Saturday, January 26, 2008

Aching finger

I think I prefer knitting to crochet. I fear that my crochet hook is really kind of uncomfortable. I probably need one of those squishy things to put on the hook...but I don't know--depends on if I decide to become a hard-core amigurumi factory.

My SnB group is having an amigurumi swap, and I am making something pretty cute. Though before I could start, the incomparable Andi had to teach us the basics of single crochet, increases, decreases, and making a circle shape. Then I picked my pattern, and started on it. But pretty soon, it started taking on a very odd shape: all steep on one end and flat on the other. Actually, it looked rather like a yarmulke. I contemplated making a yarmulke, but decided that maybe this really wasnt' the time to do that.

But this was my first attempt at crochteting the start of the amigurumi...

So I ended up ripping it out, and starting over again. Got about 5 rows in before I started getting rather sleepy, and decided to pick it up again in the morning.

As I did a few more rows in the morning, I realized I still was getting that odd half-flat shape, so I tried again, but this time used a stitch marker to keep track of where I was (I suppose my memory must be going?

It started looking a little more like a bowl, or a mini bucket hat, as evidenced in the next picture.

Then I started getting really excited and kept on going, even as I watched a rather bad "action/suspense" movie on Lifetime (it was something with Lauren Holly being a police officer and a serial killer, who was obsessed with killing the doctors who chose not to abort him, etc., etc. Quite a cop-out at the end. But anyway, the amigurumi is shaping up, and together and is looking quite neat already. As I mentioned, I have a love-hate relationship with crochet; I like that I can make amigurumi, but I hate the way that my fingers ache. Or maybe it's because I've been doing this throughout the whole day? And tomorrow, I'm going to try and not do too much amigurumi--I must do my readings for school! And class prep! Stuff like that, which is supposed to make me look all responsible and grown-up

Now as far as knitting, I've also been working on a baby hat for my friend's baby (who is going to be born in February). Anyhow, it's not a difficult pattern, but it's not well written--I think because it's originally a Norwegian pattern, and something gets kind of lost in the translation. So I've done too many increases, when there really should only be two increases per row. What a pain--I have to rip back a bunch of rows so I can set things right. I'm not in the mood to do that right now, because of the amigurumi.

But when the hat is done, it should look very cute.

Before I started the crochet amigurumi, fear struck a chord in my heart, and I decided that I should knit one small toy/amigurumi in case crochet took a while to figure out.
Behold the Kiwi!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Here I am!

The new year begins. And with that, I share with you some of my goals for the new year.

1) knit something lace. without getting the random, abstract holey-patterns.

2) Write an actual knitting pattern.

3) de-stash. This means: no new yarn, unless I absolutely need it. I think some of my dream projects may need to take a back-burner for a little while. And some people may get some lovely yarn as a result of de-stashing.

And this is my attempt at #1:

I've always said that I hated knitting lace. The reason is that I end up with holes in all the wrong places and can't quite figure out how to get back to a place where I should be. But after seeing the scarf that someone in my group made for her secret scarf pal, I was inspired. I loved this pattern so much (Brooke's Column of Leaves) that I just had to try it. When I went to see my friend NK a few days after Christmas, her grandma took us to this yarn store (Birds of a Feather), where I saw this sparkly yarn. And you know how much I LOVE sparkly. So of course, I had to get it...and was wondering the entire time what I was going to do with dark grey sparkly yarn. Make a lace scarf, of course!

And while I spent a few hours knitting the first 12 rows repeatedly, ending up with the wrong number of stitches and holes in the wrong places, I frogged them and started over again. I'll admit that the first rows aren't perfect, but after a while I can handle it. As for memorizing the pattern, no way can I do that! My memory is starting to get patchy now, and for me to memorize a knitting pattern where I have to keep track of yarn overs, decreases...yeah, right. But it has gotten to the point when I can sort of watch TV and knit at the same time. Ok, I can "watch" the TV commercials and knit at the same time. The first few rows, I had to talk myself through the pattern. Anyone who would have happened upon me would have heard: "slip one, knit two. one, two. Slip, knit, pass slipped stitch over...yarn over...knit two. One, two. Purl two. One, two. Knit seven. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven...okay. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Knit two together. Yarn over...where am I? Yarn, I did that..." and you get the idea, right till the end, where I say to myself, "Yarn over, knit four, slip one...One, two, three, four...huh? I missed a stitch somewhere? Great, I have to start over again."

This other scarf is the Vogue anniversary scarf, with 25 individual flowers. While the scarf and flowers are not difficult to knit, the process of weaving in all the ends is quite tedious. If I do this again...hmm. If ever, I will make sure I have lots of time to weave in ends. This scarf went to my secret pal in my SnB group exchange.