"Alas, I am simply one more woman blogging about homemade bread and fresh picked berries", wrote Lady Cordelia at the beginning of a post last month. I've been chuckling to myself about it ever since.
I am, however, simply one more woman blogging, and here I go blogging about berries. Freshly crocheted strawberries. The summer issue of Rhythm of the Home includes my amigurumi crocheted strawberry pattern. It's a pattern I came up with a few years ago when I gave Bridgeman Pottery berry bowls to all my sisters-in-law. I've been hanging onto the pattern, scrawled in pencil on a piece of notebook paper, thinking it would be the perfect little addition to the craft book I dream of writing one day. But after some thought about the craft book of my daydreams, I decided that Rhythm of the Home was a much better place to share my handiwork.
Is the universe not complete without my contribution to the craft section of major bookstores? Does the world really need my version of the ever popular craft book? Because here's the deal: I can make up patterns, I can create handmade items, I can wear the things I design and use the things I make, but I can't seem to create the opportunity to get pictures of me wearing or using these things, or sit down and write directions on how I made them. If I made the time to take these pictures and write these directions, I would not have the time to do all the things I want to do while wearing and using the items I've designed. And really, the reason I've designed and made these items is to enhance my life, not complicate it.
There are people among us who possess the skills to create, photograph, share, and publish it all in a book, and I'm going to leave them to it. Their body of work is a harmonious choir, singing the praises of a handmade life. I don't need to be up there singing along. I can be right here, listening and nodding my head in agreement. Amen. Anyways, I can't carry a tune in a bucket. My kids always shush me when I start singing. I'll take my husband's advice and keep my day job.
Funny thing is, my thoughts on the craft book idea really came together after reading an interview with a craft book writer. Grace of Uncommon Grace recently interviewed Meg McElwee about her new book, Growing Up Sew Liberated. I was especially impressed by Meg's admission, "Motherhood is a humbling experience, and right now I can't do all of the things I wrote about in my own book!"
Yes, yes, and yes again! I often wonder how to make all the things I want to make and be the mother I want to be. The equation rarely adds up in my experience. My kids do not play peacefully alongside me while I knit. They never have. When Avery was about three years old, she took the skein of yarn from which I was knitting a poncho and ran a loop around the house three times before I even realized what she was doing. A few years later, Aidan took a pair of scissors and snipped the yarn between the skein and the sock I was knitting. I took these events as a sign to put down my needles and pick up my children. I returned to crochet when my children were young simply because it was easier to stop mid row and put down my crochet, something I found difficult to do with my knitting.
Lo and behold, I discovered that I could create my own crochet patterns. My mind understands crochet in a way it does not understand knitting. I can follow a knitting pattern, but creating one seems completely beyond me. And while I prefer the look of knitted items over crocheted items, crochet has it's place. Strawberries, garlands, acorn caps, wire leaves - they certainly have a place in my home.
In celebration of shelving my dream of writing a craft book, and the publication of my stawberry pattern in Rhythm of the Home, I'd like to give away a pair of crocheted strawberries. Unlike the loose strawberry pictured above, these strawberries are connected by a thin green crochet chain, about 18 inches long. You can hang them from a hook (I've had a pair hanging from my inspiration board for years), use them to wrap a package, or stuff them in your junk drawer and wonder what in the heck to do with them. I've got drawers and cabinets full of such wonderful items. Yet another reason not to write a craft book. What does one do with so many handmade items anyways??? But that's another post.
Leave a comment and I will select one winner at random, to be announced on Monday, June 27th.
In the meantime, happy bread making and berry picking from the woman who can't stop posting pictures of her chickens.