Sunday, March 30, 2008

New York Crochet Events

The Institute for Figuring is presenting two crochet shows in NYC in the oh-so-very-near future. My ravelry friend Inga, of rockpoolcandy fame, has pieces in the two shows, quoted here from the IFF website:

- New York University "Broadway Windows" (NYC, NY)
In conjunction with the New York Institute of the Humanities and the Steinhardt School at NYU, a selection of the IFF's most complex and delicate sub-reefs will be on exhibition in the Broadway Windows space - across the road from historic Grace Church (at the corner of Broadway and 10th Street). The exhibition will include the Bleached Reef, the Branched Anemone Garden, and the Ladies Silurian Reef.

Forthcoming, April 5th - May 18th 2008

Location: Broadway Windows, at the corner of Broadway and 10th St.

- World Financial Center, Winter Garden (Battery Park City, NYC)
As a sister exhibition to the Broadway Windows site, a second exhibition of IFF crochet corals will be staged at the World Financial Center, Winter Garden. On display here will be the IFF's yarn-and-plastic-extravaganza, the Toxic Reef. The Winter Garden show will mark the debut appearance of the Rubbish Vortex crocheted entirely from used plastic shopping bags by IFF Australian contributor Helle Jorgensen, and The Other Crochet Reef by the mysterious Dr Axt. On display will also be a large cloud of plastic jellyfish forms by Irish contributor Inga Hamilton, Cambrian Explosion forms by Aviva Alter, hyperbolic octopii by Helen Bernasconi, and beaded hyperbolic marvels by Rebecca Peapples and Sue Von Ohlsen. The WFC show will also debut the New York Reef, currently under construction, and will see the New York premier of the Chicago Reef. This exhibition is presented by arts>World Financial Center, in conjunction with the New York Institute of the Humanities at NYU.

Forthcoming, April 5th - May 18th 2008 (The New York Reef and Chicago Reef will remain on display through August 31)

Location: World Financial Center Winter Garden (beside staircase)
220 Vesey Street, New York, NY 10281

This is a must-see, friends, and any hooker worth her salt should try to make the time and support crochet-as-art and the fantastic artists who work so hard to bring this to life. If any of my local (or not-so-local) crochet pals want to set up time to see these exhibitions en masse, let me know (yeah, I'm talking to you too, Dora, Sam, Christina, Janet, Lisa!).

Big shout out to IFF and to all the crocheters who contributed to these events!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I Heart StitchDiva

Let me begin by saying that this is not an ad for StitchDiva. But I gots ta tell ya, I do loves that site! How does Jennifer Hansen do it? She consistently comes up with really cool, beautiful patterns of stuff I'd wear. Like this vest. Awesome. Easy-peasy. And I'm using el Cheapo Lion Brand Microspun. Wrong yarn, wrong gauge, but guess what? Coming out fine and dandy. Will post the results here and on every damn site I can. If it sucks, I'll let you know, but it will be my fault. Her designs rock my world. Craving the Hourglass Jacket. Can't wait to start it. Wish I was smart enough to design my own.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Vintage Pattern Alert - 1915 Boy's Hat

I frequently get requests from readers asking for the patterns of some of the vintage crochet that gets posted here. Because I have a pathological need to collect these, but not necessarily organize them, it's not always easy to get my hands on the specific pattern. That said, I will try to do better about scanning the patterns at the same time I'm scanning the pictures so they'll be available to whomever wants 'em. Obviously, I won't honor requests for patterns under copyright, so don't ask. But I will do what I can to post those patterns people have asked me for over the months. And since this boy's hat was the easier find, here it is. This is sized for a really little kid, so if you are looking to reinterpret for an adult, it might take a bit of futzing. If you make up any of the patterns I post, could you send me a photo of the finished piece? I'd love to post it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Confession is good for the soul, I hear. So in front of all three of you (yeah, the stats have gone up - sweet, right?), I confess to you now that I am a bit of a francophile. Yeah, that's right, I love many, many things French. I love their wine, their cheese, their food, their fashion and architecture, and the fact that no matter how much you eat in France, you always come home weighing less than you started. I also love the French aesthetic, crafty- (and other-)wise. As a nation, they have the whole whimsy thing cornered. Seriously, I think whimsical, I think French. There is a playfulness that you just don't see on this side of the pond. But the French, well, they know whimsy. Which brings me to today's hot, gorgeous, crochet alert. In the current issue of Marie Claire Idees (the favorite of many a savvy crafter, I know), there is this gorgeous handbag, in all its crocheted cabbage glory. I mean, who else in the world would come up with a lamp design like this?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Crochet on the Runway

