Never Fear, I’m Still Crocheting!

In spite of not posting for a bit, I’m still working away on that yellow cotton blanket — with plenty of help from the cats! I catch a few minutes here and there between racing around on other projects, and, slowly but surely it’s growing.

The knitting’s going less than well. My mom got all excited about the blanket squares I worked on, and now she’s taken over! So I guess I’ll have to find another project on which to learn.

I don’t mind — how can I when she enjoys it so much? But I won’t learn unless I do it myself, right?

I’m reading a lovely book based in a knitting shop — A GOOD YARN by Debbie Macomber. I enjoy it, and it’s inspiring me to give the old knit thing another try.

Only thing is, I’m having an awfully good time with this blanket, and then there are some very pretty projects in CROCHET TODAY that I’d like to try.

I’m sure all of you experience the same thing — so many projects, so little time!

This month is particularly busy — I covered the Triple Crown in horse racing — and I was thrilled that the filly Rags to Riches won. She had the pedigree (Secretariat’s her great-grandfather and AP Indy is her sire) and she was the best horse on that day. I’m also going to cover the NHL draft for the fifth year in a row, and I’m doing the prep work to cover the America’s Cup Challenge — which means I have to learn all about sailing.

To keep up, check out my blog on the writing life, Ink in My Coffee, and the articles over at the sports publication FemmeFan.

And I’ll just keep crocheting!

Naughty Knitter! ;)

No, this isn’t an X-rated post!  But I bet it drew a few of those types of hits!  😉

Thanks for all your kind comments.  Color-Strung — I tried to comment on your blog, but couldn’t.  A fiber artist friend of mine (who I’m sure I’ll interview on this site) is very committed to the philosophy of knitting in community.

This morning, I drove to Port Chester (not too far) to Michael’s, to take a look at supplies.

I found a beautiful yellow cotton yarn — and bought 1600 grams of it!  I want to make a summer blanket — my winter blankets are now too heavy, and it would be lovely to have a hand-crocheted cotton blanket for the summer, in a lovely, summery yellow.

And, of course, since I want to learn how to do a cable stitch, I bought the set of cable needles.  I know I had some somewhere, but they could be, well, anywhere, especially since I didn’t know what they were when someone gave them to me.

I passed on the purchase of bamboo knitting needles right now — I’m happy with my No. 6 metal needles for the garter stitch scarf.  I’ll buy the bamboo needles when I need them.

Although I was sorely tempted . . .

I bought a red size H crochet hook for the cotton yarn (since I don’t know where I packed any of my hooks — they MIGHT even be in storage, although I distinctly remember crocheting a beautiful shawl to go with a custom-made evening dress a few years ago.  I’ve worn the shawl often . . .but damned if I can find the hook!

And some ribbon yarn was on sale, so I bought two balls of that, enough for a small scarf.  I’m probably not advanced enough to deal with it, but it was pretty and on sale, and goes into the stash.

After all, the stash is very important . . .

And I bought yet another round hatbox to keep it all in — so that none of these supplies disappear into the black hole that is the apartment!

I spent more than I planned, but less than I could have, so it all worked out.

I’m going to keep working on the knitting practice, and also work on the crocheted blanket.  Because I’d really like to get it done THIS summer, rather than next!

Anita, yes, I will post photos of projects as I take them.  Never fear!

And thanks to all my visitors for your support and encouragement.  It means a lot.

I Hate Casting On!

So, I’m re-learning the basics so that I can move on and learn new things. I’ve always been more comfortable crocheting than knitting, so I figured it was time to move beyond my comfort zone.

For some reason, I find casting on extremely hard. I’m not sure why. But it’s a major pain in the ass.

I’d practiced on some patches a few days ago, and thought I was ready for a checkerboard pattern — but there’s too much math involved for me right now, since I’m still struggling to get the basic stitches back.

Instead, I’m doing a couple of complete small projects in basic stitches. For instance, I’m doing a scarf in the basic garter stitch. And then I’ll do another small project in a stockinette stitch. And THEN, I’ll go back and try the checkerboard.

Baby steps, baby steps.

I’m working on the scarf in the garter stitch now — it’s a dark blue with one strand of lighter blue within the yarn, giving it a nice, textured effect.

Once I got the first few rows done (I had to cast on SIX times before I got it right), I got into the rhythm of it.

In fact, I find I can work out plot points as I knit (as long as there’s no counting involved).

It adds a useful new dimension to “multi-tasking”.

Oh, and Elsa, my tortoiseshell cat, “helped”.

The Endless Re-cast

I re-read the Mary Frances book. For some reason, it made more sense when I was younger!

I re-learned how to cast today. For some reason, I find it difficult. Part of it is because I knit “continental” — since my mom taught me and she learned how to knit as a child in Europe. So what’s in the book and how it’s shown to me are two very different things.

After about a half a dozen times, I finally got it. My fingers don’t always keep the tension the way they should (of the yarn — the fingers are plenty tense). But I can do it.

I did a few sample blocks to remind myself about the knitting, the purling, the garter stitch, the stockinette. So that’s all sorted. I used to love the purl stitch, but, for some reason, I found it more difficult to get the rhythm for that one back.

I’m not happy with the needles I borrowed. I don’t know where I packed my own. The larger needles, especially, didn’t feel right — I think I was trying to use too large a needle for too thin a yarn. So I unravelled it for the twelfth or thirteenth time and I will try, when I’m refreshed, again with the right size needles. When I did my initial samples with a 6 needle, it worked. But using a 9 or a 10 with the same yarn was torture.

I think I want to invest in bamboo needles, or at least wood. I like the feel better.

That’s all for tonight. Tired, and the respiratory infection is worse.

Elsa and Violet loved the knitting time — it meant they could play with the yarn. Unfortunately, Elsa also climbed up on top of me and tried to chew on the metal needles — something I strongly discouraged.

More anon — when I recover . . .