Monday, March 21, 2011

I’m Too Sexy for My Squares!

The Ripple Granny Jacket and Hat from Crochet with Squares, 1974

With apologies to Right Said Fred… whaddaya mean, who’s Right Said Fred?!

I’m too sexy for my followers, too sexy for my followers
Please, followers don’t leave me!

I’m too sexy for my jacket, too sexy for my jacket
So sexy I can’t hack it
I’m too sexy for the ski lodge, too sexy for the ski lodge
Bates Motel or Econo Lodge

And I’m too sexy for this post
Too sexy for this post
No way I’m ceasing and desisting!

I’m a granny square model, you know what I mean
I’d give my eye teeth to do a turn on the catwalk
Yeah on the catwalk, on the catwalk
I’d kill my grandma to shake my tush on the catwalk

I’m too sexy for my hat, too sexy for my hat
There’s no denying that
And I'm too sexy to crochet, too sexy to crochet
I’d rather wear a toupee!

Cos I’m a granny square model, with grannies I’m seen
As I model in Wallmart instead of a catwalk
Oh, in Wallmart, in Wallmart
I got arrested for shaking my little tush in Wallmart.

I’m too sexy for Blogger, too sexy for Blogger
Twitter, Facebook and Blogher
I’m too sexy for my followers, too sexy for my followers
My followers are all going to leave me!

I’m too sexy for this blog.

For the complete too sexy pattern (and more too sexy snark):

I suppose those are ripples of granny squares, if by ripples you mean jagged clumps of potholders.

Sorry, I meant sexy, jagged clumps of sexy potholders.
SIZES: 10-12; 14-16 Directions are given for size 10-12. Changes for 14-16 are given in parentheses (for Jacket). Directions for hat in one size, it adjusts to fit.


4 ply Synthetic yarn or Knitting Worsted (4 oz. skeins)
6 (7) skeins Color 1 (Royal Blue)
2 (3) skeins Color 2 (Green)
1 (2) skeins Color 3 (White)
1 (1) skeins each Color 4 (Yellow) and Color 5 (Red) or any 5 color combination may be substituted.
G (G) Aluminum or #6 (6) Plastic Crochet Hook for Squares and
F (F) Aluminum or #5 (5) Plastic Crochet Hook for Collar and Bands.
I hope I don’t have to warn you of the dire consequences should you attempt this pattern with a non-synthetic, organic yarn and a bamboo hook.

Remember this pattern booklet is called Crochet with Squares, not Crochet with Hippy-Dippy Tree Huggers.
JACKET (Size 10-12)

GAUGE: Each square measures 3½”.

SQUARE #1: Make 59
RND 1: With Color 1 (Royal Blue) and large hook ch 4, sl st in 4th st from hook to form a ring, ch 3, 2 dc in ring, * ch 3, 3 dc in ring, rep from * twice, ch 3, sl st in top of ch 3 to join.
RND 2: Ch 3, * (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch 3 loop (corner shell), rep from * twice, (3 dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in last ch 3 loop, sl st in top of ch 3 to join (ch 3 at beg of row counts as 1 dc).
RND 3: Ch 3, 2 dc in space between ch 3 and next 3 dc group, * (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch 3 loop, 3 dc in next space between 3 dc loop, sl st in top of ch 3 to join, break off.
Perhaps a better name for this pattern booklet would be Crochet with Brackets, or Crochet with 3 dc. Crochet Yourself into a Coma would be cruel, but fair.
SQUARE #2: Make 34
RND 1: With Color 5 (Red) same as RND 1 of SQUARE #1, break off.
RND 2: Join Color 4 (Yellow) with sl st in 1st ch 3 loop, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in same loop with sl st, * (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch 3 loop, rep from * around, sl st in top of ch 3 to join, break off.
RND 3: Join Color 2 (Green) with sl st in 1st ch 3 loop, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in same loop as sl st, * 3 dc in space between next two 3 dc groups, (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch 3 loop, rep from * around, end with 3 dc in space between last two 3 dc groups, sl st in top of ch 3 to join, break off.

