Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Hooks and squares

In the WordPress blog I've been posting squares. I set myself a challenge to make a square (or some project) with each of my hooks. The squares are mostly the Cross Stitch Square designed by my daughter, Kate Smith. I've made thousands of these squares. I know some people don't like to make the same thing over and over but I don't mind it. It's mindless.

I warn you that I collect hooks and I have a lot of them! I have quite a few hooks from Polymer Clay Shed. She sells both Boye and Bates style hooks and I have some of both. After my hand surgery, my crocheting style changed for a while in that I went to the knife hold rather than my usual pencil hold. Also, though I had always been a "Boye" gal, I found the Bates style hooks worked well for me during that transitional time. Now I can use both!

Here are some of the pictures I've posted. It's only interesting if you want to see the different hook styles. I'm still working on this project, currently using my Furls hook collection. In the WordPress posts I have additional info on the hooks in some of the pictures but I thought it would make this post too long if I included all that. 

These are glow in the dark hooks

Happy crocheting!


Saturday, October 1, 2022

Crochet Cabana 25th Anniversary


It’s that time again. Crochet Cabana is having another anniversary! I am celebrating 25 years online.

As I did for the 15th and 20th anniversaries, I ordered hooks for myself with the dates on them.

The top one came from Engraving for You at Etsy. The other one is from M and M Laser Works at Etsy.

Here are the previous ones. I know the wooden ones with the lighthouse/dolphins are from Craft Designs for You. They don't make those anymore or I would certainly have gotten another one.

The bottom one is from Engraving for You at Etsy. I was happy with that hook which is why I got another one for my 25th.

The two blue ones are from Polymer Clay Shed. I've bought many hooks from Carola and she is wonderful to work with.

Please indulge me while I do a bit of reminiscing… Way back in October 1997 I started a page or two about crochet as part of my personal site (Sandra’s Backyard) and put it out there on the Internet. I hardly knew what the Internet was at that point. LOL I had to coax my husband to help me create those pages. I just wanted to have something I could easily access. I did it to help myself remember things and find them quickly! How times have changed.

The Sandra’s Backyard logo was created for me by my son for my personal site.

After those first months, I was able to do most of the site work myself on Sandra’s Backyard. The crochet pages had expanded so much that I had to separate them from the personal information which consisted of mostly homeschooling information. My kids are long graduated from school now so I let Sandra’s Backyard go a while back. It was a difficult decision and hard to let it go though.

I created another site – Crafty Corral – for crafts not related to crochet. I’ve since let that one go as I really don’t do a lot of other crafts anymore.

Here are the dates for those who like details.

Crochet Cabana began in October 1997 (domain name was purchased March 2001)
Crochet Cabana’s Crafty Corral began November, 2004. Now discontinued.
The Crochet Cabana Blog began May 11, 2010.
Previous site overhaul was in November, 2012.

Current site overhaul was in September 2017 which combined the blog and website in one location. The reason for the overhaul was that the program I was using then was discontinued and I couldn’t do updates.

The last major site overhaul in 2017 forced me to learn WordPress. WordPress, of course, updates and changes things all the time so it’s a constant battle to keep things in order. While sometimes it is frustrating, overall it’s been okay. I particularly like having the blog and the website together.

The logos have been redone a few times through the years as well. Here are a few of the logos I’ve had.

My daughter designed those beauties. The one I have now I did myself and it’s not great but it serves.

I’ve changed hosts multiple times. I’ve used free hosts and paid hosts. We were on dial-up when I first started and let me tell you that FTPing 50 pages takes a LONG time! LOL I was almost dancing around the living room when we got rid of dial-up. It was amazing. I couldn’t believe how fast the files moved over. Now, of course, I am spoiled and constantly ask why the Internet is so slow. heh

Keeping up the site is a lot of work but it is a labor of love. Although I try to keep things current, crocheting has changed a lot in the past decade. I don’t mean the basics – those have been the same since its inception. Designers, however, are coming up with new ways to combine those stitches and that is a good thing. It keeps things fresh.

