Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Crochet Lessons in Perserverance

I'm being taught a lesson in perserverance by Venetia at the moment. For a long time I've liked the idea of being able to crochet, I love brightly coloured crocheted blankets and accessories, I've even tried a couple of times to learn how to crochet, but I've never quite got to grips with it.

A couple of weeks ago Venetia decided that she would like to learn how to crochet. She found a few tutorials on YouTube and sat in front of them working out how to do it with her hook and wool. After a couple of hours practising she came to me frustrated with her progress, her stitches still coming slowly and unevenly. I praised what she'd managed so far and told her that with almost any new skill lots of practice is required before the skill is even close to being mastered. And I gave her lots of positive encouragement to carry on practising, telling her I was sure she'd start seeing big improvements if she did keep trying. Off she went again and she kept at it, here and there over the next few days. And gradually she did find a rhythm with it, her stitches started to look really good and she became much more confident and speedy with it. Once she'd got the hang of her basic chain stitch, she branched out a bit. With every new variation she tried she struggled for a while initially, but she's kept going and is doing brilliantly with it.

Here are her first completed attempts at Granny Squares:

And then she worked out how to change colour:

In one of her squares she used quite fluffy, thick wool (very technical term!) and ended up with a larger square which didn't match, so she's decided to keep going round on this particular one:

She's really excited because two of her teachers (one at school and one at ballet) are pregnant, and she's thinking a crocheted baby blanket for each would be very doable. So her plan is to make one with lots of the small squares, and to keep building up her larger square for the other one until it's baby blanket size.

Her enthusiasm and success encouraged me to give it another try too. I've spent a good few hours over this last week hooking together a chain, then pulling it apart and trying again and again. I'm not even beyond getting passably even stitches in a single line, never mind building it up further. And my hands and fingers feel awkward and clumsy still in my efforts. It feels exactly like my previous attempts when I gave it up in frustration, deciding crochet obviously just wasn't my craft. And right now I would love to give it up again. But there's one difference this time around. This time around I have Venetia smiling kindly at me (as her hook flashes away seemingly effortlessly!), and telling me that it just takes a bit more practice, and that if I keep going I'll definitely get the hang of it! Grrrrrrrrr!



  1. Oh goodness I love this post!!! Way to go Venetia, your granny squares look amazing, and I think you may have just inspired me to try my hand at crochet.

    Sally, I think I might be met with the same frustration if I give this a go....but I will think of Venetia to keep at it and to keep practicing :)

  2. I love hearing this kind of thing. My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was a small girl (many years ago!) and I love it. Sewing and quilting may be my main passion but nothing beats crochet to relax and calm me. There is something wonderful about beautiful wool and the movement of the hook. Happy crocheting Venetia!

  3. I am with you. I have tried so many times to learn to crochet and failed. I can only just make a chain but cannot for the life of me work out how to get any further. I have watched numerous you tube videos and read many books but nothing makes sense. I have now booked on a course being held in my village I am hoping that does the trick! Good luck :)

  4. Venetia's squares are fab! I am not a natural crochet-er either. I have made a few bits and pieces over the years, but recently went to rustle up a granny square for something (as you do) and found I couldn't remember how to do it. I guess it's like any skill, use it or lose it! X

  5. Great post, Sally!!! Well done, Venetia, on both mastering the art of crocheting, and encouraging your Mum to practise till she gets the hang of it. Looks like you'll have two blankets done in no time.

  6. You need someone encouraging you, the way you encouraged Venetia. You Go Can do it!!!

  7. Ah now you have no excuses - welcome to the dark side! And well done Venetia, those are awesome granny squares, and what a sweet and lovely plan to turn them into blankets for her teachers :)

  8. I love this. The two of you encouraging each other. Nice.

  9. That is a lovely post. What a great way to learn. You played your own part in inspiring her to get past the lumpy bumpy stage. Excellent.

  10. Bless her - shes done such a grand job!!
    Keep persevering - its not easy to start but gets much easier. If its any consolation the first row after chain is the most HORRID! Also start with double stitch rather than a single. A nice thing to start is a chain 20 with thick wool (sz6 hook) and double stitch back and forth (chain 2 at the end of the row)
    Drop me an email if you want - im pretty terrible at crochet but enjoy it and am always after the easy ways haha

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