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I’m thinking I might have James do my hair more often. What do you think? It’s a little bit of punk, a little rock and roll, low maintenance. I just have to make sure to keep the mice at bay 😉
When I start referring to projects as WIPs or works in progress it seems to take me twice as long as if I had just stuck to calling them “that green hat” or “this super awesome turquoise mermaid scarf.” I guess I’m just a sucker for conveniently compact titles. What can I say? So, here’s a sneaky preview of a few things I’m working on.
Alright, for this first one I know I’m a little late seeing as Gramma’s birthday was April 6th, but I’ve only even had the yarn for a week or so. Work with me here. The swatch knit up so nice, very pretty colors with a subtle variegation. I like it when the colors don’t change so sharply. I hope these don’t take me toooo long, they’re way over due. And this yarn is definitely a new favorite, so dreamy!
This beautiful red is destined to be a slip stitch (maybe cabled, it won’t make up its mind) hat for James’ auntie. Call it a super late hostess gift. We want to visit them again soon, the last visit was so much fun. Her house is beautiful and I want to be sure to make her something just as nice. She loves red, so there’s a start. I can’t wait to see how the color shades knit up.
This indisputably Irish shade of green is machine washable and will soon be a crochet hat for James’ mom. She works hard so she deserves something made with love 🙂
I wish it would rain harder. Yesterday was cloudy albeit dry, so while I was surprised to wake up to the schmicka-schmack of heavy rain outside this morning (rather, early afternoon. Shh, don’t tell!) I can’t say that I was rightly surprised. I really should have known. when days like this come up, all I really want to do is make something delicious, turn on the telly and knit knit knit. Unfortunately for me and my rainy-day dreams, I had to come to work. Poor purple yarn, you will have to wait yet another work shift to be loved.
Rainy days at work are good and bad. The atmosphere is different in a book store when people are hiding from the rain. There are more people waiting for the movies to start next door, but even as they glance toward the window or their watches every once in a while, they seem to actually enjoy browsing the shelves. Browsing customers does give me time to organize the craft section unhindered (or to write a blog post, I’m a terrible worker). I wish we had enough books to make it oh so nice like my craft shelves at home. Take a look at this, I reorganized it a couple of days ago and got those cutie-patootie flower boxes for yarns. Don’t you just love being organized?
Okay, back to work, our store does not do well in April, historically speaking. Good news for us though, lots of people means at least a few more sales. Bad news is it takes a rainstorm in April to get people in here. Bad news for me is I can’t knit at work. It’s ‘rude’ or something. Whatever that means, I’m not allowed. Haha. If only I worked in a yarn shop. Alas, my favorite yarn shop is going out of business. Oh how I mourn thee, Yarn Place!! The only good that is coming from this is that I got a heads up from my honey-bunny Tya about some upcoming sales. So at the very least, the Yarn Place will live on in the form of my ever-growing yarn and notion stash.
I started spinning back in February after talking to my awesome new friend Heather. She let me try out her dreamy Lendrum wheel at our Thursday knitting/needlecraft group and I was hooked. That next weekend I convinced James that it would be in his best interest to accompany me to Stitches West in Santa Clara and the next day I ordered my own wheel from this truly delightful gentleman whom I spoke with at the conference. After waiting 3 days as anxiously as was possible without losing consciousness James helped (aka all by himself with me asking “can I screw that one in?”) assemble my new Ashford Kiwi (who has yet to be named) and a new love was born!
My first two yarns were a little wonky but I was hardly deterred from practicing thinner and thinner yarns. I keep getting better with each braid of wool I draft and I’m even going to try out a 3-ply pretty soon. I just have to finish my 3rd bobbin and have James make a triple-doweled shoebox for my lazy kate. He’s so handy!
Here’s my very first knit object from yarn I spun myself! Knitting it went so quickly, it was amazing. The Banana Yarn ended up being 116 yards and I knit it up on size 11 needles. I will post a pattern separately in a tutorial post later. It’s super easy.
I’m having a great time trying out new fibers. So far I’ve tried (all wool) falkland, corridale, ‘blended’ wools and superwash merino. I’m excited to try more exotic fibers like alpaca, soy, corn, or camel. Next I might try Guinea Wool from my piglet, Bumble! How does one shear a guinea pig?
It all starts with a trusty set of tools and the drive to make. For me, that meant my trusty Gramma Sue, some blue yarn, a little hook and my stuffed sheep mentioning that he’d like a scarf, please. (With my toy sheep I’d been a yarnie all my life and never knew). At the impressionable age of 8 years old, I was led to believe that crochet was the coolest thing ever.
Luckily for me (and my toy sheep), it was totally true.
Crochet is a unique craft and a special thing. For those who don’t understand the emotional connection to learning a new craft, it’s comparable to your first school friend. You meet when you’re young and impressed by just about everything. You think Crochet is cool and cute, but she teases you and makes you blush when you can’t seem to master an even chain stitch. But then you become buds and you want to see what else your new friend can do.
Oh, the things crochet can do! Some try to compare crochet to knitting (I might in a later post, despite my own advice), but you just can’t do it and retain your sanity in the end. Crochet is so unbelievably fantastic in so many ways (and maybe a little less awesome in some respects, but we won’t go there today) that it’s really in a league of its own. You can make anything with some yarn, a hook and an imagination. The freedom crochet allows is unfathomable. You barely have to worry about dropping stitches or losing progress if your hook becomes unattached. You don’t have to go from one stitch to the next if you don’t want to, aside from potential awkwardness, you could skip 10 stitches if your heart so chose and it wouldn’t be the end of the world, just the beginning of a wondrous yarn paved journey into Awesome Town.
And since you asked, I’ll tell you a little bit about Awesome Town. It’s a magical place, meant to inspire and encourage. When you get there, everyone already knows your name and wants nothing less than for you to be happy with your stay. It’s Crochet’s favorite place and from there, you can move on to visit knitting, sewing, spinning, embroidery, dyeing and so many more things your head could explode trying to think of them all at one time. But since Crochet held your hand on the way to greatness you never forget her and always come back. Remembering the beginning is my way of moving forward. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for my Gramma and that first ball of yarn.
So, in honor of my crafty Gramma’s birthday today, I offer you another beginning. The beginning of my crafty chronicles and a little something on how I feel about crochet. The best is yet to come! Happy birthday, Gramma ❤