Branching Out

When I first learned to crochet, all I made were granny squares for afghans and scarfs. They were easy to make.


Yes, this is a scarf I made. I have made Granny squares like these from Pinterest.

But I searched for more challenges as the years went by. Recently, I went through an owl phase in my crocheting. The owls below were created by a pattern designed by Sarah at Repeat Crafter Me, which you can find here.


But in the last month, I decided to branch out and try something different. I found a pattern online for making small lambs. How small? I placed a red ruler behind the lamb it so you can see how small it is (just under six inches seated; click on the photo to see).

This amigurumi pattern was designed by Stephanie at her All About Ami blog. You can find it here. (Wondering what amigurumi means? Go here for an article.)

I started off making the lambs exactly the way Stephanie instructed, using the yarn she suggested, which was in the usual lamb colors. But after a while, I wanted to branch out yet again:

Not the usual color for a lamb, but the color makes me happy.

Random flower break. Just because.

Speaking of branching out, I can’t help thinking of Spanish surrealist Salvador Dalí (1904–1989). While that might seem like a random remark to you, let me ask you this: What’s the first painting you think of you when you think of him?

I think of this painting:

It’s called The Persistence of Memory. (Instead of The Melting Clocks Painting as I always called it in my head.) What do you think of it? (I think the word you’re searching for is surreal.)

I thought of Dalí as I wrote this post, because of a conversation that took place when I was a grad student. We had a guest speaker one semester—author/illustrator David Macaulay (right). If you don’t know who he is, click here to see a list of his books. Macaulay told us about his years at the Rhode Island School of Design. He didn’t start off doing his own thing. He had to learn how to paint like one of the old Renaissance masters—learning form and color—before branching out.

So that’s why I thought of Dalí. Check out this description from Wikipedia:

Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931.

So Dalí too learned from the old masters, but took what he learned in a new direction.

Maybe there’s something you’ve learned that you’re now ready to take in a new direction. If so, dish about it in the comments below.

While you consider that, I’ll reveal the winner of one of Lyn Miller-Lachmann’s translated books. Go here for her guest post.

The winner, thanks to the random number thingie, is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Penny of the LifeontheCutoff’s Blog.

Penny, please confirm below. I believe you requested Queen of the Frogs. Do you still want that one? Let me know. I hope you will enjoy it!

Thank you to all who commented.

Granny square found on Pinterest. Dali painting from Wikipedia. Dali photo from David Macaulay photo from Other photos by L. Marie.

29 thoughts on “Branching Out

    • It’s been ages since I made an afghan, Jill. 😀 My grandmother also was the one who taught me to crochet. I’m glad that Granny squares have evolved. There are some really beautiful ones to make!

  1. You’d be happy to know that I sent the link to Yarny to my daughter in law, who runs Indigo Art Therapy. She embraced the idea, and I expect to find out very soon how the experience went.

    I don’t knit or crochet, though my my grandmothers and aunts surely did. One gave me a gold and white doily to remember her by.

  2. Congratulations, Penny! I know you’ll enjoy The Queen of the Frogs! Those lambs are so adorable, and I love your variation on the model. I told my editor of Olive the Sheep Can’t Sleep that they need to sell toy sheep to go along with the book.

  3. I had a Gt Aunt who was a machinist-she made a whole batch of jumpers without a hole for the head 🙈 She was sacked!
    Congratulations to Penny.

  4. You got talent, kid! That’s a great little lamb. Have you done any “black sheep” yet?

    I taught myself how to knit (very basic) and made a scarf (for BFF), a vest (for BFF), a sweater (for me), and a few more things. Now that I live in Florida, knitting seems too “warm” a hobby! 😀

    • I can understand why, Nancy. I can’t imagine having skeins of wool on my lap in that heat!

      Thank you! I enjoy it! I’ll have to make a black sheep! I wish I could find yarn this soft in that color!

  5. The lamb looks great in his (her?) coloured outfit. Why shouldn’t sheep be able to dye their hair just like we do? I bet s/he turns the heads of all the other lambs! I fear crochet is one craft I’ve never mastered. My sister, who crocheted a lot, was always threatening to teach me but somehow we never got around to it. We were very competitive about knitting though… 😉

  6. Oh my – and yes, yes, yes. I would LOVE “Queen of the Frogs” and thank you! I know I will love it and will also share it with the young ones in my life.

    Having just colored my own hair (don’t tell anyone haha), I concur with others that sheep should come in other colors. 🙂 Your lambs are so darling.

    Did I ever tell you the story of my grandmother (the Greek one) who was quite adept at crocheting. Her misuse of terms in admonishing one of her grandchildren became part of family lore? It was my oldest cousin, who lived for a bit at Yia Yia’s house, which was a multi-generational ragout. M.J. was mad at her mother for something and misbehaving. Yia Yia sat her down and chastised her, saying “You don’t crochet your mother!”. “You don’t crochet your mother” was often used, by all of us, through the years and always brought a chuckle.

  7. What fun! And a true commentary of living the creative life in our everyday!
    (Owlie wonders if he has a chance with that pink babe!)
    New directions? Confession – I’m getting older and really trying out different body-types on different guitars – the need is there across the population, but quality in product is rare except perhaps in custom luthierie, but even then, one wonders if the answers to that need have ever been explored…without compromising sound, etc.
    For the moment, I’m fine, but it’s the sustainability of my music production as I age that I’m looking at in instrument offerings.
    A great niche to fill in the business world…anyone out there up to the task?

    I wonder if crocheters have access to tools adapted for aging hands/fingers?

    • Good question, Laura in regard to musicians and crocheters. Carpal tunnel is an issue with any repetitive motion. What do you do to keep your fingers flexible? I know I need to do more finger exercises.

      Please share what you discover as far as instruments are concerned (though I’m relieved to hear that you’re okay for now).

      • Yeah, my research/discoveries might make for a good blog post occasionally.

        I’m learning that gentle warm ups consisting of ‘normal’ scales, etc is best for now. Then gradually can enter into a full-blown practice session (aggressive or mellow as required by the music itself).
        Also, I need to get back to that squeeze ball and those pushing-my-fingers-gently backwards stretches…it’s a start, eh?

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