Monday, June 29, 2009

I declare.

I declare - this is the best thing ever.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

And Now, I Bring You Crochet

Well, it's official - I have yet ANOTHER hobby. Well, to be fair, it's really an extension of the hobby I already have had (knitting). My friends, I have discovered crochet, and I'm now not ashamed to admit that I think I am in love.

Here's the thing with crochet. I was formerly a knitting know the type - the kind that can't find any appreciation for crochet, mainly because they've never tried it and don't really want to learn anything new (hell, learning to knit was hard enough), or they keep seeing patterns for clothing made using granny squares, and everyone knows granny squares are supposed to be ugly (but they secretly kind of like them). Anyway, I was one of those snobs that thought only knitting was beautiful, and I had no use for another craft, since I never had enough time to knit everything I wanted to knit.

Well, so now I work at a yarn shop, and it's a good thing to know how to crochet, since I would say there are AT LEAST as many crocheters that come into the store as knitters (maybe more), and you know, they'd probably like to ask me questions. Well, not probably - they do want to ask me lots of questions, and I didn't ever have a way to answer them. The thing is, I didn't really realize there were so many crocheters coming into the store until I, too, learned how to crochet. It seems that some of these crocheters are almost ashamed to admit that they choose to crochet, and they keep this fact hidden, as if they are not usually welcomed into "knitting shops". I am here to say that this must change - immediately!!!! There are SO many creative possibilities that exist in crochet.

Nancy taught a bunch of us that work at the shop to crochet in November, and it was, for whatever reason, not easy for me at first. First of all, I couldn't get used to holding the yarn in my left hand, since when I knit, I hold the yarn in my right hand and throw the yarn, using my left hand only to hold a needle. I just couldn't get comfortable and couldn't get a grip on the yarn, and barely learned the mechanics during our lesson. I kept trying to wrap the yarn in the wrong direction around the hook. I couldn't keep up. I felt like a moron. I went home that night and was determined to figure the damned thing out, and I did. All I really wanted to do was make some adorable amigurumi, and I made that happen.

So, I messed around with crochet for a while, with much expense to my sock knitting, and, well, all other knitting in general. I started two of these blankets. Then, I saw a beautiful scarf in a catalog. I figured I had practiced enough, and could probably make my own. Then, I came across this book. It's pretty hard to resist. The cover is bright and exciting, and the book is arranged with motifs by size - hexagons, circles, triangles, and wild and crazy shapes. It turns out that Motif #30 was a pretty close match to the hexagon in the scarf I wanted to replicate. We had also seen a surge of interest in crochet at the shop and had lots of people take the Beginning Crochet classes, so I decided that maybe we should teach a series on motifs, with my hexagon scarf being the class project. So, I started my scarf in November, and finally completed it at the end of January. It seemed to have taken forever, but it really didn't take too terribly long. Here are some shots for you:

(Ravelry link)

As you can see, I'm pretty proud of this thing. I know it's not the most complex of ideas, and I pretty much copied an idea I found in a catalog, but I still think I did a pretty great job, even if I do say so. I used a size E hook and Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in way too many colors, which turned out to be a great option since all of the colors in the line look great with one another (I believe Mission Falls and Berroco yarns are made to do that, as well).

I am also beyond excited that the author of the book, Edie Eckman, will be visiting the store in March for a "Tips & Tricks" workshop and a book signing. Edie is not only a crocheter, but is also a sock knitter who has written many sock leaflets that I already own! I am hoping to learn a lot.

I'm not sure where my crochet adventure will take me next. I'd like to try some freeform - it seems like a pretty easy avenue in which to explore my creativity. I saw this purse and was definitely inspired. Sometimes, in knitting, I feel like I have to follow a pattern and have a hard time deviating sometimes. Maybe crochet will make that easier for me.