Monday, November 22, 2010

on my mind

Lately, I've been thinking about crochet.  You see, crochet was my first.  Way back before it was time for us to have babies, I began crocheting baby whatnots as a young married.  Oh, it was funny!  Sure, I made some nice blankets and and an adorable lamb, but some of the stuff I turned out....  Actually, I should show you some pictures sometime just for laughs.

Over time I began to think of crochet as an "uncool" craft as I was besotted by knitting wonder after knitting wonder.  Last fall I took up knitting and whipped up a few scarves.  I'm glad I "can" knit, but I lament the number of needles I'd need to imbibe deeply in knitting.

This is what's brought me back to crochet:

*Inspiration* in Modern Crochet

1. ziggy, 2. making me smile, 3. jar full of goodness, 4. Summer Granny, 5. Sunburst Blanket II, 6. j o i n i n g, 7. granny's a square!, 8. Joelle's Giant Granny Square, 9. for scale

So, obviously, crochet can be quite cool.  And, to me, it is easier than knitting. They say it's always just whichever you learn first.

I knew that come this time of year I'd want to play with yarn again. But, therein lies another obstacle - yarn.  I have this gigantic plastic tub (I hate those plastic tubs) of nasty, Red Heart yarn and other acrylics.  Sorry to hurt any feelings, but this stuff just doesn't do it for me after seeing delectable balls of warm, sunny wool.  When I took up crochet so long ago, I didn't have standards in crafting materials.  It was big box store or nothing.  I did dip my fingers into some yarn at a specialty boutique back in the day, in order to make myself a really nice poncho (hahahahahahahahah!) which I promise never to wear.

Wall of Yarn

Ok, so where does this leave me?  1.  Must donate yarn bucket.  2.  Feel naughty buying new yarn when I'm giving away "serviceable" stuff.  3.  Don't know what "good" yarn to buy.  4.  I think I'll make a blanket?  5.  Added Cascade 220 to my Amazon wish list because people/books seem to like it.  6.  Doubt I will get any for Christmas.  7.  Have issues with spending my meager monies on anything but fabric (and am saving up for The Sewing Summit). 

If you could put in your 2 cents on what is a good quality, but not incredibly expensive yarn, that would be most welcome.  Maybe I'll get up the guts to buy some.  I know I want wool or a wool blend, and I think washable would be good (oops is cascade washable?)  I imagine (which means very little, really) that I'll make a blanket like this one.  I have no expectations of whipping this out this year, but maybe in a year or so...  I'd just like something to work with my hands on these cold nights.  Something to take up now and then when the mood strikes.


I'll leave you with this snapshot of my work kitchen table last night.  It's a lovely little essay on "Gestation" in crafting by Jane Brocket from The Gentle Art of Domesticity.  "It is all too easy to announce, if only to myself, the impending arrival of a creation, only to let it gestate well beyond its due date.  So I try to set realistic targets that won't interfere with the normal patterns of domestic life..." (pg 94). 

I think my first target is to sort and donate my old yarns.  Maybe that'll give life to this desire to acquire some new ones.


  1. cascade 220 is not machine washable, but they make cascade 220 superwash, which is.

    i'd try knitpicks, elann, or webs. you can find natural fibers with a decent color selection at a reasonably low price. look for superwash yarns if you don't want them to felt.

    i love crochet. it was one of my first crafts, but i don't do it a whole lot anymore.

  2. I don't know why, but crochet is the one crafty thing I just can't get into. My blog started off with my knitting projects, but living in Florida totally negated the desire or need to making anything out of yarn.

    BUT...I do love nice yarn. I can't give you any specifics (although Knit Picks makes some nice affordable yarn in a lot of colors and types). The yarn I couldn't get enough of when I started knitting was Malabrigo...sigh. Such pretty colors and SOOO nice to work with. Alas for the price.

  3. my plan over Christmas is to have my MIL re-teach me how to crochet - I've never tried knitting, and the idea of a bazillion needles is a turn off to me... plus, like you, I've been admiring crochet projects as of late!

