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My mother made me a hooker.

What is HookCrux?

HookCrux is derived from “Horcrux”, a powerful object in which a Dark wizard or witch has hidden a fragment of his or her soul for the purpose of attaining immortality. I like to think that with every product I make, a fragment of my soul weaves its way into the stitching.

I may not have a wand, but with my hook, I can produce magic.

At least, that is what I hope to be able to do with this site.

What is this site about?

This site is where I am going to be posting my creations and taking on commissions. If you have placed an order for a piece, you can follow its progress here. I am just starting things up however and updates will be spotty for a little while as I work out how to maintain everything properly.

I am also working on a Facebook page, Etsy and a Tumblr in the hopes of reaching more people.

Who is HookCrux?

My name is Rebecca Challenger, and I started crocheting at around 7 years old. My mother didn’t give me much but this is the one skill I can say that she was the sole purveyor of.

Like most children, I had a blanket that was incredibly special to me, my baby blanket that I took everywhere and had dubbed “Blankie”. Blankie was made by my mother and to this day it remains on my bed; this blanket grew up with me. Every time I went to visit my mother for the holidays she would add to the simple blanket by increasing the border. I would watch her hands work as she did this, fascinated at how the yarn was woven into more intricate textures.

She gave me some spare yarn and instructed me on how chaining worked, needless to say, I was hooked (pun intended).

Over the years I would pick up and put down crochet at various points, never really creating anything but instead just kind of playing with it. I found the repetitive motion to be soothing and the feel of the yarn as it passed through my fingers almost put me into a trance.

Fast forward to my late teens, I learn that the ball of stress that is ever present has a name: anxiety. Anxiety brings a friend named depression and they set up camp, keeping me up late into the night and amplifying minor fears and insecurities.

Crochet became something that helped me to cope with my two new tenants, providing something to focus on; crocheting can use up so much of my brain power that it has no energy to spare on terrorizing me. It was almost like I was converting my anxiety into a usable item, something with actual worth.Something tangible.

My mother made me a hooker, and it has been more effective than any therapy or drug.

 

 

Posted in Blog Post, For Sale, Reclaimed Crochet

Reclaimed Crochet: Granny Square Blanket to Stylish Purse.

It always makes me feel sad when I come across a blanket that someone has spent long hours and love to make just….tossed away at a thrift store. I wonder to myself, “how did this blanket; that seems to be in excellent condition, end up at this store?”

I decided to start giving these abandoned pieces new life and so I present to you a new pet project of mine: Reclaimed Crochet.

So what is Reclaimed Crochet? Well, simply put I search out these abandoned pieces and then dismantle them and take the yarn and give it new life as a new piece. The best part? I am able to sell these pieces at a discount price to my customers because of the thrift store prices I paid on the abandoned projects all.

To give you an idea of how this is done, I have taken pictures of the steps I go throw to reclaim this blanket:

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I picked this Granny Square blanket up at Talize, it looked to be in decent condition give or take a few squares. My first task was to separate the squares from one another and the border. This took me quite some time but luckily the original creator of the blanket used an easy to see thread to attach the squares.

I started by carefully removing the edging from the blanket like so:

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I picked off the bits that were left behind from the border removal then started in on separating the squares.

reclaimed thread shot.jpg For this part, I just took my scissors and began to carefully cut the seams. Ideally, I would be using a seam ripper but mine was missing at the time. Anyways, after separating the squares and removing any of the ones that were felted together like this one:

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I was left with a lovely few stacks of Granny Squares.

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At this point, you see the multitude of possibilities this amount of Granny Squares can offer. I chose to make this purse:

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And there you have it! I barely used any of the squares from the Reclaimed Blanket and I now have this lovely purse which you can purchase for $25.00+ Shipping.

Stay tuned for my walk through regarding how I assembled this bag.

Posted in Blog Post, Commissions

Bye, Bye Baby Bunting

Hoo doesn’t love owls? Especially an owl as cute as this one:


After advertising my services in a few of my local Buy and Sell groups on Facebook, I receive a request to make this adorable Owl Bunting!

After doing some (rather painful) yarn math, we settle on a price and I eagerly place the order online for the materials needed. I wanted to match the image as closely as I could, so I scoured the internet for the proper tones.

The brand I will be using is Bernat Softee Baby Yarn in light worsted (3):

  • Mint x2
  • Lemon x1
  • Flannel x1
  • Pink x1
  • Lilac x1
  • White x1
  • Pale Blue x1
  • Black x1

The customer has requested that the pink scales on the breast plate be changed to the Lilac and that the eyes remain Pink so I had to pick up an extra colour to account for the modification.

The pattern calls for a 3.5mm E hook, I rarely get to use my E hook so this is a treat.


