birthday party.

I still have one skein left; I think I am going to contribute it to my DK weight scraps for a scrapghan in the future.

I had suggested to my sit ‘n’ stitch group – One Skein Short – that we make some scarves, cowls, hats to donate to the Vineyard Christian Fellowship as a thank you for allowing us to meet there. I think I will donate these two pieces as a set.

The project name – Pink Moon by Nick Drake – is a selection from my music library.

2015-08-07: I gave this away to a customer that just bought two of my shawls.

Get The Balance Right Shawl

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On Da Hook: October 10, 2015
Off da Hook: June 26, 2015
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo
Hook: US 7 – 4.5 mm
Yarn A: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 284 Farmhouse White; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn B: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 283 Chickory; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn C: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 291 Hosta Blue; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn D: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 286 Black Walnut; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn E: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 285 Log Cabin Brown; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn F: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 287 Red Phoenix; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn G: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: Cape Town Rainbow; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn H: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 292 Ember; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn I: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 293 Sun Rose; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn J: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 289 Purple Basil; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn K: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 290 Medieval; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Dimensions: 27 (w) x 25.5 (h)

After I was gifted with Madelinetosh unicorn tails (Yarns A-J), I chose a main color (Yarn K) and set forth to creating this shawl. I originally started at one side and was crocheting across. My idea was to continue to the center with the Medieval and then calculating how much yarn would be needed to complete it to the other side – hence the name, Get The Balance Right by Depeche Mode. However, I found calculating the middle was much more difficult than changing the orientation of the shawl, making the triangle hypotenuse the neck, thereby only requiring me to crochet till I ran out of the Medieval. I used the single crochet bar front loop stitch that I had created with How Deep Is The Ocean Scarf and I am very happy with the way this project came out.

About The Yarn: Madelinetosh tosh merino light

Tosh merino light is a 100% superwash merino wool, single-ply fingering weight yarn. With a generous 420 yards per skein, one skein is more than enough yardage to complete a pair of socks and two skeins can complete a full-sized lace project. Each incredibly soft skein is hand-dyed in small dye lots.

~ madelinetosh.com

I love this stuff! To me it’s like knitting with unsticky cotton candy. The hues of the dye work are so rich! I especially like the single-ply! Fabric drapes so well!

I consider myself to be a cheap skate, so it’s a special treat when I have extra money to spend.

Shattered Dreams Afghan

Shattered Dreams Afghan
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: May 15, 2015
Off da Hook: May 21, 2015
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo
Yarn: 8 skeins Cascade Bulky Leisure HD (Fiber Content: 50% Superfine Alpaca, 50% Pima Cotton; Yarn Color: 9915; Yarn Weight: 6, Super Bulky)
Hook: US K – 10.5 mm
Dimensions: 51 inch Diameter (from point to point)

The name of this project – Shattered Dreams by Johnny Hates Jazz – is inspired by the picture above and the seemingly shattered swirl pattern produced by the yarn.

I originally wanted more of a swirl stitch pattern, but for the life of me, I could not come up with something I liked. I even tried crochet entrelac, but there are just too many colors in the yarn, and because the yarn is discontinued, I did not think a search for a similar solid color would be fruitful. When I decided on the hexagon, I remembered that Ellen had made a shrug from a hexagon shape once. Unfortunately, my hexagon is not a granny square and therefore, would not fold into the desired L shape necessary to create the shrug.

In the long run, I am glad that the yarn is out of my stash. I feel like I am making some progress. I must emphasize the delight the crochet gives by finishing a project so quickly.

Price: USD $320.00 (25% Discount for Friends/Family)

It’s My Life Shawl: Complete

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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

My Funny Valentine Cowl

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Cast On: January 2015
Cast Off: March 12, 2015
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo of A Hooker’s World
Yarn A: Red Heart Super Saver (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 0722 Pretty ‘n Pink; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Yarn B: Red Heart Super Saver (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic: Yarn Color: 0319 Cherry Red; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Needle Size: US 8
Finished Size: approximately 72-inch circumference x 6.5-inch width

I can’t believe I finished in time for the Basic Two-Color Brioche Workshop I am teaching this Saturday at the Sand and Sea Knitting Guild. This project started out of It’s My Life Shawl (Stephen West Mystery Knit-A-Long: Exploration Station), which called for two-color brioche knitting; a skill I had never attempted. It seemed easy enough when I began, but then I dropped a stitch and went into a complete panic, as I had not inserted a life line. Fortunately, I was able to frog it back to the previous section and maintain the correct stitch count.

After that traumatic experience, I figured I better practice two-color brioche knitting, so I grabbed some acrylic from my stash and set out to learn by repetition. I’ll admit that I had to restart this project at least five times, but one I became focused I discovered that I had about a foot. I decided to continue practicing until it was long enough (my preferred length: 6 feet) for a scarf or a cowl; obviously deciding on a cowl. It wasn’t until it came to the seaming that I decided against giving it a twist. Actually, I am quite impressed with the neatness of the seam, as I was worried about how to bind off the brioche knitting.

Red Heart can sometimes be scratchy, but as I continued to work with these two skeins the scratchiness dissipated and I began to experience more softness. When I launder this cowl, I will use extra fabric softener for increased softness. The name of this project – My Funny Valentine by Sarah Vaughan – hints to the fact that I was hoping to finish by Valentine’s Day, but after a while of knitting, I began to get bored, quickly crocheting Circle In The Sand Mobius Cowl as a diversion.

With this project I finally learned how beneficial repetition is when it comes to learning a new technique. I can put the project down, pick it up and know exactly where I am in the pattern repeat; I began to notice how little mistakes were created by knitting the wrong strands; and most importantly, I could identify and fix mistakes before I got to far along.

Price: USD $50.00