Then I met a lovely, lovely lady through my son's new school. She's the chair of the PTA and made me so so welcome when we first moved here and has become a really close friend. Turns out she also has a love of all things crafty, and even has occasional crafty get togethers at her house (but I must add that rather a large amount of wine, and very little crafting actually takes place!) Anyway, she is a hooker. No, not that sort of hooker!! I had never actually seen anyone crochet before, and was totally fascinated with how quickly she could do it and how much progress she made with her project in such a short space of time. My attention then moved from knitting to crochet, but I still made no attempt to actually learn it :(
Over the last year (since discovering blogland), I have come across lots and lots of amazingly talented bloggers, many of whom crochet. I had no idea the skill was so prolific (having always associated it with ladies "of a certain age", maybe because my mother-in-law crochets). I had also thought of it in terms of granny square blankets, cushions and clothing in dodgy browns, oranges and greens (I am a child of the 70s!!). Lucy at Attic24 in particular has changed my view of crochet. Her colours are so bright, vibrant and fresh, and the things she makes so unlike what I remember from my childhood, that I was totally mesmerised.
This year, I decided I definitely wanted to learn to crochet, especially with our new arrival due this year (I had visions of lots of crochet baby blankets, toys, hats etc!) I enlisted the help of my lovely friend to show me the ropes (she is self taught using books too), ordered the "Happy Hooker" book on her recommendation and got some cheap wool from the charity shop. There followed a week or two of extreme frustration and choice language in the Wilfing household, but I finally grasped it. I just couldn't get my head around how to hold the wool (or I should say "yarn") resulting in my tension being all wrong. I was also not too good at counting my stitches, resulting in sloping sides to my practice pieces! I finally grasped it though, and decided I needed to actually make something rather than just endlessly crochets rows and then unravelling them and starting again.
So here is my very first creation:
It is a snood/infinity scarf thingy from this blog raincloudandsage.
I used chunky yarn on a 7mm hook, which made it super quick to make - even at my beginner's snail's pace, I only took an afternoon and an evening. Not sure my sewing in of ends was up to much though, as some of them have started to poke out.
Next I decided to give Lucy's Granny Blanket a go. I just love her colours and ordered a "Lucy Pack" of Stylecraft Special DK from Deramores. Delivery was super fast, so I could crack on straight away. I did a little tester of the pattern to make sure I understood it, and then got going. I have to say the first few rows were tricky, but once I got going properly I found it really easy. I decided to do random colours, which is actually harder than I thought! I'm not convinced I fully like the finished colour combo, and think I may be more of 'plan in advance, orderly colour patter' kind of gal. But I kept going ad going, making the blanket WAY bigger than I meant too (it was supposed to be a little blanket for the baby!). My youngest took a shine to it anyway, so it has become a 'snuggle on the sofa' blanket instead! I was pretty happy with the edging (I copied Lucy's) and I even managed my own version of her scalloped/picot edging which was I am very chuffed with.
It could really do with blocking, as the edging is rather curly (I think this is due to my poorly executed corners - I still have no idea how to do corners, having bypassed the granny-square part of learning to crochet! If anyone can give me any helpful tips or guide me in the direction of a tutorial for edging blankets/crochets around corners, I would be very grateful!)
And now I have almost finished a much smaller granny stripe blanket for a friend's new baby (fudging the corners to the edging - they look slightly better than my first blanket...) so hope to show some finished pictures soon!