Where did you learn to crochet?

I get this question all the time. Pinterest seems to have piqued a lot of people’s interest in crochet, as well as other domestic-y activities–but I first picked up a crochet hook several years before the Pinterest-verse exploded.

My freshman year of college, back in the dark ages of 2006, there were several girls in my dorm who crocheted. They made such colorful blankets and throws out of such beautiful yarn, and I’ve always been a pretty crafty person, so I decided to give it a try myself. My mom, who had learned as a kid, was able to show me the rudimentary idea–but there was a lot she couldn’t remember. So, she picked up this kid’s book on learning to crochet, and I took it from there.

Now, my first few years of crocheting were full of fits and starts. I would pick up a project for a little while, get frustrated, and leave it in the closet for the next three months. I think one of the biggest mistakes I made in my early crochet career was that I nearly always tackled big projects–blankets and throws, rugs, etc. This is a huge mistake for the beginning crocheter. Even now, I rarely take on big projects like that, and when I do, I try to chop them up into smaller bits. Because just like every other big project in life (writing and noveling included), you have to be able to meet goals, see progress, and get a sense of accomplishment now and then in order to keep going with a big crochet project. That’s why granny square blankets are so great–you win a small victory every time you complete a square, and that sense of accomplishment keeps you motivated and working toward the bigger goal.

I really got into crochet in graduate school, when I met my roommate, Kayla. Our favorite way to de-stress after class was to sit in the living room with a bottle of wine, our crochet projects, and an episode of NCIS on the television. Yes, we were twenty-three-year-old-grandmothers, and yes, we were awesome.

It was during one of these evenings that I found this pattern for crochet sunglasses cases on Pinterest. I absolutely adore this project–it’s small, simple, practical, and oh-so-cute. Check out my own well-worn case:

sunglasses case 4 sunglasses case 1

I tweaked the original pattern a bit, to fit my yarn/hook/sunglasses, but it’s essentially the same. I make these little cases all the time for my friends and family–they’re great gifts, and you can whip one up in less than an hour.

So, if you’re just learning to crochet, here’s my advice: start small. Go ahead and inundate your friends and family with all the homemade washcloths and coasters and sunglasses cases they could possibly need. Because especially when you’re just starting out, you’re going to need that sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing a project.

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One thought on “Where did you learn to crochet?

  1. Pingback: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? | Jennifer A. Banning

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