All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Check it out! I made two, crocheted washcloths! The square one was simply an exercise in practicing double crochet. I needed to work on rhythm and tension so I did one row of double then one row of single until I got sick of working on it. Then I made a little chain loop because...well... I figured that my stitches were actually nice enough that I didn't have to throw this swatch away so it could actually BE something (like a washcloth).
Previously, I mentioned that one of the inspirations for me to learn crochet were some free Lion Brand patterns that I'd gotten in their weekly newsletter. Specifically, I really wanted to make this washcloth.
So, attempt number three (attempts 1 and 2 were chronicled in an earlier post) was supposed to be "Alex follows a pattern" and, according to Lion Brand, this is an easy pattern. "Easy" is relative when you don't know anything at all.
My first challenge was with the abbreviations in the pattern. "ch 1", "sl st", and "dc" meant, literally, nothing. So, I broke out my library books and looked up the various definitions and instructions for each abbreviation. Challenge number two was with the language of the pattern. Some of the instructions were easily identified as variations on the language of knitting patterns but some was absolute Greek. "(2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in each ch-1 sp around" might mean something to even the novice crocheter but, to someone who has never, ever read a pattern before, it's complete gibberish - even with the abbreviations defined.
|It's in Greek - istg|
Back up and punt. I put the pattern away and decided to try to, at least, make something round. In my mind, if I could get the "round" part mastered, the pattern would be easier. Neither of my library books had a simple round pattern in it so off to the Interwebs I went. Can I just say...thank Babyjesus for YouTube and this woman:
Bthintx1's YouTube channel may become my de facto online home. She keeps it simple and explains EVERYTHING. So, basically, I started the video, paused, did what she did, re-started the video, paused, did what she did... etc. and I ended up with that awesome round washcloth above! Amazing.
Unfortunately, the video doesn't address my inability to read the pattern. For that, I bothered my co-worker, the lovely and talented Lisa, to help me decipher it. She was, in fact, very helpful - for the first few rows. By the time I hit row 4, there was a new instruction I didn't understand. So, I'll be back at her desk this afternoon for more one-on-one guidance. Which brings me to this thought...
When I learned to knit, I took a few classes. I've decided, after this experience, that teaching oneself pattern-based crafting is really an exercise in futility and frustration. It's just better when someone (even an anonymous, online someone) can show you what you need to do.
Sheep In The City convention in Milwaukee last winter and found some really gorgeous yarns there. One of the more interesting yarns we saw is made from corn fiber. The company, Corny Goodness, makes yarns of pure corn fiber or a wool/corn blend in some of the most beautiful colors you've ever seen. In the booth, they had a number of items knit with this amazing, hypoallergenic, vegan, yarn - and one of the coolest was a dishcloth. There's something about the weight and texture of the yarn that makes it perfect for this use. Plus, the fiber has some weird qualities, like it's antibacterial and dries extra fast, that make it really appealing for any cloth that's going to be getting wet.
The yarn has a slight sheen that is really appealing and the colorways are incredible. My one complaint is that working with it is a bit of a chore. It's "sticky" - kind of like the way cotton feels sticky after working with wool, but 10 times mores so. And it tends to be a bit splitty, which is only really a problem because I'm still learning how to use the crochet hook properly. The skeins aren't cheap - $14 US per - but they're huge. The DK weight comes in around 100 grams or 240 yards of yarn. That's a LOT of washcloths.
So...I have two skeins of Corny Goodness DK weight in colorway Orville's Ocean Light (see above) and I'd like to give one away to you guys.
I love giveaways!