Buffy Come Back Cowl

Buffy Come Back Cowl
Buffy Come Back Cowl
©A Hooker’s World

Here is the next cowl to be donated to Handmade Especially For You, unless you like it so much and would like to purchase it at the reduced Price: USD $20.00. This cowl is seamed. I recommend wearing with seam at back of neck, as pictured. As you can see, the colors include white, pink, beige, grey, burgundy and a touch of blue and green in one of the multi-colored yarns, all of which are of a thick, bulky weight. The fiber content is most assuredly all acrylic/man-made fibers. The only identifiable yarn used in this cowl is Lion Brand Homespun (Fiber Content: 98% Acrylic, 2% Polyester; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: 6, Bulky).

The construction is a back loop, single crochet ripple with an US M/10 mm hook. I began with a foundation chain of 17. Row one is worked in the bottom of the foundation chain. Every row is 2sctog, 6 sc, 3 sc in the same (center) stitch, 6 sc, 2 sctog. The seam was done in pattern attaching to the front loop of the foundation chain.

When using the white/burgundy/grey novelty yarn (pictured at upper right), I held a strand of Cascade Cherub DK (Fiber Content: 55% Nylon, 45% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 01; Yarn Weight: 3, DK, Light Worsted) to ease in stitch identification.

The name of this cowl — Buffy Come Back by Angel and the Reruns – is a random selection from my music library.

2014-08-07 ADDENDUM

Apparently, the cowl is long enough to wrap three times and keep your neck nice and warm.

Buffy Come Back Cowl
©A Hooker’s World

Natural High Mobius Cowl

Natural High Mobius Cowl
Natural High Mobius Cowl
©A Hooker’s World

Having rummaged through my stash recently to donate some yarn to Studio Royale Assisted Living Knit Group, I actually used some of my scraps to make this seamed mobius cowl, which will be donated to Handmade Especially For You. I made the mistake of “seaming” this into a mobius. I only say that because I am deciding that a mobius cowl should only be for shorter cowls that one would not wrap twice.

Only two yarns were identifiable:

  • Super Yarn Mart! Superlon (Fiber Content: 100% Super Spun Acrylic; Yarn Color: 100 Black; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
  • Plymouth Encore (Fiber Content: 75% Acrylic, 25% Wool; Yarn Color: 0256; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)

The third identifiable yarn was the bought at The Knitting Tree, L A to finish this piece: Feza Lady (Fiber Content: 100% Nylon; Yarn Color: 112; Yarn Weight: 4, Aran)

Apparently, I got used to the new wimpy worsted weight yarns and used a US 8/H – 5 mm hook, which cause portions of the cowl fabric to be dense. Crucify me for my attitude, but it’s a donation, so I am not really concerned, but have taken the knowledge and will apply in future projects.

The name of this cowl – Natural High by Bloodstone – comes from the colors used: white, ecru, browns, blacks and greys.

If you are keen to make something similar, here is the recipe: 24 double crochets worked between stitches to desired length with a crab stitch border of the Feza Lady, triple-stranded.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ Scarf

Ain't Misbehavin' Scarf
Ain't Misbehavin' Scarf
©A Hooker’s World

A friend of mine has been taking a knitting/crochet group into an assisted-living facility where her mom resides. I volunteered to support her group and this Thursday will be my first time attending. You know how I love old ladies! Anyway, the last time I saw my friend in the store she was buying yarn for the group. I commented to my friend that it was a nice gesture, and to save her some money, I would go through my mountainous stash and donate some of my yarn.

So the other day, I began stash-diving, beginning with multicolored yarns because I had been informed that was what the old ladies liked best. Of course, once I started seeing all the beautiful colors, I could not decided what to donate. My final algorithm was to donate single unlabeled skeins so I would not have the additional challenge of color matching or trying to find the same yarn.

