Sunday, December 30, 2012


Some time ago I found a neat little pattern by Sarah London for a skull and crossbones (Australian terms). The moment I saw it I thought of my son. Don't ask me why. LOL I set about crocheting it in white cotton, deciding to make it into a pillow.

I bought a 14" pillow form at Hobby Lobby. Then I worked in the round - I think it might be the never ending afghan pattern but I really just started crocheting, not following a pattern.

I crocheted a back and front in black and of course the skull and crossbones, then handed it over to daughter, who put it all together for me, using that pretty white edging at the join. Son was very pleased with his pillow as this was a surprise, not something on his list or that he'd ever mentioned.

Here is a picture of the finished product.

I was also very pleased with the resulting pillow, but if I had it to do again I'd use a more closed in pattern with no holes. At the time I didn't worry about that because I knew the pillow form had a cotton fabric around the stuffing so holes wouldn't be a problem. But it does detract from the white of the skull and crossbones. Just as in the past, I learn something from each piece I crochet.

I am presently making another pillow and this time I am using single crochet, worked in rows. The reason I didn't do that in the first place was because I didn't know how many stitches across would work. Fingers crossed that what I'm doing will work. I chained 40 on this one. Number of rows to be determined probably today.

One note about the Sarah London pattern. She uses Australian terminology and the files are pdfs so you can't just find and replace the terms in that form. If you are American, you can retype it or remember in your mind the change in terms.  I WAS able to convert the file to text. Since you keep the original file, you have the photos for reference anyway. There is an Adobe conversion to Word available but for a fee. There may be free ones out there that I don't know about.

If you have a person in your house who would enjoy this, I think it is fairly simple to make as long as you pay attention to what you're doing.

Happy crocheting!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Weeping Angel

My hooks have been busy finishing my .... Weeping Angel

The finished angel is 42" x 54". The pattern used was the Weeping Angel chart at Ravelry by Elizabeth Harac. I used about 3 1/2 skeins (about 25 ounces) of I Love This Yarn Greybeard. The chart squares are very tiny. I had to enlarge them so I could see and follow. It is critical to work in the correct direction for this project, working odd rows right to left and even rows left to right, since this pattern is not symmetrical.

I used two highlighters to mark my rows as I completed them, alternating color for each row. That might sound like a lot of trouble, but it worked for me.

I've worked patterns for the Ood, Adipose, K-9, a Dalek and now a Weeping Angel - besides the scarves, of course. I've worked scarves for season 12, 13, 14, and 18 and have a 12.5 knitted one. I've also made a TARDIS, a filet TARDIS, and a mini TARDIS.

Some people think I'm Who-obsessed. Hmmm. Well, maybe. Keeps me off the streets and out of trouble.

Now I need to find a Cyberman, eh?

Happy crocheting!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Child size Doctor Who scarf

Yes, it's another Doctor Who scarf. LOL This one is a "child size" Season 13. I worked it off the general pattern at Witty Little Knitter though in crochet, of course.

I used an I hook and chained 22. I used 7 strands for each of the 7 fringe. Have I mentioned how I loathe making fringe? I have to say it does add to the look, doesn't it?

Finished size is about 6" x 98" including fringe" which is actually longer than my first "adult" wide scarf made with an H hook.The thinner width is better for a child, though I like thin scarves myself.

It's quite a respectable size for a scarf though probably on the short side for a Fourth Doctor scarf.

You might be wondering what the difference is between the child and adult size scarves. Well, I'm glad you asked. I will tell you. The stripe numbers are exactly the same until you get around the middle-ish. Then there are 5 stripes taken out - 5 rows grey, 3 mustard,  7 rust, 3 purple, and 16 bronze which is a total of 34 crochet rows or 34 knitting ridges (68 rows).

Yarn used was
Purple - Vanna's Choice Burgundy
Camel - I Love This Yarn lt taupe
Mustard - Bernat Waverly Gypsy Gold
Rust - I Love This Yarn Terra Cotta
Grey - Vanna's Choice Charcoal
Greenish brown - Vanna's Choice Taupe

Bronze - Vanna's Choice Toffee

Happy crocheting!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hook and Needle Club kit hat

Back in November I posted a picture of the crocheted hat I made from the Hook & Needle Club kit. Here it is again to refresh your memory. It uses a bulky yarn and for the crocheted version H and N hooks. I think I used H and L hook for mine though.

My daughter then took the leftover yarn and made a hat from the knitted pattern that was included in the kit. Remember there was enough yarn for a hat and mittens but I didn't make the mittens.

Here is the result of the knitted hat. My model was so good. I couldn't decide which picture to share. :-)

This is not really a pattern I'd want to make again, but it was fun to work it once. It's a snug fitting hat, perfect for my small head.

