After dealing with all the gift making, I decided to have a go at crocheting a doily. I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea, since I’d tried crocheting with lace yarn before and I hadn’t enjoyed it. But I know why now: wrong hook (not sturdy enough, feeling a little flexible in my fingers) and wrong yarn (mohair lace – not good for beginners!).
I chose the pattern which seemed rather simple, yet lovely: Penelope doily by Grace Faeron. I used 1,25 mm crochet hook – a good, solid one this time, which made crocheting really easy and pleasant – and crochet thread no 10. The thread is gray, for two reasons: I didn’t want the typical traditional white doily, and I wanted it to suit my kitchen table, which is made of glass and steel. The only worry I had with this colour was that it might look dirty – you know, like white things look sometimes after many years in use. But in the end I don’t think it does, and I’m happy with my choice. Crocheting it was fast and enjoyable, the pattern is very well explained, the thread is smooth and sturdy. I ordered the blocking mat on ebay, but since it’s still not delivered, I blocked the doily on the bed instead to open up the lace – and I like the result!
Since I had some thread left, I decided to crochet matching coasters. I was looking for the pattern with pineapples and I found the Pineapple coasters by Patricia Pisani. I made four of those – they were very easy and quick projects, with each taking about one hour to crochet.
And that’s how the whole set looks on the kitchen table – a definite change from my usual colourful placemats and centerpieces which I put there:
I definitely enjoy crocheting with light weight yarns and small hooks. I always knew it about sock and DK yarn, and now I’m adding lace yarn to my favourites. I think it might be different with knitting, since knitting in general is a slower process and the created fabric isn’t as stiff as with crocheting, so the heavier yarn can both speed up the work a bit and still produce a nice, soft item. And both these qualities – speeding up the process and creating a soft item – were definitely important in my other project: warm blanket to cover my legs on the coach. I searched for beginners knitting patterns and I had a few in mind, but eventually I decided to choose the Garter Squish by Stephen West. As the name suggests, it’s made in garter stitch only, and what I love about it is the great idea to double up the yarn using two colours at the same time. And stripes! I used lighter yarn than suggested – DK weight rather than worsted – and smaller needles (8 mm instead of 10 mm or more), but it still turned out very warm and soft, and cuddly. Great idea to use up some of the single colour skeins from my stash. And I love how positive and bright it is!
It took me a month to finish it, because I only knitted while watching serials in the evenings, every couple of days for an hour or two, and I’m still not a very fast knitter. But I’m really happy with it and it’s great for the long winter evenings.
Somewhere in between these projects I also made a lace shawl, but I don’t have any photos. It was sent to Poland with all the other gifts and I didn’t have time to block it unfortunately. But since I only used up half of the lace yarn I planned for it (weird!), I’m going to crochet another one for myself and post it here then 🙂