Monthly Archives: February 2007

Book Review: Get Your Crochet On!

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A week or two ago I got the book Get Your Crochet On! Hip Hats & Cool Caps by Afya Ibomu. I like to get instructional books from time to time, because in addition to new projects and ideas it also gives me some ideas as to how to teach complete beginners how to crochet. Well, let me tell you, this book could put me out of a job.

The first several pages contain the basics of crocheting, as many instructional books do, but this book sets itself head and shoulders above most books with its large and very detailed photos and diagrams. You get a couple pages just on hooks alone. The diagrams on different stitches are especially helpful and clear, and yes, there’s a patternese-to-English guide as well.

Once you get past the section on The Basics, you get to the fun part: the Patterns. This book contains patterns for twenty different projects, each with photos and simple directions (plus room for writing in margins, if you’re the sort who counts rounds by making pencil marks). I like the “Superfly” hat particularly; it kinda has that smooth, sophisticated Alicia Keyes-look to it. This book has hats for cold weather, sunny weather, and bad hair days; hats for men, women, and kids; hats that are hip and stylish in a way that (unlike some fashion pattern books) have a timeless quality to them that won’t be out of style by the time you’re done making them. For the price, you’re getting great hat patterns at less than a buck apiece, plus excellent directions.

If you’re new at crocheting and want to make something besides another scarf, get this book. If you’ve got mad skillz and want to make some great gifts, get this book. Long story short: get this book!

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Change(s) in Plans

First off, I decided that the Maggie chart pattern from my previous entry is no longer going to be a blanket, but a bag. I forgot how much easier it is to switch colors doing singles when the stitches are all going in one direction (ie in rounds).

Also, I’m going up to meet said new niece for the first time this weekend. I plan on coming home Monday sometime, so this coming week’s N00b Monday post will be bumped to the week after. That’ll give you n00bs a whole extra week to make all those granny squares (24 monochrome first, then 12 multicolor) for upcoming projects.

One of the awesome things about WordPress is that it enables me to see what words people enter a search for and stumble onto my blog. A lot of it is stuff that I do indeed have (funny that) including “simple single crochet scarf” and “pirate’s alphabet”. Others is stuff that I’ll have soon, such as “what to do with granny squares”. Sometimes it’s stuff that I don’t really have a lot of information on (yet), including “amigurumi”. It’s great because it gives me a glimpse at what people are wanting to learn about. My ever-inquisitive (and thus very helpful!) friend Val asked me recently how to do what I’m working on now, which is crocheting from a chart pattern and switching colors. I probably won’t do a n00b Monday post on it, because I consider it slightly more advanced than n00b-level, so maybe sometime soon I’ll do a “Slightly More Advanced Saturday” or something, heh.

Anyway, I’m traveling on Friday but I’ll try and get a Project Friday list in before heading out (yay for saving drafts for later!) and I’ll be back late Monday.

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Welcome, Maggie!

Today at about 11:30 my newest niece, Maggie Susan, was born. So I got an idea for something I’m going to make for her.
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I plan to crochet a baby blanket using the chart above. I’m going up to visit on March 1st for the weekend so I hope to have it ready by then.

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N00b Monday: Switching Colors

Last week, we learned how to do in-the-round crocheting and practiced by making a monochrome granny square. This week, we’ll be using the same granny square pattern, but we’ll be switching the colors to make a four-color square.

When switching colors, the color you’re changing to is used in the very last step of a stitch. For example, if you’re making a double crochet stitch with white and are about to change to black, you use the white to make most of your stitch, until the very last part where you would put the last yarn-over on the hook to pull through the last two loops. For that last yarn-over, loop the black over your hook and pull it through the last two white loops.

Have the following with you:

  • Worsted weight yarn, in 4 different colors (we’ll be calling them colors A, B, C, and D.)
  • Crochet hook
  • scissors
  • large yarn needle

You should already know:

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Project Friday: Blood Donation Month

February is National Blood Donor Month. So to call attention to the critical need for blood (New England, I know for a fact, is very short on supply), here’s a list of projects and ideas that are somehow Red Cross and/or blood-related.

  • Red Cross Socks (knit) as shown from World War I patterns. Men’s socks are at the top of the page; hospital socks are lower down.
  • “Knit Your Bit” Kit (knit) An article and directions on ordering a WWII-era knitting kit to help support the Red Cross.
  • Vinnie the Vampire (crochet). PDF file. Vinnie vants your blood! Or at least your candy corn.
  • Blood Scarf (knit). At the always entertaining MAKE blog, a scarf made of vynil tubing that *cringe* hooks up to an IV tube. No wonder it’s such a realistic color…(Note: it’s an article and not actual directions. Not for the very easily squeamish.)
  • Vampire Fangs (cooking). A healthy snack made from apple wedges that looks like vampire fangs dipped in a bowl of blood.
  • Vampire (origami) PDF file. A creepy creature of the night made with origami.
  • Mosquito Lamp (miscellaneous/general crafting) Make a funny mosquito-shaped lamp.
  • Mosquito finger puppet (spool knit). Make a larger-than-life bloodsucking critter of your own.
  • Bandages (both knit and crochet). These are used by Global Health Ministries for a wealth of ailments.

So there you are. I have a busy weekend planned, so I’ll probably “see” you all again on N00b Monday (where we’ll be practicing switching colors in crocheting, so get yourself some yarn in your 4 favorite colors).


On a final, off-topic note, there’s a banner in my sidebar widgets to click to help raise money for my favorite cause, Big Brothers Big Sisters. I’ve been a “Big” for two years now to a wonderful kid (who is quickly becoming a teen! EEEP!) and I can’t say enough how worthwhile a cause this is. I’m heading up a bowling team called Peaseblossom’s Pin Pixies and for the third time in as many years we’re looking for pledges from people. If you can help, great and thank you!

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N00b Monday: In the Round

My apologies for the late post. I’d rather give you a full post late than a half-assed post on time.

This week, because a few people have expressed a curiosity in it, we’re going to learn how to crochet “in the round” with that Universal Crocheted Staple: the Granny Square.

Have the following with you:

  • A crochet hook
  • Worsted weight yarn
  • scissors

To make this item, you’ll need to know:

*What we in the States call a dc and what my friends in the UK call a dc are two different stitches. This is the US definition, because it’s what I know.
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“Om” shoulder bag

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I did this up over the past couple days, making it up as I went along.
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