SQUARE #3: Make 29
RND 1: Same as RND 1 of SQUARE #2.
RND 2: Use Color 2 (Green), work same as RND 2 of SQUARE #2.
RND 3: Use Color 3 (White), work same as RND 3 of SQUARE #2.
Thou shalt not make this pattern more interesting by altering the order of these holy SQUARES! First, thou shalt create all 56 of SQUARE #1. Thou shalt not crochet 29 of SQUARE #3, excepting that you have already completed 34 of SQUARE #2.

Making up your own SQUARE #5 is right out.
TRIANGLE #1: Make 24
ROW 1: With Color 1 (Blue) ch 4, sl st in 4th st from hook to form ring, ch 4, (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in ring, work 1 tr in ring.
ROW 2: Ch 4, turn, 2 dc in first tr, (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in next ch 3 loop, skip next 3 dc, work 2 dc and 1 tr in top of turning ch 4.
ROW 3: Ch 4, turn, 2 dc in first tr, skip next 2 dc and next 3 dc group, (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) in ch 3 loop, skip 3 dc, 3 dc in space before last 2 dc, 2 dc and 1 tr in top of turning ch 4, break off.
TRIANGLE #1? But this is Crochet with Squares! Using TRIANGLES to fabricate a Ripple Granny Jacket is CHEATING!

Remember, one does not CHEAT in crochet! One uses crochet to punish cheaters.
TRIANGLE #2: Make 2.
ROW 1: With Color 5 (Red) same as Row 1 of TRIANGLE #1, break off.
ROW 2: Turn, join Color 4 (Yellow) with sl st in 1st tr, ch 4 complete same as ROW 2, TRIANGLE #1, break off.
ROW 3: Turn, join Color 2 (Green) with sl st in 1st tr, ch 4, complete same as Row 3, TRIANGLE #1, break off.

UNDERARM MOTIF: (5 corners). Make 2.
Why yes, my underarm is pentagon-shaped. Isn’t yours?
RND 1: With Color 5 (Red), ch 4, sl st in 4th st. from hook to form ring, ch 3, 2 dc in ring, * ch 3, 3 dc in ring, rep from * 3 times, ch 3, join with sl st in top of ch 3, break off.
RNDS 2 and 3: Work in same manner as Square #2, but having 5 corners, break off.

BLOCKING: Block all motifs to size. See page 49.
Turn to page 49, class.

Apparently, blocking is the application of an iron-on patch onto a side of beef pinned to a candy stripers uniform.

That’s candy stripers not candy strippers! Get your minds out of the gutters, people.
BLOCKING: Place crocheted square right side down on well padded surface. Pin each square or article to size given with each design. Cover with damp cloth, steam (do not press). When two pieces have the same measurements, pine one piece down and block. Place reverse piece on top (right side up), and block. All pieces to dry completely before removing pins.
That procedure may work for the first couple of squares, but once you have a pile of 122 of the same sized squares, you’re going to need a bigger iron. And a super-sized side of beef.

Now everyone turn back to page 40 of the text book.
JOINING: Weave Squares together following directions on page 49.
Page 49 AGAIN!

All right, if I must.

Let me guess. Either your joining will create a legion of synthetic yarn ridges inside the jacket to rub against your skin until you’re driven mad (option A) or the outside of the jacket will look like Dr. Frankenstein embroidered it (option B).

Decisions, decisions.

A With tapestry needle and same yarn as last rnd overcast edges of both squares from one ch 3 loop to next, or from one corner sc to next corner sc.
B Butt 2 motifs together, bring needle up through center of corner st of 1st motif, down through corner st of 2nd motif, * up through next st of same motif, down through same st of 1st motif and up through next st of same motif, down through same st of 2nd motif, rep from * until joining is completed.
Class, stop sniggering just because they said Butt! Now everyone back to page 40.
Join Jacket in 3 sections as shown on charts.
After having crocheted and ironed 122 squares, 26 triangles and 2 underarm motifs, feel free to delegate the stitching together of all 150 pieces to the kids.

