The Frogging Blues

Sigh. No crochet project would be complete without the need to frog somewhere along the way. For those of you who don’t know, frogging is slang for unraveling…reason being that when you unravel, you “rip it, rip it.” In some ways, frogging is the secret word that proves membership in the exclusive club of fiber artists.

While most of the time, my need to frog is my mistake, today’s unraveling is due to a pattern error.

Author: Doris Chan

Book: Amazing Crochet Lace

Pattern: Blue Curacão

Error: Row 20, “SHELL in ch-sp of next shell, next 2 ch-3 sp” should read “SHELL in ch-sp of next shell, SKIP next 2 ch-3 sp”

Hopefully this will save someone an hour or two of trying to figure out why Row 21 doesn’t make any sense!

This is what it looks like up through Row 20:

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Blue Heart

One would think that by now, I’d learn my lesson about crocheting at bedtime. Nope. Most mornings, I wake up with hook and yarn in hand, a pattern on my chest, and a whole lot of frogging to do. It never fails…bedtime crochet is always such a disaster.

Fortunately, with my current project, I am having a hard enough time following the reps while I’m awake. For a change, I was smart enough to put it all away when I started to feel sleepy. As comforting as it is to crochet while the rest of the house is asleep, I didn’t want to spend my morning unraveling a disaster.

I’m currently working on Doris Chan’s “Blue Curaçao,” which is a pineapple lace shawl. I’m using a finer yarn than the pattern calls for, so I will likely have to add another row of pineapples…or call it a shawlette. Hm…that sounds much easier.

I wonder if she meant to call it “Blue Coração.” Coração is Portuguese for “heart” and is pronounced much like “corazón.” While there are many differences between Spanish and Portuguese, there are also many similarities, if one knows the code…like “ão” is pronounced “ón.” My daughter works at a Brazilian Churrascuria, and is slowly learning the different words, as several of her coworkers are from Brazil. Since she is fully fluent in Spanish, it’s not a difficult leap.

This particular shawl could be quite festive if made in bold colors, however I’m using a frosted blue. I am trying to decide if I should block it, or leave it loose and ruffly. Here are the first 14 rows:

It’s actually much easier to see the pineapples in the picture than in real life. I forget how pretty they are, because at the moment, all I see is a pile of stitches. I’m hoping to finish this today.

Do you have a favorite pattern type? Do you prefer clusters, fans, pineapples, cables, or motifs? Or do you stick to straight stitches?

A Place For Thoughts of Yarn

I did it! For years, I’ve thought about opening a shop on Etsy. It took me forever, but I finally got it done. Now I have a place to show off my yarn creations (on Etsy) and a place to talk about how much I love yarn (here).

I LOVE yarn. It’s more of an addiction. I have more yarn than some yarn stores. I love how beautiful the colors are, how soft the fiber is, but most of all, I love all the potential. With a mere plastic hook, I can create a sweater, blanket, hat, shawl, or socks. From a piece of a string to a piece of clothing. How amazing is that???

My niece, Julia, is a crochet master. She learned when she was seven, and taught me how to crochet when she was 21. I’d tried to learn a million times, and I could make a chain, but I didn’t know how to do anything else. Patterns were unintelligible, and made as much sense to me as when I tried reading Russian. Somehow, Julia pushed me past all of that into a world of color and creation that I never imagined would be possible.

I think the reason it finally clicked is because she started the foundation and first two rows for me, then let me take over. Instead of my fumbling around and fighting with a floppy chain, I actually had a bit of fabric to hold onto and follow. After two days, it all clicked. Chain, single crochet, double crochet, treble crochet, turn.

For me, crochet is meditative. Counting stitches, pushing the hook through, wrapping the yarn around, pulling it through, then doing it again…it calms me and slows down my ever-racing thoughts. Sometimes I’ll crochet while I’m watching TV, or listening to music, or standing in a line, or waiting in an office somewhere. But sometimes, I do nothing but focus on the feel of the yarn as it slides across my hand, counting double crochets like some people count sheep.

I hope that if you know how to crochet, you will welcome me into your fold. If you don’t know how, hopefully I can inspire you to pick up a hook and a skein and make something. If I can do it, anyone can.