Friday, August 8, 2008

What is a snood?

What is a snood? I get asked this question a lot. I suppose if you aren't familiar with the medieval crafting world, then you probably don't know the word. I didn't know what it was until I wanted to make one.

Here is what the internet says:
"[A] simple net used to cover headgear. Adornments such as pearls and jewels added in 15th century."
A lacy-looking, knitted or crocheted ‘net’ that holds the hair back"
A band for the hair, once worn by unmarried women in Scotland as the badge of virginity; an ornamental hairnet supporting the back of a woman's hair ..."
Snood is a puzzle video game created in 1996 by David M. Dobson. "

...okay, maybe the last one doesn't apply to my kind of snood. :)

My snoods are crocheted. Technically, crocheted snoods aren't "period" because crochet didn't really exist until the 19th century. They would have been made out of cloth or knitted.

Snoods are very useful, even in modern settings. Sometimes I try on a snood for size and find myself wearing it for a few hours because it keeps my hair out of my face better than a ponytail would. Snoods work well with short hair, because they make it look like you have longer hair, but at the same time they can do wonders for long hair and keeping it out of your way.

Even though they were mostly worn in "ancient times," you can still see them around...

Women from a Naval Air Base in 1942

A friend at a Renaissance event.

And we mustn't forget the dog snood. Though looking at this picture, I do ask myself "why?"

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I haven't updated all week! I promise I haven't forgotten. This blog has been in the back of my mind for a while now, but everything else keeps pushing to the front before it. :)

I have been crocheting, though. Most of it has been for Etsy. Since joining Etsy, it seems to be eating away my time, with little given in return. Everyone on the site says that summer is a slow time, and that things pick back up in September, but it has been a month and I have only made one sale.

I did, however, receive an amazing request. A girl apparently found my shop and now wants me to make her a crocheted version of a lace mantilla, similar to this:

The idea I have is to make the middle part a simple mesh design, and the edges be complex and lacy. We've exchanged a few messages and she agrees that that is what she wants. I'm waiting to hear back from her on the size and many choices, and all could be so beautiful! I will definitely update when I get started on this project. A lot of it will be testing out patterns, which I find exciting.

Wrist warmers are the item as of late. I should be making felted bags, but instead I am making wrist warmers. The pair I'm working on right now is made from Lorna's Laces, rainbow colored. It was part of the yarn that came with my free batch of Noro. The wrist warmers are beautiful...and nearly finished. I really hope someone buys them on etsy, or else I might be tempted to keep them for myself!

Happy Hooking!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

First sale!!!

I made my first sale on etsy!!! A bun cover. Figures, the item I'm probably never going to make again. XD


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Philosopher's Coat Update

It's been a while since I've done an update on the Philosopher's Coat. I have been working on it - promise! I had a period where I just needed a break...hence all the new things in my etsy shop.

I'm still taking it slow on the Coat, but I'm very close to being done. My mom and I had knitting/crocheting parties last week while watching Grey's Anatomy, and now I have the first front panel done! Woo! All that is left is the second front panel, sewing it all together, and figuring out how to do button holes. I've mastered button holes on felted things, but that's a little different. I guess it'll be a learning experience!

I will be so glad to have this Coat done. I'm excited to see what it looks like, but also excited to have all the leftover yarn that will come with it! :) I see many felted bags in my future...*rubs hands together and cackles*

I finally decided what to make for the Ravelympics! I've joined Team TARDIS and will be making my first two items from Stitch 'n Bitch: The Happy Hooker! I'm making FrouFrou with my boxfull of Noro Gemstones for the Sweater Sprint. I'm excited to have found a pattern for this yarn and hope it turns out well. My second event is Vest Vault...though technically I'm making a shrug. I'll be making Short and Sweet with Reynolds Saucy in black. I wanted to make a red one, but my LYS didn't have red worsted cotton. But, as everyone tells me, black goes with everything.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Whew. An hour or so ago, my room was a pit...clothes everywhere, fabric strewn about, scarves piled in a corner, and yarn, yarn everywhere. I'm still amazed I didn't jab my foot with any pins...but maybe I shouldn't test my luck*knock on wood*.

