needlework & crochet | it’s a winter thing…

by | Oct 15, 2020 | a slice of life, Artistic Endeavors, Yarn Crafts | 29 comments

I was crocheting almost every day since I learned how to make a simple hat at a women’s event at my church last October.  I finally had an excuse to buy yarn and I dove into that endeavor with gusto!  It was also great therapy for my hand, which had been hanging lifelessly at the end of an immobilizing sling for about a month.  (I had shoulder and bicep surgery last September.) I found it difficult or almost impossible to write, type, draw, paint, take pictures, and do most of the creative tasks I enjoy, so needlework and crochet came into my life at just the right time.

I was able to loosely hold the hook or needle in my right hand and do most of the work and movement with my left.

I crocheted hats, mittens, glass cozies, pot holders, and a sizeable stack of dishcloths. I made tutorials sharing the new skills I had learned and the patterns I made.  I even started to do some needlework, stitching initials and simple borders on linen color charts, and doing some free-form cross-stitched initials on line napkins.  But then, in March, I stopped getting out my little bag of projects to work on while watching TV in the evenings.

farmhouse style crochet dishcloth for beginners | miss mustard seed

I think a part of it had to do with the fact that we were thrown into an unfamiliar routine.  Everyone was home all the time.  We worked at home, did school from home, shopped exclusively online, had local purchases delivered, and didn’t leave the house for weeks except to go on walks in the neighborhood.  I would’ve thought I would dive into something like crochet and needlework, which provides rhythm and a reason to slow your thoughts down.  As the weather started to warm, I spent most of my evenings outside, tinkering in the garden beds, going on walks, and then we started a million home projects that are much easier done in summer here in Minnesota.

We’re going into our fourth winter here in Minnesota and I’m learning that my activities definitely change with the seasons in a way I didn’t experience in PA.  I get out as much as I can during the late spring, summer, and early fall.  I work on more home projects that require fresh air, open windows, or working in the garage.  Once winter sets in, I do more quiet, creative work like taking art classes, pouring over my books and, this year, I’ll pick crochet back up.  I also bought some knitting needles and books, so I’m going to try knitting!

nordic yarn | miss mustard seed

And I’d like to do some more free form needlework, too.  I read THIS POST by Heather Bullard and was so inspired by her projects.

heather bullard | mindful hand stitching | miss mustard seed

I bought some beautiful embroidery floss back in March (my last big outing before the stay at home orders) and I can’t wait to do a few needlework projects.

embroidery floss | miss mustard seed

If you’d like to learn to crochet this winter, here are a few posts and tutorials I shared last winter…


Ruffled-edged crocheted dishcloth for beginners

Farmhouse-style Glass Cozy Tutorial

Farmhouse Dishcloth Tutorial for Absolute Beginners

Crochet Potholder Tutorial for Beginners

So, you want to learn to crochet?


There are a few new tutorials I’ll share this winter, too, including the dishcloth with the little popcorn bobbles on it.

I’m looking forward to it!



  1. Anita

    Ahhh, Autumn!—Nesting season begins. Looking forward to it. 🙂 You’ll love knitting– Closer weave, and warmer for winter. I’ve been having fun making patterns , (hearts, diamonds, etc.) with two different colors. on snug little hats and the backs of mittens. Such fun!

  2. Betsy

    I’m a knitter! Socks are my favorite project and very practical too! I’m a cool weather knitter and I don’t touch my yarn once the weather starts to warm. However, I do love a good dishcloth and have been known to knot a few in the summer! Have fun!

  3. Debbie

    Serial crocheter here! Learned when I was ten and life got in the way. Started again about six years ago and haven’t stopped. Don’t stop during the Maryland summers either. My husband says I’m a machine. Both my daughters learned to crochet young and about a year ago my older daughter taught herself how to knit. I’ll make anything but I LOVE to make baby blankets. I make them for my daughters’ friends and my friends for their grandchildren. I recently made one for a nghbor I haven’t even met and she was so touched!

  4. Arlene

    I hope you’ll learn to knit and then teach us! I crochet, but I’ve never learned to knit.

  5. Susan

    For me knitting and crochet are cool weather projects… too hot on my lap in the warm weather! Enjoy!

  6. Becky

    I learned to knit a couple of years ago when my husband was spending a lot of time in the hospital. I find it very soothing to have my hands working while my mind wanders. I now even knit during ZOOM meetings because it helps me concentrate. I have also even created some pretty items!

