Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Making with Thread

Many years ago, I bought some white size 10 J&P Coats Knit-Cro-Sheen cotton thread and a Leisure Arts leaflet, #2880, to make some coasters. I had inherited some crocheted thread coasters and a doily from my grandmother and wanted to add to the collection. There were only two problems with that plan: my crochet skills were minimal and I didn’t have anyone nearby to teach me.

Vintage handmade white cotton crochet doily and coaster on a light wood background.

Fast forward to last year. We were preparing for a road trip, and I decided it was time to finally use the thread. The Reusable Produce Bag by Tia Stanfield caught my eye on Ravelry. The pattern calls for a thicker size 3 cotton, but I didn’t think it would hurt anything to have lighter, airier bags.

I thought the beginning of the produce bag pattern was a little fussy as written. After the base, I found it was easier to start knitting in the round with double-point needles instead of the circular needle recommended in the pattern, and switch to a circular needle later in the project. But, in general, I prefer double-points to circulars so take that with a grain of salt. Overall, I enjoyed the pattern and I'm happy with the results.

I made two and a half produce bags during our road trip, and the project sat once we returned home. Part of that is because I realized that while I like the idea of reusable produce bags, I rarely remember to take them with me into the store. They keep the center console of my vehicle well insulated! This week, I decided it was time to finish the third produce bag to free up those needles. The result is this small bag, which is still a pretty good size.

Hand knit white cotton lace produce bag with apples inside and next to it on a white background.

I had a partial ball of leftover thread, so I revisited the coasters. My crochet skills have improved over the years, and I approached the project with more confidence. The leaflet is called “Coasters with Heart” and the seven patterns each feature a heart in some way. I made four coasters as written, and adapted a fifth coaster as my thread supply dwindled.

Five white cotton crochet coasters in various heart-inspired designs on a light wood background.

I’m happy with the way they turned out, although they’re large for coasters and definitely don’t coordinate with the smaller, finer coasters I inherited. The two larger circles are almost seven inches across, and the squares are almost six inches. The only one that is what I think of as coaster size is the adapted circle, which is just over four inches.

Three handmade white cotton crochet coasters next to each other a a light wood background, showing their relative sizes.

I may try these again someday with a finer thread. In the meantime, I'll keep my eyes open for other patterns that remind me of my inherited pieces.

What have you been inspired by recently?

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