Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Knitting Architecture


INTERWEAVE-Knitting Architecture. Explore twenty patterns that reveal the foundations of knitting design: form following function; details of construction; and the special relationship between raw materials and a finished product. There are many parallels between knitting a sweater and constructing a building: both of these processes rely on an idea; a blueprint or schematic; math; materials; and a little bit of inspiration. Choices made in constructing a garment; such as creating yokes; shaping; and hems; mimic the choices made as a building is constructed. In both cases; these elements come together for a striking effect. Author: Tanis Gray. Softcover; 160 pages. Published 2013. Imported.



Tanis Gray has done some incredible work with this book. Inspired from art and history, these patterns are in themselves art with form and function. The King's College Pullover with vaults, buttresses and archways screams Gothic architecture. Cabled knits and a ribbed collar pull this piece by Mari Muinonen together. It is lovely.

The Beaux Arts Cardigan by Cecily Glowik MacDonald is a stellar construction of lace panels, I-cord edging with slight waist shaping, some pretty ornate panels and buttons that match the color scheme. The simple stockinette stitch comprises a good deal of the piece and shows just how a few pieces of elegant stitchery and a good old standard stitch can work wonders. 

The Hotel Tassel Wrap has to be my favorite piece from the book. Lace and cables make up this Art Nouveau inspired wrap by Asa Tricosa. Lace, mesh, garter edge detail and a cabled motif follows the style of Victor Horta and his Hotel Tassel. The green lace weight yarn is glorious and the pattern is both written and charted out for ease of use.

This book is a must for all art and architecture lovers.


4/5

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Finer Edge Giveaway and Review


An innovative collection of 40 stitch and 12 garment patterns from best-selling author Kristin Omdahl, The Finer Edge demonstrates various techniques, construction methods, and versatile applications for crochet edgings.

While crochet edgings are customarily used to trim or finish blankets and garments, designer Kristin Omdahl treats you to both traditional and novel new ways to expand your use of edgings. You will learn how edging patterns can be used to create entire fabrics, reformatted to make individual decorative motifs, reverse-engineered from existing fabrics, and even used to create three-dimensional designs. Focusing on construction techniques for edgings, The Finer Edge is divided into separate sections based on top-down, sideways, and bottom-up methods to help guide the reader.

Though there are 12 project patterns that highlight the edgings, you'll be inspired to creatively mix and match within each edging’s section. Also included in this gorgeous book are charts, illustrations, and photographs of crochet swatches and a pattern collection that includes multiple sizes, including plus sizes.

Discover innovation at its finest with The Finer Edge.


Goodreads


Amazon

Barnes and Noble



Please welcome the wonderful and amazing Kristin Omdahl as she joins us today for a glimpse into her newest book, The Finer Edge. Filled with edgings that can be used as edgings or as projects in themselves. There are projects using the edgings given but I felt really drawn to the edgings themselves.  The combination of the written instruction and the charts were very helpful. 

The biggest thing that caught my eye was the possibility of using some of these patterns for a pretty headband, or perhaps an edging for a dishcloth gift- something small where you can learn a new stitch and not want to pass out from terror looking at unreadable instructions. I love that! (not passing out-readable instructions in both formats. lol)


The pictures in the book are colorful and really illustrate the wide variety of styles and functions.  The Birka Car Coat was a lovely piece, as was the Ephesus Cowl and the Pompeii Mobius.  


This book has a lot of great patterns that can be used in many ways. Many thanks to the publisher for sending a copy my way for review. My fingers are itching to pick up a hook and get a couple of headbands going.


4/5






1. Who was the main influence in your life that got you interested in crocheting/knitting?
It was my son, before he was born. When I was pregnant I was overwhelmed with the urge to learn how to knit and crochet to make things for him. 

2. What was the hardest project you have ever done and why?
The hardest project I ever worked on was a wool and mohair blanket I had to crochet in August outside at my son's football camp. It was over 90 degrees outside and I was almost finished, so I had a large wool blanket in my lap in the heat. That was difficult. But it was a job with a deadline, so I had to push through.

3. In your book, what pattern/project is your favorite and why?
I'm very excited about the 3-dimensional projects in the pattern collection because I wanted to know if it could be done: making 3-D fabric from edging. And it has allowed inspiration to explode ever since. Since writing the book, I keep thinking of other things I can make with this concept!

