Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Mother's Progress

My mother looks pretty normal, but I have a sneaking suspicion from all my years of knowing her that on the inside, she is just a teeny-tiny bit loco. For those of you who do not know, she is knitting a bed cover in strips using size 10 crochet cotton on size 2 needles.

She began the project about 3 years ago. With only a helmet liner in between, she has worked on this project steadily, taking only a few short breaks. When she was at full tilt, she knit on it 3 hours a day: an hour in the morning, an hour after lunch, and an hour in the evening. 

She has calculated how many stitches it is--almost 1.4 million. 

I have been asked many times how it is going. As of this month, the knitting part is finished.The cover is made of 15 strips, each with 20 diamonds. That was 300 diamonds to make.

 And the 15 strips are sewn together. Do you see the seam in between the cables?


After the bed cover was assembled, she washed it in the washing machine. (She told me that she never left the washer's side.) It was dried on a bed, not the dryer. Do not even think that it went in the dryer.

And now the only thing left is the fringe. The fringe is quite an undertaking. (If you don't believe me yet that she's crazy, you will soon.)

Mom worked on several versions of the fringe before choosing exactly how many strands it needed, how it was to be knotted, and how long it would be. The final contenders are below, and the winner is the longer one on the left.

She chose a book specifically for the size she wanted to wrap the fringe. (Or maybe for how you are supposed to feel about her bed cover.)


And she is making hundreds of pieces, each exactly the same length with exactly the same number of strands. She puts them in a box, tied loosely, so that she can just pluck them out to attach them. This is my Dad, plucking one of them to show you:

(I have a strong suspicion that he is particularly impressed with this undertaking.)

A fringe pile:

She bought a comb that had teeth with the proper spacing she needed to comb out the fringe as she made the loops:
And that is where she is. Cutting and combing.

Mom has promised me that when the bed cover is done, we can have a big party for her in the store. I suspect it will be in the fall. Look for the day and time in our newsletter. You are invited. But be warned that this will be one party with no food or beverages.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Crochet Come Lately

Kim has tried to convince me for years that crochet is "relaxing," "fun," and "logical," but I never took to it. Oh, I've made a couple of crocheted sweaters, and a few dishrags, but that was about it.

Until now. I think I'm hooked.

It started last week when I wanted to play with a yarn. It is Skacel's Shari, a yarn that has a strand of silver shine running through it. Who could resist such a thing? I wanted to knit it into an open, lace pattern, but nothing worked. I didn't feel like garter stitch, which is where this baby was going.

Then I realized that maybe the yarn would work in crochet. It did.


Oh, for fun, let's let the camera do something that our eyes would never bother with--go in even closer:


Anyway, as you can tell by the fact that I have several "artistic" views but no pictures of myself modeling the scarf, I'm planning to make it at my leisure, just for fun, and without deadline--so when you stop by the shop, there's a good chance I'll be working on it--or at least that it will be nearby and you can see it. I'm really enjoying this project.

And my new-found love of crochet? It's actually all due to this little baby:

This is one of our new Tulip crochet hooks. Our crochet teachers swear that they help new crocheters learn faster and better. One of our knitting teachers started using them, and now she wants to teach only crochet classes. Another knitting teacher has dropped all her knitting and begun using it to crochet a series of Angry Birds characters. Misty, one of our crochet teachers, even went so far as to write a major hook comparison on her blog: The Tulip came out ahead. And I've never seen her use another hook since.

All because of this hook, I've started looking through crochet books to mull over my next project. Feel free to join me in my new obsession, and shout out ideas for projects. Kim, I have to admit that you were right all along.

I hate when that happens.