How I Became a Crocheter, by Erica Jane Smith, Aged 37¾
I come from a family of knitters. Oh sure, they can crochet, and sew, and there's the occasional bit of cross stitch and tapestry, but if I had to place them into any particular box, it would be the knitting one. I, on the other hand, am categorically NOT a knitter. I -can- knit, I just don't enjoy it. I find it a struggle, counter-intuitive, and incredibly heavy going. If there's more than 30 stitches cast on, and the yarn happens to be thinner than super chunky, it has been known for me to take an entire evening and the curse words of three languages to get a row done. I've always wanted to be able to work with yarn, having grown up with a stash large enough it was shared by three women (who each had encyclopaedic knowledge of which yarn in which colour was in which wardrobe at which house) but I never found my mojo with a pair of knitting needles. Because they were all knitters, nobody thought to teach me how to crochet back then.
Eventually, along came marriage, and children. Both my babies are disabled. Small Dude is on the autistic spectrum, and Small Girl is epileptic, profoundly deaf and has cerebral palsy. These kids wreck clothes, either through refusing to wear new things (Small Dude) or throwing up on things so many times you can't get the smell out any more (Small Girl). The same can be said of bedding. I can use a sewing machine without too much fuss, and so I bought a few bits of fabric and had a go at making them some simple t-shirts. Eureka! Small Dude had watched me put together his, seen me sewing on it, sat with me while I finished it, and was -eager- to wear it! Small Girl spent the entire day patting her t shirt and grinning at me. I knew I had to branch out and try make them winter things... but the thought of picking up a pair of knitting needles filled me with dread.
Then last year, my yarn addicted best friend (YABF) bought me a double rake knitting loom for Christmas, along with oodles of DK in various shades. I snaffled all the pink from the pile, and spent most of Christmas and New Year making my daughter a blanket, which she fell utterly in love with. YABF suggested putting a crochet border on it, to girlify it even further, and brought me some crochet hooks, with the intention of teaching me how to use them. I am an impatient wench, however, and found some tutorials on the internet. I first put needle to hook on February 1st this year, and was amazed at how quickly I picked up the basics! The hook flows through each stitch, the yarn flies off my finger and becomes exactly what I want it to be, and I'm learning and improving with each and every stitch I hook.
The knitting loom is gathering dust in a corner at the moment, with a half finished project dangling from it. Meanwhile, I'm on the sofa, hook in one hand, yarn in the other, laptop open so I can keep track of where I am in the sweater I'm designing stitch by stitch for Small Dude. The Amazingly Large Granny Square Throw is my mobile project, for buses and waiting rooms, and it never fails to attract comment when I'm out and about! I even ended up giving someone a mini tutorial at the hospital while I was waiting for a physio appointment the other day, plus a spare hook I had a duplicate of, and directions to my favourite LYS (Hurrah for living in the hometown of the British Wool Marketing Board!) I am unashamedly, completely and hopelessly addicted to yarn and hooks, as my husband realised this morning when I got up, came downstairs, and headed straight for my crochet hooks instead of for the coffee pot!
Like I said before, I am categorically NOT a knitter. I'm a crocheter... and I wouldn't have it any other way.