Sunday, January 8, 2012

Crochet & Kendo

I took up crochet again just over a year ago.  It's something to do when the weather is cold, or if Ken is watching something on TV I don't like but I still want to be social.  I can make gifts for people or something nice for myself.  I used to do embroidery, but my vision makes that harder and harder, and crochet seems more useful.  I enjoy the process, handling the yarn, creating various stitches and patterns.  My skills are still pretty intermediate, but I enjoy trying new things.

I made a scarf over the Christmas holiday that's probably going to end up as a gift for someone, after I've blocked it.  I've been working on some challenging things that are taking me a long time.  The scarf was an easy lace pattern that worked up quickly, so it was satisfying to finish.

I want to start some socks, but seem to keep putting them off.  I don't know why, as I'm actually kind of excited to try the pattern.  I'm partway through a Spanish Tile motif scarf that I really like, and I've started another scarf in a relief pineapple or peacock lace pattern that's a gorgeous shade of greenish-blue.

I've been on Ravelry for a year now.  Mostly I send messages to friends, or look at patterns and yarn.  I'm in a few interest groups, but I haven't posted in any of them yet.  Ravelry is good for is keeping track of your yarn stash, your pattern library, and your equipment (hooks).  If I want to check on how much I have of something I can just look there, rather than digging through the yarn.  You can also keep a "Favorites" list - of patterns, yarn, designers, etc, that you like.  Some things I mark as a Favorite just because I like the idea, rather than thinking I'll make that exact object.  Some things are so cool (but waaay beyond my current skills) that I want to keep track and perhaps make it someday.  My Favorites list is pages long.  There are so many things I'd like to make, it'll take me years to get through it all.

The one thing I don't like about Ravelry is the lack of a blogging function.  I guess the folks who run Ravelry can't do everything, and most people already have a blog anyway.  But there are times when I'd like to make crochet-related comments, and there's nowhere on Ravelry to do it.  So I guess I'll be talking about crochet a bit more here.

I started kendo last Thursday at the Nampa Rec Center.  I've been missing Aikido and looking for something to do instead that wasn't so far away.  When I saw a kendo class was being offered it seemed worth trying at least.  The class listing doesn't show the teacher's name, so I didn't know what I was getting into, but I think I've lucked-out.  The organization's website is here.

The first class was mostly a lot of explanation about equipment, dress, procedures, etc.  But we did do some basic movements for part of it.  Next week the experienced people are going to do a demo in full gear, so we can see what we're aiming for.  I'll be getting my own shinai and starting to get used to all the differences between kendo and aikido sword-work.  Hopefully it will be good exercise as well.

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