Creating a new foundation chain


I’m someone who loves working on and completing a project, for me it is about feeling the sense of achievement and seeing the results, that spurs me on to get to the finish point. During the summer months I spent most of my spare time making handmade items for our wedding day. The feelings associated with the starting phase of a project, seeing it take shape, then completing it, and using it as part of our day, gave me the drive and desire to continue making things that have a purpose and meaning. At this time of year as the weather is turning colder and the days are shorter, I am drawn towards snuggling on the sofa under a blanket and picking up a comforting project, this tends to involve crochet or knitting. A few weeks ago I decided it was time to pick up my crochet hook again.

I started making a crochet ripple blanket a few years ago and remembered how much I adored the gentle, rhythmic rise and fall of the ripples and the stitch formation. I loved the project at the start but after some time I decided to put the project aside. The reason being that there was a row in particular that I had crocheted that I was unhappy with. I had crocheted a row using a red wool and at the time of creating the row and those around it, I hadn't noticed the impact that it had made. When I took a step back and looked at the blanket in full all I could see in front of me was the red row that stood out. The rows of colours I had created just before looked ok, and those after it were ok too, but the red row I had crocheted just didn't fit the tone and feel of the blanket, and so I popped the project away in a work in progress basket and let it be...

With my urge to crochet a few weeks ago, I got the project out of the basket and looked at it. The row of crochet in the red wool still didn't work with the look of the blanket that I wanted to create. I wondered whether if unravelling the rows of crochet including the red row, and starting again from that point, would mean that I would enjoy moving forwards with the project again. I sat with the blanket on my lap and realised that perhaps the size of the blanket would not quite fit what I wanted from it now. I decided that rather than unravelling the rows, I would keep what I had made, use it as a basis of learning, and start a new blanket instead. Letting go of all the hard work and the time I put into creating what I had made was an uncomfortable thing to do. I decided that I wanted to move forwards, rather than unravel it, and instead decided to reshape the size and feel of the blanket into something that I would love...and so it began, it was time to make a fresh start and make a new foundation chain.

I started again with a favourite colour, sky blue, and set about creating the foundation chain. It took a few attempts to get the foundation chain looking, sitting and feeling right. The foundation chain was made purposefully longer this time so that I could create a bigger and more useful blanket. Working the the first row of crochet stitches into the foundation chain was harder than I had remembered it being the first time round. It took time, patience and determination to make each stitch. There were moments when I thought about giving up but I wanted to persevere as I felt that this blanket, in this pattern, would be something special to create.

As I set about starting this new project, and deciding to pack away the old one, I knew in my heart that it was really ok to let something go that didn't work out. For me the solution was to start again and create something new, but use what I had learnt before to shape the project. I’m very much at the start of this new crochet blanket...I’m now on row three, I feel happy with the size and will sculpt the colour choices thoughtfully as I build each row. I know that have made the right decision to start again...

Whilst I was creating the stitches one by one, it crossed my mind that there may be other things that this analogy of making a new foundation chain and new blanket could fit with. Letting go of something you have started and have put time into, whatever it may be, such as a handmade project, a half read book, a course, a career, a relationship, or a plan…and making the decision to leave it where it is and to not continue with it is really ok. Taking the time to let the decision sit with you, to think it through, and feel assured that it is time to let it go, enables a movement forwards with something new, and allows the creation of choice and freedom to be felt. I smile as I write this as I have experienced myself letting go of some of these examples, some are more recent than others, some have been easy to let go of, and others not so.

Like the crochet blanket project, I've recently decided to create a few new foundation chains elsewhere in my life, taking learnings with me as I sculpt something new... I know that I am at the start of row one and creating something stitch by stitch into each newly created foundation chain. As with my crochet blanket, I've decided that the process is going to be one that will be filled with thoughtful steps, it will involve being brave to make a new start, maintaining patience, and allowing myself time and to take it slow. As we gradually move closer towards the winter season, I've decided to build row one slowly, stitch by stitch into a new foundation chain, to see what it will grow...

Is there anything you have started that you feel is time to let go of, or anything you have started and want to reinvigorate? As we head into winter perhaps take a moment to take those thoughts with you, let them hibernate within you during the season ahead,  so that you can begin to make decisions to move towards something new and gradually create your own new foundation chain.