This morning I dragged myself out of bed for day two of Vogue Knitting Live. I don’t know if it was because of the cold weather yesterday or all the excitement from the event, but I was extra sleepy this morning. I decided to wear the Irish rose choker I made myself last year. I actually like it better with the button in the front.
I was excited to see so many crochet hook options in the Marketplace. Confession time: I’m a collector of crochet hooks. In addition to a full array of sizes in the classic Boye aluminum crochet hooks, I also have a set of Denise interchangeables, a Tulip Etimo set, and a set of Eleggant hooks (reviewed here). I also have a random assortment of one or two sizes from the Addi Swing, Laurel Hill Nam Oc, and Crochet Dude lines. And, some lovely handmade hooks from Sistermaide. (We could get sidetracked here so I’ll skip the list of my Tunisian crochet hooks.) Anyway, I was on the look out for new (to me) and exciting hooks while I was in the Marketplace and I wasn’t disappointed!
The nice folks at Magique Enterprises are actually the first booth on the way into the Marketplace.
I’m so glad that I said the Ripple Mania CAL giveaway winners would be selected randomly because it would have been impossible to choose my favorite projects from among all of the great entries! I had a wonderful time during the CAL, and I hope you did, too. I want to thank everyone who participated and everyone who entered the giveaway, and of course, the fabulously generous prize sponsors: Magique Enterprises, Lion Brand Yarn, Leisure Arts, and Red Heart Yarn.
You can find full sized pictures of all the entries in this thread on Ravelry or here on my Facebook page. (You can also find most entries on my Ripple Mania Pinterest board, along with some other ripple inspirations.)
But I know what you’re really waiting for – the winners! I made a list of entries in the order they were posted, and then used Random.org to select someone on the list randomly for each prize.
The first prize goes to abhall76 for her Buckeye’s Blanket. She started this project about 20 years ago (!) and finished it up during the Ripple Mania CAL. This definitely gives me hope for all of my lingering works in progress.
Melissa is the winner of the Eleggant Hooks set from Magique Enterprises, which includes the Eleggant comfort crochet handle, six interchangeable hooks (in steel sizes 1.25 mm, 1.75 mm, and 2.25 mm, and in aluminum sizes 3.5 mm, 5.0 mm, and 6.0 mm), and o-rings.
I will be contacting all winners via private message on Ravelry so the sponsors can ship the prize packages out as soon as possible. Again, thanks to everyone who participated in the CAL and who entered the giveaway. I’d like to host another CAL in February, when everything is settled down from the holidays. If you have any project suggestions, feel free to share them here!
Whether you’re just joining in or you’ve been participating in the Ripple Mania Crochet-a-long since October, I know you’re excited to hear more about the prizes! The Ripple Mania CAL has four fantastic sponsors, Coats & Clark, Leisure Arts, Lion Brand Yarn, and Magique Enterprises, who have each put together a great prize package. This post describes the prizes, explains how you can enter the giveaway, and includes the schedule for the Ripple Mania CAL. All images are used with permission.
Lion Brand Yarn is sponsoring a wonderful Ripple Mania prize package – 4 skeins of Amazing in Strawberry Fields, enough yarn to crochet the Candy Color Ripple Cowl. You’ll have a fashionable accessory just in time for the deep cold of winter!
And for those of you who have been longing to try an Eleggant crochet hook after reading my review, Magique Enterprises is sponsoring a set including the Eleggant comfort crochet handle, six interchangeable hooks (in steel sizes 1.25 mm, 1.75 mm, and 2.25 mm, and in aluminum sizes 3.5 mm, 5.0 mm, and 6.0 mm), and o-rings.
Now that you’ve heard about all the amazing prizes available, you may be wondering how to enter this giveaway. Read on for details!
Ripple Mania Giveaway Rules
To enter the Ripple Mania giveaway for your chance to win one of these great prizes:
Photograph your Ripple Mania project! Smaller projects (accessories, baby blankets, cozies, washcloths, etc.) must be completed. Larger projects (adult sweaters, large throws, or bedspreads) must be at least 1/3 finished.
Projects must have been started and/or completed during the Ripple Mania CAL (between October 17 and November 28). You can use any crochet ripple pattern, though of course I’d love it if you used one of mine :).
Share a photograph and description of your Ripple Mania project by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, November 28. Each project counts as one entry in the giveaway.
