Tag Archive: Ravelry


20120615-155503.jpg

So…I have no idea what the formatting is gonna look like on this one. But, one must make due…

Abecedarian is like my new favorite word. I’d call that $4.50 word, if I charged for uniqueness (link pending). I approached crochet and knitting in a very elementary manner. First, I learned that I “feel” my stitching. I know I’m doing a stitch right if my hands feel like they are in the right place, at the right time, with good tension on the yarn. If I heard I was doing it right but it felt awkward (and not in a beginner way), I’d know there was an issue. And Sensei would agree. So there is a fair amount of instinct in addition to muscle memory involved. I barely think about stitches, to be honest.

Second, I am a left-handed knitter, but I am a right-handed knitter (also known as English-style knitting). This knowledge accented an insight I had: for me, crocheting feels more of a creative, freestyle kind of pursuit, like dancing the hook in and out of the yarn, whereas knitting feels more technical and routine and mathematical. Thus, my essentially ambidextrous brain assigns crochet to my right hemisphere (left hand) and knitting to my left hemisphere (right hand). It might also be why I have an easier time with crochet–I’m mostly a southpaw.

The Projects:
I made the swatches as close to the same size as I could, and there is a noticable weight to the crochet than the knit. I learned (somewhere) a crochet project requires around 1/3 more yarn than the same project done as a knit. The crochet is more firm and textured; the knit is softer, stretchier, and drapier.

I don’t remember many issues I had with crochet other than beginner tension and some start/stop procedures. I worked diligently on it.
With knitting, I cried a lot over it. I asked for help constantly and even frogged my beginning swatch. Aside from life getting in the way, I didn’t feel as physically excited to work on it after I reworked my frogged yarn. I mulled over it constantly in my head, though. And I still LOVE knitting–not just the idea of knitting. They are both fun for me.

In Summary:
I wanted to alternate crochet and knit projects, but I feel crochet is going to be my go-to fibre technique. I already found more projects I want to jump into with crochet than knitting on Ravelry, but I really want more practice with knitting. So, I think I’ll read my books (links pending) and soak up some knowledge. Maybe I’ll make a bathmat using both knit and crochet (I need some new ones; there was…some unpleasantness with my last one…and I know I won’t get my full security deposit back).

The Stars of Our Little Show:
My 5″ x 5.5″ single crochet swatch was made using Lily Sugar’n Cream Super Size yarn. The color, Ecru, is colorway 18004 (links pending. I’m not using my phone for a lot of link research when I don’t know how they’ll turn out). I used the Susan Bates G/6 hook my Sensei graciously bestowed upon me. The new Susan Bates hooks are made in Mexico and have a different point than the vintage American one Sensei gave me–and it’s fun to work with! But I use the vintage one to absorb Sensei’s talents ūüôā Also, my new G/6 hook is 4mm, 1/4mm smaller than the elder one, according to the sizing etched in them both.

My 5″ x 5.5″ garter knit swatch was crafted lovingly using Lily Sugar’n Cream Super Size yarn. The color, Cream, is colorway 18003. I used #6 (4.25mm) Boye needles. Incidentally, I dislike the throat of Boye crochet hooks, and when a friend expressed both a renewed love of crochet and an appreciation of Boye-style hooks, I donated them to her and was able to buy her some yarn. We worked the chainstitch together and off she went.

I would end my entry today with thanks to Sensei and our mutual Canadian friend. If I had tried either learning projects on my own, I might have two misshapen, half-done masses of ill-fated yarn and lots of knots and frustration. Books are nice, but having a human teacher (with a rabbit cohort) ensures technique, adds life, and most importantly, ancestry to each stitch. Your style is developed from the lessons taught by your teacher, who refined her knowledge from her teacher, but you’re still adding to the Great Project of Lineage.

Advertisements
Often times, it's for the best.

Frog you!!! via Instagram.

So…first things first: ¬†Instagram. ¬†I like it, and >90% of my photos from now on will likely come from it. ¬†I mention this not so much to advertise, but to give the heads up that I’ll be posting crazy-looking filters and borders to¬†experiment¬†with the styles and how they play one Facebook and my blog. ¬†So far, I’m not liking this border–I have to figure out how to change the color–or does it randomly assign a color…? ¬†And my favorite filter so far is Valencia. ¬†theedublogger.com as a great, comprehensive, and easy to read post about how to use Instagram. ¬†Trust me, if I found it interesting enough not to tl:dr ¬†it, it’s a good interweb read.

