Thursday, August 31, 2006

Combine your Knitting & Crocheting

For the past few years, I have received Berroco's Knit Bits newsletter through e-mail. Lately, the newsletter has been nothing but patterns, but it used to include an article from the editor in each issue. I still remember reading in one issue a while back about how the editor had been to Italy for some sort of fashion preview, and she was happy to report that combining knitting and crocheting in the same garment was the latest thing and quite haute couture. I thought that sounded wonderful, and I couldn't wait to see some patterns. Since then, I have waited, and waited, but the designers all seemed to collectively ignore this trend.

Until now. Finally, this week I received another email newsletter, this time from Crochet Me. In it was a link to their mid-issue sweater, called Ice Blue Ribbon, a garmet that combines a knitted body with crocheted sleeves and bottom border. Even better, Crochet Me reports that the same designer, Annette Petavy, will have two patterns that also combine knitting and crocheting in the upcoming fall issue of Interweave Crochet (link is to preview of issue). So the crocheters are adding knitting to their patterns. Now the knitters need to start adding crocheting to theirs. Either way, I think I am going to enjoy this trend!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Night and Day

Yes, the difference between Monday and Tuesday this week at work was night and day. As expected, everything settled right down to normal yesterday, and I got caught up on a number of chores that had just languished all summer. And last night was probably the first night all summer that I didn't fall asleep in my chair in front of the TV!

So the return to normalcy at work has me thinking about my fall knitting and crocheting projects, since I think I will finally be able to tackle more complicated projects. Over the weekend, I had completely finished 6 hats for Save the Children, and I thought that was a good round number. It was time to move on to other projects. But then along comes an email from Dee, and I am still working on baby hats! Apparently the New York City Crochet Guild has promised to bring a certain number of these hats to the Knit Out and have asked for the help of my guild to meet the goal. Well, I can tell you that a half dozen hats aren't going to cut it, so I have already this week finished one more hat and started another. I actually have a couple of get togethers coming up this weekend where I can bring my crocheting, and the hats will make a good traveling project. So I will see how many I can get done.

As far as fall crocheting projects go, I would like to get started on some hat/mitten/scarf sets, since those take a while to complete and November will be here before we know it. So of course last night I was possessed to start a baby blanket. Go figure, except we will need a few of those for our next hospital sale, also coming up in September. I would also like to finish the lacy scarf I have been working on for I don't know how long now.

I would also like to get back to my knitting. I would like to finish my tank top, although given the cool summer we're having here in New England, I'm not sure I will be able to wear it up north later in September! I would also like to get a pair of socks started before vacation. And I am really itching to start a lace project with my Russian yarn.

Wow! I have a lot on my plate for this fall. Hopefully I will be able to continue to stay awake in th evenings and get lots done!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Craft Adventure

I don't want to hammer this topic to death, but I also don't want to leave the topic of Craft Adventure without saying just a few more words about it. I haven't attended the event for about 3 years, but my impression on Saturday was that everything about Craft Adventure was smaller this year. There seemed to be fewer entrants in the competition, fewer vendors, and fewer people in attendance. Don't get me wrong. I had a great time hanging out with my fellow crocheters, and we sold some items and made some money for our guild. (That's our pod in the picture.) And 2 of the guild members won second place ribbons for their items. But I think it is a shame that more people weren't there to experience Craft Adventure for themselves.

One of the things that always impresses me about Craft Adventure is the sheer number and variety of the fiber arts that are represented. Of course knitting and crocheting are there, along with sewing and quilting, weaving and spinning, every kind of embroidery, as well as tatting and lace making. Every piece is the best the artist could do. It really is a feast for the eyes. And it helps me to see where my chosen crafts fit into the bigger picture. So I came home very enthused and ready to experiment with fiber and color. Talk about recharging the batteries! It was the perfect end to summer.

