Saturday, May 8, 2010

Adventures in Crochet

I've got started on my next round of doilies and I've found a really interesting one.  This is from a vintage pattern book.  Part of the first page is torn off so I can't find a date but I suspect from the typeface and pictures that it's from the 30s or 40s.

Looks like a normal doily, doesn't it?  Here's what makes it interesting:

Normally with a crochet doily, you start off either with a few chain stitches that are joined to make the beginning circle or by wrapping the thread a few times around the pinkie then single crochet stitches around to make the first round.  You can tell by looking that this one doesn't start that way.  Isn't it pretty?  Here's how it starts:

1st Round: Chain 5, slip stitch in 5th st from hook for picot, ch 7, sl st in 7th st from hook for picot, ch 5, sl st in 5th st from hook for picot, sl st in base of 1st picot for picot cluster, ch 4, dc in 4th st from hook, repeat from beginning 3 times, join.

In all the years I've been crocheting, this is the first time I've ever seen this start to a doily and I dig it.

The other outstanding aspect of this pattern was a completely screwed up pattern for round 7.  I know people think that vintage patterns are full of errors but, from my experience, this is much more often true of knitting patterns than crochet for some reason.  In fact I tried this round about 6 times before I finally came to the conclusion that is wasn't just that I was tired or that I wasn't reading the pattern correctly.  Fortunately there was a really good picture of the finished doily so I was able to figure it out from that. 

I also wanted to show a sample of the difference the size of the thread makes in the finished product.  Remember the Ducks and Drake doily I did with the size 100 thread and size 14 needle?  It's in the same book so I decided to do it again in the size 10 thread.  It takes on a completely different face.

Can you believe it's the same pattern?  It's pretty both ways, I think, but nothing can compare with the daintiness of the smaller thread.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Days Like This

Mother told me there'd be days like this.  Or weeks like this.  About all I've had energy for is staring at the wall and crocheting.  I did get 8 doilies out of it and the friend who'd asked for them seemed very pleased.  Although I said I'd try to get a picture of all of them, I forgot and they're away now.

But all is not lost.  Tonight at knit night a very generous person gave me:

Crochet and vintage.  How could life be better?  I feel a whole new round coming on!

There was a new addition to the household this week. 

It's my new Fricke spinning wheel.  I've been researching travel wheels, trying them out in different places for a wheel that I could easily carry with me for events and meetings.  I was always scared that I was going to do damage to my Kromski.  Of all the wheels I tried, this one had the features that I wanted - multiple whorls, easy bobbin changing, smooth treadling, scotch tension and a adjustable hook for advancing the yarn.  It's absolutely gorgeous to spin on and I've got a project started on it already.  This is Blue Faced Leicester that I'm spinning to very, very light lace weight.  I've done part of it on a drop spindle and now I"m finishing it on the wheel.  I wanted to see how the 2 different processes would compare.  I've got this on the middle whorl and on the lightest possible tension on the Scotch tension and it's probably the lightest weight I've ever managed.  I even got to break it in last week meeting with some other spinners in the local park for a very windy session.  Spun like a dream.