Tag Archives: crochetbug

Vintage Needlecrafts Pick of the Week: Magic Motif Crochet

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This week’s pick: Magic Motif Crochet by Maggy Ramsay.

Source:  Amazon.com

Publication date: 1987.

Status: Out of print but available at reasonable prices online.

Condition: Very Good.

Craft: Crochet.

Magic Motif Crochet cover

I discovered this week’s pick via this post on one of my favorite blogs, Crochetbug.  Like Leslie, I was very intrigued by the Textured Squares Afghan.

Magic Motif Crochet textured squares

As you can guess, this book is primarily about motif projects.  Though the Textured Squares Afghan is an exercise in pure texture, there are many colorful projects in the book.

Magic Motif Crochet rainbowsThis picture features the Giant Rainbow Ball, a kid’s karate outfit (how awesome is that!), and a fun Rainbow Afghan.

The author, Maggy Ramsay, was apparently based in New York when the book was published.

Magic Motif Crochet Maggie Ramsay

I wonder if she still lives in the area?  I couldn’t find any recent information for her online (although admittedly, I only glanced through the first few pages of the Google search).

I was also intrigued by the different geometric patterns, especially since someone recently asked me to make a Necker cube baby blanket.

Magic Motif Crochet climbing blocks

The Climbing Blocks Afghan is made with 123 diamonds (in three colors) and 6 triangles (for the edges).

Magic Motif Crochet tumbling blocks

The Tumbling Blocks Afghan is made with 23 squares (in two colors), 12 half squares (in two colors), 4 quarter squares (in two colors), and 60 diamonds (in three colors).

(By the way, I didn’t make up baby blanket.  That’s a whole lot of pieces for a project that I don’t get to keep!)

Not all of the projects are solid fabrics.  There are some lacy designs, too.

 

Magic Motif Crochet lace

I especially like this Antique Medallion Placemats and Centerpiece design.

What’s your favorite source of vintage crochet motif patterns?

Vintage Needlecrafts Pick of the Week: Crochet Workshop by James Walters

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This week’s pick: Crochet Workshop by James Walters.

Source:  Amazon.com

Publication date: 1983 reprint of a 1979 publication.

Status: Out of print, but available online (sometimes, for exorbitant prices)  Update: Thanks to PlanetJune for letting me know that Crochet Workshop will be republished by Dover next year.  You can pre-order it on Amazon here.

Condition: Good.

Craft: Crochet.

Crochet Workshop cover

I first learned about this delightful book from Crochetbug.  (You can learn more about James Walters in this post on Crochet Concupiscence.)  Unfortunately, the book’s condition is such that it is difficult to enjoy.  You see, it reeks of smoke.  One day, I hope to air it out enough for me to actually want to read through it, but until then, I am limited to brief moments of picking it up until the smell is unbearable, and then washing my hands profusely.

I did take some time to photograph it so I could share some of it with you.

Crochet Workshop 8 suit
A freeform crochet body suit.

You can almost immediately feel the sense of whimsy, creativity, and joy that Walters has to offer.

Crochet Workshop 67 shaping

The book includes all kinds of information that you would rarely see in a crochet book today.  As a freeform pioneer, Walters shows you how to create your own projects, rather than rely solely on patterns.

Crochet Workshop 105 swirls

There are many great illustrations, and I can’t tell if these are by Walters or someone else.  Here is one showing the progression of various spiral crochet pieces

Crochet Workshop 156 motif2Crochet Workshop 157 motif1

These are part of a section that explains how to construct motifs of different kinds.

Crochet Workshop 207 freeform

There are examples of several freeform garments included in the book…

Crochet Workshop 214 hairpin

as well as explorations of specialized techniques, like hairpin lace.

Crochet Workshop 215 hairpin lace risque

Most of the projects are displayed artfully, rather than functionally.

Crochet Workshop 248 thigh highs

I really wish I could bear to read through this book, because I am sure I would learn a lot and be completely inspired.

Crochet Workshop 225 gown

Hopefully, one day it will come back into print (or be available as an ebook) and I will have the chance to read it cover to cover.  Until then, does anyone have any tips for removing foul odors from books?

