Thursday, August 26, 2004

learning to knit, part whatever and bad car day

Why does everyone assume that a beginner wants to make furry scarves on big needles? I want to learn to knit. I want to learn the skills. I want to be able to knit well.

So I went to a LYS that shall remain nameless (and not much clue about crocheting, either) looking for some worsted weight wool in two colors to make a stripey scarf. How hard can this be? I have now had two people, at two different LYSs (and how do you punctuate that appropriately, Miss Eats Shoots and Leaves?) tell me that I don't want to change colors, that I'm better off using a self-striping yarn. Hear me out, people. I want to acquire the skills and the knowledge to knit. I don't want to be flummoxed every time I come to a pattern with some advanced skill like--the changing of colors. I'm proud of the fact that I can change and add yarn in crochet. I'm proud of my advancing skills, even if the gauge is just a TAD off and the only way I'm ever going to make a sweater is by designing one myself. I DON'T WANT TO MAKE FURRY SCARVES. I'm glad other people do, yes, the yarn is fun, but I'm into color and texture created by patterns, not already done for me.

Enough said. Thank goodness for Hearthstone, which has taken me seriously whenever I've been in there, and trusted that I might have some idea about what I'm doing.

I'm all too familiar with bad hair days, but yesterday was a bad car day.

I trundled downstairs to start my car and go to work. Key in ignition. Nada. Zip. Nothing. Ok, this is a little problem, because my car's parking spot is buried deep in the bowels of our parking garage, in a little dark corner. So back upstairs, arrange for supply for the 9:30 service, call AAA, who arrived amazingly fast and with a portable generator. Car starts right up, purring away. Drive to work, everything fine.

At 2:30, I got back in my car with intentions of lunch and hospital visits. Key in ignition. Nada. Zip. Nothing. Can I say those bad words with my collar on? Luckily, Pastor Ron jumped the car and our office administrator followed me to the mechanic and waited to make sure I didn't need a ride to Metrolink. In the end, it was just some connections that needed to be cleaned and tightened up--I have now been instructed by Pastor Ron in the use of white grease. Still and all, I was happy to be home and tucked up with some crocheting while the storms rolled through last night. I'm nearing the end of a baby afghan out of the Crochet Yearbook. My gauge is just a tad off (so what else is new--I crochet too wide and too short and I have yet to figure out how to solve that combination of problems). But it will be sweet in the white Jamie and I'm going to trim it with a sort of mint green edging.

Oh, and did I mention that when I got home I had locked myself out?

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

and now, for some actual crocheting

I have almost finished a preemie afghan in some leftover lavender Caron Simply Soft. It's from a pattern at Craftown, (dagnabbit, I'm still unclear how to post links and the pattern's at home). It's rows of HDC and puff stitches, very soft. I am thinking of sending it and any others to the MO Humane Society or some of the other local shelters that accept snuggles blankets.

I did practice some more knitting. I found a Lion Brand Learn to Knit kit on sale at Michael's. For 12 bucks to big skeins of Thick and Quick, a pattern, and some 15 needles. My knit stitches look so nice and even now compared to what I started with!
So I can now knit, purl, do ribbing and seed stitch, and also Yarnovers and Knit2 decreases.

For my next trick, I'm going to make a knit ball for some friends' new dog. The pattern is supposed to teach increasing and decreasing. And I want to get some nice wool yarn for a scarf with a knit eyelet pattern.

baa baa

It's a sheep thing--

There's all the yarn, and especially the pile of wool-ease I brought home. There's the dyed fisherman's wool. I'm doing a presentation on the Good Shepherd on Sunday with our Sunday School kids. A member of our congregation just dropped off some wooden sheep and shepherds for me to use. And now I find out:

Which flock do you follow?

this quiz was made by alanna

Monday, August 16, 2004

"Eats" bridge and more crocheting

Knitting was on hold while I finished a very pretty baby blanket in the box stitch. I have taken photos of that and all my FOs around the house--Houdini almost got in the photo with the blanket but he jumped away before I could snap the shot. So there will be photos soon! No really, I promise.