And to the heart of the matter: ¬†The Little “F” Words that Made Up My Day. ¬†Those words, mostly in order, were “Frick, Frog, Fun, Fuck, Food.” ¬†All but two, you may notice, are four letter words, but “frick” has five, and “fun” has three, so they even it out. ¬†So there are five “F” words with an average of four letters.

  • Frick: ¬†My day began with problems. ¬†Trivial inconveniences, nothing life-altering. ¬†My not-entirely secret crush is recovering from some sort of illness, so we didn’t get to spend anytime together today. ¬†That bummed me out, but I also meant I could cover more ground in the crafting world solo before I leave for my trip. ¬†Which was my second issue: ¬†my knit swatch’s last hoop messed up last night and I tried everything I could to fix it. Thanks to the miracles of the modern world (if you know anything about me, the most ironic statement I likely ever use), my remedies included taking a picture and crying¬†online. ¬†I now had time to go to The Grove¬†to grovel for help from the owners.
  • Frog: ¬†My fibre Sensei, ever present, admitted she, too, was planning a trip to The Grove, and we would just meet up. ¬†After we evaluated my progress, we decided the best thing to do was frog the whole thing–I hadn’t gotten very far, anyway. ¬†Frogging, for the uninformed, is the self-destruct technique practiced by unhappy fibreworkers–when your project isn’t going well, you ribbit (rip it). ¬†Since I was knitting only a single continuous yarn, this was quite easy.
  • Fun: ¬†That was a generally good idea all around. We thought I added a stitch to the original knit, but I had in fact added several more–it looked highly skewed to me, and Sensei realized it was, too (we forgot how many I started with until she taught me the value of counting knit stitches). ¬†The yarn tension was off–normal for beginners like me–and there were weird gaps. ¬†I do like knitting, and am sold alone on it’s value in my fashion future, but I think I was spoiled immediately on crochet. ¬†I thought I’d do the one I thought I’d use the least first, but I’m drawn to crochet projects slightly more on Ravelry than I thought (1-2 total projects¬†more than the knit ones I like). ¬†Still relatively equal terms, but the crochet ones seem easier. ¬†I treated Sensei to some ice cream and went on my way.
  • Fuck: ¬†Before I left the area, I HAD to get some chunky alpaca yarn (link pending). ¬†This is one of the most enjoyable fuzzy things I’ve ever run my fingers across–so soft, so soft. ¬†I wanted some mohair–you know, cuz my new¬†obsession¬†with it inspired a goat-collecting frenzy–but all the mohair products I found had very fine (thin) yarns, and I don’t want to do something so delicate yet. ¬†I reluctantly decided to go do some research at some chain craft stores (though my primary loyalty is always local first, never forget), and called a homie who I knew would want to get out of the house. When I got to her place, I realized I was missing one of my knitting needles. ¬†She didn’t live far from the Grove, and so returning found it laying in the street, already dented and scuffed by traffic. ¬†F-u-u-u-ck–but that’s too many letters to balance our other words, so a single vowel will have to do. ¬†My homie and I ran around to several stores and found things we needed to rekindle her love of crochet and some last minute supplies for me (new knitting needles becoming an added priority).
  • Food: ¬†Today’s food included: ¬†Wasabi’d dried cherries (my own invention), homemade ice cream (my flavors were macadamia nut toffee and Mexican chocolate), and chicken tacos. ¬†Where as there might have been a story to accompany this “F” word, it is lost at 2:10am PDT, and parts of it may have been absorbed by the story above.

I suppose, this story is all wrapped up for tonight. ¬†Next, I’ll relay and expand upon my Theory of Creativity I was discussing with a new friend.

P.S.: ¬†In the picture, the yarn I’m using is¬†Lily Sugar’n Cream, colorway¬†18003 Cream. ¬†Reasonably accurate, considering it’s a filtered photo on a computer screen.

Summer Love Sets In...

Two of the many ways Dom plans to keep busy. via Instagram.

We’ve all seen it before: ¬†Dom says he’s going to do something, plays around with it, gets busy or upset, then abandons said project for whatever reasons and ends up playing video games all day. ¬†Like this blog (sigh). ¬†Well, that’s going to change starting now, because of one major life-requirement: ¬†art direction. ¬†The ability to learn was there. ¬†The need to create was there. ¬†The motivation and drive were there, at times, faltering because I had no way within myself to combine technique, creativity and raw goods–no vision, no signature. ¬†I had nothing that would stamp the combination with something that stated, for all the world to know, DOM HAS GRACED THESE GOODS WITH HIS OWN HANDS AND HAS CRAFTED THEM INTO SOMETHING EVERYONE SHOULD WITNESS AND MAYBE FEEL THAT MUCH BETTER FOR HAVING EXPERIENCED HIS CREATION.

