Thursday, October 2, 2008

Crochet Me

Somehow or other, I've become a crocheter.  I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but this is what I recall.
I first encountered crochet when I was about 15 or 16.  During my Junior High through High School years, I was part of a group called Musicon Ministries; I'm not really going to go into all the details of it, but all you need to know about it for this story is that it involved a group of kids from all over CT who met for weekend retreats during the year.  Part of these retreats was a large group session/lecture, and one weekend, a girl was working on crocheting an afghan, and worked on it during all the sessions.  I asked her about it at some point and she said it was really easy once you got the pattern down, and mentioned even crocheting during her classes at school.
Skip ahead to 2002, when the first Michael's I ever encountered opened, and I picked up a teach-kids-to-crochet-stuff kit, and learned how to crochet a drawstring bag.  I made a couple more, but after that I didn't do any more crocheting for a few years, although not for want of trying.  For some reason I couldn't commit to a project (although being in college at the time probably had something to do with that).  Skip ahead again to the end of 2006, when I suddenly decided I wanted to crochet another drawstring bag (having lost the others I made).  Unfortunately for me, I couldn't find the materials that came with the kit, and when I tried finding it again at Michael's, they didn't have any.  Fortunately, a local Jo-Ann Fabrics did have the exact kit I wanted, so I was back to crocheting again.  I made grand plans of making drawstring bags for everyone I knew, but after two, my interest waned again.
Skip ahead one last time to this past May.  While browsing in the library, I noticed Get Hooked Again on display, and remembered seeing the first Get Hooked on Amazon, so I picked it up, figuring that maybe the patterns would inspire me to take up crochet again.  Just a few days later, I was at a newly opened Borders (I went because of special offer coupons only valid at that store), and while I waited in line, I noticed a crochet kit that came with not only instructions on how to crochet, two balls of yarn and a set of five hooks, but 50 pattern cards, all for only 8 dollars.  It seemed like destiny, so of course I picked it up.
Between the book and the kit, I found out something rather important: I had been crocheting the wrong way!  In all my previous endeavours, I had been going through each round by putting my hook in the back loop of each stitch, rather than under both of them, which is proper crocheting.  Going through the back loop produces a ribbed effect.  Perhaps it was finding this out that let me stick with crochet this time around, as I proceeded to crochet all summer long, sometimes to my detriment (I missed posting on time in one of my class discussions because I thought I had another day and wanted to work on a tote bag while watching one of the Indiana Jones movies), but mostly to my pleasure.
This whole post is just the lead-up to my showing off my latest, and first wearable, creation, the Coming Home Poncho.  I picked up the pattern in a shop in Bermuda, which is also where I got the hook I used for it, although I didn't want to scare my husband by getting all four balls of yarn needed for it, so I didn't get to work on it until I was actually home.  It took a little under a month, although if I'd worked on it more often, it probably would have taken less time.  Behold:
It's pretty warm.  The yarn is Lion Brand Homespun in Montana Sky (the actual pattern calls for Prairie or something like that, but it was too boring.  I like blue a lot better).  While I don't feel confident enough to do actual fitted items yet, I wouldn't mind doing something like a vest next.  

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