NatCroMo13 in Review!

If you’re like me, you have been following along with many sepecial National Crochet Month features and may be behind on your blog reading.

Here’s a quick roundup of my NatCroMo13 posts.

Free Wednesday posts!

blog Rectangular Sampler angle view

Crochet Book Reviews

NatCroMo13 Book Collage

Crochet Hook Reviews

Favorite Online Crochet Resources

Interviews

Pineapples for Everyone Shawl CAL

Pineapples with Underground Crafter CAL

Vintage Needlecrafts Pick of the Week

 

Now, I’m off to recover from posting daily for a month!

Favorite Online Crochet Resources: Project Inspiration at Crochetbug

Every Saturday during National Crochet Month 2013, I’ll be highlighting one of my favorite online crochet resources. Today’s featured site is Crochetbug.

There are many great blogs that I follow.  Crochetbug, written by Leslie Stahlhut, is unique among them.  Crochetbug is Leslie’s personal crochet odyssey.  Her posts read like a personal journey or diary of her crochet life.  At the same time, crocheters everywhere can relate to the experiences she shares through her compelling writing and photos: the challenges of managing stash, finishing projects for deadlines, dealing with creative blocks, and the joys of finding new patterns and projects.

I always find inspiration in her posts, even when she is using patterns or colors that I’m not necessarily attracted to.  If you’re looking for some political inspiration, check out her Crochet Manifesto.  And, if you like suspense, following the progress of Leslie’s annual crochet entry into the county fair is a guaranteed nail biter.  (Spoiler alert: She’ll finish on time, and her project will be awesome.  But you’ll still be on the edge of your seat!)

Leslie also loves vintage books, and introduced me to three that I now own: Magic Motif Crochet (her posts about the textured square), Crochet Workshop (her post), and Better Homes and Gardens Crocheting & Knitting (her posts on the sampler blanket).

You can also find Leslie on Ravelry as crochetbug13.  I hope you’ll check out Crochetbug if you haven’t already!

Vintage Needlecrafts Pick of the Week: Better Homes and Gardens Crocheting & Knitting

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This week’s pick: Better Homes and Gardens Crocheting & Knitting

Source: Paperbackswap.com

Publication date: 1977

Status: Out of print but available online.

Condition: Smells like a basement, but in relatively good condition.

Crafts: Crochet and knitting.

BH&G C&K cover

I went on a hunt for this book after seeing Crochetbug’s version of the afghan on the cover.  (For those of you considering making your own, Crochetbug has set up a page with details about how she made hers.  You can also find more information on her Ravelry project pages for her original and reprised versions.)

BH&G C&K afghan
Jackie H. Curry’s Granny Square Sampler Afghan.

I even tried my hand at some of the blocks, which I eventually donated.

This book has a lot of fun home decor crochet and knitting projects.

Some of my favorites…

The Old Fashioned Windowpane Knitted Afghan by Winnie Juhl.

BH&G C&K scraps

Spiral Crocheted Table Toppers by Mary Walker Phillips.  (Side note: Mary Walker Phillips was a fascinating woman.  You can read more about her cultural impact in her obituary.)

BH&G C&K placemat

 

Crocheted Bed Throw.

BH&G C&K bedspreadFilet Crochet Chair Set.

BH&G C&K chair

Cozy Quilt Patterned Throw by Susan Toplitz.

BH&G C&K cozy quilt

This book is unusual for the time because it actually lists the names of the designers (in the back, but still).  Until recently, relatively few designers were actually able to include their names in their publications.  Most designs were unattributed, with the yarn company or magazine acting as the implied author.

New Series: Vintage Needlecrafts Pick of the Week

 

Regular readers may know that I have a sizeable collection of vintage needlecrafts books.  (I’m using the Etsy definition of vintage, which includes anything at least 20 years old.)  I currently have over 50 vintage books, e-books, and magazines in my collection.

