Wednesday, April 26, 2006


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.


  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!

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

  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?

  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!

  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?!

  6. i agree with jay
    you are a fabulouso
    oh... when you
    figure out
    how to crochet
    then you can make
    me a camilla engman
    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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