And as of today summer is truly over because it is the most wonderful day of the year - the first day of school in my little town! As I am writing this I just heard my first school bus. Dare I hope that my work life is going to settle back down to normal today? I'll let you know tomorrow!

Monday, August 28, 2006

New Yarn!

I have so much I would like to say about Craft Adventure last Saturday, but I am running out of time to do a long post (connectivity problems again this morning). So, since this blog is all about me ::lol::, I'm just going to post about the new yarn I acquired this weekend! The rest of the story will have to wait til tomorrow.

Creative Fibers in Windsor, CT had a booth set up at Craft Adventure, and it didn't take me long to notice that they were selling yarn! They had brought some lovely yarns with them, and four skeins ending up coming home with me. The skein of green Cherry Tree Hill Supersock is definitely going to become a pair of socks (possibly my vacation project). The two skeins of pink Koigu will become either a pair of socks or possibly a scarf. The third skein of yarn in the picture, however, has a longer story to go with it.

I have mentioned Whoduknit and their mystery yarn contest before on this blog. Well, I worked through the clues last week, and the best I could come up with was Manos del Uruguay, colorway English. Unfortunately, I knew that my guess was wrong because the yardage didn't match up to the clues, but I sent my guess in anyway just to participate. Well, as soon as I walked into the booth on Saturday and noticed the skein on the right of the picture, I knew what the correct answer to the contest was! It is Malabrigo from Uruguay. I'm still not sure what the colorway was in the contest. The skein I bought is Hollyhock. Once I picked up a skein, I had to own it. It is just about the softest yarn I have ever owned, and I can't stop petting it! I'm still not sure what it is going to become, but I am leaning toward another scarf. Then the question becomes knit or crochet? It will be a lot of fun discovering which works best with the yarn.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Final Count

Well, it turns out that I have to be at work early this morning, so I am going to make this quick. I don't even have time for a photo, but I will try to take pictures tomorrow at Craft Adventure so you can see my creations. My final count, such as it is, is 3 baby hats, 3 baby berets, and 9 pairs of booties. Considering how much crocheting I have done in the past week, that doesn't seem like that much accomplished (especially since I still have 3 1/2 pairs of booties to finish sewing up). But it does reinforce my belief that it is really much easier to make items as the spirit moves you and have them ready to go when the need arises. So I am starting now to work on items for the November sale my guild is doing!

Oh, and the hardest part of making baby booties? Tying the ribbon that I thread through the eyelets into a bow. My fine motor skills just aren't that fine any more! Have a great weekend! And if you happen to be at Craft Adventure tomorrow, stop by the HHCC booth and say hello!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Still Alive...

...and I'm still crocheting! Although this morning I have to settle down to sewing in ends and sewing up booties. Luckily I'm off work until noon. However, I have a couple of links to share with everyone before I start. First is a post that Opal, a.k.a. the Akamai Knitter, wrote a couple of days ago. Opal is one of the cofounders of Whoduknit. I thought that her list of things knitters should do was right on and was apropos for crocheters too. Then, thanks to Jane over at Grammieknits, another member of Whoduknit, I discovered the "random stripe generator". I am going to have some fun playing with this site! Have a great day!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Crocheting State of Mind

I must say that I am in a much better frame of mind this morning than I was on Friday. We had an almost normal day at the library on Saturday, which was a pleasant change. My DH brought his new car home Saturday afternoon, and I got to drive it yesterday. It is a lot of fun to drive, and I don't usually say things like that! It is also a pretty color, blue and green at the same time (although the DMV calls it grey for some reason).

Despite chores and errands, I did find quite a bit of time to crochet on Friday and yesterday. When I started on Friday, I had one hat and 2 pairs of booties made. I now have 3 hats and 6 pairs of booties, although I have not sewn seams and tied in ends on everything yet. Obviously the hats take longer, so I will try to concentrate on them this week. (If you are reading the blog for the first time, I am making all these things for my guild to sell at Craft Adventure this Saturday.)

