Friday, July 8, 2011

Jacob's Ladder scarf

Here's another Jacob's Ladder scarf. I'm trying to use more blue now since I've done so many where the focal was the red.

Finished size is 6" x 60". I used an I hook. 8dc, ch 8, 8 dc.

For the edging, I worked one round of sc and one round of faux picot (sc, ch 2, sc, sk 1) in same stitch.

That's it!

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

granny square and ruffle scarf

This scarf is a joint effort between my friend Fran and myself. Fran made the squares and sent them to me over a period of time. I assembled them using the continuous join method and will be sending the completed scarf out tomorrow to Threads of Compassion.

Finished size is 8" x 65". The edging is Red Heart dark teal.

Going along with Fran's scarf is this one I made earlier in the year. This is the ruffled scarf. I made a video a couple of months ago to demonstrate how I did it. The video is in two parts. Here is part one. You can find part 2 at my YouTube channel here.

Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

book reviews

I borrowed two crochet books from the library and wanted to share my thoughts on them to help you decide if you might like these books. I enjoyed both books and each has different qualities to recommend them.

Both books that I had are in hardcover and spiral binding, making it easy to open the book and look at both pages. I like spiral bound books myself so I took this as a plus.

The first book is Crochet: 200 Q and A by Rita Taylor. This book is written in question and answer format and I do believe it covers the majority of questions a new crocheter (and sometimes a more experienced one too) might ask. The very first question is "What is crochet?" The second is "What is the difference between knitting and crochet?" These are questions I see all the time. There are photographs with many of the answers and there are special tips scattered throughout as needed. I think the author must also be a knitter as she uses knitting terms in some questions - such as "How do I cast on..." and "how do I bind off ..."

Where needed the answer includes a "how to" section. Most answers are completed on one page and some pages have two questions and answers. There are some charts in the back

There is a brief Table of Contents for the entire book with chapter titles, then an individual table of contents appears before each section. The main titles include tools and materials, how to start, basic stitches,  decorative stitches, edgings, inserts, and braids, shaping, color work, working in the round, crochet lace, following pattern instructions, other types of crochet, and finishing touches.

I read the entire book from Question 1 to Question 200 and found it very interesting and informative. I was familiar with most of the items discussed but for a new crocheter I think this might be a very useful tool.

[Addition: I just discovered a later edition - 2010 - by the same author called Crochet: 200 Questions Answered. Rita Taylor. I have not seen this book in person but it has the same number of pages as the 2009 version. It is also a paperback, not a spiral bound hardback, and is more expensive.]

The second book is Crochet the Complete Guide by Jane Davis. While this book contains some of the same information, the format is completely different. There are only 3 chapters but the Table of Contents breaks down the chapters by topic. The three main chapters are Crochet Basics, Stitch Patterns, and Basic Projects.

The first section includes a very comprehensive listing of different types of yarn. I found this very interesting and devoured it, but then I believe you can't have too much yarn! LOL I enjoyed reading about the different types and where they come from.

The info on hooks is not as comprehensive with just a simple notation on what a basic hook is (not touching on the specialty hooks), though there is an anatomy on the hook which is very good. There is info on other tools needed in the pursuit of crochet.

The section on Basic Crochet Techniques gives the name of the stitch, the abbreviation for it, and the symbol used for that stitch. I really liked that. In other words it would have "Half Double Crochet (hdc) T". Very useful information especially for someone interested in symbol crochet.

In listing the types of crochet, she only says there are two categories - yarn and thread - and the types listed are filet, Irish, freeform, and Tunisian. If you run by Crochet with Dee, you can see a most comprehensive list of the types of crochet available to us today along with a description of each. I've thought of adding a simple listing to Crochet Cabana as I think that topic is also fascinating. I don't work all of these so unless I take the time to put them into practice, I couldn't expand on them with all the info Dee has. There were a few types listed in the first book by Rita Taylor that were not listed at Dee's, but Dee has more types.

The stitch patterns give a photo, brief instructions and the pattern in symbols. This is the bulk of the book, giving 162 patterns. Then there are a few project patterns - bag, scarf, hat, blouse, sweater, bracelets and granny square coaster.

There is a Glossary, an index, and several charts including a metric conversion chart which would be most helpful to me.

My favorite parts of this book is the yarn section and the anatomy of the hook.

If you're looking for reference books, either as a new crocheter, or as an instructor with a need for reference books to recommend to students, I don't think you can go wrong with these two. Even though I've been crocheting many years, I like to have a few "beginner" books on hand for reference as well.

In addition to reading crochet books, I spent Friday through Monday working on red, white, and blue saltines, yo-yos, and granny's daughters. These are going to Dawn (over at Bev's Charity Challenge) to make into ghans for veterans.

Happy crocheting!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Jacob's Ladder in blue

Here's the blue Jacob's Ladder scarf.I know it's hard to see the cable/ladder in the center with this dark blue.

I used the 8 dc, ch 8, 8 dc pattern again. Ch 26 to start. For the edging, one round hdc in red and the second in sc in blue. If you work tightly you could use hdc for the second round. I don't think I would have gone much over if I'd done that.

You might like to review Beth Ham's pattern for the Jacob's Ladder, and also the video at Hooked on Needles. Beth's video shows a photo of her Jacob's Ladder completed afghan, but doesn't go into the specifics of how to make it. She gives the specifics on the pattern page. It's a beautiful afghan if you want to see it. It is at about 7:30 on the video.

Well, I guess I should link to my own video, eh?

Finished size of this scarf about 6" x 58 1/2".

Happy crocheting!