Monday, February 20, 2012


I have learned to crochet! Hooray!

I've been wanting to crochet for ages and have tried to learn a few times using books and YouTube videos, but I never got very far. So a few weeks ago a booked myself in for a beginners crochet class which took place on Saturday at Prick Your Finger in Bethnal Green, East London.

excellent crazy bird's nest made up of knitting/spinning/crochet bits and bobs

The shop is amazing with rows and rows of yarn of all colours and textures lining the walls and all sorts of knitted oddities here and there. There were six of us in the class and we sat together with our cups of tea in the front of the shop while shop owner Louise showed us the basics. We started with the foundation chain stitch, Double Crochet (which, to make things more confusing, is called Single Crochet in America) Treble Crochet (U.S. Double Crochet) we even went crazy and did some Double-Treble and Treble-Treble Crochet! We learned about making open mesh, scalloping the edge, and working in the round. Louise was very patient and very encouraging of us all and the couple of hours flew by. I was so engrossed in the new stitches that I didn't realise that it had begun raining - even though I was sitting facing the window!

This is what I made in the class.
Practising chain stitch, double, treble and double-treble stitch, playing with various spacing and clustering stitches to make a scalloped edge.

Armed with knew knowledge, and a new crochet hook, I went home and had a bit more of a play...
I looked up a pattern for Granny Squares and had a go.
After a couple of false starts I managed to make a square. Then I made another.

And then when I realised that I had been doing double-treble stitches instead of treble stitches, I made a couple more squares - ones that looked right this time!

I found that it was quite easy for me to think in crochet in a way that I haven't been able to do with knitting (which is why I haven't progressed beyond scarves!) so I thought I'd have an experiment with making a felted crochet bowl without following a pattern. So I started with a chain of 5 stitches, made it a loop and started stitching in the round. I increased when I felt like i should and ended up with a floppy bowl. I hand felted it (which I hadn't done before) but it was still too floppy, so I put it through a really hot wash in the washing machine with some towels for extra friction and it came out like this...

I like it. It has felted enough that it can hold its shape but you can still see a hint of the individual stitches.

It occurred to me that it would make a nice soup bowl cosy. Although I will have to trim back some of that fuzziness - no-one wants that in their soup!

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