Chain of Fools

As if the myriad hobbies I have weren't enough, I decided to take up crochet. Yeah...go ahead and laugh.

In last week's post, Short Attention Span Theater, I talked about my inspiration for doing crochet - creating yarn work in the round and amigurumi (the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures.) Lion Brand Yarns has a great weekly newsletter with patterns and tips and such. A couple of months ago, the patterns were these awesome handmade washcloths that are round and, of course, crocheted. Also, a couple of years ago, I impulsed purchased a book of amigurumi called Creepy Cute Crochet because, well, the patterns were creepy and cute. Note the word "crochet" in the title.

Lion Brand has awesome patterns
Creepy Cute Crochet
Seriously. So cute. And creepy.

So, I went to the library and got a few books out. Seven to be exact. Overkill? Maybe a bit. But I wanted to make sure my bases were covered. What I discovered was this:
  • Photos of actual hands crocheting seem to be easier to follow
  • Illustrations can be very difficult to understand
  • Nearly every "beginner crochet" book contains the same, basic instructions for making chains and doing your first rows of crochet
Any of these books can get you started so, in the end, it's really just a matter of taste.

I like Crochet: The Complete Guide by Jane Davis because it's a three-ring binder style so it lays flat while you're trying to learn. It also has excellent photos of various stitches so you know what it's supposed to look like (not what mine look like currently.)

I'm also fond of Beginner's Guide to Crochet by Pauline Turner because it uses photos of real hands and, after every stitch lesson, there's a simple pattern to employ that method.

Crocheting for Dummies is, like most "For Dummies" books, more information than anyone should ever need. However, I was VERY impressed with the quality of the content and the way the information was presented. If you, quite literally, knew nothing about yarn and yarn work, this book would be indispensable.

Who is that on the cover of "For Dummies"? Amy Poehler?

So, using my plethora of library books, I took a my first tentative steps into crocheting. I feel really awkward and I'm having a lot of trouble with tension. For your enjoyment, I've posted a couple of videos of me trying to crochet. Think of it as watching a baby horse taking its first steps - wobbly and silly.

One fun thing to note: check out how I'm making the chain. It's kind of like binding off in knitting. This is what happens when we mix disciplines. Also, I'm pretty sure that I'm doing the yarn-over in the wrong direction.

I'm sure all you crocheters out there are going to be shaking your head and laughing. Just know, I'm laughing right along with you. And, I plan on being able to make that washcloth before too long. 

- Alex

PS - Cassandra and I went to lunch today and we worked on crocheting a bit. Thought you might enjoy this image:


  1. Glad to see you are learning to crochet! It is one of the most rewarding hobbies ever! =)

  2. @K@AuroraBlythe - Thanks for the encouragement. I have to admit that it's slow going but I'm determined! :) - Alex