Sunday, October 28, 2012

Look Ma! I'm crocheting!

Let me start out by stating, categorically, that I am NOT a crocheter.  With that disclaimer out of the way, I have recently become enamored of crocheted edgings.  When you start out with a craft, it's usually a good idea to create something on the large-scale side, so that you become familiar with the technique and you don't become frustrated when your small, delicate project doesn't turn out exactly as your mind's eye thought it should. :-)

I like fleece blankets.  Fleece is warm, it's lightweight, it's durable and launders easily.  It's also inexpensive to buy.  You can always use fleece yardage as it comes off the bolt, but it looks nicer if the edges are finished.

In the past, I bound the edges with double-fold bias binding,  just like I would do a quilt ... because I am a quilter and that's how we finish our quilts.  But that resulted in a rather bulky and rigid edge.  Who woulda thunk it?

Somewhere along the way, I rediscovered crocheted edgings.  I'm not quite sure where, but now I'm aware of them.  Crocheted edgings are soft, flexible and look soooooooooooooooooooooo pretty!  :-)  While they aren't as fast to apply as a double-fold bias binding, I think they are more appropriate to the soft, drapeability of the fleece.

I "found" a skip stitch rotary cutter (previously blogged about here) and having that tool has just been wonderful.  It creates regularly spaced holes/slits so you can crochet your foundation row easily.

Recently, I was rummaging through the unused bedroom/storage room of one of the Pirate daughters (she no longer lives at home, being independent and all that ... but we haven't quite gotten around to clearing out the room.  It still holds a number of her belongings that we are storing for her.  Besides, clearing out the room is so .... "final".  It means that she's never living here again; that when she does come to visit, she'd be sleeping in a "guest" room instead of her former bedroom.   That's just upsetting to me, so her room remains as it is.  :-)  ). 

Anyway, I was rummaging through the room, probably looking for something of hers to send to her and I came across two fleece blankets, still in yardage form.  I rather suspect that the yardage was purchased with the intent of Dear Daughter finishing them into blankets.   Obviously, this has never happened.  Oh, surprise, surprise. :-)

In a completely separate incident, our next-door neighbor recently moved away.  She gifted me with two LARGE bags of yarn ... some really nice stuff and some regular, ol' acrylic stuff.  My middle Dear Daughter who knits  is a yarn snob and refuses to use acrylic yarn because it "feels nasty and squeaks".  :-)   I have no such restrictions.

In another completely unrelated event, I have put myself on a self-imposed quilt piecing moratorium.  I have 17 completed quilt tops that need to be quilted.  I want to reduce that number to (1) so that I will be in the position of "piece a top, quilt a top".  A laudable goal, yes?  Oldest Dear Daughter asked when was the last time I was at such a stage.  A completely legitimate question!  The answer?  mmmmmm ... never?  :-)

So with the re-discovery of the fleece yardage, the gifted yarn, my newly acquired skip stitch rotary cutter and no piecing of quilt tops, I decided that I would spend my evening time with Mr. Pirate, while watching our TV shows, doing some crochet edgings on the fleece yardage.

The first one that I've finished is this wolf print.  Middle Dear Daughter likes wolves, hence this print.  See the multi-colored border around the edge?  I *think* those were intended to be cut apart for a fringe.  However, I really do NOT like fringe on blankets because they tickle.  Ick.

right side, corner detail
In the bag of gifted yard, I found a very nice balled yarn in a variegated green/brown mix.  It went very nicely with the colors in the wolf fleece.

So, I used the skip stitch rotary cutter to make the holes/slits for the foundation row, made the foundation row, then a row of double crochet and finished it off with a shell stitch.  Dang!!  I think I did a real nice job of it. :-)

However, there WAS an 'adventure' along the way.  This yarn didn't have a label.  I have NO idea of the fiber content.  It's a very fine-textured yarn.  I knew I should be using a smaller crochet hook, but I didn't have one.  I didn't want to BUY one because I wanted to do the edging NOW.  So, I used what I had, which was a crochet hook larger than I needed.

Eh ... my blanket, my decision. :-)

Not being a crocheter, I have absolutely no way of estimating how much yarn anything will take.  The yarn I was using looked like a big amount, so I simply started doing my foundation row then proceeded onto the next row of double crochet.  It was somewhere along the double crochet row that I began to suspect that I might run out of yarn before I reached the starting point.  Oops.

And that turned out to be exactly the case.  So, I went over to my local yarn shop (where middle Dear Daughter had worked at one point) to see if they had something compatible in yarn size and color.  Oh, happy, happy .. they did!  I also bought a crochet hook which was more suitable to the size of the yarn.

Oh unhappy, unhappy .... the yarn was $42.  Oh. My. Gosh.   Holey moley.  Cripes.  Geez, Louise.    This makeshift project that was "free" just became an Expensive Project.  :-(   But, I bought it anyway because it so perfectly matched the yarn I was using.   In retrospect, I suppose I *could* have ripped out the ENTIRE row of double crochet and re-stitched it with a row of single crochet (and thereby not requiring more yarn) but I was *almost done* with the double crochet.  I didn't want to rip out *everything*! 

And then, of course, now that I had more than enough yarn, I could finish the edging with a shell stitch.  Which I did. 

I have most of the new yarn left ... about 400 yards.  I have NO idea what I can do with that amount.    :-/  

wrong side, showing a straight edge and a corner
I used the larger crochet hook to finish the row of double crochet but switched to the smaller, more appropriate hook to do the shell stitch.  In any case, I am very happy with the results of my crochetting.  I think it looks very pretty.  

I have now dug out the  second piece of fleece yardage and am doing a different edging on it.  Gotta have something to do in the evenings!  :-)


  1. Shelley, it looks Great! I bet you do another one soon! It looks like it could be addictive! Just saying---and you have all that yarn.

  2. Shhhhh!! I don't NEED another hobby to start stockpiling supplies! :-)