Thursday, February 8, 2007

Twisted Observations, Part II

I really enjoy attending our monthly sessions of "Coffee, Crochet & Chat" held at our local Borders bookstore in Brookfield, CT.
I arrived a few minutes late to find Ruth and Priscilla happily crocheting.  Ruth was putting finishing touches on a baby sweater, and Priscilla was working on a baby blanket.  After a much needed bone-thawing hot chocolate I was ready to crochet too.
I worked on a scarf that is about half-way done; it will be donated come next winter.  This scarf I've been playing with a Lily Chin technique discussed in her new book, Couture Crochet Workshop: Mastering Fit, Fashion, and Finesse, where the rules for the turning chains are thrown out the window and replaced with a much simpler solution: use one chain no matter how tall the stitches will be in the new row.  Of course this technique does take some getting used to, but once in practice, it's a dream!  This scarf I'm crocheting up in extended half-double crochets with this "one chain" rule --there's no bulk on the edges!  I love it!

So, I showed Ruth and Priscilla this little gem and they instantly saw the benefits too!  After a few rows, and with Priscilla, my local Knitting Goddess of Information and Inspiration, beside me, I decided to pull out the knit scarf I was working on at the last "Coffee, Crochet & Chat" session.  Yep, the very same scarf I finally was able to see my twisted stitches in
last month that I have of yet to finish.
Priscilla is so nice.  Rather than tell me it was wrong, she called it a "design element."  I decided to work a few more rows and as I did we discussed my inability to cast on the knitter's way (Mini-Dee has tried to show me so many times!  Poor thing; I bet I'm driving her nuts in trying to figure out all these knitting rules! LOL); I proudly stated that for this scarf I had crocheted a chain first and then picked up the stitches with one of my Grandmother's needles.  "You know, Dee," Priscilla stated, "there is a much easier way to cast on -- and you use your crochet hook to crochet the loops right onto the needle!  This gives the same look from when you start to when you bind off."  (See pictures of Priscilla showing me above.)
I was intrigued!  I asked her to show me and I was totally amazed.  "It's a trick I picked up from watching a program featuring Lily Chin," she said.  Wow.  Here we are, at a "Coffee, Crochet & Chat," sharing tips we both recently learned from Lily.  I tell you, that Lily Chin is AMAZING!!    Maybe I will grasp that cast on thingy after all.  :)

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