In my on-going quest to master crochet, I’ve been browsing blogs and on-line pattern banks (Ravelry being my number one fav.) to help understand the mysterious art of hook and yarn. One of the blogs which inspired my crochet journey was http://sandra-cherryheart.blogspot.co.uk/ and in particular this picture and post;
So, I asked Sandra if she’d share her wisdom with me and here it is. Read on fellow crochet wannabees!
1. When did you take up crochet? Are you self taught or did someone (like mum or Grandma) teach you?
I’m pretty much self taught, which is why I crochet in such a cack-handed way today. Basically, as soon as I started knitting as an adult I started so see these gorgeous patterns which I was dying to make only to discover they were not knitted, but crocheted. Unlike knitting I’d never crocheted as a child and didn’t know where to start but I only lasted about a month before I gave in a decided I would have to learn. My sister and I brought a book and sat down one evening to master the art. Things did not go well, not for me at least. Frustratingly, my sister had done some crochet previously and was able to get into the swing of it a lot quicker than I did. After convincing me to stop pouting like a baby and just keep at it, I did persevere and got there in the end.
2. Why do you like this crafty medium so much?
I think the best thing about crochet, despite what I said above, is that once you have learnt it, it’s so much easier and quicker than knitting. You need less equipment, it’s easy to experiment with, best of all it’s so easy to have as many wonderful colours as you want.
3. What did you find the trickiest thing to master with crochet?
The hardest thing for me was holding the yarn in my left hand and keeping the tension on it. My hand just didn’t want to co-operate at all. It seemed such a strange an unnatural position for it to be in. It just took time and repeated practise for my hand to get used to it and feel comfortable. To this day I still hold my yarn in my own slightly weird way. Probably a down-side of being self taught, but hey, it works!
4. What’s your favourite thing to make?
Blankets. Without a doubt, it’s blankets. I can’t go too long before I want to make another one. I want to make one now in fact. The endless possibilities of colours and patterns will always mean there’s something new and exciting to make.
5. What inspires you to keep crocheting?
Everywhere I look I see something else I want to make. There’s Pinterest and all manner of gorgeous blogs that show me something else I could try every day. I look though a book of crochet stitches and see so many I haven’t tried yet and then there’s always a new yarn or a slightly different colour that cries out to be used.
6. What blogs do you follow and why?
Well, there’s the obvious ones I guess, Attic24, because if you are connected to the internet and you crochet, why wouldn’t you follow Lucy’s blog? Then Dottie Angel, because of the gorgeous colour combinations she chooses and Little Cotton Rabbits for the gorgeous yarn. Then there’s Country Rose, she makes beautiful things and has the sweetest blog about her crafting and her family. I also like C’est Facile avec Cecile and Petite Pimprenelle, being French I can’t really understand much of what they write, but the pictures alone tell a pretty fabulous story. Finally, she doesn’t crochet, but Annie at Knitsofacto could write about pretty much anything and I’d read it, I love her blog and always find it interesting.
Sandra’s three top crochet tips…
1. When you make your foundation chain, use a larger hook that you plan to use for the project you’re making, a good couple of sizes larger in fact. That makes the chain much looser and easier to work your first row of stitches into.
2. If you need a huge foundation chain for a blanket or something, instead of making 200 (or more) chains and then counting them a hundred times just to make sure you’ve got the exact right number, try this: Make a lose slip knot and then count them as you go, placing stitch markers every 50 stitches, just in case you lose your place. Then when you’ve got the number you want, chain a few extra stitches, 2 or 3 more for something small, maybe 10 more for a big blanket. Then work your first row, if you do have chains left over, carefully unpick your original slip knot and undo the chains you don’t need one at a time!
3. Take time to get to know some yarns by visiting real life shops. Acrylic yarn is a great place to start, and in my opinion, not just when you’re a beginner. But, some are nicer than others and it helps a lot to have a look and feel so you know what you’ll be dealing with. You can also look at pure wool, cash merino, cotton, and blends. Once you know what sorts of yarn you like to work with it’s much easier to order online.
Right everyone pick up that hook, grab your yarn and let’s crochet!