Now the scarflette I made with a past kit is one I want to make again - if only I could discover where I put the pattern. LOL

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Who s13 scarf and fringe

As I was working on my Doctor Who scarf site, I realized I had no photos of my Season 13 scarf. As it turned out, I did complete that scarf but it was during Hurricane Isaac and I was a tad busy then. That is also when I received my knitted scarf so I neglected to post photos of the season 13 scarf. So here are catching up photos.

Finished size of this scarf is 7 1/2" x 95" without fringe. It was completed in September.

Since this is so long ago, I don't remember which pattern I used, but I had a tag on it which said I used an I hook and chained 26.

Colors used:
Purple = Vanna’s Choice Burgundy
Camel = I Love This Yarn light taupe
Mustard = Bernat Waverly Gypsy Gold
Rust = I Love This Yarn Terra Cotta
Grey = Vanna’s Choice Taupe
Greenish Brown = Bernat Waverly Bark
Bronze = Vanna’s Choice Toffee

Then I put some fringe on existing scarves which were given to family members who are big Who fans. I have mentioned previously that I don't put fringe on my own scarves because I don't care for it. What I didn't know is that I am not actually fond of making fringe, particularly with multiple strands. LOL Well, something learned this week! But this fringe was made with love and I hope the recipients will enjoy their scarves.

I added some photos of Who earrings I've gotten and tweaked a bit on the scarf site. If you need more Who, visit Gallifreyan Crochetin'. I in no way try to compete with any of the existing sites. This is mainly a place to put my own experiences up and highlight my stuff. Just as when I began Crochet Cabana, I often need a reference so I can remember what I did previously. This site is that memory aid for making scarves.

I don't include any patterns there. That's been done quite well by other sites. Since the scarf is a tangible thing which can be seen on any of the fourth Doctor's episodes, viewers can make educated guesses about colors and row counts of the knitted scarves. UNLESS you are one of the fortunate few who have seen the actual scarves. I bow to their expertise.

Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Things should have slowed down now that the new site is up, right? heh That hasn't been the case, but most of it is not to do with the site. As far as I'm aware, things are working smoothly there. If you run into any problems, holler out to me so I can correct them. There are still a few things that need to be done, like photos on the dictionary pages. That will be done in time. I also hope to do more videos soon.

In the meantime, on my hook this week... more cross-stitch squares. This time for a lapghan for a cancer patient, friend of a friend.

Here is the finished piece. It is about 44" square, using 36 six inch squares and joined with the continuous join. Yarn is whatever I had in my stash. The red is I Love This Yarn red. The medium blue is Red Heart Delft Blue.  I think the grey is also I Love This Yarn. There is some Vanna's Choice in there as well. I think the light tan is either Annie's Choice or Impeccable. The assembly is Red Heart Super Saver Aran.

I am really pleased with the way it all came together.

Happy crocheting!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I was recently talking about hats for a Louisiana troop unit. The hats have been delivered to Donna for the soldier care packages. There were 57. I think she has more from other ladies but I haven't heard that count yet. She told me she would need 30 in January for the second troop.

Since I'm talking about hats, I wanted to share that page on the new site. I will try to highlight a section of the site every now and then so you can become familiar with what's on there. The how-to-make-a-basic-hat page is here.

What is a hat anyway? Here are other terms for hat, some mean hat, some are specific types of hats. I'm sure you've heard the terms cap, chapeau, beanie, beret, bonnet, cloche, fedora, fez, skull cap, sombrero, tam, toboggan, Panama, Stetson, boater, bowler, helmet, fedora, skimmer, stove pipe, straw, ten-gallon, slouchie, and topper. Some of those will immediately bring an image to mind. Others you might need to see to know what it is.

I have made a few of these. Here is a beanie type -just a simple dc hat - like the soldier hats.

This slouchie hat was made with sock yarn. It took a while but I was really pleased with the result.

I always thought this looked like a fez though that is not the name of the pattern. The pattern is Sandra Huffines Ribbed Round Hat at Bev's.

Then there are the head coverings which are not actual hats, These would include babushka, cowl, coif, kerchief, mantilla, veil, yashmak (worn by Muslim women), capuche (pointy hood on a cloak), kepi (round hat with a flat top and a visor), shako (sort of a tall kepi heh).

Here's a cowl worn as a head covering.

You can see many of the hats I've made through the years at the Picasa album.

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Link Share

It's link sharing time!

I found this post with large pictures and instructions on how to work an invisible join at Wool n Hook.

Then I ran across a tutorial demonstrating one method of making a ripple at Attic 24. I've been there before and I think I've even seen this particular tutorial before so I may have shared it previously. If so, I'm doing it again. :-)

I also discovered the Crochet Happy blog which I spent quite a bit of time perusing. You might like to also have a look. I particularly enjoyed her article on copyrights.

If you're one to plan your decorations ahead or you just know someone for whom this would make an appropriate gift, you might consider this Halloweenish skull and bones by Sarah London. It's for sale not free.

It's football season so perhaps you or someone you know is having a wee one who could use a football hat. Sarah at Repeat Crafter Me has this one. She also demonstrates a different method of joining rounds which you might like to try.

