"Live Peace – Speak Kindness – Dwell in Possibility" ~Amanda Tapping

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  • Photo Apr 29, 5 01 38 PM

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Checking In

Yes, I’m still around. I apologize that I have been so silent lately, so much has been going on with life in general and I’m not one to blog about my personal life very much, unless crochet is involved somehow, anyway. I know I have talked about a new hat pattern in my previous posts, and I do plan on getting that up for sale, as soon as I am able to get decent photos of the finished hats. I finally got a mannequin head for hat photos, so hopefully soon.

I did have a bit of a creative dry spell after the hats were finished, but my creative muse has recently come back with an idea for a pattern eBook. It will be patterns for shawls, wraps, and possibly a capelet or 2.

(I do have bit of a personal update under the “read more” at the bottom of this post.)

This will most likely be the only time you will see me write so much about any of my personal life. I will most likely stick to my crochet talk and new upcoming patterns in future posts. I am very excited about the eBook project. I already have a wrap, 2 different triangle shawls, and a hooded capelet, all waiting to be written up. The hat pattern is already written, just waiting for photos and some minor editing done.

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Just a Quick Update

Wow! It’s been busy around here, with 2 daughters graduating, and a son finishing up his sophomore year in high school! My Step-Daughter had just graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio, the commencement ceremony was on Memorial Day. It was very exciting, First Lady Michelle Obama was there and spoke to the graduating class, also the commencement address was by Marian Wright Edelman, who is the founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund! This coming Sunday, May 31, is my Daughters commencement. She is graduating from high school, and will be attending a local Community College in the fall. My eldest son just finished a month of Physical Therapy last week and is doing well. His PCP is very happy with his continued progress though all of his health challenges. We are so very proud of both of our girls, and both of our boys, and all of their achievements! Love and Congrats to them all! <3

Through all of this, I still crocheted, taking it wherever I go. I even crocheted on the 2-1/2 hour car trip down to Oberlin, Ohio for the commencement. I have finished crocheting the various versions of the “Winter into Summer Hat”, now renamed “A Hat for All Seasons Peasant Hat”. I have a pattern written up, but still need to get photos of the hats. After the photos are taken, and last minute proof-reading and editing, if needed, then I will be putting the pattern up for purchase. Right now I am working on another hat, similar in shape to the “AHfAS” Peasant Hat, but much more lacy, worked up in size 10 cotton, and it will definitely be something for summer. If it doesn’t work out as a hat, it’ll be a very pretty doily instead ;)

Learning Something New, Knooking!

I’m taking a short break on the Winter into Summer Hat pattern/project right now because my husband got me a new “toy”, The Knook basic beginners kit by Leisure Arts. For only $7? Why not! Knooking is basically knitting with a modified crochet hook and I remember seeing this kit a year or so ago and being fascinated by the idea. I can knit and feel I am fairly accomplished in my knitting, I’m definitely way beyond the basics, I just crochet more than I knit. I’ve also been crocheting many more years longer than I’ve been knitting, so knitting with a crochet hook? Yes, please! I’ve been playing around with it since last night after getting comfortable with holding the “knook” (knitting hook) and making the knit and purl stitches. I found that I have to hold this particular hook more like holding a knitting needle than how I hold a crochet hook to be comfortable. Once I got the basics down, I decided to jump right into making a cable. Last night, I got the hang of making a front cable (holding the stitches to the front), and today I’m trying the back cable (holding the stitches to the back). Next I want to try lacework, with the yarn overs and knitting/purling 2 together stuff. It seems you can do anything that can be done on the needles on the knook and with having a cord hold the unworked stitches as you work, there is no accidentally dropping a stitch, and I found frogging back to fix a mistake is much easier. The only down side I’ve found is that the knooks are more difficult to find and it looks like, in my limited research, there aren’t as many hook sizes and it seems the smallest size is 4.00mm. So, it seems the downside of knooking is the limited hook size choices. I have seen around the web that some people have made their own knooks from regular crochet hooks made from plastic or bamboo, of even from Tunisian (afghan), or double-ended, hooks. What makes the knook different from a crochet hook is a cord attached to the bottom of the hook, whether through a hole or some other method. THIS is one persons way of making a Knook.

What I thought would be fun is a project combining crochet a knitting without having to change from a hook to needles or vice versa. I thought it would be worth the try, anyway.

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Winter into Summer Hat?

I’m starting to get excited about this hat pattern I’m working on. I’ve been trying 4 different weights of yarn, 3 in cotton, 1 acrylic, for this hat that would be good for Spring, Summer, and Fall, then I thought why not try a wool blend for Winter? I think I might even have a skein of Lion Brand Wool Ease in worsted to use. One basic pattern, 4-5 different weight hats. With custom sizing, it could be for child through adult. Even though I think it would be a fairly simple pattern, there will be needed the basic knowledge of how to increase evenly working in the round for a flat circle, because even though I will have the first few rounds written out with where to place the increases, it will be up to the crocheter to continue the increases until the desired measurement is reached. There will be math involved also. I will have the equation where the crocheter will insert the desired head circumference to get the diameter needed before the decrease round is made, along with an example of how I got it for my small head. This will be a very slouchy hat, so it may seem huge at first, but it should turn out to be the correct size in the end.

