in progress…

Hours of travel time over the past two months allowed for the finishing of a few projects and more deciding to jump on and off the needles… and hooks! Let me tease you with some recent projects…

I’m test knitting quite a bit right now in an effort to get past a designing block so it isn’t possible to show more or discuss much of what’s being made.

(Need a test knitter/crocheter or a tech editor? Let’s talk.)

book review: creating crochet fabric

I’m starting to catch up on all the draft book reviews I want to write. This one is the most complete so I’ll throw it out there. There are over a dozen still to go and don’t worry, I won’t toss them to you all at once.

Creating Crochet Fabric: Experimenting with Hook, Yarn & StitchCreating Crochet Fabric: Experimenting with Hook, Yarn & Stitch
by Dora Ohrenstein
1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book review1 star for book review
143 Pages, 15 Projects, & Stitch Dictionary
Skill level: advanced crocheter or an adventurous beginner who wants to learn more
Binding: soft cover
ISBN: 978-1-60059-331-4

I was initially drawn in by, of all things, the title. I’m really happy I listened to the siren call and discovered a beautiful new publication.

I don’t often hear many who describe what their needles or hooks create as fabric, but I’m very happy that “after several years of serious play with yarns [Ohrenstein] gained new perspectives on the interplay of yarn, hook, and stitch patterns in crochet fabric”. She terms this the fabricology of crochet. I hope that more will begin to look at their creations less as a project and more as a handmade fabric that is worked into a project.

Why does this book succeed? The same stitch pattern is shown with different yarns and the differences are described. Most samples have the pattern available in a stitch dictionary at the back, as both charted crochet and with more traditional written instructions. The photos are in focus and photographed simply showing the detail you need to understand the important concepts that Ohrenstein covers.

I do wish more attention and examples were given to drape, as I feel that is an area many crocheters need to understand to go to new places in the fabricology of crochet.

Overall I highly recommend this book so much so that I offer it a coveted spot on my reference bookshelf.

instant hat (almost)

Westchester is not Brooklyn. I have my own personal standards for how I dress, but I do like to blend in a little. For yamim noraim, I was one of a handful of women in a shaitel. I won’t discuss the detailed thoughts on that, but I decided for sukkot I wanted a hat. Most of my hats are no longer nice enough for shul, even though I wear them all the times. The few that are do not mesh well with early autumn weather and are best for deep cold winter. I decided this Sunday night at about 10:30pm. Which meant I didn’t have much time to find or make one.

Monday (the 21st) I ran through Union Square and went to a few shops to try on ready made hats. I skipped shops I didn’t think would have anything and focused on the few that might. I thought a nice felt cloche would look nice. The ones that were in my desired price range looked horrid on me, and ones that were more than I would ever spend on a hat looked nice. I looked quickly but didn’t see berets at a price I wanted to pay or they didn’t have penny-friendly colours (aka grey or black).

So, I did what any self respecting knitter or crocheter would do. I got my butt over to a yarn shop (in this case the always awesome Lion Brand Yarn Studio) and threw myself at Tracey, crocheter and friend extraordinaire. She listened to my rushed babble of “need hat. stat. penny colours. fast. not wool.” and walked over to Vanna’s Choice and handed me two skeins of Dark Grey Heather and pondered my sanity of a 5mm (H) crochet hook. (That’s a tiny hook for the yarn’s weight. If one were to crochet normal tension or wanted a drapey fabric. My goal was structure and I crochet loose anyway.)

I didn’t really plan. I wasn’t sure when I started if I was making a beret or a cloche or what.

Approximately 2½ – 3 hours later I had a hat.

This is the result:
instant hat (almost), final progress

Ok, it’s not the final result, but that photo (self portrait) came out pretty nice if I do say so. I only added one round after the photo.

Here’s the process:
Instant Hat (almost), progress Instant Hat (almost), progress, self-portrait edition Instant Hat (almost), progress or finished, late night self-portrait edition instant hat (almost) FINISHED

Ravelry Project Page with more details on my instant hat

It looks much better on my mommy (I was oohing to much to take her photo on Sunday) so I think I might send it to her and make myself another one.

However, I confess I did find a ready-made hat. And I like it.

On a whim yesterday (ok I was early for a meeting) I walked through H&M and found this. This isn’t a good photo of it, but it’s a very thin light weight beret. It was less than $4. it’s acrylic, but this is closer to what I had in mind. It is also perfect for this spell of warmer weather we are experiencing. Does it upset me I bought a knitted beret? No. The thread is superfine and it is black. I would not knit that by hand.


I’ve been having a rough week. I don’t know if it’s because of the “big day” at the end of the week/month and my feeling lacking in most things, or what. However, it’s not all as gray and gloomy as today’s weather: I’ve been reminded of how wonderful friends are.. and how they can surprise you when you least expect it, and need it the most.

This morning craving new yarn desperately I emailed my LYS, aka Melanie, and proposed we do a swap similar to one we did two years ago. She could send me some yarn from her stash and tell me what that yarn wanted to be, and I knit it. Thus yarn wouldn’t even enter my stash as it is hers and from her and it would to return to her. The benefit is that I get to play with something different and give a gift to a wonderful friend. She’s admired my Wrap for years and bought yarn for it. I’ve been wanting to reknit this pattern as I’m a much better knitter now. Win Win!

Then today’s post came. First there was a gift from my friend LC. A mezuzah case cushioned in a ball of yarn. Thanks dear. :)

Then a large envelope from Beverly entered the house. A large envelope that has tears streaming down my face even now, over an hour later. (so typos/grammatical issues are account of the tears, m’kay?)

Remember the 30 for 30 project? (or read about it here) Well that 30 is rushing upon me. I was frustrated because I’ve found excuse after excuse not to knit or crochet lots of hats. That hasn’t helped my week.

Oh I have a few but no where near the 30 I thought I’d have. My biggest excuse? I’m using dpns and don’t want to drop one in the car or on the train. Silly I know.

365.251 ... 20091028W-b

Anyway. This is the part of the envelope that caused the most tears:

365.251 ... 20091028W-a

These are knitted or crocheted by Beverly and her SnB. Thank you!!!

Oh what, you wanted Rhinebeck writings? Maybe tomorrow I’ll write it up. Maybe. If you look through my flickr for last week, you can see all that I brought back. It was modest and each item carefully considered, as all purchases should be.

happiness … for me and for you

is a new penguin

introducing... ping.

But (s)he needs a name. And a gender. I’ve been tending toward he since PG is most definitely a Girl, but since chicks can’t really talk much, I’m not sure if this one is a boy or a girl, yet. In my Ravelry notebook this project is titled “Omega ‘double-oh-one'” as it’s the first one I’ve made with this Omega Nylon Thread… and while that has a fun ring when I say it and the Omega.001 is a nice entry in my book, I’ve been informed with very strongly with sharp beak pecks (in the two broken needles it took to get the feet on) that name is not to remain.

So, please help me name this wee one. You have until 11:59:59pm (aka 23:59:59) Eastern Time on Tuesday 22nd September to submit your vote. One entry per individual please. I may look the other way if children or pets or your own little stuffed wee ones are involved in alternate entries.

In your entries please also list your favourite animal and if you like it best in traditional/natural colouring or “punk” (and what colour punk).

Winner better not hold their breath, but I’ll see what I can do.