November 21, 2011

Getting crafty now

Twelve years ago my husband agreed that we could have one child.  We made this deal after he'd had six months to consider whether he wanted children.  After all, he was already in his 40's at the time and children may not have been on his mind.  So after he said yes to having one, I decided it was time I finally learned to crochet so I could make stuff for our little one. 

A friend of my mother is left-handed (like me) and she agreed to show me the basics.  I trekked to the city, picked up my mother and we went to visit her friend.  A few hours later I had the basics - chain stitch, single crochet, double crochet and finishing off.  So I bought some books, some hooks, and some yarn and set off on my new adventure. 

I've made many things since those first few months.  I've managed to increase my skill and speed to the point where I feel I can make just about anything. 

 A lovely ripple afghan - my first blanket made - that I made for a friend who was having her first baby.  The ripples are graduations of pink, white, and green.  It's made with two strands of white held together, then drop one at end of a row, pick up one pink and drop other white at end of row, pick up second pink, then reverse until back to a row of white/white.  Same process with the green and keep going. 
A doily from a pattern called "Circle of Friends".  I kept this one for myself.  I want to make some more for some of my dear friends, but the pattern is flawed and I'll need to write down how I fixed it.  I showed this doily at the local fair and won first prize with it.

 After three boys, my friend was assured this one was a girl so I made a pink blanket with giraffes on it.  Her daughter carried it everywhere and when she started school, I made a small facecloth sized one with one giraffe on it for her to bring along.  

Another baby afghan, but this time made for my brother and his wife's new little one.  This is made with a variegated yarn (two strands together) in a waffle pattern. 
When my niece announced she was expecting, I made this cute little tumbling bears afghan from granny squares.  Very time consuming to sew it all together.  I think if I make this one again, I'm going to crochet the squares together. 

When my same niece as mentioned above was a little girl, I made this "southern belle" Barbie for her.  It's made from peach coloured thread with yellow trim and accents.  My original plan had been to make one for each of our nieces (four at the time) and when this one took me three months to finish (working on it constantly) I nixed the other three and this was the only one completed.  I subsequently sold the pattern book on ebay to eliminate temptation to make it again.

Of course there are lots of other things I've made like Christmas wreaths for some friends, a Lord's Prayer wall hanging for my dad and step-mother and countless dishcloths and potholders. 

These days, since I am still off my feet, I've been working busily with the hook and yarn.  I've made a bunch more potholders for my foodie friends, a rainbow coloured tablecloth for my dad and step-mother, some lovely doilies, and several large granny-style squares. 

The granny squares are part of a swap I'm involved in.  Several years ago while searching online for free patterns, I stumbled across a website where I could sign up to participate in swaps.  The idea is that you pick one being done in colours you might like (my first was "stained glass" using multi-coloured yarns edged in black).  The swap organizer posts details like colours to use, size of square and date to be done by.  You send them an email to sign up and at the start date you receive a note telling you how many squares to make.  For example, you might have to make two squares for each person in the swap and each square has to be eight inches.  If there are 20 people in the swap, you make 40 squares - two for every participant, including yourself.  Send your completed squares to the organizer together with the money for her to return the box to you.  She sorts out the squares so everyone has some of everyone else's and then sends your box back filled with squares from everyone else. 

Getting that box in the mail is like Christmas.  You open it up and excitedly tear through it to see what you got.  Lots of times swappers will include a little note about themselves together with a pattern too.  It's fun.  I've done five of these swaps now.  You put all the squares together and voila, you have an afghan. 

Check out the site here... ... it should open in a new window for you. 

Well I'm off again.  Still have a few projects I'm working on and my latest swap of "the greens" - 12" squares in green.  Cheers.

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