Thursday, September 23, 2010

Crochet Every Way Wrap


Size: Approx 19” X 60”

Materials: 24-28 ozs any medium worsted weight yarn ‘J’ hook Yarn Needle Stitch Markers

Gauge: 3 V-sts + 3rows= 2”

Abbreviations: ch-chain sp-space sc-single crochet dc-double crochet
Beg V-st-(ch3, dc in the same sp) V-st-(dc, ch1, dc) in the ch1-sp

Note: You can adjust the width/length to your desired size by adding/deleting the beginning chs (in a multiple of 3), and by shortening/lengthen rows

Row 1: Ch 79, dc in the 4th ch from the hook, (skip 2ch, V-st in the next ch) across to the last ch (25 V-sts)
Row 2: Beg V-st, V-st in each V-st across, turn

Repeat row 2 until wrap measures 60”, or desired length, do not end off
Measure along the long sides of the wrap,approx 8” from the last row, mark for buttonhole place for the Back, and also approx 12” from the opposite lower side, from the 1st row for the Front

Note: Adjust the markers, depending on your size and preference

Rnd 1: Ch1, sc evenly around, working 3sc in each corner, join
Rnd 2: Ch1, sc across to 1st marker, *sc in the next 2sc, turn, ch4, skip 4sc, sl st in the next sc, turn, work 5sc around the ch4-sp*, sc around to next marker (working 3sc at each corner); repeat from * to *, sc around, join, end off

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Double Stitch Twins

Just met the 2 lovely ladies (Monica, in the denim jacket, Erica, in the white jacket, with the 'bouncy hair!)recently at a short stop here in Philadelphia on their way to NYC. They're very talented ladies!

I found them to be very open,friendly,funny and down to earth.I had a good time, along with a fellow crocheter, Karen Thompson, of 'Hooksations', talking about all things crochet!!

We shared some background stories and photos, and found out that we all had a lot things in common.

The only problem was there wasn't enough time!

I'm glad they autographed their book. 'Double Stitch:Designs for the Crochet Fashionista'

Hope they have continued success in all their endeavors!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

International Crochet Day

International Crochet Day is Sept. 12th.

I try to get the word out every year, but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

The local people I mention it to either didn't know, don't care, or ask if they're is something that they can get 'free & good' stuff!!

They tend to look at me as if to say "What's the big deal?"

Some suggestions for participating in International Crochet Day can include: crocheting in public to show awareness, wearing something you have crocheted to show pride in your crocheting, and/or teaching someone else to crochet to help pass it along.

With the Fall season upon us, why not try to do more positive things than sitting in front of the TV or video.

If so, then do/make something while you're doing it.

We're all crying about the economy, and how we have to nickel & dime everything to death, well, try making your holiday gifts this year.....occupy your kid's time learning how to make something (OK, maybe something else for the 'guys', but something!)

At least, try to learn something new or different from what you already know.

I'm sure all of us need some improvement, right? (hint, hint!!) ;-)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Urban Lady's Cardi

Saw a little girl's version and thought, why not make it for a adult!

Click link for pattern or go to my Ravelry store:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Are Crocheters 'Cheap?'

I read this in a Ravelry group discussion:

Why will a knitter drop $60 - $100 for a sweater, but a crocheter won’t?

Why do crocheters seem to take fewer classes at conferences or yarn/fiber festivals than knitters? Are we better at it or just cheap?
Why do so many LYSs (even crochet friendly ones) have such a hard time filling crochet classes?

If you do take classes…do you like classes about techniques, a particular project, how to design, other (please share)?
When you take a class around a particular project…do you want it to be small so that you can finish it in the class?
If you do take a technique class, should there be a finished project at the end or is a series of swatches enough?

How is a class around a specific project different than a crochet-along?

Do you think classes at LYSs are more about selling the yarn than teaching the student something more about crochet?

