Thursday, 23 December 2010

2010 - A Year in Crochet

Some of the more beady-eyed of you may realise that this post was already posted earlier in the week. You see I'd been an organised Girl and scheduled a load of posts in, all that had to be done was for the photos to be added to the posts. Unfortunately I did not count on me losing a weekend to Black Out 2010 and this post went ahead as scheduled, only without the pretty pictures and we all know that's no good so I took it down and now here it is. Again...with photos...

Last year I made a bold announcement. 2010 was going to be known as The Year of the Crochet. I’d seen people doing it, I’d been introduced to the Attic24 world and I wanted to get in on the action. Luckily for me one of those weekly magazine jobbies came out in the New Year and I snatched up the first issue, this was a sign from the crochet Gods that I should try and complete my mission.

It’s fair to say that things got off to a rocky start. I may, or may not, have written a post about it and referred to it as the devil’s craft. It was fiddly and irritating and I was getting incredibly frustrated with my left-handedness which made everything just that little bit more difficult. It’s hard to follow instructions when you’re actually trying to do the reverse, there should be more left handed crochet books out there for suffering individuals like myself!

You should know by now though that I’m quite the stubborn person and I was damn sure that crochet wasn’t going to make a fool out of me. So with the support and guidance of people, (especially the Heather!) I carried on and by April I was forced to issue a retraction and admit that I was (to use a much over-used pun) hooked.

I crocheted and I crocheted and I crocheted away, loving the colours, loving the process (apart from the joining together, still hate that, will definitely learn about joining on the go soon) and loving that I had a new skill. I crocheted all over the place, wherever I had the opportunity to sit still and slowly my very first blanket grew and grew until finally it was complete (it just wasn’t revealed for a while because a relationship break up inconveniently got in the way).

I love my big blanket so much. I love it so much that for a while I couldn’t even bring myself to use it as a blanket because I didn’t want it to get messed up. I know. I’m ridiculous. But throughout this ridiculously cold winter we’ve been having it’s been a welcome addition and has lain over me most nights whilst I try to warm my icy bones.

Crochet was my ally when I was trying to distract myself from the break-up and I channelled my whirligig of emotions into making squares for the SIBOL project – blankets which have been made up from squares from around the world to be passed on to people in care homes in the UK. It was the perfect combination, I got to crochet, I got to stop thinking about the fact that my life was falling apart and I got to contribute and be part of something rather special. I’m hoping to do more squares for them in the New Year when the new challenges for blankets are announced.

Crocheting became my new ‘thing’ and I have rarely been without a hook in my hand throughout 2010. My poor cross stitch has felt terribly neglected (although it’s had its moment too in the form of the Embroidering the Truth exhibition in the summer) by my love of the new craft.

And somehow I have managed in the space of the year to go from someone who completely hated and couldn’t understand crochet, to someone who has made four blankets. I know! FOUR. My big blanket, a blanket for what turned out to be my niece, a patchwork number for my friend for Christmas, and my arch nemesis, the big blue beast for my Mum for Christmas.

There’s still a long way to go. I still class myself very much as a beginner at this game. I’m still most comfortable when I’m grannying and I would like to get more adventurous. I have made a start by making my granny stripe squares that I used in Big Blue and I would definitely like to continue.

I’m definitely getting braver in terms of designing too – the patchwork blanket was a big step for me and one that I’m glad I took, as was Big Blue, those two blankets mean a lot to me in that they really feel like they’re my ‘own’.

So what does 2011 hold for me and crochet?

Hopefully a lot more of it. I want to make another blanket, I need to get The Beast finished and I would really like to make up a cushion.

There are basically 2 goals however:

1. 2011 is the year that I will ripple. I’m telling you. I am going to conquer that ripple if it kills me.

2. 2011 is the year that I will make something that’s more of stretch – I want to make a little teddy or a flower or something that’s a little tougher than just going round and round or back and forth. I know what this means, I need to get over my phobia of proper crochet diagrams and instructions. Eek. I need pictures to help me along the way!

But all in all, I’m pretty proud of myself. I wouldn’t have predicted that by the end of 2010 I’d have made 4 blankets and I feel that it’s probably allowed for me to stand up, put my hand on my heart and say with more than a hint of pride in my voice that 2010 most certainly was, the Year of Crochet.


  1. Congratulations - you've come so far! Liking the bit about channelling through crochet, giving that a go myself at the min. Personal fave is the patchwork one :)

  2. I've been wanting to have a go, but it is all a bit mind boggling. Well done you for conquering it well and good.

  3. If you want an easy way into animals try little Japanese amigurumi. They're quick and simple to make and look very cute.

    There are loads of books in Waterstones and such places. I have one called Amigurumi from the Kyuuto Japanese Crafts series (ISBN: 9780811860826) which uses really foolproof diagrams. I did a post about it a while ago:

  4. i was wondering what was going on there?!! but yes, t'was all worth it for the photos!
    Hope you have a great time at your sis and that you manage to drive down there ok! merry xmas!!

  5. Well done on not letting crochet get the better of you! You've made some lovely blankets.


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