Most of my current projects are small ones. I really don’t have much time for making, but I also really, really need the dose of sanity that creativity provides. The compromise is keeping projects small and portable. Crochet and embroidery fit the bill nicely, and they have been getting
an extra share of attention lately. They are the perfect diversion at
the end of a stressful day, keeping my hands and my mind busy as we
wind down for the night.
This is my
first ever finished crochet project. (Evan just reminded me it’s not:
“There’s that dishcloth in the drawer!” Okay, thank you Evan. This is
my second ever finished crochet project. I once made a dishcloth.)
This little sweater and hat set was worked in 100% cotton yarn from my
(small) stash; my own pattern, just done with single crochet,
double crochet, treble crochet, and a lot of trying, pulling, and
re-trying. I am pretty happy. Julia’s pretty happy. It’s a happy
project. And that, my friends, has been a long time coming. Crochet
and I have a past.
I have been crocheting since I was a girl… When I was nine, I joined
a 4-H club at my neighbors house. It was a crochet club, and I was
disappointed because two years earlier my older sisters had joined her
4-H group and she had done crafts; but I was too young to
join that year, so there I was stuck with crochet. We called ourselves The Chain
Gang, and we had a chant when we went to 4-H summer camp that went
something like, Hail, hail, the gang’s all here! I ended up
liking crochet, except my mother kept telling me I was holding my yarn
all wrong. Apparently there is a very tricky, very complicated, very specialized way to hold yarn when you crochet. I never could get it, and it very nearly made me give up crochet altogether.
Incorrect yarn-holding aside, I hung in, and that summer I almost finished my first project. It was a small afghan made of strips (similar to one here) that I had very cleverly altered to be an infant sized sleeping bag. (What a nine-year-old would do with an infant sized sleeping bag, I have no idea, but trust me, it was cool.) I had most of the strips finished in a lovely combination of pink, orange, and white, when I learned the proper way to weave in the ends. As it turns out, upon finishing a crochet piece, a person is to weave in the ends. Never knot your yarn, and never, ever cut the thread, for it will surely unravel. I, having knotted the end of each color change, AND having trimmed each knot as short as possible, was devastated. What on earth was the point so finishing a project that was only destined to unravel?
I entered nothing in the fair that year. It was a rather disappointing end to the whole 4-H experiment.
While I was expecting my first baby, I again tried crochet. This time I knew about weaving in, and I was ready. (After several hours of trying the specialized yarn-holding method, I did move to the plain yarn-holding method; sorry, mother.) I never have been one to buy a pattern, so I just jumped in with an idea of a very simple afghan done all in single crochet with a pretty tricky (thought I) lattice section worked in, made with a tiny, size F hook. The yarn I chose was a very delicate baby yarn in a sweet, pale shade of green which would be perfect for either a girl or a boy. Tiny hook. Very delicate baby yarn. Lordy, I could have gestated for three years and never finished that bugger. Almost twenty years later it still measures 13″x40″ and it ain’t getting any bigger.
My third attempt at crochet came one long winter ten or twelve years ago, while spending time with my cousin. She was working on an afghan in the Biggest. Loosest. Stitch. Ever. It was worked entirely in treble crochet with TWO strands of heavyweight yarn, on a hook so big I could have hung my coat on it. Perfect!
By the time it was one-eighth of the way done, I think it weighed about seventeen pounds.
After that, I made the dishcloth.