pattern woes & pretty hooks

The crochet Kippen cardigan I started came to an abrupt halt after row 1; I think the pattern has incorrect foundation chain numbers for both the XS and S versions.  I messaged the publisher about 2 weeks ago and have gotten no reply.  Looking at the written pattern, I thought at first that I should chain the stated # and go on with the different stitch count, but now I’m thinking I should probably chain the required amount to meet the correct stitch count after row 1.  *sigh*  This was unexpectedly disappointing (especially after paying about $15 USD for the pattern), but I’ll probably start on it soon and we’ll just see how it goes!

In other crochet news, I have an old set of steel crochet hooks that were my great grandmother’s, but they’re so uncomfortable to use because they have no good place to grip.  I therefore took advantage of a KnitPicks sale & bought the Clover Amour steel hook set:

Clover Amour crochet hook set

Aren’t they pretty?  They came with caps to protect the steel ends (or perhaps to protect humans from the sharp tiny tips), as you can see.  I’m going to use them for some Christmas ornaments.  They didn’t come with a good case though, just the plastic packaging, so I’ll probably get a pencil case to keep them in.

Speaking of pretty and ergonomic crochet hooks, have you seen Furls crochet hooks?  I prefer inline hooks and this is the only brand outside of Susan Bates that I know of that makes them (if you know of more brands, please tell me in the comments)!  You can get beautiful wooden ones for about $75 USD each, PolyResin ones for about $50 USD each, or their more affordable metal tipped ones for about $30 USD each.  I really want the candy colored PolyResin ones but those will have to be saved for special treats!

In my knitting world I still have 3 of 4 straps to finish on my Split Back Tank but that shouldn’t take long, and then I’ll wash it and share!  I’m also diligently working on my Maeve shrug:

maeve shrug

It’s not really as bright or as coral-y in real life, which I prefer, but I’ve had trouble getting any photos that accurately portray the colors.

Speaking of accurately portraying colors (or not), check out this gorgeous yarn:

Leizu DK

It’s a little more pink in real life, testifying to my newfound obsession with all shades pink (which is also evidenced by the Maeve shrug & Kippen cardigan & one more project I’ll share soon).  It’s Leizu DK yarn from Julie Asselin (90% merino, 10% silk) in the colorway Shiitake. I’m planning for this to be a lovely wearable item, I’m just not sure 100% what yet; I’ve got so many options that it’s hard to decide.

Well, that’s all for now; I’ve gotta go to Michael’s before they close to get some things framed for my office at work.  Thanks for stopping by, see you soon!

Thanksgiving giveaway winner announced!

Congratulations to Angie from the blog Kentucky Angel!  You’ve won!


Thanks everyone for participating, and look for even bigger giveaways as 2016 comes around!  See you soon!

Thanksgiving yarn and hooks giveaway!

***Giveaway now closed.***

There are so many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, even if you’re not celebrating the holiday in the United States.  To demonstrate this, check out this list I found (from itsbubz on Instagram):

Grateful for…

  1.  Early wakeups = children to love
  2. House to clean = safe place to live
  3. Laundry = clothes to wear
  4. Dishes to wash = food to eat
  5. Crumbs under the table = family meals
  6. Grocery shopping = $ to provide for us
  7. Toilets to clean = indoor plumbing
  8. Lots of noise = people in my life
  9. Endless questions about homework = kids’ brains growing
  10. Sore & tired in bed = I’m still alive!


Even though I don’t have kids, this is a great reminder that we can find things to be grateful for in what we usually consider to be unpleasant chores.

In the spirit of spreading thankfulness (which incidentally can also be really good for your mental health, see here), I’m hosting a giveaway!





  • 1 100g skein of fingering/sock weight yarn (480m/525yds) from DyeForYarn.  This Merino/BabyCamel yarn is a single ply yarn made of 55% merino superwash wool, 45% baby camel.  It is very soft and warm (I used it for my wedding wrap). Colorway: Blood Smear.

