Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and Jacob's Ladder Scarf

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you're all enjoying your Christmas. Before we know it the old year will be done and we'll be starting 2011, writing the wrong dates on our checks again - if anyone still uses checks. LOL

I thought I'd pull together a post about the Jacob's Ladder scarf I'm making. My daughter suggested it and I loved the idea so I jumped on it.

It's not finished. I was thinking of using it for a video, but my camera did not cooperate while I had the chance to work on it. First, my battery died. I put in a new one. Then it said my memory card was full. I set about deleting the previous videos. By that time, I had cooking to do for our Christmas Eve celebration. My son, daughter, and son-in-law were all here.

I did receive crochet related gifts - two new hook holders for displaying my larger hooks, made by my talented son-in-law.

That is a TARDIS ornament in the center made by my talented daughter.  She also made me a beautiful scarf in filet crochet, with the words DR WHO rolling across it. :-)

Maybe later in the week I'll try the video again. The procedure is just the same as the afghan, but I thought I might use this project to demonstrate a few other basic things. We'll see how it goes. What would you all like to see in videos?

Here's what the scarf looks like right now.

Before I could work on the scarf, of course, I had to determine my foundation chain. I wanted to make this for Special Olympics Louisiana, so it had to be 6". I measured the same area on the afghan and it was too wide. I thought if I did 8 dcs on either side, that might do it.

The foundation chain I used was 28, dc in 4th chain from hk, dc in next 6 chains, ch 10, skip 10, 8 dcs. On succeeding rows, work 8 dc, ch 10, skip 10, 8 dc, ch 2, turn. I changed color every 10 rows. On the last 2 rows, I did ch 8 rather than ch 10.

I will work the cable ladder just as I did in the afghan.

Here are some close-up pictures of the scarf before cabling.

first rows, the ch-10 at the bottom is the foundation chain
this is the last section, last two rows have ch-8
Before working the cable, scarf if 7" wide
length is just over 58"
Remember to start making your cables on the right side. How do you know what is the right side? The beginning tail will be on your left. That is not always the case as some patterns use stitches which appear on the opposite side of the working side. But in general, that is a good test. Many patterns will tell you which row to mark as the right side.

More to come on this project later.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Stay safe!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jacob's Ladder

On my hooks right now is a Jacob's Ladder ghan, worked from Beth Ham's pattern which you can find in pdf format at Crochet Cabana, or in html at Beth's site here. Beth's video referenced does not show how to make it, but does show a finished \ghan, the same one as is shown in the pdf file.

As I have mentioned here before, I would like to get into making videos now and then, so I'm playing with that option now. I am getting more comfortable with the talking part, but my camera skills leave a lot to be desired. However, keeping that in mind, I did complete two videos demonstrating how to make the "cabled ladder" effect using the ch-10 loops made in Beth's pattern.

I apologize for using red yarn as the first stripe, which is where I had to start with the video. Red is terrible for videos and photos, which I didn't realize when I started the ghan. At that time, I was just starting the project with no thought about making a video. I think it will still do the job though.

So here is Part 1.

And here is Part 2.

And here are some photos.

Jacob's Ladder before creating the cabled ladder effect.

Close-up of the ch-10 loops before cabled
Almost finished - still needs edging

Close-up of cabled ladder
Close-up of attaching cabled ladder to edging

View from back side

Now for the details. As noted, I followed Beth Ham's pattern. Of course, I didn't follow it exactly. LOL Do I ever? I used a J hook. I did 7 rows of each of 10 colors. If I were doing it now I would do another two stripes as it came out  wider than long. Before cabling the ladder, it was about 60". In the first photo the afghan is lying on a queen size bed. Size right now is 44 1/2" wide x 38" long.

The color scheme is more or less random. Sadly, I grabbed the red first, which is the worst color for photography. After the first five colors, I happily found myself at Hobby Lobby and Michael's so I purchased a bunch of different colors and asked hubby to lay them out in pleasing fashion. :-)

Gold and purple are LSU colors. This would make a nice scarf for a fan. Ohhh, that gives me an idea. :-) Yes, it does. But not for an LSU fan. More to come on that later.

