Sunday, September 21, 2008

Vest Progress and Crochet Envy

Continuing in my quest to be named "Worst Digital Photographer Ever," I present some updated photos of the Back to School Vest. I've finished the front:

Here's a close-up view of how I managed to transition the main cable to a V-framing simple 4-stitch, 4-row cable:

I know it's not easy to see, but this was the best photo I took, believe it or not. I'm going to keep knitting on one of those cables, then sew it down across the back neck. The cable looks pretty finished as it is, so no ribbing will go there. I think I will add ribbing around the armholes to provide a more finished look there. I increased the number of decreases on the armholes to accommodate the ribbing. So far, so good. It's not the best thing I've ever designed, but it's not the worst, either.

Crochet Envy

Ravelry has exposed me to a lot more crochet than I had seen before. When I was growing up, my mother crocheted a bunch of granny square afghans (out of acrylic, natch), which left me with a lingering distaste for the craft. She tried to teach me, but I got bored. I think if I had loved the product more, I'd have been more into learning the process. More and more crochet began to seep into my consciousness over the years -- a pretty sweater edging here, a nice scarf there. A few years ago, I took a crochet edging class at the late, lamented Woolly Knits, which left me with the ability to do a few basic crochet stitches -- nothing more complicated than a single, double, or half-treble stitch. A few years after that, Interweave Knits' Nantucket Jacket had a pretty shell-like crochet edging on it. So I gathered up my confidence and knit the sweater. When the knitting was done, I took out my swatch and practiced the edging. It worked! Brilliant! And it was fun, too.

But it really was the advent of Ravelry that made me sit up and take notice. I won't link you to individual favorites of mine, but I encourage you to go browse some of the crochet projects Ravelers have posted. There are beautiful lace pieces, adorable amigurumi, and pretty scarves and sweaters. Yesterday, I got the new Interweave Crochet magazine. This has only fueled my crochet envy. There are some really beautiful projects in the magazine (each word is a separate link there). Alas, when I look at the directions, I suddenly feel completely lost. One day, I'll sit down and puzzle it all out. I guess that will be the day that I also have time to work out, knit, spin, AND clean my house :)

7 comments:

Sharon said...

Loren:

First, the vest is really lovely. Your knitting is so top notch--somehow you make what I know are complex patterns seem simply classic, elegant, and timeless (I guess those terms are redundant).

I'll make you a deal though--I've been crocheting for 40 years (and have recently been attempting some designing). I'll trade you some crochet lessons for help some day on knitting socks. I took a one day class last winter (with Debra Lee) on the "Anatomy of a Sock." I worked feverishly on my first sock, and it came out beautifully, albeit too short in the foot! My daughter hates wool, and said she would not wear it. I felt too defreated to frog it and make it longer, so I gave up. It's still in my UFO cabinet, though, and I thought I might try it again this winter. Your socks astound me. They're so beautiful and they look so COMFORTABLE. Forgive my flight of hyberbole, but I just know that a pair of properly fitted, hand knitted socks will change my life.

That said, we had an interesting weekend. My son did spectacularly at his cross-country meet this weekend and my daughter had her first "mother's helper" stint helping out a Mom with 1st grade twins pull off a birthday party. John and I made a quick trip to Hastings-on-Hudson Saturday afternoon, for a wedding that evening. Two people (parents of a dear friend who, after divorcing each other 42 years ago, remarried (each other). I know the extended family well, but it was still an interesting event. Only about 25 people, but from all over the world. Life is strange, indeed.

Back at work and swamped. I work in the federal financial regulatory field, so you an imagine.

Best and hope the boys (all 3 of them) are well,

Sharon

Loren T said...

Sharon,

An expertise swap sounds like fun! I'm always up for spreading the Gospel of the Handknit Socks, anyway. It sounds like you had a great weekend. Congrats to Jake on the good meet! Remarrying after that long, huh? There must be some great stories behind that one.

Thanks for the compliments on the vest. The funny thing is that I don't consider this all that complicated. The main complications are design aspects, like fitting the cable in so that it splits right where I want it to at the neckline, for example. Otherwise, it's just a couple of actions every other row that produce a very complicated looking result.

I'd be interested to hear more about how what you do intersects with all that we're hearing about in the news right now. Are things crazy at work? I know people in the financial field who are in a frenzy of stress and worry right now.

As for parents and politics, this is the only area in which I have seen my dad evolve over time :) I think the Republican party has changed so much since the Nixon/Ford years that it's unrecognizable to a lot of those old Rockefeller/more libertarian Republicans. Plus, I know that my father is really turned off by how the party has been hijacked by the religious right. And no, we DON'T deserve what we're going to get if McCain/Palin are elected, in my very scared opinion.

Loren

Scott T. said...

Hey, wait a minute, I think I've been insulted.

Mother's Helper, Mother's Helper. This is precisely what is called for at our house. How old is the daughter (probably not old enough to consistute an authority figure over Jake).

Nothing wrong with your digital photography. Just need to take them on something other than that bench

Sharon said...

No insult intended. Daughter is the same age as your Jake, but is a very overbearing, bossy woman even at 11. Ask her brother Jake--she is quite the sibling nemesis.

I don't care what you say Loren--the vest looks AND sounds complicated!!! Just lovely though. :-)

Scott T. said...

oh, I was totally joking.

I'm her number 1 (and most unruly) boy

TurquoizBlue said...

Thank you for recognizing that crochet can, indeed, be beautiful. :D

kippi said...

fabulous vest! So very pretty. And, regardless of what you may claim, to some of us it looks VERY complicated.

I learned to crochet when I was a kid and can do it quite well. It is easier than knitting so it was difficult for me to learn to knit. Or maybe it was easier because I learned it first?

spent the weekend with spotty internet. Gosh, what did we do before we had all this instant access?

I still find it utterly fascinating that the political race is almost equally divided. I'm not so certain that there are that many people who are voting FOR something as opposed to AGAINST something else. The business with the financial situation started a long time ago. Many heads should roll for that one, imnsho.