That is off tha hook! No, actually, it still is on the hook...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Also known as Maltese crochet

I know, I know: I need to be more consistent in posting blogs here. But lately, I've been too busy living life off the computer. Oh, that and spending all my free internet time on ravelry.

Anyhoo, I decided to plunge into hairpin lace at last. I received a handful of looms on a bulk hook purchase on ebay - someone obviously cleaning out their dead relatives stash online - but have been staring at them nervously for months.

I've seen some delightful patterns around, in Interweave Crochet and on StitchDiva.com, but I've felt just too intimidated by having an extra object involved in my hands while I crochet. Finally, I just gave it a try. I have no idea if I'm doing it correctly, cause I feel I am not getting the whole picture from an online tutorial.

So, I'm starting a simple beginner pattern from StitchDiva.com, called Convertible Wrap by Jennifer Hansen. It calls for 4 strips of basic hairpin lace which are then crocheted together with a sc. Which to me, means painful finishing. What am I thinking?! Har! I hate piecing things together!!

The free pattern is here:
http://www.stitchdiva.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=FREE001
and has a link to a helpful tutorial.

Also, I don't have the correct sized loom, I'm using a slightly smaller one, so instead of 4 strips I might go for 5. Maybe. Or I might just make this into a scarf :) I am using a K-hook for the actual crochet part.

I am using Berroco Zen in a sort of shimmery apricot color. 55%Cotton, 45%Nylon. As I of course purchased this yarn for a different project, I may need to get a similar or contrast ribbon yarn in order to do the joining. We'll see how far I get with what I have in stash. For now, I'm just excited to be trying a new method and learning as I go.



and a closer look:

Friday, July 27, 2007

I wonder if SHE's on ravelry, too?

I Can Never Find the Yarn End


Natalie Dee
nataliedee.com


Natalie Dee has made herself even more awesome by making knitting & crochet references.


Natalie Dee
nataliedee.com


Natalie Dee
nataliedee.com


I totally have a hetero crush on Ms. Dee.
just saying.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Where there's smoke....

Is it a bad thing when smoke comes out of your computer? And it shuts itself off and wont turn back on again?



Yeah, I thought so.

At least I didn't set the house on fire.


I may have a major disaster on my hands. My music! My photos! My, my yarn charts and patterns! ::weep::

Meh, it's just another adventure. And lesson: get a goddamned external hard drive. And back up my work. And I don't have to depend on any tech geek for this sort of thing...I can and will take care of it through my own devices. Which may just happen to entail asking the IT guys I work with for their 'opinion'. Or using the shitty desktop computer in the basement, and then merely shopping for a new laptop this weekend. Costco, anyone?

In a depressive frenzy after my computer issues, I went on a sort of shopping therapy binge:
1. Fit Flops, ridiculously overpriced flip flops that are supposed to be toning for your ass. Whatever. I, um, needed them.
2. Namaste Everyday Knitting Bag in rust. I broke down and just ordered it, finally. Well, after much deliberation as to who had it cheapest and did they also have any yarn there?(none I could afford, actually, having just spent too much on freaking flip-flops that will make my ass look better.)

So, I may not have a functional laptop, (but wait, that should give me more time to crochet with, right?) ... however I'll have an awesome yarn bag and a fucking fabulous ass. Could be worse.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

yay, an update!

My yarn is going to be better traveled than I! I finally heard from Stephanie from the Anti-Factory / Counterfeit Crochet Project, and here's the details:

(from her email to me:
The Counterfeit Crochet Project got written up in a publication in China which was pretty awesome, and also talked about on an NPR radio program called Pacific Time.


http://www.kqed.org/epArchive/R705101830/e


Photos of the bags installed in the gallery are here:

http://www.stephaniesyjuco.com/p_counterfeit_moreimages.html
http://www.stephaniesyjuco.com/reviews/review_forgedrealites.html
http://www.stephaniesyjuco.com/antifactory/blog/2007/05/photos-counterfeit-crochet-in-beijing.html
http://www.stephaniesyjuco.com/p_counterfeit_crochet.html
**********************

My creations are the two bags on the right.

