Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Fan Stitch Summer Scarf

This yarn is so soft it's an indulgence, like a fine chocolate. If you’re a chocolate lover, and have had Belgian chocolate, it’s hard to buy a Heresy’s at the gas station. I passed up this yarn several times because I didn’t want to buy into the brand name/store because I like supporting the LYS. (Local Yarn Shops). But then I needed to do a small swatch and this came in a pinch. Alas, to my surprise, this yarn is incredible. It’s Jo-Ann Sensations Dolcetto Yarns which is a wool/cotton blend from their Bellezza Collection made in Italy, 54% Wool, 24% Nylon, 22% Cotton at $4.99 a skein with 131.2 yards.

My new Jimbo hook is so smooth and combined with this soft yarn, I’ll ever use an acrylic yarn with an aluminum hook again!! Well I can never say never but gosh darn it, this is what crocheting is all about for me; incredible yarn with a wood hook carved from hand, definitely this crocheter’s nirvana.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Free Rasta Tam Crochet Pattern

Rasta Tam Crochet Pattern

One size fits most: This is a very big, loosely crocheted tam that measures 13” across. Hat is worked “in the round” from top down, in one piece.
Yarn: use any worsted weight yarn in Black, Red, Yellow, and Green.
Yarn code: Black (B) Red (R ) Yellow (Y) Green (G)
Crochet Hook size P/Q (15mm)
Inc = work 2 dc in the same stitch
Dec = (AKA dc2tog) is to work 2 dc together

Start with B yarn: chain 3, sl st to 1st ch to form circle, then ch 2 (turning ch counted as 1 st)
Round 1: work 11 dc around circle, sl st to top of ch 2, fasten off, weave in ends. (12)
Round 2: R yarn: attach yarn, ch 2, inc by working 2 dc in each st, fasten off, weave in ends (24)
Round 3: Y yarn: attach yarn, ch 2, inc by working 2 dc in each st, fasten off, weave in ends (48)
Round 4: G yarn: attach yarn, ch 2, inc by working 2 dc in each st, fasten off, weave in ends (96)
Round 5: B yarn: attach yarn, ch 2, 1 dc each st, fasten off, weave in ends (96)
Round 6: R yarn: attach yarn, ch 2, *2 dc, then inc by working 2 dc into nx st* then repeat * to * to end, fasten off, weave in ends, (128)
Round 7: Y yarn: attach yarn, ch 2, 1 dc each st, fasten off, weave in ends (128)
Round 8: G yarn: attach yarn, ch 2, 1 dc each st, fasten off, weave in ends (128)
Round 9: B yarn: attach yarn, ch 2, dec every other st by working 2dc tog, fasten off, weave in ends. (64)
Round 10: R yarn: attach yarn, ch 2, dec every other st by working 2 dc tog, fasten off, weave in ends. (32)
Round 11: B yarn: attach yarn, ch 2, 1 dc each st, ch 1, turn (32)
Rounds 12–15: B yarn: sc each st (32) fasten off, weave in ends

NOTE: If doing tam in one solid color, obviously omit “fasten off, weave in ends” at the end of each round, also omit “attach yarn” and when you get to the end of round, sl st to top of turning ch, then do a sl st to nx st, then ch 3 as your turning ch, and start next round, this will allow your rounds to line up straight and not creep to the left/right. You can modify this pattern so many ways; go even bigger, or smaller, use 1 or 15 different colors, make the band, (rounds 12-15) wider, put in a puff st, a bullion st, or sew a funky patch on the hat. Do what makes you feel good.

Ya mon!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Jimbo's Front Porch Crochet Hooks

I told Jim (of Jimbo’s Front Porch) my crochet life would not be complete unless I had one of his hooks, his humble words down-played the fact that his work is extraordinary, with a great story behind it to boot. I found out about Jim when I was on and read a post on the forum regarding these fantastic hooks he was making from old trees on his property.

I'm a semi retired patent agent, but its not about that; I've been married to a beautiful woman since she was 18 and I was 21 in 1968. My dream in life since 1953 when my dad died was to own our property again on Deadman Creek (we say "crick") and in Oct. of 2000 we were able to buy 30 acres of the place back. Now i'm doing what i can to build a cabin to replace our house which is no longer there. One thing i'm doing to raise funds for the building project is hand carving wood crochet hooks from branch wood i collect from the ranch. Proceeds from sales go directly into the building fund such as it is. Ok.. nuf about me.. i spect more will come out as this grows.

Today I received an original, custom made, Jimbo’s Front Porch Crochet Hook and I couldn’t be happier, it is simply beautiful craftsmanship. After using aluminum and steel hooks with such compliancy, wooden hooks suddenly hold a story, a legacy, a whole new perspective.

