Archive for May, 2008


Basket Weave Pullover – Men's Large Sizes XL-5XL

The Basket Weave Pullover in Men’s sizes XL-5XL will be available no later than Friday, June 6 (my birthday! Yippee!). Any one who pre-orders before June 6 may do so at the special price of $4.50. My apologies for the delay to all those who have been waiting. Please access this special page to receive the discounted price. The pattern will be delivered on 6/6.


Mater Artius Necessitas

Whether attributed to Plato, Persius Flaccus, Jonathan Swift or Victor Hugo, it can truly be said that “Mater artius necessitas” … “necessity is the Mother of Invention”. I have often been asked what inspires me to design. Exactly what, others have inquired, generates my creativity in crochet. Essentially, if I know what I need is lacking, I attempt to fill the void.

Let me explain. Years and years ago, my mother had a pattern for a hooded scarf. Some months before she died, she gave a hooded scarf to a good friend of mine who cherished it because it was just what my friend had been looking for and because it was made by my mother, whom she admired greatly. Some years later, my friend moved from San Francisco to Reno (where her own mother had died). Somewhere between here and there, the moving van carrying all her possessions was hijacked and Toni was left with nothing. Among the items she missed most was that hooded scarf made by my mother.

Fast forward fifteen years. After promising myself over and over again to find someone to teach me to crochet, I finally put nose to grindstone and taught myself. After I felt reasonably comfortable with my abilities, I set about to find a pattern for a hooded scarf. Some of you may remember that I asked the members of one of my online groups regarding such a pattern. I searched the internet. Anything I found just didn’t resemble what my mother had produced. So … Mater artius necessitas … I designed one myself. Trail and error, guess and estimate; I finally was able to produce that hooded scarf I remembered and the first one I made I sent to Toni.


Shortly after I offered the pattern for sale, I received a request for a child’s hooded scarf. Well, Miss Scarlett, I don’t know nothin’ ’bout children’s sizes! So I procrastinated, though my requester persisted. Finally, I determined that I could do this and in 24 hours produced a new pattern.


Similarly, the dearth of men’s patterns has set me about to design a men’s sweater, which after a number of reincarnations, became the Gatsby Sweater and was published last year in the Son of Stitch ‘n Bitch volume by Debbie Stoller.


Many other projects evolved from seeing a need or responding to a request and many many more are the product of my rather eclectic imagination. I have this affinity with the unusual, the untenable, the impossible. But if it can be done, I aim to get it done. Why do I design? Because you have asked me to.


Oh, Woe is Me!

Oh the horror! I have a deep, dark, ugly little secret. It is so despicable
that I can hardly bear to think of it. Yet, the time has come for me to come
clean. My very sanity requires that I share with you this insidious mark on
my soul. OK. I’m ready. Please make sure you are securely seated. Here goes.

I HATE THE HDC. There. It’s done. I can breathe again. Now you all know and I
can now explain. Because of the way I hold my hook and my particular
tension, I cannot complete the stitch in one motion. Rather than pulling
through all three loops, I must pull through two, adjust my hook, then pull
through the remaining loop. I like to crochet swiftly and seamlessly but the
hdc frustrates my movement. I tell you! When I find a pattern to which I am
otherwise attracted, if there are hdcs contained within, I move on. Really!
But wouldn’t you know that only this morning, to adjust a 12″ square pattern
to gauge, I had to employ a round of hdc? I broke out in a sweat. Would I
survive the ordeal? I gritted my teeth and looked askance at this
unfortunate project. But it is done. NEVER AGAIN!

I hope you all will not hold this pecadillo against me. I beg your
understanding and ask your forgiveness. I know have erred.


Your humble servant,

Peter Franzi

Clarification: I actually wrote the above over 3 years ago, before I began my designing career. I have since negotiated a truce with the hdc and use it extensively in my work. BUT I STILL HATE IT!!!  😡


The Basket Weave Pullover Pattern is Available

That’s about it, I guess. You can find the pattern, and all my patterns, for sale at Hookerbear Creations.


Men’s sizes XS-L (finished chest 36-48)



It is currently 5:00 pm and the thermometer is registering 86° F. This may not seem unusual or astounding in your neck of the woods, but in my little corner of the universe, about 10 miles due east of the Golden Gate along the shores of San Francisco Bay, it’s hot at hell. You must realize that we are accustomed to the influence of the cold Pacific Ocean on our weather. Overcast, or fog, or what the meteorologists call the marine layer keeps us rather cool throughout the spring and summer months. On the few days each year when the temperature climbs to over 75°, thanks to off shore breezes from the Central Valley or even the Great Basin, we bake and we broil. Air conditioning is a rarity here; it’s seldom needed and hardly worth the cost. Fully half of my half of this house I share was originally added as a sun room…windows on three sides (filling half the height of the walls), no insulation and, (are you ready for this?) a southern exposure. I shall sleep fitfully tonight.

However…My afternoon excursion to my favorite market, Berkeley Bowl (I’ll take you there when you visit!), yielded a most unexpected delight. I have found Nirvana in the the form of Green Tea Gelato with White Chocolate chucks. I meant to only have a few swallows to cool down the insides. Oops. The pint is gone. I guess I’ll have to go back tomorrow. Darn.



Mother’s Day is always hard – and Christmas and her birthday and any other day we shared in a special way. She was my age now when she died. At the time, 58 seemed old enough, but not old enough to die. She left so many questions unanswered and sentiments unexpressed. The last time we spoke, we argued. I was being the opinionated (slightly spoiled) college graduate and she the world-wise matriarch of our fractured, typically dysfunctional, clan. In those days, I was always right, even when I was wrong. She always humored me: she never assumed the I-told-you-so attitude when was rightfully hers when I would eventually come to my senses and realize that a diploma did not make me smarter than she. This time, again, she was right, of course, but before enough time passed to allow the heat of the argument to cool, she was gone.

Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries come and go and I celebrate with the misgiving that she died with my disrespect still in her heart. That will never change. The pain has eased to ache, but regret remains. I know I have her forgiveness. I still cannot forgive myself. That will come in time.

Happy Mother’s Day to mothers young and old.


I'm In Stitches

I recently purchased the most amazing book, The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs: 500 Classic & Original Patterns by Linda P Schapper. The are so many wondefrul and beautiful stitch patterns contained in this volume. I enthusiastically recommend this book. It is an invaluable addition to anyone’s crochet library.

I have been searching for an interesting stitch pattern to use for a woman’s summer top. Rather than the usual pullover or cardigan style I think I want to do some sort of cover-up…you know what I mean. Something to wear over a bathing suit whilst lounging about the pool. Is there a name for this garment? Inquiring minds want to know. Anyway….below is the stitch pattern I have chosen. When I showed it to my friend Cay, her response was an immediate “That’s so YOU!” I guess she’s right. If all goes well this whatever-it’s-called garment will appear in an unnamed crochet magazine next year; you know..the same unnamed magazine that’s publishing my scarf pattern. Fingers crossed. I’m emailing the swatch and schematics next week.

PS Is there a graphic artist in our midst who’d like to do a trade…your handiwork for mine?

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