Monday, July 5, 2010

Williamsburg... wrist cuff... LMAO... a pattern for you. :)

The truth is I quite like the "Williamsburg" color of Red Heart Super Saver, everyone's favorite cheap-ass yarn. But whoever posted this lil' crochet pattern clearly doesn't understand the inherent irony of making a multicolored wrist cuff out of something already called Williamsburg. Oh well. What are ya gonna do? Me, I think I might make some wrist cuffs. ;)

It's a very simple and fun pattern, and it does come out quite well with this particular yarn based on the photos included in the post. It makes me a tad nervous that it's made as a rectangle and then sewn together, rather than just stitched in a tube, but hell, what do I know. I'm sure if you do it right it comes out just fine. The author, Sandi Marshall, includes a couple of demonstrative photographs that well illustrate individual crochet stitches. This is a difficult thing to do, and it is not done often enough in my opinion.

Personally, I think it'd be a blast to whip up about a dozen of these and hit Bedford Avenue...

Friday, July 2, 2010

I'M BACK!!

Good day sir. I shall now announce my triumphant return to the needlepoint world! Well, sort of.

You see, way back when, I sadly accepted that my hands will not let me hold a needle for cross stitching for more than about 20 minutes. This means that even the most juvenile of projects takes approximately ONE MILLION YEARS to complete. And so, as is my habit, I gave up. But early this past spring I finally satisfied a hankering that I've had for a while now: to pick up some knitting needles. Now, knitting is not exactly fast. And I haven't gotten very good at it; I can both knit and purl, and I've gotten about half way through a scarf now. Woo!

Sometimes one thing leads to another. The knitting ignited in me a fiery desire to pick up a crochet needle again. I say again - the last time was somewhere around 1986, when under my Aunt JoAnn's tutelage I made a few trapezoidal pot holders, and then, because I was not instantly a world class crocheter, summarily gave up. (Are you seeing a pattern here?) I had yarn, but though a crochet needle seemed to be the most natural thing in the world to have in my house there was not a single one to be found.

Now, New York City has absolutely everything, except for mundane things. I can get excellent falafel at 2am, no problem. But buttons? Now there's a head scratcher. And crochet needles? Well, you can get them, but either you have to get super-fancy ones, or it involves a trek out into the suburbs of Queens where the subway dares not tread - in other words, where I can't go because we don't have a car. But while I was down in New Orleans for the wedding, there they were, a perfect 10 pack in metallic rainbow colors, just waiting for me at the JoAnn Fabric. (Fate? I do believe so.) Ten needles and two bolts of Rainbow Classic, and I was on my way to reclaiming what should have been mine all along.

I'm not saying that I won't touch knitting again; it has a certian charm, and I do want to finish that scarf. But, crochet! It's amazing! It moves so quickly, and there are so many stitches! And the needles are funny looking and come in lots of colors. And the yarn. Oooooh, the yarn. I recently went to Purl SoHo for the first time a dear me, knock me down with a feather. Of course the vast majority of it is made of animal fleeces, which is disappointing. But there's a decent selection of plant fibers as well, and I picked me up quite a bundle full of cotton, a little bamboo (which is so silken and wonderful that I never want to touch anything else), and some linen. The shop people were impressed by my haul, especially by all the colors. What can I say? I love me some colors. :) It took them half an hour to ball it all.

During that trip I picked up a great book, Super Stitches Crochet, the essential techniques plus a dictionary of more than 180 stitch patterns. So many beautiful, full-color pictures with patterns and good directions for the most part, even though I'm still working on how to read patterns. I've tried many stitches, but there are still many to learn. My favorite part might be the section on medallions...

So far I've made a blankie of my very own in this crazy multicolor - it's a baby blanket gone wrong that is now just a lap blanket for me; two scarfs; a stitch sampler of sorts (whoa boy is that thing lopsided!); and I'm working on Baby Blanket #2, the one which I have high hopes will actually be sent to the baby. I don't have much of an interest in making clothes and that stuff; I want to make animals and stars and nonsense. And I do believe I'll get there!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The thing is, my hands just don't work.

