Bob’s House – A Special Crochet Afghan For The Dollhouse

Needlework is a labor of love and every stitch tells a story. For my father, the story was a colorful crochet afghan with black borders, made by his mother, with love. He treasured it as he treasured her and when it was lost in a flood, he mourned its loss.

I had heard this story over the years but it wasn’t until 2020 that I got serious about learning to crochet.

“Try new things.”

Dad was always encouraging everyone to venture forth and be mindful of possibilities. I am not a needleworker, in fact I dislike sewing very much even though I made a few things for my family over the years. I have cross-stitched several Tidewater dollhouse rugs from kits but never got the hang of knitting. Embroidery is pretty far down my bucket list but I was determined to make an afghan for my father, so I would learn to crochet. I ordered a crochet hook and full size yarn and visited University of Google for a free tutorial.

Enter “Jayda In Stitches”. Her YouTube video on how to make a granny square was easy, informative and perfectly suited to a beginner in every respect. From her, I learned how to make a granny square afghan and when I presented it to Dad on Christmas 2021, it suddenly turned into a kaleidoscope… neither of us could see it through our tears.

Now I have another afghan to treasure.

The minute Bob’s House was done, I knew I had to make a mini afghan for Little Bob’s bed. I did not want to recreate the original colors, that was too personal, so I decided to make one to compliment the colors of the room. Soft and steel blue plus white. I was all set to try! I had already aced a real afghan, this couldn’t be much different. I just needed to figure out what size thread or hook to use, easy peasy, so I visited Hobby Lobby. Aunt Lydia’s #10 thread seemed small enough! I purchased a crochet hook in the size recommended on the label and came home to give it a whirl.

Only my “whirl” turned into a tailspin.

The thread was just too big and bulky. Of course with crochet, you cannot tell at first… you have to make several rows before your thread becomes fabric… you’re literally making fabric… what I had hoped would be a 3/4″ granny square was the size of a dollhouse bath mat! {Insert gameshow “Loser” BEEP here}.

At that point, I recalled the stash of silk thread I purchased years ago from a lady named Jeanne Bell. Jeanne used to come into Dollhouses Plus to drop off her latest needlework creations for us to sell on commission. Oh, she did exquisite work! I saved up for months to buy a tablecloth tatted of silk, as thin and fine as gossamer. It’s magical! Jeanne also did cross-stitch and embroidery on the tiniest silk netting and she braided a rug from silk threads, but I digress. If you’re fortunate enough to see any of her work for auction, grab it! You will not be disappointed.

On a random website, I learned folks were making mini crochet with a size 0 hook, so I ordered one, chose a lovely caramel color of Jeanne’s silk thread and got to work. I had to wear double magnification and still could barely see the few stitches I was capable of producing. Jeanne’s silk thread was as soft as pulled taffy and would not stay on the hook! I don’t know how in the world I managed to make one simple scarf but suffice it to say I will never again complain about making 1:12th scale peas or rice ever again! This was torture in comparison because I did not have the right tool or the right type of thread.

“Never give up!”

Back to University of Google! Via several websites, blogs and videos I cobbled together enough information to learn that a 1.0mm crochet hook and size 10 DMC Coton Perle thread should do the trick. Armed with these new sizes, I was able to produce my first 1:12 scale, granny square. I could not believe my eyes as each tiny square came together!

It took the same amount of time to make a mini afghan as it did to make a life size one but this was a labor of love, I didn’t mind at all. The result is exactly as I had hoped for. This size thread is sturdy enough to stay on the hook yet soft enough to drape nicely off the edge of the mini mattress.

I made a pillow too!

Teach yourself to crochet in full size first, find the right tools and materials and you too can crochet special things for your dollhouse!

Be Army strong, like Bob and persevere! I once asked him why he kept playing chess against himself. His reply was pure Brady! “Well, somebody has to lose and it sure as hell isn’t going to be me!”

That positive attitude is one of the many blessings my father passed on to me. Nothing can get in your way, except yourself and even then, only if you allow it.

Onward!

Next up, making a simple stone hearth for the fireplace!

♥ Robin

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IGMA Artisan Robin Brady-Boxwell

CrownJewelMiniatures.com

About - IGMA Artisan Robin Brady-Boxwell

Crown Jewel Miniatures by IGMA Artisan Robin Brady-Boxwell. Fine 1:12 scale dollhouse miniatures in ultimate realism! My blog is a compendium of new art, announcements, and advice on creating miniature food for the dollhouse and 1:12th scale shops, stores and scenes.
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