Wednesday, April 23, 2014

SciFi Chris with more blankets created by 3RC folks.

First up is camera shy Theresa with a Seatles Seahawk afghan she is knitting for her nephew.  Isn't it amazing looking?  She designed it herself.  She had previously made a Steelers helmet afghan, which went into the annual charity sale and then went to my brother-in-law. 

Nicole found an afghan kit in a thrift store, full of this beautiful yarn.  She's making a corner to corner afghan for her grandmother.  The photo doesn't do the bright colors justice. 


Original Chris is making this star afghan.  Its not done and its not blocked, but you can see the lovely pattern.  The yarn is very soft and will be wonderful to cuddle up in, once its done.

Constance is working on a graduation present and was feverishly working on it to get it done in time.  I wish I'd gotten a close up of the varigated gray she is using.  

Rebecca is also working on a star afghan.  I love the way different yarns and different colors can make a similar pattern look so different.  This is another photo that doesn't do justice to the colors of the yarn.  

Another example of how different colors change the look of a pattern.  This is Carol with a corner to corner afghan.  I believe this one is also headed to Project Linus.  If you have donations for Project Linus (the requirements for making the afghans are on their website)  Carol is willing to collect them and deliever them to the Project Linus folks.  Just bring them to the weekly 3RC meeting at the Panera's Bread near Magee Women's hospital, Saturday 2 to 5.  


Before you can make an afghan, you need yarn.  Here's Rebecca and Karen wrapping yarn.  No, they aren't taking it off the swift, they are putting it on the swift.  They need to put the yarn in skeins so that they can dye it.  Once dyed, it will go up for sale by Amelia and Wiggles.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

SciFi Chris finally posting for 3RC.

Blankets are a mainstay of crochet.  The variety of stitch types in crochet results in an amazing diversity of afghans that can be made.  Here’s just a small sample of the many blankets made by 3RC folks. 

This is a ripple afghan that my grandmother made for me when I was born.  It’s a bit worn after more than 40 years of use, but its still one of my most treasured possession.  I learned to crochet from my grandmother and still use the old Boye hooks she gave me.  Although she passed away a few years ago, every time I pick up a crochet hook or snuggle in my old afghan, I feel a connection to her.


I’ve made lots of afghans over the years.  Lap blankets with school colors to keep folks warm during football and hockey games, blankets for family and friends, blankets to donate to various charities, and once I even made a blanket for myself.  These are photos of a basket weave afghan I made for my sister.


Some blankets are made especially for charity.  Here are two of the many afghans made by Carol for Project Linus 


I love the shell stitch.  I think it looks so elegant and its perfect for a blanket.  Here’s two examples of shell stitch blankets.  The beige one was made by Bea, the blue one by Roberta. 


Three Rivers Crochet also has members that knit.  Judy made a lovely knit log cabin blanket.  Here’s the story from Judy of how this blanket came to be:

“Our daughter in Alaska was expecting her third baby soon and Gramma here was looking for that oh-so-special blanket to knit. I fell in love with a pattern for a knitted log cabin blanket pattern from Cascade Yarns. This daughter reminded me that they don't want heavy blankets. They get upset that people think just because they live in Alaska they are always freezing. So I began a long search for a cotton blend yarn for the log cabin. I had already decided on the colors I wanted. Same daughter wants nothing to do with "baby" colors and themes. I wanted red, black, grey, beige and white. While in a yarn shop in Ligonier in the Fall I found colors similar to what I wanted but not in the right fiber. There was another customer looking at various yarns and I presented her with my idea for the blanket. How was I to know that she was a professional artist? She heartily approved of my color choices so upon my return home I put an order in with Knit Picks for their Shine Sport Pima Cotton/Modal yarn and the accompanying picture shows the blanket, flaws and all, that Blaise Michael born on Feb. 28 is snuggling with in Alaska!”


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Occasionally in this blog I have mentioned The Book – Crochet One-Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant and Edie Eckman.  This book has become very popular in 3RC, several members own copies.  The book contains 101 projects from many, many different designers.  There are a wide variety of types of patterns, including stuff to wear ( shawls, cowls, slippers, shrugs), stuff to keep warm (hats, scarves, gloves/mittens, baby blanket), stuff to carry other stuff in (bags, purses, clutches), stuff to play with (stuffed animals), decorative stuff (jewelry, pins, scrunchies), and stuff for around the house (pot holders, tea cozy).

