Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Stutterings

At the end of January I had the pleasure of taking a learn to crochet course at The Makery in Bath taught by the very patient and adept Rosee Woodland
Here is my first ever piece of crochet. Hard won over an hour or so. Rather tight and twisty. I thought it would be, as that aptly describes my first pieces of knitting. The focus and anxiety to get it right flow through my hands and translate into tightly wound stitches. I seem less patient with myself than I was when I learnt to knit as if somehow because I can do the one I should be able to do the other. I was no natural knitter but because it it flows now I think other crafts should feel the same. That belief certainly sabotaged my attempts to learn from a book which worked for me with knitting; with crochet I felt like I should be able to skip through that beginning section and get straight into the 'real' stuff and when I couldn't get it easily I didn't want to persevere.

So I was delighted to see details of this course, there really is nothing to beat having someone show you how to do a craft and be on hand as you hold up your creation because you can't even tell if what you're creating is what you should be creating! It was a mind blowing few hours which left my somewhat blurry of eye and very tired of hands. I didn't quite master the little granny square and make my pincushion which was our aim but I felt like I had the basics and could push on and get to grips with it easily from there.
I did well to start off with when I got home and did a couple of little samplers over a few different sessions to try and get comfortable with the hold and tensioning of the yarn which I find so difficult and different from that required in knitting. It should be easier to only have one hook rather than two needles but my hands don't yet agree! 

Naturally enough while work has been crazy and I've been lacking in any mental energy I've put aside the crochet in favour of the relaxation of some simple knitting. Trying to learn new things is hard on a brain and I want to make sure it remains fun. This afternoon having had a relaxing weekend with my Mama I thought I'd get out the gear again and see if I couldn't move on from the single and double crochet rows and make a granny square worth showing off. 
Nearly! I think this third one will get there though I couldn't finish it as I had to rest my paws a while as the strains of trying to find a way to hold it and get the right tension on the cotton take their toll on my fingers and thumbs! It's coming together though and the dream of the granny square blanket and the pleasure and deep absorption of learning a new skill are rewards enough to keep me slowly onwards.

18 comments:

Andrea... said...

You are doing so well! Like anything, it just takes practice and once you have mastered it you will be flying! Crochet is so quick. It is interesting how we all hold our hooks and yarns differently - it is whatever is comfortable for you. I saw a woman on a train recently who was doing some crochet and rather than move the hook to make the stitches, she was moving the yarn. It looked very strange and slow to me but it was obviously comfortable for her. Keep at it!! xx

Sea said...

I have been told I look like I'm knitting when I crochet. Doesn't matter though, as things turn out as they should.
Keep on trying, it is more portable than knitting.

Rose Red said...

Go you on the crochet! It's a great skill to have, a very nice complement to knitting. And there are a lot of great crochet patterns out there now (even for garments!). You'll get there and soon it will be like second nature!

Lynne said...

Congratulations on your perseverance.

Perhaps it's the cotton that makes it hard on your hands. May I suggest trying some softer and stretchier yarn like wool for a couple of practice runs?

Melissa said...

You are doing great! I think the third one will be a winner.

Charity said...

Congratulations! Once you practice a bit, it will feel just as natural as knitting, I know it! :o)

Kate! said...

I'm a knitter first, but I thought it would be interesting to learn crochet. Isn't a weird feeling to have yarn in your hands, but not know exactly what to do with it? It does take a little while, but you'll get comfortable with the whole thing. Like anything else, it just takes practice. ;)

I'd love to hear what granny square blankets you have in mind... My favorite is the pattern by Posy Gets Cozy.

drkknits said...

ah i admire your fortitude. like you, i found crochet so counter intuitive i put it away never to return, but the lure of the modern granny square is sometimes hard to resist. nice work, great colours.

artificiallymythic said...

Oh wow! That's awesome. I'm so envious, every time I try to crochet I mess everything up. But yours looks magnificent!

Spinster Beth said...

It looks great. I both knit and crochet and I think knitting is a bit harder, but crochet is definitely harder on my right hand. The crochet hook you are using is the only kind I will use now, it keeps my hand from cramping.

Granny squares are awesome. Good luck!

Bells said...

Oh look at you all with the crochet skills! Well done. I'm sometimes really glad I learned as a little girl and spent my childhood making really wonky granny squares. Starting now would be hard I think!

stitches from wales said...

It always looks awkward to me when I see people holding the yarn that way. But we all get used to the way we were taught and you will soon get the hang of it and put the rest of us to shame!!
Pauline x x

raining sheep said...

Wow, good for you. It looks like it is going well and pretty soon those granny squares will be flying off that hook :)

Linda said...

You are doing well, the tension does take a while but it will come. your dream of a blanket will come true! I love crochet as it is such a summery thing.

Modelwidow said...

Well done for persevering, keep going, you will get there, new things always feel odd to start, but there are so many ways to hold hooks, yarn etc you are bound to find your own favourite - one of my friends also throws the yarn like she's knitting, as Andrea mentioned, and yes it does look odd, but it works for her.

Rachel said...

I have no doubt you'll master this craft as well! I so want to learn crochet...there are a few patterns I covet...but like you, don't feel like I have the mental energy to try to pick up a new craft right now. In the meantime, I'll happily watch you getting better and better at it!

marycatharine said...

It looks great to me... although I can't crochet for the life of me so what do I know. Having a lesson is such a smart idea, you'll be crocheting granny square blankets in no time.

roseewoodland said...

Hurrah! Look at you go! I'm really pleased to see your progress :D
And you should have seen my first attempts...

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