Friday, July 3, 2009

Look! I knitted a sock!
Everybody takes pictures like this.
I think it's because we can't wait!

Learning to knit was on my bucket list. I know my mom could knit, but her patience ran out with teaching me stuff around 7th grade home ec class. My mom can sew like nobody's business, and she did her best to teach me. I thought I had the hang of it, the apron I made for home ec class came home to be hemmed on Friday night, and I got up on Saturday morning to discover that she'd taken it all apart again because it was "messy". Made me sew the damn thing all over again. The bad, bad feelings from that never went away, so teaching me to knit was out of the question, and on the bucket list it went. For someday. hopefully before I kicked the bucket.

The ancient grandmother of a boyfriend taught me to crochet when I was in college, and I made miles and miles of chains and granny squares and pinwheels and bright sweaters that got worn once and taken apart again because I just don't like loud sweaters. Piles of afghans. And then the Moorestown Mall almost burned down.

I worked in the mall, at AC Moore, the most awesomest craft store of all time. It was the only one like that at the time, the mall store was store #1, and I was a tee shirt designer. Among other things. And then a bathing suit display in the sporting goods store caught fire in the early morning just before Christmas, the sprinklers went off, and suddenly I was on my own couch for a couple of weeks with pay, with nothing to do. Time to learn to knit. it was 1991.

I did knit. I made dozens of tiny little purses with seed beads and bedspread cotton, but no garments. I couldn't hold the yarn right. It felt weird after years and years of one needle to suddenly have 2 and yarn wound around my fingers on the wrong hand. I made one sweater that took 6 months and looked old and worn out when it was new, how the hell did I do that? and why the hell do I still wear it? but I do.

A couple of years ago, my #2 on was on a beanie kick. He cropped his hair off short and wore these tight fitting hats, but the ones he bought never suited him. I could knit, he said, couldn't I figure out how to make him a beanie? Well, it took a while, and I ultimately learned to hold the yarn, but on my left hand, like I crochet but with an extra twist for tensioning. I developed the perfect beanie pattern. I made about a hundred million beanies. Well, probably not, but it felt like it. Everybody got hats for Christmas. Most of them bitched about them, so I made more until I got it right. sort of.

This year, I got some yarn as a gift that was made out of recycled soda bottles. It's made by Caron, it's called Caron Eco and you can get it in your local Wal-Mart, or here
I was consumed with a desire to make socks. For myself. And a friend of mine, Rogue Knits, who you can find here
made these cabled hiking socks. I had to have a pair for myself. So I got out 4 needles the same size more or less, and I went for it.Are they not gorgeous? And they get softer and nicer every time they are washed. I'm in love. I'm hooked. Knitting socks is a strange passion. A lot of people have it, and they are all compelled to talk about it and blog about it and they are EVERYWHERE. I don't know whether to be proud or horrified! Well, that's a long story, and I have to go knit now. I know. It's a sickness. Hopefully there's no cure!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My first blog post

Hi! I want to talk about making things. I want to talk about knitting, beading, decoupage-- well, I've only met one craft that I didn't like. So I usually want to talk about all the rest of them. What do you like? Maybe I'll start.

Today, I like photography. I never was any good at it until I bought the Kodak Easy Share camera to take pictures of the jewelry I made and stuff, and now I don't ever go anywhere without it. I use it to take pictures of things that I see that I'd like to share with my family later, and I actually do use it to take pictures of my crafts. And my husband's incredibly strange garden, which, isn't really so strange if you know Pat, who is, himself, strange. You'll probably be hearing a lot about Pat later, he's a very creative person with a lot of ideas. *sigh* between us, our ideas sometimes take over our house. And potential junk is usually regarded as potentially something else someday, so it does not go out in the trash.

So, since we're talking about photography, have a look at the picture at the top of my post. Isn't that an amazing photograph? I had no idea what I was doing. This was supposed to just be a picture of the wire bead necklace, but I stuck it in the giant clamshell on my mother's porch and put some shells and seaglass sent to me by a friend in Alaska (thank you, Ivy!), and somehow, it just worked! And it's gorgeous! It didn't sell the necklace, though. But it did start something amazing that ultimately led to Ampersand3665. Damn the internet that just won't let you use a name somebody else used a variation of. Oh well.

I have a couple of projects started now. I have a bracelet project that was already a bracelet, but despite the fact that it ROCKED, bore no relationship to real life. So I hacked it apart and started again. Afraid I'll never like it again the way I did at first, but maybe it will be actually wearable. And I wanted a circular peyote stitch bracelet, you know, like a tube? So I made one, and it collapsed when bent. Oh, that's right, you're supposed to put cord or something in the middle. Hacked that one apart too. And there is the really loud green and purple socks on the needles. And the gorgeous, well, potentially gorgeous baby blanket being crocheted for a pregnant friend. Right now, there are 3. Who gets this might depend on who drops a kid first. Is that really all the current projects? Well, there's the etsy store, and this blog. the store is pretty cool, you can see it here- www.ampersand3665/
I'm going to get the widget that connects the blog and the store, but not yet. I'm always frustrated by what I want to do and my abilities to do it. So the store is good, but the blog will get better as I learn.