Yes, I am still totally obsessed with crochet! After finalizing the winter portion of my 2016 blanket, I decided to try a few smaller projects. The goal was to try out some new stitches, and to see if I could make something a bit more practical than a couple square coasters.
My first project was a Ravenclaw scarf for Jenna as part of a book swap. I expected the scarf, which was six feet of sand stitch, to take a long time to make, but this ended up being a super fast project, taking less than a week to finish. The sand stitch turned out to be both easy and beautiful! One thing I discovered, though: this was not my favorite kind of yarn. It was rougher than I think a scarf should be, and despite my two skeins of blue yarn being from the same lot, there was a slight color difference between the two. One half of the scarf looks a bit lighter than the other, grr. Jenna told me she loves the scarf, and I’m glad, but there’s part of me – the perfectionist part – that wishes I could have made it just slightly better for her!! Still, it was pretty, it was fun, and I enjoyed making it for her.
Next up, I decided to try my first attempt at using an actual pattern. With my blanket and the scarf, I designed my own, and it was all just straight lines, no increasing or decreasing or fancy stuff. I have two books of crochet that Jason and my friend Stephanie gave me over Christmas, and I chose the above hat to work on next. I found a softer, smaller yarn, one that would be lighter (for Texas winters), and got to work. And while the beanie was a bit more complicated – especially that edging – it turned out so well! I actually wore this to Library Palooza, and will definitely be wearing it next time it gets cool enough out again (it’s currently in the 80s).
These projects made me even more excited about the possibilities of what I could do, so I tried a slightly more difficult project, which used a few techniques and stitches I hadn’t yet attempted. My stepmom’s birthday was coming up, and I wanted to make her a water bottle holder for when she’s on long walks or hikes. Additionally, I wanted it to be big enough to serve as a gift wrap for a nice bottle of red wine, which both she and my dad enjoy. My yarn choices were limited, and I wanted a color she loved, so I ended up with a very soft baby yarn that, admittedly, was super difficult to use. The result was nice, though, and she loved it, too!
And, I’ll admit, I loved the project so much that I went on to make two others, using a different (easier) yarn choice. The smaller one is for my mother at Mother’s Day (good thing she never gets online!), for the ever-present water bottle she carries with her, and the larger is for me for long hikes. To give an idea of how different the yarns were to use, what took two days in purple took less than two hours in each of the others…
After that, I decided to learn some more advanced, raised stitches. I had so much more bronze-gold yarn from the Ravenclaw scarf, and this was only meant to be a practice, so I decided to make a posted-stitch hat with it (which, heh, still didn’t use up the yarn). I didn’t expect anyone to actually use this hat, but when I was done, Laurence fell absolutely in love with it. Sure, kid, it’s yours!
I’m off to a longer-term project now, which will likely take a few weeks, probably ending just in time to start the spring section of my 2016 blanket. In the meantime, I’ve learned a few things about crochet:
- Type and quality of yarn is super important.
- Some of those fancy, pretty stitches are deceptively easy in practice.
- Crochet is so much more versatile than I expected, and takes far less time than I thought.
- I hate starting projects with that “magic circle” thing.
- It’s okay to modify a pattern to fit your needs.
- If you crochet too long too often, you start getting sore along your shoulder and back, not to mention hands and wrists!
- Audiobooks are the perfect accompaniment to crochet projects.
Til next time!
**All patterns, except for the scarf, from One Skein Wonders (adapted where necessary).