Welcome to my first ever blog entry. Since what is on my mind most today is my Dad who would have been 100 years old yesterday, I will start with writing about him. I knew him for the last 15 years of his life, which were the first 15 of my own. I remember a World War II survivor who had lost 2 siblings, his father and nearly everything the family had owned before 1945. But unlike many of his generation, the hardship he experienced did not leave him emotionally amputated. He had a sense of humor, and he was a gentle and friendly person who loved both American Jazz and Russian composers. He was funny, open-minded and a great cook. It was a privilege to have been raised by him, and I salute him.
By now you may be wondering what I mean by naming a blog like I did mine and then going on about family business. Bear with me, we’re getting there.
Having been a knitter most of my life, I only recently discovered how awesome the art of crochet is – by accident really, because I had accepted the task of translating this wonderful book http://www.buchweltshop.de/buecher/hobby-reise/handarbeit/die-grosse-fotofibel-hackeln.html by the great Margaret Hubert. It was a challenge, because she really knows her business. But in working on the text, I followed her into the enchanted realm of crochet, and let me tell you, I have not looked back! It seems that re-learning this old craft tapped right into a potential I didn’t even know I had.
It’s such a pleasure to create these colorful pieces, and I relish the joy it brings to my friends and family.
Generally, I find crochet less restrictive than I do knitting; once you know your basics, you’re free to do as you please. I am humbled by these freeform crochet projects: http://www.mnh.si.edu/exhibits/hreef/index.html . Did you know that crochet and knitting are a perfect way to re-create the intricate structures of a coral reef? Check out Margaret Wertheim’s cool talk on ted.com, too – http://www.ted.com/talks/margaret_wertheim_crochets_the_coral_reef.html. I loved every minute of it.
So much for the higher wisdom. I usually do simpler, more practical stuff, for the kids, for their friends, for my friends, and for the school or kindergarten bazaars. But after finishing a major translation project in February, I wanted to make something just for me. I got ambitious – in fact, I may have gotten a little jealous. I simply wished for a blanket just like the one the truly amazing blog lady Lucy of Attic24 had made – check out her ta-dah moment: http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/2010/07/the-granny-stripe-tadah.html.
So… I went on a yarn binge – if you’re a knitter or crocheter yourself, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, and brought home a huge bag of bright, colorful, squishy goodies. As I wanted a really large blanket, I didn’t follow Lucy’s tutorial exactly (do you ever do that?), but chained 280 to make it a bit longer. I won’t bore you with the next few hours, but after the first 3 rows, it was all good.
What I found difficult was putting together the colors so they would look just right. In the beginning, I tried to copy what Lucy had done, but after a while I got into it and found my own rhythm. Here, you can see my progress after about 2 weeks.
I stopped working on the project for a while, as there were so many birthdays and other requests to be honored – but now I’m back on track, and I try to do 1 color per day, just like I did when I started out.
Well and then, yesterday on a rainy afternoon, I purchased the last few balls of yarn for the edging (which will eat up _a lot_ of the stuff, since the blanket is getting big! See?
So far I’ve done 60 stripes. I want to add about 10 more before I start on the edging. I’m in a stage of anticipation already – in fact, I can’t wait to get it done!
If you’ve read as far as this, you may be interested in what the finished blanket will look like. Do come back to have a look. Until then, have a great time. And let me know what your WIP is!