Thursday, January 28, 2010

hobbies, revisited

A few weeks ago, I told you, imaginary readers, about my friend Philip of a thousand hobbies and how I'm envious of his varied interests and skills. 
Today let me tell you more about my moma and her varied interests and skills.  My moma can sew, smock, embroider, knit, cross-stitch, and she's a crocheting demon.  Her cooking is something spectacular as well.  I admire all of these qualities and skills, but I have not necessarily followed in her footsteps.  I can cross-stitch and sew on the occasional button, and I'm not a bad cook, but I've got nothing on my moma.
Crochet is her big thing these days, especially since the grandgirls have outgrown the sweet, little girl styles at which she excels.  She crochets beautifully and can whip out an afghan in no time.  Eleven or twelve years ago, I got her to teach me how.  I'm sure crochet is like many other skills in that one improves with practice and careful attention.  But patience, then and now, is not in my skill set, so I soon gave up on ever figuring out how to keep even tension.  My moma, wise woman that she is, suggested that I might have more luck, tension-wise, with knitting, so she taught me that too.
Because I dream big, I chose as my first project to make an afghan in a sort of ripple pattern for my future sister-in-law (well, she was future at that time but has now been my sister-in-law for over ten years).  I progressed quite steadily at it for quite some time, but at some point in moving back and forth between college and summers at home or with classes and work and being an irresponsible college student, the knitting project fell by the wayside, and eventually the knitting bag full of a half-finished project and skeins of unused yarn stopped making moves with me.  I'd like to tell you that I was careful to return my moma's circular knitting needles to her when I finally stopped living the lie that I was going to finish the project, but I'm not even sure that I did.
Yes, I feel shame.
 Fast forward to this past fall, when the knitting bug bit and bit hard in my department at work.  Suddenly, knitting was the hot topic, and a couple of my coworkers learned to knit, taught and encouraged by the couple of coworkers who could already knit.  I stayed off that bandwagon for a while, but my desire to be more accomplished and my budding interest in our Tuesday library lunch programs brought knitting back into my life.  So when I was home week before last, I had my moma show me how to knit again.  Older and wiser, once my initial practicing was done, I started on a small project:  a dishcloth.  I started it on Friday and finished it on Monday, and the sense of accomplishment was completely disproportionate to the achievement.  But it is an awfully nice dishcloth.

My new camera and I are still getting used to each other, so I did a whole little photo-shoot for the little dishcloth that could.  The yarn is Peaches & Creme 100% cotton worsted weight.  I don't even know what worsted means.  But I have washed dishes with it already, and it works. The colors are showing fairly accurately on my monitor, so you should be able to appreciate the crazy brightness of it.  And I would like to mention that it's not quite as trapezoidal in shape as this photo suggests.  I just don't know how to use a camera.  And it was still damp from the dishwashing, which had it stretched out funny.

Yeah, that's my story . . . it was damp.  But it looks so nice in this artistic drape.  Don't you think?

This edge is my favorite part, but this picture doesn't capture the texture of what the pattern is doing there.  Also it's as crooked as a dog's hind leg, but it's the damp.

I took about a million close-ups, but I really liked them.  So you have to keep looking--and say something nice at the end.

Seriously, aren't you impressed by this?  This one might be my favorite.

There are at least four more decent close-ups of this thing that I am making myself remove before publishing.  You're welcome.  Or perhaps I'm sorry.  They are really nice photos.

I felt like an inadequate reporter for not documenting the entire process, so I got out my most purple needles and cast on a new project so I could photograph it for you.  Here's a partially knitted first row.  That orange yarn is the same kind that my dishcloth was made from, so I may make another one before venturing into larger projects. 

Then because my commitment to your thirst for knowledge is limitless, I acquainted myself with the self-timer on my camera and caught a couple of action shots.  So full of action . . . can't you feel it?  Also, it's weird to see my hands in photos. 

This one must be an action shot--look how my fingers are blurry.  Probably because I was going so fast.  That's how I roll, er knit.
It's definitely not because I can't operate a camera.  Definitely.

 Now that I'm officially a knitter (and have "borrowed" anything I thought was interesting supply-wise from my moma), you can expect semi-regular updates on my various knitting projects.  Don't however expect to see that orange piece I started tonight.  After finishing the first row, I saw that I had done something weird in the middle, and I pulled it all out again.  But the yarn will rise again.


  1. You forgot Moma's mad cake-decorating skills which she also passed on.

    I'm so impressed with your finished dish cloth and its dishwashing abilities! I'm also super-impressed with your photography skills! You got some really cool shots.

  2. There sure is a lot of yellow in that dish cloth.

  3. This series of comments perfectly reflects our life together as siblings.

    Michelle--being helpful and encouraging, the captain of my team and clearly a better daughter to our mother

    Shane--zooming in on my insecurities and torturing me

    Joshua--being the black sheep and not reading my blog or commenting on it

    Ellen--talking too much and thinking the world revolves around her and expecting people to care about what she thinks and feeling persecuted

  4. I like your dishcloth, and I think that you're talented.

    Mac - throwing out compliments when he doesn't have anything funny to say in the desperate hope that someone will like him.

  5. Moma - laughing at you, your siblings, and Mac

  6. This was the perfect blog entry for me. I'm a girl who likes to be able to picture things in her head and there you were, photographing artistically every step of the way!

    I hearted this. I hearted it mucho.
    xoxo, Becky


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