September 24, 2011

Obligatory First Post, or How I Learned to Compile Yarn

The obligatory first post of every craft blogger (in my opinion at least) is how exactly you ended up so obsessed with this stuff anyway.  Knitting?  Crocheting?  Don't you have better things to do with your time, like playing Angry Birds on your smartphone?  Isn't that the obligatory bus activity after sleeping?

Well, other than the fact that I currently don't own a smartphone, the answer is that I like making things.  I like making things in ways that only annoy me sometimes.  I like getting to the end of the day, a day where everything could be going to hell, and being able to say: 'Well, I spent my whole day trying to get this program to work and it still doesn't work, but I got part of this sweater done, so I'm not completely useless.' I also like being able to do something during my commute which has tangible results, and keeps me from falling asleep (I don't care how interesting a book can be, when you get up at 4 in the morning, you'll still fall asleep.  If I fall asleep knitting, then there's no hope that day.  Falling asleep on the bus results in more headaches than not for me).

The second part of this is, of course, how did I learn?  Well, my mother taught me to crochet when I was in 2nd grade, and since then I've picked it up on and off depending on if I was motivated enough.  I got good enough to start making up my own crochet patterns when I was in high school.  Crochet kippot, mainly.  I then dropped it all in college, more or less, making only a scarf for a roommate during that time.

When I graduated and started working full time, I found myself back home with nothing much to do, and more time to do things.  Needing a hat and scarf to wear to work, I picked up my crochet hook again and BS'ed a hat and scarf set.  I then set out to prove I could do something bigger, found a afghan pattern I liked, and completed it (that afghan is the Demented Squares Afghan, by the way).  From then on, I always had a project going, though I didn't devote much time to them.  Part of the reason is that I never found crochet patterns I loved, and I wasn't good enough to make anything amazing on my own.  My mom also scared me away from making wearables, as she has trouble with them, though I started getting over that.

Then, one weekend, my mom decided that she would try to learn how to knit.  I decided that I would try to learn with her.  We went out, bought a learn-to-knit book, needles, and yarn.  My mom ended up getting frustrated and dropped it.  I, however, learned to knit.  (In a completely unplanned step, so did my youngest sister, who never got the hang of crochet and so had spent much time ignoring yarn crafts (she, however, cross-stitches amazingly well.  It's a craft I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole.  I hate sewing and anything like it)).

I then learned that despite spending all that time wondering why the hell someone would do a craft that involved more than one active loop at at time, I loved to knit.  It made a fabric I liked the look of better and that worked much better for wearables.  There were tons of patterns out there than I liked, and I then found Raverly.  Enough said. It was new to me, and I was motivated.  I also learned to knit just at the time I was looking into getting more into crocheting, and it took me right off that track and applied my motivation to another one.

So now it's a little over a year later, and I now mostly knit.  I still crochet, and I think there are still some things that are better crocheted (another topic for another day).  Its all gotten me though hard times at work, gave me gifts to give people, gave me something that I could do on the bus and stay awake, and let me get shirts that actually fit (when I do it right, of course).

And now I should go to bed.  To come, I'll cover some of the issues I had learning to knit, talk about some of my thoughts on both crafts and where I stand with them, as well as mention why I named the blog what I did (it's more embarrassing than exciting, so don't get your hopes up).


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