It all starts with a chain

In crochet, it’s easy to know where to begin. As my mentor, Edith Proctor, taught me: it all starts with a chain.

But where to end a crochet project is vastly more complicated.

One of the best examples of this is Tracy Pipinich’s Groovyghan design. I had been inspired to make the project because I wanted to see what it felt like to “limit” myself to just seven colors. Those readers who know my work understand that for me, using fewer than 10 colors feels like someone took seven of the eight crayons out of my kindergarten crayon box, leaving me with just one.

It kind of hurts to work with what feels to me like a “limited” palette, but I also know that growth comes from being challenged, so for me, the “challenge” was to work with “just” seven colors.

The initial result was this:

multicolor crochet blanket assembled
The five panels of the crochet groovyghan assembled

Which, to my mind, was a bit too subdued.

Since I couldn’t add more colors I tricked it out further, adding new elements to give it more texture and movement. Those new elements included crochet bows, crochet butterflies, and little crochet flowers along with hyperbolic crochet curlicues of alternating lengths:

a totally tricked crochet blanket
I finish tricking out my crochet groovyghan

Which, to my mind, is visual proof that I don’t always know when to stop working on a crochet project.

And in this year of a pandemic, compounded by another birthday ending in zero, I have had to take stock of my crochet blog and ask myself “when does this project end?”

The truth is, it nearly ended in July of 2019. There was a major interruption to Crochetbug as the result of a migration that was done by the company that provided the web hosting services for the blog. The company never did resolve the problem, but my husband (aka, my IT team) had taken care to back up all nine years of data which, given all of the images, was no small task. While it only took hours to get a new web hosting service, it took much longer to reconstruct the blog, but after a week or so or working on my blog when he wasn’t working at his job, he had Crochetbug back up and running.

But in the age of the Novel Coronavirus, I have had more time to think about what I am going to do with the time I have left to me, and I have decided that I want to focus more on making yarn bombs for my back fence and ensuring that I have properly documented my personal crochet methods so that future generations of crocheters have whatever tools I can leave for them at their disposal.

And right now I am working on the perfect crochet cardigan that I can wear when I am working to achieve those goals.

After crocheting and blocking the back panel, the front panels and the hood:

A crochet granny square cardigan that shows the power of the simple truth that it all starts with a chain

I went to work on the sleeves. The sleeves have not been particularly quick work, but once I got all of the granny squares done, the “granny stripes” as I think of them, went a bit more quickly. Not so quickly that I finished them, but quickly enough that I made substantive progress:

Two sleeves for a granny square cardigan

Then, because I wanted to see how the pieces worked together, I laid them all out and took this photo:

All of the pieces of a granny square cardigan

Since I won’t be blogging about my crochet adventures, you might wonder “How can I find crochetbug”? Depending on your social media habits, you can find me in all of these places:

Etsy: crochetbug designs
Flickr: crochetbug13
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Medium: Leslie Stahlhut
Pinterest: Crochetbug
Ravelry: crochetbug13
TikTok: @lesliestahlhut
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Twitter: @crochetbug
YouTube: Leslie Stahlhut

and if you are on my mailing list, I will be sending out weekly updates of what’s new in my corner of the crochet world—one stitch at a time.