Hey Grandma… look what I did!

I think I have a disease. I googled it, and I think it would be called “yarnamoritis;” an insatiable love of yarn. It’s not a real word… another blogger made it up. But it works.

I think I first developed an interest in yarn when I watched my Grandma crocheting… I was about 10 or 11. I asked her to teach me, and she said “okay… you need a crochet hook.” She loaned me a hook and a little ball of yarn, and taught me how to make chain stitches and the double crochet stitch. So, I happily went back and forth, back and forth, making row after row after row. I’ll never forget my dismay when I held up my finished product- a strip of yarn that was no useful shape or size- and realized that my edges were unbearably crooked. I went to Grandma and pointed it out.
“Oh,” she said, “you have to do two chain stitches at the end of each row, or else it all gets crooked.”
“Oh.” I said.
And thus began a lifelong (so far) struggle with straight edges.

I cranked out a ridiculous amount of potholders in that first year (all too thin to actually protect anyone from any amount of heat), and then lost interest in crocheting at all.
Every once in a while I would grab a ball of yarn from Wal-Mart and make a scarf to give someone as a gift, but that was the extent of it.

When I got to Asbury, however, I found myself surrounded by ladies who crocheted or knitted all the time. In the winter, it was a good pastime. It was something we could do inside while watching a movie or talking, and since it was cold, our awareness of cute scarves was heightened, thus enhancing our desire to make some of our own.

Anyway, it went like that for the two winters I was at school… I would spend hours in the yarn aisle admiring all of the beautiful options, then tackle some sort of project with it. My first winter I made tons of scarves. The second one, I tackled hats, and made lots of those (some turned out decent. Most didn’t.) My favorite hats I made were a set for my cousins for Christmas… four of them, all with different colors and different embellishments. They were certainly not perfect, and most of them did not fit right. But they were awfully cute. The little girl found hers again this year (a purple one with a flower on the front) and decided to start wearing it again… hers was one of the saddest, floppiest looking of the bunch, so the fact that she actually wants to wear it now made my heart happy.

After a short time in Alaska, I concluded that I needed something other than baking or Facebook to fill my time in the evenings while J watched football. So, on our next trip to town, I marched to the yarn aisle of the store we were in and carefully selected three colors with which to make a baby blanket. I figured that would be a good project, because I really wanted to make something simple, bigger than a scarf or hat, but I didn’t think I had the patience yet to tackle a “big person” blanket.

So, I dove in. And, to be honest, it took me a very long time to finish it because I got distracted by other projects… because I hated this baby blanket. The yarn was a bad choice, the pattern was terrible, and when you add in my propensity for crooked edges, it was just sad. (At this point, I HAVE finished it… almost. It needs a border. But I have stashed it away in a plastic bag, and I don’t really intend to ever look at it again.)

In the midst of that, I managed to finish a whole other baby blanket. It, by contrast, is much more lovely. It has one crooked edge… but it has a cute little edging on it, so it’s not super noticeable. Just the fact that I finished it is like a huge accomplishment… I am bad at finishing large projects. I just get so easily distracted.

Well, ALONG with all of this baby blanket making, I decided to tackle a slightly larger project… a not-quite-big-enough-to-be-called-an-afghan blanket, but a definitely-bigger-than-a-baby-blanket blanket. What inspired this? Well, I was searching for some new stitches, and I found a LOVELY, adorable, wonderful new pattern- made completely of the double crochet stitch. It’s called Granny Stripes.

A bonus was that I FOUND this pattern at a blog called Attic 24. It is by this really funny lady named Lucy, who lives in England. She crochets ALL the time, and shares her projects along with a lot of other anecdotes about her kids, cooking, and other home-making type things. I love reading her blog because I imagine her saying everything with an English accent. And she calls crochet “hooky,” which is just such a fun word. And she randomly capitalizes words in the middle of her sentences, which usually annoys me… but with her, it’s endearing, because it’s like she just gets So Excited about things that she Just can’t help it!

Anyway, she made a granny stripe blanket, and it’s just so pretty. I had to do it. So, trapped here in a tiny town that only has about 5 stores (and two of them are hardware stores), I went online to find the perfect yarn. The problem is that I really wanted a nice yarn, and I couldn’t feel any of the yarn through the computer screen.
I had the brilliant idea to use the same kind of yarn that Lucy did, so I visited her blog and read about what she used for HER Granny Stripe blanket. I decided if it was good enough for her, a yarn-expert, it was good enough for me. I googled the yarn, found the perfect website that sold it for a very low price (and had free shipping), and ordered myself five beautiful colors.

And THEN I realized that I had ordered my yarn from the UK. Apparently this particular kind of yarn is ONLY sold in the UK.

Guess what. It took my yarn a little more than a week to get from the UK to Alaska, and it was worth the wait. I love it… it’s beautiful. And it’s making a beautiful blanket. I think I will use this brand some more… who cares if it takes a week to get here?

And the best part… the best part… is that with this pattern… my edges are straight!

Anyway, it appears that the Yarn Bug has bitten me, hard. When I’m not crocheting, I find myself on the internet reading about crocheting. I want to set up a tent in the yarn aisle of Hobby Lobby and live there. I just want to make everything. It’s wonderful and terrible all at once. Perhaps it will pass when we leave this land of cold and snow… but for now, it’s definitely in my blood.

Aren’t you proud of me, Grandma??

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5 comments

  1. All I have to say is… you’re not alone, friend. And I have a funny story about yarn and knitting that I intended to write about, but with packing and preparations for Spain, I just ran out of time. Hopefully later this week I can get to it. 🙂 Love you, friend!!!! We are truly on opposite ends of the earth but connected even still. Thanks, internet!

  2. I have the same addiction and the same problem of never finishing projects. I have knit a lot of scarves but that’s about it. Nothing forward. And they’re all the same pattern-the one B taught me in Chile.

    So glad things are looking interesting 🙂 Miss you

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