In the past few months alone, I have amassed a fairly decent pile of yarn. Some of it was "acquired" from my mother, other is leftover from England, projects, and who knows what. And then there are the twenty balls that were given to me.

I keep my yarn in a plastic bin in the corner of my room. I bought the bin last summer so I could easily tote my crafty stuff (yarn and fabric, mostly) back and forth from school. Last summer, it was maybe halfway full. Now it's overflowing, and the yarn is attempting to kick the fabric out.

Granted, my yarn issue is nothing near what my mother's is, but she's been collecting for a lot longer than me, and she teaches at a yarn shop. I'm just her daughter.

But organization is needed when I'm trying to sell things online. So now I have all my etsy stuff sorted into ziplock bags with names on them so I know what I have. I have my yarn sorted out into ziplocks as well, except the large balls that aren't going to unravel into Giant Mess of Doom. I even have a nice bag full of fabric scraps, which may or may not come in handy. You never know.

I'm feeling much better about my yarn situation, though it might get a little crazy when I finish my Philosopher's Coat...I'm going to have a nice amount of Cascade 220 leftover to play with. And no, I'm not excited about that at all. *grins*

Now we get to see how long it'll stay organized...hopefully until I go back to school...then the yarn can start working on taking over that room. My poor roommate.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Is anyone doing the Ravelympics? I've been considering it...I have some yarn lying around that needs to be crocheted...not to mention a WIP that desperately needs to be finished. It looks like it could be fun, and it really only makes sense to enter because I'm going to be crocheting while watching the Olympics, anyway...why not crochet for a purpose.

I read somewhere on etsy that some people donate some of their profit to charity, and I've been considering having a line of products where a certain percentage of the profit goes toward a charity. I don't have a particular charity in mind, though I know of one that gives books to children, and another whose goal is for LGBT children to be accepted in schools, and both of those places seem like worthy charities. I really like the idea of donating to charities, though I wonder if I should wait until I've made a few sales before starting this. On the other hand, it may bring more sales to my shop. I'm not sure. Thoughts?

Well, I'm off to bed. Happy Hooking!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Free yarn from a stranger

This beautiful yarn, Noro Gemstones (which I hear has been discontinued) was sent to me by a woman who happened to come into my LYS a few weeks ago. She's from a bit of a ways away from here, but when she came in, I chatted with her a bit. She liked my shawl, which is made from Lorna's Laces, and told me she had a few balls of that sitting around. She offered to send it to me. Well, what college student would deny herself free yarn?

Today I got the package, and not only where there two skeins (technically a skein and a ball) or rainbow Lorna's, but also there were 17.5 balls of this Noro. I want to hug this woman, but we don't even know her last name - I can't even send her a thank you card.

So now I have this Noro. I think it wants to be a sweater...but I can't find a pattern that I like. It's bulky, that's the problem. Bulky yarn just is difficult. Not to mention it looks like I'll be buying a large crochet hook. But I'm not complaining - I just got free yarn! And beautiful yarn at that.

Any suggestions as to what I should make?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My current projects

Looking around, I begin to realize that I am one of those people who can't just do one thing - I have to do twenty, and I have to do them NOW. With crocheting, as well as writing, I move quickly from project to project, never able to focus on one for too long. I think I can blame this on my mom - she has more WIPs than me. (I would have more if I had the money for the yarn.)

That said, here are some of my current projects:

The Felted Bag (1)

Being bored at work generally means interesting things are brought up, and in this case it was my crocheting. I would never have thought it, but the girl I work with has "always wanted one of those felted bags." Lucky for her, felting bags is one of my favorite things to do (it's addictive, I swear). I quickly told her I could make her one, provided she could pay. Cha-ching, she said yes. She wanted pink and brown, so I picked out this pink Lopi and the brown bulky Cascade. I've done a lot of felting with Cascade 220 and love it, but the weight was wrong to match with the Lopi. (I would have gotten brown Lopi, but she only had one ball of it, and that would not have worked).

