Grandma Anderson taught me some basic stitches when I was a child… and I often hear the term “learning at grandmother’s knee.” Yes, that would be me. Then, I put all of that aside for 30 years. Although I remembered the basic stitches, I never really learned to make anything other than crooked scarves for my Barbie dolls.
I had been thinking about advancing my skills or, well, acquiring skills, for a few years. I would always get the idea in the summer and then think that it is really a winter craft. As it turns out, crocheting kept me cool last season.
In June, I decided to see if I could teach myself to crochet. One can’t get too hot propped up on the sofa with a ball of yarn, a hook and Netflix. I checked out several dozen books from the library and I also watched quite a few tutorial videos on YouTube. Ravelry, of course, has been a priceless resource. Thank goodness for the internet. And, hats off to anyone that has taught themself by book alone!
I found no single book to be the ultimate resource. Alternating between them, comparing directions and photos, was my key to figuring out stitches, turning the fabric, and fastening off. Whenever something wasn’t clear, I headed to the internet to search for video tutorials.
Here are my favorite books so far:
- Simple Crochet – Erika Knight
- Crochet Basics: All You Need to Know to Get Hooked on Crochet – Jan Eaton
- Lily Chin’s Crochet Tips & Tricks: Shortcuts and Techniques Every Crocheter Should Know – Lily Chin
- Learn to Crochet – Sue Whiting
- Learn to Crochet – Sally Harding
- Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti – Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain
- Uncommon Crochet: Twenty-Five Projects Made from Natural Yarns and Alternative Fibers – Julie Armstrong Holetz
There are more in my bookshop.
And, lastly, I leave you with this quote regarding the math of crochet, from an essay by Sigrid Arnott in “Hooked: A Crocheter’s Stash of Wit and Wisdom” (Kari Cornell):
“… I felt overwhelmed by the masses of circular creations that seemed to represent womankind’s challenge to answer the riddle of pi in neverending cotton lace. It seemed odd to me that so many women could say that they are no good at math when they could create a perfect flat circle, or hexagon, or octagon, in lace pattern, no less.
Lace is a way of suspending holes within a stable fabric. So making a doily means a person creates pleasing, repeating geometrical pattterns with these holes, while at the same time making the number of stitches inrease by pi (3.14+) every time the diameter of the doily increases by the height of the average stitch’s width.”