Working With Rayon

You've Got Your Troubles Shawl
You've Got Your Troubles Shawl
©A Hooker’s World

This is a shawl I am making for a friend of mine, Cathy. I have named this project You’ve Got Your Troubles – by The Fortunes – Shawl. Well, I’ve got mine; That’s how the song goes.

Cathy chose the yarn from one of Newton’s Yarn Country’s parking lot sales before showing me the pattern. Her yarn choice is like a rayon, very slippery. Having worked with rayon before, I did not think much about her choice. Of course, this was before she gave me the pattern she liked. The pattern (The Shawl – Collared Shawl from the book Crochet Your Way by Gloria Tracy and Susan Levin) calls for a 70% mohair, 30% silk blend, which might be a lot easier to work with because of the hairs, and crochet hook sizes G, H, I, J & K, beginning with the K.

The first attempt went well from the foundation chain except that using such a large hook with such a fine medium caused the foundation chain stitches to twist on themselves, making stitch identification and consistency difficult. On the third attempt I got the idea to crochet the foundation chain around a length of waste yarn to prevent the stitches from twisting on themselves. This was a very important lesson learned.

I was still struggling with tension, and I think because of that, I kept loosing stitches. I am a counter, but at this point, I am losing patience. I am counting as I crochet, double-checking when I am off. Another lesson I have learned is to count stitches while the project lays flat on a table versus in holding the project in mid-air.

Another problem is the stitch identification. At least three times I have lost stitches on the decrease row. Because the stitching is so loose, it is hard to identify the decrease; add to that the correct replacement of the stitch marker.

Pictured above is the first two rows, crocheted with a K hook. I am about to switch to the J hook and start the first set of decreases. My plan of action is to take my time, perhaps turn off the television and/or the music, so I can concentrate because I already told Cathy if this doesn’t work out, I am going to grab my size 8 steel hook and just improvise something.

Loss Versus Profit

Yard Sale Profits
Yard Sale Profits
©A Hooker’s World

Mom had a yard sale today. I decided to try one more time to sell my wireless Mac keyboard and mouse. No sooner had I put it out there and I sold it, albeit at a reduced price of USD $20 from USD $35.

I then decided I might as well try and sell my crochet/knit items. Well, today must’ve been my lucky day because I sold the items pictured above: Sunflower Hat & Cocoon at a reduced price of USD $5 from USD $50; Second Hand Rose Shawl at a reduced price of USD $10 from USD $90; Mexican Radio Cowl for $5; and C’est Si Bon Blocking/Yoga Mat & Carrier at a reduced price of USD $10 from USD $60. I even made a contact with a neighbor for whom I would create fabric for her to use to yarn-bomb some trees! All in all, I can’t complain. All items were made from scrap yarn I obtained from other fiber artists.

This hooker and his dog are going to eat high on the hog tonight! We are already thinking Carnitas Tacos from El Abajeno. Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Red Rain

Red Rain Wrap

I had knitted this previously under project name Let It Go. My godmother had gifted me with a skull ring for Halloween, so I wanted to make her something for her birthday (November) and xmas. When she came for a visit, I got her color and already had the Debbie Bliss Merino Aran (Fiber Content: 100% Merino Wool; Yarn Color: 325700; Yarn Weight: 4, Aran), which had been gifted to me by a dear friend, Irma. This project was knitted up with size US 10 needles. The slight difference in look is attributable to aggressive blocking, which was required because two skeins did not reach the desired width: 72 inches. The blocking increased the length by 4 inches; this one measures 13 inches.

When I tried to nail down the right yarn for her project, I knew she liked bling and was considering something at the store I used to work at, but now that I have been banned from the store, that was no longer an option. She liked the color of this yarn and specifically stated that she did want bling. After one skein I showed it to her and the first thing she asked was “Where’s the bling?” Aiyaa! So on a recent visit to the Sugarplum Festival in Buena Park, I found the light pin and bought that for her, serving as bling and a shawl pin.

I am quite impressed with the blocking and my incremental skill level. As previously posted, this project is based on the beginning border of the Bridger Cowl by Kris Basta. The name of this project – Red Rain by Peter Gabriel – comes from my music library.

