Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Week 21: What is Your Favorite Crochet Hook and Why?

This week's challenge is to talk about my favorite crochet hook. That's pretty simple really, I prefer any hook that I happen to have in my hand at the moment! But seriously, I do prefer wood hooks. They are warm in my hand and my "regulars" have a nice patina on them from being used so often. I have a set of birch Brittany hooks that are my "go to" set, and which I use when designing. It's easy for me to keep a consistent tension and gauge with these. I only have a few that are walnut wood, they no longer make them and they have become quite collectible, but you can easily find birch hooks for sale.

A friend of mine gave me this lovely wood hook with an adorable hen on top. It is such a fun hook!

I also have a small collection growing. These hooks have polymer clay handles. The flower patterns are very intricate and colorful. I can only imagine that it took many, many, hours just to create the flowers, and yet, they were not very expensive. I found them on Etsy.

The lovely hook below is made of abalone. It is quite a different feel to use because of its curved handle. These can be found on the Lacis website.

The hook below was also a gift. It is made of stainless steel and would be used for thread crochet. It's not very comfortable to hold because of the decoration, but it is unique, which is what I love about it.

I hope you've enjoyed taking a peek at my hook collection. What is your favorite hook? I'm always interested to know what other crocheters prefer.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Week 20: It's Christmas in July!

This week's challenge makes me feel like I have a chance to get ahead of my holiday crochet projects. One tradition I have is that I like to make a Christmasy potholder to give as gifts to family members. Last year I considered doing something else, but at Thanksgiving dinner my sister-in-laws were talking about them, wondering what the potholder would be. Well, that pleasantly surprised me, so I got busy and found a pretty snowflake potholder. Unfortunately, I didn't give myself enough time, so at the last minute I was crocheting like a mad woman, driving myself nuts.

This year I'm hoping July is early enough! I considered designing my own pattern, but then I found this from the Country Meadow Settings leaflet by The Needlecraft Shop.

I think I'm going to make the Cardinal. It's Christmas colors but not too Christmasy, but a pretty winter theme. I've already made the front piece of one and the cardinal for it, but my bird is too big, so I'll have to adjust my hook sizes. I'll post pics when I have one finished.

Merry Christmas in July!

Thanks for joining me for week 20 of the 52 Week Crochet Challenge!

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Healing and Health Benefits of Crochet?

Lydia Crocheting In the Garden at Marly
Mary Cassatt, 1880

I've always joked that crocheting helps to keep me sane. But what if there are health benefits to crochet? I've had students in my beginning classes tell me that their doctor suggested crochet as a way to help with hand pain. I also know from personal experience that it is a stress reliever. Beyond that I hadn't thought much about it at all.

Kathryn Vercillo, Crochet Concupiscence, however, has thought about it a lot. She's also written about it in her book Crochet Saved My Life. Currently, she is taking a survey on her blog and is asking for more responses. I've taken it myself, and I'm very interested to learn what the results conclude. I hope you'll take a few minutes to share have your experiences. Has crochet had health benefits for you?



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Week 18: Crochet in Movies or TV

Week 18: Name a movie or TV show in which someone is crocheting, or that has a crocheted item in it.

Back in October of 2012 I was watching the TV show Hollywood Treasures. I honestly can't say too much about it except that one of the cast, Tracy McCall was wearing a really fun crocheted hat. I liked it so much that I paused the show long enough to sketch out the hat in my crochet notebook. I think about it sometimes, and may even work one up one of these days.

Another crocheted item that has caught my eye is from another TV show, but it's one that I haven't watched myself. I was reading the Ravelry forums and came across this thread. It is about the show Breaking Amish which has a crocheted afghan in it. It 's a very distinctive pattern and one that I am considering starting this fall. It just happened that Love of Crochet magazine mailed me an offer and they included 2 free patterns, one of which is Rippling Ridges. It's a bit different, but has the same stitch pattern in a shallower chevron. So, I now have a pattern, I'll just need to choose my colors. There are some fabulous colorway examples of this afghan on Pinterest, and below is a photo by Angelala242.

Do you have any crocheted TV or movie props you'd like to make?

Thanks for joining me for week 18 of the 52 Week Crochet Challenge!

It's never too late to join in the fun and there's no need to catch up, just jump right in:

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