Back at the beginning of 2012, there was a nasty flu going round our neck of the woods. My friend Alison at work was ill with this all over Xmas, and whilst she’d been laid up on the sofa she’d taught herself to crochet.
Now, I’ve always loved crochet. Not the lacy-doily kind, but the funky, 1970s kind, and in particular, those mad colourful granny squares that got made into everything from tank-tops and cardigans to far-out home décor. Like this blanket – it just makes me think of some cult technicolour B-movie with a psychedelic soundtrack!Once on the mend Al started bringing her creations into work – a lovely bag, flowers, and of course, beautiful little granny squares. I admired them so much I plied her for information, and she pointed me in the direction of her (and now my) Crochet Guru, Lucy at Attic 24.
So when I too succumbed to the dreaded lurgie, I found myself looking at all those bright, wonderful things on Lucy’s blog and was totally inspired. I wanted to make things like that! And I wanted to be able to do it right now!
But where to start? – I found one “beginner’s” book in our local library, with plenty of diagrams on how to make stitches in rows, and lots of complicated-looking pattern charts. But, oh dear… how do you hold the hook? How do you keep the yarn between your fingers? How do you even make a chain in the first place?? Lucy’s “summer garden” blanket seemed so very far beyond reach…
I searched YouTube with my stuttering, go-slow internet connection and after much staring at the little blue circle I eventually found a friendly, easy-to-follow tutorial that I downloaded and played again and again, fumbling along with some bits of old acrylic DK from the bottom of my knitting bag until I eventually made something that looked like a square. Oh, how chuffed I was with that first square! Then I made another. And another. I tried a second colour! The more I made, the more they began to resemble the ones in the video.By this time I was fully flu’d-up, and unable to leave the house for supplies. But I was hooked! I worked my way through the remnants in my knitting bag (which were few as I’m not that much of a knitter), even using scraps from an old craft kit that was intended for making fairies’ hair (the mauve-pink square in the top corner)! Before I’d finished the box of Lemsip, I had enough squares to make my very first cushion cover:A couple of weeks later, I bought some cheapie wool and made another:And THEN, feeling ambitious, I embarked on my own version of the “Summer Garden” blanket, using multi-coloured cotton yarn for the ‘flowers’ as I wasn’t yet confident enough to keep changing colour on every round. That took several months, as I moved house and had more health problems in the meanwhile, but it was finally finished last autumn:But like most crafty folk, I’m always finding inspiration for new projects, and when I saw this pattern on Etsy, I couldn’t resist!I’ve just finished making all the squares for this mad cardigan and laying them out ready to join together,but of course whilst making it, I came up with an idea for another cushion cover!and now I’ve gone and bought a book full of new patterns….