Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Crochet Workout - Grunt, Swear, Snap, Sweat

So, my latest hobby is crochet. I'm just getting started and am still learning. After practicing some basic stitches I decided to jump right into making a scarf.

I knew something was wrong when I snapped a fairly thick acrylic hook. My hands were all cramped, I was getting blisters and every muscle in my body was sore. On top of that, my scarf was curled up like a sleeping centipede.

I did a google search and decided that maybe my tension was off. Apparently, when you crochet, it's not supposed to involve every muscle in your body. You shouldn't have to struggle to jam your hook between stitches, swearing and sweating and snapping hooks. The floor was littered with them. I considered getting some steel hooks, but they just would have bent.

So I ripped out the entire scarf, unravelled it across the floor like a sweater that a had a run-in with a caffeinated cat.

And I started again.

I watched Sweet Pea first - with even less practice than I have, she hasn't had the problems I had - she's a ntatural and is farther ahead with her scarf than I am. I made an effort to relax and to make my stitches looser. It wasn't easy. But after a bit of practice, I'm finding it to be so relaxing - like floating on a cloud - a cloud of fluffy fuzzy pink yarn - not a sore muscle or blister in sight, no hook-schrapnel littering the floor.

It's actually becoming enjoyable. But it isn't as much of a workout.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Blood, Ink and Hover Sheep

  So, the other day I was sitting on the couch drawing with my fine-point black pen (0.3 mm). Everything was going well. The TV was on. The ducklings were snuggling close by. The cat was snoozing. Everyone was warm and happy. And then, out of the blue, with no warning or explanation whatsoever, my pen leapt out of my hands, twisted around like an angry viper and stuck its point into my palm!

It was completely unprovoked! And quite painful! Blood and ink all over the place! (OK, so it was a small drop of blood and a smaller line of ink, but come on!)

And then, of course, all of the sudden everyone was interested in what I was drawing. After all, what could provoke such an outburst from a seemingly innocent pen?

Just a hover sheep. I mean, who doesn't draw hover sheep? What? You don't? Is that why I heard such things as "You are the weirdest person I know!" and "Mom, you are so creative (ie weird)!"

All I know is that drawing hover sheep can be hazardous to your hands.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Crocheting Squirrels

  Since I don't have nearly enough hobbies, I thought I’d take up another one. Sweet Pea and I have decided that crocheting sounds like fun. And not necessarily because you cause can make useful things like mittens, slippers, sweaters, afghans and tea cozies, but because you can make completely useless things like cat sweaters, nose warmers, squirrels, turtles, cupcakes and so much more!

So, I set my sights on teaching myself. I got some books from the library and after staring at the pictures and reading and re-reading the instructions for about 20 minutes with yarn wrapped up around my fingers, my thumbs, my crochet hook and eventually my neck, shoulders, torso and legs, I gave up and signed us up for a class.

I may not be a genius, but let me tell you, after failing to make it past the very first step in the book - the step where you make the knot prior to doing any actual crocheting, I wasn't feeling real confident about my ability to work magic with the hook and the yarn.

So, early on a Saturday morning we set out for our class. And while I'd love to say the class was super helpful, that I loved it, and that I'm now a crochet expert, I can't quite do so. You see, the instructor never bothered to show up.


So, after getting my refund I got online and watched a few youtube videos. Literally within minutes I had a chain going and my first few rows of single crochet stitches. I felt much better.

I have a long way to go before those squirrels start magically forming out of hook and yarn (I mean, who doesn't want to make a crochet squirrel?) but I'm well on my way now.

I just know that my dear sweet grandmother is looking down on me from the ever-after, shaking her head in disgust and thinking about all of the doilies I tossed a year ago. But I stand fast - I have no regrets! And I have no intention of ever ever ever making a doily!

It's time to crochet a ginormous duck!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cricket, cricket . . .

 Cricket, cricket . . .