If they complain, remind them that this isn’t illegal child labour as you’re not going to be paying them. No, this is family game night.
Follow chart for color arrangement of motifs 1, 2, and 3. Join shoulders matching P’s and Q’s. Use different colors of yarn for markers for letters I through O placing where indicated on chart (on sleeves and armhole openings). Join sleeve seams matching letters A through H. Matching yarn colors place sleeve in position and weave in place.

(For both sizes) (Collar and bands are worked in one piece and all sc’s are worked in back loop of stitches only)
Row 1: (Starting at center back) With Color 1 and small size crochet hook, ch 5, 1 sc in 2nd st from hook, I sc in each of next 3 ch sts, (4 sc in row).
Row 2: Ch 1, turn, 1 dc in each sc across. Repeat last row until 164 (180) rows are completed.
C’mon, it’s only 180 rows! I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, people. There is NO crying in crochet!

There is, however, repetitive stress injury in crochet.
Row 1: (Inc. Row) ch 1, turn, 1 sc in each sc, 2 sc in last sc.
Row 2: Ch 1, turn, 1 sc in each sc across. Repeat last 2 rows until there are 14 sc in row.
Row 21: Repeat row 1 of Collar shaping.
Row 22: Ch 1, turn, 2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in each rem sc.
Rows 23 and 24: Repeat Rows 1 and 2 of Collar shaping. Repeat last 4 rows until there are 35 sc in row. Work without increasing over 35 sc until there are 262 (274) rows in all, break off.
This is ½ of Collar and Border measuring from center back of lower edge of neck. Make other half in same manner. Join the 2 sections at center back of border and collar.
If you incur repetitive stress injury from making the second half of the Collar and Border, write to Graphic Enterprises Inc, the holder of this pattern’s copyright back in 1974. Unfortunately, they didn’t provide an address, but I’m certain that one of the 33,800,000 hits their company’s name got from Google will be the correct place.

Good luck!
CUFFS: Make 2. Ch 21, work same as Row 1 and 2 of collar (20 sc in row) until there are 60 (63) rows, break off. Join 2 short ends to form tube.

BELT: Ch 9, work back and forth in single crochet same as cuff until there are 218 (230) rows or until belt is desired length, break off.
Such a prosaic belt just won’t do justice to the patchwork masterpiece your family made together.

This vintage belt, on the other hand, will add a certain je ne sais quoi.

No, je ne sais quoi is not French for WTF.
FINISHING: With right sides together, place and stitch collar and border to outside edge of jacket, matching center back of collar to center of neck, center back of border to center back of lower edge of jacket, making sure increased edge of collar is attached to jacket edge.
JACKET (Size 14-16)

There is NO crying in pattern transcription.

GAUGE: Each square measures 4”.
Jacket is made same as Size 10-12—But do not break yarn at end of last RND or ROW of Motifs.

RND 4: Ch 1, 1 sc in same st with sl st, work (1 sc in each dc, 5 sc in each corner ch 3 loop) around, join with sl st, break off.

ROW 4: Ch 1, turn, 1 sc in first tr, 1 sc in each dc up to ch 3 corner loop, 5 sc in ch 3 loop, 1 sc in each rem dc, 1 sc in top of turning ch 4, break off.

Work same as Size 10-12.
DIRECTIONS For Collar and Border are given in parenthesis with directions for Size 10-12.
That wasn’t so bad. So we’re finally done now, right?

Work 8 Squares #2 and 4 Triangles #1 same as Size 10-12 jacket.

BLOCKING: Same as Size 10-12 jacket.

JOINING: Weave squares together same as jacket joining 4 squares together for crown. Matching letters, join the 4 squares #2 to center Squares, then fit Triangles between Squares. Stitch Triangles in place. See chart.

That’s a hat? It looks like a crocheted pinwheel.

So, instead of stitching it together to form an ugly hat, you could create your own low tech wind farm!

BRIM: Using large crochet hook, join Color 1 (Blue) with an sc in end st of a dc row, work 2 more sc over same end st, work (3 sc over end sts of each dc row, skipping all joinings and ch 4 rings at beg of each triangle) around, join, (72 sc).