If you are into Tunisian crochet (afghan stitch) and bothered by that curling thing, you might like to check out Kim Guzman's tips to help with that problem.

Since this is the season of giving, I'll share a few charity links that might touch you.

First Sandy at the Bridge and Beyond helps the homeless. It's pretty cold in Ohio so I know they'd appreciate a hat and scarf or a pair of warm socks.

Christmas at Sea keeps mariners warm and shares a bit of cheer during the holiday season. Their main office and storage facility was flooded during Hurricane Sandy but almost all of the donations were saved. You can read about it on their blog.

Let's show a little love to our veterans by donating a scarf to Knit Your Bit. They even have both knit and crochet patterns you can use though any pattern is accepted.

Of course we still have troops in harm's way and also those serving in spots that are not now in conflict. Operation Gratitude makes care packages to send to these troops. They include in these packages handmade scarves and hats. What is good about this particular effort as far as handmade items go, is that their requirement is for a shorter scarf (to fit in their boxes) so you can make more! 5-6" x 48".

Also I just learned of Give 2 the Troops which has some great lists if you want to make your own package or send items to them to send on where it's needed. I was particularly impressed with their page on items needed by the female soldiers. Mostly one hears to send what would be useful to men - colors and styles - as the females don't want to be set apart from the men. They have enough trouble fitting in. But there are some things that women can use that are used privately and don't affect their working time. Good list.

Native Americans need help particularly during the cold winter months. Crafting for a Cause (a yahoogroup) gives one the opportunity to help by sending scarves, hats and other items directly to the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota.

Another group that helps the Native Americans is Love Afghans for PRR (yahoogroup). Pam collects squares of all sizes and assembles them into warm afghans which are then sent to the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. Finished afghans are also accepted. There is also a Ravelry group for this program.

I also have to include SIBOL, a charity effort run by Sue across the pond. I had to include it because I just love Sue! She does such a fabulous job on her blog and in assembly of the afghans for her local nursing homes.

There are so many other worthy charities that you can donate to. I have a list on the sidebar here and I'm sure you have your own efforts - feel free to share in the comments if you know another worthy charity that you have personal experience with.

Myself I was just talking to a friend who works at a hospital oncology unit and she said they use lapghans there. So there ya go. If you have lapghans made (new) with no place to send them or you want to make lapghans, send 'em over and I'll pass to my friend. I haven't set anything up with her officially but will be talking to her again about this soon.

That's all for now!

Happy crocheting!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

site overhaul response

The newly overhauled Crochet Cabana has been up for a week now and the comments I have received have been positive. I did have a couple people write me who still had old links which no longer work. I was able to help them find the needed information.

The majority of the comments said they liked the new look. A few were specific in what they liked about the changes. Here are a few excerpts from the comments I've received:

"Very clean, easy to navigate, easy to find stuff, and visually appealing... every link went where it was supposed to go...with the new index pages, you can really see how much the site has to offer."

"... fabulously done! ... much easier to navigate ... the pdf's I tried opened right up ... the look is far more professional ... nicely executed."

"Beautiful redesign ... It's a really attractive design on the home page, with clean and clear navigation."

Of course I always love hearing "It looks awesome." and "Job Well Done!"

I particularly loved "May your crochet project be ever "frog-less". Thanks! And I hope all of yours are too!

I'm getting the idea that site navigation has improved. That is a good thing.

Hopefully the response will continue to be positive as people stop by and see the changes. Of course I'll continue to work on the site as well.

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hats and definitions

I finished the red hat from the Hook and Needle Club as noted yesterday. I decided I didn't want to do the mitts so I gave the second skein of yarn to daughter to do the knit hat. :-) Here's my crocheted one.

While I was doing that, I noticed another hat sitting around and couldn't remember if I'd posted a photo of it. This is chunky yarn, but not part of a kit.

Both these yarns work up nicely. Of course my preferred color is blue so I like that one better. :-)  I got it at Michael's on a recent trip.

In my e-mail this morning, on one of my crochet lists, this appeared. I thought it was so funny I have to share it. No source was given. If I find it who wrote it, I'll edit this post.

Pattern: A set of written instructions that may
or may not result in creating the object in the
picture. Most patterns include a list of
supplies, but this is for your amusement only.
After all, Amazonian Rhesus yarn in smoky
turquoise does not exist, and cannot be
obtained. Patterns also have fun-to-do math
problems, such as 1 dc in next 7 dc (34 dc

Yo: Yarn Over, meaning you need to wrap your
yarn over your hook. Of course, this assumes the
yarn doesn't split, fray or tangle. If this
happens, yo then stands for, Yell Outrageously.

Dtrtrc: Double-treble-treble-crochet. This is a
stitch where you yo four zillion times, insert
hook in stitch and pull through the next two
loops, repeating until all loops are off the
hook, or until the end of time, whichever comes

Reverse sc: This stitch is the lefty's revenge
on all of us righties. For once we have to work
backwards, too!

