Friday 15 March 2013

Me and the Hook

My sweet Mama is left handed.  I am right handed.  And the only thing that I couldn't learn from her was how to knit.  It's never been a major regret because as you may well know, I'm relatively impatient when it comes to crafts..I like to see the result forming before my very eyes.  And of course, I'm rubbish about learning.  I just want to be good at it straight away.  
So I find myself in my late forties.  My eyes need help for cutting and small print and I haven't trusted my colour matching in non-daylight hours for a good few years, so I tend not to do paper crafts in the evening.  Besides, I rather like to pass an evening in the company of my husband.  There's no better indication of our vibrant and successful marriage than sitting through his choice of TV programme whilst he snores gently on the sofa, clutching the remote as if it were the money for the ferryman.
When I got my iPad, I thought it would banish this sort of boredom; I would inform myself, keep in touch more readily and stay caught up with the blogs I like to visit.  It's not iPad's fault, but this is not the case.  After a day of using the computer for work and contact, it's not always what I want to do.  Even joining and browsing Pinterest hasn't worked really - I have that nagging feeling of wasting time.  
So guess what.  I have often marvelled at the selection and availability of yarns and the potential for them.  I've been jealous of the ability to knit - without the slightest intention of wanting to put myself out and learn.  So I thought I'd have a bash at crochet.  I bought a hook, a ball of chunky, and with help from Pinterest and lots of tutorials, I've started.  I've made two wearable and decent cowl type scarves.  I've made lots of large squares which are destined to be a bedcover.  At some stage.  I'm not in a hurry with this.  Because, I can make a square and a half in an evening without any effort now.  The stitch routine is embedded in my head and I can look up and even talk whilst doing it.  It's the production of the square that I like.  If I had to do the blanket as a whole, it wouldn't happen.  

I think leaving the yarn thing until I'm this age has it's advantage -I definitely know myself well enough to know which projects are worth setting out on and which will fail because of my inherent need for gratifyingly 'fast' results.

What I hadn't expected was the 'hook' actually hooking me in.  I'm really enjoying it.  I've bought more yarn and am even experimenting with different weights and makes before I choose what to do with them - the green above for example, I really like it, but it's much thinner and I'll have to adapt the pattern and use a bigger hook to make squares that will fit the blanket pattern.  But I know I can. And I don't feel I've wasted an evening if I opt against using it or undo it, this is a refreshing first for me.  I haven't gone completely over the top in the purchasing stakes.  But I could.  Nor have I experienced the toil of joining squares together - that is very much on the cards (see the previous post if you're vaguely interested).  
I'm enjoying the learning; it's so much easier with tutorials - so a big up to all the people who don't mind the sound of their own voices on YouTube and also for the many great photo tutes that I've used.  Learning visually is so much easier.  
I have applied one house rule to all this though.  No crochet work until after supper each day, unless I'm the 'assistant' on a delivery van round.  It could swallow up hours.  


Stitching Lady said...

Julia, you are writing of things which are exactly the same in this house - knitting, crocheting only after work, sitting with DH - and his zapping along the programs and more....

Annie said...

What a lovely post Julia. New learnt skills are so rewarding aren't they? I used to crochet baby clothes/shawls in my spare time back in my nursing days for the extra pennies and can even claim to have made a full circular baby shawl in a day once :-)
Have lots of fun.
A x
ps and as your post left me with a big smile on my face today why not link it on my blog for others to share?

Gill Edwards said...

Julia i am so on your wavelength over this. I can knit, just about, but have never mastered crochet. I too need 'fast' results or i get bored and give up and i flit from one craft to another all the time. I am so pleased for you that you've found a craft you love and you are really good at it too. I look forward to the finished result.

Gill x

Craftychris said...

Well done you! I haven't done crochet for ages and am only a novice but you have inspired me to get hooked again myself! The last time my crochet hooks were used was to do up my daughter's wedding dress! Thank you Julie - will start tonight! xx

fairy thoughts said...

