Part One: Finally!
Finally, finally Barnes & Noble had some crochet magazines! Great haul tonight: Annie's Favorite Crochet, Crochet Fantasy, Crochet!, Crochet World, & Interweave Knits: Crochet. I almost got the 2006 Crochet Pattern a Day calendar, but didn't have enough money for that and the magazines, & I figured it was more important to encourage them to continue stocking the magazines by buying them.
Those hats are about the ugliest things I have seen in a while. The headline reads Kassie DePaiva: Daytime Star Crochets Hats for Charity, to which I respond: just because you're poor doesn't mean you should be forced to wear that!
Please, can we let the furry yarn thing go away and die peacefully now? The whole magazine is full of it, from the Falling Leaves Jacket that is almost freeform loveliness, except where the mange hasn't taken it yet, to Glitz on the Go! (does anyone really need a fuzzy, hot pink jacket?), to the Heaven-Sent Wrap Jacket that appears to be made from a skinned Wookie. (View all the oddities on the Contents page.)
And I want to slap whoever coined the term "mancho." I suppose it would accent one's murse (man purse) quite well, but for the rest of us...No. Just. No.
That said, there are a couple of patterns in the magazine that I do indeed enjoy: the Purple Pizzazz Wrap, which apparently does use fuzzy yarn as one of its many textures but somehow manages to not look mangy; the Ruffled Holiday Scarf that might actually get me to wear a scarf were I in a different climate, even Sugar & Spice, a little girl's robe I'm thinking about making for a relative for Christmas.
Crochet World is another showcase of ugly patterns. The pattern of the month winner is especially stunning (in the Seinfeldian sense):
Again, that's just wrong. I cannot imagine any child voluntarily wearing that. I don't know what's the worst part, the appliqued crayons-with-scribble-paths, the huge buttons, or the appropos of nothing rainbow in the center.
I was looking through these magazines at dinner. Sure something better must lurk around the page, I turned it to find...Fingerless Cotton Bed Gloves. Nothing really wrong with them per se, they're just another item I cannot comprehend. I wear gloves only to keep my hands warm, and my fingers get cold first. So I don't get fingerless gloves. The description says they "will give your chapped hands a treat." Oh-kay. So apparently they should be worn to hold in lotion, as a treatment for dry skin? Am I the only one who puts lotion on her fingers too? I've gotta be missing something here.
Other bad patterns include the Textured Shell (in the "Touch of Style" column; apparently we're talking late-80s nerd style); Argyle Tote Bag for those who have "always admired the argyle pattern on socks"; the frighteningly fuzzy Kindergarten Poncho; the almost-intriguingly-abstract Crayon-Box pullover (to wear underneath the Crayon Scribbles Cardigan, perhaps, as the former is designed to be loose enough to wear as a jacket); the Hooded Riding Shawlcho, which I would hate for the name alone, even if it weren't insanely shaped & the inexplicably hairy Girl's Pumpkin Purse (which doesn't look like a pumpkin and dear Lord why is it hairy?).
I will admit, I love kitschy patterns as much as the next person. I like the bespectacled Book Bag Bunny, and will probably make the Trick-or-Treat Pumpkin bags for my daughters--well, sans the hairy trim. And there are a couple of patterns there that are very nice, like the Ranch House Throw and the Boy Wrapper.
Thankfully, Crochet Fantasy and Interweave Knits: Crochet exist, though they're not totally immune.
Crochet Fantasy has a baby sweater I'm itching to make, a fan stitch sweater (not that I get 3/4 length sleeves on sweaters though), a cute purse, an absolutely lovely cape (cape, not capelet), & a cute purple elephant (which I may well make in pink as a joke for my friend the gay Republican). There are several other patterns that are nice but not to my taste. And then...And then there's "Sleeves", described as 'a little more sophisticated than a shrug.' Indeed. It appears to be a sweater that someone got bored while making and so quit after getting it just long enough to cover her bust. To make matters more incomprehensible, it pairs this extreme-crop-top with very long sleeves. I don't understand it and I don't want to understand it, nor do I wish to understand "Remembering Mod," a little girl's outfit of a crop top and minskirt made out of fuzzy, super-bulky yarn. Not sure which is worse, how revealing this thing (apparently intended to be worn out in public) is, or how poorly the yarn lends itself to the project.