NOTE: The entire brim is worked in back loop of each sc.
MORE IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: Do not wear completed granny square hat in the kitchen. Someone may try using your head to get a roast out of the oven.
RND 2: (Inc) Ch 1, turn, * 1 sc in each of next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc, rep from * around, join in 1st sc (84 sc).
RND 3: (Inc) Ch 1, turn, * I sc in each of the next 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc, rep from * around, join (96 sc).
RNDS 4 and 5: Ch 1, turn, I sc in in each sc all around, join each round.
RND 6: (Inc) Ch 1, turn, * 1 sc in each of the next 7 sc, 2 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, rep from * all around join (108 sc).
RNDS 7 and 8: Same as RNDS 4 and 5.
RND 9: (Inc) Ch 1, turn, *1 sc in each of the next 8 sc, 2 sc in next sc, rep from * around, join (120 sc).
RNDS 10 through 13: Work RNDS 4 and 5 twice, break off.
At last, you’re ready to shake your granny-squared tush on the catwalk!

Click here for the printable pattern.

Read more!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

DIY – A Revolutionary Birthday!

Thanks to my friend, Hind of Alexandria, Egypt, we have a brand new DIY!

This lovely young lady is Wa’ad, who longtime readers may remember for her lovely purse and cloche hat. Above, she’s working on a very special, one could say, revolutionary doily.

For the whole story:
Hind writes:
Dear Victoria,

I am glad to be able to send some photos of Wa'ad, (who is now fourteen years old) while she was working on a doily she made last month for her mother's birthday. This birthday present is a Handmade by Daughter from a Handmade by Mother pattern posted on August 6, 2009, called: Summer of Polyester Love.
How well I remember the Summer of Polyester Love. When for one brief, wacky moment I actually thought slapping a doily onto a dress made sense.

Good times, good times.
How this pattern was transformed into a doily has a remarkable story. It seems that Wa'ad had actually planned to buy a present for her mother's birthday which was on February 7, but as this was during the revolution, most of the shops were closed, and the curfew regulations did not allow her the chance to go on the streets and search for something nice. So she came to me five days before the birthday was due, asking for a quick and easy pattern to make her first thread crochet project.

Again – as often before – Handmade by Mother had the right solution. In three days the doily was complete, with enough time to be starched and blocked.
A big, gushing puddle of glee describes my reaction to the possibility that my silly blog was able to contribute positively in any teeny tiny way to people’s lives during the Egyptian revolution.

While I mop my glee off the floor, please enjoy this picture of the actual doily.

Of course her mother was much more delighted with that handmade present than she would have ever been with any other ready made thing, bought on the last moment.

The doily is worked following the pattern, but it has a simple border on the last three rounds, which can be easily done by counting the stitches on the photo.
Excellent work, Wa’ad, your doily is so pretty! And it’s much nicer and more useful in its present incarnation, than the original sewn into that tacky blouse and skirt.

The cat beside Wa'ad is called Didi. He was put before my door last June by somebody who seems to have been unable to keep him. When I opened the door he just came in, with the intention of staying. He is very calm and friendly as you can notice from the photos.
Didi is adorable. One of my own cats arrived on our doorstep in much the same manner.
I hope that you like that DIY which really saved the day.

With love, Hind.
Like it? I love it!

Who could have ever imagined an unfortunate pattern in a 1975 Ladies’ Home Journal would result in a beautiful birthday present in 2011 revolutionary Egypt?

Thank you, Hind and Wa’ad!

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Phentex Wants to Kill Bobby and Cindy!

“Appolo” Pillow from Decoration 2000, 1972

“Appolo” isn’t a spelling mistake. This pillow is made of Phentex, ergo it would be inappropriate to name it after Apollo, the Greek God of light and poetry. No, this interior decorator’s nightmare is named Appolo which in ancient Greek meant the destroyer. Given Appolo’s hatred of Apollo, I can only assume that little Bobby and Cindy accidentally triggered the Phentex Pillow’s feeding frenzy by turning on a sun lamp and reading out loud from the Jabberwocky.

