Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Old Hobbies Die Hard

Growing up I was extremely lucky to have a grandmother and great aunt (also like a grandmother) who were incredibly talented seamstresses and crocheters.  In my pre-teen and teen years I worked on various projects with them.  It was hard work, but incredibly rewarding and enjoyable.  I still have the sewing kit they left me, as well as the old Singer, which is badly in need of repairs.

While I have no space right now to set up a sewing shop, crochet needles take up a lot less space.  The last piece I crocheted was completed during my first winter break of undergrad, many years ago.  It was a very small throw, mostly because I ran out of yarn.  I had begun the project a few years before, and by the time I got around to finishing the blanket, I had forgotten one of the stitches. But I held on to my little blanket, and then it found its perfect use as a blanket for my son.

For the past few months I had been thinking of taking up crochet again.  It is very calming and I have always liked working with my hands and creating objects that can be both beautiful and useful.  So when a few weeks ago I was able to snag about 16 skeins of pure wool yarn that had been shorn from a single sheep (I think) for $4 at a yard sale, it was time to pick up my hook once more.  After a few days of practicing stitches again I realized that if I really wanted to get back into this craft, that I would need a new set of hooks.  I was using an old Susan Bates hook that had been my great aunt's.  And while it is a very god hook, it was causing my hands to cramp and even starting a blister on one of my knuckles.  Yes, I was probably holding the hook too tightly, but I also knew that there must have been some advancements in hooks over the years.  So after a little searching online, I bought some ergonomic hooks with super comfortable rubber coated handles.  Not only are my hands no longer cramping, but the hooks actually make me hold them better.  You can find the set I have here.

I also went ahead and decided to buy a pattern.  I have never crocheted with a pattern before, and honestly, trying to read a crochet or knitting pattern is like trying to learn a whole new language.  I mean, they have more acronyms than Washington, D.C.! But I found this insanely gorgeous cardigan (which is actually hard, since there are not a lot of good modern crochet patterns out there) that looks like something you would find at Anthropology, so I decided to dive in. The pattern is by Kat Goldin, who also has some lovely patterns for accessories and kids.

Styling by Claire Montgomerie for Inside Crochet
Photos by Britt Spring

Since I am just getting back into the habit, I am using what I have, so the wrong type of yarn and the wrong hook size.  I am hoping to get some linen blend yarn to do a summer weight version once I am back in the swing of things. But for now, I am happy to have something calming to do on the metro (even if I get some stares). I'll post an update once the first draft of the sweater is done.


  1. Looking good! Great photos and a nice story. Can't wait to see the sweater!

    1. Thanks! Unfortunately there was more to this post that has somehow disappeared into the ether. I'll have to learn to save text somewhere else before I hit publish. :(