Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Happy, not THAT type.

I mentioned in a previous post about how I became a crocheter. And while I didn't learn this way, I would like to talk about Stitch n' Bitch: The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller.

The Happy Hooker is Debbie's only book to date devoted to crocheters, but who needs another when this book has already been perfected? It's like why create a new kind of toilet paper when what we have already works beautifully? In my honest opinion, this book is superior to any other crocheting book out there. It's a bold statement, yes, but it's true. Why? Because The Happy Hooker is the bible of crocheting. It explains everything you need to know about crocheting and then some. On top of that it offers patterns to use your new skills on. It is written is such a casual, almost conversation like manner that really makes the learner feel comfortable and confident. And that is extremely important.

There seems to be a virus that goes around fiber friends that makes everyone apprehensive. It could be about a stitch, a technique, a certain garment, fixing mistakes, or really anything that has to do with that craft. For me, in knitting, it was fair isle. Concord that. And now it's cables and I still haven't tackled that monster. In crocheting, it was adding a new strand of yarn. And once I owned this book, I was like "really? I have been fearing this for how long? And it was here all along?!". I truly believe that every crocheter or prospective crocheter needs to own this. Even if you are an expert, you need this, because it truly is the ultimate reference.

The first 100 pages are teaching/reference pages which could be a book on its own. The rest of the book is patterns and there are 40 of them. Yes, I said 40. Most books don't have 40 patterns, let alone a teaching section. Each pattern isn't rated by skill, because this book trys to teach the mentality that if you want to create something, you should. It shouldn't be about a level. If you see a pattern you like then make it. If there is some technique in the pattern that you haven't learned yet, then the first part of the book will gladly teach you. No excuses.

So what are you waiting for? Don't give me the excuse that you don't feel like getting out of the house, or your car is broken or your cat has an in-grown toe nail, because you can order it on Amazon.

Hookers Unite!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Let's pretend we're critters...

I love themed hats with matching mitten-scarves(scarves with a place for your hands to get warm in), but I must say they are a pain to make. Everything is machine sewn until you get to the face details and mitten edging. And that, my friend, is where the real frustration begins. Sure the sets are cute and sure they make people smile, but how many pokes of the needle can a human tolerate before they go nuts? One a positive note, fleece is amazing to work with. It hides all of your stitches so nothing has to be even close to perfect, which for me is ideal when hand sewing the face details.

My panda set was my first. Ahhh, everybody remembers their firsts, but for me this wasn't so sweet. After making this set I swore to never make a set again. Especially since the hat didn't end up fitting right. And then came the A Disney Trip to Remember swap and I got a little request...

(Photo compliments of GatorWrangler)

Sometimes I swear these little sets are just pushing themselves back into my life. Who knows, maybe someday I will work up the courage to make another. But not without chainmail gloves.