The Sewist

I sew, knit and crochet hats. (Not all at the same time. Whaddaya think I am - a machine?)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Yes, you can crochet!

Just don't look at the book cover to the left too much just yet. It'll be too intimidating. Once you understand the language of crochet than you can lovely scrutinize every little pixel of this book cover, zoom in on it if you wish.

So ignore "Amazing Crochet Lace: New Fashions Inspired by Old-Fashioned Lace" for the moment. I want to tell you that crochet is easy to learn. Go find a hook in your house - you'll probably at least have one owned by your mother or grandmother. Just don't use one that's paper-thin with a teeny-tiny tip. Find some yarn, something substantial enough that won't slip out of your hands.
This is the hardest part, creating the chain. Tie a knot onto the hook. Eventually you'll do what's called a slip knot, but we're not going to worry about that right now. We just want you to get started. Now with the hook inside that knot, put some yarn over the tip with the hook. Pull it through with the hook in your right hand, holding onto that tail like tomorrow will never come. (It's true you can crochet with your southpaw. Even though I'm left-handed, I don't bother. It gets too complicated when you're following a pattern).
Voila! A loop. Now keep creating loops. Keep holding onto that tail. (Be thankful it doesn't actually belong to an actual creature which would likely bite you after suffering such cruelty). Create about 14 loops. Now work in the opposite direction, like you're reading in reverse. Or you could think of it this way: you're running upstairs in a high-rise. One corner to the next (with considerably less exertion in crochet, thank goodness.) Back to your chain gang: dive into the second loop away from your hook, pick up some yarn, and pull it through. Two loops on the hook. Pull one through so there's only one loop left. You've just created a single crochet. Hurrah!
Now repeat that trick. Pretend you're at the circus. You're a clown with a white face. You want applause for each sommersault, even it's somewhat sloppily executed. Don't think about it too much, just crochet! Keep at it til you reach that slipknot. Tada! You've finished the hardest part. You've created fabric. You're like God (almost), you can make something out of nothing. Pat yourself on the back. Now treat yourself to a Mrs. Field's chocolate-chip cookie. (Now during your snack break you can look at the book cover. Don't try to figure out the pattern just yet. Don't even think, "I could never do that." Just admire the shawl for what it is: a pretty piece of apparel. End of lecture.)
Which brings me to my next point (always good to do when you're enjoying sweets): if you already know to how crochet, when and how did you learn?


Blogger Chelsea said...

My grandma taught us how to crochet little chains without hooks, just using our fingers. We went hog wild and crocheted miles and miles (well, we thought it was long) of chain. When we brought it back to my grandma's she was a little bit disappointed that we didn't want to make anything crocheted. We just wanted to make the chain as long as possible.
I also started a potholder when I was growing up, but it didn't get much past the bookmark size.
But then in college, my friends all started making afghans, and of course I started making them too. All that extensive experience of crocheting as a child just fell together, and the afghan (and a subsequent one or two) seemed really easy... even though they took forever! :)

3:41 PM  

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