I’ve never taken a class at a Michaels (do Wal-Mart, Hobby-Lobby, A.C. Moore or Jo-Ann’s give crochet classes?) Are they about techniques or finished projects?

Or what’s the ratio?

How far would you drive to take a crochet class at a LYS? What would need to be special about the class to get you to pay for it and drive there?

If money was immaterial, what would keep you from taking crochet classes?

I thought this blog entry was interesting, although dated.

Do you think more people crochet in the southern regions of the States than Midwest/north/Canada?

Is crochet really divided across generational lines? If so…to what degree do you think?

Do crocheters do more for charity projects than knitters (projects per year per crafter)? (I couldn’t get real numbers on Ravelry for this). Is this why we’re “cheap”?

Do you buy crochet patterns in LYSs or do you prefer to download them from online, or via magazines?

What’s would be your ratio of purchased vs. free patterns completed?

What makes a LYS crochet-friendly…good attitude or an inventory of patter patterns completed?

What makes a LYS crochet-friendly…good attitude or an inventory of patterns, hooks, thread? classes?

Here's my take on the subject:

In a word……YES!!!

Of course, there are exceptions (if you’re not, then I’m not talking about you!!…so don’t get upset with me!)

I find that, overall, knitters tend to spend their money on ‘quality’ of yarn, whereas crocheters tend to spend their money on the ‘quantity’ of yarn

Things have been changing over the years, with newer yarns that’s more affordable, as well as the mindset of who and what the average knitter/crocheter are today. It’s no longer something that just elderly women did to keep busy (not that there’s anything wrong with that either,of course!) ;-)

As a former crochet teacher to primarily seniors, I find that most crocheter tend to not want to spend too much time and money on just one item. The few knitters I come across tend to be more concerned on what type of yarn and where they buy it.

Here, in Philadelphia, we really only have one crochet friendly LYS, called Jane’s Yarn Shoppe, but most people still tend to but their yarn at the local craft stores, that are mainly in/near a shopping center, where they can can multi-task to do other things.

Another thing I find that a lot of crocheters aren’t technically skilled as they would like to be, and aren’t willing to both take the time and expense to improve their skills.

I’m always asked if I can ‘simplify’ a pattern or a idea, but they’re not willing to pay me for it.

Each year, at our annual Knit/Crochet Out, there are less people that attend, mainly because, due to the decrease in donations, the ‘free’ items have been dwindling. We might not have one this year.

So, no matter how you phrase it, until we as crocheters, that want to improve our status as not being ‘cheap’, we need to go out and promote crochet more, step up our skills, shop at the LYS, demand better service and respect.

Otherwise, we’ll be still asking the same question years from now.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Crochet Sweaters for Men?

Recently, I saw a new Ravelry group for 'Crochet Menswear' by a fellow male crocheter. After reading a few responses, I want to weigh in on the discussion.

I think the bottom line is that as far as making men’s crochet sweaters, if you’re willing to both spend more money on fingering yarn, and work with very small hooks, then you should have no problem.

I’ve come to realize that, at least for me, the idea of making a crochet men’s sweater, using the current yarns, aren’t worth the time and effort. I’ve seen many men’s crochet patterns over the years, and the majority were made by women, thinking that’s what us guys might like (and never do!)

I’m leaning towards sweater jackets, or jackets/coats. Something that has more body to it, and we can get in and out of quickly.

How about you? What do you think?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Taking Notes?

Do you take notes when working on a pattern?

Or, do you assume that the pattern should be self explanatory?

It's been my experience that most don't bother because they expect the pattern to be clear enough (most don't read it thru first anyway), or, they just don't know how. They'll write something down, either on a small ass piece of paper (then forget where it is), or, can't read what they wrote.

I would like to teach people why and how to take notes. It really isn't that hard.

If you spend the time and money to create something from scratch, the least you can do for yourself is to take the time to make sure you know what you're going to do and why before you do it. Especially wearables.

