I've been vowing to learn how to crochet for the last few years now. I found myself avoiding any of the cool knitting patterns on Ravelry which had the slightest hint of crochet in them. I tried YouTube videos, books, friends giving me pointers - nothing seemed to work.
In desperation I turned to a crochet class run by Calon Yarns in Cardiff. If anyone was going to teach me how to crack this crochet lark it was going to be Lynne. Her shop is a treasure trove of gorgeous yarn, friendly service and sofas to sit and chat with your yarn project of choice. My classes are for 2 hours on a Tuesday night for 5 weeks.
This is how it has gone so far:
First session: was a bit nervous - I didn't want to look foolish from not understanding anything. Luckily the other guys there were in the same position, so that put me at ease. With the course came a crochet needle, practice yarn for use in class and plenty of cups of tea. I couldn't hold the hook, tension the yarn or get the foundation row going as my chain was so tight.
Second session: worked on getting past the dreaded foundation chain and how to do some rows of double crochet (UK terminology) and then triple crochet stitches. It was at this point that it started to click - I could see where the hook needed to go to create the stitch which I couldn't see before, and once past the foundation chain my tension was much better.
Third session: worked on how to work in the round and my first attempt at a granny square. Working this way suits me better than straight lines I think - I really got into a rhythm making the granny squares. That weekend at home I made 9 of them whilst husband was out playing football.
Fourth session: worked on stitching pieces together, increasing and decreasing, making a wave pattern and started on following a basic pattern for a crochet flower. I've decided I like crochet charts rather than written patterns - I hate knitting patterns so it goes that I'm not a fan of crochet ones either. I've decided I'm going to be a free-form crocheter and make it up as I go.
Session five will be taking place next week. I can't believe after 3 years of failed attempts after 4 two hour sessions on a Tuesday night I've got the hang of the basics. I'm no expert by far but I have managed to make this blanket over the last week:
It is basically a giant granny square, with a double crochet border in a lovely multicoloured green, blue and purple yarn. It's not perfect, but it's turned out way better than I thought.
I'd say that I'm still a knit-a-holic at heart, but now with a bit of crochet on the side world domination can't be too far away!