Monday, February 05, 2007

How Did All This Craziness Start?

So I entered a contest over on another blog to win a new knitting book, (I'm such a book slut.) and now you all get to hear how all this craziness started.

I've been crocheting since I was about eight. My grandmother taught me and my other grandmother fed the habit by giving me a bag full of her leftovers so that I could practice.

When I was about 11, I bought a book on knitting that was designed for kids. I thought I could teach myself, but I couldn't figure out the pictures. That was my first clue that maybe I'm a visual learner. I needed someone to show me how. Unfortunately, neither of my grandmas knew how.

Fast forward 24 years later....

November 2005

I got invited to a local knitting group that meets once a week at Panera. For a couple of weeks, I came to just chat with the girls and work on the throw I was crocheting for my Mother-in-law's Christmas present. Finally, the project was done, and I asked Rachelle to show me how to knit. That evening, I learned to cast-on, knit, purl and bind-off. Then I went home and practiced.

After an hour or two of knitting and purling, I decided I needed to do something more challenging. So off I went to Michael's, found myself a How-To book and some magazines with cute patterns that I wanted to try. I also bought some more yarn and needles. I also googled the internet and found (a site I recommend to everyone who is learning how to knit.) After the holiday season was over, I had knit two scarves, a hat (I taught myself circular knitting on DPNs) and a poncho.

A lot has changed in the year and few months that I've been knitting. I learned how to knit continental, entered the Knitting Olympics and medaled, learned to knit socks, entered the Knitting World Cup (I finished) and have knit many, many more items. Now, I'm beginning to design my own knitwear for children with my kids and nieces and nephews as inspiration.

It's been a whirlwind experience, but it feels like I've been knitting forever now. I can't NOT knit. That idea is now a foreign concept to me. I don't go anywhere without a sock on the needles to work on or some other portable project. And TV watching time, is prime knitting time. The yarn is beginning to spill out of the bedroom closet, and the needles have multiplied like rabbits. I'm sure if I never bought another knitting book or magazine, I'd have enough projects in queue to last me the rest of my life.

But where's the fun in that? LOL!


P.S. Here's a knitting shot of what I've been working on for the last week.

The red thing is the back to Sizzle from The Garter Belt. The dark green in the upper right corner is the start of a cabled sweater for me. Three socks (1 for DH, 1 for my nephew and 1 for myself) and one finished fingerless mitt from the latest issue of Creative Knitting. The light green lace piece is a sweater for DD, and the brown seed stitch piece is the beginning of a sleeve for the Debbie Bliss Smock Coat for my niece. I am a little busy.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Silent Poetry Reading

I saw about this over on the Yarn Harlot's blog and decided I needed to contribute too. This is one of my favorite poems. I have loved this since childhood. The idea that one doesn't have to be brave all the time, only when it REALLY counts, has always struck a chord with me.

The Tale of Custard the Dragon
by Ogden Nash

Belinda lived in a little white house,
With a little black kitten and a little gray mouse,
And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon,
And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon.

Now the name of the little black kitten was Ink,
And the little gray mouse, she called hum Blink,
And the little yellow dog was sharp as Mustard,
But the dragon was a coward, and she called him Custard.

Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth,
And spikes on top of him and scales underneath,
Mouth like a fireplace, chimney for a nose,
And realio, trulio daggers on his toes.

Belinda was as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chased lions down the stairs,
Mustard was as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard cried for a nice safe cage.

Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful,
Ink, Blink and Mustard, they rudely called him Percival,
They all sat laughing in the little red wagon
At the realio, trulio, cowardly dragon.

Belinda giggled till she shook the house,
and Blink said Weeck! which is giggling for a mouse,
Ink and Mustard rudely asked his age,
When Custard cried for a nice safe cage.

Suddenly, suddenly they heard a nasty sound,
And Mustard growled, and they all looked around.
Meowch! cried Ink, and Ooh! cried Belinda,
For there was a pirate, climbing in the winda.

Pistol in his left hand, pistol in his right,
And he held in his teeth a cutlass bright,
His beard was black, one leg was wood;
It was clear that the pirate meant no good.

Belinda paled, and she cried Help! Help!
But Mustard fled with a terrified yelp,
Ink trickled down to the bottom of the household,
And little mouse Blink strategically mouseholed.

But up jumped Custard snorting like an engine,
Clashed his tail like irons in a dungeon,
With a clatter and a clank and a jangling squirm,
He went at the pirate like a robin at a worm.

The pirate gaped at Belinda's dragon,
And gulped some grog from his pocket flagon,
He fired two bullets, but they didn't hit,
And Custard gobbled him, every bit.

Belinda embraced him, Mustard licked him,
No one mourned for his pirate victim.
Ink and Blink in glee did gyrate
Around the dragon that ate the pirate.

But presently up spoke little dog Mustard,
I'd been twice as brave if I hadn't been flustered.
And up spoke Ink and up spoke Blink,
We'd have been three times as brave, we think,
And Custard said, I quite agree
That everybody is braver than me.

Belinda still lives in her little white house,
With her little black kitten and her little gray mouse,
And her little yellow dog and her little red wagon,
And her realio, trulio little pet dragon.

Belinda is as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chase lions down the stairs,
Mustard is as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard keeps crying for a nice safe cage.

Maybe next year, I'll post one of my poems that I've written over my lifetime.

Happy Groundhog's Day Everyone! (Early Spring! Yay!)