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 🙂