Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chain Reaction

Some time ago I purchased Crochet Me Workshop: Chain Reaction Afghan Project Crochet-Along with Kristin Omdahl and Marcy Smith.
My purpose was so that when I was ready to make those squares I would have specific instructions to go with the printed patterns. I don't regret that purchase. However, I finally pulled it out and was watching it yesterday while sofa-ridden with a pulled back muscle.

It is NOT what I call a Crochet-along. They do not start a square and then take you through the making of it. They do show you how to work specific stitches in the squares and give many tips on designing your afghan and assembling it. It is well worth the purchase, but it is not a start to finish guide to each square. If you are working the square patterns via paper and need a bit of extra help with making the different stitches, this is the perfect thing.

I put it aside for now, but will pull it out again if I have trouble with any of the squares as I try to work them. I didn't want to have to print out all the paper patterns, but I might end up doing that after all. [Added: If you want the patterns, they are available for free at the Crochet Me web site. Here Chain Reaction Afghan Project or Chain Reaction Project ]

If you enjoy crochet-alongs, you might want to have a look at Bernat's mystery CAL going on right now. I'm bad with mysteries. I always want to know what's going to happen immediately. That said, I love to try patterns. LOL Maybe I'll wait until it's done and then do all the squares at the same time.

I haven't worked either of these though I'm tempted. :-) Never enough time to do all I'd like to do. I have a number of videos I'd like to make. Might work on that today if I can. My washing machine is very loud and right next to where I videotape. I wash pretty much every day ... We'll see how that works out.

I also received the Vanna's Choice yarn with which I want to make a spider afghan out of the strip pattern I used for the spider scarves. The "plan" is to make spider strips and name strips and join them together. We'll see how well that plan works out. :-) I have two spider strips completed and one name strip.

I'm also still making yo-yos and trying squares between projects. What are you working on?

Happy crocheting!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Beyond the Square Crochet Motif book review

I have been anxiously awaiting this book and it did not disappoint. The book is Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs: 144 circles, hexagons, triangles, squares, and other unexpected shapes.

I actually sat down and started reading it rather than flipping through the pictures as I normally do with crochet books. Don't get me wrong, the pictures are amazing. Very clear. Nice variety of colors for every palate (yeah, that was a bad play on words). The info on the beginning pages just caught my eye - and my interest.

From how to figure out yarn amounts needed to explanations of terms and reading charts, it's all there. One section I found particularly interesting was "some stitch abbreviations and symbols". I know the stitch abbreviations, but have never worked a pattern completely in symbols, so I found this very interesting and informative. She even includes circles on which to place your own symbols (Photocopy the page first, though. Don't write in your book!)

She gives you different options for beginning and ending a round, hints and tips, how to join motifs and more. Another interesting section was "the principles of flatness". You may already know the standard increases to keep your circle flat (6 for sc, 8 for hdc, 12 for dc, and 18 for tr). Those are well known. But she goes a step further with what to do if this is not working for you. She also gives options for edgings and different ways to work your corners. I have a number of these in many of my patterns but it is really good to see them side by side and how they differ in look.

Of course the bulk of the book is made up of motif patterns and there are a great variety to work with. Circles, triangles, hexagons, squares and even a section on "unusual shapes" which includes a rectangle, oval, star, heart, half circle and even interlinked circles.

All in all, if you're looking for a book on motifs with just that little bit extra, I recommend Edie Eckman's book. I got this one from the library, but it's going right on my Amazon list!

Happy crocheting!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Jacob's Ladder finis

It's done! The Jacob's Ladder is in the wash and will be delivered tomorrow to my mother.

I know I will come back to this post at some point so let me just reiterate the details of this ghan.

I used a J hook to make my foundation chain of 212, an I hook for the body, and an H hook for the edging.

There are 10 cable loop sections. The sequence is 10 dc, 10 chains, 10 dc. On the last row I used 7 chains between each section.

I used Red Heart Super Saver yarn in hunter green, bright yellow, claret, cherry red, soft white, and coffee for the Jacob's Ladder sections. I used RHSS buff fleck for the filet name sections and edging.

I used a 3dc filet mesh.

For the edging I worked one round single crochet, then I worked one round with sc along the buff fleck edge and hdc around the rest of it. Then I worked one round of faux picot which I define as (sc, ch 2, sc, sk 1) in same space. In corners I used ch 3 instead of ch-2 for no particular reason except I'm wild that way. LOL

Before looping the cables it was about 59" wide x 32" length. After looping the cables it was about 42" wide and 32" length. After adding the edging rounds, the finished size is about 44" wide x 46" length.

I think that's it. This was a fun ghan to do even with having to redo the first name section because *embarrassed chuckle* I worked it on the wrong side!

As always I learned some things while making it. I often wish I could do every project twice so I could get it completely right. Is that ever possible? To get something just right? :)

Happy crocheting!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jacob's Ladder progress

More progress on the Jacob's Ladder. I finished the two name sections. They came out okay. A little wider than the rest. If I do another like this, which I likely won't heh, I'd put fewer stitches across the top of my Jacob's Ladder or use a smaller hook to make that section. But it looks okay and you can make out the name if the background is a good color.

I still plan to add a picot edging around in addition to the single crochet edging already on there.

I'll post complete details in the next post.

Happy crocheting!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Jacob's Ladder progress

More progress on the Jacob's Ladder.

Let's review. I'm using Red Heart Super Saver yarn and an I hook. I have 10 cable sections. I actually meant to have 14 but I messed up. I am not sure how I did that because my foundation chain came out right. *scratches head* Anyway there are 10.

Here is what I've done thus far before I made the cables. The size here is about 59" x 32". I probably stretched it out a little more than yesterday when it measured 58 1/2". It's very pliable at this stage with all the chain sections. The length is 32" here.

Then I worked the "ladders".

The width is now 42". The length is still 32". That is not surprising since you have double crochets along each row which gives you the height. If anything was lost it was made up by the hdc row which catches the top chain loop to make the last cable ladder.

So I lost 17" of of 59" (approx). Let's just say close to a third to a make it easy.

The ghan is not going to BE that size, of course, because I still will be adding at least one more section with my mom's first name. I might also add another section with her last name if I have enough yarn. I am hoping one skein will be enough for one strip. We'll see.

So that's it for today's update. I hope to finish this project by Wednesday because I am going to see my mom Thursday and would like to bring it to her then.

Happy crocheting!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Jacob's Ladder wip

I thought I'd update on the Jacob's Ladder afghan wip to replace my mom's lost one. I've done 10 cable sections - well, what will be cable sections when they're done. So far, as you can see I have green, yellow, claret, red, off white and am working on brown. I have two skeins of buff fleck and I think I will use that for the name sections.

This section is about 58 1/2" wide at this point. It will be less wide after the cables are made. It is about 27" in length but I'm not finished adding to it and also the name sections will add quite a bit to the finished ghan.

Just for reference, I am using an I hook.

More on that as I get more accomplished.

In other news, the other day I got curious about how long I've been a member of CGOA (Crochet Guild of America). I wrote to them and the office was kind enough to check for me. They don't have a lot of paper records before 2004 but they did find a member list from 1996 that had my name on it, so I was a member since at least that year. Since the organization was founded (according to their Facebook page) in 1994, I was there during its early days. I was surprised, but pleased to find out I've had such a long association with this great organization.

Crochet Cabana has been around since 1997 so we are close in age to the national organization. :-)

Happy crocheting!