California Dreaming: When the artist collaborates with her former self

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California Dreaming No. 1 – Currently resides in the USA

Fiber art is my passion. I have crocheted every day for years, but before I picked up the hook, I proudly wielded the knitting needles. In my second year of college, I became utterly inspired by Wendy Johnson of wendyknits.net to learn to knit. This was a time when young people still learned from books, so I mixed library visits with internet research to teach myself the craft. Dozens of cardigan sweaters, stripy socks, and several knitted blankets later, and somehow I made it through college to the other side.

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California Dreaming No. 2 – Currently resides in the UK

After college, life swept me up in its current, and I started a career, got married, and had a baby on the way within a year after graduation! But somewhere in the middle of all that craziness, I picked up a hook and discovered granny squares, baby booties, and scarves, and it was all over…

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California Dreaming No. 3 – Currently resides in Canada

I never, ever looked back to knitting, and that forward momentum left behind a serious amount of unfinished work in its wake. I didn’t have the time to go through it all, in those fast-paced years, so it got boxed up and stored away for another day.

Flash forward about 8 years, 3 kiddoes, and a big decision to become a stay-at-home-mom later, and I finally had the down time to open that box of knitted WIPs, and ..whoa! I was shocked to find myself getting so sentimental remembering which classes I would skip to knit, which coffee shops I would visit to knit in public, and which yarn shops I would spend my hard-earned money in for “stash enhancement.”

One unfinished project in particular that I connected with was the No-Sew Mitered Square Afghan (an alternate construction method for the Psychedelic Square Afghan). I worked it up using the no-sew tips from the Mason-Dixon Knitting site, but I never ended up mattress stitching everything together to finish. The colors and the design reminded me of my former self and I knew I had to create something to bring the pieces back to life.

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After a half second of realizing there was no way I would be capable of knitting the remainder of the project, I decided to make it a mixed-method project and crochet the pieces together.

The three resulting blankets are just fabulous. I named them the California Dreaming series because they evoked a beachy, sun-shiney feeling. I stitched the squares together with white yarn and then went around with a light rainbow of single crochet, and a final touch of reverse single crochet for the edging.

Read more about the days that I made this series here.

These pieces are truly special to me. I am constantly creating different variations of the same patterns in my custom work, which allows me the comfort that those pieces can always be re-created and therefore carry a sense of immortality. My California Dreaming blankets are completely finite. Making something that was entirely one-of-a-kind sort of put me in a pensive mood, because I knew the nostalgic feeling of working with that history of my former self would disappear as soon as I weaved the final yarn tails.

But the works live on! Keeping beautiful babies warm in three different countries! 🙂

Thanks to everyone who is supporting my passion by subscribing to Cypress Textiles. You are truly giving me a gift.

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