Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Zinnias Now and Later
I know it is about over for the flowers in my garden. I have been so busy picking sunflowers and stocking our stand in Greenfield, I haven’t had any time to tend to my favorite zinnias. Lucky for me, the frost is late and I’ve had a few days of gathering bouquets. Normally I have bouquets in every corner of the house when the zinnias are doing their thing.
Last spring, when I was at the Westminster sales meeting, Adina Klein gave me a copy of Sasha Kagan’s new book Crochet Inspiration. I have looked through it several times and although I am not much of a crocheter, it has intrigued me. I have always held Sasha Kagan in high regard – her long career has been full of beautiful work. When I think of Sasha, I think of her knitted flower sweaters. This book is a departure and it looks like she had a very fun time creating it. The layout and the photos are amazingly beautiful. There are only a few projects in it but the stitch pattern photos make me want to try each and every stitch. It is a little higher in price than most stitch dictionaries but it is hardcover which means it will live on nicely in a hard used craft library. I don’t consider this a book for the beginning crocheter – there are no actual how-tos for each and every individual stitch (half double, treble….. etc.). But the book sure is beautiful and worth every penny. Because it has been over 30 years since I have crocheted very much, I used Candi Jensen's Hooked on Crochet to refresh my memory on the basic stitches. Another great book by a good friend of mine.
This past weekend, I grabbed some odd sample balls of Creative Focus Mohair from Nashua. Along with Sasha’s book and a crochet hook, I made these crocheted zinnias. They’re going to help remind me of my flowers after the frost finally comes. The mohair is super soft – crocheting with it was like crocheting with a spider’s silk. The finished flowers just floated to the ground when finished - the yarn is so light and has a lovely loft to it. I used a rather large hook (can’t remember which size, sorry).
I added a little contrasting embroidery stitches using Julia Yarn. I’m going to sew the flowers on some plain wool store-bought sweaters that Julia has. Then if anyone asks her if her mother made her sweater, at least she’ll be able to say I made the flowers. She has grown so much this summer that I know none of last year's handknits will fit her and I haven't started making her another handknit wardrobe just yet! The bigger she gets, the longer it takes to make a sweater. Oh, I wish they wouldn't grow so quickly - for many reasons!