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Some thoughts on my newly rediscovered love of crochet

Posted by on Friday 28 January 2011 in crochet & knitting, making | 11 comments

After a break from crafts for a while, I’ve got back into crochet with a vengeance recently.

I found it hard to like crochet at first – the first tutorials I did were boring, just creating a stiff solid fabric – and it wasn’t until I made a “net” shopping bag and granny squares that I saw the value of it over knitting. If I was teaching someone how to crochet, I’d start with granny squares which I’d use for the base of a “net” shopping bag/fruit bag – I liked being able to make something actually useful very quickly.

I love the many “sense of completion” moments when making granny squares or similar patches. My first big project was a hexagon hearth rug. I got a small buzz after completing each round, then each hexagon, then each colour combination set, then all the hexagons… Great motivation to keep me going. By comparison, my current stripes project (above) is very slow going and not that rewarding – it takes about 25 mins to finish each stripe and then it’s only one more stripe in a blanket of a hundred (and it’s even more when I do the wrong colour combination and have to frog over an hour’s work). It’s a nice yarn to work with though and when it’s finished, it’ll be lovely.

My favourite stitch is a HTC (HDC in US terms) – the ease of a DC (SC) but with extra height. Is it wrong/nerdy to have a favourite crochet stitch?

My favourite crochet hook is one I bought in Edinburgh a few years ago. It’s a 5mm one so good for a lot of the yarn I tend to buy (I’m not a delicate yarn type of girl), and has some lovely wood turning on the handle. I would like to make my own set of hooks some day – turned, using stray branches & twigs from the woods behind our garden.

I find it a lot easier to experiment in crochet than I do in knitting. It seems easier to manipulate the shape both in the 2D cloth and sculpting it into 3D. The vast majority of my experiments aren’t successful.

It’s also a lot easier to crochet than knit on the bus – less likelihood of poking a neighbour. I like crocheting on the bus.

One of my favourite following-a-pattern things that I’ve crocheted is the loop baby rattle – quick but cute. I also very much enjoyed the crochetalong videos for making soft high top trainers for babies even though my finished project was a bit blocky.

I also very much like Attic 24 Lucy’s granny stripe blanket – both because it’s pretty and the pattern is just a few lines :) (This one was my first attempt – a smaller version, using a 100% wool yarn. I dyed the purple and blue myself – they’re pretty, muted notes in real life.)

I was crocheting for so long in one unbroken stint the other day that my hand got stuck in a claw shape from holding the hook and it shook when I tried to straighten it out. More biscuit/animal stroking breaks are clearly needed!

Do you crochet? Or have you resisted the lure? If you’ve given into its charms, what type of things to you like to crochet – and what have you got on the go at the moment?

11 Comments

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  1. CrochetBlogger

    Love your net shopping bag. I use the net pattern a lot. In fact I just finished a dress in this pattern (obviously needs a shirt and leggings worn underneath it, though). Glad to see you enjoying the world of crochet. :)

  2. Karen M

    I knit and I have favourite stitches, cast ons etc,. See the link below for wonderful and totally amazing nerdiness! You say you knit as well – so do a quick search for Klein Bottle hats.Hyperbolic planes and crocheting is also wild.
    If you stitch at some time you will embrace your inner nerd!Just think of the mathematic principles that are used to design your own Granny Square or plan decreases to your net bags.
    http://www.enm.bris.ac.uk/staff/hinke/crochet/

  3. Petra

    I like crochet and I agree with you that it has many adventages above knitting, which I did a lot in the past.
    My latest crochet item (finished yesterday evening) is a big basket (hook 7 and 12 mm) for the toys of my daugthers. It’s made from plarn, that I spun on a drop spindle. It’s very colourful.
    (As a mathematician, I’m really amazed by the mathematical patterns following Karen M’s link. Never seen crafts like that before)

  4. Taphophile

    I am a well known crochet naysayer.

    At best it is a gateway craft to get more people knitting ;)

    My fear of crochet stems from being a chubby pre-pubescent in the late 70s when my mother took up crochet. That body in a crochet bikini – *shudder*.

    I am a survivor of childhood crochet abuse.

    Back to my knitting now.

  5. Max

    I am really interested in crochet. I was taught a bit when I was young but have forgotten it all. Where is the best place to buy crochet hooks?

  6. Dmarie

    wow, that looks great. well done!

  7. Cate B

    oooh I love the crochet net bag. I have never crocheted in my life, where on earth do I start so I can make a bag?

  8. louisa

    Hi guys – thanks for all the comments!

    CrochetBlogger: I used to have a net-ish jumper too – bought not made but if I could find a suitable pattern now, I’d be tempted to make one as a summer throw-on. I love how quickly net makes up!

    Karen M: Great link! I’ve been meaning to make a klein bottle hat for a couple of years – and a “matching” mobious scarf, naturally. I’m also a gaming nerd – I love the idea of a crocheted gamer blanket like these ones.

    Petra: I’m interested that you spun the plarn – I’ve crocheted and knitted with it before but not spun it first — I imagine it’d make it a lot easier to work with. Another project for my list!

    Taphophile: I’m so sorry to here of your trauma. ;)

    Max: Decent quality hooks, I like buying them from specialist wool shops. Basic metal or plastic ones I get from craft suppliers on eBay.

    DMarie: Thanks!

    Cate B: I used this pattern when I made my first couple, and just kinda improvise it when I make them now. (I obviously use thicker thread too – just what I have to hand, typically cheap dishcloth cotton, and an appropriately sized hook.) You need to know three crochet stitches to make them – chain, single crochet (which is known as double crochet in UK English terms) and double crochet (treble crochet in the UK). Those are the three most basic crochet stitches and you can make all sorts of stuff with them – and there are lots of tutorials/videos around the web to show you how to do them. Good luck – and let us know how you get on!

  9. Mary H

    Your crochet projects are lovely. I’ve enjoyed crochet for years. Right now I’m working on some wrist warmers for my daughter in a variegated fingering-weight wool, pretty and soft. I made a large crochet hook a couple of years ago from a stick of crepe myrtle when I needed one for crocheting a rag rug. It was fairly easy and looks pretty. I left most of the handle “au natural” and the carved and peeled part have become very white and smoothly polished with use.

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