You get what you get … You pay less, you get cheap.   I got the same at Michaels and Hobby Lobby, not once but multiple times. And I can no longer keep quiet. While those companies offer a wide variety of attractive yarns in pretty colors, the quality is poor and there are knots!  I understand that quality is price-based but … knots… ????  The picture shows a knot in a brand new skein from Loops & Threads distributed by Michaels Stores.   Glad I discovered the Russion joint to minimize this uncontournable default.

*Lot 7299*
*Lot 7299*

baby girl blanket

One of those moments when you have the yarn and the stitch you want to use but no idea what to do…  Never mind, the easiest to deal with my impatience and get the milage going was to create a baby blanket.  My grand-sons being – already – too old for it, I had to find another victim.  So while crocheting my way, I suddenly thought about my friend becoming grand-mama for the first time. And yes,  I do know her daughter … Perfect. Since my yarn is grey, I made a quick phone call and baby girl it will be.  My finishing touches will be “girly”.  That simple.  And I am happy: crochet with a purpose and a deadline!

The details

  • Chainless foundation of 94 a+ 1 (page 152 of my favorite book) – multiple of 2 sts + 1
  • up-and-down stitch (page 138)
  • hook: 4.5 mm (I should have picked a bigger one and a 5.5 mm was recommended for this yarn)
  • yarn I love this yarn from Hobby Lobby | 100% acrylic – color #201 greybeard. I purchased it for $3.99/skein of 325 meters)

Up-an-down stitch

And all the above was a few days ago… until I realized that: 1/ I didn’t have enough of the same yarn and 2/ I should swap crochet and use the 6 mm instead.

After a short debate, I was not – for once – going to frog this beautiful sample so I turned it into a scarf for Mariska’s Roze Canadeze.  This is the name of her old pinkish teddy bear that she named when we were visiting Canada [Pink Canadian would be the English version].  Nothing meant to be offensive, just a kid’s decision on the go!


Learning is a process and everybody has a different way of gaining knowledge.  Even with crochet.

For some obstinate reason, I was not open to my Grand-Mere’s crochet tutoring.  The young age I presume.  Now having quadrupled that [age] number, that I have acquired some maturity and boosted my interest, I tried to find books with by-me coherent explanations.  Oh dear … The vocabulary, all those diagrams, the explanations: all Chinese to me.  Very discouraging.

But I was suddenly at a stage of my life where I really wanted to learn.   Guess what?  I was soon going to turn into a Grand-Mama myself!   My next option was to find online help.

Before clicking on the video page, I went through all kind of lovely pictures of finished arts.  Just what I needed to exacerbate my desire to create something.  Quick.

Next I found myself googling all kind of crochet-related videos to find the best ‘teachers’.  It was hard because some ladies (there are some very talented guys too) were holding their work in a way that was difficult to see with precision what they were doing.  Or some were just there to listen to themselves or talking nonstop nonsense instead of focusing on the topic.  Did you guess?  I am very hard to please.

Finally I found some – for me – good teaching materials.  And I went on and on.  I was frogging as much as I was building.  Let’s put that on the learning curve. 

Recently, I went to Barnes and Nobles and stumbled on this big ‘crochet‘ book by June Gilbank.  Part of the series Idiot’s Guides.  I immediately felt attracted to the book and took it home (after seeing the cashier).  However, I was undecided about its purchase and reluctant to open it.  I didn’t like the books before … After a few days of rest on the dining table, I gave it a go and got hooked. [this is not a commercial for the book by the way].

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Many times,  I just wonder why I didn’t pay more attention to my Grand-Mère who was an avid crocheteuse … She tried to explain it all to me but my dexterity to manipulate the hook had obviously not reached its maturity.  I have all of her hooks and many other items from her.  She was a true expert.

A big chunk of years later, I decided to hook up with my sister-in-law Claudia for a few ‘vacation’ lessons.  I always envied her performances with the yarn.   Claudia is more a tricoteuse but she knows what she is doing with the crochet.  Of course my attempts didn’t go very far.  Until…. the Autumn of 2014.   Suddenly, I decided to make it work. I went online and after viewing tons of videos, I had found a few addicted ladies who could really show and explain at my level.  For those who know me, it was obvious that I was not going to start with a simple project.  I went straight for a blanket for Charlie …

Of course Kaidan had also be the recipient of one but, being over one year old, he needed a bigger one.  I was not yet ready for that and that’s why Charlie got his first.  I found a wonderful throw pattern full of squares, I selected three colors and I went to work.  As many things I do, I stopped for a while … not sure if it was because of my shoulder/tennis elbow (left side) or because I got bored.  But when I had my hook back in hand, it was the wrong one … And the result was disastrous: the panels where not matching!  The hook was smaller thus everything went to the small drain … And I transformed what I had done in scarves for charity.

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