Sunday, 3 May 2009

5 Things I’ve Learnt from Crochet

  1. My 6 times table. It seems that almost every pattern that requires a circle: amigurumi, mats, hats etc. starts off with 6 chained in circle, which then has to be increased by the six times table (12, 18, 24, 30, 36 etc.). I haven't used my 6 times table properly since primary school, and as far as I'm concerned, times tables stop once you reach 12. It's been a little mindblowing trying to work out what 6 times 23 makes. (138 if you're wondering!)
  2. What Granny squares are. A phrase that I have heard oft repeated is 'there's more to crochet than Granny squares' which is a great sentiment and very true. The problem is, before I started crocheting and investigating patterns, I didn't know what a granny square was. I assumed that crochet was like knitting but with a hook (that had always been my Mother's explanation to me, as I attempted for the umpteenth time to try and conquer knitting). Well, now I know what a granny square is, and that they are made by people who aren't grandmothers.
  3. About yarns. Like merino is from a sheep, mohair from special goats and alpaca from...alpacas. More than that, that you can make yarn from plants like soya and bamboo. I actually have a use for soya now, rather than turning my nose up at its milk. Also about weighting – that DK is generally what I would have called 'wool' and that 4-ply is lighter, and aran is bulkier. Oh, and that aran isn't just a type of sweater. Yarn buying is seriously one of my favourite hobbies now, just looking at all the different shades and styles and colourways, and trying to decide what fits my perfect project.
  4. Double crochet isn't scary. Nor is triple crochet, or half-double crochet. I spent so long limiting myself to certain patterns because I thought that they were complicated stitches, when actually all they require is an extra yarn over on the hook. Easy, and they open up a world of new possibilities.
  5. I don't know many children. Amigurumi is great, make quick satisfying projects but in the end, all my friends are my age and aren't at the stage when they have children yet. There are only so many times you can give someone a stuffed elephant or bunny or owl before they smile sheepishly and go 'great, a stuffed toy'. What I really need are some nice children who would love and play with my amigurumi creations, but apparently they are in short supply. It's also rude to go up to long-lasting couples and ask them when they are going to start reproducing because I really want to have a go at making baby blankets, bonnets and bibs.

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