Frustration, artistic and otherwise

"Difficult" yarn to the left. Size N/15 needle/hook. Much friendlier yarn on the right.

“Difficult” yarn to the left. Size N/15 needle/hook. Much friendlier yarn on the right.

It was supposed to be a brief break from hooking, still creative, still fiberific; instead it was an exercise in frustration. To give my hands a rest, I’d made a detour in Walmart (where I am now forced to do part of my weekly grocery shopping – grrr…) and headed to the craft aisles to pick up some yarn and a crochet hook. No biggie. My aunt taught me how to crochet when I was in sixth grade or so, and I’d picked up that hook now and again throughout the decades. Last time I’d even made myself a lovely shawl,  using filet crochet and beading. This time all I wanted to do was a simple cowl-like scarf. How hard could it be?

Plenty, it turned out. I’d chosen a big novelty yarn, one that had a lot of…fluff, for lack of another word. But with double crochet, how hard could it be? Even with the giant needle I’d purchased. Again, plenty. I couldn’t see all my stitches. The little “hairs” tangled making it difficult to even pull errant stitches out. My rows weren’t even. After ripping multiple attempts out over and over again, I finally declared, “Enough!” Despite all my assumptions and confidence, I was a crochet washout. The years had finally caught up with me.

Not! Having to be out and about yesterday afternoon – another source of frustration, having to teach the kid to drive – I had my chauffeur take me to Michaels where they have plenty of less complicated yarns. While she headed to the Dunkin Donuts next door (you can take the girl out of New England, but you CANNOT take Dunkin Donuts out of the Massachusetts-born and -bred girl), I ran in for the yarn. After perusing a bit, I found a nice multicolored, kind of chenille skein. Very nice. On sale too. Always a plus. So, tomorrow night, after I purchase yet another needle… The new one is too big, and I haven’t unpacked my old ones. They must be hidden away in some hooking boxes.

I’d start it tonight, but I’m treating myself to a solo trip to Barnes and Noble’s cafe. To write. I’m one of those people who needs to be alone when I start a short story. The other people who live in my house are in the house ALL THE TIME! Worse, they want my attention. Being home, therefore, is not conducive whatsoever to writing anything more than a Facebook post or maybe a blog entry. (Presumably, a blog post is completely true and not fictional at all.) There may be others in B&N’s cafe, but I can ignore them, chalk them up to white noise in a way I just can’t at home. Hence, I’m off for a different kind of artist’s date. And I will drive myself, thank you very much.

Wool strips, though the pumpkin itself is hooked from llama yarn.

Wool strips, though the pumpkin itself is hooked from very fun, very orange llama yarn.

Lest you think hooking’s been neglected, I’ve been having some fun with the Bliss cutter guild-mate Linda lent me. I’ve chosen to cut by hand for so many years that it’s quite the luxury. To that affect, I’ve been laying down wool strips in a quickly drawn up pattern. I’ll let you know how I feel about using such “even” strips. I fear I might find the preciseness somewhat stifling, that my true Type A (for anal) personality might come out in a way I try to avoid in hookling, the one place I feel free to be…well, free.

As my pumpkin indicates, even here in Albuquerque  fall’s very definitely arrived. Our leaves are changing colors and even blowing off in the wind. We’ve had a first killing frost. The sandhill cranes, our resident snow birds, are flying in. Can’t wait to see that. Apparently, they hang around the Rio Grande for the winter. Pics to follow!

What strategies do you use when things are working out like you planned? Can you call someone? Go online? Spill your secrets here; help a gal out. And while you’re commenting, are you a precise hooker or more “anything goes”?



4 thoughts on “Frustration, artistic and otherwise

  1. Karen Larsen

    If you have an iPad, download an APP called Coffitivity. It is sounds of a coffee shop….murmuring conversations, clanking dishes, etc. it’s for people who,like to write or study in coffee shops. I love it!

    1. Laura

      Sounds very cool, Karen. Thanks. But I have an android, so unless they make a similar app… Anyway, I think it’s good to get out of my …milieu. See new things. Eavesdrop on others; conversations. 🙂

  2. Deb Moyes

    Shop! I have been working on some Santa patterns to make with my niece and her son next month. Not being a doll maker, I lack many basic supplies. Last week I was at Hobby Lobby (the closest craft place) almost every day and one day I went twice. (I also got on Etsy for some great curly wool for beards, so online shopping as well.) Needless to say, this project has been pretty expensive but I have been having great fun. They are much cuter than what we did last year, though I had plenty of warning this time. Maybe I’m a doll maker now… (Plus weave, dyer, hooker, quilter, sigh…) Oh and enjoy your crocheting. I just did some granny squares while waiting in the hospital for Peter last week…

    1. Laura

      So good to hear from you, Deb. I miss your updates. But is Peter okay? Prayers just in case.

      Ooh, yeah. Trying to keep that credit card bill down after all the move and re-nesting costs. But I hear you. I’m dying to take a field trip up north for the fiber I hear is up there.

      So, share some of your dolls! And your crocheting. Hope things are good with you. Would you believe that it’s snowing here? And it’s only 33. Damn El Nino. Not that it’s accumulating and it will warm back up in a day or so back up. Still…