Learning to crochet

by Stef on September 3, 2013

in Knitting

Crochet granny square blanket / Be Sweet handspun Merino

I decided to teach myself how to crochet.  I did a few test swatches awhile ago then decided I’d make a blanket from the leftover TARDIS yarn because… it’s terrible and not really suitable for anything beyond a stuffed TARDIS.  That’s what happens when you buy literally a pound of yarn for $2 at Walmart, so I knew what I was getting into, no hard feelings Red Heart Super Saver.  Turns out, terrible yarn is still terrible when crocheted into a blanket!  Crocheting a full size blanket from worsted yarn also takes pretty much forever and I don’t need a reasonably crappy blanket that badly, so I gave up on crocheting for awhile.

When my Mom was here a few weeks ago, she brought me a felted bag which is exceptionally beautiful and I need to take pictures and post it here.  She then picked up a leather handle at the Michigan Fiber Festival which I’m nervous about attaching because both the bag and handle are amazing and my sewing skills are non-existent.  I decided I wanted a second bag, of the tote variety, and absolutely ruined this amazing skein of yarn trying to make it happen.  BY THE WAY, after ruining the yarn I started googling and learned that it’s an Australian discontinued yarn which I can not find (even on eBay!) and I spent a solid three days mourning the loss.  A certain shop in St. Louis is sitting on at least a dozen skeins and I think I may call her and offer to buy the lot.  What does this have to do with a crochet blanket? We’ll get there eventually.

The thing with felting is, you need a lot of yarn because your piece shrinks significantly.  I decided I could make a tote from the Be Sweet Merino in my stash and decided to frog a cowl made from the same yarn which is gorgeous but just not really getting the use it deserves.  I should be clear, felting Be Sweet Merino is essentially the second dumbest thing you can do with such an amazing and expensive yarn.  What is the first dumbest thing you can do with such amazing and expensive yarn? Ahhhh, perhaps now you see me getting back to the blanket.

Be Sweet Merino

Two skeins into the tote I stopped myself long enough to decided to try, oh felting? the merino? and it…. didn’t really happen.  My guess, since the yarn is exceptionally lush and soft, the fibers are too short to felt properly.  So the yarn wasn’t worth being in a cowl and couldn’t become a bag and it’s thick/thin strand is a bit annoying in knitting because I think it makes the final product look sloppy and this isn’t a fault of the yarn itself (it’s hand spun and beautiful) but I’m OCD and like nice tidy stitches.  Since it didn’t felt after a hot bath in the washer and vigorous scrubbing, I decided that it’s reasonably hand washable and could become the dumbest, cutest, most expensive baby blanket ever!

It’s yellow and white and will eventually have a gray border, so it’s clearly adorable and gender neutral.  Why is it dumb? Be Sweet Merino is like $20 a skein and there will be 7 in here.  So.  There’s that.  I suppose if anyone deserves such a ridiculous blanket, that person is our eventual first born.  I loved the original cowl when I had it but I’ve knit so many cowls lately and the yarn frogged beautifully so I feel good about giving it a greater purpose.  I bought the yellow and gray during a Purl Soho sale, so they were somewhat less than $20 as far as I can recall.  Since I cannot recall the price, it’s just a sunk cost at this point and better to actually use them than just let them continue to sit around in a box.  By the way, this is why yarn stashes are both terrible and amazing.  I should be learning some sort of lesson here.

Crochet granny square blanket / Be Sweet handspun Merino

A note on the things related to the blogging. I spend so much time worrying about dissertation length posts and perfect pictures that I end up just not posting at all.  And I have like a dozen knitting projects that are in stages of semi-finished-ness or totally done and have been for weeks but I haven’t taken the pictures so I just don’t post them.  There are two issues here – 1.  I need to just post things, even if they aren’t “finished” and 2. I’ve long fought the idea of this becoming a “knitting blog” because of reasons.  Which is to say, I don’t have the proper reasons. I think I used to think that knitting was lame and I was the only cool kid doing it, which is incredibly false because there are many cool kids doing it and I am not a cool kid.  So I may start posting more often, but less finished… things, of the knitting variety likely.  I also may unintentionally turn this into a 60% knitting, 10% Airstream, 10% complaining, 10% pictures of Wyoming, 10% random blog.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate September 4, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I very much wish you lived closer. You made me laugh about ten times during this post AND you could teach me to crochet which I very much want to do because…hello granny squares. That blanket will also be a treasured heirloom. Don’t even ask how much I spent to do a knit rainbow chevron for my daughter. It’s embarrassing. But adorable so I’ll take it.

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Stef September 4, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Believe me, I wish I had a knitting or crochet buddy here. I keep trying to get people into it, but no takers yet. What’s your current project? I’m getting ready to start on some Christmas presents – let me know if you want to virtually knit along with me :)

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Stef September 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Also! I’m totally not qualified to teach crochet yet. This is my first and only project and I’m still pretty skeptical of the whole thing. If you find any great patterns, please share!

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Kate September 9, 2013 at 10:06 am

I have a few pinned but I try to stay away because I have never done it and still have my hands full trying to get my knitting where I want it to be!

And YES, I will definitely virtually knit along with you. I have a TON of things I need to get done before Christmas. My baby nephew is due December 23 and I’m going to be the crazy auntie who knits him all the things.

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Laura September 12, 2013 at 12:13 am

First of all, I would love to read a blog that’s 60% knitting, 10% Airstream, 10% complaining, 10% pictures of Wyoming, 10% random. Why not?

Second, I too am OCD and like my stitches to be nice and tidy. Actually, “like” might not be a strong enough word in my case. I kind of “need” them. I can’t help it.

Third, I think it’s awesome that you’re learning to crochet (even if you did it with hideous yarn). I have every intention to learn to crochet as well, but I keep accidentally starting new knitting projects.

xoxo

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Stef September 12, 2013 at 11:57 pm

I keep starting new knitting projects too! Crochet made NO sense to me until it suddenly made sense? I’m sure that explanation doesn’t even make sense. Try it out and let me know how it goes for you!

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