Letters to My Kids

The One with the Real Crocheting

I am a little crocheting maniac right now. And I’m loving it! Mostly I’m loving it because I *think* I actually know what I’m doing this time around. Yeah, all those years, all those scarves, all those patterns that were far beyond my ability–all of it was thanks to my totally backwards method of crocheting. 
It was kind of like how I learned to French braid. I learned on my own head first, but I couldn’t translate the hand movements to someone else’s head (namely, my American Girl doll, Samantha). When attempted on Samantha’s head it always ended up being an “upside down” or “inside out” French braid. Also known as a Dutch Braid–when the braid looks like it’s laying on top of the hair instead of lying flush with the hair. Like this. Kinda cool, yes. But not what I was going for. 
I finally figured out how to retrain my brain and my hands to cross over the opposite way I had been braiding. And voila. The French braid was born. (or at least, I had mastered this tricky little braid.) 
Yeah, so my issue with crocheting is kind of like that. I hadn’t even been chaining the right way. Yep–my most basic skill in crocheting was way off. I am beyond thankful for my Mom-in-law for helping me diagnose the problem and teach me the correct way to crochet. She worked with me as I figured out how to follow a pattern and learn the single and double stitches. I was constantly having to take out stitches (as in, EVERY stitch) because I had crossed the yarn the wrong way or had forgotten to chain 2 in between double and single crochets. All of this unstitching and stitching business does a number on that poor strand of yarn. It was almost unraveled, making my job even more difficult.
I know, none of this actually matters to you. But it’s a milestone for me, friends. So it’s being documented. 
After Mom E left, I went about solidifying the lessons I had learned and attempted a project sans pattern. I just wanted to get the triple crochet down. It took a while but soon, I was getting comfortable. I was finally learning to control the yarn with my left hand instead of awkward handing it with my right. My style grew comfortable and easy. And my stitches actually resembled a well-worked project
But then I ran out of yarn. And I didn’t have the original label to tell me what kind of yarn to buy. Our Walmart had almost no yarn selection, so I dragged my husband into a large JoAnn Fabric’s. I was overwhelmed. Four aisles of yarn. FOUR!
After *way too much* deliberation, I finally decided to start fresh. I had the crochet skill down and it was time to buy new yarn (and enough to finish my project) and actually follow a pattern. I eagerly (re)started my project last night and it’s going swimmingly. I am totally loving this hobby of mine and can’t wait to see my first completed piece (hopefully in a week or so.) And then maybe, just maybe, I’ll keep up with my skills and continue crafting away, while happily “watching” season after season of Gilmore Girls. 
Do you have a hobby? Are you crafty? If you crochet do you have any tips to share or patterns you recommend?
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