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My latest hand carved crochet hooks


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These are the latest of crochet hook designs I’m experimenting with. If you have not taken a class from Jimbo, I highly recommend it. He really helped remove apprehension and helped me take my very intent views on hook shape to the next level. Not to mention repair split hooks I haven’t been able to use in years.

In these examples, you can see the difference in throat lengths, point of the tips, length of the lips, etc. I made one with a flattened edge for picking up stitches as well.

Also, one of the hooks is carved from a Pei-Wei chop stick. This kind of chop stick is unique because instead of being round in diameter, they are oval. I have a theory that this flattened style may be comfortable to both saber hold as well as pencil or chop stick hold crocheters.

And side note, yes chop stick and pencil hold are different. Chop stick hold is loose and just like using a chopstick, control is gained via almost a floating partial rotation on the pads of the three middle fingers. Pencil hold is a clamp style hold and does not allow the hook to float in the fingers.

Anyway, comments on the shapes welcome!

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Categories: Crochet

Eastside Knit Night – Nov. 16 for E.A.S.T.


You will find me here teaching crochet and talking about crochet hook design. Might even demo making crochet hooks out of chop sticks.

Categories: Crochet

I’m So Frustrated: Thanks to My Math, I Gave Away A Free Scarf Today…


I had a good show at FlatFork Studio for the East Austin Studio Tour  (E.A.S.T.).  Super thanks to Faith, who is a totally awesome person as well as artist who invited us to come out and set up with her studios.  And thanks to Samantha who helped coordinate and make it possible for members of our EtsyAustin Team to be a part of it.

I also recently signed up for SquareUp, an application that allows artisans like me to take credit cards without having to sign any contracts or pay any annual or monthly fees.  Perfect for me since in the Austin area, most of my crochet work only sells Nov – Dec and sometimes Oct or Jan.  It’s actually pretty awesome and the fees are really, really reasonable.  And lucky me, most of my sales ended up being credit card or debit card sales.  I would not have made but a tiny amount of sales if it were not for being able to take credit cards.  Thanks to the folks at Square Up.  I really wish they had an affiliate program.  I’d sign up in a heart beat!

However, the service does not allow me to figure up tax in the application.  I had to figure it up real quick on a calculator and add it in.  Today someone bought two items,  when all my other sales were single items.  I figured out the tax on the two items and then added the total tax to just one item, forgetting to include the second.  So I just gave a handmade scarf, made with (I just checked my design notes) 5 skeins of yarn, for free after I already offered a discount for the weekend to help encourage sales.

Argh.  I’m pretty angry with myself.  I can’t really afford to make mistakes.

So it does cause me to question not making out a formal paper receipt.  I would not have made the mistake on a handwritten carbon receipt. Or even using an adding machine.

I don’t think.

Guess I have to chalk it up to a learning curve expense.  Wonder if that’s tax deductible?

I’m Totally a Crochet Geek Now….


It just occurred to me that the phrase in the popular club song “Like a G-6” (by Far East Movement) could be applied to a crochet hook……

::head slap::

It’s official – I’m a geek.

And the sad thing is that I would totally, totally make a spoof video too.

Maybe I will.


Update: I also posted this to the CLF group on Ravelry.  So far the consensus is that I must make this video. Guess I’ll see what I can do….!

Categories: Crochet, Humor, Random Thoughts

When You’re Finally A Rock Star…


My darling daughter came home last Friday with the request that I just had to make a hat for her classmate for her birthday yesterday.  Say what…? I have four shows this month that I’m trying to get ready for and a deadline to meet tomorrow.

Over the years, several of her friends have received one of my fun hats for their birthdays, usually when we attend a party.  I don’t know any of these kids’ birthdays unless I’m dragged to a party.

So anyway, someone in her circle who hadn’t gotten one of my hats yet in all these years finally approached Jess and actually asked if she could please have one for her birthday too, even though she wasn’t having a party.  (sigh) They’re in middle school and they’ve all practically grown up together since they began school.

So I said **NO**.

Of course I didn’t! My daughter picked out the yarn and I made her friend an ear hat Sunday night.  Had her wrap it though.

I have to admit, it can be flattering when your kids and their friends think your stuff is so cool they just gotta have it.  Though I wish the timing were better since I’m trying to get ready for shows.

Then all the girls decided they would all wear the hats I’ve made them to school today.  And they actually did.  I think even Coach wore hers.  I just wish I had a photo.

Then my daughter comes home and tells me, “Oh Mommy, it was great.  Everyone LOVES your hats.  And oh yeah, the boys are feeling left out too.  Michael wants one that says Texas Tech for Christmas.  Even Zach said he’d wear one.”

“And which kind would that be, the one that looks like it has a pony tail, or one with ears?”  I ask.

“I don’t know.  And there’s also Marley (in the rock band) and…..”

“Jess! Do your friends know how much my hats cost?”

“Well, no, but they are hoping you’ll be at the school Christmas bazaar….”

errrghh….

Yeah, always awesome when your kids volunteer you for birthdays and Christmas.

If I end up making hats for the entire 8th grade, they better drop my name around a few times…..

What Caption Would You Add To This Hilarious (Crochet) Picture?


This is a photo of Laurie Wheeler (Fearless Leader of the CLF) and I at Pinch Knitter Yarns during the Crochet Liberation Front‘s 2010 Conference/Retreat at Cama.  Bill, fabulous crocheter, photographer and husband of free-form crochet designer Bonnie Pierce, was snapping photos of everyone.  And this shot was in the mix!

“Good Lord,” I said when I first saw it on Facebook today. “What happened to my face!”

I know what it is, it’s the look I get on my face when I’m concentrating.  And thinking back, I’m guessing I was focusing in on her words since I’ve trouble hearing in groups.  But anyway, since then Laurie, Bonnie and I have been supposing what caption could be put with this photo – related to crochet, yarn and our retreat.

My favorites so far are:
“You’re going to steal my yarn while I’m sleeping, aren’t you…..” and
“Seriously? Since when is there a limit of only five? I’m not giving one up!”

Bonnie added: “Yea…. I DO have enough money to pay for my cabin! You can’t make me put them back!!”

I love it! What captions would you come up with?  😀

"You're going to steal my yarn while I'm sleeping, aren't you...."

The Best Potholders Ever…


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Complimentary colors for my sister in law

Lately I’ve had a hankering for simpler projects than I usually have in my hands. And after some recent stress and discouragement I found myself looking back for sources of comfort, to one of the very first “real” projects I ever learned to crochet some 30+ years ago – my Grandmother’s pattern for potholders.

Grandma’s double layer potholders have, to this day, been the absolute best potholders I’ve ever had. (And I’ve bought a lot of pot holders and hot pads too.) She made me a pair some 20 years ago that became my everyday potholders in motherhood. They’ve never burned me. They’ve never torn nor have they fallen apart from singeing and heat. Neither have any of the ones I’ve made in child or adulthood before or since. (Can you tell I cook – a LOT?) They wash and dry so well and overall, they still look pretty good! And not only that, but I prefer them equally to cork for use as hot pads too, when I need to set something on the counter or table.

They’ve done an excellent job of protecting my furniture from heat damage.

Various sizes, even for my little tea pot

The potholders you see pictured here are the new ones I made last week. I made several in different sizes, even some small enough for my little tea pot. And a complimentary pair for my sister-in-law who dug through my bag ‘o yarn and picked out the fibers. I really like how the textures play out.

It was comforting to “sit with Grandma” again. I’ve updated the look a bit, but in my heart it’s still Grandma’s pattern.

Miss you…

Categories: Crochet, Family
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