crochet and knitting

Yarn Bee Road Trip First Love Yarn | Shop Hobby Lobby

Posted on August 28, 2012. Filed under: crochet and knitting |

Yarn Bee Road Trip First Love Yarn | Shop Hobby Lobby.

Morgan Hill (CA) isn’t “that” far from me, so I opted to go over there and visit the first Hobby Lobby to open in my county, right off Highway 101 & Cochrane Road.  I bought all five skeins of the color shown in the URL I linked above.  Don’t know what I will make from it, but who cares???  I buy yarn, simply because its’ yarn LOL


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Posted on March 29, 2010. Filed under: crochet and knitting |

Crafters in general I believe will know exactly what I’m talking about:) You (**start an intriguing project, it doesn’t look right, you pull it apart, re start it, it still doesn’t look right, you pull it apart YET AGAIN repeat from *** ad nauseum). 

This is the category that a pattern I bought from a Crochetville class for a Tunisian Short Row scarf (Kim Guzman is the designer) falls into; I’m still trying to find the right size afghan hook that will give it the right look.  The yarn I’m using is from Article Pract in Oakland, CA, Crystal Palace Mochi Plus.  I tried to find it at Piedmont Yarn & Apparel first; it is a very nice yarn shop which kindly hosts the Crochet Guild chapter I’m a member of, Men Who Crochet (which despite its’ name welcomes women, if you are local to the SF East Bay area, they meet at PYA the third Saturday from 11/12 to 2).  But evidently she doesn’t carry Crystal Palace yarns, at least I couldn’t find any.

Crochetville perhaps requires some explanation.  Before Ravelry was HOT, Crochetville, started by Amy Shelton, provided crocheters with a warm friendly online home, setting up different forums for different crochet subjects, provided a classroom forum that allowed designers to teach, receive payment for their patterns, and provided a place for crocheters to chat and “interface” with one another.  Not as rigid or as “MOM’d” as some of the YahooGroups crochet groups are, it is a much more easygoing community (in my opinion).  I don’t read it as frequently as I’d like.

This means also requires some explanation, at least for the “uninitiated”; Ravelry, an online knitting and crochet community (dyers, spinners, etc also “hang” out there) embraces knitters AND crocheters, although if you read posts at random, you might think it was a bit “knit-centric”.  However, if you search the Groups tab, you will find crochet DOES have a large presence there.

I also bought a pattern from yet another Crochetville class, Toe up Socks by Karen Ratto-Whooley.  I haven’t started this yet, but just bought some nice sock yarn from Bobbins Nest Studios, a yarn / fabric shop located in Santa Clara, CA (on Homestead near Jackson, for anyone “local”).  It is a very friendly shop which I appreciate because it doesn’t look ‘down its’ nose’ at crocheters.  (Some crocheters get “attitude” from some yarn shops, because crochet is the project in mind, as opposed to knitting.) Bobbins Nest is “dangerously close” to where my local Crochet Guild of America chapter, Southbay Crochet, meets (at the Santa Clara Senior Center on Fremont St @ Monroe Avenue, the last Saturday every month from 10 to about 1 or 2).

I am actually “almost” finished with an afghan (want to make it a BIT longer first).  The pic below was taken quite a while ago, it is MUCH longer now.  This is an old Columbia Minerva pattern a friend helped me find, Stadium Robe #783-3.  This is done in Caron Simply Soft Brites, the yellow is Lemonade, the pink is Watermelon, and the orange is Mango (most of the yarn I got online from Knitting-Warehouse, which is located just west “over the hill” from me in Capitola, CA, I believe they are an online only store; if the owner reads this and this is incorrect, please correct me!

stadium robe progress end closeup

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what’s on “the hook” / “the needles”

Posted on August 20, 2008. Filed under: crochet and knitting | Tags: , , , |

In online crochet and knitting groups, this is known for short as OTH or OTN. 

On the Hook (OTH)

A giant granny square afghan is in progress (red/white/blue Red Heart).  I hate sewing squares, so opt to do “the whole enchilada”.  Will post pics when there is significant progress to show. ETA (edited to add /24/08 ) This is the center area of the afghan, which is single, large granny square:

 beginning of grannysquare afghan

I put crochet first for a couple reasons.  I learned to crochet long before I was ever comfortable with knitting.  I’ve been crocheting for 35+ years now, an am completely self taught from books.  To me, crocheters have been “ugly stepchildren” or something, or at least so they strongly feel they have.

I’ve been a CGOA member since the late 1990s.  Speaking of CGOA; for the Men Who Crochet (chapter of the Crochet Guild of America, CGOA, group I attend in Oakland, CA (about 50 miles north of me in the East SF Bay area) I finished the Jacob’s Ladder afghan I made for their charity afghan (see pic below).  For the record, Men Who Crochet (MWC) was named by its founder, crochet designer Peter Franzi, to encourage male crocheters to gather and “network” in a somewhat female dominated craft.  Despite the chapter name, women ARE welcome, as my membership in it proves.  I try to encourage male knitters and crocheters, their perspective is fresh and they have valuable insight to contribute.

long view finished jacobs ladder

I guess you could say I have a “thing” for red/white/blue LOL  One of our MWC members, Cay, once asked me if I had any OTHER colors in my stash.  Indeed I do; the yarn I own all piled up would probably weigh at least a ton LOL   One of these days, I will pile it all in one place and take a picture of it and PROVE that it probably DOES weigh, well, at least a few hundred pounds.  

