Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Time for the Simple Things

Hello blogging world! I've been absent for a while. As usual that means I've been a bit too busy in the real world. I'm taking a big breath of "time to slow down and relax" air. I even found time for some hook n' yarn yesterday! Today the kiddies and I have a picnic in the park planned. My hooks and yarn will come and play, too.

Pete, Pete, he's so sweet...he likes to scoot and crawl and creep!! Which means that nothing is safe anymore! We've had to do some serious baby proofing these past few weeks when Pete figured out how to start his engines. My husband installed a safety gate at the top of the living room stairs to keep the little guy from tumbling down head first. It's nice and safe...yet the aesthetic appeal is somewhat...lacking.

Ever practical Tom didn't want to drill into the lovely wooden railing to install the gate, so he attached a chunk of wood with bungy cords. Hmmm....lovely...

I had this idea to crochet some pretty yarn flowers and leaves and entwine them around the bungy cords and the gate. I've been experimenting with different free patterns online and settled on this beautiful gem designed by Lucy of Attic 24. I made the first one yesterday, but I think I'm going to need a lot of them to get the effect I'm looking for! I also think I'm going to go with more red and less brown in the flowers. I'm just using up some 100% cotton I have in my stash (good for babies to crawl up to and start sucking on...) and a size 4 hook. I think I'll try a 4.5 hook for the next one, though, because the size 4 was catching the yarn quite a bit.

My plans for the rest of the week involve enjoying my kids and the simple pleasures in life. Walks to the park, popcorn movie night, reading books, playing hide n' seek, and baking cookies!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Young Girl Crocheting

This is one of my favorite paintings. It was painted by William-Adolphe Bouguereau in 1889. I like it because it is a good painting. I like the sweet, coy little look the young girl is throwing and her plain, modest clothing. I like how her face is pretty without being made-up and her hair is pulled back with curly wisps escaping around her face - no hairspray, straighteners, or gels. Most of all, I like that she is crocheting!

How long have women and young girls been crocheting? Obviously they were doing it 121 years ago in France. The word crochet is take from the Middle French word
croc or croche, meaning hook. There are no written references to it before 1800, so no one really knows how old it is. When I was a girl I had this vague idea in my head that crocheting was somehow started in the 1970's by grandmas crocheting afghans out of scratchy cheap acrylic yarn in gaudy 1970's greens and oranges. I'm ever so glad I was mistaken!

Something I found that I thought was interesting was that crocheting was generally thought to be a craft for the upper class. They used it to create fancy and delicate items to decorate their homes and clothing. Since the poor didn't need lovely, decorative things (or so it was thought) they were discouraged, even prohibited, from learning crochet. Instead they were encouraged to knit so they could do useful, utilitarian things like repair socks. I wonder at what point crocheting became more mainstream? I like the idea that back in the early days, women made the lovely things they used to decorate their homes.

Well, it is time to pull my imagination back from 19th century France and make supper for my family. We're having turkey burgers tonight...but I find myself craving something a little more...French.