Hahahahaha, this is just hilarious to me. She has asked if she can now bring my stuff to Manilla, Philippines and then Istanbul, Turkey for her shows.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

MSWF 2007

Oooooooh oooooh oooh! Sorry for the lack of posts here...I've been sucked into a vortex of yarn. Here's a flickr link to pics of my trip to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival with my yarnie friends.



www.flickr.com








soozies' MSWF 2007 photosetsoozies' MSWF 2007 photoset





clicky to see more!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

*shrug*

I fail to see how this is going to turn into a shrug. It looks like something I'd take on a fishing expedition. But I'm only 15 rows in.






pattern from the DIY Network page from "Uncommon Threads": Shrug/Shracket/Shroat and Shrap....


Of course, I'm using the wrong size hook (who has a P hook lying around!?)...and some nicer yarn than called for. The pattern asks for Red Heart Super Saver (!!!) and I'm using some Misti Cotton Pima Cotton/Silk. But it still looks like a fishing net.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Post Office

I stopped in the post office this week to complete my application for a passport (processed expedited so that I can leave the country soon) and to mail off my submission to the Counterfeit Crochet Project. When you are mailing anything over the counter now, they ask something to the effect of "does this package contain any hazardous materials, perishables, dangerous items, things that make Homeland Security upset?"

Thinking quick: well, it IS acrylic, which melts up real nice…but I instead say simply: "Nothing hazardous; it’s just yarn."

The postal clerk perked up. "Ooohh," she said. "Do you knit?" She seemed genuinely interested, and I could tell by the gleam in her eye that she did.

Me: "Well, actually, no. I crochet."




**crickets chirping**


She gave me a once over, and a disapproving, "Oh," and her female bonding ended. Not that she became rude, but I could tell from her tone that she was entirely not impressed with anything crochet.

She was in fact, very pleasant and helpful in my application for the passport. When I was finished, she said, "have a nice trip!" to which I responded, "Thanks, I’ll send a postcard!."

With complete candor, she replied, "Oh, we read all the postcards that come through here anyway. But you didn’t hear that from me."

Monday, March 12, 2007

A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.

-Coco Chanel


I have finished - okay, I could clean it up a bit - but basically it's done - my Counterfeit Crochet Chanel bag....

This was a learning experience in crochet. First, the source article on Counterfeit Crochet did not come with a pattern per se, merely guidelines for construction. After obsessing on the stitch, and asking for help, (asking is hard for me) now it seems that I keep finding this particular stitch everywhere (new magazine, free online pattern, link in an email to a poncho) ... so I may be working it even more. It is called "crazy stitch" hahaha! and it seems to be calling to me. Body of the bag is worked in that stitch in cheapy acrylic for ultimate debasement; the sides in single crochet, and the front flap in single with a double crochet border. The logo is in a silvery yarn, double crochet on a chain - with 2 doubles in a chain every 5 chains or so, to give the "C" the curve.


The strap is made with 2 strands of the black acrylic and one strand of some leftover yarn I had - it is a black silvery fluffy mess from Moda Dea I think - all held together and worked into a simple chain. The silver works well like this; the original pattern I saw had a full strand of contrast yarn woven through...I improvised and it worked out okay.


The 'grommets' are made in a silver thread just making a chain, connecting it, and a row of single crochet over the circle. The thread is stiff and hard to finish off however...I may need to 'cheat' and use fabric glue to keep them from unraveling. Ain't no shame in my game!


Again, in all it's splendor: I brought it to work one day last week to work on the buttons... all the girls in the office were up in my face, "yo, that is HOT, how much you want to make ME one?" I explained that it is a pattern with flaws and I should really improve on before profiting from, but they could not be swayed. They don't seem to care that I don't have any idea how to line this bag so that keys and lipsticks and of course crochet hooks won't slip out.


They want it anyway... cause look how fabulous this bag makes my rumpus look!



Even more fabulous: I mustered up the courage to email the Counterfeit Crochet Project and comment on the work. I mentioned that I want to now make a Coach, a YSL hobo, or a LV Murakami barrel bag...and I bravely attached a pic copy of my Chanel bag for her to check out.



She (Stephanie of Anti-Factory.com) emailed me back and asked if I would participate in a group show she's planning on showing in Beijing in April...and could I part with my bag for a month? It, along with others made by crocheters, would be on display for about a month, and then returned to me. OMG omg OMG! Of course, you can take it! Now I really have to weave in those ends, haha!

