In May, Linda, a casual acquaintance in the swimming pool on Sanibel Island, mentioned that her hobby was crochet. Hundreds of iPhone photos later, I was left in no doubt that here was a highly accomplished crocheter, with plenty of family members and friends to enjoy and appreciate her craft. She’s a New Yorker, and her energy is palpable.
I shyly showed her one or two of my own products, and she instantly started enthusiastically encouraging me to develop my own patterns so I could make a fortune selling online. I don’t think that’s going to happen, but it was a boost for my ego when she asked for details of how I’d done this or that, and would I airdrop her some of my photos so she could examine the items later. I’m a sucker for flattery, always have been!
One of her amazing projects was a baby blanket she had made for musician friends, with an edging like a keyboard and even a stave with a treble clef and some notes that spell out the baby’s initials (ABC or something). Very clever and effective, I bet there’s only one child trotting around New York with that blanket!
She gave me a complicated explanation of how she’d done the keyboard, commenting that she had adapted it from a scarf and I might find the original inspiration somewhere on the Internet. I googled successfully. The scarf looks fantastic, too. If you want to attempt it, the instructions are here. https://www.crochetspot.com/crochet-pattern-piano-key-scarf/
I happened to have some black and white cotton yarn with me, and was working on a simple tote bag. I thought the keyboard effect would make an unusual edging around the top so I decided to have a go at it. It’s all single crochet, so easy enough stitchwise, but what makes it time-consuming and fussy is that you have to keep snipping off the ends and working them into the following rows. Not a relaxing pastime. After only two octaves, I was fed up of it and went back to making my tote bag with plain horizontal stripes but that was boring and after a while I abandoned that, too.
Back home in Switzerland I showed my creative middle granddaughter what I had done and asked her for suggestions. “Why not use the keyboard strip as a handle?” she said. Brilliant! Yes, it was just the right length. I attacked my tote bag with renewed vigour, and this is the result. It is very useful for holding work-in-progress and spare skeins, but I am planning to give it a lining to prevent excess stretching.
I sent a photo to my New York muse, thinking she’d be interested to see what I’d made of her pattern.
Her reply: “That would make a great child’s hat!”
I can see what she meant but it would have to be an enormous child!