Too many times as a teacher, I just find students start a pattern blindly, then, find themselves getting stuck at a certain point, then expect me to figure it out. Many, many times, I've tried to explain to them the benefits of not only taking notes, but to at least read over the pattern first, write out or highlight what they don't understand.

Remember, "The only dumb question is the one you don't ask!"

Monday, May 17, 2010

Starting a Men Who Crochet Group Here...

I just heard that one of my online male crochet friends from California is planning to move here in Philly.

It'll be great to see another openly male crocheter here. I've always felt like I'm the only one for most of my crochet life. I hid what I did for so many years, only to feel a bit awk

I'm sure there many male 'knitters', but we 'crocheters' tend to be of a different mindset, even with women.

I always wondered what it would be like to know other male crocheters. It wasn't until the Internet, where I began to meet other guys, from different parts of the country, different age groups,races,nationalities, etc...

I was especially glad when I met Peter Franzi online, and that he started the Men Who Crochet Yahoo Group.I began to feel a lot better (and safer) about being more public about crocheting.

Still,it would of been nice to share it with other guys in person.

I mean, being around all women is OK, to a point! ;-)

OK, so I'm calling out to any and all guys who crochet (and to any women who knows a male crocheter), and want to get together, hang out, maybe a small bar or a restaurant, just to get together and share ideas, and our thoughts, maybe once every 2 weeks or a month..

Sound like a plan? OK now, don't leave me hangin!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Crochet 'Not-So-Warm-Coat'

I had been reading on a Ravelry group (Crochet Wearables)about if there was a crochet version of the famous knitted 'Einstein Coat' by Sally Melville's book, 'The Knitting Experience-The Knit Stitch'.

Some of the ladies were talking about all the possible stitch variations, including doing it in Afghan(Tunisian)standard stitch (boy, that'll take some time, I tell you!!!) ;-)

But no one mentioned about actually making it!! Shocked, huh? :-0

Well, I decided to sit down and try it.

I wasn't too crazy about getting the book for just that one pattern, but when I looked at it in the bookstore, I decided to get it. It's well written and very informative, even with me really not being a 'knitter'. ;-)

I also saw that there was a 'lighter weight' version (without a collar) called a 'Not-So-Warm-Coat. I didn't want to use bulky yarn for the first time trying it out, so I looked at that pattern, and just added a collar.

I wanted to try to follow some of the same principals as in the book, mainly the modular direction of how the coat was designed. It reminds me of the book 'Modular Crochet' by Judith Copeland.

So, here goes....tell me what you think.
Pattern available at my Etsy & Ravelry Stores

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Shawls & Stoles

Here's a few of my Shawls and Stoles:

Patterns are available for some at my Etsy & Ravelry stores

Great gift for Mother's Day!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pineapple Mesh Shawl-PDF Pattern Only

This pretty, lightweight, and airy shawl is great for those upcoming cool Spring days & Summer evenings.

Worked from the neck down, you can adjust the length to your desired size.

Can be made with either worsted or light weight yarns.

You can make this in just a couple of days!

A quick & easy Mother's day gift too!

Click title for the pattern

This pattern will be emailed to you as a pdf document. You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader (free download at in order to open it.

The pattern will be emailed to you within 24 hours after your payment is received and cleared

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why Make Swatches?

Why Make Swatches?

I recently read this from a crochet Yahoo group called 'crochet wearables':


  If you want your garment to fit properly after it is completed, it is important to take the time to make a swatch. Then treat it exactly as you will treat your finished garment.

  First, chain about 20 stitches (staying in pattern may require you to start with a few more than 20 chains).

  Work your pattern until it measures about 4 or 5 inches.

  Lay it flat and let it rest.

  Measure the length and width and write these measurements down.

  Wash and dry the swatch the same way you will be washing and drying your finished garment.

  Measure the length and width of the laundered swatch and write these measurements down.

