I Dream of Crochet

Mar
25

I’m dreaming about crocheting. I woke up the other day and thought I actually had a crochet project that I was working on. This week, I went to the store and bought some lighter-colored yarn so I can see my knit stitches better. I looked at the knitting needles and thought about buying some, but I didn’t like their knitting needles. (I was at Wal-Mart. I think I need to make a trip to the city to Michael’s.) You know what is hanging right next to the knitting needles? Crochet hooks. I found myself picking up a package of crochet hooks and feeling tempted to buy them. Suzanne! Stop it! Step AWAY from the crochet hooks! I made myself put the crochet hooks back. I have finally learned to purl, but I am far from conquering knitting. If I pick up a crochet hook, it’ll be the end of me and knitting, I just know it.


Of course, I have all sorts of crochet hooks already in my ridiculously messy old sewing box. I don’t let myself pick those up, either.
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My old sewing box is like a trip down my crafty memory lane. I used to do a lot of sewing.
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I’ve made clothes, but I never enjoyed making clothes much. I loved making cute little things like decorations for the house, for holidays, even little toys, stuff for the kitchen.

The requisite pincushion (which, of course, I made).
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I used to enjoy cross-stitch a lot. I also embroidered.
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I really got into dollmaking for awhile and even sold them at a consignment shop.

Morgan opened my sewing box recently and thought this doll leg was really creepy.
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Doll Interrupted. How many years ago was it that I was making this last doll? She lives in my sewing box, incomplete. Turned outside-in, her little doll arms stuffed up inside her body.
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I loved this doll pattern. I always made the doll with a little gingham dress and matching bonnet edged with lace. I’d make a muslin pinafore to put over the dress. The hair was created out of yarn and plaited in pigtails. All put together, she was really cute, kind of a little prairie girl doll.

Her little outside-in face.
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I turned her rightside-out, curious to see the features I embroidered so long ago.
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Hmm. All flat and unstuffed and hairless, I think Morgan would say her head looks even creepier than her detached foot. But she really was cute with hair and a bonnet and stuffing!

And, you know, two feet…….
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I dug further into the bowels of my sewing box and look, another foot!
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Maybe I should put her together.

I can’t remember the last time I looked past the upper tray of my sewing box. For years, it’s been used for nothing but a quick grab for some needle and thread to repair something pronto. Or to nab some elastic for my goat photography. (I keep hats on Clover by attaching elastic bands to them.)
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Here’s my hand-drawn doll pattern, the pieces clipped together.
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I have another envelope full of other patterns, dolls and dressed-up animals, things I must have thought at the time I was going to make. I used to get a lot of free patterns out of magazines.
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As much as I didn’t enjoy making clothes (real clothes), I did enjoy making doll clothes.

I’d have some of this cute stuff, but what I made, I sold on consignment. (Unbelievable. I didn’t even keep one finished doll.)

When did I stop doing all of this? Somewhere along the line, between being a mother and being a writer, I let all the rest go. No time, no energy, no creativity left over. I’m not a good artist, but I used to enjoy painting, too–primitive crafts-style painting. (I love primitive crafts because it can be bad and still be good because “primitive” doesn’t require perfection.) In the past several years, I’ve gradually begun a return to what I feel is, for me, a more full creative life, where writing is still an important creative outlet but not my only outlet. The more creative things I pick back up–along with new things–the more satisfied I feel in general, like a whole person instead of part of one. (I find baking and gardening to be very creative, too.) I think my dreams about crochet aren’t just about crochet, but about my creative self reawakening, stretching, and begging to be fed.

Or, you know, they are just about crochet and it’s because I can’t figure out how to bind off in knitting and I want to pick up a crochet hook. GIVE ME A CROCHET HOOK OR GIVE ME DEATH.

Now I’m just being dramatic. Do not let me pick up a crochet hook, whatever you do.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on March 25, 2009  

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  1. 3-25
    1:45
    am

    Put that crochet hook down ma’am, hands in the air and step away from it – right now! :lol:

  2. 3-25
    2:28
    am

    There ya go! Yet another item for your “store.” You can feature little orphan dolls looking for just the right home! And you could even have a little story that comes along with the *cuties.* :fairy:

    Nice post. It is always fun to rummage through sewing boxes, photo items and other such memory keepers….even if it is someone else’s memories!

  3. 3-25
    3:44
    am

    If you’re looking for knitting needles, I like the wood ones from knit picks. I’m a fellow beginner knitter and I’ve heard bamboo needles are good for beginners. Ordering from a company like knit picks or ecobutterfly (they have the bamboo needles, good for the Earth) will also save you the hassle of running to a craft store, since they’ll ship the needles to your home. Those are just two online knitting stores and there are many more to choose from.

