5
Jun

A Crochet Rainbow

Over the past oh, three or four years – I’ve tried learning to crochet at least a handful of times. During these past (and failed) attempts, I think I let my familiarity with knitting get the best of me. I can knit with lots of distractions, I can usually fix mistakes I make, I can fairly easily read my stitches – yet ultimately, I now realize these small things were holding me back. Instead of seeing crochet as a new learning adventure, I often became frustrated that I felt as if I was just stitching away without knowing what I was doing.

Then on my last attempt something clicked – vague memories of my initial knitting attempts came into view: projects gone awry, struggles with gauge, dropped stitches, the list goes on. And so now after having readjusted my learning process (and having reasonable expectations), I can (very!) happily report back that I am officially hooked on crochet. Pun intended.

Which is why I now deserve to get myself a rainbow fiesta of crochet hooks, plus 40% off isn’t too bad either!

Amour Crochet Hook Set

30
Jan

Goodbye, Absurdity: I’m now a Knit Picks staff member that knits

Oh, dear. The title says it all, I think? But rest assured, all the free-pile yarn that I score hasn’t been going to waste: I’m a long-time crocheter. You know what else has been going on for a long time? My violent failure at knitting. You see, pride issues are persistent. Even with all the educational resources KP can provide, I refused help from my coworkers like sour, sour milk! My attitude in essence: Yes, I’ll let you explain how to better improve my butterfly stroke. But no, I won’t let you see me flail and dogpaddle during my first visit to water. Moving along…

Last week, I took the “Beginner’s Knitting” class at Yarnia (a LYS located in beautiful Southeast Portland, my beautiful ‘hood). The lesson was perfect, and truly just the basics: long tail cast-on and knit stitch—with just the briefest/most horrifying glimpse of purl. At our instructor’s recommendation, I continued knitting when I got home that night, leading to the production of my very first proper swatch:

Hahaha, just kidding! That relative confection of beauty is actually my second swatch. Small children and tender hearts, turn away—here’s my true first swatch:

17
May

“Demoralizing” is not a word I use lightly; it lives in a secure lockbox and only gets to come out for special occasions. To use in a sentence: Carefully trying to recreate the Gibson Girl hairstyle is demoralizing. Or alternately: Learning to knit, as I’m now openly doing while surrounded by abnormal prodigies in this office, is demoralizing.

But pish-posh, I say. You guys have approximately 250% more confidence in my knitting future than I do, which is the OPPOSITE of demoralizing. Now I’m just afraid I’ll let you down! Regardless, I poured over all of your thoughtful comments on my last post and a few major themes emerged:

1.) The internet and its largess of educational wealth is the best thing since sliced bread.

2.) “Girl, it’s just YARN. Use some pretty stuff. Have fun with it! You’ll be fine!”

3.) Practice, practice, practice.

4.) Crocheting creates a different mindset; it’ll take time to rewire your mind for knitting.

And there you have it. My biggest mistake thus far is an essential misunderstanding of #4. In setbacks, I’ve been acting as though I’ve failed at “crocheting-with-needles”, as opposed to “knitting”. Yes, all forms of fiber crafting share some similarities and a mutually supportive community, but assuming that a crocheting background would give me an intermediate entrance into knitting is like saying, “I’m fairly adept at volleyball, so I must be decent at water polo”. There’s no gorgeous guarantee that you’ll be able to translate those skills to a different medium, and there’s certainly no way to do so without oceans of practice.

In the midst of a challenge, I really like to break momentarily and rest on my laurels. As I knit my first garbled swatch, I repetitively thought: “You can still crochet, you’re okay at crochet, you’re alright at that, you can definitely make nice crocheted scarves, you can make pretty crocheted collars”.

CrochetCollar-CloseUp

10
May

Shhh, Don’t Tell My Coworkers: I’m Learning to Knit

Well, I’m finally letting the cat out of the bag. Or letting the needles out of the…cherry red PVC backpack? Anyway, welcome to my shame! I’ve been secretly teaching myself to knit for a couple of weeks and I wouldn’t say it’s going well.

Untitled

You may remember me as the resident spirited/mediocre crocheter with questionable tastes; don’t worry, I’m definitely retaining that title as well. However, I’ve surprised myself with an ever-inching desire to knit, even though I’d been resolute on these matters in the past. I’m keen on blaming my coworkers, who constantly parade beautiful knit projects around the office. But in total honesty, the turning point came when my own harassing curiosity met with a pair of Harmony needles in the office free-box. GAME OVER. Not even a lack of tools could be my excuse.