Catalog: A dangerous device that hypnotizes
crocheters. It lulls them into a catatonic
state, causing them to spend the family's
grocery money on patterns and yarn. It may also
be an evil plot to cause the downfall of the
American economy.

Hook: A device permanently attached to a
crocheter's hand. It is also connected to her
blood supply, and if for some reason it becomes
dislodged from her hand, she breaks into a sweat
and starts to feel faint. If the hook cannot be
immediately replaced, the only valid substitute
is a catalog (see above).

Yarn: The only reason sheep farms still exist!
It's also what crocheters buy when they have
money. If there's any cash left over, they buy
food and clothes.

Doily: This seemingly innocent item looks like a
table protector, but if someone actually tries
to put a wet glass or an ashtray on it, the
creator will instantly turn into a snarling
Doberman. Use doilies at your own peril.

Cat: A non-mechanical device used for unraveling
afghans, unwinding skeins and keeping one's lap
warm. A cat requires daily maintenance in the
form of light stroking.

Dog: Another non-mechanical device that is used
for chasing down balls of yarn and putting
tooth-mark engravings in wooden hooks. It's a
high-maintenance item that does not store easily.

Baby: A valid excuse to crochet something.

Housework: An ancient rite that was performed by
some B.C. women (Before Crochet). Historians
believe it may have had something to do with a
device called a vacuum cleaner, which was kept
in closets now occupied by yarn.

Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hook and Needle Club Scarflette

I finished the Hook and Needle Club scarflette crochet kit. I think it came out pretty well.

This was a keyhole scarf, the first I've made, so I really enjoyed trying out that procedure. The pattern was pretty simple to follow though you had to pay attention.

As I said previously, this pattern uses Deborah Norville acrylic yarn. This yarn is a beautiful yarn and quite soft. I did have that same silly problem with bits of another color in the second skein. I thought at first it was just part of the variegation, but looking at the previous skein where I had the solid pink it didn't look the same.

I have had this problem occur with at least three manufacturers. It's unbelievable to me that *I* could have this happen so often. I am only one person. How many others must have this happen and I don't hear about it. If all of those people are reporting this problem, and the company is making it good - which they generally do - how are they making money? The last time I specifically told the company in question that I could still use the yarn for the particular project and didn't need replacements but just wanted them to know about it. They still sent me replacement yarn, which I appreciated.

The explanations I've received just aren't doing it for me. There must be a way to fix this problem or at least catch it before it hits the public. It may not be an easy solution, but it's very discouraging. I can imagine if you are making items to be sold to others, or for designs to be photographed in magazines, this would be a big big problem and cost countless hours if a piece has to be remade.

In this case I actually tried to cut the yarn but then found the extra bits went throughout. These were the only two skeins I had so I went ahead and finished it. I only used a small bit of the new yarn and was on the last few rows. With it being a variegated yarn, I figured it wouldn't be too noticeable. Here's a pic. What do you think?

As to the pattern, it's a nice one. You work the middle section and one end of the ruffle, then turn around and work the other end. Of course, there is also the keyhole.

I have started working with the kit I received before this one. It uses a chunky yarn. I've had two knots in it so far, but no color changes in the wrong places. :-) It's an interesting pattern. I'm finished making the hat but there are mittens to make as well.

Happy crocheting!

Monday, November 19, 2012

troop hats last call

If you are making troop hats for the unit from Louisiana, please get them to me by end of the week as I need to bag and tag them for delivery on Monday. If any hats come in after that, I can still deliver them later for the unit which will be receiving early next year, but they won't go in the ones we're sending out for Christmas.


Happy crocheting!

hook and needle club

I've received another Hook and Needle Club kit. I have already begun this one  though I haven't started the last one yet. It just came in at a great time. I had finished the last troop hat I can do (no more yarn) and had nothing of particular urgency to get to at that time of night. On came the Christmas movies and out came the package. :-)

The yarn is Deborah Norville Everyday soft worsted acrylic. It's a Premier yarn. It also says anti-pilling. That's a nice perk if it works. The label on the Lilac Ridge color says there is a pattern inside and you should purchase enough yarn in the same dye lot for your project. It doesn't tell you, however, how much that is (that I saw anyway). Shhh. I'm going to tell you. The pattern shown is a diagonal stripe. Inside it says you need 4 balls in each of 3 colors.

The pattern in my Hook & Needle kit is a striping scarflette. In other words, the yarn makes the "stripes". I like the yarn very much. It's soft, a bit on the thin side of worsted.

The pattern is a nice one too. It is a thinnish scarf using front and back post stitches so far though I see in the pattern there will be V stitches and shells. I haven't gotten that far yet. You can see my progress in the picture. When I finish it, I'll post the completed scarflette. No problems with the pattern at this time.

Happy crocheting!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Crochet Cabana new look

Crochet Cabana has a new look.

