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Posts Tagged ‘Crochet’

Photo from www,weightliftingacademy.com

Photo from www,weightliftingacademy.com

Some of my favorite bloggers are consistent about posting the events of the week and I can never come up with anything much to write about.  Here’s another try though, since this week was fairly busy.

I hit the gym on Monday!

I know that conjures up images of treadmills and weight lifting, but can we please count “Chair Yoga?”  What is Chair Yoga?  Well, it’s yoga done mostly sitting or holding onto a chair.  I know that makes me sound on the decrepit side, but it’s a beginning for final recuperation of the BigFoot.

I have forgotten Tuesday;

except I think we had dinner at the Pink Cadillac with good friends.  The rest of the day was spent elevating the BigFoot to recuperate from the gym.

Midweek featured a monthly outing with my friend, Norma,

only this time our outing was in town (Lexington, Virginia).    We stopped at Southern Girls, a wonderful decorating and design shop that makes me want to trash everything in the house and start over.

We also stopped by The Stitchin Post to pick up some yarn!  I am a novice crochet-er even though I have been crochet-ing since early childhood.  Never really learned to read patterns, but finally found one that yields “curly scarves” that everyone seems to like.  My dental hygienist (Chancee – isn’t that a beautiful name?) said she would like to have one of those curly scarves so she will have it when I go for teeth cleaning in April.

Today I hit the gym again but skipped the barbells of course.

And that my friends, constitutes a pretty full week – at least for this old country gal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In case you were hoping for an end to Dor’s Shawl Saga, this is it folks.  This is it!

The first real shawl ever made with these two hands and nimble fingers is complete!  Hurrah!

The shawl pin has been added too.  Look closely and I promise you will see it.

And at the risk of scaring anyone who expected to see a star-like beauty, here is the poster child sporting her new shawl creation.  Don’t run off yet!  There is just a little bit more……….

Dor in First Hand Crocheted Shawl

The pin does  get lost in all that glowing prideful beauty and in the middle of all those holy holes though doesn’t it?

I therefore took the liberty of pinning it to another handmade item at The Stitchin’ Post, so you can see how lovely the pin really is.  I am calling this photo of the pin an “off-body experience.”  If you are interested, Shawl Pins and other magnificent silver jewelry can be found at Jen Letter, Silversmith.

A CloseUp of the Shawl Pin

Then I added the pin to another completed shawl (not mine), done by Pat Egan, an obvious knitting expert.  That shawl (not including the pin of course) is for sale at The Stitchin’ Post for $130.  There are often amazing things offered at this exciting little shop at 117 South Main Street in Downtown Lexington, Virginia.  There are one of a kind cerations that get genuine oooohs and aaaahs and disappear fast.   If you are interested in purchasing the shawl below, call Erin at 540 462-2931. Another Shawl with Dor's Pin

Handmade Shawl by Pat Egan - $130 - Not Including pin

Handmade Shawl by Pat Egan – $130 – Not Including pin

But I hope you like the rather primitive (holey) first shawl “made by Dor” – the one in the scary selfie.

I am inordinately proud of creating something pretty and usable out of a little bitty string.  And who knows, you may be seeing future “Dor Shawls” on the cover of Vogue!  And as I promised this is truly the place where everyone will live happily ever after.

~THE  END ~

 

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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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City folks often ask if I get bored living out here in “no-man’s” land.  Little do they know the pressures, pleasures and sweet surprises inherent in country life! We are not all relegated to the kitchen baking pies and putting up jars of things.  Some of us crochet!  And some of us meet fascinating people!

Here it is!  The finished crochet project!

D's Market Bag Flat

Dor's Market Bag

It looks like a bag.  It holds things.  It must be a bag. Actually it is a bag!  It’s a “Market Bag” that might get saggy-er with veggies and fruits inside.   That’s why the photo is of the empty bag.

It’s pretty saggy empty but I like it because it is the first crochet project I have ever done that is not a scarf.

After completing the market bag I did start another project – a shawl.  I failed miserably, ripped it out and made a SCARF!   It’s really light because it’s holy (having lots of holes). It has no warmth of course, but I like it anyway because it is well, airy.

Hopefully the crochet teachers, Ellie and Dymph, who had such high hopes for a beginner’s progress to  an intermediate level will not be too disappointed.

Lex Carriage

Dianna and MotorMan are in the back seat!

I met another blogger friend in person! 

Dianna of These Days of Mine, and her MotorMan, came for a surprise visit yesterday!  We met at the Lexington Carriage Company loading zone.  That means they were unloaded from a sweet carriage drawn by two sweet horses. This was a fitting beginning since Dianna loves horses.   Bill and I waited for them in a gazebo at a downtown herb garden.

Dianna and MM are really nice!  They are not axe murderers or anything like C and M, some other scary bloggers I met.  Seriously we are all now great friends and C’s wonderful blog is called Photos from the Loony Bin!  Anyway, we went with Dianna and MM to lunch at the Sheridan Livery Inn, which used to be a parking lot for stabling horses.  Really.   That was before cars and no parking zones of course. I think I might remember those days.

We stopped to mosey around Stonewall Jackson’s back yard.  He had this garden which now features antique vegetables and plants.  Stonewall, whose real name was Thomas Johnathan Jackson was a quirky Confederate general in the Civil War.

Dianna's Crochet Treasure

Dianna Finding Antique Treasures No, Dor Did Not Crochet This Beautiful Piece

And then we went to two big antique malls!Duke's Antiques

I tend to go blank when there are too many options, but Dianna is an antique expert and has great ideas for converting seemingly useless objects into arty decorating accents.  I am so envious.

