A New Craft

23 12 2008

I was killing some time on Friday afternoon and decided to peruse Joann’s.  As I always do, I wandered through the fabric section (looked for some UT fabric and found none as usual), perused the patterns and books, then passed the scrapbook section because I can’t bear to pick up that hobby, passed the beads because I have to be in the right mood for that particular craft, and wound up in the yarn section.  See I crochet… never liked knitting but I also never really gave it a fair shake either.  I got some kind of wild hair and decided to give knitting one more try.  Not quite sure what inspired me to try knitting again, but I purchased some needles and a book (I have plenty of yarn at home and bought some needles the appropiate size for some yarn that I know I have at home).

Allow me to side track a little here.  Most crafters (that I know at least) will either like knitting or crochet… but not normally both.  They are similar crafts but the execution is very different and whichever you learn first will make learning the other harder (although I think knitting -> crochet is easier than the other way around, I had a hard time getting used to the lack of a hook).

In retrospect I the book I bought probably should have been my second book.  It’s a great resource but has way too much detail for the beginer.  I was competly overwhelmed by all the details.  Another sidetrack about the difference between knitting and crochet.  I knitting there is 1 (arguably 2) stitch and the differences (between American and English styles) are in how you form them.  In crochet there are many stitches and they are always formed the same way the differences (between the American and English styles) are simply nomenclature.  In this knitting book I was presented with 4 ways to cast on and 2 ways each to knit and purl.  When I learned to crochet it followed a logical progression: chain stitch (which forms the base for the first row), single crochet (the basic stitch), turning the fabric, double crochet, trebble crochet, half double crochet, ect.  Knitting is more subjective.  For example, if you asked a knitting expert “How do I cast on?” the answer is “It depends.”  Each method has it’s advantages and disadvantages and has situations where it is appropiate.  If you ask a crochet expert “How do I chain stitch?” the answer is always the same, “Form a slip knot on the hook, yarn over, and pull the newly created loop through the one already on the hook” 

Anywhoo, I tried out each of the options I was given and through tiral and error figured out what would work for me.  I was suprised that the American style worked much better than the English.  I’m used to holding the yarn in my left hand from crochet, but I found that holding the yarn in my right hand much easier in knitting.  I played around a little while with my stash yarn and then decided to start the first example project in the book.  It’s a triangular shawl that is started from the point and worked up from there with one increase at the start of each row.  This is different from chrochet where something like this would be worked from the long side down to the point.  Then yesterday I decided to try making a scarf.  I went back to Joann’s and bought some yarn that I’ve never been able to crochet with but I’ve been told is fine for knitting (it’s Lion’s Brand Homespun, all the extra threads get caught up in the hook, I’ve tried several times and never been able to crochet with it).  I needed a slightly larger needle so I got that (this one’s plastic instead of metal and I don’t like it quite as much but it gets the job done.)  I decided to just use a garter stitch, the yarn is such that you won’t really see any fancy stitches so I decided to go with what would be simple.  Since a stockinette will roll I went with a garter stitch.  I made it about 8 inches wide (it’s a little too wide but it’ll be ok) and I’ve worked about 4 inches so far.  I’m hoping to have it finished by Christmas but that might be a little too ambitious.  I’ll let you guys know whether I finish it or not.

Hope everyone is having a great holiday!





One Busy Weekend Down

15 12 2008

Nutcracker Ballet: $36.00, Company Christmas Party: $20.00, Mulled Cider for Holiday Pot Luck: $3.00, Weekend consumed by holiday stuff: priceless!

Friday I went to see Ballet Austin and the Austin Symphony Orchestra perform the Nutcracker.  It was great!  It was at the new Long Center, which is a fabulous facility.  It’s one of those places that doesn’t have a bad seat.  We got the cheap seats in the balcony but still had a great view of the stage.  A couple of us went last year and decided to make it a tradition.  We had a large group of kids sitting behind us which was really cute and annoying at the same time.  The little boy directly behind me would gasp anytime something would happen.  After the ballet we had a late dinner at Chuy’s and comisserated about how we were all dorks in High School :-)

Here’s us in front of the Long Center with the Austin skyline in the background, I’m really impressed with the quality we got from my iPhone.  I’m on the left, then S, K, and N

nutcracker22

Then on Saturday we had my company Christmas party.  The food was ok, we got the customary $50 Simon gift card.  Didn’t win a door prize and snuck out early.  After that we went to Garden Ridge and Wal-Mart to get stuff to decorate the house for Sunday

Sunday we got up early decorated and cleaned and The Hubby put together our new dining set for the breakfast nook.  Then we had my small group over for our christmas party.  It was a pot luck and the food was great!  It’s rare in a pot luck that you will like everything, this was the exception!  All the food was great.  It was really cool to have everyone over and meet all the spouses.

That’s one busy weekend down and 2 more to go before the holiday season winds down.





It’s Just That Kind of Day

12 12 2008

So I’m walking in to my office this morning, carrying my outfit to go see The Nutcracker ballet tonight. See, I can’t leave it in my car… it’s a brand new very nice outfit and somehting might happen to it… in my locked car… sitting in the parking lot in one of the nicer neighborhoods in town. What might happen, I don’t know but I can’t leave it out in the car where something might happen! Where was I? Oh, yeah… the hangar. So I’m carrying my cute top, winter white pants and my leather jacket when all of a sudden I’m not. I turn around to find my cute top, winter WHITE pants, and leather jacket in a heap on the ground. Here’s what happened:

hangar1 

Notice the problem? The hook part of the hangar isn’t attached to the hangar part of the hangar.

It’s just that kind of day…





My Little Tree

11 12 2008

I thought I’d share a picture of my little tree I have here at the office.  I may post some pictures of my tree at home and/or the lights on the house when I get them finished. 

Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays!

Little Tree








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