Hi Julia
Have you been in my lounge in the evening... I guess it is the same all over :).
Dont you just love it when a plan comes together, eg the crochet, it's great that you are enjoying it and as it is so portable you can take it anywere.

Di said...

Hang on - do we all share the same chap?! Make one move though to carefully remove the remote and he's up on his hind legs like a meerkat declaring 'I was watching THAT'.

Love that you've taken up crochet - one thing I've never managed to do. A friend recently bought me a latch hook cushion cover kit to play with though - it's still sitting in the box looking lonely!!

Hugs, Di xx

JoZart Designs said...

Woo hoo! Join the Hookers! I do it everywhere I go and as a result I am on my 6th fabulous heirloom blanket for the family in just one year. Journeys to Brighton, Germany etc., have been fruitful and rewarding. I've never had a problem taking me hook on a plane either!
Take a look at my scarf pattern...
I made dozens of them and they are so wearable and popular. Pattern available if you like it in both Knit or crochet.
love jo x

Deb said...

i do knit but have never quite mastered the art of crochet, I can go round and round a blanket when someone starts me off. I do want to learn some day and you are inspiring me to do so! Must admit, I am an evening knitter too, often only for a half hour while watching the news or sitting in the car waiting for the kids to come out of a music lesson (always late!)

Unknown said...

I have not crocheted for years but I still have my hooks, I knit when asked, and produced quite a few hats last winter. Am going to look at the scarf pattern on jozart's blog. Keep up the good work. Hooker!

Redanne said...

Hi Julia, I love to knot and to crochet but have not done either for a while now, must get it all out again...... hope you will show us some finished pieces...... Hugs, Anne x

Lunch Lady Jan said...

Wow, those are good!! I guess the spirit of the 'elephant' is no more....... :)

Angie said...

Well done you with your crochet I have said before ...I used to do both knitting and crochet over 30 years ago ...and then all the knowledge deserted me ...managing to knit a bit now but I am all thumbs when I try to crochet.

I roared at your discription of an evening at your house...that was EXACTLY how it was at mine...finally I worked out that I could gently remove the controller .....drop the sound ... slowly...change the channel ...and then gradually increase the sound ...keeping Hubby snoring happily in his chair. If the channel was just changed he would awake stating 'I was watching that'. xx

505whimsygirl said...

Hi Julia,

Very cool! I do my knitting in the evenings in front of the t.v. Only I don't have a husband so the remote is comfortably by my side! tee hee

Have a wonderful weekend!


Monica said...

A world away I can have the same evening and enough wine i can join in the snoozing!

Mrs.D said...

Like you I also crochet in the evening, and hubby's snoozes through his choice of tv with remote in his hand. I have made some blankets over the past few months and there are some pictures on my blog.

Brenda B said...

"I haven't gone completely over the top in the purchasing stakes. But I could." - Ha!! I give it a couple of months, if that! Well done for teaching yourself, I like to do that too. I can't crochet though, useless, everything turns out a completely different shape to what it's supposed to, not that I've tried it for years. I can't knit and have the tv on, too much of a distraction. And as I work full time, I tend to knit when I come in until dinner time, and then spend the evening with Andrew.


Kim said...

My dear old Nan tried about three million times to teach me to knit - I just couldn't get the hang of it. I didn't learn to crochet until I was well into my forties either. I love the way it grows quickly - trouble is - now I have about 7 unfinished crochet projects to add to the 12 unfinished cross stitch projects which add to the ..... you get the picture?!

Unknown said...

Gosh Julia I can so relate to all this esp the bit about not crafting at night and do definitely need the specs for visual aid. Now as for sitting with hubby while he watches sport, that is a no no, we have another TV at the other end of the room which is 'mine' I also have my own video recorder and we both have headphones so that we don't hear each others' programmes - so civilised lol.

