On da Hook: September 3, 2015 Off da Hook: December 29, 2015 Pattern: Oakland Raiders Tapestry Afghan by Hooker Leo (pending publication) Yarn A:Michael’s Loops & Threads Impeccable (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 01040 Black; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) Yarn B: Michael’s Loops & Threads Impeccable (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 01005 Black; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) Yarn C: Michael’s Loops & Threads Impeccable (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 01044 Black; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) Hook: US H/8 – 5. 00 mm Dimensions: 4 x 4 Feet Square
The most important thing I have learned from making my second tapestry afghan is that I don’t charge enough! Unfortunately, I have one more already commissioned and I need to re-do this one because of a bleach stain in the black area. The good news: I have sold this one, stain and all.
After all these tapestry afghans are done, I should be able to crochet right-, and left-handed. I am currently practicing by making a scarf with left-handed crochet. I have also taught my self about floating the yarn across the back. Preliminary tests have shown a significant enough vertical dip, which may be caused by additional tension upon that stitch, whereby I was tucking the floating yarn underneath the stitch. I still like cutting my ends, as I think it consumes less yarn. They might not seem as unbearable in the end if I address them as I crochet each row.
Finally, I think I may begin charging for these afghans based on time versus materials. This will greatly increase the cost of making one, which I think is fair considering all the graphic/web design that does into the project in charting a pattern.
Cast On: July 14, 2015 Cast Off: July 23, 2015 Yarn:Rozetti Wicked Fur (Fiber Content: 90% Nylon, 10% Polyester; Yarn Color: 106 Cheetah; Yarn Weight: 5, Bulky) Needle: US 11 Dimensions: 58 (W) x 20 (H) inches, approximate Price: USD $96.00 SOLD
I remember the day this yarn came into the store. I just had to have it, and I even think I persuaded a friend to buy some also. I seem to remember buying two colors, but my financial conscience may have prevented that. This project was made from two skeins, in garter stitch, increasing two stitches at both the beginning and end of each row.
Originally, I had started this long ago and I was going to add a collar in a Lamb’s Pride Bulky (Fiber Content: 85% Wool, 15% Mohair; Yarn Color: 108 Creme; Yarn Weight: 5, Bulky). When I took the project off the needles to see the size, it got all messed up and I had to restart. I restarted again and when I got done with the first skein, I wanted to see how big the project was, so I ran a life line. Once again, the lifeline got all mixed up with the stitches and I started again. This time, I just made up my mind to use both skeins, so I would not have to restart a fourth time.
This yarn is so soft and slippery, I just love it! I also like how the colors combine together. The project name – The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens – is an obvious selection from my music library.
On Da Hook: October 10, 2015 Off da Hook: June 26, 2015 Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo Hook: US 7 – 4.5 mm Yarn A:MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 284 Farmhouse White; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) Yarn B: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 283 Chickory; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) Yarn C: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 291 Hosta Blue; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) Yarn D: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 286 Black Walnut; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) Yarn E: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 285 Log Cabin Brown; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) Yarn F: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 287 Red Phoenix; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) Yarn G: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: Cape Town Rainbow; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) Yarn H: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 292 Ember; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) Yarn I: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 293 Sun Rose; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) Yarn J: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 289 Purple Basil; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) Yarn K: MadelineTosh Tosh Merino Light (Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Yarn Color: 290 Medieval; Yarn Weight: 1, Fingering) Dimensions: 27 (w) x 25.5 (h)
After I was gifted with Madelinetosh unicorn tails (Yarns A-J), I chose a main color (Yarn K) and set forth to creating this shawl. I originally started at one side and was crocheting across. My idea was to continue to the center with the Medieval and then calculating how much yarn would be needed to complete it to the other side – hence the name, Get The Balance Right by Depeche Mode. However, I found calculating the middle was much more difficult than changing the orientation of the shawl, making the triangle hypotenuse the neck, thereby only requiring me to crochet till I ran out of the Medieval. I used the single crochet bar front loop stitch that I had created with How Deep Is The Ocean Scarf and I am very happy with the way this project came out.
