Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yarn Over, Double Chain, Yarn Over…Start Over

I'm blogging over at Everybody Needs A Little Romance today,so I've put some of it here. But to read the entire post and see the pictures, click the link above and check it out.

My best friend and critique partner crocheted me a scarf for Christmas. It’s a beautiful red yarn with tiny gold thread running through it and I absolutely love it. She used a loom and after I saw the others she’d done decided I wanted to do some myself.

With coupons in hand, I went to Michaels, found the loom (and a couple of others in different sizes), picked out the yarn, and the crochet hook I’d need to finish the ends when I was done.

I may have forgotten to mention that I did not know how to crochet, which was why the loom sounded like a perfect solution for me. I mean really, how hard could it be to just finish the thing with some single stitches at the end.

I’d completed about 10 rows when I realized I wasn’t putting the yarn on the loom correctly and had to pull it off and start over.

Maybe reading the directions a little better would have been a good idea, but I wanted to start making the scarf, not spend time making sure I knew what I was doing. Hmmm…I think I’ve been down this road before.

It took about a week of working on it in the evenings to finish it. Uh yes, I should have been writing, but right now, I have this story idea germinating. And I did have a pad and pen with me while I was working on this project. Sometimes doing something else my ideas and plotting really start to flow.

Here’s a picture of that one. The ends are…okay, not so much matching a hundred percent, but unless you look hard, you wouldn’t really notice.

What’s a girl to do? Yep, go to Michaels and buy some more yarn. Only this time I decided I wanted to truly crochet a scarf. No loom, just the hook and me. With several hooks in different sizes and several different skeins of yarn in different colors and sizes I was went home ready to begin.

The problem? I have (or had), no idea how to do that. So I did what anyone who needs to do some research does. I went to the internet. YouTube to be exact. There I found many videos on crocheting. Learned how to do the single crochet stitch and then…stop! These women’s fingers flew across the screen and they used language that I did not understand. Chain three, single, skip two, chain 5 and so on. I soon realized I was way over my head and needed to start at the beginning with something much simpler than a shell stitch.

The girl who works across from me in my day job crochets and knits (with 4 needles, dear Lord), she’s made several baby hats with the most adorable flowers on the sides. I told her my plan, err plight, and she said bring the yarn, bring the hooks (all of them) and she’d show me what to do.

You’d think I would have learned from the above-mentioned taking the yarn off the loom and starting over several times before I had that down. But nope, not me. I brought in this beautiful gunmetal gray yarn that all soft and furry and going to be the most beautiful scarf in the world yarn. Yeah, the girl looked at me with you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me eyes. She took the time to show me what to do, but strongly suggested I used a ‘normal’ yarn for my first time.

I was determined to do this. I worked at it for several nights and realized that I had no idea what she’d really taught me and my very pretty yarn was knotting up something horrible.

Back to the proverbial drawing board. New yarn, the ‘normal’ kind and this time I told her to tell me what to do and let me do it instead of watching her. She gave me the directions, which sounded like this:

So, if you went to the over blog, what did you think about the scarfs? Do you jump in with both feet and to wade back to the beginning of the pool and start over again, or do make sure you've got it down before starting a new project?


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A little Frog Wisdom for 2011

It’s the beginning of a New Year and normally this is when I talk about reflecting on the past year and making goals for the New Year. Instead I thought I’d give you a little story that was sent to me several years ago. Funny thing is it still holds true in your writing career whether you’re published or aspiring to be published.

Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs who decided to have a running competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower.A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants.

The race began and honestly no one in the crowd really believed the tiny frogs would ever reach the top of the tower.

You heard statements such as:

"Oh, WAY too difficult!!"
"They will NEVER make it to the top."
Or: "Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!"

Sure enough as time went by the tiny frogs began collapsing. Some of them stopping to glance back at the crowd, listening to the roar of people saying they’d never make.

As those frogs stopped the ones behind them seemed to have a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher.The crowd continued to yell, "It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!"More tiny frogs slowed down to listen and gave up.

But ONE continued higher and higher and higher...this one wouldn't give up!At the end all of the frogs had given up climbing the tower except for the one tiny frog that, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top!

THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it? The crowd had told them it was too hard, that they would never make it. How could one frog reach the top when everyone else had given up.

A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal.It turned out...That the winner was DEAF!!!!

The wisdom of this story is: Never listen to other people's tendencies to be negative or pessimistic... because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you -- the ones you have in your heart! Always think of the power words have. (There's life and death in the power of the tongue - Proverbs 18:21.) Because everything you hear and read will affect your actions!

Therefore:ALWAYS be....POSITIVE!And above all: Be DEAF when people tell YOU that you cannot fulfill your dreams!

If you fall down 10 times,Stand up 11 times.

In other words if you’re rejected 10 times you may need to submit something new but submit again you must. A great friend once told me never give up today because tomorrow might be your miracle. I realize that the miracle comes from hard work but you can achieve your dreams if you never, ever give up on them.

One of the major key words there is worked. This writing journey takes work. It's not easy, but if this is your heart’s desire never give up and never listen to those who say you can't do it.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,