Back to Basics

I decided, after cutesy amigurumi I should attempt something a project that was a bit more practical. I flipped open a crochet magazine I had purchased over a year ago (in hopes that one day I would understand it), found a “easy” -ishly rated project of a scarf and with my new found confidence started off…

… and got stuck on Row 2.

(Ch2, {tr cl, ch2} 3 times) – – what?!

My first reaction was to try something easier. So I attempted an asterisk headband. I ended up making two as I made the first one exactly to the pattern only to remember as I was sc the straps that my head is large and it would not fit nicely. The pattern is made up of single and double crochet and ends up looking a lot fancier than its simple stitches. Above is a picture of the larger head band I made. Instead of repeating the asterisk pattern 5 times as directed, my head required 8. I also made the straps shorter. I had hoped this would be something I could wear now, but here in Sydney it is currently Spring, and only getting warmer by the day.

I was pretty happy with how the headband turned out – still, that didn’t solve the problem of not being able to read the scarf pattern. So I turned to the book (The Bantam Step by Step Book of Needle Craft – my copy is my mum’s which she got during the 80’s) I learned to crochet from and attempted a few sample swatches.

The first two swatches I attempted were the “Scalloped Circle” and “Primula Circle”.  I felt humbled to see that the book labelled them under “Simple” and “Plain” medallions. They did turn out to be less daunting than they appeared though, made up each of only four rounds and a combinations of single, double and triple crochet stitches.

Feeling a little bit more ambitious I attempted a “Willow Lace Square”. It was only four rounds too. But it also involved a “cluster”. Thankfully, the book explained it – and after some crocheting, undoing crocheting, redoing crocheting – I had a piece of lace – and I knew how to make clusters!

As I final piece that day I attempted a “Flower Hexagon”. It consisted of 9 rounds and at times I doubted if I was doing the right thing but in the end I was also able to complete that! And by then, I was going cross eyed from working with cotton thread and a 1.25mm hook (as opposed to my usual size 4 hook) so I called it a day. 🙂

After reading patterns other than those of amigurumi and learning a new stitch I later attempted the scarf again. And though I’m not sure I was reading and following the pattern entirely right, it looked a lot closer to the picture in the magazine than my first attempt! I could finally understand enough to make it come together!

I didn’t end up finishing this scarf though – in fact I pulled it apart yesterday (I was using too thick a wool so though it looked okay in the above picture, it looked lumpy in comparison to the elegant magazine version, and if I was going to spend time creating something, I wanted it to be of a quality I was proud of).
Even so, from these various swatches and projects I was reminded that it is worth stepping out of your comfort zone and persevering in things that seemingly difficult. Back in uni whilst working on my final project I’d be constantly describing different tasks as “scary” until one day my supervisor told me – “it’s not scary, it’s just unknown”. And its true. Not just here with crochet, but also so many other things in life.

You never know what you can and can’t do until you try! 🙂


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