Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Little of This, A Little of That

Last weekend, I started the border for the Mysteryghan.  I'd just started the time-consuming cable round before becoming completely sidetracked.

"Frosting" Cowl

Then I picked up the Frosting cowl again.  I'm on to the third (and final) ball of yarn, trying to decide how long it should be before I have to figure out how to seam it-- and whether or not I can/should make it a moebius.  (It definitely has a "right" and a "wrong" side, and I'm not sure how that'll work with a moebius.)

It's an enjoyable project, but it needs to be finished to make room for another WIP!  I've gotten fully into the groove on this one, now: I no longer need to refer to the pattern to remind myself-- just in case-- what to do for each cable row.  (It's a simple pattern, but it's knitting, you know.  That makes it harder for me to memorize and feel confident that I'm doing it correctly.)  Funny how that always seems to happen.  Just when you really get into the flow of the pattern, it's almost time for it to wind down. 

- - - - - - -

Friday, a couple of crochet hooks I ordered arrived, and I needed to try one of them this weekend.  I'm still waiting to finish that cowl before I allow myself to try my new knitting needles, but crochet hooks... Who can say no to a little crochet project?  They're so quick!  Hardly any commitment at all, right?  ;o)  (At least it's not another afghan...)

I'm not sure of the pattern's name, but you can find a chart on this page of Pammy Sue's blog.   (I must've found my copy of it somewhere else, though, because it has the Russian symbol key.)  You'll find a photo of Pammy Sue's white and pink version on that page, too, and for a photo of one done in white and yellow, check out this entry on Linda's blog.  They're both so pretty!

I'm planning to follow the same two-color scheme, but I'm using more of my leftover blues.  America's Best size 10 in Parakeet (accent) and Light Aqua (main color).  (That brand of thread has been discontinued, by the way.)

Doily in Progress


Now, for some hook talk...

The new hook I'm using for the current doily is a 1.75mm (labeled size 0) Clover Amour steel hook-- one of those with the "elastomer rubber" handle.  I have an old (hand-me-down) size 7 (1.65mm) hook that I gave a polymer clay handle, and that's been my favorite for crochet doilies, ever since.  I would've gotten a size 7 hook this time, too, but I couldn't find one in the Clover Amour line.  (Maybe they're out there, though...)

It's early to say for sure, yet, but I think this may be my new favorite hook style for crocheting doilies.  If I still love it this much by the end of the doily, I'll be adding the next smaller size to my wish list.  (If they don't make 1.65mm, maybe 1.5mm?)

The handle is not quite so soft as I'd expected-- slightly less "squishy" than the Crochet Dude hooks I've tried-- but I'm not sure that's a bad thing, and it's much more comfortable to hold than a plain steel hook.  It's somewhat softer than-- but also slimmer than-- the polymer clay handle.  I think it may have more grip/non-slip texture to it than the clay-covered handle, but the slimmer profile might not be as good for someone with arthritis or other hand-strength/pain issues.

Photo comparisons--

Top: Boye 1.65mm (polymer clay handle)
Middle: Clover Amour 1.75mm
Bottom: Boye (Crochet Dude) 5mm

Comparing Crochet Hooks

I love that pistachio/spring green of the Clover hook-- and the fact that the size is etched into the hook, so it can't (easily) wear off.  (I "carved" the size into the bottom of the polymer clay handled hook before curing it.) 

Comparing Crochet Hooks

The second photo could be better, but at least it gives some idea of the shape of the hook.  I haven't noticed any difficulty crocheting with the Clover hook, so I guess it's not too different from the Boye style (which is pretty much the only style I use).  It seems to have a fairly long... shank? shaft?  Whatever the technical term you prefer for the part of the hook that maintains a stable size before tapering into a larger dimension for the thumb-rest.  (If that part's not consistent enough or long enough, it can be harder to crochet evenly-- especially when you need to have several loops on the hook at the same time.)


I also ordered two aluminum hooks.  Size 7/4.5mm in Tulip Etimo and size 7/4mm in Tulip Etimo Rose.  How they can both be "size 7" with the 0.5mm difference in size is somewhat mysterious ;o) but there you are!

The 4mm hook corresponds to the American size "G".  The 4.5mm hook falls right between American size G and H (which is 5mm).  I didn't have a 4.5mm hook before this, and since the G and H hooks are my most commonly used sizes (for worsted weight), it made sense to add the "in-between" size to my arsenal.

As for the extra 4mm hook... Well, I had a moment of weakness-- and you can always use another hook in your favorite size, right?  (Also, I wanted to see/touch/compare the Tulip Etimo and the Tulip Etimo Rose to determine for myself whether or not there's any difference between the two, beyond color.)  The pink one hasn't made it here, yet, so more on the Tulips at a later date.


Well, there are still a few hours of perfectly good crocheting or knitting time left, this afternoon.  I've got my mp3-player loaded with a happy playlist and an Agatha Christie audiobook (depending on the mood), so I'm all ready to go.  ;o)  Hope your weekend is winding down just as nicely!