Concepts In Yarn and Needlepoint

Cascade Elysian
©A Hooker’s World

I was short two skeins of Cascade Elysian – light as air and excellent squish – to complete Lynette’s baby afghan (Mayflower Baby Blanket), so we went down to Concepts in Yarn and Needlepoint yesterday to see if we could acquire more. I was so excited, as I have been wanting to visit the store, and now I know how to get there and where it is!

OMG! The yarn colors were outrageous! The fibers full of texture! The store: comfy with two big tables to sit and crochet, knit or needlepoint. I could have stayed there all day, as I really miss sitting around a table with other fiber artists and chatting whilst stitching.

I got to meet June and Joanne, the proprietors, who were just as pleasant as pleasant can be. Joanne offered to help me convert my Jump For Joy Hoodie pattern from size: newborn to size: XXXL! Because Lynette was tooting my horn, I might be able to secure some extra income for crocheting…AND…I may be guest teaching crochet there soon.

As for the yarn, we only found one additional skein – we needed two, per the pattern – so I will need to improvise the border.

Can’t wait to return!

Oh, and the best part…they sell Universal Uptown Worsted, my new favorite acrylic yarn.

 

Little 15 Shawl

On da Hook: October 18, 2014
Off da Hook: November 29, 2014
Pattern: Improvised by Hooker Leo
Hooks: US I/9 & US J/10
Yarn A: [Malabrigo] (Fiber Content: [Wool]; Yarn Color: [Grey]; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn B: Unknown (Fiber Content: Unknown; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown)
Yarn C: Universal Uptown Worsted (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 303 Cream; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Yarn D: Mi Amigo (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: Unknown; Yarn Weight: Unknown]
Finished Size: 80 x 19 inches

I started this shawl during my last crochet class with Sheila. I was fired before I could show her how to finish hers, but here is my finished product. I was going to donate it to the store, but since I have been banned, I guess I will try to sell it or donate it. This shawl was constructed with yarn scraps that were laying around the store. Regarding the Grey Yarn: I think it’s Malabrigo, but without a label, I can’t be sure; Mi Amigo Yarn: I don’t remember if that is the blue, maroon or the multicolor. The Blue Yarn had to be double stranded to match the weight of the others.

The construction is from side to side, working half double crochets in the back post. One side is longer than the other because I screwed up the decrease, but it doesn’t make much difference to the finished project. The name – Little 15 by Depeche Mode – is very descriptive when it comes to the construction. I alternated row counts per color in the following multiples: 15, 5, and 3 until such time the color was exhausted. The border is a 5 double crochet shell, single crochet on the outside and a crab stitch around the neck. The border was crocheted with a US J/10 hook.

The yarn weights appeared to be very similar but when working with them there were some subtle differences. I managed to get past the differences in weight by crocheting very loosely. Again, the difference in yarn weights doesn’t make that much of a difference in wearing of the shawl.

As for the price; make me an offer. Since I did not pay for the yarn, I am willing to let it go cheaply.

Always The Sun Scarf: Sunset

Cast On: August 5, 2014
Cast Off: August 14, 2014
Needle: US 8
Yarn A: Universal Uptown Worsted (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 327 Bright Yellow; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Yarn B: Unknown (Color: Bright Orange)
Yarn C: Universal Uptown Worsted (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 306 Pumpkin; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Yarn D: National Yarn Crafts Spundola (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: Terra Cotta 67; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Yarn E: Unknown (Color: Yellow; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Yarn F: Unknown (Color: Terra Cotta)
Yarn G: Unknown (Color: Yellow; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Yarn H: Universal Classic Shades (Fiber Content: 70% Acrylic, 30% Wool; Yarn Color: 706 Sundown; Yarn Weight: 4, Aran)
Yarn I: Cascade Cherub Aran Sparkle (Fiber Content: 54% Nylon, 42% Acrylic, 4% Metallic; Yarn Color: 208 Prune Purple; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Dimensions: 5 x 136 inches

I finally finished – and not after getting too enthusiastic (136 inches!) for the Farrow Rib Stitch, the new skill of carrying yarn, and stripes. This stitch was so easy to do and almost mindless – I did find one error over three rows, but I defy anyone to find it without careful examination. After modeling the scarf for photography, I am a big fan of the double keyhole method (center picture, top row).

I am also pleased that I have used up more of my yarn stash and finished a project. Some of the yarn for this scarf came from Bacon & Eggs Scarf, September Scarf and Instant Karma Dog Sweater. Now I need to get back to my four UFO’s before I begin anything else.

Of course because of all the orange, I am tempted to keep this scarf for myself. This scarf if for sale at Price: USD $25.00. Of course, if it does not sell, I will either keep it or donate it to charity.

The name of the scarf comes from the song of the same name: Always The Sun by The Stranglers.

Rosy Wedding Favor

Rosy Wedding Favor
©A Hooker’s World

My boss at The Knitting Tree, L A had already put me on notice that she would pay me to help her make some favors for her upcoming wedding. Yesterday, she showed me the pattern and I tried to make one. OMG! The pattern she found was just so complicated, especially when you are working on such a small gauge and if I was forced to use that pattern, payment would have been greatly appreciated for all the associated frustration. So I did what I do best: simplified the pattern, which she likes and now that the pattern has been simplified, I must refuse payment. After all they are called favors, right?

