Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Adirondack Socks

The Fall 2009 issue of Interweave Crochet is previewed on the Interweave website. My Adirondack Socks are included in this issue!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tunisian Crochet

I have been facinated with Tunisian crochet for several years. I love doing it and I love the end result. It is a small niche within crochet and it has been hard to find a wide array of books on the technique. Stitch bibles and encyclopedias usually carry a chapter or section on Tunisian, but the information only whets my whistle.

A new book has been published on this fun technique: Tunisian Crochet: The look of Knitting with the ease of Crocheting by Sharon Hernes Silverman. This book is a great reference for someone who is new to Tunisian as well as those of us who have loved it for some time. The first section of the book is a How To that includes pictures of the stitches being made and where to place the hook for the various stitches. It also includes information on decreasing.

The next section is a project gallery. These projects range from home decor to clothing. The variety of projects provides lots of opportunities to practice and hone your skills. The pattern instructions are well-written and easy to understand.

There are other great books and booklets that are available on Tunisian, but this book is the most complete and comprehensive book I've found for someone who is interested in learning and developing this technique--a one-stop-shopping book.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Design!!

I'm very excited . . . I have a design in the Fall 2009 issue of Interweave Crochet! The issue hasn't hit the stands yet, but you can see the cover and the list of projects and designers. My design is the Adirondak Socks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Loom Knitting Pros and Cons

Was this venture into a new area worthwhile? I'd say a hearty Yes, but there are some issues to consider.

The Process

I enjoy the process of knitting on the loom. The knit stitch is easy, the purl stitch requires slightly more effort, but is not taxing. I'm working on a sock now for my husband that is a simple stitch pattern--a K3, P1 rib--and that allows me to get into a nice rhythm that makes the work satisfying.

As with any project, the more complex the stitch patterning, the more attention is required during the knitting.

The Equipment

Both looms are well-made and beautiful pieces of equipment. The adjustable loom is rectangular and I've found that it is not as easy to get into that "flow" as with the round loom. There is a small section of the adjustable loom that I find somewhat difficult to get the knitting tool into to make the stitches and that interrupts my pleasure.

But the adjustable loom provides flexibility to make socks of different sizes as well as socks with stitch patterns other than multiples of 4 (i.e., 6-st, 10-st, 12-st).

The Conclusion

If your sock-knitting will be limited to one size, I'd get the round loom. If your sock-knitting will be limited to two sizes (perhaps husband and wife), I'd get two round looms, one for each size.

If you feel adventure calling, and you plan to make socks for any and all, if you plan to make socks simple and sophisticated, I'd get the adjustable loom.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Loom Knitting

Part 2

I left off with the fact that my loom was too big for my foot. Each loom contains a fixed # of pegs (or stitches) so I was unable to use that loom for a smaller size.

I went back to the Decor Accents website and found that they also make an adjustable sock loom. The # of pegs can be adjusted in increments of 2, providing the flexibility of making socks in a variety of sizes. I promptly ordered that loom.

I grabbed a ball of Berroco Sox that I bought at Fiber Art and set to work, using 64 pegs. I chose an easy pattern that I found on the Decor Accents website. I kept notes of the # of rows for the cuff and for the leg, so that I could duplicate the same on its friend.

I was terribly excited when I completed my first short row heel. It looked great and wasn't as scary as I thought it would be.

The foot of the sock was easier because the sole of the foot was in stockinette st and the upper portion was in the pattern stitch.

The toe is created using the short row method, as in the heel, and I was more confident when I came to that portion. I sailed right through that section as well.

The final step is to sew the toe closed using the Kitchener stitch. That requires some concentration.

All in all, both socks turned out well and I enjoy wearing them.

Tomorrow . . . the pros and cons of the round versus the adjustable looms.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bobbled Diamonds Pattern Correction

Thanks to loopy1 for catching an error in the printed pattern for the Bobbled Diamonds Afghan in the October 2008 issue of Crochet World.

Row 6 should read:

Ch 1, sc in each of first 2 sts, tr, sc across to last 3 sts, tr, sc in each of last 2 sts, turn.