Tosh merino light is a 100% superwash merino wool, single-ply fingering weight yarn. With a generous 420 yards per skein, one skein is more than enough yardage to complete a pair of socks and two skeins can complete a full-sized lace project. Each incredibly soft skein is hand-dyed in small dye lots.
I love this stuff! To me it’s like knitting with unsticky cotton candy. The hues of the dye work are so rich! I especially like the single-ply! Fabric drapes so well!
I consider myself to be a cheap skate, so it’s a special treat when I have extra money to spend.
Thursday, I got a call from The Knitting Tree, L A about a job from the Prop Master at American Broadcasting Company (ABC), who wanted a 30 x 50 inch crochet afghan by Tuesday for a television series called Young & Hungry. Five days to make the afghan. At right is the picture of an idea he wanted. I told him to continue looking for someone because I did not want to say yes, unless I could enlist the help of another person, ensuring I could meet the deadline. Once I secured the help of someone, I called him back, we discussed pricing – based on my normal pricing schedule, which I have been advised is too low – and sealed the deal.
I went straight to the store to buy the yarn and encountered dilemma number one: was there going to be enough of the colors/yarn weight requested? With respect to color, I was doubtful on the navy; with respect to the yarn weight, I was doubtful there was enough white yarn. The store suggested double-stranding a lighter weight and I reluctantly accepted the suggestion. Later, when I got home, I found more white yarn in the correct weight, feeling more secure. However, I ended up using the double-stranded lighter weight yarn because I gave the worsted weight to the person that offered to help. Here is what I ended up buying:
I must mention that I am very impressed with the Universal Uptown Worsted and will probably make that my acrylic, worsted weight yarn of choice for future afghans.
I got two of ten strips done the first night. The next day, I get a call from the prop master, suggesting that if he paid an extra $100.00, could he get the afghan by Monday, allowing him more time for framing. I agreed and immediately sought more help from two more people that arrived at the store later Friday afternoon. Let me mention that if took a while for person one to match my gauge, using a hook two sizes larger; person two, a hook one size larger; and person three, a hook three sizes larger.
On Friday, person two expressed that she did not want to seam her squares together. That screwed up my payment schedule and was not appreciated. The quality of person three was not up to snuff, but she offered to seam all the squares/strips for me.
On Saturday, person one brought me enough squares for two strips but had left all the tails, which I discovered later – when I was informed by the seamer – were not long enough to work with. Unfortunately, the seamer advised me after she discovered one square, that had already been seamed, began to unravel. By this time, person two had stopped contributing accomplishing enough squares for one strip. By the end of Saturday, all squares had been completed and seamed. That is when I called the Prop Master, who informed me that the afghan was no longer going to be framed, and that he would like it larger: 36 x 54 inches. I was already having issues due to my method of seaming, which was causing cupping of the squares, thereby shortening the length and width.
On Sunday, I crocheted the extra 24 squares necessary to make up the difference in width and length and person three seamed them into place. This was a big accomplishment, allowing me time to wash the afghan, checking for construction quality. When I called the prop master to check in regarding the process, I left a message requesting the original deadline, as it was not longer being framed and he conceded. Phew!
On Monday, as I was tying sewing in the loose ends and resewing the loosened ends, I discovered at least five more squares that were unraveling. Aiyaa! Because it would have take more time to remove them, remake them and replace them, I took a shortcut: cosmetic touch up. I also began the border.
Today, I was just about to finish the border when the prop master arrived at the store. He grabbed some lunch while I finished the last half of the last round, came back, admired the afghan and made the purchase.
