The Last Yarn Purchase…I Swear

My friend Ania talked me into participating in the upcoming Stephen West KAL, which calls for three complimentary colors and one contrasting color. As it turned out Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% superwash merino wool; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) is one of the suggested yarns. My color choices include Yarn Color: Jade, Yarn Color: Leaf, Yarn Color: Filigree and Yarn Color: Vintage Sari.

I just love this yarn and I like most of Stephen’s designs. I hope this design is one that I will like. I’ve never participated in a KAL. This will be my first time. I’m a little excited about this and not too worried as Ania is an excellent knitter and should I encounter any difficulty, she will be able to assist.

Stay tuned!

Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light
©A Hooker’s World

Josie & The Pussycats Shawl Border

On da Hook: October 17, 2014
Off da Hook: October 22, 2014
Hook: US I-9
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Silk Paints (Fiber Content: 85% Merino Superwash Wool, 15% Mulberry Silk; Yarn Color: 9942; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)

Josi knitted the shawl and asked me to crochet a border on it. She had expressed that a shell border would be fine, and at the suggestion of another yarny friend, I did not continue the shell pattern around the neck. I stared with a crab stitch, but it was too much like the knitted border, so I made and executive decision and crocheted single crochet around the neck, which I think is much better. Surprisingly, considering I was double stranding the yarn, I managed to match the tension very closely so the border maintains the softness of the shawl body.

I named this project – Josie & The Pussycats Theme Song by Hoyt Curtin, William Hanna (under the pseudonym “Denby Williams”) and Joseph Barbera (under the pseudonym “Joseph Roland”) – after the customer.

Valley Yarn Crawl

I finally found someone that offered to take me to the valley so I could pay a visit to Chris at A Major Knitwork: Gilda. She is a yarn representative and knows all the stores in the area, so we planned to go to lunch, visit some stores, drop me off to sit ‘n stitch at one shop while she attended a business meeting and then return home. We stopped at Corky’s – both for the first time. We had some lunch so that neither of us would fall out during my shopping excursion. The lunch was good and I loved the old fashioned decor. There was a bump during our visit when the wrong order was brought to us. We called the server and I mentioned that I had already touched the hamburger toppings – for sanitary reasons and as a courtesy to the unknown diner. However, I did not see the order re-plated, appearing as if the contaminated food was taken to the correct diner. I made the comment on the ticket and we left it at that.

Our first stop was A Major Knitwork to visit Chris. It is a very small store, but very charming. There was a table in the rear where someone was eating and there were computers on it, leading me to believe it was a workplace, rather than an area where one could sit ‘n’ stitch. For some reason, I was feeling purple and decided on purchasing Dream Everlasting (Fiber Content: 100% superwash Australian merino wool; Yarn Color: Amethyst 727 and Yarn Color: Angel 725; Yarn Weight: 3, DK). My initial vision is a striped shawl.

[edit]

Our next stop was Hooked On Knitting, where I purchased two skeins of Ella Rae Lace Merino (Fiber Content: 100% Extra fine merino; Yarn Color: 121; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) at a 40% discount. The shop is big but I think the layout could use some improvement, though it does appear to be an oddly shaped shop – triangular. There was a huge table where several ladies sat knitting, making it a little difficult to navigate around the store with ease.

Before our final stop we stopped at Porto’s Bakery, where I had a cafe con leche and pan tostado. I got the sense that this was a Cuban cafeteria-type establishment and only added that I did not want foam on my cafe con leche to make sure it would come to me proper. Apparently, foam on a cafe con leche is a west coast thing because my coffee came to me wrong and additionally it did not have any sugar. Ew! This alone leads me to believe all the hype I have been hearing over Porto’s is west coast related, as they have never had the real thing. The toast, however, was perfect. Finally, I was not a fan of the interior which was so damn noisy with chatter.

Our final stop was Unwind, which is a pretty big shop, but has very little inventory. There I picked up Hydeaux Designs Petite (Fiber Content: 100% superwash merino wool; Yarn Color: Summerfields; Yarn Weight: 3, DK). I stayed there and worked on my shawl while Gilda attended her business meeting. After she had finished, she came, picked me up and we head home to the west side.

I had a good time with Gilda and am grateful for the ride out to the valley. One thing I noticed about the three different shops was that it appeared to me that they all had similar yarns, unlike The Knitting Tree, L A, whose selection seems to be more diverse.

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.

