Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Last Chorus of the Ling-Along

Today marks the end of the "Ling-Along," the crochet-along featuring Doris Chan's "Ling Collar" featured in her book, Crochet Lace Innovations: 20 Dazzling Designs in Broomstick, Hairpin, Tunisian, and Exploded Lace, that took place on Ravelry.

What makes this Ling Collar different from the other half-dozen I've already whipped up is:

  • it will be a gift for someone very special to me.
  • I made modifications to the pattern.

For the modifications, the first thing I did was wind several yards of yarn from the skein before making my slip knot and starting. I did this because I knew I wanted to add a trim to the top -- while meeting my desire to prevent having to bury in 2 extra ends of yarn later on.

The second thing I did was change the single crochets required for the beginning of the pattern into double crochets. Once I joined my work to create the circle I went back to the yarn I had pre-wound and added this trim of dc sts wrapped around the posts of sc sts:

Then I went back to crocheting the Ling as instructed.

When it came time for me to add the Lady Bug buttons, I removed my hook from the live loop, inserted the loop through the button hole, and then placed the loop back onto my hook. This meant I did not need to pre-string the buttons, nor did I need to later sew them on (and thus need to weave in the ends from sewing!)

The "Lady Bug" beads were added on the bottom trim the same way as I added on the buttons. One tip for adding small-holed beads to live crochet loops is to use a beading wire needle. Snip off the eye, and fold the needle in half. Then place your live loop into the fold of the needle, and while holding both ends (legs) of the needle, thread it through your bead(s). I'm sure you'll find this little trick very useful! ;)

I think it is also important for me to add that I used Berroco Comfort yarn and a size "K" (Graydog) crochet hook as I wanted to bump up the size to fit a larger woman.

The next step is for me to call my Grammie Gloria to make a special lunch date & surprise her with this Lady Bug Ling. :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Book Review: Creative Crochet Jewelry

Title: Creative Crochet Jewelry
Author: Esther Zadock
Year Published: 2010

Dee's Rating: 9 hooks out of 10

I have been interested in beads and wire for nearly as long as I have been interested in crochet. When I was asked to do this book review -- and GiveAway! (more on that later) -- I was intrigued! An opportunity to blend my passions together: beading AND crochet!

As I leafed through the book, each project tempted my creative juices, from bracelets & necklaces to rings! Why, I already have plans of turning some of the pretty rocks my children recently brought home from Hammonasset Beach into rings!

Each project offers step-by-step instructions, including instructions on how to finish -- perfect for taking a project from looking home-made to hand-made!

The book includes over 30 instructions ranging in difficulty from beginner to experienced. If you are a beginner crocheter, and will need to rely upon the how-to photos offered in the beginning of the book, you will find them difficult to understand as the photos are very small, and some feature a silver project pictured with a silver hook; thus the reason for my giving this book a "9 hook" rating. This aside, if you like playing with beads and wire, and want to add it to your crochet to make some stunning jewelry pieces, then this book is a MUST HAVE for your personal library.

* * *

Now, for the GiveAway I hinted at: Many thanks to the publisher, SOHO, who sent me 2 extra copies to give away to 2 of my lucky readers! If you would like a chance at winning one of the two copies, please leave a comment on my blog -- at this entry! -- please include your email address (you can put in the words AT and DOT so the spider robots don't grab it. Example: crochetwithdeeATaolDOTcom) so I can contact you should you win (If I have no way of contacting you, another name will be picked). All comments must be made on my blog by September 11, 2010, midnight, ET, where I will request a member of my CGOA Chapter to draw two names at our next meeting. GiveAway is open to those in the US.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Extreme Crochet: Have You?

Two weeks ago, when the topic of Extreme Crochet was posted on the Crochet Liberation Front's Ravelry Group, I had to stop and think about it. Had I?

Although I enjoy motorcycle rides, sailing, whipping down the bob sled track at Lake Placid, and snow skiing, I never crocheted WHILE doing those activities. In fact, I think the most extreme crocheting I've ever done was while riding as a passenger in a car this past summer. Why would I consider that extreme crocheting? Because I get motion sickness in a car VERY easy. I even tried it on a train, but yeah, that motion sickness thing set in pretty quick.

So this week my sweet husband nominated me as an extreme crocheter for crocheting on the beach. I worked on two lacy chemo caps. The lifeguards nearby inquired about my crochet, and why I would crochet chemo caps: I replied, "... because there are people fighting for their lives; and they don't get a day off from being sick." They thought it was a pretty cool reason to crochet on the beach.

So, these two chemo caps will be popped into the mail, on their way to someone very special. Hopefully they'll bring some "fun & sun" smiles upon their arrival. And now, along with being well known as "The Crochet Cheerleader," I can now add "Extreme Crocheter" to my growing list of titles.

Extreme Crochet. Have YOU??

Friday, August 20, 2010

59th annual Bridgewater Fair

I was tickled to learn two fellow HHCC members would be joining me and my daughter in entering crocheted projects the Bridgewater Fair. I have been entering this fair since 2002 upon the urging of my sweet husband, well known as "Mr. Dee," as he is my biggest cheerleader.

I entered four items: a "Ling" collar, a purse, a scarf, and a vest. The Ling collar I opted to enter was my green one, made of the sock yarn that was hand-dyed by a fellow HHCC'er; it received soooooo many compliments at the recent CGOA Conference, it was what I consider a "no brainer."

The purse and vest were both crocheted using my "Pushmi~Pullyu" method. The difference between the two aside from color and size, is the purse was crocheted in the round, and the vest in two flat pieces. The scarf was crocheted with the amazing needle, which means it featured 100% true-knit stitches. Because of this, I pinned the scarf with my "Crochet" pin, and included the specialized crochet hook -- just in case there was any doubt it was in fact crocheted!

I won a Blue Ribbon for the purse and for the Ling collar. I won a Red Ribbon for the vest. And I won a Yellow Ribbon for the scarf.

Mini~Dee entered two items: a "Fiddler Shawl" from her school play, and a bracelet she crocheted using Jelly Yarn. She won a Blue Ribbon in the Junior Division for both items.

Now we're looking to next year's fair, and wondering ... what will we enter?? For that, we have a whole year to plan for. :)

How did my fellow HHCC'ers fair at the Fair? Visit http://thehhcc.blogspot.com/2010/08/hhccers-win-ribbons-at-bridgewater-fair.html to find out!