I am limiting myself to 2 hat patterns and one bootie pattern, and I thought I would give you the links to the patterns I am using. I will try to post a picture on Friday with everything I get done. I am using the hat pattern I linked to a few weeks ago when posting about the Save the Children hat drive. I am also using this baby beret pattern, and I have to say that it is an adorable pattern. Finally, I am using a bootie pattern I found at Bev's Country Cottage. I have altered the pattern slightly to include an eyelet row, so I can thread some ribbon through, and a ruffle on the top. I may try to post my alterations next week, after I get everything done this week.

Looking ahead, I have a feeling posting is going to be light this week. I feel like my mind is so full of crocheting that I don't have any space there to come up with posts! I also want to use as much time as I can to get more items made. I will try to check in occasionally with an update, and I will definitely let you know on Friday how much I was able to get done. Have a great week!

Friday, August 18, 2006


I have been wandering around online this morning putting off blogging because I don't seem to have a lot to say about fiber today. In a summer full of hectic weeks, this one has been a douzy, and it seems to have worn me out completely. Even when we are fully staffed at the library, we are not adequately staffed, but most of the time we manage. This week we had 2 full timers and one part timer on vacation, and then one of my part timers had an unscheduled root canal Wednesday morning and has been out most of the week. We only have 20 employees, so that is 1/5th of our workforce who are unavailable. We have been stretched a bit thin to say the least. This is on top of the normal summer busyness, the "end of summer reading" party we hosted for the public on Wednesday, and the disruption to two of our public desks on Wednesday when we finally got the granite countertops installed that we have been waiting for for a year now.

And, since I don't have enough stress in my life this time of year, my dh decided to buy a new car this week. He bought a Pontiac Vibe, which he will pick up tomorrow afternoon. The entire process has gone very smoothly, but it's one of those things where there is so much you can't control and so many potential snags along the way that it is just stressful. This probably explains why, when I came home for lunch on Tuesday, I managed to drop half a jar of salsa on my off white rug. Luckily, this particular rug is fairly trashed already. But now, in addition to all of the dark stains on it, it also has a large red one which has so far resisted three attempts at cleaning. I guess I'm going to live it until we get around to redoing the room and ripping out the carpeting. Sigh.

At least I am off from work today, since I am working tomorrow. I have some errands to run, but then I am going to recharge my batteries by crocheting up a storm this afternoon. I promise to return next week in a better mood and with more fibery goodness for you all. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Things that Make Me Happy

  1. The Mystery Yarn Contest on Whoduknit. I don't have any idea what the yarn is yet, but I love getting the clues in my mailbox every morning!
  2. The fact that Stephanie McPhee, a.k.a. the Yarn Harlot, is going to be attending the Knit Out in New York City on September 17th. Maybe I can get a book signed, or at least tell her how much I enjoy her blog!
  3. That I was able to sit down yesterday morning and finish a baby hat and 2 pairs of booties (all crocheted) and have everything look great and end up the right size! I am getting better at gathering in the tops of hats neatly, and I finally feel like I have a handle on what sizes will fit what age group. Now I should be able to use either worsted weight or sport weight yarn and have all my items turn out well.
  4. Finally, a website called Woolly Thoughts that I discovered thanks to reading Mason-Dixon Knitting. All of their designs are based on mathematical principles, and they work in both knitting and crochet. Their work is beautiful. Apparently afghans aren't very popular in the U.K., though, since the website goes to some lengths to explain what an afghan is used for!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I spent some time this past weekend reading and thinking about color, as I started to plan out some hat/mitten/scarf sets, and I thought I would share some of what I learned with all of you. I have quite a stash of Caron's Simply Soft that I like to use for the sets, and I had bought some of the yarn during one of Herrschner's weekly sales because they were offering colors I hadn't seen before. However, when I looked at the stash I had amassed, I didn't quite know where to begin in putting the colors together!

