Friday, January 11, 2013

Random, Rambly Thoughts

The Swedish word for "pattern" is "mönster", which for some reason I have a very hard time remembering.  So whenever I happen across a Swedish craft blog with the word "mönster" in the title (or elsewhere), it always makes me do a double-take.  And then I laugh a little to myself... and think about a bilingual someone having a particularly difficult time with a Swedish crochet (virkning/virk) pattern and saying to herself, "That virkmönster is a real monster!"  (Only... I've never actually called a difficult pattern a "monster", myself, so why should anyone else?)  I think that the first thing that comes to mind when I see "virkmönster" is either a crocheted monster-shaped amigurumi or a person who is obsessed with crochet and hoards patterns, hooks, and yarn.  ("My bookshelves are overflowing with crochet pattern books and there's so much yarn stashed in my closet that I can't close the door!  I'm such a virkmönster!")

Incidentally, the Swedish word for "monster" is "odjur", which translates literally to "un-animal" ("djur" means "animal", "o" before a word means "not" or "un").  This also strikes me as funny.  (I don't know... I have a weird sense of humor?)

Back when I was engaged and newly married to my husband (who is Swedish), I had big plans for learning to speak Swedish.  Ha ha ha.  Well, I've learned a few words, but it's not easy to pick up a second language as an adult unless you really immerse yourself in it-- and he speaks such good English (better than some native speakers, honestly)-- and I'm just too darn lazy.  But you never know... Even old dogs can learn new tricks.  ;o)  Swedish can be tricky, though-- much trickier than English, in most respects.  It's one of those infuriating languages where nouns have (completely random, illogical) genders.  Ugh.  Whose idea was that, anyway?

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I treated myself to a couple of new crochet books for the beginning of the year.  (What?  I'd been admiring them from afar for a while and had some Christmas money to spend.  It was entirely aboveboard.) 

They are both motif-driven books, because those are what I love best in the world of crochet books.  A book of patterns?  Still nice, but chances are I won't like most of them, and you can't beat the bang for your buck you get with a book bursting at the seams with motifs-- especially if you love making motif-based projects, which I do.  I also love just looking through a book of motifs, time after time. 

So I've been reading through them, now-- slowly, for the initial go-through.  You have to savor them the first time to get your money's-worth.  I am not a craft-book-gobbler.  In fact, I sometimes just let them sit on the coffee table for a week or two before I really crack them open.  Just knowing that they are there, waiting for the right moment...  (Yes, I'm weird.)

I'll "review" the books here on the blog, when I've spent sufficient time absorbing them.

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Speaking of reviews, I could've sworn I'd written and posted reviews for a couple of crochet books I bought/received a year or two ago... but now I can't find them!  I may never have moved beyond the rough draft.  Hm...

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Speaking of books,  there are apparently people who have crocheted (or are crocheting) all 144 motifs in Edie Eckman's Beyond the Square book.  (Made in K-townSewing Daisies.)  That's a lot of different motifs!  (Reminds me of someone who had crocheted all of the doilies in Patricia Krisoffersen's 99 Little Doilies book...)  Much as I love motifs, I don't know what I'd do with them all, if I made just one of each, and I don't think I'd be happy making them if I didn't have a finished object in mind.  I suppose it would be possible to join them into one or more larger items (such as an afghan or a set of garlands), but that seems like an awful lot of work!  Then again, it's not work if you enjoy it. 

Anyway, I'm definitely impressed.

Related link:  Here's a shared gallery for people who participated in a challenge to make as many of the Beyond the Square motifs as possible, in 2012.

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Progress on the afghan continues, slowly but surely.  :o)