Crochet – Adding to the Nanna Arts

by mutteringhousewife

I blame the craft shows. Such beautiful yarn! That’s what we knitters and crocheters call all the various combinations of plastic and fibre that can be spun into thread. Once you buy the yarn, then what? I’ve got my knitting skills up to such a point that I can knit a whole scarf with only a few wonky bits in it. But what then? Knitting actual garments is quite a giant step up and requires commitment and determination and a ton of yarn. I had a look at patterns for knitted beanies, but most of them involve circular needles and it turns out that if you want to make a beanie, you should crochet it.

Why didn’t I get my Nanna to teach me to crochet when she was compos mentis and also alive? I wasn’t even crafting at all then, I was busy getting married and travelling and having kids. It’s a lot easier to have someone teach you to crochet than teaching yourself over the Internet, but it will take your mind off your homicidal thoughts of the bathroom supply shop owner. I guess I could have travelled up to my Grandma’s retirement village to get one of her buddies to teach me (she didn’t knit, crochet, sew or cook, she spent all her time coping with an extremely difficult, but delightful, husband), but I thought I could manage.

Ha. I don’t know if you’ve tried, but to save you the effort here’s how it goes. There’s reams of instructions on starting to crochet. Descriptions of hooks, yarn weights. The most painstaking instructions and diagrams of how to form a crocheted chain. Then, with no warning,
Ch3 (counts as dc), 2dc in same st, skip 2 dc, *FPtr in next dc, ch1, BPtr in next dc, ch1, FPtr in next dc, skip 2 dc **, 3dc in next 2dc, skip 2dc; repeat from * around, ending last repeat at **.
Well, I ask you. The hell?!?

What you do next is to teach yourself some simple stitches. Look up double crochet on a site called Crocheting for Dummies, and make a circle of that.

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I don’t do video, I hate waiting for it to download, and I don’t know, it just irks me. I want a diagram. I had a breakthrough realisation that you can crochet a stitch into the stitch underneath more than once, and sometimes you skip stitches. Then I found a pattern for a beanie I wanted to make with some terrific rainbow coloured wool I found at Spotlight, which was unusual, they tend to specialise in cheap plastic imitations of wool, and looked up each individual stitch on the Crocheting for Dummies site. This hat was mainly FPdc and BPdc, so I eventually worked out those. Note, they’re hard to start off, but once you have a round of them it gets much easier.

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Getting that far was tricky, it involved a great deal of mental strength to ignore helpful comments from my offspring such as “that doesn’t look like a hat”, “is that the same as Chinese crochet? I saw a Chinese lady once with a ball of wool and a stick, is this the same?”, “why do some Chinese ladies have bobbed hair?”, “why isn’t six times eight the same as seven times seven?”. Actually that last one’s quite a good question, I’ll have to sit down with some xs and ys some time and work it out. Not now though, I have some schnitzelling to do, and I can’t stop crocheting.

Because now I have this!

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It does look like a hat, you just keep going 3BPdc, 3FPdc until you have it big enough. Now the littler two both want one, and I loved the wool so much I went back to Spotlight and bought the remaining couple of balls of it, so don’t think you can go up to Birkenhead Point and get some of your own, it’s all gone. The fabulous thing is you can do it without too much concentration, so you can do it while listening to tales of woe and joy from school and work, while watching Harry Potter AGAIN, while watching the Muffet climb what looks like a curtain and hang upside down from it,

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And while watching chess, which is what I’ll be doing this afternoon. Being a mum involves quite a lot of hanging around, which will now result in bonus beanies.

When I’ve done two of these, I’m going to do a black and white one to a different pattern for the husband, and who knows what after that. It’s very relaxing, and hard to stop, just one more round! Oh, I’ll still be beading and baking, baking rather more so, don’t worry. But while doing so, I shall have a warm head.

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