Yeah, I haven't posted anything for awhile, so here goes:
I've been working on a new granny square afghan design for a new pattern. Unfortunately, the squares have to be sewn together to create the design. I started a few weeks ago, trying to work on it at least a few hours each day (like I got a lot of other things to do!.
I'm trying to write out the pattern as a go along. I kind of stumbled in to pattern designing, so I don't have any training with it.
In years past (especially before the Internet), I never thought of writing out a pattern. But5 sine the Internet, people who see my work requested them, so, I figured, why not, right?
As far as anything else, I still go to a crochet class at the nearby senior center, once a week. I mainly there to bring the more 'technical' side of crochet. Things like, adjusting patterns, trying new stitches, the different types of yarns, etc.
I also try to help out with students when the 'official' crochet instructor's busy or she's stuck. (P.S: She also modeled a sweater I made some time ago, (see photo)
I have a hanging mannequin, but it's a woman's size Large, so when I want to make a larger size sweater, I bring one to class. Don't get me wrong, I do bring in things for smaller size ladies too!
Here's a shrug I made earlier this year: (see photo)
Not much else is going on with me, my health seems to be pretty stable for the moment, so other than that, that's about it.
OK, let me get back to that afghan......see you later! ;-)
This year, I decided to be more active, both physically and socially. Despite the fact it's Winter, I'm, going to start walking more (even if it's in the hallway of my apt.). I plan to make sitting here on this computer more productive, by blogging more. That means I have to have something to say, right?
Well, let me start by saying this while I'm currently in somewhat decent health, I need to take advantage of it.
I'm finally on the home dialysis machine, and although it takes a lot of my evening and night time, it leaves me free during the day. And I do feel better.
This is the time I do most of my crocheting, and I'd like to first finish some of the projects started (yeah, everybody says that, right!)
I have a young Home Health Aide that's now coming 5 days (instead of 3) a week, to do some minor things around the apt. for 2hours in the afternoon. There really isn't that much for her to do. but she keeps me company, while it provides her with a stress free part time job. She's really a sweet girl, a native of Haiti, who's currently taking online classes for Nursing. When she's not listening to me talking her ear off, she spends a lot of time on her smartphone (well, she's 22 after all, OK!).
What I'd like to do meeting with other older Black Men Who Crochet here in Philly,. No, I don't mean we all get together in a group (we guys don't do that!). Just knowing a few guys, and maybe talk on the phone, meet at the yarn shops, or chat online, just shoot the breeze, with a crochet twist.
In my entire crochet career, I've only met 1 older Black Male Crocheter, and he likewise. He was at a Senior Center. We looked forward to seeing each other each week, until he passed away, leaving me with all his knit and crochet accessories. He knew I would put them to good use. ;-)
I know you guys are out there!!
I'd like to talk and share my thoughts and ideas with another 'Brother(s). from 'our' perspective.
It's January 2, and I'm wondering what will make 2015 different than 2014 for me.
Well, for one thing, I hope that I won't get sick, worse yet, go back in the hospital. I had enough of that the year before!
I'd like to be more physically active (that means less crocheting and computer time!). I really need to attract some friends, mainly other gay guys, close to my age. Although, I'm not much of a 'social' person, I think it'll be more healthy to interact more. I've been cooped up in my apartment since I've moved here nearly 3 yrs. ago.
I'm just tired. Tired of feeling this way. Tired of how bland my life has become. Tired of wondering is this it? Is this the way the rest of my life will be?
Now, that's not to say that I always felt this way. there was a time (or two), that I had some friends, and I socialized , but all my friends are either dead, or, weren't really my friends in the long run.
As a typical 'loner', I tried to come out my 'shell' from time to time, but it doesn't last for very long. I sometimes would get the feeling that I seem to make more of a effort than they would. I have this saying, "If I don't make the effort, the effort won't get made!!"
Hey, I don't know, maybe it's my lot in life to be a loner, and I should accept my fate, such as it is. I tend to worry too much when I'm around people. I'm always wondering, I'm I talking too much, too loud, too long. I'm I too poor, too boring, too ugly, even too 'gay' (not that's anything wrong with that! ;-) )
Ever get those people who say they'll call, and/or stop by, but never do? And the ones that do, make you feel that, "You're only as good, as what you're good for!", otherwise, they wouldn't give you the time of day!.
You know the ones, the ones that smile in your face, while trying to feel what's in your pockets!
Yeah, I might sound a bit cynical, but I guess that's my 'sensitive' side talking.
I guess I'll just have to see. I'll try to do better. Maybe I have to take my own advice that I try and teach my crochet students, "Everything round/row you work on, set's up for the next round/row".
