Sunday, April 29, 2012


So there are a few reasons why I didn't post last Sunday, and then again why I didn't post during the course of the week.


Hoard was the Steam Daily Sale last Saturday or Sunday so my fiance and I bought copies for $2.50 a piece and we have been having a blast.  The game can be played either with a game pad or the keyboard, but a game pad is strongly recommended.  I usually play these games using the keyboard, but I do have to admit that you're going to want a controller for this one.

The description: YOU ARE THE DRAGON: Scare villages! Burn castles! Collect gold and gems! Kidnap princesses! Roast pesky knights! Fend off thieves! Topple giants! Build a hoard of treasure! Compete or cooperate with other dragons in epic multiplayer battles! Your goal is simple, but challenging: build the biggest pile of gold that you can!  

Playing the dragon is extremely fun.  You can compete against other players or the CPU to get the most gold, or co-operate to create a ginormous shared hoard.  There are levels based around kidnapping and ransoming princesses, as well as levels where the soul goal is to stay alive as the game throws more and more obstacles your way.  The game regularly costs $9.99 and we are creating a Hoard multi-player group to increase and encourage multi-player games.

Blue Man Group

My fiance and I met during a high school band trip to see a Blue Man Group concert in Chicago.    Which is a nice way of combining our stories of how we met.  We met on the trip, before the performance, and we were seated near one another.  He doesn't like to give that much detail.  He only ever tells people that we met at a Blue Man Group concert.  Either way, it was an AMAZING show.  I remember the feeling of being absolutely and completely overwhelmed by the sounds, the music, the color, the activity, and the super charged atmosphere.  It was epic.  Anyway, the point wasn't so much to tell you about how I met my fiance, as to lead up to saying that we got to see Blue Man Group in concert this past Tuesday in our current hometown.  

It was another fantastic performance, though it wasn't nearly as lively as the first performance.  I think the biggest difference was that this performance took place in a much bigger venue, so the energy was more dispersed throughout the building, rather than concentrated in a medium sized music hall.  The people sitting next to us were really not into the show, and were rather rude about it.  The guy sitting next to me even had the audacity to ask if my fiance really needed to yell so much.  At a Blue Man Group concert that began with signs instructing the audience to yell strange things.  AT a Blue Man Group concert where audience members are dipped in paint and splatted against the wall.  This guy was annoyed that my fiance was hooping and hollering.  So I started hollering along.  Sorry, that guy just really bugged me.  But other than that the concert was fantastic and we got to have a little follow up story to our first meeting.

Job Hunting

My last excuse is Job Hunting.  The data entry positions that my fiance and I have been filling are rather dull, tedious and wears down the spirit. I'm not going to complain, but as a small way of explanation I will say that a group that does not wish to improve is a group that I do not wish to work for.  As such we are looking for new jobs, and that will more than likely entail moving.  Right now we are looking at staying in Virginia, but moving somewhere either in the Richmond or DC areas.  That's really as far as we have gotten thus far.  We've put in a few applications, and are arranging affairs and researching options.

Those are my three excuses, and I intend to do a better job this week.  But if I am erratic, then blame it on the Job Hunting.

On My Hooks

I am pleased to announce that I have completed both the Comforting Shawl and my sister's University of Memphis pillow.  Yup, I changed the project from a tote bag into a pillow because it ended up larger than I intended it to be.  Even for an over sized tote it was kind of awkward.  But, as a throw pillow it is perfect! 

This is Trousers.  He likes to sleep with works in progress.

The final dimensions are 19"h x 19" w, and is 25" diagonally.  It's overstuffed so it is absolutely comfortable. Now I just need for my sister to get an address so that I can send it to her.  *Fingers Crossed* she should be moving into an apartment tomorrow.

The Comforting Shawl has been fun to wear.  It doesn't really keep you warm, but it's really pretty and dresses up a casual outfit.

Pattern Detail

I used a Red Heart pattern with Caron Simply Soft yarn in Ocean and Pagoda.  I like the subtle color contrast at the ends.  There were some interesting incidents making the shawl and I will do a separate post addressing all of those.

Happy Birthday

Yay, Happy Birthday to my Mom!  My mom is receiving an IOU for her birthday, which was yesterday.  She has picked out the Summer Crochet Cardigan and yarn and I will be starting on the sweater within the week.  I need to print out the pattern and then I''m planning on doing the gauge swatch in the next day or two.  I don't have pictures of the yarn, but there will be more details coming out as I work on this.