I loved crocheting this bag. I think I might make a few more for my etsy. The colors were fun and the yarn was awesome. I really love Lopi, even though it made a mess of the washing machine. Oh well - pink fuzz goes well with everything...right?

The Spinning

I've been guilty of spindle neglect lately. I joined Ten Minutes a Day on Ravelry, which is for spinners who promise to spin for at least ten minutes every day and have hardly spun since. I adore this roving. I bought it at the market at Knitter's Connection. I just don't have the patience to do it right now. Someday I'll finish it and then figure out what to make with it.

The Felted Bag (2)

Late one night, I had a deep urge. It had been a while since I'd felted a bag...and I needed to do it again. I needed to smell the wet-wool smell, to feel the gobs of sopping, felted fabric. Though there was a slight problem: I had no felting wool.

My mom, however, did, and she wanted to get rid of it. And thus this bag was created. It's for sale on my Etsy if you like it. I hope someone buys it before I accidentally use it as my own purse.

The Prayer Shawl

Just wanted to post the finished product!

And finally....

The Coat

I'm getting there. I have more than half of the back done, and I'm really hoping to finish that before the end of this week (cross your fingers for me). I really hope it all fits together. I'm vaguely worried about that...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Etsy Shop!

A week or so ago I finally got a chance to start my Etsy shop, Crafty Writer Crocheting. Now that I have a few items up there, I thought I might as well link it on here!

Right now, most of the items I have listed are snoods, though I recently added a felted bag and plan to add some other items, such as wrist warmers, iPod cases, and more bags.

In addition to joining etsy, I also joined the EtsyHookers group on Ning. I was excited to find other crocheters around etsy!

Do any of you have etsy shops? Link me to them and I'll check them out! :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happiness in Crochetland

I don't hang out on the crochet forums on Ravelry very often, though I've joined a few of them, including the Crochet Liberation Front. As you probably know from my blog name, I'm very into the "CROCHETERS UNITE" sort of thing, which makes groups like these pretty awesome in my mind. (I love knitters, don't get me wrong, but the yarn world is pretty focused on knitters rather than crochets...LYSes should be friendlier to crocheters...we use up more yarn! XD)

Well, today I got a message from one of the mods of the CLF on Ravelry saying that I'd won a sort-of award...Set My Picot Free. I think it's for crochet projects that are different. Well, they linked me to this blog post, and I was excited to see that they were talking about my snood! Hee. Well, I don't really "get" anything, but it's neat to see my stuff mentioned places! :)

In other news (isn't there always other news?), I decided I needed yet another break from the Coat (I'm halfway done with the back! Pictures later, I promise!) and thought that now was as good of a time as any to start on a prayer shawl. (Aren't I a good procrastinator?)

I've been meaning to do a prayer shawl for a while, but the cost of the yarn and the lack of a proper pattern left me sort of hanging. But when the flood hit our part of the state, including my LYS owner's house, a yarn company stepped in and shipped us odds and ends of some really beautiful yarn - cotton, mostly - to use for charity projects. I pulled some out of the basket and started on my new project.

I'm so happy with it so far - and very jealous of whoever receives it. But the great thing about this project will be giving it to someone.

Snooods galore

I got a bit tired of the coat. I'm still working on it - I finished the sleeves and am almost halfway done with the back - but lately I've needed little projects to keep me from getting bored.

Last night it was snoods. I made four of them. Yes, I understand that the average person doesn't usually sit around and crochet snoods while watching eight episodes of Torchwood (I wonder if many people crochet while watching Torchwood. It doesn't seem like a likely combo, but it works very well). But I was bored, and I'd uncovered my cotton from the last snood-making frenzy.

A trip to WalMart later, and I was back in business. I started making snoods last year when I was told that proper girls in my Medieval Society covered their hair. Snoods at Ren Faires tend to sell at around $15-20, machine made. I can get the cotton for about $1.50-2, beads for around the same, and my snood is quite a bit prettier than the ones at faire. At least, that's my opinion.

Snoods are easy, lacy, pretty, and take about an hour and a half. Plus they're fun, and there's an endless amount of options for combinations! :D

Okay fine, I'm insane.

