My lovely friend Emma sent me a couple of cute crocheted cats a while ago and ever since then they have sat on my desk. I’ve always wondered how on earth you actually do crochet (or knitting), and now that I think I’ve got the cross stitch thing sorted, I thought it was time to learn something else.
I bought a magazine a few months ago which came with free yarn and needles, and I started trying to learn to crochet on a long haul flight over summer. It didn’t go at all well! I’ve been looking at pictures and trying to follow videos, but it’s a lot easier if you have someone watch what you’re doing and help you with what you’re doing wrong. Fortunately, being a librarian means I know a lot of crocheters (is that even a word?!) and knitters. Last weekend I attended Library Camp UK 2011 and we set up our own Crochet Camp when we got tired – look, that’s me crocheting!
The lovely Sarah had already offered to help teach me to crochet so we found ourselves a table and got to it. I was still terrible, but thankfully Sarah has the patience of a saint and persevered. I’m left handed which complicated things somewhat, so I tried to learn right handed instead. It didn’t feel totally natural but at least this way Sarah could check I was doing it correctly. I made lots of mistakes and ended up getting cramp in my fingers, but I did produce my first ever bit of crochet:
As you can see, I need a lot of practice – just this few stitches took about an hour! Fortunately I recently found the perfect tool to help me with my practicing – an online crochet course. I’ve subscribed to the blog and am hoping to be able to follow the course over the next few weeks. I’ve watched the first few videos which are really useful and clear to follow. There are even left-handed versions which I think I’m going to follow as it does feel weird to hold the hook in my right hand. I’m going to add the crochet school badge to my blog and I’ve joined the Flickr group to record my progress. How exciting!
I’m at a bit of a stumbling block at the moment however – the crochet hook supplied with the magazine is a small one, and not great for beginners. The yarn is also not great for beginners as it keeps splitting. Sarah advised getting a bigger hook (I borrowed one of hers on Saturday) and some soft baby yarn to begin with. Based on my poor attempts this evening, I think I’m going to have to visit a craft store sooner rather than later if I want to progress – I can barely do a chain stitch with my current hook and yarn.
Watch this space – hopefully I’ll be able to master some crochet stitches soon. I’ll share any progress on the blog. Wish me luck!