4. Favorite books to read when you are not knitting/crocheting?
I am an avid reader. I've been reading daily my whole life. Over the years, I have turned to non-fiction from fiction, but my all-time favorites are mostly fiction, still. These books I have read multiple times: Mayfair Witches Chronicles by Anne Rice, The Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, The Stand by Stephen King, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo, and The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.

5. Chocolate cake or angel food?
I'm not much of a cake person! But one square of deep, dark chocolate with a nice cup of tea or coffee is wonderful.

6. Beach vacation or a trip to the mountains…
I live near the beach, and I always love going to the beach. I would never turn down a beach vacation, but I would like to try a mountain vacation. I'd REALLY like to go to Alaska and go salmon fishing.

7. What is one tip you would give to someone just learning how to knit/crochet? 
Breathe, relax and have fun! Tension is one of the hardest parts to achieve when you begin. And stressing about it will only make your tension tighter. 

8. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate or coconut. I don't like vanilla ice cream or even ice cream with a vanilla base. But it's because I despise artificial flavorings, especially artificial vanilla and almond flavorings.

9. What are some of the projects you are most proud of? (pictures and book links if possible)
I am proud of my career. I am a single mom, without child support or a safety net. I dreamed of being able to support my son with my designs since before he was born. I am grateful every single day that I can support us doing what I love. I am especially proud of my books because I enjoy the opportunity to teach a concept thoroughly through the large scale of books. 

10. Where are you going next on your needlework adventures?
I'd love to continue doing what I do, and add new mediums to my business. I want to be able to connect with my audience more closely online. I'm looking into different platforms for teaching and talking on the internet with video. Beefing up my YouTube channel, adding a video podcast. As soon as I launch it, I'll announce it on my blog: www.styledbykristin.com

Want to win a copy of The Finer Edge? Enter the Rafflecopter form below!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Metropolitan Knits

Metropolitan Knits: Chic Designs for Urban Style

Big city. Big style. Discover knitting that's fashionable yet timeless.

Knit for uptown or downtown with a trend-setting New York City designer. With these 20 polished, sophisticated projects, knitwear designer Melissa Wehrle has created a collection that perfectly reflects the rhythm, flavor, and drama of city life.

From a chunky cabled sweater and hat to a beautiful tunic and gossamer cardigan, Melissa's designs are beautifully shaped, expertly finished, and ready to be shown off on the street. They feature a variety of construction and finishing techniques, including knit-in pockets, tabs, button details, slip-stitch edgings, and small slits and pleats.

Projects are divided along three themes: Heart of the City- Designed for those who enjoy sleek midtown in mind. Urban Bohemia- The downtown bohemian goddess will love these looks. City Gardens- Made to inspire a sense of tranquility. These three looks balance out a complete picture of the modern woman. What more could a city knitter need?

·         Amazon: amzn.to/13L29zD
·         Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/ZMDX0h
·         Interweave: bit.ly/14AToux


Review:

This book was lovely. The projects within are a wide array of stylish designs that would be flattering to a number of body sizes and styles. With clean lines and creative patterns, this book has a ton of ideas for finishing and some unique styles that really caught my eye.  It is easy to see that this designer really knows her stuff and has crafted each piece with loving care and attention to detail. The patterns are clearly marked, letting you know how many stitches you are shooting for at the end of the row (thank goodness!) and the color pictures are simply lovely. For those who need some knitting reminders, there is an excellent how to section at the back of the book.

The Secret Garden Tank is gorgeous. The light green yarn that was used on the front portion is very mellow and soothing. When you flip it around, the back portion splits toward the bottom, revealing an ecru lacy panel. Simply divine. 

The Museum Sweater is  done in a lovely olive green with an arched pattern that is truly lovely. The turtleneck cowl look is drape like and adds an elegance to the piece that is inspirational.

For those (like me) who are more comfortable with smaller projects, the Opera Mitts and Uptown Scarf are divine. The scarf is done in a grey yarn that goes with anything and the opera gloves have a finely tuned sense of detail befitting their name.

All in all, this book has some wonderful pieces that are both classic and modern at the same time. The polish and sophistication of these designs are very chic and urban and make me itch to pick up my needles and give them a try. Great pics, good directions (written) and totals at the end of the rows make for a great and informative set of projects.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

4/5

About the author:

Melissa Wehrle studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she majored in Fashion Design, and for nearly a decade worked as a knitwear designer for the fashion industry. Melissa's hand-knit designs have been featured in Interweave Knits, Knitscene, and Yarn Forward. She is also the Creative Director for One Planet Yarn and Fiber. You can find her online at neoknits.com.



