During my time off blogging, as some of you know, I’ve been sick. I’ve mentioned before what I do when this happens. I moved on to some crochet this time. As with knitting, this is a skill taught to me by my paternal grandmother when I was nine. Funnily enough, even back then there was a time when I was sick from school with the flu for ages. My Gram had come to stay for a while, and would sit on my bed and would teach me as much as possible about crochet and knitting.
This was a time of my life when I would borrow books from the school library about these two crafts. I greedily devoured the pages’ contents, practising every stitch, every pattern. Over and over again, until I could do it really well. I would follow patterns to make projects. My favourite thing to do though, was to design my own projects, which given my age, were mostly doll clothes.
Knitting has always been my first love of the two. I love how knitting can be as simple or as complex as the knitter wants it to be. I love crochet too, but it’s very easy for me to forget that it exists. I forget that it can be challenging as well. Which is why I haven’t done it for a while.
Recently, I bought some Sugar and Cream cotton yarn from Yarnover. Dang it, this brand is tough to get in Australia! I also bought a crochet hook. I’m really starting from scratch replacing a knitter’s/crocheter’s stash that spanned decades. Because it’s been a while since I’ve done crochet, I felt odd about taking it up again. What if I’ve forgotten how? Not the basics, but the actual shaping side of things.
It’s because of this ridiculous, unfounded self-doubt that I decided to start on some small, basic projects, just to get back into the swing of it. I remember being a single twenty-something in a craft shop with a friend, looking over craft patterns. There was a pattern book about how to make these daggy looking crocheted dishcloths. I’d never heard of such an idea. I snort-laughed to my friend and said, ‘Gawd, how desperate would you have to be? Get a freaking life!’ I could not comprehend why anyone would want to make their own dishcloths at all.
In more recent years, I’ve been hooked on the fantastic blog, Down to Earth. She makes her own dishcloths too. I think she knits most of hers? I learned about how cheap they are, they can be beautiful, they’re environmentally friendly, and so on. A quick google or squiz on Pinterest or Etsy will quell any doubts about daggy homemade dishcloths. When we first moved here to the country, I had knitted a couple of dishcloths and loved the results. So soft, yet so tough.
Last week, I crocheted a few of these:
…and now, at the ripe old age of 38, I realise one thing that crochet has over knitting: the promise of completing projects much more quickly. I’d suggest to anyone wanting to learn to crochet, or ease back into it after a haitus to start with small, cute, kitchen-ey things like this. I feel like I have my crochet groove firmly back on and am ready to tackle some bigger projects now.
Here’s something else I made. A crocheted potholder that I changed the tiniest bit just to suit me better. Being something of a non-adult at times means that buying the basic, boring essentials such as potholders just doesn’t occur to me naturally. Not until I burn my hand on the Thermomix, anyway. I’m so glad I never bought any. This is way cheaper and so much cuter than anything I could’ve picked up in a store. Not just that, but handmade and heartfelt home goodies seem to make this house feel more like a home.
I think as I slowly build up a vintage Pyrex collection, the bright, cheerful colours make me want to compliment it with handcrafts. Slowly adding more colour to this house is therapeautic to me, especially as things look decidedly grey around here since the fire.
Do you crochet? Knit? I’d love to hear what you’ve been doing!