In other words, Kenny, 'get your ass up, and do something about it!'
THE SOUTH PHILLY'S 'QUEEN' OF CROCHET' HAS STEPPED DOWN!
Well, I'm sad to say that Jane's Yarn Shoppe, at 12th & Morris Sts is no longer open. Due to financial reasons, she could no longer keep it going.
Small local yarn shops have been trying to compete with the large craft stores (we have A C Moore and Michaels), and Jane's was the only 'crochet friendly' LYS in the city. And when the craft stores came to town, that drove a lot of business from her shop..
She had been a staple in the South Philly area, along East Passyunk Ave. for several decades.
I met her in the late 90's, and found a refuge to share my thoughts, ideas, and my crochet work with. I sometimes found myself staying the shop for hours at a time, just hanging out.
At first, I felt a little strange going there, being the only guy I knew who crocheted (before then, I would just crochet by myself, and never had anyone to talk to about it, without getting those strange looks and attitudes. But she never made me feel that way, she's very down to earth, and welcoming. She helped me come out the crochet 'closet'.
When I started teaching at several senior centers, I would copy some of my students patterns to share with her. Before long, she had hundreds of patterns. I used to make items and she would showcase them in the store and the store window. I would sometimes call her up for her advice, we would help each other with any crochet problems. I honored her professional opinions and ideas.
She specialized in making baby clothes, with that 'thin' yarn (UGH....I cringe just thinking about it!!), and could whip up a baby sweater in no time. She's made so many baby items, she doesn't need a pattern! She could make just about anything, but baby clothes were her favorite.
And she was the best place to get Red Heart's 'Luster Sheen' yarn
Due to illness, I hadn't been able to go there in several years, but I would always recommend everybody to go to her shop. Just remember to bring something to eat & drink, because you'll be there for awhile
Ever heard that expression: 'Getting all dressed up, and have nowhere to go?"
I feel like that with crocheting lately. I like to make so many different things, but what do I do with them? In the past, I made so many things that they were piling up in my apartment. I would either find a pattern I wanted to try, or, create something new, make it, take a photo of it, then, fold it up, put it in a zippered bag, and put it in the closet.
Here's the thing...I like to crochet for just the joy of crocheting. I don't have any one person in mind, when I'm making something, I just enjoy challenging my skills and ideas.
I started writing patterns about 9 yrs. ago, only because people who were online started to ask for a pattern for the things I created myself. I never thought of myself as a 'designer', I'm just sitting here alone, putting my ideas into some form. I just like crocheting, but I don't like to do the same thing over, and over again.
I bought so much yarn, had so many books and magazines, as well as hundreds of copied paper patterns, I felt like I had my own personal yarn shop! There were days when I didn't feel like going out to get yarn, or even seeing anyone, so I'd be hold up in my apartment for days just crocheting, while listening to music (stocked up on frozen dinners so I'd didn't have to cook....bad idea!)
Well, since I moved to a smaller apartment, and my family threw out most of my patterns out of my old apartment (I had stuff that went back to the 60's...but they thought it was just junk). And, after taking what they wanted, (including some a lot of my own property!!), they sold off all my crochet work, including the yarn at a flea market!!
Now I just don't have the drive like I used to. I will pick up something now and then, but just for a hour or so.
The one good thing is that I still go to a crochet class at a senior center that's near me. I used to teach there. I had 3 other centers that I taught at, but this one was my favorite.... most of the students were actually 'learning', trying new things, and actually 'finishing' their projects!
So, I'm just content with things now, and decided to not 'get dressed up, because I'm not going anywhere!! :-)
Last December, I was hit with a severe case of pneumonia (due to a adenovirus) that cause my weak kidneys to fail, and I had to go on dialysis (permanently) . I knew that I would eventually go on it, but the pneumonia just pushed it forward faster. Some fluid from the adenovirus had build up in my right knee, and I had to get that removed.
So, I was in the hospital for about a month (don't remember much about the first 2 weeks, but I hear I was delirious. All I remember that I was in so much pain, I wanted and pleaded to die...
Well, I got thru it, but it left me extremely weak, bed ridden, and couldn't walk or go to the bathroom. Couldn't stand the smell and taste of food (lost 30 lbs.!!), and always feeling nauseated, especially in my bowels. (probably due to all the different antibiotics they were giving me!)
The pneumonia cleared up, and I was sent to a rehabilitation center to have some physical and occupational therapy. I'm also going to a dialysis center, 3 times a week, 4hrs. each time. Oh well it's something I know I have to get used to.