  4. I LOVE to crochet!! I find tons of cute patterns for sale on etsy :) I recently made a pair of baby uggs!

  5. Crochet is fun!! I agree with you that Red Heart is nasty and gross, I bought some just last month to make a pumpkin, it hurt my fingers so bad! But, there are some acrylic yarns that are super soft! Loops & Threads yarns are very soft (especially the baby yarn!) you can get those at Michaels.

  6. Oooooh crochet! A girl after my own heart! Next to quilting, it's my favorite thing by far. I have to say, I've attempted a baby afghan in superwash and Its a lot different than using acrylics. I did a tester granny square and when it washed up it didn't felt like regular wool, but the texture changed a little and it shrunk. I decided it wasn't good for baby barf and mishaps at $10/ tiny skein and used it to make a scarf. Although, if it's something you aren't going to wash a bunch, I definately recommend making something with it! I'd compare it to buying high quality designer fabrics vs. big box store cheap yardage. You'll love it. And sooo many more gorgeous colors and weights! I say go for it! Or, try Lion Brand Vanna's choice. It washes up super soft!

  7. I can actually chime in on this. I totally FEEL YOUR PAIN.

    1) I just donated anything that had acrylic in it to our church and they were very thankful (little did I know, I was wayyy happier)
    2) Michael's & Joann's have a new yarn I just found by "Stitch Nation". They have a wool and a very soft bamboo. There are also a good amount of color choices that you may love. And, they aren't blended with acrylic. I don't care where my yarn comes from, as long as its not fake crap.
    3) I go to my local yarn store and only buy from the sale bucket. Then I usually end up with odd colored things, but oh well.

    - Lauren @ craft my life away

  8. Rachel- I just had a little come to Jesus last night with this very issue and my fabric stash. If you know you're never going to use that Red Lion yarn - give it to a nursing home or a school or an agency that deals with kids - someone will use it to make something. But get it out of the house and begin buying yarn/fabric that's special to you. You know better now, so buy better. You have our permission!!

  9. Thank-you all for your thoughts and advice. I really appreciate it!

  10. I totally admire anyone who can crochet or knit! I have been taught a few times but it just never catches on! I really would love to be able to do either though! Good luck on your yarn search! :)

  11. that crocheted blanket is soooo cute. and you better post a pic of you in that awesome poncho!!! :) or at least a few of your early crocheted projects! ;) i have crocheted before but set it aside for quilting, but agree that it is therapeutic to just sit on the couch and crochet.

  12. This post was perfectly timed, as I am currently crocheting using gross Red Heart yarn :) I'm making a set of Star Wars characters I found on Etsy for my husband. My hands are absolutely killing me, but this super stiff yarn seems to work best when making figurines. I typically save up my coupons for Joann's and Michael's and buy whatever feels the softest - Caron's Simply Soft is pretty good bang for your buck in nice colors.

  13. I much prefer crocheting over knitting and I learned to knit first - go figure. Have you thought about donating your Redheart yarn to Project Linus? This would love it as it makes great, durable afghans for kids in need. You can look for a Project Linus in your area at Just a suggestion :)

  14. Must be something about fall ... I've been getting the itch to do some granny squares myself! Love those inspirational pictures! Like another poster, I've had good luck with Caron yarns; I've knitted two fisherman-sweater-style afghans with it that have gotten heavy use over the years. The afghans are nice and soft and they wash up great!

  15. In The Loop down on Devine has nice yarns and also The Needler in Lexington!!

  16. I like crochet too; never got the hang of knitting.

    I love that ziggy afghan. It looks so fun to wrap up in.

  17. I'm an avid crocheter :) Yay for crochet! I highly recommend Hobby Lobby's entire "I Love this Yarn" Line. They have an acrylic, cotton, wool, and I think a washable wool. They yarns are all very, very soft and also quite decently priced. I usually use the acrylic, since I make mostly toys, and it's waaaaay better than Red Heart.

    Cascade wool is awesome, and I buy it when I'm spoiling myself or someone else. I don't believe it is washable though. I have felted with it though.

    So to participate in this Celebrate Color thing, the items have to be made by us? (As opposed to purchased?) I have some fabulous fall yarn just begging to be a cowl and hat set :)


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