All Hail Crochet!

So, the other day I’m at Valley Radiology for an MRI. I’m dressed in the latest medical fashion of open back gown, pants and mary janes.

I’m directed to a waiting room right outside the MRI room to wait my turn. I take out my knitting and proceed to relax into the wonderful medical tradition of ‘hurry up and wait’.

A few moments later an elderly woman is escorted into the waiting room wearing the same fashionable gown as me. She carries with her a grandmother purse. You know, the kind of oversized purse that -like Mary Poppin’s famous bag-  is capable of storing everything but the kitchen sink.

The elderly lady sat across from me and watched as I knitted.

“Oh, I could never get the hang of that. I always wanted to but no matter how I tried, I just could never make it work. I admire you for being able to knit.”

“Why, thank you.”, I said. A nice warm compliment was much appreciated, considering that I was knitting with my entire back side being blasted from the air conditioner.

She continued by saying, “Unfortunately, all  know how to do is crochet. Not very fancy stuff, but I manage to get by.”

The elderly lady then proceeded to dig in her bottomless purse. She emerged moments later with what I could only describe as a jaw-dropping wonderful example of crochet lace.

“So, what are you making?”,  I finally got around to asking after a few speechless moments in utter awe.

“Oh this thing? It’s just a tablecloth. I’ve made one for each of my kids and grandkids. Now my oldest grandchild just had a baby of her own so I’m making one for her to put into her daughter’s hope chest. It’s really nothing fancy. Just something to keep my hands busy. Its nothing like the knitting you’re doing.”

That was true, it was nothing like my knitting. I looked down at my simple sock. My knitting needles suddenly grew a tail and had it tucked  between its legs, wanting to crawl back into my knitting bag. Apparently they didn’t feel worthy of being in the same room with such beautiful work. And I had to agree.

“Mame, I don’t think that in my lifetime I could ever knit something as beautiful as what you are crocheting.”

“Well, thank you dear. That’s very sweet of you to say.”

I was then called back for my MRI. As I tucked away my things and followed the nurse to the room, I took a small glance back at the woman to say goodbye. I noticed her cheeks had become a little rosier then they were before.

There is this strange stigma that still lingers among some crafters that somehow crochet is less than or beneath knitting. Well, its NOT! Crochet is just as beautiful and valuable as any knitted garment. With both crafts holding an almost equally  long rich history, I see no reason to ever think that either craft is easier or better than the other. Some of us- myself included- enjoy doing both. And now we are even starting to see an increase in patterns that combine both crafts within the same garment.

For those of you who strictly crochet- never ever let any knitter look down their nose at what you do. Never feel you have to justify or compensate for the fact that you don’t knit. Be proud of your crochet. And if any knitter ever gives you static about crocheting just remember, a lace pineapple tablecloth done on a size 00 crochet hook trumps a knitted cardigan any day!

Crochet Pineapple Tablecloth

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2011: When I Retire From Knitting

Everyone has those projects that they plan on doing as soon as they retire.

“When  I retire, I’ll rebuild that classic car.”

“I can’t wait to retire so I can  finally have the time to quilt.”

“I so want to redecorate the whole house, but it will have to wait until I retire.”

“Let me retire and then I’ll have time to do everything that I want!”

Well, I’ve got a project on my retirement list as well. When the kids are grown and I retire from knitting, I plan to take on the challenge of knitting a bedspread. That may sound odd, but it seems to me that in order to make a bedspread, one must no longer have plans of knitting anything else for the remainder of their life. (They must also be without any form of stash as not to distract them from the task at hand).

I look at lacy knitted  and crochet bedspreads and my jaw just drops at the time and skill it took to create them. Have you ever even tried to knit with bedspread weight cotton? Working with it should be an Olympic sport!

So, until that day when I retire, I’ll just enjoy the work of others and stand in awe of those with the time- and sanity- to create these beautiful pieces.

Crochet Bedspread

 

Knitted Bedspread

My Knitting Weapons Of Mass Destruction

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Well, here it is. My tools that help me through any knitting or crochet challenge that life brings my way. Allow me to walk you through the goodies.

