October 01, 2008
The other day I was visting Clegs, when I spied this yarn in two tones. It was on sale and only about a dozen balls remained. Something about the shiny fleck and the smooth cotton really caught my eye. There was no-one at the shelf, so I spent a few minutes admiring it; touching it; holding it to the light. The longer I stood there, the more I felt I needed this yarn.
Now as you might know, I am not a knitter and my fraught crochet attempts ended in the production of one square. Yes, just one solitary granny square. One where someone else had come to the rescue and kindly crocheted the first couple of rounds for me. I had never crocheted a square from start to finish, by myself.
So, feeling a compulsion to buy yarn was a bit foreign to me.
More strange was the vision of a large crochet project. A huge afghan rug. Dozens and dozens of two-toned granny squares, lined up in neat rows and glinting in the light. I looked at the label: 3.5 - 4.00mm. Those 3.5mm crochet hooks look pretty small for a beginner, but it still didn't put me off. So I started scooping up the yarn into my arms. With no clue as to how many balls I would need, I thought I would estimate by weight. I kept picking up balls, until I had the perfect weight rug in my arms. I felt pleased with myself indeed.
I must have been smiling crazily, because two ladies stopped by. They looked at the three lonely balls on the shelf and the booty in my arms. The younger one said what a beautiful colour it was and how cheap. I could see how much she liked it too: she pointed out the gold fleck, which had been the clincher for me. She touched the remaining yarn and smiled. I suddenly felt bad. Should I put some back and share this treasure? What the heck could she do with just three balls? (Maybe quite a lot, but not being proficient in the yarn arts I had no idea). But then, I didn't think a half dozen balls was going to cut it, for my mythical rug. (Again no idea: you might tell me that 6 balls is enough to crochet Cirque du Soleil a new Grand Chapiteau). I was frozen with indecision.
A few moments later the two nice ladies walked on. And I just stood there, inert, holding all the cottony yarn. I started to feel guilty. Maybe she was a wonderful knitter or crocheter who would have made something fabulous. I decided that if I was going to take this yarn, I'd better do something with it and not toss it into the stash of good intentions.
So here I am. A few days into my giant afghan rug. I purchased one of those teeny-tiny 3.5mm hooks, with a bit of extra handle on it (ok, I know its not really that small ... but we are talking about a long-sighted woman with clumsy, sausage fingers here). I came home and sketched out diagrams and wrote instructions and reminders to myself (such as, something has gone horribly wrong if you finish a round halfway down a side) and then got started. I have two completed squares and one on the go. It might have been three squares by now, but for the unfortunate unravelling incident, involving a granny square and a 23-month old.
The squares are a little bit wonky and slightly different sizes, but I'm surprised and rather pleased to have managed these two from start to finish; without intervention or rescue. I'm really enjoying using the yarn: I keep admiring its beauty and holding it at different angles in the spring sunshine to watch the glint. I'm finding the process of crocheting quieting and meditative.
I have no idea how long its going to take me to finish this rug. It could about the time that we hear that world markets are back in boom. I've always been a fan of the 5-year plan.