Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Let's get down to business!

Wow. This must be what, my third "starting" post in a row in this blog so far? I'm doing this for reals this time, though.

I thought I'd start by showing you some of my early work. Behold, my very first swatch, which I still have because I'm an overly sentimental sop and I don't throw things away like I should:

I like to think it looks a little bit like a crochet map of California. Of course, it's supposed to be perfectly rectangular, but you can't have everything.

You can see how at the top (technically the bottom, but I don't display it that way) I made my foundation chain way too tight and then the whole thing bunched up when I started doing the actual crocheting in the following rows. I don't remember what it was like to make this thing, but I must have had to fight like hell to get my hook through the loops of that chain.

This is my parakeet, Pickles (aka The Buzzard, aka You Green Little Snot, aka You Noisy Bastard, aka Crapfactory, aka Little Terrorist, aka @!!!**!), cheekily refusing to pose with my swatch. When I don't want him near my crochet I can't get him out of it.

He makes it very difficult to get any work done because he likes to be with me, but he also likes to try to eat anything I happen to have in my hands, be it a crochet hook, a pen, or a (computer) mouse.

My very first "real" project was a blanket. Personally, I do not recommend making a blanket your first real crochet project. It's so big! It's probably better to go with something smaller, but still rectangular, like a scarf. That's what most people start with. But no. I did a blanket.

Not even a blanket made up of a bunch of little squares sewn together either. A great big blanket all in one pattern.

I started with a test swatch to make sure I had the stitch down:

Here's the actual blanket, all freaking 100 rows of it:

This thing took over two years to make. I couldn't tell you exactly how long. Part of it is that a blanket of that size is unpleasant to work on during the Summer, especially around here where it gets into the hundred-teens and we don't use our air conditioner much because of the power bills.

Factor in that I had to put it up when we got a puppy until she was old enough to know better than to try to eat the thing while I was working on it, and then do the same when we got kittens, and that adds on a big chunk of time.

Also, I have a terrible tendency to absolutely hate any craft project by the time I get to the end of it. Usually I end up giving it up. Crafts that are dead to me now because of this tendency of mine include (but are not limited to) sewing, embroidery, and latch hook. I just take so long to finish that I either hate it or lose interest before I get done. I have no idea how my interest in crochet managed to survive the thing that killed so many other crafts for me, but it did.

Now that it's all done, we keep it draped over the top of the couch when it's not in use. This is a good place for the cats to lie on it and dig at it with their claws. A nice way to treat your first project that you spent over two years on, no?

I'll close with a close up so you can see the stitches:

Not hugely complicated for a beginner. This stitch might make a nice scarf. It's all double crochet, which is nice. 2 dc, skip 2, 5 dc in 1 stitch, skip 2, repeat.

I did all the work on this blanket through the back loop, mainly because I was too inexperienced to know I was supposed to be going through both until I was pretty much committed to what I had been doing. I think the effect was nice, though.

Read more!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I've finally decided what to do with this space.

I like to crochet, so I've decided to use this blog to share some of the work I've done. If you asked me how long I've been crocheting, I'd probably initially want to tell you it's only been a couple years. If I think about it, though, it seems like it would have to be at least four. Maybe a year longer than my dog's been alive, and I think she's three. I still think of myself as a beginner, maybe even intermediate when I'm feeling extra brilliant, but that's probably a big lie, too.

I am definitely still learning about the craft, though, which is definitely a good thing. If I get to the point where I feel like I have no more to learn then somebody should probably puncture my big fat bloated egotistical head so I can get through my door. Besides, I like knowing that I still have a lot left to try. And there are definitely a lot of different kinds of crochet projects I haven't tried yet.

I've just taken some pictures of some of my early crochet work, and I'll have a new post for you, coming right up.

Read more!