So I dug around my craft room a little further, and I found a color wheel that I had purchased several years ago. I had never taken the time to use it, so I pulled it out and read the instructions. It is quite a tool. It is actually called a Rainbow Color Selector, and it is a bit more involved than a simple color wheel, although still easy to use. It shows shades of each color in the spectrum. In the center, the arrows, triangles, squares and rectangles help you to pick two, three, or four matching color combinations. You just need to pick your starting color, find it on the wheel, and go from there.

One of the Simply Soft colors that I had fallen in love with is called Seashell, and it is a sort of a sand color (although it looks more orange in the picture). I really didn't know what color to put with it, but the color wheel led me to the light blue I used in the swatch. (I used the Cross Hatch stitch to make the swatch, mostly to see what it would look like in two colors. If I use the stitch to make a scarf, however, I think I will work lengthwise, and use the color changes to make the start of the fringe. I tried carrying the colors up the side of the swatch, but the rows are too wide to do that successfully.) Anyway, getting back to the color wheel, if I had wanted to use a 3 color combination with the Seashell, the wheel suggested a light sage green and a light violet or orchid. I really wouldn't have picked those colors, but when I put the skeins together it did look lovely.

I also did some reading in Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet and Pauline Turner's How to Crochet. Donna Kooler does a nice job of explaining some of the terms associated with color, like tone, shade and tint. Pauline Turner offers some very simple ways of introducing color into various crochet stitches. She also suggests that people often gravitate to one side of the spectrum or the other, prefering either the warm colors of brown, orange, red, or the cooler colors of blue, green, violet. I think that is very true, and I can tell you that I definitely prefer the cooler shades. I realized this when I rediscovered that crocheted scarf I mentioned on Monday. It is almost exactly the same color as the beaded scarf I showed you last Friday! (Sadly, the beaded scarf got frogged over the weekend. I couldn't tell where I was in the pattern, and I decided that I would start that one again some day, probably after I get new glasses - those little beads are really hard to see right now!) I am using the shell trellis stitch for the scarf, and between the lacy stitch pattern and the softness of the yarn (Cascade Success, an SF Alpaca/Mulberry Silk blend), I am having no problem with drape on this project!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Finally, Some Crochet Content!

I know that I have been knitting a lot this summer, which means I have been putting up a lot of posts about knitting as well. For some reason, when the weather got hot I put aside my crocheting projects (probably because they were larger and so they were uncomfortable to work on in the heat) and concentrated on my knitting. Well, let me tell you, I got back to crocheting big time this weekend!

I spent Saturday digging around in my stash trying to put some colors together for hat/mitten/scarf sets. I made a couple of swatches, one using the cross hatch stitch and another using the Tunisian double crochet. I had some trouble with the Tunisian stitch, which got straightened out at the guild meeting yesterday. I also rediscovered a scarf I had been crocheting for myself out of Cascade alpaca/silk, which I intend to keep working on.

Then yesterday I attended my guild meeting. Boy, do we have a lot of things going on in the next couple of months! August 26th we are attending Craft Adventure up at the Big E fairgrounds. We can sell items to make money for the guild up there, so I am going to try to make some baby hats & booties and possibly another baby afghan for the group. September 17th is the Knit Out & Crochet in New York City, and then September 20th we will be at the Big E. We will be teaching people to crochet at all three events. We also need to have our hat/mitten/scarf sets done by Nov. 12th, and we will be selling items at our local hospital in November as well. So as far as I can see, there is going to be a whole lot of crocheting going on at my house in the next four months. I'm not sure when I'm going to fit in any knitting!

