Sunday, April 30, 2017

Maybelle, ma belle


I feel so good about crochet right now. I'm crocheting every day and it's all wonderful again. My renewed enthusiasm is all due to Maybelle squares. My recent crochet apathy has gone out the window. I really can't believe how much better I feel! It's like a whole new crafty world when you love what you're doing. I'm sure many of you can attest to this as well: a good project, much like a good book, draws you in and excites you. You don't want to put it down. You can stay immersed for hours without a break. That's how I'm feeling these past few weeks about Maybelle squares. This is the right project for me, at last. I've been waiting for ages to be able to say it.

Actually, I'm feeling a serious shift in my mood since I started this project. I was feeling pretty down lately, which is not all that unusual for me, but I was feeling a bit aimless too. I find that having a project gives me a lot of energy and helps me overcome other negative feelings and situations I may be dealing with. Now that I'm working on something again, I feel that sense of purpose and accomplishment. So it's more than just love of yarn and hook - important though they are - motivating me here. That's been a big improvement in my life lately, just like when I started intentional creative work five or six years ago, learning more about crochet, setting my mind to making a big blanket - which turned into many blankets, a fun, rewarding blogging presence, and a strengthened passion for hearth and home. I feel my best when I'm busy, and one of the best ways to be busy, for me, is to be making.


My squares will be made with nine center colors of Stylecraft Special DK, on a G/6 hook, and all will be edged in the same color, Grey. There will be 169 squares, to make a large square blanket that is 13 by 13 squares. Joined, this will give me a blanket of about 90 by 90 inches before crocheting a border. I want this blanket to be pretty huge because it will serve as a top layer on our queen-sized bed during the cold months. I've now completed squares in two of the center colors, Raspberry and Sage. They've been bundled with a strand of yarn and they sit in a grocery bag near my desk. Inelegant, yes, but these are pretty big stacks of squares and they can't just float around the room. Each of these stacks is about six inches tall by six inches wide. They're like fluffy little Nerf balls.


One thing I really like about this motif is that while they are flowers, they aren't particularly feminine. If anything, they're geometric. I really like the symmetry of them and the repetitiousness, both in the creation of them and in the way they look when they're complete. I've realized that they remind of the Tudor rose emblem. Do you see it too?


Now, I'm working with Parma Violet. I really like the way these look. I feared that this palest of violets would blend right into the Grey, but there's just enough contrast. They look soft and light.

I've been making about two squares every day lately. They take about half an hour for me to crochet from start to finish, so they fit nicely into certain "down" times of the day, like when I'm finished with my morning housework but it's too early to do the school pickup, or when I've just put something in the oven for dinner. If I can, I time it to my two daily cups of tea for that perfect sip-and-hook experience.


My crochet mojo has been so strong that I've started a crocheted end-of-year gift for the GB's teacher. This is the One-Skein Chevron Scarf by Dina Stelly (Ravelry link), which I've made many times before. It's a delightful, easy pattern which works up quickly and makes a nice gift. I'm using Caron Simply Soft (which is absolutely perfect for this project, a dream to work with, and so soft and silky crocheted up) in Victorian Rose. It's nice to have another chance to make this scarf, especially for someone as lovely as she.

What are you working on right now? Do you have the crafty mojo in you?

26 comments:

  1. I completely understand what you say about the pleasure and energy and motivation in finding a project that you really look forward to working on. As well as the aimless feeling when it's not going quite so well. I've had a bit of the aimless feeling lately, but I do have a little blanket on the go. I think I shall be happier when I get to put some pink into it. Pink is a rare luxury around here. I love the scarf, gorgeous colour and great texture as well. The GB's teacher will no doubt adore it. CJ xx

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  2. I do love your Maybelle squares, they just look so sophisticated and not too feminine. I'm glad you love crochet again, I love crochet. It's relaxing and unlike knitting you can pop in and out without having to finish a row etc. All the best with the blanket, it's going to be great when it's finished. Cathy x

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  3. I always have craft mojo, but like you, I feel best when I'm working on a substantial project. Just nibbling away at projects isn't anywhere near as satisfying.
    I love the squares you are working on. They really do look like a geometric flower, so they are not super feminine. Enjoy!

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  4. Hi Jennifer....
    Hope you and your family are well...
    I recently finished 2 afghans for my daughter and sons birthdays!
    I also love to have a project on the go!
    Yours is going to be spectacular!
    Enjoy your week...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  5. I know what you mean about the excitement of a new project. I really like what you are working on now! The scarf is beautiful too!

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  6. I'm in the aimless phase right now trying to find the right motif or even to design one that will fit on the top of my sideboard, so many trials and wasted time to find the one that looks just right. Yours are looking lovely it's going to be a lovely blanket. :) x

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  7. Now I am excited about your big project, too! 😊
    I am knitting a bunch of things but most recently little wool socks for Noah.

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  8. I surprised myself this morning by cutting out and starting to serge 3 pairs of PJ bottoms, these will be interspersed with the 2 sweaters and the socks that are on my needles. Then there is the crochet project just waiting for the hook to get going. Your squares are so pretty but not overly feminine, I may well be taking a look at the scarf pattern soon, very soon.