I was initially going to donate the Universal Classic Worsted Tapestry (Fiber Content: 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool; Yarn Color: 7005 Party Time; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted), but thought because it was various balls tied together, it would not be optimal for the old ladies, so I ended up crocheting the scarf above, which will be donated to Handmade Especially For You, the charity at the El Segundo Sliptstitchers knitting guild – I’ll never understand why it’s abbreviated ESSS versus ESS. Anyway, I used a US 8/H – 5 mm hook and the Diagonal Box Stitch to make this scarf. I could have sworn there was a nicer way to decrease this stitch without having to chain or slipstitch, but I could not find those instructions. If you know how, please send me an email.

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.

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.

C’est Si Bon Blocking/Yoga Mat & Carrier

C'est Si Bon Blocking/Yoga Mat & Carrier
C'est Si Bon Blocking/Yoga Mat & Carrier
©A Hooker’s World

Price: USD $60.00 ($54.00: Yarn + $6.00: Mat) + applicable shipping

So while I was trying to overcome my cough last week, I decided I was feeling bettah and decided to – at least – organize my room. While I was organizing, I found a yoga mat that I had purchased at a yard sale to use for blocking my projects. Needless to say, I am not about to start yoga-ing and I really don’t like blocking. In conjunction with my game plan to attack my stash, I set to creating this carrier. When I tried it on, I slung it over one shoulder, and as you can see in the picture above, Mergatroid was able to drape it across her chest.

Yarn A: Caron Simply Soft (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic, Yarn Color: 0001 White; Yarn Weight: 3), double-stranded with
Yarn B: Lion Brand Fun Fur Prints (Fiber Content: 100% Polyester; Yarn Color: 206 Confetti; Yarn Weight: 5)
Yarn C: Unknown Eyelash
Yarn D: Unknown Eyelash
Yarn E: Unknown Eyelash
Hook: US J/10 – 6.0 mm
Mat Dimensions: 68 (length) x 24 (width) x .25 inches (height)
Carrier Dimensions: 21.5 (height) x 5.5 (diameter) inches.

Dislcaimer: The carrier opening has been cinched to prevent stretching, so the mat must be rolled snuggly for insertion.

Any Man of Mine Wrap

Any Man of Mine Wrap
Any Man of Mine Wrap
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: Don’t Remember
Off da Hook: April 29, 2014
Pattern: Inspired Design by Hooker Leo
Yarn A: Unknown; Fiber Content: Acrylic; Yarn Color: Unknown [White]; Yarn Weight: 4
Yarn B: Unknown; Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown [White]; Yarn Weight: 0
Yarn C: Super Yarn Mart Superlon; Fiber Content: Acrylic; Yarn Color: 100 Black; Yarn Weight: 4
Hook: Boye US J/10 – 6.0 mm
Dimensions: 76 x 6.5 inches

Price: USD $30.00 + applicable shipping

This was my practice attempt at a design inspired by something I saw on Pinterest. It provided an opportunity for me to finish the cone of eyelash yarn I had, though I still have a smidgen of it left. I stopped working on this to work on Halcyon + On + On Wrap because my decision to be precise with the eyelash yarn and avoid looping was becoming very tedious. Not visible in the image above are some iridescent fibers the reflect prismatic color.

Bacon & Eggs Scarf

Bacon & Eggs Scarf
Bacon & Eggs Scarf
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: April 14, 2014
Off da Hook: April 15, 2014
Pattern: Bacon and Eggs Scarf by Twinkie Chan
Yarn A: Cascade Cherub Aran Sparkle; Yarn Color: 208 Prune Purple; Fiber Content: 54% Nylon, 42% Acrylic, 4% Metallic; Yarn Weight: 4
Yarn B: Plymouth Encore Worsted; Yarn Color: 0256 Ecru; Fiber Content: 75% Acrylic, 20% Wool; Yarn Weight: 4
Yarn C: Schachenmayr Bravo Worsted; Yarn Color: 08224 White; Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Weight: 4
Yarn D: Universal Uptown Worsted; Yarn Color: 327 Bright Yellow; Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Weight: 4
Hook: Bates US H/8 – 5.0 mm
Dimensions: 92 x 4.5 inches

This was made as a sample for The Knitting Tree, L A. It only took two days to make all the components and sew them together. The wording in the pattern was a bit unusual, but easily modified into something I could understand. While I detest sewing components together, this was not so bad. My guess is because the seams are so short and there is not a multitude of components to seam together. The most popular comment at the store was that the eggs look like boobies. WTH? They look like eggs to me and they were fun to make. My bacon differs from the original pattern in that I added an additional two stripes of the darker color for a more balanced piece of bacon.