I love looking through older needlecrafts books.  While the very old pattern books can be hard to follow because the authors assume a high level of familiarity with construction techniques, shaping, etc., for those of us who like to modify patterns or design our own projects, these books can be an endless source of inspiration.  And my inner sociologist is often amazed (or amused) by the cultural snapshot vintage needlecrafts books can provide.

I would love to share my passion for vintage books with my readers, but if I’ve learned one thing since I started blogging, it’s not to over commit.  So I make no promises that I’ll review a vintage needlecrafts book each week in 2013, but I certainly will highlight no more than one a week ;).

To kick off this series, I’d like to share my favorite sources for vintage needlecrafts books and e-books on the cheap.  (I’ve yet to come across a steady source of vintage magazines, but would love to hear your suggestions in the comments.)

Free e-books and patterns

 

Low cost options

  • Amazon is a great source for vintage books, but the price range is very broad.  Sometimes you will find out-of-print books selling for hundreds of dollars and other times you will find a treasure for $0.01 plus the cost of shipping.  I generally search for specific titles, often discovered through Crochet Concupiscence (especially her series on 1970s crochet designers) or Crochetbug.  I’ve also found a lot of free vintage e-books for my Kindle.
  • I periodically search Etsy for vintage pattern books.  I find it too difficult to investigate whether or not the seller has the right to sell vintage PDF patterns, so I only buy physical copies.
  • Half.com is another interesting source for vintage needlecrafts books.  You can sort your search by publication date in both directions, so the oldest books will appear first.  It is now owned by eBay, so you can easily search there, too.  Like Amazon, there can be a wide spread in prices.
  • Library sales and thrift shops sometimes have great vintage finds for low prices.
  • PaperBackSwap is a website where you swap books.  You earn points for each book you mail to another user and can use those points to “buy” books from other members.  Essentially, you pay the cost of shipping a book media mail.  I’ve gotten a lot of vintage books here, and even if a book isn’t listed, you can add it to your wishlist so you’re contacted as soon as a member offers it for sale.

What’s your favorite source for vintage needlecrafts books and magazines? 

Granny square book review roundup

Ever since I first learned to crochet granny squares, I’ve loved them.  The “official” granny square pattern was originally published in 1890 by Weldon and Company in London.  Then, as now, the granny square was a great way to use up scrap yarn.  The pattern has basically been continuously in print since then, so that tells you something about how fun grannies are to make!

My first granny square throw, circa 2005.

Today, many people use the term “granny square” to refer to other square motifs that are crocheted in the round, and not just to that specific pattern.  Recently, I’ve been inspired by the beautiful granny square pictures that are part of things to make and do‘s Granny-A-Day project and Leslie from CrochetBug‘s 101 Crochet Squares crochet-a-long.  I definitely plan to make more grannies in 2012!

For today’s granny square book roundup, I defined a “granny square” as any square motif crocheted in the round. Because I have so many books to review, I’m using a standardized format like I did with my crochet stitch guides roundup.  And now, on to the reviews!

99 Granny Squares to Crochet, compiled by Leisure Arts

Summary: Pattern booklet with 99 motifs crocheted in the round in various sizes.  Uses U.S. pattern abbreviations.

# of granny squares: 86

What I like:

  • Booklet lays flat so you can crochet and read at the same time.
  • There is a color picture of each motif.
  • Almost all special stitches are included in each pattern so you don’t have to flip back and forth.
  • Instructions are consistently written/edited.
  • Some additional shapes (triangles, hexagons, and rectangles) are included.

What I didn’t like or what’s missing:

  • The patterns don’t include international stitch symbols.
  • The booklet doesn’t include any tutorials or technique lessons and focuses on patterns.
  • Several motifs are commonly available in many books.  There are not many very unique patterns.
  • The booklet is taller than most books and I have to keep it on a special bookshelf :(.

Type: Booklet.

Overall rating (out of 5 stars): 3.5

101 Granny Squares edited by Carol Alexander

Summary: Pattern book featuring a range of projects made with motifs, including home decor items, accessories, bags, and blankets and throws.  Uses U.S. pattern abbreviations.

