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Losing my crochet cherry
I am teaching myself crochet. I grabbed a copy of Debbie Stoller’s The Happy Hooker (cos she taught me how to knit with Stitch n Bitch, so I trust her) from Book Depository, grabbed a couple of hooks from Clegs and some leftover yarn and had a go.
1st try the yarn was dark brown, it was night and I couldn’t really see the chains. The yarn was splitting and I was in fifteen types of mess. 2nd try, another yarn, thinner and in a pretty green, also splitty as all buggery. I took a couple of sips of my cider and went to round 3, got out some scrap super bulky (used to make the feral best friend cardi) and this time I could see the chains and I was actually starting to crochet! Yay. But curse that first row of single crochet, what a nightmare!
One comment about this book – in Stitch n Bitch, when you are learning to knit, there is a couple of very simple patterns to help you learn, plain garter stitch scarf, then ribbed scarf. In the Happy Hooker, there are no first patterns, I am basically practising on a swatch. I want to get out there and make some stuff!
I have forgotten the frustration of learning something new, I want to be able to crochet immediately at the skill I now knit (although it has taken me 2+ years to get here!). It is teaching me patience again and the amazing time suck ability of learning something new. The hours flew by. I will be back to better my skills, because I have my eye firmly set on this pattern. I want for the hot summer that will be here in six months (which at 8′ right now, seems very very far away).

Wot’s on my needs?

  • Double Breasted Seed Stitch Jacket

Last night I finished the last piece of the Seed Stitch Jacket for my new niece (who probably won’t fit in it for ages!) during Borat (oh dear, I cried with laughter and spilled my drink at that naked scene). I will put the pieces together today as I have a few podcasts to catch up on and a free morning/arvo. The Nuture yarn is nice to work with, I liked it more than I expected because I have not been drawn to thick and thin yarns before. But the finished fabric is quite nubbly and natural looking. *Pictures to come, I have no batteries for my camera at the mo*

  • RPM sock

Finally after about fifty years of knitting this, I have finished one RPM sock in the now disappeared Knitting Ninja cashmere and something sock yarn and promptly cast on another. Melbourne Film Festival is about to start, so I need to have some socks on the needles to fill in my waiting time, as I am a perpetually on time person. I am keen to cast on another sock in Knitty Rocks, but I can’t find the right pattern. I have been trawling through books and magazines on which stitches show off variegated yarns. Oh well, it will come to me. Top of the list at the moment is from Charlene Schurch (I always want to call her Charlotte Church!) More Sensational Knitted Socks in Stansfield 304 or perhaps in Little Arrowhead Lace.

  • Cascading Leaves Shawl aka the Goth Mermaid Wedding Shawl

I have cast on the wedding shawl! Not sure if I have blogged about this before but I am making a shawl for my friend’s wedding. She is a little bit goth and completely obsessed by mermaids, so I got the lovely Live2Knit to custom dye some black/greens yarn for me. Then I found a pattern which could look like scales (but leaves) in a 4ply yarn because the wedding is the end of October and which means the weather could be doing anything. I was feeling a bit blah last weekend and thought I would clear my mind of funk by concentrating on something complex, I pulled out the pattern and the yarn and all is going swimmingly. The pattern is easy to follow (but I really should read charts, I rely on the written out instructions) and I am up to the 2nd repeat. I just checked out the work so far in the full sunlight (it has been pretty grey here) and the yarn looks beautiful with its subtle variations in greens. Excited!

Other stuff

  • I have not gone to Bendigo. I feel a bit like the girl who couldn’t go to the ball, but I decided that I didn’t need any yarn. I am already booked up for the rest of the year with projects! Goth Mermaid Wedding Shawl for October, Blue Bayou Mitred Stole for Schwester 2 and Extermiknit for the Spud in November. Then there’s Christmas. Plus anything for me in between!
  • Gusseting brought along the new Norah Gaughan Berroco pattern books to SnB last Sunday and I snapped one up. I had decided previously that Norah is pattern porn. I have Knitting Nature and it is amazingly beautiful and inspiring but I am lazy and the patterns are just too fiddly. I thought this while looking through Woodland Gothic, beautiful but scary hard and would do my head in. But then I took a look at Objet d’Art and there were some easy patterns in there for the slack arses like me! So I grabbed it. I am now planning to make Acton and Currer.
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This week I learned about premature babies. My new niece has arrived 8 weeks early, but she is healthy and bigger than expected (not in a humidicrib). Being in a different city from my sister, there is nothing I can do to help (which is immensely frustrating for a control freak like me!) but she has asked me to get out my needles and knit for her. That I can do!
So I am posting today about knitting for premature babies, tips and patterns.

Tips for humidicribs

  • Knit with cotton- premature babies are very sensitive. Although I have read that very soft 100% baby wool is ok. There was a recent discussion on Melbourne SnB yahoo group on alternative yarns for babies with sensitive skin, suggestions included bamboo or corn derived yarns.
  • Here are some tips from Maureen, a nurse with 20 years experience.
  • No metal fasteners or ribbons. Velcro is no good because hospitals tend to use industrial washing machines and dryer.
  • Plain stocking stitch is best. Lace stitches can get caught in little fingers.

Free patterns for premature babies

In my searches, I could only find one Australian charity looking for donations of knitting for premature babies, Miracle Babies. Perhaps it is a lack of internet information for Australian charities but if you know of any other Australian charities, please let me know.

Edit: Other Australian charities