Monday, February 25, 2013

Simply Crochet: Awesome Projects!


Simply Crochet: 22 Stylish Designs for Everyday


Amazon


When I got my review copy of this book I was more than a little excited. My friend had a copy and had shown it to me, making me instantly drool. I was not disappointed as I sat with my e-reader and thumbed through the pages. I immediately set upon a crochet hook and began to ponder the great projects set before me.

The cover piece is what really hooked me. (No pun intended.) The Iced Ascot scarf is simply lovely and has an easy pattern that works well with both written and charted instruction. As someone who is learning to do both, this was awesome.

The other cool thing about this book are the helpful hints with each project. Like, how to organize yarn to find something for seasonal use. Nice idea to set things up by fiber. I had always done it by color, or whatever giant bin or box I had available.

The next piece that grabbed me was the twist cowl/wrap. You can make it to be either and it is light and airy. Here in Texas, that is a must have for the spring and summer months. Too much and you are yanking it off your neck before long.

The Emma Lace Scarf had me transfixed. It was inspired by a Victorian leather belt and worked in two directions. Done in a red Marino, this is a stunning piece.

If you've always wanted to experience Tunisian crochet, then the neck lattice on page 41 is going to be a small project that is worth the try. I bought myself a hook and am about to see how it goes. Stay tuned for pictures as I go!

As the book goes on you get projects for more than one ball and each of them is a work of art. From a tapestry basket to some quirky hand puppets and my favorite, the giselle vest, you can't miss with this book.

If you love to crochet, then this is the book for you. Great gifts or just for yourself, this collection has practical and whimsical ideas to keep you hooking for quite a while.

5/5

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Potter Craft: Boyfriend Sweaters and Knitted Farm Animals





As long as men have had sweaters, women have borrowed them. In BOYFRIEND SWEATERS (on sale 12/18), knitwear designer Bruce Weinstein bridges the gender gap by offering 19 boyfriend sweaters and accessories that are uber-comfortable, stylish, and sized to fit both him and her. Featuring techniques knitters love, including reversibles, cables, Fair isle, and herringbone, these designs will look great on men and fabulous on women.



Kids can’t resist adorable stuffed animals, and KNITTED FARM ANIMALS (on sale 12/11) offers a whole barnyard of them! Knitters of all skill levels will fall in love with designer Sarah Keen’s collection of 15 furry and feathered critters, including a pig, pony, cat, llama, mama duck (with ducklings), and more.


These two books have been fun to review because they both cover some really great projects.



Boyfriend Sweaters pokes fun at the old adage that if you make your boyfriend a sweater, he won't be your boyfriend for long. Not with these sweaters and projects! New stitches I had never encountered before delighted and inspired me. The Reversible Herringbone Scarf on page 103 was particularly interesting. I love herringbone on a sampler and having it on a scarf is awesome!

Other projects with new stitches and stories that will make you laugh and keep you inspired fill this book. I enjoyed reading it very much and may have (almost) conquered my fear of sweater making. The thing I enjoyed most was the sense of humor and attention to detail all through the book. It was a fun read and I can't wait to start on my own Herringbone scarf.



Knitted Farm Animals has a cute collection of 15 adorable farm animals. The baby chicks are the cutest things ever and perfect for a quick Easter present for someone you love. The directions are easy to follow and each row has an end amount of stitches to shoot for. (Great for those of us who still need those type of pointers.) Lol. Perfect for young children, these patterns are full of cheer and just waiting to brighten someone's day.

4.5/5

Overall, both of these Potter Craft books are a great addition to my knitting library. If you are searching for a sweater set for his and hers or just a cute one for yourself or a husband or boyfriend, then Boyfriend Sweaters is perfect. The different techniques of texturing are wonderful and the how to sections are worth reading.

5/5

Check out more amazing titles from the Potter Craft website.
I received these titles for review from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Visit From Lizzie Borden






Lizzie Borden. Probable murderess. Definitely a celebrated and infamous character. This paper doll by the wonderful and creative Rhonda's Originals designs is a festive addition to any Halloween party. For sure a conversation piece. When I saw the design on her site, I knew I had to have it! My paper doll collection is growing. Yes, I like to play. Especially with homicidal paper dolls. Note the ax. Just sayin! It is perfect for this time of year. 

