Collecting Crochet Hooks? Huh?

You may say that collecting crochet hooks seems like an odd thing to do, and I will say that you are right BUT...

I crochet practically everywhere I go--traveling, meetings, home, watching TV, visiting with friends--pretty much any time I have a few minutes and I want to be productive. Since I crochet so much, People are always starting conversations about crocheting. some of the most popular comments are:

"I wish I could knit like that."
I reply, "I have tried knitting and I didn't like it. This is crocheting."

"I've never seen anyone use such large hooks before."
I reply, "I use large hooks for bulkier yarns. Sometimes I like to crochet with
two or more threads and a larger hook manages it better. Sometimes the yarn
I select is not as soft as I would like for it to be. If I use a larger hook
the finished product is looser and softer. Sometimes I just want to get finished
with a project quickly, and a larger hook covers a lot more territory quickly."

"That's nice, but I don't like blankets with all those holes. I like something solid
and warm"
"I know what you mean, but with crochet, if you make it solid, it ends up being
so heavy that you can hardly lift it."

"Do you ever sell what you make?"
"I am happy to sell what I make when I find a buyer. Most people are not
interested in paying for the cost of the materials invested in a project
when they can go to WalMart and buy a blanket, throw or scarf for a fraction of
the price."

"Can you teach me to do that"
"Yes, I have taught a number of people to crochet, but it is like anything
else, you have to practice to get good at it. Most people make the mistake
of starting a project that is too big and they never get it finished."

If I have the time, while I am sitting with people, I will teach them to crochet. I can't tell you how many crochet hooks and little balls of yarn I have given away. I keep all my crochet hooks in a little pencil bag. I bought this one in Israel.

My friend, Freddie, bought this one for me in Taiwan. She went to Taiwan to help our Associate Pastor's family when they went to pick up their adopted son.

This is the contents of my bags--metal and plastic hooks, scissors and a tape measure.

And now to the subject of this blog.

I taught a crochet class at my church. I asked several of my stitching friends to come and be in class tutors. I wanted every student to have an instructor that could help them quickly. I knew I could not be everywhere at once, and I did not want the students to get frustrated. As I was giving the history of crochet, I mentioned that I had never seen any antique crochet hooks, but it might be a fun thing to look for. Wouldn't it be interesting to find one made out of bone or ivory? Although, I have seen some beautiful new handmade hooks.

My friend, Virginia, found an antique wooden hook--over a hundred years old. She also found a handmade one--made out of honey locust wood. She gave them to me for Christmas. I was so surprised and delighted. It was a very thoughtful gift. I am sure it is the beginning of a treasure hunt. Park Ranger will be so excited when I want to stop at every antique store in Texas looking for crochet hooks. Oh well, he'll get over it. At least they don't take up much room in the car or in the house.

Until we meet again.


Hats, Hats, and More Hats

When I found out my daughter was going to have a baby girl in November, my crocheting imagination went wild. I started crocheting all kinds and colors of afghans, and then I started making hats. I made pom pom hats, fun fur hats, every kind I could think of in every color I could think of. A girl needs choices. Right?

Cookie Favors for Katie's Baby Shower

I made these cookies for my daughter's baby shower. I used my standard cookie and frosting recipe. I used a onesie cookie cutter. When it came to putting the detail on the cookies, I just could not get the detail that I wanted by using frosting. I had bought some markers that had edible ink, so I decided to see if I could draw on the detail. I let the icing dry overnight to make sure it was a nice hard surface on which to draw. I am pretty stiff when it comes to drawing, so I started off by making the neckline, the center line and then the leg holes. I made dots for buttons and then all of a sudden, my creative juices came alive. I started decorating them with lace and bows and ruffles and collars and epaulettes and cuffs. It was a blast and definitely a technique that I plan on experimenting with much more.

Papaw's Shirt Pillow

My daughter, Katie, and her husband, Tim, asked me to make a pillow for Tim's grandmother. Tim's grandfather passed away this past year, and they wanted to give his grandmother something special. They decided to have a pillow made out of his grandfather's favorite shirt.

I cut the shirt on the sides and bottom and then sewed it into a square. I used an 18" pillow form and just unsnapped the front as the way to put the pillow form inside the shirt. I sewed part of the shirttail to the collar to make a flap to cover the pillow at the neck hole. I think it turned out nice. Tim and Katie were happy, and that's what counts. I'm anxious to hear what Mamaw says.