The Learning Curve

My crochet journey began with knitting.

I learnt to knit when I was about 8 years old. A Dutch friend of my mother’s taught me along with my older sister because although my mum could knit, my left-handed sister struggled with learning the English method which clearly favoured the right-handed. I found knitting a useful skill, particularly to while away the many hours in the car as my family travelled around Australia with a caravan when I was 10 (see below for some pictures of my beautiful country – taken by my 10 year old self on my old film camera).

The problem was, I could only knit scarves (or squares or blankets – boring sorts of straight things). I couldn’t get the hang of purling and the knitting patterns made no sense to me. I dropped stitches without noticing and my whole scarf would unravel from the middle. Then the one time I attempted knitting a beanie, I got all the way to the end and then realised I must have twisted my work days earlier and had accidentally made a knitted Mobius strip instead. It didn’t work as a beanie. Now, that would have been pretty cool if I had meant to make it like that, but it was absolutely disheartening to my then 12 year old self and prompted the end of my interest in knitting.

During my teen years I explored lots of other forms of hand crafts – silk painting, tie-dyeing, fashion design, stencilling, card making, acrylic painting and so much more. And then came the years of seeing all sorts of awesome pictures on the internet of what others were making with yarn. For a while I just figured it just wasn’t for me, because if I couldn’t even knit a beanie, I would never be able to knit the cute patterns I was seeing. And then I realised…….they weren’t knitted at all, it was crochet!

So, if the internet was to be believed, you could make anything with crochet: toys, clothes, jewellery, keyrings, fake plants – the lot. And I thought to myself, I should learn to crochet, it looks much more useful than knitting.

And so the thought existed in my mind for a few more years….and then one day, it happened. I simply looked up ‘how to crochet’ on YouTube, proceeded to watch a 7-part series of 3-minute videos about how to do all the important things like tie a slip knot, chain, single crochet, double crochet, change yarn colours, make a magic circle and weave in the ends, and half an hour later I started my first project – a stripy double crocheted blanket for a queen sized bed. It took me many weeks, but I got good. You do that many double crochets in a row and you will find your natural rhythm!

Then I thought – what next…..how about something a little more interesting. Can I really make anything I want with just a few simple stitches?

So I jumped right in and crocheted the flower bouquets for my wedding, along the way learning to crochet with much smaller hooks and yarn, learning to read a pattern, and learning to alter and make my own patterns. Not to mention that I had no prior knowledge of flower arrangement, wiring, using floral tape or dyeing yarn. It was an exhilarating learning curve.

Orchid Flower Bouquet
Orchid Flower Bouquet, crocheted flowers with real fern leaves

And here were the results – an outcome I was quite happy with.

After that I knew I was in for a fun journey, for I had proven to my self that I could really do whatever I wanted with this amazing thing called crochet! Just where should I take it with such limitless possibilities?

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