In My Ears

I have been listening to The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas this past week.  I can't believe I never read this before.... er, listened to it rather.  I don't have an Audible account, though I have heard amazing things about Audible.  However, I do know that there is another site Books Should Be Free that has a huge number of public domain books recorded by volunteers and available for free.

The Three Musketeers is absolutely riveting.  It is a looooooong book, but it is well worth a listen.  There is action, adventure, loose morals, dashing men, and court intrigues.  I find myself sitting on the edge of my seat as I listen.  I believe that I only have five or six chapters left and I am chomping at the bit to finish the race.

On the Screen

If you are a Joss Whedon fan or a horror movie fan, then you must go see Cabin in the Woods.  I saw the movie earlier today and found it to be fantastic.  It follows stereotypical horror concepts with a self-awareness that creates a new premise upon which every horror movie ever is centered upon.  It mimics the genre in order to shift the way you view the genre.  In some ways this is what Scream should have been. But, honestly, if you are even passingly familiar with Joss Whedon you should know that what he touches is gold and Cabin in the Woods does not disappoint.  

It is now time to play Hoard with my fiance and anyone else we can get together.  

Post at you later,
     Super Hooker

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Midweek Post!

On My Hooks

I have put aside the Juliette Dress in favor of working on my sister's tote bag.  As such I won't spend much time talking about the dress today, but I do want to let you know that I am aware of the poor color quality in the picture.  It started raining the day I wanted to take a picture of the dress, it has been raining ever since, and it looks as though it will continue raining until the middle of next week.  Which means that I will not be able to get a picture of the dress in natural lighting until then, but I will try to post a better picture as soon as I can get that proper lighting to bring out the true color of the yarn.

My sister's tote bag has moved out of the design faze and is now in process.  I made a fair amount of progress on the logo side, but some of the color detailing just wasn't coming out right, so I had to rip back about 2 inches.  It was heartbreaking, because I knew it was wrong, and I knew that I should rip back sooner, but I kept telling myself that if I just built up the pattern it would look right in a more general way.  You know, if you took a step back, tilted your head, and squinted the logo would look perfect.  But, this is something I want my sister to be able to use so I finally had to suck it in and start ripping.

Each stitch coming out and each color change fading away felt terrible.  But I did take a picture of what it looked like before ripping.  This way when I get the detailing right I can look at the original picture and really appreciate that I made the right decision.  For some reason the blog program keeps flipping my picture upside down and I can't figure out how to fix it.  If I can I will edit this.  You should still be able to see how the center stitches of the M don't line up.

I have also picked up another project.  In my defense, the dress and the tote bag are a little much to carry around with me.  The dress takes a little too much of my attention to work on while walking and the tote bag has two to three colors active through the core of the pattern, way too much yarn to haul around.

My portable project is the Comforting Shawl, a free pattern available from Red Heart Yarn.  Rather than using the Red Heart Super Saver Jumbo, I decided to use Caron Simply Soft.  O M G I am in love with Caron Simply Soft yarn and I haven't had the chance to use it much yet.  So, since I had a skein of the Simply Soft Ocean, I thought that it would look gorgeous for this shawl, so I chained on. (Do you like that term?  I thought of it earlier today and I was just struck by it's appropriateness, but we can discuss it more later.)

I have had several kind of funny mishaps with this shawl and I really want to share them with you, but I think I'm going to save most of the story for a future post.  In fact, I think that my experience with this shawl so far is deserving of its own post, and I'm not done with it yet.  Who knows what other craziness might come my way before it's done!

This is Jeopardy!

I love Jeopardy!  I don't watch it every night, but I watch it many nights while watching dinner or crocheting. Or, sometimes, while cooking dinner.  The point being, after not watching Jeopardy! in over a week I was very excited to see Mary Harris, a knitting store owner from Seattle, Washington, on as a contestant.  Of course, I knew who I was going to be cheering on.  Mary wore a gorgeous sweater that I would bet that she either knit herself, or was knitted as a token of good luck by someone supportive.  At least, that's what I like to think.

Mary had a rough start, but pulled it out in the end with some smart wagers to be the day's champion.  I was super excited, what a good image to represent the yarn crafting community.  I mean, it would have been nice if she described the store as being a yarn store.  I looked her up and tracked down the store (I don't remember them saying the name on air) and the store is named The Fiber Gallery.  It would just be nice if yarn crafting other than straight up knitting was more recognized or identified by non-yarn crafters. But I digress.

I was looking forward to seeing a second sweater, or wrap, or something the second day.  I was disappointed.  She did not appear in anything knit the next show, though I suppose that could have been at the recommendation made by someone on set.  Mary had another rough start, though to give all of the contestants credit, both shows had some pretty terrible categories.  My fiance and I sat their scratching our heads much of the time wondering why on earth they chose the answers/questions they did.

