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Archive for February, 2007

Have a Laff

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box.

When he opened it, he found two crocheted doilies and a stack of money totaling $95,000. He asked her about the contents. “When we were to be married,” she said, “my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doily.”

“The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious doilies were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

“Honey,” he said, “that explains the doilies, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?”

“Oh,” she said, “that’s the money I made from selling the doilies.”

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Fingerless Mitt
Originally uploaded by Shade Tree Arts.

I started out making these fingerless mitts for myself, but they immediately started out a bit big. Then, with each time they were pulled on, they got a little bigger, so I gave them to my SO, who has gotten some great use from them with all the snowy, cold weather we’ve had this past month. I’m hoping to make myself some in the near future–or at least by next winter. Until then, I’m glad he’s enjoying his. And I found out that they fit great over my gloves, which keeps my hands extra warm when I need them to be!

The pattern is from the book, Crochet from the Heart.

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Supplies Shopping

I went shopping yesterday for the thread I needed to make the shawl I’m a tester for. I’m always disappointed that Joann’s doesn’t have a better selection of yarn and thread, and this trip to that store was no exception. I actually left without a single purchase in my hand.

I decided to try Hobby Lobby. I knew they’d at least carry the crochet thread I needed, but wasn’t sure about the metallic sewing thread. Much to my chagrin, they didn’t have the sewing thread. At least I was able to get the crochet thread I needed. I didn’t even buy any yarn. Just thread. And some pins for another project.

I wanted to get started on this project, so off to Joann’s I went again. I knew they had the metallic sewing thread in the color I needed, and I had decided to just use my 40% off coupon and buy a small spool of it. After looking around a bit more, though, I found a much larger spool–for a much larger price! With my coupon, it wasn’t all that bad, and the spool has nearly enough thread on it to carry me through the project. I’ll get the rest of what I need soon, so that I have it all on hand.

I started the project; having never done filet crochet but once, I wasn’t sure how well I’d catch on, but so far, so good. It’s going to be a beautiful project. I can’t wait to get it finished!

As a tester, I was told to expect it to be a long project, about three months or so, and when I told this to my SO, he said, “The way you crochet, you’ll probably have it done in 4 days!” Heh. I’ll take that as a compliment.

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I’m stoked. I get to be a pattern tester for a beautiful butterfly shawl. More to come as it progresses! No pictures will be posted, however, until the OK is given to do so.

In other crocheting news, I’ve got 9 out of 48 motifs finished for the bed of roses afghan I’m making for myself. I’m also nearly finished with another item for my SO’s daughter. I’m thinking of sending her something every month until her baby is born, although I already have four items ready to go. Pics to come soon.

It’s going to be cold and rainy this weekend, so looks like I need to check my yarn stock and have plenty to work on.

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Tutti-Frutti Fave Hat 5
Originally uploaded by Shade Tree Arts.

Joann’s had some of their yarn clearanced to just 75 cents a ball, so I bought the only two of this particular one they had left. It’s from their own Sensations Bellezza Collection, called Smania, which is now discontinued. It’s a great 65% cotton/35% nylon blend that was easy to work with. At the time I bought it, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, then decided it would make a good hat. I looked at many patterns–even thought about writing one on my own–but having less than 4-ounces of yarn, I was a little limited. Then I ran across this pattern in 24-hour Crochet Projects by Rita Weiss. I love how it turned out; I’d been wanting to make one where the brim rolled up and with this yarn, this one does just that. It is now my official favorite hat. It’s light-weight and colorful–just in time for spring!

I searched the net for more of the same yarn, but the only place I found it was on “feebay” for $4.99 each. Then, just as I was giving up hope, a fellow crocheter at Crochetville offered to sell me the skiens she had left for the 75 cents I paid originally plus shipping. How cool is that!

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A Crocheter’s Rant

I finally did it. I made a trip to my LYS, only it’s not so local as being in my city–rather, it’s about 30 minutes away. When I first walked in, I was mesmerized by all the different yarns, some in a quality I’ve never seen before. I had to touch each one, then allow my mind to race through all of the projects I’ve ever wanted to complete, but was never able to find that “just right” skein of yarn that would warrant crafting the object. I was like a kid in a candy store, going around touching and feeling as many of the different fibers as my eyes were drawn to.