I even took my contribution one step further and published the pattern on her invitation design, so that if she wants to, she can distribute the pattern at the wedding. I am even suggesting an impromptu class at the store so that anyone who crochets may assist – the more the merrier and the faster the task can be completed.

My pattern which is as easy as 1-2-3 rounds and does not involve front post crochet. The pattern calls for

  • Universal Uptown Worsted (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 312 Race Car Red; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
  • US 8/H – 5 mm hook

The finished object measures approximately 2.5 inches square. This pattern will only be available for free until August 23, 2014, the day of the wedding, so that any friends of the bride may download the pattern and assist with making the favors. The pattern is available on my patterns page. or in my Ravelry store.

PROVISO

  • 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

2014-08-07 ADDENDUM

Having just finished this project, I realized I needed to update this blog post with the second yarn used:

  • Cascade Hollywood (Fiber Content: 87% Superwash Wool, 10% Acrylic, 3% Polyester; Yarn Color: 11 Ruby; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)

We had run out of Universal Uptown Worsted in Race Car Red, so this was the alternate. Out of two skeins of Universal and three skeins of Cascade, I made about 160 Rosy Wedding Favors, approximately 10 more than requested.

Note: I used the same hook for both yarns.

Rosy Wedding Favor
©A Hooker’s World

 

 

All Star Afghan

All Star Afghan
©A Hooker’s World

All Star AfghanThursday, 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:

Schachenmayr Bravo Worsted (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 08224; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Universal Uptown Worsted (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 318 Navy Blue; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Universal Uptown Worsted (Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 308 Baby Blue; Yarn Weight: 4, Worsted)
Cascade Cherub DK (Fiber Content: 55% Nylon/45% Acrylic; Yarn Color: 01; Yarn Weight: 3, DK, Light Worsted)

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:

  1. No one will ever match my standard of quality, just as I am sure I could never meet another person’s standard of quality
  2. 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
  3. Unless all the yarn I estimate for a job is available at one time, I will not deviate or make concessions
  4. 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
  5. I discovered that I am blessed to know more people than I thought, who could have guided me more accurately regarding my price estimate
  6. 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.

Instant Karma Dog Sweater

Instant Karma Dog Sweater
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: April 22, 2014
Off da Hook: April 25, 2014
Pattern: Basic Crochet in Leisure Arts Dog Sweaters to Knit & Crochet by Carol Carvalho
Yarn A: Universal Uptown Worsted; Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Color: Pumpkin; Yarn Weight: 4
Yarn B: Feza Zara; Fiber Content: 65% Acrylic, 35% Wool; Yarn Color: 134; Yarn Weight: 4
Hook A: US G
Hook B: US H8 – 5.0 mm

I made this sweater for Mojo so Jacqui would not have to crochet it alone. Based on the perfect fit of the first one I made – The Look of Love Dog Sweater – I did not do a gauge swatch for this one and it came out way bigger than the first one I made for Mojo. I hope Jacqui’s dog sweater fits Kiki.

I must express my dismay with the non-standardization of crochet hooks. The pattern calls for a F (4.0 mm); all my Fs are 3.75 mm. I do own a G hook so I assumed it was a 4.0 mm, but according to Karp Styles a G equals 4.25 mm and a 6 equals 4.0 mm. Very confusing. I wonder how one would go about standardizing this.

I just received an email from Jacqui, who informs me that the sweater fit perfectly!

Bacon & Eggs Scarf

Bacon & Eggs Scarf
©A Hooker’s World

On da Hook: April 14, 2014
Off da Hook: April 15, 2014
Pattern: Bacon and Eggs Scarf by Twinkie Chan
Yarn A: Cascade Cherub Aran Sparkle; Yarn Color: 208 Prune Purple; Fiber Content: 54% Nylon, 42% Acrylic, 4% Metallic; Yarn Weight: 4
Yarn B: Plymouth Encore Worsted; Yarn Color: 0256 Ecru; Fiber Content: 75% Acrylic, 20% Wool; Yarn Weight: 4
Yarn C: Schachenmayr Bravo Worsted; Yarn Color: 08224 White; Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Weight: 4
Yarn D: Universal Uptown Worsted; Yarn Color: 327 Bright Yellow; Fiber Content: 100% Acrylic; Yarn Weight: 4
Hook: Bates US H/8 – 5.0 mm
Dimensions: 92 x 4.5 inches

This was made as a sample for The Knitting Tree, L A. It only took two days to make all the components and sew them together. The wording in the pattern was a bit unusual, but easily modified into something I could understand. While I detest sewing components together, this was not so bad. My guess is because the seams are so short and there is not a multitude of components to seam together. The most popular comment at the store was that the eggs look like boobies. WTH? They look like eggs to me and they were fun to make. My bacon differs from the original pattern in that I added an additional two stripes of the darker color for a more balanced piece of bacon.