Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Can't Catch a Break

I can't wait until sleepy Bruce is less sleepy and I can go rumage around for yarn without disturbing him, because I just envisioned a beautiful project for my dear friend Kay. Since New Year's Kay has suffered through a broken rib, lost two jobs (through no fault of her own), been arrested for possession of hash*, and now just last week was thrown from a horse and broke her ankle. So, because I can't pay her hospital bills because I'm in debt myself, and I can't magically fix her ankle, and there's only so much I can do in terms of helping her prepare for court, I'm going to knit her something nice.

Last night I had cast on for a drawstring bag based off the ones in my lovely Freeform Style book (clicky for pretty), and I had the brilliant idea that this bag was the perfect little gift to knit for Kay. I thought of making the one I'd already cast on for her, but decided to cast on a second with different colors and a slightly different design. I have yet to fish the yarn out of the closet however (hence waiting for Bruce to wake up), but I'm so stoked on this project idea.

In other news, I know how to crochet! Sort of. I got out my single crochet hook I own (I got it for free when I worked at a craft store a couple years ago) and some yarn and started practicing. I can only do chain stitch and single crochet, but still, that's enough to be starting on. I'm going to practice my double crochet at some point, but there's so many yarn overs in such a weird order that I'm having a hard time remembering how to do it. I know I've already said it here before, but why do so many crocheters tell me knitting looks so hard! Knitting is linear made up of two stitches, knit and purl. Or to make it even more simple, knit and backwards knit. There is literally only ONE stitch to learn. Then you learn how to make that one stitch do different things. With the help of two needles holding it on both sides coaxing it along. Crochet has the chain stitch, the single, the half double, the double, the slip stitch, and the ability to go through existing fabric much like embroidery. And I don't even know yet if I'm forgetting anything! Not only that, but you have only one hook to help you keep these stitches behaving.

And tension! Holy cow it's not a myth! Let me explain:
The first thing you learn when knitting and crocheting is how you need to wind the yarn about your fingers in whatever way suits you best to maintain your tension. My fingers never found a way that worked best and so I never bothered about tension. I let my yarn do whatever it wants, so long as it goes around the needle and through the next stitch when I tell it to. And it worked for me, my gauge was always even.

It would seem that you cannot do this in crochet! Because crochet can leap into being with no structure holding it up (the way knitting hangs nicely down from the needle), you have yarn and bits floating all over the place. Because you have no needles corralling everything for you, you have to do it yourself with your hands! Stop the presses so I can sit down a moment and get myself organized here. Now I'm fighting muscle memory that wants to hold nothing but tool and working yarn. I have to teach my fingers to think independently and delegate tasks. I told Bruce that I think crochet is going to help me even think in a more quantum than linear manner.

I think I might need more tea for this. :)

*Hash is stupidly still a felony in California, despite weed being practically legal. Kay, and I, and most of our friends are the type of hippies that believe weed should be totally legal and that everyone should consume cannabis everyday for the amazing health benefits. Kay began using the hash because it was the only effective pain relief for her broken rib that did not make her puke or have other nasty side effects.

1 comment:

  1. Yay you can crochet! I'm glad you're practicing!

    Double crochets are pretty easy, make a loop, pick up a loop, pull string through one loop, pull string through second loop. My little remembery is "pick up a hooker, go in a room, pick up another. the cops show up, leave the room, pay the first hooker, pay the second, run along"

    its funny to get caught saying it out loud but it works! I have tension problems too, and practice doesnt seem to help much. I always just try to make sure not to get too tight and out of control. Good luck! I'm looking forward to pix!