Monday, February 18, 2013

Q: Why did the TSA take the crochet hook from the innocuous Asian with a yarn bag?

A: They were afraid she was going to crochet an afghan.

It's an old joke and a bad one.  And as far as I know, the TSA has never come down on knitting needles nor crochet hooks, and although the tiny foldable scissors are permitted on planes, regular scissors are not.  Nor cuticle scissors, for all the good that would do a potential terrorist.*

*We, which is to say, Big Frog, once had a knife confiscated.  It was a butter knife with a little bit of serration at the tip, but too much serration to let it pass.  If we weren't the "just a carry-on" types we could've put it in our checked luggage.  And why did he have a butter knife in his carry-on bag, you might ask?  We'd gone that day to a restaurant named for him.  And when you have a name as unusual as Big Frog's, personalized gear is rare.  There may be notepads and flashlights and ballpoints made up with four different spellings of Makayla-Mckayla-Mykeila-Michaela, that just doesn't happen when you're named for a bluegrass banjo player.  But there is an entire restaurant chain in western Canada whose mascot is the albino rhino and which shares a name with Big Frog.  We petitioned for "anything with his name on it" and got flatware, a glass, sugar packets, and even a business card of the manager, whose first name is the same as Big Frog's dad's.  TSA permitted everything else to pass in the carryon, including the fork, which I think might be pointy-er and more potentially lethal than a butter knife.

But I just wanted to compile not where all my crochet projects have gone, because I think that may be impossible, but at least where all my afghans are and approximately when they were created.

Country Star: Started summer 1997.  All 3-row granny squares.  Notable because I didn't leave long enough tails when changing colors and as I've used it I've had to go back and recreate a lot of my joins.  It was the first big project I made, and its creation spanned a plane trip to California, oral surgery under novacain in which the surgeon and dental assistant were amazed that I could crochet without looking at all (For granny squares it's easy because you only put stitches in holes, not into other stitches.  Also because I've been making them since I was 8, when I first picked up a hook as an after-school course with Mrs Dobbins at Thunder Hill.)  Completed fall 1997, at Messiah College.  Queen-sized, the only larger-than-a-throw afghan I've made.  Currently in year-round use on our bed.

Hexagons: Started fall 1997.  Pattern from Scraps and Black.  Finished New Year's Eve 1997 at Navs/Rejoice lock-in.  Might have taken considerably longer except that heat rises.  Because all the heat in the gymnatorium was *not* at ground level, so I was piecing furiously to generate warmth by movement and to create another layer to cover myself.  Currently a throw in our living room.

Shells (not pictured): Started winter 1998.  Pattern from Scraps and Black.  Finished when C, one of our office kids, was <2yo, so approximately 2009?  Only afghan I've made where it just keeps growing until it's finished.  Construction included blind crocheting during performance of summer theater in HoCo -- possibly Joseph, or perhaps Will Rogers Follies.  Gave to C; she used it in the car for naps in the carseat.  Approx 40"x50"?

Flowers: Purple on Purple.  Started when niece E was about 2?  Close enough to announcement of niece K that I knew I would have to make another for her too.  Construction included SuperBowl at the Vagabonds' home the year everyone needed 3D glasses for some of the ads and for Chuck vs the Third Dimension.  Completed piecing in the snowstorm of Feb 2010; edging took longer.  Currently on niece's bed, although due to "favorite color" misunderstandings on auntie's part, I believe the girls have since swapped afghans.  Twin bed size.

Flowers: Pink-White-Claret.  Started approximately when niece K was born.  Pattern is bicolor.  I liked all three colors and didn't want to choose between them.  Made for problems when I was piecing, because on E's I didn't have to think, but on K's I had to be creative.  And second-guess myself unendingly.  Very pleased with the outcome; would do it again.  Gave to K; I believe E has it now.  See above.  Twin bed size.

Flowers (not pictured): Baby blanket for J, one of our office kids.  Vareigated purple and white. 4 squares x 4 squares

Flowers (not pictured): Lovies for J, the 2nd small Vagabond, who was interested when I was crocheting during Superbowl at her house.  Made 9 squares, gave her the option of 3x3 but she opted for 2 2x2 plus a doll blanket.

Hexagons: Blues and grays.  Gave to godkid M.  2010.  Creation included Texas double-dose, mini-reunions on both sides of the family.  Niece A (from Edminton AB but in Austin TX) mimicked and made two hexagons into purse.  Niece K (of Houston TX), chose layout pattern.

Flowers: Pinks. (not pictured) Gave to godkid D.  2010.

Stained Glass Window: Gave to Lorrie.  2010.

Arrows (not pictured): Pattern from Scraps & Black.  Started 2010.  First I've done with no planned order to the striping nor intentional purchase of colors for this piece.  In other words, actually scraps.  Very freeing to just choose the next line or two without thinking how this fits into the whole.  No black in the whole afghan -- have so many dark colors from past projects, made intentional decision to use white every single place pattern says to use black.  WIP - have made eight "scarves", need to edge each, assemble together, and edge the whole.

(Not my own creation:
Red drop SC: gift from Grandma Shover, mom's best friend's grandma.  An amazing individual who lived independently up to her death at 99yo.  She had breast cancer in her 60s and the doctors didn't do anything because, after all, she was in her 60s.  Ten years later they decided they maybe should take the breast out after all.  I remember building chair tents with this one when I was in grade school.)


  1. I remember the first two from Messiah :) Lovely work!

  2. Those hexagons are so pretty! Love the colors.

    And I felt so proud when I was detained recently by TSA for having a corkscrew in my bag (they let me keep it). Foodie cred!!