Writers block vs granny squares

Pretty granny square girl's afghan

As you know I’ve been checking out a lot of blogs lately. It’s been intense but I’ve discovered loads of good reads. It’s strange though because I’ve also emerged at the end of it in a bit of a writing slump. Whether it was because I used up so much brain power commenting or not (it wouldn’t have taken much believe me), I’ve found writing this week to be a huge challenge.

So much of a challenge in fact that I’ve missed every post day so far. The thought of writing has been anathema to me.

I’m trying to hide from the ravenous blog monster but I can feel it breathing down my neck.

My go to writing topics just aren’t inspiring me but in my procrastination I’ve finally thought of something that shifts my slumpy feelings into something much more positive. Thusly will the beast be satiated.

When I was a kid I learned how to crochet. That is, I crocheted one hideous looking misshapen, odd coloured blanket when I was 12. While other girls were crocheting little santa clauses and reindeers to fit over cardboard tubes into which they’d pop homemade fudge and coconut ice, I focussed my creative powers on making squares. I eventually made a blanket that was too big for a doll and too small for a human.

Years would go past before I would lift a crochet hook again.

It wasn’t until after I had my daughter that I would try out crocheting again. The prompt for my newfound woolly desires was a chat I had with a gorgeous mama at a coffee group I was attending with baby. She had the most beautiful white blanket with sprays of crocheted white flowers at ever corner. She had created it for her baby girl.

That got me thinking about the things mothers craft for their babies. My great-grandmother embroidered, tatted and crocheted on her linen. My grandmother still has her mother’s beautiful pillowcases, sheets, towels, facecloths and tablecloths with lacy edging and sprigs of colourful flowers.

My grandmother is a knitter and there are photos of my brother and I looking our sartorial best in matching knitted twinsets. My dolls were also always warmly and stylishly dressed. My mother sewed many of our clothes and I have secreted away the sewing magazines she pored over in the 70s.

I cannot knit and I cannot sew. But I once made a blanket that was no use to any living or inanimate thing.

I want to make something for my babies. I want them to eventually inherit these things that ancestral mothers crafted for their own babies, things that each mother since has held and touched.

When my daughter was born I began to make another blanket. My aim is a modest one, I just want to make a blanket for each of my children.

I’m very fortunate to have a mother-in-law firstly, who I love and secondly, who happens to run a knitting and crochet group where she teaches women the craft. When I got bored not very far along with my first blanket effort she sewed the pieces together and did the edging. It’s the perfect lap blanket and I counted it as a practice run.

Retro color flower pattern crochet afghan

My second blanket is much more successful. I used a simple granny square pattern and muted, plain colours I think will not go in and out of fashion too much over the years.

Pretty granny square crochet blanket

It’s pretty big so I fold it over before tucking it around my baby’s legs. I have to be careful not to let it trail and get caught in the wheels of the pram. But I know my baby is snuggly and toasty warm underneath it.

I’ve still got another three blankets to go but I haven’t found the right colours yet. Nor have I found the time but I will.

What about you? Are there heirloom handicrafts that are passed down through your family? Do you have similar family traditions?

Comments

  1. Julie @ Girl on the Move says

    First of all, I really wish I could crochet or knit! My grandma taught my mom to sew and my mom has tried to teach me but I am just not good at sewing…maybe that’s something I should have added to my summer bucket list!

    • Lisa says

      Hey Julie! I’ve seen so many things I’d love to sew for my kids but lack both talent and time so that’s a total fail. I found crochet quite easy to learn (the basics) as it’s just pulling yarn through a hole and I can manage that!

  2. Rachel says

    I can knit peggy squares and put them together to make a blanket or knit a scarf but that’s about it! I can totally understand the blog slump, I just has the same thing this week mixed with copious amounts of procrastination, I’m trying to write a very important blog post but it’s not happening! I also found after reading a lot of other blogs that I got ‘blog fright’ – as in, I cant write/blog nearly as well as some of these bloggers, so what am I doing?!!! But you get back on track, albeit with more highs and lows but you do get there xx

    • Lisa says

      Thanks Rachel! The granny squares (actually thinking about the female ancestral line/heirloom pieces got me moving again.

      I also just got great critique by a bloggy friend – great as in I’ve come away with loads of things to work on, which has fired up the excitement factor again funnily enough!

  3. Melissa @ Nouns and Violets says

    My mother taught me how to crochet. Together we’ve made tons of lap blankets that we’ve donated to nursing homes. It’s really fun! And on the writing slump, we’ve all been there. Sometimes there’s a drought but it will rain again. :)

    • Lisa says

      Fantastic! My mum-in-law’s knitting n crochet club take their things up to the hospital for families who may not be able to afford many things for their new babes.

      Thank you for your kind words re the writing slump. I found the warm and toasty emotions behind this post banished it. A couple of delicious brunches with fab people later and I’m cured!

  4. Leonie says

    I do all sorts and love crochet! these blankets are super lovely Lisa – well done you. There is nothing quite like passing on a lovingly handmade item to your family. You should link up on Thursdays if you’re inclined :)

    • Lisa says

      Thanks Leonie! I love all the pieces that we still have in the family and hope I can add to them. A modern day trousseau I suppose! I’d love to come over and check out the Thursday link up – I’m not sure I’ve got much to add but I’ll definitely have a nosey.

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