Monday, 5 October 2015

Trying again with the crochet - and having some success!

I've mentioned many times that crochet and I don't get along, yet for a while now I've had the idea that I'd like to crochet a blanket. Nothing complicated, perhaps just granny squares sewn together. I even have a Pinterest board - Crochet blankets - which I love to browse while dreaming about all the gorgeous blankets that I could make.

Unfortunately when my Mum tried to teach me to make a granny square a little while back, it ended up in a crochet fail. Although that blog post does have a picture of a fairly reasonable granny square, it was my Mum that made most of it and I had no idea what I was trying to do.

But a few weeks back, Coats Crafts, who I work with as an ambassador, invited me to take part in a crochet along, with the aim of having a finished crochet blanket by Christmas. I was honest about my poor crochet skills, but they were encouraging and so I agreed to join in. I realised though that even the most simple of blankets was going to be a little above my skill level, so I have enlisted my Mum to help me get started and help me out along the way!

I decided to start with learning to make a basic granny square. I'd heard that YouTube was a good source of helpful videos, and indeed there are many showing how to make a simple granny square in real time so you can crochet along. Some use slightly different patterns when it comes to the chains around the corners, but as long as you are consistent it doesn't really seem to matter. I spent many evenings sitting in front of the computer with my crochet hook. It didn't come at all naturally, and I had to rip it back many many times.

These are my very first attempts, not great, and also these are the best ones that I managed at that time, the rest were pulled apart over and over again!

Rather bad crochet granny squares

But to my surprise, when I kept at it and didn't get frustrated with not being able to understand what I was doing, I found that over time it started to click, and I could work out what I was doing. I learned to make my stitches looser, and they became neater and more even. After a few evenings sat in front of YouTube I'd managed to make several squares, without nearly as much ripping back and starting again.

Improved granny squares

I'm particularly proud of this large pink square, which is the first one that I managed to make without having the video playing at the same time as my crocheting. I even managed an extra round after the point at which the video finished. I know that it's nowhere near perfect, but it's pretty impressive given where I started!

Large pink granny square

I've been sharing my progress on Instagram using #jenlearnstocrochet and I've been really encouraged by people commenting, especially awesome crocheters whose progress I follow across social media admitting that they found crochet difficult too at first!

I'll also be sharing how I get on across social media when the crochet along officially starts on the 9th October. Fingers crossed, with a bit more practice I'll be well on the way to actually finishing a blanket in a few months time!

You can read more about what I'll be making here - Patons Crochet Along, I'd love to connect with anyone else that is planning to take part!

18 comments:

  1. Your doing well, keep it up. I'm a knitter and have tried crochet a few times, always ending in a dramatic fail! I'm not even finding time to knit at the moment. As soon as I get more time, I'm going to try crochet again. You've inspired me. And there's so many lovely patterns I've seen that I want to try out. Good luck with the blanket. x

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    1. Thank you! I've always been okay at knitting but I've actually found crochet a lot easier, I can understand better what I'm doing and it's easy to unpick any mistakes. Good luck with trying again, I'd definitely recommend persevering!

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  2. well done you for keeping on. Im learning the guitar its taking quite some time but slowly slowly ....

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    1. Thank you, and good luck with the guitar! I tried to learn as a teenager but other things took over, it's a great instrument to be able to play.

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  3. well done for the persevering I don't have the patience for that type of thing, but do love them.

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    1. Thank you! It did require a lot of patience, I nearly gave up several times when I was unpicking over and over!

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  4. Crochet is definitely one of those things where perseverance pays off. I remember when I first started to learn, I found it so frustrating. A couple of years on and it's turned into something I look forward to doing at the end of the day. You'll get there!

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    1. Now that I'm getting more confident with the granny squares I can't see why I found it so difficult at the beginning! It just took me a while to get it all sorted in my head.

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  5. I'd love to be able to crochet but I've ever had the patience to teach myself x

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    1. I think it does help if you have someone that can show you at least to start with, the videos are very good but I needed my Mum to explain to me how to read a crochet pattern and to start me off.

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  6. Brilliant, well done you! I would love to be able to crochet, I might attempt it again now (annoyingly my 10 year old is really good at this kind of thing, she might have to teach ME!) :D

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    1. Thank you! I remember my sister knitting and crocheting when we were little, she just picked it up like that and was brilliant at it while I never could!

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  7. Fantastic Jen - I have learnt in the last 18 months as well just from youtube channels - I did the granny square first and so proud of myself this week as I have made an infinity cowl and a pair of wrist warmers as gifts for my mother-in-law. As a knitter I am surprised at how quick i was able to progress to something that looked good.

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    1. Thank you! I've definitely found crochet easier than knitting, I was always dropping stitches with knitting but with crochet I can see better what I am doing. Congratulations, it sounds like you are doing brilliantly!

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  8. It's looking really pretty, well done you. I have yet to master crochet ... one day :)

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  9. Ohh big well done, patience and perseverance are definitely the keys. Mich x

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  10. Ooh look at your improvement - massive! My nana was a big fan and used ot make us dresses and blankets all the time so I used to think it was really old fashioned. It's kind of odd, but lovely to see it becoming a fashion now and you're doing brilliantly. I will follow your progress on IG x

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  11. I've been meaning to learn to crochet for years and haven't managed anything. You're doing so well!!

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