If you're a PDA user, you won't want to be without a new program called YarnLog. This neat little app. created by Sarah Wood, lets you
organize your projects right on your PDA! To get it, visit PalmGear.com and search for YarnLog!
Welcome to my crochet page. This is a hobby that I have come to enjoy, so
I thought I would share this with others. Below you will find information on how I learned this craft,
what I do, what I use, and what I'm working on now, plus my finished projects, a couple of free patterns of my own design, and several crochet links.
Lately, I've become even more involved in this craft: I started selling my crocheted doilies on eBay in
August '06. I also started teaching crochet classes at the local Michael's store in March '07 and did so until Michaels discontinued all its classes, at which point
I started teaching at home on weekends. I teach people of all ages and skill levels. I also do a lot of project help. I love it!
How I learned to crochet
I first learned to crochet when I was in fourth grade, in Belgium.
As with any crafts, I hated it. I was 10 years old and I had better things
to do than stupid crafts. I did what I had to do to pass the class, nothing more. In
fact, I was also taught knitting and sewing. Both of which I hated as well.
And so my hook remained in a drawer for 12 years. A few years ago, as I was
searching my drawers, I found that hook and decided to try it again. This
time, since I didn't remember anything about it, except how to do rounds (and
even that was foggy), I decided to buy a "Learn to Crochet" book. I learned
the basic stitches, which I apparently had previously learned since I found
a single crochet sample I had done in the fourth grade. I found it very enjoyable.
My first project this time around was a Christmas stocking. I also did 3 other
stockings for my family. They turned out great so I decided to keep going. At
the beginning of 1997, I started to crochet doilies. This was really a
big change because the thread and crochet hooks are so small! When I was shopping for my 1.5mm steel hook,
I couldn't even *see* the actual hook! It took me a while, but I was very
happy with the result. Being the procrastinator that I am, I always have several projects on hand. I can still knit
(basic stitches only) but I don't like it as much as crochet. For one thing, it takes much longer, and I have little patience...
What I Use
I use all kinds of hooks, but for doilies, I generally prefer a 1.50 mm. I have smaller hooks, but they are currently too small for me. For yarn, I rarely use my original hooks, British-made Milward, because they don't have the Susan Bates "inline" hooks. For that reason, I don't care for Boye hooks either.
I have an almost complete line of Susan Bates hooks, including: SB Steelite US-9 1.25mm, US-7 1.50mm, US-1 2.00mm, US-00 2.70mm. SB Silvalume 3.25mm D-3, 3.50mm E-4, 3.75mm F-5, 4.00mm G-6, 4.50mm G-7, 5.00mm H-8, 5.50mm I-9, 6.00mm J-10, 6.50mm K-10.5. SB Luxite 11.50mm P & 10.00mm N. For most things, I use a 5.5mm or 5mm.
The afghan hook I use is a Boye 14" I-9 (5.5mm) aluminum afghan hook. I also just purchased a 10" double-ended hook - 6.5mm K-10.5 from Red Heart (the only one they had in the store - kinda looks and feels like a Milward).
These days, I have a few favorite yarns. One of them is Caron Simply Soft (Sayelle and Wintuk were good yarns to use, but they've changed a few years back and are now as soft as Red Heart. Yuck). Simply Soft is a no dye lot yarn, which is very shiny and "drapes well". The only drawback is that it's very heavy, and therefore, not good for clothing, or for mailing. The other one I use all the time is Lion Brand Wool-Ease (80% acrylic; 20% wool). It's quite soft, very light, and comes in a wide variety of colors. I like Dazzleaire (which is more "fuzzy") but haven't used it in years; and Bernat So-Soft, for some projects. It is worsted weight, but a little on the thick side. For baby things, I usually use Caron Cuddlesoft or Lion Brand Jamie, on occasion. For sport weight projects, I use Bernat Softee Baby or Lion Brand Baby Soft, though I prefer the first.
For doilies, I only use Caron Grandma's Best. Usually, I work with no.10. Occasionally, I'll use Lustersheen. Recently, I've also used Omega baby yarn for doilies. It's actually very thin, more like a doily yarn than a baby yarn per se. The only problem is, it's manufactured in Mexico, and therefore not easily available in the U.S. I bought most of mine at Michael's years ago. The best thing to do if you're looking for it is to look on eBay. I find most of my doily patterns in "Decorative Crochet", which I buy it at the local Publix supermarket. It's full of doily patterns, both in text and graphically. All the stitches are drawn for you. All you have to do is follow the graph. It's the best I've found. A companion magazine is "Magic Crochet", which also comes out every two months.
I used to subscribe to Crochet with Heart (until it went out of print) and Annie's Attic "Crochet on the Go". I also bought the binder collection called "Vanna's Afghan and Crochet Favorites" (published by Oxmoor House), which is full of wonderful patterns. Those, plus a ton of Leisure Arts leaflets and various books will surely keep me busy for years!...
July '10: I've added 7 new finished projects. If you'd like to buy a handmade doily,
check out my listings on eBay (or ask me!).
Anything else, visit my Crochet Creations. I will soon be moving the items on that page to my
Current Projects (Works in progress):
Birthday/Christmas projects -
I'm busy finishing up a couple of birthday presents, and thinking of starting a couple of rather lengthy Christmas projects soon.
AFATC anniversary doily -
If you've been reading this site, you know that I belong to an eBay group called AFATC, which is made up of about 20 thread crocheters. I'm currently working on the annual
anniversary piece, which, since it's our 4th anniversary, will feature some sort of 4 somewhere in the pattern I pick. That's all I'll say for now.
Pineapple afghan -
I'm working on a pineapple afghan, made with Wool-Ease fisherman yarn. The wasn't really any occasion for this afghan, except that I found a pattern I fell in love with,
and I have tons of Wool-Ease fisherman on hand. An excellent way to use my yarn stash.
I'm currently in a doily mood, so I'm making lots of them. Can't list them all here, but let's just say I've got a list of those I want to make that's about 3 miles long.
How it works: 6 x 9 in. rectangles are collected for a few months, then
volunteers meet at a "put together event" (PTE) and design afghans out of the rectangles. Then more volunteers take bunches of rectangles home and sew
them together. The afghans are then delivered to military hospitals. I like this charity because 1) it's patriotic, 2) it's 100% volunteer, and 3) it's traceable.
You know exactly where the afghans go (you're not sending them into a black hole), and there are pictures posted on the HAP website of all the afghans
that are designed. Plus, Deborah (HAP founder and coordinator) is very involved in the project - she lets you know when she's received your rectangles, and keeps you
up-to-date on what's happening, which is another big plus in my book. I encourage anyone to support this charity by making 6x9 rectangles.
They're fast and easy and can mean the world to a wounded soldier.
The fine print: HAP is a nonprofit organization that has not applied for tax-exempt status under
Code Section 501(c)(3). You should consult with your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of contributions to this organization.
Free patterns -
I put up the support/awareness ribbon pattern. Still trying to locate my pattern for the miniature sweater.
Goose with crocheted outfits -
This is something I got for Christmas 2003. I got the plastic goose and a pattern booklet for crocheted outfits for each month.
I've been wanting to get this for a long time. It is the cutest thing ever! Plus, they're good little projects that are short (about 10 days each) and fun, too.
I'll post pictures of each outfit as I finish them, so be sure to check back from time to time. The goose and the outfits are from Annie's Attic.
I'm using Wool-Ease worsted weight yarn for these. As of Jan. 2006, I'm only missing June, August, and September, which I will do as they come.
Ripple afghan -
I really wanted to do another ripple, so I started this new one in peach, mint, and white. It is sc throughout, worked in back loops (just like the other ripple),
but each peak/valley has 6 stitches. I'm alternating peach and mint, with a little row of white in between. I'm using Simply Soft with a 5.5 mm hook.
This one is a nice no-brainer, which is really relaxing. As of January 2001, I'm about 2/3 done. I plan to finish this in 2006, after a 5-year hiatus.
Snowflake stitch afghan [Another view] -
This is going to be my own afghan. It has nothing to do with snowflakes,
really. It looks more like spokes of a wheel. This is a pattern that I got
as part of my Vanna White binder collection. It's supposed to be a
Christmas afghan in strips of white and red. I've changed my mind, and, upon
receiving the "Angel Blue Ombre" Dazzleaire, I found that it was a lot less
soft than the ones I bought previously. I don't know what Caron did to it, but it's
definitely not as soft. In addition, I've found another yarn in the meantime
called "Berella So Soft" that I can only find at Michael's. It's a "no dye lot" yarn
that is very soft and quite thick but not too much. Anyway, it's perfect for this stitch. As soon
as I had tried it, I was convinced. I've started this afghan, and it's cloud soft
and so pretty! I'm making it in "vanilla" (that's what I'll call it; colors don't
have names; they have numbers!!) and a kind of "antique rose" or "dusty rose".