The Adventures or Raindance Maggie Ballet Neck Tee

The Adventures of Raindance Maggie Ballet Neck Tee
Front

On da Hook: ?
Off da Hook: September 12, 2014
Pattern: Ballet Neck Tee from Vogue Knitting Crochet 2014 Special Collector’s Issue
Yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball Crazy (Fiber Content: 75% Virgin Wool, 25% Nylon; Yarn Color: 1701 Papagei; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Size: Small

I am finally done! I saw this in the magazine and wanted to make as a store sample. I had to wait for the yarn. By the time the yarn came in, Ms. Stewart saw it and wanted to make it also. Since she was a customer, she got first dips on the yarn when it arrived and I had to wait for a second shipment. This is a store sample.

At the beginning I found the pattern tedious, especially the slip stitching across the entire row. It was not until I had done it once that I discovered an easier option was single crochet. By the time I got to the back panel, I was very comfortable with the pattern, despite having to frog the second half due to a missed row of double crochet. I also experience stitch count errors with the front, which did not present themselves on the back panel.

As I completed the project, I began to wonder: was the yarn made specifically for this pattern or is it just a coincidence that the colors line up so well? Perhaps if I took the time to read the whole article – provided there was one – I might know the answer to the question.

The name of my project – The Adventures of Raindance Maggie by The Red Hot Chili Peppers – was borrowed from Water From A Vine Leaf Shawl, whose name was changed to more accurately match the colorway.

The Adventures of Raindance Maggie Ballet Neck Tee
Back

Accidents Never Happen Shawlette

Accidents Never Happen Shawlette
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: October 17, 2013
Off da Hook: February 4, 2014
Pattern: Accidents Never Happen Shawlette by Hooker Leo
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Silk Paints; Yarn Color: 9942 Misty Blue; Fiber Content: 85% Merino Superwash Wool, 15% Mulberry Silk; Yarn Weight: 1
Hook: Boye E/4 – 3.5 mm
Dimensions: 92 x 18 inches

In one of the CrochetMe eNewsletters I received they were talking about Bruges Lace. I had never heard of it. Because there were basic instructions and I love a challenge, when I saw the picture of Lily Chin’s Swan Lake Shawl, I knew I could improvise a shawl and set to crocheting. I tried contacting Lily at least three times because I wanted like to write up the pattern and didn’t want to step on any toes. Twice my email was returned undeliverable and to date, I have not received a reply from her Ravelry group. Because I didn’t know how to proceed, I emailed my fiber-godmothers for their opinion, but they also have not replied.

This shawlette is very simple to crochet, as you are repeating one section. The difficulty for me – as I was creating this shawlette – was determining the connection points and curves. As such, the project name – Accidents Never Happen by Blondie – is tongue in cheek because, of course, there were accidents.

After much labor and revision, I think I boiled the pattern down to simple terminology. Because the pattern has not yet been tested, I am making myself available for questions regarding the pattern and have included contact information in the pattern. Once the pattern has an official tester, the contact information will be removed, but I will continue to be available.

The pattern will also be available for purchase during Yarn Crawl LA at The Knitting Tree L A, but at a retail price. The advantage of buying the pattern in the store is that the yarn used in the pattern will also be available in different colors and I will be there to answer any questions.

As with ALL my patterns, while I condone you selling your finished project, I do 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 $1.00 is an exorbitant cost, considering I am not a professional pattern writer and I provide technical support at no additional cost.

Finally, should you deiced to honor me with a purchase, I would love to feature your finished project on Ravelry where I can be found as HookerLeo or simply send me an email.

Caribbean Queen Mobius Cowl

Caribbean Queen Mobius Cowl
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: November 21, 2013
Off da Hook: November 26, 2013
Hook: Boye US G/6 – 4.0 mm
Yarn A: Spinnerin Sweater & Afghan (Fiber Content: 100% Orlon Acrylic; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn B: Spinnerin Sweater & Afghan (Fiber Content: 100% Orlon Acrylic; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn C: Spinnerin Sweater & Afghan (Fiber Content: 100% Orlon Acrylic; Yarn Color: Uknown; Yarn Weight: 3, DK)
Yarn D: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn E: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn F: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn G: Peter Pan Germantown Zephyr (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: 717; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn E: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn F: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn G: Coats and Clark’s Red Heart Super Fingering (Fiber Content: 100% Virgin Wool; Yarn Color: Green Glacier; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering)
Yarn H: Super Yarn Mart! Mohair-Lon (Fiber Content: 50% Mohair/50% Orlon; Yarn Color: 310 Yellow Gold; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Dimensions: Width: 7 inches; Diameter: 45 inches; Circumference: 141 inches

I learned a new way to create crochet ribbing at the last guild meeting. While I am not a fan of this new version, I am a fan of the texture the stitching provides. This cowl will serve as a template for a pattern I will write for some yarn I recently purchased at The Knitting Tree L A. The name – Caribbean Queen by Billy Ocean – was inspired by the colors and the construction. Below you will find a recipe for cowl construction. Should any questions arise, please do not hesitate to contact me.

