Saturday, August 9, 2008

All tied up in knots...

Being in the world of knitters and crocheters here in Huancayo, I decided a while back (while I was still in Texas 2 years ago, only in the planning stages of this mission) that I needed to learn how to knit and crochet.  I thought that it would be something that I would have in common with the ladies here and we would have something that we could do together and talk about.  So I went to my church's Prayer Shawl Ministry and learned how to knit.  

My first project was, of course, a prayer shawl.  I managed to get it 90% complete before mission training and trying to leave the States became too hectic and I had to put it down.  I left it with the ladies in the ministry so they could finish it off for me and deliver it to my grandmother after they prayed over it and over her.  There was a baby blanket project that wasn't ever finished, either... it was given to a women who came to my garage sale looking for craft supplies... she was excited to take it home and finish it off.

So that was the end of the knitting until sometime early this year in Costa Rica when I was going stir crazy and needed a craft project that I could focus on and relieve my brain of Spanish overload.  I went out and bought yarn and needles and began to make Sarah a scarf for our future cold days in Peru.  I couldn't remember how many stitches to use... they just don't seem that big on the needles!  So I guessed and used 36 stitches for Sarah's scarf -- right now, any one who knits is rolling on the floor laughing at the thought of 4 year old Sarah wearing a scarf 32 stitches wide!!!  Bottom line... that's about 3 times too many for her size!  So, Sarah now is the proud owner of a blue shoulder wrap, which most of the time doubles as a baby blanket for her dolls.

While we were at home in Texas in May, I promised to "fix" the scarf problem for Sarah and I bought more yarn.  This time I got it right and she now wears her pink scarf with pride in Peru.  In fact, I liked her pink one so much that I got the same yarn for myself and I'm just about finished with my own scarf to match.

So, since we have been here, I decided that it was time to tackle crochet.  I went to the store yesterday and bought a hook and yarn so I could begin to learn.  Last night and all day today, I have been crocheting.  The basic crochet is not an issue... got that mastered.  However, how many more scarves does a person need???  I want to learn to do more than just the basic back and forth scarf or baby blanket.  

So, with the help of the internet and YouTube, I am working on mastering some other stitches.  I REALLY want to learn to make a Granny Square... I have fond memories of my greatgrandmother making us pillows and afghans with this pattern, so I would like to do it also.  But I'm having serious issues... I think I have ripped out 5 or 6 squares so far and started again.  The first few weren't squares at all - they were circles.  Guess they would have made nice doilies or something, but that wasn't the plan.  This last one was feeling much better, but then everything went south and it somehow started to draw in on itself and look something like a stocking cap.  By the time I gave up on it, it looked a lot like a hollow ball... seriously, I'm thinking of buying a styrofoam ball and putting it inside my "not-so-granny square" and using it for a Christmas ornament!

Anybody out there with any great ideas?  Guess I'm going to have to use my language skills and get out there and ask some cute little Quechua woman in the park to teach me where I'm going wrong.  I'm kind-of afraid of that idea.  You should see these women knit... these ladies are professionals!  They knit with the yarn wrapped around their shoulders and they frequently have 4 or 5 needles in their hands going at once, and they move at lightning speed.  I think I'm in too deep here...  What was I thinking???  My Martha Stewart days were over a long time ago.  Guess I'm stuck with scarves... guess what everyone is getting for Christmas!!!