Wednesday, 23 January 2008


I've had a few enforced days off from blogging due to computer difficulties, but luckily I haven't been doing anything all that interesting anyway. But it's very remiss of me that I haven't yet written up Saturday's exploits in the world of crochet. When I mentioned to a colleague that I was doing this, he replied, "What, on a lawn?" That's croquet, dude. They also thought last week that when I said I was learning to spin, I was talking about those dreadful exercise bike classes. They'll learn eventually. 

I was delighted when the lovely Gail, our hostess, arranged a re-run of this class, as the previous one she'd held had filled up very quickly. Crochet is something I've never been able to learn successfully from a book, despite the promises of ones such as this:

"Instant expert" my arse.

So much better to have the very clever Emma Seddon to teach us instead. As I explained last week, I'm inept at this sort of thing - it's a wonder I can knit albeit slowly - and had never held a crochet hook in anger apart from to pick up dropped stitches in my knitting. So she had her work cut out.

To compress the day down to a bare minimum, I went from this sorry excuse for a chain in the morning:

To actual, proper circles and squares by 4pm:

However, these were only achieved when, after much bungling, I came up with an "alternative" method of crocheting. Apparently one is meant to hold the hook like a pencil or knife in one's right hand, hook opening upwards, holding the yarn and the work in one's left hand, tensioning the yarn around the left hand fingers, and wrapping the yarn over the hook from the top (anticlockwise as one looks down the shaft towards the hook). Whereas I can only crochet at all if I hold the hook more like an ice-cream scoop, hook opening downwards, yarn in my right hand and not really tensioned at all, and "throwing" it as I do when I knit, wrapping it clockwise around the hook. I'm not sure whether this means I'm crocheting backwards or upside down or what, but it seems to work although my gauge is fiendishly tight. Still, if I go up a few hook sizes, I'm sure it'll be fine.

I'd intended to learn this almost as a pure academic exercise, with perhaps the odd foray into a crochet edging on a knit piece or maybe even a small amigurumi. However, when looking at my small samplers when I got home, I was inspired by the shape of the stitches... those trebles* all long and thin, the doubles almost waffly... I am now making a giant cuddly tekka maki, with white trebles for the sushi rice, dark green doubles for the nori wrapping, and bright red half-trebles for the tuna core. Yum! It's going relatively quickly so hopefully will be done by the weekend for your delectation.

In other crafty news: I have been inspired to bring my giant green clap out of hibernation, although it may well go back in there soon as it's so long and boring. The rainbow socks are waiting for the weekend so that I can concentrate on getting the Sherman heel down. I haven't done much spinning as I am waiting for deliveries of roving and spindles. And the tiger socks have inexplicably grown in the wash - why? Sigh, they were big in the first place, I think they're house socks now. Is this normal for superwash merino?

*Note: this is English crochet terminology. Translation to American: double crochet = single crochet, half-treble = half-double, treble = double, god knows why that difference exists.

No comments: