Crochet cushions

Since last year, I have been working on a crochet side project: granny square cushions. 🙂 Using square pillows (either worn down cushions that could use upcycling, or brand new cushion inserts), I’ve been nursing a small and hopefully growing cushion family in our apartment.

These are a delight to make, and they’re quick to do. The smaller ones work up in a night, with the help of Netflix or a podcast. And because I’m still a crochet beginner, they are incredibly simple: 2 identically sized granny squares, fit to a cushion and seamed up along the sides.

I am not a huge fan of the white insert peeking through the stitches, but until I drastically decrease my hook + yarn size, find a darker insert, or sew a separate cover, they’ll do. I enjoy making these not only because they’re endlessly customizable (my new impulse: cover all the square things in crochet!), but also because they’re a great way to practice working with colour in another medium, alongside my paints and pencils. Colour-wise, there are the individual transitions to consider from one row to the next, the full square’s effect, and then the combination of the two seamed together. Working on these is pure play: Side 1 of the cushion is often experimental and helps me find colour combinations I really like for Side 2. I always wind up with a favourite side, and it is all very intuitive. Did I mention that these are a great stash buster?

Instead of just showing you the sides, I happened to stumble on a fun way to give those stitches and colours some life: by turning them into a GIF, of course.

They almost resemble flashing lights (and imagine if traffic lights and signs flashed in crochet stitches!).

Until next time, friends. I hope you enjoy your weekend. Stay crafty!

Hip to be Square

Hello, folks. I hope mid-February finds you well. Happily, I am coming out of my yarn pause. Not by knitting something new but by learning a new skill: I’ve decided to make good on my effort to start learning crochet.

In early 2017, I took up the hook and tried some rows of single crochet with an old scrappy bit of bright rainbow acrylic yarn – the first skein of yarn I ever bought in high school with which (YES) a garter-stitch belt was made! (and worn). Single-crocheting, I felt confident and even hazarded a hacky sack formation.

Revisiting my first skein of yarn, ever. Bought at the White Rose craft shop in Scarborough, Ontario.

I met my match, however, in the form of the granny square. Despite the tutorials, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around granny square logic. I frequently lost count of my stitches, shells, and chains. Diagrammed patterns confused rather than clarified. After making one too many lopsided square-ish things, I resignedly put down my lone hook and decided crochet just wasn’t for me.

Fast forward 2 years and a month: I catch a glimpse of a granny square garland on Pinterest and feel my crochet-fingers re-ignite and search out that little lone hook, long-hidden under a clattery heap of DPNs. And, what do you know – the first square happened that very night (with 5 more since then!). The stitches suddenly clicked into square-shaped place. Proof that sometimes learning takes place during (lots of) time off.

I am happily waking up to crochet. I like the “verticality” of crochet chains, the way they grow up and outward really fast. I like the smooth, metallic bend of the hook, designed to find its way through stitches easily, but not the other way around. I like that crocheting requires a much lighter hold with the yarn-hand – it eats up yarn quite voraciously, so any clutching or tightening of yarn only results in tight stitches and slowed flow. I like the logic of crochet, too – chains upon chains upon chains, all held together in different configurations. And, I like the toughness of crocheted fabric – it’s thick and solid and feels strong enough to walk on.

I placed my very first successful granny square with my doe doll. I’ve assigned her the important role of Keeper and Guardian of the Granny Squares and, accordingly, Steward of the Crochet Spirit, with the hopes that I don’t lose my crochet verve again. Is that too loopy? (pun intended). Either way, I think she enjoys her new gig.

What are you making this month?

Until next time, looking lightward!