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I’ve just returned from a month-long vacation and have at least three crochet WIPs waiting for me. The problem: I think I forgot how to crochet. I don’t know about you, but vacation is never a time when I get a lot of crocheting done. Actually, it’s a time when I don’t get any crocheting done. When I get back to the hotel, Airbnb, or regular B&B after a day of exploring, eating and drinking, I don’t have the focus or energy needed for even the most basic crochet pattern. Do others have this problem as well?

If I am alone, well, that’s that. I’m a crochet, crafting loser with no self-discipline.  If there are others like me, I love all of you! The reality, however, is that I absolutely need to get started again, no excuses, especially since these are projects for the Holiday Gift Gallery at our local arts center. I’m afraid to check the deadline, but I think it’s next week. And, I still have to figure out prices and print tags. Dang! Vacation is truly and surely over.

IMG_4635 2Pictured is the start of a hat. In a moment of over-confidence, I packed this skein of yarn, a pattern and plastic crochet hook (to avoid any TSA issues). During our four-hour wait at Chicago O’Hare, I started this hat. Things were going pretty well until I noticed that when I turned the end of the short row, I left a loop of yarn. Don’t ask me how that happened. I tried to rip out and start over, but the fuzzy yarn would have none of that. That’s all it took. I packed this little travel project away and never looked back. Now, back in Ohio, I have to face this fuzzy dud as well as other works in progress that I put away before leaving.

A brief word on technique: For me, the slip stitch/short rows combination can be tricky. Without a turning chain, starting the “backward” row is hard for me. It’s hard to see the first stitch, and because the slip stitch needs to remain loose, I tend to overcompensate and, thus, end up with a messy loop on the ends of those rows. They can usually be covered over at the end when the hat is put together, but it bothers me to know that they are part of the hat. As I said at the start, I found this yarn impossible to rip out. I was making more of a mess trying to unravel each stitch. Getting very discouraged, hot and sweaty,  I gave up. I don’t think I will try to rip it out, but just move ahead and hide this part when I finish.

The plan for this hat is to make a simple beanie, but embellish it with some wool fabric pieces I bought at the Yellow Springs Wool Gathering before I left for vacation. I’m still thinking about how to cut and embroider them, and how to apply them to the surface of the hat. I want to be a bit bold, but I also want the design to appeal to buyers–not to be so different that it’s misunderstood. (Can a hat be misunderstood? Yes, I believe it can!) There is a fine line between groundbreaking design and butt ugly, but it can be fun to find that tipping point.

Here are the swatches I purchased:

IMG_4636This idea may or may not work out, but I won’t know until I try. Admittedly, the concept in my head does not always work in reality. I’ll keep you posted.

Well, I also feel like I’ve forgotten how to write since it’s been a while since my last blog post, so, let’s end this now! I can, however, post a picture from my trip. This one was taken in Zagreb, Croatia at their fabulous indoor/outdoor market. Visiting the markets in any town new town is one of my favorite activities. You can really get a feel for the people and culture of that city.

IMG_4585

Until next time, keep on creating!

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