Conquering crochet

There hasn’t been much posting here recently, which is at least partly due to there not have been a lot of knitting going on around here.

One of the reasons for the scarcity of knitting was pain in my upper arms due to an excess of writing while studying that knitting appeared to aggravate. Since I really need something to help me relax between study sessions, I decided, hesitantly, that I would give crochet another try.

Crochet and I have had a strange history. My first attempt at crochet happened when I decided that I wanted a new cardigan to wear over the dress that I had bought for a friend’s wedding. Since there was only a week before the wedding, I decided that it would have to be crocheted rather than knitted, despite having never crocheted before. So, I picked a pattern, bought some yarn, a hook and an introductory book on crochet and proceeded to start crocheting. One week later, I finished sewing up the cardigan on the train journey to the wedding and wore it to the wedding.

It’s been two years (almost to the day) and I haven’t finished a single crocheted item since.

My problem with crochet (and it is my problem and not crochet’s) is that I’m just not as good at it as I am at knitting. I’m continually having to check what pattern abbreviations mean and then having to check how to actually form those stitches. Until recently, I hadn’t found a comfortable way to hold my hook, resulting in some very awkward arm movements.

But, since I couldn’t knit and desperately needed some form of relaxation whilst studying, I decided that was I just going to have to learn to crochet properly. So, I picked a simple project and, using some bamboo yarn that I had in my stash, started a baby blanket. (The original pattern was for a cushion cover but I really don’t need pastel cushion covers!)

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Shortly after I started the project, I came across this passage in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice:

“My fingers,” said Elizabeth, “do not move over this instrument in the masterly manner which I see so many women’s do. They have not the same force or rapidity, and do not produce the same expression. But then I have always supposed it to be my own fault—because I will not take the trouble of practising. It is not that I do not believe my fingers as capable as any other woman’s of superior execution.”

Of course, Lizzie is talking about playing the pianoforte and not crochet, but I’m taking the lesson to heart and keeping practising!

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