I am pleased to announce that the new, updated Crochet Cabana is now live. I hope you all enjoy it.

My thanks to my wonderful daughter, Kate, who did the bulk of the work on this site. She will be helping me to learn the program so I can make necessary updates as time goes on.

My thanks also to my son-in-law who helped with text editing even though I'm sure reading about crocheting was not at the top of his to-do list. LOL

Finally, my thanks to my husband, who has long been my go-to tech support for Crochet Cabana and was an essential member of the team as we got things ready and uploaded the new site today.

I appreciate all the work each of them have done to get this site up.

It's unbelievable to me that it's been 15 years since Crochet Cabana debuted in October 1997. I hope you all continue to enjoy the site and particularly that you like the new look and the changes that were made. I'll be highlighting various pages on Facebook over the coming weeks if you happen to be a member there.

Remember that if you have bookmarked any of the old pages directly, those links will no longer work.

Also, I have brought back some very old patterns which have been updated, some with new photos. I have tried to give them all the same basic format as I went through them. I'd like to remake each item in the future, both to verify instructions and to update photos.

You can use the contact page at the site to let me know how you like/dislike the new site, and any problems you encounter.

Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

on my hook

Here's what's been on my hook... dishcloths and a scarf.

single crochet in blo

my reversible dishcloth pattern

straight single crochet, the yarn made such an interesting pattern

double crochet in blo with a dc edging

Seed stitch scarf

Happy crocheting!

Monday, November 12, 2012

troop hat update

I ran across Rachel's blog post at Maybe Matilda and thought it an excellent tutorial as an introduction to crochet for those wanting to learn. Thought I'd share the link.

I want to thank Ellen, Judy, and Faye for the troop hats that were sent recently. Our local paper ran an article about the care packages in which these hats will be put. The hats are not specifically mentioned though caps are mentioned as a needed item. Other items that are needed are:

•Lip balm
•Disposable razors
•Body wash
•Foot powder
•Toothpaste and toothbrushes
•Shaving cream/gel
•Crackers, peanuts, nuts, chips, hard candy, beef jerky
•Candy (no chocolate, gummy or taffy)
•Toilet tissue
•Dental floss
•Newspapers, books and magazines
•Shampoo and conditioner

The article goes on to say:
The gift packages will arrive in time for Christmas.
Items to be donated may be dropped off at one of these locations; at Thrift Village Pharmacy in Luling, Majoria’s Supermarket in Boutte, the West Regional Library in Luling and the Paradis Library.
Additionally, monetary donations towards shipping cost of the boxes is being collected at the Capital One Bank in Luling.
The deadline for item collection is Nov. 25.
I realize most of you are not local, but if anyone is local and wants to save on shipping, those are the places that are collecting.

An important note is that I just received notice that only 75 hats are needed by the deadline, not 150 as I was previously told. One of the units is not going to be set up for mail by Christmas so hats will be sent to them, but not for another few months. I've already got close to 50 hats and have enough yarn to make maybe 3 or 4 more.

In other news, daughter and I are still working on web site. I've put a lot of pictures in the albums and have done the captions on most.There are probably some pictures that didn't get moved over because of the way it has to be done but that's not a critical thing.

Photos in the dictionary will be put up later.

Most of the patterns have been tackled. I am thinking I might make the font size larger on them, but the text has been gone over. I still have one or two for which I need to make the item so I can take new photos. As I might have said before, I hope to do this for more of the projects as time allows later.

That's about it for now. Hope everything is getting geared up for the holidays. It's certainly not too early to think of handmade Christmas gifts.

Happy crocheting!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

troop hats and site update

I am happy to report that I have 33 hats ready to deliver to Donna for the Louisiana troop in Afghanistan. Big thanks to Annemarie, Rosemary, Myrna, Joyce, and Carla. I am expecting more to come in the next couple of weeks as well as crocheters have contacted me for information. I appreciate each hat.

I was reading a guest blog post that Kathryn did over at Stitch and Unwind. I was intrigued by the idea she put forth on cutting up lines of different patterns, putting them together and working the "new" pattern. What a crazy - and fun - idea! I think I must do that soon. I'm curious to see what I would come up with.

I've been so busy working on the web site to the exclusion of most other things. I've reworked some of the old patterns. I'd like to do them all, but of course won't have time to do that if I ever want the site live in this century. LOL

Here are some things I've completed recently.

Chevron scarf

Jamie scarf

Quick Scarf

striped scarf

dishcloth worked in blo

Dinah's Tears square

front post dc hat

Spiked dishcloth
There may be other things as well, but you'll have to wait and see them when the site debuts. (All of the above patterns will be available on site.)

Finally, I hope all my friends out there who experienced the wrath of Hurricane Sandy are safe and dry. My prayers go with you.

Happy crocheting!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hook and Needle Club

I received my Hook and Needle Club kit last week. I don't have the time right now to work on it, but it is one that I am anxious to try.

I haven't opened the package because it would just be too tempting!

