Today I want to write about the fun I am having at Crochet Camp.
What a brilliant concept this is! The brain child of the lovely Kat Goldin, and a fantastic way of bringing crocheters or aspiring crocheters (like me!) together over a hook and some yarn. We haven't only been crocheting, we've been spinning a yarn about it as well on the facebook group which Kat set up, where everyone can show off their work, write about their experience of the patterns and yarns, and just generally enthuse about all things crochet.
It took me until Wednesday to get my kit out and get started, due to work and life and stuff getting in the way. In the odd spare minutes on Monday and Tuesday I was oohing and sighing over everyone's else's work on facebook, which was kinda useful because I was able to learn some lessons which I could apply to my own project.
Now, I have been knitting non-stop since I was seven years old (I'm 40 this year - Argh!) but I only picked up a crochet hook when I was about 33 for the first time, and taught myself to do the BASICS. I crocheted a blanket, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but then never took things to the next level, and the crochet hooks got buried beneath the knitting needles.
So, when I heard about crochet camp, I knew this was my chance. Here is the front of my potholder (above). I did this in one evening, but was watching the Apprentice at the same time, so that's why I was so slow! I sewed it up the next morning, discovering that my stem was a bit too long, so I had to give it an artistic bend. The pattern says to make two chains for the stems, but I cheated and made one and folded it in half. I love finding short cuts.
Here is my finished potholder. I had to change the design, because of my tension problems. Basically, my red back piece came out about 0.5cm bigger than the blue one all the way round! So, rather than start again, I crocheted the two pieces together by inserting the hook into the second st/row in on the red piece, and half a st/row in on the blue piece. This brought the two pieces together whilst keeping them flat. It meant I had to do the edging in red instead of blue, otherwise this cunning plan would have just looked like what it really was - a bit of a mess. Anyway, I think the end result is ok, don't you? Not bad for a near beginner. Oh, and the other thing I did differently from the pattern was to create the hanging loop as I went round making my edging, instead of doing it afterwards. I hate sewing in ends, so this was another cheat on my part.
This has really helped me think about the end user when writing my own knitting patterns and the importance of tension, and the difficulty of achieving the right tension that a beginner has. I really liked the way Kat included photos all the way through her patterns of each step, and this is a real necessity for a beginner, or even someone like me who has crocheted before but can't remember anything other than a dc!
I'm crazy about yarn, Scotland, food, my husband and my three girls, and I live in a perpetual state of organised chaos. Some just call it creativity.