RECIPE

I used about 1 oz of each color listed above except for the yellow, where an estimation of two ounces is more appropriate since you are using it in two rows.

If memory serves correctly, foundation chain must be odd number for an even number of single crochets around. Foundation chain should be created to desired circumference. In my pattern, I will give exact number for a Mobius this circumference, as this is my desired circumference, enabling the wearer to double it. One of the things I noticed about this design that I did not like was that the row of single crochet on the foundation chain tends to make the Mobius want to fold on itself. My pattern will give provide exact number and hopefully include a video on how to create a double-crochet foundation chain, eliminating one row of work.

Create mobius with slip stitch in bottom of first stitch. Again, I am hoping to provide a video link on how to do this in the pattern.

Alternate front post double crochet and back post double crochet in every stitch around and in every successive row to desired width, closing round with slip stitch in top of beginning chain.

Single crochet final round with color used in last double crochet round.

Always And Forever Afghan

Always And Forever Afghan
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: June 2, 2012
Off da Hook: June 23, 2012
Recipe: Always & Forever by Hooker Leo
Hook: E
Yarn A: Peter Pan Germantown Zephyr (717)
Yarn B: Unknown
Yarn C: Unknown
Yarn D: Unknown
Yarn E: Coats & Clark’s Red Heart Nylon (261 Maize)
Yarn F: Herrschners Afghan (342 Dark Gold)
Dimensions: 44 inch diameter

This was so fun to design. My inspiration came from Crochet-A-Long Doily, which I loved for the spiral design. However, I wanted the spiral to start from the center, so one night I sat and worked at it until I got a formula that actually works, despite the fact that it doesn’t really spiral, versus radiate from the center. The yarn weight, after researching, is about about a 1, fingering.

I was worried during construction because the end kept curling up, which led me to think that maybe I should have based my pattern on twelve sections versus ten. Because of the curling, I was thinking of blocking it and framing it as tapestry. I would love to hang it on my wall, but it should really be framed properly, between two panes of glass. If I use nails to hang it, I am afraid it will loose it’s shape and become dusty. However, after I washed/dried it today, it lays completely flat. YAY!

This was really a stash buster of all my thin yarn. My original vision was to use the reds, oranges and yellows in a color scheme to resemble the sun. I should have used a one row repeat of each color, which might have improved the radiation effect and improved the color distribution. Oh well! I think it would look fabulous on my orange walls, but until I can afford to have it framed properly, I will hope to sell it as an afghan.

The name was most likely a random selection from my library: Always and Forever by Heatwave. I think the name fits the afghan colors.

Recipe Proviso

As with all my recipes:

  • I condone any profit you realize from selling your finished project
  • I condone duplication/copy of the recipe for dissemination among your friends

Feliz Navidad Wrap

Feliz Navidad Wrap
©A Hooker’s World

Cast On: November 26, 2011
Cast Off: December 19, 2011
Pattern: Zig Zag Rib by Tahira Probst
Yarn A: Malabrigo Merino Wool (Fiber Content: 100% Merino Wool, Yarn Color: Navidad; Yarn Weight: 4, Aran)
Yarn B: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown [Red]; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering
Needle: US 13
Dimensions: 26 x 64 inches

I finally finished it…and just in time for someone to buy it as an Xmas gift. The name – Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano – was inspired by the yarn color.

I decided I wanted to make a shawl/wrap with my Malabrigo Merino worsted wool, but I was not sure how many stitches to cast on. I started with forty, but after completing 64 rows of the pattern, I decided it was not going to be wide enough. My friend ArtCrochetbyD, made a shawl (different pattern) and I think it is the perfect dimensions, but she is not as anal as I am and she doesn’t know the dimensions.

Anyway, with this four day weekend, I have been doing nothing, but crocheting and knitting. So I spent yesterday, frogging Feliz Navidad and restarting it. As I reached the 32 row point, I noticed that I had made a boo-bo0, so I frogged it again and completed that 32 rows before I finally went to bed. As long as I pay attention, I should be able to finish one skein today, which will give me a better idea how much more yarn I need to complete the project. I have one more skein, but I think I am going to need more and I want to find out sooner better than later as I have been in the position where I have needed more yarn and the color lot is no longer in production.

This was the best picture which reveals the zig zag rib texture. Lesson learned from this project:

  • Texture and multicolor yarns are not the best combination
  • Multicolor yarn
    • Multiple skeins do not provide consistent pooling, no matter matching dye lots
    • Best reserved for one skein projects or where the multicolor can be broken up by solids

Price: USD $140.00