Mary didn't win, but when Alex Trebek asked her if people still knit, my heart swelled with pride when she informed him that not only do people still knit, young people knit.  As a crocheter that gets teased about being "an old lady" at 25, it feels really good to have your craft defended as being a young person's game too on national television.  Especially on a show that reaches into so many homes.

I would post a link to her Winner's Circle video, but it doesn't look as though it has been posted yet and I can't find any clips from the show at this point.

Where We Are Headed

I want to touch base a little about my vision for the blog and for developing a more consistent and unified feeling to these posts.  I don't want to box these posts into a prescribed formula, but I do want things to be cohesive.  There is method in the madness, rather than madness in the method.

I will try to do an On My Hooks segment once a week unless I add something during the middle of the week and there is a midweek post.  This will help cut down on teasers such as you saw above about the Comforting Shawl, but I do think that it deserves a full story post of its very own that includes a pattern review.

Which leads to another regular feature I will be bringing on board: Reviews of Patterns and Craft Related Books and Products.  I'll have to come up with a catchier name for this, but I will discuss patterns, books, and products that pertain to yarn crafting, and occasionally other crafts as well.  You may have already seen the Mirror Mirror review in what will become my In My Ears and On the Screen entertainment review segment.  I will try to include at least one movie, song, or other entertainment review segment a week.

On the opposite side of reviews I will also do a Spotlight segment in which I will discuss crafting Blogs, Podcasts, Sellers, and Artists that I think are exceptionally cool.  I want to try to do at least one Spotlight a week.

I will also introduce you to my Crafty Family.  This will be an occasional segment to celebrate the amazing things that my very Crafty Family does.  My sister is a photographer and general crafter.  My mom has quilted, made the majority of my Halloween costumes, scrapbooks, and is currently playing around with jewelry making.  I got some really cool earring for Christmas.  Several of my aunts scrapbook, one just completed her first quilt, one has knitted almost every member of our large family an afghan, and they are all very creative.  I get a lot of handmade cards from family members that are jaw dropping-ly beautiful.

I am very interested in Crochet History and Theory and will do occasional trivia segments.  For example: Did you know that the first crochet pattern was not published until 1824?  I plan on learning more and doing more research that I will bring back here to share with you.

I will probably experience and share a few Nerdgasms here, because I am a huge nerd.  I love my comics, games, superheroes, books, etc.  Fantasy, Sci-fi, Alternate Reality, Science, Space, History, I love so much miscellaneous stuff that can be filed into this section and I want to share some of that with you.

Finding Time

Wow, I kind of wonder if I'm over promising my time.  As such I reserve the right to vary up the format and frequency, no less than one a week, until I find the stride that is going to work for both myself and you, my wonderful reader.

I'm currently balancing all of the things on my Wish to Do List, Must Do List, Should Have Done Yesterday List, and My Fiance to figure out a new way of balancing my time to make this a natural and regular part of my routine.

But now it is time for me to end this long winded post and give my fiance some of my attention.

Post at you later,
     Super Hooker

Sunday, April 15, 2012


At the Laundromat

In my house, Sunday is Laundry Day.  It is the one day of the week that my fiance wakes me up to get any sort of housework done.  This is because we have no washer or dryer in our carriage house apartment, but we have a routine that makes everything quick and painless... well, everything other than getting out of bed.

The laundromat is where we go to read comics, crochet and play pinball.  Yes, I said pinball; my laundromat has a pinball machine, Pac-man, and Galaga.  Recently the owners have even installed one of those touchscreen game consoles that you see at all the bars these days.  But mostly, the laundromat is where I crochet.  

At the laundromat I can only work on what I bring with me.  It is where I can force myself to work on whatever item just needs to be finished, no matter how tedious it is getting.  I finished several Christmas presents while sitting at the laundromat, and I've gotten many a tedious end woven in as well.  And perhaps a few sample swatches as well.

It's a good way to get all the laundry done in about an hour and a half and a good time to set aside for making progress on neglected projects.

On My Hooks This Week

I have two items on my hooks this week.

The first item is a Juliet Dress Vintage 1960s Hippie Ren Faire pictured below.
I should emphasize that this is the pattern picture and not my completed item.  I only have the base of the bodice and the beginning of the left sleeve crocheted so far, as seen below.
The yarn is Red Heart Eco-Ways, a 70% Acrylic, 30% recycled Polyester Blend in Sand.

