When you become a stay at home mom, you find yourself with extra time. Not extra enough to really accomplish anything useful, but enough that you need to find things to occupy your down time.
For example, after Tiny has gone to sleep, and the housework is done, there is nothing better than kicking back and watching some t.v or netflix and just vegging. But if you are like me, and I happen to be like me, then you also need something to occupy your hands.. your brain.. Let’s face it, I am not, nor will I ever be a uni-tasker.. Thus began the quest for a secondary activity.
You can’t very well read while you watch t.v -for obvious reasons. And although eating is an option, the idea of consuming food for the duration of an entire program is way too glutinous for my taste- pardon the pun. Then it hit me, I would pick up crochet again! My friend’s mom had taught me when I was about 10 and although I was a bit rusty, I still mostly remembered what I was doing…
Sure I only knew how to do one or two stitches, and poorly- and sure I spent more time destroying what I did than actually making usaable projects but SO WHAT? I could get better! I could practice every night and make things! I could make potholders and blankets and sweaters and dresses! People would comment on how beautiful they were and ask me “Why, wherever did you get that?” and I would reply in my most modest sounding voice..”oh that old thing? I made it.”
It would be amazing.
So, off I went. Lucky for me I still had a plethora of hooks and yarn from a stash my mom had scored me at a yard sale a couple years ago. I started to work…and voila! I was off and running!
Until I realized that instead of making a long straight row of single crochet stitches, my row looked more like it was doing the mambo. They were uneven and didn’t look at all like I had imagined, but I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong?
I did what I do best: I sought out a group of like minded folks- people who were doing this very thing. I found it in the form of the Facebook group “The Crochet Lounge.”
Here was place where people from all over the world, from all different walks of life, came to chat,and commiserate, and show off their projects. Some of them clearly belonged in the Crochet Equivalent of the NBA- and others were newbies just like me. It was a place I could go and get ideas, but also whine and complain about my frustration with a certain project… and there were people there who UNDERSTOOD!
It was, and is.. a big community of like-minded crafters..and it is my new favorite place to be.
One day, while perusing the CL as I will lovingly refer to it from here on out, I inquired about some kind of formal instruction. The response from the populace was pretty much unanimous- Watch Mikey on Youtube. So off I went and discovered 24 glorious “classes” on crochet and proceeded to watch them all.
The first few were kind of easy. The next few made me want to throw my crochet hook out the window.However, being the OCD crafter that I am, I wouldn’t let myself skip any until I got them right..The best example of this was with a technique called the Catherine Wheel. Mikey said it was his favorite stitch and when he showed it to “us” I was immediately smitten. This was the same stitch Mr. Wright and I had seen displayed on the wall at Michael’s. The one we squinched up our eyes at in bewilderment! How did they even get yarn to DOOOO that? Well folks, let me tell you..
The Catherine Wheel is named for a torture tool that Queen Catherine used in the middle ages to torture prisoners, so it is only fitting that this stitch be given that name because as gorgeous as it looks- that thing made me want to pop my own eyeballs out.
Now since most of my readers are not crochet savvy, I will spare you the specifics of this stitch, but suffice to say, Mikey had me doing things to that yarn that had it been a person- would have landed me in jail for a very very long time…The first attempt at this looked somewhat like a cross between a mentally challenged spider’s web and.. well nope that’s what it looked like. I went to bed that night feeling defeated. I was never going to be good at this.
The next morning, while Tiny napped, I decided to try again, I went right back and did everything I did before, but this time I worked carefully to make my stitches even and my counts correct. The difference was amazing! Last night’s tarantula shack looked exactly like the one Mikey did; which to me was pretty darn amazing. Mr. Wright even commented how much better it looked. He was REALLY impressed. I felt like a million bucks! I wanted to make more! I wanted to make all of our clothes, and shoes, and blankets! I was in LOVE! I allowed myself to acknowledge this sudden overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment! I can crochet!
It wasn’t long though before I once again hit a roadblock- this time with a hat I was making for Like Totally. I felt the feelings of inadequacy sink in as I scrolled through post after post of beautifully crafted baby bonnets and shoes, and breathtaking afghans- all of which seemed effortlessly constructed. I looked down at my hat and knew instantly that it was not coming together the way it was supposed to. If I kept going the way I was headed, this hat was going to resemble the flying nun a lot more than goofy ear flaps….So what did I do?
I ripped it out. The crochet term for that is Frogging… I frogged the ^*$(^ right out of that hat- right back to the second row where I knew I had messed it up, and I started again. A few hours later I was right back at the same spot and this time my hat looked like a HAT!
It’s been a little over a month since I started crocheting again and I would be lying if I said I have gotten the hang of it.. I still get frustrated when I make a mistake- I still have to frog at least a row or two…and I still silently cry to myself when I can’t read a pattern- but you know what? I can’t deny that I am learning. I AM better than I was, and the more I practice the better I get!
I know that when I get stuck, I have the folks in CL to help me out, and a Mikey video is just a touch away. Someday I WILL be one of those folks who nonchalantly posts pictures of a California King sized bedspread that I made with 127 different colors. Someday…
But first.. I need to learn this stupid magic loop!