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  9. Jennifer, your Maybelle squares are just beautiful. I find by having a project on the go at all times keeps me motivated and keeps my mood up also. I have had so much downtime the last several months with my back, that I've gotten a lot accomplished! Your scarf is beautiful too. I also like to use Caron Simply Soft for different projects like scarves and wrist warmers. Thank you for sharing with us. I hope you have a lovely week.
    Blessings, Betsy

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  10. Your squares are just delightful, I love the pattern and yes I can see the Tudor rose. I have a small crochet project on the go like you it lifts my spirit. Thankfully the pile f boxes to unpack are getting less each day.

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  11. Hello Jennifer. Lovely to be here after quite a while. Shame on me! I'm working on a triangle pieces blanket but have become a bit unstuck about the joining of them all. In the meantime, I'm enjoying knitting up wee sweaters for my Great-Nephew who just celebrated his first birthday. I recently made some hats for a new baby but everytime I see pics of her in the Great Outdoors, she has no hat on. I commented to her Daddy about this and he says she just pulls them off. I find that hard to believe of a 6-week-old baby! Some of the hats were made with cashmerino as well. I won't make that mistake again. I love your new blanket and you're very disciplined in dealing with your ends methodically, unlike me. Another mistake I should learn from!

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  12. It is lovely to see you so full of happy creative energy Jennifer. I know it has been a long while since you felt like this and I am really happy for you. The squares are lovely, I do like the symmetry and the soft colours very much. Wishing you a happy, creative week. xx

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  13. It's great when you find your mojo and just get into the zone. I absolutely adore your maybelle squares. The colours you've chosen for the flowers and the grey to frame them is perfect. The blanket is going to look amazing. I'm glad you have found new energy creatively, it's such a good feeling, isn't it? :)

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  14. I think there are proven links between creative crafts and mental wellbeing. It makes perfect sense – creating something beautiful and practical is immensely satisfying, especially if it's a gift. I think your blanket is going to be gorgeous and the GB's teacher is going to be thrilled. I'm so glad you feel in the groove again. Sam x

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  15. I've found that crafting of any kind - as long as you enjoy doing it - really does make you feel better. I'm glad you're enjoying your crochet again, Jennifer. And, yes, your squares definitely do look like the Tudor Rose! :o)

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  16. I'm so pleased that you've got your full crochet mojo back. It's ages since I've done any crochet, I've still got a crochet along to finish off, but I'm so in to my knitting at the moment so it doesn't matter, I'm still enjoying some kind of crafting. I can see the Tudor rose in the squares too, we have a white Tudor rose as the emblem of Yorkshire.

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  17. I know exactly what you mean Jennifer about having a crafting project that raises your spirits. I find that if my stomach is churning with worries about things I can do nothing about then once I get my knitting or crochet or sewing out then the churning slows down and I lose myself in the moment. The Maybelle square is really lovely.

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  18. I understand those feelings too - they are not easy ones - I have struggled with the aimless feeling a lot since moving and getting married, trying to build a life here. That you have these feelings makes me wish even more that I could have you over for a nice cup of tea and brunch! :) I love your new project, it's just lovely!!! Hope today is a great day for you!!! God bless!!!

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  19. Gorgeous Maybelle flowers....I made some of these a while ago too. So glad you are enjoying your crochet Jennifer. I have been doing lots of other crafts but now have just begun a new flowers in the snow crochet blanket which I'm enjoying.......crochet is such a relaxing craft! Have a happy month of May!
    Helen xox

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  20. I know exactly what you mean! This is how I feel about the crocheted vegetables - I look forward to sitting down with them for an hour in the evenings. I am so happy that crocheting is feeding you like this, and providing so much creative enjoyment but also soothing and calming you. I really like the flower pattern too, by the way. x

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  21. I know those down feelings oh so well and also use creativity and my love of house and home to help me overcome them best I can. I really love the flowers, your colour choices are perfect and yes I can see the rose symbol there too xx

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  22. Yes, your pattern does remind me of the Tudor rose emblem. I admire your ability to make the pattern which looks difficult to me. The scarf you are making for GB's teacher is lovely, too. I really like Caron's Simply Soft as well. A friend used it to make bibs for the grands and the bibs wear well in every way. I am crocheting a baby blanket in a double, single repeat pattern with Debbie Bliss yarn and I like the simple rhythm of the pattern and project very much, and can relate to how you are enjoying your projects! xx

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  23. What a great post! Your blocks are just beautiful -- it will be fun to watch your coverlet develop. I know just how you feel in your excitement about a project. When I have something that I love to work on, I can hardly wait until lunchtime or after dinner when I can sneak in a few minutes to work on it. Pretty, Pretty, Pretty!!!

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  24. Your projects are inspiring xx

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  25. I love to see your crochet work! Both projects are beautiful!

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  26. Beautiful! I'm afraid I'm not crafty at all except for a little scrapbooking. My creativity lies in my decorating, cooking and writing (including poetry).

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