Guest post by: Robyn
I’ve been crocheting for over 15 years. But I didn’t learn it from my grandmother, even though she crocheted all the time. Nor did I learn from my mother, who can do basic crochet stitches but never learned to read a pattern. The legacy of handmade crafts and needlework that had been passed down for generations in our family came to an abrupt halt when it came to me. Not that I wasn’t interested; I’ve always been a crafty sort. I just didn’t have the patience to sit down with someone else and learn a specific technique.
For me it all started with a little pamphlet titled “Teach Yourself Crochet!” I don’t even remember where I got it. I was 19 or 20 and bored, looking through my collection of forgotten books for something to do. I found that pamphlet, a small stash of yarn – probably from Grandma – and a hook, and prepared for what I was convinced would be a long, hard learning process.
To my surprise (and relief) it was easy! It came to me like I’d been crocheting all my life. My stitches were uneven, my grasp of pattern abbreviations a little slow, but it just felt right. I’d dabbled in other needlecrafts before, with some success. None of them felt as natural and easy as crochet.
As I started making more complex patterns, the mathematical nature of crochet became clear. I realized that it wasn’t just this square that added three stitches at the corner to make a crisp turn – it was every square. I realized that making a perfect circle was as easy as increasing the same amount of stitches in every round. I realized that nice, even edges were a simple matter of making the correct number of turning chains every time.
Each new a-ha! moment increased my confidence in this new craft. Confidence led to speed, practice led to better technique, and experience made reading patterns easy. Now crochet is something I can do without really thinking about it – which makes it relaxing rather than a source of frustration and stress. It never ceases to amaze me how a handful of yarn or ball of thread can become a thing of beauty.
Crochet can enrich your life in so many ways. The repetitive motion calms you physically and emotionally. The unfolding of each beautiful new project really boosts your self-esteem. As your project nears completion, you get a wonderful sense of accomplishment. No matter how simple or complex the project, crochet is just plain good for you!
If you’re just starting out, there are plenty of online resources to help you gain confidence and improve your technique – not to mention free crochet patterns! Check out the Basics section of AllFreeCrochet.com for all kinds of tips, how-to articles, and simple projects. Even the humblest project can become a cherished gift or a beautiful addition to your home. Get crocheting today!