More Crocheted Bookmarks and Current Projects

This bookmark is my latest. I made it for a friend for her birthday. She crochets too, and recently gave me a beautiful little crocheted wire amulet bag with beads. I thought it was wonderful. Along with it she included some sage from the prairie to the south, some sage from the hills to the north, and some water from the gulf coast (complete with sand). I was delighted. I love to collect waters from all over the world. When friends go off to visit family or far away places I always send them with a plastic peanut butter jar and ask them to bring me back some water. Sometimes I get funny looks, but it all works out.

Anyways, back to the bookmark. I did it all freehand, and just made up the pattern as I went. I tried several different things for the long body of it after creating the woven pentacle. First I thought I would try to modify a wide belt pattern, just doing fewer repeats. But I couldn’t figure out how to make it a belt from the instructions and not an isosceles triangle. I then tried some strange rendition of the hexagon stitch, but the edges were quite crooked. So in the end I went with the tried and true granny bookmark formula.

I attached it to three ch loops on the edge of the pentacle and went back and did the edging and went around the circle at the top when I got there.

I much prefer to stitch items like this in one continuous thread. It seems to make them stronger, but it probably also has to do with my hate of weaving in ends. Is there really any thread worker out there who enjoys that process?

I usually try to use the left over ends to do something to reinforce the piece, but of course that doesn’t always work out.

The pentacle itself is technically my own pattern, but I have seen many of them around. Working out the changes in size is always difficult. I did this particular one with a US size 4 hook (2.00 mm). I started out by chaining 51, leaving about a 10 inch tail. *Then 3 sc into the second ch from the hook. Sc in the next 9 stitches.* Repeat from * to * 4 more times. Now weave the end away from the hook into the pentacle shape. It will be a bit wonky at first, but it will work out. The spaces where there are 3 sc are the corners and should help the piece to turn. Slip stitch the sc your hook is currently in to the first of the 3 sc on the other end. Now, use your hook to slip stitch the starting chain to the 50th chain with the tail left from starting the work. Pull this stitch through.

At this point you can thread the tail onto a blunt needle and use it to stitch down the points where the pentacle overlaps. I pined it to my foam board and worked it out so it would be even, then gave it a shot of starch and a bit of water. I pressed it quickly and then went back and stitched around the inside edge of the pentacle, being sure to catch both pieces of stitching to anchor them together. I went around one more time on the outside edges, and then wove in the remaining tail.

Now you can go back to your regular working loop. Slip stitch one more sc into the middle of the 3 sc. Sc in this stitch and chain 7. *Sc in the middle of the 3sc on the point of the pentacle and chain 7.* Repeat from * to * three more times, joining to the original sc with a slip stitch. Chain one and sc in the same stitch. *Sc 10 times in the chain 7 space, and sc in the top of the sc.* Repeat from * to * four more times and join to first sc with a slip stitch. This completes the pentacle. Fasten off, or go on to turn it into something nifty. Could be a square or circle for a larger motif piece, or the center of a doily, or a bookmark, or just a crocheted pentacle.

This is my current project. It will some day be a snood. But I am designing it all on the fly, so there has been a lot of riping out!

Next to it was last nights break from pattern making! It is a tiny little witch hat from the left over gold thread I used to make the bookmark above. No pattern or anything, just stitching to relieve tension.

There is a better close up of the snood below. It hasn’t been blocked yet, so I tried to stretch it out so you could see the pattern. I used some granny stitches in the center section, and some pineapples. The large solid sections I am on right now have some front posting in them.

I am just starting on a fishnet pattern around the outside edge. I am not sure where I will go after that.

The yarn seems to be 100% cotton. It is actually yarn from my great grandmother. She crocheted a lot, and when she passed way her daughter (my grandma) gave me her crochet supplies. My grandmother knits mainly, and can crochet, but doesn’t very often. She mainly uses it to bind off or start knitting in some circumstances.

This yarn was one of many that had a border or edging crocheted out of it and stopped and fastened on the ball. I am not sure what to do with all of these edgings as I really don’t think I will ever use them. But as a piece of family and crochet history, I hate to unravel them.

I found this at Jo-ann’s back in the clearance section the other day. We were killing time before we had to meet the inspector for the new house, and my darling let me drag him into Jo-ann’s. The sign said it was two balls for $3, but it ended up ringing up as $.99 each. So I was delighted. It is a wool and nylon blend called cosetta purple. By Sensations yarn company. Jo-ann’s is clearing out all of this company’s yarn. It feels very soft and fluffy, and I have no idea what I will do with it. It is a 128 yds in the ball. I could knit a scarf out of it I suppose, since my knitting skills could use some shoring up. But I just haven’t decided yet. I do think it is fluffy enough that I would like to keep it light and knit it. Perhaps a kooky hat!

In Blows the Storm

Well, a foul mood has struck, the storm clouds are rolling and tumbling in the sky and the greyness is creating a thin cataract cast over my eyes as I desperately try to cling to my last dribble of sanity.

What could it be that causes this tumultuous tempest to have descended upon my happy form? As with all large explosions, it is often a well timed series of small but not less unfortunate events. It began last night when I realized with quite some dismay that the shawl I have been knitting for my mother had a dropped stitch. I did not despair much at this, as I figured, surely, I could fix this. Then as I began to lay out the 36 hours of knitting work on a nice clean sheet on the floor so I could begin surgery, I realized it wasn’t one stitch that was dropped, but about 30 that had slipped off one row at a time as I worked on the shawl this weekend in the tight confines of a truck cab with four other people on our road trip (fabulous trip by the way, but that was then, this is now).

I spent a couple of hours trying various ways to un-ladder the work. I searched knitting sites in vain, and had a variety of crochet hooks and cable needles prepared for the delicate procedures. In the end, I discovered that I had two choices, pretend it was supposed to look like that, or rip back about 40 rows and start from there. It was then, the innocence of youth wandered into the room and blithely pointed out another error. Somehow, I had thought I was casting on about 30-ish inches for the edge. At this point, even laying at rest it measure more like 70. And so, with less than two weeks to go, I carefully measured my second gauge swatch that was now about 70 inches by about 3 yards, and spent the rest of the evening patiently rolling it into a ball.

And so, I hang this story with yet another thumbtack on my wall of experiences. These experiences I treasure, even though each is bitter tasting, because they teach me things. You can’t become a mastermind without falling on your face a few times. Okay a whole lot.

To add to the wonderful foundation of knitting sorrow, today I was faced with two children who, in no uncertain terms, have decided that chores are not worth allowance and electronics privileges. While this in and of itself does not upset me, it bugs me a bit to have to pick up the slack a few days before we go camping, while I am re-knitting in such a short time frame.

A little chocolate drizzle over this icing was that my dog not just unplugged, but totally ripped out the co-ax cable to the cable in my bedroom. So, for about two weeks, no knitting watching tv or movies in bed.

And for whipped cream we have a camping trip I need to pack for this weekend, and alas, I do not know what my dear husband wants me to pack! For sprinkles, the fridge fan busted today, the pool filter got stuck, then clogged with hair, and it still is not clean after four hours off and on of attention, the incense I purchased out of town this weekend got wet, two pieces of mail arrived postage due thanks to the rate hike between when they were mailed and now, and my oldest stepped on a bee this afternoon. I know, first world problems. Just breathe.

The rest of the irksome day’s happenings aren’t enough to register on my makes-me-twitch-o-meter. But they still add up.