quintessential questioning

I have finished MOHAIR QUEEN, before New Year’s Eve 2020, and as much as i have wanted to start learning a new brioche hat technique, i wasn’t quite ready for that. What i was ready for, was more of completing a whole, finishing and old crochet WIP (work in progress) project.

The cotton squares (mentioned before HERE and HERE) blanket was about to get finished, all together with working out my dense centre granny square into a favourable configuration of granny square and popcorn stitch… Pattern for this singular square, can be found in my Ravelry Pattern Shop HERE.

As you may have noticed from the date of the two above referenced blog posts about this blanket’s journey, the cotton squares have sat and waited for a while: they waited until i was ready to go back to them, until the pain of there being no use for them subsided, until the pain of having failed by not preparing enough in advance had shrunk. Pain. Gone.

I have already mentioned using old pieces of crochet as a way of reworking and repurposing these, over and over it seems, in past blog posts, so let’s not dwell on this too long today, and only shortly remind ourselves of the posts that are relevant to this part of my crochet process:

Let’s concentrate, instead, on what have i learnt from today’s big make/ remake…

Material and use

I am not sure i would use cotton again, it is heavy, not sure about the warmth and cotton yarn is more expensive and runs out as quick as any other yarn.. The heavy nature of the finished piece of crochet did make me think about something else, though:

Weighted blankets are a thing, particularly for people with certain conditions, as a way of soothing the nervous system by encasing the body therefore centering it. Read HERE an article about Vagus Nerve Stimulation therapy as a potential for using with some neurological disorders and autism.

Sensory tactile items, which crochet could also be perfect for making, may also be of value for some people. I have seen this working in practice first hand to help with self regulation in a variety of scenarios.

Watch this space!

I have had a discussion (mostly with myself) about what to do with the blankets i make. I kind of DO use this one as a comforter, a heavy item to ground myself with (or hiding underneath), and there are others, versatile and bright! There are quite a few of them at various station in our house already and the space is getting less…

BUT

I love looking at them.

I nearly agreed to gift one away, but by the end of the conversation, i talked myself out of it.

I love looking at them!

The dream is to have them on display around me, for me and for everyone that visits my space to enjoy them. I also need them around me to keep reminding myself of the things that i have learned during the process of making them, and to remember how i work stuff out in the future, and what to do with certain stitches if i get stuck. So even after completion, they are still my teachers.

Style of crochet and colour

Learning as i go, everything i do teaches me the next step. With this blanket, i learned: to accept that sometimes, things do not happen as i want them to, both in crochet and in life, and to leave things be. Things develop a little more freely and sometimes need to sit in the corner whilst i figure stuff in the background.

I have classed my work as freeform crochet in the past:

Freeform it is not.

(I have recently had clarification on this from someone who actually makes freeform crochet.)

It is more FREESTYLE. After i was explained the difference, it fit – i became quite happy with my crochet being Freestyle.

I like a certain order, a repetition that forms a rhytm that i can habituate, so that i do not always need to think as i crochet whilst watching TV. So i like order. And clarity. In crochet/ creativity and in life in general. I like knowing what is expected of me, and to have some helpful strategies on how to deal with the world, and what’s going on for me. And this i have also learned completing this here #cottonconquest.

Freeform crochet is a bit too irregular, too involving, too thinking, too problem solving in the moment with no planning ahead for me. And it does not use pattern, or repetitive rhythm, more of a knowledge of stitches to paint a picture. It is more like painting. As beautiful as it is, it is not how i work or why i choose crochet.

Freestyle in my work brings me what i look for: known and unknown, repetition and rhythm, problem solving and mindfulness, they are all present in the process of making one finishes piece, one whole, which is the most rewarding way of working a crochet project for me, a bit of everything… (I have said this before about the having the cake and eating it).

The colours i choose to work with i love to look at too!

You should see me in one of my favourite yarn shops. Sometimes, i need to remind myself to breathe, from all the excitement my eyes are getting feasting on all those colours of yarn on display…

Unpredicted realisation

I like using up balls of yarn/ wool.

I never have any leftovers, rarely, and if i do, i plan to use them pronto. I like to use up wool and then see what happens, rather than faff around with changing colours and weaving in ends. Definitely not an weaver-in ender, that is for sure. There is something about using up yarn that feels like a completion too, like a step has been made in the right direction, a confirmation of growing of the project…

Plus, using up yarn means the next yarn shopping trip is getting closer… 🙂

In crochet, and i suppose in every other part of my life, i like balance. I am a highly sensitive person, so emotional experiences can become overwhelming very quickly. I need time to think, to ponder, before decisions are made and feelings are cleared up, i need time to stop.

To allow myself the ability to stop and ponder and come back to a crochet blanket/ crochet project is as important as the quick completion and result of my quicker makes like hats and crochet amigurumi toys. This is my last but not least realisation that this crochet blanket giant make has taught me.

To recognise and listen to my own need to leave things alone, to let go, is as big an achievement as completing a huge crochet blanket project!

Thank You for reading!

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