Tag Archives: Crafting

To brag again

Well over two years ago, I was inspired by Jan, the lovely blogger over at The Snail of Happiness (I’m sorry, I don’t know her name), to attempt a pieced work of crochet. I normally don’t do pieced works because, well… you’ll see. Anyway, she did this masterpiece to which I donated one square.  And, being inspired, I thought, I’ll make a blanket of those squares (the one I donated).  I mean, they’re easy enough to make and I had all of that yarn sitting around, why not?  So made a bunch of squares, enough to make a blanket.  And I even started edging them in white for continuity’s sake.  But then I noticed something.  See these two squares?

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They are exactly the same size… as it should be. And it’s cool and good and everything’s right with the world when all the squares are the same size. But look when I add another square…

20170718_085546 Yep, it’s smaller than the other two. Smaller! Same weight of yarn, same crochet hook, same tension… just smaller. And if were just one square, that wouldn’t be a problem, but a good half of the squares were one size or the other, some from the same skein of yarn!  I know I didn’t add an extra row because then the pattern wouldn’t look right. Nope, for some reason a good half of the squares were just… bigger (or smaller, pick one).  Most likely it was tension. But I wasn’t paying any mind to how the squares looked while I was crocheting them. I just did one up, made sure the pattern was right and tossed it in the basket.  It wasn’t until I started edging them that I noticed this discrepancy.

Now, I understand that there are probably tricks and ways to get everything to look like it’s the same size, but… it bothered me. It bothered me a lot.  In fact it torqued me so much that I put all of those squares in a bag and ignored them… for years. I brought them with me from New Mexico to Washington, but I still refused to acknowledge their existence. They just sat in a bag, in a box, until I could figure out what to do with them. I wasn’t gonna try and make a blanket out of them. That’s fersure.  No way, no how. Just looking at ’em made me mad. Okay, not mad, but definitely frustrated.  I thought I had better control over my tension than that. >_< I’ve been crocheting for thirty years! Am I really that sloppy? Makes me wanna cry.

So they stayed in the Box ‘o Shame until a few weeks ago then I pulled them out and started to crochet this shawl with them.

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It’s a square shawl that’s based loosely on this pattern and I’ve used that pattern before. I really like the pattern because the shawl can be worn as a triangle (above) or a caplet as so:

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or you can totally use it the way I do, as a lap blanket:

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I know it looks kinda psychedelic but I like it.  Since I didn’t make it for anyone else but me, I guess that’s all that matters. ^_^  The hardest part about making this shawl was weaving in all of the loose ends.  There are so many of them! I tried to weave as I went, but yeah, that didn’t happen. I’m sure there are still some stragglers that I haven’t caught, even after two days of weaving in loose ends. But I’d rather do that any day of the week than have a pile of squares staring at me every time I open a box.  I still have about a dozen squares that I don’t know what I’m gonna do with. Maybe make a scarf or something.  Except they’re not all the same size. >_<

Organized Chaos

Derek_Gores_collage_09

This person is more talented than I.

No, I’m not talking about my housekeeping system, though it describes that too. I’m talking about the art of collage.  I used to do it. It was very therapeutic. I had all kinds of magazines (mostly catalogs actually), glue, paper –mostly scrap paper, hey, I was a poor college student! — and such.  I’d cut out pictures and glue them together to make interesting collages.  It was fun and, for me, a completely useless art.  I mean, nothing I created was something I’d hang on the wall, and nor was anything I created something I’d give to friends. And heaven knows that I wasn’t going to keep anything I made out of bits of paper until the end of my days… and it surely wasted a whole lot of paper. But it was fun, and doing it calmed my frazzled nerves.  I did it a lot of collage during my first year in college.

ransom note instructions

too much space around the edges… >_<

My preferred flavor of collage was more text based.  I’m not a visual person, I don’t do pictures well because I have no sense of depth, though I seem to be getting better at that.  Anyway, so I had a lot of words and quotes in my collages mixed in with my cut out pictures.  I also was one of those people (and there are different types) who would cut the picture as close to the edge of what was being pictured as possible, so no background would show. That’s very difficult with letters!  But it had to be done that way.  I also liked my letters to be put together in the style of movie kidnapper ransom notes.  I dunno if people actually wrote ransom notes like this, but I kinda like the style. So yeah, my collages had a bunch of text like that in them.

magazine-collage-magazine-ideas

From Goggle images

So I’d spend hours upon hours just putting together these collages. Like I said, it was therapeutic. Cutting out little pictures until my hand cramped and then cutting more. I had glue all over the place in my little bedroom that I had in my uncle’s place (first place I stayed in college before getting my RV).  Glue and little bits of paper… everywhere. No matter how much I cleaned up there was just flakes of glue and little bits of paper.  My uncle never figured out why I was getting so many wish books (catalogs — I wish I had this, I wish I could afford that… wish books) when I never bought anything. Catalogs are free you know, just ask the company to send you one, and they’ll gladly send them to you, and so will their sister company, and the company they sold your name and address to, and so on and so forth.  I got a ton of fodder for my collages and didn’t have to spend a dime. I used the backs of my rough drafts for the blank paper to make the collages, and okay… I had to buy the glue, but glue is cheap. I got it at the dollar store. It was an inexpensive hobby, and a fun one, but in the end I quit it because I truly felt that it was wasteful and I felt guilty for creating things I was only going to throw away.

