Edit 1/25/09 – Please note I linked to the wrong pattern book for the Dusty Miller sweater pictured above. The correct book is Crochet Aran Sweaters by the same author. Sadly it looks like Amazon doesn’t have this book. It may be out of print.
Let me confess here. I once had a very low opinion of crochet. Crochet was for Christmas themed toilet roll cozies and Grandma crafts that included walnut critters with googly eyes. Don’t get me wrong I wax nostalgic for anything with googly eyes, but about 10 years ago when I re-discovered knitting, I was determined to pick up knitting again because I didn’t want to crochet. Crochet reminded me of orthopedic shoes and support hose.*
Crochet wasn’t sexy.
Now let me apologize to all the crochetiers and crochet afficionados out there by saying “I WAS WRONG.” More than a year ago I was introduced to the idea of Crochet being for all sorts of gorgeous garments in one of Brenda Dayne’s Cast On podcasts. This podcast along with the work in Interweave Crochet magazine gradually transformed my opinion of crochet.
I discovered that crochet can be used to make aesthetically pleasing garments of not just lace but well structured and sturdy articles of clothing. It can be used to make stylish and fashionable accessories and household objects. I ran a quick search on Flickr and I found many wonderful examples.
But crochet also sparks the imagination and fancy in a way that knitting does not. In the Flickr search I found wonderful objects and creatures that are not easy to find among knitted toys. I’ve made knitted objects before. I’ve knit and shaped the muzzle of a bear and the steps you take (increases, decreases and short rows) felt more like following a mystery puzzle than a pattern. A while back I took a class on how to make Amigurumi, and a sparks shot off in my head. Crochet made more sense to me ‘geometrically’ than knitting. There are different possibilities with crochet because you can structure and shape three dimensional objects easily with strategic increases and decreases. You can build spheres, cylinders, tubes, even cubical objects easily and these structures are pretty sturdy and can stand up on their own when crocheted with certain fibers.
This year I’m teaching a few crochet classes at the Naked Sheep Knit Shop. My first class “Learn to Crochet” starts next week. I’m incredibly excited to share my new found love of this fiber art with others. Through swatching, and experimentation with stitches and textures, I’m hoping to guide my students through the basics and help each of them pick a beginner project . I think there are three people currently in the course and there is more space left.
If you’re interested (and live in the Portland Metro Area) I”m also teaching a course on Amigurumi toys. All the information is listed in the link below.
- Naked Sheep Knit Shop (Portland, OR) Class Schedule
- Crochet Aran Sweaters
- Crochet Me – a network for people who love crochet/crochet arts
- Interweave Crochet Magazine
- Amigurumi Article from Crochet Me
*Please note… I didn’t hate crochet back then… I just had some erroneous preconceptions based me associating it with senior ladies. Like most youth… I didn’t want to be associated with ‘older people’ and their sense of style. Though this doesn’t explain my love of Big Band as an adolescent. To be truthful, I do also have some very fond memories of crochet. The woman who was our babysitter and caregiver was an avid crocheter… she taught me how to make my first object… a hat that looked more like a sausage.