Thursday, November 29, 2007

LYS love

String Theory and I had to make an emergency Knitch run today. I swear, that place is... um. Words are failing me. Like Candyland and Christmas morning all wrapped into one. My bank account weeps. 2008's New Year's Resolution will have to be a yarn diet for sure.

But oh, the goodies! Going to a yarn store is always better with a friend because then you have someone to show the pretties to. I'm thinking I may seriously take up lace in the new year because the lace weights are all so beautiful... Malabrigo's new lace-weight is so soft and pretty.

I got some Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran in teal to make my brother's Christmas present -- Croshay Design's Flyflap Cap, since he was complaining about cold ears on the phone. I don't think he's seen Firefly or else I'd make him a Jayne hat.

It was nice seeing some of the regulars, and meeting Kim the owner's adorable Italian greyhounds. Nell from my knitting group rang me up, and I was so pleasantly surprised when she started telling her co-worker about More Crocheted Aran Sweaters and how gorgeous the sweaters were and how amazing it was that they were crocheted. Now I know she wasn't just being polite!

Lidsville, Interrupted.

The completion of Lidsville has been postponed by edict of two mischievous cats who have relocated the I hook to parts unknown. I'm sure I will find it soon. All I have to do is get up in the middle of the night and walk around barefoot in the dark.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


For all my whining about the lack of crochet in Son of Stitch 'n Bitch, I'm certainly getting my money's worth from what is there. I've started Lidsville, the cute golf-style cap, as a Christmas present for my dad. Hi Dad! I can spoil the surprise because you never get on the internet and if you did, you'd google rifles and fishing lures instead of crochet. I don't know how to crochet a fishing lure yet, so you're getting a hat this year. Merry Christmas.

So anyway, Lidsville. I have to say, it kinda cracks me up when I look at the book's picture of Cute Hipster Boy wearing this and I try to imagine how it'll look on fiftysomething redneck Dad. I have deviated from the suggested yarn, Tahki Donegal Tweed, largely because I was in a hurry to get started. I'm using Rowan Scottish Tweed DK in Indigo -- I think the Celtic Mix would have looked better, myself, but my dad hates the color green (which is hilarious because he's a Celtics fan). The Scottish Tweed is growing on me. I generally like my yarn softer, but it's very handsome, and I remembered I have some discontinued navy Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK that I can do the inner band in for a bit more comfort.

I'm nearly done with crocheting the pieces, but it's the construction that has me nervous. I'm a crocheter, not a seamstress. I think sewing would be an excellent and incredibly useful thing to know how to do, but I crochet to relax, and struggling to keep seams straight doesn't sound relaxing to me. The construction's more involved than what I'm used to. If it goes well, I'll post pictures of the hat. If it doesn't, I'll post pictures of the mangled yarn and lots of cursing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ah, the small successes...

No one in my knitting group had seen last night's post before we all met up, but I think the spirit was in the air. Or maybe it was just that I walked in waving around my new copy of More Crocheted Aran Sweaters and yelling "SEE? It's CROCHETED!!" And then making puppy-dog eyes until knitters flipped through it and agreed, yes, those are some nice-looking sweaters, and I didn't know you could do that with crochet.

Lest anyone misunderstand, I'm not out to convert knitters to crochet. I figure knitters knit for the same reason I crochet: We like it. I'm just content if they admit that you can make some nice stuff with crochet too and hey, Mad Crocheter, I like that crochet thingy you're working on. If a knitter ever wanted me to show them how to crochet, I'd be thrilled, but I'm not holding my breath.

But somehow the topic of The Crochet Prejudice had been broached, which led to some amusing moments. My favorite was when one knitter said she had done thread crochet a couple decades ago and her 12-year-old daughter's face contorted. "I can't tell if you look interested or horrified," I told her. "A little of both," she replied.

Of course, the best way to show someone how cool crochet is is to hand them a piece of crochet. One knitter was quite taken with a beanie I'd crocheted. In all fairness, the beanie was made out of Di.Ve.' Autunno, which frankly does the work for you (and is sooooo nice and soft and merino-y to work with). This particular colorway (14627, I believe) comes out like stained glass. Hopefully I'll have photographic evidence of a knitter rockin' the crochet hat soon. And that's enough revolution for today. :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm here, and I'm mad

But what are you mad about, Mad Crocheter?

Oh, come on. Don't tell me no one reads Kerouac anymore!

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved. The ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”

But back in the real world...

My family dubbed me the Mad Crocheter last Christmas after watching me crank out a hat in an hour. Sure, they'd known I could crochet -- my grandmothers taught me. But it was only about a year and a half ago that I picked it up again in earnest. And I'm told that I'm fast. Thus, the Mad Crocheter. Kinda like a Mad Scientist, but with less earning potential.

And I am mad for crochet. Sometimes I'll be sitting on the couch with my husband and the cats, him messing with a video game, me crocheting, and out of the blue I'll interrupt the comfortable silence to declare, "I love crocheting!" I love the feel of really nice yarn running through my fingers. I love making something with my own hands. I love doing something that my grandmothers taught me and, though they're both gone now, feeling the connection to them coming down through the years.

But... (isn't there always a but?)...

I AM a mad crocheter. I'm mad that I can't pick up a new crochet hook in my favorite LYS's. I'm mad that Debbie Stoller sold me on Son of Stitch and Bitch by calling it "45 projects to knit and crochet!" when it was more like "41 projects to knit and 4 to crochet!" (Though this is better than what I had actually predicted to my knitting group, which was "42 to knit and 3 to crochet.") I'm mad that there are a zillion wonderful patterns out there for knitters and so few for crocheters! I'm mad that the knitterati write books where they pretend to like crochet so they can get at our money! And most of all, I'm mad that we crocheters are apparently willing to put up with being thought of as second-best!

*deep breath*

Can you tell I spend a lot of time hanging out at the Crochet Liberation Front?

Now that I've got that out, let me say that personally, I've run into very little of the knit prejudice against crochet that's fairly easy to find on the Internet. I'm the only crocheter (so far!) in my weekly knitting group, and the lovely ladies there have never tried to make me feel yarn-inferior. Though frequently when hanging out at the yarn store, knitters often look... puzzled, I guess, as to why I insist on crocheting, especially when they could teach me how to knit in no time.

And the answer is, I love crochet. I truly do. For me it's not just a way to add pretty edging; it's the main course. Call me sentimental, or a creature of habit, or just plain lazy if you want, but there's something about crochet that satisfies my soul, and isn't that why we play with yarn in the first place? Someday I may get bored and take up knitting, but for now, I want to see what I can do with crochet. I think we've barely scratched the surface, and now that I'm on Ravelry and seeing what other crocheters are doing, I'm really excited to see what we can do when we put our heads together. We're more than potholders and ponchos. It's time to share that news.

(And for the lovely ladies in my knitting group, I hope you enjoyed the alternate point of view, and pretty please don't beat me up when I get to the coffee house tonight.)