About the Collaborative

The Crochet Collaborative was established in July 2006 to promote an interest and skill in and appreciation for crochet while serving the community. We've grown into a diverse group of crocheters who have banded together to work collaboratively to learn new techniques and solve age-old thorny crochet problems (skipped or tight stitches, ever-widening rows, flubbed patterns, you name it). The only requirement to becoming a member is a willingness to learn. We will teach you the basics -- in return you agree to make something for charity.

We've collaborated on several charity projects, including crocheting baby blankets for Project Linus, and small hats for Caps for the Capitol. We've also donated blankets to a local infants home. While we all have our ongoing personal projects to bring to meetings, we're always open to new special project suggestions.

So, who are we? We are more than co-workers, more than colleagues. We are a community of friends who share a passion for crochet. The Collaborative is totally unstructured, totally free, totally fun. If you crochet, are experienced or just learning, grab some yarn and join us. The Collaborative meets every other Tuesday for lunch to sit and chat while we work on favorite projects and share our passion for the art of crochet. Most members work in the Federal Triangle, Washington, D.C.

Monday, April 21, 2008



Well, we finished the baby christening set. It is beautiful. See the picture of us hard at work and of the finished product. The set on top is the new one with the original below. The stitches are a perfect match. The yarn has the same silver thread but is a slightly different texture even though it is the same brand—Lion’s Baby Pompadour. We both learned a lot doing the project. We recognized the 5 double crochet shell stitch as the stitch used and found a pattern which had the instructions for the two rows of the shell pattern. It was for a potholder but we adapted it to the number of shells each item required. The afghan was no problem. I learned how to make booties. I must have downloaded at least 100 patterns before I found the one that can be made in one piece and that matched the original ones. The pattern for the booties was from the vintage pattern site and was dated in 1920 era. The cap was made using a pattern from an old baby pattern. The gown turned out to be a real challenge. At first we thought the yoke was separate but then a friend looked at the original one more closely and determined that the yoke is made as part of the back and two fronts with reductions in the last row of the gown back and fronts to make the puckers, marking the beginning of the yoke. The result is a perfect match right down to the elbow space you don’t find in modern patterns. We have since found out that there is a boy and girl so we figure that the older set, which is a creamy color, will be for the boy and the new one, which is bright white, will be for the girl. We washed it and dried it and it came out much softer. Before washing it, I had my poodle, Lexe, model it. We are pleased and hope the mother will be as well. We couldn’t have done the set without collaboration with other crocheters. Another example of why women formed quilting bees—it is much easier to identify stitches and match them when discussing with another. Thanks everyone for your help. We are now ready to rest a bit before tackling anymore items

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Things with the collaborative are slow right now. Most are busy with their work days and have not had time to meet to crochet BUT we will catch up one of these days. Now that April is here, the tug of warmer weather and the desire to reconnect with old friends will move us to try new yarns and to once again 'collaborate' on new projects. Blocks for charity 'Warm Up America' will be replaced with lighter weight items such as shawls and throws for nursing homes residents. Here's a picture of a shawl that I sent to my aunt who just moved into an assisted living facility and found it to be a bit drafty. I'm sure her neighbors will appreciate a similar shawl. We don't have to wait to be invited to give the gift of crochet.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Whew! Finally I finished an acceptable pair of booties which match the original pair. You can see in the image, the original bootie is on top--the new pair are on the bottom. They are slightly larger but not by much. The pom poms had their own pattern. I visited every web page that google identified as having anything to do with booties. I found a pattern on a vintage web site that used single crochets for the entire sole and instep so ........ I bought the pattern and voila the booties--well it wasn't that easy because I had to add the shell pattern to match the original but that was easy compared to finding a single crochet pattern. I now have at least 100 patterns for booties--all very similar but slightly different so if I get in the mood or get asked in the future I will be ready. For now I will work on larger projects.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bootie Hunt (For Baby Feet)

Thought I'd bring you up to date with our efforts for duplicating the baby set. The blanket and cap are complete. The gown is underway and expected to be finished by mid-March. The bootie making is going a bit slower but it will be done on time. I swear it would be easier to crochet a "bootie" cover for the 'shake your bootie' variety than to make these baby booties. I have spent hours on the web looking for patterns. I tried out a pattern which looked exactly like the original in picture only--you can see here that the hook I used is w-a-a-a-a-a-a-y too big so I'm still working. But, thanks to my crochet collegue who sketched me a picture of what it should look like I'm pretty sure I will accomplish making 2 booties in the near future. She is very experienced in socks and hats so understands the nuances of finagling stitches to make them fit a certain dimension. I, on the other hand, like making shawls, ponchos, and blankets where you don't need to make them fit--they just do. Plus working with a Size B hook is very different than with a Size H, I, J, K, or N--my personal favorite is H. And now I have to use an even smaller Hook #1. Oh well, I feel better now that I have vented my frustration. Check out the attempt. The little bootie on the right is the one I am duplicating. The one on the left is what turned out when using a Size D. Next time you hear from me or see anything, it will be to show the new booties to match. The saying, 'no pain, no gain' is apt for my level of frustration. I don't like to have to struggle to get it right so this is good for the soul--we are never too old to learn new patterns.
Happy Hooking! L

Monday, January 28, 2008


Well, we did get together on January 12th but we didn't get much crocheting done. We were busy trying to find yarn for a new project we have undertaken. One of our co-workers saw our work and asked if we could duplicate a baby's christening gown, blanket, booties, and cap that were made for his baby by his mother-in-law 29 years ago. Needless to say, there is no pattern. We asked him to bring the set in so we could see it--that helped us determine that the stitch was a simple 5 double crochet shell so ........ our analyst determined the stitch, we found a pattern to match which told us how to end and start rows, and we found the yarn. It was Lion Brand's White Baby Pompadour so we set about shopping for it because we wanted to match the yarns exactly. Oh, I forgot to mention the duplicate set is needed for a set of twins due in May. The mother wore the original outfit 29 years ago! We are excited and a bit anxious since we have never made caps or booties or a gown but we are ready with hooks in hand. We tested our stitches and determined two of us will use Boyle Size D and our 'uptight' crocheter will use Size E. This way the shells will be the same size even though crocheted by 3 of us. We are planning another gathering in February where we will actually put hook to yarn and get started. So far I have done 6 rows of the blanket but have not tackled the cap. I figured I'd start with what I know best and that is crocheting blankets. I am confident that we will be successful--we have already told the grandfather-to-be (our co-worker) that we are 'on point' and will deliver the 2nd set on or before May 2008. Here are picture of what we are duplicating. The lady who made these originals is the great grandmother of the twins. She made this set 29years ago for her grand-daughter, the mother of the twins. I'm sure she would be thrilled to know that we are following in her stitches. This is just another example of how our lives are woven together in ways we don't even see. We are all connected.