Back to MWC. Thank goodness we found a group that will accept the 50 odd we had already completed, Project Linus.  We had started out with “other” ideas for who they should be given to that didn’t work out too well for one reason or another.  I DO have a local CGOA chapter (Southbay Crochet, who meet at a senior center in Santa Clara, CA, just a couple miles west of me), but WHY do I travel 100 miles round trip to “commune” with the Oakland group?  Because they meet in the afternoon.  I like to SLEEP on Saturday/Sunday mornings.  Its’ my “thing” LOL

On the Needles (OTN)

As I’ve posted before, knitters and crocheters tend to “want” to be adversaries.  Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.  We both manipulate yarn (loop by loop) to form a fabric of some sort, be it a scarf, potholder, sweater, shawl, or whatever.  So what is the DEAL?  WHY do people choose adversity when commeraderie is so much more pleasant?  Why do I turn off the TV whenever a politician opens their mouth, or news commentator discusses politics?  Because it is ADVERSARIAL.  I don’t like yelling, screaming, and otherwise making an idiot of yourself.  On TV or otherwise.  I also refuse to discuss religion with anyone for similar reasons.  I practice a faith, I do not practice any religion.  What’s my religion/political affiliation?  MYOB.  Between me and the fence post, dear.

Anyway, to get back on topic, for the longest time, I was intimidated by knitting.  It looked COMPLICATED.  Again, Stupid, Stupid, Stupid (on my part this time).  Funny it might be, but I “caught” the knitting bug some years ago at a knitting workshop, held by of all groups, Southbay Crochet, my local Crochet Guild chapter mentioned earlier in this post. 

Another meeting or two down the road, at one of its’ “sister” CGOA meetings further north (it was in San Leandro, CA, which is just south of Oakland, at the time, Bay Area Rabid Crocheters, named for the local rail transit, BART), I stood behind a friend who was purling, and the “light came on”.  So what’s OTN?  The classic Fisherman Cable Pullover sweater, done in Woolese (78% acrylic, 19% wool, 3% polyester) yarn in #301 White/multi (which is white with a strand of metallic throughout) pattern and yarn from Lion Brand (  Will add pics once some progress is made.

ETA (edited to add 8/24/08 ) some pictures of my progress on the fisherman’s cable pullover:

Here is a closeup of the cable pattern:

closeup of cable pattern

Here is a full view of the progress on the sweater back.  It is about half done.

full view of back of cable pullover

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knitting vs crochet (why can’t we be friends?)

Posted on June 12, 2008. Filed under: crochet and knitting | Tags: , |

As I love both crafts zealously, I am constantly saddened to hear knitters and crocheters “diss” each others’ craft.  All these books out that promise to make your crochet “mimic” knitting (rarely visa versa, no one seems to want their knitting to look crocheted for some reason) are ridiculous, why would I want to do that?

Yarn shops sometimes add to this “rift” in how they treat crocheters vs how they treat knitters.  I’ve had personal experience with this, if I say I crochet, I will be “steered” towards certain yarns/patterns/books/tools, as if I am too dumb to know what I am doing.  If I say I knit, suddenly I’m long lost family or something LOL.  Luckily, my own local yarn shop (LYS as they are commonly called online), Commuknity ( treats both crocheters and knitters with respect, offering services to both.

Commuting on Light Rail as I do every day, one woman told me she was teaching her daughter to knit because crochet was “too hard”.  EXCUSE ME?  I firmly believe that a brain that can comprehend one of the two crafts can be easily trained to learn the other craft.  They have their differences, but like with human beings getting along with each other, differences can be a good thing and shouldn’t hinder life; it is sad that a lot of people just allow the hostile “gulf” to exist.  I am pretty tired of crocheters whining about being “discriminated” against (they are, but enough already), and I’m also pretty tired of knitters thinking crocheters are “lower life forms”, enough already).  We have far more in common than we differ, and I think we should focus on this and try to get along.

My dream is to write / design patterns that incorporate both crafts within the SAME PROJECT.  One way this can be accomplished is something a yarn shop near Redwood City, CA (Emerald Estates), Amazing Yarns, (Andrea runs this shop out of a portion of her lovely home) has come up with, the Amazing Needle, which is basically a crochet hook with a cable attached to its’ end, so you can circular needle style knit, but you can crochet where and when you want.  They have even written patterns for these needles:

Andrea is a regular Stitches West vendor, and is very friendly and willing to help anyone.


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Freeform and other thoughts

Posted on May 3, 2008. Filed under: crochet and knitting |

I define freeform as just working on something out of my head with no written guidelines to go by, the materials tell me what they want to be and I just do it.   Most people visit a blog or website and see an item and immediately ask for the pattern.   As I don’t design (yet), either I use an established pattern (not mine so I can’t share it, copyright and all that), or, I don’t use a pattern (back to freeform).

I learned to knit because I couldn’t stand the crochet patterns offered to me via magazines and books (I’ve crocheted over 35 years vs about 7 years knitting).  I can only make so many potholders, washcloths (toilet tank covers? excuse me?  Not in my bathroom, thank you very much LOL).  Living in a tiny studio apartment I have no room for “fru fru”.  Knitted items look SO MUCH BETTER in the pictures.  Something I’d actually wear!  That might actually look good on my “less than petite” figure LOL  Crochet magazines and books tend to picture items in the most ugly color combos and patterning I can imagine.  Luckily, my imagination works just fine and I can “see” them in colors and patterning that would actually look good on me.  I primarily make things for me; who else can I wake up at 2 in the morning for a fitting LOL?  I can’t judge what other people “might” like to wear or use, I only know my own tastes.

I like techique books, books that feature unusual materials such as wire and beads, hemp, twine, whatever.



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