Now that I am done with making all the dolls that were in my to do list, I was floundering around wondering what to make next, if anything. Instead, I decided to attack all the other little tasks I was supposed to do this summer and actually finished some of them! I can become obsessed with tasks sometimes and I ended up spending days organizing my photo files on my computer. And I do mean days. I was at my desk non stop for days! DAYS! Then I cleaned up my computer files in general. Then I went and organized my physical prints. I cleaned my office and craft room and reorganized that too.
Then I found myself back where I started. What to make :-). Working on the cape for the Anna crochet doll reminded me about the cloak I started and never finished about two years ago. The one I was going to wear to the Renaissance Fair two Renaissance Fairs ago LOL. I had lofty goals back then. I had just learned how to make the crocodile crochet stitch and fell in love with it. I wanted to make a mermaid skirt for Halloween and went searching for the perfect stitch that looked like scales. I made my skirt and then had the bright idea that a hooded cloak would look awesome with that stitch. I imagined a cloak that looked like I had killed a dragon and wore is at a cloak. Very nerdy but I was going to make it happen. I envisioned this shimmery, goldish, greenish cloak that wasn’t too hot (Ren Fair happens in the summer and it can get very hot!). I sadly didn’t have enough yarn in my stash that fit this description so that meant I would have to buy something. This would get pricey! Instead, I figured I should make a prototype before I went and spent all this money on something I didn’t know how to make. I didn’t want to run out of yarn in the middle of the project so I went with something I had a lot of that I didn’t mind using in the experiment. It was a gift from my sister and I’m not sure what kind of yarn it is but it seemed fancy and felt nice.
It’s pinkish in color (I suppose there could be a pink dragon somewhere) and I started the hood. I realized right away that I didn’t make the hood big enough or wide enough so I added a fringe in this Boucle yarn I had (bought with a coupon). It was a variegated white and blue. It reminded me of snow. I thought the two yarns looked good together. I had finished the hood right away back then and only did about two rows of the cape when I set it down.
I’m not sure why my desire to finish it petered out. I think the task ahead seemed daunting and I just kept putting it off.
Well, the time for my cloak is now! I will finish this cloak and it will be ready for Ren Fair next May. It won’t be goldish and greenish and shimmery but it will be pink and snow blueish and whitish and it will be hot but it will be pretty 🙂 I have already finished a few more rows and am looking forward to meeting this new cloak and maybe it will inspire me to go out and find that perfect yarn for the second cloak 🙂
My mom loved making crochet blankets. I have nine siblings and there was a point where we all had blankets coming out of our ears. One of her favorite blankets to make, especially for babies, involved a very simple double crochet weaved in a way that created a reversible blanket that looked like it had squares within squares. When I was pregnant with my daughter, mom decided I needed to make one for my baby. She guided me through it and it was one of the most simple yet most frustrating projects she had set me on. It was essentially making two blankets at once so I felt like it didn’t grow at all AND that it was going to take me forever. It definitely made me appreciate how much work was involved. To top it off, when I made a mistake, I had to rip back essentially two blankets and I made a bunch of mistakes. In order to get those perfect little squares on both sides of the blanket, you had to crochet in an overlapping way from the previous row and I would always get it wrong so I wouldn’t end up with those cute little squares. Again, not complicated, but the execution didn’t leave much room for error. When she was around, she was able to fix my mistakes so that I didn’t have to undo so much but when she wasn’t around, I thought I was going to go crazy with all the ripping back. I thought I would never finish. I was determined to get it done before my child was born and I don’t know how I accomplished it but I did. It wasn’t even that big! My mom made big blankets and I was pulling my hair out making a baby blanket (giggling). My daughter is 25 now and still has her blanket. It’s a little beat up but she still has it 🙂
My mom made a small swatch of the beginning process for these blankets and I’ve kept it through the years in case I ever wanted to attempt another one.
I never have. My reasoning is that my mom made so many blankets that are still hanging around that there is no need for me to make more. I’m a more experienced crocheter now but the truth is I think I’m too scared to try it again 🙂
Instead, I tried my hand at a different kind of reversible blanket. My mom had made this type of baby blanket with thread for my nephew. I had never seen it but one of my sisters told me about it. She said my mom only made one for our other sister’s son (let’s not bring up the jealousy issues in this post :-). I asked said other sister to show me this blanket which she happily did since she smugly knew she was the only one to have one. I immediately went on the internet looking for a pattern for something that looked like it. I was extremely pleased to have found one. I made a swatch first.
Then I made a big queen sized blanket in black and burgundy. I ended up giving it to another sister and it has never been seen again. I really loved how it came out and am contemplating making another one for myself. It’s been years since I made the original one and am not sure I’m ready to tackle another. It’s been years since I’ve made any blanket for that matter but I think I’m ready to go for it. Maybe it’ll even be ready for this next winter (but I doubt it 😉 ).
I was able to travel to Vegas with my hubby for a few days on his business trip. The stars must have aligned because I don’t normally get to go. Work schedules always work against us but this trip was during our Spring Break so I was Vegas bound. As a bonus, I scheduled in a visit with the in-laws so I could deliver the twin crochet babies I promised my mom-in-law.
I could have mailed them but it was so much more rewarding to hand deliver them to her. I’m always a little nervous when I custom make something for someone and give it to them for the first time. Happily, she loved them and her reaction was worth the stop over. It’s always nice seeing family so I’m really glad we went.
On this trip, we went see the Michael Jackson One Cirque show. The Cirque shows never cease to amaze me and this one was no exception. It was fantastic and so much fun.
I was rifling through my bedroom drawers looking for something or other when I came across a rebozo (shawl) my mom made ages ago. I think it’s about 35 years old. I was a kid when she made it and I fondly remember how she painstakingly created it. She used this very thin yarn and I remember going with her to different places in Los Angeles and Tijuana looking for the right colors when she would run out. I thought the finished rebozo was so beautiful. From that day on and through the years, I would pull it out and look at it wherever she had it.
Towards the end my of my mom’s life, her things started getting boxed up as she was forced to move in to a nursing home. When it was sadly clear she was at the end of her life, I decided my siblings and I needed to go through her things and keep what we wanted and donate what we didn’t. My mom was a very practical woman and I knew she would want us to use her things instead of having then deteriorate in those boxes. It made me sad thinking of that beautiful rebozo, among other things, sitting in a dusty garage, boxed up and rotting while I cherished it so much. I staked my claim to that rebozo. My siblings were fine with that. They had similar feelings towards other things so I pulled out those boxes and went through them piece by piece. It was like a treasure hunt. Some things were nothing but trash but among that rubble were those gems we were looking for. I elatedly found it. Even after sitting in those not-so-cared-for boxes, it was still beautiful. It brought back so many memories. Memories of how my sister made a gorgeous one in blue. I remember making a small one with my mom walking me through the process. When my mom passed, I was able to wear that rebozo to her funeral. I wore some jewelry she gave me (my mom and I were always in cahoots when it came to jewelry) and that beautiful rebozo. I felt surrounded by my mom’s love. Since my mom’s passing, I have become the crocheter of the family, having taken up my mom’s mantel. Everyone assumed I had made the rebozo and delighting in my mom’s influence on me and I loved telling everyone that no, my mom made it decades ago. It made everyone feel good to know that a part of her was still there.
I don’t have my mom’s talent for looking at a crocheted piece and knowing how to duplicate it exactly. I stare at her shawl knowing that I can’t recreate it. Not exactly anyway. I remember some things about how it was made but making a new one is lost on me. That’s fine by me, though. I have hers and that’s more than enough.