Thursday, May 21, 2009

Crochet Chat

I have recently been reading some knitting blogs. Which is weird for me, because I only tried to knit that once and nearly clawed my eyes out and have maintained for years that I have absolutely no interest in knitting. I have been reading some derisive comments about crocheters, though and I feel like I read the knitting blogs because we have a lot of the same interests in pattern adaptation, yarn, fiber in general, charity needlecraft, etc. So, I have read this knitting meme on a few blogs (none of them were bashing the hooked among us, by the way - all the ones I regularly support are very nice people) and I thought I would adapt it to crochet and see what happens. Tomorrow I promise pictures of my current craftiness.
1.) How did you learn to crochet? My mom taught me to crochet when I was a kid, but it didn't take. When I went to GSP in high school, I took it as an extra-curricular. I was in a class of about ten girls being taught by a football coach/philosophy professor. What made the class especially interesting, though, was that there were two girls in there who were legally blind, so we learned by feel. For years, until I started doing more complex patterns, I could (and did) crochet in the dark - in movie theatres, when my roommate was asleep, etc.

2.) Did you have a teacher or any outside guidance? Well, it started with the professor at GSP, but my mom is pretty good, so she helped me out when I got stuck and taught me how to read a pattern and such. She also introduced me to thread crochet, which I LOVE!!

3.) How was it in the beginning? That's the great thing about crochet, it's as hard as you make it. We learned granny squares first and I could do a granny square in my sleep after about a week. It's not hard to learn because there are so few stitches. It only gets complicated when you are ready to complicate it. If you wanted, you could make a whole career out of granny square afghans without ever breaking a sweat. Or you could spend 35 hours on an intricate doily the size of a dinner plate. It's all up to your wants and needs.

4.) How long did it take to learn to love to crochet? If we strike the time as a kid that I barely remember, it was pretty instantaneous. I was always the type that needs something to do with my hands. I love to read, but that's about the only activity I can do all by itself. I have to do two things at once: cook and fold laundry, watch TV and crochet, write and play Vampire Wars. Crochet is easy to do while you do something else, especially watch TV. You don't have to watch every stitch unless it's a really hard pattern and it's easy to put down in mid-row and pick back up when the suspenseful part is over.

5.) What was your first project? I made a big ole pile of Granny Squares. At some point I tried to put them together into a blanket, but I don't think I ever got that part finished. I did make a blanket out of granny squares. It was a rainbow pattern and was supposed to fit a king sized bed. After about 7 years of putting it down and picking it up, I finally finished it, threw it on the only king sized bed in the house and discovered that it drug the floor on three sides. So, I put it in a box, where it still resides today.

6.) What do you wish you had made for a first project? My second project was a beret and I really loved it. I loved it so much that I've probably made 50 since. It's easy to resize or rework to fit different people, you can make it out of any yarn you have, it doesn't even take much so it's a good remnant project and you can wear it, unlike a pile of granny squares.

7.) Why do you love crochet? (I added this one) I love crochet because it's so adaptable to what you want out of it. When I am stressed, I can do something simple and calming, when I am mad, I can take it out on a really difficult pattern and it calms me. Mostly, it calms me. It's portable (unlike a lot of crafts I enjoy). It's fast. Sometimes I can only work on a project for a few minutes while I'm waiting on the timer to ding or trying to get tired enough to fall asleep and I can SEE progress on a crochet pattern in as little as five minutes. It's cheap. I mean, you can spend a fortune on yarn, but you don't have to and hooks are cheap and you only need about 15 to do absolutely anything and if you aren't interested in thread crochet, you can get by on 10.

I have, ever-so-recently decided that I may, at some point in time, be slightly interested in knitting. Mostly because the only real issue I have with crochet is that it is very difficult to do something solid. It's either lacy or it's a very, very boring string of sc. I love the lacy, but I have recently found myself looking at knitted hats and sweaters in stores and thinking about how I wish I could make something that substantial. Without gnawing through my wrist, that is.

Do any of you knitters have any ideas on good teaching books? I did the 4-H thing when I was in elementary school and I am not going that route again.


Susan said...

Ah, 4-H. I think they've improved since we were kids. No more horrible slippers or outdated hats (though berets ARE back in style...)

There are tons of how to knit books out there. I read a review that said "The A to Z of Knitting" is a good one that has descriptions of all techniques, including both styles of knitting (RH and LH), so you might try that. Since you already crochet and do other crafty stuff (like what, btw? I'm curious...) you shouldn't have much trouble. there are lots of tutorials online as well. Check youtube or google "knitting tutorial". Also, you're still living in G-town? You could get a knitting lesson from the nice lady who owns the LYS.

Jessi said...

Suze - I never even finished the horrible slippers and man were they horrible.

Thanks for the book suggestion, I'll look for that. I live in Sadieville now, but I'm not sure what the LYS is...

Other crafts... I sometimes cross stitch, I still sew a very, very little, I bead a little and generally walk through Michael's making up projects. I used to scrapbook, but it never really took. I liked buying the pretty stuff much more than I liked papercrafting. I'm mostly right now enjoying getting Brynna to craft. We've made soap and decorated her dresser. My best memories are of crafting with my mom. And what I learned from that wasn't so much specific crarfting skills as the attitude. She taught me there was nothing I couldn't make on my own, it was just a matter of what was worth it. I also developed that eye that looks at things and wonders what I could do with it. I want that for Brynna. Wow, that was like a whole other post. :)

Cathy said...

But your mom never, ever mentioned knitting, so if you learn to knit you're a much better crafter than I will ever be. I'm still trying to learn to tat though, so if you run across any books on that let me know (of course I already have a substantial library on that subject).

Susan said...

The LYS is called the Stone's Throw. It's in G-town, on Main St just north of the courthouse and it's a very cute little place. I can't remember the name of the owner. She's a little kooky in a good way. Her daughter works there, too.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

I'm learning to knit out of a generic "I taught myself to knit!" kit or somesuch title I bought at wally world. There's also lots of websites that give (free!) instructions on how to do that. I'm using a combination of the book that came with the kit and the internet instructions. I still haven't progressed past knitting 15 rows then dropping a stich, getting mad, and frogging the whole durn thing. I think when I actually have time to knit, I'll get the hang of it. Good luck!

Strangeite said...

I was hoping for a bitter flame war between Chrocheting and Knitting. It would be even better than the wars between Lord of the Ring geeks and Star Wars geeks. The just fight with either plastic or foam swords, depending on their specific craziness. Chrocheters versus Knitters would have weapons that could actual do damage.

Jessi said...

Maybe we'll have to do that in claymation, celebrity deathmatch style. I'll have to find those scissors that flip out like a butterfly knife.