Spent the better part of yesterday trying to teach myself to knit. Funny things that one's mind recalls. While reading books, I've been attempting this two handed cast-on. I checked out some online demos that Donna at Yarn Tomato recommended at Common Threads and lo and behold I knew how to do the two tail cast-on. Amazing. I'm a casting on bandit. The only time I remember anyone teaching me to knit I was about 8 yrs old and this must have been the cast on I was taught. Then the knit/garter stitch seemed to flow ok. I need to get my stitches more even but I'm pretty happy with that. Purling, ahhh, the bane of my existence right now. I can't get my mind and hands to wrap around the technique for this stitch. It just views it as wrong. Even with the demo I'm not getting it. I'm hoping for one of those, "Alright, I get it now!" moments with this stitch when it just kind of falls into place with enough practice.
While talking to my mom yesterday she mentioned that when she was younger, before she met my dad, she used to embrodier on pillowcases. Her birthday is today and being the bad daughter that I am I have not sent a gift yet because other than a carton of cigarettes I had no clue what to buy her. So now I'm going to run out and buy her some pillowcases and the threads and needles and a hoop so that maybe she can pick up a hobby. I worry about her so much. I'm a loner. I know how depression and worry can take over your life. I asked her why she quit and she said, "I had a family, started working, just no time." I told I would shrivel up and die if I didn't have a project going. I can't decide how she feels about it. I know she thinks I spend way too much money on my "stitching". I know she thinks my house ought to be cleaner. Instead of sitting around working on whatever project I'm working on, that time could be better spent mopping, scrubbing the toilet, etc. But maybe if I could help reclaim the joy, the relaxation one gets from handwork, maybe she'd feel better about a lot of things. She does appreciate the time and work that goes into a project. She said it's been 40 yrs since she's touched a needle. I remember the few years I was lost in the pit of depression and didn't touch a needle, six years to be exact, and they were the worst years of my life. I know now that when I don't want to touch a needle, that's when I need to force myself to pick it up and work on something. It's my salvation. It keeps me sane.
We're going to go yard sale hopping this morning. I'm in search of shelves and/or an old entertainment center that I can use in the bedroom to organize my stash. I'd like to have my yarns out where I can see what I have instead of having to dig through Rubbermaid totes in the garage. I don't have a huge yarn stash. I tend to buy for projects as I start them. Although I have several lists in my purse for various afghans from several different sources but none of the yarn seems to be available locally so I may end up ordering from catalogs. I need a central location for my charts, magazines, books. A place to keep all my WIP organized, you get the picture. My stuff is all over the house. Right now looking around the living room, I have one of those rectangle shaped fold out tables piled up with yarn for my 63 Squares afghan, several books and magazines, the Ace hardware bag holding my twine for my crochet box from Simple Crochet, the beginnings of a Red Heart Gemstone and Black afghan thanks to Krissy at Crafty Blog for the inspiration. I had tons of Gemstone left over from a previous project. On top of the cedar chest there is a pile of cross stitch projects pulled from their baggies waiting for my attention. I keep thinking if I put them away I'll never touch them again. In the corner by the back door is my scrapbooking case and piled on one of the shelves in the living room are all my new albums that I purchased during JoAnn's Craft Month sale for the scrapbooking I have yet to get around too. In my bedroom, you can't see the top of my dresser, the ironing board is buried and there's a stack of books and charts that I like to read before bed on the floor by my side of the bed. The clutter has finally won. I have got to take control before we are trapped in the house forever because we can't find the doors because of the piles of stuff.
Frustration at Walmart
But what do I expect? I want to start this afghan from Simple Crochet. Here's Pinku's finished throw The one in the book is crocheted using a med. rose, an orange and an ecru. Yes I did write orange. It's very cool. I want to use these colors. I've been searching high and low looking for just the right colors and wanted to make it using something other than Red Heart. Here's what I've learned, in my area there isn't anything other than Red Heart. I wandered around Walmart for about an hour. They had these promotional balls of a nice cotton from Bernat, I think that was the manufacturer. Really soft, the rose color was just perfect and they had 10 balls. I started to scoop them up and walked around with them in my basket for a long time, I then put them back. Then I looked at the Simply Soft yarn. I found a rose(it was called plum on the label but it was a rose), but the off white was too yellow for me and there was no orange. I tried the Baby Soft colors. Baby pink, no off white, definitely no orange. I tried the Peaches & Creme. Found ecru, combined it with the soft Bernat cotton, no way would that work. Ended up tossing everything back. Drove over to JoAnn's and found out I was better off at Walmart. I'm hoping to make a road trip over to Micheals and Hobby Lobby but it's an all day outing. I really shouldn't spend the money now anyway, but I'd love to have it all kitted up and waiting for me when I'm ready to start. I had read on someone's blog that they were using Sugar & Cream for an afghan and the dishcloths I crocheted are really soft, so maybe I'll just order some Sugar & Cream for this afghan.
Don't get me wrong. I'm no yarn snob. I'll crochet with anything. I just wanted something a little softer for this afghan, just like I'd want something softer for a shawl. I did discover a LYS, but they really didn't have a lot of choices. I'm going to go back when I have more time and maybe there I can find the colors I want for this afghan but I seriously doubt it. They definitely carry more "traditional" colors. The only wild colors they had were in the funky fibers for scarves.
I want to make a shawl too. I've seen some beautiful shawls on knitter's sites, Rock Chick's Laurel Canyon Shawl and here's the back view then I saw Xtreme Knitting's Charlotte's Web Shawl my fingers started itching to make one, and then I thought, "What purpose would it serve? There are other things I want to work on." Then last night, sitting outside waiting on the dog to do her business, I was freezing and ran in the house and grabbed the afghan off the couch, and then that little light bulb went on, I need a dog watching shawl. There I have my reason and it's now a necessity.