Natural Knitter or Crocheter

Now this is something I could use some help with!

Now this is something I could use some help with!

While perusing the abysmally small selection of knit and crochet books at Barnes and Noble, I realized something about myself.  I was focused solely on the knitting books.  I thought to myself, Hang on.  Why no crochet?  I did a double take on the crochet offerings and noticed titles about cowls and scarves.  I smiled to myself.  Yea.  Don’t need instruction on that.  I revisited the knitting titles.  There were a lot of subjects that I felt didn’t need further instruction, but conversely, there were so many more that I felt totally lacking.

I have had an on again, off again romance with stranding, and in this most recent flare, Scandinavian designs.  I have made a few stranded items, and I’m still not happy with the results.  I’ve read books, I’ve watched instructional videos and I’ve even asked advice.  Still not happy.  But I’ll follow my own advice, and persevere.  Sooner or later, I’ll get it!

Now let’s talk gloves.  I’m not talking mittens or fingerless mittens.  I’m talking gloves with four fingers and a thumb.  Haven’t made them.  Scared.  Yes, I said it.  Scared of spending a lot of time and effort and getting a sub-par result (reference the above stranding).

Again, I thought about crocheting.  I don’t know all there is to know, and I’m happy with my current level of expertise (advanced beginner to intermediate), but I’m not afraid of anything!

So does thus mean I’m a natural crocheter, which is way easy for me, or does this mean that knitting is actually more difficult?  You wouldn’t know that to look at some people whipping out impossible knit designs who claim they just can’t do crochet.

What are you?  Does one craft come easier to you than the other, or are you fortunate enough to have an innate feel for both?

 

Back to Square One…Or Is It Stitch One?

So, just when I was really jamming on my Deadhead Baby Blanket – yea, someone wanted this! – I noticed a gaping hole in my fabric about 4 rows down.  Puzzled, I tried to figure out what caused it.  Normally, we’re talking an easy fix to pick up the stitch, because after counting my stitches, I discovered I was short one; but WHERE I lost it remained a mystery.  I was stumped.  As you can see on two of these pictures, I was pretty far along.  And I also included the point that had me guessing.  If you point out where I lost it, please let me know!

I was so frustrated, I just frogged the whole thing, and we’re starting again.  I’ve decided I’m going to do a different texture, a bit more complex.  Like I need that with this!  Either way, it’ll look good when I’m done and again, Wendy better like this…!

Shrug Finished!

So the shrug is finished and I’m not happy.  What is it about me and really long projects?  I end up hating them either because I’ve made some changes on my own and messed up, or…this.   Maybe I just don’t understand how a shrug is supposed to fit?  I knew the one size fits all was going to be a gamble because I’m a well-padded woman and I used needles two sizes too large just for this eventuality.  It doesn’t appear to have worked 100%.  Will I wear it?  Yup.  I didn’t spend all that time to let a little thing like correct fit stop me from wearing it!  Here is the pattern link:  Harvest Shrug.  If you’re thin and like the look, go for it!

Now onto my much anticipated (by me!) Hawaiian inspired shirt – finally!  I don’t have much time since it’s almost mid-August and I will be writing this one as I go.  It will be simple, but if I have to figure out the pattern, it’s going to take awhile.  Wish me luck!

In Memorium

He took full advantage of the GI Bill to forward his education.

As a young man in the U. S. Navy. He took full advantage of the GI Bill to further his education.

Yesterday early morning, my uncle passed away.  It wasn’t an unexpected event; he had been placed in hospice the early part of June.  Brain tumor, the same thing that took his father.  I hadn’t seen him for last 35 years but had remained in casual contact through Facebook and email within the last decade.  You wouldn’t think that the passing of such a person, relative or not, who had virtually no presence in my life would affect me the way it has.  Of course, I feel sorry for my cousins, Ken and Chris, and their children who had such a wonderful grandfather.  It must really be hurting them.  But me?  A distant niece?  Surprisingly, yes.

While I was driving around carrying out some mundane errands today, it hit me:  he’s gone for good.  And I started crying.  I cried for missed opportunities and the distant memories I had of him.  He was a decent man who treated his sister’s children, my mother, like regular children and not the evil spawn of the demented sister.  His higher education and inventions gained him a comfortable living, but he didn’t allow that to change him.  He visited his parents often and his youngest son, Chris, who was closer to our age, was always fun to play with.  His employment with an oil company allowed them to live in exotic places.  They would come back with cool stories to tell and neat gifts to give.  It was always fun visiting him and his family.  When he was able,

Here he was at 84, still flying.

