Thursday, April 29, 2010

Where Do You Knit or Crochet?

For those that have not, as of yet, been daring enough to bring their knitting or crochet out of the house and into the streets, this is for you.

That is my favorite thing about knitting and crochet; I can take it almost anywhere. And the projects come in different sizes so you have lots to choose from as to what you could work on. Since I always have several projects going on, I keep my projects that I need to concentrate on at home and I bring out those that don't require much thinking.

What are some of the places I take my projects? I told you that I volunteer at the Turtle Back Zoo. Well, I use to go to our monthly meeting and just listen. Then I saw someone else working on their knitting project. I just didn't think about it. I would bring reading to do because I would get there early, so there was waiting time. But I wasn't daring enough, for some reason to bring my projects. After seeing one of my fellow docents bring her knitting, which got me going. Now I bring it to every meeting and I do it before the meeting and during the meeting.

My aunt has been sick so I was taking her back and forth to different doctors. She asked me if I would mind. Of course not, I have my projects to work on as I wait. One time at the doctor's office the receptionist said to me, "I didn't even know you were here." I told her, "Just give me a corner and my crafts and I am good to sit and wait anywhere for any length of time."

Then there are times I wait, like at the dentist office, in line at a store, at a restaurant when meeting friends and at knit and crochet groups. I am a member of the Navesink Knitters Guild, so everyone is knitting or crocheting at that meeting -of course. There are times, not that often, that I am not driving, the projects are with me. My favorite is on public transportation. I use to go to New York a couple times a month, the projects and reading came along and made the trip so much more enjoyable. I have had several enjoyable conversations because I was working on a project.

I have a friend that was also displaced from her job, so we would take walks in the park for our exercise. After exercising I would sit in the park and work on my projects and do some reading - very relaxing. I multi-task, while I am talking on the telephone I work on a project. And believe it or not, while I am reading my emails (I taught myself how to knit and read – just knitting stockinette or garter stitch pattern). I get through a lot more emails as I do my straight knitting. I’m also building a skill.

I want to encourage more public knitting (KIP - Knitting In Public) and crochet. I always carry a bag with a project or two in it. One reason is, I never know where or when I will have to wait. It takes all the stress out of waiting. There have been several times I had my knitting in the car and I go in somewhere just to find out that there is a wait. I go back to my car to get my knitting and I can wait for hours while others are pacing or showing that impatient look and snarling. I’m just as happy and content. And it is a great conversation starter.

I can remember one time when there was a car accident one evening on my way home. I was so close to home, yet so far. The traffic was backed up and we were stuck on a bridge for an hour, as we waited for them to take care of the accident. I was tired that night but I was not going to waste that time. So I took the opportunity to clean out my supply bag, read, and of course, work on a project. Time flew for me, but not for the others as I watched them pacing and getting upset.

I always have a bag of something. Yes, I have been called ‘bag lady’, but baby I am not stressed, I’m just as calm, cool and collective. It's a beautiful thing.

So how many places can you name that you take your projects? Go on and make a list and see if you can add to that list by taking your projects out more.

What's on my needles?

Well, I wanted to cheer up a friend that is going through a very tough time. I am making her a lap blanket. I took the pattern stitch from the book, "200 ripple stitch patterns" by Jan Eaton. This is really a great book for a variety of ripple patterns you can create. The pattern stitch I chose is called 'Allsorts'. For those that are new at taking a pattern stitch and creating your project, here is what I did:

I picked out the yarn that I wanted to use. In this case, I am using Acrylic Loops & Thread - Impeccable, worsted weight yarn. The needle size is #8 circular. Then the question is, what size I want to make this lap blanket. I wanted the width to be about 45" and the length I would determine as I go along. The stitch multiple is 16 sts + 2. I estimated and multiplied 16 x 10 = 160 + 2 extra sts. That's what is great about creating your own pattern; you have the option of size. With blankets I don't usually worry about gauge because it is not something that needs to fit. If I wanted to make this an exact size, and to see how the pattern looks, I would make a gauge swatch in pattern for at least four repeats, measure to see how many inches one pattern is then multiply for the width. I used a knit cast-on (co) for 162 stitches. I followed the stitch pattern which already gives an extra stitch on each side in garter so as not to have it curl and I'm off to the finish line. I will post the end result when I am done.

I also wanted to try a crochet project with crochet cables. I did this blanket from a free on-line pattern. I knew it was going to be small but now I am thinking about a border that I would like to add. Time and thinking will tell what I choose. I will post again when I am done.

If you have any questions about the projects, just send a comment.

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