This Summer in the Crochet Corner

Back in the spring, D started a pale yellow garter stitch dishcloth, her first knitting project in years.  It’s been so long, she couldn’t remember what item she last knit. Knowing that, I think she’s done very, very well!

701 1-swiss

Did you happen to notice D’s lovely nails? – She is far more comfortable with me taking a picture of them than of her knitting. lol.

‘Nail Spa’ is very popular, appearing on the Rec Dept calendar at least twice a month. –

701 2-nail-polish

After about six weeks’ hard work, D decided her dishcloth was big enough. I offered to do the bind-off but, no, she wanted to do it herself. . . courageous, considering that she doesn’t remember ever having bound-off a project before.

701 3-swissBO--

My job was to slowly murmur “knit one stitch. . . now pass the old stitch over the new one”.

701 3-swissin-prog

Whenever I left to help someone else with their project D would stop and, unsure what to do next, wait for my return. We took so many of these little breaks I thought for sure we’d leave some stitches to bind-off the next week, but D wanted to keep going! Ellen, my supervisor, noticed that we were still at it long after Crochet Corner was over and congratulated D on her determination.

701 5-swdone

– This dishcloth is now in the Rec Dept’s kitchen, unused and often admired. –

With D’s help, I immediately cast on with ‘Faded Denim’, so she’d have something to work during the week.

701 2-beg-blu

Her second dishcloth grew much more quickly!

701 6-Bl-in-prog

About here is when I introduced B, who because of a stroke has been trying to switch from left to righthand crochet, to potholder weaving. I’d prepared by making one potholder with some of the loops that came with the Klutz loom

701 yellw_red

and one with loops from

701 newlps

that one-pound bag I got at Sal’s.

680 loops

As you can see, I did a chain-stitch bind-off on both, a technique shown in the Klutz book. Potholders finished this way turn out a little bit bigger than the sample that came with the book and loom, which has the traditional bind-off.

701 cmpare

The chain-stitch method leaves little loops around the edges, which should make it easier for the ladies to join potholders to create larger items, like placemats or rugs.

I showed both B and MP how they can use a knitting needle as a ‘shed stick’, which helps speed the weaving of every other ‘row’. In this photo B has just woven in the red loop using her fingers, with the shed stick pushed out of her way.

701 10-barbbeg

Then we slide the knitting needle forward, into working position, where it opens space (the shed) for B to pass the long Tunisian crochet hook through and grab the next loop.

701 ndl&hk-beg

B’s first potholder, further along. . . Please be sure to admire her pretty nails as well!

701 Barb2-

It took me awhile to realize that, although MP liked using a shed stick, weaving with it only added to B’s frustration, which led to very frequent coffee breaks.

701 2-B-beg-coff

– Sadly, I never got a photo of MP’s potholder, (I think it was whisked away by a visiting granddaughter.)* more of a coaster, really, because the particular loops she used were very stretchy and shrank up alot once off the loom. –

Thankfully, I eventually caught on and now B really enjoys weaving and says she wants to make a four-potholder square.

701 9-B-onedone

Back to D’s knitting. . .

I couldn’t stay late on the day she finished her second dishcloth so I quickly bound-off. . .

701 7-D-blue-done

and cast-on for #3, which is now well underway.

701 8-el_q_grn

We’re also in the planning stages of a larger project, a garter-stitch shawl using two strands of these yarns,

701 D's-yarns

some of which came from the nursing home stash (more on that in some future post) and some from mine. D’s now in the process of knitting swatches to decide what size needles she’ll use.

I don’t want you to think that these three ladies, D, MP and B, are the only ones to take part in Crochet Corner. Some ladies visit infrequently, preferring to work on their own. A few start projects and then drop out. Some ladies are wheeled in and sit silently watching. Others, both residents and staff, stop by just long enough to check out our latest projects. . . I often bring in my most recently finished ripple for Show and Tell. – B wants to lay claim to this one because it ‘matches’ her top so nicely! lol –

701 my'-ripple

P.S. I’m so excited! – Just yesterday, Crochet Corner gained another weaver, S. Amazingly, even though her right arm is completely paralyzed, she was able to make a potholder in one session. I held the loom still and kept the beginning end of each loop from popping off the loom peg while she wove – she did the rest.

Well, I did the bind-off, but I do that for everybody.

* Since I wrote this post, MP told me that she tucked her coaster away in a drawer, saving it to give as a Christmas gift. She has started Coaster #2.

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2 Responses to This Summer in the Crochet Corner

  1. BettyLou says:

    Well done, it must be gratifying for them to remember the craft they loved years before. Bless you for teaching them.

    • Thank You.
      Mostly it’s about trying to help each lady gain a sense of accomplishment. . .
      Thanks to her stroke, D will probably never be able bind-off completely on her own, – “I don’t know how to do that!” – but she discovered that she can do it, given a little help.
      And I don’t think B will crochet a doll blanket for her granddaughter, but now she knows that she can weave, – Yay! – which may someday lead to weaving a doll blanket.

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