I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I start a new project the first thing that I do is wind all my yarn into center-pull balls so that they don’t roll around on me. I have cats so this helps minimize the yarn’s alluring nature and amount of cat hair I have to remove from my projects.

I wind all my center-pull yarn by hand so this process can be tedious and result in cramping, but I feel it is worth it to avoid wrestling my materials from furry clutches.

Ugh, yarn barf.

Once the winding is finished, it is time to check my gauge; this project calls for 9dc x4 rows to 2″ (5cm).

None of the stitches required for the Owl Bunting are new to me so right off the bat I feel confident that I can match the pattern without trouble. Although the baby will be a newborn, we decided on making the bunting for the 3-6 month range to ensure growing room. The baby is due sometime in April so I have to get cracking.

***At the time of writing this,  the baby shower was moved forward so I actually have until mid-March instead. Yikes!***

Right off the bat, I find an issue with the yarn; I rarely work with baby yarn so I was unaccustomed to the “stringiness” I encountered. I managed to quickly learn how to hold the yarn to stop it from fraying obnoxiously and things started moving along at a much quicker pace.

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Once I got into the groove of things, time seemed to fly by; the only way I realized how much time had passed, was my progress through a playlist of YouTube videos.

Poe was under the impression that this Bunting was clearly being made for him and I had to fight a constant battle to keep his furry butt out of the cocoon.

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Who else would you be making it for Mom? It is Poe-sized so it must be for Poe.

I ended up closing my door, he cried and it broke my heart a smidge but I wiped away my tears of sympathy and kept working until the main body of the bunting was finished. This took approximately 5 hours.

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The next step was to make the eyes, beak, wings and breastplate.

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Hooo are you looking at punk?

Instead of chaining and slip stitching to make the starting round as this pattern loves to suggest, I used the more efficient Magic Circle instead and decided that the owl looked less angry when I dropped the beak down to the edge of the border.

Next, I started on the wings; I absolutely LOVED the edging on this bit. It is achieved by doing one Single Crochet followed by one Slip Stitch in the same stitch to provide that bumpy ruffled look.

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The most interesting part of the bunting to construct was definitely the breastplate. The crocodile stitch is incredibly popular but I admit that I have never utilized it to the extent that most have.

In theory, I understood the pattern, in practice, I zoned out the first time and didn’t space the scales properly.

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I groaned, frogged it and started over, this time with much better results.

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All that was left to do was attach all the bits to the main body of the bunting and then start on the matching hat.

Getting the eyes to go on and not look crooked made the inside of my brain itch a bit but other than that, it was smooth sailing. Here is the end result:

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The hat was very quick to whip up, I did run out of the mint yarn 9/10ths of the way through it so I improvised a little. I think it kind of looks like the baby hats that your children in Harvest Moon wear. I also enjoyed mimicking the wing texture on the brim.

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And voila! 12 hours and 20 minutes later, it is finished! I sprinted to the finish line and managed to get it done with time to spare before the baby shower.

  • Cost of materials: $51.60
  • Time invested: 12 hours and 20 minutes
  • Cost of labour: $10/hour

 

Posted in Blog Post, craft fair, For Sale, Uncategorized, update

Everybody Wants to be a Cat

As things are warming up and the need for hats and scarves becomes less of a necessity, I find myself struggling to find projects to work on for the warmer seasons.

Living in the city means that riding the LTC is just a part of regular everyday life; you take the bus to work or to school or when you are on your way to your friend’s house. The survival pack of the regular rider tends to consist of:

  • (1) cup of something tasty to drink. Usually procured from the nearest Tim Hortons
  • An over-large back of some sort. This is useful for blocking off the seat beside you so that you are not forced to interact with some random other LTC Warrior.
  • Headphones. These tend to be anything from the tiny Apple earbuds that are easy for tangling up in your pocket and using as a way to expel verbal aggressions at a later date; to the swankier Beats by Dre.

It was the sight of these headphones on a fellow weary traveler that caught my eye and gave me the idea to make this:

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Not as flashy, I will be the first to admit but they sure were fun to make.

As I look towards craft fair season, I start to see dollar signs when considering all the options for customization.

I am opening up orders for customized headsets, I will mod your current headphones for $20.00 or if you want to purchase a specific brand of headphones for me to modify then the pricing is dependent on the headset selected.

Because who doesn’t want to be a cat? 

 

Posted in Blog Post, craft fair, update

Things sure have changed here on Walton’s Mountain

This was written while on vacation and is being published post-trip.

Boy do I hate busses. I finally managed to scrounge up the gold coins to make the trek back up north to visit my parents; one 8:30am bus ride later and I arrive around 5pm just in time for dinner. 

After Chinese food with the grandparents, parental units and their spawn, I finally get to collapse into bed. 