I hope this correction makes the work go more smoothly and the end product beautiful.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Loom Knitting

Yeah! I have found a way to knit without knitting! I received a knitting loom for Valentine's Day and I've been having such fun with it. So much so, that I've researched and found a sock knitting loom.

The sock looms are made by Decor Accents. They are round and come in 2 gauges: fine gauge(FG) or extra fine gauge(EFG). The FG is for DK weight yarn with 4.5 to 5.5 sts per inch, while the EFG is for sock weight yarn with 7 to 8 sts per inch.

Each loom is made with a fixed # of pegs (or sts), such as 64, 72. My mathematician background kicked in . . . I measured the circumference of my foot and multiplied by 8. Then I checked my sock books for the # of sts for a Woman's size. Armed with all of this information, I ordered a 72 peg round EFG loom.

When the loom arrived, I eagerly set to work on my first sock. I chose a pattern that had a slight texture, but could still be considered "easy". To be sure there were errors in that sock, but I totally enjoyed the knitting. The stitches to close the toe were still warm when I slipped it on my foot.

The sock was too big! I should have read the fine print. Socks should be snug and should contain 10 to 15% negative ease. In essence, my loom was too big.

What next? Stay tuned

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pink Lollipop Cardigan

MM's cardigan turned out cute! I made it twice as long as the pattern called for, but much smaller in width. It will have a button at the top in the center front.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pattern Sources

When I started to crochet, both children were quite small, which meant not much time or opportunity to shop. So, I did a lot of tooling around the internet during their naptime. Here are some of my favorite sites for patterns:
This site requires registration, but it is free. Click on the option to the left on your screen for Patterns.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Child's Cardigan

I found a cute pattern for a child's cardigan while looking around on the Lion Brand website. I bought 4 balls of Lollipop at Fiber Art--2 balls of pink for MM and 2 balls of purple for K. Both girls are smaller than the measurements stated in the pattern, but I thought they would have room to grow. I started and finished K's and she is proudly wearing it now!

I started MM's and I'm planning some modifications to sizing because she is the smaller of the 2. And I'm changing the stitch pattern of the body(it's fun to experiment!).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yarn Basket

We all have a stash of yarn . . . which brings about the need to store the stash in a way that is easy to access and somewhat attractive to the eye.

I took 2 balls of cotton from my stash and made a . . . stash basket. I was quite pleased with the outcome!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Digital Copies

There has been quite a bit of excitement about the T-Shirt Rug (which has excited me), with folks hunting for a copy of the April 2009 issue of Crochet World. Did you know that DRG Publishing offers digital copies of all its magazines and some pattern books as leaflets for download?

Here is a link where you can download back issues as well as current issues:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Getting Along

This was too cute to pass up! Bunny initiates the snuggling, but Peeper is beginning to tolerate it more. Peeper will now lick Bunny's forehead, which is a show of affection.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finished Shrug

I finished the Day to Evening Shrug! I modified the pattern by making the sleeves short and I eliminated the tie in the front and added a button closure. This picture was taken before blocking, so don't be dismayed by the pointy edges. They blocked out nice.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day to Evening Shrug

I have been working on the Day to Evening Shrug that is in the May issue of Crochet!. I am working on the second sleeve and hope to be finished today.

I chose Linosa by Lang as the yarn and it has worked well. It is a pastel and gives the shrug a casual feel.

Most of the students in the class chose Mica by Berroco and their shrugs are turning out very well. The Mica has a nice sheen to it and gives the shrug a dressy and elegant atmosphere. I can see them wearing it to a party!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

T-Shirt Rug

Annie's Attic has a new leaflet out and my T-Shirt Rug that was in the April 2009 issue is included! The new leaflet is Recycle It!

And speaking of the T-Shirt Rug . . . I am doing a class on the rug @ Fiber Art on Saturday, June 20th. Roz has copies of the issue available for sale. Call (813) 792-5999 to reserve a spot. The cost is $25. Bring old t-shirts, crochet hook (size 9MM), a rotary mat, rotary cutting tool and quilting ruler and join us for some fun!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Out the Door

I've finished up 2 projects and they are out the door! Both are scheduled to appear in print this fall and winter.

So . . . what's on the agenda now?!

