roguecrafter: tea stained paper background, text reads "Rogue Crafter", open source image of Victorian hands sewing/knitting (Default)

When I was about 8 or 9 my mother tried to show me the mystical art of crochet. It was something she was very skilled in, and I was interested to learn how she’d made the tiny delicate lace blanket for my dolls house.

I managed chain stitch and a very tight row of single crochet before throwing it aside in consternation, because she couldn’t manage to explain to me in a way that sunk in that if I held the yarn really really tightly then I’d never be able to do another row.

I became convinced crochet was too hard, and the bit I’d done became a curly scarf for Kirsten Larson, my American Girl doll.

Fast forward to when I’d learned to knit in my mid-20s. I had taught myself, and everyone (non-crafter and crafter, even the nice people at the yarn store) seemed to think it was just logical that if I could knit I’d be able to figure out crochet.

So I tried again, after seeing lots of tantalizing photos of amigurumi online and thinking, “I want to crochet that.” I started with a dishcloth, and thought I’d try it as a sampler of basic stitches. And you know what? I figured it out. (Knowing about gauge/tightness in knitting really helped.)

But then I felt like I had to finish the dishcloth in order to do anything else…and I have a lot of hand-knit dishcloths. It wasn’t exciting, and oh by the way SHINY PROJECT distracted me. But suddenly I knew the basics enough that I didn’t want to stab someone with a crochet hook after a row of chain stitch.

Yesterday, I finished knitting a green baby hat. I’d been planning to put Shrek/Alien ears on it, but I’ve done that before with preemie hats and I was just kinda bored with the idea. (I think that was why this hat had been three rounds from done for about three months, taking up workspace.) So then I thought, it’s for a girl, why not a flower? And then I thought, why not a crocheted flower?

And so the first crocheted object I ever completed came to be:

Cut for 2 images )
P.P.S. Special shout-out to [personal profile] sage  for all the cool crocheted creatures. That was also a bit of a push.
roguecrafter: tea stained paper background, text reads "Rogue Crafter", open source image of Victorian hands sewing/knitting (Default)

Hooking my nephews on yarn (part 1)

(pictured here above: yarn dyed by my nephews; a wound ball of green/yellow/blue done by the 7 year old and a hank of red done by the 4 year old.)

A few months ago my brother and his family came to visit, which included my two lovely nephews aged 4 and 7. As part of their trip, I began my insidious plan to help them appreciate the fiber arts. Step 1 was having them dye their own yarn. The 7 year old elected for food coloring, and the 4 year old was delighted to use Kool Aide to dye yarn.

Now comes part two of the Master Plan – somewhat delayed by other works in progress, a ton of spinning, life, health, pick an excuse. I am going to (attempt to) knit them the object of their choosing using the yarn that they knit.

They were *very* specific. The 7 year old wants a very special hat, and he even drew me a design. (Trust me, that is getting framed or something.) The 4 year old wants…a fire truck. We shall see what I can do with that. (There’s a crochet pattern for fire trucks on Ravelry, but I think it’s beyond my crochet skills. So…we’ll see how this goes! I think I will basically make a rectangle and embellish it with wheels, etc.)

roguecrafter: tea stained paper background, text reads "Rogue Crafter", open source image of Victorian hands sewing/knitting (Default)

I made a previous post about plying handspun yarn and machine-spun lace weight. Here is another thing you can do with handspun yarn and lace weight (or any weight): knit with one of the yarns “held double”:

work in progress

Teaser work in progress photo of cream blue-faced leicester (bfl) handspun held double with teal, pink, and purple cotton lace weight yarn.

I have now woven all the ends in and finished blocking, but alas the light today is not good light for taking photographs. As I can’t show you the finished object in all its glorious splendor I don’t want to tell you, but can you guess? What do you think this is?

October 2013

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