Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Feel the Wuv and Let your Loved One Keep Your Heart Warm (with a Cup of Tea)

Courtesy of Michele at Inspired Crochet

I needed to make a quick and inexpensive gift for my honey in time for Valentine's Day, since we won't be together (he lives too far away for me to visit with him this weekend). We have a tradition of inexpensive gifts for the holiday, as we think it's gotten a bit too commercial.

Very often I make gifts for my sweetheart. He loves getting little somethings in the mail that were made by my own hand. So, after counting my pennies and realizing money was tight this year, I looked through a bag of some scrap worsted weight yarn and found a relatively long piece of red acrylic yarn that was left over from earlier projects. I don't remember the brand name; I don't even think it had one. If I remember properly, it was some yarn I picked up one night in the Garment District when I was going to a lecture and was bored out of my mind. The shop had tons of anonymous Chinese-made yarn in the back and I bought a giant bag of it. I think I still have a few skeins left somewhere.

At any rate, I also had a ball of thin red yarn that had paillettes woven into it, and I'd been wanting to use it for a while. It's some of the first yarn I ever bought, back when I had no idea of what I was doing. I wanted to mix it with some other yarn but I never got around to it, and it proved too difficult for me to work with it well at the time. Looking at the two yarns made me think of hearts and a desire for a quick crochet project was born.

The great thing about the internet is that there are tons of crochet patterns floating out there. I liked this one because it wasn't just about making a decorative but useless object. My sweetie likes a good cup of tea at work sometimes, or something else to drink, and this will be a perfect coaster for his desk. It's pretty but not too ridiculously sentimental and grandma-ish, and will add a pop of color to his relatively dreary office. Even better, it's small enough to fit in the mail.

This free intermediate level pattern from the extremely talented Michele of Inspired Crochet is just the thing to brighten up your desk or someone else's. If you make two or of cotton or wool and sew them together with some red-covered stuffing filled with potpourri, you'll have a coaster that will help keep your pot or cup warm while giving off a pleasant scent. I can even see this done in two or three colors if that's your fancy. Don't be daunted if your work doesn't look sufficiently heart-like at first. At Round 4, it starts coming together. This is also a great pattern if you want to practice your (American) half-double  and double crochet stitches. If you work this in a worsted yarn with an H hook, the dimensions are approximately 5"x6", but the pattern can be adjusted by changing the hook and yarn sizes. I can easily see doing this with chunky yarn and an N hook to make it into a placemat for Valentine's breakfast in bed.

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