While I am ever grateful for the help I received from persons one, two and three, I have learned some valuable lessons from this project:
No one will ever match my standard of quality, just as I am sure I could never meet another person’s standard of quality
I allowed my ambition to fulfill a life’s dream – crochet an afghan for a television show – to compromise my standard of quality, which led to me being dependent on others
Unless all the yarn I estimate for a job is available at one time, I will not deviate or make concessions
I need to take a deep breath before accepting jobs that I have never quoted and make sure I have consulted with others before committing to an estimate
I discovered that I am blessed to know more people than I thought, who could have guided me more accurately regarding my price estimate
If I ever solicit help from others, I need to be extremely specific as to my expectations
Overall, I am glad the project is done and cannot wait to see it on television. I received a phone call from one of my bosses while composing this post, inquiring if this was a done deal and if the prop master was pleased with the outcome. I can only assume he was pleased because he paid, unless he has some secret elves stashed somewhere that can crochet the same afghan overnight. My boss surprised me the confident suggestion that I would have been able to complete this project alone. Perhaps that confidence will instill itself within me for future projects. I am blessed to have such thoughtful employers, who allowed me to use the store as a workshop, arriving/leaving outside normal operating hours to work on the afghan.
The name of the afghan should be obvious and comes from the song by Smash Mouth from their 1999 album Astro Lounge.
Here is another version of The Boy With The Thorn In His Side Wrap, this time made with Schoppel-Wolle’s IN Silk (Fiber Content: 75% Merino Wool, 25% Silk; Yarn Color: 6683 Celery; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted). I think the inclusion of the silk lends a lightness to the finished wrap. The primary difference between this version and the acrylic version is the length and design, measuring 74 (length) x 26 (widest width) inches, and the absence of the slip stitch section and the final treble crochet border at the widest edge. The final treble crochet border would have caused me to break into a fourth skein and being financially challenged, $23.60 per skein did not seem worth it, as most of the skein would have been unused. Perhaps if I had crocheted the wrap with a tighter tension, I would have had enough for the treble crochet border, but I wanted more drape to the piece so I opted for a loose tension.
A special thanks to my model: Ellen, who is impervious to camera shame, a master crocheter and excellent knitter.
The pattern is written as an recipe to accommodate easy adjustment for width and includes instructions for the acrylic version as well, which includes the final treble crochet border and the slip stitch section. I intentionally left of the slip stitch section on the final version because other than acting as added weight and length, the eyelets were hardly visible and the construction a challenging. The pattern may be purchased from my patterns page or from my Ravelry store.
I condone any realized profit from selling your finished project
If you are on Ravelry, I would appreciate your linking your project to this pattern/recipe, so I can send a request to feature your finished object.
Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic Dimensions: 60 x 30 inches
I didn’t realize this star-shaped shawl was as close to completion as I thought. When I measured it the other day, while trying to organize my projects for sale, I realized that I only needed about two more rows and to apply the beads. I finished this today and it is now available for purchase.
The fiber is a very light-weight, barn red, acrylic fiber that I crocheted on a larger hook for a lacy effect. To add weight, I applied some black, iridescent, half-inch beads at the peaks and valleys of the last row.
The project name – Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes by K.D. Lang – was chosen for the word star in it and the color – Barn Red – which in my mind indicated a country song would be most appropriate.
It sure feels good to finish another project, I just wish they would sell as fast as I complete them.
Pattern: The Boy With The Thorn In His Side Wrap by Hooker Leo
Dimensions: approximately 30 x 96 inches Yarn: Caron Simply Soft (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 9793 Autumn Red; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted) Dimensions: 102 (L) x 27 (W, at widest end) inches Price: SOLD
This is my template for The Boy With The Thorn In His Side Wrap pattern I will be writing up. The pattern project – I’m pretty sure – will be made with the Schoppel-Wolle’s IN Silk (Fiber Content: 75% Merino Wool, 25% Silk) for it’s lightness. As for color: I am still not sure whether to color block the garment or stick with one color. I am still unsure which color to use: Yarn Color: 6683 Celery, Yarn Color: 4193 Navy, Yarn Color: 9220 Grey Light Heather or Yarn Color: 9680 Grey Dark Heather. For some reason, I am really liking the Celery shade of green, as I think it is very springy.
After I write up this pattern, I think I will be duplicating the shape with a different orientation, which in my mind already seems to be quite challenging. The pattern will also be more like a recipe, so that crocheters can customize the length to their liking.
The name of this project – The Boy With The Thorn In His Side by The Smiths – should be apparent from the shape of this wrap.