 One of the best things about the book, besides the great patterns, is how it is organized.  Each section is organized by yarn weight, which is very useful when you are looking for something to do with that single skein of yarn.  It drives me crazy when I find a pattern I like, then discover that the weight the pattern calls for is very different from the skein I want to use.  That means messing around with going up or down in hook sizes, playing with gauge which never goes well for me.  Its much easier with One-Skein Wonders.  If I have a skein of some nice light weight yarn, then I just have to flip through that section.  What to do with that bulky yarn?  Lots of patterns there, too.  There’s even patterns for thread, although I’ve never gotten the urge to work with those tiny, tiny hooks and that thin, thin thread.  Crocheting with thread is a whole other level of dexterity and patience, that I haven't yet dared to do.  But that's getting a bit off topic, so back to the book.

The patterns themselves have both written instructions and clear charts.  I’ve only been using charts instead of the written directions for about a year but I’m amazed at how much easier it is for me to understand them.  The abbreviations and secret code like way that written directions are presented in always were a bit confusing for my brain.  Charts make it much clearer, I think.  However, everyone is different, and both charts and written directions are provided for all the patterns in the book.  There are also color photos for all the patterns.  Some of the photos give a better image of the design than others, but overall the photos are good.

Here are some photos of some of the projects 3RC folks have made using Crochet One-Skein Wonders.

First up is Doug in the Quinby hat he made.  He's made several hats using the Quinby pattern.  These are just two of many, many hats crocheted by Doug. 


This is a variation of the Simply Elegant Scarf. The original pattern calls for it to be made in the round, which results in a double layered scarf.  Because I can't resist messing with patterns a bit, I made it in a single layer.  At the end of each row, I chained 3.  That gave the scarf the scalloped edge.

Constance made these Astra fingerless gloves.  As a side note, Constance has made many things using thread, including some lovely edging on socks and baby onesies, and holders for small tissue packs.  Working with tiny hooks and thread holds no fear for her.  Also not pictured here is the Lullaby Dreams Baby Blanket on which she is currently working.

These adorable doll clothes were made by Ethlyn using the Rainbow Doll Ensemble.  She added the buttons to the hats as an extra spiffy decoration.

Here's a Montana Hat.  Its one of those patterns that looks like a very fancy-smancy stich, but is fairly easy to do.  The brim is just a strip made using front and back posts which are crossed over each other, then the brim is sewed together into a circle.  The top is crocheted in the round along the edge of the brim.

 This scarf was a little tricky, but after a couple of repeats of the pattern I was able to do it fairly quickly.  Its the Birstleberry scarf.  

 Here's another time I did a variation on a pattern.  I had been wanting to try out the crocodile stitch.  I used the directions in the Serrato Purse pattern to learn how to do the stitch, although I didn't make a purse.  I just made row after row of the scales, then folded the long strip in half to make a cowl.  I don't know if this really counts as something made from the Book, but here it is anyway.
 Finally, here's a pic of the Mobius Cowl.  I'm not very good at selfies, so Han Solo kindly agreed to model the cowl.
 I'm currently working on the Fan-Centered scarf.  After than, I plan on making the Yoga Mat bag.  It will not, however, hold a yoga mat.  Instead, I plan on using it to hold my new yarn swift which is currently in a thin muslin bag.  Also on the to do list is making the Bristleberry in a black and gold varigated yarn, Niles the Crocodile (which I will call an Alligator, mascot of my alma mater Allegheny College), the Blue Sky Dreamin' slippers . . . So many projects, so much yarn, so little time! 
Posted by -- Scifi Chris

Friday, March 21, 2014

SciFi Chris here and hello to all!

Last weekend, several of us 3RC folks went to the annual Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet festival.  We took classes, taught classes, bought yarn and sold yarn.  We also socialized, with each other and fellow yarn enthusiasts who had traveled from all over the area and nearby states.  
The vendors hall is usually one of the first stops.  It’s a huge room filled with temptation.  By that I mean, of course, yarn and yarn accessories.  I managed to restrain myself to only getting a few skeins each from some of my favorite vendors and a few skeins from some new favorites.  I also picked up a new yarn swift.


Here’s some of the vendors that are also long time members of 3RC. 



After buying all that great yarn, who is going to wind it into balls?  The nice folks at Hog Heaven will.  Every year they run a winding station and the coat room to raise money for Hog Heaven, a rescue shelter for hoofed animals.  It rescues, rehabilitates and fosters abused, neglected and unwanted hoofed animals.  Check out their website for more info

On display at the Festival were dolls wearing crocheted doll clothes designed by Nicky Epstein.

Classes!  I love taking classes.  Robyn, another 3RC member, taught several classes, including the one on making crocheted cables that a few other 3RC folks and I took.  Doug and I also took a really interesting class on free form sculptural crochet, where we made mini coral reef seascapes.  It always is amazing the variety of things that can be done with crochet.  For example, the spiffy bandolers that Doug made himself, to carry all his crochet tools.





Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hiya!  Scifi Chris with another 3RC post.  There’s lots going on and lots to chat about. 


