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Friday, July 28, 2006

little scraps

I am currently working on the world's ugliest socks. The pattern itself is not ugly, but the yarn, well, I'll say it's not colors that would seem to work together very well - green and orange. But I am working on the leg of the first sock with a Red Heart sport weight acrylic yarn I bought many years ago. I'm not quite sure what I was thinking of when I bought it, except maybe "it's on sale";) I wil definitely post a photo of the socks. I keep teasing my family, saying "I'm making these socks for you" and the look I get is priceless;)

I get the Lion Brand Yarn newsletter http://cache.lionbrand.com/content-newsletterArchive.html
and they have a neat article about tiny purses. I made one for my mp3 player which I never seem to use. But when I had to go pick up some pizza, the pants I was wearing did not have any pockets. So I stuck the money in the mp3 player purse, put it around my neck and it worked. I just made mine from the self striping sock yarn (Berocco? Bernat? I think Bernat) , just made a small pouch, made an ending round with a double crochet, chain stitch pattern so I could thread yarn thru it and it was done.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Yvette's dress

I got this photo from someplace else. I met Yvette at the CGOA conference in the lobby. She was wearing a granny square tank top and busily working on the dress in this picture. She used Sugar & Cream and Casual Cotton (or is it "cotton casual" - it's by Coats & Clarks). She had intended to make it a big longer than it turned out, but was so busy, didn't get a chance.

What they didn't show of her ensemble was even _cooler_. She took a pair of high heels that had a clear plastic strap across the part of the foot where the toes meet the foot. She carefully cut the plastic and used a hole punch to put small holes in so she could crochet an embelishment. She used gold yarn (metallic) for that, it was _really_ cool looking. Plus if the shoes are a bit too tight, that's a great help. I thought that was so cool I am considering doing that to a pair of sandals that are just a hair too snug. But I got to finger out the yarn to use, the sandals are a pale blue...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

something from the CGOA

At the keynote speech for the CGOA conference, Rita Weiss mentioned a new iniative that Warm-up America has started. It is crocheting (or knitting) caps for newborns in foreign lands. Apparently, these babies are very small and would wear a cap the size of a preemie cap. There's a whole package involved with it. They suggest a letter to President Bush regarding the situation of newborns.
here's the link:

At the risk of sounding heartless and wicked, I'm not sure how caps will keep the babies from infection or diarrhea. Yes, it will keep the babies warm, but there's a lot of other problems that also have to be overcome. Even in the USA, with a lot of expensive technology, preemie sized babies have a difficult time making it. Lots of the babies will continue to have problems thru out their entire lives - even with all that technology and medicine can do. I agree to giving the hats in principle, but I don't think that's all that should or could be done. One problem is lack of surgical knives to cut the umbilical cord. You can see that having a contaminated surgical knife would cause massive problems for the babies.

I don't have any alternatives to suggest, I wish I did. And I'm not saying everybody should or shouldn't do it. (The link gives you the patterns you should use for the caps.) I'm just saying this problem is a bit more complicated then crocheting hats. If I find or figure out anything a little different on this subject, I'll post it. Hopefully there's a group out there addressing the other needs.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

new "Crochet Fantasy"

No, I don't get a kickback from them, I wish I did. The new issue has finally been delivered (there's a major screw-up on the cover, it says "Spring 2005"). It's all pink, so I'm sure that means it's for spring. I have been subscribing to CF for a very long time. Yes, it has had some not so hot patterns. _All_ crochet magazines have them (well, I don't know about "Magic Crochet", never read it.) . All have the patterns that make you wonder "what were they thinking?". Perhaps something gets messed up between the pattern and the execution, maybe the editor says "seems cool" but it isn't, I don't know. I've never been the editor of a magazine, but I'm sure it's like many jobs, sometimes you have an error in judgement.

But "Crochet Fantasy" usually has one project that makes me _think_ about trying a new technique. I can't say that about a lot of other magazines. This issue has the bikini in a bag from "Stitch 'n' Bitch - the Happy Hooker", a felted tapestry bag by Carol Ventura, some ponchos for little girls and a jacket designed by Melissa Leapman that looks pretty cool (as well as some other neat patterns). The "think" part comes from the article about the lucet. I don't remember seeing it at the MD sheep and wool (tho the author of the article did), but now I wish I would have seen it there. I probably ignored it, thinking it was something to do with spinning wool.

The lucet helps to make cording for shoulder straps for purses (you can use it for anything). The example given is for a cell phone bag, looks pretty neat. There's also an article on tunisian mitered squares, as well as one on Irish crochet. I like to read CF slowly. I like to savor the photos first. Sometimes I recognize the designers from the photos. I pick and choose the articles I read. I read the lucet article first simply because the mention of the MD sheep and wool festival. I'll read the other ones within the next week.