YouTube and other streaming services have also changed the way crocheters look for help and inspiration. It’s easy to watch a video. Fiber Spider is one of my favorites there for patterns. While YouTube is a great tool for the visual learner, anyone can post a video there. You can’t be sure how experienced and knowledgeable the person is. It’s a good idea to watch videos by several different people for the thing you’re trying to learn. At one time, I was able to make videos. I did enjoy it when I could do it, but I haven’t been able to do that for a while now.

There are so many wonderful teachers of crochet out there. They come from all the corners of the globe too! Most of the patterns I look at use American terminology – yes there are differences in UK and US terms. MarlyBird, Michael Sellick of the Crochet Crowd, Salena Baca of American Crochet Association, Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts, the Mother and daughters of Daisy Farm Crafts, Daisy Cottage Designs … I could go on and on and on listing them. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of wonderful designers and teachers in the U.S. Some of them specialize in a particular type of crochet. Toni Lipsey does a lot of Tunisian crochet work, for example.

A lot of designers do both crochet and knit as well.

Then there is Bella Coco’s Sarah Jayne Fragola in the UK, a designer I adore. Being across the pond, she uses UK terminology but always notes the American translation. There are other UK crocheters who I love as well, such as Sue Rawlinson. Her patterns are wonderful and I’ve purchased and translated many of them. Yes, it’s a pain to have to translate them but some things are worth the trouble.

As I get older I tend to look for things I can do in a shorter period of time and things that have meaning to me and those for whom I crochet. My first choice is rarely a complicated pattern though I so admire the beautiful creations I see on Facebook and other places.

Well, that ends my look back at the past and my thoughts on the present. I know some of you reading this have traveled this path with me for many years. I appreciate each and every one of you who visits Crochet Cabana.

Who knows where the future will lead? Perhaps I’ll see you back here at the 30th anniversary. 🙂

Happy Crocheting!


Sunday, August 14, 2022

Mid year update

So half of 2022 is gone - well, more than half now as it's August. I happen to think of this blog and thought I'd do an update. Of course, as always, you can see the posts as they happen by going to crochetcabana.com over at Wordpress. At the moment, that's where I do the regular posts.

This year has been the year of scarves. A young relative is fighting for her life at St. Jude and I am sending scarves for her to give to her caregivers. This is a way to both give back to those who care for others and to bring a smile to her sweet face as she loves choosing just the right one for each person and giving them out. I began making these at the end of April. 

Before I started on scarves, however, I completed a number of other projects.

In January 2022, I finished a Doctor Who afghan, an Eagle afghan, and a memory afghan .

You can find the blog post here

The blog post can be found here

The blog post can be found here

In March I made all the pieces for a Kitty Couch, as well as a wee afghan for the kitty. My daughter put it all together.

I also finished a huge afghan - the Lovely Lines CAL by Becca at Mayhem & Majesty. The CAL is free but you can choose to purchase the pdf if you are in a hurry - which I was and I did. It finishes in November 2022 so there are a number of parts you can get for free right now if you want to start it.  

You can find the blog post here

In early April I finished a musical afghan called Beethoven (blog post), also by Becca at Mayhem & Majesty.

I also made a unicorn (blog post) afghan. The pattern is the Celestia pattern at OwlBHooked.

Here are just a few of my favorite scarves. I set a goal for myself of 50 scarves and have surpassed that. I'm working on #68 now. They are still needed and bringing smiles. :-) 

Some of them are patterns from my scarf pattern page. Some became new patterns that were added to that page. Sometimes I make them horizontally and sometimes vertically. I try to make each one different but there are some repeats though in a different color. I favor the front post stitch and the front cross stitch so a lot of them use those stitches.

If you like making scarves, another site with loads of ideas is Kim Jiries blog. She made 115 scarves throughout 2011. I'm thinking I might like to beat that, just for fun. 

That concludes my update for January through mid-August 2022. I hope you enjoyed seeing what I've done. Check out the more recent updates at Crochet Cabana

Happy crocheting!