First, I must get these troop hats done. I may work this kit before I hit the donated yarn though. :-) So much yarn temptation!

If you are using the hat patterns I posted, please do check the posts before commencing as I update the actual post if I find errors or make changes.

As I'm going through the patterns to put on the new Crochet Cabana site, I've found some minor errors and have changed a few things. Of course, you know that means I probably made new errors! LOL

The good news is that many of the patterns I had on the site years ago will be back. These are not fancy patterns - I lean towards the simple, for beginners in most cases, though I do challenge the beginner to  use a few special stitches like front post and cross-stitch and V-stitch. These are not difficult stitches once you get to know them. You will find simple hats, scarves, afghans, shawls, dishcloths and a few miscellaneous items like simple baby blocks, beanbag, bookmarkers, placemats etc.

I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am hopeful it won't be too long before we can have the site up and running though everything might not be in place.

I spent a good part of this weekend putting photos in photo albums on Picasa/Google+. However, although it was easy to add the photos, I have found photos appearing in the wrong albums and when I move or delete them they don't seem to leave the incorrect spot and there are multiple copies of things in some folders. I will take a break and see if when I come back to it everything works better. :-) Then I'll decide if that is what I want to do with the photo section.

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

troop hats and wedding afghan

The afghan for which I made the cross-stitch squares a while back has been delivered to the happy couple, so I can now post pics of it.

I made the 6" squares - we used 72 of them laid out 8 x 9. Daughter edged and assembled them. The edging is one daughter designed herself. What a team! :-)

I also received this wonderful outpouring of generosity in boxes and boxes of donated yarn from Beth W. in Texas. A good portion of this is cotton yarn and I can't wait to get my little hands on it. First I have to finish with the troop hats. Then yes, I'll be digging in. I will be making lots of dishcloths, squares, scarves and whatever I can with this generous donation.

A quick note about troop hats, and really anything you make. When joining yarn for whatever reason, please don't knot and cut or leave just an inch of yarn. Leave several inches, please, and sew it in. Also, if you work in a spiral, please make sure your final round ends up even with your previous round. Thanks!

Happy crocheting!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

update on hats

I've been busy making hats for the troops for my friend's project. These hats will go to a Louisiana unit serving in Afghanistan. Two friends sent money for yarn and I have made hats in their names.

Here's what I have so far - 11 hats made in chestnut brown, deep olive, and black.

Note that I have made some changes to the patterns. In particular, the green color should be Deep Olive, not Eucalyptus. When the yarn came in I saw the Eucalyptis was not as dark as I thought it would be. I hope I didn't mess anyone up with my mix up.

In the Basic Beanie I changed the actual pattern a bit, starting the work even roound one increase later. IOW It is 12, 24, 36, 48, 48, 60, 60, 72, 72, 84 and then work even to 7 1/2". Then 4 sc rounds.

I don't think I changed the other patterns except for the yarn color, but you might want to get the latest version regardless.

Heads come in different sizes, so it is likely no matter what size the hat is, it will fit someone.

Happy crocheting!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Happy 15th Anniversary

I wanted to acknowledge Crochet Cabana's 15th anniversary on the WWW. It's been a fun and interesting ride. There have been many changes since 1997, particularly in myself! I've learned a lot in the past 15 years, both about crochet and about being a website owner.

We're still working on the new web site. As you can imagine it's a humongous task but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am presently going through patterns and updating where needed. I can't actually work every pattern, but I have found a few things that needed to be changed, mostly on the older ones.

I plan to put up some patterns you haven't seen in many years. Some almost as old as the web site but I think still good for today's crocheters. My patterns generally fall in the easy to intermediate category. Favored colors change over the years, but the same patterns can be used with many different color schemes with good result

The biggest change will be the use of more video tutorials and less pictures. I've said this before, but I wanted to emphasize it again so that those who work better with pictures can have the opportunity to either work the tutorials now or save off the pictures for later (for your own use only - don't post anywhere). The pdf files I have made for teachers do contain the pictures and are available for purchase by anyone who desires them. I am hopeful, however, that most of my readership will be able to use the videos without a problem. Remember the pause button is your friend! :-)

It's been a delight to serve the crochet community the past 15 years. I hope to be able to continue to do so for many years to come.

Let's take a walk through memory lane. Here are some of the banners used for Crochet Cabana through the years.

And the new banner ... heh You didn't really think I'd show you, did you? Soon. It will be soon. I will give you a hint. It is not like any of these others. :-)

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Interview with Kathryn Vercillo of Crochet Concupiscence

I was excited to have the opportunity to interview Kathryn Vercillo, author of the wonderful book Crochet Saved My Life, and owner of the website Crochet Concupiscence. If you've never been to Crochet Concupiscence, you need to set aside a few hours and browse. Kathryn has a bit of everything. She's done the research. You just need to sit down and absorb it all.