# of granny squares: 108

What I like:

  • Book lays flat so you can crochet and read at the same time.
  • There is a color picture of each motif.
  • Almost all special stitches are included in each pattern so you don’t have to flip back and forth.
  • There is an interesting range of projects using different motifs, and each motif can also be used in different projects.

What I didn’t like or what’s missing:

  • The patterns don’t include international stitch symbols.
  • The booklet doesn’t include any tutorials or technique lessons and focuses on patterns.
  • There are many contributing designers, and the pattern writing is not very consistent.  I have also found errors in some patterns, which would make it difficult for a beginning crocheter to use.
  • Many of the completed projects seem dated (either due to construction techniques or yarn color choices).

Type: Hardcover book.

Overall rating (out of 5 stars): 3.5

201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Projects and Ideas by Melody Griffiths

Summary: Pattern book with 201 crocheted motifs and 50 projects using these motifs.  Uses U.S. pattern abbreviations and international stitch symbols.

# of granny squares: 38

What I like:

  • The book features many unique motifs which are whimsical and cute.
  • The motifs are in a range of shapes and using several construction techniques.  There are many floral and animal motifs, as well as a full applique alphabet.
  • The book includes international stitch symbols for the majority of patterns.
  • The projects are interesting and varied.
  • There is an illustrated stitch guide in the back of the book, along with some helpful tips.  This would make the book appropriate for a beginner.
  • The pictures are very clear and the book is definitely “eye candy.”
  • The binding doesn’t allow this book to lay flat, but it has built-in book flaps which can be used to hold a page.

What I didn’t like or what’s missing:

  • There are some patterns that don’t include international stitch symbols (presumably due to space constraints).
  • The book doesn’t have a lay flat binding.

Type: Paperback book.

Overall rating (out of 5 stars): 5

Beyond the Square: Crochet Motifs by Edie Eckman

Summary: An exploration of crochet motifs in geometric shapes, including squares, circles, hexagons, and triangles, with tips for working in the round, joining, and changing colors.  Uses U.S. pattern abbreviations and international stitch symbols.  (This book is also on my list of must-have beginner crochet books.)

# of granny squares: 33

What I like:

  • The spiral binding allows the book to lay flat so you can read and crochet at the same time.
  • The layout and design are excellent – there is plenty of white space and samples are in striking colors and beautifully photographed.
  • All patterns include both U.S. pattern abbreviations and international stitch symbols.
  • The book opens with a “workshop” section which includes multiple techniques for starting a motif (sliding loop, slip knot, and chain ring), joining, working with multiple colors, and edgings.  This section includes plenty of text and also some step-by-step photos.  This chapter is something you can skip over and just dive into the patterns, but it includes the types of tips and tricks that can make your work look more polished.
  • While the book includes some classic designs, many of the patterns are different from those you’d find in other collections.  There is a nice range of shapes (even though this review focuses on squares).
  • There is a small section in the back which describes how to form each of the stitches used in the book (even the basics like chains), so it is definitely beginner friendly.
  • There are some graphs included in the back so you can design your own international stitch symbol charts.

What I didn’t like or what’s missing:

  • I’m not a fan of the cutesy 7 page section of illustrated ideas for how to use motifs.  I know, I know, it would be totally unreasonable for Edie to make samples and patterns for the hundreds of project ideas in the illustrations.  It’s just, well, I wish she did :).
  • While there is an illustrated sample in the back with joins for the non-square motifs (e.g., triangles), a sample might help crocheters visualize these ideas better.  (Again, this is isn’t really a problem with the book – more like my wishlist for Beyond the Square Part II!)

Type: Spiral bound hardcover book.

Overall rating (out of 5 stars): 5

Contest Favorites Afghan Squares, compiled by Leisure Arts

Summary: A pattern booklet compilation of the 30 best squares submitted by “crocheters just like you” to a Leisure Arts design contest, along with instructions for completing 10 afghans.  Uses U.S. pattern abbreviations.