Now, some would argue that Appolo’s attempt to destroy the Brady Bunch actually makes up for all the heartbreak Phentex has caused me all of us. But where else would I have learned that as the baby of the family I was a snooping little tattle-tale? I refuse to say whether or not I’m in curls on the grounds I might incriminate myself.

Besides, these child actors didn’t really deserve to be eaten by a Phentex Sandworm. Yes, I’m well aware they aren’t Mike Lookinland or Susan Olsen. However, the Brady Bunch went through early Cindys and Bobbys with the same ruthlessness they had for the little seen Brady dog Tiger. In fact, in the right hand corner you can see the original Tiger, portrayed by a red poodle named Plushie, moments before he was eaten along with the Brady wannabes.

When it comes to Phentex, even Poodlefest cannot save you.

For the complete pattern, and thankfully no more Brady Bunch references:

“Appolo” Pillow

54” wide—7’ long
It just occurred to me that this fake Appolo pillow might actually have been named after the fake Appolo moon landing.

No 7. American no 6.

Phentex 3 ply:
red 3 balls
navy 2 balls
black 1 ball
yellow 6 balls
dark orange 6 balls
orange 3 balls
white 2 balls
purple 2 balls
green 2 balls
brown 2 balls
Either Phentex only came in dull, dismal colours in 1972, or this pattern designer didn’t believe children deserved bright, pretty things.

Although, I suppose there’s no reason why both couldn’t be true.
Make a chain for a 54” wide, work in d.c. till 7’ long or at desired length, changing the colours—8 rows red, 2 rows black, 4 rows white, 6 rows yellow, 3 rows purple, 6 rows orange, 5 rows navy, 2 rows white, 4 rows green, 5 rows orange, 2 rows black, 4 rows yellow, 6 rows brown, 2 rows white, 3 rows navy, 8 rows red. (The red rows are in the center – work till the end of pillow, reversing colours.)
Wow, making this 7 foot long pillow (2.1336 metres for Canadian crocheters) would be more tedious than knitting a Doctor Who scarf.

Apparently, the 4th Doctor didn’t deserve bright, pretty things either.
2 Sides—1 yellow—1 orange—ch 6, close by a sl. st.
Row 1—Ch. 2,—11 d.c. in the opening.
Seriously, a comma and a dash? Pausing twice in the same row is a big risk in a pattern this boring.

Be sure your crochet buddy checks every two to three hours that you haven’t slipped into a coma.
Row 2—2 d.c. in each st.
Row 3—2 d.c. in same st. each 2 sts.
Row 4—2 d.c. in same st. each 3 sts.
Row 5—2 d.c. in same st. each 4 sts.
Row 6—1 d.c. in each d.c.
Row 7—2 d.c. in same st. each 5 sts.
That’s right, never crochet alone! Or thirty minutes after eating a big meal.
Work to row 12, spacing 1st each row between the 2 d.c. in the same st.

R. 13—1 d.c. in each d.c.
R. 14—2 d.c. in the same st. each 11 sts.
R. 15—2 d.c. in the same st. each 12 sts.
R. 16—1 d.c. in each d.c.
Now stuff the Phentex pillow with live children.

Of course, I’m not joking. The materials list never mentioned any other kind of stuffing. Come to think of it, there’s no mention of the big leather buttons either.

I guess you’re supposed to make them out of red poodles.
Work 1 row s.c. same colour of each side to sew the sides to pillow.
Despite being made out of deadly Phentex, dead poodles, and eventually dead children, the Appolo is not the deadliest pillow available on the interwebs. Nope, if you really want to win the next pillow fight, you’ll need to get yourself one of these.

Click here for the printable pattern.

Read more!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Snow Bound Bunnies!

Rabbit Slippers from Beehive for Bairns, 1980, original pattern c. 1950

It may be March, but the groundhog lied! Spring is still a long way away for most of Canada and the United States. Of course, we can’t really blame Canada’s own Wiarton Willie, as he was forced to make his Groundhog Day prediction indoors, due to a blizzard raging outside. And regardless of whether the Yankee Punxsutawney Phil or the Southern General Beauregard Lee deliberately led us astray, the fact remains that it’s still cold outside, and your baby needs toasty toes!

