"The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give it away." David Viscott

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Crochet Socks Two At A Time

Crochet socks have been my ongoing travel project for several months now.  After running into a variety of issues, I have come up with the solution - crochet socks two at a time!

The first problem I ran into was not having both skeins of yarn in the bag.  Once one sock was finished, I couldn't find the other skein!  When I DID find it, I had misplaced the sock.  This all happened in the midst of my reorganization phase.

Next I tried putting both skeins of yarn into the project bag.  By the time I had completed the first sock, another yarn had caught my attention that I just had to try.  Therefore, another project bag went into the closet.

Now that I have found the perfect yarn for me - Paton's Stretch Sock - I put both the skeins and a little snack size zip lock of miniature safety pins (much less expensive than stitch holders).  I started with the toe of the first sock.  Once the increases were completed, I put a safety pin in where the hook had been to hold the work and started on the toe of the second sock. 

I worked the second sock to the arch increases, then put the safety pin in and worked the first sock past the foot and completed the arch.  Back to the second sock to complete the arch and the heel.  Yesterday I completed the heel of the first sock and started on the cuff.  Once that is done, all I'll have left is the cuff of the second sock and an actual PAIR of sock will be done!

It's hard to say whether this technique has saved any time or not, as I work on it only while waiting for kids and doctors and the like.  Yet it seems to me that this pair of socks worked up quicker than any I've made before.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Keeping Focused

When turmoil and chaos enter your world, it is tough to focus on crochet.  Worry and action take over for the tribulation at hand.  To maintain your sanity, you MUST take time for yourself.

Choose a project that is repetitive and doesn't require much thought.  You don't need to add frustration with your crochet to your already frazzled self!  Allow yourself to get into a rhythm and let your stitching act as a mantra.  Even just a few minutes of crocheting can give you the refreshing break needed to continue with your day.

There is a massive road construction project not far from my home, in which they stop traffic to let only one lane through at a time.  The wait can be anywhere from zero (if you're lucky enough to catch up to the end of the line that's going through) to 45 minutes!  Rather than get all worked up about the possibility of being late, put the car in park and get out your crochet.  I've joked with the traffic control people that I have finished an entire sweater while waiting for them! 

With school starting, winter coming, and Christmas in the foreseeable future, there are many crochet projects that need to be completed.  I'm working on wool coats, hats, mittens, socks, and gifts.  If I were still vending craft fairs, I would also be adding to my inventory.  As a designer, I must keep a sharp eye on the deadlines that occur in this time frame. 

To keep myself from being overwhelmed, I break up my day into 2 hour time slots dedicated to specific projects.  I may have a half a dozen projects going at the same time, but each one is progressing a little each day.  If an appointment falls within a certain time slot, I bring that project with me. 

If you only have a half an hour a day you can squeeze out of your schedule for yourself, spend at least part of it crocheting.  A hat that would take 3 1/2 hours to complete all in one sitting will be done in a week, and you'll begin to look forward to your "crochet time".