The coolest thing about these dolls is that you take part in their construction. It is paper art, people. Fun, and inspiring, the dolls that you find at Rhonda's Originals are just that. Original. The digital file is sent to you, complete with all the how to's and if you have a problem, you have support through her site. Very cool. There is every kind of witchy and spooky wonder you could ever want. If Christmas is your thing, she has that too...

So check it out and let her know you saw Lizzie hanging out at She Knits When She Should Be Writing...Got to keep track of those ax wielding homicidal chicks.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Knit Red for Heart Health



Gorgeous knitwear--that does good, too! The knitting community has always come together to support a great cause, and Knit Red once again attests to knitters' generous, giving spirit. These 30 beautiful red-themed projects help raise awareness of the number-one killer of women today: heart disease. The patterns are all donated by top designers, including Debbie Stoller, Nicky Epstein, Debbie Bliss, Norah Gaughan, Deborah Newton, Melissa Morgan-Oakes, Iris Schreier, Jared Flood, and Ysolda Teague. In addition, the book offers important medical information, a Heart Healthy Resources and Action Plan, and powerful stories from survivors of this deadly ailment.


Goodreads


This collection of projects is a treasure trove. A knitter's paradise! From the first second I set my eyes on the cover, I knew it was going to be good. The inside fulfilled my expectations. There are sweaters, scarves, a spa kit, cowls, capes and a shopping bag that had me drooling. (Even the fear of multiple needle knitting still will not daunt me from trying this project!)


The instructions are clear, with photos that show each project to the fullest. Some of the top designers in the world have gathered together on this quest for heart health. I for one am buying it and adding it to my collection. Check out the recipes and health tips from each designer. Having a glimpse into their healthy habits was inspirational.


5/5

Noni Flowers by Nora Bellows



Designer Nora J. Bellows’s extraordinary Noni® bag and flower patterns have earned her acclaim and endeared her to a loyal following of knitters all over the world. Now, in her first book, she offers lifelike knitted flowers that rival the beauty of true botanicals. This is a collection of luscious designs and essential techniques that knitters will turn to again and again. Inside, you’ll find:




   • 40 exceptional knitted and felted flowers, from Angel’s Tears Ddaffodils to ylang ylang


   • 6 beautiful yet practical garment, accessory, and home projects perfect for floral embellishment


   • Clear instructions for knitting, felting, wiring, and finishing your work.


Goodreads


When I saw this book on the bookstore shelves, I knew it had to be mine. No writing to a publisher in hopes they would send one. Oh no. This one was coming home with me. I am a nut for flowers. It is a known fact. This book has such a beautiful take on knitted flowers that it literally took my breath away. 


Overall rating:


5/5


If you are a knitter, no matter what level, you need this book for your library. Yes, some of the multiple needle (eeeekkk) techniques gave me a hot flash just thinking about how I was going to learn that, but the good thing about small projects like this is that you learn things you never thought you would. So, this book is now happily sitting on my library shelf and my fingers are itching for an afternoon off to give these flowers a try.


The pictures are great, the instructions clear and other than my own  neurotic fear of tiny needles ( I am indeed working to overcome this!) the projects are a good size to begin something challenging and new.


Monday, March 5, 2012

New In My Crochet Library: Crochet Inspiration by Sasha Kagan


Celebrated designer and renowned colorist Sasha Kagan has created a distinctive crochet reference that showcases her unique sensibility. Containing more than 200 swatch designs in her signature style, this is a must-have manual for beginning and experienced stitchers alike. Special chapters on fabric, motifs, grannies, and flowers highlight a myriad of patterns, including beautiful lace, shell, and cluster stitch variations, and gorgeous circular and hexagonal designs. Each chapter also includes stunning garments, such as a classic Chanel cropped jacket in woven mesh, a lacy shawl with leaf embellishments, and a 1920's cloche cap covered in crocheted blossoms. Every one has a special individuality that transcends "here today, gone tomorrow" trends, so crocheters will enjoy these for a long time."A Main Selection of the Crafter's Choice Book Club."


Goodreads




This beautiful book is on my craft table and I adore it. Filled with new and interesting ways to piece together granny squares and lovely flower designs, this book is a must for anyone who crochets. One of the delicate floral patterns hooked me right away and I knew I had to put this wonderful book in my library.


5/5

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Interweave Knitting Lab Announces Scholarships!


