This is Kat's Writing.

Following are a series of words and imagery.
Do not be too alarmed at life nor too complacent in the world. There may be alarming things here. There may not be. Have I mentioned scatological yet?



Friday, September 23, 2011

A Mabon Crocheted White Oak Leaf (Pattern)

A mini-alter for Mabon.
It's Fall! Autumn! The time of the second harvest, when the Earth has born her leafy children of summer and they have set fruit, nut and gourd, and now the last of that harvest is gleaned from the ground. Those who walk upon her have fatted up, living well and easy in the heat. Now is when we begin to nest up for the coming cold, to store up a few supplies, drag out the heavy clothes and get ready to stay warm and well when the snow begins to fly.

While not one of the 'big' pagan holidays, and coming soon after Lughnasadh (the first harvest) it is a nice way to mark the equinox and the true change of seasons.

This is the time of the Dark Mother, the Crone, and when we begin to see the earth dieing into a deep sleep, when the plants go brown and dormant..or dead... and the wild animals find snug dens for the coming hardship. The Harvest Moon has come and gone and now it is truly autumn and the nights grow chill as we contemplate what comes afterward.

But it isn't that cold yet. First comes the turning and falling of the leaves! And so I made some leaves for my alter! (and my hair too!) Please note that these are made to not lie flat. True, real fallen oak leaves are not flat things and neither did I feel that my Mabon decor should be flat things.

And why white oak in particular instead of generic 'leaf'?

My grandparents yard has two huge white oaks. There used to be 4 huge old oaks but the two nearest the house worried them... and so now there are 2. I like these tress. Big, messy with acorns and twigs and leaves.. but I like them. They are friendly trees. They also have oddly shaped, randomly pointed leaves.. so does my pattern!

Big White Oak Leaf.

Roughly 60 yards of WW in an earthy/leafy color and a crochet hook that is properly sized. I used Peaches and Cream in 'Good Earth' and a 4.5 mm hook.

Beads, if you want to randomly bead your leaves. (This is done much like beading a knit project with a tiny crochet hook and drawing the bead over the stitch.) Size 2/0 in Ruby mix is what I have used here.

hdc - half double crochet
dc - double crochet
sc- single crochet
dr - decrease
in - increase
st - stitch
sls - slip stitch, generally worked straight into lower row to begin a chain

(All are American crochet terms!)

1. Chain 28+2, work hdc into third loop from hook.

2. 17 dc, leaving a 'stem' chain. Slip st into 18th st. Chain 20.

3. Work hdc into third loop from hook, hdc 2x. DC 29, slip st into 30th loop. Chain 5.

4. hdc into third loop from hook. hdc 2x. dc 10, dr 1, dc 10, dr 1, dc 7, sls and chain 5.

5. Work hdc into third loop from hook, hdc 1, dc 4, dr 1, dc 3, dr 1, dc 7, dr 1, dc 7, sls and chain 4.

6. Work hdc into third loop from hook, hdc 1, sc 5, dr 1, sc 1, hdc 1, dc 6, dr 1, dc 5, sls and chain 4.

7. Work hdc into third loop from hook, hdc 1, sc 7, hdc 1, dc 5, hdc 1, chain 9.

8. Work hdc into third loop from hook, hdc 1, in 1 (use dc), dc 3. Skip next loop and stitch into next loop, pulling yarn tight (creates a 'tuck' in the fabric). Dc 7, hdc 1, ch 12.

9. Work hdc into third loop from hook, hdc 1, dc 3, in 1, dc 4. Skip next loop and stitch into next loop, pulling yarn tight. dc 12, hdc 1, ch 3

10. Work hdc into third loop from hook, dc 12, dr 1, dc 4 hdc 1, sc 1, chain 5.

11. Work hdc into third loop from hook, dc 2, sls into second dc after chain, pulling the yarn tight (creates a little weird angle), hdc 3, dc 9, hdc 6, sc 1, ch 1.

12. Sc into second loop from hook, sc 1, hdc 2, dc 10, hdc 2, sc 2, chain 4.

13. Work sc into 2nd loop from hook, sc 1, hdc 2, sc 2, chain 4

14. Work hdc into third loop from hook, hdc 1, dc 3, hdc 1, dc 9, chain 8.

15. Work hdc into third loop from hook, dc 12, hdc 1 chain 7

16. Work hdc into third loop from hook, hdc 2, dc 12, hdc 2, sc 1, chain 4

17. Work hdc into third loop from hook, dc 3, dr 1, dc 4, dr 1, sc 1, hdc 1, sc 2, ch 5.

18. Work hdc into third loop from hook, hdc 1, dc 11, hdc 1, sc 1, chain 3.

19. Work hdc into third loop from hook, dc 2, dr 1 dc 5, dr 1, hdc 1, ch 1

20. Sc into second loop from hook, hdc 1, dc 5, hdc 1, sc 1, chain 1

21. sls 2, hdc 1, dc 1, hdc 1, sc1 ch 1.