Finally, we had our "outrageous flip flops" contest yesterday. 5 of us entered and we all won something! I won "best use of texture". I got 3 skeins of purple yarn and a booklet with 5 purse patterns from Lion Brand. My flip flops are the ones in the exact middle of the table. Next up, we are having an outrageous scarf contest in October. I am already working on ideas!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Judy Pascale

Yes, ok, I am weak! I stopped in to my LYS again yesterday during lunch. I decided yesterday morning that since everyone online seems to be knitting the Icarus Shawl, I wanted to get my hands on the pattern. The pattern was published in the Summer 2006 issue of Interweave Knits, and since the Fall issue just hit the newsstands, I knew I had move fast. I wasn't really sure I would make the shawl, but I thought I would regret not having the pattern. Now I am contemplating starting it. I actually think I have enough yarn in my stash. The Icarus Knitalong site has great pictures of some finished shawls, if you are interested.

So last night I sat down and looked through the rest of the magazine. By the time I had finished, I had any number of things I could blog about. But the one thing that stood out most in the entire magazine was a small ad for a "knitting cruise". Now there's something I could get into, if only the budget permitted! Even better, this cruise features classes with Judy Pascale. I had the opportunity to take a class with Judy about a year and a half ago through my knitting guild. She is a very energetic, enthusiastic, funny person, and I can just imagine what going on a cruise with her would be like. It would be a blast!

Actually, the project I started during that class, a beaded scarf, has been on my mind lately. As you can see, I haven't gotten very far with it. Judy suggests using Koigu, but at the time I didn't want to spend that much money. So I purchased some Dalegarn Baby ULL, which is ok but not Koigu. Then someone suggested that my scarf was too wide! So I think I have started it several times and finally put it down because I just wasn't sure I liked it. I found the project again not long ago, though, and I think it is fine the way it is. So I intend to keep going with it.

The forecast for the next couple of days here in Connecticut is for highs in the 70s with low humidity, which is just my kind of weather. DH is working on Saturday, so I have a day to myself, and Sunday is my crochet guild meeting. So I am looking at one terrific weekend. May yours be equally terrific!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

So How Much Yarn Have I Bought This Summer?

Since I brought this up yesterday, I suppose I should fess up about all my yarn purchases this summer. In my own defense, most of the yarn I bought is earmarked for specific projects. I only bought a little that is just going to increase my stash. Of course now I have to find time to work on all these projects!

I decided last month that I needed a cardigan to go with the tank top I have been diligently working on. My first thought was to have both done for vacation, but I am coming to realize the futility of that thought. Anyway, I chose the Check-Mate Cardigan from Cabin Fever, done in white Berroco Touche, a cotton/rayon blend. I still need to wind the hanks into skeins, so it will be a while before this one gets started.

Then, last week, my LYS had a sale. Bring in your email notice and get 20% off your total order. How could I refuse such a handsome offer? So that trip resulted in 2 skeins of Berroco Suede for the Sacha slippers, and 4 skeins of Galway Highland Heather wool in a beautiful shade of dark violet (#732 on the color card) for my August Whoduknit project. I decided that since the main character of the book we are reading constantly travels the country in a motor home, she would obviously need a really cool bag. So I have decided to make the Lucy Bag. It will be my first attempt at felting.

Then there was the Joann's order that I mentioned last week. In addition to the Tunisian hooks, I stocked up further on Caron's Simply Soft and Bernat's Softee Baby. Hopefully I have enough Simply Soft in my stash now that I can combine colors and make some really interesting hat/mitten/scarf sets this fall. And this is all in addition to the 3 skeins of Russian goat down that I didn't buy, and the 2 skeins of Koigu that I did buy but made into the scarf and gave away last month. Whew!

So this is what happens when work is stressful over the summer. I buy yarn. But it is just so calming to visit the LYS on my lunch hour and pet the yarn. Actually, I don't do that very often, even though the shop is right between work and home and I drive by it several times a day. See how disciplined I am most of the time!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Of Koigu and Socks and Cooler Weather

The heat wave has broken here in Connecticut, and Canada has begun sending lucious cool air our way! I can't tell you how good the cooler air makes me feel. While it is hot, I am just existing through each day. As soon as it gets cooler, I feel like I can do anything. I can take on the world, or a knitting challenge, and win!