Interweave Books Magazine Events Communities TV Video Patterns and Projects



Interweave Knitting Lab Announces Scholarships for Free Tuition to 2012 Events on East and West Coasts


Deadline for submissions is March 15, 2012

Loveland, Colo. Feb. 2, 2012: Interweave Knitting Lab, a national knitting event taking place in San Mateo, Calif. November 1-4 and Manchester, N.H. October 4-7 announced today that it is now taking applications for two scholarships—one for each 2012 Knitting Lab retreat—to be awarded to passionate knitters who are eager to take their knowledge to new heights. Knitters who are 18 years or older and who have demonstrated that they are actively developing their knitting skills and sharing that knowledge with the larger community are eligible to apply.

The application is available online at: http://www.iweventproposals.com/iweventproposals/knittinglabscholarship/

The Interweave Knitting Lab Scholarship is designed to bring knitters to Knitting Lab who have much to offer the community both at the event and beyond, and who would otherwise not be able to attend.

"Our hope is that the knitting community will benefit by the infusion of in-depth education and the acknowledgement of the importance of recognizing and compelling the exchange of ideas, skills and stories," explains Karin Strom, Editorial Director at Interweave Knits magazine. 

Interweave Knitting Lab offers knitters opportunities to learn from knitting legends and experts in small, intimate class settings. This premiere event was created especially for passionate knitters who want to take their knitting skills to new heights. The event presents immersive workshops and project-based classes, lectures, enticing panel discussions and other special evening sessions, plus three days of shopping opportunities at the Knitters’ Market.

The Knitting Lab scholarship program is modeled after the scholarship program for the Spin-Off Autumn Retreat, an Interweave event that is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Two Knitting Lab scholarships will be awarded in all—one for each of the event’s 2012 locations. A distinguished committee of editors, publishers and knitters will review the applications and determine the scholarship recipients.

The Interweave Knitting Lab Scholarship covers the full fee for the Knitter's Weekend Package. This allows the recipient to sign up for as many workshops, lectures, demonstrations and evening events as the schedule allows throughout the four-day event. All other fees and expenses related to attendance at the event (hotel, transportation, meals, etc.) must be paid by the recipient.

Once awarded an Interweave Knitting Lab Scholarship, scholars are expected to participate fully in Interweave Knitting Lab, attending the sessions, connecting with the community and immersing in the educational experience. Scholars may be asked to be introduced to the other participants during an evening program at Interweave Knitting Lab. Following the event, scholars are expected to submit a report related to their experience at Interweave Knitting Lab, outlining how the scholarship helped them proceed toward their goals.

Applications and additional information are available online and the deadline to enter is March 15, 2012. All scholarship recipients will be notified by March 30, 2012.

Interweave Knitting Lab is put on by arts and craft media company Interweave, publisher of Interweave Knits and Knitscene magazines, as well as the online knitting community, KnittingDaily.com.
For more information and the latest updates, interested participants should sign up for the event e-newsletter online at http://www.interweaveknittinglab.com.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Seamless Crochet Scarf

Well, after discovering my error in pattern reading, I was determined to make this scarf turn out cute after all. Using methods in Seamless Crochet, I finished it this morning.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Knitting Glass Guy Hooks and Circular Knitting Needles


Looking at these hooks the first time on Facebook, I think I may have drooled on myself. These glass (pyrex) crochet hooks are the creation of Knitting Glass Guy Chris and he has been working with and creating his wonderful glass crochet hooks and knitting needles since 1996. 



Right now, for the next few days, he is having a contest on Facebook to win 2 hooks or 2 needles. Here are some of his links if you want to pop over and say hello. (And start your list of all the hooks you must have.)




Find me on FaceBook as "Knittingglassguy Chris"
Find my artist page on Facebook as "KnittingGlassGuy"
Find me on Twitter as "KnitGlassGuy"
Find me on Ravelry.com as "KnittingGlassGuy"
Feel free to contact me by phone, or email, anytime.
Chris 661-547-2555
knittingglassguy@yahoo.com



You can also check out his galley and website at:
www.knittingGlassGuy.com

Make sure you enter the contest by February 5th! 

Seamless Crochet Blog Tour and Giveaway


When I first came across this book in the Interweave Crochet Accessories special edition for 2011, I was hooked. The Radiance Sparkling Skinny Scarf caught my eye and I was intrigued by the idea of a seamless scarf done in a pattern. Picking up hook and yarn, I played with it but realized something rather quickly. One must learn to better follow diagrams to avoid the urge to stab ones self in the eye with ones hook.



