First attempt at finger crochet

I’ve had this marshmallow-soft ball of enormous-sized yarn sitting in the closet for a while simply because I didn’t have a hook large enough to use with it. Then, finally, I figured out how to use my finger as a crochet hook! I was surprised at how quick and easy it was. The technique I used was very similar to what this video shows.

The rectangle in the photo above took me under an hour and works great as a chair seat cover. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of super bulky yarn – I’m more into fingering-weight yarns and fine wearables – but jumbo yarns can be a nice option if you’re looking to whip up a quick handmade gift.

Happy crafting to everyone!

Advertisement

Happy Hanukkah and Best Wishes for 2023

Just taking a few minutes in the midst of this delightfully busy time of the year to wish all my friends a happy Hanukkah, a joyful holiday season, and a terrific 2023.

My goals for 2023:

  • Spend more fun and memorable times with my kids
  • Keep up my productive routine of an early workday that ends by noon
  • Get more creative writing done
  • Carve out more opportunities to get out into nature
  • Finally do that big closet sort-out
  • Catch up with housework

Whatever your 2023 ambitions are, I hope you have a happy, healthy, safe, and productive new year, surrounded by family and friends and enjoying all this messy crazy world has to offer.

See you all in 2023!

Crochet hat with Malabrigo Worsted: yarn review

I thought this hat would take me a few days at most to put together. Worsted weight yarn with a super simple pattern – what could possibly take too long? But, given my recent disproportionate workload and a couple of kids with temporary health issues, I spent a couple of weeks working on this little piece. I pulled it out to crochet a couple of rows on any errand that stalled and on any occasional bus ride.

Here’s a view of the hat before I attached the pom my daughter selected.

Crochet hook: 3.5 mm for the brim, 4 mm for the body.

Pattern: None to speak of. Done from the bottom up, like my other hats, starting with a stretchy ribbing brim (single crochet in back loop only). Body: three front post double crochets and one back post double crochet all the way. Freehand decrease.

I used exactly one hank of Malabrigo Worsted, another dreamlike yarn by Malabrigo, for this project. Let me just say a few words about this amazing yarn.

First, working with Worsted is probably the closest you can get to crocheting off a real live sheep. This yarn is 100% lush merino, not superwash (if you want a superwash variety, try Malabrigo Washted or another type of superwash merino), from sustainably and humanely raised, pastured Uruguayan sheep. It delights the crafter with a beautiful halo and delicious softness. It has a gorgeous stitch definition and is perfect for showing off stitchwork, cables, and textures.

Now for the downside. With all my weakness for super soft single-ply yarns, I’ll be the first to admit Worsted probably won’t stand up to hard wear, which is why I’d use it for something that may expect gentle use, like a hat or cowl, but definitely not a sweater.

Second, the uniformity of thickness was really off. Sometimes it would come closer to super bulky, while at others it resembled more of a sport weight yarn.

Malabrigo Worsted comes in a range of stunning colors. I used Damask Rose, a would-be solid muted pink that offers delightful, subtle variation.

Do I plan to buy more of this yarn? Yes, definitely yes!

Whimsical mandala crochet top

Latest creation

If you are an improvising crocheter like me, you may easily figure out how to construct this simple crochet top, based on two circles in the front and back and attached with triangular panels on the sides. I had something a little different in mind when I started making it, but overall I’m pleased with the result – perfect to wear over a tight-fitting black or white tee.

This is the second top I’ve made with Camilla Cotton Magic by Ice Yarns, and it won’t be the last. I just love this yarn – 100% mercerized cotton with the tiniest bit of shine. It doesn’t tend to split, glides so nicely on the hook but still gives a good grip, and comes in a range of gorgeous variegated colorways. I used the colorway Blue Shades.

A close-up of the central motif

This is fingering weight yarn, my favorite – delicate enough for a lacy top but not too thin to work with comfortably.

Now on to the next project!

