I like crochet, I really do…the problem is, my skills are rather limited! I only know one stitch really, so everything I’ve ever made has looked pretty much the same (see a few examples here, here, here and here).
I realised things would have to change after I finished my new hat, snood and gloves for a ski trip I’m going on in a few weeks – more double crochet!! In an attempt to make this set look different, I ended up decorating them with arrows made out of shrinky dinks (2 arrows pointing in the same direction means protection in native american symbolism, and I struggle not to fall over even when it’s not icy, so I think I’ll need it)
So, in an effort to improve my crochetery (a real word?) I have decided to try to learn some new stitches. I’ve had a real mental block on following patterns for years, and had convinced myself that I’d never be able to do it. I couldn’t even manage a granny square until I read somewhere that the US ‘double crochet’ is the equivalent of the UK’s treble crochet – no wonder I was finding it so hard to follow online tutorials! However, I got a copy of Crochet Workshop by Erika Knight, and she has such a good way of explaining things that I think I’ve finally managed to get over my pattern phobia and have actually learned a few things! I would highly recommend this book.
My first granny square. Thanks Erika!
Given my track record with crochet (and with most crafts, if I’m honest), I thought it would be a good idea to limit the amount I was allowed to do of each stitch, before starting on another. It’s too easy to learn to do one thing and then to stick with it, rather than learn something else new. I didn’t want to look back in 5 years time and discover that everything I had made was now in 2 stitches, rather than one! Therefore, I have decided to limit myself to a six inch square of each pattern, in each colour.
I’ve got a ton (figuratively) of half-finished and unused yarn in the house, which will do for this project.
So far, as well as the granny square, I’ve managed
1) Treble crochet – I thought I should probably start off easy!
2) Basketweave – actually, I told a bit of a fib, I could do this one too. Only because it’s just double crochets, done either into the front of the stitch or back of the stitch, throughout. I think it looks really effective!
3. Alternating clusters – this wasn’t as hard as I expected and turned out quite well I think!
4. Lacy puff – this is from Erika Knight’s book and on first reading, looked like something I would never be able to do in a million years. However, I took a deep breath, trusted Erika’s instructions, and managed it. I was so happy with it that I made it in a few more colours!
5. Rope stitch – another from the Crochet Workshop book – easy, and lovely and soft
6. French Square – I saw this in another Erika Knight book I picked up from the library, called Crochet Stitch Motifs. I think I’ll be perusing this book some more!
7. Fan and V Stitch – This was from Basic Crochet Stitches, another Erika Knight one from the library. I was getting a bit ahead of myself at this point and was a little over confident. I found this one a real struggle! I have managed a second square of it, just to prove to myself that I can do it, but I can’t say it was easy. However, it’s so pretty that I think I should persevere and try to master it.
8. Soft Bobble – This was fairly straightforward and feels lovely to the touch.
I’ve done a few of them in multiple colours, meaning I now have 25 squares! Now, I must try to stay motivated and learn some more, as well as get a bit better at the ones I’ve already learned. I will update the blog with my progress!