More ta da!

I am still very much going through a phase of wanting (needing?) to do small crochet projects that take, at most, a few days. The addictive properties of the ‘ta da, finished!’ feeling are definitely helping me through what’s so far been a rather blue first half of autumn.

There’s a lot of being in limbo right now – the house I’ve lived in all my life with Mum has a buyer, and I ‘ve had an offer accepted on a new home, but probate + house purchasing + house selling takes an awfully long time, I am discovering. I was hoping to be moved by Christmas, but that’s almost certainly not going to happen now. Meanwhile practically each week brings a date that reminds me of how awful last autumn was, with Mum in and out of hospital and then into the hospice. It’s hard; I miss her dreadfully, and we’re coming up to a year since her death, now.

Add to that a broken oven (three weeks in, still waiting for a part) and a cat having a seizure (my 15/16yr old Bumble, and yes a cat seizure is absolutely as terrifying as it sounds)…well, let’s just say my concentration and inspiration for bigger projects is pretty much zilch.

Happily, we’re now into the season of ‘who can I crochet what for Christmas’, which chimes happily with the whole ‘make small things’ need. Unhappily, that means that I can’t share some of what I’ve been working on at the moment, because recipients of gifts are among people who read this blog.

However! There’s a couple of things I can share.

The daughter of one my carers has just started sixth form college, and apparently tote bags are a big thing right now. She’s been seeing lots of crocheted bags around, at school and online, and she asked me if she could commission me to make one, to carry her computer in and out of school. Of course she could.

A bag made up almost entirely of post stitches – what’s not to love? The pattern is Agnes Chow’s Celtic Weave Bag. It’s possibly not the best written pattern in the world (I think there’s an omitted ‘skip two’ at the beginning of each round – it took me longer than I care to admit to work out how the rounds began and ended!)- but once I got the hang of the pattern repeat, it was quick and easy. So quick and easy that I made a little pouch, too, for a charger cable or pens or whatever.

I used Scheepjes Stone Washed XL, in Smokey Quartz, with a 7mm hook. I used about six and a half balls.

The strap was worked in tunisian crochet, which I’ve experimented with before but hadn’t used properly in any projects. However, I enjoyed it so much that I decided I wanted to do something purely in tunisian crochet for my next project. Specifically, entrelac crochet, because I’ve seen so many lovely examples of it.

I found the yarn for this in a drawer. Mum bought it a few years ago, intending to make a scarf or something, and she never did. So I figured I’d use it in a nice tote bag, because of course I always need more tote bags, and it’s lovely and cheerful. So whatever I use it for, I’ll think of her.

The pattern is Abi Millard’s Tunisian Entrelac Crochet Bag, which calls for DK yarn and a 5mm hook, but I used 4ply (Scheepjes Catona) and a 4.5mm hook. I adjusted the top of the bag because of how much yarn I had left – instead of a sc edge, I slip stitched around. And the straps are multi-coloured with stripes of different sizes, again because of yarn limits! But I’m really pleased with how it came out, and I will definitely look to do more tunisian crochet in the future.

I am planning to make a stashbust blanket for someone for Christmas, so I suppose it could be argued that my concentration is coming back……but I’m definitely going to need to break it up a lot with smaller projects 😀 the more I finish, the more I feel that lovely ‘yay’ feeling that’s getting me through the weeks right now. That feeling and kitty cuddles. Two year-old kittens and one elderly matron mean lots and lots of kitty cuddles! I’m definitely happy about that 🙂


11 thoughts on “More ta da!

  1. I can’t say I know how you feel, but I understand it. My husband died last month, and crochet sustained me through his 3 year cancer battle including a long hospital stay. I can’t seem to indulge in my crochet just now, but I know in time it will return. My life is filled with other things now like probate and paper work and difficult decisions. I know it will get better for you and for me in time. Just be gentle with yourself and remember to take care of you. Hugs…Pam

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    1. I’m so sorry for your loss *hugs* the paperwork alone, after a loss, is all-consuming thing. It does ease off eventually, but I’m not always certain that’s a good thing :S but your crocheting will come back, I’m sure.

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    2. Loss is… Hard isn’t even the word for it. Having something, anything, to keep the mind and hands busy but mindlessly repetitive is nothing short of a gift.
      Peace to all that are grieving. I’m blessed currently, no losses at this time, but in the year before the pandemic, I lost 8 in a year. The hardest was watching my dad go, followed by each one of his siblings every other month until they were all gone.
      Peace to us all.

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    1. She’s doing okay. Took her a couple of days to get back to normal, but she’s there now, and on new meds that will hopefully help. In all other respects she’s incredibly healthy for her age, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she’ll keep going for a while yet!

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  2. Last holiday season I made dollhouse blankets, afghans, area rugs and quilts (ta da!!) for the daughter of a coworker which I know gives you the ta-da feeling vicariously!

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  3. I love your honesty, I am so needing a ta-da project. I commend you for taking care of mum, and will always appreciate a cataholic! I can relate with my dad and boyfriend leaving us within a couple months of each other. Love your bags and am thinking of doing one as a ta-da! Hugs and a smooch 😘

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  4. When it rains, it pours, seemingly. Your strength will get you through this. I just discovered your blog and I am in love! I can’t wait to discover more. May God bless you and keep you safe.

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  5. Kitty cuddles have a healing property that lots of people disregard. Enjoy them. I truly understand the need for ‘mini projects’ when the weight of loss causes the desire to create decline. I lost my sister and my dad within 3 months of each other. Be kind to yourself, take time to grieve, and do things that help you feel happy. I got through the roughest parts by making mini Christmas stockings for holding gift cards. I hope you have a blessed holiday season and new year.

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