Saturday, November 19, 2011

Yarn Meltdown/Rant/Learning Process


Nope this rant has nothing to do with the obviously foreign language that all crochet patterns are written in, that part I got off my chest a lot faster. Now for my Yarn Meltdown that really has no point except that learning stuff is yeah...there you go.



As a beginning crocheter, I am getting really excited about the holiday season. I have been compiling lists of loved one's special requests, trying out different patterns (because I always think I am a more advanced crocheter than I really am yet), and trying to decide what yarn to buy. I always get really excited when I walk into a craft store and see that beautiful perfectly organized and yet charmingly hodgepodgey section of yarn or on a perfect day, a store basically devoted to the product. It's so colorful and fun and magical and exciting and and and....well..... OK so it's a little overwhelming.

Once I get over the massive manically happy mood swing that comes with staring down that rainbow wonderland, it again dawns on me that I have no idea what the hell I'm doing. Suddenly those beautiful stacks look like they are about to crumble on top of my head and the rows and rows of choices start to close in on me set to smother...

There's just too many choices, and that's exhilarating for a half a second, but then you have to actually decide on what to buy. As a novice, the possibility of abject failure is pretty high. What weight of yarn do you use? Bulky, Medium, Thin? Is a yarn with a weight labeled 5 medium or bulky? Is that what that number really means anyway? Why is there no weight number at 'Weaver Works'? What is this stitch per inch crap? Why is the crochet needle on the package not measured in millimeters when the crochet needles I bought are? What size did I need for that project? Does it matter what size the project said? Why didn't I bring any of this info in with me today? If I buy that sparkly holiday themed yarn and makes something for myself will my middle school kids make fun of me? If I make someone else a gift from it will they say they like it but secretly hate it, laugh about it behind my back and only take it out and wear it when I visit? Is that REALLY baby Alpaca? (It must be for the price....). Why does the employee working on the day I come in always turn out to be a knitter who claims she isn't that helpful picking out yarn for crochet or an expert crocheter that explains everything to me in rapid Greek, smiling unhelpfully and then walking away? Why am I too chicken to ask her to repeat herself um...repetitively and slowly like she is explaining to a child who just learned how to say their name?

Don't get me wrong, I have done my homework, I diligently read my "Crochet Patterns For Dummies" book, Googled all of my questions and have watched about a million YouTube videos on the subject and it always makes sense right then. I'm just never ever prepared. I will be out for a completely different reason and suddenly run into the best yarn shop I have been in yet and everything I thought I'd learned leaks out of my ears as I set my greedy hands on the first soft looking yarn ball. I of course never have all my meticulous anal retentive notes about exactly what I want on hand, so I end up roaming the isles, touching everything,, painstakingly choosing the kinds and colors I THINK I remember and panicking and putting every last one  back. (This usually happens 4 or 5 times before I finally give up the ghost, shrug sheepishly at the employee that by this time is watching me suspiciously and leave the store a complete crochet disgrace.) Clearly this isn't the most intelligent way to go about all this and I am hoping that all of this agonizing practice is making perfect... :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fairy Stories and Black Thumbs

I have never ever ever been able to really grow anything, everyone always joked of my black thumb and rightly so. The problem is, I love the idea of having our own garden someday....You know, with beautiful flowers, something pretty climbing a trellis, and some vegetables that can go straight from the garden to our table..........But I don't think that's least not with me in charge. ;-)

When I was a little girl, there was this woman whose garden I used to visit. She was a little strange you could say and did things like read your Tarot cards and decoupage her walls with flowers cut from magazines instead of using wallpaper. She was also terribly nice and as a child I thought she was positively magical. Her garden was the most beautiful garden I think I have ever seen, she called her Fairy Garden.

As I traipsed around the cobblestone path delighting over the little stone pond with flower shaped candles and the overwhelming amount of color coming from all the blooms around me, or as I sat kicking my bare feet off the edge of her pretty little backyard swing, she'd tell me the Fairy Stories.

Her garden was soo beautiful because the fairies lived there right under our noses and helped her to tend it. Fairies love all things beautiful and took pride in adding their magical touch to all of the living things in a garden made safe for them. They only come out at night you see, and the trick to making them feel welcome is to devote an area in the garden to some nice soft moss so that the fairies can rest their tired feet after they flit about all night. This is very important because if you invite the fairies in and you don't have the moss or something happens to it, the fairies will get angry and think you tricked them and that will be the end of your lovely magical garden.

