Saturday, 18 December 2010

Crochet 1 - Knitting 0

I have been away visiting family for the past week; and actually wrote this before I left, but never had the chance to post it.

There will come a time in any journey towards self reliance and simpler living that you may be tempted to make for yourself items that you need in your everyday life. I chose to focus on yarn crafts, as the start-up equipment is minimal and they do not require a dedicated space (apart from a little storage). You can produce blankets, hats, socks, dishcloths, jumpers, slippers, rugs and a host of other useful, comforting objects from nothing more than some variation of a stick and a ball of yarn. 

I finally mastered crochet, after a decade of failure, at the age of 17, as an alternative to all that German verb revision I should have been doing. I was hooked, if you will pardon the pun. Crochet grows so much quicker than knitting; and as I was more of a blankets and scarfs than garments kind of crafter, it suited me to the ground. I began knitting in earnest when I was pregnant and wanting to make garments for my son; and  stylish good crochet garment patterns were few and far between. That is now changing gradually and there are many good crochet designers making their mark.

This year I have failed to complete any of the knitted objects I have begun. That jumper that should have been finished in  November? The arms might now get finished (or should I say started?) for next November. I am slow; and I am terrible at following pattern rows, especially ones that are charted as seems to be the case more often that not these days. In short I am no longer a happy knitter. So this week I returned to a chunky mesh crochet afghan I have been hooking on and off for over a year. It had been cast aside as I struggled with casting on and frogging various knitting projects. Its not overly fancy, made with self patterning acrylic. But the colours are glorious and to actually finish something with an hours work was soothing to my crafting soul. I was so enthused that I finally whipped up a winter hat (the snow wasn't much fun last week without one) using a spare ball that same evening, making it up as I went along. 

If time is an issue for you, or you are just highly impatient like me, I recommend crochet. It is often seen as a poor relation to knitting, but beautiful functional objects can be made, albeit with a different look to knitting. RavelryInterweave, and Attic24 offer inspiration, patterns and some good tutorials. If you want to learn, a quick search of YouTube gives a wealth of video demonstrations. The best way is usually to find a patient teacher, but books and videos can be very useful.



I plan to focus more on crochet projects next year; which should make room for other crafts. I really want to develop my spinning which I reluctantly put on the back burner to concentrate on the jumper. I would like to learn some brand new skills too, perhaps a little sewing; and also give rug making another bash. This week I tried my hand at dough craft decorations for the tree, to accompany some of the tree doilies I have been crocheting during my 3 day crochet fest. Christmas is now shaping up to be merry and bright, without a missed pattern row or slipped stitch in sight.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

(Belated) announcement

I have been invited to contribute to Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op. I wrote my first post yesterday; then realised I hadn't so much as mentioned it here. Apologies.

If you haven't visited the Co-op before, please do. There is a wealth of infomation on
frugal, sustainable living from bloggers with a range of backgrounds and lifestyle. I have found it a wonderful resource in the past; and hope that I can contribute something meaningful too. 

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