I’m not very good at handicrafts. And I have the test scores to prove it. (I also have photos, shared below. I have no pride.)
You see, when I was fourteen, we took an aptitude test at school. This test rated a person’s aptitude for a variety of work-related abilities and assigned a score from 1-10 for each.
I recently stumbled across my results. Readers, I scored under five on motor coordination, manual dexterity, and a measly 2 on finger dexterity.
So, I have an excuse.
However, my grandmother was very good at crochet, and she taught my mother who taught me.
Because of them, I can manage basic patterns and might even be able to do more complex work if I wanted to concentrate.
But that’s not why I crochet.
I crochet while The Engineer and I watch movies. It helps me relax.
Complicated patterns would defeat the purpose and almost certainly involve a lot of swearing.
Instead I use two basic patterns — a giant granny square and one where you do a single crochet in the back loop of the previous rows stitches. Or a double crochet. Or a half double. (I can do these stitches as long as no one asks me which stitch it is I’m doing. For that I need a book.)
No bad language. Very relaxing.
In this bumbling manner I’ve managed to make more afghans than we could ever possibly need, one for practically every member of my family and many of my friends, and have long since moved on to making them for people I don’t know.
First, they went to our library’s Warm Up America program. Then, I donated to our local hospice. When it closed, the afghans piled up in the spare room until I found a fabric store accepting such donations.
However, I recently had a brain wave and thought to check with my mom’s long-term care facility to see if they had residents who might like such donations.
They were thrilled! I was thrilled because there were six on one of our living room chairs.
These afghans are scrappy because they’re made primarily from thrift store yarn. I’m not rich, after all.
Thrift store yarn is usually single skeins of single colors and ends of skeins left over from someone else’s project.
As a result, my afghans are a bit like the crazy quilts of our ancestors made from old dresses, flour sacks, and any bits of fabric they had saved.
This appeals to me because I love randomly mixing colors and textures, though I must admit some turn out better than others.
They’re all cheap and cheerful, as the Brits would say, which is great because I like cheap, and I like cheerful.
There have been a misshappen few I kept, unwilling to foist them on others (though they are lovely and soft).
See below for illustration of just how far off course I have wandered.
To make it even more obvious.
Generally, however, they turn out well. This is my latest endeavor, and another I’m not quite sure about. That rust colored yarn … hmm.
Too bad I didn’t take photos of the ones I just donated. They were more — how do I put this? — normal in their color combinations. Still, that rust-colored yarn is very soft, and I hope it will feel comforting to whoever ends up with the afghan.
Recently, I found a pattern for these super-simple crochet stars. They’ve become a small addiction because I can whip one up in about fifteen minutes. At least, I can now I’ve reviewed how to do a double and treble stitch.
I’ve made quite a pile and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I’m going to give them to everyone! On packages, on cards, to co-workers, strung for the tree and/or our mantle.
The best part is I’m using up all sorts of little scraps (more scrappiness!) of yarn that I didn’t even remember I had.
My third scrappy project is using some of our beeswax (mostly from cappings cut off during the extracting process) to make candles. So far, I’ve made just the one. I wanted to see how it worked out.
Beeswax smells so good when it’s burning.
In summary, I guess you could say I may not be handy, but I’m definitely the scrappy type!