Still, it remains one of the best magazines for the serious crocheter.
I know reviews of Interweave Knits: Crochet have been rather mixed, and I have to add my own. Overall, the patterns are lovely things I itch to make, but there are a couple of oddities. Candi Jensen's Shell Stitch Hat is one of them. It's pretty enough, except for the yarn. It's "shiny rayon raffia", but it looks like someone cut up plastic bags to crochet with. Reminds me of the Family Readiness Group on the Boise soliciting colored trashbags to make the sub's homecoming lei with (no, I'm not making that up). The truly bizarre pattern, though, is the Pirate's Jacket. I've got to provide a photo of this one. You can't understand it just by being told. You have to see it:
I know that it was designed that way on purpose. I think it's supposed to be edgy. Perhaps done in minature on a member of Lady Linoleum's VLA, it would be. Perhaps even done in black or scarlet and worn by a teenager with too-pale makeup and a well-developed sense of fashion irony, it would be.
But on a normal adult, as everyday wear? How do I put this properly? NO. It looks for all the world as if the maker was rather heavily into certain mind-altering substances while crocheting. Friends don't let friends crochet drunk.
(Note that the model looks much happier wearing the South of the Border Jacket.)
I'm having a hard time picking out a favorite, though. It's a tie amongst the Milan Dress, the Colorwaves Topper (though the link to pattern corrections kind of scares me), and the Hemp Flowers Necklace, which I'd never actually wear but love the very idea of. If you're even later to the party than I am and haven't seen the magazine yet, the whole list of projects can be seen here.
Part Two: Linda's First Sentence
Linda said her first sentence today, at a little more than 20 months. And it was actually a complete sentence. Also, Linda being Linda, it was a demand. It is here because it involves crochet. She brought her dance outfit over to me, held it out, and said "Put it on me!" I about fell over. She's not normally very articulate, and so this did sound a bit garbled. But it was a perfect sentence! Bobbie's first sentences were two and three word things that sounded like something a caveman would say.
Part Three: Rob's Coming Along Well
This is obviously still a work-in-progress, but it's nice enough that I have to show it off. Rob has decided to make a toddler blanket for his first project.
I posted the problems he was initially having at Crochetville, so this is my official on-the-blog thanks. He is still insisting on using a G hook with his worsted weight yarn, but he seems to have lost the habit of purposely making things small and tighter than they have to be. The slightly warped look to this I think is more a feature of how I laid it out than anything else. It's a very nice square, and looking at it you can't see the total look of terrified confusion that crossed his face when I initially tried to explain the concept of double crochet to him.
He's doing well reading symbol patterns. They make more sense to him than the written ones. Initially he was working on a normal granny square, and then I went upstairs to take a nap (pregnant women: nap when you can). Came down two hours later, and he had the beginnings of this. Found the pattern in the book I was using to try to go over the granny square with him, decided he liked it better, and started in on it. He's a lot smarter than he gives himself credit for.
Part Four: Thrift Store Score
I'm pretty sure I mentioned this in a previous post. The thrift store we go to here has a whole rack of thread and yarn. We each bought a package the last time we were there. This is what I got for 99 cents:
The package is marked as J & P Coats Pearl LusterSheen knit & crochet yarn. I don't see it on the Coats & Clark website, so I'm thinking it may well be discontinued. This was the only package of it they had. Not sure what I'm going to make out of it. There is neither weight nor yardage marked on the package, so I really don't know what I've got enough for. But I love the metallic black.