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more booties

September 9th, 2004

Yet another friend is having a baby. This friend was a bridesmaid in my wedding, so whatever I make for her, it HAS to be right. So far I started this, which, making the 12 month size, was way too big. (That’s from the Haiku pattern in Knitty, by the way, and is just too cute for words.) I’m not going to frog it, but will finish it as other projects allow. I’m already halfway around the body and it’s a perfectly good project.

Then I decided to make some felted booties, and thought that I’d do them from a nice high-end yarn. I picked Naturwolle, which is handspun by a woman in Black Forest in Germany. Nice stuff, which it ought to be for the price. We even have a brand new yarn store in town that carries it, and other super-ritzy mildly overpriced yarns, so I picked some up. Unfortunately, the store’s lighting isn’t that hot, and apparently my EYES aren’t that hot either, and I didn’t realize just how much of this wasn’t pink. Morever, I didn’t perceive the green at all until I had knit it up.

I knitted up these booties and then felted them down into these. That shiny thing is a quarter for scale. Now, these are pretty cute little moccasins, and I think every baby needs a pair of earthy little shoes to lounge around in, but whatever I make for my friend has to be pink. This was made known in no uncertain terms. Pink. These aren’t quite what they’re looking for, I feel sure.

So now I get to drop back and do something else. This time, I’m just lettin’ go of all the fanciness and making a nice hat and bootie set in “Victorian Pink” Lamb’s Pride Bulky. It’s about $6.50 a skein as opposed to $22 for the Naturwolle. I figure I can do little felted flowers on the front of the booties and it’ll be a nice touch.

The baby shower is Sunday. Wish me luck.

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  1. September 9th, 2004 at 22:56 | #1

    Okay, so. I have an idiotic question.

    I recently had a discussion about the fact that my life is pointless and I need to find a hobby, and it was suggested that I take up knitting or crocheting. So I’m curious: What’s the difference between the two, which is more fun, and are either of these things possible to learn from diagrams (Like “Knitting For Dummies”) or do I need to hunt down someone who can knit and beg them to teach me? The only person I know who can knit is my grandma, and her eyes aren’t what they used to be, so I don’t want to make her feel bad by asking her to show me and having it turn out that she can’t do it anymore.

    Oh, and good luck!

    • September 10th, 2004 at 06:36 | #2

      I’m so glad you asked! Obviously, knitting brings me a great deal of pleasure. It’s been a while since I crocheted, but here goes:

      In knitting, you’re using two straight needles with little points on the ends and pushing one of them through a loop of yarn on the other and twisting it around into different configurations. You hold the yarn draped over the fingers of one hand, pressing on it a bit with a couple of fingers to keep some tension. Knitting tends to create a squarer, denser fabric. I say denser, but actually, it depends on what size needles you use (which is also true of crochet). This is what a knitted purse looks like.

      In crocheting, you’re using one needle with a little hook on the end, holding the yarn in your other hand and looping the hook through to pick up the yarn. It tends to create a looser, more circular or fluid fabric. This is what a crocheted purse looks like.

      Here’s another resource that explains the difference, although it says pretty much what I just did.

      There are some really good books out there. One of the most popular right now is Debbie Stoller’s book, “Stitch ‘N Bitch.” It retails for 13.95 but I’ve seen it online cheaper. Another very good one is called, aptly, “The Knit Stitch” by Sally Melville. It covers the one basic stitch, the knit stitch, and gives patterns which only call for that one stitch. (The other basic stitch, the purl stitch, which is basically sticking the needle into the loop from the right instead of the left, is covered in her next book, “The Purl Stitch.”)

      Need someone to show you how to actually make the moves? Try two sites. This one has little animated displays of how to cast on, knit, etc. This one, my favorite, has actual videos of how to do various things in both knitting and crochet.

      I know that you have some mobility issues. I don’t know if that extends to fine motor skills as well, and I don’t know whether crochet or knitting would be less demanding if that’s an area of concern. However, if it’s a problem, you can still make some pretty cool stuff, like this scarf, using just the knit stitch and size 17 needles, which are 12.75 mm (about as big around as your thumb).

      If you decide that knitting or crochet is an area you want to explore, send me your address and I’ll be glad to send you some leftover yarn and needles from my stash. I’d recommend getting some cotton yarn and starting making some squares that you can use as washcloths. It’s a good beginner project, and you get the joy of using something that you made every day!

      Whether you decide to pick up the needles/hook or not, thanks for letting me spout off! 🙂

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