If I don't chicken out, my piece will be in a show! I'm an artist, holy shit!

Bonus round: Does anyone remember the commercial from YEAAAARS ago, it was a Chanel commercial...where a woman stood near a pool, maybe she jumped in, I can't remember...what I do remember is the music..."I don't want to set the world on fire..." It is by the Ink Spots, and it is ethereal. I'll have to do some searching for that commercial. I think that was what made me become so enamoured of Chanel in the first place. Talk about effective advertising. I wanted Chanel for years before I could dare wear it. The, I wore it for years, but the scent doesn't work for me anymore. Still, I love it.


And lastly, here are some quotes I found attributed to Ms Fabulous herself, Coco Chanel:


I love myself.

Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.

Fashion passes, style remains.

Fashion is not simply a matter of clothes.

Fashion is in the air, born upon the wind. One intuits it. It is in the sky and on the road.

In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.

As long as you know men are like children, you know everything.

Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable.

How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.

Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.

The best color in the whole world, is the one that looks good, on you.

A women who doesn't wear perfume has no future.

Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future.

A woman is closest to being naked when she is well dressed.

If a man talks bad about all women, it usually means he was burned by one woman.

I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness.

And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.

There goes a woman who knows all the things that can be taught and none of the things that cannot be taught.

Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.

There is time for work, and time for love. That leaves no other time.

There are people who have money and people who are rich.

I invented my life by taking for granted that everything I did not like would have an opposite, which I would like.

Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress.

Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.

Fashion is made to become unfashionable.

Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.

Those who create are rare; those who cannot are numerous. Therefore, the latter are stronger.

My friends, there are no friends.

Great loves too must be endured.

A style does not go out of style as long as it adapts itself to its period.

When there is an incompatibility between the style and a certain state of mind, it is never the style that triumphs.

Elegance is refusal.

Since everything is in our heads, we had better not lose them.

I love luxury. And luxury lies not in richness and ornateness but in the absence of vulgarity.

Vulgarity is the ugliest word in our language.

I stay in the game to fight it.

Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress.

Jump out the window if you are the object of passion. Flee it if you feel it.

Passion goes, boredom remains.

S
ome people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity. It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.

I don't know why women want any of the things men have when one the things that women have is men.

A woman has the age she deserves.

Innovation! One cannot be forever innovating. I want to create classics.

Why am I so determined to put the shoulder where it belongs? Women have very round shoulders that push forward slightly; this touches me and I say: 'One must not hide that!' Then someone tells you: 'The shoulder is on the back'. I have never seen women with shoulders on their backs.

When I can no longer create anything, I'll be done for.

Material things aside, we need no advice but approval.

Youth is something very new: twenty years ago no one mentioned it. Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death.

I was the one who changed, it wasn't fashion. I was the one who was in fashion.

A fashion that does not reach the streets is not a fashion.

Scheherezade is easy; a little black dress is difficult.

In fashion, you know you have succeeded when there is an element of upset.

I've never done anything by halves.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

10 things I have learned

I discovered this in one of my (too many) Yahoo groups email digests:

Ten Things I Have Learned:

10. In a pinch, a K hook makes an adequate swizzle stick.

09. Black is not necessarily black.

08. The row where you do not count stitches will be the row with the mistake.

07. "No Dye Lot" means "You're on your own"

06. Black is not necessarily black

05. Gauge is a destination, not a journey.

04. That row you just frogged will take twice as long to complete the second time around.

03. No matter how valiant your attempt at order, that row you just frogged will wind up in a tangled mess on the floor.

02. Black is not necessarily black.

01. You know you are "hooked" when you crochet in your dreams.

***************

I'd love to hear your additions to this list :)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I have not been posting much here, or elsewhere for that matter, since I have been busy working on several yarn projects. And while I only use one hook, I still need the other hand to hold the yarn...and can't type at the same time.

I wish I had another set of hands.

This is one of the items I've been deeply devoted to: the 'Fair Isle' Crochet bag from this season's issue (and also the last, I've read somewhere) of Family Circle Easy Crochet. I saw it at the supermarket while I was in line and it really has some great patterns. It is essentially a giant ad for Patons, Lily, and Bernat, but I'm okay with that.