I'm crocheting a hat from the Spring 2009 issue of Interweave Crochet for Carrie. It's a floppy brimmed summer hat and she chose Berroco's Naturlin, which is 40% linen and 60% rayon.

I have 2 summer tops that I am designing. I'm doing one with a Tunisian stitch pattern and the other is traditional crochet. Both yarns are cotton; one is a solid color, which shows off the stitch pattern, and one is variegated with a simple stitch pattern.

I am teaching/facilitating a crochet along at Fiber Art on May 30th and June 13th. We are using the Day to Evening Shrug pattern from the May 2009 issue of Crochet! magazine. I'm looking forward to that!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A New Family Member

We have a new family member . . . she's about 4 pounds, black and white hair, long ears. MM has a rabbit! MM named her Selena, but we call her Bunny or Bun Bun most of the time. She is a house rabbit. Dr. R fixed the cat door over Spring Break and Bunny is now enjoying being out on the lanai (or screened porch as we say in the South). Today, I caught her driving the Barbie Jeep!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ripple Rug

Pictures of the items in the June 2009 issue of Crochet World are up and I've got a design in that issue! It's the Ripple Rug. This rug was very fun to work on; the colors reminded me of Gator colors.

You can see the items in the June 2009 issue at this link:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fiber Art webpages updated

I've been working on the Fiber Art website and the new pages are up: I've added a Tour of the store, with a page for each room and the yarns that are carried in that room. If you are not familiar with the store, each room has a theme: BabyLand, The World of Noro, Florida Garments, Natural Fibers, Novelty, Luxury and Needles Notions & Buttons. I've included pictures for each room. These are preliminary pictures and we'll be putting up more pictures to show different views of each room.

While it was a break from crocheting, it was still designing and creative; I simply worked in a different medium.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Different Color

I made the Mosaic Diamonds rug that was published in the February 2009 issue of Crochet World in blue to match my home.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

T-Shirt Rug

I received my copy of Crochet World in the mail and here is a better picture of the rug. This photo is in Crochet World, April 2009 issue.

I have given blood over the years and received a t-shirt each time for my donation. All of the t-shirts were an XL size (way to big for me)! I've slept in them, and painted in them, but it was time to make room for other clothes. Cutting them into strips and crocheting them into a rug was a great way to recycle them.

I love the way the logos or pictures on the shirts are filtered through the rug. After I finished crocheting the interior of the rug, I got out my scrap bag to see which colors would look best for the surface stripes and the first row of the edging.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Another Design Preview

Look what I found today! This rug is published in the April 2009 issue of Crochet World. It's made from t-shirts. I called it the Memory Rug. When MM & K saw it they started pointing out the different t-shirts that I'd used and talking about memories of each shirt.

And here's the picture I took.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Designing a Garment

I bought Crochet Couture by Lily Chin many months ago. I have found it an invaluable reference book. I am working on a top and I'm following the guidelines that she has outlined in the first section of the book.

I've taken a top that fits me well and created a template on a large gridded pad that I bought at an office supply store. To start, I laid the top on the pad and drew the outline. Then I studied the measurements at key points--hem, waist, bust, armhole depth, and shoulder and neck widths. The paper is marked off in 1-inch grids, so I didn't need a tape measure; I just counted the squares.

I must admit that I've had that done for many moons. But, I've found a yarn I think will be great for a project. I spent some time swatching and decided on a stitch pattern. Next, I did the math to determine the number of stitches to begin with, how many to decrease for the waist and the number of rows to work those decreases over. I wish I could say that it all worked out perfectly the first time.

I've lost count of the times I've ripped out and started over. But, this time (yes, THIS time) I believe I'm finally on the right track.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ribbed Hiker Socks

I am delighted with the Ribbed Hiker socks! I used Trekking XXL yarn and it was quite a dream. The leg is created using FPdc and BPdc. It's snug, yet stretchy. The foot uses a split single crochet and results in full coverage. I've made socks with an extended single crochet and a hdc. Sometimes, I can feel those stitches on the bottom of my feet.

