Sunday, May 6, 2007

How this all began, part 1 - crochet!

I've been crocheting since the winter of 2000/2001. Somewhere, for some reason, I thought it'd be cool to make mittens, and crocheting was easier for me to learn from the internet. I started with a multipack of plastic Susan Bates hooks and a ball of Sugar and Creme. I graduated to Super Saver and a free afghan pattern from Lion Brand that was meant to be made with Homespun.

I have not yet made mittens or anything out of Homespun.

The afghan wound up huge, yellow and navy striped, and very good for University of Michigan fans. Or members of Alpha Chi Sigma, the chemistry professional fraternity. I am neither. It now lives on a loveseat in an uninhabited part of my mother's house, collecting dust and cat hair. Which is kind of sad. I should really take it, wash it, and give it to someone who would use it. Or Warm Up America. Or Goodwill. But it's my first afghan, I can't do that. It will be mine forever.

There have been other things since. Several baby blankets, nylon purses, two other full-sized afghans, countless scarves, including probably thirty or so orange-and-blue stranded mesh ones that the Auburn Democrats wanted to sell for charity. I hope they eventually sold some. A doily or two, and several snowflake christmas ornaments that still haven't been stiffened.

I'm still partial to Susan Bates hooks. Clover ones are good too, but Boye hooks drive me nuts with their pointy barb on the hook. Aluminum and plastic, the bamboo one I used once was not fun.

I love granny squares, after the mathghan they're a favorite way to do things. Plus you get to play Latin squares with them. I'm working on a granny baby blanket right now, and it's going to be a pair of orthogonal Latin squares of order 3. I tried to knit this one, it was going to be my first knitted blanket, but I got bored. And then I got annoyed. So I whipped up a granny and tried to knit into it, and that got annoying too. So now it's just going to be granny squares.

My grandmother taught me enough to make a chain. From her I learned single and double crochets too, but I forgot those throughout the years. I was 21 when I decided I needed to make stuff from yarn, and used her green Learn How book (copyright 1959) as a reference. She made my mom an orange and brown Park Lane afghan when Mom left home, and we had it on the couch in the living room when I was growing up. I was delighted to find the pattern in a library book and still have it on file. When I find the right colors for my home, I'm going to have that afghan in my living room too. But definitely not in orange and brown.

Next time - knitting and its dangers

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