Thursday, January 29, 2015

scarves

The past week I've been working on scarves from the yarn I got last weekend.

The first was made with Bernat Blanket Taupe super bulky yarn - 10.5 oz skein. Because it looked like such a huge ball I thought I'd be safe to make it wide. I was incorrect. LOL It is 10 1/2" wide but I ran out of yarn at 54". Because of the type of yarn it is, a chenille like yarn, it is not advisable to rip it back. 

If I did another with this yarn, I would make it less wide, maybe 6" and get the intended length. I could get another ball to increase the length, of course, but there is the dye lot factor. I could buy another skein and find it doesn't match what I've already done. Then I would also have part of a skein which would not be enough for another scarf. *sigh* Newbie mistake. This yarn was not cheap as well. I just can't justify it in my mind. Perhaps it will do for a young boy.

It is quite warm, like a blanket as the yarn says. I can double it over and wrap it around my neck and be quite cozy. It is also soft, rated a 10 out of 12 on the Knitting Warehouse softness scale.


Being a super bulky (#6) yarn, it requires a large hook. The label says L. I used one of my Henry hooks and they are not labeled, but I believe it was an M. Although it wasn't difficult to make, I couldn't work on this scarf for too long in one sitting as the motion hurts my hands after a while. I ordinarily use a pencil hold but when working with large or long hooks and thick yarn I use the knife hold. The pattern is straight dc. I usually border my scarves but because of lack of yarn, did not do so on either of these.

The next scarf was made with Loops & Threads Charisma Charcoal yarn. In the first picture it looks blueish but it is not. The second picture is more true to color. Different lighting. 

It's a bulky (#5) acrylic yarn. Suggested hook for this yarn was also an L.I used an L. The finished size is 7 1/2" x 70". I bought 3 3.5 oz skeins. According to my postal scale, I had 1.4 ozs left. 

I just made up the pattern. I started with 10 rows of dc, then went to 20 rows of sc and alternated that, ending with the dc rows. There are 5 sections of dc and 4 of sc. 



Next up on my hooks, soldier hats.

Happy crocheting!
Sandie

Monday, January 26, 2015

Filet cross shawl

The Filet Cross shawl pattern is up at Crochet Cabana on the shawl pattern page. I made a second one and a friend tested the pattern. She said she enjoyed it and it went quickly. Yay! 

Once you get going on a pattern and see how it goes, experienced crocheters just move along and don't pay close attention to instructions. I am guilty as charged! LOL I miss things just because I know how it goes. I put extra notes on this pattern because it is a little tricky to get those repeats, but you will see as you go what comes next. After all, it has to look like a cross, eh?

Both shawls I made are exactly the same. Same pattern, same yarn (Vanna's Choice Colonial Blue). I used an I hook and approximately 4 skeins of yarn (14 ozs). After I made the first one, I started with the leftover yarn and ran out. I had to rip the tiny one I had made with the puff stitches to finish this one. I'm pretty sure I had purchased 8 skeins. So I made two scarves from the yarn I had purchased with a little left over. If you want to be absolutely sure I'd get 5.  

The finished size is approx 15" x 65".




I may work on the pattern for a puff stitch one, but I'm not too keen on the slow moving single crochet so something of this length. LOL I also don't have multiple skeins in the same color yarn so I'll have to fiddle with that. We'll see where it goes. :-)

Hope 2015 is being good to all of you!

Happy crocheting!
Sandie

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2014 data

At the end of every year I like to go back and see what happened the previous months with regards to who was visiting the web site and what they were looking for. I keep these numbers for reference because I like statistics. :-)

So here is what happened in 2014.

First let's define terms.
Unique Visitor:
A unique visitor is a person or computer (host) that has made at least 1 hit on 1 page of the web site during the current period shown by the report. If this user makes several visits during this period, it is counted only once. Visitors are tracked by IP address, so if multiple users are accessing your site from the same IP (such as a home or office network), they will be counted as a single unique visitor.

Visits:
Number of visits made by all visitors.
Think "session" here, say a unique IP accesses a page, and then requests three other pages within an hour. All of the "pages" are included in the visit, therefore you should expect multiple pages per visit and multiple visits per unique visitor (assuming that some of the unique IPs are logged with more than an hour between requests)

Pages:
The number of "pages" viewed by visitors..

Hits:
Any files requested from the server (including files that are "Pages")

Bandwidth:
Total number of bytes for pages, images and files downloaded by web browsing.


