Thursday, November 02, 2006


***GUEST PET: This is Famous Sam, courtesy of our Jean Brashear.

A talking version of Sam had a starring role in a book Jean wrote for her grandgirlies. He is clearly a cat of many talents.

(Jean, who took this picture? I love everything about it!)***

We were out all day yesterday and I didn't accomplish one single round of knitting.

I crocheted.

I'll pause while you gasp for air. I admit it. I'm also a crocheter. I'm not sure why crochet is viewed with a certain amount of disdain but it is. I was told once that it's the "poor woman's knitting." Now it never occurred to me to apply class distinctions to needlework but apparently it occurred to any number of other people to do so.

Why? Because you only need one needle (hook)? Because the designs available are less stylish? Because one too many toilet paper roll covers were presented as gifts at one too many holiday get-together? Because you only see granny square afghans draped over the back of the couch in the living rooms of working class families on TV sitcoms? Hey, come visit me! I'll show you a museum's worth of granny square afghans.

WARNING: Cathy and Sunny, if you're reading this, DON'T!! STOP NOW! The rest of this post is none of your business.

A good friend's daughter recently gave birth to her third little boy and that means I am immediately overcome with the need to crochet a Baby Clouds baby blanket. I am in soft squishy yarn heaven. I know I've sung the praises of Red Heart's Baby Clouds before but it bears repeating: this stuff is great. Babies love it and they continue to love it once they become kids. Machine washable and dryable. Super soft. Durable. Heirloom quality? No. But for some reason it quickly becomes the baby's blanket of choice and that's good enough for me.

So I began the blanket yesterday, whipped through four skeins of Seashore and realized I didn't have any more. I placed an emergency order to Royal Yarns and should have reinforcements tomorrow.

I know what you're thinking. "Isn't this supposed to be about felting?" Well, that brings me to my other friend. She's received her share of baby blankets for her grandchildren too but it turns out that a little felted Perfect Pouch (my very first felting project) made a far bigger impression than I'd realized. Out of nowhere she emailed this to me earlier this week, "You sent me a small bag you wove[knit] 2 or 3 years ago.It's wool in a marvelous stripe of pink, red, orange-ish. I cannot tell you how many times I use that little bag. I just adore it. And as for my Gryffyndor House scarf, I used it all last winter, and have been greeting my trick or treaters in it tonight along with my witch's hat. Professor McGonacle! I know I thanked you at the time for these gifts, but I wanted you to know how much pleasure these two gifts that you made have given me, and continue to give me."

I actually burst into tears when I read that. So many times you knit your heart and soul into a special gift for a much loved friend only to have it received with the same enthusiasm as a checkout special from Target. It's one of the risks knitters take. Not everyone gets it and very often our hearts get stomped on.

Now I had absolutely no intention of making another Perfect Pouch this year for my friend. She's getting the Kitty Pi for Sylvester. But guess what will be leaping onto my needles before the day is out?

That's right. Another Perfect Pouch. Clearly GET FELTED has begun!


Blogger georg said...

I finally learned to crochet. I made a bun cover for myself. :) What is a bun cover, I hear you ask, with visions of something vaguely underwearish in mind, probably. It isn't like that. Snoods are was Victorian women wore to cover their hair when they weren't wearing hats- these were crocheted and lacy appearing. Bun covers just cover the hair bun, and not the whole head. My hair when left alone passes my waist, and bun covers can be very useful.

I have a dear friend who crochets a great deal of delicate lacy things and was horrified when I asked if she could teach me how to make a granny square. The indignity that I would bother with such a coarse thing when I could if I wished make doilies with 180-weight linen thread with my newfound skill...

10:14 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

That is one lovely kitty! And what a great photo!

1:40 PM  
Blogger Dawn Brocco said...

I learned to crochet when I was 8 or 10, I forget. I taught myself to knit in '91 or so, so, I too, have crocheted far longer than I've been knitting or doing any other kind of needlework.

All I know about the class separation of the 2 classes is from bits here and there, picked up from EZ, movies, etc. The maids often crocheted and the middle or upper class gentlewomen knit.

Crochet thread surely was more affordable for the working class women, than the fancier wools, silks and beads, that knitters of the time would use.

The separation has hung around a long time. Even today, Many crocheters use (typically cheaper) box store yarns, while knitters typically frequent yarn shops.

Crossover has and does occur (Sylvia Cosh was great and used knititng yarns in her work), but when it comes to garments, knit fabrics are more comfortable, leaving crochet to edgings and accessories.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

BB, Sam's picture was taken by my daughter, who won't claim to be an expert photographer but certainly should think about it because she has quite an eye. We get all sorts of amazing photos from her.

And I love Baby Clouds, too! Knitted a twin bed sized afghan for one of my grandgirlies out of it, and it was the softest, softest thing! (Did the other grandgirly's out of Lion Homespun which is really soft, too.)

8:32 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Thanks, THE Wendy! Sam, it turns out, is quite a smartypants when he can talk. I had so much fun writing that book (another is in the works for Christmas) that the line between reality and fiction blurred a bit (not that it doesn't all the time!) and the next time I saw Sam, I felt even warmer and fuzzier about him and kept expecting him to understand what fun we'd had together in TreasureLand!

Many thanks to my daughter and family for letting me share Sam's photo, since I can't ::sniff:: have a cat of my own! (Allergic spouse--to whom I'm very attached.)

8:36 PM  

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