Jun 29, 2008

Things for Small, Delicate Beings

[originally posted June 29, 2008 on my old blog at vicjorob.spaces.live.com]
Nine months have passed since my initial entry to this blog. Busy with work, travel, kids, life -- but no excuses. I can say that with all this work, I've continued to work on small, delicate things but have moved beyond my favorite -- hats -- to children's clothing. Looking back, it surprises me that I have completed three projects (soon to be four) for infants when I had studiously avoided making anything for babies, other than hats. I just had never been interested in making anything for a kid -- I never saw the challenge. I also didn't (still don"t) like most of the patterns available to crocheters. Everything (other than blankets) seems so bulky and cumbersome. But things can change.

It started first with a challenge to replicate a 30-year old christening set for which no pattern could be found. The needle artist (and she was an artist with a hook) had passed away. Not one to shy away from a challenge, I worked with a friend to break this project down. I was assigned the gown, she had the bonnet, booties, and blanket. My word, what a learning experience. The bodice of the gown had faint smocking which serves to allow the main body to flow freely around the infant's torso and legs. The smocking is accomplished by reducing stitches which simulate gathering. It was a technique I had never seen before. Pretty cool the way it turned out. I learned a lot making this. And I found that I had really enjoyed this project! My friend did a beautiful job on her three items and I am ever so grateful that she did the finishing work on the gown -- seaming, trim, washing.

My next project was for the new baby of a coworker. I thought I would make a sweater -- hey, sweaters are just shorter versions of christening gowns, right? I went from DK weight baby pompadour to a Bulky bamboo the sheds like angora. It was different but thank goodness for bulky, slightly boucle yarn -- it hides a multitude of sins. The matching hat was a joy to make -- I guess I have had plenty of practice.

Project no. 3 was a onesie for a my cousin's first grandson to be born this August. After searching for something that inspired me (yes, I still wait for the yarn to inspire me before I search for the "perfect" pattern), I found a retro pattern on . Although the original pattern calls for No 10 Mercerized cotton thread and Steel Crochet Hook No 5, I used Paton's Grace DK with Boye Crochet Hook No F. This DK cotton proved to be so easy to work with. I called this my Lancer Blue Romper. Why Lancer Blue? Any alumn of Layton [Utah] High School will recognize our school colors of Blue and Light Blue. So, what inspires me to work on things for small, delicate beings now? Old, antique, retro patterns that can be modified to showcase the wonderful yarn available today.