(BTW, all my snoods are available on my Etsy Shop.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Delayed Update

I've been busy lately, but I wanted to update with a picture of my latest progress on my coat...

Yay second sleeve! It's going a lot faster than the first one. I know the stitches, so it's mostly a matter of looking to see what color I need to be on, and how many rows of single crochet I did in between the fancy stitches.

I wish I could finish this in time for the county fair, but entries are due on Monday and there really is no way I can get this done by then. Oh well.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Crocheters Represent!

This Week in Ravelry had an article about Crocheters on World Wide Knit in Public Day, and I was mentioned in it, as well as my Philosopher's Coat! I love it when crocheters are included in these things. (Like I said in the comments to the article, I feel like running around and shouting "REPRESENT" but I won't embarrass myself like that...)

Of Yarn and Books

I've finally returned to crocheting after a few days of break. Three days of nonstop crocheting sort of takes it all out of you. It was time for a break.

Now that I'm back, I have to actually face the issues with my sleeve I've discovered. Most important being the fact that, at the end of the pattern for the sleeve, I am 7 inches short of what I should have. This is more than a slight problem. It turns out that Cascade 220 wool is a lighter weight wool than Philosopher's Wool...ah well. The problem is easily solved by adding a few rows to the end of the pattern. So far, I have added a row of knurl, a section of diamonds, and two more rows of knurl. After this I'm planning on adding crossed doubles, then two rows of knurl, then if it still is not long enough I will add one or two rows of cables, ending with a row of knurl. That probably doesn't make any sense to those of you who haven't read the pattern. :P

I did buy two more balls of Cascade! A blue and a purple. I realized after buying the purple that I now have three purples in my seven balls...oh well. It still looks pretty. I like the added colors. It gives it a new feel to the top of the sleeve.

I'm hoping to finish the sleeve tomorrow (yes, I keep saying that. At some point I will actually finish the sleeve) and then start on...I bet you'll never guess...the second sleeve! I'm hoping this one goes faster, though I will have to look back at the first sleeve and figure out what the heck I was doing with the colors and in what rows. But I'll worry about that when I need to.

At Knitter's Connection, I got a new crochet book. You've probably heard of it - Stitch 'n Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker. It has some great patterns in it and I can't wait to start on them. It just is a matter of convincing myself to keep working on the Coat and not shove it in a drawer somewhere like a lot of projects. But that's why I'm doing this blog. So that someone out there will convince that yes, I do need to finish the coat, and no, I can't give up. :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hello from Knitter's Connection! (Columbus, OH)

Convention Fun

I know, it's strange to go to a knitting convention when you're a crocheter...and you have a blog called "not a knitter"...but my mom was going and it seemed like a fun experience. This is my second day here, and so far I'm having a blast! As soon as I got here, I sort of looked around at all the people sitting, knitting, and talking, and thought "These are my people!" My mom made a similar comment....guess it runs in our family!

Yesterday, I took a Crochet Shawls (an intermediate class) with Melissa Leapman, who has written several knit and crochet books. I absolutely loved it! I've been trying to find a good shawl pattern for a while...I've looked on ravelry, etc, but haven't really been satisfied with anything I find. Now I have several crochet shawl patterns, as well as a few edges. Yay! The class was a lot of fun because Melissa is actually a crocheter, but she makes her living writing mostly knitting books. It was very interesting to learn about that. I was also happy to discover that she wrote Cool Crochet, which is one of the few crochet books I own. My copy is now autographed! :D

Yesterday afternoon I didn't have a class, so I stayed in the convention center and sat around a table with a few other women and worked on my sleeve. It was neat to meet all these women from various places, mostly Indiana and Ohio, and to see what they are working on. A lot of people seem very interested in my sleeve. It certainly isn't boring! I've had so many people come up to me and ask what I'm working on, and when I tell them it's crocheted, they're just amazed! I guess everyone is under the impression that crocheting is only good for lacy things and baby blankets.

