God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Crochet!!! And other stuff too.

It's not as if I don't have enough to do, & it's not as if I don't have enough crafting interests already. The urge strikes me every now & then.  I can usually shrug it off, but not this time.  I think it started a couple weeks ago when, in a moment of weakness, I joined a Christmas in July ornament exchange on Ravelry.  As I scoured the internet for knitted ornament patterns, I found a plethora of crocheted ones, some of which were really intriguing, & I said, "Shirlee, you ought to learn to crochet so you can make these!"  And I downloaded a few ... you know, just in case ... & I chose a knitting pattern for an angel ornament & enjoyed making her for my assigned person in the exchange.  

In a different Ravelry group they have an exchange for what they call "prayer squares." You knit or crochet a 6" square for someone, praying for them while you make it, & then gift it to them. The end result is that people will end up with enough squares for a blanket which will, in effect, cover them with prayer.  I like this idea, & I've been gleaning the Ravelry pattern archives along with the internet for patterns for these squares. Many of the ones that have caught my eye are crocheted.

Two days last week Michael's had a 20% off everything sale.  I got some ornament/prayer square yarn.
Then I went back & got more.  This past Friday & Saturday I dug out my crochet hooks (used in knitting), watched just about every YouTube video I could find, searched out crochet blogs for inspiration, & attempted to crochet a granny square.  Here's what I ended up with.
After a few rough starts I managed to crochet the square you see on the right.  However, something about it didn't feel quite right to me, & so I tried another one using a bigger hook.  I'm not too sure about that one either ... but the point is that I crocheted two squares this weekend, so hooray!  I'm not sure if I should stick with the larger hook or not.  One YouTube video indicated a bigger hook is the hook of choice because a blanket should be floppy, but all the other video crocheters used smaller hooks.  

I'm not giving up on knitting.  I plan to make more angel ornaments, & I have 2 shawls, 2 pair of socks, & a pair of fingerless gloves in the works. I'm not giving up on stitching either despite the fact that I haven't picked up a needle for the past 6 months.  And I'm not giving up on my desire to conquer punch needle & rug hooking ... at least not at this point in time.  This move is making me finally give up on some things though.  I haven't cut wood or painted in years, & the fact that my supplies are taking up half a storage unit is beyond ridiculous.  I came to the conclusion this past week as I rented yet another storage unit (we started out having three, pared them down to two, then one, & now we've got two again) that I really need to unburden myself of things I haven't used in years as well as things I seriously don't see myself using in the future ... like my tatting things, & my bobbin lace things, & lots of books, & a bunch of quilting fabric, & decor stuff that hasn't seen the light of day for more than half a decade.  Yesterday I decided to open a large box that indicated some of this decor stuff was inside. This large box was full of smaller boxes.  One smaller box had the words "Autumn Gathering" written on it.  A bunch of "stuff" escaped from the box when I picked it up.  When I looked inside, I could barely tell what had been in there.  It was half disintegrated for the most part, but it appeared to have once been a grouping of dried sunflowers.  On another box were written the words "Fall Decor."  It held a bunch of pumpkins made from wool.  Unfortunately the maker of these items purchased old wool clothing & fabric from Goodwill or something & failed to wash it before using it because eggs had apparently been laid in the wool, & then hatched after she crafted these items, & the little critters ate holes throughout.  This destruction was sort of a Sad Thing/Happy Thing scenario.  A Sad Thing because I paid money for these things, never put them on display, & now they're ruined; A Happy Thing because I now have two less boxes of stuff to be concerned about.  

This has nothing to do with crafting, but I pulled a muscle in my back a couple days ago.  I felt the pain while I was doing something or other (can't remember what now) & I was kind of careful about what I did the rest of that day.  The next day I seemed to be okay, & that's the day I got the second storage unit & rearranged things between the two of them.  I could feel a bit of pain that day as I moved this box here & that box there, but it was nothing that incapacitated me.  I didn't really have any issues that night, but then last night the pain increased, & this morning I'm hobbling around needing to be careful of every move I make.  I have some 3-year-old muscle relaxers in the medicine basket that I'm thinking of taking.  

