Sunday, August 31, 2014

She's An American Girl

This summer I decided to travel light. This meant no bringing half my yarn stash and crochet hooks with me. In all seriousness, I had decided I would take a little vacation from crocheting.  Little did I know that it would take one of my youngest nieces to persuade me to forgo that intended break!  ((I know, what was I thinking??!!??)

My 8-year old niece said her American Girl doll needed a sweater. "Oh!," I replied, "why is that? She lives in Florida, with you. Does it get cold here?"

My niece then filled me in that when she travels on airplanes to visit other places like Colorado or Washington, or Chicago or New York, then yes, Saige, her doll, does indeed need a sweater. "And if you could make it in teal, blue, or purple, she'd really like that."

I had no idea that the two of them were such jet-setters, or that Saige was in such dire need of a sweater. When I returned home for a week I was pleased that my daughter's American Girl, Nikki, was more than happy to stand in while I constructed a couture sweater for Saige. All I had to do was promise Nikki I'd take her to LIU (Long Island University) when I went to pick up Mini~Dee from an Honor Summer Program she attended -- after all, they do have horses there.  (Nikki is the American Girl Doll that has a HUGE love of horses!)

As for me, I loved that Caron's Simply Soft *Paints* had all her favorite colors together in a single skein. The color is called "Oceana," perfect for my niece, our future Marine Biologist. And now that summer is just about over, it is time to ship this sweater off, and to make every attempt to get Tom Petty out of my head.  Enjoy! :)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Suggestion from Reader: Try Knitting Looms

I love hearing from my readers and website visitors. While I was away over the summer taking the kids on various college tours and visits with family, I received quite a few emails from you! Thank you!

One of the emails I received was from Kate. She wrote the following, encouraging me to continue with my knitting adventures:
I enjoyed reading about your forays into knitting with needles! When I was a child, a babysitter tried to teach me to knit, but my brothers would unravel whatever I did, so I never got to learn to cast off. I gave up. A few years ago, I saw some knitting looms at a dept. store chain and bought some. I found using them to be much easier than trying to knit with two needles. I was looking for a nice way to finish off my pieces, so learned how to do a crochet edging. That began my exploration of crochet over the last few months. It was so much easier to learn, I thought, than knitting. I have done some Tunisian crochet and Cro-hooking, in addition to regular crochet. I am still very much a beginner, but enjoy learning it. I was thinking that you might like to try using the round knitting looms and the knitting boards. Knitting boards, as you may know, allow formation of an interesting two-sided fabric ("double knitting"). You can work up big blocks and lengths of fabric, which you could then surround with your lovely crochet techniques.

Kate, thank you for the suggestions. I have tried some of those knitting looms and boards, but for me, I find them a tad slow, mostly because I can't help but compare it to the speed of my crochet stitching which I have a "tad bit more" experience with. However, I do like using my Singer Knitting Machine, especially when I'm looking to craft up some fabric to do some felting with. Turning a crank to bang out several knitted stitches in mere seconds seems to be more my speed; lol. Does this mean I don't have an interest in eventually conquering my fear of the dual needles?  No. Just like with my crocheting, if I keep giving it a try, eventually the lessons will sink in. And who knows, maybe in time I'd actually grow to enjoy it!

I love that you are branching out in learning new things about crochet. Cro-hooking and Tunisian crochet are cousins, relating the worlds of crochet and knit together. Some find that after they master one or both of these crochet techniques that it is easier for them to knit. I would like to add that trying the Amazing Needle technique (now more well known as Knooking) is also a good way for crocheters to give knitting a try.  Thanks for writing in! :)