With this innovative stitch and the Berella yarn, I've finally found the perfect
mix. I'm really excited. It goes really fast too! I'm using an I/5mm hook. Just one strand here; this stitch makes the afghan very thick.
This is a work in progress that gets stopped and restarted from time to time.
I've moved the Completed Projects to their own page. There were just too many of them here and the page was getting cluttered (and incredibly long). Hope they like their new home...
The "soon" category:
Lots more doilies. There are just so many patterns!
Piglet, from the Pooh and Friends collection of stuffed characters. Then eventually, the other 3 characters: Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore.
An aran afghan for which I already have 20 skeins of Woolease fisherman
Wearables: I have a pattern for crocheted gloves I'd like to try; slippers, which I've started but never finished; some kind of winter hat
Loopy lamb: This is a project from the "Vanna's Afghan and Crochet Favorites." This is the binder thing where you get 2 sets of pattern pages every month or so, one for each category. Anyway, I signed up for that.
In the first packet, there is an adorable stuffed lamb done in the loop
stitch. I'm basically done with it, except I have to assemble it.
The "later" category:
More afghans: maybe a ripple light blue/light yellow; a teardrop type; a mile-a-minute; some kind of scrap afghan; some kind of patriotic, 12" squares afghan; some kind of 'crochet on the double' afghan
More wearables: I'd like to try my hand at socks; a sweater or cardigan; some kind of shawl; a crocheted fisherman sweater for my dad (found here)
More charity projects: Linus, of course (this is ongoing, although I'm always on the lookout for more patterns); maybe caps for kids
A thread butterfly I have to finish (can't find the pattern for it, though)
More Christmas projects: A large angel (12 in. tall) I just have to finish next Christmas - It's already crocheted, but needs stiffening and finishing touches. It's going to be gorgeous! I know it'll be hard to stiffen, so I've just been putting it off; a small angel I also want to finish next Christmas - same story; a crocheted Nativity, for which I have the pattern. It is a 16-piece set complete
with camels, sheep, shepherds, and angels, and worked in thread; Christmas bells, which I haven't found time to make yet; musician angels (from Crochet with Heart)
The Last Supper in filet
A pansy wreath in thread (from a Leisure Arts booklet)
Several filet projects: a duck, a flower, etc.
Any other projects from Crochet with Heart and other pattern books (A Year of Afghans comes to mind); Also patterns from the Vanna White binder collection
This should be high on the list, but don't tell anyone... Weaving in loose ends, and adding fringe where needed (this is more of a New Year's resolution, if you see what I mean... )
The "abandoned" category:
A shell afghan: This one is the same pattern as the first layette I did. I adapted it so as to make it bigger. Basically, the number of ch st at the beginning has to be [a multiple of 6] +1. Then add 3 for the turning chain. This one should be the same size as the ripple afghan (see Past Projects above). I chose Caron Simply Soft Traditions (from Wal-Mart) in wine and white. I got kind of tired of it because there are a lot of color changes. It'll be difficult to go back to it, because Simply Soft has changed since then...
A granny square afghan (Easter colors): This afghan started out as charity squares. I used Caron Simply Soft Traditions (the 'no dye lot' one found in Wal-Mart) in three colors: Row 1: Orchid (lavender) Row 2: Soft Yellow Row 3: Sage Green Row 4: Orchid again. By the time I had made two, I thought they were so cute, I (selfishly) decided to keep them and make a granny square blanket out of them. I have about 15 squares and I need to make 9 more. Not to mention that I'll also have to 1. weave in yarn ends (lots of those - I could never get into the habit of crocheting over them) 2. crochet 2 rows of sc around each square (I forgot to do that) 3. join squares together 4.crochet 4 or 5 rows of sc edging. Again here, Simply Soft has changed so much since the, I'll probably have to stick with the 15 squares I've got, and skip the 2 rows of sc I was planning on adding...
A thread table runner: I worked on this for a few months, but I stopped a years ago... At the time, I found the spiderweb design difficult, tension-wise (which I still do, to some extent), so I gave up after making 3 motifs out of 12 (the pattern repeats). I found that one in Decorative Crochet, January 1998, pattern #3. Unfortunately, my gauge has changed a lot since then (I crochet much tighter with thread now) so I won't be able to pick up where I stopped. Oh well.
This is a small sample of the sites I find the most interesting.
If you find any dead links, please