To share your project on Facebook: Post a Wall photo on the Underground Crafter page. (Remember that if you don’t “like” the page, I won’t be able to message you on Facebook, so you’ll have to check back to see if you’ve won.)
To share your project on this blog: Post a link to a project photo (on your blog, Flickr, etc.) in the comments.
To share your project on Twitter: Tweet @ucrafter #ripplemania with a link to a photo of your project.
This giveaway is open to all crocheters worldwide.
By entering the giveaway, you are granting permission for your project photo to be shared in a collage of all entries on this blog.
On or about December 1, 2012, four winners will be chosen at random and contacted for mailing addresses. Winners must respond by December 15, 2012 or their prize will be forfeited.
Thanks so much for joining in, and I can’t wait to see the projects!
This week is all about squaring up a ripple – how to combine a ripple pattern with a straight edged stitch. This week’s Ripple Mania PDF includes a baby blanket project.
I’m also very excited to announce two more sponsors for the Ripple Mania prizes: Magique Enterprises and Lion Brand Yarn are joining Red Heart and Leisure Arts by contributing awesome prizes for participants! I’m gathering together pictures of the prizes and hope to share them next week.
The CAL is free to join. Each week, an updated PDF will be available to download on Ravelry, and Ravelry members can chat in the Ripple Mania CAL thread in the Underground Crafter group. (You do not have to be a Ravelry member to download the PDF.) Once the CAL ends on November 28, Ripple Mania will be converted to a “for sale” pattern ebook.
It’s been three weeks since I last participated in F.O. Friday, but I’ve actually finished quite a few projects in that time.
I made three secret projects using this yarn, along with about eight swatches, for Kollabora, a new maker community.
The big reveal was supposed to be this week, but it was delayed due to the after effects of Sandy. Rumor has it that pictures may be posted early next week, and once that happens, I can share all the details with you.
I just finished this scrappy ripple scarf last night. I was greatly aided by my new post-Sandy commute (2+ hours each way). In all seriousness, I’m grateful that I fared so well during Sandy. So many people have lost their homes and businesses or are still without power.
I used up about 300 yards of stash wool yarn. The question now is whether I should felt it. I love the texture but I’d like to gift it to someone who definitely isn’t the handwashing type. What do you think?
Prior to that, I finished this eyelet ripple infinity scarf which I’ve been wearing almost non-stop for the last two and a half weeks. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the colors, but they have really been cheering me up during the many grey days that New York has been experiencing.
And, because my cat would definitely be disappointed if he didn’t get something out of all this crocheting, I made him a cat blanket a few weeks ago.
We put it on top of an end table and positioned it next to my desk. The blanket has helped a lot when my cat wants to walk all over my desk while I’m typing. Now I can just push him onto the blanket and he will sit down and be (slightly) less disruptive.
All three stitch patterns are included in Ripple Mania. It’s free to join in by November 21.
If you love crochet ripples, you’ve come to the right place.
I’m kicking off the Ripple Mania Crochet-A-Long today. This CAL will teach you everything you need to design your own fabulous ripple projects – how to select a color palette, how to increase and decrease, how to design your own ripple stitch patterns, and how to “square up” your ripples if you want to have straight (modular) pieces.
If you just want to dive into crocheting, that’s ok, too! Each week, I’ll share new ripple stitch patterns for you to crochet.
The CAL is free to join. Each week, an updated PDF will be available to download on Ravelry, and Ravelry members can chat in the Ripple Mania CAL thread in the Underground Crafter group. (You do not have to be a Ravelry member to download the PDF.) Once the CAL ends on November 21, Ripple Mania will be converted to a “for sale” pattern ebook.
All patterns will be available using both U.S. and U.K. crochet pattern abbreviation. Although I’ll be sharing some photo tutorials for this CAL, you will need to know the chain, US single/UK double crochet, and US double/UK treble crochet stitches.
If you need some ideas, check out this Gallery of Ripple Color Inspiration! (All images are the copyright of the crocheter and are used with permission.)
I first became aware of egg-shaped, ergonomic crochet hook handles some time last year while visiting the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. If you knew me in real life, you would know that I’m somewhat… cheap. I saw this ergonomic crochet hook set and my first thought was, “$24! But I already have tons of crochet hooks at home!” The set had a bizarre effect on me though, and after going home my mind kept returning to the hook handles.
