Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Crafty things

So. Coming off a long weekend, most people would be glowing about all of their social plans. Me, on the other hand, am glowing about my blanket projects. I've always enjoyed crocheting, and over the summer picked it back up again on a regular basis. I'm realizing this is going to be a long post, about crocheting, knitting, quilting and books, so take your tea and settle in.

About 6 months ago, when cleaning out our storage area, I happened upon my yarn basket. It reignited my love of crochet, and I decided to pick it back up. Well, as is typical of me, my yarn basket was full of half completed projects that had been abandoned after I had lost steam for one reason or the other. Well, more specifically, because I had made mistakes and they bothered me so much I didn't want to finish. (Type A personality...) They were a pathetic-looking lot, all uneven rows and bad color transitions. So, I determined that if I was serious about crocheting again, I would finish some of those projects before starting a new one. It's easy to get stimulated in JoAnn Fabrics from all of the pretty yarn and new patterns and want to begin something new, but true commitment comes from sticking it out with a scratchy old fragment that has holes in all the wrong places.

So, I pulled down my half finished Christmas afghan. That baby took me *forever* to finish, but I did, and I'm very proud of it:

I had repressed all of the other things lurking in the yarn basket, and was optimistically thinking that I could start something new after Project Christmas Afghan was finally over. Alas. I uncovered the baby blanket that I had started when I was pregnant with Henry. 4 years ago. So, I picked that up, thinking I could finish it in a few short weeks. Well...it took longer then that :) But last night, I finished it. *angels sing*

And with the addition of Henry, eating a banana:

I was pregnant in 2005, and I remember working on that afghan when our beloved Pope John Paul II died. This blanket has a lot of history :)

Thus, finally, I could start a new project. *again with the angels* I have a harvest afghan kit on order from Herrschners that I'm excited about, and will match in our guest room (once I paint it). I also ordered a small pattern book for knitting socks. I've never ventured beyond afghans and scarfs, and I'm determined to make working socks. I'm praying that we don't end up with little balls of unraveled yarn in our dryer after washing them, but we'll have to wait and see. My neighbor is expecting a baby at the end of October, so I'd like to make her a few pairs of baby socks. And yesterday, armed with a 10% off coupon from JoAnn Fabrics, I went and bought some bright multi-colored yarn for a baby blanket. Very excited. I started it last night. It's a very simple pattern of single crochet mixed with some puff stitches. Since I need to get it done in a month and a half, I need simple.

So, in other craft news, I've gotten into the idea of quilting lately. I'm reading an excellent fiction book featuring quilters called The Quilter's Apprentice, and I'm totally digging it. I found out that the author, Jennifer Chiaverini has a whole series of books featuring aforementioned quilters; I'm certain you are unsurprised to learn that the public library can be expecting me to invade the instant I get out of work to fetch the next couple in the series. Check out her web site (linked above) if you're interested; she's a good writer and the stories are wholesome and fun.

I've been toying with taking a beginners' quilting class, but my schedule just doesn't permit it right now. Bellydance is in full swing for our fall hafla, and I don't want to be out of the house for another evening each week; I need to be home with my boys. But perhaps over the winter, I may skip a bellydance session so that I can learn to quilt. I can't thread a needle, so this should be interesting...

Any quilters out there? Do you love it?


  1. Hi! I loved reading this post. I have so many half finished projects... I can definitely relate. Right now I'm halfway through two crocheted blankets, and I have a cable knit sweater, a baby sweater and a baby booty on various knitting needles. But your post also reminded me that I have two half finished quilts upstairs. I took quilting classes from my junior high science teacher after school in 6th-8th grade. I like the quilting part, but I usually get restless during the cutting material/ piecing part. My current goal is to finish what I started (and I did finish a sweater and a bear this month, so I'm getting somewhere...). But the yarn section at jo-ann's and michael's is just too tempting!

  2. So glad I'm not alone :) I have the same situation - right on the needles! I do want to check out quilting; I'm hoping that will happen sometime this winter. I read your post not too long ago about wanting to learn to sew your own clothes. I think that's a great idea! Very fun but very practical.

  3. Hi, I'm not a crafty person, but I did take a hand-quilting class about eleven years ago. I haven't made many quilts (I don't own a machine) and lately I haven't been motivated to work on the two projects sitting in my bag.

    I read all of the Jennifer Chiaverini books and enjoyed them aside from some of what I now call her preachy parts. (I emailed her once about something I found interesting and her response to me was not nice, so that tarnishd the writings for me a little bit.)

    If you're interested in quilting, find a local quilt store and sign up for a class.

  4. Hi Shelly!! Nice to see you on here. I did in fact do some quilt shop research, and found several very close to my house. I'm investigating class options as we type :)


Thank you for commenting! I read and appreciate every single one, and I will respond to each one personally!