14 May Conquering Crochet!
I have vague memories of sitting on the concrete under an overhang at primary school, crocheting a rug in what was probably a huge Granny Square. I have no idea how I did it, or where it is now, but remember somehow that it ended up a continual square spiral of stitches (I must have missed the end of a row somewhere and leapt over it to the next one, as this is not supposed to be how it goes).
Fast forward (many) years, and I had a definite fear of crochet. I loved its look, but it was a mystery to me. I would look at patterns and be totally lost. I would look at instructions on how to crochet, but even those seemed to assume a basic knowledge that I really didn’t have! At some point, I would end up saying “what???” and walk away from it yet again…
After taking a short two-day “introductory” workshop into crochet, I worked out that I really had little clue! Different stitches and ideas were flung at us, and while I came away with some samples and notes, I ended up with more questions than I came with… Do I create a stitch under, through, into the front, or into the back of the stitches in the previous row? The idea of mastering crochet got put aside for more years.
Recently, I had a go at creating small 3D forms using the basics I had gleaned from different books up to that point (no pattern, just experimenting) and was quite happy with how they turned out (even experimenting with adding beads as I went) – they ended up being part of the “Organic Scene” project in Embellish issue 41.
This, and a need for a little positive creativity during all the COVID-19 lockdowns here in Melbourne, gave me a push to go back and try, from the beginning, to conquer crochet.
The “Crochet Washcloths” project in Vintage Made issue 15 got me started on my plan. This I could do. I could create simple chain stitch, double crochet stitch and treble crochet stitch. Here was a way I could investigate how placing the hook under, through, into the front, or into the back of the stitches in the previous row made a difference to the resulting pattern. The washcloths I created, in blue cotton yarn, are fabulous at washing the dishes! (The photo shown here is courtesy Vintage Made, as my washcloths are now well-worn and not the best for photographing!) I would recommend creating them as a way to learn different stitches and patterns.
Through further researching different crochet styles, with a background in embroidery I was fascinated to discover mosaic crochet, which reminded me in many ways of cross stitch patterns …and, it used stitches I already knew!
Not one to start small ☺, I designed (after one false start), a mosaic crochet scarf – the pattern for which is in the June 2022 issue of Yarn magazine (issue 66). I have to admit to a few sessions of undoing errors as I went – but I love the resulting scarf ♥.
Going forward, I have sooooo many areas of crochet I plan to investigate and conquer!
Article by Lynda Worthington