If you were good to the fairies and took good care of them, they would one day hide a magical golden key somewhere in the garden. This key would unlock the most beautiful fairy treasure of them all, but it's very rare and hard to find. Once in this very garden we sat in, a little boy who came to visit had found the key! But, he had foolishly lost it before realizing it's importance and no one had ever seen it again.

Thus, I became obsessed with having a Fairy Garden of my own. :-) Grandma let me plant a few things around a birdbath in her backyard. Among other things, I had some pansies and some chives, and of course...some moss. :-) Unfortunately, this pursuit soured on me as I began in little girl fashion to get bored with the constant attention my little Fairy Garden required and eventually everything died...including the moss.....Having angered the Fairies so and then later developing allergies to practically everything, that was my last large attempt to enter the world of gardening. Maybe I'd been cursed. ;-)

Now however, as I again see the advantages of having a garden someday I had decided recently to have a go at a potted plant to brighten up the apartment and begin again at trying to keep something green alive. I had NO IDEA where to start. So, one day I picked up a little starter kit...FOR CHILDREN. The idea was to grow clover. The kit came with a pretty little ceramic bowel in the shape of a clover, some peat pellets, some clover seeds, and some simple instructions. It says ages 5+...How hard can it be right?! I totally got this!..................

To make this increasingly long story a little bit shorter I only got two clovers (out of like 50 seeds) to sprout, then one died....then the other died...all before the little green leaves fully unfurled. Now I have a pretty little clover shaped bowel with some dirt in it...Whoopeee....All in all a rather pathetic attempt....My husband says that my problem is constant watering. Because I don't care for the taste of water and have a hard time remembering to consume enough, it may be twice as hard to remember to use that water for something else as well....say to water my sad little plant. In any case, my black thumb has struck again......

Hmmmm...maybe I should buy some kind of cactus...Ooooh or an Aloe Vera! Come to think of it, I had one of those in my room as a kid and I probably watered that sucker 3 times in 8 years and it was pretty hearty...not to mention quite useful. Now that's a thought. :-)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

If At Once You Don't Succeed Try Cleaning Your Apartment....

Why Awfully Beautiful Mess? Why not? Such is life.

My first attempt at blogging fell through the cracks like the surprise popcorn kernels my vacuum found today in our living room chairs. Today, I am cleaning the apt like it has never been cleaned before and in the process, finding things I had forgotten we had. (Like a floor....) So, as I re-discover things forgotten and left to neglect due to our busy mad crazy lives here, I thought I would pull out and blow the dust off of a few of the thoughts floating around in my head as well and give this blogging thing a second try.

Also.....I'm a little bit bored and Billy took the phone to work today.... ;-)

The reason I am so diligently cleaning and basically doing all of the things I hate the most, is because we have bugs. Yep.....Although we aren't the neatest of people, this recent infestation doesn't have anything to do with us so much as it does with the birds that take refuge somewhere above our bathroom ceiling. In any case, these bugs aren't bed bugs or flies, but whatever they are, they are itty bitty, they bite, and they are totally unwelcome. Ever since we first discovered the bugs I have been breaking out the Lysol, vacuum, and Swiffer Wet Jet like the world depended on it, but if someone is gonna be exterminating in our apt I guess I had better pick a few things up so he they can move around in this shoebox we call home.

To be honest, the worst part about cleaning is that I have to decide what to do with the Christmas tree....ok that and the used tissue that is now 2/3 of the garbage I have thrown away today, courtesy of my allergies now being on high alert evacuation mode....


Mostly I'm just too lazy to take the Christmas tree down, trying to put it back into it's box is like the proverbial toothpaste vs tube dilemma not to mention how long it takes to fluff out of it's stubborn fake limbs come December.'s been up for a while.... I realize it's July, but I had this really great thing going with decorations for Spring replacing the decorations for Christmas and I was all set with 4th of July decorations to replace the Spring collection. I missed my window for that brief holiday however and now am looking a tree completely out of season. I considered keeping it up plain and calling it my potted plant but my husband looked less than impressed with the idea and I have to admit it does take up a lot of space. My decision? Move it into the storage room as is and close the door. Problem solved. :-)

                                                       Our Spring Tree: It's Beautiful, I Know.

Off to scrub down the bathroom and admire my new organized shoe rack put together by moi!