First project:


Like Fair Isle knitting (apparently) you carry the unused yarn in the pattern on the back of the work. Since it is worked in the round, the back side is never seen. The little strands of yarn will be hidden by a lining (yeah, right, I'll get right to that as soon as I finish off).



Now I'm nearly done, just 4 more rows to go, single crochet. Rather rhythmic.

It is worked in Patons wool, I really dig the colors. Very preppy, haha! You can't go wrong with pink and green.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Sheep sheep sheep

"If someone wants a sheep, then that means that he exists”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!!!! woot woot!

How did this happen? All of a sudden I am completely possessed by ALL THINGS YARN and fiber related. Must...touch...the sheep....

A few of the New Haven Stitch n Bitchers are taking a road trip down on Friday May 4th. Heidi and I are staying together in a swanky hotel, others are going the campground route. I want to jump on the bed and take long showers and watch porn at night. While crocheting in bed. (okay, just kidding, Heidi. I'll wait until you leave the room.) I really hope someone else decides to join us in our room, to bring the cost down. Yikes! Porn is expensive!

I don't really know what to expect from this sort of event. Baa baa black sheep? Furious spinning wheels? Ladies in ponchos?
I’m guessing it’s like the Big E, without all the other arts, crafts, games, rides, food, and leather boutiques. That leaves pretty much just sheep and yarn and sweaters.

From checking their website Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival it is hard to say what to expect; the site seems to be primarly for vendors, but they have started listing some workshops that will be held as well as the schedule. Nothing fancy to see on the site. It’s really all about the event.

However, Knitty.com has a fun list of what to expect… (thanks Judy for the linkage)

Frankly, I am looking forward to the road trip and doing some girl-bonding (much needed in my life). My hope is that the other ladies are on the same page. If nothing else, I’ll get some serious hours at crochet in the evenings, uninterrupted by man, child or dog. My fear is that I will end up coming home with a new fetish for spinning. I just cannot afford a new angle of this hobby/obsession! There, I’ve said it. DO NOT LET ME TAKE UP SPINNING. Not in 2007, at least. Omg, that’s it! I will not dive into another aspect of fiber arts until 2008. This will merely be my year of crochet, investigation and research.

But back to sheep, just for a moment. I am reminded of the book by Haruki Murakami, “A Wild Sheep Chase.”

I will need to re-read it before making our journey; maybe I should actually read the first two books in the trilogy as well. It has nothing to do with knitting or crochet, but it does cover obsession nicely. And a special sheep.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

bag lady

Bags bags bags! First it was hats hats hats, now I've moved south in another yarn vortex.

From the Happy Hooker book, my first attempt at tapestry. Yikes.


I also made the Fat Bottom Bag in purple cotton, too cute!

However, it totally needs to be lined. Me = not so good at the sewing.

I also worked up my fabulous Noro wool into a little tote bag. It was much easier to felt than I expected, and the colors are mystical. It didn't come out exactly like I thought it would, and I'm now a little disappointed that my beautiful Noro has now taken the shape of this thing.


On the counterfeit crochet front, I am nearly finished with my Chanel sack....here's an early pic of progress, no detail yet

I've actually gotten much more work done on it, and will post pics later. It is super glam. !!!!!!

In yarn masochism, I am hooking some sweet Regia sock yarn into a tote bag. On a 'B' hook. In single crochet. It should be done by the time I reach menopause.


In other bagtastic news, I am also *almost* done with the tapestry tote bag from Family Circle...no pics of progress yet, though :( Rest assured, it has improved my tapestry skill from my first exercise.

...and I have plenty of work to do on the SWS bag....but who cares, cause the yarn is soft like buttah, and I have like 12 freakin skeins of it. (Yes, I am going on a total yarn diet. I swear. I might even skip the Farmhouse Yarns sale.)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Big green

Never purchase a ball of yarn bigger than your head. Instead, buy two of them. Yikes.











The plan is to make a giantic coverlet for the bed. That's the plan, in any case.


What? They were on sale. Stop looking at me. I now have 1706 yards of tonal green boucle.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

aiding and abetting

The new issue of
Craft Magazine
features a wonderful project called "Counterfeit Crochet"




clicky for the direct link!



