Burning Anvil of Steel

This was the title of the song my son selected as we made our way through the center of Wake County yesterday.

There was a lot of traffic, and this particular piece sounded to me as if the band Queen, the musician Meatloaf, and Cookie Monster had met up in a sound studio somewhere on a day that Cookie Monster had a really bad cold. It reminded me that while we often give great thought to how we as parents shape our children, we don’t give anywhere near as much thought to how our children shape us.

I know for a fact that I am a very different person than I would have been had I not had children. As Newton noted in his third law — For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction — children definitely react to what their parents do. And while it might not be exactly equal or opposite at any given moment, over time, children shape their parents, and you aren’t the same person you were or would have been.

And that is, to some degree, what has happened to me as a result of working on Olek’s Nina Simone crochet mural.

Now that I have seen first hand how a large piece like that is made, I want to make my own, but as yet I don’t know what I would make it of, nor do I know what size crochet building blocks I want to use, but for the moment, as I document the techniques I learned, I am sticking with a 20 stitch, twelve row, six inch, double crochet square.

Inspired by the change in the weather and the leaves on the ground, I made two more squares in colors that for me evoke fall. The top square is made from my precious supply of the now discontinued Red Heart Super Saver magenta, while the bottom square is made from the medium thyme from the same line of yarn:

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Two twenty stitch twelve row double crochet squares

Here is a more detailed photo of how the two rows of stitches that will be joined look before joining:

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Detail of the stitches where the join is made

When I was ready to join them, I folded the top square down onto the bottom square:

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Two six-inch double crochet squares, right sides together, ready to be joined

and using a contrasting color of yarn so it would be easy to see for the purposes of this tutorial, I secured the contrasting color of yarn (in this case Red Heart Super Saver gold), and inserted the hook the loops indicated:

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With yarn on hook, insert through corresponding stitches

I finished the first sc, and then chained one:

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Complete sc, and chain one

and continued until I ran out of loops and had the two squares joined:

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Continue with a sc, ch-1 join in the next 19 sts. Fasten off

What the chain-1 between the single crochet joins adds is the ability to more easily stretch the finished piece, making the overall project more flexible and resilient, and those are qualities that are useful not only in crochet, but in life.

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