Little 15 Shawl

Little 15 Shawl

On da Hook: October 18, 2014
Off da Hook: November 29, 2014
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo
Hooks: US I/9 & US J/10
Yarn A: [Malabrigo] (Fiber Content: [Wool]; Yarn Color: [Grey]; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn B: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn C: Universal Uptown Worsted (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 303 Cream; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Yarn D: Mi Amigo (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown]
Finished Size: 80 x 19 inches

I started this shawl during my last crochet class with Sheila. I was fired before I could show her how to finish hers, but here is my finished product. I was going to donate it to the store, but since I have been banned, I guess I will try to sell it or donate it. This shawl was constructed with yarn scraps that were laying around the store. Regarding the Grey Yarn: I think it’s Malabrigo, but without a label, I can’t be sure; Mi Amigo Yarn: I don’t remember if that is the blue, maroon or the multicolor. The Blue Yarn had to be double stranded to match the weight of the others.

The construction is from side to side, working half double crochets in the back post. One side is longer than the other because I screwed up the decrease, but it doesn’t make much difference to the finished project. The name – Little 15 by Depeche Mode – is very descriptive when it comes to the construction. I alternated row counts per color in the following multiples: 15, 5, and 3 until such time the color was exhausted. The border is a 5 double crochet shell, single crochet on the outside and a crab stitch around the neck. The border was crocheted with a US J/10 hook.

The yarn weights appeared to be very similar but when working with them there were some subtle differences. I managed to get past the differences in weight by crocheting very loosely. Again, the difference in yarn weights doesn’t make that much of a difference in wearing of the shawl.

As for the price; make me an offer. Since I did not pay for the yarn, I am willing to let it go cheaply.

Orange Crush Shawl

Orange Crush Shawl

Cast On: September 29, 2013
Cast Off: November 18, 2014
Pattern: Orange Crush Shawl by Allison Harding
Needle: US 7
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Silk (Fiber Content: 85% Merino, 15% Silk; Yarn Color: 5641 Mango; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Finished Size: 61 x 11 inches (aggressively blocked)

Named after the song by the same name – Orange Crush by R.E.M. – it seems like a lifetime ago when I started this. I had received a prize at The Knitting Tree, L A Cascade Yarn Tasting even in September 2013. I set to work on the shawl immediately, but after a while, the lace and fine yarn weight got old, and I put it in hibernation. I was not happy that the pattern did not indicate how much yarn should be left to knit the border. My boss, at the time, suggested leaving one ounce. Looking at the yarn specifications now, that can’t be right, and I don’t remember the specified weight on the digital scale I used.

When I picked up the project again, I was still trying to get to one ounce. When I finally reached that amount, I began the ending border. Well, after about three tries, I kept ending up with an extra stitch after row two, and more importantly: the knitting direction was counter-intuitive to the border/body attachment instructions. I even had at least three more knowledgeable knitters try it with the same results.

I finally decided to contact the designer via Ravelry. She did not reply. Bad form!

Subsequently, I wrote Cascade Yarns and received a fix withing 48 hours. Now that’s a yarn company I can support. Unfortunately, I cannot speak favorably regarding the yarn. Even before I finished the project, haloing had begun on the beginning border. I find the halo unattractive, more like lint or pilling.

Overall, I am glad to have finished another UFO.

Price: USD $61.00

53 Miles West of Venus Wrap: Pattern

53 Miles West of Venus Wrap
53 Miles West of Venus Wrap
©A Hooker’s World

The name of this project – 53 Miles West of Venus by The B-52’s – is a random selection from my music library.

With so much going on lately, I forgot that I had promised to post the pattern for 53 Miles West of Venus Wrap. This thorn-shaped wrap has the distinction of increasing from the center, which creates a focal point. The shawl is worked in alternating front/back post double crochets and has a very elegant border, which is worked during construction. This shawl can be worn in many different ways, as noted in the original post.

The pattern can be purchased from My Pattern Page or from my Ravelry Store.

Pattern Disclaimer

  • I condone any profit you make from crocheting this shawl.
  • I ask that you link to this page or the Ravelry pattern page on all projects.
  • Technical Support is available from myself via email or Ravelry.

