25 September 2009

mah boooooooooooooook

i'm really excited about this book, for several reasons. i learned how to crochet when i was about seven, or maybe six {i say that cuz i remember stuff by where i lived, but that memory of my first lesson was actually not where i lived, but where my mom's best friend lived...and she lived there my entire childhood, tho i do remember approximately i was seven or younger, cuz my grandmother died when i was only seven by a month, and i remember that i proudly showed grandma that i could do what she does toOOooo}. over the years, i would crochet on and off, but it wasn't something that i spent scads of time doing.

then about two years ago, my mom was telling me about a group that she belonged to {a homemaker's group, i think} making hats for heads, caps for kids, knitting for noggins...they'd pledged to make hats for kids at the children's hospital in lil rock, arkansas {mom lives in arkansas}. so i was gonna make some hats and give them to her to give to the group to give to the hospital. i never did learn to knit, altho that had been the point of that long~ago lesson {they were gonna show me how to crochet, but i didn't know how to hold the yarn and kept using my fingers to throw the yarn over the crochet hook instead of picking it up with the hook...so mom's friend thought it looked like i was trying to knit...so she was all for showing me how to knit, but i think the fact that there are two knitting needles versus one crochet hook meant twice as much likelihood that my fingers would get tangled up}. so to do the hats, i'd need to crochet.

so i looked up all kinds of patterns online, for free crochet patterns for hats, beginner's level. so then i came up against another challenge right away...reading friggen patterns. sigh. cuz everyone out there thinks they have a great pattern, but if the reader doesn't know the language and terms and how you are communicating, then that great pattern is indecipherable and not so great after all. for instance, when someone uses the word "turn", they may assume that you, the reader, know that they mean "flip the work over to the other side and continue working". yet "turn" could mean "turn the work around and around, as tho you are working in a circle".

so reading patterns was a challenge cuz not everyone uses the same terms to mean the same concepts. i started to find that there were certain groups and organizations which offered patterns or linked to patterns that used the same language to mean the same things. and i learned what to look for to tell whether "treble stitch" meant the americanized treble or the united kingdom's "treble" {which in america would be considered the double crochet stitch}.

and i started to trust that i could not only learn the anatomy of a stitch, enough to be able to read the pattern, and intuitively get the concept the writer was conveying, and then execute it accordingly. and i started to learn how mathematic principles can be applied to various projects to create my own squares, rounds, hectagons, etc. i am learning that where you place the stitch doesn't always seem obvious and can yield very different drape and stetch to the same yarn and the same stitch.

for about a year, i spent every four or six weeks experimenting with various concepts. taking a pattern, breaking it down into elements, building them out exponentially, using various size hooks, then changing out yarns, then maybe inserting the hook into this place in the previous row's stitches instead of that place. and some things got ripped out right away, some things got abandoned, some of the turned out perfectly and were given as gifts.

which brings me to another point: most of the things i make are intended for a specific person, and i think good thoughts about that person as i am working on the item, intertwining all my warm wishes into the yarn, which becomes an afghan, a baby blanket, a hat, a scarf, leg/arm/wrist warmers, shawls, etc. the majority of the other things i make go to charities, whether they are the kids, or their parents, comforters for puppies and elderly injuried doggies at the shelter, or whatnot.

very seldom do i keep something, or make it for myself. last year, i was gonna do just that. i had been experimenting with yarn and stitches and hooks and had taught myself how to make the pieces to replicate the patterns that are traditionally thought of as quilt designs. like the double~wedding ring pattern. i bought the yarn, each color meant something special to me. and then my world exploded destructively.

and all that yarn, those plans, changed. and i've not yet made myself another other than a few hats or scarves/wraps. and it's time to think about making something this winter, for both jerry and myself, as a couple. so i might go on and make the double~wedding ring quilt~ghan after all!

{as a quick note, two years ago, one weekend, i taught myself to knit {continental, cuz it makes much more sense, being that i've been crocheting and so already hold my yarn with proper tension with my left hand}. i can see some benefits, sure. but i prefer crochet, and so that's what i usually do. i'm not a purist, so i can appreciate knitted garments and items and not get all snooty about them. and i've used knitting looms and taught others to use them too; altho there have been some folks that have said things like, oh that's not real knitting...hm, and using a stove isn't real cooking, cuz you should have used some flint, started a fire, and cooked over that...are you kidding me? seriously? what, are the knitting police gonna descend on me and confiscate my yarn and hooks? dudes, get a grip}

so yeah, the book. i'm excited for a few reasons, one of which is that the book is bound by spiral, so it opens and lies flat so that you can use it easily to refer to without trying to juggle it and a weight to hold the pages open and all that other stuff. i'm excited to be learning how to read graphs instead of written instructions. i'm excited cuz it not only uses and teaches basic stitches, but it builds on those to create more complex stitches. the book has explanations that allow you to learn the elements behind the project, so that you can take that and make it your own, cuz patterns are great, but sometimes you want to take this element, and that feature, and oh! hey this technique and oh! and that there stitch and wow, check this out!! something that is beautiful, or funky, or elegant, and uniquely yours.

there are other reasons i like the book, and am excited about delving into it! but right now, i've been listening to the comedian and the dogs and jerry and mic and now my meds are kicking in. i'll keep ya posted on my adventures into the Bible...later, dudes!

1 comment:

  1. Just wait 'til after the wedding to start on the quilt. No need adding anything new to stress over this close to the wedding.


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