Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Knee deep in Archimedes

Is it Wednesday; really? Where does time go? Aside from sulking about the economy issues (my Mr. Dee's employer has announced an 80% layoff plan, so we're waiting for the yarn to hit the fan, so to speak), I have been busy being Mini~Dee assistant for her math project. My job, as she worked on her display poster, was to pepper her with questions, preparing her to answer possible questions she may be asked about Archimedes.

Prior to this, I had suggested she pick Daina Taimina who ignited the world recently with her coral reef exhibit, using crochet to teach hyperbolic mathematics. Mini~Dee decided she did not want to include crochet in her project, so after a long while at researching possible candidates, she picked Archimedes.

Archimedes was a guy who lived for math. He spent his life coming up with new concepts and formulas. He figured out Pi, levers, and, as my daughter puts it, he figured out today's fashionable mobius. Yes, she put that in her report, complete with a figure made of pipe cleaners wearing a mobius she made out of ribbon trim! LOL

Now she is considering bringing in the crocheted mobius (pictured on left) I designed earlier this year -- so the kids would have something tangible they could see and touch to grasp the concept of a circle with two useable sides. Naturally, I'm thinking she should crochet one on her own, or one we could both work on together, so she can give it to her teacher for Christmas. We'll see.

My lesson to Mini~Dee ... no matter how much you try to escape it, math is crochet. And crochet is math. :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

2009 CGOA National Conference

It was announced this morning on the Crochet Partners group (on Yahoo) that the 2009 Chain Link/CGOA National Conference will be held in Buffalo, NY, August 5th - 9th. (There are no official announcements on the CGOA's website, but they did post more pictures from the 2008 conference.)

For me, that's a six hour ride (2 hours further away than Manchester, NH) -- and it's also a kick in the pants to get my passport since Niagra Falls is just a 20 minute ride away -- as well as the Canadian border.

I was just reading a news article yesterday that they expect a huge rush of folks trying to beat the new law requiring you have a passport to travel to our neighbors, Canada and Mexico. And this means that naturally I'm going to want to now about local Canadian yarn shops to visit ...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dictionary of Fashion

Have you watched the new tv reality series, Stylista, yet? If not, that's OK. It's a show based on a group of people trying to win a job at Elle magazine. Along with the usual behaviors associated with reality series, this one provided an interesting tidbit: during one of the challenges all of the participants were given a dictionary. Not any old dictionary -- but a FASHION DICTIONARY! I had no idea such a thing existed. So I hopped on Amazon, looked it up and decided to order the The Fairchild Dictionary of Fashion!

It arrived yesterday and it is FILLED with lots of fantastic information. Naturally the first word I looked up was crochet:

Crochet: (kro-shay') 1. Fabric made from a continuous series of loops of yarn made with a single hooked needle. Originally developed in the 16th c. as an inexpensive method of creating a lacelike fabric. Modern textile machinery can create fabrics that have the appearance of crochet.
2. Adjective used to describe apparel made by crocheting.
3. Term used from 14th to 17th c. for a hook or fastener, e.g., a hook attached at woman's waist for suspending a pomander, or a fastener on a shoe.

The first thing from that definition that popped out at me is that it states crochet dates back to the 1600s -- not the 1700s as most other resources note. (Personally, my jury is still out on this one. I'm still trying to find information on my mummy ...)

The second thing I noticed was "modern textile machinery can create the appearance of crochet" ... which means they have of yet to invent a machine that CAN crochet. Just because it has the appearance of crochet doesn't mean it is crochet! So this means crochet remains a fiber art form that MUST be made entirely by hand!

The third was a great explanation on why I keep seeing button fasteners on eBay listed as crochet hooks. Really, crochet hooks and button fasteners are not the same thing. To be sure, I looked up pomander. Pomanders were balls of fragrant herbs and/or flowers worn at the waist from the 1500s to nearly the 1700s. OK, good to know.

After checking out crochet I decided to flip through the book and pick a word at random; I landed on "godet."(pronounced "go-day') It's the name of the inserts I used in designing the pink & white skirt for my daughter! Way cool. I can see this book will become a very valuable addition to my reference book collection. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

America is in for a change

Karen said it best this morning: "I woke up this morning to the news that Barrack Obama is our new president & Dee is knitting?!?" Amazing, right? Who knew I'd be in the national news? (wink wink)

Yes, not only have I been knitting, but I am also attempting to write my very first knit pattern! So far I have "Cast on 36" written down. Now I need to figure out the k1, p1 lingo, then test it out. If it works, I'll share the pattern here. It's for a preemie cap.