The prices were definitely not that of any of the craft stores I’ve been in around here–some were a bit pricey at $14.99 and up. I was able to find a few skeins in my price-range, however, to accommodate a couple of projects I’ve wanted to work on. I’d been looking for a good cotton or cotton/acrylic blend to make some face cloths with. I wanted something thinner than Lilys Sugar ‘n Cream, but something that was machine washable and dryable. I found it at this wonderful little store. I also purchased a fat skein of acrylic/washable wool blend to make some fingerless gloves with, as well as one other skein for another project. My total was more than the last 8 skeins of yarn I bought at Hobby Lobby, but was well worth it.

This store was wonderful. And I’ll definitely go again. If I don’t make the trip, I know I’ll at least order some yarns from their catalog, which the cashier gave me as I was checking out. I did leave with a bit of sadness, however.

As I was talking to the clerk about this being my first time in their store, I asked if they had a mailing list. The reply was “yes”, at which time I was given the form to fill out. After my name and address, there was a row of letters containing “K W S” and something else I don’t remember offhand, which represented the catagories a yarn addict would be interested in (Knitting, Weaving, Spinning–or something like that). “But where’s the ‘C’ for CROCHET?” I asked. “Oh, it’s lumped in with Knitting.” Bite your tongue, I thought. Even my significant other made a comment of how he gets scolded for lumping the two together. On the trip home, as I skimmed through their catalog, I was quickly reminded that knitting seemed to be the dominant “yarn sport”, and crochet was thought of as some kind of cheerleader–serving it’s own purpose but not really as noticed as the players on the field.

It’s not just the LYS that is like that. Just about anywhere you go, in person or online, knitting outweighs crocheting. There’s more t-shirts, more pin-backed buttons, more books, more web sites, etc that are geared for knitting than for crocheting. Why does it have to be that way? Why isn’t crocheting held up to the same standard as knitting? Especially when there’s actually more crocheters out there than knitters? Shouldn’t the two crafts been seen as individual entities? Granted, they both make great use of yarn and sticks (i.e. hooks and needles), and they both serve their purpose, but what about us crocheters who don’t knit and would like to be recognized for the craft that we do (that we do, and do darn well!)? No one, after looking at all of the great crochet patterns out there and seeing all of the great projects we continue to make, can say that crochet is just for grandmothers anymore. There’s so many awesome patterns out there, and even clothes patterns are becoming more and more available.

It’s true that in most cases crochet uses more yarn, which means we might spend a bit more to get the amount we need for any given project, so why not target us as an individual category of yarn buyers? Why use the “k” word to lump us all together? We both are special in the DIY world, so it is my proposal that we stand up for our own place in this realm. I think knitting is awesome, but it’s just not for me, and thus, I’d like to be recognized for the hook and yarn I tote around with me, and be asked, “Oh! What are you crocheting today?” rather than be thought of as a one-hookedneedle-knitter, which I’m not.
Is it just me, or do other crocheters feel this way? Why can’t we all just get along and be loved for our individuality? Apples are not oranges, nor are oranges apples, just as crochet is not knitting and vice versa. Nor is one fruit greater than the other, just as knitting is not greater than crocheting, or vice versa. I think it’s time that crocheting got the recognition it deserves, and the people who do it be seen for who they are.

I’m a darn Happy Hooker, and proud to be one!Crocheters of the World Unite! Stand up and be counted for the hook-and-yarn person that you are!

And to those who participate in both “sports”, I salute you.

:)Whew…now that that’s off my chest, I feel so much better!

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Crochet Wishes & Wonders is a great book full of over 70 colorful crochet patterns. I’d recommend it for anyone who likes more traditional patterns, like doilies and afghans, but there’s probably something in it for just about every crocheter.

It has five chapters, as follows:
Chapter One – Fashions and accessories.
Chapter Two – Doll dresses, a cute little pig, a snowman, and a few others.
Chapter Three – Afghans.
Chapter Four – Home accents & Christmas items.
Chapter Five – Some really beautiful doily patterns.

The book is, as of this post, clearanced on the Annie’s Attic web site for $5.99, which I think is a good price for so many patterns. Just click the link at the beginning of this post.

UPDATE: It’s no longer available at Annie’s Attic from what I could tell, but it’s possible to get it at Amazon.com.

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