In addition, I have convinced myself that at least one person in this world is sitting around waiting for me to post my musings. That might not be true, but we choose what we want to believe and that is the truth for us.
So, in honor of that one silent viewer, I am posting today... January 1, 2023, to share my experiences with a particular project that I completed on December 24th, 2022 (quite photo finish for Christmas), even though I began working on it at the beginning of November.
The idea for this special project came through my eldest daughter who has been a fan of the movie Hocus Pocus since it first came out in 1993. The release of the second movie this September inspired me to crochet an agenda cover based on Book, the spell book presented in the movies.
If you have no idea what I am talking about, check out the link below.
In this post, I would like to share my experiences with that project.
I knew I wanted my version to be a book cover for an 8.5 in x 11 in daily planner, so that my daughter could reuse this if she wanted to every year. My completed project was placed over a sketchbook that I purchased because I decided to let her purchase her own planner. You know like when you buy a toy that doesn't come with batteries.
I also knew that I wanted to crochet as many elements of the original Book as I could. You can find other ways to make replicas of Book in many blog posts on the Web and/or in videos on YouTube.
My design process.
1) I decided to begin my replication of Book by crocheting pieces with different shapes that would be stitched together. So, I started by making a sketch on paper of what I wanted the front cover to look like.
This project incorporates elements of free-style crochet along with pattern-based designs. For example, the irregular shaped pieces of skin are made separately and then joined with whip stitches. However, I also incorporated several free patterns found on the internet for various parts of my Book. Here is a list of patterns that inspired or guided my work.
b. The eye: www.thesunandtheturtle.com/2014/05/a-self-portrait-made-in-crochet-part-2.html
c. Piece of skin around the eye
d. The snakes in the corners had a metal plate underneath that I saw as a half-square:
3) For the skin, I used a cotton-linen fingering weight yarn I had in stash, held together with a polyester fingering weight yarn and a 3.5 mm hook. So, I would say, I had the gauge of a DK weight yarn. First, I made the hexagon shaped piece using US dc (Part c from above). Then, I used the number of stitches along the side of the hexagon to help plan the other shapes using US hdc in free style crochet (no pattern). I continuously compared to my original sketch to know how many stitches I needed and how wide and long to make the pieces.
I figured out at some point that I could make my edges slant by leaving a stich at the end of each row unworked, or changing my stitch length (i.e., using hdc as opposed to sc, or sc instead of hdc). Working vertically instead of horizontally also helped. Knowing how to make my figures slant in crochet helped, but, ultimately, it was a lot of trial and error, a lot of ripping back and a lot of adjusting my original plan to what I was actually able to accomplish. Once each piece fit correctly with the previously made ones, I could whip-stitch the pieces together with a darning needle and a worsted weight cotton blend I had in my stash.
5) The eyeball was made with worsted weight yarn with a 3.5 mm hook following the instructions in Point b from above.
I glued this hand at the back. To keep the latch in place over the eye, I glued a metal plate on the inside of the front panel to the left of the eye, and then glued a small piece of magnet to the bottom of latch, at the left side. It did not give a tight hold but was strong enough, so the latch doesn't hang from the front when the book is turned over.
Finally, I'll say that the recipient seemed quite pleased with her Book and, I, the maker, found this to be a very satisfying project with lots of room for learning new skills and thinking outside the box. If you have a special person who is a fan of Harry Potter or The Mummy or Hocus Pocus or any of the Hollywood movies in which a special book appears... for sure, you could use some of the techniques I describe here to make them a treasured keepsake.