Going home is always a tiring expedition but my father heard tale of a yarn store going out of business so I woke up bright and early, pumped some coffee into myself and we ventured over to Steadman’s. 


I managed to find some lovely colours and I cannot wait to get back to London and start in on them. 

This morning however I hop into another car to drive down another long stretch of highway. Robin and her mother are taking me to see Robin’s sister and her baby boy Forest. If you recall, a while back I made this blanket in the hopes of gifting it to the little man. 

I hope that they like the blanket, it is one of my favorite pieces. 

On Sunday I am going to get the chance to connect with another old high-school friend and meet his growing family. It was a last minute plan so I had to work all night to finish this Elephant Snuggle in time to see them. 

Somewhere throughout the creation process, I name her Harriet Elephanté.

All of my younger friends seem to be adulting at an alarming rate that my hook can’t keep up with!

Once I return to London I am going to need to start restocking for craft fairs,  if anyone has patterns that they know are crowd pleasers I would love to see them. 

Posted in Blog Post, Large Projects, update

WIP Wednesday: Chevrons and Cat for Scale 

This past weekend Anthony and I made the trek to Michael’s and I snagged a couple balls of Aqua Loops & Threads for 55% off one of them. 


Although it is one of the staples of crochet, I admit to never having completed a chevron blanket so I decided it was about time to give it a go. 

So far I’m pleased with how it is turning out. I plan on adding a large border and making this my comfy reading blanket, because who doesn’t love to cocoon up with a good book?

So, what’s on your hook this Wednesday?

Posted in Blog Post, update

Migraines and Nausea

Ugh I do not feel well. Decidedly it is most likely misery of my own making; staying up until 4am can do that to a person. 

The boyfriend and I renewed our WoW subscription yesterday, and since he doesn’t yet have Legion we got a bit creative (and competitive) with our leveling experience this time. 

Some of you may know of the Ironman Challenge, a style of gameplay designed to increase the difficulty level of running a toon to max level. Well, while watching Griffter of SlightlyImpressive stream what he cheekily coined the Tinman Challenge, we decided to tweak his rules a little to make it a co-op friendly venture. You can find Griff’s Tinman rules by following this link

So we use the same guidelines as Griff but after each death there are ramifications. If Player 1 dies then Player 2 can choose to take 1 piece of gear (not weapon) from Player 1. Player 2 can then instruct Player 1 to either destroy the gear, trade it to the second player for personal use or to sell the gear and pass the gold onto the other player. 

We also added in a reward system, where starting after the first death, the next level that is an increment of 10 ( ie 10,20,30 ect), the 2 players compare death totals and the one to have died the least gets to equip 1 green item. This is done every 10 levels and you cannot choose to upgrade your weapon.

I’m not sure if you are even able to follow my psycho babble but that is essentially why I feel like poop today. 

Now to go log in. 

Posted in Blog Post, Uncategorized

The Bad Beginning

Happy Friday the 13th! The day we all avoid walking under ladders and stepping on cracks to spare our dear old mothers is upon us and of course, you know what that means: Netflix has released A Series of Unfortunate Events. I am so excited to sit down with some yarn and a cup of tea and binge watch the hell out of it.

Before I can, I have to go out and run some errands tomorrow; walk in clinic and yarn shopping. I am hoping that I can convince my best friend to tag along if she is free, then we can platonically Netflix and Chill afterwards.

In other news, I am trying to get myself out there still as a small business. I am having a doozy of a time though and nothing seems to be working. I mean, heck I doubt that anyone even reads these things I put up here. I am sure that my friends are all sick of me berating them to “Like, Comment, Share” so much so that I am tempted to just give up at times.

And so, in a desperate attempt to gather more of a following I beseech you kind reader to lend me a hand. Please, help me to gain some more notoriety so that I can have a chance at success. Share this website with your friends and family, your dog and cat, your downstairs, upstairs and sideways neighbors. Heck, call your grandparents and get them in on the fun!

Check us out on Facebook  and remember that not all bad beginnings lead to an unfortunate ending.

 

Posted in Blog Post, update

Hat of the Cat

So I have been trying to figure out what to make with the random yarn I have that doesn’t have a real project attached to it, and that is when I ran across a video for this Slouchy Cat Hat.

So I dug through my stash and selected something I had forgotten at the bottom of the bin and got to work. This is the end product: 

I found that what seemed to me to be the easiest part of the pattern was actually the part that gave me the most trouble; those darn ears!

Pro tip: when you are sewing the ears, attach the yarn at the top of the hat instead of the side. Doing this won’t warp the rest of the hat as much when you tighten the thread to create the shape of the ears. 

What patterns do you like to use to clean up your stash? Scrap blankets are a popular choice but in my opinion they take up too much space and time to be worth it. 

Let me know what’s on your hook!