Wednesday, April 26, 2006

needled


The verdict is in - I can't crochet. Not much, anyway.

But dammit, I am going to learn, and I am going to become a master crocheter of dainty lace edgings so that I can achieve the beautiful vision of the vintage-inspired Claudette cap-sleeve top that was originally intended for Jay's Celebration Challenge and is now simply a quest. A quest that I must fulfill soon!

Despite all my foot-dragging (hand-dragging?), the actual knitting part of this project is almost complete. I really want to put a pretty vintage lacey edging around the neckline of this thing, and crochet seems like the sure way to go. In planning this project, I think I got a little over-confident about my nascient crochet skills after knitting up the Cable-Eight top from last spring's Interweave Knits for my sister's Xmas present. (It's a great project, by the way, and I used & loved the Pakucho organic cotton yarn). Anyway, that pattern involved a little crochet edging on the neckline & armholes, and used crocheted seams. I looked at a crochet book, reflected on rather-blurry childhood memories of crocheting with my aunt, and whipped it up. No problem! I remember boldly telling everyone at Stitch & Bitch how easy crocheting was. Like falling off a log, I probably said.

Apparently the fiber goddesses have increased the difficulty of crocheting since then just to thwart me. Gray La Gran was kind enough to lend me a booklet full of fifty fancy crocheted edgings to help me find one for my project. There are plenty that would look wonderful -- but none that I can do! I pulled Simple Crochet and used the instructions on how to crochet a picot edge to do some practicing. I won't show you my first attempts with the actual project yarn - they were a little, um, discouraging - to say the least.

So I got out some overly-fat practice yarn and tried again. This was the first go:



Somehow I confused 'single crochet' with 'slip stitch' and it came out all misshapen, tight and evil. I got straight on the 'single crochet' thing and tried again, with better results:


a giant oversized section of picot made with giant oversized practice yarn. not quite the vintage-inspired delicate look i'm going for...

So it's coming along. It better come all the way along soon, because I want to actually wear this top this summer! And then once I get my crochet skills in order I will be able to make such useful things as string grocery bags, and contemplate perhaps maybe making one of the killer-sick-cute Camilla Engman animals in the new Happy Hooker book. And by the way, take a look at Gray La Gran's excellent crochet work! I am also loving her little knitted bug.

6 comments:

  1. I want to crochet too! I hate seeing cute knitting patterns with crochet embellishments, and not having a clue how to do them. I just ordered "The Happy Hooker" and am determined to find sometime to learn.

    Your "practice" looks great to me!

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  2. I used to crochet in school; little itty bitty things, but I loved it! You make me want to take it up again!

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  3. girl, that's some very decent crocheting you've done! very impressive!

    i have a technical, non-crocheting related question for you: how do you make photo captions on this here blog?

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  4. What the heck are you moaning about!? That is friggin' great crochet there!
    I can crochet, and if I can do it ANYONE can! Seriously... and I started doing lace too, so that tells you how easy I found it! I did an intricate rose doily without breaking a sweat or a needle and thought "huh... that wasn't hard".
    You just need to get over your mental block... you're doing fabuloso!

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  5. it looks like you're doing fine to me! just picture the second sample in a fingering wt. yarn ... and there you have your delicate vintage edging :)
    and, there are some very nice knitted lace edgings lurking out there too! (ie: look at the edging of rowan's audrey)
    aren't those crochet hooks just beautiful?!

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  6. i agree with jay
    you are a fabulouso
    crocheter!
    oh... when you
    figure out
    how to crochet
    perfectly
    then you can make
    me a camilla engman
    animal
    because i have been
    lusting after them
    for quite some time.
    i swear that
    after prelims
    i will make you
    a camilla doll too.

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