Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Crochet Overload

**I wrote this a few days ago, and am waiting for things to finish, so I'm being "productive" and posting this now... **
Ok.  It’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted anything about my crocheting on here.  As a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time I did a post showing off my projects.  Of course, there haven’t been a whole lot in recent memory, but there have been several recently, so you all must endure a bit of show and tell.

I’m going to do this out of chronological order.  The reason being is that I want to put the most special one last.  Mind, all of these projects have stories to them, but two have a story that touches my heart more than the rest.

I will start with the first set of projects I got done in recent memory.  Gak’s cousin Robin was expecting her second daughter in April.  Ron and Jay had been trying for a long time and I was very happy to find out that Robin was pregnant.  (Robin’s baby girl was born healthy and happy at the end of April.)  I had recently found a really cool pattern for a heart shaped afghan that I knew would be perfect.  I followed the pattern until the last 3 or 4 rounds of the border.  I just couldn’t get it to work out right and I decided I didn’t really like it anyhow.  So, I improvised my own using an edging pattern from a book I have.

I had tons of yarn left over.  So I made a hat and a little sweater.  I made the same hoodie as I made for Boo and for my “cousin” John’s baby 2 years ago now.  Only I didn’t do the hood, used a smaller hook so it would be closer to newborn sized and added a little ruffle edge instead of the plain one that it called for.  I think it all turned out very pretty.  I added a few ping onsies and some pants to the package and happily sent it on it’s way.  It was loved by all.

This is my most recent project that I finished.  I did this one in record time for me since I stopped traveling.  (I probably would have gotten it done all in one trip back in my crazy travel days.)  I think I put about 15-20 hours in total on it, but it would have been less if I’d actually read the directions more closely.  I did rows 7-10 about 3 times in total before I finally read what the pattern was saying and got it right.
Let me tell you, this yarn was a joy to use!  I picked it up at my new little local yarn store when it opened.  It’s called Haze by Queensland.  It’s a nice lightweight yarn, somewhere between sock and sport.  What’s really cool about this yarn isn’t the amazing colors or the light weight or the soft feel, but the fact that it is 40% cotton and 60% corn viscose.  Yep, 60% of the fibers in the yarn came from corn.  The stalks actually.  Pretty amazing.  (It actually took just under 160 grams (1.5 skeins) of this amazing yarn.  I’m trying to figure out something amazing to do with the last 40 grams or so of yarn.

This is the Aphrodite shawl pattern that I picked up for free at Michael’s back many months ago.  All I could think about while I was making it was the Caribbean.  Therefore, I’m calling it my Caribbean Aphrodite.  I actually wore it to work on Friday over a white tank and got several compliments on it.  It really turned out nice.  The picture doesn't really do the color justice, but I’m not sure how to get better ones.

Finally, we get to two pieces that I made starting in February and finishing up in April.  (It took a good bit longer than planned, thanks to being interrupted by the whole “problem” at the apartment…)  These two hold very special places in my heart.
You see, my friend Ron from work is fighting liver cancer.  Back in February he went out on medical leave to begin his chemo treatment.  Ron is a wonderful person and has never hesitated to help where he can and is a very wonderful, kind person.  It really makes me sad to see him so upset and sick.
I made a shawl for his wife Beverly and a large lap sized afghan for Ron.  They’re both the same pattern and the end of the skein used on Beverly’s shawl is what I used to start Ron’s blanket.

Here’s the note I put in with it.  (It’s long, but I can’t post these pictures without posting the note.  Oh, and I made a boo-boo, they have 3 daughters, not 2.)

Dear Ron and Beverly,
When Ron told me he was fighting cancer and that he was going to be out for therapy, I knew in my heart that I had to make something.  My solution to problems usually involves yarn, a hook and some quiet contemplation.  Keeping my hands busy so my mind can think.
When I bought the yarn, my first thought was to make a wonderful blanket for Ron when he’s resting in the recliner or to possibly keep a chill off while at doctor’s offices or at treatment.  But then, I realized that I needed to take care of the caregiver almost more than Ron.  Beverly, you have been Ron’s support, confidant and best friend for a long time.  You two have been through a lot together, raising two daughters and welcoming a grandson into the world.  You are his rock, and I thank you for this.
I realized after finishing the shawl for Beverly, that it was far from perfect.  Some of the stitches are uneven or slightly out of place or even just plain missing.  But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that’s how life is.  The final product may be beautiful from a distance, but when you get up close, there are all kinds of little things that don’t seem perfect.  It has taken me a long time to take to heart my dad’s message of “there’s no such thing as perfect”, but I think I finally get it.  Life from a distance is perfect, the every day living of it, is not.  The shawl and the blanket are both beautiful, warm and comforting, just as life is.  And just as life is, when you look at it closely, it’s a common thread knotted and woven through good times and bad, places where the pattern we want was followed exactly, and places where it gets a little messy.  In the end, it is beautiful, despite the rough spots and the problems.
I hope you both find these warm and comforting, now in the tough times and in the future as well.  I hope they bring you joy for a very long time to come.

I received a wonderful card in response.  They both love their gifts, and it warms my heart to know I could bring some warmth into their lives right now.

I think this is where I’m going to leave it.  I do have plans for more crochet coming up.  I still need to make something for Ethan, my newest little cousin (well, son of my cousin) and my friend Treats is due with a little boy in October.  I wish I’d gotten something done for Ethan before he was born, but with everything going on at the apartment, it just wasn’t going to happen.

Peace to all and may your projects be fun and your hearts full of joy.


Knitting Fever said...

What touching stories. And it sounds like all your friends were touched as well.

That heart afghan is very neat!

Addey said...

Thank you very much :)