Holidays: July 2011 Archives
So now that I am an official crocheter, I figured I should get some Granny Squares under my belt to seal the deal. For those who don't know, Granny Squares are to crocheters as dishcloths are to knitters. Granny Squares are small crocheted squares that feature different designs in each that you can sew up into different projects. Some of the most popular are blankets, scarves, and shawls. Collecting and finding new Granny Square patterns is just as fun as working them up. I set out to find some that I, as a beginner, could handle and I came up with 2 good patterns. The first is a beautiful granny square which is shown in 3 colors but can be worked up in just one or two, as I did. The second is an interesting take on the Granny Square style but reshaped for Christmas to make a Granny Tree. I worked my tree up based on the instructions that called for a treble stitch. Next time I will go with the double and use a smaller hook as with the hook called for by the ball band and the treble stitch I think the finished project is too floppy to make a good ornament but would be perfect with the DC.
I have to say I loved making these. I learned some new things, obtained some much needed practice and new ways to use the skills I already had. Completing something so cute, colorful and beautiful in a short amount of time is very satisfying. Unlike the Amigurumi animals I had made previously, there was no assembly, no stuffing. Once I was done crocheting, I was done! I did learn that: yes, my tension is still too tight. How do I know this, you ask, well... the thought occurred to me shortly after my crochet hook snapped in my hand. "Self", I thought, "you may need to relax a little with this crochet business". Stay tuned to see how this revelation works out. Until then, I will keep practicing and definitely keep cranking out Granny Squares.
My Green and Purple Granny Square was knit up in Berroco Weekend (75% Acrylic, 25% Cotton) in Tomatillo and Orchid. This was a great yarn to crochet with: no splits and it was neither too slick nor fluffy. My Granny Tree was knit with Tahki Tara Tweed (80% Wool/ 20% Nylon) in Brick. This was also a fantastic yarn to crochet with. It was fluffier than the Weekend but it was also had more stretch.
The last of the Stocking Challenge is Scandinavia- granted this is not one country but several; however the style is too similar to attribute it to one. My husband is half Scandinavian and my geographical choice was inspired by him. I also love the style, the natural details and motifs really speak to me and my love of the outdoors. Plus the Scandi style is so "in your face" homemade which I also find really attractive. It is not too difficult to recreate the Scandi style though I took come liberties with color to make it my own. The Scandi style, as I see it, is very natural, incorporating animals and plants that are very important to the Scandinavian people, such as birds, reindeer, trees, flowers (particularly tulips) and vines. Most of these elements have found a home on my Scandi Stocking. My bird is of unknown origin just something inspired by a Google search for "Scandinavian Embroidery" with daisies, a pine tree, and other embroidery flourishes added to fill in and make it beautiful in a cream thread. I found a reindeer shape from a coloring page search and traced him onto my Moda Bella Broadcloth stocking pattern and outlined him in some navy thread. I filled in my reindeer with some deep red thread in a vine and leaf pattern that I free handed. The leaf is embroidered very similarly to a daisy petal. Lastly is my snowflake appliqué which is featured here.
I am of 2 minds whether or not I am done. Part of me says that Scandi style is also a minimal style and that my big embroidered animals are a bold statement and I should stop while I am ahead. My other half says that I should fill in the blank areas with more natural elements, like tulips which I neglected to add. I also like the contrast of the linen appliqué and maybe some more would look even better. But I think that is my American brain wanting to fill in the blank space. Should I stay true to the minimal Scandi Style or take more inspiration from my husband's heritage and meld the American with the Scandinavian. Well, I have 6 months to mull it over but feel free to give your input. Oh, and Gledelig Jul (Merry Christmas)!