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!

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