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New Crochet Projects

August 7, 2009

I recently learned how to crochet.  My grandma taught me the basics of knitting a looong time ago, but I’ve never progressed past the making of scarves and other flat/square items.  After some recent medical issues that caused me to be bedridden for weeks at a time, I decided to learn how to crochet.  I am totally loving it – it goes so fast, and I love something about working with just the one needle.  So simple & streamlined.

As for those medical issues – I’ve had surgery two times during my pregnancy to treat a problematic ovarian cyst.  The first surgery was pretty minor – laparoscopic surgery to figure out what the gigantic fluid filled mass in my abdomen was.  It was pretty creepy, the mass was found during my first ultrasound and they were concerned about it due to its sheer size: estimated to contain approx 1 liter of fluid!  Turns out it was a large cyst in my ovary.  It was benign and filled with clear fluid, so my doctor just drained it and said it had only about a 5% chance of recurring.  That all happened when I was around 15 weeks pregnant.

Unfortunately the cyst came back.  At the end of May, around 21 weeks pregnant, I wound up in the ER with horrible abdominal pain.  It was the ovarian cyst which had grown back to its original size and (they suspect) twisted on itself, cutting off all blood supply and causing a lot of pain.  That meant that I had to have surgery again, this time to remove the cyst and prevent further complications and potential emergencies.  This surgery was not so simple – it required a large abdominal incision because of how advanced I was in pregnancy and the fact that my uterus was large & in the way.  There were also more risks for the baby this time, so it was much more scary than the first surgery.  They ended up removing my entire left ovary because the cyst was much larger than anticipated – it was the size of a football!  And it was not a simple fluid filled water balloon as originally suspected…it was a Dermoid Cyst, also known as a Mature Teratoma.  Ew, gross.

So anyway, enough about that.  I decided to learn how to crochet during my surgical recovery time.  I wanted to start off with a pretty simple project, something small and cute for my new baby.  I decided on a hat.  I am having a boy…but I fell in love with this variegated orange/green/pink/yellow yarn.  So that’s what he’s getting, and he is going to be so cute in it.  Even if he gets mistaken for a girl!  Here’s the hat, based off a pattern from the Happy Hooker

I modified the instructions to include a row of little popcorn balls around the bottom of the hat.  Hmmm…they are kind of hard to see in this picture, aren’t they?  Maybe I’ll try to take a better one tonight.  All I need to do now to finish it up is add a pom pom to the top!

Cropped Hat

After finishing the hat, I was ready to move on to a more ambitious pattern.  In the Happy Hooker book I’d read about a pattern for a stroller blanket.  Basically a little blanket that’s made to tuck around a baby that’s sitting in a stroller.  What a good idea!  A baby blanket, but not so daunting as a full sized afghan.  By the way, does anyone know what the difference is between an afghan and a blanket?  Is there a difference at all?

For the actual blanket design, I was inspired by the Ripple Blanket made my Alicia Paulson at Posie gets Cozy.  It is so comfy looking, a little old fashioned in a very good way, and I love her description about why it was so fun to work on the blanket and the “amazing phenomenon of how the blanket changed before my eyes with each added stripe.”  Now I’m getting jealous and want a big stash of yarn so that I can make another ripple blanket that truly does change with each added stripe.  Mine is a three repeating colors:  the orange variegated from the original hat, plus a light and dark green.  I wanted to use the orange yarn again so the blanket would match the baby hat. I picked up on the green in the variegated yarn to try to make it more boyish looking.  I think I’ve ended up with something more old ladyish than boyish, but oh well.  I think it’s cute!

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And finally, look who’s cuddled up in my bed just waiting for me to leave that nice new blanket stretched out for her to lay on.  It’s Barbie! 

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