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About MaryPat

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A Few Things About Me

  • Short bio
    I credit crochet with saving my life.
  • Location
    Many many places
  • Hobbies
    Crocheting, of course!
  • Favorite hook type
  • Favorite projects
    sweaters, jewelry, afghans, doilies

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  1. You might get specific responses that are more useful if we knew what pattern you were considering. I worked a t-shirt in tunisian, but the construction was 9-inch tunisian squares and I found that I was more comfortable using a regular hook that was pretty long. If you're working an afghan with like 200 stitches on it, you might want to look at a cabled hook set -- I had a couple of Boye ones that I hated. The lack of a thumb rest made it difficult to twist the hook and I developed wrist pain. I think KnitPicks makes a set that a lot of crocheters like.
  2. I've gotten a lot of crochet hooks from eBay.UK for low prices. It's not unusual to see an estate sale with 20 hooks going for under 20£. Daughter lives in UK so I could use her home address for shipping and take them back to the US when I visited. The advantage of buying a lot of them cheaply is that you can eventually see how size is a bit ... what's the word? I can take 3.5 hook in several different brands and see that they are slightly different to each other in terms of neck length, throat width and thickness of the hook, all factors which cann affect the size of something. If you're doing an afghan, it may not matter; I find doilies can be pretty forgiving as well.
  3. Are you using a boye type hook where the neck is the skinniest part? that could make the stitches too tight. More commonly, I'd guess when you are doing the draw up a loop and the yarn overs, you need to pull the hook a distance away from the main part to keep it loose. I'm looking at this person's video and around the 30 seconds in, you can see she pulls the yarn away from the rest about an 1/4 inch. Whereas if you're doing all SC's, the draw up a loop is kept quite close to your work.
  4. I have trouble keeping count sometimes and I forget to do the first stitch of the next row. Counting -- what could be simpler? I think using a smaller hook could be risky, especially if you're tightening up. Perhaps consciously resting and shaking your hands and then deliberately trying to stay more relaxed would help.
  5. Welcome to Crochetville. I haven't crocheted since July. Been resting my wrists. Lots of stuff to see and say in Crochetville.
  6. MaryPat


    If you can get a copy of "Tapestry Crochet", the author explains the bias and why it occurs. More than that, she includes sample graph paper that includes the slant bias. There's a couple of samples further down this page https://printable-graph-paper.com/tapestry-crochet-graph-paper-printable/ Here's an illustration in someone's blog https://crochetbird.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/summer-crafting-tapestry-crochet/
  7. I grew up near Pittsburgh and there was a lot of German influence. We celebrated St. Nicholas Day and I passed the tradition on to my daughters. My granddaughter can't leave her shoes out (they live in a condo), so I usually get a small paper shoe and fill it with candies and deliver it while they still sleep. I went to a boarding high school and we re-created St. Nick and hung him on the dormitory doors and put out our shoes. The German nuns running the school did not hesitate to place coal for the naughty ones.
  8. I think I learned about vintage hooks by reading books and websites and purchasing hooks from eBay. I know that Bates hooks with a pop of color on the top are vintage. Ones with prices are vintage -- if it says 35¢ then it's the late 60's/early 70's. If they are boye and black, they are WW2 vintage, 1944-45 when steel wasn't available.
  9. I went to gift someone with an Edgerydoo and the website seems to be broken and taken over by an asian entity. Just in case they had gone out of business or changed where they sold their templates, I looked on Etsy and eBay to see if there were any for sale. Nope. Any hints?
  10. I've seen advice from master crocheters from CGOA that the chain into a circle is a firmer hold for a blanket than a magic circle because a lot of folks don't anchor down the end of the magic circle and it eventually works it way out again. For an on-display doily rarely pulled or washed, it's not a problem. That being said, you could do a magic circle -- it's my preferred way. I guess if you pull it real tight, it could close up smaller than the designer intended and you could get a small pucker. As far as losing track of where to place the hook, I use a contrasting piece of small ribbon/another color thread to help me keep sight of it. I like flat ribbon because it's slippery and shiny and more visible and easy to pull out when the circle is finished.
  11. MaryPat

    Steam block

    I like to steam block, especially acrylic. I think steam blocking has two ways of doing it. I was taught an older way back in the 60's by German nuns. Steam blocking newer: Pin the blanket to the shape you want. Hover an iron or a steaming machine just above the acrylic and pull it into shape. This will eliminate the curling. There is a chance that it won't be permanent and have to be redone after washing. Steam blocking vintage: Pin your blanket into shape. Take an old piece of cotton cloth (sheet for example,) and soak it in cold water. Twist out the water. Place cloth on top of blanket to be steamed. Turn off steam setting on your iron. Place hot iron (cotton setting) onto cotton cloth. You'll hear the steam. Pick up the iron, don't slide and place down on another piece of the blanket. And so on ... rewet steam cloth when it's dried. The vintage method will kill the yarn, make it much softer, drapier, and flatter looking. Not a good look if you have raised stitches such as bobbles. But a great look for some blankets. The newer method will soften the yarn without flattening the stitches. I've seen warnings that you can melt acrylic, but I have never ever done so in 50 years of crocheting/knitting. Yes, a border will help with curling. Sometimes I've added a flat border (all SCs, moss stitch, all DCs) to a blanket and vintage steam blocked the border -- it creates an effect of a ribbon binding because the main blanket is still puffy. PS: sometimes a good wash and dry in a dryer creates enough steam to reduce your curling to an acceptable level. Steam blocking yarns with nylon content seems to me to be hit or miss.
  12. MaryPat

    Dragon lamp

    That's a really traffic stopper! You are quite talented.
  13. This pattern from an Etsy seller looks similar to me. Although it says a "The pattern is written for masters who can knit," when I click on the photos, it uses crochet terminology. Suggestive to me that the creator is from a country where there is little differentiation between calling something knit and calling something crochet -- so maybe originally Germany? https://www.etsy.com/listing/771765608/crochet-gnome-pattern?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=gnome+crochet&ref=sr_gallery-1-3&organic_search_click=1&bes=1 Ravelry has quite a few gnome crochet patterns in its database -- https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#craft=crochet&query=gnome&sort=best&view=captioned_thumbs&page=3
  14. MaryPat


    So loving of you to do these.
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