The annual heat wave has arrived. It went up to 43 degrees (109 Farenheit) yesterday. I haven’t left my air-conditioned living room in two days.
I thought I’d be spending this week plowing through the stack of novels I gathered at the library, but I got sidetracked.
Yes, when it’s hot enough outside to melt iron, my perverse instinct is to play with yarn.
I’ve knit for many years. (Poorly. Obsessively.) The first time I dabbled in crochet, however, I thought: This is really a more sensible way to make things. It’s a thousand times quicker and puts much less strain on my poor, worn-out right arm.
Something in me resisted. I read a lot of knitting books and blogs, and they are often dismissive of crochet. The speediness of crochet inspires snideness in some knitters. But when I dutifully tackled my Learn-to-knit Afghan again this winter, I found myself bogged down and resentful. I’d bought all this beautiful yarn, but it was taking so long! I’d never finish this damn thing!
So a few days ago, when I found myself itching for a hands-on crafty project (probably because it was far too hot to spend any time in the garden), I remembered an online impulse buy from several years ago: a few bags of worsted-weight cotton yarn buried somewhere in my stash.
If you want to crochet something but barely know how, and are armed with only Crocheting for Dummies and a lot of pretty yarn, granny squares are your best bet.
I strongly recommend picking up Crocheting for Dummies if you’re an absolute beginniner (or Knitting for Dummies if that’s more your scene), but if you have some knowledge of basic crochet stitches, here’s a good granny square tutorial.
Bonus benefits of this project:
1. Knitting 100% cotton yarn is terrible, because cotton yarn sticks to needles and doesn’t stretch. Crocheting it is a breeze; the little loops hold their shape and the technique itself is stretchy enough to free up your movements.
2. My husband is allergic to wool. Acrylic blankets are nasty. Cotton blankets are awesome.
3. A small granny square takes about 45 minutes. I can switch yarns after every square. Satisfaction + stimulation = less chance of abandonment.
4. I can just keep making squares until my yarn is all gone. If I don’t have enough squares for a blanket of the size I want, I can go get a bunch of cotton yarn in a compatible colour and weight and make more. Then I can get another yarn to stitch it all together. Buying yarn is super fun.
5. Small cotton squares are totally appropriate for hot weather. No one wants to be touching swaths of wool when the world outside is boiling in its own juices.
The only problem is that I keep feeling that normal people leave the house and do things, even when it’s hot, and I have no desire to leave the house or do anything but make squares. I’m telling myself that once things cool down I’ll take my squares to the park or maybe even leave them behind to walk to the grocery store or something. But even if I don’t, what’s the harm? There are cans of beans in the pantry that can be made into dinner, and at the end, I will have a thing that I made.
How do you entertain yourself when leaving the house seems like too much of a challenge? Do you have reliable “it’s-too-darn-hot” activities? Do you have feelings about knitting vs. crocheting? Will all this air conditioning give me brain damage?