My two best friends were nice enough to hook me up (pun intended) with my very own Eleggant Hook set for my birthday, and I later purchased some additional hook sizes. (I should mention that it was cheaper to order the specific sizes and parts I wanted and to have it shipped to the U.S. than it was to buy the pre-packaged set with sizes I don’t really use. This is how I convinced my cheap inner self to order the additional hooks.)
So today I present to you my reviews of both ergonomic, egg shaped hook handles.
The Boye kit includes a hook handle of indeterminate material (my guess is rubber or plastic) which can twist off to open, as well as 8 “washers” to fit various sizes of crochet hooks. The retail prices is $7.99. Hooks are not included.
The Eleggant kit includes a wooden handle with metal adjustor, six modified crochet hooks (steel hooks in sizes 1.25 mm, 1.75 mm, and 2.25 mm, and aluminum hooks in sizes 3.5 mm/E, 5.0 mm/H, and 6.0 mm/J), and o-rings. The retail price is $24.99CAD. Alternatively, you can customize your own set by purchasing the handle ($15.00CAD), o-rings ($1.00CAD/10), and modified hooks in your favorite sizes ($1.50CAD – $1.75CAD each).
The verdict: The Boye kit seems less expensive, but it doesn’t include any hooks. If you add the cost of hooks, then the prices are actually quite similar.
How it works
With the Boye kit, you attach plastic washers to each crochet hook. The washers are a bit tough to get on because they are made to fit quite snug. The washers are color coded so you have to examine the little color chart to figure out which washer goes onto what size hook. After the washer is on the hook, you twist the hook handle open, insert the hook, and then twist the handle to close. It takes some practice to position the washer properly so that the hook isn’t jiggling around in the handle. A downside to this system was that once I put the washers on to my existing hooks, I didn’t have much interest in removing them. They were really tough to get off around the point of the hook. Since I was using my regular crochet hooks with this handle and there are certain types of stitches (e.g., the bullion stitch) that are difficult to work with the egg-shaped handle, the end result was that I have been using my Boye hooks less.
With the Eleggant hooks kit, you attach o-rings to the base of the modified crochet hooks. Then you use the metal adjustor to tighten the handle around the hook. I found these easier to use and since I have a dedicated set of modified hooks for the handle, I can pick it up whenever I feel like using an ergonomic egg-shaped hook without any impact on my other crochet tools.
The verdict: The Boye handle often leaves the hook jiggling around inside unless you place the washer very precisely. The Eleggant hook handle occasionally snags the yarn at the join between the o-rings and the adjustor. (This may be because I tend to move my stitches further down on the hook than other people when crocheting.) Overal, I found the Eleggant hook handle easier to use and it feels more sturdy and snug than the Boye hook handle.
Feel: The Eleggant hook handle is made of wood and feels much better on the hands. The Boye hook handle was almost instantly covered with cat fur and dust, and requires frequent washing. Also, it tends to get “sweaty” when it is warm.
Durability: Again, I’d have to go with the Eleggant kit. It looks and feels much more sturdy than the Boye handle and washers.
Ease of use: Honestly, crocheting with an egg-shaped handle takes a bit of getting used to. With both handles, you would need some practice to get comfortable.
Customer support: The folks at Magique Enterprises are nice enough to share a video explaining how to use the Eleggant hook on YouTube.
Hook selection: Both sets are made to work with the Boye style hooks. But what if you prefer the shape of point and throat of another brand of crochet hooks? According to reviews that I’ve read online, the Boye kit can be used with Susan Bates hooks even though they are not the same length as Boye hooks. If you want to use a different type of hook with the Eleggant handle, you will definitely need access to tools which can precisely cut metal. (I didn’t test this out myself because my only aluminum hooks at home are the Boye brand, which I prefer.)
Finding the right size hook: The Boye kit has color coded washers and if your Boye hooks are also color coded, that you can probably easily find the right size. The washer, when positioned correctly, will probably cover the size information on the hook handle though. As for the Eleggant kit, supposedly the hook size is etched into each hook. When looking through mine, however, I’ve found that two don’t have the size etched into the modified hook.
The verdict: Overall, I prefer the Eleggant hook handle. It feels sturdier, fits the hook more snug, and is smaller to hold in your palm. In fact, soon after the second time that I washed my Boye hook handle, I gave up on using it. Since I live with a cat, there is just no way that it can stay clean. However, if you really need more access to a broader range of hooks, you may want to consider the Boye handle.
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