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.

53 Miles West of Venus Wrap

53 Miles West of Venus Wrap

On da Hook: ?
Off da Hook: October 5, 2014
Pattern: 53 Miles West of Venus Wrap by Hooker Leo (In Development)
Yarn: Kent Manufacturing Company (Fiber Content: 100% Wool; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown [1, Fingering])
Hook: US 7
Dimensions: 34 x 70 inches (unblocked)

Price: USD $75.00

While experimenting one night I came up with a stitch pattern (alternating front/back post double crochets) I liked and a way to increase (one stitch per row) from the middle for this narrow triangle shawl, which may be used open or folded in half and worn in a variety of ways. By using a chain one at the beginning of each row and double crocheting in the first stitch versus the second stitch, I got a real nice ruffled/rippled border, which every loves. The fabric of this shawl is very spongy and it drapes well. It will certainly keep you warm being 100% wool. I wore it at the store for less than five minutes because my body temps run high, before I started to get uncomfortable. The wrap was constructed from the bottom point up. I name – 53 Miles West of Venus by The B-52’s – is a random selection from my music library, but I just love the appropriateness of the name to the different shape.

I had picked up the yarn at Newton’s Yarn Country Fall Festival one year. I love using cones when developing patterns because there are no yarn breaks. Unfortunately, I do not get all the yarn information I would like. I was very surprised that this cone (approximately 1 pound) turned out to be 100% wool. I just love the color, which I would call peach. As for the yarn weight, the general consensus at The Knitting Tree, L A was Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering.

Water From A Vine Leaf Shawl

Water From A Vine Leaf Shawl

On da Hook: before August 18, 2014
Off da Hook: September 11, 2014
Pattern: Accidents Never Happen Shawlette by Hooker Leo
Yarn: Interlacements Rick Rack (Fiber Content: 100% Rayon; Yarn Color: Scottish Lichen; Yarn Weight: 2, Sport)
Dimensions: 124 x 13-18 inches (not sure why there is a range; may update after I talk with her again)

The yarn representative for Interlacements asked me to crochet my Accidents Never Happen Shawlette from the Rick Rack. No problem. I just love her. The rest is history.

I believe this shawl is much larger than the one I made from Cascade Heritage Silk Paints, but won’t know for sure until I receive the dimensions from the yarn representative. The construction is Bruges Lace.

As for the yarn, Interlacements is my new favorite yarn manufacturer; the colors combos are divine and I love the fact that they actually name their colors instead of using numbers. By the time I finished this shawl, the beginning end had already begun to soften to a luxurious touch. The nubbies add a beautiful texture and it drapes wonderfully.

As for the pattern: I started to teach a class and discovered some wonkiness in the pattern, so despite the pattern being tested by a friend of a friend, I really need to make another to confirm the instructions are accurate. After making two of these, I have learned some very important tips for making this shawl and will try to incorporate them into the new pattern version.

Yikes! I just caught a big mistake: The name of this project was originally The Adventures of Raindance Maggie by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, but the yarn kept reminding me of water so I changed it to Water from A Vine Leaf by William Orbit.

Where I Stand

Mojo
Mojo
©A Hooker’s World

I’ll always stand with Mojo, but I needed to reconcile my projects:

Hearts done!

Digging Farrow Rib Stitch, using it on at-home project: Always the sun Scarf.

Deadline requested for Water From A Vine Leaf Shawl (Aug 17).

Still need to finish
– Orange Crush Shawl (need digital scale at “The Tree” to weight one ounce of Cascade Heritage Silk for final border)
– Ballet Neck Tee (Skacel Zauberball Crazy. Dammit! Was going to use Tesla Girls for this project, but forgot)
– Black & White Herringbone Cowl (must start over due to lack of knowledge on how to fix dropped stitch and lost my black yarn)

Upcoming Projects
– Merging Ripples Shawl (Madelinetosh Pashmina Maple Leaf & a Deep Blue color)
– Muse (orange mohair)
– Miss Marple Scarf (Cascade Casablanca)

There is just not enough time in any given day and Mojo keeps giving me the “lack of opposable thumbs excuse.”