Crochet a rug for the baby, she said

heading crochet a rug
Acknowlegement of country

To crochet a rug was the last thing on my mind. My last attempt sits at the bottom of a basket of wool. It’s navy, an intricate pattern, a shawl for someone else. (See photo below). The beautiful Merino wool deserves more than I had to offer when I abandoned it, although now I’m ready to go back to start over again.

Abandonned shawl

A few weeks ago, I found myself in the yarn aisles of a store of the major haberdashery outlet in Perth. It’s easy to be seduced by the beautiful colours and textures of yarn when you’ve crafted since the age of four. I dropped a few balls into a red plastic basket. In case I developed the urge to crochet a rug!

About the same time, a crochet site popped up uninvited on my Facebook thread. It displayed beautiful work, mostly by people in the United Kingdom. Rugs, bags, doileys, clothes for children and adults, toys, flowers, decorations – they were all there.

But, I told myself, my arthritic fingers can hardly hold a crochet hook, let alone make row after row, thousands, of stitches.

Who wants me to crochet a rug, anyway?

One of my granddaughters expects a new baby at the end of May. It seems she would love me to crotchet, but for her daughter, my great-granddaughter, who is not-quite-two, and not for the baby.

She told me how much she’d enjoyed having one of the blankets I’d made when she was a child. I remembered making that, as well as rugs for other grandchildren, even a couple for great-grandies. They’d been used to make tents, wrap dolls, comfort sick kids and make picnic blankets. They’d gone on Scout Cub and school sleepovers, and camping holidays.

Then I got too old. Or thought I had

My sister, Elizabeth, never stopped. Her work is exquisite. She crochets year round, and even takes her wool and hook with her on holidays and trips away. She’s good role model for her dear older sister!

So now I’m back to my old self, a crotcheter. And, I hope, less of a scroller on Facebook and Instagram and general waster of time. Although I still sometimes check out the crochet site from the UK.

Here’s a picture of my current attempt, almost finished now. The theme is sea and shells. The turquoises and aquas do not photograph as well as I’d like.

Avril's rug

Crochet, it seems, is not just for old women

I’m awestruck, blown away, by how synchronicity is working in my life!

Yesterday, when I began to think about this blog, the Australian Broadcasting Commission published an article by Julia Baird who writes about awe. I’ve mentioned her in recent blogs. You can read them here at Seven ways to cultivate awe and here Three shiny new things and some travel.

I wasn’t looking for science about crochet. It simply … appeared.

Julia Baird has a new column titled ‘Staying Upright‘ and she has written about crochet and knitting. She says

Crochet is more than craft – research shows its true therapeutic value.

Funny, isn’t it, how long we’ve adhered to the sterotype of knitters as doddery, sweet old grandmothers as though the activity itself was a sign of ageing, dismissed as useless frippery and distraction – not what it actually is, which is useful and mindful.”

The article goes on to describe psychological studies which indicate activities like crochet bring about a mental state in which the heart-rate slows and breathing becomes deeper. People become more calm, mindful, less stressed. Crochet can also help to pocess “grief, chronic illness and pain.”

Here’s a photo of my spare room bed with a rug I made to match the beautiful Anna Chandler cushions.

spare room crochet a rug

Creative writing and crochet a rug

I’ve written about my exciting venture, an online course about Visceral Writing. Last week, I wrote this as an exercise.

Make a blanket for the baby, she said (after Mary Oliver)

So I flexed my knotted fingers in disbelief.

Then found a crochet hook,

Gathered wool – merino – in a basket.

Pale blue, green, fawn, rich cream

And some brown for contrast.

Tested it in the crook of my elbow

and against my cheek for softness,

Enjoyed the faint lingering odour of lanoline.

Taught my aged fingers to crochet again

To flex and bend.

A row of chain then one of treble clusters, turn

And back again. Stitch by stitch,

Row by row, the blanket grew.

It took, perhaps, three months,

Three months to make a cocoon

To wrap the newborn baby.

Thank you

Thank you for reading my blog. If you’d like to get notifications of new articles, please subscribe using the very last item at the bottom of the page. And, of course, I love comments, especially if something I write triggers something for you.

reimagining ageing- playing with gg childfen


  1. Such a beautiful post, Maureen! How lovely these lines are –
    “Row by row, the blanket grew.
    It took, perhaps, three months,
    Three months to make a cocoon
    To wrap the newborn baby.”

    Your photos are fabulous! Especially love the angled one of the bedspread!

    I look forward to hearing about the arrival your latest great grandie!

    1. Love your comments, Susan, and over the moon about the one relating to the crooked photo! That’s what happens when a person has a good teacher! Thank you for that, as well. At this stage the poem is a figment of my imagination. No new baby until the end of May.

  2. You taught me to crochet when I was about 10! I love your blanket that matches your pillows-will you teach me how to make one?
    Sometimes we lose our ‘crojo’ so it’s good to see you’ve connected to yours again and making this gorgeous sea and shell blanket.
    It’s quite addictive – before you know it you’ll have a huge array of colours in your stash – and you’ll have WIPs ( work in progress)and OTHs (off the hook) Enjoy!

    1. Why didn’t Mum teach you to crochet, I wonder? How odd that I taught you. That rug on my spare bed was a really difficult one until I got the hang of it. I started with a pattern, then just made it up as I went along. Easy! I love the idea of losing our ‘crojo’. I think it was that navy shawl that did it in the end. Too dark, too complex…
      Already I’m planning a new rug for Rene’s new baby as soon as I finish this one. Doing the edges now. Thanks for your support about the crochet and everything else. Mx

  3. Oh it’s lovely Maureen. I feel a pull to crochet again – my Mum picked it up at age 65 after many years as a knitter. She has made some extraordinary pieces – I will show you pics sometime. I am still loving my sewing but have crocheted a few hats for my grandson. See you soon 🙂

    1. Dear Laura, welcome home. Thank you for commenting on my post. I’ve been a knitter and a crocheter for ever, on and off. I can never work out why I stopped when Claire’s first babies were small. But it feels good to have recovered my crojo, as my sister calls it.

  4. This is beautiful Maureen. I’ve dabbled with knitting, never got the hang of crochet – never had a teacher really, but also i think I’ve only valued the end product ( yours are fabulous) but not the process, as odd as that may sound.

    1. Thank you, Valerie. Crochet (like knitting) is so good for my serenity and I love the product, but as with any creative venture I long to do different things, better things, when I finish this one! I think I started to crochet when I was about four or five.

  5. Wish I was a baby – could put my hand up for crocheted … something?!! Never learned to crochet – my maternal grandmother taught me to knit when I was about 4/5 years of age – sadly had to give it up about 10 years ago because of bloody pains in my neck. Thank goodness those pains do not prohibit me from reading all the fabulous stuff that comes from some old lady who is still crocheting and writing! Love it all.

    1. Thanks for your enthuiastic comment, Elizabeth B. Love it and glad you read my blogs so regularly. Crochet seems easier (and much quicker) than knitting and I love it. by the way, I think old people can also put their hands up for a crochet rug to cover their legs when they have to sit still in an aged care facility. Happy to take your order for if you ever need it!

    1. Maybe you don’t have time with your blogs, Sue. But it really is good for all sorts of reason. Highly recommended.

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