Thursday, February 19, 2009

Inspiration Arrives

I got some inspiration for my thread crochet in the mail today. This was ordered from

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Process or Product

People love to categorize. Needleworkers (like knit and crochet) seem to be divided into two camps - process and product. I never really thought much about it. Actually, I thought it was kind of silly given that if you didn't like the process, why would you even bother? But after asking for suggestions from my group of talented and creative peeps at the freeform crochet yahoo group as to what to do with my thread crochet windfall (see previous post), I had to pause. One member said to just jump in and start scrumbling and figure out what it would be later.

I don't think I can do that.

This got me thinking about process vs. product. I love to knit and crochet. I love challenging myself with new techniques, I love yarn, I love pattern books, I love knitting/crocheting with others or by myself. But that one suggestion made me realize, I am not a process knitter/crocheter. If I start a project just to have a project and I am not particularly interested in or like what I am making or have no idea of what it will be, chances are pretty good that the project will never get finished. I will eventually lose interest and unravel it. I am a product knitter, although I don't know if "product" is the right word. I am more of a goal-oriented knitter. My goal could be a sweater or it could be to try a new stitch or learn a new technique. Either way, I do not like to knit or crochet just for the sake of doing it. I like for there to be a beginning, middle and end. And when it is done, I like to bask in the glow of my creation (assuming it turned out well...)

Sometimes, it can be very frustrating to be a product knitter. There are times when I am itching to start a new project and nothing is inspiring me. I get antsy, like a smoker who's trying to quit cold turkey. I look for inspiration - a pattern, a yarn - something to fire up my creative juices. But then again, this "research" phase is also part of the fun and I can't imagine not doing it.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sweet Treats and New Challenges

I love to bake, which is a good thing since I have decided to cut down on prepackaged foods. I had a bunch of bananas going bad so I made banana chocolate muffins for breakfast.

I'll admit, they are more chocolatey than banana but they are better than any of those sugar-coated cereals because they don't have nearly the sugar and they are preservative-free. Oh, who the hell am I kidding. These are probably just as bad but what's the point in living longer if you can't splurge every once in a while. I'm all about moderation. I made a second batch of plain banana muffins that I took out half the sugar the recipe called for, substituted oat flour for part of the all-purpose flour and threw in some flax for a nutritional punch. My son still loves them.

My new challenge: over 30 balls of thread crochet given to me

This will be a long-term project. Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

This one's for mother earth

Reduce, reuse and recycle is the mantra of the new millenium and I have been taking steps to do so. I reuse alot, given my love of thrift stores and garage sales. Most of my wardrobe has been either thrifted or made by me and most of my furniture has been thrifted or picked up at garage sales, Craig's List, etc. I also recycle. I can't say that I am 100% good about it but I would say I'm at 75%. But I haven't done much about reducing. So I decided to work on that area and I am starting with our food.
When you think about it, most of your waste is associated with food. Not only is there the packaging but the bags and then scraps from leftovers, etc. So my first step was to cut out the bags. So I dug in my stash and found a couple of yards of lightweight denim (cost=free) and sewn up 5 basic totes. I already had one tote so now I have a total of 6, with the one dedicated just for meat (don't want to contaminate the fruits and veggies). As soon as they were done I put them in my car so I have no excuse not to use them.
Then I thought about packaging. I try to buy fresh fruits and veggies so instead of using the plastic bag the grocery store provides, I am crocheting net bags. I hope to do at least two, one for fruits and one for veggies. I also decided that I am going to plant some container gardens. I was going to dedicate one of my beds to a veggie garden but I decided to start small. It's all about baby steps. Another thing I am going to do to reduce waste is to cook fresh - not buy so many prepackaged foods. This, of course, will have the side effect of actually making my family healthier because we will be eating better.
Finally, I am going to compost. I actually have a compost bin that I made out of a plastic storage tub but the holes that I drilled in it for venhilation are too big and have attracted some uninvited guests. So I am going to have to start over and drill smaller holes. It's amazing the amount of things you can compost outside of the obvious table scraps (no meat or fats, please) like dryer lint and toilet paper tubes.
To sum up:
  1. Bring your own bags when you go shopping.
  2. Buy or grow fresh/bulk to avoid prepackaged foods
  3. Compost

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Late to the party

I'm on Ravelry now at knit1gal.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Crochet Detective

At a recent thrift store hunt, I bought this beautiful crochet top. Not only is it very soft and drapes nicely, it fits perfectly.

But that is not the only reason why it appeals to me. This top appears to have been crochet in one piece in the round using a clever decreasing of double crochets (I am guessing) in the chevron pattern to achieve the shaping.

So now I am looking at this pattern and trying to decipher just how it was done. I am finding the process rather fascinating as I try to chart out the pattern. The bottom pictures shows the underarm patterning.

I've always been a fan of puzzles and I can't wait to break the code on this one!