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Posts Tagged ‘Crafts’

Receiving flowers from a friend’s garden.

Thank you Amy!

Zinnias from Amy

Entertaining the perfect guest.

Pichu stayed with us for four whole days!

Pichu 2

Finding a pony at Herman’s Produce.

Was he in a parade?

Horse of Hay

 

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Sixteen Year Old Dor Plays Old Lady in On Borrowed Time

Sixteen Year Old Dor Plays Old Lady in On Borrowed Time

This is the story of an old-er lady who is learning to follow needlework patterns and to crochet (or knit) in curves.

Here’s me (Dor) 16 years old, acting in the role of a grandma.  It was a play we did in high school called On Borrowed Time.  They had to put chalk in my hair and painted in forehead lines to achieve a grandmotherly look (no need for all that now of course and I really am “on borrowed time!”).  But as you can see, I was trying to knit even then!

An Old Girl’s Stitching Saga

 It is much later but I can finally wield a crochet hook with professional verve.  The problem is I  only stitch in a straight line.  That means a whole lot of scarves.  Everybody I know has received a Handmade-by-Dor SCARF (or 2 or 3)!  The Oooohs and Ahhhhs are dwindling.

Hoping to finally conquer this Handiwork Handicap, I  recently took a Crochet Class at The Stitchin’ Post – in Lexington, Virginia.  It was a grandly happy experience!

My new group of young, crafty (no pun intended) knitting friends cheered for my progress on a market bag, and claimed, “You are intermediate material.”   As you can imagine, I was feeling pretty smug.

You can do anything now Dor.

 You are an “Intermediate.”

You could even make a shawl!

And the experts at The Stitchin’ Post found a pretty shawl pattern for me to try next.

But, even after

  • discussion,
  • re-instruction,
  • ripping,
  • reworking,
  • ripping,
  • reworking,
  • and finally ripping,   I never got past Row #4.
  • Translation: The pattern said “intermediate” but was really “advanced” – right?

HMMMMM.

MAYBE A DIFFERENT PATTERN WOULD HELP.

The ever helpful stitching gurus found a new pattern, this time for beginning intermediates.

And I went home again, still smugly thinking, “What a cinch this is gonna be!  They are in for such a surprise!”

The second shawl did grow.

It grew bigger -and bigger- into the upside down shape of a Superman CAPE!  Obviously there were some weird mistakes made somewhere.

The rather unfashionable cape was good for Halloween and a lot of  laughs from the girls, but o.k.,

I’m all for joy.

So my helpful friend, Dymph, ripped it all out, which left me guess where?  With two big balls of yarn.

The dedicated knitting gurus would not give up either, and insisted there would be a finished shawl “no matter what.”

TRIAL NUMBER THREE

This time we added a pointed bottom to the second pattern.  Ellie crocheted the first five rows to get it started, and off I went again, thankful for the patience of lovely people, and with only slightly lower personal expectations.

The new piece grew exponentially (I have been looking for a place to use that word),  and admittedly, it almost looked like a shawl.  Well, almost.

And the Almost-Shawl could only be described as “grossly misshapen.”

Thankfully, my friends at the Stitchin’ Post have never seen this one. (I’m rather sorry I saw it too.)

SELF ANALYSIS AND MUTTERING:

“Maybe it will look better with blocking if I knew how to block.”

“No, it’s too long in back and too short in front.”

“Take a picture of this third attempted shawl for your blog.”

“No, it’s too embarrassing.”

So I ripped it all out and was down once again to the original two balls of yarn (now looking a bit on the tattered side).

UNDAUNTED

TRIAL NUMBER FOUR

Yes, I am still  grimly determined to crochet a shawl  and now on Row #5 of a new pattern.  That is called “one-row-progress”

The goal now is to use up all that stretched, frayed, ripped out yarn.  Forget preserving the Intermediate Status.

Happily, the new pattern is for a straight and narrow scarf,

but I will just keep stitching until it looks like a shawl.

I am ashamed, forlorn, and embarrassed, but I will return to the Stitchin’ crowd later to show them the final frayed creation.  For now though, I am sticking to the straight and narrow.

Dor on Right - Old Lady Knitting in Play, On Borrowed Time

Dor on Right – Old Lady Knitting in Play, On Borrowed Time

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Interior of The Stitching Post,  Lexington, VA

” Interior of The Stitching Post, Lexington, VA

Today was the first day of Beginner’s Crochet Class!

I realize I may be too old to be a “beginner” at anything, but trying something new may stave off brain freeze.

Oh, maybe sky diving would be more daring, but meeting new people and learning new things are more than enough to stir up my somewhat sluggish metabolism and might even stimulate the  close to dead imagination.

With growing excitement this afternoon I made my way to The Stitching Post in  downtown Lexington, Virginia. There I met five ladies who were all dedicated to conquering a single hooked needle and a skein of yarn (note how I am already into the “lingo”).

We are all making the same thing with the same weight yarn.  And we are all novices in one way or another.

I was reminded of the ladies in olden days who sat in a sewing circle of peaceful contemplation while their men were out hunting and gathering.  It was not long before I realized this totally relaxed group was making me smile.

We were all struggling in different ways:

“My hand keeps cramping up!” said one sweet lady.  And no matter how our teachers tried to tell her different ways to relax her hand, she kept saying, “My pinkie is cramped and I can’t un-cramp it.”

“Can you see which hole to put this in?”

“Litle V’s?”

“I don’t see any little V’s.”

“A half double croche huh?  Ha!”

“Make it looser?”

“I have to count the V’s?  How many?”

“Every time I count it I get a different number.”

We were all beginning to giggle a little and then talked of homey things like what to make for dinner and a husband’s sprained ankle, and where the knitting club meets.

I have been invited to sit in on knitting club sessions even though I can’t knit.  Talk about a diversified unprejudiced group!

I do feel so very welcomed by these strangers, and for over an hour they were delightful company.  We are all making a market bag.  The end results should be as varied as their makers.  But what our completed bags will reflect is the coming together of sweetly pleasant people engaged in creatively pleasant activity on a delightfully pleasant Sunday afternoon.

 

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