I spent last two weeks in Poland, visiting my parents. It was a no-crochet and no-knitting time, so there is no new project to show here unfortunately. Instead I’d like to share some memories from my visit home, even if it’s not strictly the topic of this blog.
But first: before leaving, I had received my Wool Lotto yarn! There’s a lot of alpaca (Stylecraft Alpaca DK) – enough for two big jumpers and maybe additional hats of scarves; and some cotton with polyester for a summer top (C+B Lolli yarn). My stash is more than full and I had to find additional place in the wardrobe for the yarn. I’m not complaining, it feels good to have all this yarn waiting for its turn to be knitted or crocheted!
The photo only shows the top layer in the big plastic box, there are three such layers in total plus some single skeins of cotton that are stored in another room.
So the previous photo shows my future, and my most recent past looked like that:
I have mixed feelings when it comes to doilies. I appreciate their beauty and all the delicate, subtle details. I have no idea how can anyone write a doily pattern – I think it requires some mad skills, experience, patience, and amazing visual imagination. At the same time, I don’t really like the vintage ‘granny’ style associated with doilies and I don’t have much use for them at my home. This is actually strange because I don’t mind the ‘old-fashioned’ look of granny squares and I really like my Bavarian stitch cushion, but somehow doilies seem different, I think they really require special environment. Even the only doily I’ve crocheted so far is grey not to look so classic. Thinking about it, I have maybe one friend who actually likes this type of vintage home decor and would certainly appreciate some hand-made doilies in her living room and they would suit it – all the others prefer more modern style too. All of that means that I need to think hard before deciding to crochet a doily: is it really something that would be used? Or would it just stay in the closet without any purpose?
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!
I’ve been feeling quite exhausted recently. Spending day after day by my laptop, typing and reading and thinking about the dreaded deadlines and not being outdoors enough = not the most stimulating lifestyle. I have to endure that, in December it’s going to get easier and I’ll be able to be more outdoorsy again, so no real reason to complain, but I really wish I could make November end sooner.
I crochet either mindlessly while working or in the evenings – I actually go to sleep later than I should just to have some time for my hobby. It doesn’t really help with the tiredness of course, but I need it to unwind… The thing is that I don’t have patience for long or complicated projects these days, so things like my two queued shawls have to wait. And whatever I’m working on, must be in lively, intense colours. I actually started crocheting snowflakes recently (I’d like to add them to my Christmas cards this year) and I had to stop because they were so white and dull!
So… the doggie jacket was a project from hell. I frogged and restarted it about million times or so, and in the end it turned out so stiff and ugly that I felt sorry for the poor dog who would have to wear it. So I didn’t even frog it one more time, just threw it all away. And then I turned to an old, tried pattern to crochet a rug which would finally use up the long stored aran wool in my stash. This wool was just too coarse to use it for a hat or a scarf.
That was both super easy and super fast and will replace an old similar rug, which was completely ruined by my cats (because it’s so awesome to wrap their toys in it and then search for them, using the claws of course). I hope it will last a bit longer than the previous one, especially that winter is coming quickly, days are shorter, and cats sleep more too – on their crocheted blankets and cushions of course 😉
Time’s flying fast these days and I’m stressed out with the deadlines hanging upon me even though I’m enjoying my work at the same time. But no matter how much there is to be done professionally, I just can’t stay away from crocheting. I’m completely addicted – hooked is the better word I guess.
I realise, looking back at the last year, that it’s been crocheting that kept me going. There have been some worse days and even months, especially summer was rough for me as I have a chronic disease and I was in a flare up then. Luckily not the real strong flare up, but still it wasn’t quite as pain-free and careless summer as I’d like it to be. I also didn’t feel very strong and couldn’t really enjoy the sunny days fully, even though I had a lot of free time, as summer is a work-free period of the year for me. But crocheting, the power to create, was something that gave me strength. I know it probably sounds like such a cliche, and I generally dislike such big statements and words, but it’s true. I’m so glad I re-discovered it after all those years! There is just something so special about turning the thread into a finished product with my own hands.
So, to keep on track of what this post was to meant to be about, I wanted to share my simple projects made while working. I used up nearly all of the aran weight cotton (different brands) that’s been in my stash for months and I had no idea what to do with it, as it turned out to be too thick for amigurumi. But it worked just great for dishcloths and hand towels that I can use to dry my hands after washing up in the kitchen. Cotton absorbs water well (mercerised cotton wouldn’t do the trick so well though) and it’s nice and friendly even for sensitive skin.
Some of the dishcloths and a towel made just this past week:
Hello! I hope everyone is fine and enjoying these first days of October!
Autumn finally arrived and it already feels colder. I started using one of the heaters and feel tempted to open another one, but I still feel it’s better to keep it for the real winter. Kind of silly thinking because hey, when it gets colder I could just adjust the settings, but for now I’m surviving with one heater on. And when it gets rough I can always use these crocheted legwarmers:
I made them many months ago, to use up the leftovers from the bulky star-shaped bedroom rug, and they’d been waiting patiently in my wardrobe ever since. But now is their time! Unfortunately, the pom-poms had to be removed, as they were too tempting for my cats who kept hunting them all the time. And as much as I adore my cats, I also prefer when my legs are not scratched.
Yesterday I finished the afghan for my Mother. It took me about two weeks and it wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be 🙂
But I am not very happy with it to be honest. It is as I planned, very simple, basic grannies, just to fit her style and her bedroom (I don’t think she’d be very happy with some flowery pattern), but in the end I think that I should have added one more colour (two rows in the centre of each square) and definitely should have used some other shade of brown instead of the beige. With other colours in the throw, it doesn’t even look like beige anymore but more like grey! Not happy about this grey-ish look at all, I think it ruins the final effect a lot.
Well, but I try to think positive, it will definitely suit the terracotta/ orange elements in my Mum’s room (she loves warm, positive colours) and it is really cozy and warm! And just the right size to cover her legs and snuggle up reading a book on a cold winter evening, with both her dogs next to her 🙂
This afghan still needs to be washed and blocked very carefully, not to stretch it but to unfold the edges.
I am thinking about making another one for my Dad, in shades of blue, and rippled. Not now, but hopefully I’ll manage to buy yarn for it before December and make it for him. Initially I thought to make him a hat, gloves and scarf, but a nice throw seems like a better idea.
Some time ago I bought this book on Amazon. I had no clue what Bavarian crochet was, it seemed to me like some traditional stitch or pattern from Germany. As I learned, it’s quite a modern stitch designed by the book’s author.