Here he was at 84, still flying.

he learned how to fly and purchased a plane.  I remember when we were staying with him in Valencia, we went to the local airport and I got to fly for the first time.  He took us to California City where we had french fries at the airport cafe, then went back home.  I was never afraid because it was Uncle Bill.

But life went on, and my rebellious teen years landed me in the Air Force.  That was last time I spoke directly to him.  It was a Saturday.  I was stationed at Keesler Air Force Base and I was in the middle of my technical training to be an air traffic controller.  I just felt like talking to him, so I called him.  We had a nice conversation and he got a kick out of my choice of career field.  I was all of 19 years old, though, and had to drink, cavort and sow wild oats.  And all of a sudden, it was 30 some odd years later and through the ubiquitousness of Facebook, the older son Ken, found me, and we were in communication again.

So, I’m done crying – mostly – and just wanted to say good-bye one last time.

            Bill Smith  11/12/1925---7/1/2015

Bill Smith
11/12/1925—7/1/2015

Something for Fingerless Mittens Fans

Ta-dah!

Ta-dah!

There is something very gratifying about finishing a mini-project that you’ve designed yourself.  Even the simplest gee-gaw can take awhile, especially when a stitch doesn’t come out right or you’ve miscounted, or the color combination doesn’t appear quite as you’d imagined; it’s always something.  This recent misadventure, though, had a minimum of frogs and actually went rather swimmingly, as compared to earlier such attempts.  I hope that someday, in the not-too-distant future, I will be able to connect the idea with the reality much easier.  I assume like anything else, I just need to practice; however, I am starting to feel like the perpetual student!

Front and back

Front and back

So, without further ado (I know, I know…what an antiquated quote!), here is the pattern, which is located in the Crafting Links tab under knitting.  It’s easier this way.  And of course, I have included the link to my shop in the event you don’t know how to knit or you’re too busy during this holiday season.  Either way, enjoy!

Pattern

Etsy shop

The Definitive Knitting Tutorial…maybe

So it only took my about 2 years to finally make it…and I’m not happy with it.  Too long.  I didn’t feel like breaking up the separate components, because all the steps go together; however, I understand, that due to our dependence on our computers, most of us now have an attention span of a goldfish.  The running time of this tutorial is a little under 20 minutes.  BUT, if you follow it, you will learn how to make your own knitted fabric swatch, so I’m gonna leave it.  There.

So what has everyone else been up to?

See you in the funny pages!

 

I Just Don’t Get Socks!

A great palette...

A great palette…

I’ve been crocheting a lot these days.  A lot.  In fact, every project I do seems to be crochet.  I love crocheting because it moves so fast, it’s easy, and versatile.  Because of the larger portion of my crafts appears to be crochet, I’m wondering if I should have come up with a different business name such as “Crocheting Crook” or “Hookin’ Mama”.  You see why I went with Nittin’ Ninja….  Anyway, I got to a point where I just came to a stop.  Writers call it a block, runners call it a wall, and I don’t know what else anyone calls it other than I got stuck.  I was working on a cute little zebra outfit for a baby photo prop and I got stumped on how to create a cute face.  Needless to say, I haven’t done the ears or the obligatory braids, but I truly couldn’t come up with a likeable  muzzle, and button eyes were just a big nothing.  Maybe I need to get the mane and ears on and every thing else will fall into place.  See what I mean?  So I’m done for awhile because…

unnamed (1)

We’ve only just begun.

I have started knitting another pair of socks.  For those of you who have read any of my previous entries while I’ve been working on socks, you’re probably rolling your eyes.  Why, Glenda?  Why are you starting another pair?  Because I want to learn socks!  I’ve knit five pairs and used three different patterns in order to get a good fit, and possibly to understand the whole process.  I recently purchased “Sock Knitting: Master Class” by Ann Budd and intend to use that…after I finish these socks!  My problem lies in the short rows, the gusset and whatever else.  These areas are always talked about, but for some reason, it ain’t gellin’.  I figure if I keep following a pattern and keep trying, I’ll remember and one day it’s going to make sense – BOOYAH!  LOL.

How did you guys overcome any learning disabilities, crafts related or otherwise?

See you in the funny pages.