My mum taught me to knit and crochet when I was quite young, in fact I was probably too young as I remember the frustration so well … throwing the hook/needles down in disgust and stomping off because I’d dropped a stitch or missed a double treble. I remember my dad saying ‘give up and try again when you’re calmer’(I think he was fed up with all the arguments) but no way. I was going to master this no matter what. Because my mum was an inspiration.
She knitted so much for the children in the road where we lived (clothes, dolls clothes, stuffed animals). Watching whatever it was she was making, which was growing and forming to become a beautiful design, was magical. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t have any patterns by her side or tallying what row she was on. Even my school friends had their mums sending me home with messages of the problems they had come across in their crafting and back I would go with an answer.
I did master the skill although I do have a different way of holding the hook and yarn … I hold the hook in my left hand as I work the yarn around the needle but still complete the action with my right hand. I’m right handed and traditionally most rh people wear their watch on their left but I wear a watch on my right. It’s never affected my tension and I wanted to highlight that you should find a way that is comfortable for you.
Inspired by my mum, I created some beautiful clothes myself. My all time favourite is a lacy sleeveless cardigan that was perfect for going out in the warmer months. I spent hours labouring over a design for a blanket for one of my friends firstborn. The first thing I did when my relationship with my now husband became serious was to knit him a jumper (made with love of course!).
Creating with needles or a hook is so much more than the end product. The time you spend, the thoughts you have and the love you craft with each stitch is, to my mind, soulful and sacred. You’re pouring yourself and your energy with each yarn around needle action you take.
I stopped crochet and knitting for a long time. Others things took over in life. I still had needles, hooks and yarn in the house but there they stayed, stored away but never far from my thoughts. I started projects but then unpicked and put them back. I’ve recently found five crochet triangles but can’t remember what I was going to make! I was busy ensuring the world was a safe place for my children and being there to catch them when they made mistakes. Then my career took precedence. Reading has always been my way of relaxing. But I’d lost the heart for creating in all that ‘worldly’ whirl.
During those days between Christmas and New Year (when it’s hard to remember what day of the week it is and you lose all sense of routine/direction) I decided to get out my crochet hooks. I chose a project that would be quick and easy. I didn’t want to get frustrated and give up and in a few hours I had created a hat. Using a size 7mm hook and thick yarn meant that it grew really quickly …
Working in rounds and starting with an adjustable ring meant that the only thing I would have to sew (I dislike sewing with a passion!) would be weaving the beginning and ending threads in.
The basic pattern is so adaptable. I wanted my hat to just cover my ears and to not cover my forehead. Perfect for dog walking.
You can embellish your hat with anything you want. There are some fabulous crochet tutorials on YouTube. I like this puff flower. Just be careful when you’re searching online as US and UK sometimes use the same abbreviation/word but they have a different meaning.
I bought myself a magazine (Simply Crochet) which has some fab projects in. I am going to start another project adapting a pattern I found on their website (free patterns). And because I bought the yarn through LoveKnitting, if you order (and it’s your first order) you receive a free pattern and a voucher for £5 off with your first order. Click on the link and you will be taken to this screen:
My yarns came the next day beautifully packaged (and with a couple of sweets!). Highly recommend!
Who knows, maybe it will be something I get hooked on again (couldn’t resist the pun!).