One ball of Trekking XXL is 420 yards. I had to go into a second ball for this pair of socks; I think the FPdc/BPdc used more yarn than other types of stitches.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Book Review: Crocheted Socks

What do I look for when buying a book? Obviously, lots of great designs! But, I also look for a book that packs a lot of information. Crocheted Socks! by Jane Rehfeldt and Mary Jane Wood does just that.

The first section of the book discusses yarn choices, tools that you will need (or . . . what I love . . . tools that are not necessary but can make your work easier or more convenient), the all-too-important sock construction (or sock anatomy, as I like to call it), a discussion on making custom-fitted socks, and a thorough explanation (complete with diagrams) of stitches.

There are 16 patterns in the book, and they range from a basic sock to dressy and/or elegant socks to just plain fun socks. There are toe-up sock patterns and top-down patterns.

But what really excites me about this book is the variety of stitches and stitch patterns that are employed. I chose the Ribbed Hiker. The leg is a stretchy ribbing created by FPdc and BPdc. But the foot is where I took total delight; the pattern calls for a split single crochet (ssc). It took some practice before I got the correct tension, but the result is fabulous. It has the look and feel of stockinette stitch.

I think this book has a place on any crocheter's shelf, whether you are a novice or experienced.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tools of the Trade

I've really taken a shine to hooks made by G3Studios. I won my first hook as a door prize during Profesional Development Day at Chain Link in 2008. It was love at first sight (and feel.) I love the comfort grip.

I requested a size D hook for my birthday, and was surprised and pleased to find TWO hooks--a D and a J. Last week, I couldn't resist adding an F to my collection. I'm sure that it won't be the last!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Breathing Easier

No, I'm not having respiratory problems. I've been wrestling with a design and it's finally coming together. For me, the design process is unpredictable. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and an idea is ready to pop out of the oven, fully baked, needing nothing but to cool down before I can cut into it. Other times, I have a glimmer, sometimes a feeling of the design, lurking in the shadows, just out of reach. It's these designs that cause me to lie awake at night.

They hover and when I reach for them, thinking that I've finally got a good vantage point to capture them, they jump back into the shadows (and I swear I can hear them laugh at times.) Like the Gingerbread Boy, they keep running and I keep chasing. "Catch me if you can."

Last night, I caught the essence of a design that has been running for awhile now. It's not done by any means, but it's on paper and ready to be tweaked.

While the chase can be frustrating, the capture is oh so sweet!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Easy Bake Cookie

My girls have been baking each afternoon after school. MM is 8 and she has learned measurements, so she makes her goodies from scratch each day. We ran out of mixes pretty quickly, so I found a website with recipes for the Easy Bake Oven.

Check out her chocolate chip cookie.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sock Class

The first part of the sock class was on Saturday at Fiber Art. I had 3 students; all did very well and are off to a good start. They have "homework" for next Saturday's class, but I have no doubts that they will complete it.

Two of the students are knitters first and foremost, and I applaud their willingness to go outside their normal bounds. I can understand and sympathize with their feelings of frustration and clumsiness (even though they were NOT clumsy.) I feel the same when I knit. I CAN knit, but it's still work for me.

I saw an interview with designer Mary Lynn Patrick on the Knit & Crochet Today show this week. She said, "The more I knit or crochet, the more I CAN knit or crochet". This piece of golden wisdom is something I can carry in my pocket and finger on those days when knitting and even crochet are, well, "work".

One of the students was a crocheter. She caught the concepts and ran. I'm trying to find a good seque . . . but there's not one, so I'll just say that I'm so tickled by her review of the class. You can read it here:

Friday, January 9, 2009

It's Been A While

The holiday season was very nice, but I can't say that it was relaxing for me. I worked on proposals for reviews that were due in early January. I had set new goals for 2009 and I wanted to submit to additional markets, and to increase the number of proposals for each review. I was able to reach those goals for this first batch of submissions, so now I am waiting . . . patiently.

We traveled the day after Christmas to meet up with family. MM & K were so excited to see their cousins (who are growing up way to fast!) We were happy to see siblings and parents.

Santa brought K an Easy Bake oven and we have been baking every afternoon after school. Yummy!

The Florida Gators won the national championship in football last night! Funny how something that you have nothing to do with (i.e., the outcome of the game) can make you feel so-o-o-o good or so-o-o-o-o bad.