Sunday, November 17, 2013

Grandma's notebook project 8: Lily Sugar 'n Cream String Bag

At the top of this pattern in my grandmother's notebook she writes that this bag was made for me.  Once I got over the guilt of not recalling the bag she must have made for me, I got to work making one myself.  This is definitely a pattern I can get behind.  As soon as I finished one bag I started another.  The second bag was made from recycled grocery bags.  As I have been collecting grocery bags to make plarn this is an ideal pattern.  Ultimately even though I did not remember the bag the Grandma made this pattern certainly was , as she wrote, for me.

If you would like to make this bag for yourself you can find the pattern here.

There ought to be a law

My grandmother's home, much like my own, has always been draped in yarn. Whether knit or crocheted, every surface is covered.  Doilies on tables, antimacassars and afghans on chairs, and throw rugs throughout the house.  In the few years prior to the move which would consolidate my family into one home I would overhear, on occasion, my grandfather express disapproval of the a fore mentioned throw rugs. He was never a man to disparage anything that my grandmother did, however he was having more difficulty getting around, and those throw rugs didn't help.  After slipping across the floor one too many times he declared to his ever adoring granddaughters, "There ought to be a law." Evidently this law would forbid the placement of throw rugs without rubber backing in the homes of octogenarians. It actually seems like a reasonable law, however the rug in question was one lovingly crafted by my grandmother with his initials in it.  She was so proud of that rug, and there was no way that it would be removed, even there had been a law.
During a recent visit I found a booklet entitled "So You Want to Make a Rug". The bookshelf in the entry way, which held my grandmother's craft books, had been dismantled in order to put in a new floor.  I poured over the books, in awe of their magnificent kitsch. Grandma gave me permission to take the books, and even added more to the pile.
So, don't be surprised if one day I break that law about throw rugs in the home, because somethings are just to wonderful to be left in the 1970's.

Keepsake baby blankets

When you work in an office with mostly women you will have to go to a baby shower or two (or more).  This past year I had the opportunity flex my creative muscle with these keepsake blankets. Neither was done with a pattern.

Before I knew she was pregnant I planned to make this blanket. I had just delivered the Squirrel Baby costume to another co-worker, and I asked my office mate what kind of animal themed baby blanket she would like.  She laughed and said, "a giraffe" about 2 months later she shared her good news.
I searched for a pattern, but but finding nothing I opted to create one myself, using primarily a hexagon motif.

It was not long after my office mate announced her pregnancy that another co-worker happily shared her news at a staff meeting. I listened for queues to figure out what kind of blanket I should make for her. When I received the invitation for the shower I was delighted to see that it was to be a dragon themed party, given her affinity for Game of Thrones. Once again I could not find a pattern. I ended up using a crocodile stitch and combining a basic hat pattern for the hood.

Grandma's notebook project 7: Crocheted puff stitch afghan

In her notes on the pattern she writes "finished January 1986". Iwas 10 years old. She kept this blanket for herself, and Grandpa. It is a nice heavy blanket, perfect for January in central/upstate NY. The blankets she kept hold more significance because they were the stuff of my childhood. They hold the memories of naps on the couch, or sometimes the lamb skin rug. And of Grandpa lovingly pulling an afghan over us, even when it was perhaps too warm for one. They remind me of the sense of security and warmth of walking into a home that smelled like casserole, brownies and a hint of paint thinner from Grandpa's work day at the Paint Shop. This afghan is filled with loving memories. I think I might keep this one, too.

To make this afghan yourself, click here for the pattern.