A week or two ago, I tried my hand at crochet for the first time ever. My only experience of yarn-based crafts is being taught to knit by my Nanny when I was about seven, which wasn't a great success. The scarf I made ended up with unexplained holes running right through it (ahem) and all these years later I still remember just not feeling it with knitting. As for crochet, it was something I never even bothered to try to learn as my mum was an expert crocheter. She crocheted blankets, hats, and even a dress for me when I was in my early twenties. Here's a crocheted poncho, modelled here by a baby Handmade Jane when she was a mere eight bricks high!
In case you're wondering, the chihuahua was called Sandy
But the thing I will always remember my mum crocheting and which was brought back to me after reading Scruffy Badger's wonderful recent post about her own crafty mum, was ABBA hats. By an ABBA hat, I mean a crocheted skull cap with a flower on the side, as worn by Agnetha herself. She used to crochet tons of them, then sell them to her colleagues in the hospital where she worked. They were very popular and she could barely make them fast enough - I used to love watching her make them. Ah, happy days!
Ever the optimist, I was hoping that with such expert crochet genes, I might discover my own hidden talent up my sleeve...
So along I went to a three hour crochet workshop with my friends Berni and Chris. There were only five of us in the class, so the teacher - Emma - could give us all quite a bit of attention. We started by learning how to make a chain of stitches. Then we were taught how to do a treble stitch. Then the two skills were put together to make a crochet flower. Chris and Mamta picked it up immediately and their stitches were enviably perfect.
Berni took a while to pick it up, but she got it eventually and was thrilled with the progress she made.
However, myself and the fifth attendee - Bekka - sadly just didn't get it at all. I simply couldn't work out what was happening and it took me almost an hour to actually get my hands to hold the crochet hook and yarn the correct way. Like a lot of crafts, I think the more I practice, the better I'll become and maybe crochet won't seem like a complete and utter mystery anymore. Maybe? I don't know, the work I did at the workshop was pretty dreadful. Here's the fruit of my three hour labour - the teeniest tiniest crocheted flower you're ever likely to see, riddled with holes, and not intentional ones either.
Despite this, I really enjoyed the lesson and it was great seeing my friends discover skills they didn't realise they had. It was also reassuring that I wasn't the only one who just didn't have a clue what was going on (thank you Bekka!) I doubt whether I'll try to conquer crochet by myself though, I just didn't feel the love! I've a gut feeling that for me, crochet will be a bit like using chopsticks - something I've tried to master and still can't get to grips with years later. My brain just doesn't get it! I wonder if that's the experience of anybody else or if I'm just a bit thick where crochet is concerned? Has anybody else struggled to understand how to crochet and suddenly a light of understanding goes on? Does it take years of practice? Or did you all pick it up straight away? And finally, did anybody else's mum crochet ABBA hats in the seventies?!
Happy Monday everybody. x