Last Sunday I ‘Learned’ to Crochet.

When I stop and think about it I have been crafting since I was about 7 years old. This was when I was in brownies (like girl guides/scouts) and decided to get my crafting patch by learning to knit. I did learn to cast on, casting on (and pulling off) over 1,000 stitches. After that I began to knit, and still have in my craft box a garter stitch scarf that is several meters long, but only 4 stitches wide.  My lovely Nana was patient enough to sit with me and teach me to do Purl stitch when I was about 9 years old (see, even then I was into consolidating a skill before tackling something new:) ). By the time I was 15 years old, I had a stash of wool and some Jean Greenhowe books, knitting toys to sell at fetes and give to friends.

When I was a little older I tried my hand at Tatting, link to that story here.

But this post is about crochet, right? Yes, and here is that story: When I was around 9 years old there was a ‘trend’ at school to ‘finger knit’, essentially using your finger to loop thread and pull it over instead of a crochet hook. Again, I made an extraordinarily long chain of thread. Looking back, it is this repetition that helps to solidify  skills. I know now that ‘finger knitting’ is a basic chain in crochet, and had tried once before to transfer this skill to follow a pattern. Again, I have tried on occasion to figure out DC (double crochet stitch) and TC (treble crochet) and start following a pattern…but it rarely looked right and I ended up in a tangled mess. Motivation to learn came from 2 places in the last few weeks; a friend was learning to crochet and I thought I would like to try again, and then, being winter now in Australia, none of my winter hats from last year have washed up that well, and I was in need of hats that cover my ears (I get sinusitis very easily…if my ears are covered when I am outside in cold wind, I have less chance of this occurring again).  When I sat down last Sunday, and read the instructions in my ‘learn to crochet’ book very carefully it clicked! I did a sample patch of DC, pulled it apart and then did TC. Excited I then made a wonky flower, and then launched into a sample hat (in orange thread). By Monday I had finished this sample hat and began making another hat in beautiful Moda Vera Wool. By last night (Saturday) I had made my third hat for the week, from wool I had never quite finished knitting into a different hat. These are pictured below. Both are very warm, and I was able to easily extend the pattern to cover my ears. I am excited about Crochet and how quick it is to do. I am inspired as I can now make Amigurumi and an R2D2 hat for my son, LT. I still love tatting, but it is nice to have conquered another craft. Challenging my brain to think in different ways, and see how different crafts develop patterns is very interesting to me.

The Facebook page reached 150 likers/followers, so to celebrate I will be giving away one of my ‘craft packs‘ to a random winner. To be in the draw you will need to comment here on the blog, and have ‘liked’ the facebook page (So I can contact you through facebook) and tell us about your favourite craft at the moment and what motivated you to want to learn it. I will number the comments and use a random number generator to select the winner. I will draw this next Sunday, July 14th, and will post internationally. Winner will be announced on Facebook on the same day.  Draw now complete. You are welcome to comment, but the prize has been allocated, Thanks 🙂

So, what is your favourite craft at the moment and what motivated you to learn it?

Until next week, Happy Tatting (Or Crocheting :))

Fiona T

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21 Comments

Filed under Crochet and other craft, Eye Candy

21 responses to “Last Sunday I ‘Learned’ to Crochet.

  1. I’ve tried knitting several times, but never got beyond plain and purl and always found it quite time consuming. I’m loving crochet, it’s so much easier than knitting and I love that by mastering only a few stitches I can create something really impressive looking.

    • Thanks Nicole, Yes, Knitting is a bit slower than Crochet….and tatting is really a labour of love 🙂

      • And one from Mercy Pres via intatters blog: I learned the basic crochet chain from my mother at 9. Mother crocheted beautiful pieces but never could use written instructions, so could not really teach me. A very special lady bought me a book of ‘how to’ crochet and knit, along with yarn, knitting needles (size 2), and crochet thread. I learned both from that book and have had a life long love of handwork since.

  2. I am a bit of a crazy crafter. At the moment my favourite craft is Tatting and making Shambella Bracelets. Tatting has been my go to craft since November last year. 🙂
    I am Samantha Manderson. AKA Rogue.

  3. natalekku

    Very lovely hats! Crochet is a wonderful hobby and making Amigurumi is a lot of fun (there are even some Star Wars Amigurumi patterns available – I’ve finished a Wookiee and have several others on my to-do-list).

    Tatting is currently my favorite craft. One of my friends was part of the local tatting guild and taught me. I’m now teaching others. I love it. I started last August and my main motivation was learning enough skills to tat Anne B’s Minor Norwegian Dragon. Now I can’t get enough of tatting.

  4. I enjoyed your story of learning to tat! Congratulations on learning to crochet so successfully!

  5. I am tackling my first patchwork quilt, as I want to make a hanging for our 25 wedding anniversary on the 16th of July. I learned to crochet at 7years and knit not long after that, but didnt learn to tat until in my early 20’s and cross stitch at the same time. Tatting is my current relaxation.

