Wednesday Meeting

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Tonight was our first night back since renovations took place at the Library where the Bergen Crafters meet. It was great to be back and as usual there was a flurry of activity. Cynthia was as usual working her way through the group offering advice and demonstrating techniques. Cybil was working on her own project and stopping to help people as needed. Both of these ladies are capable of teaching a class and it is my goal to get them to do just that. They are patient and helpful and never get upset when we ask the same thing over and over! I always leave inspired and always sad when our time is up.

There are always two or three conversations going on and we can never agree on what to do next. We decided to make a sweater as a group but most of us haven’t been able to buy the yarn so we just work on whatever we like. It’s a happy group and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Perhaps we can arrange a whole day of crafting as a group which would make me happy. I am already looking forward to next week!

 

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Taking My Own Advice

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So I just finished telling my readers to develop a relationship with yarn before using it and what do I do?  I downloaded a new scarf pattern and was anxious to get started. I grabbed a ball of yarn and began crocheting. After a few pattern repeats I realized that I didn’t have the correct number of stitches and had to tear out and redo a few rows. A few minutes later the same thing again. So what was up? I realized that I had crocheted with a dk weight yarn thinking that I had grabbed another yarn. So I stopped and found the yarn I had intended to use a worsted weight yarn. Once I made the change the scarf began to take shape. So I learned something about myself.

I do not like crocheting with lighter weight yarns. I find it difficult to see the stitches that I am working on and often make mistakes. Now I can use these same yarns when I am knitting and not have the same problem.  I really don’t like knitting or crocheting with super bulky yarns. Don’t ask why because I cannot articulate the reasons. It’s just the way it is and you should find out what you like before making a costly mistake. Either steer clear of patterns that call for types of yarn you don’t like or see if the pattern can be adjusted to fit another type of yarn. Otherwise you will end up with lots of projects in  not quite finished limbo stuck in some box somewhere. I should know!!!

How Many Projects Are You Working On?

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I visit a lot of websites and blogs devoted to knitting and crocheting and the tools of the trade. There is a recurring theme about what the writers are working on at the time.  I would love to know how many projects you are working on reader. At present I am working on a shawl for my granddaughter. It is turning out to take a lot more time than I thought it would and it is really annoying me now but I am determined to finish it. It’s knitted and works by simply doing a yarn over after the first stitch. You increase one stitch every row. So on a size 11 needle and with a worsted weight yarn, I will be knitting forever!  I am also working on a knitted hat which I just started. Tonight when I came home I decided to make a case for my new cell phone. I will probably crochet it and felt it.

I have tons of projects in my head and resist the urge to start them all at once.  There’s always tomorrow!

Develop a Relationship With Yarn First

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When I started knitting again I bought every magazine that I could find. I soon fell in love with a Vogue sweater pattern. It was an easy cardigan pattern and I bought it and the suggested yarn in the color of my choice.  The package arrived and I began to knit. About an inch into the back of the sweater I discovered that I hated the yarn. It was a bulky thick/thin yarn and I felt uncomfortable with it. When knitting the thin segments I felt that the yarn would tear ( it didn’t) but I couldn’t shake the feeling. So I finished the back and most of one sleeve and put the whole thing in a bag.  That was several years ago.  Recently I took it out because my friend Cynthia said that she would try to finish it.

So my suggestion is before starting any project find out what yarn is called for. If you are unfamiliar with the yarn buy some  of that weight and texture and knit or crochet a little something first. This will tell you whether you will be able to complete a project with this type of yarn. There are plenty of websites that sell inexpensive but nice yarns that you can use or visit your local hobby shop for experimental yarns. The same advice goes for the color of the yarn if the pattern is attractive but comes with a yarn in a color you don’t like, don’t buy that yarn pick something that you will enjoy working on.

My Wednesday Night Group

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It’s Wednesday October 6, 2010 which is my 59th Birthday! Usually I spend Wednesday evenings with my crafting buddies but due to renovations at our meeting place we haven’t been able to meet for three weeks. About six months ago one of my church members showed me something that she had crocheted and when I asked how she had learned she told me about the group at the Library.  I was overjoyed.  I had searched for a group in my hometown of Newark, New Jersey but couldn’t find one and now I find out that right here in my neighborhood there was a group.

We call ourselves the Bergen Crafters and we meet at the Clinton Branch Library on Bergen Street right here in Newark’s South Ward. We have members from preteen to sixtyish. We have all skill levels and members who prefer knitting and some who prefer crochet. We all love the needle arts and can’t wait for our weekly gatherings. You will hear more about this group in upcoming posts. Anyway back to my latest project. Happy Birthday to me!

I Am Crazy About Crafts

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I began blogging  several months ago about other things but eventually it became hard to find fresh content. I decided to be true to myself and begin this blog. I love to knit, crochet, needlepoint Oh My!!! Given my hearts desire I would spend most of my waking hours working on projects and picking new yarns to work on more. I learned to knit and crochet at an early age and although I enjoyed both I never progressed from simple scarves.

About four years ago during a rather stressful period I decided to try again. Because I didn’t know anyone knitting or crocheting I bought a how to crochet video and so began my second journey in to needle arts.

For a while I concentrated on crochet and didn’t think about knitting. I began spending time at Barnes & Noble magazine section and eventually was drawn to the knitting magazines as well as crochet. What the heck. I bought a knitting magazine and the rest is history. I consider myself an advanced beginner with a major handicap. I cannot read a pattern without help from someone else. A major frustration. Are there others like me out there? We’ll see.