Come And Get Your Love Mobius Cowl

Come And Get Your Love Mobius Cowl
Come And Get Your Love Mobius Cowl
© A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: November 19, 2013
Off da Hook: November 20, 2013
Pattern: Come And Get Your Love Mobius Cowl by Hooker Leo
Yarn A: 3 skeins Lion Brand Jamie (200 White); 100% Acrylic
Yarn B: Unknown Eyelash (White); Unknown fiber
Yarn C: Plassard Insolite (09 Lavender); 100% Polyester
Yarn D: Flutter (42); 100% Polyester
Yarn E: Classic Elite La Gran Mohair(6589 Crepe Myrtle); 78.4% Mohair/17.3% Wool/4.3% Nylon
Hook: US M/13-9.0 mm
Finished Size: 6 inch width x 22.5 inch diameter ≈ 70.6 circumference

I finally got my love and have worked out a hooking schedule. With my new plan in action, I was feeling crafty and inspired by Sara’s (sp) shared knowledge of the Sedge Stitch a la Lion Brand, and I’ve been itching to make another Mobius cowl since Mother’s was knitted, and despite using scraps, I am proud of the way that one turned out. Since it’s been in mom’s care, it has attained a softer touch. Isn’t that interesting? While I prefer a Mobius cowl of dimensions similar to mother’s versus this smaller version, this one, again, was made from partials skeins of the baby sport weight yarn and the Unknown Eyelash was on a cone, so you could actually make it wider and/or longer. I still like it andI am just too excited to have another FO.

The body worked up over an afternoon/evening; the border took a morning because I tried to do something different by slip stitching the back loop and front loops on each side, so I would not have to see the v’s from single crochet along the sides. That’s why you see that white line along the sides. I’ll admit: it looks a little less than Wow!, and I am almost convinced it is a design element. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

You may purchase the pattern by following the link above. While I condone your profit from making this cowl, I do ask that you do not copy the pattern and disseminate among your friends, as I don’t think USD $2.50 is an exorbitant fee for a crochet pattern. As with all my patterns, if you maintain a presence on Ravelry.com, I would appreciate your linking to the pattern, so I can contact you and feature an image of your project with the pattern page.

Happy hooking!

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Hats

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Hats
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Hats
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: October 24, 2013
Off da Hook: October 25, 2013
Pattern: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Hats by Hooker Leo
Yarn: Unknown Stash [Red & White]; Fiber Content: Acrylic
Hook: Boye US I9 – 5.50 mm
Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches; 7 x 10 inches; 6.5 x 9.5 inches; and 6 x 10 inches (including pom pom)

Yesterday I was informed by the Wednesday Morning Knitters organizer that the group has been volunteered to make hats for the Mar Vista Library Children’s Story Time Group. It was requested that four hats be made. No problem. This pattern differs a bit from the Mojo Santa Hat in that the increase is two stitches per round versus one. We were instructed to make toddler size. Being childless, I have no idea what size that is, so I looked it up and found the circumference for a toddler size hat. Using this number I plugged it into my handy-dandy circumference calculator to calculate the diameter. Several people have commented that the hats look too small and I agree, but the good deed is fait accompli.

While I condone your profit from making this pattern, I do ask that you do not copy the pattern for dissemination among your friends, as I don’t think USD $5.00 is an exorbitant fee for a crochet pattern. As with all my patterns, if you maintain a presence on Ravelry, I would appreciate your linking to the pattern, so I can contact you and feature an image of your project with the pattern page.