collage-artwork-collage-artists

Same artist as before…

Anyway, I did do collages for a while.  Like I said, it was a useless hobby (for me) but it got me through a very dark time — right after the psycho ex. I don’t have any of them left because as I mentioned, I tossed them as soon as I finished them.  Mine were basically pictures I liked grouped in settings that I liked with words that I liked.  They had particular meanings while I tried to work through some of the crazy stuff that was going on inside of my head. And at that point in time, I was dealing with a lot of stuff.  My collages didn’t make beautiful pictures like the one’s I’m sharing with you today, dear reader.  No, mine were as my title says — organized chaos. So yeah, I made them,  admired my handiwork if I liked them, or tore them up if I didn’t like them (which is also good for the soul), and they all went in the trash one way or another.  If I had half the talent as the artist here, I might have kept them, but nope. Mine were like a kindergartener’s drawings compared to these.  But I had fun doing it, and that’s what matters.

via Photo Challenge: Collage

PS… I thought this was the daily prompt… not the photo challenge… Oh well. guess I won’t post it to the photo challenge as I have no idea what that’s all about.  But I won’t let a good blog post go to waste so y’all still get to read it. ^_^

Looping

When people ask me about crochet and knitting, I tell them it’s basically taking a loop of thread/yarn/wool and pulling it through another loop of thread/yarn/wool. In this way, one makes fabric. The difference being the how.  Crochet of course, one uses a hook and pulls one loop of yarn through another loop of yarn while creating the cloth one loop at a time.  Thusly:

how to crochet

Knitting is a little different in that one keeps the loops of the fabric on one needle while using another needle to pull the yarn through each one, creating the cloth. As shown here:

howtoknit

The fabric created by the two is very different, but the concept is basically the same, you pull a loop of yarn/wool/thread through another loop of yarn/wool/thread and create cloth. The type of cloth depends completely upon the method.  It can be the finest lace or a dense felt that’s warm and waterproof. And it all begins with looping one loop through another, and another, and another until next thing you know, dear reader, you have something you didn’t before.

knitcrochet swatch

I love to knit, and I love to crochet.  The project you see above you is the same project. It’s a blanket I’m bound and determined to make but it’s not turning out the way I want it to. I tried crocheting it first — but I didn’t quite like how that looked.  So I figured I would knit it and see how that came out.  And I never use swatches. Like… ever.  Now I don’t like how either of them look… but I will finish this blanket!   >>shakes fist at sky<<  I just have to figure out a different way to do it. Another kind of stitch maybe.  I dunno.  I’ve put it aside for a different project that’s almost done. I’ll post a picture when I’m finished. It’s what I’ve been working on the past few days, and why I haven’t been online — too much crocheting. I just want to finish the project! I dunno why! It’s summer and this is totally a winter project. But I have this urge to just get it done and over with I guess. I’m trying to work through my yarn stash and I need to do something with my hands. Knitting and crocheting is a good thing to do.

And it’s so easy to learn… Just pull one loop of yarn/wool/thread through another. That’s the first step. After that, it’s all in how you arrange the loops.  And that, dear readers, is the fun part. 🙂

It only matters to those who care

nerd girl problem

This is seriously NOT a problem.

So, in my About Me page, I mentioned that I both knit and crochet, and that I really didn’t care whether someone calls my knitting crochet or vice versa, and I honestly don’t.  Why? because whether I knit something or crochet it, the only thing that will make an impression on anyone is the finished product itself, and not the matter of making it. No one cares how I went about making a scarf, shawl, blanket, or whatever, *most* people only care that it’s a nice end product. Only those who do the crafts themselves care, or even know the difference between a knitted cloth or a crocheted cloth.

Case in point…  I mentioned elsewhere that I’m making a blanket out of my crochet thread, which is small thread, and I’m not happy with how it turned out one way, so I’m going another way.  Yesterday, I showed Douglas (the hubs) my work thus far, and asked him which way he thought looked better.  Do you know what he compared? The colors.  hahahahahaha! It’s going to be the same rainbow of colors no matter which way I go, but yeah. It honestly doesn’t matter to people who aren’t knitters/crocheters.  Even when I pointed out that one was knitted and the other crocheted, he couldn’t see the difference.

Obligatory picture:

knitcrochet swatch

So seriously y’all, don’t get your panties in a twist when someone mistakes your knitting for crochet, or vice versa. It’s really not worth the effort of getting all worked up about. You mostly want to make an impression with the finished piece, not the process of making it.  I mean when an artist paints a picture do they really get in a tizzy if someone mistakes their watercolor for an oil? If they do, they need to calm down too. I mean most people don’t care about these things. What they care about is the beautiful painting before them, not the technique used to create it. Leave that for the art snobs.  Everyone else, not impressed with the technique.

In my humble opinion of course.

via Daily Prompt: Impression