Crochet Cabana 2014 (This information was provided by Site5, our web host.)
Unique Visitors  216,138
Number of visitors  322,579 (1.49 visits/visitor)
Pages  787,035 (2.43 Pages/Visit)
Hits  4,776,176 (14.8 Hits/Visit)
Bandwidth  120.14 GB  (390.52 KB/Visit)

January had the highest numbers except in pages visited
Unique visitors 30,758
Number of visits 43,895
Pages 154,060

February had 205,828 pages visited

Top 25 countries from which visitors originated
United States 592,091 pages, 3,100,702 hits
Great Britain
Canada
Germany
Australia
Ukraine
Netherlands
France
China
Spain
South Korea
Brazil
Russian Federation
Italy
India
South Africa
Sweden
Romania
Finland
Belgium
Norway
Mexico
Philippines
Saudi Arabia
Ireland

On 2,793 of the above visits, the visitor spent over an hour perusing the site! (Or maybe they went out for coffee and forgot to shut off their computer. Heh)

The top browsers were Safari and Chrome with over a million hits, then  IE and Firefox, Android, and Iphone with Samsung and Opera bringing up the rear at just over 20,000 hits

The top pages viewed were "All About Hooks" and the home page. Other pages that were in the Top 25 included the dictionary, tutorials, and pattern pages. Of tutorials and patterns most viewed were the granny square, tunisian, broomstick, jayg, ripple tutorials, and doctor who, afghan and preemie patterns

No surprise that the most searched for keyword was "crochet".

The most used search key phrases were "crochet cabana", "tunisian crochet", "broomstick lace", "granny square", "crochet tutorials", "crochetcabana.com". There was also 'betac" which 214 people searched for. I have no idea what that is or why they would end up on my site if they searched for it.

The most popular downloads were these patterns:
Janie Herrin's Drop in the Bucket square (10,304))
Bulky Men's hat (2736)
Cancer Ribbon afghan  (2623)
Susan Smith's Microwave Potholder  (1928)
Baby Love and Prayers afghan  (1827)
Teardrop preemie afghan  (1639)
Prayer cloths  (1636)
TARDIS afghan  (1331)
Nonyghan  (1236)

Other patterns that had over 1000 downloads included patterns by Beth Ham, Kaye Rogers and Lucy Lorf who have kindly allowed me to put their patterns on my site, Included in the "over 1000" group was my Doctor Who TARDIS pattern with 1056 downloads.

My daughter Kate's V stitch scarf was downloaded 847 times from Crochet Cabana and 494 times from Ravelry, putting her in the "over 1000" group as well. :-)

The most used search engine was Google by far, followed by Bing and Yahoo.

Happy crocheting!
Sandie

Sunday, January 18, 2015

hats for troops

You all might remember that I have worked in years past to gather crocheted / knitted hats for Louisiana troops. Hats are needed for care packages by mid May so they can be bagged and tagged etc. for shipping in June.

Here are the particulars as I know them presently.

180 caps are needed. 100% wool is suggested for troops. Colors should be black, dark brown, or dark green - for reference I use Patons Classic Wool Deep Olive, Black, and Chestnut Brown with a G hook. 

If you are interested in helping, holler out to me and I will forward the address of the coordinator to you. You can email me at crochetcabana@gmail.com .

Size: hats are generally sized to a male head, about 7 1/2" to 10" in height and 22-24" circumference. You might try the hat on a man to see how it fits. It will likely be worn under a helmet. 




Special note: Please, when joining yarn, do NOT knot and cut at the knot or leave just an inch of yarn. Please cut yarn several inches from the end and weave/sew the tails in securely. Thanks!

If you work in a spiral, please make sure that your last round is even with the previous round. Thanks!

Both knitted and crocheted hats are welcome. No lacy patterns, please, as these are for warmth and most go to men. Simple is best though single crochet and double crochet are both fine. I have a few patterns at Crochet Cabana that were designed specifically for this project. The Basic Beanies can be found at   http://www.crochetcabana.com/html/patterns_hats.html . The three that are photographed with a man's head wearing brown hats and a Doctor Who scarf are the ones I generally use.

If you can't knit or crochet but would like to purchase a knitted or crochet hat to send, that is also fine.

Thanks for helping us to thank these brave men and women for their service.

Happy crocheting!
Sandie

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Star Trek

I'm going off topic for a little bit because this project is dear to my heart. You know I'm a big Doctor Who fan, but did you know I also enjoy Star Trek and that universe? Both of these are coming together as the Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, is guest starring in Episode 4 of Star Trek Continues, the fan based production continuing the 5 year mission of the original Star Trek.

You can be part of history in helping to fund more episodes of the popular online series. If you are a Star Trek fan and have not seen these, you really need to get over there and have a look. There are three episodes online already. Episode 4 with Colin Baker should be online in a few months. I have been on set and this is a quality production.

The Kickstarter began today to continue production of these excellent episodes. In my opinion they could have run right alongside the original series. To my eye, Vic Mignogna, who plays Captain Kirk, even resembles William Shatner. Chris Doohan, who plays Scotty, is the son of the original Scotty, James Doohan. I have met him and he is a very nice guy. He's very tall too!




As to crocheting, I am working on a second filet cross prayer shawl with expectation of putting the free pattern up soon.

Happy crocheting!
Sandie