Before the lockdown, I was a regular CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) commuter. My job took me all across the city and, depending on the delays, the trip there could last upwards of an hour and a half, one way. Not one to lose this time, I used to spend my commuter hours crocheting on trains and buses (I was that lady).

Crochet is the perfect commuter craft. You need only a single hook rather than the 2 needles of knitting. And nothing pointy to potentially poke someone (or yourself) with! I took to crocheting on the buses so often that it was only a matter of time before I decided to bring a craft kit to work so that I could swap out different colours, day to day. I miss my days as the crocheting writing teacher.

My kit is full of scrappy Cascade yarn. I also brought 2 crochet hooks, a Swiss Army knife, and a cross-stitched ornament, from a friend. The kit sat in our office for over 6 months! I went back, recently, to retrieve it; it’s a little dustier than when I left it, but intact. I’ve missed these hooks and skeins.

As you can make out, one of my favourite things to work on are granny squares. They are these wonderful little marvels! Using the magic of maths and loops-within-loops (or chains on chains, in crochet-speak), these symmetrical yarn squares can be used for whatever you like… how about a granny square jacket? or a cushion? or a marvelous afghan, like the one being made by my dear blogging pal, Tierney, described in her series of posts on granny square madness? Because, yes, when one starts with granny squares, it’s hard to stop. Over my several commutes, I ended up making a bunch of different squares with no plan for them. I decided to put them all together to make a banner to adorn the window in my shared office. Now that I’m home most days, the banner adds colour to the blank wallspace in front of the kitchen sink (making my turn at dish-duty a little merrier).

Believe or not, I miss taking the train. I miss my long bus ride along the scenic Lakeshore Drive and its endless blue horizon. The buses and train platforms do get crowded during rush hour, but I miss the Chicago subway musicians, among the best. And I miss that moment when I finally manage to find a seat, and hunker down with a playlist and some granny square-time. Now that my kit is back home, it reminds me of the tiny freedoms of making on the go.

Ok. More makes to come. Wishing you happy crafting this week, and hoping that you’re soaking in all of the gold of Autumn.

19 thoughts on “Reunited

      1. I have projects and supplies strewn about the house in different rooms – sometimes I can’t locate what I am looking for here, let alone thinking I’ve left something elsewhere. Well done for remembering where you had left your stuff !

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  1. What fun to see a new post from you, Shirley! It’s good to know that you are hanging in there through all of this craziness. Love your banner! 🙂

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  2. Thanks for the mention and I love the granny square garland! I could imagine all your described about your commute and I can imagine the subway musicians from being from NY and visiting NYC a lot. So happy to read your posts again and happy granny squaring!

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    1. Thanks, Tierney — I couldn’t mention the squares without thinking of your wonderful (and soon-to-be-finished, it seems!) project. And now that you mention it, I’m sure there’s a lot of Chicago-New York connection and transit in the subway musician world. I hadn’t thought of that! Thanks for reading, and looking forward to another afghan-update!

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  3. Aaaah, I kinda miss public transport too… And that’s not something I ever thought I’d say! Do you find that your squares remind you of the day and route you were travelling when you made them? I love the idea of a garland over the sink, too – that must definitely brighten up the chores!

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    1. Right? That was an unexpected missing… Our Chicago “El” trains are elevated and up in the air in some spots, so they provide a really interesting view of the city and I miss that. And yes — I can sometimes remember the train and route and music I was listening to while making a square. You’ve reminded me that these squares are little magic memory-holders, each one. Looking forward to reading about the Beasties’ spooktacular doings. Cheers, Helen!


      1. Yes, I bet the views from the El are great! I miss our Dart line that runs north to south along the coast, it’s beautiful! And it’s even amazing how much you see from the top of a double-decker bus. Here’s to travel becoming normal again soon… In the meantime, crafting at home is still pretty good, right?

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  4. Ah crocheting was the only thing that made public transport bearable for me. I do kind of miss having specific time when the only thing I COULD do was crochet/knit/cross stitch. I’ve never thought of making a granny square garland before, but yours looks so pretty I think I’ll make one too!

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    1. Thanks for reading, Hannah! That was it – it was a productive time because there were few other things to do, really! And yes, it did make the inevitable delays and such bearable. I hope you’re enjoying your current projects. Have a great weekend!


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