I'd like to thank Kathryn for taking the time to share her thoughts with us all.  I know I personally enjoyed learning more about this multi-talented crocheter. I've sprinkled a few photos throughout the interview which Kathryn has graciously shared.

Where did the name Crochet Concupiscence come from?
Everyone asks me that (and they also always ask how to say “concupiscence”)! I knew that I wanted a blog name that included the word crochet (since that’s what I write about) and that reflected my true love for the craft. I thought about a lot of related names that just didn’t ring right for me – Crochet Love, Crochet Mistress, Crochet Obsession. I’ve always been a fan of alliteration so I started looking at “c” words that would go with crochet. Concupiscence is really mostly a religious word but at its core relates to passion for something. I know the word because I’d heard it in a movie where the main character is a lover of long words and it came to mind and stuck. I love the name of my blog. It has a nice ring to it and it’s the kind of word that people notice and look at twice because it’s unfamiliar.

How many years have you been crocheting?
I learned to crochet a chain as a child but I didn’t do anything more with it until my mid-late twenties. I guess it was in about 2009 that I taught myself how to crochet again and have been doing so avidly ever since. I crochet pretty much every day so I’ve packed a lot of learning into those three years since I got started!

Your blog is so expansive, with such a wide variety of topics, that I can see how one could get lost in it and forget to actually crochet. How do you choose topics on which to focus? Is there a process you go through where you seek out particular topics or is it more random in that you come across something that whets the appetite for more information on that topic? Perhaps a combination?
That’s a great question. When I first started I knew that I wanted to cover as much as possible about the craft of crochet on Crochet Concupiscence. I also knew that I would only be able to do that if I was organized about it so I created a loose plan to cover certain topics on certain days. You can still see that on the blog today. For example, I almost always cover crochet art and artists on Mondays, crochet in fashion on Thursdays, etc.

I also do a second post each day and that’s on a more general topic. I find those topics because I read lots and lots of crochet news and crochet blogs so anything that interests me in those can potentially become a blog post that would go live on one of those other times on the blog.

As the blog develops, I try to pay attention to what my readers are most interested in seeing. When I get a lot of questions about a topic I try to do a post to cover that topic on the blog. For example, I’ve recently had several people ask about plus size crochet patterns so I’m working on coming up with a post that covers that topic. I always make sure that the posts are something that interests me so that it stays true to my own voice at all times but I also listen to the readers.

365 ways to wear crochet

You provide a needed focus on crochet which I think helps to spread the craft. What do you personally envision as the main purpose of your blog?
Thanks – I do try to provide that focus and hope that it helps spread the craft of crochet. I love many crafts but I’m a crocheter through and through and that’s the main thing I want to support on Crochet Concupiscence. I see Crochet Concupiscence as having two important purposes:

1.    Crochet Concupiscence is designed to be a hub of information about all aspects of crochet where people can come and find links to more information about any part of the craft that might interest them. In line with this, it is a blog that celebrates all of the potential of the craft of crochet.

2.    Crochet Concupiscence also serves as a place to connect the crochet community. I do this through supporting the work of other crocheters, spreading the latest in their crochet news and trying to serve as a safe space where people can share their crochet stories.

I have just published my book, Crochet Saved My Life, and that’s becoming an increasingly important part of the blog as well. The book is about the health benefits of crafting so I’m writing more and more about the research and stories showing that. I also just launched a related Ravelry group of the same name that further serves as that “safe space” where people can share their crochet/health stories.

Is there a particular facet of crochet that interests you more than others? In other words, when you think "crochet" what immediately comes to mind?
I personally am especially interested in crochet art. I love the fact that you can take a really basic skill that almost anyone can learn and use it to create art that is unique, filled with self-expression and can say so much in a visual way. 

Your blog contains such a wide variety of featured projects. Do you find yourself drawn to the unusual and unique?
Yes, since I’m really interested in the art aspect of crochet I do find myself drawn to a more unique set of projects than the average crafter. I am also really interested in crochet fashion that is unique and stands out from the crowd and I try to pull that out and highlight it on the blog.

The funny thing is that most of the things that I actually crochet are pretty plain and normal and average. I love making large granny square blankets, for example. So in my own crafting, I’m less unique, but when I’m looking at what other people are making I’m really drawn to those eye-catching things that are just “different”.

I noticed you have a section for blogs written in foreign languages. What will crocheters get from these sites if they don't speak the language? Do you find that the translation sites do a good job of interpreting crochet terminology or are symbols or photos needed to get the most out of these sites?
Yes, I love supporting crochet blogs from other countries for a variety of reasons. First of all, this is right in line with my goal to make Crochet Concupiscence a place that connects crocheters from all different walks of life while simultaneously educating people about work they might not already know of in the crochet community. And also, I really enjoy the fact that crochet itself is our shared language and transcends the actual word language that we each may use.

