Showers of Flowers

In some ways, I am one of the luckiest people in the world because I work at a library, and can spend my lunch hour walking through the stacks, looking at books. Heaven. I usually end up in the craft aisle, and one by one, I take down books on knitting, crocheting, quilting and embroidery, and look at each one, as though in a trance. Vicariously, I create intricate appliqued quilts, knit elaborate sweaters with expensive yarn, and lavish embroidery on snowy linen. Then I sigh, replace the book back on its shelf, and return to reality. It was in just such a trance that I came across a colorful book called Crochet Bouquet: Easy Designs for Dozens of Flowers by Suzann Thompson. Sitting next to it was Crochet Garden: Bunches of Flowers, Leaves, and Other Delights by the same author. A light went on as I toured the pages: I have a basket of odds and ends of yarn at home, in all colors, and I could suddenly imagine using a flower motif from the book to make a scarf with the yarn. I scuttled away with the book, inspired.

Sweetheart Rose

That evening  I sat crocheting flower motif after flower motif, because I found that after you have success with one, you have to try another, and then another. Before I knew it, I had a shower of flowers covering my lap, and I knew a lot more about crochet than when I began. All the flowers shown are either Easy or Intermediate, though you can graduate on to Byzantine Beauties, Dogwood flowers, Layered Primroses, and Russian Spoke flowers, as well as to fern leaves and curlicues.

What does this have to do with you? you may wonder. Well, if you are a crafter, it’s a good bet that you have a basket of yarn like mine, with partial skeins and other odds and ends left from knitting and crochet projects, but too nice to throw away. Depending on what you have, you could make scarves, small afghans, even pillows from your odds and ends, using these floral motif patterns. Other ideas may come to you. For instance, I love the Sweetheart Rose shown above at right, and it occurred to me it could make a beautiful sachet or even a romantic pin cushion.

I recommend sitting down with your yarn odds and ends and one of these books, and crocheting a few likely specimens–some may seem easier than others for you, and one may stand out as special. And it’s not a problem if the colors of your yarn are not as sugary sweet as the ones shown. I am looking at some skeins of dark teal and black wool with thoughts of making a a scarf.

If your library doesn’t have the above books, let me mention something that I’ve learned while working at a library: Librarians will move heaven and earth to get a book you want into your hands. They may even buy the book at your suggestion, or borrow it for you from other libraries. At our library, we lend and borrow books from libraries all over the United States. There are also other books with similar titles, and I have included their covers here, though so far I have only used the books by Suzann Thompson. Her instructions are meticulous.

So here is your opportunity to finally use those odds and ends of yarn. The books by Suzann Thompson include projects for using the motifs, such as placemats, scarves, and pin cushions, and I just had an idea–crochet a variety of flowers and sew them onto a piece of cream-colored blanket wool, the size of a lap robe. Then you can be covered with flowers as you snooze.

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