Last weekend, my husband and I went to meet up with my father in law at the local you-brew place. He was bottling some wine and my husband was giving him a hand. We were going to their place for brunch afterwards, or I would have likely stayed in bed. I was snoozy. Anywho, they didn’t need a third pair of hands and near by there is one of those big box store stip malls containing three types of temptation. A Chapters, a GLobo Shoes and a Michael’s craft store.
I did have a reason to visit the Michaels as I needed to pick up some wool to try and repair a sweater for my father in law. Unfortunately for me, Michael’s puts their jewellery supplies and their cake decorating supplies right by the front door. It takes a lot more will power than I have to walk right past them to the yarn. So here I made my first mistake, I picked up a basket…by the time I reached the wool, I had about 10 strands of glass pearls, blue and white tulip beads (very dutch-looking) and I can’t actually remember what else…hmm…
I did find wool for the sweater repair, though, as well as a book on learning to crochet, three balls of brightly coloured crafting cotton (I am thinking washcloths), a beginner’s cross-stich and new 8mm knitting needles. I was moments away from picking up latch hooking supplies when I realized it was time to make a run for the cash!
So as you may have guessed, and as I believe I mentioned before, I have a bit of crafting ADD, most crafters do, it’s quite common. So I can’t just make jewellery, I have to knit as well, and sew, and scrapbook. etc. etc.
Knitting is probably the craft I have done for the longest. Both my brave grandmothers attempted to teach me how to knit throughout my youth. My Oma, even had a neat rhyme in Dutch to help. Sadly for them, it just didn’t take, I always ended up with strange numbers of stitches and the yarn so tight I couldn’t get the needle through it. It wasn’t until my 20’s that I finally took it up again, and ‘lo and behold, this time it took. I can thank my sister-in-law Carrie for that! She is one of those remarkable women that can turn her hand to any craft and do it well, she has the patience not only to complete any craft, no matter how complex, but is an excellent teacher as well.
So after many many MANY scarves, I finally started to attempt other items, hats etc. I am quite good with baby booties as well. Carrie has always been encouraging me to try more challenging patterns as well, including socks and intricate cables. I wish I had a fraction of her patience. My biggest challenge with knitting (aside from finishing what I start) is guage. Any time I have made a sweater it ends up in a strange size, the only successful one was for my husband, and it took the better part of a year to complete. It had intricately cabled sleeves. I somehow managed to make it too short in both the sleeves and body, but was able to add several inches to it in a matching garter stitch and the good man wears it proudly.
My most recent kniting attpemts include the Rectangela sweater by Berocco, which ended up too short, and too tight and all around horrid, I haven’t had the heart to continue the attempt to dismantle it. As well as the Paulina tank top, also by Berocco, which actually turned out quite well, fit nicely, but is too short in the body, still, making progress.
The thing with guage is that I always figured I should make a smaller size to compensate for my larger knitting, but after some discussion with Carrie she suggested adjusting my needle size instead…aha! This is what I did for Paulina and other than not making the body long enough (I should have added a few more inches), the fit was fine. So now, armed with this knowledge and experience, I am ready for my next knitting challenge. But first, finishing cuff reconstruction on a 40 year old raw wool sweater, learning to crochet and cross-stitch, and many more sparkly episodes.
I have attempted crochet (which I can do with wire and beads no problem) as well as cross-stitch before, but with little success. This however is not enough to stop me. I am always willing to give a craft I have failed at another try.
You can call it determination or gluttony for punishment if you like, it could go either way. 😉