Starting at the upper right corner is the sparkle bag that I permanently borrowed from my mother. I love it because it is the same color as my birthstone- aquamarine. I think she originally bought it at Taget in one of their $1 bins.

Below that is a grey crochet that I actually use to crochet! I know, shocking isn’t it. I have yet to figure out the whole picking up dropped stitches with it as I find that my own knitting needles work just fine for doing those sort of fixes.

Next to the crochet hook is a small yellow box of stitch markers. These stitch markers came with my “I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting” set that Lion Brand put out. I rarely ever use these, but they are a nice reminder of just how far I’ve come as a knitter.

Below that are two stitch holders. My knitting would be doomed to failure without these. I use them to hold stitches, mark repeats, pin patterns to yarn, hold pieces together as they’re being seamed, clean the dirt under my nails, and many other things.

Then there is my trusty blue needle. My mom gave me this needle when I first learned to work with plastic canvas as a child. It has followed me ever since. This needle has tackled every type of yarn- from mohair to fun fur to bulky novelty. There is no yarn this needle can’t handle.

The writing pen you see is the one  I stole from the Sheraton Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. It was pretty. No one was looking. So I took it. End of story. (Like they don’t have a million of them in some back room somewhere.)
The small pink handled scissors were my big ‘splurge’ when I took a sewing class in college. All the other students in the class had big expensive professional scissors. All I could afford was what most dressmakers refer to as ‘thread cutters’. Yet these scissors prove that size doesn’t matter. My scissors have made costumes for sixteen theatre productions and about a dozen quilt tops. And the whole time I’ve owned them, they’ve only been sharpened twice.

 Two random buttons that I honestly don’t know why they are there. But since I do not dare question the logic of the knitting gods, I’ll just let them be.
The pink measuring tape is actually supposed to be a novelty toy for kids. What kid goes around asking for measuring tape? Well, it was small and useful, so I adopted it into my knitting bag.
Hello Kitty came from a purse my hubby gave me for Valentine’s Day. There are actually two of them in my bag and they help give me a little giggle every time I reach into my bag for something.
This handmade stitch marker is one of the many I just started making for my online Etsy store. It’s a nice sample to show people when they ask me what I sell on Etsy.
The two felt flowers have no reason for being in my bag other than some munchkin put them in there and I haven’t taken them out. Although they are very cute, they do have a real home, so alas, I must give them back at some point.
And the two small metal chains? They are what the Hello Kitty’s hung off of. I’m sure I can find a good use for them if they stay in my knitting bag long enough.
And finally, one of my most prized possessions next to my vintage knitting needles- is my ruler/knitting needle sizer from Sears. This was one of those great thrift store finds that I still can’t believe I was luck enough to find. I measure all my needles with this ruler and the handy two-inch stitch measure window really helps now that I finally learned to care about gauge.

So, there you have it ladies and gentlemen. The elements that make my knitting come together. So, what items are in your knitting bag that you just couldn’t knit without?

Just Checking My Sbemails

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So here it is, my Valentine’s gift to my hubby- Strong Bad!

This is a picture a friend took of Strong Bad in my husband’s office. He got high-fives from several of the guys when he brought it in to work.

If you haven’t heard of Strong Bad, he is an online animated addiction. Strong Bad spends much of his time checking his ‘sbemails’ and trying hard to get the sexy ladies or just kill Homestar Runner. Strong Bad also has two brothers, Strong Mad & Strong Sad, as well as some bad-ass friends. Adult humor at its best and apparently a favorite among sailors!

You can find him and his crew at http://www.homestarrunner.com

Strong Bad is crocheted with a felted face. The pattern for Strong Bad was designed by Aleta Fera, (aka, Knittin’ Smitten). It is a Ravelry download and can be found here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/strong-bad

A Super Gift

I am currently crocheting  a bad-ass gift for my hubby. I can’t tell you what it is just yet. I don’t want to spoil the surprise. However I will show you a picture of what it looks like so far. I’m sure there are some of you who will be able to guess. It’s a pattern I found on Ravelry.

I plan on giving to my hubby for Valentine’s day. I’ll let you know about it and post a complete picture after the Valentine’s day.

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