My husband calls himself a collector rather than a gardener, even though his garden is truly artistic. His primary focus is in Hostas. Throughout the garden you will find over 1400 different varieties that range in size from a few inches to over eight feet across. Coloring includes greens, blue greens, striped variegated, streaked, and color edged. My rendering of Ball of Ladders at jessieathome.com pays homage to the green and white displays. I was inspired by the hostas called Half n' Half and Simply Naked to crochet this triangle shawl.
I like this pattern because their are only 2 rows in the repeat once you set up the initial rows. Although the pattern calls for the lighter yarn featured in Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball, I substituted worsted yarn in dark green sage green, and white with a J (6.00mm) hook. As you can see from the photos, these are just a few of the many hostas with this coloration. Since the pattern calls for a Double Crochet row (DC) followed by a mesh row, it is light enough to wear on a breezy, summer evening.
To bring in color to show contrast in the garden, Bert has interspersed such plants as Mountain Laurel, Allium, Rhododendrum, and Bleeding Heart. The white, pink, and green were perfect for Sunset Peaks - Crochet Shawl from mypoppet.com/au Instead of the Mandala #3 yarn, I substituted worsted white, pink, and green from my stash. The four line repeat calls for two rows of mesh, a single row of DC and a final row of
Front Post Double Crochet (FPDC). The FPDC creates the ridge on the reverse side. The reverse side is actually the right side of the garment.
The third shawl was a draped asymmetrical striped shawl that was also inspired by the pink and white flowers in the garden. When I saw a photo in my internet explorations I decided to make my version in a diagram so that I could transform it into a shawl pattern. Both sides of the shawl were solid with a striped section in the middle. I started with a long chain on the bottom in white. As I made my way up the body of the shawl, I kept one side straight as a right angle and decreased on the other side until I came to a final point. The shawl drapes over the shoulder and is held in place with shawl pin. I do not have a pattern for this piece, as I was working it from diagram as I went along. I believe that I will make the beginning chain shorter if I repeat the design. The shawl has a pleasing drape, but it came out larger than I had anticipated.
All three shawls were donated to Threads of Love to be distributed to cancer and other hospital patients at Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut.
The fourth piece in my collection was a throw for my queensize bed. I had made throws for others, and now it was my turn. If I chose to lie down in the middle of the day, it did not want to undo the bed. The throw was just the right kind and size blanket to keep me warm and cozy. I chose sage, off white, and taupe to form the Expanded Granny Square blanket. The colors reminded me of the subtle coloration of many of the garden plants. After crocheting a beginning square, I alternated rows of color, two at a time. When I had reached almost the right size, I began the sage and off-white border that showed stripes that were perpendicular to th main body of the blanket. The effect was achieved by crocheting one row of green, changing to off-white and then back to green again. My border was seven rows. When I was done, I finished off the piece with a single row of HDC sage.
When I had completed the three shawls and the bed throw, I still wasn't satisfied with the pieces that I had picked to showcase the garden. A glowing green hosta called Appletini caught my eye on our garden walks. Therefore, I returned to my large craft store in search of a skein that would highlight the colors in this plant. Green Apple Ombre from Red Heart fit the bill. Since many of the organizations that I donate to ask for scarves, I decided to get a head start on my autumn shipment. I like working with the V-stitch, but I decided to change the look a bit. Usually I make a chain of about 30 to 40 stitches and work my way up the scarf until I am satisfied with the length or until I run out of yarn. This time I started to crochet on the long side. To get length of about 72 inches that would make for a double wrap around, I needed about 200 stitches. ThenI did a HDC stitch along the chain to make the base stable. In the next row, I chained 4 and skipped a stitch. In the next stitch, I crocheted a V stitch (DC-ch 1-DC) in the same stitch. I skipped a stitch and make a V as I continued across to the last 2 stitches. I skipped a stitch and made a sing DC. I chained 3 and turned my work. In the next row I continued to stack spaces and V stitches and continued untilI had a total of 12 rows. Then I crocheted a final row of HDC before I made the picot border. My picot consisted of three chains separated by four single crochet (sc).
Some of my husband's favorite hostas have a dark green-blue tone. The Red Heart Super Saver Sutherland Stripes displayed many of these shades. The Mini Clusters Chemo Cap that I crocheted for my article, Crocheting Blue for HatNotHate was just the vehicle for for this yarn. The clusters looked liked leaves, and the yarn captured many of the garden shades, including the dark green and the green blue of Skywriter. With 2 skeins of 236 yards I was able to make a hat, a cowl, and a pair of fingerless gloves. For the gloves I combined a cuff with HDC on the BLO and the body of the hand with a V stitch. I am planing a future article on fingerless gloves that will include the patterns for a few of my originals.
For past garden inspirations, see:
Do scenes from your environment inspire your crochet? Take photos as you enjoy your own muse scenery. For some like me, it is the greenery of the garden. For others it is the sea shore, the mountains, or the desert. I would love see your pieces and your inspirations. Please join me on my stitching journey.