Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Yarn Over: Hooked on Crochet

For the past, I don't know, seven years I have had the same new years resolution (along with lots of others that are a total failure by about March). The one consistent though was to learn how to crochet - I had lofty ambitions of granny square blankets like my Grandma used to make and cute beanies for my nieces. I decided that this year was the year - I wasn't able to bring my trusty sewing machine on our honeymoon adventure and I knew I would need a creative outlet, so yes this year I was going to learn how to crochet.

I packed with us in the camper a 3.5mm crochet hook and some 4 ply acrylic yarn. First mistake! I quickly realised this was what experienced crocheters used, I struggled through YouTube video tutorials and followed along with Pip's crochet lessons but basically I had no idea what I was doing! After lots of frustration and failed attempts at even the simplest of stitches I armed myself with new yarn and new hooks on our trip south at Easter. I even went to the little crafty wool shop back home and was encouraged by the lovely lady there who just told me not to give up! Yeah right, easier said then done, I was about to pack it all in and admit defeat.

One of my very first foundation rings - u.g.l.y!
Practice, practice, practice - at home in Thorpy in front of the fire with my very patient Mum

Back to YouTube I went, eating into our precious internet data usage. Things improved with the thicker 12 ply wool yarn and a metal 5mm hook...ever so slightly. I began to be able to crochet single crochet blocks, a bit wonkily admittedly as I missed or gained stitches along the way, but it was progress. I purchased this pattern on Etsy as it had plain blocks (which I was able to do). It was an 'intermediate' level but I was still ever the optimist!

Beginning to get the hang of it...
More practice, I kept missing stitches! 
The pattern I purchase off Etsy, I am making this in blue, white and grey for our new niece/nephew
Mastered plain single crochet blocks during Beef Week!

The 'simple' granny square still eluded me however. Apparently it was the basic of the basics for crocheters but I was like a bull in a China shop, all thumbs, I much preferred just working back and forth like knitting rather than 'in the round'. More YouTube lessons...

I persisted, and persisted, and persisted, all the while Matt was poo-pooing my crochet ambitions. We are expecting a new niece or nephew in October and I was determined that he/she would have a lovely crochet blanket from Aunty Em (albeit a bit wonky or not quite perfect).

And then....finally, finally, the penny dropped. I did my first granny square! It was like a switch had been flicked and I 'got it'. I was off and running, hooking around granny squares like an old pro. Well maybe not an old pro, but I was doing it. High fives all round and pats on back a'plenty. Woooo! 

My very first granny square! Colour change and everything. Yeah, I'm fancy like that.
Off and racing with the granny square production!
Now I was a woman obsessed. Not only did we have a new niece/nephew in October but my friend Amy is expecting Baby #4 in September. By now I was 'hooked' (har-har) and ordered some delicious Spud & Chloe yarn and some fancy-pants Japanese bamboo handled metal crochet hooks. Oh yeah, total professional. And when I started crocheting with this new glorious yarn, oh my! It was a bit exxy but so. well. worth. it! I've discovered the joy of crocheting with great quality yarn and don't think I could ever go back. Yes my name is Emma and I am a yarn snob!

My beloved Spud & Chloe yarn. It's delicious. 
Fancy pants new bamboo crochet hooks.
Colourful mini granny squares! 
The other granny square blanket I'm making for my friend's baby girl due in September.

I am now hooking my way around two baby blankets - a glutton for punishment. Now when I go back to the original blanket to do a square using the lesser quality yarn I cringe. Only the best for this little crocheter now! I'm so proud of myself for having the patience and persistence to master this skill, so out of character for me not to dramatically give up in a huff!

If you need me I'll be hooking my way around my 77th granny square...or something like that. Happy hooking!


  1. i am the same as you - learning to crochet has been on my new years list for about the last 3-4 years...and its on it for this year - but who wants to crochet when its sunny and warm outside ALL year round?!

  2. Yay! I love crocheting!! I too have only recently learned how to do it and was obsessed with making little granny square blankets. Like you, it finally just clicked after persistent trying! I have made several baby blankets and love making them. I have also started making headbands. Happy hooking :)

  3. What gorgeous squares and colours, glad you stuck at it. It took me ages to finally master the granny sqaure and when I did, I couldn't work out why it took me so long! Loving those bamboo crochet hooks, think I will need to invest in some.

  4. Bet your glad didn't give in. There going to be great blankets!

  5. Oh so there is hope for me yet... Your work is just delightful - Oh how i love those little squares... Charlotte is reading over my shoulder and she commented how lovely the photo of yarn looked... Clever bunny you are!

  6. Oh wow, your perfected squares look amazing!! I too have had 'learn to crochet' on my list of goals for the past I don't know how many years - I am determined one day I will get there and I hope I master it as well as you have. I'd love to be able to crochet a blanket to give to someone as a gift. I love the Etsy pattern you've bought x