Saturday, January 15, 2022

Revisitng 2021

As you know, I've moved to Wordpress but every now and then I like to pop in here at Blogger. So let's review the year!

Many of the projects for the year were scarves and wee blankies. I won't reproduce them here as there were so many. If you need more information on anything below just go to the Wordpress site and look in the month mentioned. 

In the latter part of 2020 I made some strips and sent them to my friend Sandy over at the Bridge and Beyond. She assembled them as she had time and this is the beautiful result of our joined efforts. I so much love how this came out!

In February 2021 I discontinued the Facebook page. I didn't feel there was anything there to warrant keeping a page. I mostly just posted a link to the blog post. It just felt redundant.

In March I attended a zoom yarn tasting! This was my first experience with a yarn tasting. It was fun! The way it works is you purchase a sample pack (less than 1 oz of each of 6 yarns) and make something with the small samples if you want to. Then on the zoom we talk about it. The yarn was all by Berroco. It was hosted by McNeedles. Here is the link but it's long over now. My favorite of the samples was called Handpaint

In the spring I worked on a CAL by Sirdar - the Sweet Blossom afghan by Sue Rawlinson, who quickly became one of my favorite designers! I found many of her other designs and purchased them. I bought the kit for this afghan and it went to my niece as a wedding gift. It was a fun project and nice to have a group to talk to about it as there was a Facebook group created for the project. Many of the crocheters went on to do other Sue Rawlinson patterns as well.

In June I purchased a Wool Jeanie. It quickly became one of my favorite and most useful tools in my crochet arsenal. I even bought one for my daughter and she agreed!

In July I finished a hippo afghan which I put aside for a Christmas gift. The pattern is by Becca at Mayhem & Majesty.

In August I read One for the Hooks - the newest book by my favorite crochet mystery writers, Betty Hechtman

At the end of August our area was hit by the devastating Hurricane Ida. We are still not recovered from that. We are personally still waiting to have our roof replaced but are otherwise okay. We are hoping that will happen next month (February 2022). We did not have Internet for several weeks and had spotty phone service so I wasn't able to do any updates to the website for a while. We didn't have power but we did have generators and a window unit so my daughter's family stayed with us until power came back on. We were kept pretty busy and it was hot as we couldn't run the generator constantly so I didn't do much crocheting.

If anyone is interested here are the Ida facts I gathered along the way for our street.
Hurricane Ida (8-29-2021)
Power out 8-29-2021 to 9-10-2021 (13 days), boil water to 9-17-2021 (20 days), limit sewer usage to 9-19-2021 (22 days), curfew to 9-20-2021 (23 days), no Cox Internet to 10-2-2021 (possibly 10-1 during the night (34 days)[note: Internet was steady for a day, then went out, then came back for a few days),  burn ban rescinded day 48, debris pickup discontinued 12-5-2021

My husband had just had a birthday and had gotten a pellet grill so we had that and a regular gas grill as well as a small camp stove. My daughter's chickens survived so we had fresh eggs, which is a staple of my own diet! 

In October I was back in gear with crochet. I made two little heart blankets for twins due in the spring. the pattern is from Mayhem & Majesty and is called Woven Hearts. I love her numerical filet patterns and have bought several of them.

October was a busy crochet month! My grandson's favorite color is orange so I made him this little afghan. I didn't use a pattern. It is just strips using dc. The yarn pattern seemed to need a simple stitch.

In November I finished an afghan for a relative going through troubled times.

I also made an afghan from my nephew's daughter at their request. They have two daughters so I decided the younger daughter also needed one. :-) The first one uses my Shell Scarf pattern, made in strips and then joined. The second one is the Beginner's Luck pattern I've used many times. 

Also in November, I began work on putting up the patterns by my friend Diana Sharp, who passed away a few years ago. Her family gave me permission to add them to the site as they are not available anywhere. I did several of them but had to pause on that project as I had surgery in December on my right thumb and couldn't crochet for a time. I am back crocheting but still having physical therapy.

That's all for 2021. I hope you enjoyed this look back at the year in pictures. 

Happy Crocheting!

Happy crocheting!