Day 5: Something my mum taught me

Over the past few weeks I have had a few people comment with surprise about my “new found talent with a needle and thread”. On reflection, many who have commented are friends I have made in the last 10 years, a period of my life where my creative outlet was non-existent. I think it’s great that people can see an evolution happening. I am definitely feeling more like my old self again, and it got me thinking about how it all began, and brings me to the project I was working on today.

It was my mum who taught me the basics of sewing, knitting and crochet. I remember as a little girl mum either sewing my sister and I almost identical outfits, or knitting bootees and baby jackets when she was pregnant with our brother. Mum was always very patient with me as the teenager who got it in her head that she could make an outfit for the school dance in a day, and actually let me stay up all night sewing! I even think she still has the first ever baby blanket that I crocheted. Admittedly, I think that blanket has ended up being the dogs blanket, rather than sitting in wait for her first grandchild to be born! It is mum who definitely needs to be credited with my “skill” in the handmade arts! This is mum on her wedding day…

Mum and her dad (my grandfather)

Mum taught me to crochet a simple crochet square with a treble stitch to begin with. Somehow, reading patterns/instructions has always been a natural thing for me … I guess I like to follow rules a lot of the time…until i know what I’m doing then I like to do my own thing! There was also something calming for me about the whole process…being able to make your hands/fingers move in a particular way, working with a hook and some wool, to end up creating something that could be quite unique and quite beautiful…almost like a spider spinning its web.

And so, a few months ago I came across a pattern in an old edition (June 2010) Better Homes and Gardens magazine for a crocheted blanket that I thought “I could make that”. The crochet squares were exactly like the first crochet square mum taught me to make. After doing a bit of searching on Google I also discovered that Heidi at Sewing Daisies had also been working on the same pattern and hers looked fantastic so I decided to give it a go.

Getting underway…

In the last couple of days I have completed all the squares necessary…and believe me there were a lot! In fact this is the number of different sized squares that had to be crocheted:

Square A: (make 4)

Square B: (make 14)

Sqaure C: (make 24)

Square D: (make 53)

Square E: (104)

This is what some of those squares look like:

Crochet square piles

Laying out the squares

I used a different wool to the one suggested in the pattern…and it’s made a difference to the final finished squares. It was a softer wool, but also a lighter weight so the tension is different when you compare to Sewing Daisies beautifully executed crochet squares. Still, the colours are bright and made me feel happy as I was completing them.

The plan was to have it finished in time to give to mum for her birthday. Alas, her birthday has passed, but I am almost there. Today I was able to start piecing them all together…this is the part of the process I really don’t like…but I will grit my teeth and get it done. I’m determined to finish it in the next week. This is just a small thing I can do for my mum after all that she has done for me.

Sewing squares together.

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