Last year I discovered crochet
The need was simple. Something I could do to release my mind from the day-to-day madness of life, that would be both fulfilling and productive. I’d tried yoga a few years ago and it didn’t suit. I was just impatient for the last part of the session where you could lie still and (inevitably) fall asleep! So I started a journey of creative learning that I would never have thought would be as fulfilling as it has turned out to be. And continues to be.
It started with a small group of friends and a teacher. I’d recommend this route. Having tried to learn from YouTube videos and a book, it became apparent that nothing beats someone by your side, taking you through the foundation steps. A quick shout out for help on Facebook threw up an already hooked hooker who was willing to spare some time, and a handful of like-minded friends who were equally eager to learn. A couple of evenings covering foundation chains, double and treble crochet stitches, slip stitch and granny squares and we were away. Since then, the ‘Crochet Divas’ have been born and we meet when we can. Inevitably the meets are more about the wine and sharing of life stories than doing any crochet, but that’s been an enriching side effect.
Since my hooking journey began I have learned:
- A skill that I absolutely love;
- Something that inspires others (almost weekly someone is asking me to teach them);
- Nothing beats the reaction you get giving someone a homemade gift;
- That crochet is a leveller – it doesn’t care for your age, ability or walk of life;
- It is a great fundraiser!
For those tempted to take their first tentative steps as a novice hooker, here are some of the things that have massively helped me:
Lucy from Attic24
Lucy is an incredibly talented crochet guru and blogger and I would strongly urge you to check out her site – Attic 24 Blog which is packed with hints, tips, advice and free patterns. When I started on Lucy’s ripple blanket and really couldn’t work it out, I messaged her on Facebook and she came straight back with advice and guidance. Lucy you have oodles of thousands of followers but you still replied. For that, I thank you.
Clover Amour hooks
Yes, I started life hooking with a cheap and cheerful metal hook and it didn’t do me any harm. But these little beauties, which found their way into my Christmas stocking, are totally worth investing in. Available at Amazon – Clover Amour Hooks you can also buy them individually to get larger and smaller sizes.
Where I can, I do support our local shop but living on an island with only two small wool shops the choice is often limited. I discovered Wool Warehouse through the Attic24 blog – they work together and offer yarn bundles that are fantastically good value and free to ship when you spend over £25. Even better for me, the VAT is taken off when the order is processed because I live offshore. They were also really generous for our Comic Relief Crafternoon, offering a further discount on our starter kits purchases to make sure as much money as possible went to the charity. This is a running theme in the world of crochet. Everyone is just so ruddy friendly. I haven’t met one yucky hooker!
I’m an avid social media consumer so I’ve filled my Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook pages with links and posts from inspiring crochet feeds. Notable favourites from Instagram you might like to follow (they all have Facebook pages too that are worth liking) include:
Who knows where this crochet journey will end. For now, I’m happily hooking my way through three WIPs (works in progress) and by the end of the year my mum, husband, sister, nephew and two sons will all be proud owners of blankets. Better get on…