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Monday, August 3, 2015

Hooked on a Classic, or How I Learned to Stop Resisting and Starting Crocheting

I spent my girlhood trying out almost every craft out there, but I dropped some on the way because I only had so much time and an impossibly long list of projects to complete before I die.  One of those I dropped was crochet, despite the cute little doohickies (so quick to make!) and brightly colored granny squares (love!).  And I stayed strong, for over twenty years, before I finally succumbed thanks to two freebie kits from the Mollie Makes magazine.

The first one I tried was the dreamcatcher -- a crochet doily/mandala attached around the perimeter to a plastic hoop:

I broke out my trusty Complete Guide to Needleworkfrom Reader's Digest and got hooking:
And so it begins ...
Reader's Digest assured me tension was not an issue, as long as my stitches were the same length, but that's not really true, and my center doily thing ended up just a bit too big for the hoop. 
See it bunching at the edge?
 Also, apparently I was crocheting into one loop rather than two, which seemed easier to me (I suspect doing it correctly results in a sturdier fabric, not that that matters in this case).  And, of course, I had to figure all this out backwards, because I'm left-handed (although, to the book's credit, they do demonstrate a few stitches for both hands).

Once I finished, I added some beads to the fringe because why not?

There are some cultural appropriations issues with this project; the little intro from the designer claims "Dreamcatchers were traditionally used by the First Nations of North America ...."  Dreamcatchers originated by the Ojibwe people, later adopted by a few neighboring groups. The idea of dreamcatchers representing all indigenous cultures as a whole is a very recent notion, and one not looked upon too kindly by many people of those cultures; there is an unfortunate tendency to treat all indigenous tribes as interchangeable. And then, the packet for the kit advertises it as "Scandi style," which is ... odd.  I guess it's a reference to the color scheme?

The next crochet kit was for a little frame with petals around the edge:
And here is where I ran into some trouble (aside from the occasional wonky stitch, clearly visible above) -- lots of patterns in the round tell you to make x stitches into y stitches from the previous round, with no guidance on how to distribute those stitches in the base.  I tried to keep it symmetrical (i.e. 1-2-2-1-2-2-1, eleven stitches into seven stitches), and I think that is what's expected, but it's probably something one picks up by crocheting with an expert buddy.

They suggested framing an inspirational quote, but I don't roll that way.  Instead I will stitch or embroider a little motif for the center.

I've already got several more crochet projects lined up.  Because I'm insane.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to the link about the inspirational quotes! I love the piece you designed. Now I am thinking of the Bear from Going on a Bear Hunt when he walks along the beach dejected because everyone hid from him under the quilt!