  7. Sandra

    I would like to know the brand of the embroidery floss. It looks so silky, I would like to use those colors too!

    • Karen

      You should try arm knitting! That’s if you think your shoulder could handle it!

    • Marian Parsons

      It’s DMC’s pearl cotton. I’ve pulled the labels off some of the colors, so I’m not sure of all of them!

  8. Jo Nelson

    Just wondering if your painting classes are going to be resumed?

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, I am going to resume the art classes. I’m just not sure when, yet!

  9. Bea

    I’ve made some crochet items with your tutorials. I can knit but I haven’t done any knitting for a long time. I’ll never be as good as my Mother was with both but I do enjoy working with my hands. Many years ago I started knitting a sweater and then I got stuck with the pattern so sad to say I never finished it.

  10. Cheryl

    When you decide to take up knitting consider looking at continental knitting’s movement is similar to crocheting and goes faster than English knitting (throwing). Just a thought!

  11. Wendy

    Are painting classes on your winter agenda??😍

  12. mary m

    Because of your German heritage you would love continental knitting. It is easier, faster and less stress on your arms. I am a leftie and i could not get the English (throw) way but took to the continental way and learned the right hand. Friend from New Zealand got me going and taught me so much. Either way the rules are all the same. I taught myself crocheting from a Ladies /Circle magazine in 1970. Had to learn that way because that is how it was instructed in the magazine. No problem. Have never looked back and always n to another project.

  13. Cheri Dietzman

    I’m on a road trip to my sister’s house and have my crochet and knitting needles, yarn, and a book of stitches!

  14. Janet

    I learned to knit when I was 6 years old but never took to it until a few years ago. Now, I constantly knit scarves (simple rectangles!) and donate them, as people always have a need for warm things in the winter. I’d encourage you to start with bamboo needles (like Clover brand) as they’re waaay better to work with than metal!

  15. Marylisa

    I can sew and knit but I could never crochet. My mom could crochet but wasn’t much for knitting..

  16. Diane Smith

    Hi Marian,
    If you’re interested in needlework/embroidery, check out by Mary Corbet. Fabulous! I’m more of a quilter myself, but still subscribe to her posts because I really enjoy them!

  17. Kris

    Hooray for knitting! I also do it seasonally (I live in Michigan). A heads up here–I don’t know if this happens with crocheting, but my cat is fascinated by knitting and attacks and tries to bite my needles. It’s pretty funny but I don’t get a lot done when he’s in that mood.

  18. Susan

    It it is no surprise that your yarn colors are the same as on your art palette.

  19. Hannah

    My sisters are all knitters and they start picking up their knitting needles in the fall/winter too… I have tried both knitting and crocheting and I find knitting much easier, I get all jumbled up doing all the loops in crocheting! I’m sure you’ll be a whiz at knitting, and there is something so comforting in the ‘click, click, click’ of knitting needles in front of a fire on a cold winter evening!

  20. Shelly

    Oh, yes please help us learn to knit! I bought a beginners knitting kit at TJMaxx on clearance last winter,
    has been untouched, so I would like to knit with you!

  21. Cheryl Knable

    You’re very good at crochet for someone who just learned it 7 months ago. And you’re already designing patterns. I’m impressed!

  22. Jane

    I can’t imagine a day without yarn, thread or fabric. Having lived in the tropical, icy cold and Mediterranean climate areas of Australia, the weather has made no difference to my hobbies.
    Mind you, the looks I recieved when knitting in Darwin’s heat and humidity were interesting.
    My friend’s children benefited from my hobbies then.
    Happy yarn and fabric creating.

  23. Gloria

    I agree with Mary M use the continental (I thought it was European) method. I taught my self to knit when I was 20. I began by making a sailor collar sweater for my little daughter for her 2nd birthday. I had complained so much about it that she put her hand on her hip and said “You ‘spect me to wear THAT?” I said “Yes I do”. I love all kind of handwork. All of my Grandmothers and my Mother had this talent. Lucky me! I realy look forward to painting class.

  24. Lou

    I definitely seasonally in Arizona.
    outdoor activities in winter and spring and more indoor living during the brutally hot summer. It’s just the opposite of how you, and I’d say most people, live.

  25. Elaine

    If you’re into stitching, you may want to check out Claire Wellesley-Smith. Her book Slow Stitch is amazing. Mandy Pattullo’s work is also amazing and I love how she uses vintage and antique cloth and quilts.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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