The other benefit to cooler weather is that I sleep so much better. Last night was one of the few nights this summer when we could turn off the air conditioner and sleep peacefully with just a quiet ceiling fan above us. I slept soundly, but interestingly I spent almost the entire night dreaming about Koigu yarn and knitting a pair of socks with it!

I think there are a couple of reasons for this. First, although vacation is still 5 weeks away, I have been thinking a lot about it lately. I intend to knit socks on vacation. As a matter of fact, that might be the only project I take with me. Second, Wendy over at WendyKnits had an interesting post up last weekend about why she likes to knit socks so much. It seemed to come down to the fact that hand painted yarn just works wonderfully with a simple stockinette sock pattern. And finally, I realized when I got my latest credit card bill that I have been visiting my LYS entirely too much lately! They have got such a great selection of Koigu right now, and I visit it every time I go in. I really would love to try knitting a pair of socks with it. So I think my subconscious was trying to tell me something last night! Now the question is will I listen and when. The answer - yes and probably just in time for vacation!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Quick Post This Morning

I woke up to a thunderstorm yesterday morning, so it seemed prudent not to put the computer on. Now I am almost running out of time this morning to post! This will be just a quick update on the weekend's stitching, and I will try to do something more involved tomorrow morning.

Since we were having dinner with the parents on Saturday, I had to spend most of the day cleaning house. This freed up all day Sunday for knitting! I was tempted to start something new, but I didn't have the right sized dps for the new project. So I was very good and disciplined and continued working on my tank top. I was able to finish almost all of the decreasing for the armholes. Unfortunately, I have one less stitch than I should on one side, but I have 6 more rows of decreasing to do. So I think I can skip one decrease on that side and have everything come out ok. I should definitely be able to wear this on vacation this year. Other than that, I have almost finished another baby hat for Save the Children but that is about it. Between the heat and humidity and the craziness at work, I just haven't had the energy for much else. But school goes back in 3 weeks from today, so there is an end in sight to this summer. I can't wait!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Whip Up!

I have been following the Whip Up website for a while, and I decided yesterday that it was time to post about it. If you aren't familiar with the site, it is designed to be a place that showcases the most original and innovative crafting around. I think I found it through CrochetMe's blog. Although all kinds of crafts are featured, there is significant knitting and crocheting content, including the entries for the last 2 days. All of the entries are tagged, as well, so it is easy to use the categories list in the sidebar to find all of the entries on a particular subject. And I have to say that I like seeing some of the work being done in other crafts, as well, even if I don't participate in them myself.

Being cutting edge, though, not everyone will agree with what all the artists and crafters are doing. For example, yesterday's entry highlighted the Counterfeit Crochet project on Stephanie Syjuco's website. She is looking for crocheters to help her create crocheted knockoffs of designer items. I feel a little uncomfortable with this, although the crochet patterns are all original work. The designer items are really just providing the inspiration. (How's that for rationalization?!) Or from two days ago, there is the link to The Anticraft, an online magazine with patterns unlike anything else around. I like Asphyxiation, a crocheted choker based on a vintage pattern (although the name tells you where the designer was going with this), and I find the knitted bomb cover to be whimsical. But I can understand that this won't be everyone's cup of tea!

Well, have a great weekend! I am hopeful that the weather people are right and the humidity at least will recede this weekend. Then maybe I can get back to work on some projects and have wonderful things to show you all next week.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What a Difference a Day Makes!

After I posted yesterday morning, I began to have second thoughts about what I had written. I mean, after all, it's not all about me when I am making chemo hats, which is kind of how the post sounded. Too bad if I am working outside my comfort zone. (Although I do think that the heat frying my brain does help to explain yesterday morning's post!)