The idea that is the Winter one will, of course, be heavier and warmer with the wool blend. Then the Summer one would be kind of lacy mesh-like, and a little bit snood-like, in a size 5 thread like Bernat Handicrafter Crochet Thread, weight category 0 lace acrylic thread, or any size 5 cotton thread, but it seems there is a lack of size 5 cotton crochet thread on the internet. I have a ball of Aunt Lydia’s Fast Five cotton crochet thread in my stash, but it seems to have been discontinued. I think size 10 cotton thread would be too fine of a thread for this project. The Bernat Handicrafter size 5 thread surprised me that it is an acrylic thread, because it has the look and feel of mercerized cotton, in my opinion. The nice thing is that it’s fully machine washable and dryable, unlike cotton thread. The lacy mesh-like-ness of the Summer hat would be nice, light, and breezy, and you could tuck long hair up into it like you would with a snood. Then there would be for Spring and Fall, maybe 2 different ones, like one for early-mid Spring/mid-late Fall when the weather is still on the cool side, but not as cold anymore/starting to get cooler/colder, but still on the, using a cotton, like Patons Grace which is a weight category 3 light cotton yarn, to mid-late Spring/early-mid Fall when it’s warming up/cooling down but still kinda on the warmish side, using a cotton, like Aunt Lydia’s Baker’s Cotton or Aunt Lydia’s Fashion 3, which are both a weight category 1 super fine cotton thread, in which the stitches would be slightly mesh-like due to using a hook that is about 5 or 6x’s larger than the recommended hook on the label, but still heavier than the Summer version. The Baker’s Cotton does seem to be just slightly heavier than the Fashion 3 though, but once I have hats made from both, I’ll be able to assess that better. I also think the neat part of this hat idea, no matter what season, not just Summer, is that it would be a good “bad hair day” hat. With the slouchiness of the main body and the fit of the band, you can tuck long hair inside of hat, just like you would do with a snood. My original hat that I made about 8 years ago, when I had very long hair, using the now discontinued yarn, Bernat Cool Crochet, I would tuck my hair up into it often. So, yeah, I’ve put a lot of though into the making of this hat.

Even though I will be writing the pattern with the ch3 at the beginning of each round to act as the first dc of each round, I highly recommend trying out the Chainless Starting Double Crochet to replace the ch3. Moogly has a great tutorial for this stitch that includes both video and pictures along with the written instructions. It took me some practice to master this stitch, but it is so worth it! It has changed my crochet life! The beautiful thing about this stitch when working double crochet in the round is that it makes the “seam”, where you start/end the rounds, practically invisible. I highly recommend this stitch for any project made using double crochet! Working flat? No more holes at the beginning of a double crochet row that you would normally get with beginning the row with a ch3. It is totally worth learning!

No photos until I get them all finished though :D

Spring is Here!

It’s the 2nd day of May and the weather is finally warming up to spring temperatures! It will be nice to be able to go out in the sunshine and crochet again, but that will have to be after the spring cleanup after the mess winter left in our yard. My favorite, in both spring and summer, is going to the lake at my in-laws house and sitting outside on a sunny day, with a bottle of iced tea, my iPod, and my crochet project, under the trees looking over the lake.

at the lake(Photo taken June 14, 2014)

Right now, I am in design mode again. A (hopefully) summery slouchy cotton hat. It’s actually based on a hat that I made (no pattern) about 7 or 8 years ago. I know I wrote it down, but I can’t find my notebook that I wrote it in, so I’ve been trying to recreate it from memory. I’m also trying different yarn/thread ideas for it for the look I want, because the yarn that I originally used, Bernat Cool Crochet, has been long discontinued. I think this might be kind of more of a “recipe” type pattern, because there will be some math going on in it for the crocheter to do to be sure of a good custom fit. I will have the start and the first few rounds written out, so then it will be up to the crocheter to be able to determine how many increase rounds total, by the diameter measurement that needs to be figured out at the start of the pattern, will be needed before the decrease to reach the needed size of the finished hat, then I will have how to decrease and the band/brim and finishing all written down. I would have all of the instructions on how to figure out the needed diameter and finished size. I’m also debating if it’s going to be a paid pattern or not. I hope to be getting many photos of all of the samples in the different yarn/thread ideas. I also told my husband that I need a “head” to be able to do that. I had found a Styrofoam “head” at Meijer, in their craft section, that I can pin cloth onto it I want.

I am also excited to say that my husband (ChaosRaven Cards) and I (by Midknight Designs) now have a showcase at Taylor Town Trade Center on Ecorse Rd in Taylor, Michigan! It’s not much at the moment, but right now I have a few crocheted items and he has a lot of Magic The Gathering cards set up for sale right now. I will be also putting in the case a few of my son’s crocheted roses, plus more of a selection of my crochet than what I have right now in the near future.

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Photo Apr 29, 5 01 38 PM

New Free Pattern!

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve updated. I have taken a break on the shawls to make hats for a family member. This last hat I am quite happy about and decided to write in down and share it.

It’s called Summer Bows Hat and you can find it for download Here, on Ravelry, or on Craftsy.

Photo Apr 13, 4 14 55 PM

Photo Apr 13, 4 40 33 PM

Thread Crocheted Dragon Scale Shrugs – The Very First & The Very Last Made

Finally, just over a month and a half of finishing it, the custom Dragon Scale Shrug has been mailed to Florida and given to my Step-Grandmother. My Mother informed me that she loves it and it fits her very well.

My Mother sent me a photo and I’ve been given permission to post it:

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The white one that my Mother is wearing, is the very first one I ever made. It’s the one that I based my pattern from, and the reason why I learned how to do the Crocodile Stitch. I began it March 22, 2014 and finished it April 10, 2014. My parents came for a visit that summer and I gave it to my mom. When they returned to Florida, my grandma saw it and asked if I could make one for her also. It took me longer to make that one, starting it September and not finishing it until after the Holidays at the beginning of January. But then, I was big time multitasking in the projects at that time, too.

Both shrugs were made with Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Cotton in White and Natural, using the giant 2730yd balls of thread.

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