Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hello all, and happy summer! Although it hasn't seemed all that summer-like here, given that it looks like this 99% of the time:Well, I exaggerate a bit--it's just been really unsettled. When I wake up, it looks like it's about to rain. Then in the late morning it clears up and stays beautiful until around 4 PM, when these really black, stormy looking clouds move in. And yet, we are not really getting any thunderstorms either, which makes me a bit sad! (Edit: My whining must have worked because it is starting to thunder as I write this, woo hoo!) One thing I am happy about, though, is that it has been relatively cool--in the 70's almost every day. I am not a lover of hot weather!

I'm still chugging along on my Orchid cardigan. Last week was oh-so-exciting as I blocked out the partially-finished piece and tried it on (it is a top-down construction).It seemed to fit OK so I have separated the sleeves from the body and have started the waistband.
Since this is my first "real" crochet experience (with the exception of some edgings and such), it is interesting to sort of compare and contrast this craft with knitting. Knitting will always be my "true love", but crochet has its good points too. Hmm, time for a little pro/con list...

What I like about crochet:
1) Tends to go pretty quickly (although this cardigan is taking longer than I expected, I think because the yarn is fine and just cuz I'm a newbie).
2) When you have to rip back due to a mistake, you only have one loop to pick back up, instead of a kajillion. Makes frogging slightly less painful!
3) I like the "free-form" feel of crochet--not sure if I can explain this right--it just feels less structured than knitting?
4) At least for now, it's a fun challenge to try to figure out how everything works. It definitely made me realize how second-nature knitting has become to me.
5) Cool textures and stitch patterns!

What I don't like about crochet:
1) This is probably more from being new and not having my technique figured out yet, but it does seem to fatigue my wrist and hands much more quickly than knitting. But, I remember when I first started knitting it took awhile to relax and find a knitting style that didn't wreak havoc on my wrists. So, this may not be permanent!
2) When I am working on it, I have to be looking at the piece almost constantly, unlike knitting which I can do without looking. This makes it harder to read or watch a movie while crafting.

See, far more positives than negatives! I think I will be crocheting, at least occasionally, from here on out.

I just uploaded the Summer of Socks 2008 button to my sidebar. I joined this knit-along on a whim, as I have a small stock of sock yarn that's been hanging around that I'd really like to knit up. It's actually only enough for five pairs of socks but I think that should easily take me through the summer! Yesterday I started my first pair, out of some Regia Cotton Color that G's mom bought me as a gift :)These are going to (hopefully) be Melanie's Twist Socks, which is actually just a stitch pattern, not a whole sock pattern. I really like the subtle wave texture, and it seems like it will go well with those summery blues.

That's about all I have to write about now--hope everyone has a good week!

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

This once-a-month posting is starting to get kinda sad. I just can't seem to motivate though. I haven't even really been getting much crafting done...I'm really not one of those people that should be busy all the time. I mean, I don't have kids, I have a very small apartment, I don't work crazy overtime at my job. Yet it seems like my hours just get eaten up nonetheless.

Oh well. I did manage to create a finished object--the Gentleman's Fancy Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks, for my dad's birthday:These were a pretty basic little pattern--lots of k2 p2! But they went quite quickly and came out great. I used a new sock yarn (to me, I mean)--Knitivity superwash sock yarn (75% wool) in a dark variegated brown. The above photo doesn't really show the color well, this is a better representation:I was glad to find a "guy" color as so many of the hand-dyes tend to be super bright or girly. The yarn was quite soft after washing and knits up well, although a bit splitty as 75% wool yarn tends to be. It was definitely on the pricey side for sock yarn but I think the dyer uses only American wool.Project Notes: "Gentleman's Fancy Sock" from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Wise. Yarn is Knitivity Down Home Art Yarns Sock, color "Supreme Dark Roast". Knit on 2 mm needles.

Meanwhile, I am still plodding along on the Orchid crocheted cardigan.

Last weekend was very fun, two of my friends and I went down to New York for my long-delayed birthday weekend. We had tickets to see The Little Mermaid back on Thanksgiving weekend but the stagehand strike nixed those plans. Finally we ended up getting tickets again for this past weekend. It was nice to see New York at this time of year because I always seem to go in the fall. The show was cute, not great or anything. Mostly we had fun getting lunch and "beverages" in Bryant Park prior to the show:Unfortunately right as we were finishing up it decided to thunderstorm and downpour! We hightailed it for nearest scaffolding (luckily there is plenty of that in the city). I got a laugh at these people's unique rain gear:After the show we decided we would see what Little Italy looks like these days. Little Italy is only a few blocks long (almost completely taken over by Chinatown, it seems), and full of kitchy little restaurants. The weather had cleared up by then so we had our dinner al fresco (yummy, I just had ravioli with a marinara sauce and the sauce was quite delicate). It was lots of fun because every Saturday they block off the street and have a little street fair. We walked around gawking at all the fried food and Italian cookie stands and games.

Love the old-school sign!

On the way home I could not resist taking a picture of this photo of a sticker on a gas pump I was using:I guess the store owner was tired of people whining to them about price gouging? ;)