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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Learning to crochet-how frustrating!

Have you ever taught anyone to knit or crochet?  I have.  I got a lot of  "I thought this was supposed to be relaxing!" complaints through their gritted teeth.  Well, it is!  After the learning curve, that is.  There is a process. (S)he who would learn to crochet one day must first learn to pull up loops and chain and yarn over and SC and DC and FPTC; one cannot simply crochet into crocheting.  Well, Nietzsche said it better, but you get the point.

My advice to them?  Keep trying!  Remember how hard it was to learn anything new as a kid?  How long did it take you to learn to tie your shoes? How many times did you fall while learning to ride a bike? But you try again till you get it!

 The first thing I ever crocheted was a granny square afghan.  I kept it for about 17 years before donating it. I could always tell which square was my first.  It was fully twice the size of the other squares, which were mostly the same size once I got my tension evened out.

Once I figured out my tension, learned a few more stitches, and taught myself to read patterns, I loved what I was doing!  I wanted more!

After you learn the different stitches and how to keep your tension steady, you can work on designs. Mixing different stitches to create a unique look  is one way.  Changing colors is another way.  Do both and be careful, because you can create rather a mess of things.  Not to say it can't be done well, it can and does and is!

But first, you need to start at the beginning.  Learn to chain stitch, learn to single crochet, do a project that give you lots of practice on them, then move on to the next thing.  I found a scarf pattern here, for a very basic scarf. I think that scarves are the best project to start on because they are finished quickly and give a feeling of accomplishment while giving you lots of practice on evening out your tension and creating the stitches.  Plus, the greatest thing about scarves is that it doesn't matter if your gauge is off!  Who cares if your tension is so loose that your scarf is wider than it "should" be?  Who cares if it's so tight it's a bit more narrow?  If you do, you can add or subtract stitches from the row and no one need ever know! Also, you can make it as long or as short as you want. And, it doesn't matter what size hook or what kind of yarn you use. Scarves are just about the greatest beginner project ever. After you master the stitches and reading patterns, you can move on to color work and more complicated stitch patterns.  First, start at the beginning!