An Introduction

Greetings, Crocheters!

 As my first blog post as the new Assistant Editor for Interweave Crochet, I thought I’d share a little bit about me and how I came to Interweave.

First off I am a transplant from the Midwest having been born and raised on the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin by my mother, a seamstress and crafter extraordinaire, and my dad, a newspaper editor (I know, it boggles the mind how I ended up writing about crochet). My mom taught me and a lot of other second graders how to knit during a school workshop when I was seven and she sat me down at a sewing machine very early on, too. In fact, many of the hooks and needles in my collection are her plastic circulars and aluminum Boye hooks from the seventies.

My Mom, Gramma, and Me

My grandmother (her mom) was and still is a prolific crocheter and knitter. When we visited her on the farm in rural Wisconsin, her fingers were constantly flying in the process of making a doily, booties or a blanket for one grandchild or another. Her output still far exceeds mine, and these two ladies remain to this day my craft-y idols! Still, I never thought of knit and crochet as a career path until fairly recently.

After trudging along in the retail world for the past decade, I realized that my yarn and needles occupied at least as much time as my forty hour a week job and I knew I needed a change. I also turned thirty this past year and as most milestones usually do, this one got me rethinking my values and about moving into a job that more closely reflected them.

I’ve always thought that needlecrafts help to preserve some of my most closely held values; patience, generosity, creativity, tenacity, and ingenuity not the least among them. In this day and age it’s not uncommon to get almost anything at the touch of a button and I find it really important to preserve ideals not related to instant gratification. And I feel like the people of our community share those sentiments. How could I NOT want to be party to all that?!? And although until recently most of my needles occupied more time than my hooks, what’s happening in crochet makes me so excited to explore this world and share my successes and many (oh, the many!) foibles with all of you.

On that note, I wanted to begin to share with all of you how I am going about learning all this stuff, and hopefully help other new crocheters brave all sorts of scary tasks. Plus, I think that most people no matter how advanced their skills may be are able to relate to wanting to be challenged and wanting to try new things in crochet. I know that even though it’s been over twenty years, I still love challenging my knitting skills. To do that, I need projects that are small (because I have a LOT to learn in a short amount of time) and that require skills that I have yet to acquire. I set out to our library and found an adorable crochet hat pattern from Kim Werker’s Crocheted Gifts, which contained an actual square motif and had a really clear crochet pattern diagram.

 Now, the most difficult part to wrap my head around in crochet is where to insert the hook. In knitting, it’s almost always the next stitch on the needle. Not so, with crochet. To just read about where to put the hook without yet being able to anticipate where in the work that actually is or what it looks like has been a frustrating exercise! Enter the wonderful world of STITCH DIAGRAMS!! I LOVE the stitch diagram.

Crochet square motif
My Very Own Crocheted Square

It gives me a great frame of reference for what my work should begin to look like, and from where the next loop should be pulled. I actually only read about two rows from this pattern and completed the rest by simply looking at the drawing. If you have been afraid to try them in the past I highly recommend you throw caution to the wind and try making something without using written instructions. Try a granny square, or a pattern that is built off of one. When you’re done you can use it as a coaster or hang it on your wall as a reminder of your mastery. I’m going to put mine on the pegboard by my desk as a badge of honor.  Make a bunch and you can put em’ all together like Marcy did for her iCozy!

Picking up a hook and working in an endless variety of dimensions is a surprising, funky adventure so far.  I can’t wait to share more with you.  I’m so proud and excited to be a member of this amazing group and I promise to be the best crochet ambassador I can be!

 Cheers!

-Sharon

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.