# of granny squares: 23

What I like:

  • Booklet lays flat so you can crochet and read at the same time.
  • There is a color picture of each motif.
  • Almost all special stitches are included in each pattern so you don’t have to flip back and forth.
  • Instructions are consistently written/edited.
  • There is a pretty interesting range of motifs.
  • The three prize winners are profiled, so that adds a personal touch to the book.
  • Although the patterns use U.S. crochet abbreviations, there is a U.S. to U.K. conversion key in the front of the booklet.

What I didn’t like or what’s missing:

  • The patterns don’t include international stitch symbols.
  • The booklet doesn’t include any tutorials or technique lessons and focuses on patterns.
  • The booklet is taller than most books and I have to keep it on a special bookshelf :(.

Type: Booklet

Overall rating (out of 5 stars): 4

Crocheting Patchwork Patterns: 23 Granny Squares for Afghans, Sweaters, and Other Projectsby Annette Lep

Summary: A pattern booklet featuring crocheted versions of classic quilt blocks, including five projects using the squares.  Uses U.S. pattern abbreviations.

# of granny squares: 0 (all motifs in this book are worked in rows)

What I like:

  • As a lover of quilts, the concept of this book really appealed to me.
  • Although the book is black and white, the covers fold out to include color pictures of each motif and completed pattern.
  • The booklet lays flat so you can crochet and read at the same time.
  • There is a small illustrated instruction section at the beginning of the book which reviews basic stitches.

What I didn’t like or what’s missing:

  • There are no international stitch symbols.
  • The projects are dated.  However, if you love vintage crochet books, you will love the modular sweaters made with crocheted quilt blocks.
  • Some of the patterns seem designed in the most complex way possible and frequently include multiple small pieces rather than frequent color changes on one piece.

Type: Booklet.

Overall rating (out of 5 stars): Ok, ok, this book does not really belong with the rest, but I love the vintage awesomeness of it!  I give it 3 stars for utility and 4 stars for being fun to look at :).

Crochet Stitches VISUAL Encyclopedia by Robyn Chachula

Summary: A comprehensive stitch guide.  Uses U.S. pattern abbreviations and international stitch symbols.  (I wrote a detailed review of this book here.)

# of granny squares: 28

What I like:

  • Hardcover binding makes the book more durable.
  • There is an attractive picture of each motif.
  • There is a pretty interesting range of motifs, including many lacy grannies.
  • Each pattern uses international stitch symbols.
  • There is a section on joining motifs that includes 8 variations.

What I didn’t like or what’s missing:

  • The book doesn’t include any tutorials or technique lessons and focuses on patterns.

Type: Hardcover book.

Overall rating (out of 5 stars): 4

Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook by Ellen Gormley

Summary: A handbook for personalizing your own afghan projects, including 50 motif patterns for squares, rectangles, triangles, hexagons, and octagons, and 10 projects.  Uses U.S. pattern abbreviations and international stitch symbols. (I wrote a detailed review of the book here.)

# of granny squares: 10

What I like:

  • The spiral binding allows the book to lay flat so you can read and crochet at the same time.
  • All patterns include both U.S. pattern abbreviations and international stitch symbols.
  • The book opens with several sections that review materials and supplies and basic stitches (with illustrations).  These sections also address understanding patterns, color, modifying patterns to personalize a project, layout, assembly, and edging.  This section includes plenty of text and also illustrations.  This chapter is something you can skip over and just dive into the patterns, but it includes the types of tips and tricks that can help you create a very individualized project.
  • Most of the patterns are different from those you’d find in other collections.  There is a nice range of shapes (even though this review focuses on squares).
  • The afghan projects walk you through different techniques for assembly.
  • There are many layout suggestions for creating afghans using a particular shape throughout the book.
  • Each motif pattern includes suggestions for 5 other motifs to “mix and match.”

What I didn’t like or what’s missing:

  • The book focuses on using motifs for blankets and no other project types are addressed.
  • The colors are a bit muted, so the visuals don’t “pop” as much as similar books.

Type: Spiral-bound hardcover book.

Overall rating (out of 5 stars): 5

The Great Granny Crochet Book compiled by American School of Needlework

Summary: A range of projects made using variations on the granny square, including bedspreads, toys, picture afghans, Christmas decorations, baby items, clothing, and home decor.  Uses U.S. pattern abbreviations.

