I made half a hat
Sometimes I wonder if I should feel bad for not partying more, for not being more sensational and intentionally polarising – opinionated and fuelled! – like a person my age should be. But fuck it. I like my peaceful sort-of-uneventful life; it gives me space to explore things rather than being forced into them.
For example, I spent the other night crocheting half a hat. It’s nice to learn a new skill and I’m somewhat confident now that if I were stuck on a deserted island, I could probably make myself a pair of undies and a beanie.
Crocheting is not what I expected at all. I thought it would be like this:
But it’s actually like this:
For starters, you have to hold and stitch with a relaxed grip. The noob instinct is to pull real night so you don’t drop everything, but that makes it hard to pull stitches through in the next row. A comfortable size stitch seems to be loose enough for two needles (like knitting). This is called ‘tension’.
Another tricky bit is knowing where to stick the needle. There are different types of single crochet stitches – one where you stitch through the top of the chain, one through the back of the chain, and one through both the top and back of the chain. This makes more sense when you follow a video tutorial for the first time and they take you through creating your first row. Each of these stitch methods produces a subtly different stitch pattern on the fabric, which crocheters use to achieve specific effects.
‘In-the-round’ is what you call it when you do a round project like a hat or doiley. Where in knitting, you need a different set of needles, crochet lets you jump straight in with what you’ve got. The only difference between round crocheting and straight crocheting is how you do your foundation chain (make it a loop instead of a straight row). Easy, huh!
For anyone else just starting out too, here are the tutorials and instructions I’ve found most helpful:
- Naztazia’s basics for absolute beginners (YouTube)
- Lucille’s single crochet and double crochet stitch demos (dumb ads at the start are not skippable)
- Single crochet stitch variations (About.com)
- Into the foundation chain (Crochet Cabana)
- Simple crochet beanie hat pattern (About.com)