This is the first garment that I have embarked upon, and I must admit that I'm a little nervous.  I was even nervous enough to make my first gauge swatch.  I don't want to get to the end and realize that I can never wear the dress.  I have had a few road blocks in reading the pattern, but they seem to have come from being overtired.  The road blocks were cured by putting all production down for a week and picking it up again when I was well rested.  The big goal is to be able to wear this dress by the end of the summer so I have to keep "rest" periods down to a minimum.

The second item on my hooks this week is a University of Memphis tote bag for my sister who starts her new job at the end of this month/beginning of next month.  I don't have any pictures to share of the tote bag yet because it has just passed the planning stages and entered the chain on stage.  I will post pictures either when there is something to show or when it is done, depending on how quickly I get it done.

What I've Been Watching

My fiance and I have a VCR and a DVD/VCR combo so we can watch VHS tapes both upstairs and downstairs and as such we've been working to grow our old school VHS collection.  I have to admit, there are just some movies that are better on VHS.  For example, we picked up a copy of Blair Witch at Goodwill, and the distortion on the VHS really makes the movie creepier than it actually is.  It gives the movie and actual found footage, left to the elements feel to them that was not captured in the film as it was recorded.

Yesterday we went Flea-Marketing and checked out every single VHS collection we could find.  We walked away with the Indiana Jones Box Set (the first three, because who needs the Crystal Skull, and who would release such a new movie on VHS?), Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World, and High Noon, all for $6.  The Lost World completes our collection of the Jurassic Park Trilogy on VHS.  To commemorate this we are watching our way through the trilogy, starting with The Lost World.  It's been fun revisiting these movies.  It's also funny, because some of the working truths of the movies have been debunked and new theories have taken their place, so it's fun to catch the "old" and "silly" theories.

The weather this weekend has been so Beautiful and is beckoning to me to leave the computer and come out and play and crochet in the sun.  I'll see you next weekend if I don't pop in earlier.

Post at you later,
     Super Hooker

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Mirror Mirror

Hello all!  If anyone has come by since the first post you will have seen that not much has changed yet.  I'm working on navigating the Blogger website, and I may just have to set aside an afternoon or evening and just read up and play around until I learn my way around.  However, I don't think I'll have a large chunk of time for a little while yet, but I'll continue to plug away at this until I get the hang of it.

In entertainment news I just returned from seeing Mirror Mirror starring Julia Roberts and Lily Collins.  I must say that I am a big fan of Fairy Tale retellings and this one broke the mold.  I don't mean to sound too gushy, but this movie broke the typical retelling format.  Many retellings will follow the original Fairy Tale fairly closely.  Events happened in A B C order in the fairy tale and they tend to happen in A B C order when the tale is touched upon.  A good retelling often comes down to the character development, because the original is typically pretty flat and general. Therefore we become invested in the character and share their hopes and secret fears; we root for them even though we have a pretty good idea about what is coming down the road for them, and what the general outcome will be... or will it?  Yeah, it usually is the same outcome in a different style.

Mirror Mirror breaks this mold to a degree.  We get the story from a queen-centric viewpoint, even though we follow Snow White closely from an outside perspective.  The Queen is the only character who provides an internal narrative for the viewer, she is the only one whose inner monologue is heard.  Which, I admit, not entirely unusual in a retelling, but the style feels different, perhaps because of the unusual relationship between Robert's Queen and her Mirror.  If this aspect has been done before then I haven't seen it.  I don't want to describe specifics because I think you should be introduced to it in the theater... if they didn't include it in the trailer (which I didn't see).

The dwarves are not the Disney dwarves who are wholesome miners that whistle as they work.  Nor, are they throw away midgets that you wouldn't miss.  A completely new set of names and gripes.  They are each distinct individuals who work great together as a group and train Snow White to fight.  Yeah, I said it (and I think the trailer probably showed this), Snow White is a fighter. Snow White is capable of saving herself, her prince and her kingdom; mostly by herself, though we can always use a little help from our friends.

The Prince spends a fair amount of time half-naked, and I can't say that I was complaining.  Even the Queen demands that he be given a shirt so that she can concentrate.  The Queen and her court are adorned in quite garish attire that contrasts with the dreary tattered clothes of the people in who have been taxed nearly to death by the queen who is protecting them from some vague and undefinable evil that really pays for her expensive clothes and large parties.  Did I mention that it also serves as a political statement on the US economy?  You won't see it if you don't care to see it, but it totally works.