# of granny squares: approximately 20

What I like:

  • There is an illustrated section in the back showing different joining and finishing techniques including fringes and pompons.
  • There are many picture afghans, made using charted granny squares in different colors.
  • There are many stuffed toys made from granny squares in different (mostly animal) shapes.
  • Most of the patterns use the actual granny square pattern, so if you enjoy making that particular motif, you will have quite a few patterns to entertain you.
  • There is a nice section explaining how to crochet half granny squares (triangles) in both one and two colors.

What I didn’t like or what’s missing:

  • There are no international stitch symbols.
  • The projects, particularly the clothing, are dated, but the book definitely has appeal as a vintage crochet book.
  • Although there are many projects, the majority of them use the actual granny square pattern with minimal modification, so there aren’t many motifs to choose.

Type: Hardcover book.

Overall rating (out of 5 stars): 3 (4 if you like to make crocheted Christmas decorations).

The Granny Square Book by Margaret Hubert

Summary: An ode to the granny square, with 75 motif patterns and 25 projects using granny squares, along with tips for construction, design, and finishing touches.  Uses U.S. pattern abbreviations for motifs and projects, and international stitch symbols for motifs.

# of granny squares: 74

What I like:

  • The spiral binding allows the book to lay flat so you can read and crochet at the same time.
  • All motif patterns include both U.S. pattern abbreviations and international stitch symbols.
  • The introduction includes reflections on the Hubert family’s love of grannies, as well as personal quotes from other crochet designers about granny squares.
  • The “Crochet Basics” section includes descriptions with photos of crochet stitches (including basics and special stitches), so the book is very beginner friendly.  This section also includes an overview of crochet pattern reading, multiple techniques for starting a motif (adjustable loop, slip knot, and chain ring), joining and seaming working with multiple colors, and edgings.  This section includes plenty of text and also some step-by-step photos.  This chapter is something you can skip over and just dive into the patterns, but it includes the types of tips and tricks that can make your work look more polished.
  • There are many really pretty floral themed grannies.
  • Three of the motif patterns include matching half square (triangle) patterns.
  • Each motif pattern includes a difficulty rating.
  • The project section includes some design tips and suggestions for “graphing out” project ideas.

What I didn’t like or what’s missing:

  • Six motif (5 granny) patterns were already included in The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet, another book by Hubert published by Creative Publishing International.
  • There is a fair amount of overlap in content in the Crochet Basics section of this book and the Crochet Motif Workshop section of Beyond the Square: Crochet Motifs.  The motif patterns are different enough to make it worthwhile to own both books, though.
  • Most of the swatches are made with mercerized cotton, and there is a lot of “shine” visible in the pictures.
  • The project patterns don’t include international stitch symbols.

Type: Spiral-bound hardcover book.

Overall rating (out of 5 stars): 5 (If you already own Beyond the Square: Crochet Motifs, remember that you will already have a lot of the same content, but different motif patterns.)

 

 

 

 

You may be wondering why I didn’t include Granny Square Love in this roundup.  Granny Square Love (reviewed here) is focused on the original granny square patterns and doesn’t really offer up variants on the motif.

What’s your favorite granny square book?

WIP Wednesday – Grannies and the Dirty Little Secret

Grannies…

I have been going granny square crazy since last week.  I got inspired when working on my post for I Love Yarn Day to go through my scrap stash and get started on some charity projects.  And, I’ve been eyeing the amazing work of three of my favorite bloggers…

…so I decided to work with some grannies.  They are so portable and fun!  I decided to use join-as-you-go for each row, and I wanted each row to have squares of the same size, so I had to make some adjustments to each pattern as I went along.

Here are the pictures of my first row of blocks.  I should say here that I took these after work on my commute, trying to find a relatively clean surface in New York City (hah!) and ended up holding my phone (camera) so high above to take pictures that I couldn’t actually see what I was doing.  Hence some un-photo-styled flowers :).

