6.24.2011

Chain Reaction Afghan Square...

My square from the Chain Reaction Afghan Project has a second or two of fame in this video on Knitting Daily's website.  The video is a preview of the upcoming season that begins in July.  There will be segments in 13 episodes that feature a crochet-along for the Chain Reaction Afghan.  I'm thinking there is a pretty good chance that there will be a short segment in there that focuses on my square, and I am so excited about that!  I know it's not much, but something I did is going to be on TV, and that's a first for me!  I don't think the show is on my local PBS station, but I'm going to find some way to watch these episodes!

Also, there is a picture of the beautiful completed afghan in the Summer 2011 issue of Interweave Crochet.  It is a really beautiful afghan, I am really tempted to make it...if I can possibly find the time.

Happy crocheting!

April :)

6.21.2011

Summer time!

 School ended here on May 24th and we have been busy, busy since then.  We have somewhere to go almost every day, and there have been several days that I haven't been able to squeeze in any crocheting...shameful, I know.  One of the things I decided to do with my two oldest girls this summer is a sewing project.  So, last week we took a trip to Hancock Fabric and picked out a pattern and fabric.  the girls of course wanted to make rufflie skirts, so what should have been a simple project with maybe a yard of fabric, is now a much more complicated project with 2 1/4 yards of fabric each.  Oh well!  Here is Princess helping me cut out the pieces for her skirt.  She chose this Strawberry Shortcake (R) fabric with a turquoise background.  Drama Queen chose a turquoise fabric with flowers on it, and I am going to make a skirt for Lady Hops-a-lot as well just to pre-emptively avoid the "It's not fair-s" that I know would occur otherwise -- and she chose a royal blue fabric that is mostly solid.  It surprised me that they all chose blue!  So far, we have about half of the cutting done.  I hope to get some more of it finished tomorrow afternoon.  Wish me luck! 
 A couple of weeks ago I got the Summer 2011 issue of Interweave Crochet in the mail and sat reading it for quite awhile.  It is pretty good!  There are several articles and patterns that highlight elements of doilies including a short article about applying various types of handles and applications to handles of those tiny steel hooks in order to make them more comfortable to hold.  Well, I thought this sounded like a fabulous idea since that is one of the things I dislike about working with thread.  I also dislike how the end of the hook rubs in the heel of my hand.  So, one of the suggestions was using oven-bake polymer clay to make a larger handle.  I thought this sounded like fun!  So, I got some clay and made the above handles.  They are larger around and longer so they are more comfortable to hold! 
These three however were so ruined by the baking.  All of the white clay turned this yucky brown color in the oven!  The hook closest to the front in this picture was a marbley looking handle that combined pink and white.  The brown streaks are hard to see.  The middle one looked like blue, pink, and yellow confetti on a white background.  The one in the back looked a lot like the hook below but with a pale blue background and white swirls and squiggles.  I was so disappointed to see this happen because I especially liked the last one.
 But this one made me very happy!  It is my favorite of all of them.  The handles are very comfortable to hold.  Great suggestion Interweave!  If you are concerned about durability...well, don't be because believe me, they are very durable (see below).
I began trying to remove the blue with brown swirls handle shortly after taking the above pictures.  I first tried dropping it on our ceramic tile floor, which did nothing.  So, I got out the hammer and banged on it a bit, which left a little scuff mark on it from the hammer having something on it.  Then I got out a flat head screwdriver to use as a chisel.  This began to accomplish something.  I was able to hammer the screw driver into the clay, but it did not crack it much as I hoped.  The screwdriver went into the clay and left a little hole.  So, I worked all the way around the handle from top to bottom on two sides and then tried to pry the clay off.  I worked on this for 30 or 45 minutes and accomplished what you see above.  I think I might just buy some new hooks instead of trying to complete this job on all 3 of the ones that got messed up.  Sheesh!

Does anyone know why my white clay turned brown?  If that isn't avoidable, then what is the point of having/selling white clay anyway?

Now, this picture may seem random, but it is so crochet-related.  We went on a trip a few weeks back to Austin, TX to visit some of my relatives.  In our hotel room there was this lamp.  Some clever crocheter used chain stitches to shorten this lamp cord.  Such an idea had never occurred to me!  How ingenious!  I imagine that the crocheter probably just used his/her finger to make these chain stitches until the cord was just the right length.  They are difficult to see in this picture, but you are looking at the chains from the side.  The tops of the chains are to the left, and you can see the bottom ridges to the right.

So, I'm curious, what ingenious and unusual uses have you seen for crochet?  Have you ever run across crochet in some random place like this?  Tell me about it!

Happy crocheting!