Writer at Play: A Rippling Fiber Tale

You’ll all be happy to know my cold is getting better…if for the
sole reason that I won’t be whining about being sick for much longer.
All together now: “Hooray”!
Yeah, I may still be a little weird. But you should be used to that by now. And yes, I know this is a writer’s blog – but you may recall I said I was going to get back into the “variety” part of these pages, and so we shall. Starting today…

This
week in the crafty-but-not-writing column, we have a new crochet
project. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken on anything larger than a
dishcloth with my trusty hooks, but last weekend, I decided to start a
ripple afghan (hint – that’s not a ripple in the photo), responding to an oh-so-subtle challenge from Carol Ward
(Okay, she sent me a basic stitch pattern – if you’re a “hooker”, you’ll
know that’s really all it takes. We’re easy like that).
I
spent about 15 minutes going through my trusty yarn stash, feeling up
the skeins (yes, seriously), holding colors up together, trying to
decide which ones I had enough of to finish a largish project with
(because most of what I have are older colors, so buying more that will
match is virtually impossible, dye lots being what they are), and which
ones I wanted to save for later/other projects. You really can’t rush
the yarn-choosing process…it’s like picking a setting for a story –
the whole thing is based on that one choice.
Finally
settling on a muted turquoise worsted-weight acrylic and complimentary
cream that I inherited from my paternal grandmother (she was a hooker
too) before she passed on, I grabbed Carol’s instructions, took up my
trusty “I” hook (Bates, not Boyle!), and got to work. Yes, I’d already
finished my writing for the day (sheesh!). 
Three
rows in, I knew I had a problem. Part of that problem was my husband,
and the Scarecrow & Mrs. King episodes we were trying to stream off
Amazon. Part of it was that somewhere, I seemed to have lost count, as
the right side of my new ripples appeared to have a tumor. I kept going,
but two rows later, I knew I had to frog it.
Frog (frogging, frogged): term
used by fiber artists (?) to refer to the process of unraveling or
“ripping out” (rip it, rip it – get it?) stitches in a project, usually
accompanied by wailing and gnashing of teeth (or choice words, at
least). 
As I pulled the fledgling
afghan apart, we’d finally gotten our TV show to work, but somehow, I
was put in charge of the remote in case it needed “fixing” again. I
think it’s because my husband was heavily involved in his virtual
farming chores, because you know it’s important for him to stay ahead of
his dad with the whole virtual crop thing. *Really* important,
obviously.
So there I was, remote keyboard on
one leg, pile of yarn on the other, hook in hand. Deciding I wasn’t
quite up to the challenge of a ripple just yet, I decided to regroup,
and make a throw using my favorite basketweave stitch instead. The basic
pattern for this (written poorly, no doubt – it’s been awhile since I
read or wrote a pattern) is:
Chain a longish row (multiples of three work well, but any count will do)
Double crochet in each stitch of the chain.
Chain 2 (to turn)
Skip
the first stitch, front post double crochet around the next three
stitches (the post is the middle part of the stitch, underneath where
you would normally stitch through. If you start from the front of the
piece, it’s front post, start from the back, it’s back post).
Back post double crochet around the next three stitches. 
Switch off front and back post crochet every three stitches to the end of the row. 
Chain two, and repeat previous pattern.
For
those of you horribly confused yet itching to try, I’ve promised Carol a
video to explain, and I’ll try to get that done this weekend. I would
have done it earlier, but my voice isn’t remotely worth listening to at
the moment (well, and I’ve been busy).
So
that’s how my current project (pictured above) got started. I’ve since worked a few more
rows into it, but I suspect it will keep me busy for quite some time.
After that, I have an apron project I’d like to try…and some hand-warmers, and a t-shirt or sweater, and a jacket…

Are you a hooker? What’s the last thing you made (or what are you working on now)?


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2 comments on “Writer at Play: A Rippling Fiber Tale

  1. Carol

    I still say that ripple is easier. 😛

    And I just got a pattern for fingerless gloves that I want to try out. You know, ’cause this is the weather for them. LOL

  2. Ardee-ann Eichelmann

    Jamie, I do not crochet. I don’t have the talent for it. Heaven knows that my Meema tried to teach me how to do it but I was just not able to grasp the whole process.

    I had to comment because of the paragraph where you discuss your husband’s “virtual” farming chores and how *really* important it was that he not let his dad get ahead of him.

    I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I read that. I could imagine your expression about same and it tickled me, a LOT!

    Thanks for making my day. Enjoy your hooking!

    Cheers,

    Ardee-ann