Block 1: Square 42 by Maria Nagy from Cafe Au Lait Beaded Poncho from 101 Granny Squares by Carol Alexander.

Block 2: Jeannine Square by Margaret Hubert from The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet.

Block 3: #48 by Tammy Kreimeyer from 99 Granny Squares to Crochet.

Block 4 – 6: From the Sampler Pillows in 101 Granny Squares.  African Violet by Betty Jones, Impatiens & Emeralds by Diana Sippel, and Yellow Petals by Roberta Maier.

I did another row with 4 larger squares using a variation of the Star motif from the Granny Squares Sampler Afghan in Better Homes and Gardens Crocheting and Knitting, but I don’t have pictures to share today.

Since the motifs I’ve picked aren’t particularly infant friendly (there are overlay stitches, for example), I will need to make this project large enough for an older child.  This is definitely one of those projects that I will pick up for a week at a time over the course of a year or so, and then will have it ready when I next package up my crafty donations to mail out.

…and a dirty little secret

If you’ve been buying luxury yarns, or yarns from independent dyers, you have probably found that the yarn is in hanks and hasn’t been wound.  This creates quite a conundrum, because you may buy yarn but it isn’t immediately available for use.  How many of us have stacks of yarn hanks that we haven’t yet wound?  This is the dirty little secret of yarn lovers, I think.

One of my other works in progress this week is to wind up all the hanks I’ve accumulated in the last few months that have been waiting patiently to be used.  This includes yarn I picked up at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival, at the NYC Yarn Crawl, the lovely skein of yarn I won, and all of the yarn for my design to be published in Cooperative Press‘s Fresh Designs Crochet (Kids).  No pictures, but all of this winding is almost more of an undertaking than actually making something!

For more WIP Wednesday posts, check out Tami’s Amis.

To find more blogs participating in Blogtoberfest 2011, visit Tinnie Girl.  For Blogtoberfest 2011 giveaways, visit Curly Pops.

Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class – Aran Crochet (sort of)

(This post is part of my Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class series.  You can read the other posts in this series here.)

Although I’m still working on some Tunisian crochet projects, I decided to turn to another chapter in Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crochetersthis week: aran crochet.

This chapter focuses on the work of Jane Snedden Peever.  I first became aware of her work about 5 years ago through More Crocheted Aran Sweaters.  In 2007, I even attempted to make an XL version of one of those sweaters for MC.  I made the front and back and one and a half sleeves, but ended up ripping it out this year because while it was lovely, it didn’t seem like a sweater a man (or should I say, my man!) would actually wear.

This weekend, a few things came together and I had post stitches on the brain.  On Saturday, I started up my 10-week DC 37 crochet and knit classes.  A few returning students  in the crochet class mentioned they wanted to spend more time with post stitches, so I started thinking of the aran crochet chapter, as well as of 99 Crochet Post Stitches.

I was also hosting a little pity party for myself since I couldn’t attend the CGOA Chain Link conference.  Naturally, I was living vicariously through the blog posts of those who were in attendance :).  I read this post on Crochetbug’s blog about Lianka Azulay and her crocodile stitch patterns available on Etsy.

I originally came up with the idea of working my way through Crochet Master Class to further develop my own crochet skills while coming up with interesting projects and activities for my crochet students.  I decided the crocodile stitch would be something fun for them.  It is, of course, only marginally related to the aran crochet chapter in Crochet Master Class (because it involves post stitches).  But, we all know I’ve been liberal in interpreting my projects from the book, and I’ve decided my soon to be completed crocodile stitch pattern and handout will count as my exploration of aran crochet :).

Here is the beginning of my swatch. Taken on the phone cam, so excuse the horrific lighting.

For other Year of Projects updates, check out When Did I Become a Knitter.

Reminders

  • I’m giving away a copy of Ami Ami Dogs 2: More Seriously Cute Crochet, courtesy of Harper Design.  You can enter this giveaway through September 26 here.
  • Did you always want to learn to crochet?  Join in on my Crochet 101 crochet-a-long, the first in my Crochet Lyceum with Underground Crafter series.  You can read the course overview here or start the first lesson here.