I do wish CF didn't have such an erratic publishing schedule. This is the spring issue, which I recieved on Friday, July 14. On the third page of this issue, there is a statement that "next mail date: August 14, 2006". I'll be quite happy to get another issue so quickly, but there was a long wait between the winter and spring issue. I hope CF pulls it together. I know there are other magazines out there, but CF has been there during the times of other crochet / needlecraft magazines failure. There was "McCall's Needlework", "McCall's Crochet" as well as the Herrshner magazine that turned into the "Crochet From the Heart". Now there are new magazines popping up (Coats & Clarks is lauching one in September 2006, "Crochet Today" and Insterweave Press is putting out another issue of their crochet magazine). I think there is enough room and interest for all of these magazines. At least I certainly hope so. Check out a copy at the newstand if you don't subcribe and see how you like it. It's got sometning for almost everybody.

Monday, July 10, 2006

embroidery floss

I hate to say this, but I _love_ embroidery floss. Cheaper and smaller than yarn, I have a _lot_ of it. I used to work at a place that had a McCrory's (sort of a five and dime shop) and when work would get too crappy, I'd buy some skeins of embroidery threads. I have been crocheting with embroidery thread using a 00 steel hook, which I think is roughly equilvalent to a B. I've just been making small flowers, but I still think they are cool. I use a lot of the varigated floss, which I really like to use. My plan is to sew them on a pair of jeans I will be wearing to the CGOA conference. (I also embroider with embroidery thread.)

I had a girlfriend in high school, Sally, who crocheted with embroidery floss. Her stitches were nice and tight, mine are not so tight. But she would work with threadas well as yarn and did some great stuff. I'd really love to know what happened to her, she never came to the reunion and nobody seems to know how to get in contact with her. She did great work.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

the best laid plans

I am going to the CGOA conference in King of Prussia for "one day only" next Thursday and coming back to Baltimore on Friday. I had _thought_ I would whip up some fabulous crochet things that would make all the people at the conference stop and go "wow". I'm not sure where I was supposed to find the time or exactly what I was supposed to do. I started working on a bag, didn't like it, took it apart. Started on another bag, didn't like that, took it apart. You're getting the picture;)
It occured to me that I would have to produce something pretty amazing to even be noticed - after all, _everybody_ else is thinking the same thing and trying to produce something striking for people to notice. It also occured to me that I don't have any time to produce anything, especially if I keep ripping out what I'm doing.
Plus, another thing to think about is that if I am busy talking to somebody about my amazing creation, somebody else will be scooping up the cool yarn. I mean, let's get real, you can't act interested in a conversation and be checking out the yarn that's calling your name in the other aisle. So while nobody will comment on how _really_ cool that bag is that's going to have the fish / mermaid theme, I will be able to get _more_ yarn. I guess there is some reward for indecision, after all.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

ta da!

You may have wondered if I fell off the edge of the earth, but probably you didn't. I _did_ finish the lion curtain, here it is, to the left. It was taken on top of my bed, so you can see the stitches. You can't really see the stitches that well when it's against the window except later in the day. (Thanks to my beloved Kimba who took the photo and prepped it for me.)

It isn't perfectly straight, it couls stand to be blocked, but miracle of miracles, I have finished it;) . I had been thinking about it for _months_ but I tend to hesitate before I start any new project (unless it's a small one).

The book the chart came from is "101 Filet Crochet Charts" by Rita Weiss. It's published by American School of Needlework. I do know they sell it at Amazon, I would guess they would sell it at other bookstores. This particular chart is featured on the front cover, along with several other designs. I made this in Red Heart's baby sports yarn, in white, with a G hook. A few years ago, I made 2 of these panels with Caron's "Simply Soft" white with an "I" hook to produce an afghan for our bed. (If you want to know the significance of the white lion, you can click on the side of my blog, "Kimba the White Lion". There you will see the valance that my DH bought, machine made, with the Kimba and Kitty characters.)

It was cool to stretch out my "mad crochet skillz" in doing a chart. It was difficult for me to visualize the progress as I am used to doing patterns where I can see the progress I am making towards the goal. This project had to be handled row by row - at least for me. I imagine an experienced "threadie" could whip thru this chart in no time at all.

But I am happy with it, my DH is happy with it and that is what matters. I haven't tried any of the other charts, but they are definitely intriguing. I do particularly like the ducks and teddy bears charts, but I don't have any need for something like that right now. (My sons are 27 & 25, no grandbabies on the way.)

I did manage to squeeze in another project, not that big a deal. I used the self-striping sock yarn to make a little bag to hold my new MP3 player, so I can wear it around my neck in case I don't have a shirt pocket. Not a big deal but it works for me.