Thursday, May 23, 2013

Grandma's Notebook project 4: Snap Brim Hat

One of the fun parts of following these patterns is that I have no idea what the project will actually look like until I am done.  It is also one of the frustrating parts.  Grandma had transcribed the pattern for this hat from a "Quick and Easy Crochet" magazine from 1993.  At the end of the pattern she writes, "lightly block and fold up brim in back as seen in photo." Yet there was no picture.  I tried to follow the gauge, but I've never been too good with gauge.  The whole time I was making the hat I thought, well, some people have very large heads, maybe it will fit them. Ultimately I think it turned out ok, and I did break down and Google "snap brim hat 1993" and found the original image.  I felt like maybe the standard hat on the mannequin photo didn't do the hat justice, so I put it on and did some muggin' for the camera.  I think it appropriately captures the spirit of the Snap Brim Hat circa 1993.

Click here to download the PDF of this pattern, if you would like to make this hat yourself!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Grandma's Notebook Project 3: Colorful Summer Afghan

This afghan pattern is what crocheters might call "a stash buster".  My grandmother wrote "use up scraps!" at the top of the page on this pattern.  She also writes that this is a "Colorful Summer Afghan", but my colors ended up making a colorful Autumnal afghan.  As I worked on this project I found myself feeling overwhelmed and doubtful, and then foolish, as this is not a terribly complicated pattern.  I worried that I would not have enough yarn to finish it, that my color sequence was all wrong.  I started doing crazy lady crochet math, trying to work out my problems. I began to flip forward in the notebook and found a knitting pattern with Grandma's crafting math. It made me feel instantly better.  I thought of how Grandma handled children's tantrums.  She just let them happen.  She had six children, and as we've been told, she raised them with a sense of humor and an acceptance that sometimes you have to abandon the illusion of control.  If you don't you might miss out on the unexpected moments that make life delightful. I recalled stories of my uncle running away from certain punishment with Grandma giving chase. He ran straight for Grandma's bed, diving under the covers to hide, causing Grandma to laugh too much to follow through with the punishment.  Then there is the story of my mother returning home late after a date with my father.  Her brothers had locked the doors so that she could not get back in, so she climbed a ladder to get into her second story window.  Grandma called out, "Rosa, are you in?" to which my mother responded, "halfway".
I let go of the worry, I relaxed and finished the blanket.  I held it up and realized, this is beautiful in spite of all my frustrations as I made it. I might even make it again.

If you would like to make this afghan too, click here to download a pdf of the pattern.

Grandma's Notebook

Recently I asked my grandmother if I could borrow one of her binders of patterns.  I have already posted a couple of the projects I have finished since she lent it.  She will be 97 in June, and only recently I've begun to appreciate that she will not be with me forever.  Somehow for quite a while it seemed like maybe she might, and frankly I'm not sure what a world without her will be like. I have always felt a kindred spirit with her, and although I never mastered her obsessive organizing gene I did inherit the hoarding aspect of it.  I have string too short to use all over my home, I just never labeled a box "String too short to use". 
These binders represent a life's work, though they are only a tiny portion of the woman she is.  I am thankful to be able to pay tribute to her by following in her footsteps.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Grandma's Notebook Project 2: Mittens

These mittens were omnipresent in our lives. Everyone in the family had a pair. I remember sitting in my grandparent's living room while Grandma crocheted these mittens during a visit from my Great-Uncle, her brother.  I remember her mhming while he talked. Sometimes the mhm's didn't quite land right, but that never much bothered my Great-Uncle, nor did it slow down his monologue. I understand now that she was counting, especially now that I've made a few of my own mittens.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Grandma's Notebook Project 1: Baby Sacque

 This pattern was tucked into a birth announcement inside of a pencil case in Grandma's binder. Along with the announcement there were two shipping slips and two cards from family members thanking her for the beautiful baby blankets- one for their first child, a girl and another for their second child, a boy.  I do not know the baby she made the sacque for.  That baby would be 43 now.
I had yarn left over from a baby blanket I made for a dear friend expecting her second child.  The end result was lovely. I will send the sacque along with the blanket. My friend's son happens to share my Grandfather's name, purely a coincidence, and just one of those instances of cosmic connectivity that makes the world that much more magical.

Download a PDF of this pattern.