Thursday, June 2, 2016
A crochet break
I made this for my newest great-niece, Annabelle Grace, who is 9 months old. She had a very difficult start to life, and spent her first 3 months in Neonatal Intensive Care while surgeons repaired the gastroschisis with which she was born. (Gastroschisis is a birth defect of the abdominal (belly) wall. The baby's intestines stick outside of the baby's body, through a hole beside the belly button. The hole can be small or large and sometimes other organs, such as the stomach and liver, can also stick outside of the baby's body.) She is a most delightful baby, very active and bright, and a real little heart-tugger, Her parents have been through so much with her, and I really feel for them. So when I saw a really pretty soft 8 ply wool in the colours that suit Annabelle so well, I was inspired to crochet something for her. I decided on a poncho. Unfortunately, I didn't have a pattern for one, so I trawled the internet looking at pictures, and then just sat and crocheted. I am hoping I guessed at the right sizing!
My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 17. I took to it like a duck to water. For the next 30 years, apart from meal-times and when at work, I rarely sat in a chair without a crochet hook in my hand. I learned to crochet using fine Milward cotton (60 and 40 were my regulars), and made many a cheval set, doily, table runner and the like - all given away as gifts. Then in the 1970s I started working with wool. I stitched away on baby layettes, baby shawls, toddler dresses, children's woollies, afghans and anything else that took my fancy - again, mostly given as gifts. I did make myself a granny-square jacket in browns and creams, and a long coat that I loved and wore for years. And then when I turned 40, I found cross stitch. And that pretty much took over. I have made a few little crocheted lavender sachets over the years, but I rarely picked up my hook. So I was amazed at just how happy I felt with wool and a crochet hook in my hand! This little poncho took just 100gm (less than 4 ounces) of 8 ply wool, and took me just 2 days to stitch. It would have taken less time had I not unpulled it twice to change the design. And it cost me under $4 to make - the wool was a half-price special.
I have decided to go back tomorrow and get more wool to make a matching hat for Annabelle. It's a shame the sale is over, but that will teach me to buy more than I think I need next time! In my internet searching I found free charts lovely little toddler dresses and matching hats - I think Annabelle may be getting a set or two for Christmas this year.