In a Crocheting Rut

Do you get in a rut? I definitely do. I think of it as a time in my life when I’m lacking in bravery; not bravery overall, but bravery in a particular spot.

In my crafting life, I’m feeling the rut right now – I make baby blankets, hats, and scarves, but I don’t really push myself to learn new stitches, or try harder things. I’m not looking to make complex stuffed animals or learn twenty new stitches, but I want something new to excite me.

Does anyone out there in the crafting world have a favorite intermediate-level project? Something beyond basic blankets and scarves, but not quite to the level of 3D objects like amigurumi? Post here any of your favorites!

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What homemade blankets mean as gifts (repost)

There is an author, Tamora Pierce, who created a young adults book series all about magic. One of the ways magic worked was that a character could weave the magic into a blanket or a quilt or a shawl, giving powers to whoever had it. It made for very imaginative writing.

I tend to think that a little bit of that magic exists in the real world with handmade gifts – I don’t make fancy blankets when I crochet, but they do require me to think through colors and styles, and keep the final product looking clean and tidy. When I was working on this blanket these past few weeks, I was thinking of M, and her new daughter G who is receiving it. G is so tiny and sleepy all the time at 6 weeks old, but M has taken to motherhood like she was born to it; the perfect mix of attentive and calm. I was thinking about how G will grow up in the same town as me, and maybe I’ll babysit her, or at least see her at the free concerts downtown each summer. All those thoughts for the future, and all my memories of M from the past, were on my mind as I made stitches.

When I visited M to deliver the present, she made a big deal out of it, even though as you can see, it’s pretty small and simple. She insisted that I take a big bag of basil, oregano, and jalapenos because she had more than she could use in her garden. We chatted about school and work and just the very existence of the blanket brought us a little closer. The same thing happens when you bring over food to a pair of new parents, or when you find a way to craft something for a birthday that leads to a lovely story. It’s intangible, but there’s a little magic in it.

More Pretty Face Scrubbies

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With my new varieties of yarn, I made some delicate white face scrubbies and some more fun blue and green print scrubbies – it takes a little while to make them, but a large pile are for my aunts, cousins, in-laws, and sister – soft scrubbies for their pampering Christmas gifts! I might throw in some kind of fun face wash and make it a full present. 🙂 For the pattern, refer back to Pretty little face scrubbies and my inspiration, The Stitchin’ Mommy. 

Halloween and Community

On Halloween, Husband and I have started a tradition – we pull a table out on our front porch, set up Yahtzee, and put on some kind of costume. Last year he was a tourist and I was a ninja; this year, I was some kind of greek princess (wrapped in a sheet) and he was a mad scientist (using a costume he used when he was 12 years old! It fits him better now, haha).

From there, we are able to greet every family that stops by, which to me is a little different from just popping up and down to answer the doorbell all evening. It’s nice to say hi to the parents down on the sidewalk, and to get to ooh and ahh over the kids costumes as they are coming up the walk. I especially like costumes that were clearly a labor of love for someone; no problem with store-bought costumes, but I think it’s way more exciting to design and build your own halloween costume; much more like a big, crazy craft festival than just buying costumes.

I also love that we get to see and chat with our neighbors, who also seem to enjoy the evening outdoors: one neighbor smokes his cigar and talks to us about recent updates on his house, and another posts up ornate pumpkins for us to admire. There are a lot of quiet houses too, because our neighborhood isn’t inundated with trick-or-treaters, but the ones who do come come in little packs, excited and ready to hold their bags open wide for us to give them candy.

Our tradition concludes when it gets too dark and we’ve run out of candy so we adjourn to the couch for a spooky movie or TV show – I don’t normally do horror, but it’s fun to watch something at least a little thrilling on Halloween night. I don’t yet have a Halloween “meal” – happened to eat tomato soup and grilled cheese last night, no tradition to it – but I’d love suggestions for a good Halloween party dish or just a nice tradition to start as far as Halloween dinner goes!

What homemade blankets mean as gifts

There is an author, Tamora Pierce, who created a young adults book series all about magic. One of the ways magic worked was that a character could weave the magic into a blanket or a quilt or a shawl, giving powers to whoever had it. It made for very imaginative writing.

I tend to think that a little bit of that magic exists in the real world with handmade gifts – I don’t make fancy blankets when I crochet, but they do require me to think through colors and styles, and keep the final product looking clean and tidy. When I was working on this blanket these past few weeks, I was thinking of M, and her new daughter G who is receiving it. G is so tiny and sleepy all the time at 6 weeks old, but M has taken to motherhood like she was born to it; the perfect mix of attentive and calm. I was thinking about how G will grow up in the same town as me, and maybe I’ll babysit her, or at least see her at the free concerts downtown each summer. All those thoughts for the future, and all my memories of M from the past, were on my mind as I made stitches.

When I visited M to deliver the present, she made a big deal out of it, even though as you can see, it’s pretty small and simple. She insisted that I take a big bag of basil, oregano, and jalapenos because she had more than she could use in her garden. We chatted about school and work and just the very existence of the blanket brought us a little closer. The same thing happens when you bring over food to a pair of new parents, or when you find a way to craft something for a birthday that leads to a lovely story. It’s intangible, but there’s a little magic in it.