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!
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.
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!
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!