Monday, 16 February 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #1 How I fell in love with crochet

I found this cute pic online a while ago ^o^
 On the way home from work today (yes I'm actually writing this on the day I'm posting it, rather than pre-scheduling which I love especially on a work day), I began thinking of all the topics I will make future posts about. This topic, however, is totally spur of the moment and, to use a favourite phrase of mine, I'm winging it! 

I learnt to knit when I was little...but sadly didn't learn from a cute penguin!
Originally I'm a knitter. I promise to go into more depth about my knitting beginnings but for now it's enough that you know I could knit before I could crochet. I've knitted since I was a child, ditto sewing cross stitch, but, due to health reasons which meant my hands and arms didn't do quite what I wanted when I wanted, I've had to give both up for a few years on at least 2 occasions. It's never enjoyable to give up what you love but I didn't have a choice. The plus side is I discovered video gaming, which eventually brought about my anime passion, which is finding its way into my crochet projects!
There will be a full post explaining how this blanket has an Aikatsu theme soon
My memory is a bit vague but I started crochet only a few years ago. I've always wanted to be able to quilt, especially since I love learning about the Amish way of life, and the Amish are the quilt mistresses of the world! 
Since I love leaves this would be a perfect quilt for me! I got it here.
 Well, they are in my eyes, and I'm pretty sure in lots of others too. I have a lovely computerised sewing machine waiting for me to be well enough to use it. 
My ideal self can do a lot of sewing  ^o^
 Unfortunately sewing with a machine uses a lot of mental energy which these days I don't have. I hope that one day I'll go back to it, which may be possible by the end of the year, but until then my machine will gather dust. Poor machine. She's called Rinoa, after the character in the video game Final Fantasy 7. 
Rinoa is quite a rebel - and look, wears knitted clothes!

I promise all this is related to crochet! When I started going back to my local craft shop (I've since had to stop due to health reasons as I need my midweekly rest more than I need to chat about everything including craft), I can't remember exactly what started my interest but I wanted to learn to crochet granny squares. 
This is a cotton dishcloth, made by me, soon to be on sale here
I'd seen them around a lot. Because a lot of the time when I suffer fatigue I can watch shows/listen to audio books, I like to be doing something with my hands. Although now doing cross stitch is easy when tired, pre-crochet it wasn't, and there are times now I don't want to keep looking at a pattern and counting, which takes far too much mental energy. That's mostly why although I knitted a bit, I wanted to learn crochet because a granny square is essentially the same pattern row after row, after row. I don't have to count, and believe me counting to simply 10 can be tricky when I'm worn out. I don't have to worry about tension - I keep a relatively even tension, and for the projects I do I don't need to make sure my stitches fit within certain measurements. I can just crochet. Plus it's not so heavy to hold up as knitting is, also a factor in doing crochet.

I've no idea which anime this is from, but I love that the girls are knitting together at school ^o^
Like all beginners my first square wasn't exactly a square, but with persistance I slowly grew in confidence and can now proudly crochet granny squares even when I'm falling half asleep. I've taught a close friend to crochet, who in turn taught her sister and a friend. I've taught one member of my family who has similar health issues to me and she finds it easier than knitting. Later on this year I'll be teaching another family member who is a knitting pro, but a total crochet newbie. Crochet - in fact any craft - is a sociable skill. It's more than possible to chat away while doing crochet, whether you stick to simple granny squares like me, go for more complex versions, or even, gasp, crochet in rows! Something I can't yet do, but the friend who I taught can. I'm so proud of her and a bit jealous but one day I'll get on to rows...if I want to. I adore my granny squares! 
They look stylish however they are folded. This was for a relatively young boy in my family.
  That's pretty much how I fell in love with crochet. When extra tired I crochet while listening to audiobooks because it's easy for me to zone out, and makes me feel like I'm achieving something even when I can't physically do very much. Crochet makes me feel like I'm one step closer to quilting, because if you use lots of different colour granny squares and put them together they look a bit like a patchwork quilt!
My very first (& so far only) granny square 'quilt' - you only see half because my crochet skills were extremely new, and lets just say that some squares have come undone - this is not how my work is now!
 I have grand plans for my anime themed blankets which will involve plain squares and other squares with different colours in. 

I hope you've enjoyed this first of many Nayu's Craft Time. Please feel free to share how you fell in love with your hobby, be it a yarn/thread/fabric craft or something non-crafty!

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