Now I admire your enthusiasm for the crochet squares but you know you'll never ever get to the point of putting them all together for a bed cover - will you! Ask me how I know rofl but good luck with it.
Happy crocheting,

Heathers Inspiration said...

Your post made me smile, firstly Hubby on the sofa as Rob my better half always tells me he is resting his eyes when he nods off in the chair :)
And Knitting etc...
I have never progressed beyond scarves, just finishing one at the moment. Am not a natural knitter but find it really relaxing to do.
Crochet sounds great to do.
Have a Lovely weekend Heather x

Kyla said...

Oh yes, we can all sympathise (though I sit on the remote so he cannot find it!). As a lefty myself with a right handed mother I can understand the difficulty. You have certainly embraced the joys of crochet though (my granny square turned out as a triangle so I decided it wasn't meant to be!), maybe we will see you dying your own yarn to crochet next?!


Elizabeth said...

Hi Julia, I've just checked to see if there is a CCTV camera in our lounge - you've clearly been privy to the EM's nightly power naps whilst clutching the remote too. Oh, and I almost choked on my tea when I read this :)

I'm a born again crocheter and now happily while away time spent on the sofa whilst 'watching' the 9pm drama most evenings. The EM enjoys the company and I feel productive.

The YouTube is a great source of tutorials and links to crochet patterns - given the cost of paper patterns today that's a bonus.

May you long continue to be hooked :)) Hugs, Elizabeth xx

SueH said...

Knitting and crochet seem to come and go as trends but it’s definitely making a comeback again at the moment.
I learnt to crochet before I taught myself to knit but I haven’t crocheted in years. No knitting either for that matter until just recently when my god daughter announced she was expecting her first. You’ve seen the shawl already but since then I’ve got the knitting bug and made three little cardigans, a hat and a pair of booties.

Your throw is going to looks beautiful in the colours that you’ve chosen and it’s such a good feeling to have something to show for the time that otherwise would have been wasted at the end of it, so keep up the good work.

Happy Crafting!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

You have found the perfect past time when playing passenger in a vehicle, or watching mundane TV.

I read or possibly saw on TV years ago, that you should learn to either knit or crochet from someone whose dominate hand is opposite to yours. That way, you sit directly across from the teacher and view it as you would your own yarn. Most people want to sit next to someone, which puts all kinds of undue strain on your neck, and frustration. Of course, that was long before the videos of people sitting directly behind a camera.

Glad to see you got hooked on this craft, although I had to give up both crochet and knitting when my arthritis got so terribly bad. And I'm also an instant gratification person, so knitting (and crochet, too) takes too long to make a single project.

Like you, I've made many granny squares assembly fashion, and to date, have never put a single square together with any other square. Says something about how I feel about crocheting, I guess.

sara j said...

Love this post. I learned how to knit - just knit, no pearl about three or four years ago. Everyone I knew got felted bags - which were super simple, and one year I made almost 50 cotton wash cloths. The yarn comes in so many pretty color combinations. Like you I wanted something to do that was shut off in the craft room.
Thanks for writing this....I'm still smiling.

misteejay said...

Julia it is great that you are enjoying a new skill and one that you can do in the company of DH (even if he has fallen asleep LOL).

There are certainly some lovely yarns out there and I recently treated myself to a complete set of crochet hooks in a lovely case - I'll share some pics when it arrives.

Toni xx

Lisa said...

It took me years to learn too... Mum tried to teach me and she would start me off with a square and I'd always end up with a ball!! anyway I decided a few years back I was gonna crack this crochet lark and looked around, got myself some lovely wool and a bamboo crochet.... its great making something useful for a change lol


Queen Lightwell said...

lol I am so glad I am not the only one to have the experience of sitting down to crochet and getting up to find whole days have passed by! Now I just won't crochet unless I have a few days to lose. :)

famfa said...

Loved reading this. So glad you are hooked. I love crocheting and knitting and find wool amazing. So many different types and colours and weights. Super. Keep going.
Famfa x

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