When I was maybe Boo's age, 9 or 10, my grandmother taught me the basics of crochet. She always had a project underway, stitching doilies, runners, edging on pillowcases, and more. Always with that thin crochet cotton. I wanted to learn. So she taught me. And I think I finished part of one granny square and chained a bunch of long chains for practice. And that was that. I went back to knitting, which I'd already been doing for years.
I think part of it was likely that I could read a knitting pattern and follow it, but my grandmother didn't use crochet patterns, so there was nothing for me to read and follow. Her telling me "and then you do this" just wasn't concrete enough for me. So I gave up.
Fast forward 30+ years. I still love knitting, but the arthritis in my right hand makes it difficult to keep at a project for any length of time. I've watched a friend crochet, and it seems to come together so quickly, plus it's a totally different hand/finger movement. Why not give it another try? So off to YouTube I went.
I'm hooked! (No pun intended.)
There are tons of crochet tutorials and crochet-dedicated channels on YouTube. I have found I really like Bella Coco. She gives clear instructions, with great, close-up video. She is British, but she translates her UK crochet terms into the US terms to make things easier for her international audience. She actually has an Easter Egg Tutorial up on her channel now, which I may try this weekend, if I can tear myself away from my blanket. Simply Daisy also provides great beginner tutorials on her channel. Her How to Crochet for Absolute Beginners Part I is the first video I watched.
I decided I would start with a Granny Square, as it is supposed to be simple. But I was getting confused as I reached the corners and had to start a new round. So, after tearing out a dozen of these squares I decided to practice on a straight lines project until I gained more confidence, and now I am stitching like a crazy woman. I can't put my crochet down! It's all I want to do. I have a blanket project happening, as well as a stash of yarn I'm now crocheting into granny squares to combine later into an afghan.
For the record, it's been less than 3 weeks since I started learning, and although I have a long way to go, including learning more stitches and how to read a pattern, I am loving the process and think I'm doing pretty well. I am enjoying the creative aspect and watching my blanket grow, plus this gives me something to do with my hands while I'm watching TV or a movie, and it's getting me away from the computer screen for a while. I find crochet quite calming and meditative once I get into the rhythm. And, maybe most importantly, it doesn't aggravate my arthritis!
For my blanket, I'm using Attic 24's Cosy Stripe Blanket as the basic pattern, but I'm not doing the multiple narrow stripes. I'm using three colours and each stripe is a full skein of yarn. That's making the project a lot easier for me.
|The rust colour will be an accent stripe.|
I've been told the project looks really impressive, but it's 99% the one stitch, spaced at different intervals. Super easy.
When I need to switch things up, I move over to the pile of yarn I inherited from my friends' mom and start doing the granny squares. I'll just keep at those until I have either exhausted the yarn or my patience, and then stitch them together. This particular yarn lot is all the same brand in coordinating colours that I chose with the idea of making an afghan at some point. I guess the time has come!
|What do you think? Do you like my colours? This will one day be a granny square afghan.|
So, when I'm not online these days, you will find me with my yarn and crochet hook, working away. My projects come with me to doctor's offices, karate practice, swim lessons, and friends' houses. And I am so happy to have this new hobby to keep my hands and mind busy in my "down time."
What about you? What hobbies do you enjoy? Do you crochet or knit? If you have any crochet pointers, or favourite pattern/tutorial sources I'd love to hear about them!