It has been one heck of a summer and early autumn.
Heatwave aside, it’s been hard. Way back in July, my mother broke her leg. Badly enough to need surgery, then a long stint in hospital, and an even longer stint at home with extra equipment, extra care, and absolutely no weightbearing on the leg at all, which has essentially meant she couldn’t even stand up for more than a minute or so, and certainly couldn’t move around by herself. For three months she’s been totally reliant on other people to do pretty much anything, and it’s been hard. Impossibly frustrating for her, and difficult for me, because I love her and want her well!
We’ve both ended up pretty down in the dumps, and I’ve been pretty worn out physically on top of that. Which has, fairly understandably, reflected on my crochet.
I’ve managed two ‘bigger’ projects this summer – my wheelchair cushion and the Harlequin Bag I designed for the Stylecraft Blog Tour – but mostly I feel like I’ve been sitting staring at yarn and going ‘blergh’. Too downhearted to feel particularly creative.
However, a few weeks ago I gave myself a shake and decided to try to do some stashbusting. I didn’t have to have a recipient in mind for a project, I told myself: just make something.
So I dug through drawers and my yarn chest and browsed Ravelry for projects that could be done with the bits and bobs that I tend to accumulate. Single balls of yarn, half-skeins, the odd few metres left over from another project…yes, I accumulate these. I have a rule! If the yarn is the length of my outstretched arms or longer, I keep it. Shorter and I chuck it. (I am consistent in my hoarding habits, at least).
I still had a small quantity of yarn leftover from the C2C baby blanket and stuffed unicorn that I made earlier in the year. Enough for another small stuffed animal. And since a friend’s daughter’s birthday was drawing near, and unicorns are a Big Thing for twelve-year-old girls at the moment (apparently?), I made another unicorn.
The pattern is called, appropriately enough, ‘Yet Another Unicorn’. It’s available for free here. I used oddments of Stylecraft Wondersoft Baby Stardust DK and Stylecraft Special for Babies DK, with a 3.5mm hook. Friend’s daughter was suitably pleased, and I was suitably bucked up by a quick and easy project.
Then I thought ‘well, friend’s daughter will also need a Christmas present’. Said daughter has been diligently earning herself some pocket money all summer and autumn by coming here to water the pots and sweep the patio. It’s her ‘first job’, and she’s been terribly conscientious about it all. So I made a hat for her Christmas present, from a ball of Stylecraft Cabaret that I found lurking in a drawer.
That used up almost a whole ball. I just had a tiny little bit leftover. Hurrah, I thought, I have Used Stuff Up. And it was quite fun, making a hat. It only took me a day or so. I had another ball of Cabaret, so I promptly made another hat. This one has no particular destination in mind – somebody will get it for Christmas, but I don’t know who. Yet. And hey, I used up another ball of stash yarn (once again I was left with only a small amount).
I then delved into my stash of hand-dyed yarns – small, but growing. I worked on a bigger project next – which deserves its own blog post, so more of this another day – but afterwards I used a single skein of hand-dyed 4 ply yarn to make yet another hat.
I’d picked up this skein of yarn…years ago, I think, and it has languished in my stash ever since. It’s a gorgeous green, dyed by sparkleduck. And this one is all for me! Yes, occasionally I actually make something for myself 😀 I have a small amount left over from it, and I’ve put that in a bag with my other ‘small bits of hand-dyed 4 ply yarn’. Eventually I’ll be able to use up all these scraps, I’m sure. Something for which many colours are needed in small quantities!
And after all, even small quantities of yarn can produce some gorgeous results. I felt so pleased by these quick projects that I felt able to design something of my own – not a hat, but a lovely little project for a Christmas present. Pattern coming soon!
I don’t yet feel fully back up to the mark in terms of my crocheting. I’m still worn out, and not concentrating terribly well on big projects (that’ll be equal parts exhaustion and gloominess!) but I do feel a lot better for having let myself focus on smaller projects for a while. I still have no big plans for designs that I’m itching to get started on, but I am back to a bit of designing, and more to the point, I’m back to enjoying crocheting. Which is a really nice feeling.