Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Funk and Inspiration

I know, I know, it has been way too long since I posted on here. I have been a terrible blogger but in my defense my job does keep me very busy and frankly I have been in a crafting funk. My hands would have the urge to knit but every time I picked up some yarn it just didn't feel right. I wasn't feeling inspired at all, either it was the yarn I was using or the project I had set out to do, sometimes it was both. I would have the urge to knit a sweater or bolero, look through the yarn I had in my room only to decide none of it was right for the project in mind. Sometimes I found myself in the craft store looking for the yarn I so desperately needed to inspire me only to leave empty handed. Other times I mumbled and groaned to myself that I was supposed to be saving money and yarn was the last thing I needed. Finally my funk lifted when I came across a blog post by Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits.

I have been following her blog for a couple years now. Her blog first caught my attention when I came across the adorable animals she knits, but that wasn't what kept my attention. What has kept my attention are the more personal blogs that she writes involving her family, I won't get into details as it is not my place but she is a remarkable woman, who's experiences I can relate to on more levels than just crafting. What she experiences around the clock I only have to experience 40 hours a week at work. I love what I do and I can't imagine doing anything else but at the end of the day I am glad I get to go home where it’s quite and where I can relax. One day while reading one of her blog posts titled One a day, where Julie talks about a project she has started where she plans on crocheting at least one square to a blanket a day. I finally got the inspiration I was looking for and thought hey I can do that. Now one thing you should know is that I typically do not crochet and when I do it's very rare that I finish what I started. I should also mention that I HATE granny squares with a passion, ok maybe that is a bit harsh but all the squares I have come across have been in horrid colors that hurt my eyes and designs that remind me of being in a stuffy house, poorly lit, smelling of old lady. I know that sounds awful but somewhere along the line that is what granny squares have come to represent for me, that is until now. When I read the One a Day blog I was drawn in by the circular design of the square and the bright colors used by Julie and of course the gorgeous border design. I was in love again and my hands were ready to go. So I checked out the original blog Julie found the pattern at by Solvieg and began collecting the spare balls of yarn in my room. After picking out three colors I liked grouped together I started out on a test run. I had only tried to crochet a granny square once when my Nana had mentioned she always wanted to know how to make one. I thought I would learn and then show her how. That was a failure, but in all honesty I shouldn't be so hard on myself because it wasn't a bad attempt especially since I was new to crochet and it did look like your typical granny square just a bit wobbly and slanted.

As soon as I started my test square I was hooked and addicted. My plan was to make a baby blanket that would be about 10 by 10 squares, however when I brought my crochet bag over to my boyfriend's for a weekend and started putting the few squares I had already started together, he kept hinting at how he liked it and thought I should make us a blanket. I had planned to keep this one a baby blanket and knit us another one once I was done. Several months back I had bought a blanket kit from knit picks that I planned to knit that for us but the more I worked on the blanket over his house the more he seemed to think it was for us. Soon he was saying how it should be bigger and how I should be aligning the colored squares, that it would be cooler if the colors were laid out in a block pattern instead of stripes. With how much he seemed to actually be interested in a project I was making I decided to follow his suggestions and recalculate how many squares I would need. Since the blanket is put together as you go, the fourth row being the round that connects the squares, I had to stop crocheting for a bit to figure out my design and how many squares of what color combinations I needed. Thankfully the boyfriend came to my rescue and did that work for me, using an excel sheet to lay out the blanket design and then he even counted all the squares for me. I don’t have much of the project done, as I had to stop crocheting and start sewing in loose ends, there are a lot of loose ends with this project. Now if you thought I hated granny squares before you should know I Hate sewing loose ends even more. It takes me twice as long to sew in looses ends then it does to crochet a row of these squares and put them together. I finally told myself no more crocheting squares until all my loose ends so far were taken care of. I finally accomplished this task and now have half of two rows put together without any loose ends. I say half of two rows because I put them together when I thought the blanket would still be baby size. Now I need to crochet up a few more squares to add to the width of each row so it’s big enough for my boyfriend's bed. I still have a long way to go with this project and my momentum has slowed down but I know once I start crocheting the squares again I will be back in the groove. This project has been a lot of fun and has given me a new interest in granny squares.

Here are a couple pictures of the first row.

The second row has the same colors just in a different order. I am rotating the yellow, blue, and green rows while keeping the outer border of white for the fourth row. For anyone on ravelry who wishes to look up this blanket pattern its is called Flowers in the snow and is by Solveig Grimstad.

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