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Thursday, November 25, 2010

In memory of my sister and crochet teacher, Bee

In memory of my older sister Bee, who taught me how to crochet.

I wrote this back in 2006, talking about my older sister and how she taught me how to crochet. She would have been 60 this coming week. With the hustle and bustle of preparing for Thanksgiving (which she loved), I decided to take the easy out and repost this little bit of writing.

This rant started off as a response to the "Not your Grandmother's crochet" phrase.

My older sister, Bee, taught me how to crochet (and knit). She took dress design in her vocational school and that's something the students had to learn. She sewed her prom gown and made a beautiful smocked dress as part of her studies at Mervo. She struggled teaching me how to crochet because I was (still am) very impatient. It seemed to flow freely from her hands, but I just couldn't seem to grasp it. It took me about a few months of practicing and watching and Bee showing me time and time again for me to get that "aha" moment.

I had to make something for my Home Ec class, any project, but it had to be crocheted or knitted. The Home Ec teacher didn't show us _how_ to do it, we were supposed to know. And we were also supposed to bring the item into class so she could see us actually work on it.
I choose yellow and green yarn for the colors (it matched my bedroom). The yarn I bought was rug yarn, I think. It was the least expensive of the yarns in the five and dime I visited and the start of my love affair with Boye hooks, a size H.

Bee did the chain stitch to start. I had great difficulty starting the project. Now I realize I pulled the chains too tight and couldn't work stitches in them, but I didn't know that then. I don't remember if Bee tried to get me to make them looser or not. At any rate, I was stitching along. Horizontal green and yellow stripes, done in double crochet, that had a sort of "rib" effect. I didn't know I was supposed to put the hook under _both_the loops on the top of the stitch. Bee probably did about 30% or so of the afghan. But having to take it to school and show my work made me try to learn the stitches better.
The teacher had doubts (reasonably so) that I was actually doing the work. I was slow and it would be unreasonable to think I had gotten so much done so quickly. But the day finally came when I could whip the project out of my duffel bag and actually accomplish some rows while in class. After that, the teacher didn't question my ability to crochet. I honestly don't remember what other people made. I can't remember if there were amazingly complex patterns or just ponchos (it was the late 60s). But I was sure glad I got that project done. And it certainly kept me warm.

The afghan is long gone now, a victim of time and moving. It wasn't that beautiful a project, but it was important to me. The joy of actually creating a project that big has stayed with me. I still enjoy the accomplishing of any project, whether big or small. And I've made a ton of afghans since that time, but that first one remains in my memory as an extra special afghan.
After all, how many crochet projects keep you warm, co-ordinate with your room and get you a good grade in school?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

time to start thinking about making gifts

 I am always amazed how fast the year goes. It seems like it was just summer a few weeks ago and now we are starting to feel a little of the cold of winter. And since Santa is showing up early every place (he "arrived" at a nearby mall last Friday in my area), I thought, it's time to start making gifts. For those of you who have been steadily working on your gifts since December 26, 2009, I say hooray for you. However, I haven't been and I suspect a few other people may not have been. So for those of you who procrastinate, here's a little help

This is a pattern pink ribbon shawl, but you could make it any color to honor whoever you wanted to honor:

I thought this was really cute, a cat and mouse afghan

It's Thanksgiving next week, which seems to be a minor bump on the way to Christmas. But I love Thanksgiving and if I get a few minutes to think, I want to make this turkey

Here's a nice crochet v-neck sweater

I like this scarf from Berroco. I even like the yarn. But if you're like me, you will probably search your stash before buying more yarn

Once again, Caron's 12 days of Christmas - both knit and crochet

Do you or somebody you know like "Star Wars" - here's a Yoda pattern for you. You could even make it a Christmas ornament....
It's starting to get cold in my neck of the woods, so that means it's time to think about bundling up. This would make a great gift set for somebody or even you...
hat, mittens and scarf

That's all I got for now, I hope you _enjoy_

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

in memory of Robin Freed

Today would have been my friend Robin Freed's 56th birthday. I met her thru rubber stamping but we were both interested in fiber. Her interest took the form of quilts. For a quilter, the quilt block is the basic tool they use to make their creations. We crocheters also use motifs to make our creations. So in honor/memory of Robin Freed's 56th, I am posting links to various free motif crochet patterns.

Triple triangle square

Lace motifs - these are great

double heart square

Teresa's "Art of Crochet" blog has a wonderfully textured knobby granny square

baby bonnet squares

hearts in a row square

Northern Lights motif is made in size 10 crochet thread, but I bet it would look great in fingering or lace weight yarn

Concentric circles from Lion Brand

This is really cute - a retro polka-dot square

torch flower motif

That's it for this week. I hope you enjoy exploring the various motif patterns I have posted. As usual, no payments of any kind have been given to me to post these links. Everybody's too broke for that nonsense;)


Saturday, November 06, 2010

ain't it funny how time slips away...

I'm surprised it's been so long since I posted. I haven't been off saving the world or brokering peace, I've just been working a bit more than I usually do.  I think "oh, yeah, I'll post tomorrow"....but of course, something comes up at work or some such nonsense...but I have been crocheting.
I'd like to share this very funny video of the Goodies with you, it's called "String" which most of us can relate to, even if we're not threadies, check it out, I'll still be here when you come back...
Here's the link to The Goodies' "String":

wasn't that silly fun? 

You may know that the first day of the coral reef exhibit was canceled due to a water main break. That really disappointed me because it probably was the best calendar date for me. After that, I got caught up in a whirlwind of yard work and work work and couldn't make any plans. It's just the way it is sometimes. I am planning to see it on sometime this week with my beloved and my younger son. I don't know if the older one is going to come or not, it's up to him. I have seen some video of the reef and I want to see it close up, to see where my pieces where placed. Of course, I am hoping for a prominent place and not the dust bin, but we will see what will happen.

While I was away, I managed to crochet some squares for charity (I need to send them out) and these 2 hats....


and this one...


and I am working on 2 more similar hats. They are apparently very popular with young adults right now. I personally am thinking of making a tiger one for me. I mean, why not, they are fun to wear (that's me underneath the hats) and it will keep my head warm.

I hope it's not raining when I go to the Smithsonian. I generally don't mind the rain, but with the cooler weather it could be a yucky day. And walking in cold rain never thrills me.

That's all I got got for now...later...