Lily Collins does a phenomenal job with Snow White.  I really appreciate that I did not know who Lily Collins was when I walked into the theater.  If she had a large following I would have had expectations of who the actress was, but since I didn't I was completely able to believe that she was Snow White.  I believed that she was a young girl who did not know her own strength until she was finally called upon to stand up for her kingdom.

The action was well put together.  The actions do not simply follow the basic outline from the original Fairy Tale, but rather some aspects are there, some are present in a token form only, and others are completely left out or especially created for this version.  The blend was done beautifully so that all aspects blended together to form a product that had a definitive Snow White feel, while being wonderfully original.

While I was watching the movie, I kept my hooks busy.  I made most of a black and red key chain wallet.  I still need to add snaps and I want to embroider the Deadpool logo on the front of it.  I need to purchase some more snaps and I want to add the snaps before I add the design since I want it to match up between the body of the wallet and the closing flap. Pictures are located below.

I think that is all for today since my cat, Trousers has decided that he wants to lay on top of the mouse, and sometimes you just can't fight him for control of it!

Post at you later,
         Super Hooker

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Hello and welcome to my crochet blog.  I must admit that I am a little nervous about putting myself, my words, and my craft out on the web in this way, and I hope that you'll forgive my nervousness and stick with me while I get my footing here.  Part of being a little nervous and shy is that I don't feel quite like giving you my real name. Instead, and with a logo to come, I have chosen to go by the handle Super Hooker.  If you can't tell I'm not really imaginative when it comes to creating a custom handle, but I'm a BIG Supergirl fan and I am more than just a little nerdy.  In fact if you write me off as just a superhero nerd you would be underestimating my nerdiness, but only time can really show you just how deep in I am.

Anyway, before I ramble on too much more, I want to use this introduction to tell you a little bit about who I am as a crocheter and to let you know what my general vision for this blog is since I'm posting this before I have anything set up on or around it.

Who I am as a Crocheter
I have been crocheting for nearly ten years, I learned early on in high school.  I made rectangular projects for a very long time, including several nice afghans and a few really terrible afghans.  I think I also managed a few hats and never finished a scarf, but I really wasn't very adventurous.  I took a few years off of crocheting, until my boyfriend (now fiance) got into Cthulhu and wanted me to make him a Cthulhu chibi.  He went so far as to look up and find me a pattern, so how could I say no?  But that was it, I was hooked more than I had been before and I have since become more adventurous.

Other than a variety of Amigurumi, I made several novelty scarves, hats, pillows, bags, and I have even started on a dress.  It is going to be AWESOME, but I'll link a picture in another post since I haven't got this site figured out yet.  I have even sold a few pieces to a co-worker who made custom orders to give to a friend's kids.  I am debating whether or to run a booth at the local craft fair in August.  I have until the beginning of May to make a firm decision about whether or not I'm going to submit an application, so we'll see.

My General Vision
Alright, now for my general vision for this blog!

I want this to be about more than strictly crocheting because, as we all know and the title suggests, we all craft on the go.  We tuck our ball of yarn and our hooks in needles in our bags, or carry a separate tote or bag with our on-the-go projects.  We curl into the couch or chair while watching TV or at the movies.  If we are lucky enough to be the passenger on a long trip we pass the time with our yarn.  Heck, even if we aren't on the go we're listening to music, books on tape, and pod-casts.  We are continually working our environments into our projects and injecting yarn craft into our environments.

Which is really a long winded way of saying that I will be discussing what books I'm reading/listening to, what TV shows I've been watching, what movies I get to see, pod-casts that I've caught, and music that keeps me going.

I want to share with you what is on my hooks.  Right now I have a dress going, a Superman-Batman tote bag and I am fairly certain I'm forgetting about something else.  But I'll talk more about these projects in future posts.

Despite crocheting for nearly a decade I am really new to the online crafting community and have never been part of a knit-crochet group.  Therefore, I will be sharing my journey of discovery as I become part of the online crafting community.  I will share pod-casts that I have found, even though many of them may be well known to others.  I will describe my experience on sites such as Pinterest, Ravelry, Etsy, etc.  Again, many people will already know about these sites, but I haven't done much more than setting up accounts with some of these sites and therefore I am not conversant in how they really work.

I will also work photos into the blog and create a gallery.  So yeah, I'm so new I don't even have most of my photos uploaded anywhere!

As for frequency of posts I'm going to set myself a minimum goal for posting once a week.  As I have things to say or updates to post I'll post more frequently.  I'll also try to keep updating the pages, add links and generally tidy this blog up some between posts.

I guess that's all for today.

Post at you later,
         Super Hooker