Up near the Croakery there’s a sprawling field that is filled with flowers from April through October. You can pull in and park, and wander through the rows with a borrowed pair of scissors and a cheerful yellow bucket. Sniff, snip, wander. The names feel like memories to me. I can remember them coming from the mouths of my father and aunt and grandmother. Amaranth, Cosmos, Clover, Foxglove, Zinnia, Heliotrope. Queen Anne’s Lace, Statice, Cockscomb, Asters, Sedum. Even the stray grass gone to seed and the goldenrod was lovely. Its oddly comforting to know that in this day and age there are places like this. Unattended, completely on the honor system. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but honor is something that is increasingly hard to come by these days. Much like sunny warm afternoons this close to October. And that Saturday was a doozy. Golden light that still had a summer-like warmth to it, combined with a cool breeze and turning leaves that distinctly said late September.
Our little yellow bucket yielded several pretty arrangements which we put in our favorite Weck bottles.
Hope you’re enjoying the little, honest things, too.
I learned how to crochet last winter with a class on Craftsy. I have always been what you might call a knitting snob. I used to roll my eyes at crochet, and clutch my pearls at the thought of working with acrylic yarn. “But knitting is so much prettier!” “I only knit with natural fibers!” “Crochet is such a grandma thing to do, I may as well get 4 more cats!” “Crochet is so late 70’s, there’s nothing modern about it at all.” But I have learned to open my mind a bit. It happened when I was exposed to two things. Bear’s Rainbow Blanket from the Purl Bee, and seeing Heidi Bear’s African Flower pattern on Ravelry. I was astounded that a craft that I considered so ‘tacky’ could make such pretty projects. I know the dedicated crocheters out there are brandishing their hooks, offended at my words. And I apologize. In my defense I was exposed to a lot of crocheted toilet paper covers complete with plastic dollies on top as a child. But my eyes have been opened to the possibilities.
I made my first (gasp) acrylic throw for my sofa last spring. Its a giant Granny Rectangle. I didn’t use a pattern, I just made a chain and then made granny stitches in it until it became a rectangle. I love it. Its soft and warm, and I can throw it in the washing machine without thinking twice. Besides that, if you consider the cost of making a blanket sized project in a nice wool its really prohibitive. When Florrie and I saw how much the Bear’s Blanket kit cost to make out of Koigu, we fell out of our chairs. Well played acrylic, well played.
After being bitten by the hook bug, I trolled Ravelry and found that there are a lot of great crochet projects out there. I remember seeing the Purl Bee’s blanket and wracking my brain to figure out a way to make the same squares in knitting, I tried and tried but it never came out quite right. I believe some clever girl out there did it. I’m sure if you Googled it you could easily find the free pattern. That’s when I decided that it was time to learn to crochet. Its fast to pick up. I learned the basics in just about an hour. That same hour I was making my first clumsy granny squares and soon after that I tried my hand at Heidi’s wonderful African Flower and here are my results!
Not too shabby, eh? Its a fun, easy pattern. I have high regard for what I call “Bang for your buck patterns” and this falls solidly in that category. You only need to know how to single crochet, chain and double crochet. I think the next thing I need to learn is the join as you go method. The major drawback for crochet (for me anyway) is that the joining and weaving in ends is a process and a half. I have learned how to capture the ends as i crochet, but joining as I go is still an unknown, but seems right up my alley. Do any of you have favorite join as you go method? I would be forever grateful if you hooked me up! (I apologize for that terrible, awful pun).