Dot posted my very first comment--thanks, Dot! I have photos of the--ahem--variegated Kool Aid dyed wool that will go up as well. I'm going to try more this week.

David and I enjoyed Sunday brunch with friends in the air above St. Louis on the Eads bridge. A little pricey but well worth it. It was a gorgeous afternoon. Hint--park for free at the Casino Queen and walk up to the Metrolink platform--there's a walkway there that continues up to the walkway across the bridge.

Friday, August 13, 2004

dyeing yarn with Kool Aid Pt. 1

Lessons learned-- #1--do better job of coiling yarn, so as not to have unwanted tie-dye effect.

#2--Need more Kool-Aid, didn't read directions carefully (not a new problem) and so didn't buy enough at the store. Still, it did come out a nice reddish-purple.

I used the stovetop method in Melanie Falick's "Kids Knitting" and it was very simple, and didn't leave much of a mess at all. I kept calling my DH into the kitchen to look at the water as the yarn absorbed the dye and left clear water behind.

Will have to try again soon so I can add an entry called "Pt. 2"

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

tuesday yarn shop

You'd think a yarn outing with the crochet group would have satisfied me. But no, this little voice kept saying, "you have to go to Hobby Lobby to get a larger yarn needle for your bulky yarn." After all, if I can't weave in the ends, I'll just have more UFOs around the house, right? All in the name of organization! I'll just drive over to Hobby Lobby for a yarn needle. . .and the afghan pattern book I found on sale. . .and some yarn. . .and I just have to walk over to Hancock. . .and Wool-Ease Chunky was on sale, and isn't it time to try dyeing with Kool-Aid? How did that skein of Fisherman's wool get in my basket?

Meanwhile, I used up the first ball of Plymouth Encore Chunky on the brownish black stole (a Christmas gift), and taught myself to do a yarnover and knit 2 together decrease. I found a nice scarf pattern with the YO and decrease that I want to duplicate in a nicer yarn (the original was in Red Heart Kids). I also bought some double pointed needles which have helped in the whole knit frogging experience. It still seems easier to me to frog in crochet than in knitting, but then, I know what I'm doing a little better with crochet!

This morning I also looked up the local shelters which accept snuggles. I think I'm going to do some pet blanket projects to use up some of this yarn stash.

Monday, August 09, 2004

catching up on blog

Busy week--job interview, bishop conference, sermon writing--and, oh yeah, I started the crocheted stole in the Plymouth Encore Chunky and finished a knit washcloth that had different stitch patterns to practice. My garter stitch looks pretty normal, but I had to frog--well, I also just threw out some first tries--and switched to a lighter yarn--oh, and I made ribbing instead of seed stitch (this will teach me to actually FOLLOW directions). I was so proud of myself when I was done, though, because I learned all sorts of new things, and even managed to frog and redo successfully. Still, frogging in crochet is easier for me, so I just plan to knit perfectly from now on (ha ha).

The crocheted stole is a nice ch-3, sc mesh pattern that goes by fast while watching the television.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

busy crochet day in St. Louis

The highlight of yesterday was the first meeting of the St. Louis chapter of the CGOA out at the Borders in Creve Coeur. It was nice to meet other crocheters. We sat at the big book group table and got out our hooks and yarn. There were a lot of us and many conversations going on at once. It was nice to put faces on some names from the crochetstlouis group. I managed to walk out of Borders without any new books, which is a good thing.

Friday afternoon I stopped at Hearthstone on my way home and came home with my order of Plymouth Encore Chunky to do the mesh wrap out of FCEK Easy Crochet projects. It's a brownish black medley and if I used it as a gift will not show the contributions of Wilbur and Houdini (the black kitties) to the project.