I do think that there’s something of a learning curve when tackling projects and patterns shown on a blog in a different language. I use Google Translate on my blogs so I get a basic translation into English but of course those translation tools aren’t always accurate. Luckily, most crochet bloggers share a lot of pictures, especially if they’re creating a tutorial, so it’s usually possible to figure out what they’re trying to share.

I think that even if you don’t work on the projects it’s fun to look at foreign language crochet blogs just to get inspiration from the things that you see there!

You sometimes tackle controversial topics. Do you see yourself in a sense as a sort of arbiter in presenting all sides of a particular topic?
I try to cover all different types of topics related to crochet and although crochet isn’t too controversial of a topic it sometimes does play into other controversial issues. For example, I’ve covered crochet in prisons, fair trade crochet, environmental issues, street art and crochet health issues. I definitely think that it is important to present all sides of the issue when covering controversial topics. More than that, I think it’s important to highlight that all different opinions are accepted on the blog as long as anyone who comments does so respectfully.

What prompted you to seek out others who have benefited from crochet in the special way highlighted in Crochet Saved My Life? How did you find those willing to share their stories?

I originally just wanted to share my own story about crocheting through depression and to do research into why it was that crochet helped me so much. As I began to post related blog posts on Crochet Concupiscence I started to get many comments and responses from other people who had found that crochet had helped them heal from various conditions. I was so interested in these stories that the idea for the book just grew into covering many, many, many different conditions and the benefits crochet had for people going through those things.

The more that people shared their stories, the more honored I felt to be trusted to tell those intimate stories in a safe, honest way. This really encouraged me to put my heart further into the book and to try to do everyone justice. I got all of the early stories from people who saw me talking on the blog about crochet and health and starting to send me comments. I then put out specific calls for stories on the blog asking for more related stories. Sometimes when I wanted to cover a specific topic in more depth, such as PTSD, I’d put out a call just for that on my blog and on sites like Twitter.

Everyone was so generous in sharing their stories with me. I feel that there is a lot of benefit to sharing our own individual stories and in hearing the true stories of others so it was great for me to have the opportunity to share all of that with everyone.

Can you share something about the publication process?
I chose to self-publish Crochet Saved My Life through Amazon’s CreateSpace tool. I feel really comfortable with writing, editing, layout, design, marketing, etc. so I was confident that I could do well in self-publishing. I think self-publishing offers the benefit of being able to do all of the things that you want to do in your own way, but of course the flip side is that you take on tons of responsibility. It’s worked really well for me and I’d recommend self-publishing to anyone who likes wearing lots of different hats and learning all aspects of the publishing and promotion business.

My husband sometimes wonders why I need all these hooks and yarn. Does your family support your crocheting "habit"? Do they help you with the site?
Tell your husband to read my book!  :-)  No I’m kidding. People who don’t crochet may not understand the importance of it but I’ve found that most family members will eventually see what pleasure it gives you and that makes them realize how valuable it is to me. My own family is really supportive of all of my work. They don’t help me with any of it but they spread the word and support it. I also have really supportive friends who are very generous in sharing my work with others as well.
One place where crochet gathers in Kathryn's home

Have you taught any of your family members to crochet?
My mom originally taught me to crochet as a child. Then she kind of forgot and when I learned again she also learned again and has been doing crochet of her own recently. I also taught my sister to crochet. Every time she comes to visit she has to re-learn and we always work on something together.

Do you design and sell your own pieces?
I create my own pieces without patterns although I’m not very good at tracking the process so I don’t turn them into patterns of my own. The result is a whole wardrobe full of unique one-of-a-kind items that I wear myself.

I don’t sell my own pieces, although I do eventually want to do some sales. I keep saying I’m going to start what I call an Etsy Pop-Up store where I do themed collections just for a couple of weeks out of each season but it always seems like there are so many other things to do with my books and blog that I haven’t quite gotten that plan off of the ground yet.

Where can we find you on the web?

It’s a long list, here we go:
         Crochet Concupiscence
         Crochet Concupiscence on Twitter as @CrochetBlogger
         Crochet Concupiscence on G+
         Crochet Saved My Life (the book)
         Crochet Saved My Life on Facebook 
         Crochet Saved My Life at Amazon

         Kathryn Vercillo writing site
         Kathryn Vercillo on Facebook 
         Kathryn Vercillo on Twitter as @KathrynVercillo
         Kathryn Vercillo on Pinterest
         Kathryn Vercillo on Goodreads

And I think I’m forgetting some but those are the main places I’m active.

Do you have any upcoming projects? Are you planning a new book?
I always have more projects! The next book that I’m working on is a series of crochet exercises designed to improve health, creativity and quality of life. Basically it’s an “art journal” of exercises for personal growth except that all of the exercises incorporate crochet and are designed for crocheters. That will have a 2013 release date.

It was wonderful chatting with Kathryn. If you'd like to check out some of her past works, you can find her author page at Amazon here. Past books include Ghosts of Alcatraz, Ghosts of San Francisco, and When Grandma Isn't Crocheting, She's Hunting Big Game.

Happy crocheting!