23 Sep Maker Without a Space
What do you do when you’re between workrooms? When you’re used to a large cutting table, a number of specialist sewing machines and all the materials and trims you could ever desire. It’s quite devastating but not impossible to work around. Just imagine you’re a creative on a long journey, traveling the countryside with very little space to store creative materials or equipment, but still wanting to expressive your creative self.
My first inclination was to work out what sort of creative project I could work on that takes up almost no space and requires very little specialist equipment. Fortunately I’d already begun to experiment with a crochet project using cotton yarn. I only had 8 balls of yarn (in primary colours) and one crochet hook in my possession, so I decided to pick that up again and see if I could turn it into something I’d like to complete.
The last time I tried to crochet was when I was a teenager and my grandmother taught me a few basic stitches. That was over five decades ago so I seriously needed a refresher course in some of the basic stitches. To keep each piece of crochet a manageable size I decided that I’d try the granny square and If I was able to make enough squares I could turn them into a blanket or knee rug.
For a refresher course I headed over to Youtube and found myself a wonderful teacher in Coco Bella. Her videos are well paced and instructions clear and uncomplicated.
As a beginner it’s important to realise that your first attempts at any new skill set will be less than perfect. Remember to cut yourself a break and allow time to redo some of the pieces if you’re not happy with them.
In my case I decided that I liked the granny square project so I bought enough yarn to make a blanket for the bed. After crocheting 196 squares I began sewing them together and realised how awful some of my first granny squares looked and how they spoiled the project. I also didn’t like the way the open style crochet squares looked on the backing. Needless to say I didn’t take a photo to include in this post.
After such a big crochet job it took me at least a week to come to terms with the idea of unravelling 196 squares and re-crocheting them in a new style. I returned to Coco Bella and found a video featuring a new style of solid granny square.
So I’ve begun the process and I’m so much happier with the results. My crochet stitch is more regular, although not perfect, and the solid squares will make a better blanket. If I do make it to the end and produce this blanket I’ll post it somewhere on the social.
So what I haven’t mentioned is that the balls of yarn I originally bought were purchased in the summer. In the autumn I had decided it was worthwhile to continue but I wasn’t able to get all the same colours to complete the project. The best solution was to use what I had and find a creative way to finish the project with colours I had access too.
In the end I decided to make the blanket majority navy and alternate both the summer and winter colours. I started in the top left corner with the yellow and lime and ended in the bottom right hand corner with denim and navy. So the final effect is asymmetric in effect.
The last part of the project was to mount the crochet blanket onto a piece of navy fleece fabric for warmth and stability. I turned the outside edge of the fleece in by 1.5cm (5/8″) and secured the crochet to the fleece with a large blanket stitch in the same dark navy as the squares. And to stabilise the bulk of the blanket to the fleece I stitched through the centre of many squares to hold it to the fleece fabric.
The final blanket is colourful, extremely warm and stable. I’m hoping for it to last a long time for all the effort I put into making it. What would your creative project be if you found yourself with a limited or no dedicated work space?