5th February 2017: Day 17 - Hook or Crook?
My mum taught me how to knit when I was quite young and then I put it to one side because I hadn’t yet learned about delayed gratification and couldn’t be bothered with the time it would take to complete the garment – usually a scarf for one of my dolls. But once I hit my late teens I went back to it with the help of an aunt that was staying with us (my mum was now living in Nigeria). I got better when I was working at the Royal Bank of Scotland as I waited to get my first acting job. I was in the filing section of the Foreign Exchange department. We had to file the transactions from the day before – dozens of them – and I worked with two older women who had mastered the art of efficient filing so that we finished the bulk of the morning’s work by elevenses. Sometimes we would get more filing later in the day but most times not, but we were required to stay there the whole day. So what did they do? They sat at their desks knitting and I joined them and that’s where I became an expert knitter (or knit).
Today is the first Sunday of the month which means today is the February meeting for our Knitting Group. We get together in Jane’s house, bring our projects; knitting, crochet, tapestry or cross stitch (I’m not sure which), and some bring culinary creations - cakes, and for a couple of hours, once a month we knit/crochet, drink cups of tea, and coffee and chat about nothing in particular. Once a year we meet on a Friday in early October for our annual jolly to the Knitting and Stitching Show (aka the Stitch n Bitch Show) at Ally Pally. The other nice thing about the group is that there’s interest in what we’re doing and the finished product. I couldn’t go today so I didn’t get a chance to show off my latest completed project, a poncho, which I was knitting at the last 2 meetings. I decided I would spend the time I would be at the group (between 3 and 5pm) knitting anyway.
But Every Day for 50 days is about doing something I’ve never done before and so, rather than knit something I haven’t tried before like baby booties or a soft toy I opted to learn a new skill. To learn to crochet.
Those of you that are reading this blog each day will remember that on Friday I had to buy a crochet hook. It was for today. I also considered buying a crochet book so I could get instructions because I wouldn’t get a tutorial because I wasn’t going to the knitting group. I found one, a book, but just as I was about to go and pay for it a voice said
So, that’s what I did, I went on YouTube to find a beginner’s tutorial for how to crochet. And there were quite a few. I chose ‘How to Crochet for Absolute Beginners: Part 1 posted by simplydaisy who, in eight minutes and thirty-six seconds, showed me how to crochet my first square using the single crochet stitch.
There was one hitch though, she crocheted right handed and I’m left handed. Maybe it wouldn’t have been a big deal if I had learned as a child. My mum taught me how to knit right handed which is what I’ve done most of my life as I didn’t know there was a choice. The only exception was some years ago, after I jarred my right shoulder in a bad car accident. My shoulder couldn’t take the constant twirling of yarn around the needle so I taught myself to knit with my left hand. I didn’t keep that up after my shoulder healed because right handed knitting felt natural to me the same way that having the fork in my left hand and the knife in my right is natural and comes easily - because I wasn’t given any other option. But I can’t slice vegetables or cut a loaf of bread with my right hand and so it seems I can’t crochet with my right hand either. The good news is that my brain was able to transpose simplydaisy’s instructions to my left hand and within 5 minutes of watching the tutorial I was away with my first square and within an hour, though I was a bit slow, I had crocheted 3 little single crochet stitch squares. My squares aren’t perfect but they’re not a disaster either.
I’m glad I gave it a try. It’s easier than I thought it would be, at least the single crochet stitch is. It’s too soon to say if crochet is something I’ll enjoy doing but I’m certainly going to give it a go; learn some other stitches, make something useful and see how that turns out. Then I’ll decide