I exchanged emails with Jim to work out the details of my custom carved hook and I can tell by his words, he is a gem. A “gem of a person” in my eyes is someone who has kind words all around, someone who (even if you’re a stranger) seems to genuinely be nice, not for show, but for real.

That’s my 2 cents on Jim and I think he’s worth a million. Check out his site

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Triple Exposure

The "Plain and Simple Cardi" is done!

I purchased 2 antique silver clasps for the closure option, but they got lost in that thick fluffy yarn, so I went back to the original zipper option and I love it. The neckline of the cardi is simple so you can wear a big, dramatic necklace or scarf. This is definitely my new fav!!

The black choker necklace I have on, I crocheted with black cotton yarn and added 3 silver pony beads in the front. It is secured with a small piece of Velcro in the back. It is so soft on the neck you barley notice it’s there.

Now for the hat, yep, this is the hat I crocheted a few days ago! SUPER SIMPLE! So here is my Triple Exposure – cool hat, funky choker, and fluffy cardi.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Super Cool Good News

Super Cool Good News:
I submitted one of my crochet designs to a very famous author seeking designs for an upcoming crochet book. My design was accepted and it was finalized today with a very famous yarn company that I will be using their fabulously yummy yarn for my design! I’m not going to release any more information than that for now.

I’ve been working on designs for my book, working on the "Suede Panel Cardi", weaving in ends and adding the zipper to my “Plain and Simple Cardi”, I also crocheted a quick black hat today, (yep, just for me!) and went to my local SnB Group last night. Nancy and I, (plus her non-knitting/crocheting son ‘J’) had a visit full of coffee, laughs, and yarn.

Life is good and I love yarn.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Suede Panel Cardi Design Work

This is such a cool project, I've search the net and I'm surprised I've found NOTHING like it!

My progress so far:
  • design sketch = done
  • the swatch = done
  • schematics = done
  • pattern = in progress

My head is spinning with tons of ideas for future fun and funky projects/patterns using suede and leather panels. I've sketched 3 more designs for woman's wearables using this technique. Purses and bags also entered the picture. I came up with a super simple purse with this technique; easy, quick, and perfect for everyday. I also envision a huge hobo bag using scraps of multi colored suede, then pieced and crocheted together similar to freeform crochet. This is on the eccentric side and not mainstream, but sometimes my designs are not for the "masses", they are for the diva eccentric who needs to create unique pieces of art.

In the mean time, I’m only posting just so much of the Suede Panel Cardi design and project, because it is for my upcoming book. I’ve gotta keep some of it a surprise! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Gray Cable Scarf

This scarf had been 1/2 done for way too long.
You know the type; they sit in their project bag, waiting to get some attention. Somehow they find their way to the back of the pile of project bags. They start to collect dust and you eventually forget they exist.

I need to take a montly inventory of my "craft closet", as it gathers stash at an amazing rate and the UFOs (un-finished object) that actually have potential, deserve to to be transported to the "craft table" and actually get some well deserved love.

Seems like I've crocheted 50 scarves this winter, 10 being for myself. (see Land of 10,000 scarves post!) This is my 3rd gray scarf, you see I have 2 black/grey winter coats, thus the gray addiction. (I know, overkill.) So to complete my gray yarn rampage, (and hopefully end it) I felt the need to complete this gray cable scarf. Please don't tell the yarn snobs, it is Lion Brand Homespun. She's done and I love her.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A plain and simple cardigan

Does this yarn look familiar? Yep, it was the Hideously Huge Scarf, which was also the Cocoon Sweater, and now it’s a cardigan, just a plain and simple cardigan.

Let me reiterate the situation:
  • Love the yarn = can’t waste it on something I wont wear/use (ie. HHS)
  • Hideously Huge Scarf = just too huge, 'nuff said.
  • Cocoon Sweater = which started out as a shrug, then turned into a cocoon sweater, but the bulge in my back made me look like Quasimodo. I did mention in a previous post that my increases were not “making me happy”, I wanted to cocoon, not look deformed.
Yes, I’m so vain.

After several ‘rippins, I was expecting the yarn to disintegrate, but it is holding up fantastically, it is actually softer than before! This is my last try with this yarn, the grey is beautiful, but gets dreary after awhile. (I’m sure the bright yellow yarn in my stash is going to get some love real soon.)

Anyhow, with a P hook and double strands of yarn, this cardigan worked up quick, super simple design, easy set-in sleeves, options for zipper or buttons, and the collar options are endless. I’m not sure how I’m going to finish this, perhaps a short collar and a zipper? I love the bulky weight, better finish it and wear it now before spring comes!

For the finishing touches, I’m going to consult my “Crochet Confidant”. This is someone who wishes to remain anonymous. This person does not crochet, but has always given me much needed feedback, in design, color theory, presentation, (or lack of.) I’ll post the final results.

My advice today:
Knot your yarn anyway you like, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.