Don't know if you've been watching, but there's a bit of hookery on the runways for the Paris, London, Milan, and New York Fashion Weeks. The above design is by Fashion East. I love the shape of the capelet. Note the muff in her hands. Frigging cool. I'll let some of the picture do the talking: I know what you're going to say -- "Hooker, that's obviously knit! Whut up?" And I will tell you that the fact that it's a knit piece is not the point. The point is this: look at the proportions on this sweater -- the super jumbo yarn, the hugeness of the whole thing -- it's gorgeous and totally over the top. Sweater by Byblos. Now this is by Antonio Marras. Not for nothing, but this ROCKS MY WORLD! One could argue that the technique used is a bit indeterminate, but I'm pretty darn sure it's crochet. And how bloody cool is this? And by the way, before someone says it, I know I'm not letting the pictures do all the talking. It's my blog, baby!

This John Rochas is incredible:
Okay, that's all from the runways for now. I've actually got a pile of other pics for you, but they are not crochet -- just damn good sources of inspiration. Later!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Cranky in Seattle

I'll admit it -- I am in a cranky mood. My favorite airline (to see burn in hell), Continental, started me off on the wrong foot by having one of their snotty-assed check-in attendants be surly with me for no freaking reason. Then the security line in Newark was the longest and slowest I've ever seen, anywhere. Then Continental's obviously soul-deadened flight attendants phoned in their performance on the (late) flight. Oh, and this being a business trip, I worked until my battery died (why should there be power for laptops?), but because the guy in front of me rightfully wanted to recline his seat a full 5 inches, I had to type on the computer with the bottom of it wedged under my boobs and the "v" balanced precariously on the tray table. I swear to god, I hate that airline to the very depths of my soul. Did I mention that the air (when it actually circulated) smelled like feces? Their demise would thrill me to no end.

The one flicker of light in these 6 hours of my life that are lost forever is the lovely woman in the aisle seat who watched as I made genuine headway into finishing the bouton d'blow sweater. She mentioned that she thought she was the last person crocheting, and I assured her she most definitely was not! She also said that she was now tempted to take up the hook! So sweet baby jeebus, the hooking ministry works! I hope she does crochet again and more power to her! All snarkiness aside, I love love love getting people on the crochet wagon. Actually, it doesn't matter if it's crochet, knitting, or any creative endeavor. I just want to see people do more soul-satisfying, creative work -- whether they pursue it every day or once a year. I think we'd all be better for it.

That, and seeing Continental cease operations. Oh, man, that would be sweet.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Bouton D'Blow Update

I have had SO many inquiries (not) as to the status of the Bouton D'Blow sweater, that I just had to give in and post about my progress.

As mentioned in my prior post, this is one of the most poorly-written instructions ever. As nice as the patterns are, I don't appreciate having to frog my work because the instructions suck. Also, I think the designer/yarn company should do the bloody math. Don't freaking tell me to decrease 39 stitches evenly across 253! Screw you, Bouton D'or!

All that aside, I'm pretty happy with this sweater thus far and proud of the fact that I was able to do it despite the crap instructions. It's very pretty and I can easily see Anthropologie asking $300 for it (or about 7 Euros at the current exchange rate)(or 3 barrels of oil).
Due to my freakishly long torso, I added another band of the lace pattern at the bottom of the sweater, hoping that it will hit somewhere below my ribcage. Hope springs eternal.

What's left? Trim around the whole damn thing and sewing the armholes and sleeves, and adding buttons. Fingers crossed that I'll have some cool vintage buttons among the many tins handed down from Mom and purchased on eBay. Once completed, I'll see if I can take a photo of me modeling this creation. I'll post it if I don't look like a manatee in it.

The pic below shows some stitch detail: