I’ve been making progress with learning to crochet, and I wanted to share some of that journey.

I can’t pretend to be knowledgeable, or promise you’ll be taken aback by my immense skill with a crochet hook, but I do hope that it might inspire others who might feel put off by how complicated it looks. If I can do it, anyone can. Also I wanted to try and capture my progress and I enjoy words, so here we are.

I started trying to crochet about 2 years ago after years of a) thinking crochet was something else which involved wrapping thread around pins on a cushion and b) having no idea what a crochet hook was. I saw a friend posting photographs on social media of crocheted things they had created, and how much fun they were having learning new techniques, and so I decided to give it a go. I bought a 4mm hook and some cheap wool from the indoor market, and off I went.

Everything about it felt wrong to me – I didn’t seem to be able to hold the crochet hook and the yarn at the same time. I felt “cack handed”, like I wasn’t in control of my fingers, and it was painfully slow. Sometimes my tension was so tight I couldn’t get the hook through the loops. Sometimes it was so loose that you couldn’t tell where the loops were. I found that patterns were impossible to decipher, and generally I couldn’t get much further than crocheting two rows (i.e. a chain, and a row of stitches back again). My husband joked that I was getting very good at crocheting worms, and that was true. Many, many worms. All different colours. Always getting frustrated and never having anything really to show for my efforts. So I stopped. My yarn and hook went into a bag and life carried on.

About 2 months ago something made me was to try again. I made an order for some cotton yarn, some scissors, some more hooks and a hook case (because nothing shows commitment to a new hobby more than spending cold hard cash). I decided maybe working in rounds was what was breaking my brain, and while looking for projects I watched this video:

I watched more videos, and finally when my loot arrived I poured myself a nice gin, and started again.

Gin makes everything easier.

The washcloth pattern was just row after row, and I stuck with it. I found using my new yarn was much easier for me to see the stitches, and I could see myself making progress. I pulled it back a few times after missing a stitch or messing something up, but I kept going. Then at some point I just naturally changed how I was holding my crochet hook so my hand was above it. It was like something clicked, and I no longer felt like I was looking at someone else’s hands (slightly over-dramatic, but it was honestly that much of a revelation). I had tried numerous different ways of holding the hook, but none worked until right then

Eventually I ended up with this, and I was ridiculously proud of myself:

After that the flood gates opened, and I have completed many (small) projects. Not always perfectly, but learning a lot of new things as I go. I feel like this is the first new skill I have picked up in years, and I should really try to learn more new things, but I’ll stick with getting better at this one first – which is what (amongst other things!) this blog is about!