Friday, February 29, 2008

everything in moderation?

I love crochet. I am obsessed with crochet. This should be an obvious fact.

I am not, however, as obsessed with crochet as this gentleman:

Holy cow.

Does this merit...applause? Shocked silence? I can't decide.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

baffled by two needles

Q (from Al before she picked up knitting needles): Isn't it possible to set down your knitting in the middle of a row and come back to it and get completely confused as to which needle you've been working onto? And as a follow-up question, if this happens, how can you tell?

A (from Al today): Yes, yes that is entirely possible. And since you are an absolute beginner, you won't be able to tell until several rows later when your supposedly rectangular piece starts looking a little stair-steppy. With holes.

Gah. A hook would never be this confusing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

thrilling, just thrilling

When I uploaded my wrap design and asked for volunteer testers, I got three responses almost immediately. Three people loved the design and are testing it for me! (!!) The idea that there are people in the world who liked the finished product, and are looking at a pattern that I wrote, and using that pattern to create their own thing...gosh, it's just thrilling. I can't even describe it with words, but it makes me giddy.

Another exciting thing: I finally got around to dragging myself to a Stitch 'n' Bitch meeting last week, and turns out, the people are really nice! I've been having a really great time. What could be better than crocheting, meeting new people, and drinking beer? (Yes, I picked the group that meets in a bar. Of course.) The bonus to this is that the other girls are knitters, so being around them has really encouraged me to actually pick up the needles (needles! without hooks on the end! madness) and try to learn. Last night Gwen taught me the long-tail cast-on, which is fabulous and stupendous and made me feel very cool once I got it down...and now I'm knitting a scarf! Granted, it did take me probably an hour to knit 1/2" of scarf, but...I'm remembering the stitches and they're coming easier. Soon I'll be a bi-crafty phenomenon. I'm really jazzed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

pics and other news...

First of all, I'm really excited because my third pattern is officially off to the tester! I got some really nice photos of it on Saturday when the weather was nice and crisp and overcast. I will unveil it once the pattern is finalized and uploaded (yay!)

So I have some finished objects that I just hadn't gotten around to photographing. Here are a couple, they are for a housewarming present for my friend/former boss who just bought her first house with her husband and new baby:
housewarming gifts for Tamara
I wanted to do something that wasn't too terribly involved, but was still a sweet little gift. I'm really happy with the hotpad, I think it looks pretty neat.

Also, here is the hat that Jan requested:
By Request Beanie-prototype
It came out even better than I thought. Crochet ribbing is very different than knit ribbing, and I love the way this looks on this particular hat. I also love the way the post stitches affect the striping. Yay for hat! I have written up a pattern for this too and will post it soon.

I'm really, really excited about the ballet wrap sweater I'm designing right now. I hope it's half as neat in real life as it is in my head :) We'll see.
As always, yay for crochet!

Friday, February 22, 2008

turning all of this yarn into something...

A couple of days ago I finally finished all of the projects I was making for other people, and got all excited about a couple of different patterns that I've been looking forward to making just for myself. I got out the yarn I had already bought months ago for each one, and in each case...figured out the yarn was just not right, for either one. I'm a little bummed, I mean I can use the yarn for other things and I can get new yarn for these projects, but I'm broke so I just can't let myself buy more yarn for myself right now. And it feels weird to not have a project that I'm really excited about waiting at home for me. Le sigh.

On the other hand, I've been kinda flying through new design ideas the past week or so. I finished up a wrap that I've had in my head for a while, and I'm pretty pleased with the results, and as soon as I take a couple of photos I'll be looking for a tester for the pattern (woo!). And yesterday a friend showed me a picture of a hat she wanted that she saw someone wearing at a ski lodge, and I went home last night and banged it out! So, new hat pattern! It's not the most original or exciting hat in the world but it's definitely warm and squishy and when I tried on the prototype this morning I didn't want to take it off. So cozy.
Also, I have some yarn on the way that I'm going to use to make a newsboy-ish cap that I've had in my head for a while, and I have some good yarn to work on a squishy fingerless mitt design I've been meaning to get around to. So, I'm feeling exceptionally productive, and proud of myself! I can't wait to get pictures and patterns out for these things!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I made a convert!

The other day I was on the bus, working on one of Celeste's City Girl Caps (of which I've made probably two dozen so far), and a lady came and sat down next to me, although many of the seats were empty. She said she just wanted to watch me, said she had noticed me before but someone else was sitting next to me and talking to me.
She said she was a crocheter too, but had only ever made blankets. She said she was intimidated by anything that wasn't a big flat rectangle, a sentiment I certainly understand and only recently got over. I avoided making hats for years, mostly because Susanne, my roommate at the time we both rediscovered crochet, tried to make ski caps for herself and her beau, and they kept coming out with this weird pointy, nipply looking thing at the top, and neither of us could figure out with the heck was going on. (I can't remember if she finally figured it out or just bought a bulkier yarn so it wasn't all that noticeable any more haha). So I was intimidated, certain that I was destined to a life of scarves with (accidentally) wavy edges.
And then a couple of years ago, when I first moved to DC, I found myself in dire need of a warm hat. I had moved in the summer, me and Aaron both squeezing everything we owned in the world into the backseat of my tiny car and driving across country. Somehow, in June, with limited space, my winter clothing just did not seem like a priority. And DC summers will make you believe that there is no such thing as snowflakes and icicles, and that you will in fact die in sweltering agony before you ever see another below-90-degree day. And yet, winter did in fact arrive that year. A cold one too. So I grabbed some black yarn I had laying around, found a non-scary looking pattern, gulped down my fear, and began. And in a day or two...a hat! And I put it on, and it looked like...a hat! It was round on top and came down the sides. It had a little cuff that you could turn up or pull down over your ears. And it fitted to my head. And it looked like...a hat! I was unbelievably excited. I wore it around the apartment and couldn't stop looking in the mirror. I also couldn't stop saying things like, "It looks like a hat!", which I'm sure Aaron thought was just fantastic. I was seriously stoked.
That was the first non-flat-rectangle thing I've ever made, and if I hadn't gotten over my hat-making fear I'm pretty sure I never would have been able to attempt sweaters or anything else for that matter. So when the lady on the bus said that she was afraid, I told her not to be. I showed her what I was doing, and she admitted she thought she could figure it out. I told her I had gotten the pattern off the internet for free, and that there were a ton of free patterns and the yarn was cheap, so it's really a no-lose situation. And I showed her an example of a finished City Girl Cap, and she gaped and said, "All right, that's it, I'm gonna go look on the internet as soon as I get home."
YAY! You go girl!