22. sls 1, hdc 1, dc 1.


SC around edges till you reach the 'stem'. HDC down stem front, sc up back of stem. SC back to top of leaf.
My three beasties surround my Mabon alter.

A loop may be placed somewhere to hang this leaf. I just laid it somewhere harvest-y (my table alter) as a cloth.

I'm working on a headband version for Samhain. I'll be sure to add that as well when it is done.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Avoiding the Gorram'ed Pre-Beading Session for Hookers too!

For a Spiderweb Samhain thing!

There are times when I want the fun bling of beads in crochet without the pain of pre-beading or the wallet umph of buying pre beaded yarn.

Take my little lovely friend up there.The yarn is a cheap Red Heart crochet cotton, #3.. around 2 dollars. The beads I believe were a buck fifty. Stringing all the beads, distributing them along the yarn (because anal me HATES the rat tail of beads!!) was around 3 hours work..making that a pricey ball of beaded yarn.

Granted, I was watching movies (Amistad and Pulp Fiction).. but still it was tedious and ate into actual knit/crochet time. Now, I was able to very easily take my little ball o beaded yarn and work on it elsewhere.. but if I were to be staying home with it, well, gorram it, three hours is half the time it takes to MAKE the actual damned doily-thing!

So I kept thinking that some other smart person has to have come up with a way to bead crochet like knitters do. No pre-beaded waste of time... and if they have, google has hidden them from me. Even so, I'm probably not the first to come up with it. After fiddling with beads and yarns.. this is how I got the best look.

Avoiding the Gorram'ed Pre-Beading for Hookers 

Needed supplies:

- One project that needs the beads.

- Beads that will fit over said yarn. Worsted uses size 2 or ponys, sock/sport/size 10 to 3 thread stuff uses size 6 beads. I'd assume smaller thread would be ok with smaller beads... but the hook would be itty bitty! For more go read my beading for knitters, I think I made a nice table or links or something.

-One itty bitty hook.

Pictured is an US 11/12 or a 1.00mm hook to use to bead. The hook in thread (working hook) is a 1.65 mm (US 7). The thread is Red Heart Classic Crochet in size 10. Excuse the pictures I was having nasty lighting issues.

 What ya need to do.
First decide where you want to set the bead. On half double and single crochet the bead tends to look best when sat as close to the lower row as possible. In double and longer (triple and so on) the bead looks best when you put it more towards the center of the stitch.
This is a half done double crochet stitch. I am placing the bead in the center of the stitch, or as close to it as I can anyways.

A double stitch ready for center beading.

To add a bead to the second level of a double crochet: First, work half the stitch as normal. Look at the above picture.Like that. Now move to the next picture.
Stick bead on tiny hook and prepare to slide it onto the yarn.

Really easy right? It stays easy! Slide that bead onto that thread/yarn so it looks like this:

Urpin' easy!
Good, good.. Next step is to..

Stick that yarn/thread back on the working hook.
This is the only tiny tricky bit. You place the yarn back on the working hook. Then you draw that yarn tight so you can use that loop to finish the stitch. The tricky bit is deciding which side you want the bead to stick out the most on.
The next step looks like this:
Easy and done!
As you have already decided where that bead will sit you simply flip it more to that side when you work the next stitch to 'fix' it in proper.

A variation, or beading right on the lowest loop.

If you like the beads lower down, then your setup would look more like this in step one/two/three:

See the three loops on the hook? The bead is always added to the loop you pull through.
And then your next step would be more like this:
A double crochet, half worked, with bead placed by lower row.
Then you'd just finish up the stitch and work the next 'fixing' the bead in the right place.


Now, when you are looking at all those lovely beaded projects out there and you see the designer gently trying to chide you into believing the pre-beading is not that bad... or any of the other nasty and un-fun bits that go with pre-beading cutting your yarn to add more beads, thus knotting up your work. UGH!

You can now smirk with arcane and gleeful knowledge and use that extra three hours of your life on something meaningful, useful or more fun. Like picking lint off old sweaters or watching cacti grow because you just don't have to do that crap anymore!