I’ve been sadly neglecting this blog over the last year, mostly because I was ridiculously busy with a demanding job, but I’m b-a-a-a-ck. I’ve unfortunately had to leave my job due to some ongoing health issues (yeah, I’m looking at you, stupid neck pain), but the upside is that I can concentrate on my beloved crochet.
One part of my health issues has been dealing with some really sucky anxiety and depression, which has had a huge impact on my well-being. I’ve found crocheting to be one of the best therapies around, and quite honestly don’t know what I would have done without having it as an outlet in both a creative / artistic fashion, as well as emotionally. Try checking out the #craftastherapy hashtag on social media, and you’ll see that there are many of us out there using our craft to help our mental health.
Another way I’ve been trying to address the black dog is to try and do something kind for others, which is how the Scrappy Lappy came about! If you’re like me, you probably have an embarrassingly large stash of scrap yarn, in quantities too small for most projects. Well, how about using that up and making a warm, cheerful lapghan for someone in a nursing home or who spends a lot of time in a wheelchair? It costs you nothing when using up your own scraps, and I’ve found friends are happy to donate their scrap yarn to me, too. There are so many organisations around that would be most grateful for these, so I hope you’ll consider having a go at making one – they work up SO quickly and are so warm and snuggly, although working on this one in the extreme heat of an Australian summer was rather toasty work, I can tell you!
The inspiration for the stitch / yarn options for this came from the fabulous Jayda InStitches and she has a full YouTube tutorial on how to make it, which you can find HERE. The entire blanket is made from easy half-double crochet stitches, and uses 2 strands of yarn at once. I used a 7mm hook and found it coped well with a range of yarn weights, but most of what I used was 8ply / DK weight.
I would very highly recommend using a magic knot to join your yarns together, unless you’re the type of person who loves sewing in hundreds of ends! You can even make a “Magic Ball” of yarn in advance, so you don’t have to knot as you go. Coralie over at Stitch-n-Smile has made up a great tutorial HERE on how to do this – just make sure you get those knots really secure and follow the instructions. I found the mantra “over one and under 2” helped me make sure I was tying the knots correctly.
You can see below the Magic Ball I’m currently using on my lavender fields inspired Scrappy Lappy. For this one I’m keeping the grey-ish beige yarn as the base throughout, and using it along with my magic ball of gorgeous greens, blues, pinks and purples.
For my Rainbow Scrappy Lappy I had 2 magic balls made up – one was made up of greys, silvers, off whites and pastels, and the other was made up of the bright rainbow colours, and I also used a few yarns that had a bit of a metallic sparkle, just to give the blanket a bit more bling and happy vibes – I mean, who doesn’t love glitter? A navy border just finished it off, and I truly hope it brings some cheer to whoever ends up with it – it’s destined for a local nursing home as soon as I’ve finished a few more off to take a whole bunch of them along.
The recommended size for a lapghan is around 100cm X 120cm, and with the bigger hook they really don’t take much time at all to whip up, and it’s easy, mindless crochet that you can do while watching TV, or listening to an audiobook (yeah, I’m a huge fan of audiobooks!)
So, if this has inspired you to Kon-Marie the living crap out of your yarn stash and create something that will be sure to spark joy in someone, break out the stash, put on a good book and get cracking!
And, as always, shares and pins are much appreciated – I’d love to see the #CraftAsTherapy and #CrochetForCharity movement growing by leaps and bounds!
I’ll definitely be posting more about both, so do stay tuned xxx