This weekend I went on a crochet bender. (I also went on the first of many, many training rides, and it was so cold, windy and difficult that today my arse would like to write a blog post all its own about the indignities I put it through, but I have denied it the privilege.) This scarf I’m working on has you knit in waste yarn into several openings (by several, let’s be clear. It’s freaking 58) and then when the knitting is done, you take out the waste yarn, revealing an opening, with stitches above and below, which you then crochet around with a contrast yarn to secure the live stitches and decorate the edges. I worked on it forever.
I had one big problem. I don’t like crocheting.* It makes me crazy.** I have trouble remembering which terms from which country apply, despite practice I’m simply clumsy with the hook, and I experience wild and varied problems with tension. For me, crocheting*** is like making artichokes. It’s a ton of fiddly, tricky work**** and usually when I’m done I get something I’m not crazy about anyway.***** Maybe I was indoctrinated in knitting at too young an age, maybe I’m doomed, but I can say this: every once in a while, something comes along that makes crochet worth it for me, and this scarf is one of those things, and here I am.
Each one of these openings takes me about 13.5 minutes, if I want it to look nice – and that’s only now that I’m up to speed.******* (This does not include time taken to get another coffee or change into my flannel jammies just in case either of those things helped.) Crochet and I are so at odds with each other****** that to make it come out right, there’s swearing, and fiddling, and I’ve done at least five of those completely over again, and I had to use Lucy’s super clear chart of where the hell the holes are that you put the hook in the whole time, if I had any hopes of all the openings looking the same. (That’s a thing about crochet that I find really hard. Knitting? You put your needle in the next stitch. Crochet? THAT HOOK CAN GO IN ANYWHERE. Choose wisely, young Jedi.)
I’ve got one end of the scarf done, and that’s 29 openings, and it looks fantastic, and that my friends, represents just about seven hours of work. Last night I snapped and knit a little garter stitch just to remind myself that there are parts of the textile arts that I don’t suck at. It’s breaking me a little, this crochet, and knowing I’m only half done… but still…
Doesn’t it look pretty?
*Note what I said. “Crocheting” as in “the act of accomplishing crochet.” Now note that I didn’t say “crocheters” or “things that are made of crochet.” I know we’ve been down this road before, but there’s a big difference there.
** Note: IT. Not you, if you like crochet.
****For me. I understand that lots of people, particularly actual crocheters, instead of occasional wannabees with strong knitterly tendencies do just fine and think that it’s knitting that’s fiddly and tricky. Both positions are permissible, depending on perspective and skill. Right?
***** This is like the way that some people don’t like carrots or wool, you’re totally allowed to dislike things without having a moral judgment made about you. It’s not like you can tell someone walks in the heart of darkness because they think spinach is gross.
****** Me and crochet, not me and crocheters. Some of my best friends are hook adept.
*******I want to know how long it takes Lucy to do one. Or any competently bi-craftual person, actually.