I loved meeting Dianna and MotorMan in person!   Who’s next?

Other random events of the week included a book club discussion of Yes, Chef, by Marcus Samuelsson, a cooking class I walked out on since I had to cook, and a mad effort to stay away from bread, crackers, and sweets.

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Crochet Class 1

There were no senior parties or prom nights.

There was no need to find a pretty dress.

But having completed three classes/days at the Stitching Post in downtown Lexington, Virginia, I am now a crochet graduate!

Crochet class 2

Not all of us completed our “market bags.”  In fact, I don’t think anyone finished except our erstwhile teacher, but we were awfully close.

That called for a celebration!

Goodies were brought in for a gala  last day of school, along with individual mini wine bottles designed for demure sipping.

Crochet Class 3

I agreed to a new crochet project – an open weave rustic shawl called Overcast!

Teacher Ellie brought her finished version in for viewing.  It is beautiful!  “Oh yes, I want to do that one for sure!”Crochet class 4 Dymph 2

Teacher “Dymph” helped in finding appropriate yarn, and Ellie demonstrated how to get the pattern from an online site called Ravelry.

Yep – set to go!  But now nervous fear was setting in.  There is safety in having experts and other struggling companions nearby, and after only three days in the company of this diverse group, I was feeling the loss of good friends.

“I will miss you,” I said in solemn sadness.

“Noooo.  We knit here and there too, and you can always join us

to crochet and get help when you need it,” they said.

So this graduation is different.

This graduation is only the first chain,

to the next row in the pattern,

ending off with

the fun and laughter

you can only find with

a set of good friends

who are all

hooked!

 

 

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Crochet-Hooks-6

Boring Croche?

I went to the second crochet class.  Part of the fun is in Talking While you Knit (crochet).  These are ladies who collectively appear to be creatively demure and concentrated upon making a beginner’s “market bag.”

However they may not be exactly what they seem.   We were discussing what goes on at knitting retreats (do you really want to know this?), but we finally got to talking about nicknames like “Beetle.”  Innocent topic right?

I am blessed with various nicknames, depending upon what folks are around.  There’s Dorf, Dorfy,Dot, Dottie, Dor, Dora, Doranne, Dork, and Snort.  I told the crochet ladies, “Some very dear friends always call me Dork.

(By the way, Thank you so much for that fun nickname Debbie, Scott, Pam and Janet!)

There was a kind of silence around the crochet table.

I suppose “Dork” is a somewhat derisive nickname but my friends always say it tenderly so I never object.  This has been going on through 40 years of friendship and I always thought Dork meant Endearing.

However,  one beautiful young lady in my sweet, demure crochet group said, “It means a whale’s penis!”

Huh?

I insisted, “No, it means a kind of funny, silly but very sweet and wonderful person”.

In the group’s relentless search for the truth, wouldn’t you know they looked it up?

Well, to my dismay, it does mean a kind of disjointed foolish person, but a dork is also

A WHALE’S THINGY!

Photo from en.wikipedia.org

Humpback Whale Photo from
en.wikipedia.org

That’s it!  Debbie (the original perpetrator), Scott, Pam and Janet will now be given firm instructions to invent a better nickname!  I will no longer respond to that one.

Imagine?

The things you learn in crochet class!

The blue whale’s penis, or dork, is the largest that ever existed. 

(Do you really need to know this?)

The average size for an adult male is 5m (15 feet)! 

The testicles weight 10kg (22 pounds). 

The blue whale can produce between 3-20 gallons of sperm during its mating season.  

From http://www.urbandictionary.com 

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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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Storm a Brewing 2Random Friday Randoms

  • I paid the locker fee for a whole year at the YMCA.  Now the question is, will I go?  And/or, will I go regularly?
  • Also signed up for a Beginner’s Crochet class at our local Stitchery

    Actually, I know how to crochet but unable to read a pattern, join new skeins to old ones, or end a thing so it doesn’t unravel.  Some folks have received Dor’s scarves that are undoubtedly unraveled by now.  And apologies if your feet are sticking through that afghan I sent last Christmas!

    It was the same with a long ago Beginner’s Typing Class when  I was already typing fast but had no idea how to set margins.  Good thing WordPress sets the margins for us!

    Is this a personal personality flaw or what?  How about playing the flute in high school and making First Chair after memorizing Flight of the Bumble Bee while never learning to read music?

    But more randomly:

  • We had dinner out with good friends (the same good friends) twice this week (or was it thrice?).  It is always amazing to find we never run out of things to talk about.
  • The grounds around the house are lovely again, filled with the hope of beauteous blossoms and neatly manicured beds.  Everything is mulched, trimmed and awaiting the encroaching weeds of summer and deer denuding.  Spring never fails to elicit hope in my heart and oh, Virginia is truly gorgeous this time of year – like the fancy icing on a wedding cake.

    Cardinalis_cardinalis_in_Cercis_canadensis

    en.wikipedia.org Cardinalis cardinalis male feeding female, in a white-flowered C. canadensis

There was a storm brewing today though.  I am afraid of thunder storms so managed to beat it home in time but it didn’t thunder too much after all.  Otherwise, there is always the closet for shaking in privacy and  missing old dog, Rozie.  Rozie used to be so frightened of storms that her teeth would literally chatter.  I have never heard of a dog’s teeth chattering, have you?

 

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