Thursday, February 21, 2013

Momma's Little Helpers

I've been knitting but I don't have anything to show for it, at least not any pictures. I've been working on the 10 stitch afghan which I've been working on for many years. It's one of those projects you dig out whenever you aren't motivated to start something else. I'm making it with leftover worsted weight yarn and round and round I go not thinking just knitting.

While I've been stuck in 10 stitch land the boys are being boys.

Chief likes to hold the computer down because he knows there's nothing worse than a laptop suddenly deciding to fly away.

Bert takes over laptop duty on occasion and stays very close to make sure it doesn't jump off my lap. They're such good boys and good Momma's helpers except.......

Chief has now decided the new VHS/DVD player needs to be held down while watching TV. My old one gave up the ghost a couple weeks ago and I had to order a new one. I need a VHS/DVD player/recorder because I have so many tapes of things I want to keep that you can't get anymore. Old copies of Simple Quilts; Quilt in a Day; Elizabeth Zimmermann, the tornado that was less than a mile from my town house. You know, things you don't watch all that often but really want to have. So, I had to replace the recorder to be able to finish putting all these treasures on DVD. I really need to get the player back into the cabinet where the old one lived!

In the meantime - anyone know how to watch TV through an 18 lb cat?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Patterns are just a guide

That's one of my patterns - Rust Goes Green. It's a crocheted market bag and the statistics are from Ravelry. Do you see that? That's over 8500 downloads. That's a lot of downloads for any pattern.

This week at my knitting group a member of my family tribe (cousin's niece from the other side) came over to drop off Girl Scout cookies (thank you Jen. And no, they didn't make it to the freezer!) Anyway, Jen is a crocheter and told me she had made the bag and created a gift for her child's teacher who was going on a cruise. Rust Goes Green with several cruise related items in it. How clever is that! She also said it turned out bigger than my measurements given. But that was OK with her.

That comment got me babbling about all the emails and messages I've gotten from people who have made the bag. Now - before I go too far, let me say first - I LOVE getting emails from people who made any of my patterns and enjoyed the item. They give me that "you like me, you really like me" moment and boost my ego (which is pretty fragile and I need all the help I can get!) But, I do get some emails that surprise me.

Some of the things people ask me are:

My handles are longer than I like. Can I make them shorter?
I made the bag longer (or shorter). Is that OK?
Do I have to put a button loop on it?
My gauge is different. Is that OK?
and similar type questions.

At first these question were enough to drive me crazy but then I took a step back and realized there are many, many people out there knitting, crocheting, quilting that just don't believe in themselves enough to use a pattern as a guide but not as "THE law".

So - here I am giving you permission to knit - crochet - quilt with gusto. Use a pattern to get you started but change it all you want. If something doesn't turn out exactly the same or exactly right, that's OK. You've learned something in the process. Hopefully, something that worked and you can use in the future but maybe something that didn't turn out right and you've learned what you won't do again. Trying things different from the pattern is the first step to designing your own things. Have fun. Enjoy. Go out there and try something new!

Oh, and if you do make one of my patterns and you do something different with it. Let me see the results. I really do love to see all the variation!