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2012 – A Yarn Odyssey Part 5 November 30, 2012

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Crochet, Knitting, Yarncraft.

Part 1 here

Before some wiseacre brings up magnifier lamps and the like, yes I had considered them. But such things are simply crutches. Plus you can’t really lug them around. I like to have my projects on hand when I’m out and about. You never know when you might get a chance to cram some work in. As a wise muppet once said, “Do, or do not. There is no magnifier lamp.” Or something to that effect. No, I was going to have to stand or fall on my own unamplified talents. So last winter I busted out my long disused hooks and books and set to practicing the basics in earnest. I made dishrags, hot sauce bottle cozies and whatnot. This I felt was the proper path: drill, drill, drill the basics. I even put sweaters on my trees. (BTW, an excellent Chrismas present for your Happy Hooker is a set of crochet hooks from this guy: www.turn-of-the-century.com)

While browsing through one of my books for something new I came across a pattern for the basic granny square. Yes! This was Just The Thing. It wasn’t terribly hard to learn as it still just uses the standard single and double crochet stitches. It’s not really anthing fancy, but it looks like more than it is so to speak. And…dare I say it – verging on “lacy”? I felt like real progress was being made. Finally! Then I got it into my head to make a baby blanket with small granny squares. One of my neices had a baby the previous fall and it would be nice to make something for her. That took considerably longer than I expected though. In the end it came out pretty nice and I was well pleased. I even learned a new stitch for the border: the back post treble crochet.

During this time I had bought some more books that focus on these types of constructions: granny squares, rounds, triangles, hexagons, etc. I started making some of the more advanced designs. And of course, the Bavarian Crochet baby blanket. These blankets were also made with a lighter “sport-weight” yarn.

It was during the early stages of that last blanket something finally really clicked. I had been struggling a bit with it, my hook action wasn’t smooth and the yarn kept splitting (that’s where you grab just part of the yarn and it pulls apart a bit. You have to let go and grab it again – very annoying.) But other times I would have no problems at all. I found that if I just changed the angle I was poking the hook in, and loosen up the stitches just a bit everything became much, much smoother. I picked up considerable speed and accuracy too.

After that was done I already had my next project picked out: a granny square lace shawl for Mom. There is a pattern in one of my books that uses one of the more complicated patterns. You make 20 of them and sew them together, then crochet a border around the outside fringe. And I found a site that sells sport-weight 100% cashmere yarn. I needed to find out what color she wanted so it’s not going to be a surprise. She picked out a really gorgeous red yarn. <Scroll down to the bottom and look for “Seeing Red”. Nice eh? It’s on back-order so I’ve been practicing the pattern with acrylic so I’ll have it down. I showed my boss what I was going to be making and he became very interested.

To be continued…

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