Monday, 26 September 2011

Learning to Crochet

Since last I posted my knitting progress has been, um, this side of non-existent. I managed to cut my middle finger in a small cooking incident of the "I can't believe I was so stupid" variety on Thursday. These are the times I'm really glad that 1. I'm not a bleeder and 2. I've never nicked an artery (I'm pretty sure that would nudge the "average blood loss per incident" numbers a bit to the left). I didn't feel it required stitches, being more of a flaying than severing injury and between pressure and immobilizing the knuckle, it sealed itself. Today is my first day without a plaster/band-aid and flexibility doesn't appear to be impaired. I keep wiggling it to make sure I don't develop tight scar tissue. It's visibly swollen but doesn't hurt* unless I poke it. "So don't poke it!" I hear you yell. That's all well and good except, if it wasn't a part of my digit that I use, I probably wouldn't have cut it. It turns out, I use the front side of that finger to stabilize a lot of things, not the least of which is my left knitting needle.

I made it about 8hrs (not counting when I was asleep) before I couldn't stand the sitting idly and picked up my (beautiful beautiful beautiful) current sock project and tried knitting without using the injured digit. It went...awkwardly. I probably would've pushed through, as slow and encumbered as it was, except every couple of stitches my vigilance would slacken, my middle finger would try to participate, and it'd end stabbing pain and Sailor-itis of the Language. Not my best 20 minutes. Knitting wasn't any better than sitting idly and swimming and baking were right out, so I decided to Learn to Crochet.

Now, I understand the basic theory of crochet (1.create a loop, 2. use hook to pull yarn through loop creating a new loop, 3. repeat step 2) and Once Upon a Time, say 20 years ago, I was taught to make granny squares and got a fair way into a blanket though until it became increasingly obvious** that crocheting an afghan in a 40C/100F degree summer wasn't the best idea ever. By the time I picked it up again I was a little shaky on the details and I hated the colours and acrylic-ness of the yarn I was using so it went back into the closet.

Part of my reluctance to learn crochet is my association with acrylic yarn and bad 70s styling. Every time I see a granny-square waistcoat/vest I want to recycle my alumin(i)um needles. I think crochet is brilliant for making stuffed toys and afghans but otherwise has few redeeming features. One of those redeeming features, however, is that I can do it without using my poorly finger. I picked a pattern and every time it used a term I didn't recognize (which was pretty much everything after "chain" and "single crochet") I looked it up online and kept at it till I had something resembling the pictures.

I started with a lacy cowl using rainbow yarn but it was too small so I frogged it and made a different cowl with the rainbow yarn. It's finished other than weaving in ends and adding buttons but it's (ahem) too small so I doubt I'll ever bother. Yesterday I made a third cowl, based on the first two, and it fits but is rolling so I'll probably frog it as well. While none of my projects have been perfect, I'm confident that I've got the basics down and want to turn my attention to small toys.

* though the nerve sensations if I touch it gently are really bizarre and disconcerting

** get it? The blanket was increasing in size and becoming increasingly warm and....never mind.


  1. Yay small toys! You can start your collection early. :)

    P.S. I like your jokes.

  2. :-D

    I made an Angry Bird but Oliver commandeered it.