What made knitting finally "click" for my crochet oriented brain? I'm thinking it's all that tinkering I've done with the Amazing Needle, Priscilla's cheering me on, and me finally figuring out that I can use crochet terms/concepts to get my hands actually making stitches with two sticks rather than just one. Obama was right; America is in for a change -- Dee IS knitting! LOL to celebrate, I went nuts over on eBay winning this auction:

I figure if I'm going to be knitting, then I'll need the toys, er tools, that go with it.

Does this mean I am abandoning crochet? Absolutely not!!

What it does mean is that I'm experimenting with becoming bi-textural. -- And, that I can finally give Mini~Dee back her knitting needles.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Paleontology Discoveries

We spent yesterday at the Peabody Museum located in New Haven, CT, where Dee Jr. was a competitor in the 11th Paleo-Knowledge Bowl. Knowing the day had a lot of downtime (waiting) involved, I decided I would attempt to knit up a scarf for the 60 Scarves in 60 Days challenge.

Using Margaret's cast on method, I cast on 20 stitches and set to work. Mini~Dee again noted I was creating my stitches wrong and tried several times to correct me. But it was no use. I was enjoying what I was doing, even though it was wrong. My stitches were even, and better yet -- NOT twisted as they have been in past attempts. Mini~Dee just shook her head at me.

Soon, a woman approached me. "Hi Dee," she said, "you may not remember me, but we met at a school function and you encouraged me to go to the Internet for some crochet patterns." I did remember her and gave her a big smile while finishing the row of stitches I was working on. "Well," she continued, "you created a monster out of me! I've been crocheting nonstop ever since!" Then she looked at what I was doing and she got a puzzled look on her face. "Dee, are you knitting?!"

I laughed. Indeed I was. And in public! I explained that I'm trying to learn (again). Maybe I'll eventually be able to combine the two fiber art forms for some really creative projects. She agreed that it's a good idea to know both. "You know, I learned how to knit first," she confessed, "but I like the speed of crochet so much better." I invited her to one of our meetings; I hope she comes.

Time went by when I was approached by another woman. "I was watching you through the reflection in the display glass and had to come see what you are doing. Do you mind if I sit with you and watch?" I explained to her that I'm trying to learn how to knit and so my form/style may not be correct as my daughter has already informed me. And so she went into her bag, pulled out her own knitting project and knitted while she watched me.

"Ah," she said, "you don't knit wrong. You knit Scandinavian. I've watched the Scandinavian's knit that way, and they make the most beautiful lace with the tiniest of needles!" I was in shock; I knit Scandinavian? I'm knitting in a way that is comfortable to me and is NOT wrong?? Whew!! I felt like doing the Snoopy dance! We continued to sit together for quite awhile, stitching and chatting. By the end of the day my charity scarf was nearly 3/4 done! I invited her to join us for a meeting sometime too.

It turns out Paleontology discoveries can be quite educational! :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Welcome to the High Wire Act

It was late last night when I revealed a reoccurring dream to my husband. The first time I was driving on a seemingly familiar road late at night. Eventually I passed a gray building on my left that was set low into the hillside to the point where my attention was distracted because you could easily see into the 2nd floor windows while driving by. The building had a familiar feel to it. I am unsure if it was a yarn shop. However, once I took my eyes off the building I realized I was at a dead end. I came to an immediate stop with plenty of distance between me, the brick wall, and the cliff behind it. I remember being terrified.

The second time I dreamed this dream I left my attention on the building even longer. By the time I was able to stop my vehicle the nose was touching the brick wall. Again I was terrified.

The third time I was unable to stop. I crashed through the brick wall and felt myself falling down the long cliff. Not a pleasant feeling to awake to.

My husband, who listened to these details from my reoccurring dream, said it all made sense. He said they all revolve around the AOL issue: The first time I was able to stop in time. This meant I felt I had plenty of time to move all my material from AOL. The second time was me feeling the pressure of the move, that time was running out but I could still save everything. The third was feeling the loss that I although I moved/saved what I could, the event was out of my control and that I wouldn't be able to save everything in time. I would be free falling, relying on the new hosts for my blog and website, hoping my fans find me without too much trouble.

I think Mr. Dee hit the nail on the head with this interpretation. I was not able to save everything, and AOL did just as they said they would. They closed every website and journal they hosted, and cleared out the FTP space as well. I was there for 10 years.

Starting today, it's a new chapter, a new adventure. No safety harness, no safely net. Last night's dream was about chocolate. Sweet, dark and rich chocolate. It could have been due to all the candy I enjoyed eating from the kids Trick or Treating. Or it could mean, this change was meant to be and that I will see it as a delicious experience. I think it was the latter; it was meant to be. That said, let me officially welcome everyone to the NEW CrochetingWithDee blog and website. May our new adventure together be as satisfying as treating ourselves to our favorite chocolate bar, or yarn. Or both. :)