A couple of months back I felt the need to learn to crochet. My sister had taught herself last year and beautiful makes were popping up on a few friends’ FB feeds. I wanted to be able to do that too. I wanted to learn to do something that could be useful (as well as just pretty). I needed to find something to fill the time that nail art used to take up, at least until I felt strong enough to start back up again. So crochet it was.
I put it out there that I wanted to learn to crochet but didn’t know where to start, and I was surprised at the number of my friends who had already learned the skill. My friends had great suggestions for pages to follow, groups to join, tutorials to watch and the best places to buy yarn. They offered up hooks, advice and, most importantly, plenty of encouragement.
I bought a crochet hook set and mum provided a ball of scrap yarn. I sat down with my laptop in front of me and obsessively watched the same tutorial over and over again until it began to sink in and I felt confident enough in giving chaining a try. Then I followed every step on that video over and over, pausing at each movement, until I could get the stitch right without watching. But that wasn’t enough. I kept chaining until I was happy that I had a consistently even tension, chaining a metre and then unravelling it, rinse and repeat.
My repetitions didn’t stop there. I did the same thing with double crochet before finally attempting the stitch I would use for my first project (although that’s a secret until I write that post). I’ll tell you something – that ball of yarn was a right mess by the time I moved on from it.
My nan used to crochet and always had a project on the go. She made blankets for us all. When I was pregnant with TB she made three baby blankets: two white and one white and pastel stripe as before we left for Brasil we didn’t know whether we’d be having a boy or a girl. She also made a huge, multi-coloured granny square for our new arrival. Nan crocheted TV blankets for me and my sister, more blankets when Mister was on his way. She crocheted table cloths and always had a fine yarn project in a plastic basket by her chair – you never picked up her hook because it was always the marker for her current stitch.
Learning to crochet myself has made me think a lot about nan and her crochet. I want to know how she learned to crochet (I suspect it was her own mother or older sisters who taught her, maybe her grandmother) and what her favourite makes were. I want to know which hook she favoured (for granny squares I’m guessing a 5 or 6,). I can tell she crocheted her granny squares quite loosely but I want to see how she changed colours and weaved in her ends. I want to learn from her and I’m disappointed in myself that I let the opportunity go when I still had the chance. I know my sister can teach me lots of crochet things but I’m sure she’d agree that it’s not the same.
As I write this I’ve already finished my first project (on the blog soon) and am only a week or two away from finishing my second. I’ve got another three projects lined up and seem to be on the lookout for more yarn every time I pass a shop. It’s safe to say that I’m well on the way to becoming an addict.