    • Thanks everyone, it is lovely hearing about your projects and craft motivation.

    • What a lovely goal for a quilt, and congratulations on your upcoming anniversary. What sort of blocks do you have on it (wondering if there is any silver)? I did a machine quilting course around 2002, and only very recently got around to finishing the quilt top. I still need to put on the binding…it is on the ‘one day’ 🙂

    • It is 5 x5 blocks (25) and has 13 simple photo blocks and 12 plain blocks all with the 12 tatted hearts from Teri’s tatted hearts . will post a picture on face book next week when it is finished.

  6. I can crochet up a storm. very fast and very well.
    But my all time fav is Tatting which I do a lot of. I learned both from my grandmother on my father’s side. She used to make me crocheted rugs. And tatted many pretty things.

  7. So glad you’re learning another skill! Crocheting is a wonderful craft and fun to do! Years ago I made a Barbie bridal dress for my niece, and many doilies and a vest for myself (in the ’70s!), and did some Irish crochet. I had a problem, however, crocheting with fine threads and the fine hooks. Tatting makes it so much easier to use the fine threads – once you learn how to tat! I’m very impressed that you kept investigating tatting! Obviously you were intrigued by it!

    I was also intrigued by tatting and was desperate to learn, but It took me 33 years! I learned to knit and crochet from the same Learn How book at age 12 in the 1950s, and did a lot of both, especially knitting (joined a Guild, entered Fairs), but could NOT understand the tatting instructions in ANY publication. I was quite frustrated about this. Finally in 1989 (age 45!) I met someone who showed me the correct motions of the shuttle, and I SLOWLY learned how to do rings (but didn’t do chains for several months!) , it wasn’t until I started demonstrating in 1990 (an amazing story in itself) – still before the internet – that I fully understood what I was doing (forced to slow down) . I came to the conclusion that, teaching the ring first in tatting was NOT the way to go. The CHAIN should be taught first – with TWO COLORS of thread. FINALLY, this method is being recognized. I have shown how to tat this way for 20 years, but knew I was ‘rocking the boat’. Therefore, I was delighted when Janette Baker’s DVD in 2010 showed this method as Lesson No. 1. (Some internet videos also finally started showing it.) I felt vindicated!

    However, there was one other VERY IMPORTANT ‘key’ to tatting for me, and that is the CROCHET HOLD. In fact, I knit, crochet and tat holding my thread as if I’m crocheting. (Knitting this way is called the Continental or German style.) When I discovered I could TAT with the crochet hold (fortunately I learned this early on, before tendonitis set it!), I just took off. After knitting and crocheting for years, holding the thread this way made it so easy to tat. I’m always pleased to ‘meet’ other tatters on the internet who hold the thread this way.

    I’m bringing this up because it also discourages me to read that crocheters often feel that KNITTING is too ‘difficult’ or too slow; and it may be because they’re not knitting Continental style, which means the yarn comes from the left hand (if a right-handed knitter), as in crocheting. Knitting speed increases dramatically! Ribbing is a breeze, and Fair Isle knitting (with two colors) combines both the British and Continental methods. A lot of information and videos are available on the wonderful internet!

    By the way, my Blogger blog is “Kathy’s Victorian Tatted Lace”. I discovered your blog through Gina the Tatting Goddess, who, as you know, passed away last year – a huge loss to the tatting world. I still use her blog roll to keep up with many tatters, and it’s a way of remembering Gina. I never met her in person, but I regarded her as a ‘friend’, as did many others!

    • Thanks for the detailed story Kath, you sound like a kindered spirit! Yes, Tatting and Crochet have intrigued me for a long time. I hadn’t really stopped to consider the way I hold the thread in knitting, but that may be why I find it pretty slow going, and rarely attempted more than small toys or hats. Very interesting point. Also, I must update my blog roll too, I am finding many more blogs around craft the I think are worth linking to.

  8. jen clark

    my main craft is tatting. Bored and lonely in a new country town there were tatting classes at the local neighbourhood house so I went….stupidly thinking it was bobbin lace. Looked dumbfounded when teacher handed me a shuttle….but..hey…I had paid so what the heck!!!! Turned into one of my great craft loves….still is 14 years later!!!

    • Sometimes these ‘surprises’ are the best. Great to hear is has become your main craft, and that it has helped you be part of both the town community and our global one!

  9. Liz Hinds

    It took me years to figure out how to crochet and now I’m addicted. I like how crochet grows quickly and requires minimal equipment. It’s also a great way to use up wool scraps. yarn craft seems to be becoming a lost art so it’s wonderful to find out that there are actually lots of people out there around my age that actually know how to put yarn & wool to good use!

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