Dragonslaying

9:32 AM

The other day I decided that since it was summer, I ought to do something heroic. Something noble. Something of eternal value. The kind of thing that gentlemen get knighted for - only I am neither British nor a gentleman. Summer, I thought, would be a perfect victim of time, for it has three things going for it: (1) absolutely no school; (2) absolutely nothing to do; and (3) it's so very hot outside that anything maniacal should be done at this present time - to be blamed on the maddening heat, of course.

You may think I am not the heroic, noble, something-of-eternal-value type, but I pride myself on a surprising personality.

With the mind of proving the naysayers wrong, I picked my target and assailed my accomplice.

"Floppeth*," I innocently asked, "would you teach me how to crochet?"

She was very quiet and calm, though no doubt the heart palpitations were bordering on unbearable. "Yes, darlingest. Let me go downstairs and get me stuff."

"Do you even know where my crochet hook is?"

She giggled sheepishly, but I had no doubt she could dig up my weapon of war someplace or other. I received that hook at my tenth birthday party, used it for less than an hour a year or two ago and donated it to my sister's crochet-like-a-madwoman cause.

We snuggled - or she did; I was too busy being heroic and thus refused the pillow - we settled on her bunk bed, therefore, and set to work. She had her rough maroon yarn, a battle-worn crochet hook and enough wits about her to realize she had her work cut out for her.

"Here," she said, "first I will teach you how to make a slip knot. You make a loop - "

"Uh, huh."

" - and turn it upside down, like so, and then put the yarn across it - "

"Which yarn?"

" - this part of the yarn, and then you stick your hook through the loops and pull."

If you felt lost at the beginning of my description, so too did I feel. But I courageously snatched worst and hook from dear sister and made my loop, flipped it upside down, put the yarn across it, stuck in my hook and pulled.

Thus it was that I started with a crochet hook and a straight piece of yarn - and I ended with a crochet hook and a straight piece of yarn, no more attached than my brain to my fingers. Things were not looking up for our heroine at that moment. I tried again. Same result. Now I began to worry.

"Floppeth!" I whined.

"What?" she chirped.

"I can't get the - am I supposed to - I can't do this!"

"Now, now, now" - she understands me well - "don't fret, darlingest. Let me see."

"I make a loop?"

"Uh, huh."

"And I turn it over?"

"Yep."

"And then I put the yarn across?'

"Yep."

"And then I stick my needle in?" Excitement flushed my cheeks. "And then I pull!"

The strand of yarn ended up limp over my fingers. Even Floppeth was dreadfully confused. She had to abandon the by-the-book method and let me skip turning the loop over. Whatever I had done before, it vanished - victory!

Chain stitching - well, it wasn't the most glorious moment of my career, partly because the yarn tangled up in my hand or I made my stitches too tight or I did something so amateur that it wasn't even included in the troubleshooting section of crochet books. As I said, Floppeth had her work cut out for her.

But soon the air was cleared of my groans and every particle of my highly-educated brain strained to understand this mystery. Nonchalantly, Floppeth whipped out one-third of a washcloth and unraveled it every ten seconds or so.

We moved on to the single crochet stitch. She explained to me the "stockinette" side of the chain and the "lumpy" side (she's always very technical), gave me the instructions and let me try.

It was painstakingly slow. And something was not quite right.

"Floppeth," came that whine.

"What?" came the chirp.

"This doesn't look right."

"Oh, let me see. It looks fine."

Well, if that looked fine, then crocheting was a primitive, uglifying art. But Floppeth walked me through it until I had banged through my first row.

"Do you want to go ahead and make the washcloth now, since there's no point in doing something you'll unravel?"

No point, indeed. I chain stitched twenty stitches - "Does the slip knot count as one?" "Yep." "One...." "Oh, no, it doesn't." - and began my washcloth. The first row, besides taking an unhealthy amount of grunts and groans, finished rather nicely; the trouble came at the second row. I couldn't figure out how anyone was supposed to be able to see the stitches. And what's more, I forgot how many times I had "pulled the hook through" on several of the stitches. So when my third row came about, there was confusion and delay.

Floppeth worked at it with all her knowledge, repeating her mantra of "It's fine" in time with my frustrated attack cries.

"See, it's fine, Bailey." Working a little further. "Eew, don't know what you did there." Working a little further. An eyebrow-sky-high shocked expression: "I have no idea what happened here." But ten minutes, lots of unraveling and one thousand screams later, I had three rows of peachy pink and white more or less crocheted. I had slain my dragon.

*For all my new readers, Floppeth and its derivatives Flop, Floppy, Sheriff Floopyloops and such are nicknames of my sister, Bethany Grace.

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22 impressions

  1. :) Wow, Bayleaf. Sounds like you had quite the adventure. Glad you have slain your "dragon". Your first dishclothe looks better than mine did. Mine was ((horrifying)).

    Great job!

    Pip

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  2. Well, there always is a first. I do think you made me sound to angelic...I don't remember calling you "darlingest" that many times... :D

    Very creative photo by the way - although I don't like seeing my nice, cotton, peaches and cream yarn lying on the wet clover/grass. :P

    *hugs*


    Flop

    P.s. You will always laugh when you wipe the table with a washcloth...

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  3. Kara, a quick confession - I unraveled that dishcloth five times before completing it. Flop will attest that I gruesomely distorted it the first time.

    Well, Floppeth, maybe you didn't really say "darlingest" that many times, but it got across the picture I wanted to portray of you. You silly girl - of course the ground wasn't wet! It was so hot outside that I burned my finger on the doorknob. But aside from those two incorrect surmises, you nailed my future fairly well - and I'm sure Auntie Floppeth would not withold such a story from her sweet nieces and nephews either.