Not Your Average Crochet Thanksgiving 2015 giveaway

  • 1 more skein of the exact same yarn in colorway: Disappointed.

Not Your Average Crochet Thanksgiving 2015 giveaway

  • 4 Susan Bates aluminum crochet hooks in sizes:
    • B/1 (2.25mm)
    • C/2 (2.75mm)
    • D/3 (3.25mm)
    • E/4 (3.5mm)

Not Your Average Crochet Thanksgiving 2015 giveaway

The yarn currently retails for $21.27 USD (click here for my previous review of the yarn) and the Susan Bates hooks are my favorite aluminum brand, hands down, because the in-line shape allows me to crochet more quickly and smoothly.


The giveaway starts today and runs through the end of Sunday, December 6, 2015 EST and the winner will be drawn randomly on the following day.  The winner will receive an email alerting them to their win, and they must respond with their full name and shipping address within 24 hours of the email being sent or else another winner will be drawn.  The giveaway is open to all countries.

To enter, you must do ALL of the following:

  1. Follow this blog (via WordPress, Bloglovin’, or email).
  2. Re-blog this post (or share on another social media platform if you don’t have a blog, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.).  Multiple entries can be earned if you share on multiple platforms.
  3. Leave a comment on this post including the following information: a) how you follow this blog  b) the links to your re-blogged post and any of your shares on other social media platforms.

If all three of these have not been met, you will not be entered.

Please keep in mind that if you are a new commenter on my blog I will have to verify your comment before it will appear below, but you are entered once you submit your comment so please do not comment twice.

Good luck to everyone, and happy Thanksgiving!


***Giveaway now closed.***

fun containers (yes, containers)!

How do you store your crochet and knitting stuff?  I like the practical but I also really love the unusual, especially combined with sentimental, and that perfectly describes what I keep [some of] my hooks in next to my armchair:

new header image

It’s an old plant frog, I think they’re called, and it’s made by Camark (a now closed pottery company in Camden, Arkansas, where a family member of mine used to work).  It’s special to me and I’m so happy that I can use it for something I love!  The mug to the left was my grandmother’s, so there’s lots to love in this picture for me (that’s why I made it the new header image for this site a few weeks ago!).

I do use a more practical zippered pencil pouch and a zippered knitting needle pouch for projects on the go, as well as a little tin with my needles and some stitch markers, but this is so much cuter at home and really adds some personality to my storage, hehe.

What do you use to store your stuff?  Do you have any neat containers of your own?

That’s all for today, thanks for stopping by!

everything you need to know about crochet hooks

This is a re-post of a page I published back in June of 2011.  It’s still available in the menu bar but I thought it worth revisiting!

intro to crochet hooks

My favorite metal hooks are Susan Bates, hands down. I find them more ergonomic than Boye hooks due to the shape of the actual hook and its alignment with the handle.


There’s quite a range! Most yarns say on the label what hook sizes are most appropriate, as do most patterns. However, I personally don’t follow these guides all the time, because I find that they tend to make looser stitches than I like. There are also different methods of sizing: metric sizing and US sizing being the most predominant. It’s good to be familiar with both, so if I see a pattern that calls for a 5.00mm hook I can automatically say “OK, that’s an H-8, I think I have a couple in my collection” or vice versa.  Click here for a comparison chart.


Another tip: the material your hooks are made of actually do make a difference in how you crochet. Plastic hooks are more flexible and so tend to make looser stitches than metal hooks do, for instance. Not a huge deal, of course, but a matter of personal preference, and there’s lots to choose from! Bamboo or wood has more of a grip, and therefore is perfect for slippery yarns like silk, whereas aluminum/metal hooks are more slippery and might fare better with wool blends. Bone or horn hooks are usually antiques and can be really fancy/expensive, although the one above was not.


One thing you can do to make your hooks more comfortable to hold is to get little grippies — like those things you put on your pencils in 3rd grade. They sell packs of different sizes at places like Michael’s, so you don’t have to search far, and they’re cheap.

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