Wednesday, September 08, 2010

insert obligatory hooking joke here

I have a very mixed history with crochet.  Oh sure I can knit, and I can quilt and I can even do some basic weaving and dyeing, but I think I might have this mental block when it comes to crochet.

My mom crochets and has ever since I could remember.  She mostly makes afghans which I once at the tender age of 3 or 4 thought were going to turn into dogs, after meeting an afghan hound.  I don't know what my small self would have thought had I known a whole country existed... but I digress.

I have several afghans (the blanks not the people or hounds) that she's made for me (and for my girls).  Once I tried to knit one, and boy howdy that's not something I'll rush to do again any time soon. And frankly, I have enough so at this point learning to crochet so I can make afghans is kind of pointless. Still, I love the 1970 style granny square hats and vests (although I would probably never wear a vest) and would love to make some.

My mom did try to teach me to crochet once, but it was very short lived as I had the attention span of an ant. I tried to teach myself once, about 18 years ago when my husband's roommate's wife was pregnant, and gave up on it shortly after the child turned 2--and gave everything away.  And I taught myself to chain and single  crochet for knitting projects. 

This time though I'm determined to master this... in part because I thought it might be a good thing to teach my girls.  So when my mom announced her annual visit--I said--perhaps you could teach me to crochet.  She proceeded to teach both of my girls to chain and single crochet (sort of).  She also helped me clarify why it is so hard for me to get this. 

First, crochet is not knitting and I was expecting that I would be as good at crochet as I am at knitting.  By this I don't mean that I am an expert knitter (I'm not) but I mean I can read a knitting pattern, know what's going on and follow it pretty well. I can look at my knitting and tell where I am.  I can look at my knitting and see the mistakes AND how to fix them.  I can do none of that (hopefully yet) with crochet.

First, the directions still don't make a lot of sense to me and second, I'm clueless when it comes to looking at something someone has crocheted and knowing what they did (I can do this with knitting pretty much).  But my mom left me with two how to crochet books (one for kids and one for clueless adults like me) and the girls and I are working through them.  My girls though, ever the optimists want to make hats and blankets for charity or afghans. Me, I have given up on the idea of a granny square hat anytime soon, and am focusing in on doll blankets as let's say practice swatches. 

I guess it is like anything--a lot of bad swatches need to come out before you can start producing good.  I wince at the first attempts I made at quilts, and I think I pitched my first knitted swatch (although I still have the project I made with my grandma--before I learned to cast on). So it is with this knowledge that I show you my efforts on single crochet

I think there are a lot of doll blankets in my future.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

I'm reasonably good at crochet now, but my first attempts at it were pretty hilarious. I was making a practice swatch of what I thought was single crochet. I kept going and going but it was taking forever to get bigger and didn't look all that much like the pictures in the books I was using. I called my mom and got some long-distance coaching on how to do it, and it turned out I'd been making an incredibly dense mat of slip stiches.