This is my now 10-year-old in 2009, wearing the brand-new bunny hat I crocheted for her that spring. I also crocheted the border of her homemade dress and a cape, which she refused to wear.
This is the same hat on my 2-year-old yesterday. The crocheted border caught in daughter #1’s shoe and fell off during Sunday School 7 years ago, so although I saved both dress and lace, I pulled out neither for this Easter. (Bygones, right?) And the little cape that was so unloved back in 2009 later became a dress up box staple and was used so much it became ratted and tangled and was eventually thrown away. But the hat! It got a second life, right? And it was really nice to see it on daughter #2 this Easter. Happy Easter!
This is a cowl I made with some bulky yarn from KnitPicks. I used the pretty “Tell Me” cowl pattern by DROPS design, but changed it around a bit to use the bigger yarn. I just did fewer repeats. It worked up very fast and is soft and cozy. Wearing great big, chunky cowls feels a a trend mostly embraced by women younger than me, so the first time I wore this out in public I felt a little self-conscious. But then I got hit on by someone slightly younger than me at the Subway, so there you go. Crochet this cowl, get hit on at Subway by slightly younger men who can clearly see that you are toting around three children and have a wedding ring. Hmmm.
Sometimes projects are inspired by different things. This project came about because I had earrings with no outfit to go with them. It’s all well and good for me to watch PBS dramas, lust after the costumes, then see show-inspired earrings on Amazon.com while innocently browsing for something reasonable like homeschool workbooks, then to add them to my wishlist, and to actually receive them for Christmas (in 2014)…but it’s another thing altogether to find something in this Kentucky homeschool mama’s closet to wear with Downton Abbey earrings. So crocheted a shawl to go with them! I used Andean Treasure yarn from Knitpicks for the first time, and it will not be the last. I loved, loved, loved this yarn. It may be my favorite yarn I’ve ever used. It’s soft and delicious, the color was so complex and beautiful (I used midnight heather), it didn’t split, it didn’t grow when I blocked it, and it doesn’t appear to be pilly. Wow! The pattern was nice too. I like the patterns by DROPS design; they are clearly written without over-explaining and they have clear charts. This pattern, 104-11 Crochet scarf, is mostly just a chart but it makes good sense. The result looks more complicated than the crocheting. I didn’t love the look of the ends of the scarf so I sewed mine together to make a loop. It’s quite possible that now I need a cup of tea and a Downton Abbey jeweled pin to go with it…
Washed out photo courtesy of my husband, who wasn’t allowed to tough the dials on my camera and thus can’t really be blamed that I didn’t have it on the right settings! It’s hard to get photographs of projects that are worn by me!
If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed that I have been pinning crocheted jewelry like crazy. I love to pin it, but I’d only ever tried to make it once as a gift. In the after-Christmas lull I decided to finally try out a couple ideas for myself. I have a stash of Curio yarn from Knitpicks because buying whole spools of cotton crochet thread at a Knitpicks sale is cheaper than trying to buy enough tiny little wads of embroidery floss to keep my bracelet-happy nine-year-old in business. (Especially when she has a mother who raids her stash for her own projects!) I made two pieces of lace, then starched them lightly with some watered-down Stiffy (not the Stiffy again!). The gray one was very hard to block. I had trouble getting all the points even, and then maybe I didn’t stiffen it quite enough because it still got a little misshapen when I was wearing it. I tied the gray piece with a small silver ribbon. I wore this on New Year’s Eve and when I came down with it on my oldest daughter said, “what did you tie around your neck?” So there you go. But in all honesty, I kind of like it in spite of its problems. The red one blocked much better although I’m not sure the shape of it lends itself quite as much to being a necklace. I attached it to black metal chain with jump rings.
I don’t like making scarves because they are so boring. Knit or crochet a nice pattern…then do it on seemingly infinite repeat. Yawn! But I really wanted a new gray one to wear this winter, so I decided to limit my Ravelry searches to patterns that use only bulky yarn. This one, the Anesha Crochet Lace Scarf, worked up very quickly and is very pretty too. I only had to do 10 repeats of the pattern and I alternated crocheting each one with other household tasks (laundry! crochet repeat! dishes! crochet repeat! vacuum! crochet repeat!…) to finish it in just one afternoon. I used Brava Bulky from KnitPicks so the yarn is soft and washable. I wouldn’t be able to block it to lay flat like the designer’s example scarf, but I think this one is meant to curl and drape anyway, and easy washabality seemed important to me. It’s like the Fancy Nancy of quick, easy scarves. Ooh la la!
I made a set of crocheted washcloths for my brother as a birthday gift. Each year at Christmas I make him a big batch of lye soap to use for the year, and occasionally I have knitted or crocheted washcloths for him to go with the soap. Crocheted washcloths are so nice. The nubbly texture is great for your skin in the shower, and the cotton yarn has such a nice feel after it’s been washed. I hope my brother doesn’t every start to think my shower-related gifts are commentary on his need for greater hygiene. 🙂