It took me a while to figure it out. I'm stubborn this way. But it finally dawned on me - why every time I pick up a cross stitch project I put it down again rather quickly. My hands hurt. See, I have fibromyalgia, and I've been having an increasingly bad time with it lately. I've actually taken this week off of work to try to get it under control, because going to work every day has become somewhat unmanageable. I'm starting a new medication...

Anyway. Maybe at some point I'll be able to pick this project up again. For now, though, I'm sad to say that it's on indefinite hold.

I've finally started a blog about the fibro stuff, if you're interested in that kind of thing:
The Plague Project.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

You all think that I've totally abandoned you...

...and I can't blame you for that. But it's so not true! My life just got sort of turned upside down - like you know how sometimes when you stand up but you forgot that your purse was in your lap, and then everything that was in your purse gets dumped out onto the floor and it takes 'round about forever to pick it all up and make sense of it again? Well it's kind of like that.

It's really literally kind of like that - moving is always kind of like that, isn't it? And I'm sure not done unpacking, and I don't yet have all the furniture I need to be organized in the new space. What's particularly lacking is the pieces I need to set up my creative wares - like my cross stitch supplies!

Eventually I hope to have a special chair - maybe even a rocking chair?! - in the sun room in the front of the apartment, with a basket next to it full of flosses and yarns and all of that wonderful goodness, so that I can sit in there and watch the sunset (it's west-facing) and stitch away to my heart's content. It seems like a dream right now, but eventually we'll get it done.

Despite it all I'm still making (incredibly slow) progress on that little butterfly-o-mine. Pictures forthcoming. Really!

I have not forsaken you, really I haven't. It's just that, as usual, I've taken up a new project during a period where I'm having difficulty even finding time to eat dinner. I'm a genius like that.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Butterfly a-go-go.

Really, life is nuts. Last week at work I worked 55 hours! This week was more like 45, but still. The exciting news is that on Friday we signed the lease and got the keys to the new apartment! All the more reason for me to finish my freakin' "Welcome" butterfly, right? Gotta have something outside our door, welcoming our friends inside!

Despite crazy work hours, I have managed to get some work done on my own projects, butterfly included! Working from a kit like this is a new and odd experience, but I think I'm getting the hang of it. Here's how Mr. Flutterby has progressed over the past week.



See? His shape is really emerging! I still have a long way to go, for sure. Who knows, I might get to work on him more in the coming week... or I might just be working late and then packing! Life just really isn't conducive to needlepoint right now. Of course, if work sends me to Delaware for trial, I'll need something to do during off hours - television can only keep me so occupied. So I guess we'll see!

And onward we stitch... in spirit, at the very least. :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Why the no stitching?

Today I worked for 12 hours. Mr. Butterfly, he languishes. But now that we've rented and will be moving into a new apartment mid-month, maybe his "welcome" message does serve a purpose. At any rate, I'm much too exhausted to be handling needles... I'd likely wind up stabbing myself in the eye...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Such neglect is unfathomable - here, have a butterfly.

I've been away for so long! It's been a bad week, between work and looking for a new apartment. there just has not been a lot of time for cross stitching, or for blogging for that matter. But no one likes excuses, and I'm here to set things right.

I have started a new project, though I've barely gotten anything done on it. It's one of the bunch of kits that I purchased during my buying extravaganza, and it looks like this:



Separating all the pretty colors of floss was actually quite fun. As you can see, it's a cute lil' butterfly - because apparently I'm really into cross stitch patterns with butterflies. Who knew? The pattern wants me to make it say "Welcome", but I kinda want to make it say something else. Any suggestions? It came with a ring, so I'm working in one - so as not to end up with the lopsidedness of Mr. Owl, god love him.

Anyway, I did begin it, but I've gotten little done as you'll see here.



But whatever! A start is a start. As with all of my other creating, this too I'm sure will come in waves.

I'm now off to create some jewelery at my studio - I have a donation deadline to meet!