I learned my favorite stitch from my dear friend and master crochet teacher - Mrs. Dee herself! My southern heritage is rooted in a family of crafters - crocheting, quilting, tatting - historically more for neccessity than for hobby. My great-grandmother, Mama Lee, taught me to crochet when I was 9 years old. I quickly learned how to chain and single crochet but every time I tried to make a doll blanket, the work would curl. I would become very frustrated but Mama Lee would patiently and easily turn the mess into a hat by stitching up a seam in the back. I soon tired of making "hats" and turned to other craft hobbies through my teens and 20's.
When I was in the "nesting" phase of my second pregnancy, I decided to try crochet again. I'm not sure how I thought I would have any time to dedicate to learning with soon to be 2 small children at home but we all know logic and pregnancy don't always go hand-in-hand!! I began searching for a class to take and found Dee at my local yarn shop. She showed me in 2 minutes what I had been doing wrong and from then I was off and running!
I continued to take classes with Dee and during one of our new stitch classes, she taught us the bushy stitch. I just loved the delicate lacy appearance and the fact that the stitch forms its own border as you go along. Great - a short-cut! That would come in handy since I had just 3 months before the baby was born and a 2 year old at home that didn't understand mommy's new hobby! Not knowing if the baby was a boy or a girl, I chose a nice yellow yarn and set out to make a baby blanket. My work progressed slowly - so slowly at one point my husband joked that the baby would just have to settle for a scarf! I kept plugging along mostly at night, working through/over mistakes (I made peace with the fact that the baby wouldn't mind!) until I was finally satisfied with mywork. Although it seemed a little smaller than I had originally planned, I had created a beautiful blanket for my baby! And best of all, it was a perfect rectangle - no curling at all!!
When our daughter was born, the nurses allowed me to use her new blanket to keep her warm in her bassinet. I loved knowing she was "blanketed" in love. I couldn't help but feel that somehow she was connected to generations past - that my Mama Lee was watching over her too.
We continued to use the blanket until she outgrew it. The size ended up being perfect for her infant seat - long enough to tuck around her but not too long that it was bulky. I now have the blanket safely tucked away in her keepsake box, waiting for the day it can be passed on to another generation.
I have not taught the bushy stitch to anyone else yet. I seem to have dedicated it to my daughter in my mind so hopefully one day I will have the pleasure of teaching it to her. She already shows interest in learning to crochet and she is only 3. But then she did spend her first 2 years of life going to crochet class with mom!
Thanks for reading! Have a great day!
With hooks flying, Haley
(Note from Dee: A reminder: The Bushy stitch is featured in the first printing of the Crochet Stitch Bible. In each printing since, the Large Shells Stitch replaces it. The publisher is aware of the change but states they do not know why it was replaced; this is the only change in the book that I am aware of. If you'd like to try the Bushy Stitch, give my Preemie Blanket pattern a try, the pattern is free and is featured on my website.)