Wednesday, May 27, 2009


My first few attempts at crochet were scarves. The idea was that I had run out of student loan money and needed to give meaningful gifts to my family for Christmas. So they got handmade scarves. Bless them, they accepted them graciously enough, but I don't really blame them for not wearing them. Ever. Well, I did see my step dad wearing his blue and white scarf a couple of times. . . .

I was really proud of my mom's red and white and my sister's pink and gray scarves simply because I had just learned how to crochet in stripes. I had not learned yet how to end a stripe smoothly, but that came with time. They both only got one stripe on each end because I was in a hurry and did not know about the time saving tapestry needles.

Scarves were a great start for me. What you see in the picture were simple double crochet stitches. I found that it took less time to use double crochet because they were bigger stitches and got me a lot further in less the time.

This green scarf was completed for my sister's birthday, which was less than a month after Christmas.
The basket weave pattern was simple enough. I got the idea for it from a book, but of course there are plenty of video examples like the one I linked above online. The site I've linked you to is super beginner stuff, so just in case you don't know anything, she will show you how to start from a chain.

I really liked the look of this pattern, but decided to stop about five inches in just because (as the lady will tell you on those videos) it takes up a lot of yarn and a lot of time. I did the mid section with a new stitch I really liked called the half double crochet, or hdc. I liked this stitch because it's somewhere between a single and a double crochet and I just liked the way it looked. I ended up alternating rows between hdc and sc (single crochet). I think it turned out nicely.

As you can see from the photo, I still hadn't gotten a grasp on when to finish a row and when to turn. You can see it in the way the beginning hdc row seems to lean out over the basket weave rows. My frustration with ending rows prompted me on to my next step in my crochet journey, crocheting in the round.

It's not Knitting! It's Crochet!

People who aren't a part of the fiber arts world often mistake knitting for crochet. One of my favorite examples came in the form of a gentle chastisement from my manager at work. She left a friendly reminder on the refrigerator at the coffee shop where I am employed that there are any number of side jobs we could be doing instead of sitting around, reading, playing board games, or knitting. This last reference was pointed directly at me since none of my coworkers had picked up any knitting needles to my knowledge in the past. So I wrote a note and attached it to her note. "It's not knitting! It's Crochet!" I hope she didn't take offense. . . .

My obsession with crochet started during Christmas Break my first year back in college. I was home with nothing to do, so I got it in my head that I would learn to crochet. I had picked up knitting a few years earlier, but had lost interest because it's HARD. I decided to try crochet mostly because it looked a lot easier. I never thought I liked the look of it as much as knitting, but as time went on and I learned different techniques and uses for the craft, I fell in love.

I usually only crochet during school breaks since my brain is usually fried and all I really want to do at the end of my day is sit and watch t.v. or hang out with my boyfriend. School breaks are my time to shine (crochet wise, that is).

I have not attempted clothes as of yet. I'm nervous about becoming one of those people who make crochet sweaters for their friends as Christmas gifts. My main passions started with scarves, moved to Amigurumi, and now have settled in the Afghan realm. I will probably revisit the Amigurumi for the sake of my classroom. Those will come in handy. I actually made the bunny who now stars in my Rabbit Files blog. He took almost no time at all to make. I'll post pictures of my crochet adventures in the future, but for now, I'm Katie and I don't knit, I crochet.