Well, I was completely taken by this concept of 'debasing designer handbags,' and I loved the way the Chanel bag looks! Unfortunately, the mag doesn't give exact pattern directions, merely freeform guidelines.

A couple of days of research in patterns online: no luck.

I bought the Crochet Stitch Bible: no luck.

Then, I sucked it up and posted a plea for help in several of the yahoo groups I belong to. I posted:

Has anyone else seen the new copy of Craft Magazine & the articles on
counterfeit crochet? I am inspired to make the Chanel bag, but the
stitch used is not described in detail.

Instead, the author/designer uses freeform crochet and so her instructions are very basic: Create a rectangle 11" wide and 6" long, etc.

I am desperately searching for the pattern she used. It looks like a
basketweave, but is on the diagonal, so it has more of a quilted
appearance.

If anyone has any ideas or stitch instructions, I would be your best friend forever. Okay, well, I'd really appreciate it, in any case
.


Well, today, in my inbox were several responses, the first exact hit from this FELLA (!)

From: "Ray at Knitivity"

A trip to Google will help a lot:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%2B%22counterfeit+crochet%22&btnG=Google+Search

The stitch pattern on the brown bag is a basic box stitch, although it is called by many names. Here is one set of instructions:
http://crochet.about.com/library/blcrazyst.htm

Ray



Yay! Gasp! That's it! It's been driving me crazy for days! Hooray for Ray! Check out his blog here: KnitterMan on Knitivity.

I have also received helpful emails from others, but was most surprised by KnitterMan. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I CAN'T WAIT TO GET HOME AND START MAKING THIS BAG IN black and silver. Woohoot! *pumps fists in air*

Superbowl Sunday, pooptastic!

Even though I was sick, dehydrated, and all over shitty, I gulped down my Kaopectate, and drove to the Yarn Garden for their Superbowl sale. HOLY SHRIMP. This was my first outing to a real yarn store....I'd say I would chalk it up to my feverish state, but that would be a lie. I totally spazzed and bought a bag-full of yarn.


Here's what I scored:
1. Renaissance 100% Wool. 110 yards; I bought 3.The picture doesn't show how wonderful and green-grey it really is. It looks like the ocean to me.

2. Naturally Nazareth 100% Wool, color = Spring. 184 yards; I bought 2 skeins. Again, the pic doesn't show the brightness of the blues and greens in the varigation.

3. Crystal Palace Merino Frappe 80% Wool, 20 % Poyamide. The soft green balls were so fluffy, I got 3, 140 yards each.

4. Bernat Gloucester 100% Cotton in Antique Lilac. I'm working on a set of simple face cloths.

5. Misti Cotton 83% Pima 17 % Silk. It's so soft, I want to swim in it. I hope the 382 yards I have is enough to make a delicate shrug.

6. Cascade  Eco Yarns in Berry, 100% Wool, an enormous 478 yards. It's really fairly soft, too. I plan on experimenting with felting with this.

7. Cascade Eco Yarn in dark grey, same kind as #6. I wanted to make a handbag, but I picked a ultra-complicated pattern. So I might use it for something else until I master the tricky stitches.

8. Reynolds Saucy 100% Mercerized Cotton. 3 of them at 185 yards each. Ok, honestly, I bought them from the super sale rack just because they said "Saucy." But I do enjoy working in cotton.

9. Patons Grace 100% Mercerized Cotton in Champagne. Why? Why? Why???? I envision myself making fancy doilies and towel trim. yeah, sure.

10. Last, but not least, is my treasure. Noro Kureyon 100% Wool. This is #12 I think. Hand made and hand dyed in Japan. *I'm in love*

The Noro has already become my quick obsession. I worked a swatch (soon to become a small felted tote...pics to come) and just found myself staring into the fabric. The colors are exquisite. Luscious. Mesmerizing. The color changes are mysterious. It is going to sound COMPLETELY RETARDED, I know, but it actually got me choked up, like a beautiful song, or a view of dappled sunlight through trees might. It is a yarn that I want to meditate on, and hold, and form into beautiful things.



And thankfully, it is available for purchase to the highest bidder on ebay, in tons of other hues and fibers.

Hyper Death Babies

Hyper Death Babies

watching you watching me