Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Note On Our Work

In all the rush we needleworkers enjoy as we race to the finish line on our projects, it can be easy to look past the process. It's addictively satisfying to finish projects. I love the feeling of completion I experience as I tuck in those final loose ends, fold up my project, and set it on its course of usefullness outside of my work basket.

When I make things for others, especially children, there is also often a deadline involved. My son's sweaters need to be completed before he outgrows them. And everyone knows the rush of gift-making, whether for holidays or birthdays or other occasions. We have to finish by a certain date. It's like crossing things off a to-do list.

However, at this point in my life, I have limited resources with which to work and I need to make those resources last. I have rediscovered the joy of savoring my needlework. And the savoring is enhanced by the limitations placed on my time by my son. When I stop to stitch, I may only have a few minutes, and I make the most of them. It's like enjoying fine, expensive chocolates: they are too expensive to indulge in all at once, so they have to be enjoyed in small doses.

I highly recommend it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Working With Motifs...Again

A friend of mine is expecting her first child at the end of this month. Since she is expecting a girl, I took the opportunity in making her baby a gift to make something frilly and lace and completely inappropriate for my boy: a lace bonnet.

As indicated in my previous post, this project is another example of the versatility of motifs. The back of it is made out of this motif:

In order to make this motif an appropriate size, I only used the first four rounds of the pattern, which also made a better shape for the bonnet that the complete pattern would have.

For the side band, I used a pretty variation on crocheted net stitch:

  • Row 1: *[Sc1, ch 5, sk 5] twice, sc1, sk2, (dc2, ch1, dc2), shell made, in next st, sk 2, rep from * across, ending sc1, ch5, sk5, sc1. Turn.
  • Row 2: ch2 (counts as 1 dc), dc2 in last sc of prev row (counts as ½ shell), *sk 2, sc1in next ch5 space, [sc1, ch5, sk5] twice, sc1 in next ch5 space, sk2, (dc2, ch1, dc2) in next sc, rep from * across, ending with 3dc in final sc.
  • Rep these two rows for desired length.

After completing the band, I decided to put a ruffled edging on the bonnet for a brim and an edging around the neck to finish the bottom edge. I used a handkerchief edging from Traditional Edgings to Crochet, by Rita Weiss (another handy resource).

I’ll do a post soon on the pattern for the edging around the neck of the bonnet (also taken from Traditional Edgings to Crochet, as it features a really interesting stitch. Again, I only used part of the pattern and ignored the final row, as it didn’t look right with the rest of the project or in the gauge I used (size 10 crochet cotton with a US size 7 steel hook).

Finally, I single crocheted around the entire edge and tacked the brim back against the side band. Then I finished the project by threading a yard-long piece of pink gauze ribbon through the base of the brim.