Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's done, it's done!

I first learned how to crochet when I was almost five.  My mother was expecting my sister, and she would sit in the afternoons and crochet granny squares for an afghan.  I always wanted to be doing whatever she was doing, so I harrassed her continually until she gave me my own hook and some yarn and showed me how to do it.  When I became very proficient in the chain stitch, and started chaining my chains, I graduated to single crochet.  The first real project I remember clearly was making a custom blanket/cape for a stuffed dog when I was in the hospital with apecdicitis at the age of 6.  Before long, my mother taught me how to read patterns, mainly because she was tired of having to show me everything one by one, and I was off and running.

Shortly thereafter, I learned how to embroider.  The crewel phase was in full swing, and I still have a box full of framed stitchery, along with some very nice pillowcases complete with crocheted edgings.  There were a lot of crafts that came in and out during this time.  Plastic canvas, origami, sewing, and rag weaving just to name a few.  Over the years, I went throught papercraft, soapmaking, making my own lotion and cosmetics, candlemaking, decoupage, stained glass, and jewelry making.  And of course, there was flower arranging and cake decorating, frequently combined.  I worked in a floral shop for a while, and for a period of time I made swags (it was a 90s thing) for everyone I knew.  By request, of course. 

At the age of 8, I decided it was time to learn how to knit.  My mother did not knit, so I checked a book out of the library and taught myself.  I spent a good portion of my childhood knitting and crocheting along with many other kinds of crafting. I used to have what I called "starting moods" and "finishing moods."  I would become very passionate about a project, usually an afghan (I made a lot of those growing up), and I would work on it furiously for days or weeks.  Then my mood would change and I would need a new craft for a while.  I would get the itch for something new, or I would have an idea that I absolutely had to try, and the old project would be set aside, sometimes for months or even years at a time.  After a while the finishing mood would strike, and I would dig out a project and work until it was done.  I have one afghan that I call the five-year afghan.  I only worked on it when I was home sick from work or school, so it took me five years to finish :) (Aran crochet in panels, and to this day one of my favorite pieces even if it is made of acrylic yarn).

For along time, I was all about the crochet.  I did afgans, clothing, baby blanket edgings, baby sweaters and booties, lace, and sold a number of sculptural crochet pieces during my late high school and early college years.  A few years ago, however, I suddenly had an urge to return to knitting.  About a year later, I finally caught the sock bug (I will confess this is mainly because I fell in love with sock yarn and had to break down and make socks to justify buying it), and I have been all about the knitting ever since.  I don't know if it is because I am leaning towards smaller projects, or if I am more focused in my old age, but I tend to finish one project before moving onto the next one now, with a few rare exceptions.  I will admit, if a project is left siting, seaming is usually involved...

About a year ago, I stared my first big piece of lace--Jarod Flood's "Willoughby."  I got about one third of the way around the edging, also known as the really tedious part, and I had to put it down for a while.  Then a while turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and well, you get the idea.  A few weeks ago, I got hit with a burst of "finishing energy"--you know, that mad urge to wrap a project up.  And, if I am perfectly honest, this was also partially motivated by the fact that I really wanted my #6 lace needles for another project.  At any rate, I picked it up, and I worked on it a little, then a little more, and on a plane trip from Bogota to Caracas, I finally made some major progress.  Then from Caracas to Boston, via Houston, I finally finished it.  I am so very happy to have this done once and for all, and I truly love the piece.  Here it is in blocking.  Yeah, me!

Now, the down side is that I found all sorts of horrendous mistakes in the first few repeats of the border, and I am horrified I did not rip them back right when I started.  Normally, I would try to fix them even at this point, but there is no way in--you know what--I am going to take out the whole border.  So I will just remember to wear it mistake-side down.  But it will still always bug me...


  1. congrats it's beautiful and amazing! I look forward to seeing it draped after blocking :)

  2. Thank you so much! I do have a couple of draping pictures, so I will post those soon.