As far as the afghan, or really lapghan since it is smallish, I still plan to work edging completely around, at least for one round, maybe more.

That's all for now.

Happy crocheting!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Crimmis Hook

It's here! Jimbo's Front Porch 2010 Crimmis Hook ("Crimmis" coming from Jimbo's son Lance mispronunciation of Christmas as a child). I WON this gorgeous hook which is made from holly, a very smooth,white wood. The Crimmis is a size I (5.5mm) hook. The red light is a REAL Christmas Tree light and is easily removed if you want to take it off. You wouldn't believe how smooth it is. I am excited to get started on a project with this beautiful hook.  It will be a joy to work with, I'm sure.

If you're going to be crocheting tonight, you might want to try working cables. .

Another way of making cables is what I call "faux cables". Basically it's a front post and back post cross stitch. You can see a tutorial on that method at Crochet Cabana .

Then if you have some time to get more deeply in the basic skills and perhaps pursue some specialty stitches you've not had time for before, you can pre-order Kristin Omdahl's new DVD at . Interweave has an article about the dvd here which worked very well as an advertising tool since I hopped right over and ordered it. :-) 

Also, a friend reminded me about this pattern by Peggy Su Besco, which is going on my to-do list. I love the cross-stitch. Can't wait to try it. 

But first I want to make another scarf using this method I saw at Crochet Spot.

But wait, I have two other scarves already in progress, and the Jacob's Ladder afghan. *head spinning*

Maybe I should get off the computer and pick up my hook!

FYI, it was 2 hours from when I started this post to when I posted it. :-)

Happy crocheting!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Anniversary stashin'

Yesterday was our 28th wedding anniversary. Hubby and I headed to Houma LA to celebrate. We hit Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Booksamillion, Bed Bath and Beyond, iHOP, Chick-fil-A and Waffle House. Here is a photo of my anniversary present - my new "stash", courtesy of my hubby.

You'll notice there is a book included. The book is Super Finishing Techniques for Crocheters: Inspiration, Projects, and More for Finishing Crochet Patterns with Style (Betty Barnden). I chose this one for a few reasons. One is the section on fringe and tassels. Some interesting takes on those techniques. Other topics that are covered include: pockets, buttonholes, woven crochet, adding beads, picture crochet, surface crochet, embroidery, felting, and a multitude of wonderful edgings.

There were two other books I looked at and came this close to buying, but I didn't feel like I should buy three of them. LOL The first one that I didn't buy, but would put on my wishlist is A to Z of Crochet: The Ultimate Guide for the Beginner to Advanced Crocheter . That link brings you to the paperback version. If you like spiral bound, you can buy it here A To Z Of Crochet. I do like spiral bound myself though I think the one I picked up was the paperback version. There is a look inside feature for this one, but it really doesn't give you as good an idea of what is inside as seeing it in person.

I am almost positive the second one was Crochet Edgings & Trims (The Harmony Guides). I can't remember too much about it, but I know it was a Harmony book and included edgings. I thought it provided a good take on the topic. A pretty trim can really dress up a project.

The yarns I picked up included I Love This Yarn, Deborah Norville, Vanna's Choice, Impeccable, and Red Heart Soft. Not a bad haul. I usually try to grab at least 3 skeins of 3.5 ounce yarn, enough to make a scarf. I knew I wanted some white and off-white/ivory so I got that, and I wanted more colors to finish the Jacob's Ladder.

I hope to have pics of the Jacob's Ladder soon. I also have a couple scarves in progress, one a new design using my current favorite stitch - the berry stitch.

That's all for today. Hope you all are enjoying the holiday season and not getting too stress with all the holiday craziness. Myself, besides the important religious significance of celebrating the birth of Jesus, I'm looking forward to the Doctor Who Christmas special Christmas evening.

Happy crocheting!