    It just be the specific stores I’ve gone to, but I’ve always had trouble finding a good selection of knitting needles from craft stores. I might be able to find nice yarn, but for some reason the ones I’ve been to don’t usually have a good selection of different types of needles (straight, double pointed, circulars, wood, plastic, bamboo, etc) or a good selection of needle sizes. I gave up on Michael’s and Hobby Lobby in Nashville, TN for knitting purposes for this reason.

    Sometimes local knitting shops are better equipped for finding supplies and they’re so helpful! I hope this helps you in your search for knitting needles. By the way, check out http://www.ravelry.com. It’s a great knitting, spinning, crochet, dyeing, etc community website with free patterns, info, groups, etc. If you want to join, go to this link: http://www.ravelry.com/invitations and request an invitation.

  4. 3-25
    4:53
    am

    Thanks, Jenny! I’ll look at those online places.

    (I’m WVSuzanne on Ravelry, though I haven’t poked around there much.)

  5. 3-25
    5:12
    am

    Binding off is very VERY easy. Of course, there are lots of ways to BO. My favorite way is your basic BO. Have you ever made pot holders with a loom and loops? The basic bind off is the the same as binding off the loop pot holders. You knit a stitch, knit another stitch, then take the first stitch and take it OVER the last stitch and drop the first stitch off. Then you knit another stitch and take the former last stitch (it’s the first one now) and take it over the newest stitch and drop IT off….pretty soon you will have binded off and be left with one stitch on your needle…just put your yarn through that last stitch and knot it. Easy as pie. (I teach basic knitting class for all ages at my local public library.)
    You will find out that in some cases, you WILL have to crochet, even though it is on a knitting project. But don’t fret. I have been a crocheter (us knitters call em hookers) for many years, but learned to knit and haven’t ever gone back to crocheting. I’m a chick w/stix!

  6. 3-25
    5:18
    am

    See, now I learned to knit before I learned to crochet, and I find crochet infinitely harder. Funny how that works, eh?

  7. 3-25
    5:32
    am

    I do/have done both. I prefer crochet.
    You’ll have to finish a doll so we can see what she looks like assembled and stuffed. Maybe you can keep this one. But I know how you feel. I very seldon keep something I’ve made. They are usually made with someone in mind. Or as a request, then I sell them.

  8. 3-25
    6:25
    am

    Nice post. I liked the segue from the sewing to the creativity of other purusits. I have to confess that I clicked on this post kind of shuddering — I’ve spent hours trying to learn how to crochet and still have nightmares.

    Connie, who is also terrified of her sewing machine (but a blank page can scare me too)

  9. 3-25
    6:35
    am

    You mentioned in an earlier post that you’d like to make a quilt. Wait until you start quilting. The stuff you’ll want to buy… LOL!

  10. 3-25
    7:36
    am

    I never knew that looking through somebody else’s sewing basket could be so much fun!

    And I agree, you should finish that doll and add it to your store!

  11. 3-25
    7:43
    am

    Funny – your top sewing tray looks a lot like mine, but without the orphan leg and with a bunch of dust. Even though I have a big plastic box with lid, dust manages to seep in over the years! :happyflower:

  12. 3-25
    7:56
    am

    Ok, seriously — put down the knitting needles! Crochet is infinitely easier AND super-fast! You can finish projects SOOOOO quickly! It’s perfect for anyone with a touch of ADD (not implying anything, really ;) .)

    I learned in November from this brilliant woman at http://crochet-mania.blogspot.com. She has videos of each project and stitch at youtube. Last week, I finished a dress for my baby girl in two days.

    I LOVE me some crochet!!

  13. 3-25
    8:25
    am

    I love it!! Go for the crochet hook!! You can do it!
    There is probably a 12-step program for crocheters!!

    I know the feeling: besides chocolate, I dream of looms and weaving…. you go girl and keep on the knit/purl/crochet theme.

  14. 3-25
    8:38
    am

    suzanne, before you go to charleston to michaels, try and go to parkersburg to crafts 2000. it will be worth your trip, and way cheaper. be prepared to stay and browse for a few hours. i prefer crochet myself, but they have the yarn for either. happy crafting.

    deb at chloe

  15. 3-25
    8:52
    am

    My mother taught me to crochet doilies as a young girl. I taught myself to knit when I was expecting my first child. Crochet goes much faster than knitting, but I love the finished look of knitted garments.