    Love you! Must go do a gardening task.

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  4. Will your next post be on knitting? Or is that a dragon that is already slain? ;)

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  5. Well, I bet both Bailey's and Kara's first dishcloth or whatever looked like a bride's veil next to mine. Okay, so I never made one, but I can just about picture it, seeing how I butcher sewing a button onto something that I want a button on. We won't get into what Flop's looked like. She's a lot like Rachel. She maybe has to do something twice over and then she's got it. It's never the oldest that's good at it, either. It always has to be a younger sibling. Oh, dearie me.
    So that's Bethany's creation, not Bailey's? Well, Flop, it looks good. (Yeah, I know. Nobody had to tell you that. You knew.) :-)

    A girl who's light bulb still shines...even though a little dim.

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  6. Bailey , Hooray for you for overtaking such a task !!!! The washcloth looks wonderful 'me dear' ! Soon you'll be making scarves , then little baby blankets , and then big blankets !!!!

    Flop , you are the most patient sister I have ever heard of !! You must have taught her well , for the washcloth looks beautiful ! Flerpy

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  7. Maddi -- well, to put it one way, knitting's dragon is wounded. I can knit if someone can cast on and wrap it up for me, but it'd be more babysitting for Floppeth. :)

    KT, astute observation - younger sisters always seem the most creative. Universally, then, what are big sisters? Must think on that one. ;)

    Thank you, Flerpy! Floppeth is a wonderful teacher.

    Love you girls!

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  8. Ha! I finally figured out how to make italics on Blogger comments. :o))))

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  9. Well, that was a painful albeit humorous account. I'm afraid you take after your mother's aptitude with the yarn arts. But look at you--you did it! It's beautiful...and a fine example of perseverance. Are you really going to wipe a table with the washcloth or frame it?

    I'm so glad you're taking the time to try new things, work with your hands, and learn some practical things that will be a blessing to you and others now and in your future.

    And I must say I giggled when I saw you crocheting away while listening to a Dr. Voddie Baucham sermon on your laptap.

    One more thing. Forgive me, but since you're a self-professed grammar geek and I am your educational advisor, check line 18: "Do you even know were my crochet hook is?" (wink)

    Love,
    Mother

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  10. LOL I am so glad that you were able to successfully slay your dragon...it looks lovely! :) And Bethany sounds like a very patient teacher. (Oh, and the nickname Floopyloops? I love it!! :D)

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  11. :D You all crack me up.

    Congrats. Bayleaf!

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  12. Mama -- grr. And I edited it - really, I did. About three times. I couldn't believe my grammar/punctuation could get so bad.

    I think I'll enshrine my washcloth - or whatever heroes do with their spoils of war. By the way, Dr. Baucham's sermons give me the inspiration and energy to accomplish such tasks. You should try it.

    Thanks, Erin! LOL - Sheriff Floopyloops was all Floppeth's idea. ;o)

    Thank'ee, Anna!

    Triumphantly,
    Bailey

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  13. Bayleaf, dear, your washclothe looks wonderful! It was probably hard(since I heard you in the living room, and saw you unraveling your washclothe) but at least you were able to complete it! I couldn't even crochet. Flop gave up on me because I was so horrible at it.
    Good luck!
    Hannah

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  14. Aww, thanks Hannah. A secret? I do believe Bethany was about to give up on me too. Is that not truthful, Flop? Just sayin'.

    Love you, sister! ((hugses))

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  15. Bailey,
    The washcloth looks really good for your first try! Cool yarn! As you were telling of your crocheting woes, I was totally picturing you...LOL! Crocheting is actually really fun and relaxing when you get the hang of it more. You can make so many neat gifts with the skill. I have a great idea of how to make crocheted hangers ( so clothes won't slide). Let me know if you or Bethany ever want to know how to do it. It's was one of my favorite projects in crocheting! ~ Stacy

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  16. P.S. Way to go Bethany! You sound like an awesome teacher. Something I need to learn is what you really have... PATIENCE! ~ Stacy

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  17. One negative thing about blogging is that my close friends get to see inside my head...my heart...and my ineptitude in crocheting. Scary.

    Yes! I SO want to know how to make those hanger covers - that's what Mum has wanted Floppeth to take for an eternity. :o)

    See you tomorrow!

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  18. *sigh* I meant, "That's what Mum has wanted Floppeth to make for an eternity."

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  19. Now hang on here. Wake up, Bailey. I don't mean that Mum wanted Floppeth to make hanger covers for an eternity and never stop...I meant...ack. Never mind.

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  20. Bailey,
    I finally got to explore your wonderful blog! I love the theme and Bethany's doodles and "Big House in the Little Woods" is a very clever name. :)I must say, you have inspired me! It's this new blogging trend you've started, you've got me wanting to start a blog for my dance class. Perhaps you could help me with that?

    Congradulations on slaying your dragon! Your dishcloth looks lovely- well worth the effort! This story was the perfect intro to what you want to achieve in your life and through this blog and it paints a very good picture of who you are. ;)

    Thank you for adding more sunshine to the world. I love you!

    ~Lindsey

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  21. Lindsey, your comment was so beautiful and encouraging - just like the sweet young lady who wrote it. Love you too!

    p.s. I shan't be much help, but if you want me to throw my lot in with you on creating another blog...I'd love to. :o)

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  22. Okay, now I really want to learn to crochet. Especially since knitting was such a disaster. :P

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