Well, I have such vision, and I have the tools I need to do things this summer. ¬†And, thanks to the Air Force, I’ll have time away from home and distractions to realize my goals. ¬†I got some shiny new toys, and I plan to make full use of them.

My plans this summer include:

  • Russian Punchneedle embroidery. ¬†I’ve always wanted to embellish my designs with embroidery, and when I went to the¬†Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival in Del Mar, California, my eyes fell on exactly what I wanted my style to look and feel like. ¬†Russian Punchneedle is made with thread loops, which gives it a napped texture in feel and appearance. ¬†And it’s even more versatile than that. ¬†I’ve planned out motifs I want to do and have great colors of embroidery floss to choose from.
  • Crochet/knit projects. ¬†I started yarn-work just a couple of days ago. ¬†I crocheted a washcloth. ¬†I am very, very proud of that washcloth, and my sister is jealous that it isn’t lopsided like her projects are. ¬†That’s motivation enough for me, tacky as it is to say, but it’s praise in it’s own way, and a blessing omen that I’m can be good at something. ¬†I bought some “teach yourself” kits with needles and hooks, and, while at The Grove shoppe searching for embroidery floss, met a teacher, a wonderful woman, who, without realizing it, told me my gear could be improved and set me on the right path to yarn bliss. ¬†I like yarn-work over cloth-work because you create the fabric, as opposed to cutting into cloth. ¬†You can’t undo a scissor bite. ¬†I can’t wait to actually make the projects I have now swimming in my head. ¬†I love that yarn-work makes me feel that much more connected to my family, particularly my father’s mother, who continues to make useful and beautiful creations with cloth and yarn.
  • Flat patternmaking. ¬†My initial project for this summer was to go through my patternmaking book and go through the lessons again, and play with the patterns on the accompanying DVD. ¬†I have yet to open it and unlock mysteries. ¬†This plan hasn’t changed; in fact, I started early, before my trip. ¬†I’ve been tutoring a lady in patternmaking because she’s retaking it in the fall, and we’ve been meeting to work on projects. ¬†My goal is to create, in half-scale, a portfolio of my skills as a r√©sum√© builder, so while I’m teaching her, I work to hone my technical and sewing skills. ¬†So far, I’ve been underwhelming in my sewing technique, but I wasn’t planning on sewing much until I return from my trip. ¬†I am going to specifically miss my new-to-me Kenmore 1802 machine this summer.
  • Exalted RPG campaign development. ¬†I’ll be running a pen-and-paper game when I come back! ¬†It’ll be my first, and I want it to feel just right. ¬†My storyline is specifically loose until I get to know the characters that will be playing in it (adding an organic feel, as if the characters belong to the story). ¬†But I can still plan global events and people the world with NPCs and artifacts and such. ¬†Then I have to teach others to play, cuz no one I know does, and it’ll be new for us all~ ¬†But, I’ve read the books for years, so I have a good grasp on the world, and look forward to sharing it with others.
  • Blogging. ¬†You’ve heard this one before, I know, and over the summer, of course, but this time, I know what I want to write about. ¬†I have things to say, and I don’t intend to be whiny. ¬†Weird, most certainly, but not depressive or tedious. ¬†And I really do like the way my blog looks, with the themes offered on WordPress. ¬†Maybe I’ll have it customized later, but who knows.

I didn’t put sewing, or cooking/baking, or mixology on my list because I won’t be near any of the equipment/materials needed for such pursuits. ¬†I could hand sew, yes, and I likely should, and I could buy a small liquor cabinet or sample bottles of booze to play around with, but I think the above is more than enough for six weeks of¬†after-schooltime. ¬†Besides, ambition aside, I’m horrible at gauging time, so I can’t really say how much I’ll get done. ¬†But every effort will be made, no excuses.

Oh! I almost forgot! ¬†Look for me on Pinterest! ¬†And if you crochet/knit, find me on Ravelry! ¬†They’re my new favorite (online) things–besides Ponies. ¬†And goats. ¬†They’re like my new favorite animal.

So Much Fluff...

Angoras are like my favorites. They‚Äôre from Ankara, T√ľrkiye, you know‚Ķ