  16. 3-25
    8:52
    am

    Suzanne you had me reliving some old memories!!! I got a sewing machine for H.S. grad. and I used to love to embroidery (old jeans, pillow cases, table runners…) and my sister was the ULTIMATE artist – she just could paint, embroider, ect. like an artist, because she is one, to me – could draw unbelievably and loves plants, so had exotic ones…on and on. But, I miss crocheting with my friend, or needlepoint and cross stitch and the small amt. of knitting I did – very small. Miss all that!!! I never enjoyed making alot of clothes either..just a few wrap around skirts/tops…couple dresses. :lol:

  17. 3-25
    9:16
    am

    Could you maybe use your new wool for doll hair? I really like how you speak to awakening our creative sides. I feel that we’ve all had these endeavors at one point, and then all of a sudden we find ourselves scoopin’ dog poop and doing endless laundry. We are more!! Thanks for the reminder.
    And I am so bummed…the library just offered a FREE knitting class and I missed it.

    Have you seen this silly rap video about crafting? http://tinyurl.com/bf2x42 (Leslie Hall is famous for her sweater rescues and “gem” sweater museum)

    Kris7
    Working hard at http://www.sccworlds.com

  18. 3-25
    9:27
    am

    I want to learn to knit too! I have all the supplies to get started, just not the time. Darn this 9-5 job of mine! Some friends of mine recommended this site– http://www.knittinghelp.com/ for learning to knit. I haven’t really used the site but you might want to give it a look. It sure gets good ratings from other knitters.

  19. 3-25
    11:06
    am

    step away from the crochet, knitting good-crochet bad

    whoever knew there was such a crafter hidden in there,
    as usual you rock!
    I agree with the fleece for doll hair idea.
    anni in Toronto

  20. 3-25
    12:29
    pm

    I used to do all kinds of artsy/crafty stuff but never seem to find the time (sigh). I also think you should finish that poor little doll :fairy:

  21. 3-25
    1:29
    pm

    Congratulations on your pearl success. Now you can do both! Just keep going and you’ll get better all the time.

    It’s hard to resist crochet as it’s much quicker to do. However I usually find the crochet patterns harder to follow than knitting ones. Maybe because I learned to knit first and had more practise.

    It would be lovely to see the dolly finished. Shame to leave her there in the basket, she has a sweet face.

  22. 3-25
    1:59
    pm

    I think crochet is a lot harder than knit.
    Hang in there, Suzanne, you’ll soon master knitting.

  23. 3-25
    4:02
    pm

    I started a blog for my knitting guild, even though the ladies don’t seem to be writers (I’m working on them). Here’s the link: http://ohioknitwits.blogspot.com I have links to various knitty places (shopping and other blogs) on the sidebar. A good (and somewhat inexpensive) place to buy needles and wool is on eBay. And if you want a good knitty read, try any book by Elizabeth Zimmerman (author of such classics as “the Opinionated Knitter” and “Knitting Around”).

    Have fun and knit well.

  24. 3-25
    5:36
    pm

    I’ve done all these except knitting. I have dolls I made from scratch in the linen closet, with nowhere to put them at the moment. I loved it at the time too. I never made clothing for myself. Seemed boring to me. But I adored making things for my home. I have handmade quilts all over my house.
    Brenda

  25. 3-25
    5:40
    pm

    I have two trunks full of fabric, patterns, embroidery thread, etc. Every time I look at all of it I remember those fine days when I worked part time and could find time for all that stuff, as well as the big garden, renovating the house and so on .. Oh, well – maybe some day again!

  26. 3-25
    6:11
    pm

    First learn the knitting…then move on to crochet…I want to see a finished knitting project!! (I can do both, but prefer knitting). Isn’t it funny how the creativity pops back up when we can finally catch a breath from our mothering?

  27. 3-25
    9:17
    pm

    You could make all kinds of neat stuff with those craft supplies and then sell them at your new farm store.

  28. 3-25
    9:21
    pm

    Oh, and I forgot to say that it would be really cool if you made some of the container candles you showed us a few weeks ago and put them in your store too!

  29. 3-26
    12:53
    am

    My Mom used to make Dolls. I don’t have one either. You are way crafty!

  30. 3-26
    4:41
    am

    http://www.knittinghelp.com IS a very good site. It has video clips for all sorts of stitches,putting first stitches on the needles, binding off, you name it. I was a crocheter first, then learned to knit. Love knitting so much more. Knitting is all the rage…there are knitting groups/guilds all over the world. (lots of good and humorous knitting books out there too!) We have a knitting guild that meets at our community college once a week, but we also have a knitting “class” that is taught to all ages and we even have boys and men who come to learn! And when there aren’t any newbies, we just sit around and knit and gossip. It’s all good!

  31. 3-22
    1:57
    pm

    I started out knitting as a young girl..missed stitches and binding off soon became troublesome. I have been crocheting now a long time, and never tire of it. Always have something to make the my hook move. Creativity is a wonderful thing, I ask for more of it daily..You have a nice place here, I’ll be back so much to read and look at. Love those spice jars, been looking for some a long time. Enjoy your day..

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