Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Robot Socks, Needle Cases, and Current WIPs

1. Robot Socks

Robot Patina Socks

Soon. So close to taking photos and wearing everyday forever.

2. Needle Cases

Needles and Hooks Needles and Hooks

I bought a new roll for my crochet hooks. I have a lot of crochet hooks and they didn't all fit into the chili pepper roll that The Gabbers bought me for Christmas.

Needles and Hooks

Needles and Hooks

The thing about crocheting is that it is the one craft that's multi-generational in my family. My tiny tiny steel hooks and one or two of my plastic hooks belonged to my grandmother, who died when I was eight. She lived in New Jersey and I've lived my whole life in Connecticut. While that's not on the other side of the world, it's a difficult trip to make with a growing family. I didn't see her much and I remember very little about her, but I remember the afghan she kept folded over the back of the couch. It was the kind of horrid that comes naturally associated with the 1970s and it was terrible old-school acrylic and my grandmother smoked so it reeked too strongly of cigarettes.

(Which is impressive, to be honest. My dad smoked when I was a kid and 90% of my relatives are life-time smokers, so the smell of cigarettes will always evoke childhood memories of visiting family. So to say that a thing reeked too strongly of cigarettes means it was pretty damn strong. I mean, I also had a couple of plastic knitting needles from her that still smelled like cigarettes almost twenty years later. Yeah.)

And I know those memories of that afghan sound terrible, but it was as much a part of my grandparents warm, dark living room as the television with the knobs and bunny ears that never picked up any channels, but was always turned on after dinner to the evening Attempt To Watch Television. I remember it scratching my arms up in the summer when I would lean up against the back of the couch to peer achingly out of the window at the full blackberry bushes and I remember tucking it around the easily startled giant Great Dane named Duchess and I remember tucking my arms into my sleeves and leaning against it to watch raindrops roll down the window with the lights off after sunset before it's completely dark.

And my grandmother taught my mother to crochet when she was a kid. My mother loves DIY stuff and crafts, but she's really not very good at trying new things. She doesn't like how much she second guesses herself and she really doesn't like trying new things without someone else to ask questions from or commiserate with. She's always liked crocheting, though. It's comfortable. All four of us kids had a crochet baby blanket and she continues to crochet baby blankets and afghans for folks she knows. When my grandmother died, my mother kept all her crochet hooks and knitting needles, even though she always used her own.

When my mother taught me how to crochet and I took off running with it, grabbing knitting and dragging that with me, she brought me up to her room and pulled a box out of her closet. "These were your grandmother's," she said, handing me a cracked fake-leather hook roll and few sets of knitting needles wrapped up in a rubber band. "She used these little ones to make doilies and stuff. I don't know if you're interested in that at all, but you can have them if you want."

And so I inherited a fistful of crochet hooks that I will probably never use. I didn't want them because I wanted more hooks (which I always will) and I didn't want them just because they were being passed down. Look at that closer up photo. Those hooks are not crooked because of how they're stuck into the roll or because the roll is somehow crooked; those hooks are crooked in the pattern of fingers where yarn was manipulated. These hooks are well fucking used. Seriously. I used one of these to test some very fine yarn and one side was so worn down that the edge cut the skin of my fingers.

These were the tools of someone who loved their craft. How could I not love that?

And I definitely didn't mean to tell that story, but now this post seems weird without it. This really was supposed to be just me showing off all my lovely needle/hook cases.

Needles and Hooks

3. Current WIPs

WIP Double Seed Stitch Blanket and Pond Scarf

White double seed stitch blanket for product photos and a new Amy Pond scarf for the store.

Close up on the double seed stitch:

Double Seed Stitch Blanket (WIP)

Aww, yeah.

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