Friday, 29 March 2013

Craft of the Month - Crochet

Crochet was another craft I always wanted to try. Unfortunately, before the invention of the internet and YouTube, you either had to be taught to crochet by someone you knew or from illustrations in a book or pattern. Oh dear! I never knew anyone who crocheted so I had to try and read those illustrations. It never worked. I tried several times but I couldn't grasp it. Two years ago it suddenly dawned on me that there was bound to be 'how to' videos online. I found Nexstitch's website that had cute little videos of one stitch at a time and I picked it up immediately. It was amazingly simple. After all those years I could crochet.

Just so you are aware, I should mention that there is a difference in crochet stitch names for British and US crocheters. I did not know this at the time so I ended up learning to crochet American style. The difference between the two sets of terms is not that great though. British crochet starts with it's most basic stitch as the double crochet but US crochet starts with single crochet. The rest are as follows:

British - double crochet (dc) / US - single crochet (sc)
British - half treble (htr) / US - half double crochet (hdc)
British - treble (tr) / US - double crochet (dc)
British - double treble (dtr) / US - treble (tr)
British - triple treble (trtr) / US - double treble (dtr)

As you might expect, my first attempts were not brilliant. They were recognisable as crochet but I had problems remembering to catch the last stitch on a row. As a result my first scarf (the one below) started off five inches wide and ended up three inches wide.

 However it wasn't long until I was producing much better results. I headed to the Lion Brand website where they have lots of free patterns and a Learning Centre and joined Ravelry. I advanced from scarves (including the pink one made using a jumbo crochet hook and four different yarns at once) to fingerless mitts and to a beanie hat (which has come in very handy this winter).

My current crochet love is freeform crochet. I came across the 'Freeform Crochet and Beyond' book by Renate Kirkpatrick and fell in love with the colours and textures that can go into making bags, hats, scarves, or anything else your imagination might demand. Renate has a website which has loads of inspiration and instruction on different crochet stitches like bullions and puff stitches. It has opened another door to the possibilities that crochet offers.

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