Upon turning 40 at the start of this year, I realized there was one craft that I'd never managed to master despite being able to competently knit, sew and do various odd things with paper. That craft was crochet and I was determined to learn it.
Roll on a few months forward and I'm well and truly hooked! I mean 100% addicted. Why did no-one warn me how addictive crochet is? I've been taking my new projects and stitch swatches literally everywhere I go so I can carry on while sitting on a bus, in coffee shops and cafes, out in the park, while visiting family and even while squashed up in the back of a completely full car on a long journey.
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I know some people get obsessed over yarns, well I haven't had that one yet but instead I've been very precious over testing out different hooks (to the point where new ones are quickly whipped out of sight of the Hubby) and my Kindle book collection has suddenly grown enormously with all the new books I've been buying.
So how did I start? My first port of call was to buy a beginner book on crochet. And that along with some books initially borrowed from the library as well as watching YouTube videos on stitches was enough to get me going. My first attempts at making anything were complete rubbish but that's fine since you can't expect to be good at something straight away.
First Attempts at Making Motifs and Granny Squares
The first thing I wanted to make was a cushion cover, since my sofas need a burst of color and I'd seen some on Pinterest I loved. I figured that the easiest way to make a cushion cover would be to essentially join two large Granny Squares together so I set about learning how to crochet a traditional square.
Those are just some of my complete newbie practice squares so you can see just how awful some of those first attempts were - the tension was completely off with some stitches being pulled too tight and others really loose, I skipped stitches and added new ones on which were not meant to be there. But I kept trying the same pattern over and over until I really nailed it.
NOTE FOR NEWBIES: Using a variegated (color change) yarn while you are trying to learn crochet is not a very smart idea. It's so hard to really see the individual stitches. Stick to a light or medium color yarn for easiest visibility.
A lot of practice can pay off because by the time I worked on the actual cover, I had the pattern firmly in my head which made it easier to complete than having to refer back to instructions.
These bright colors might not be everyone's taste but we have two very dull and boring chocolate brown sofas that really could do with livening up. The biggest pain with using so many colors was with having to weave in all the ends of yarn afterwards but I was pretty happy with where I'd progressed to after some of the hideous first attempts made.
Once I'd made my cushion, I figured it could do with some additions to prevent it from looking a wee bit flat. So my next port of call was to make a flower. Finding a pattern was a bit of a nightmare. I must have viewed hundreds of crochet flowers in search and over at pinterest with no joy because they were often too small or too fiddly to make or a pattern that would not suit my Granny pillow.
Eventually I stumbled over a hexagonal quilt block (African Flower) which actually had a flower design inside that I could see would work well as a central embellishment - especially as this one is worked in colors that I have matched to my cushion. Apart from the color changes, it's a really easy floral design to make.
Here's the Complete African Flower Embellishment Tutorial
I wish I could say that I stopped there but no. I'm just finishing up a large ruffle edging for the cushion that has chewed up an insane amount of yarn. I got three quarters of the way through and wondered why on Earth I'd decided it was a good idea. But it does improve on the original design considerably.
If you're looking to start on the craft of crochet, I've put together a pretty detailed run-down of what equipment you'll need. Essentially this boils down to a hook and yarn but I'll talk you through what you need to consider as a beginner with plenty of tips to help you out.
Detailed Guide to Crochet Supplies for Beginners
Also Learn about Types of Crochet Hooks
See All My Crochet Pages
The only warning I will give you is that once you start on crochet and get a look at all the wonderful things you can make for gifts, clothes, accessories and home decor, well I think you'll be hooked. I hope you've enjoyed reading my craftymarie article today, thanks for your visit. And I wish you a very Happy Easter.
Page Last Updated: 11th November 2016