I've decided to dive straight into my first big crochet project. I've done the scarf, the dishcloth, and some granny squares, but now I'm yearning for something "proper". I felt like what I needed was something with lots and lots of stitches, something I could settle down and sink my hook into. I looked around and found this pattern by Attic 24 on Ravelry. It seems to be quite popular and the photos of everyone's projects were really inspirational. Most inspirational of all is the way Lucy (Attic 24) writes about the pattern. Her enthusiasm is infectious. I've splurged a bit and I'm making this up in alpaca chunky wool. Not going to be cheap, but this is going to be a luxurious treat!
My first crochet project! After my introductory class at The Make Lounge and my first two Beginner's Crochet class at Loop, I wanted to give a real project a go. I bought a bunch of crochet magazines and found this pattern by Sara Sinaguglia from Inside Crochet magazine. Basically hooking a load of rows - I could handle that! I bought the yarn from Loop - they had the Rowan Cocoon which is the main part of the scarf - a really chunky, wooly yarn. And I found some gorgeous Madelinetosh merino DK in a petrol blue for the edging (better than pink for my complexion I think!).
The scarf was super easy to make - just double and triple crochet stitches. It went really quickly and I finished up in just two nights in front of the telly - so about 3-4 hours.
Sadly, the scarf isn't particularly flattering on me (I think it's too thin), but it looks great on Billie! Maybe I'll make it again and make it wider. The spiral effect is really cool.
I'm doing well on my at least one front with my resolutions for the year. I promised myself that I would learn some new skills, or improve on some of the ones I have. After last year, which was spent mostly being stressed about work, or stressed about being sick... it's time to invest in the positive!
Last Thursday I went to my first class at The Make Lounge in Islington here in London. I say "first class" because I can spoil the surprise and tell you that I will definitely be going back for more. Lucky for the universe, there are a few great places like The Make Lounge popping up everywhere - spaces for learning and and doing crafts, buying supplies etc. Or as The Make Lounge says "meet people, make stuff". The space is split into two bright rooms divided by a windowed wall, and there was a chocolate making class in the other side that night. We were greeted by a super sweet workshop assistant who instantly made everyone feel comfortable, given tea, coffee, wine and snacks. I wish I had taken more photos of The Make Lounge but I was too dazzled by their displays of threads and fabric and embroidery threads to get out my camera.
The 'Learn To Crochet' class was taught by American ex-pat crafty lady Catherine Hirst, who was a few minutes late due to London Dead Bus Syndrome, but soon had us making slipknots and trying to train our non-dominant hands to hold contorted positions in order to create tension with our crochet cotton. Catherine was a wonderful teacher, obviously very skilled both at the craft of crochet and at leading workshops. (At one point she revealed she had a trophy for 'fastest crochet' which she won when she was 17, making her a total boy-magnet, not. Lol.) We were taught to create foundation chains, turn our work, and do the UK version of double and treble crochet. Once we had grasped those basics, we moved on to a simple flower pattern. The class was ten people - a good size to be fun and social but small enough to allow the instructor to help each of us individually throughout the evening.
My only criticism of the night was that it proved to be quite ambitious to cram all the learning into 3 hours. Towards the end it became a bit of a race and I felt a wee bit stressed trying to finish my flower.
I am so happy to have done the class and I have practiced dutifully every night since, using Catherine's awesome collection of tutorial videos for support.
Of course I now want to run out and buy 50 balls of amazing wool. But I'm going to exercise some self-control and just keep practicing with my one ball of red for now.