Thursday, 8 July 2010

The Cats Are Not Helping!

I sometimes have to wonder why I do some of the things I do. Why on earth am I spending ridiculous amounts of time crocheting a baby blanket? Why don’t I just pop into Babies are Us, grab a readymade and pre-packaged blanket, with the only effort required on my part being to try to prise my credit card out of my purse and then suffer the anguish and mental exertion required to recall my PIN? Well, the obvious answer is that I love my brother Moon and his lovely wife M and I want to pour that love, through my nimble fingers, into a beautiful, handmade and personal gift. I want that precious little baby to be wrapped in its warmth and softness, to cuddle him in a way that I cannot, to feel my love across the miles that separate us. But is that really the whole truth?

Obviously not.

You see, I am the kind of person that needs to know that I can do something if I want to. It’s not that I really want to be able to crochet, more that I want to be able to say, yep, I can do that. It’s not that I want to sit around all day, like some little old lady, crocheting bright orange and brown squares to make a crocheted blanket that I can then leave to my great grand nieces and nephews, it is not that I want to be able to crochet a tea cosy that I can then give to my senile old neighbour who can then walk around with it on her head, since she seems to think that it is a hat. Oh no, nothing like that. I just need to be able to prove to myself that I can do it. One of my lasting memories as a child was the time spent with my Auntie Gert as she tried to teach me how to crochet. Now, I was a very patient child, willing to sit for long periods of time, to not give up on something just because I couldn’t get it straight away. Generally speaking, I could pick up new skills pretty quickly, but crochet (and knitting, if I am honest), appeared to be beyond me. Why, oh why could not I not get the hang of it!?! Ah yes, the old cackhandedness strikes again. Trust me, if you are left handed, don’t try to learn how to knit or crochet from someone who is right handed. It just doesn’t work.

So, did I just give up? To be honest, yes. That is, until the first child appeared in my extended family. Now, the challenge was back. I needed to make something, I couldn’t just buy something. So, how did I finally conquer my crochet nemesis? With a mirror, of course! I just went and bought a how to crochet book, propped it up in front of a mirror to get a left handed view and, voila! I knew I could do it. And once I have proved to myself that I can do something, I never need do it again. Take Sudoku. Mr. DBM likes to challenge his brain on a continual basis. Me? I just like to show that I have a functioning brain once in a while. So, once that fiendish Sudoku was done, so was I, and I have never done one since. Why bother? I know I can, if I want to. The challenge is gone. The same is true for the Travel IQ Challenge. I should warn you NOT to go to this site if you are the competitive, addictive type, unless you have hours to waste! Once I conquered all the levels, that was it, I was done. Now the same would probably be true of the crochet, if it wasn’t for the fact that relatives keep having babies............

So, the project – one baby blanket.

Things did not start well – apparently, if you buy wool in skeins, the first thing you have to do is wind it into a ball. Why on earth not just sell it as a ball to being with? Why on earth didn’t someone tell me!?! If you don’t, you end up with one mahoosive, convoluted, tangle of wool and it will take you the rest of the evening to untangle it. Now, I could have just said “Sod it!” I could have just chucked that ball out and started again. But no, I could not be defeated by a ball of wool. But no, I had to prove to myself that I could untangle it. What is wrong with me!?! Who really cares if I am the master untangler of all things tangled? Why oh why can’t I just give up on something that really isn’t important?

Anyhoo, I did untangle it, eventually, despite the facts that my cats were not helping - do they ever? And now, the blanket is started – when is that baby due again?


Moon said...

Too Soon .... I was worried when you mentioned Orange squares !!!!!

Love the cat pictures...

We do intend to give you more than one Nephew or niece you know

Don't Bug Me! said...

Moon: They will have to share the blanket then - one per family!

jabblog said...

LOL! I don't like to be beaten by 'things' either and do them just to prove I can if I so wish. However, I heed my (left-handed)husband's advice - sometimes! - 'Don't go through a problem, go round it.' As for left-handers - pffft! I taught my left-handed daughter to sew and used my left hand when helping her with her handwriting. See? Don't like to be beaten ;-)
The baby blanket will be just beautiful :-)

Carole said...

And all along I thought my jumping from one project to the next and rarely coming back (to crocheting, knitting, embroidery, needlepoint, sewing) was due to some lack of focus, attention span, short-lived interest...just couldn't figure it out. But thanks to you, I understand that it's probably that ability to say, "I can do that" more than anything else. I've managed to complete each project, except for a knit sweater I started for my husband 5 years ago. But then again, maybe it stayed there because I had already knit one for my nephew. I can do that!

Cortes said...

When you are done with the blanket, would you willing to try a pair of mittens? You know, the ones with the string that ties them together?

Baino said...

Haha you've got about 7 weeks by my count so get those cacky fingins working' I'm left handed too it's a bitch trying to learn from a right hander. The pussy pics are classics, just gold!

MYM said...

LOL ... love the yarn/cat action shots! hahaha

I know what you mean tho! My niece re-taught me to knit this year and we started a project, I lost half of the wool due to a big fat knot! I don't have your patience.

Johnny Nutcase said...

seriously? those cat pictures are too freaking cute! Love love love 'em!

Don't Bug Me! said...

Jabblog: Ahh, so I can blame my mother and Auntie Gert for giving up on me can I? Excellent. I knew it wasn't my fault.

Carole: Glad I could help!

Cortes: You haven't lost your mittens again, have you?

Baino: I fear that I have even less time if I want my mother to take the blanket back with her, since she arrives next week! And yes, the cats really are classics - that must be why I love them so much.

DM: My patience is sometimes a curse. I wasted a whole evening untangling that stupid tangle of wool. Just think of all the useful things that I would have done instead, like, erm, watch TV.

JN: Me too, except for when I get to the soggy, frayed bits of wool when I am crocheting!

Kate said...

another leftie here -with the handicap of a 5 month puppy and a cat!!! But somehow I get these projects done!!
Good luck!!!
p.s. love the puss cats!!!!