Summertime crochet mess

Wanna know what it looks like when you have so many crochet projects you want to follow up with, but your bright and lovely summer just gets too busy?

Pillow cover in the Alpine stitch
Scrap yarn headbands waiting for ends to be tucked in
Parts of a top in an original design I devoutly hope is going to work.

OK, so I might have gotten a little sidetracked. But I promise not to start anything new until I finish these!

P.S.: I’m using Camilla Cotton Magic for the top and Chenille Baby Light for the pillow cover, both by Ice Yarns.

Should she ask her husband’s permission to buy a new dress?

Photo by Marcus Silva on Pexels.com

A question that appeared in one of the Shabbat leaflets I read: “My sister is getting married. I want a new dress for the weddin, but my husband says we can’t afford it. He manages all our finances so I kind of don’t know if it’s true. What should I do?”

The answer (in many more words) was approximately, “Try to explain to him how important this is to you, but if he still says no, submit to his opinion.”

Oh boy. So much to unpack here. I see at least two big problems with the situation above.

I don’t know the financial situation of this family and I don’t know what type of dress she wants to buy. If it’s a super expensive designer dress, then maybe “can’t afford it” is a thing. But if she just wants something new to wear, she can find cute dresses at about $50.

And if she has to ask permission to spend $50, then, Houston, we have a problem.

Whether she works and earns money or not, if she and her husband are on a footing of a daddy and his teenage girl who’s begging for some spending money, it’s not a real marriage partnership. When two adults are married and manage a household together, neither of them should beg and plead to buy a dress or a pair of shoes.

Does this husband, I wonder, consult his wife when he buys a new toolbox or a gadget for his car? Somehow my guess is that he doesn’t. So that’s the first problem.

The second, and perhaps more serious one, is that she has no idea what goes on with their finances. She doesn’t know how much money they have or how much is too much to spend.

Maybe she entered this arrangement willingly because she doesn’t like to handle money, finds bills and taxes tedious, etc. Entirely understandable. But this, again, puts her in a childlike position, depending on Daddy’s discretion.

The other possibility is even more sinister. This woman may have been manipulated and gaslit to such a degree that she no longer trusts her judgment regarding whether their budget can support a new dress.

Either way, I think the advice she got was stupid and dangerous. It confirms her situation of dependence, and it ignores the very real possibility of something bad going on.

If I could speak to this woman, here’s what I would say: it’s totally normal to have role division. It’s normal for one spouse to do the lion’s share of bills and bank account statements. But since you are an adult, you should still have at least some idea of your finances and how much money you have in the bank. Otherwise, you are making yourself extremely vulnerable in an event that, say, the husband gets sick and can no longer handle the finances.

Second, if you can’t spend $50 at your discretion, raise a giant alarm, because something here isn’t right.

Crochet Bolero and Elegant Metallic Cotton Yarn Review

It’s summer! Time for lemonade, popsicles, and crochet with warm-weather yarns like cotton and silk.

My latest creation, this spider stitch crochet bolero, was made following the charts here, but with a simple shell border. The beauty in crochet charts is that, if you read them, you can totally transcend all language barriers for so many gorgeous patterns.

This was my first time making a clothing item that isn’t worked top-down. This pattern calls for making the individual pieces (back, front, sleeves) and sewing them together. It was intimidating for me at first, but I was so pleased with the fit that now I want to make another one! It’s perfect for wearing over summer tops and dresses, and the pattern works up super quick.

back

I used Elegant Metallic Cotton by Ice Yarns, in light blue. My daughter chose this yarn for its pretty metallic sheen, but let me tell you, many times throughout the project, I was ready to throw down my hook in frustration. This yarn has a unique texture, almost braided-looking, and the individual threads kept snagging and pulling. It also has practically zero stretch and works up pretty stiff.

If I had to do it again, I’d recommend this yarn for projects like bags and totes, and use another type of cotton yarn for this pattern, like Camilla Cotton Magic.

%d bloggers like this: