learning project update 2.

Well it has been quite the two weeks over here. Between Thanksgiving and me beginning my leave, we also had daycare covid cases! Honestly, we’ve been lucky that there hasn’t been anything up to this point closely affecting our family. But yowza, does it freak a parent right out to have your child be possibly exposed to anything. So my little guy was home with me last week, which made it challenging to do much in the way of work on my learning project, however, I also found that having my learning project to work on was a nice outlet at the end of the day, once my son was in bed, or during naptime after I had some time to do the “to do list” (laundry, cleaning, etc.).

SO. Full disclosure time. I basically… accidentally… started a big crochet project… It wasn’t the progression I had planned on, I was planning to move from my granny square project to another small crochet project, ideally a coffee cup cozy (similar to the one linked here). But here’s the thing about me: I get a little disinterested in smaller projects where I need to be constantly learning new skills and these skills are different from the ones I had just learned. I was looking at all of these different projects and going, well dang, now I need to learn like 3 new stitches before I can begin this project, it’s going to take a few hours and then if I want to move onto a different design then I have to learn 2 more new stitches to do that project. Cue the apathy and frustration.

I had already been working through the Bella Coco Crochet video series on youtube for left-handed beginners, specifically the one on how to double crochet and it was going really well, and I was wanting to use some of these new skills, but it’s harder to get into these skills and practice on smaller projects for me. So what I ended up doing was starting this baby blanket pattern from a blog called the Crochet Leaf that I found on Pinterest.

Here’s a picture of the finished blanket from the blog:

Folded crochet blanket

I did not want to initially post about this project because, honestly, I thought if I didn’t say anything and it didn’t work out I could just move onto another project and pretend the blanket attempt never happened. I know that sounds lame, but I had tons of projects to move onto once this one blew up in my face, and I was ready to just take it apart and move forward.

Apparently, that was not to be! Check it out:

So as you can see, it is turning, somehow, into a fully formed blanket shape. So here’s what I’m taking away from my inclination towards this bigger project and moving away from my initial progression plan:

  • It’s easier for me right now to do a larger, repetitive project than many little ones using different skills for each.
  • This pattern was a very low-risk project where mistakes and learning could happen.
  • I definitely feel like I am building muscle memory as I’m going row by row, which I think is making me better in the long run, like these crochet skills will stick better because I am getting lots of practice just repeating the stitches over and over. Moving in this direction is helping give shape to where I will move to next, which has been very helpful.
  • I am also making many mistakes along the way (we’ll need a separate post on the edging of this blanket and what the heck I can do to make it look decent), and I’ve found that many mistakes one could make in crochet are much easier to fix than in knitting. I am liking that a lot as a beginner.
  • The mindful peace that comes with returning to a project over and over and repeating patterns and stitches is not to be taken for granted in our current climate. There’s a lot of emotion in my household right now with 1) having a two year old, 2) having a new baby arriving in a month and a half, 3) the pandemic, 4) being super pregnant and everything that comes with that and, 5) the pandemic. This project has been very therapeutic for me to have on the go and be able to return to when I need to just make something for a minute and breathe. Knowing this is for our little girl that will be with us soon, in whatever world we’re living in, is a tiny bit of control that I can have when everything feels very out of my control right now.

I also have to mention, crocheting a blanket and being cozy right now is very #fall, and it’s helping me appreciate the seasons at this moment and enjoy the present.

Ok! I’m sure you didn’t think someone could write this much about crochet, did ya?

6 Replies to “learning project update 2.”

  1. Jenny Weinrauch says: Reply

    The blanket is turning out great! Sometimes a smaller project can turn out to be more work as you have noted. Life is busy on top of trying to learn new skills. I think you made a great choice in crocheting the blanket for your little girl. I am sure this is a blanket that will be a keepsake and put away safely she gets older. You should be proud of the work you have done and this may be a new hobby that you continue after the project. Blankets definitely set the tone for Fall!

  2. Riley,
    I think this project sounds like exactly what you needed right now… Your own little therapy project in the midst of all the crazy. You have some awesome resources that I will definitely be looking at should I get the opportunity to take this up later on. I also think you make great points about creating muscle memory by repeating the same steps over and over to complete your larger project. It makes perfect sense to me! Your blanket is already looking beautiful!!

  3. Riley, I can definitely appreciate that you switched gears for what felt right for you at the time! You listened to your inner voice and look what you are accomplishing! It looks just beautiful and at this time in your life you needed the mindfulness to clear your brain. Other parts of your project will all fall into place! Who knows – you may find some other inspiration over the next week to tackle something different. Maybe your precious babe needs a little headband!

  4. Riley, the progress looks great! My girlfriend went through a very similar process- starting with a dishcloth and immediately moving into crocheting a whole blanket! I thought it was a large step, but she proved me wrong as it turned out amazingly.

    I also really enjoyed your point about control. With the chaotic world we live in, particularly in the last year and a half, I’m glad to hear you found such a great outlet!

  5. Riley – that blanket looks great! Seeing that blanket has reminded me of spending time with Grandma she used to babysit us when my sisters and I were young. She would be nestled on her couch, under another blanket that she had made, making more items for all of her grandkids!

  6. Victoria Parisien says: Reply

    This is so impressive! I totally understand that feeling – when I learned to knit I went straight from a dishcloth to a scarf with a pattern – it really does build your muscle memory so quickly to have a big and repetitive project. Plus like you said sometimes the project is so big it can hide mistakes.
    I read your posts and I wish that (although I am liking my project) I don’t really have tangible – concrete things to point to as evidence of my progress and I like this about your project, I can SEE your learning! How long did the blanket take you? I fully thought this post would just be a project update but you have a finished product! I feel as though it would take me weeks to knit something of the same size!

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