First is the Good Deeds Day on March 9.  Good Deeds Day is just that, helping out other folks and making the planet we live on just a little bit of a nicer place.  To quote the official website:

All over the world, hundreds of thousands of people choose to volunteer together and help others, putting into practice the simple idea that every single person can do something good, be it large or small, to improve the lives of others and positively change the world.”

 There’s lots of different events and activities going on that day.  Specifically for crocheters and knitters is the event “Act of Loving Kindness.”  Volunteers will be making chemo caps and baby blankets for preemies.  All skill levels are welcome. 

Here’s the time and location for the knit/crochet “Act of Loving Kindness”:
JCC South Hills
345 Kane Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15243
March 9, 2014 
1 pm to 4pm


Next is the upcoming Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival.  This year’s Festival will be March 14 to March 16, at the Four Points Sheraton in Cranberry.  At the Festival is a vendor’s room, with all sorts of yarn, patterns, and supplies for sale.  Be warned, its easy to go crazy buying yarn, so many temptations.  There are also classes to take, although it tends to be far more knitting classes available than crochet classes.  Registration is on the website, all the classes cost additional fees on top of admission.  The classes I’ve taken have been very informative and lots of fun.  Although I just take one class a day, to have time to do other things, some folks just take classes all day, all weekend.  As it gets closer to the Festival, classes fill up fast.  A few are still open to register at the door, but if you are interested, preregistration is a better plan to make sure you get the classes you want.

On Friday evening, is a free PJ Party with StevenBe, with a competition for “Top 10 Ravelry Shawl.”  See the website for details.  As I discovered last year, its not a party in the sense of music, dancing, and socializing.  Its mostly listening and watching StevenBe’s presentation.  Many folks attend and enjoy it.  On the Three Rivers Crochet facebook page, on January 17, Chris N. posted a description of last year’s PJ party.  To read it, go here!/threeriverscrochet and scroll down a bit. 

Another event, which requires an additional $10 fee, is the Revolving Trunk show.  Basically, there are garments made from different yarns that you can look at.  Yarn representatives, designers and yarn store owners make presentations and discuss garments and the yarns.  The trunk show runs all weekend and the $10 fee lets you go in as often as you like.

There are some free activities.  All weekend, you can learn how to use a Feltloom in a make it and take it event, no registration needed.  Registration is needed for the free classes teaching folks to knit and crochet.  To register, just go to the website and click on classes.  Nicky Epstein will present a full 18-inch doll display, based on her books: Knit for Dolls and Crochet for Dolls, 25 Fun, Fabulous Outfits for 18 inch dolls.  Over 50 dolls will be on display throughout the entire weekend.  If you just want some quiet time to crochet or knit, stop by Warm Up America Lounge.  You can make a 7 x 9 square, with the yarn provided, that will be sewn together with other donated squares to make afghans for local shelters and families in need.

Here’s the link to the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival:

For the next bit, I'm totally failing at getting the photos to post on the blog.  I was able to get them onto the Facebook page, so please head over there to see the images.  Sorry about that.!/threeriverscrochet

Finally, there’s always the weekly meetings of 3RC at the Panera’s near Magee Women’s hospital.  All are welcome.  At the last meeting, Diane showed off the sweater she just finished for her grandson.  Its from the Fall 2006 Family Circle.  The pattern is called Easy Crochet Child’s Pullover designed by Gayle Bunn.  It was made with Vanna’s Choice tweed. 
Diane also brought along some fabric ruffle yarn, which she found online.  The strips of light weight fabric have holes punched through the fabric on one edge.  The crochet hook goes through the hole.  To make the ruffled scarf, slip stitch three times (once in each hole), then slip stitch through the first stitch.  Diane suggested going on youtube to watch a demo. 




Friday, February 14, 2014

Here's some more 3RC folks and projects they are working on.  As a little reminder, we meet on Saturdays, at the Panera's near Magee Womens Hospital, from 2 pm to 5 pm. 

The first is Elizbeth, who has been crocheting for just a few months.  She's made some nice projects, including this excellent cable which is in the process of becoming an ear warmer band.  Cables can be very tricky.  Impressive work for a novice crocheter! 

These fingerless gloves were made by Constance, yet another project from a pattern book that has become very popular among 3RC folks,  Crochet One-Skein Wonders.   They are Astra Gloves, designed by Jana Whittle.  There was a significant amount of yarn left over in the skein.  We can't wait to see what project Constance will make out of the rest of it. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Hiya all!  Sci Fi Chris with another 3RC post.
Several folks in 3RC have gotten entranced with a crochet pattern book Crochet One-Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant and Edie Eckman.  The book contains a nice variety of different projects and the patterns are organized by yarn weight.  

Ethelyn Daniel made some awesome outfits for her granddaughters’ dolls using the Rainbow Doll Ensemble pattern, designed by Gail Tanquary.   She added the extra touch of putting a matching button on each of the hats.