Before I end here, I will bring you up to date on my furniture dilemma.  As you know, I bought a new dresser which to me was very low.
It was a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, but I had to contort myself into a bent over, Quasimodo like character every time I needed to get a pair of underwear or put away some socks. Hey!  Maybe that's what caused the pain in my back!  I wouldn't doubt it.  Anyway, I asked my followers to please take a moment to measure their dressers & let me know how high they were (I deeply appreciate those of you who did that) & as it turned out, my dresser was taller than most others.  Still, I felt as if it were a child's dresser.  I opted to have the store owner order me the taller dresser.
It will be nice to have at least 2 rows of drawers that won't cause me back pain   : )

It is hard to believe that we've been in our new home for 7 weeks now ... & in 10 more months we'll be moving again!  AAAHHHHHHH!!!  This will be a year of transition I guess.  Downsizing, searching for another place to live, & crafting.  Not a bad year ahead, all things considered   : )


Maggee said...

Not a bad year at all! Ugh about the craft boxes crumbling... ick about what caused it! Take it slow... you will get there! I also have the urge to crochet, tho I am planning to do an afghan for one of my granddaughters that has been asking for years! It is a winter project... plenty of time to scope out yarn on sale! Hugs!

Robin said...

I don't think it has been a bad year at all for you, Shirlee! Downsizing is a good thing and many of us should take your lead and downsize ourselves. Sorry to hear about the crumbling of some of your items. I love the angel you created along with your crochet endeavors. Thinking of you!

Robin in Virginia

PS Hope your back pain goes away soon!

Ma, Herself said...

Shirlee, I agree with Maggee (hi Maggee :)) this has been a very busy year, well done, but you must take it slow...we are natural nesters and like to have our "stuff" just so and close at hand, but that's just not the reality of down sizing...you WILL get there. <3
I have some run-ins with those creepy moths myself, be careful not to bring them home with you on a non-manmade item...I have now begun using my dear MIL's mantra, "When in doubt, toss it out...in the dumpster :)
Take it easy and let your back heal properly...
OK, enough of the lectures...

marly said...

Wow. Three storage units down to one! How did you get back to two? Regardless, that's a lot of downsizing - good for you!

Sarah in Stitches said...

That is a gorgeous angel! And your crochet is awesome - I tried to learn last year and just couldn't do it. I don't know if I've got a brain block or if my hook was possessed, because I just gave up. Oh well! Good luck with the dresser, and your back pain :D

Vickie said...

Oh what a neat angel you have made! Good for you with the Granny Squares too. I tried to convince Madeleine she needed to learn to make those for me. Did not work. ;) Your yarn choices are yummy.
Take it easy now. And say hi to John for me.

Jennifer M. said...

Your first attempt at crochet looks great! I'm so thankful for the internet. I never would have figured out knitting without it. If you are ever in doubt about the hook size to use, just glance at the label on the yarn. It will tell you which is recommended for the yarn you are using. Go a size smaller if you crochet loosely or go up a size if you crochet tightly.

I hear you about the downsizing. I'm working on doing the same since we are planning to move next year.

Hope you feel better!

Julie said...

A truly magnificent angel ornament, I do like her.
Well done on the crochet, what a wonderful idea for the prayer blankets

Hazel said...

Wow you did it! Well done Shirlee! The squares look great. X

Justine said...

I love the idea of those prayer blankets, how wonderful! It sounds very "you". Your granny squares and angel look perfect to me.
I live with three hoarders but if left to me I would hardly have any possessions. I hate having stuff. Our home is not large and quickly feels smaller still if we accumulate things. I love a good clear out!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

This is why I stick to just one craft! Although I do have my scrap booking it's to display my stitching not as a separate craft. Oh yes, there's a half finished tapestry in a cupboard somewhere and probably the leftover wool from the latch hook rug I made thirty years ago!

The dressers are beautiful, I'm so sorry if one did give your the back ache.

jennifer768 said...

LOL! I can laugh because I tend to explore many crafts as well. I have been asking myself lately just why I start so many different things.I am so sorry to hear that you have hurt your back. One of these days you can teach me to knit and crochet. Hope that you are soon back to feeling good. Hugs,Jen

Frances N said...

The little angel is so sweet! I love it!!!

Kaisievic said...

Sorry to hear about your bad back, I know exactly how you feel as my back has been playing up something shocking for quite a few days now! Lovely yarn and crocheting.

Pam in IL said...

Love the knit angel! The new, taller dresser is really nice too. Did the store take the shorter dresser back? I think your granny squares look great! I picked up my crochet hook a couple weeks before Christmas last year and find myself obsessed with crochet right now. I haven't seen anything about prayer squares and really like that idea, so I might have to search for that. Sorry that you found some deteriorated decorations, but, like you said, it's less that you have to deal with. Take it easy and let the back pain get better.