Two and a half years ago, that stopped working for me. I wanted to knit, would not be happy if I were not a knitter. I was pregnant with my last child, and was determined to knit for her, something beyond the basic garter stitch blanket I had started years earlier. So, I bought a "Teach Yourself to Knit" book. And guess what? It worked! I could knit, I could purl! I could yarn over (YO), I could knit 2 together (K2tog)! I wound up finishing 2 blankets, a nightgown, and an infant cap before Maddie was born. I was knitting booties for her while we were in the hospital! As you no doubt know by now, I love to knit.
Which is why, when the time came, I bought a "Teach Yourself to Crochet" book. Seems simple enough, right? It must be half as hard as knitting, I mean, you're using one stick instead of two! Fewer pieces of equipment to keep track of...it has to be easier. And every crocheter I've ever met says it IS easier. Who am I to doubt them? I'll tell you who I am.....a VERY frustrated would be crocheter, that's who! I decided that particular book was the stupidest book I'd ever read, so I bought a different book. The second book wasn't any better, nor were the third book, various pattern books, and scads of YouTube videos. Bottom line: The only two things knitting and crochet have in common is that they both use yarn, and they both start with a slip knot. I. Could. Not. Learn. To. Crochet. And it made me mad. I wanted to, and there shouldn't be any reason why I couldn't.
So, when I got word that my church was starting a group to sew, knit, and crochet chemo caps to donate to the local hospital, I jumped on it. I could certainly knit hats, and I would have the opportunity to learn, elbow to elbow, with crocheters. I went to the first meeting, and was told that it was easy. I was told that it was twice as fast. I was told that anyone could learn. And I was given a pattern. Now granted, all I had was a printed pattern, and that hadn't worked for me before, but as soon as I got home, I got out some yarn and a hook and got started.
Here's my very first attempt:
I quickly realized that I had made a mistake, and abandoned the project. (By the way, Abby spotted it, and decided it would make a good headband!)
Not deterred, I started again, later that night. This time, I was sure I had followed the directions perfectly, and was happily "hooking" away. About 3 rows in, I realized that....
I know! Granny Squares!!! Perfect for a beginner. Everyone does Granny Squares. I found some complementary colors of yarn out, and made:
I decided to try one more washcloth pattern before completely giving up. This one was a little more challenging, as you crochet one triangle first, then the 2nd triangle, and so on, until completing the square. Three triangles into this, I was quite pleased with myself. I would have a very pretty washcloth when I was finished, and a much needed confidence boost in my ability to learn this craft. Here is the resulting washcloth:
In the picture, this actually doesn't look too bad, if you ignore the poor color quality. (We have been challenged in the natural light department here lately...very cloudy!) But, if you look carefully at the upper right corner, you can see that my last triangle isn't quite right. Yep, you guessed it, my stitch count is off, and I don't have a true square. However, this is the closest I've come to success yet! (Maybe I really CAN crochet! Maybe the problem is that I can't COUNT!)
Then, I found a pattern for a blanket composed of granny triangles. It uses only 2 colors, and would be slightly different from the squares, yet similar enough that I thought I could manage it. I've done 3 triangles so far:
So imagine my surprise when my husband came home from his mom's house with an old crocheted blanket that needed some repair work, desparately. My husband had seen this hole in the blanket, decided the pattern looked like the "coaster" that I had successfully made, and decided to bring it home to see if I could fix it. Sometimes his faith in me is a little stronger than my faith in myself. Which is a good thing, definitely. But sometimes,....it's not. Sigh.
While looking at this blanket, I found some other spots that need some attention:
There may be hope for me yet! I may be able to learn this craft yet!! But I still might not be up to making hats this way.....