Sunday, March 30

Entre-what? The life of a slow learner.

Some students should come with warning signs, don't you think? I had a professor in one of my master's courses who taught about the engineering involved in network communications, and when a topic was particularlly involved or complex, he would pull me aside after class, or even ask me point blank during class, "Mindy, did you understand what I was talking about?" He went on to tell me why he asked me this - because if I could understand it, he knew that the rest of the class probably caught on.

I don't know what my warning sign would be exactly, but for Jim, who taught me Beginner Socks, it would have been "Beware of Impending Melt Down". For Lisa M., who taught me Beginner Crochet, it would have been "Beware - 3-weeks to Learn how to Chain". Now, for Hope, who taught Entrelac today, my warning sign would have been, "Beware - 1 hour to create the I-cord required by the pattern just to begin the Entrelac portion, which will then completely blow my mind." I'm not even going to try to make one for the Sweater Class.

Entrelac is quite beautiful. Lisa J. has the most beautiful felted entrelac bag ever, and this is Quant from Knitty, the pattern we were to make in class today.

And here is my progress after 4 hours.

Robin was whizzing through the pattern like she'd made a hundred entrelac headbands. The I-cord? It took her a minute or two. Personally, I think she was sandbagging the whole time.

Really, all I have to say is, Remedial Entrelac is in store for me once I pass Remedial Crochet. Is it possible to go backward in learning? If it is, then I'm about to get arrested for speeding - in reverse!

Tuesday, March 25

Back to Crochet

One last thing about the biker vest first (more pictures below). I added a bit of fringe to the back of it in order to hide the fact that the "H" is a little too low. I'm mailing it off today, in hopes that my dad will get it and deliver it to my brother this weekend.

I'm excited to have started a new crochet project that is turning out pretty good, thanks of course to Courtney at Rosie's. She's having a $20 drop in crochet class every Monday night. There are a few of us who attend regularly, and we love the smallness of the group. The individual attention is incredibly helpful, especially since this is remedial learning for me. Nevertheless, I hope you guys stop by sometime, or tell your friends about it. We're thinking of making it a little Crochet Circle. Who knows. Courtney's just going to see where it goes.

Anyway, I started a pattern from Carol Meldrum's Easy Crocheted Accessories. It's a little purse/shopping bag, and I'm making it for myself. I have a rule that my first attempt at a new type of project (other than simple swatches) should be for myself...just like the sock monkey that is pictured. The odd balls are for me to look at and be encouraged as I improve. Of course, now I need to make a cuter sock monkey for you to see, so I can prove that I can make one that doesn't look like a third grader put it together.

Sunday, March 23

Biker Monkey

I took these pictures while on the phone with my dad. His low, baritone, "ha, ha, ha" is his signature way of saying how much he likes something. I'm thrilled. The back is a little big, and the "H" is a little low. It's probably more a 6-9 month outfit, rather than the intended newborn. Something tells me he'll wear it at lease once as a newborn.

Now, as for the monkey. This was my first sock monkey, and it was actually a total whim while I was at my folks' house a couple of years ago. I stole a pair of my Dad's socks, and started cutting. Anyway, this poor malformed monkey was born. Don't make fun of him for his deformities, such as a tail that is twice as long and three times as thick as his leg. He just doesn't have the best genes, I fully admit. I'll try to make another sock monkey before I leave Philly, so you know I can make a properly formed one.

Friday, March 21

A Different Kind of Baby Knits

It's a good thing that we're close enough for me to be over my concern about what you guys think of me, and that I'm resolved in knowing that to you, I'm the odd, eccentric, matchy-matchy southern girl. So since we're close, I'm revealing to you that I'm making my nephew (due in May) a little motorcycle outfit. My father recently purchased a new motorcycle. He sold his last one to pay for a semester of my college education - undeniably sweet, isn't it? My brother has also been jonesing for a bike since before the baby was a twinkle. Just to put you over the edge and seal your opinion about me and my family, I thought I'd also let you know that my sister-in-law has ridden Dad's bike several times throughout her pregnancy.

All right, go ahead. I know what you're thinking - Shock! Awe! You're crazy! I knew something was wrong with you people from the other side of the Mason-Dixon. This just further proves that ya'll are all nuts!

I'll spare you from the rest of our strange ways, or I'll at least vow to introduce them to you gradually - for your health's sake.

My dad has been hunting everywhere for a little biker outfit for the baby to wear when he holds the baby on the motorcycle for a photo op. His hunt has been unsuccessful, so I am making Dad a newborn biker suit to give to my brother. This is the vest. The britches are next. It's Berroco Suede, and I'm having a lot of fun making it. I'm more tickled about giving it to my dad than to the baby. It's my attempt to repay him for him sacrificing his favorite toy for my college education.

Thursday, March 6

Matchy-Matchy Ruffles

A ruffle hat for my friends' baby,
who is four days late because she
was waiting for me to finish.

Sunday, March 2

Philadelphia Flower Show

The Philadelphia Flower Show is a convention-sized indoor garden.

Because it's such a large event, I dug for the gems and found a few of my all time favorite plants. Here is a sampling of my 100+ pictures.

Witch Hazel

African Violet
Cymbidium Orchid
(My wedding flower)
Butterfly Orchid

I also purchased two orchids, which I'll photo with my next knitting success.