6

Frogs, Frogging & Learning to Crochet!

Well, one frog anyway – this is Alan Dart’s Frog Prince which I finished a few weeks ago. One of the things I like most about Mr. Dart’s toy patterns is that he lists approx yarn weights required rather than 1 x ball of such a yarn, so you can use up your leftovers rather than having to fork out for more yarn. Hence why my Frog Prince is blue rather than green – a real stashbuster project! And my son seems to prefer him blue anyway 🙂

Frog Prince

Other knitting projects just don’t seem to be taking off for me lately…  I was in hospital from the 15th ’til the 19th and found knitting Hard Work with a cannula stuck in the back of my hand.  What little I did do had to be frogged, the tension was awful.  I haven’t got back into the swing of it yet – a few projects cast on, then frogged after a few rows… Very unproductive!

On a brighter note, while in hospital feeling useless trying to stay cheerful, I found and was lucky enough to book the last place on a Crochet for Beginners course.  I’ve wanted to learn crochet for a Very Long Time, and just didn’t fancy learning through books and/or youtube videos.   Some things are just better taught face-to-face.  And I couldn’t have hoped for a better teacher – the lovely and extremely talented Ildiko Szabo.  We had our first lesson and here I reluctantly present my very first flower made with a crochet hook.

CW01-01

Ok, I know it’s dire and that in years to come I will cringe about it.  But right now I feel just a teensy bit of affectionate towards it!  The first week was all about the basics – choosing yarn, holding it, making a magic loop, etc.  We also learned the chain and slip stitch, and it was fun practicing getting the tension right while forming random shapes with just those two stitches.  It was a nice, gentle introduction to crochet and I found the pace perfect – not too fast or too slow, and I’m really looking forward to the next lesson 🙂

CW01-02

The best thing about all this though, is that I’ve finally motivated myself to learn something I’ve wanted to do for so long.  The only thing that was holding me back was me.  Perhaps it will motivate me to do all the other things I keep putting off – like learning to knit in the round, and de-cluttering the house…  Maybe…  🙂

Is there anything that you’ve been putting off and feel it’s finally time you did something about it?

8

Which bag?

I love that knitters come from all walks of life yet have so much in common. I love how friendly and helpful most knitters are. Most of all I love hearing knitters’ tales whether they’re tales from the past, hopes and resolutions for the future or hiccups and dilemmas we all face from time to time! My heart melts when I read about fond memories of the special person who taught us to knit. I feel the pain (and sometimes relief) of other people’s frogged projects. I chuckle knowingly at stories of massive yarn stashes and the complete failure to NOT BUY ANY MORE!

So… My family and I had a short break booked for Easter week.  Since I have read other blogs about the difficulties of choosing a project to take away, and having experienced going away either without knitting, or with a project that I wished I hadn’t bothered with, I planned about a week in advance just which projects I was going to take.  I’ve got a few baby yarns that I’d been waiting for a chance to play with knit up, so cast on the beginnings of two baby jackets.  One simple pattern that didn’t need much focusing on, and a more complicated cable pattern in case the latter got too dull.

Alas, I then stumbled upon a dilemma that I have yet to read a blog about, but must surely happen to others?!  Which knitting bag to take my projects in?!?

I have my ‘original’ knitting bag, passed down to me from a relative – but I mostly use that to store all my needles and I don’t really like having my WIPs in there.  I have large bags with all kinds of storage compartments and yarn feeders, but they’re best suited to larger or intarsia projects.  I have tote bags and duffle bags that I use for smaller WIPs, but are not very practical for travelling.  Messenger bags that are great for keeping everything clean and dust free, but hide the project from view and have an ‘out of sight, out mind’ effect on me.

I thought about getting all the bags out to photograph and post, but fear my Hubby might start to notice how many I actually have.  I think somewhere along the road of our marriage, he has subconsiously chosen to not pay full attention to my Great Big Stash of Yarn and all the bags that go with it.  (I think the ridiculous collection of shoes & handbags I’ve amassed helped with this…)  I’m afraid that if he walked in me with all of the knitting bags laid out on display, or the yarn, shoes or handbags for that matter, he would totally Freak Out and wonder if I’m at all sane.  Actually, the sight could make me freak out too, so best not to go there…  Phew…  Anyway…

In the end I decided on this bag:

knittingbag

It has no seperate pockets for storing bits and pieces, is old, discoloured and frankly starting to creak with age.  A bit like me really!  On the brighter side, it’s compact for travelling, can fit in everything I might possibly need to complete the projects, but best of all – it’s transparent!  I like seeing the pretty colours all ready to be knitted up, and am more eager to actually work on it…  As for storage compartments, well who knew that old spectacle cases could fit in so much – stitch markers and holders, tape measures, darning & cable needles, even scissors.

case

I think I’ve found my favourite bag for short breaks.  When travelling by car at least.  I suspect other methods of transport will bring with it more dilemmas of which bag to take…  Yet I know that I’ll secretly enjoy having so much to choose from…

Do you have a favourite bag?