Out of the doldrums

I’ve been a bit at a loose end, crochet-wise, over the last few weeks.

I’m not being hard on myself over it, because the whole world has turned upside-down, but nevertheless, the fact remains that I’ve been faffing around doing not very much, with hook and yarn. I made some little creme egg cosies for the kids next door (in the shape of chickens, obviously), and I crocheted a rainbow to go in the window, but mostly I’ve been looking around vaguely, feeling absolutely no inspiration to do anything.

I didn’t want to follow a pattern. I didn’t want to design a pattern. I didn’t feel much inclination to do much of anything really.

However, the other day it hit me. I knew what I wanted to do next. It’s a project I’ve had quietly lurking in the back of my mind since last summer, when a friend and I went to the National Gallery for a couple of hours before seeing a show.

Oh yes. You know what’s coming now, don’t you?

Van Gogh’s A Wheatfield, With Cypresses.

Because one freeform Van Gogh recreation isn’t enough for anybody, right?

There are in fact three paintings with the same name (you can read about them on Wikipedia) – one in a private collection, one in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and one in the National Gallery in London. There are subtle differences between them, in terms of colour and finish, but I’m going for the one I’ve seen in person – the National Gallery version.

P1030166 copy

And, as luck would have it, the National Gallery have a lovely high-def version on their website, suitable for zooming in to check details and to get my stitches going in the right direction to mimic brush strokes. Hurrah! That makes it much easier for me 😀

So! How to start? Well, colour choices, obviously. I’ve gone with Stylecraft Special DK, for the loooooovely range of colours, and my colours are: cloud blue, duck egg, bluebell, aster, spearmint, lincoln, cypress, meadow, bottle, mustard, citron, lemon, buttermilk, white and lipstick (only a very little lipstick, for the poppies). Fifteen in all.

And where to begin crocheting? With Starry Night, I knew I could start with the moon and stars and then grow outwards from there. Wheat Fields has fewer obvious starting points; the challenges are therefore a little distant. But the bushes down at the bottom right seemed a fairly sensible place to begin.

P1030167 copy

Not doing too badly 😀 I think I’m going to have to break out the yellows for the next bit (the little ‘hump’ of yellow in the middle at the bottom, not the actual wheatfields themselves), but so far, so good.

It actually feels like it’s going quicker than Starry Night, despite copious amounts of ‘thinking time’ – and that’s no surprise, because unlike Starry Night, I’m not doing this in secret snatches of time while my mother is out of the room! I am absolutely not setting myself any kind of time scale, but it certainly won’t take me the five months that Starry Night took.

So essentially, lockdown (despite being mostly-housebound and thus used to it) seems to have driven me mad enough to attempt another one of these. Oh well. It’s fun. It’s challenging and frustrating and oh god the ends, but it’s also really, really satisfying.

And I’m loving doing it. Which, at the end of the day, is why I crochet – because I love it.

I’ll keep you all updated with my progress as I go 😀

6 thoughts on “Out of the doldrums

  1. This, to me, makes perfect common sense! I quite understand why you don’t want to follow a pattern, or design a pattern but will commit yourself to this Great Task!
    I wish you many happily frustrating hours with this endeavour, with triumph and satisfaction awaiting you at the finish.
    (it was inspiring to catch up with Starry Night again 🙂 )


  2. I missed your previous accomplishment, so when I read this post, I was stunned. To think you were going to redo this painting in crochet! What an amazing thing, and I’m truly looking forward to seeing your progress. You are very talented and creative, and an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your adventure!


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