Here comes the sun

The winter solstice is just four days away.

What that means for me is that we soon be at that point in the year where the days — instead of growing shorter — will grow longer. Because I do all of my crochet color work in daylight, the added minutes here and will add up quickly, and before I know it, I will have an extra quarter hour each day to work by the light of the sun and figure out how I want to put colors together.

This past August (when the days were still long) I took time off from what was then my 2017 State Fair project to meet the crocheter known as Olek’s at a crochet workshop here in Raleigh. It was one of the stops on her “Love Across the USA” tour, a project meant to celebrate the contributions of women in history and to memorialize them in crochet.

The Raleigh, North Carolina, leg of the project was inspired by and meant to celebrate the life of Nina Simone, a remarkable classically trained musician who also left a profound mark on Rock & Roll.

At the time of the workshop, I was busy with my annual state fair effort. Despite having my own time sensitive crochet project, I decided that I needed to take advantage of the opportunity to learn the techniques employed in creating a crochet installation (just as I take advantage of working in the natural light of the sun), and I wanted to be able to share what I learned my readers so should they could add the techniques used to their personal crochet tool kits.

I am revisiting this now because Nina Simone, the subject of that crochet installation will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, this April:

Nina Simone "Here comes the sun" crochet poster at the Raleigh Convention Center
Nina Simone “Here comes the sun” crochet poster at the Raleigh Convention Center

The honor is, in many ways, overdue, and sadly, it did not occur while she was still alive, but her music has outlived her body, and the world is richer for it.

As for the techniques Olek has developed, they aren’t just for yarn bombing and outsized crochet portraiture. They would also work well on afghans for king and queen size beds, and if you have an idea you want to execute, you can learn how to make the basic crochet building blocks in my “So you want to crochet like Olek” post:

crochetbug, Olek, Love Across the USA, double crochet, crochet panel, Nina Simone
A 20 stitch 12 row crochet swatch

How to join the pieces into columns in my “Burning Anvil of Steel” post:

crochetbug, free tutorial, crochet joining method, crochet joining technique, crochet squares, double crochet squares,
Continue with a sc, ch-1 join in the next 19 sts. Fasten off

and then how to take those columns and join them into a finished piece in my “Busy, busy weekend” post:

crochetbug, free tutorial, crochet joining method, crochet joining technique, crochet squares, double crochet squares,
The four squares joined in Olek fashion

Whatever the size of your crochet dreams, they can all be realized by simply working one stitch at a time.