So, I recommend knitting up a pair of dead groundhogs for her feet. Sure, the pattern book calls these “Rabbit” slippers, but with just a few minor alterations, you can provide warm footsies for your child AND have your revenge on weather prognosticating rodents everywhere.

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Rabbit Slippers
A perfect little shower gift, reprinted from Beehive Book # 41.
Perfect if you want to show up at a shower with a gift that cost you a dollar fifty in leftover yarn scraps and thirty whole minutes of your time.

When you give these slipshod slippers to the new mum-to-be, don’t forget to announce, “I love you THIS much!”
MATERIALS: Beehive Baby Yarn (50 g): 1 ball main colour B. Small quantity of contrasting colour A. Two 2 ¼ mm (U.S. 1) knitting needles or whichever needles you require to produce the tension given below. One 3.50 mm (U.S. E or 4) crochet hook for ties. Stuffing.

TENSION: 9 ½ sts and 13 rows = 1 inch (2.5 cm) in stocking st.

MEASUREMENT: Length 3 ½ ins (9 cm).

Fortunately for the perfectionists among us, Beehive Baby Yarn is still available in a variety of sickeningly sweet pastel shades such as Precious Pink and Sleepy Sea. Unfortunately, that also makes knitting up miniature dead groundhogs more difficult, as those varmints don’t usually come in all the colours of a six year old girl’s rainbow unicorn obsession.

I recommend buying a ball of the Rose Bud red and telling everyone the groundhog was done in by an eighteen wheeler.
SOLE: With B cast on 22 sts and knit 1 row.
Continue in garter st (plain knitting every row) increasing 1 st beginning every row to 32 sts on needle. Knit 3 rows even.

Continue in garter st, decreasing 1 st beginning every row to 22 sts on needle. Cast off.

UPPER SECTION: With B, cast on 6 sts and work 2 rows garter st.
3rd row: K1. Inc 1 st in next st. Knit to last 2 sts. Inc 1 st in next st. K1.
4th row: Knit.
Repeat 3rd and 4th rows to 26 sts on needle.
Work 19 rows even in garter st.

Next row: K13. Turn.
Working on these 13 sts, work 35 rows garter st. Cast off.

Join yarn to remaining 13 sts and work 36 rows garter st. Cast off. Sew cast-off edges together.
Also, your bloody slippers will not only keep a baby’s feet warm, they’re even educational!

When baby starts walking, you can tie these slippers onto her feet and tell the tyke, “Don’t wander into the road, sweetie pie. Or you’ll end up smashed flat into the concrete with a tire tread down the middle of your back. Then someone will come along to scrape up your bloody remains and turn you into slippers.”
RABBIT HEAD: With A, cast on 3 sts and knit 1 row.
2nd row: Inc 1 st in each of 1st 2 sts. K1.
3rd row: Knit.
4th row: K1. Inc 1 st in next st. Knit to last 2 sts. Inc 1 st in next st. K1.
Repeat 3rd and 4th rows to 13 sts on needle.
Work 8 rows even in garter st.

Next row: K6. Turn.
Working on these 6 sts work 10 rows garter st.
Continue in garter st, decreasing 1 st each end of needle every row to 2 sts on needle. K2tog. fasten off.

Join yarn to remaining sts. K2tog. K5.
Work exactly as given for other ear.
Make another slipper the same.
Or if you prefer to maintain the magic of childhood, feel free to tell your toddlers that their groundhog slippers were made by pastel-coloured unicorns.

It’s never too early to instill fear of vengeance seeking unicorns.
TO MAKE UP: Placing one point of sole at back seam, sew evenly to upper, easing in fullness around shaped end of sole at front. With B, embroider eyes and nose on head as illustrated. Sew head in position, lightly stuffing nose and leaving the ears free. With 2 strands of B together, make a chain 12 ins (31 cm) long. Make 2 tassels and sew to each end of chain. Sew middle of chain to back of slipper.
Or of vengeance seeking groundhogs.

Click here for the printable pattern.

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