But then I realized that, no, my concern with my hats coming out well does have to do with the comfort of the patients who are going to be wearing them. Back last winter, I was making about a dozen hats for my guild, and at the same time I was working with one of my part timers who had a good friend going through chemotherapy for breast cancer. My part timer and I spent some time talking about her friend's use of various chemo hats. I learned some interesting things that I hadn't realized. For instance, you feel differently throughout your chemo experience, and a hat that might work for you initially can become very uncomfortable mid-way through. My part timer's friend actually came to prefer a sewn fleece hat rather than a knitted or crocheted hat. So I think that I am trying to create the perfect hat, when in reality there is no such thing. There isn't even one perfect hat for each patient.

With all of this on my mind, I went off to Borders for my "Coffee, Chat & Crochet" session with fellow guild members. While we were there, Dee inaugurated me into the mysteries of linked stitches, which I had read about on some of the blog entries from the CGOA conference last month, and I had a "Eureka" moment! I really think this may be the answer to how to use double crochet stitches, which are softer, in a chemo hat, without having so many gaps between stitches. I haven't tried this out yet, but I can't wait to get started.

To tie in some more of my previous posts, Dee also examined my Tunisian double crochet swatch, and we talked more about drape in crochet. I get the impression that the trend in crochet may be to use larger hooks with all sorts of yarn to create a softer, drapier fabric. I mentioned to Dee that I didn't understand why so many published patterns by professional designers are crocheted at such a tight gauge, with such small hooks. She replied that it is because too often, people look at the suggested needle size on the yarn packaging and use that as a guideline for crochet. I found myself thinking "Yes, this is why it is important to think through things like equivalent hook and needle sizes." I came away from the morning feeling like I might eventually give up crochet patterns entirely and just do my own thing, at least with hats and scarves. So really, what a difference a week makes! I feel like I have learned so much this week about crocheting, and I think it will really make a difference in my confidence in at least some of my finished projects.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Chemo Hats

I have been thinking more about the upcoming charity projects my crochet guild is going to be involved in. I find that I struggle a bit with the chemo hats. There are a number of guidelines to be followed when creating them - they need to be soft, easily cared for (no handwashing if possible), and not too lacy or open. This is a little tough, though, because luxury yarns are by far the softest, but they are not easily cared for. Lacier patterns are nicer looking, but I can understand why they are not desirable. On the other hand, a really tight stitch pattern doesn't breathe at all. On top of all that, I am my own toughest critic, and so with all the guidelines, I become extremely critical of my work - does it measure up, will the recepient like what I have done?

However, before I become too whiney, I should add that all is not lost. Dee has a crochet pattern up on her website for a hat based on the bushy stitch. (The direct link isn't working this morning, but just knock on her door and then scroll down to her free patterns section.) I have made several hats using her pattern, and it is a great pattern. But I also need some variety in my creating. It occurred to me that I might try knitting some hats. Maybe that would work out better. So I went looking around the Internet yesterday and found some good information. has some interesting patterns, and they suggested something that I had discovered back in the spring but had forgotten about. The Knifty Knitter loom works great for chemo hats! The fabric is dense but has some breathability. They also directed me to Bev's Country Cottage, and from there I found "Patterns by Dot". She has a lot of free patterns available, and while not all her hats would work for chemo hats, I was really impressed with her creativity. When I have a little more time, I will definitely explore her site more thoroughly.

Now I am off to Borders for "Coffee, Chat and Crochet". I am so happy to be going somewhere air conditioned this morning! Take care and stay cool and well-hydrated!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sacha Slippers

I only have time for a quick post this morning because I have to be at work early for a staff meeting. But I wanted to share this new pattern from Berroco, which arrived in my email last week. The good folks over at Berroco are calling this pattern "Sacha", and I think the slippers are just about the cutest thing I have seen in a long while. They only take two skeins of Suede, and I think they are going high on my "to do" list! I am, however, skeptical that I could get the embroidery to look like the picture. But at least the pattern would still be practical even without the embellishments.