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Officially A Hooker

Today, with the help of a friend from my LYS Kraft group, I officially became a hooker!

As I wrote about earlier, I bought a starter kit for a adorable granny square crochet blanket and today Erin and I sat down and we (she) figured out the pattern. The Mercerie’s merino yarn is so very pretty and the colors work together really well, it truly is a Happy Crochet Blanket!

It’s fun getting patterns from other countries but sometimes it causes a few problems. For example a double chain stitch in the United Kingdom is a single chain stitch here and their charming half treble stitch is a half double crochet in the US. We wrote it all down, it will be okay.

Also, I find that crochet charts look to me like childhood doodles. This must be my knitting brain speaking!!! Likewise, when I talk about knitting patterns my crocheting friends look at me with abject horror and confusion. It’s really fun to cross over to the other side and try to understand this new skill.

After a bit of fortification, lattes and mimosas, we got started with the pattern and and ended up with two test squares using my largest crochet hooks. Happily my test square looked a lot like hers!

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Then, with lots of gentle encouragement and support, I swapped out to the correct size hook – a 4 mm, also known as G, and tried to duplicate my work using the correct combination of yarns. It took a little bit of time but it worked out just great.

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After my friend left, I had a little snack and started in on square #2 and it went pretty well. I was very pleased with myself that I remembered how to do it when was alone, a true test of whether or not the lesson took hold.

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Actually, I finished a third square, and decided I need to give my neck and back a break and I needed to watch some trashy TV.

Eventually, I will have 600 little squares and they will be crocheted together to look like this:

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After being puffed with pride after conquering the puff stitch, I had some time to do a bit of math. I need to do 600 granny squares to finish this blanket and I think doing three a day is a reasonable goal. That’s roughly 199 days, which means I might be finished with the squares by February 15 of next year. And then I have to seam it all together. What have I done…?

It seems like inordinate amount of work, but the colors are so beautiful, I love the way they look and it’s going to be so much fun to have this on my lap come next winter.

597 to go!

Knitter and Spinner Tweet-up

One of the joys of Twitter is the ability to reach people who have interests in common with your own.  It is fascinating  to chat with people from all across the nation, and planet, on everything under the sun – politics, religion, food, knitting – you name it, we talk about it.

This Saturday we arranged a tweet-up (a meeting of Twitter users) to say hello to Chris aka @VTknitboy who is visiting for the weekend.

Looking for a place that would accommodate 8 – 10 people with good food and tea and that wouldn’t mind if we lingered to chat and knit for a few hours in San Francisco is quite an impossible feat, but we managed to land at ‘wichcraft off  Union Square.  It was so great to meet people in real life for the first time, we all hit it off instantly and it was like being with a group of old friends.
Hanging w @vtknitboy

Chris brought treats for everyone – some of his gorgeous handspun and dyed angora rabbit yarn from his pretty bunnies.  He has a great Etsy shop so you can treat yourself too!  I finally got to show him my Tequila Sunrise hat made out of his gorgeous yarn that I bought from him last winter.  My little gift to him was the amazing jam from Frog Hollow’s famous peaches and some bay leaves from McEvoy Ranch for a little taste of California when he gets home.

Anne – @rrarelyrabbits –  brought treats for everyone to take home, some beautiful undyed llama and alpaca fiber from a friend of hers that is ready to be spun.  It is so interesting to feel the softness of the roving and to see which ones were crimped and which ones had straight hair, and just how truly fluffy these animal’s fiber really can be.  Anne’s dear husband Ron is a non-knitter and still kindly  joined us.  Ron was so gracious and patient to not be terribly bored as we chattered away about all things fiber.

I got to meet Maia – @MaiaSpins – she is an incredible dyer who uses only natural sources for the color,  it was so lovely to meet her!  I saw her shop,  Tactile Fiber Arts, at the Interweave Knits Lab Knitter’s Market but I did not get a chance to chat with her that night, sadly.  Maia  brought spindles for us to play with, gorgeous creations handmade by Spindlewood.  It was fascinating to watch Chris’s expert hands create tiny, perfectly even yarn out of wool pencil batting with these spindles.   We all got to play a bit and learn a few tricks.  Maia brought some lovely yarn and the utterly fascinating silk hankies as a gift for Chris, we all are coveting them.  As a novice/uneducated spinner I totally want to try them!

My dear pal Luna – @LunaRaven13 – our lone hooker of the day (meaning she crochets, *what* were you thinking??) showed off her gorgeous crocheted jewelry and made a pretty lavender and cream ring on the spot just for me.  Thank you!!  It is amazing to see how delicate and intricate her work is, and her rings with beads and crystals were also fantastic.

 Nathan – @knit1eat1 – and his partner Christian arrived a bit later and we welcomed them heartily.  Nathan is such an expert knitter and photographer (look here) and Christian is a fantastic knitwear model and lucky recipient.  We drooled over the grey-flecked sweater Nathan was working on and the gorgeous cabled scarf Christian was wearing.  It was hard to let go of it!

We had a rather disappointing lunch, for those of us who ordered sandwiches that is.  Who knew – if you go to ‘wichcraft be sure to order a salad, they looked amazing.  Afterwards we sat around and did a show and tell of our current projects and the knitted loveliness we were wearing, and worked on our various projects and chatted some more.   It really was such an enjoyable afternoon.

 

 

After crossing Market Street and getting an eyeful of a very peaceful march by the OccupySF group, we strolled over to Fiona’s Sweetshop on Sutter and Kearny for wonderful samples and purchases to enjoy later.  My favorites this time were the Cognac cordials and the dark chocolate covered candied ginger balls.

Sated and buzzing from sugar we visited the amazing Artfibers to check out their gorgeous, unique yarns.  My pick of the day is the Starring yarn, that knits up with droplets of glitter that look like rain on a tropical flower petal, color #4.  It was great fun to sit there and make swatches and watch the sky darken even further over the buildings of Union Square.

Sadly it was time to part and say our farewells.  Luna and I walked Chris back to his hotel and later remarked about what an incredible, vital and creative group of people we just met and now can call them all true friends.

I look forward to seeing everyone again, and especially thank Chris for visiting from Vermont and giving us an excuse to spend time with some local fiber artists that we otherwise might have not met.

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