Two weeks into this Coronavirus stuff, and I’m finally taking a day to catch up on all my emails. I found a blog I nearly forgot about, downloaded bank statements, and listened to voicemail my kids left me while I was working.
A lot of folks have extra time on their hands right now, and I’m both sad and glad for us all. Extra time is a gift. Too much extra time, not so much. Double-edged sword.
My favorite part of this staying home business is that the kids and I have a new evening routine. “It’s art time, Mom!” rings out shortly before it’s time for bed. We gather in the classroom and color, work on latch hook rug, or whatever art project we’ve got going on. It turns out, it’s my kids’ favorite too. I had to work late yesterday, and I got a phone call:
Kid: “Mom, you’re missing art time!” Me: “I’m sorry kiddo. Maybe we can do art time in the morning?” Kid: “No, we’ll wait for you. Art time can’t actually start until you get here.”
Stalling bedtime? Maybe. Do I care? Not even a little bit.
I started making these super simple washcloths and they’ve become very popular! I’ve been commissioned to make them and had many family members request them as gifts. They are made from the polyester scrubby “yarn” and are single crocheted all the way with a 5 mm hook.
The small size (4″ square) is for the sink. They are great little scrubbers that rinse clean and can be washed daily – no need to worry about sponge germs! I make them medium (6″ square) or large (8″ square) for use in the shower instead of a loofa. They’re machine washable, and you can soak them in a bleach/water solution without damaging the colors or fibers if they ever do get a funk.
I try to make them square, but sometimes they get a little character like my latest washcloth pictured above. I’ve also experimented with making them with large holes in each corner so you could hang it on a hook in the shower, but it turns out to be extra work for nothing. The weave moves about and you can hang it on a hook without making a hole specifically for hanging.
I love making this, so I guess it’s a good thing they’re becoming my most requested item.
A while back, I switched my bathroom sink’s hand soap from liquid to bar. With the bar, came a soap dish. With that soap dish, came water circles on my counter. Call me crazy (and I might be), but I really don’t like those rings!
So, I decided to learn how to crochet an oval. I’ve never done it before. My first oval turned out kind of warpy, but I like it and I think it’ll do the job.
Here it is in it’s place:
I’m really quite pleased with this perfectly imperfect little creation. Now, I need to make another one and see if I can make it without that giant hole and maybe even a little bit less warped.
I recently spotted a short video clip of a woman crocheting on Instagram (embedded below). It struck me how very differently she holds her hook, yarn, and wip from how I do things. (wip = work in progress)
She has this overhanded hold on her hook and a way of twisting the hook to pick up the yarn that was beautiful to watch. It also seems a more relaxed hold on things as compared to my style. I don’t think her left hand (the yarn hand) does anything other than be there for the yarn to run through.
I hold my hook much like a pencil in my right hand. Then, I work the yarn with my left hand over the hook as I hold my wip along with the weaker fingers of my right hand. I found this little series of photos I took back in January 2010 that shows a little bit of my hold. (The animation is thanks to Google Photos.)
I wonder if my technique is odd? I wonder if her technique is better? I wonder if I can change my style so drastically?
I gave it a whirl. I had to laugh at the pretzel my fingers turned into. It’s like I was first learning crochet all over again! I think I might persist though because it is a much more relaxed hold and it’s far less tiring on my hands. I could crochet even more!
I wanted to make something fun and meaningful for Christmas. I’m giddy at how well this turned out!
I used scrapped t-shirts for filling, but I think I’ll use standard polyfill next time – it’s lighter. I also re-wrote the pattern some to make it less confusing. I had no less than 5 false starts! That got a little frustrating. Next improvements are to get a smaller hook and improve how I start the rounds (another pattern rewrite).
I’ve been experimenting with bath scrubbies for a while now. I tried a bath loofah-like thing, but the yarn got so HEAVY when wet. It also didn’t hold it’s shape.
I’ve settled (for now) on some plain old over-sized washcloths (right). I single crochet with a large hook about 20 stitches across and make the rectangle long enough to fold over into hand-sized. I’m not in love with this idea, but it works.
My first attempt reading the instructions from my cell phone at McDonald’s while the kids played didn’t go so well. I can’t imagine why?! lol
I re-read the instructions at home on my computer (more screen space), and realized there was a video link! That video makes all the difference!
This one is too small for the shower, but I love the idea! So, I grabbed a larger hook (10mm, I think) & crocheted two threads of yarn simultaneously for thickness. I’ve made two for the shower, and Steve has asked me to make some more just like it. I’ve found that the trick to the whole thing being durable is to pull the yarn VERY tight when closing up the scrubbie. The cotton threads stretch when wet, and you don’t want the center opening to stretch open too much.
I’m currently pondering what yarn material would make a better scrubbie, and if I could crochet nylon fibers into it (like those used in commercial loofahs). I’m not done experimenting!
Update 7/6/2018: I re-discovered this entry and I have the perfect material to try this on – the Red Heart Scrubbie yarn! I can’t wait to try that out.
I discovered ravelry.com yesterday, and I got kind of addicted. I never considered organizing my crochet projects. I just picked up some yarn, some hooks and stitched along at whim. I sat down last night crocheting, and my husband asked what I’m making. I replied, “Nothing, I’m just playing.” I had just finished a large Crazy Blanket for my sister and hadn’t really chosen another project just yet.
I picked up crochet a few years ago on a whim. I loved doing counted cross-stitch, but I felt compelled to give it up for something with larger needles (or no needles) with my 3 kids being 3 years old and under. This decision was solidified when I had to tear apart a Thomas the Train pillow to find the needle my son hid in it!
Crochet is fun and fast and I absolutely love it! My grandmother tried to teach me years ago, and more recently I picked up a sample granny square and hook from a friend giving me pointers on how to start. In just a few short years, I taught myself to crochet and have made way more stuff than I thought!
On Ravelry, I’m tripping down memory lane adding my projects and discovering that the yarn I have stashed everywhere in my house is more than I realized!
By the way – while I fiddled with some yarn, I made up my next project: A Granny Square Throw:
I have 5 squares already completed… of course, I stayed up entirely too late! I couldn’t help it. I was on a roll and catching up on old Star Trek Voyager episodes on Netflix. lol – The fifth square I finished up this morning:
I’m not 100% sure what the pattern will be yet, but it will be these two yarns – the solid blue and the “Banana Berry Print” variegated yarn.