2017 has been a truly glorious year in my crochet world: both on giving as well as on receiving ends. As the year comes to an end, I need to thank the individuals, groups, and powers that be for my joy, serenity, health, prosperity, and creativity (though not necessarily in that order). In a nation deeply divided with strong feelings on both sides, I want to find the common threads that join us. Lucky for me and others in our crochet and fiber communities, our art brings us together to share, to praise, to learn. I do not refer to the gifts I mention lightly. There are too many wonderful people who are doing without, and all of the people and circumstances that we take for granted can be gone in the blink of an eye.
When I sat down to write this tribute and retrospective, I brainstormed with lists, circles, and arrows as I changed the order over and over. Finally I decided to begin writing with general and large themes and groups and to end with with treasured friends and family. Writing this article has helped me to find value in the commonplace as well as joy in special people and moments. As you read, I hope that I would find you nodding your heads in agreement as you think about people and other facets of life that bring you joy.
Wherever I go, my bag of yarn, hooks and other tools goes with me. I love the colors, the textures, the stitches, and the designs. I adore the infinite possibilities. I am fascinated by the fact that a crochet hook and creativity can transform a skein of yarn into a piece that is useful, cozy, or intricate. I am never bored, and I can usually out-wait most difficult and time-wasting situations with my crochet in my hands.
My "road Trip set is featured below.
Thank you to my readers of my blog at lilcreates.com. This post marks my 50th article, and many of you have stuck with me from the beginning. Still we have made progress to reach over 30.000 page views and over 17,000 individual readers. Your readership is a tonic to me, and I continue to seek new ways to inform you while entertaining you about crocheting.
Throughout the year, I have experimented with many pieces. Working with textures used two different types of yarn to create a unique scarf. (http://www.lilcreates.com/lilliansblog/working-with-textures) My blanket with holes was the first in a series of Granny Stitch baby blankets that produced a cozy, yet breatheable wrap. (http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/blankets-with-holes) However, my hats and gloves are my favorites.
This year was the year of the pompom. What fun I had accenting my pieces with yarn and faux fur additions. (http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/energize-your-crocheted-beanies-with-a-playful-pompom) I have just begun a line of animal hats that will be ready for next year's winter season. Also, I was thrilled to gift my messy bun hats to this attractive trio of my nieces, Adina and Sabra, and my son's girlfriend, K. C.
Fingerless gloves that make a fashion statement and allow the wearer flexibility have been a source of endless creativity. My signature mismatched coordinated gloves (especially the grey ones) quickly sell out at any fair. (http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/fingerless-gloves-mismatched-coordinated-hand-warmers) I am still working on a pdf pattern that I will offer for sale. Rustic gloves inspired by the Outlander TV series sparked a lot of interest.(http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/rustic-crocheted-fingerless-gloves) There was even a line of children's gloves. I am considering a line of mommy and me gloves. One customer was able to find a pair of mismatched mauve adult gloves that matched a pair for her daughter.
Thank you to the administrators for the various Facebook and Pinterest Boards who work so hard to provide a platform for their fellow artists. Sometimes the different groups' rules can be conflicting and confusing. Sometimes I mess up. The plus for all of us is that you establish and maintain a platform that unites fiber artists all over the world.
Thank you to fellow fiber bloggers who have braved the way and continue to expand the world of crochet though their creativity and workmanship.
Thank you to the many manufacturers of yarn, small and large, who provide us with so many different materials to explore crochet. No matter what your price point, there is a material to use. Thank you to the various megastores and online outlets. However, I really want to make a special shout out to the independent yarn store. My local shop is The Yarn Barn in Woodbridge, Connecticut. These are the places that you go to to get that special quality yarn. They provide know-how, advice, and instruction.
I am thankful for all of the places where I can crochet without distraction. Once bored, I now welcome road trips. (http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/crocheting-and-knitting-on-the-road) I am comfortable at the kitchen table or in a recliner watching tv with my husband. Unfortunately, movies with subtitles do not work here. In spring and summer, I am thrilled to sit on the back deck with the wonderful world my husband created around me. The yard has been the subject of several articles and is the backdrop for many blog photos. I just love sitting out there and crocheting. (http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/a-view-from-the-garden) Whether it is at home or on a trip, crocheting in the outdoors has an almost spiritual feel about it. Besides. when I take the straight and easier path to the summit or trail's end, I do not mind waiting for my family of explorers who have spent an hour rock climbing.
Thank you to Threads of Love. My local chapter is based at Yale-New Haven Hospital through Congregation Or Shalom. Through this organization I am able to give back to the community as I crochet child blankets and shawls to cancer patients and other seriously ill individuals. Our projects have reached people in Connecticut and throughout the United States.
Thank you to Curtiss Woodworking from Prospect, Connecticut. You delivered our kitchen in time for Thanksgiving. The kitchen was beautiful, and we were able to roast our turkey in time to host 21 people. The kitchen was the star of the celebration. While this exciting and tense transformation was going on, I was able to squirrel away in my bedroom with my crochet supplies. Many wonderful projects were completed while I stayed home during the remodeling.
Thank you to my many friends who have encouraged me in my art. You have read my blogs, purchased my pieces, and sat at craft fairs when I have sold my wares. Thank you to Ellen who bought hats and gloves for all of her family last year. Thank you to Wendy for bringing an animal hat to her grand son. Thank you to Phyllis who consented to model her birthday shawl in one of my blogs. Thank you to Kris who has been supportive of all my fiber projects and all things relating to my granddaughter. Thank you to my sister-in-law, Cheryl, and my friend, Tema for your constant readership and encouragement.(http:www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/crocheting-against-the-clock)
i have saved family for last for they are so dear to my heart. You are all special, and make my life full. My son, Jeff, your warmth and humor keep me on my toes and help me look at the world from a different perspective. Thank you for your interest and pride in my work. It is wonderful to know that your friends enjoy my crocheted gifts for their children. A family gathering is not complete without my grandsons who are intelligent, kind, and who appreciate all that is done for them. When I witness their discussions with their dad, I feel that I am reliving history. You guys are so supportive of the younger kids.
Thank you to my daughter, Robin, my original model. When you go "shopping" in my stores of completed items for your daughter, I know that I will see them come to life. Thank you for planning wonderful family adventures like your Dad's birthday feast at Zohara. Thank you for being such a wonderful mother,wife, and daughter and for making us such important part of our granddaughter's life.
Thank you to my son-in-law, Gabe. There would not be a blog if we had not launched it one cold day last February. Thank you for the continued tech and writing advice and for being my literary soundboard. You are a great husband, a caring son-in-law, and a wonderful dad to your daughter.
Thank you to my granddaughter, the little miracle who has filled our hearts with love and laughter. You are my most inspiring model. May we always clap hands together with each milestone and step you take. You are the inspiration for so many of my posts. (http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/what-makes-a-lovey-loveable ) Thank you for modeling the animal hats even though you do not like to have anything on your head. (http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/crocheting-animal-and-characgter-hats) I know that for many readers, this blog post is to be mainly about crochet, but for those interested in seeing year one in my projects, I have a written a retrospective of your first year of life through knitted sweaters. (http://www.lilcreates.com/lillians-blog/a-little-girl-grows-up-a-year-in-sweaters)
Best wishes to all of you for a Glorious Holiday Season and an Wonderful New Year!