This evening, the market opened and we went to check it out. WOW. Senses overload! I've never been to an event quite like this. Fibers, fibers EVERYWHERE. I wanted to take everything home with me! I can't even quite describe all of it. The colors were stunning. I ended up getting a new spindle and some beautiful roving for my class tomorrow. (I didn't want to take off the spinning I've already been working on.) I also bought a new ball of Cascade 220 for my coat...yay! It is a blue heather, 9332. I'm excited to start working it into my sleeve.

The Coat Progress

Speaking of the sleeve...I consulted a few people on it, and they informed it me it was much too big for my arm. Sigh! So I pulled out almost the entire thing - the exciting bit, at least - last night. It was so sad! But I managed to almost get back to the same place by the time I went to bed, and now I'm much further.

To make it smaller, I pulled it out to the cuff, and then pulled out one row of the cuff. Now, instead of 73 stitches across, it's 59. It looks much better. I'm hoping to finish the sleeve tomorrow. Then I can start on the second one!

I'm pretty happy with it! I had a few problems with the crossed doubles stitch, but I think I have it worked out. Tell me if it looks wrong!


One of the really awesome things about this convention is that I get to meet so many people who are on Ravelry! So many people are on that site, and so many people are interested in joining. Everyone seems to use it for something different, which is wonderful.

This evening, the founders of the site and their new kid (Casey, Jess aka frecklegirl, and Mary Heather aka Rainydaygoods) all gave a presentation. It was very good, considering they had never done one before! It was so neat to meet them and hear their story. I love Ravelry and can't wait to see what's in for it in the future!

Well, I'm having issues typing, which is a sign that it's time for bed! I'll write more when I can, and post the pattern for the wrist warmers that I made, as well as the story that goes with them!

Happy Hooking!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Philosopher's Coat: Beginnings


To start off, I should probably admit that I'm not using the Philosopher's Wool for this project. My LYS has a wonderful selection of Cascade 220 wool, so I've decided to use that. Here is the list of colors I will be using. In Cascade 220: 8885, 8267, 4148C, 7920, and 8393. In Cascade Heathers, I am using 9332, 9491, 9338, 9450, and 2431. Finally, in Cascade Lana D'oro I am using 1060. I plan on buying the yarn as I can afford it, and right now only have 5 balls of yarn. I am using a size F hook.


Last night I started on one of the sleeves. I never knew you could crochet left-to-right! The 'knurl' or 'corded reverse single crochet' is an interesting stitch worked backwards. It's hard to explain. My book, The Encyclopedia of Crochet by Donna Kooler, has a description of the stitch in the back..."Do not turn. Sc in last stitch of row 1, sc in 2nd to last st of row 1...." I found the description a little less than helpful. After twisting my hand awkwardly and stabbing the hook in various parts of the stitch, I finally managed something that looked right. Now after doing five rows of this 'knurl' stitch, I think I've managed to get it right. Well, it looks like the picture, at least.

The 'knurl' stitch seems to be used mostly for edging, but this pattern is using it as a decorative twisted bump. I'm doing it only in the front loop of the stitches, leaving the back loop open so I can stitch across the back and do another row of knurl on top.

I seem to be crocheting a little hand hurt after a few rows of the 'knurl' stitch. I guess I'm still getting used to the stitch.

I'm still excited for this pattern, though a little wary of the next stitch - a cable. I've never tried cabling before. Should be interesting!

Obligatory Introduction Post

I am a crocheter, a one hook, no needle girl. I'm a college student studying Creative Writing and love to spend all my free time (and not-so-free time) crocheting scarves, wrist warmers, and other little things for my friends and myself. I have an unhealthy obsession with scarves and am currently trying to figure out what to do with all 20 of them.

Lately, I've started dabbling in spinning, though I'm not very good at it and haven't actually made a full skein of yarn yet. I'm working on it, though!

I've been considering making a crocheting blog for a while now. I've seen a lot of people who have them and really enjoy reading their posts and seeing the creations they've made. My latest project, the Philosopher's Coat, made me decide that it was finally time to make that blog. I'm hoping to use this blog to talk about my experience (probably lots of frustration) as I make this crazy coat.