I had the first motif on the scarf looking awesome. The second one was gorgeous. Then I ended up in the middle of the two with nary a place to go. Rip. Rip. Ribbit. Read directions again. 

There is a happy ending. I got super good at triple crochet clusters and I have a scarf that is morphing into something that is going to look great once I adapt it to the non pattern solution I just came up with.

Happily, my copy of Seamless Crochet arrived and I was able to look in the back of the book and see very detailed instructions on how to read the diagrams, both by color code (which matters) and in how the diagram works in general and for the projects in the book. There is even a DVD to explain further. You can bet on my day off tomorrow, that is where I am going to be. Hook in hand in front of the television, learning more about this awe inspiring book.



What I liked:

The diagrams in the book are clear once you understand the method behind them. So are the written directions. Combine the two and you have a marvelous system that is truly unique. One of the things I hate about motif style work is the amount of ends you have to weave in. Oh the horror. Not with this book though. Kristin Omdahl has done a great job of crafting projects that have little to no pieces to join and Yay (insert happy dance) hardly any tails to hide. 

The other thing I liked was the basic layout of the projects. You have a pattern block so if you want to adapt the theme to a project other than the one listed, you can do it. (Or like me who is learning how to read diagrams and made a detour or two that will have some creative offshoots from the original piece.) The projects themselves are lovely and I am itching to sit down and work through them. I love lace and the open style to these patterns is very appealing.

What I didn't:

Not a thing. My own inexperience was a stumbling block, but I am stubborn and am learning. The diagrams, once I received the book for review, are clear and I began to understand some of what I had missed in the magazine article. 

Overall:

This book uses geometric patterns to create a project base that will delight crocheters of all levels. There are 18 projects but infinite possibilities that will change the way you crochet and have you looking to change other patterns to reflect the methods taught here. The DVD included, in addition to the information at the back of the book is supremely helpful and will lead you to success.

5/5

About the author:


Kristin Omdahl designs knit and crochet garments and patterns under her label KRISTIN and website www.styledbykristin.com. She appears in every episode of Knitting Daily TV on public television as the show's Crochet Corner expert, conducts seminars around the country and teaches knitting and crochet in her DVD workshops, including Innovative Crochet: Motifs. She is also the author of Wrapped in Crochet, Crochet So Fine and A Knitting Wrapsody. Kristin's work has appeared in many magazines and books. She enjoys knitting and crocheting in her orchid garden in sunny southwest Florida.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hairpin Lace Scarf Project


Every new project is a journey. After working on this particular one, I believe it even more. I had never tried hairpin lace before and was thrilled to pick up the loom and give it a whirl. 

My pattern came from the very amazing crochet book:



You can also find this wonderful pattern on the Stitch Diva website. 

I found some of my most basic information on how to start this project on YouTube. 



This video really broke everything down to the basics, so I could quickly do the hairpin lace portion.


Then I started on the edging instructions and just about freaked out. I was doing fine on row one. My hook was too big, but well, it was going great until ROW TWO. (insert corny doom music). Wow. After about ripped out much of my hair, I contacted some lovely folks on Ravelry and Facebook and went to knitting class, book and project in hand. 




My wonderful knitting class mentor Mary suggested I get a smaller hook and helped me to work through some of the instructions. My new Ravelry friends meanwhile had been dissecting the instructions from what they remembered about their own experiences with this project and were able to give me something for someone in my stage of learning. Boy, did I learn a lot on this project. Crochet directions without the chart are kind of like algebra. I bet you can't guess how good I was at that? (insert snorts of laughter here.) 

Anyhow...With the patience of my new friend Lisa, who literally transcribed the pattern line by line, I finished the scarf for my mother tonight. She is turning 70 at the end of this month and I wanted to show her my progress from knitting with baseball bats (as she calls them) to crocheting with a size E and not gauging out  my eyeballs with it. (mostly).



So, in conclusion. I have learned this today...

Crochet charts are good. Written instructions begin to resemble algebra problems to the inexperienced eye and do just about the same thing to my mental state.

Have chocolate nearby.

Ravelry is your friend. Bless you ladies! Mwah!!!

Hairpin lace is actually non-scary and totally easy. It's the edging that might get you.

Team efforts work. Yes, yes they do. Thank goodness for knitting class.

Victory is possible when it comes down to making it for your Mama.