  Determine how much (if any) your swatch has changed from before it was washed and dried. This will help you figure how to adjust your pattern to fit properly. You may need to make your garment much larger if your swatch shrank a lot. Or you may need to make your garment smaller if your swatch grew (stretched).

  Mark out a 4 inch square in the center of the swatch. You can do this by pinning the 4 outermost corner stitches of the square.

  Count how many stitches and rows are contained in those 4 inches. This will help you determine how many stitches and/or rows to add to or subtract from your pattern in order for your garment to equal the correct finished measurement.

  You should do this every time you begin a new (large) project, even if it is the same pattern with the same brand of yarn and the same hook size.

  ( Personally, I'd be more concerned about all this in regards to wearables.)

  Sometimes different colors of the same yarn brand will work up to different gauges. Sometimes the yarn companies change something in the fiber content or manufacturing process of their yarns. And sometimes your tension will be tighter or looser than it was before. A lot of things could make your tension change your gauge, such as whether you are happy, sad, angry, tired, rushed, very relaxed, etc.


  So, start a small piece with a seperate ball of yarn with the same hook for a few minutes, just to get your hands warmed up, and your muscles relaxed before going back to your main project. This is good when you plan to go back to a earlier project you haven't worked on in awhile. ;-) 

  If you do a gauge swatch before you start your project, there shouldn't be any unpleasant surprises.


So, get your 'Crochet On'!

Monday, March 01, 2010

National Crochet Month (YEAH, RIGHT!!)

OK, March is finally here, and it's the beginning of National Crochet Month.

For the last few years I've tried to see what's going on in the city (Philly)regarding anything crochet......and each year it's the same...


Most people either don't know anything about it(some they get 'conveniently stupid'), or, they just don't care about it.

The only concern I might get if they hear that's something free to get!!

I try to go around the city, stopping the few places where crocheters gather, to see what people are doing, and it's pretty much the same thing. They're mostly beginners who mostly just sit around,chit chat and eat (oh yeah, gotta have some food!). And wait to see what everybody else is doing (mainly to see what patterns they can get free copies of.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't come out to gossip and feed my face. Sure, I like to see what everyone else is doing, but that doesn't mean I want or need to get a free copy of the pattern. I can get my own (I might want to know where they got it from, like if it's online).

I want to learn as well as to see what's new and what's going on with crochet. Trying to learn and see other people's perspective on what's important to them regarding crochet.

And as a former teacher, it's gratifying to show someone either something new (to them), or a different way to do a specific technique or stitch.

But as usual, I find myself being asked to teach the whole class(for free?), or constantly being bombarded with requests for 'free copies of patterns!! UGH!!

So, this year you can count me out for National Crochet Month here..!!!

I'll just deal with my online friends and groups. It seems to be more people of the same interests there.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Are your crochet skills are advancing over the years?

Recently, Dora Orhenstein, from 'The Crochet Insider', asked that question to a Crochet Yahoo group.

I've been crocheting for nearly forty years. Started as a teenager in college (PSU), eventually taught myself to read patterns (the girls on campus got sick of me asking how to do stuff!). I had a Saturday morning class for a little while teaching new stitches. Even the girl who first taught me came to the class!!

I've always been curious about different things about crochet. I try to challenge myself to find and do not only different new things, but find and do different ways to do some of the same things.

I became a CYCA Certified Crochet Teacher 10 yrs ago, but I was already teaching at different senior centers in the area, mostly volunteering.

Teaching brought out a different concept to my crocheting, improvisation.
Learning to adapt to different ideas to accommodate the different types of crocheters was a challenge in of itself.

Funny, most of my students think I'm obsessed with crocheting, but whenever they need help, who do they contact! ;-)

Finally, I have to acknowledge that with the introduction of the Internet, I've been more open with my crocheting. Only ever met one other male crocheter here locally, he was in his 70's, and was 'tickled pink' to finally met one himself!. But with the Internet, I've met dozens of guys, of different ages, races, and backgrounds.

I'm glad to see some of my work has inspired a few young guys.