Thursday, 3 June 2010

Learning to Crochet ....

I used to be an avid knitter - in fact, I've just finished a sweater which I'll get round to showing you all at some point - but I never learned to crochet as a child.  However there are some things that you just can't easily do with knitting and so, earlier this year I decided I would get a book and learn how to do it.

I never expected it to be so hard. 

It's just so different from knitting.

Suffice it to say that every time I returned to crochet between other projects, my frustration levels increased and I got nowhere.  So, the crochet hooks and book were shoved to the bottom of my knitting bag and were ignored for a while until I saw a pattern I really liked on a another blog and decided to give it another go.  

This week has been a revelation.  

I'm still far from being a competent crocheter (s that even a word?) - but kootoyoo provided a video demonstrating how to make up her shrug pattern and I realised that my problem was my crochet book (that's right - I'm blaming my tools!).  The video sorted out a few of my fundamental problems with the instructions in my crochet book and I was off.

I didn't follow any pattern at first - just doodled with some left-over yarn:

I was getting quite good at going round in circles!

Then I made my first granny square (following a pattern found on Purl Bee this time):

Yep - it's actually relatively square and doesn't look like a load of randomly knotted wool (you should have seen some of my earlier attempts... or maybe not!).

So I tried following the shrug pattern to see if it made sense - I could only go so far though as I ran out of yarn just into my fourth round.   

Not sure how accurate it is, but again it doesn't look too bad:

The question is this - is this good enough to commit to buying some yarn and attempting the shrug?  I'm still debating that one and will probably depend on what I find on my next trip to the wool shop.  

It could be a good project to take with me on my next trip (yes - I'll be away again very soon!).

Or maybe I should try to crack my other fundamental crochet problem - I simply cannot crochet anything in rows and keep the same number of stitches in each row!!  Makes for some 'interesting' and completely unsatisfactory results


  1. I'd say yes! Good granny squares. That's way better than I can do - I struggle a lot with crocheting because being left-handed, instructions always seem so hard to follow. That granny shrug pattern is lush! I might just have to add this to my already massive to-do lis!

  2. You are quite right to blame the books. Some just make it really complicated. Check out I started learning from this weekly magazine and it explains things really well.
    You should go for the granny shrug. I have one finished and two other variations on the go.

  3. Fiona, I thought I would try to answer your pearl conundrum here for you. You can have pearls re-strung professionally. It's not a skill I have yet... involves multiple threads and lots of knots.However I have simply threaded pearls onto tiger tail with very good results. They seem to settle quite nicely. I suppose the main thing is if the pearls are precious for themselves or because they belonged to your mum. Apparently real pearls feel more grainy if you rub them across your teeth.
    Fiona x

  4. Thanks Fiona - I think they're probably real ones having tried the tooth test and comparing to ones I know are not ... I'll try the tiger tail and see how I go. Worst case scenario is that I take them to a jeweller in the long run anyway. I'm going to leave this project for when I get back from my next trip - rushing to finish a few other things first and I don't want to rush the pearls.