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.