Brass In Pocket Shawl

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Cast On: May 11, 2016
Cast Off: September 1, 2016
Pattern: The Age of Brass and Steam by Orange Flower Yarn
Yarn: Berroco Vintage DK (Fiber Content: 52% Acrylic, 40% Wool, 8% Nylon; Yarn Color: 2189; Yarn Weight: 3, Light, DK, Light Worsted)
Needle: US 6 – 4 mm
Dimensions: 33 (W) x 22 (H) inches

This is a gift for my oldest friend: Judy Shigekawa, whom I met in September 1963 in our kindergarten class. We reconnected a couple of years ago at a high school reunion. Her gift choice was a dark gray shawl. I hope she likes it!

While I did use the above pattern, I did add an extra repeat. I am unsure as to whether I had enough yardage for one more pattern repeat.

The project name – Brass In Pocket by The Pretenders – is relative to the pattern name.

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

Good Lovin’ Cowl

Good Lovin' Cowl
©A Hooker’s World

So I finally returned to knitting. For the details that lead me back to knitting read this post. Otherwise, as you can see, another project has been completed. The pattern is Bridger Cowl by Kris Basta, Kriskrafter, LLC and I used the Karabella Aurora 8 (Fiber Content: 100% Extrafine Merino Wool Irrestringible; Yarn Colors: 286 and 1536; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) and Wendy Peter Pan Double Knit (Fiber Content: 55% Nylon, 45% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 387; Yarn Weight: 3, DK/Light Worsted).

Of course being the rebel that I am, I changed the pattern:

  1. by incorporating more than one color
  2. by replacing the garter, just above the brown trim on the bottom, with stockinette
  3. and by making up my own two border (Row 1: Purl; Row 2: Purl; Row 3: YO, P2tog; Row 4: Purl; Row 5: Purl)

I think I am going to make another with the skein of Cascade Casablanca (Fiber Content: 60% Wool, 25% Silk, 15% Mohair; Yarn Color: 3; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) I have.

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.

Blame It On The Bossa Nova Baby Bonnets

Even when mistakes are made, the thread of destiny is ever-present.

These started out as a store sample – commissioned by my boss: “Annette” –  for Cascade Fixation (Fiber Content: 98.3% cotton, 1.7% elastic; Yarn Color: 9245; Yarn Weight: 3, DK, Light Worsted) and pattern: Basic Crochet Bikini. I chose to make the pattern for the smallest cup size: A. The pattern called for Crochet Hook: B/1 – 2.25 mm and Patons Grace Yarn, but the Fixation called for crochet hook: F/5 – 3.75. I started using the hook the pattern called for, but found it a little challenging using a smaller hook with the Fixation and the “branches” (affectionate term for customers, mostly female) at The Knitting Tree L A kept commenting that the cup was looking too small, so I switched to the larger hook. Being a homosexual, I don’t have much experience with breasts or cup sizes. 🙂

After switching to the larger hook, the branches kept commenting that the cup size was not accurate, so I did some errata investigation. I could not find any, but did find a bigger and much more detailed picture on Ravelry that indicated I was crocheting with the wrong orientation. The pattern does not clearly indicate this; I have commented on the pattern, but never heard back from AllFreeCrochet.com. That problem solved, I set forth, but for some reason experienced difficulty with my counting and had to restart at least two times.

In the meantime, a young, beautiful friend of mine from the store said whe would model the bikini upon completion, but A cups were not going to “be big enough for her girls,” so I changed to C cups and restarted again. Upon completion, the branches of “The Tree” told me that the C cup looked more like a D cup. Aiyaa! I proceeded to make the second cup, as I had not seen my model lately and she would be the ultimate decider. After finishing the second cup with the same majority opinion, no one was a fan of the pointed cup – a la Madonna’s cone bra from Vogue.

During one of Annette’s sillier moments she discovered another use for the huge cup: a baby bonnet for the gangsta baby who resides in the store. As an exclamation point on the story of these baby bonnets, I decided to name them after Blame It On The Bossa Nova by Annette Funicello.

I think I may still attempt to make the bikini, but will have to work out that point or find someone that likes it!